The Bean Counter, who was on morning tea duty today, has an eclectic collection of odd, diverse and sometimes downright dubious Life Lessons (for want of a better title). Even before the Homestead was indeed a homestead, chance, innocent comments would trigger that twinkle in his eye and, before you knew it, The Goat Herd (at eight years old) is being introduced to the concept of compounding interest (using a bag of m & ms) “because they NEED to know”. Or the desperation and despair wrecked by Thatcherism illustrated to The fledgling Renovator (who may have got a little sweeping in his teenage vitriol) via The Clash, Sex Pistols, and Brassed Off. And don’t even mention Bill Shankley to The Farmer; the one room shrine to Stamford Bridge in a home that declares itself Anfield speaks volumes for his multi-level resilience.
Maybe it’s just a sign of the times, or possibly he’s mellowing a little with the years, but Farm Girl gets away with approaching these
lectures life lessons in a way that would have been deemed irreverent in earlier years. Her indulgent smile and tolerant, almost motherly, air more often than not hides an exocet-missile, theory-imploding question on her lips. For example: to his You never wear a band’s T shirt to their concert commandment, she pointed out his collection of football shirts (they have a dedicated drawer in his otherwise minimalist wardrobe), one of which he sported on his crusade across the Tasman to watch Liverpool Downunder. This provoked a great deal of mumbling, hurrumphing and finally a muttered comment about the difference between Art and Sport.
But we digress from the reason we headed down the road of The Bean Counter’s life lessons: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. A comment on the bus recently prompted Farm Girl to ask (thankfully after the bus incident, which was a little messy and unfortunate) the meaning of the word paranoid. For those who do not have a bean counter in their lives, there is a character in Douglas Adams’ book called Marvin the Paranoid Android and this tenuous excuse was why Farm Girl, The Bean Counter and The Goat Herd simply HAD to watch the movie. The rest of us went to bed because, sadly, we just don’t get it.
Farm Girl was greatly impressed by the Bill Nighy character, Slartibartfast – and not just because of his name – so none of us were surprised to find his words being unveiled this morning.
Maybe the words themselves go a long way to explaining the mellowing of our Bean Counter. Whatever. We’re all unanimous that, accompanied by a collection of science fiction programme theme tunes and Jamie Oliver’s eggy bread topped with our very own ricotta