I’m apologising for the punchline now.

This is wank,” observes my wife.

Stop shouting wank,” I whisper.


“The correct etiquette is to refrain from shouting, ‘This is wank’ until you get home from the school talent night.”

She’s right though. We’ve had to sit through three guitar recitals of Stairway to Heaven before our teen boy came on and did some embarrassing white boy breakdancing. At which point three couples got up to shout wank in the car park.

This is one of the many perks of being a parent of teenagers. You can get them to enrol for extra curricular activities based on the premise that it’s character building or will look good to prospective employers.

My wife and I are proud of the fact that we have forced our teen to audition for the school panto, where he successfully landed the role of Dandini. This has led to a further, unexpected perk: it allows me to take the piss out of him on an hourly basis by dipping into my massive vault of pantomime banter. I’m constantly slapping my thigh and rubbing the tea pot.

“Why are you rubbing the tea pot?” asks my wife.

I’m summoning the genie.”

The genie was in a lamp, not a tea pot,” she explains.

Parenting teenagers is tricky, it’s all about finding the right balance. It’s fine to shout wank in a school hall but it’s frowned upon to summon a ghoul from a tea pot.

I carry on rubbing…

It’s not funny anymore,” mumbles the teen.

Yes,” agrees my wife.”Your father’s daft. Don’t follow in his childish footsteps. Intellectually, you’re way ahead of him.”

“Can you just repeat that?” asks the teen smugly, rubbing my nose in it.

I said your father’s behind you. Behind you!”

My wife and I high-five.

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