Did she really say her doting dad is lacking in both intelligence and skin tone
ALITTLE learning can be dangerous... Young Persephone came home from biology class ready to apply universal scientific truth to individual personal circumstance. Or maybe she had been watching ‘Big Bang Theory’. Whatever the inspiration, she was prompted to declare that she has consistently been endowed with all the desirable characteristics in the divvying up of inherited traits. Fortunately her brother was not around to hear an assertion clearly aimed at putting Persephone a notch above Eldrick in general estimation.
She affected to believe that this favourable share-out of the genetic goodies was unarguably obvious to any right thinking observer. Sure, doesn’t she have her mother’s freckles, her father’s tallness of stature, her mother ‘s stellar IQ and her father’s freedom from allergies?
This line of thought was delivered out of the blue at the dinner table over the remains of some finely cooked plaice served with peas and roast potatoes.
I was too distracted by the merits of a particularly fine French chardonnay which accompanied our fine food while Hermione was attempting to extract a fish bone caught between two of her porcelain-like teeth. As a result, the dubious declaration of superiority went unchallenged at the time.Only afterwards did we register what had been stated with such casual confidence.
‘Am I imagining things, Medders, or did Persephone just call me squat and sneezy?’
‘I’m not so sure about that, darling, but she may have indicated that her doting dad is lacking in both intelligence and skin tone.’
Our daughter is beyond doubt a mix of us both. It is perfectly plausible to suppose she has her mother’s cute nose, her father’s rounded buttocks, her mother’s scintillatingly blue eyes, her father’s dislike of Scandinavian meat-balls. But it is downright mischievous of her to claim that she has the winning hand across the board ahead of her sibling in the genetic lottery.
I decided to compile a little list which I put to Persephone the next time we brought The Pooch for a walk, suggesting that her brother may actually hold an edge in some departments,
One. How about the Fall-Asleep-in-the-Car Gene? Eldrick has precious ability to while away the miles by dropping off into light slumber on long journeys. Thus he contrives to arrive at the destination refreshed and ready to go.
Two. How about the Invisible Gene? closely associated with the Selective-Deafness Gene. He is somehow never to be seen whenever it is time to tidy up at the end of a meal, for instance. No one ever sees him leave. No one is ever quite sure where he has gone but it always seems to be too much bother to find out and insist he does his share of the work. It really is a most enviable gift.
Three. How about the Fortnite Gene? In a previous generation this might have been referred to as the Pac-Man Gene or maybe in long by-gone times as the Solitaire Gene, denoting a tendency to pass the time absorbed with trivial amusements.
Persephone was not entirely convinced and she had a contrary list of her own, citing a string of qualities evident in her brother which she is glad to have avoided.
One. The No-Conscience Gene: ‘You do realise that he steals my socks and never apologises. And no bar of chocolate is safe while he’s around.’
Two. The Bohemian Gene: ‘This one must be a mutant, but Eldrick is seriously thinking of throwing away his Shamrock Rovers heritage and switching allegiance to Bohs.’
Three. The Believing-Rap-is-Music Gene: ‘I can sing Julie Andrews’ greatest hits but your son thinks Stormsy has divine powers.’
Four. The I-Don’t-Read Gene: ‘And he’s proud of it. The heathen. Just think of all the wonders he is cutting himself off from by refusing to open a book.’
There may have been more but I was no longer listening, too busy thinking that I must contact our solicitor and arrange to have Eldrick disinherited. The Bohemian Gene, indeed.