In Hornswood (being the mystical little suburbs snuggled between Hornsby and Chatswood) it can be a little conservative and… quiet. So I need to initiate social events whenever I can.

My daughter attends a private school, in Hornswood. I don’t say that in a showing-off way at all, it’s a bit of a struggle when we have to pay the school/sport/book/camp/uniform bills. But I cannot deny it’s an amazing, well-to-do-school and most the parents drive cars that are much fancier than my Mazda CX-9.

When she was in her first year at “Hornswood Ladies College”, I thought it would be a great idea to arrange a piss-up with the dads of the other Year 7 girls. Someone arranged the same thing at my son’s school and it was great because you got to know blokes you are going to occasionally see, for the next 6 years.

I was eventually put in contact with the person in charge of such things, Mrs Penelope Correct (my daughter would kill me if I used her actual name). I sent her an email, complete with a Bitmoji. Yes, yes, I know I probably shouldn’t have started with a Bitmoji, but hindsight is 20/20.

Dear Penny,

I’m the father of a student in year 7. I was hoping to arrange an unofficial pub visit for the dads of her year, so we can all get to know each other early in the schooling career. Would that be possible? Thanks.

Jase Gram

PC replied in a very timely and positive manner.

Dear Mr Gram,

I’m pretty confident that is the first time anybody has sent correspondence with a Bitmoji of themselves. Lol. However, that sounds like a wonderful idea. Send me an email and I will forward it straight out to the rest of the dads of Year 7. Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.


So I sent her an email with an excellent Bitmoji of me attached to really set the tone for all the dads, when she forwarded it on.

Howdy dads of Year 7 girls,

I know some of you dodgy lads already, but most I don’t and we’re going to be at soccer, netball, parties and sleep-over drop-offs, for the next 6 years (aaaagh).

Let’s all get together for a massive, rowdy break-the-ice piss-up!!! Who’s in lads? The Greengate, March 17th. 7:00ish.

The next day, PC send me back a reply.

I’m sorry Mr Gram. Do you think you could possibly, tone the email down just a little bit? Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.


I assumed the picture was the problem, so I sent back a less suggestive Bitmoji.

Penny please just call me Jase. I’m no “Mr Gram”. How’s this one?

PC replied.

I’m sorry Jase, do you think you could possibly, tone the email down just a little bit further? Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.


So I amended it to look more like a dad celebration-of-Hornswood-life, than a piss-up.

PC then replied, in an exceedingly timely manner. I think she was starting to get a little concerned.

I’m sorry again Jase. The school does not want to be encouraging excessive beer drinking in any of their communications. Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.


So keep in mind I really wanted this thing to happen and I didn’t want to appear like an absolute yobbo to my daughter’s new school. I sent a Bitmoji which had no amber fluid.

I know what you’re saying Penny. How’s this one?

PC replied.

No Jase, could you do one that’s a little bit more representative of us at Hornswood Ladies College? Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.


That one was easy.

Penny I’m pretty keen to make it look like fun so we’ll get plenty of dads actually turn up. How’s this?

PC got back to me.

Yes Jase, I have spoken to a few people in the office and we’re still not comfortable sending that out from the school. Could you do one a little more in fitting with the school’s standards. Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.


Sorted Penny.

PC replied. I think she was getting a little frustrated. As I was.

Jase, could you do one without alcohol mentioned or implied? And how about any single-mothers who may wish to attend? We cannot exclude any parents. Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.


Single mothers? Did PC completely misunderstand what I was trying to arrange??

Penny, single mothers aren’t actually invited. This is for dads only.



I got the distinct impression my email was not going to be sent out at all and that my file had been stamped “Dodgy Dad”. So I sent this…

How do you do, fathers of Year 7 students?

I have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of some of you, however we are more than likely going to be briefly meeting at dance recitals, football games, netball frolics, hockey adventures, parties and sleep-over drop-offs for the next 6 years.

I suggest we all gather together for a tea-drinking session, so we may get to know each other. Who is interested in attending? The Greengate Hotel, March 17th. Shall we say, 7:00? The first tea’s on me!

She replied.

Mr Gram the school will take the entire idea under advisement. Regards.

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.


I had reverted to “Mr Gram” and her “kind regards” had lost their warmth and had been diminished to just “regards”.

After not hearing from her for about a month, I sent her one last Bitmoji, with no words.

That was five years ago, I’m still waiting.

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 (www.gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers


Due to a debilitating hang-over, Andy a Hornswood mate of mine made the fatal mistake of turning up to his daughter’s Under-15 soccer final just moments before the early-morning kickoff. So all the other dads of course, volunteered him to do the dreaded linesman duty.

Andy had run-the-line for his daughter’s Hornswood Soccer games many times and it wouldn’t normally bother him. However he’d been out on the piss with the lads and his head hurt like a hammer-hit thumb. But what choice did he have? The bastards had stitched him up royally.

It all went surprisingly well, despite Andy being constantly on the vomit-precipice he relaxed and started to enjoy the actually game. It was a thrilling 2-2 score-line with mere moments left and his daughter was having the game of her life as striker. They were playing a serious grudge match against a team that neither the parents nor the girls liked as they always took games too seriously and cheered obnoxiously (we don’t like that in Hornswood).

In the closing seconds of the match, one of the Hornswood backs made a desperation kick from well in their half. The ball flew all the way up to Andy’s daughter and she slammed home the winning goal!

Andy erupted into proud-father cheers.

The problem was, because she wasn’t actually expecting the ball at that moment his daughter was a MILE offside. So much so, that players on both sides had slowed their sprinting to prepare for the penalty.

With a hangover-exploding head, perched upon the vom-ipice and alcohol still coursing through his veins, Andy was in no condition to sprint. He was way down the line and actually missed his daughter’s offside completely. In fact, in his excitement he actually forgot it was even his job to call it. He had his flag tucked snuggly under his armpit while he applauded the winning goal.

The ref (who looked to be about thirteen) – “Was that goal good mister?”

Andy – “GOOD?? IT WAS FREAKEN GREAT!!” Andy punched the sky and the flag fell out of his armpit.

So, much to the surprise of his daughter’s team, their opposition and the opposition’s highly-animated supporters (and even the Hornswood parents), the ref paid the goal. Then he blew full-time. Hornswood had “won”.

Andy ran to the goal square, high-fived and hugged his daughter excitedly.

Then with a newfound spring Andy set off across the field to celebrate with the rest of the Hornswood parents. Walking past the gaggle of heart-broken opposition girls from whom he had unwittingly burgled the match, he heard comments thrown his way. Some irate, some teary.






Thinking that was a bit rough and it wasn’t his fault his daughter had single-handedly beaten their old nemesis, he then walked past a large group of opposition dads, out of earshot of all the girls.





Despite the hangover fog in his brain, Andy finally realised his error. And as a predominantly honourable man, he was mortified.

He decided he and his daughter should skip the team celebrations – of their hollow and undeserved victory, and just leave. Quickly.

As he was getting into his car, a slightly scary little old lady appeared. He smiled and Andy hoped he wasn’t about to cop some more abuse or plummet headlong off the vom-ipice, right in front of her.

Little old lady (yelling in a thick Middle-Eastern accent) – “YOU ROB MY GRAN’DAUGHTER HER FOO’BALL!!” Andy just stood there. “YOU NO GOOD MAN. YOU LIE WIZ ZHE GOATS.”

One of the angry opposition dads (yelling from the sideline to the little old lady) – “JUST LEAVE HIM MAMA. HE’S JUST A DIRTY CHEAT.”

She waved her hands, witchingly, right in his face. Freaked out, all Andy could do was close his door and drive away.

In his rear vision mirror, he could still see her gesticulating, spitting on the ground and yelling.


Anyway, the next day Andy and Samantha, were with my lovely wife and I in a fancy-ish restaurant in Hornswood having a great night. An hour earlier he’d finished recounting the story of how he unwittingly gave his daughter’s team an exceedingly hollow, finals victory and an elderly lady had loudly accused him of goat… relations.

I reacted as you’d expect.

Feeling a… presence on his shoulder, Andy turned and there standing next to him was the old lady! Andy froze. He felt as though his heart had stopped beating. He knew what was coming. In reflex, he threw back the final mouthful of Verve in the bottom of his glass. There was more in there than he anticipated, his eyes watered and he coughed.

Little old Middle-Eastern lady – “YOU REMEMBER ME MISTER. YOU ROB MY GRAN’DAUGHTER.”

Andy just nodded, scared. Really scared. Nobody in Hornswood makes a scene in a restaurant, it’s unseemly! He looked to me for support, I did my best to suppress laughter.

But much to his relief, this time she appeared calmer and seemingly had gotten over her bitter disappointment, somewhat.

Little old Middle-Eastern lady – “ISS OK.”

She smiled, turned and left.

Andy much relieved, commenced breathing once again. Sweating but smiling, he started to explain that she was THE little old lady so we’d understand why he was so obviously terrified.

Our laughter, let him know that we had already worked it out.

Then Samantha noticed a piece of paper on his bread plate, folded many times, into a thick little rectangle.

Andy opened it up carefully (see below) –


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