The Third Leader: Teenage kicks

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Confidence in that prediction comes from being able to study one at close quarters. Yes, it is risky, especially if downwind, but rewarding. And while I agree with the professor about the symptoms, I part company on the diagnosis, which, if I were 14 again, I would greet with eyebrows raised, eyes crossed and mouth open, possibly with a digit symbolically inserted.

For the professor has clearly not read that important sign on the pub wall: "Quick, ask a teenager now, while he still knows everything." Because they do; I remember it very well myself. And this is what leads to the problems: imagine, try to remember, the sheer tedium of being surrounded by these elderly, mouthy dullards with their obsessive compulsive disorders centring on hygiene, tidiness, homework and the future. Solution: logging off, now.

The professor also notes "a seeming inability" to recognise two particular expressions, sadness and anger. But these are the expressions a 14-year-old boy normally encounters, and are thus unremarkable. It is genuine interest from an adult that ties his tongue and makes his face go red.

No, the mystery the prof should be working on is where that wonderful, invincible omniscience goes. You could ask Kevin, of course; but he won't tell you, as he's too busy, late, asleep, or whatever.