Monday, October 17, 2011

The world according to the Bratii

With the Bratii on Sunday and somehow the conversation migrated to world leaders (I honestly don't recall how). Take into consideration that Minor is fast approaching 10 and Major is 15.

The current UK Prime Minister is...
Minor: "Winston Churchill"
Major laughing: "He was PM during the war"
He shoots me a glance to confirm this and I give him a nod of agreement.
Minor: "Um Hitler?"
Major and I: "Same war" I continue "He was head of Germany"
Minor: "Oh... that means he was the head of Spain then"
Major bursts out laughing and I find my jaw hanging. I turn to Major
Me: "How...?"
Major: "I don't know"
I turn back to Minor: "No he wasn't head of Spain. Okay current President of America?"
Minor: "George... Washington"
Major "I thought he was going to say George Bush then"
Me: "So did I, I was going to be vaguely impressed"
Major: "It's Barack Obama"
Minor: "So who's the Queen of Number 10 Downing Street?"
Me: "You mean who's the Prime Minster?"
Minor: "Noooo who's the Queen of it?"
Me: "There isn't a Queen of Downing Street... there's just the Queen but..."
Minor: "Oh you just don't know"
I give up and turn to Major: "Okay can you name the leaders of each major UK Party?"
He looks puzzled for a second and then asks: "You mean like the Conservatives and the Liberals...?"
I nod
Major: "Okay there's David Cameron."
Me: "Who is a...?"
Major: "Conservative?"
I nod: "And then?"
Major: "Nick Clegg" he says with conviction
I nod "And for Labour?"
He looks thoughtful: "I'm not sure is it Ed..... Balls?"
Me: "Close it's Ed Milliband or if you're watching BBC subtitles the 'Ed Miller Band'"
Major laughs

Later I step out and step back in to find Major laughing:
Major: "He [points to Minor] thinks elves have something to do with Elvis and come from Pluto"
Minor: "Well they do"
Major continues laughing. Time for some fun.
I turn to Major: "So where do they come from?"
Major instantly stops laughing and ponders the question: "I... don't know"
Minor: "Hah!"
I shake my head: "That's not the answer I was looking for"
Major: "I don't know"
Me: "No the answer I was looking for was 'There's no such thing as elves'"
Major looks sheepish: "Oh yeah"
Minor addresses me: "So you don't believe in elves"
Me: "No"
Minor: "But they're real and invisible I know because I've seen them"
Major laughs
Me: "So you've seen these invisible elves?"
Minor: "Yeah"
I try again: "So you've seen these invisible elves?"
Minor: "Yeah on YouTube - they were blue and went poof" hand gestures to accompany.
I turn to Major and he states that he hasn't seen the video
Me: "Oh well if you've seen it on YouTube it must be true"
Major can't stop laughing now.

Minor addresses both of us: "So do you believe in aliens?"
Major: "Define alien"
I mentally applaud him and nod as Minor continues: "From other planets and outer space"
We both pause
Me: "Given the Copernican Principle that we're not special, that the Earth is not special there must be other life-supporting planets out there. Whether they exist at the same time as us and we'll ever get to meet them is a whole other matter as whether we'd even recognise it as life"
Minor: "Like Pluto"
Well life as we know it is damn tenacious so there might be some form of micro-life on Pluto so: "Possibly"
Minor: "Because anyone who lands on Pluto never comes back"
My mouth opens to speak and I turn to Major who gives me a shrug. I turn back, open my mouth again to speak and turn back to Major who gives me a more definite shake of the head. I turn back to Minor: "What?"
Minor: "Everyone who lands on Pluto never returns"
Me: "We've never landed on Pluto. We've not even been remotely near Pluto"
Minor: "Mars?"
Me: "Unmanned probes"
Minor: "I know who was the first person on the Moon"
Me: "Okay"
Minor: "Neil Armstrong"
Me: "Correct and the second man?"
Minor: "Um?"
Major: "Buzz Aldrin"
Me: "Correct and the third person with them?"
Minor and Major: "Um?"
Me: "Yeah I don't know either and I bet most don't" Writing this out I suddenly recall the name of Michael Collins... yeah that's him I was getting IRA tones of the name along with Liam Neeson which was throwing me off.
Minor: "I know who invented the telephone"
Me: "Okay"
Minor: "Bell"
Me: "Yep can you remember the rest of his name?"
Minor thinks for a moment: "Alvin?"
Major laughs but I interject "That's quite close; it's Alexander Graham Bell"
Major begrudging accepts that it was close.
Me: "Strictly speaking he was the one who really perfected it" Check the Reis Telephone
Major: "Oh yeah - who invented it, who perfected it, who stole it - we're doing that at school with the Lightbulb"
Me: "Ah yes Thomas Edison... have you come across Tesla?"
Major with a big grin: "Oh yeah"