• 1999: No 3562


    Competition No 3562

    Inspired by a report of a professor’s tips to parents looking for signs of drug use in their children (he included “excessive preoccupation with social issues, race relations, environmental issues etc.”) we want letters from anguished parents detailing their offspring’s symptoms and asking for advice.


    Amanda’s out of control, no respect for authority.

    It started when she claimed the headmaster had raped her. We told her it was all in the imagination, but she wouldn’t let it drop – I think pregnancy unbalanced her.

    Then the house was firebombed. The police explained there was no racial motive; just local youngsters getting carried away with a celebration. As the superintendent pointed out, they’d even painted BNP on the door – for ‘Boisterous New Year Party’. Amanda went on and on about setting up an Anti-Nazi League. I told her it just gave them the publicity they wanted. Did she listen?

    Last week the canal overflowed – we live downstream from a chemicals factory. It isn’t very nice having six inches of sludge over the living-room floor; but they’ve told us it’s just till work on the Jubilee Line is finished. Amanda’s going nag‑nag‑nag about demonstrations and suing the Council. She’s upsetting me, I think that’s why I’ve got rashes everywhere. The doctor’s doubled my Valium. I used to be able to get to sleep after half a bottle of whisky. Now I lie awake worrying if Amanda’s like this because she’s on drugs.