Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Five Ways To Impress A Primary School Student (Part 1)

One: Climb A Tree

There is nothing more impressive to a young boy (or girl, for that matter, but they have to be tomboyish), than to meet an adult who can climb trees. So obviously, it pays to be able to do so. Being an adult completely changes the way you have to adapt to the tree: although you are now taller and have a greater reach, you are heavier, thus rendering it impossibly difficult to climb some of the trees you used to scale effortlessly when you were young. The art of tree-climbing is a difficult and tempestuous one, which abandons those who cannot master it and leaves them grounded, alone, and tearful.

Why This Impresses Children:

Things that children aren’t allowed to do: climb trees. Doing something that your parents says is bad is riotously good fun, whether it be reading after bedtime or forming a hardcore opium addiction. Thus, to see an adult who not only doesn’t care if they climb or not, but also joins them in the trees is an exciting experience, and leads to what I call “Uncle Dave Syndrome”. This is when a Uncle, let’s call him Dave, joins in with you when you tell poo jokes to your friends or lets you drink a bit of his beer when mum or dad isn’t looking. He’s the coolest guy ever, right? The same thing applies here.

Two: Make a Daisy Chain

Whereas boys prefer rugged activities like climbing and rolling down hills and punching the weak kids, girls like more to sit in small groups under said trees, on said hills, and isolating said kids. If you join them at one of their little soirees, you’d better have something interesting to offer them or they’ll move on and leave you sat alone, wondering where your childhood charm has gone (note: you were not as charming as you thought you were in Primary School. Logic dictates that you were an ass). The pretext for these meetings is to design daisy chains, where you pick daisies and make holes in the stems so they link together and form little bracelets. While doing this, girls are free to talk about whatever they want, most likely the cuteness of Bobby Baxter, the amiable goalkeeper for the school football team.

Why This Impresses Children:

It’s actually pretty difficult to make a daisy chain, and the ability to do so is rightly held as a yardstick for how talented you are as a person. It also shows that you are the kind of grown-up who can listen to children and actually care about the prattling crap they come out with. Children love thinking that what they say is important, and you can’t delude them into thinking these thoughts unless you can get into their group. It’s an initiation process, essentially, and the only way you can get around doing this is to claim hay-fever. Girls think that hay-fever is a legitimate disease that can kill people, so they’ll let you off if you start sneezing.

Three: Own A Pet That Does Tricks

If you take a child round to a new house, they will be incredibly bored (as they should be: leave your kids out of your social life, weirdo) unless this new house belongs to someone who owns a pet. If there is a pet, they will be endlessly entertained for hours and never want to leave. Pets are great things indeed, adorable bundles of fur with cute eyes and, traditionally, a peppy attitude to match. Pets who do tricks are just that little bit more special, however, as they do things that you tell them to. Take for example the dog who retrieves a ball you throw into the distance – how much more interesting is that than a dog who sits on a sofa and sleeps all day? I’ll tell you, friends: this is much more interesting. And children love it.

Why This Impresses Children:

The reason why children love an animal that does tricks is because it gives them a feeling of power. If they want to make Rover roll over, then they damn well can, and at any time they want. It’s the first step towards growing up, where kids can abuse power they have over someone who is essentially an inferior being to them. One day they will be able to use this to make Gary from accounts print out an extra copy of the IPS report because he didn’t laminate it the first time round, but for now kids can only be an asshole to pets. Their parents won’t stand for being ordered around, but pets will – and they actually seem to enjoy it. This delusion that things like being ordered around will develop slowly over time in the mind of a child, so that when they get older and start bossing people around, they will truly believe that their co-workers love it. You can’t argue with psychology.

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