Magazine article The Spectator

Low Life: Jeremy Clarke

Magazine article The Spectator

Low Life: Jeremy Clarke

Article excerpt

Credit: Jeremy Clarke

In the blue corner, wearing 4oz gloves, is the Ninja. Real name Klynton. The younger of my two grandsons. Also known as Ninge. Aged three. Weighed in at 35lbs. Blue eyes, blond hair. Not yet fluent in the language. Has only one word -- juvvy. Nobody knows what juvvy is. Possibly a neologism. The word is now in common and versatile use within the family as a substitute for any noun. Example: 'What's on the juvvy tonight?' Otherwise as mute as a fish. We've tried him in French and drawn a blank there also. Once a week his father takes him to Chatter Time, a pre-school group for three-year-olds.

The Ninja appears preoccupied by a private world that is even more interesting than this one. He is impervious to physical pain. He is only aware of mental pain. Easily irritated. Hair-trigger temper. Becomes enraged at the intransigence of inanimate objects. Cries pitifully if he loses sight of his father, even when his father is in the same room. Otherwise a radiant, slightly blank smile. Favourite pastime: opening and shutting things. His passion in life. Unless forcibly prevented, he will open and shut a door, or a drawer, or a kitchen cupboard door with unflagging interest for hours. Loves his grub. Eats anything. Loves his bed. Looks forward every night to going there. Settles down into it with an expression on his face of ineffable joy, just like his grandfather. His visiting care worker says there is nothing wrong with him. Says that some children begin to speak much later than others. Says it might be a confidence thing. Says that if it turns out that the Ninja is on the autism spectrum, she doesn't know anything about children. We think he is, and that she doesn't. But we don't care. He's a fine chap. His fighting stance is unorthodox. He is holding his gloves way out in front like a sleepwalker and he is rolling his head in ecstasy. The big money bets are on him to win in the first round. But that stance and attitude has his backers exchanging anxious looks.

In the red corner, also in the 4oz gloves for the first time -- Mr Chops. Real name Oscar. The elder grandson. Aged four and a half. Weighed in at 37lbs. Blue eyes, blond hair. Fluent in the language. Too fluent, if you ask his father. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.