In the Ten Commandments, God commands the Israelites:
Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Yet, does that mean,
Thou shalt slavishly, unquestioningly, do everything your parents tell you to do.
I doubt it. I leave that to the theologians to discuss.
I had intended to write about saving: piggy banks, savings books, rainy day funds, etc, but then I remember back to the not so good days of being a pads brat, besides the day trips into the Harz Mountains, Saturday matinee down the barracks cinema, the Army helicopter landing on the school field, etc.
Until the mid-80s my paternal grandad used to work abroad, earning decent money. Generous to a fault, ever time he used to see his grandchildren, he’d give each of us a crisp, brand new £5 note in the days when £5 was a lot of money, especially to a 10-year-old. Within a few weeks of coming back to the UK in 1978, my late Granny had taken me down to the local post office and helped me to open a savings account, with just £1.
Sooner or later, with birthday money, pocket money, etc, I had saved £25, not a huge amount, but not bad for an Army NCO’s child, and enough for a particular toy I was saving up for. I had my heart set on it in a way that only an 11-year-old can. Bruv, too, had saved a similar amount. I think he was after a train set. (£25 in 1979 is equivalent to £100 in 2015.)
So, back to Exodus 20:12. Sunray had shortly after arriving at his latest posting in the UK somehow decided to get a cute, cuddly family pet, namely one ex-police dog, a German Shepherd. The idea addition to a family, when you have a small yard, the size of two or three garden sheds, in the back of your married quarter. Sunray was never very good at budgeting. His priorities were:
- me, me, me
- mess (sergeants’, to be exact)
- drink, drink, drink
- getting nice clothes (for himself) with his new storecard. Offspring… hmm, probably a bit of a nuisance, especially the two boys.
British Army NCO’s are very good at giving orders, and they expect them to be obeyed without question. Sometimes, like lots of people, they take their work home.
Sgt Sunray to his
Let me look in your savings books.
GingeInGermany and bruv:
We both knew where this was leading to, and we knew it wasn’t going to be for Sunray to say:
My word, well done, you two, for having saved all that pocket money for a rainy day.
Next order was:
We’ve just bought a bulk amount of dog food. Go to the post office, both of you, and give us what you have in your savings accounts.
Even at the tender age of 11,I knew that was an order, not a point for discussion. Bruv and I duly marched off to the local post office, took out the full contents of our savings accounts, closing the accounts, and handed back Sunray his sons’ rainy day funds. Not even a thank you. Dog food duly paid for. “A pleasure doing business with you,” I’m sure.
Did we ever get our money back? Nope. (Come, on did you really expect there to be a happy ending?)
Sunray is now a lonely old man, surprise, surprise. He hasn’t saved enough money for his own funeral. That means he’ll almost certainly get a pauper’s funeral (called these days “public health funeral”). Sorry, Sunray, I didn’t put my money into a savings account for your dog’s meat to be placed in a freezer, and I’m not saving money for your flesh to placed in an oven, when you get taken to the crematorium.
Have an honourable day, won’t you!