Friday, 19 April 2013

The Forest That Would Do No Harm

Well, good evening.  I must once again apologise for the time that has lapsed since my last Cushy Parent offering.  I feel ashamed.  However, I have something juicy for you to make up for the dry spell - something that I think you will find rather ticklish.  Yes, tonight I bring you the strange case of the Forest That Would Do No Harm.

Yesterday, I had the good fortune to accompany sixty seven-year olds into a forest.  No, I wasn't feeling insane or feverish.  I wasn't high upon medication and my hip flask hadn't brushed my lips (no, I get my lips right around the funnel, why would I only brush my lips with it?) I was of sound mind and able body, and had volunteered to help on the trip out of the goodness of my heart.  (Pause to swig).  So there we were, a handful of adults and sixty anorak'd children stood shivering in the wind on a lonely hill, whilst the teachers read out the health and safety measures.  And here is the wonderful bit: we were informed that the forest had a special type of wood which was the sort that wouldn't result in the children receiving splinters.

Now, I'm not having a pop at the school, nor the teachers.  We all know why these health and safety measures are in place.  Many of us still have therapy because of those dodgy seat-belt-less mini-buses that drove us round the Welsh valleys with the driver steaming drunk at the wheel singing 'She'll be Coming Round the Mountain.'  Someone was always sick.  Someone always wet their pants.  And it wasn't us kids, I can tell you.  Don't blame the driver - you wouldn't be able to retain that much lager in your bladder either.  And to be honest, I don't blame him for getting hammered.  Anyhow, we all know how laidback things used to be.  My dad once piled so many of my friends into the back of his Ford Cortina that we lost one of the girls when the back door flew open.  We never did find her.  Sarah, if you're reading this, I'm sorry.  Although not as sorry as I will be if you're not reading this because that means you did expire on the tarmac that night and the last thing you ever heard was my dad singing But She's Always A Woman to Me.

So about the trees in the forest.  These trees are apparently the sort that do not give splinters.  I am currently reading The Magic Faraway Tree to my son and I have to say upon hearing about this wonderful forest I imagined pixies and goblins running around spraying the rough bark with magic healing lotion in preparation of our visit.  (This vision was entirely down to the power of Enid Blyton and nothing to do with drugs.)  Because how else could the whole forest have the sort of wood that didn't give splinters?  Not only did it seem a crazy concept, but it seemed bizarre that it was even being discussed.  Rather like saying 'don't worry about that insane bull that is charging us right now children, because apparently its horns don't hurt when impaled upon them'.  Surely we don't expect everything in the countryside to have no risk now?  Stingless nettles, pretty pink spiders, waterless rivers, toothless sharks?  Cos if that's the case, then I want a refund.  Because my childhood wasn't like that one jot.  When I was a kid you got splinters the size of pencils in your fingers.  The affected area would go purple and throb until it fell off or was amputated. 

In the old days, children were forced to wear
clothes to hide their missing limbs

So tonight, on behalf of all my old friends (particularly Sarah), I'm petitioning for a refund for our awful splinter-infested childhood.  I, for one, find it very hard typing with only 3 fingers per hand. 

Until next time my friends......