Oh, I am so sick of hearing that said - "It's not my fault".
I'm not referring to hearing it around the family home, but rather reading about it in our wet-as-fish-lips newsrags. Although we are starting to hear it around the home with increasing frequency - Junior has reached that age where contention is the only way to conduct a civilised discourse, which means it quickly turns into an uncivilised discourse. He is Never Wrong, you see. That would be impossible. He has suddenly decided that because hair is now growing in odd places around his body, he Knows All. We must Bow to His Majestic Opinions.
J is having none of that of course, and slaps him down as and when required. I fear however that she is a rarity, with too many people these days believing that it is ok to allow untrammelled stupidity to roam freely across the land.
I have a theory about that, and it relates to hardship and war. Those that have seen one or both tend to have a short fuse when it comes to putting up with stupidity and uselessness. They simply won't put up with it, because they have seen first hand what happens when you do (ships sunk, people killed, cities burning etc etc). They have developed a certain ruthlessness of mindset, and it brooks no silliness.
The Boomers of course mostly had it easy, and Gen-X even easier than our forefathers. We have become soft in body (obesity) and soft in the head (political correctness, unlimited human rights, diversity studies and so on). We refuse to regularly and loudly exercise our right to say, "That is the stupidest fucking thing I have ever heard." See global warming, and why it has gained the momentum that it has.
I fear that my teachers were the last generation to fail to put up with the narcissistic stupidity of youth. I was once as young and silly as Junior, but I was told in no uncertain terms by my elders and betters that my idiotic opinions held no sway, and such utterances would not be tolerated. If I didn't have something sensible and worthwhile to say, I was better off saying nothing.
That advice is of course lost on the current generation. Convinced of their innate superiority over us old farts, they believe that they are the Masters of the Universe. Few old farts seem inclined to educate them on their true position in society, which is down with the fleas infesting a dog's bottom.
Back to "It's not my fault". Junior has just had a week away, and before he left, I gave him the old camera so that he could bring back a swag of snaps of his time without us. He returned with zero, because the camera lacked a battery.
I was blamed of course for not checking that the camera had a battery in it, but I am not the one that regularly removes the battery from the old camera. You see, when he is taking lots of photos with the new camera, if the battery goes flat, instead of recharging it, or using the spare, he simply removes the charged battery from the old camera and leaves the flat battery in some odd location around the house.
He then doesn't bother to tell anyone that we now have a flat battery that needs charging (and a camera without a battery), and he then proceeds to flatten the other battery utterly by taking even more photos, and he then leaves the camera lying around on my desk. I take it out on a ride, and when I go to take my first photo, I find that the battery is flat.
So the only reason the old camera had no battery is because of his actions, but he refuses to acknowledge that it was he that removed the battery (we tend to end up blaming the "house elves" for things like that) and that maybe he should have checked the battery before departure, since he tends to be the one that flattens them and then fails to recharge them.
That was "not my fault" number one.
The second one is that the camera came back with the rear screen smashed to bits. He has no idea how that happened, but I suspect that he tossed his bag from A to B and that did the trick. I am to blame for not giving him a padded camera bag - how should he know that hurling his bag 20 feet across a parking lot would break something?
I hope that one day, the cocktail of teenage hormones roaring around his bloodstream will settle down and he will grow up and start to accept responsibility for his actions and his failings. It seemed to happen to me when I hit about 25.
During that period though, we have to put up with him. J is not one for quietly kowtowing to his teenage idiotic tendencies though, which is good. Too many parents (and teachers and magistrates and so on and so on) just bend over backwards and let these things slide in the name of "harmony". And of course, anything bad they do is not their fault - society or their parents or the Space God Elg are to blame. Anyone but themselves, their immaturity and their limited life experiences.
I'm just thankful I survived that stage without anyone shooting me. But it did us no harm to be slapped down on a regular basis by our elders, who did their best to knock some sense into us, and I wish more people would grow a spine and do the same today.