My So-Called Life: If the boot were on the other foot

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The Independent Online

A conversation as never overheard in World of Soccer (or similar emporium) at the start of the football season when boys need new boots:

A conversation as never overheard in World of Soccer (or similar emporium) at the start of the football season when boys need new boots:

Mother: Hey, these boots look really good. Try them on.

Boy: No, mum, put them down. I don't want them. They're way too expensive. It's absolutely ridiculous. Over a hundred quid for a pair of boots! It's bloody scandalous. What do they think? That money grows on trees and you're made of it? I've a good mind to write to Adidas to ask them how they justify such astronomical price tags.

Mother: But I dearly want to buy them for you. Look at them. They're just so cool. And they've got hidden lacing, steel tipped blades for extra power, lightweight sole....

Boy: Mum, c'mon. You work hard for your money. Don't waste it on expensive boots for me. I'd just feel so bad about it, wouldn't be able to sleep nights, and you're only paying for the name. These cheap, plastic ones will do the job just as well. The rest is just marketing. Such a rip-off.

Mother: But Alex has dead cool boots this year, and Dan and Phillip and Brandon and Ashok ....

Boy: Well, go and live with them, then.

Mother: I would if I could, They're much nicer than you, and they let their parents buy them XBox and MP3 whatnots and top of the range mobiles and everything. Oh please, please, please let me get you these boots. I won't insist on getting you something absurdly expensive again. Promise.

Boy (to assistant) : How do they justify these prices?

Assistant (and graduate of the World of Soccer in-house training scheme) : Dunno.

Mother (hissingly) : You've really embarrassed me now. Did you have to ask that? Try them on, at least.

Boy: What's the point? I'm not getting them.

Mother (with trembling bottom lip) : I hate you and wish you were dead.

Boy (roughly pulling mother out by her arm) : Right, that's it I've had enough. Home. Now. Stop with the waterworks. Why does it have to always end like this? Every year it's the bloody same and I'm fed-up of it. I'm quite content with last year's boots, anyway. I think, Miss, you've got some thinking to do when we get back.

Mother (upon reaching home and throwing herself on her bed) : I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. It's not fair. I don't want supper. I'm not hungry.

Father: What's up with her?

Boy: Oh, you know the usual row about the cost of things. Now, if you don't mind, I'll just catch up on some thank-you letters and then practise a musical instrument before doing the homework for the day after tomorrow because, as I've got the time, I might as well get it done now.

Mother (weakly, from upstairs) : I will have a little bit of supper, but that doesn't mean I don't HATE YOU or WISH I'D NEVER BEEN BORN!

A conversation as never overheard when boy comes home from school:

Mother: Hi darling, did you have a good day?

Boy: Yes, thanks for asking. It was fairly good. Double science wasn't too bad and Mr Drake said my French is coming along and I'm beginning to get to grips with the maths, I think, and I had a nice lunch - shepherd's pie and peas, slightly undersalted but decent enough. I had 89 peas. I then had an apple, a red one. The alternatives included jacket potato, sandwiches, pasta with tomato sauce and I could have had an orange. Or a green apple. Jack had the jacket potato. Jamie had a ham and cheese sandwich and chips. At 2.17pm my laces came undone and I had to do them up again. I went to the toilet twice. I sat next to Ruby in English and got told off for chatting. I lost my locker key but found it again. We're reading Holes in English and had to write about it today. Shall I show you what I did? I blew my nose three times and possibly scratched it 17 times. The bus came two minutes late. I gave the driver £1 and he gave me 60p change. Jane isn't talking to Ruby and Ruby isn't talking to Suzanne. Tom's had a haircut and....

Mother: Oh, shut up and go and slump in front of the telly, for God's sake.

Boy: But mother, I'd so much rather take you through my day!

A conversation as never overheard at the dinner table:

Boy: This juice has got 'bits' in!

Mother: Do you want water instead?

Boy: But I love 'bits'. Mmmmmm, 'bits'! There is nothing I like better than 'bits'. I could live on 'bits'. 'Bits' for breakfast, 'bits' for lunch, 'bits' for supper. You can never have too many 'bits'. 'Bits' are the most delicious things on earth. 'Bits' are the business.

Mother: Do you want some ice-cream now?

Boy: No thanks. I'd like a yoghurt with 'bits' in. Really, really big 'bits'. It could be more 'bits' than yoghurt. For my birthday, could I have a double portion of 'bits' with, maybe, a 'bits' cake decorated with 'bits'...?

A conversation as always overheard when the family, searching for a nice bit of late night lap dancing on Channel Five, come across Cosmetic Surgery Live:

Mother: Ugh!

Father: Ugh!

Boy: Ugh.

Father: Turn if off.

Boy: Ugh. I think I'm going to be sick.

Mother: Me too.

(And that's just Vanessa Feltz and her co-presenter, the creepiest man on earth. Thank heavens they quickly went live to the woman having her breasts sliced off and her thigh fat sucked out of her nose and her buttocks blown up and remodelled as a nose).

Mother: Phew.

Father: Phew.

Boy: Phew.

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