Those of you who follow me on Twitter may be aware that our ‘hotel’ was fully booked this week, with an influx of British testosterone; in the shape of three eighteen-year-old teenage boys.
We had never met these boys before, which might have been a potentially awkward situation. And it was.
Their friend, our nephew, (who we used to be very close to, before he thrust this scale 10 level of awkwardness upon us, was supposed to accompany them, and was the reason they had been allocated the best room in the hostel), conveniently broke his arm whilst drunk playing rugby the week before they were due to arrive; not surprisingly, there was no room at any of the other ‘free’ inns in Sydney.
We’ve since been informed that aforementioned prodigal nephew has a new girlfriend!
When I told my friends who have eighteen-year-old sons about ‘the boys’ imminent arrival, they sighed and quickly changed the subject.
So I awaited their visit with obvious trepidation.
‘Normal’ eighteen-year-old boys are an unknown entity to me. (And for those of you who err on the side of political correctness, don’t worry, the ADHDer will revel at that inference – he was proud to pimp his ‘difference’ at every opportunity during their stay). And if anyone did happen to notice the boy in the pink rabbit onesie, smoking and swilling from a bottle of Vodker in Darling Harbour this week, allow me to introduce my son.
Nerd Child was indifferent. In her world, unless a boy knows the elements of the Periodic Table, they are not worthy. She was nonetheless disgruntled at having to surrender her bathroom to boy germs.
However, we were given a helpful character assassination of the three by my brother-in-law in advance – apparently, one was a puker, one had a habit of getting lost and one of them was reassuringly quiet. (We never did actually meet the quiet one).
So the old man and I made our preparations.
We wrote off sleep for the five nights of their visit and downloaded the entire series of Game of Thrones for the long evenings, while we waited for our wards to return back to the hostel safely from whichever debauchery or crime they had committed in Sydney.
I also surpassed my all-time Christmas record at Woollies, spending in excess of a month’s rent on carbohydrates and protein. I then watched the old man shake his head in disbelief as he entered the cost on his spreadsheet.
Our three tired backpackers duly arrived, (I assumed) ready to paint the town red, and we hurriedly concealed them in the attic before the neighbours spotted them.
Kurt Cobain, (the ADHDer’s new alter-ego and we’re not worried!) reacted in atypical fashion to their arrival, contriving to appear even more flagrantly bizarre (if that’s possible) in comparison to the three ‘normal’ healthy male teenagers from the other side of the world, his Porkpie hat permanently askew on his head, cigarette dangling from his mouth, (when he thought I wasn’t looking), reedy, white and undernourished body swamped in colourful Indie cast-offs – the very antithesis to the stereotypical ‘Australian’ youth.
The boys were obviously bemused and a little confused
And unfortunately Kurt was in a particularly belligerent mood, still seething from his two week grounding, (and every other punishment we thought was enforceable), our parental retribution for his recent rule-breaking shenanigans at school last term (and Darling Harbour, of course).
His main fear, (that they would be ‘jock’ types and bring a ball), was justified as soon as they appeared at our front door with their sparkling white teeth, obvious biceps and football in hand. I watched Kurt look at them with thinly veiled disdain.
The old man, however, came into his own in the presence of the three red-blooded male accomplices. The intricacy of every sport ever created was discussed at length at the dinner table and I listened to him brag (again) about the weekly average of units of alcohol he consumed at university, while our visitors yawned politely, a small price to pay for hot showers, breakfast and a bed.
There was actually a point when I thought that these perfect specimens of teenagers from the UK, were not real teenagers. There was a minimal amount of grunting and snarling, they chose to stay in rather than go out, and there was an appreciation for whatever I offered them by way of sustenance.
However, I soon realised that I had been hasty in this assumption, (having momentarily forgotten the dulling-down effects of a 24 hour flight), when their enthusiasm for life, living and partying resumed on day three – the day they re-discovered Vodka, Red Bull and another old friend, Jack Daniels, in our local bottle shop.
On day 3 I learned the following about teenage boys:
- Maccas’s soft-tops are the cheapest alternative to real food when budgeting
- Vodka mixed with RedBull is their most important food source
- The need to mark your bedroom door with a ‘THIS IS NOT THE BATHROOM!’ sign – this is of particular importance during the night
- Teenage boys will eat as many fried egg sandwiches as you can throw at them
- Check your water meter before they stay – they shower all the time
- Seeing the sights of a beautiful city is secondary to a) going out to get a hangover and b) recovering from it
- Teenage boys can sleep fourteen hours in one session and they need to feed all day afterwards to make up for fourteen hours of not eating
- They think about food all the time
- Allowing drinking games in your house prior to a night out should be strongly discouraged
- Their alcoholic tolerance is not as good as they think it is
- Their night out only begins as you go to bed and ends as you get up; just in time for a cooked breakfast
They left today as the bags under my eyes were touching the floor and I had exhausted the organic egg supplies at my local Woolies.
Even Kurt looked sad.
Obviously, I haven’t been brave enough to enter their bedroom or bathroom yet.
- The Teenage Transition From Boy To Man (mymidlifemayhem.wordpress.com)
- Nirvana Revealed: Backstage diaries tell of Kurt Cobain’s passion for Scotland (dailyrecord.co.uk)