When my son's music teacher drew me aside for a private chat, my shoulders immediately sank.
"What's he been up to now?" I gloomily thought, having endured a number of "chats" with concerned teachers over my lad's somewhat eccentric approach to various aspects of the school curriculum.
"Your son," his teacher purred, "is exceptionally gifted. His sense of musical timing and dancing ability is remarkable."
Feeling relieved but nonplussed by her praise, I blurted: "What are you suggesting?"
"Well ..," she continued, "as a former Royal Ballet teacher, I believe your son has the talent to be considered for special training."
"You mean ... as a male ballet dancer," I spluttered.
"Indeed," she agreed. This revelation immediately sent a electrical charge through my dormant gonads, prompting me to fold my arms defensively before replying gruffly: "I was rather hoping he'd be an All Black when he grew up."
"Well ..," she responded, "he does appear to have the energy and talent to pursue dancing."
When faced with the inexplicable, I immediately retreat. "Thank you, I'll talk to his mother about this."
To my surprise, the caregiver seemed delighted at the teacher's suggestion.
"If he starts out on this sort of esoteric career, how am I going to explain to my mates, that no, I can't go for a beer with you tonight, because I'm taking my son to ballet lessons," I whined anxiously.
"Are you concerned about his manhood or your own?" she responded, adding tellingly: "I would've thought you've scattered your genetic seed enough around this planet, not to be over-concerned about a streak of creative effeteness running through the family."
All I could do was gruffly retort: "I think we should be getting him to join a local junior rugby club to sort him out."
"But you loathe rugby as much as he does," she said, fully aware that my idea of purgatory is standing on a sports field on a Saturday morning, watching small boys kicking a ball around.
There the matter was dropped for a few weeks, until recently, when I casually enquired what was happening about ballet lessons.
"Oh, your son's gone right off that idea.
"He's only interested in building things on the computer. You should see the walk-through castle he's designed at school. His teacher thinks he's exceptionally talented."
"A computer nerd? I'd rather have a male ballet dancer," I gloomily concluded.