As well as my secret disability-related activities, I teach art, for a bob or two. But not this Bob. Allow me to explain. Two of my students have become possessed by a slick daytime TV artist by the name of Bob Ross.
Whilst I have nothing personal against the (late) Bob Ross, (no – stuff it, I’m lying, I hate his work and everything he stands for) I now have an explanation as to why, inexplicably, they have demonstrated the desire to paint evergreen trees and lakeside 'shacks' in every art session they have attended for the past year.
After a shack and evergreen tree ban imposed by myself last week, one of them confessed that all he wants to do is paint "like that white bloke with an afro off the telly". Further probing led him to spill the name 'Ross'. Bob Ross is apparently incumbent on Sky TV most mornings, although I haven't had the pleasure, being on modest earnings like many others of my profession.
Internet investigation this morning has revealed the true nature of the beast, leaving me aghast at the sheer volume of wooden shacks, evergreen trees, lakes and other Harbingers of Cheese at such volume as I have never before encountered, (even though my Nana owned both ‘The Dusky Maiden' and ‘The Crying Child' - or was it ‘The Pissing Boy’? I can't really remember).
I am trying to reconcile the fact that although this Bob Ross is not what I would personally subscribe to as 'good art', the students who attend my class do so as part of a day-centre program - and are NOT there to be bullied into being culture vultures, nor to be ridiculed for simple pleasures like painting indescribably kitsch landscapes. (Although I will draw the line at encouraging them to spend their cash on the somewhat extensive range of specialist paints and brushes this Bob Ross cult seems to insist are the only instruments capable of truly emulating the master...).
My dilemma is simple - I should surely go in there and speak calmly, objectively, knowledgeably, convincingly and without bile on this, attempting to steer them away gently, but what I fear what will actually happen is, on the mention of Mr. Ross's name, or the sight of a slickly painted evergreen, my head will spin a full 360 degrees and fire will pour from my eye sockets. My students don't really deserve this.
Help me someone please.