Monday, 18 June 2012

Schadenfreude

I like to think my character is improving. I feel sympathy for oncoming drivers stuck in motorway jams instead of Schadenfreude and I derive far less pleasure in watching rain drench pedestrians beyond my window.

My 7-year-old has yet to acquire my moral poise. He rejoices uninhibitedly in the predicaments of others. 'It gives me such joy!' he lisps raptly, eavesdropping on his sister's scolding.

I fear he will develop a destructive nature; become a double-agent for a sinister regime or a newspaper columnist. And I fear my enjoyment of his enjoyment - for in the dark recess of my mind I realise that my self-improvement is illusory.


The latest prompt for Julia's addictive 100 Word Challenge is to add 100 words to the phrase in the dark recess of my mind. The constraining word count doesn't give me room to mention that my angel-faced son insists sweets and sugars, on which he feeds rapturously, fill his invisible pouch of venom and enable him to provoke explosive situations for him to relish. This is a rare and valuable skill, for so sweetly does he stir trouble, that noone, bar his parents, is any the wiser. The picture below shows him stoking up ready for action.  



30 comments:

  1. I think I'm in love with your son. I recognise some of that from my own past. And you're right, self-improvement is illusionary, it's just well controlled. Btw - you're tagged on my 100WCGU, forgive me. *surpresses a wicked smile*

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great piece :O) Aren't children incredible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although not perhaps so different to us adults. Just more transparent!

      Delete
  3. Oh I love him and so agree with him (well at times when I'm being really bad!) I think we all have that illusion but must trive to make it real! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boy do I strive, but my love of a good gossip always gets in my way!

      Delete
  4. You neglected to mention the depths to which your schadenfreude plummetted on the occasion when I was being told off and you hissed 'Hit him, Mummy, go on, hit him!'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually I concluded with that in my first draft but it made it too long, and anyway, some skeletons are best trapped in cupboards!

      Delete
  5. You're son looks far too sweet to enjoy others misfortunes! This piece made me smile from beginning to end!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He sounds as sweet as he looks. But that pouch of venom is often brimming. Don't know where he gets it from!

      Delete
  6. This is fabulous and wonderful. I love the sinister possibilities of a super spy or a newspaper columnist. I'm sure life with your son is going to be an adventure. Maybe he should meet my daughter, they would work well together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your daughter would probably get on well with me too. I'm no better - just more discreet!

      Delete
  7. Like the point of living vicariously through your childs Schadenfreude .... the point is ... as much as you dont want to you ... you sometimes can't help but be bouyed by others misfortunes ... just one of those shadow aspects of human nature.

    Are you going to Britmums? I hope I get to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an unappealing failing, isn't it, but I suppose it boosts our own confidence to see other's brought low. I'll be there at the Friday evening thing. Do I look out for those blue shoes?!

      Delete
    2. No but I will be wearing a pair of converse and looking very unglamarous. Will make sure to come over and say hi!

      Delete
  8. I love the fact you've put super spy for a sinister regime and newspaper columnist in the same league. Hmmm.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty sure the skills for each are interchangeable, especially the nose for blood and trouble!

      Delete
  9. I love the cheeky look on his face. I'm sure I've seen just such a look in a picture of his mother somewhere on this blog...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Replies
    1. Thank you - for the visit, comment and compliment.

      Delete
  11. I only discovered that there was an actual word for this a year or so ago. It's my worst failing. I can't help myself, though!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Trust the Germans to come up with such an efficient description of such a ubiquitous but unmentionable failing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Replies
    1. Why, thanks. Quite fond of him myself in spite of it all!

      Delete
  14. I love this and the way you framed it. I think many children go through this phase as they test their growing power to control things in their surroundings. I've known a few. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Chortle. Love it.
    Though if someone's aware their self-improvement is illusory... maybe it isn't?

    ReplyDelete