Friday, December 16, 2011

Replying to the lovely Elephant's Child, repeating myself, I speak of Daniel: a splendid looking, over 6 ft tall 16 year old boy.  His speech has a defect - why wasn't I told before he started?  If I had known, I wouldn't have wondered if some kind of deafness, or some reverse babel fish, had struck me.   Or , I wouldn't have disturbed him by asking him to repeat himself.  "I can't fxxing talk" he would shout in self loathing and frustration.
These days I can understand him, instead of pretending by interpreting a word or two, which I used to do.
He is quite an intelligent person, with  a great interest in the biological world and its workings:  the function of krill in the mighty panoply of the cosmos, eg.
 Confined to lower school classes with less intelligent or interested students, because his written work is even far less intelligible than his spoken, which is difficult enough,  he is locked into a communication prison.
"My friend would think that I am trying to give myself a blow job," he said, when I showed him how to lean over a glass to drink to cure his hiccups.
I have been told that my response of slight mirth  was inapproptiate,  that I should have conveyed some message of disapproval to him.  I still can't quite understand why. 
But I find it piquant that a 16 year old boy would say this to a woman 50 years older than himself.  It sort of seems like a "good thing".
However, when by conversational rambling we arrived at the Vietnam war, and I discovered that he was not only convinced that "we" won it; but he was also absolutely convinced that Vietnam had invaded Australia, I was appalled.
He volunteered the info, and was adamant, that guerilla warfare was disgusting, and therefore the Vietnamese brought Agent orange onto themselves. 
Talk about blow jobs is not going to rattle me.
Ignorance about our history will offend and disturb me.  And it did.

5 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

I think I would have chuckled - or smirked at least at the blow job comment. The rapport you seem to be developing with him is wonderful.

Ignorance about so many things offends and/or distresses me. Which is hypocritical of me because I am well aware of the gaping chasms in my own knowledge.
Lack of tolerance is another thing which will certainly upset me, as is basic rudeness. So I am becoming a grumpy old woman. Another cause for distress.

The Elephant's Child said...

PS: And thank you for such a detailed and personal response. I really appreciate it, and should have said so in my first comment.

Relatively Retiring said...

I've been privileged to know a few Daniels over the years. Verbal dexterity is always to be welcomed, even if sometimes slightly inappropriate. There can be some really fascinating discussions about inappropriateness, too. Ignorance is a cause for much greater concern.

Frances said...

Yes, Relatively Retiring: it is a privilege.

Elisabeth said...

It's hard when someone's presentation whether spoken or written detracts from our perception of them overall. I, too, would have found the blow job comment amusing and I too would have been aghast at the historical inaccuracies.