What can I say? The school holidays have begun and parents everywhere are faced with the challenge of keeping children amused for ridiculous amount of time.
When did this keeping amused malarkey begin? At the risk of sounding like the proverbial ancient fart, I used to amuse myself quite happily. Yes,
yes, in perfectly innocent ways.
‘Yeah, but you did weird things,’ said James. A long pause and then two words spat in accusation. ‘You painted.’
‘It’s true,’ I replied meekly. ‘I did. And I made things.’
‘Weird things,’ he repeated, firmly.
I frowned. Were dinosaurs made out of chicken bones weird? And felt trolls?
‘But I made money out of it all,’ I said defensively. ‘Like I had an art gallery one summer and flogged my paintings; and then I did a haunted house and charged admission.’
This sort of malarkey has never washed with James. He’s never been a child who likes his own company. Some people just don’t. When he was little I spent hours trying to instill in him a love of the arts – books weren’t just read, they were play-acted; rolls of lining paper were stretched out on the kitchen floor and we hurled paint around together; we made godamn musical instruments for pity’s sake.
Some of it rubbed off. He loves music (just doesn’t particularly want to play it himself). He reads furiously (but sticks to auto/biographies mainly). But he refuses point-blank to do art or drama (too much of that around in real-life, he says).
So I guess there will be X-Box. There will be a lot of cricket and squash and a helluva lot of loping and sighing and eye-rolling.
‘Hey,’ I said. ‘We could always go back to some of the old games.’
‘Like what?’ he said suspiciously.
This was a game we used to play on long car journeys (alongside one word/clause/sentence stories and car number plate dramas). You know the score – you pick a theme (countries, cars, fruit, breeds of dog, authors etc) and go round in a circle taking the next letter of the alphabet. Jeez, it wears thin.
‘Oh for **** sake,’ he said. ‘How depressing is that?’
And so, for your despond, I give you…
The A-Z of depressed words
A is for Apathy
B is for Boredom
C is for Crestfallen
D is for Despond
E is for Entropy
G is for Gloom
H is for Hopeless
I is for Inconsequential
J is for Jaded
K is for Kiss (of Death) – interesting one – no really gloomy words start with K (C is pretty tough too) – the sound is just too explosive and cutting.
L is for Lost
M is for Morose
N is for Nylon (yes, I know but really…it is depressing, right?)
O is for Oppressed
P is for Pitiful
Q is for Querulous
S is for Sluggish
T is for Torpor
U is for Unremitting
V is for Void
W is for Why?
Y is for Yawning (as in chasm)
Z is for Zero
Can you add any better ones? To accompany I offer you the wondrousness that is Edward Gorey. You haven’t come across him? Oh, you lucky, lucky people. Go seek.