Not smart enough to handle a broom!
ONE of my grandsons had his smartphone taken into protective custody, and had a forced day off school, so he landed on our doorstep with instructions from mum to keep him fully occupied.
As it was a nice day, we, that is I, decided that the drive, front lawn and various bushes could do with a wash and brush up.
Now today's modern digital-savvy youth can manipulate the gadgets that seem to rule their world, to a degree that us old bus-pass holding, black-leather-shoe wearing crusties could never begin to understand.
Out came the yard broom, electric hedge trimmers and an assortment of gardening tools.
As I said to the lad, "welcome to my world", the look on his face was priceless, at the realisation that he was about to be inducted into the realm of work.
As I trimmed the hedge, he struggled to sweep up the cuttings and, as for picking them up and placing them into the council wheelie bin...disaster!
It beggars belief that a fit young man cannot get to grips with a broom and a pile of cuttings.
Ask him to hack into the Mars probe or order food from a takeaway, no problem, but the simple task of sweeping up eluded him.
After an hour or two, which included clearing out the six-metre long drainage ditch, he was finding manual labour easier, and so when we had finished sweeping, pruning and tidying up, I noticed a look of achievement on his face, and for the first time in his cyber-obsessed life he had conquered the two words that strike fear into all adolescents: hard work.
After lunch, just to enforce the experience, her indoors suggested that the upstairs landing needed a clean, so out came the vacuum cleaner and the boy was designated the job, something he has never done before.
Again this was a task that the iPod generation finds as baffling as I do the interweb and social media. However, after some tuition, he did it to a reasonable degree.
The lad acquitted himself well. He had survived the bane of all techsavvy youngsters, hard graft. I am confident that with more instruction and on-the-job training, he and his contemporaries will realise that there is life outside the make-believe galaxies of shootem-up fantasy war games, trolling other youngsters on Twitter, and walking into lampposts heads down listing to music that to us untrained old-uns, sounds like someone going over Niagara Falls, in a gas stove.
This experience has, I hope, opened his eyes to a world that he had been totally ignorant of, and in the days to come, he will volunteer to help mum around the house and garden. But knowing the mindset of modern youth, I doubt it... We live in hope.
Tony Levy, Wednesfield. The small print: Letters will not be included unless you include your name, full postal address and daytime telephone number (we prefer to use names of letter writers but you can ask for your name not to be published if you have a good reason). The Editor reserves the right to edit all letters.