Most children cannot wait to grow up and become adults. Of course, we all know, kids are not the most reliable people when it comes to understanding the future. These same kids think poking a cat repeatedly till it gives up on life and bites you is the right way to find out IF the cat bites.
What they do not understand is that being a kid was the best time of life. But the realisation comes too late while you are wallowing in a university exam hall wondering why a pie-chart is anything but a chart full of delicious types of pies. Some people find out much later that being an adult is tough. Like I did last week when I realised I have two kids who need to become adults themselves. The realisation was damning. I miss having someone prepare breakfast for me.
But we must grow up and as the term goes, we must adult. If you are using adult as a verb, you are nowhere close to ready but my helpful articles always help you pretend. And pretending is halfway into fooling yourself into believing.
The easiest way to get through this difficult time of your life which is basically ALL your life is to have the right tools on hand. And the right tools are a spoon and a hammer.
Surprised, right? You thought it would be money. And you would be right. Money is the right tool for growing up because growing up involves needing money to pay for bills. But most of us do not have much money because we write and read Almost Useful Articles.
A spoon will get you out of a jam every time. When I was a kid, I was not quite the sophisticated man I insistently tell you I am today. I ate jam with my fingers. I ate everything with my fingers. My friends did it too which was okay till my father would angrily utter the classic line, ‘If your friends took a loan at 3.7 percent of your earnings, would you do it too?’
I do not know what it means. He is an ex-banker and all-time economist.
But then my mother would jump in and make things normal again. If my friends jumped off a building, well, we all know how that goes.
So I grew up eating with my fingers whenever mom wasn’t nearby. It was quick, easy and often messy. Then I got married and realized the wife was simply not going to tolerate this any longer. And I started using a spoon. People looked at me with more respect because my clothes no longer had food stains. I felt suave-r than James Bond did sipping his dry martini because he had it shaken, not stirred like any civilised person should.
My life changed. I was no longer the self-doubting, occasionally angry man with a chip on my shoulder. I ate that chip. And I was now just an occasionally angry man. But the spoon helped make things more sophisticated.
Now I use a spoon to scoop out things and I never felt more accomplished. The wife once even encouragingly said I look sexy while eating with a spoon. Which I guess was mostly to keep me on the path of civilisation. It worked. I am halfway an adult now.
For example, when I need to untie a knot. Or a tie. Or a shoe lace that is more reluctant than my office’s finance department. A spoon simply finds its way through a knot like it does through a bowl of chicken curry hunting for that elusive yet delectable breast piece.
I have unscrewed screws with spoons. I even had a car for a short while that would start with a spoon because the key was lost in Mordor. The spoon was the key to a lot of things. Well, mostly the car.
I have used spoons to mix paint because grownups do not use an electric egg beater to mix paint. Kids do. I remember having to buy my mother a new one when I was a broke, pimply yet chiseled faced young man.
So where does the hammer factor into all this? It is the perfect tool because like your words, you can use it loudly to beat most things into submission. But it is also more taxing on your nerves. As you become more adult, you realise the hammer isn’t the answer every time. You use the spoon instead. Brute force versus gentle persuasion. And that is how you adult.
Ehsanur Raza Ronny is a confused dad, all round car guy, model car builder and cartoonist. He is also Editor of Shift (automobiles), Bytes (technology) and Next Step (career) for The Daily Star.