By Sabiha Bilgrami
My sister’s teenage son moved in with us recently. Wherever I go, the response is the same. People sigh, shake their heads and cajole me to remain patient in the face of my unique predicament.
Teenagers, as you know, are bundles and bundles of progesterone, testosterone and all kinds of morons. Monday morning, my nephew turned up with hair colored blue, green and yellow. In a senior moment, I enquired curiously – Is your mother a parrot? Distinctly hurt, my nephew demanded – “ Can I borrow five dinars? Pleeeeeese.”
This antidotal response to hurt emotions is the hallmark characteristic of the mammalian species, we call teenagers. Saturdays, teenagers get their allowance. Sundays, they spend it. Mondays they beg, borrow and steal from family.
This species possesses many other amazing traits. They have unique sensory perception – they can hear Shakira crooning This time its Africa three blocks away; BUT they can never, ever, hear their mother screaming ‘Its time to Clean up’ three feet away.
The natural habitat of this species is 3 feet in front of the TV. However, in this decade an increasing number have been spotted in the driver’s seat of parentally subsidized 8 cylinder motor vehicles. In Kuwait, the incidence of such citing, peaks around the 25th and 26th of February.
Teenagers are also known to be highly territorial. Their territory is always well marked by sight and smell. They always line their resting place with scattered, soiled undergarments (Ugh!).
My nephew, like the males of his species, can lie immobile for hours at a time, conserving energy and listening to undecipherable audio signals from his MP3. However, a request for a clean-up can result in a Tsunami of activity. He immediately stands up, rolls his eyes, shrugs his shoulders, stamps his foot, sighs and goes back to energy conservation. A word of caution to those handling the female of this species – they are known to shriek, scream in your ears and chop off their skirts to lengths which can prove embarrassing – to us – not them.
The male of this species wears dull drab clothing while the female prefers brighter vibrant colors. However, both species wear low-waisted, lower garments, which constantly slide off their backsides, at times completely. This species suffers great agony when their central mane goes limp. Hair is mistakenly spiked with adult gels beginning with the letter ‘V’ .
Teenagers constantly forage for food and can consume three times their weight every day. However, when weight watching they will skip candy bars before their triple cheese burgers at breakfast.
The data on the dating and mating habits of this species is extensive but not available in the public domain. A censorship that the G5 nations insist on enforcing to protect the human race.
Last week my nephew wanted me to sign on a five day school excuse which read – “Dear School, Please excuse my ward’s absence for the 29th, 30th , 31st, 32nd, and 33rd of February as he has had two teeth taken off his face!” The disgust on my face prompted him to reword the excuse. It then read “Dear School Sir, Please excuse my wards absence from the 29th to 33rd of February as he has very loose vowels”.
Teenagers typically spend 6 hours online hunched over laptops or working on their assignments in groups. Teenagers hold the copyrights for, and extensively use, the commands – DOS, MOS and TOD which typically means ‘Dad Over Shoulder’, ‘Mom Over Shoulder’ and ‘Time Out Dude’. Once these early warning commands are sounded, teenagers will spontaneously execute the Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan, in other words they fall off to SLEEP.
And let me tell you, when they do fall off to sleep this species looks absolutely angelic. Their sleep induces a strange effect on the evolved human race. Eyes close, hands rise and lips move in silent prayers – ‘Allah, keep the teenage species safe and sound’.