Dear Professor People used to believe something was true because someone told them it was true, and that someone might have been a priest or a king or a parent or a book, but after a while people realised that wasn’t a very good way of telling what’s true from what’s not true. There were …
Three years ago I was ghosted by Mama Professor. Our relationship had ended years before, back in 2011, but due to the Professor we still saw quite a lot of one another, and there was some financial dependancy. At times it felt like being in a relationship.
I got a phone call from the Metropolitan Police yesterday morning. Hello, it’s the Metropolitan Police here, a woman said. We’ve just been speaking with Mama Professor, though she didn’t call her Mama Professor but I’m going to. She won’t mind.
This is what The Professor told his mother a few weeks ago. She blames me.
There’s a mouse in my kitchen. The ethical mousetrap I bought in the local hardware store a few weeks ago hasn’t worked. Despite the bait, the mouse won’t go in it, or it has gone in it but managed to avoid triggering the trap door.
When I started playing some music the other day The Professor (5) tried to sing something he wanted me to play. Can you play that one, Daddy? It’s my best. They’d played it at the school assembly. After a while I realized what it was and found it.
Why is Grandad old?
Because he was born along time ago.
But we’re not as old as Grandad. Why aren’t you as old as Grandad?
Because Grandad is my daddy. You can’t be older than your daddy, can you?
No! But Grandad will get older and older and older.
And then he will die?
And we will get older and older and older and then we will die. But that will be a very very long time.
But we mustn’t talk about things like that.
I asked The Professor (4) what animals he could see in this picture.
He said rabbit. Good, and what else? What about the birds? Yes, he agreed that birds were animals. And what else? The boat and the tractor, he said after a while. No, boats and traction engines are not animals (yeah, the traction engine has a face and is smiling, but let’s overlook that for now). What about the man driving the traction engine? No, people aren’t animals, he insisted. Yes they are, I said. I’m an animal, you’re an animal…
The Professor’s mother mentioned how she thought some parents treated their children like little adults. She thought this was wrong. I asked her what she meant. Could she give me an example? All sorts of things could be described as trying to get children to behave like adults. Teaching them to walk, for instance, or …