Community Service

I thought I would share with you a short conversation that happened between me and an 11 year old girl (we’ll call her Alice) who attends the youth group I run every week. The actual conversation happened well over a year ago, but has stuck in my memory ever since.

Alice: “Where does our subs money go, Spaniel”.

Spaniel: “It helps to pay for the cost of renting the hall for the year, Alice.”

*thoughtful pause*

Alice: “Do the Council make you come and run the youth group every week?”

Spaniel: *completely stunned by the question, but rallying fast* “No, Alice – I run it because I want to. “

Alice: “What? For free?”

Spaniel: “Yes, for free. I give up my time voluntarily to do this!”

Alice: *furrows brow* “You’re weird.”

At the end of the conversation, Alice skipped over to join her friends, and left me standing there, replaying the conversation. Did Alice think I was here serving out some Community Service Sentence? What on earth had made her think of such a thing?

And then I realised – if I wasn’t being paid to be here, and I wasn’t here under some kind of duress, if I hadn’t been made to do this by some authority or other; what other possible reason on earth would there be for me to turn up every week? 

I think it tells me rather a lot about Alice and how she sees the world.

I think it tells you rather a lot about me, too…..


6 Responses to “Community Service”

  1. 1 Moobs 13 November 2006 at 3:49 pm

    Indeed you are saintly!


  2. 2 Booger 13 November 2006 at 4:36 pm

    You’re a rare and wonderful thing, Spaniel: an honest to goodness, DECENT person. Don’t ever change!

  3. 3 drunkenspaniel 14 November 2006 at 2:04 pm

    I am not a saint, by any stretch of the imagination!!!!
    But I do a lot of nice things for free. I guess there aren’t many people who do that any more…

  4. 4 MSG 14 November 2006 at 11:27 pm


    Wow! I can FINALLY check out your blog. I have not been able to use the school’s internet server or other servers that use filters because you always were blocked – as PORN! No idea why that was, but you were always blocked.

    However, now that you apparently have moved I see that I can access your new site. Excellent.

    BTW…Alice apparently thinks only parents or people paid to be around kids should be around kids. I think she unintentionally stated how demanding children can be, especially when not your own.


  5. 5 Liz 15 November 2006 at 6:25 am

    Aww that’s actually kind of sad. Maybe it has something to do with the parenting she’s getting…

  6. 6 Moobs 15 November 2006 at 10:22 am

    Perhaps her parents bill her monthly. Now there’s an idea …

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