Dad 46: Rare, if not unique, moment as family member wins prize.
Everyone must have prizes is one of the mantras of the modern age. The Complete Dictionary of Awards is now considerably longer than the Bible. Everyone shall come first.
Except, of course, not quite everyone. I am happy to admit to being award adverse. I have been, variously and sometimes concurrently, a non-award winning journalist, a non-award winning lawyer, a non-award winning salesman, a non-award winning broadcaster, a non-award winning management consultant….believe me, I could go on. And, being brutally self-aware for a moment, it is not just non-award winning but non-short-listed and, frankly, non-long-listed.
And the family is (if you measure success by such a measure, which, of course, is a definitively vacuous thing to do) no more successful. Time after time, Mum 49 and I have had to sit through prize-giving ceremonies at which it has often become apparent that the only child who would go unrewarded was the one we had come to support. Lucky we were there, too. Because all the other parents were so busy videoing their children win awards they did not have sufficient hands free to enable them to applaud. Without us their children would have received their awards in silence. But was this gracious and generous behaviour rewarded with an award (perhaps Most Selfless Parents of the Year Award or The All-Round Good Parental Egg Award or whatever, really)…Was it fuck?
It is an oddity of these recessionary times that awards should proliferate. You might think that the judges would have the decency to say ‘having looked at the balance sheets we have decided not to make an award this year’. But, no, the more awards ‘they make’ the more people turn up to pay top dollar to eat bottom drawer food at their award ceremonies. More is more.
And so exponential is the increase that the Family managed to break its collective duck at the weekend when, after we had travelled half the breadth of the country (And yes it was very Little Miss Sunshine. And yes I most resembled the dead Grandfather) Girl 12 only went out and won a certificate for finishing 3rd, yes, that’s 3rd, in the notoriously hard category of ‘Group Improvisation, Year 9 and above’ at a hugely well regarded Improvisation Festival. Hats off to Girl 12. The fact that she was mute during the group improvisation adding rather than subtracting from the worth of the award (see Mark Rylance’s comments on the work of David Hyde Pierce).
The long losing run having been broken the trip home was a joyous one. ‘We are top of the league. We are top of the league….’ we chanted before stopping at a Little Chef. There was just one little quibble. Girl 12′s undoubted success has only made her more determined vis a vis Britain’s Got Talent (see Girl 12 and the BGT audition).