On a recent bus journey to work, I witnessed a hilarious (though quite sad) exchange between a father and his son, who I would put at about 10. They were sitting on the 2 front seats and I was standing just behind them so could easily eavesdrop on them!
The first thing I heard was the child ask "Dad, which would help you live longer? 3 bananas or a bottle of water?" Dad then launched into a very long explanation of fat cells and calories and kilojoules but tied himself up in spectacular knots in the end when he said "You know what a calorie is, don't you? It's the amount of energy required to heat, um, some, well, an amount of water".
He then went on to try to get out of it by saying that he wanted the child to wait and enjoy learning all about it in physics, the "most interesting subject at school"! In order to prove how exciting physics was going to be, he then started explaining the periodic table. Well, I say explaining. He said "it's a table of all the elements and they all have an abbreviation and a number". Hmm, very helpful.
At this point, the child was still nibbling on his banana and staring out of the window. I figured he was just very, very bored and hoping his dad would shut up.
However, I think he was actually simply thinking about what he was going to say next. Which turned out to be "I was 7 when I got into music and Michael Jackson was 8. So that means I'm only a year behind Michael Jackson talent- and experience-wise". To be fair to his dad, all he did was say "Hmmm. Oh look, here's our stop".
I'm pretty certain that Daddy wasn't exactly proud of his son's apparent desire to take after a somewhat eccentric pop star instead of becoming the next Stephen Hawking.
We got off at the same stop and I followed them for a few yards. I managed to resist the temptation to pat the poor kid on the shoulder and say "Go out. Climb a tree. Eat worms. Talk about random shit with friends"
Ah, the stuff you see and hear on public transport!