During my weekend back up north, I managed to catch up with a few of my cousins - the notorious Richie Runt included.
Every family has a big black sheep after all. Well, a runt in his case. Falling short of the academic of his other perfectionista cousins, Richie has descended into a path of flunking grades, juvenile truancy and gambling dens.
Richie : So this is how you're gonna keep me out of trouble, cuz?
And who could blame him with a flighty mama like that! Came up to me with happy, happy news, practically clapping her hands with glee.
Bo Peep : Ooh, my son Richie has turned over a new leaf!
Paul : Sure it's not the other side of the same leaf?
Bo Peep : Oh so funny you. I meant that he's changed for the better. Studies harder, concentrates more.
Paul : Good news then.
Bo Peep : Especially since he moved down a class.
Paul : He moved down a class?!
Bo Peep : Yes, far too many notorious gangsters in the class above. So many thugs you won't believe. So he just had to move.
Paul : To a lower class?
Bo Peep : Yes, the headmaster suggested it.
Good God. Richie Runt can't even top a class of uncouth two-bit hooligans? Troublemaking boys who spend their time skiving off from class to apply their brand of juvenile delinquency to the unwary suburbs?
And here's the mother so terribly pleased over his supposed 'achievement'. No wonder Bo Peep lost her black sheep way back in elementary when Richie started hanging out with the wrong crowd. Soon enough he's out baa-ram-ewe-ing with the rest of the big, bad, black flock.
Despite having quite a smart-aleck mouth, Richie isn't all that bad a kid. Just needs a little nudge every now and then to set him on the right path. Isn't it time someone brought him back into the fold with a hard disciplinary rod?