EDitorial ± 10-May-2012

Basmati Art

How'd you like that picture on the right? The Boy had some art homework: do a self-portrait in the style of an artist that you admire. We'd watched clips of Banksy's "Exit Through The Gift Shop" film, part of which features Shepard Fairey, whose Obama poster you'll be familiar with. Middler, The Boy's arty older sister, had suggested to him that he could do something similar. So it began. Though it didn't begin until 9:30pm on the night before it was due in. Whereas it should have begun around 6:30pm that same evening. All great arts comes from suffering.

Dad had been left in charge of tea, which always goes down a treat with the kiddies. With only two of 'em to feed and all of us hungry, Dad hits upon the idea of some fried rice. Cook some Basmati, drain, heat chopped onion, coat rice in oil, add frozen peas, mix in soy sauce plus ingredient of choice, such as can of tuna, leftover chicken or chopped ham. Ready, steady, cook, done and on the table in 20 minutes.

In come the whippersnappers. Eldest gets down to it and starts piling rice onto plate. The Boy is less keen.

- What's that?
- Rice.
- What's in it?
- Rice.
- Where's the pizza?
- No pizza, we're having rice.

Dad moves things along and heaps two tablespoonfuls onto his plate. The Boy picks at it like he's a soap actor playing a dining scene and anxious not to make any continuity errors.

- I don't like it.
- You like it, it's rice.
- I'm not eating it.
- You are eating it.
- I'm not.
- You are.
- Not.
- Please eat it.
- No.
- You're not leaving the table until you've eaten your food.
- Fine.

He puts his fork down. Dad doesn't move. The Boy doesn't move. It's like an outtake from a Sergio Leone rice western. These two males, they're as bad as each other. One digs in, the other fetches a bigger shovel. Traditional end of teatime, 6:30pm, comes and goes. Now 7pm and Dad won't let him leave. Mum comes back, eats her rice and wisely refuses to intervene. Half-seven comes and goes. The Boy finds a kiwi fruit to eat instead and pointedly leaves the rice alone.

Come 8pm, Dad caves but says to The Boy that he's on his own for the homework. Fine, says The Boy, I don't need you anyway. Dad takes Middler to piano lesson. Returing at 9:30pm, Dad finds The Boy getting nowhere fast. Dad, can you help me with my art homework, please?