What Will The Neighbours Say?

What will the kids at school say?

What will my employer say?

What will the press say?

Who knows? Because when you get to certain stage of your life you are not overlooked by schoolmates, neighbours, employers or the media. You are just there by your own, and the only opinion you need to canvas is your own. It’s a sad, frightening, thrilling, and uplifting thing.

‘Twas not always thus. As a child I suffered under the lash of schoolmate’s disapproval – and it coloured my attitude to what I did outside of school. If you can imagine a constant feeling that you were being watched by the phantoms of the schoolyard, you can get some of the feeling. It lasted for years after my schooling ended and only yielded to the next stage of life – employment.

Well, I was self-employed for 40 years, and the feeling of being overlooked was transferred to the professional board that controlled our state’s dentists. The only run-in I ever had with them was on the subject of a signboard, so that was a fortunate 40 years.

Then another 8 years of paid work in a different trade – with an actual employer. And while the first year was spent in an agony of apprehension, most of the next seven saw an increasing indifference upon my part. Not to the work – I was conscientious and diligent – but eventually I stopped looking to the management for a pat on the head. I have two paws and I can pat myself…

Our neighbours are fine people – I suppose. They may be lizards dressed in human skins, for all I know. We keep out of each other’s way and the only thing that is shared is cooking odours. Garlic Week can be a trial.

As far as the press goes, I make my own press – you are reading it right now. If you keep reading there will be exposĂ©s and photographs of topless beach parties – so make sure you stay tuned.