That boy was a wild thing, that’s what they tell their guests who ask how they’re doing. The mauled remains of dessert still on some of their plates.
They say they’ve started him on a new course of treatment and it seems to be working.
They say the boy must have been doing drugs or that he was watching too much TV, the shows nowadays have so much violence in them, they say it was the music he was listening to, it just encourages violent behaviour you know, that’s what they say.
They take a sip of wine.
They compliment each other on how well they’ve handled the boy, yes, yes and others agree.
Yes they say, it does take its toll.
They just wanted their baby boy back, they say, dabbing dry eyes with an unused napkin.
They wanted him to be the little angel he was before all of the trouble began, before the boy started screaming at his poor, parents when they searched his room for drugs because they heard there was a crisis. That the Hendersons had found a tiny bag that looked like herbs in the back of their daughters underwear drawer and that their boy had been spending too much time with that one.
Yes they say, it’s been a difficult time.
Swallowing a mouthful of wine, they don’t understand why he turned to drugs, where he got them or where he hid them for that matter. They take another shot of wine and they just don’t understand why someone would do such a thing they say.
One of their guests announces, through their pineapple flavoured vapor, that they blame the schools.
An agreeing chorus of nods from everyone sat around the table. Yes, the schools are too Liberal these days, they teach their children ridiculous things.
Things that back when they were kids you would be beaten for, but for Christ sake you can’t even do that. There’s just no discipline in schools nowadays, that’s the problem, and you can’t hit your child any more because it’s “abuse” they say, making bunny ears.
They say when they were younger their parents used to hit them and they all turned out fine, right?
Another chorus of nods.
There aren’t any side effects? someone at the other end of the table asks.
No they say, not really.
He cries a lot but they aren’t really tears, no he doesn’t really get sad anymore,they say, he’s always smiling.
His behaviour has changed, that’s the important thing, now he listens to what they tell him to do. Sure he spends a lot of time in his room but this is the real world, they say, he needs to get used to it.
Maybe he’s lost a little freedom they say, but he’ll be thanking them in the future when he’s a respected, well behaved member of society.
He never learnt how to fit in, that was his problem they say, he always wanted attention.
Their hand quacking, they say he was always me, me, me.
They gave him everything, he never wanted for nothing, they say. Money doesn’t grow on trees, you need to work to put food on the table, he never understood that, he was lost in his own little fantasy world, all he ever did was twirl and prance around the house.
No, they wouldn’t pay for him to study dance, what type of man does that? No, their little boy was going to be a real man, like his father.