About five years ago I was sitting in the front row of the Shore drama theatre. My son’s play was about to start, the lights had come on and everybody had gone completely silent. My six-year-old daughter, prodded me in the ribs as a signal to pass her a couple of Maltesers. I did so, she dropped one and of course it rolled noisily, right into the centre of the stage.
Everybody in the place was looking at the Malteser, which a responsible Year-12 kid immediately leaped up and binned. Of course all eyes then moved to me, with the box of Maltesers in one hand and two in my mouth.
I gave the kid the ol’ double thumbs up.
The play was going amazingly well. At interval I got myself beer and one for a mate of mine who was sitting directly behind us, my lovely wife didn’t want anything.
Turned out my mate had the same idea and he’d bought me a beer also. So we were both then standing there in the foyer with two beers each to drink in the ten-minute interval.
Anyway, my mate went to the toilet, so I looked around for somebody to talk to and spied… the Headmaster.
Now I’d never spoken to the Shore headmaster before. His reputation at the school was of an intelligent, honorable, highly regarded, Christian man. I thought he’d be good for a laugh.
As my son was going to be at the school for the next five years, I was a bit anxious about meeting the big man and was conscious of at least not making a terrible impression. So I swapped both my beers to my left hand and introduced myself.
He was just as nice as everybody had said. I offered him one of my beers, making sure I let him know I hadn’t drunk from both, but he politely declined. We chatted for a few minutes. Then:
Headmaster – “Jason, your Jake’s a really gifted actor and a fine young man. You should be very proud.”
Me – “Yeah we are, most the time. But faaaaark, he can be a smart-arse!” (I sipped my left beer).
Headmaster – “They all can Jason. Oh, you absolutely have to meet Jake’s drama teacher! I’ll call her over.”
Now Jake had already given me the full scoop on his drama teacher. His tall… blonde… fit drama teacher! I wanted to let the Headmaster, a fellow bloke, know that I was already in the know and that in his professional position he didn’t have to spell it out for me.
Me – “I’ve heard mate, I’ve heard. A tall blonde hottie right!”
It turns out when the Headmaster said “oh, you absolutely have to meet Jake’s drama teacher“ he didn’t actually mean “oh man you absolutely have to meet to meet Jake’s drama teacher because she’s a tall blonde hottie.” He actually meant “oh, you absolutely have to meet to meet Jake’s drama teacher because she’s a great drama teacher.” I had misread his meaning completely.
I remember a look on his face for just a moment that said, surely I misunderstood Jason’s meaning. A Shore parent, an Old-Boy, just wouldn’t say something like that to the Headmaster and mean it like it sounded.
The look on his face then said, oh wow, this man actually DID mean it like it sounded! I need to walk away.
Headmaster (while pointing to something behind me) – “Anyway Jason, it was great to meet you. I have to go and um…”
And with that he was gone.
I sipped my right beer. It was warmer than the left so I decided to leave it, as I’d probably only have enough time to drink one anyway.
In the car on the way home to Hornswood, Jake was buzzing from his highly successful play and I thought he’d get a laugh from my “I met your Headmaster at interval” story.
Jake – “You said WHAT to the headmaster?”
Me (feeling a bit defensive due to his adverse reaction) – “YOU WERE THE ONE WHO SAID SHE WAS A TALL, BLONDE HOTTIE.”
Jake – “I NEVER SAID THAT! I JUST SAID SHE’S TALL AND BLONDE HAIRED”.
Me (after a pause) – “Yeah… well sometimes it’s what you DON’T say that actually says it all.”
My wife – “Hottie is not what he said and even if he did, you don’t raise it in your first ever moment with the Headmaster!”
Me – “I know that NOW. But I didn’t have a lot of time to plan my answer out you know!”
There was a moment of silence.
Me – “It’s ok, next time I see him I’ll say th…”
Jake (interrupting my mea culpa) – “THERE WON’T BE A NEXT TIME.”
I couldn’t help but feel partially responsible for the situation.
Jake – “And why are people talking about a Malteser you lobbed onto the stage?”
Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. If you could Share far and wide via the buttons below, that would be amazing. I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art, of blogging. And check out my new craft beer business I set up with a few North Shore dads (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers