Richard Ord: Apparently maths stands for Mental Abuse to Humans

Eric Portman - The Colditz Story. Portman (as Colonel Richmond) with Frederick Valk (as German kommandant).
Eric Portman - The Colditz Story. Portman (as Colonel Richmond) with Frederick Valk (as German kommandant).

Mental Abuse To Humans. It may sound like a new Channel 4 game show hosted by Rylan and a team of former Oxford professors armed with cattle prods, but it turns out to be one of the funnier texts I’ve received from my eldest son of late.

The Ord household has been on exam alert for the last few weeks as our firstborn, Bradley, 16, does his GCSEs.

It would be nice to report that the whole process has been a heartwarming and inspirational affair like something out of Dead Poets Society or Good Will Hunting. A hard-working student burning the midnight oil to ensure that his years of educational endeavour can bloom on the big stage.

It’s been more like Colditz.

My wife and I have been on guard duty for much of time. Patrolling the house to ensure that our Bradley’s nose is buried in books.

It’s a lot easier than it sounds.

Bradley has turned into the student equivalent of Steve McQueen in the Great Escape. He’s the Cooler King - minus the motorbike and pitcher’s mitt - drawing up escape plans to avoid revision at every turn.

And much like the POWs of old, he is regularly interrogated by his guards.

To his credit, prisoner 14325 Ord is very difficult to break down.

My wife, or, as she’s affectionately know by our son Obersturmbannführer Michelle, has been unable to extract much useful information from the convict.

It’s a bit like the war years, when the POW was only obliged to divulge his name, rank and serial number. Except, in Brad’s case, the best we can get out of him is his name, rank and cereal order!

He’s going through Coco Pops and Frosted Shreddies like no-one’s business. Though I’m not sure it’s the breakfast of champions.

It’s be nice to think sugar coated cereals are brain food, but the limited responses from our eldest suggest otherwise.

His English exam provided perhaps one his finest quotes.

After much shrugging of shoulders and barely audible grunts to every enquiry on how he’d done in his exam, we were forced to apply the young person’s equivalent of the thumbscrews - the confiscation of his phone.

Forget piano wire or matchsticks under the fingernails (you can find both in the small print of the Good Parenting Guide), if you want to make kids talk, deprive them of their phone or disconnect the PlayStation.

Phone removed, he gave us this beauty on how his English exam went.

He said: “The stuff what ah’ve wrote for English is fine. “

The stuff what ah’ve wrote!!??!. With English like that the dole queue or a career in journalism will be his only option. Though he redeemed himself with his text on how his Maths exam went.

He responded with this acronym: “Mental Abuse To Humans.” Maybe a career in comedy beckons ...