Richard Ord: The wannabe ‘rock star’ birthday boy and his ‘fashionable’ odd socks

Odd socks.
Odd socks.

So my eldest son turned 18 today. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: ‘How can someone so young have an 18-year-old son?’

And then I realise you’re looking at his mother.

Your follow up question is the one that hurts: ‘What did she ever see in a decrepit old fool like him?’

Well, all I can say is: ‘You’re no spring chicken yourself! Keep your fat nose out of my business.’

And then I kind of think that maybe we got off on the wrong foot. You and I go back a long way. And you’re the one who’s paid the cash for this paper. I need to be more civil. After all, the customer’s always right, yes? Let’s start again.

So my eldest son turned 18 today. It’s good to see that some things never change. Though I suggested our Bradley change his socks this morning.

They were his black Pringle ankle socks and were standing to attention outside his bedroom. I’d have put them in the washing basket myself but I have misplaced the larger of my asbestos tongs and I’m damned if I know where my particulate respirator face mask is hiding. Fortunately the barge pole reserved for teenage boy underwear disposal was to hand.

After his customary 45-minute shower (I know what you’re thinking: That’s quick! And you’d be right, he must have been in a hurry) I pointed him in the direction of my bedroom.

‘Your white Pringle socks are in my sock drawer,’ I told him. ‘Those are my white Pringle socks,’ he replied, pointing to the black socks I was transporting to the wash basket.

Like I say, some things never change. Or, in the case of his underwear, appear only to be changed every four to six weeks. Those black socks were indeed his white socks. He should take that shower fully clothed.

The oddest thing was he walked out of the bedroom with his phone clasped to his ear and a fresh pair of socks on his feet. He was in mid conversation so I just pointed at the socks he was wearing. One was a white sock and the other was grey.

He looked down, gave me a thumbs up in acknowledgement, and headed back into the bedroom. When he emerged a few minutes later, he was wearing one white sock and one black sock!

I believe youngsters today refer to this odd sock colour-mixing as ‘Fashion’. There’s an F word among the references I could give this ... and it ain’t Fashion.

Anyway, for the record, he received an electric guitar for his birthday. He has dreams of becoming a rock star.

To give him a head start on these dreams, we bought Bradley the guitar in advance of his birthday so he could get started right away.

I called his mother to find out how the guitar work was going. ‘I’ve never heard him playing it,’ she said. ‘It’s gathering dust in his bedroom.’

Bradley explained the situation quite eloquently. ‘Have you seen how hard it is to play?’ he said.

Reminded me of the time I used my birthday money to buy myself a set of barbells and a weights bench.

I had dreams of developing a body to make the girls’ swoon. In much the same way as owning a guitar doesn’t make you a musician, so owning a weights bench does not an Adonis make.

That weight bench and barbell set did, however, make the best clothes horse I’ve owned to date.

It’s good to see some things never change, and dreaming and laziness, like coloured socks, run in the family.

Happy birthday Brad.