Laurie Taylor Column

June 2, 2006

Roger, are you there? Do pick up the phone, darling. You know how I hate these horrible machines. Roger?

Yes, mother, I'm here. I'm here. But why on earth are you ringing? It's still almost seven months until Christmas, isn't it?

Oh, silly Roger, it has got nothing to do with Christmas. It's to do with the big grown-up boy who was on the television news this morning. He was talking about that strike.

I've told you mother, it's not actually a strike. It's action short of a strike.

Oh, Roger, there's no need to be so academic. It certainly looked like a strike to me. And there you were, right at the front, waving your very own banner.

It wasn't my banner, mother. Someone just asked me to hold it for a minute while they nipped off to the loo.

"We know you're there. Come on out."

No, mother. It read: "We know it's there. Where's our share?"

And you were chanting. "Give us the money."

"Show us the money."

Oh, Roger. My Roger.

Look, mother, you mustn't start worrying. It was only a little demonstration. Nothing to get upset about.

I'm not upset, Roger. I'm proud.

Proud? But you always said that you'd only be proud when I was made a full professor.

Oh no, Roger. I've changed my mind about that. I'm now really proud of what you've already become.

Already become?

They said it on the news. After all these years my big grown-up boy has become a picket.

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