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If you want to learn life’s golden lessons, don’t rely on politicians. The universe has given them to us to laugh at, not to learn from.
And whatever you do, don’t think that schools are there to teach us anything. The three-year-old Egg’s school is charging a “placement fee” for the privilege to attend next year.
I simply want her to continue as she did this year. And last year, she was placed in that school. By me, which logically makes me the one who should receive a placement fee.
“What’s this fee?” I asked the woman in the front office.
“It’s a placement fee,” she said.
“And what do I get for it?”
“It’s an administrative fee to keep a spot for her.”
“So it’s a sort of a bribe?”
Dogs and three-year-old girls, on the other hand, are a fountain of useful wisdom.
Sweetpea, the introverted Boston terrier, has taught me that it’s always better to steal a snack from the table than to beg for it. I have learnt from her that things always look better after you’ve licked your wounds and taken a nap. And that there are times in life when you need to lie on your back and have your tummy tickled.
These three pieces of canine philosophy have contributed more to making my life bearable than the advice of most teachers, preachers and therapists.
Last week, the lovely Snapdragon told me the cold water tap in the bathroom wasn’t working. Or, to be fair, she told me again. (“I have told you seven times over the past three months that…” You can also learn a lot from your spouse, but this kind of knowledge is mostly about numbers.)
So, being the loving, ever-serving husband and father that I am, I waited for Egg to go to bed and then installed a new set of bathroom taps with the help of a pipe wrench and a beautiful set of rolling green eyes.
The next morning Egg was overwhelmed. “Look, new taps!”
“Oooo! And who installed them?” I asked.
“Santa, of course! Santa comes to our house every night to see if I behave.”
And that, dear reader, is my advice to you for this weekend. Behave as if Santa is watching.
I don’t guarantee great Christmas prezzies if you do, but you may just get new bathroom taps.
Dirk Lotriet. Picture: Alaister Russell
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