Monday, 15 October 2007

The Honor System

I became aware of the "Honor System" thanks to an episode of Seinfeld entitled The Contest.

This involved the four characters betting on who could last the longest without masturbating.

As they could not monitor each other’s movements, they had to rely on the "Honor System".

The beauty of the writing was such that the M word was never mentioned.

I came across the honor system in a field in Jamestown last Friday. Hodgkiss Farm was selling some of its wares and we swung in to survey the goodies.

My mother picked the corn and I looked around for someone to take the cash. No one.

Then I saw a box with a little sign saying pay here and that the honor system was in operation.

My grand father, who’s visiting from Jamaica, could not believe what he’d just witnessed. An unmonitored box with money in a field.

I paid the $6 for the 12 corn on the cob and at supper out that night everyone agreed that the corn was very sweet.

My theory is that if we hadn’t paid then we’d have been ill. Call it corn karma.

On the subject of eating, I descended from the trans Atlantic flight from Paris absolutely stuffed.

Air France excelled itself to the point that I forgot about my hatred of flying because I was just savouring the cuisine.

Air Food gave us a complimentary glass of champagne, which was such an elegant touch as was the meal especially for the children. It was an altogether better experience than the American Airlines atrocity.

And such urbanity went part way to appeasing my chagrin over the lack of individual TV screens which is why I opted for Air France to travel to Boston with three children.

As it was, the 19-month-old slept for the first hour and a half and was on good form for the rest of the flight apart from the descent when he just wailed because he had to be belted in with me.

A few people cooed afterwards about how wonderfully well behaved he was. Maybe it was the shot of Dolipran an hour before boarding.

Maybe I just looked as if I wasn’t going to brook any kind of disapproval.

Being in Rhode Island in October has been unusual. Both visits before have been during the blazing summer months. The eldest is having great difficulty understanding that October sunshine doesn’t necessarily mean short sleeves. Maybe she misses the routine of school.

She hasn’t been given any homework to do. Her teacher says she should do a project about her time in the States visiting her grand mother and great grand father.

The middle child has been given maths and reading exercises.

I’m getting into Gafi le fantome and all his antics. I met the class teacher before we left and she outlined what the girl had to do on holiday.

As I decipher the instructions with the five-year-old and help her to keep track with her schoolmates back in Paris, I realise i'm living a derivation of the honor system.