Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Time Travelling With Mum (Living With Mum 12)



April 2013

"This was your fathers," said Mother shoving an odd shaped tin clock under my nose.
"Wow!" I ejaculated. ( I do a lot of ejaculating at the moment. Not the messy, squelchy kind of course, a chap couldn't possibly do that in front of the old Dam, but the verbally explosive kind.)
"He loved this clock. He used to keep it in your old bedroom, the one you are in now."
"Is that the same room you used to sit and watch 'Coronation Street' whilst Dad was in the living room watching football."
"Yes! That's right. He did love his football. He loved this clock too."
So much so, thought I silently to myself not wishing to tarnish old memories, that you used to sit in room with said clock whilst he sat somewhere else watching his beloved sport.
"It has a light that works. See, it shines on all the numbers.
"Fantastic!" I enthused. (Enthusing is another thing I find myself doing at the moment, it seems to befit the ambience of living back here somehow. One has to try and be enthusiastic in the face of endless nights spent watching very loud TV progs.)
"I know what we can do!" she suggested with a smile large enough to put paid to a dozen Cheshire cats, "we can put it back in pride of place."
"In my room?" I queried tremulously.
"Yes dear, you do catch on quickly don't you?"
Clocks are, as all my brighter readers will know, a way we bipeds tell time.
Time is a funny thing. It is a man made concept largely ignored by ill informed furry beasts like cats and dogs who cannot be arsed with such stuff. I have always thought dogs, with regards to timekeeping, infinitely  smarter than us.
I think someone once said time is like a stream and as we all know you cannot step in the same stream twice. 

Spring 1960 (approximately give or take a season or two)

The letter addressed to Mum arrived in the morning post. The letter was handwritten (we didn't have things with keyboards back then and typewriters were not always in favour) in a beautiful, flowing and elegant style. The first I knew of it was when Mum summoned me into what was then Granddad's living room which had previously been, when Mum had lived here as a child, a utility room.
I could tell by the look of dark thunder that gathered in my dear mater's eyes, which now were emitting murderous sparks of lighting, that something might be amiss.
"Who is Mrs Sherman?" Mum asked through lips pursed tighter than a ducks bottom.
Oh God, thought I swallowing hard, Sherman by name, Sherman by nature. Just like the American General she took no prisoners and just like the Sherman tank, a replica of which I had in my toy box, she was unstoppable
I thought about a spot of nimble prevarication but knowing my swift evasion wasn't as nifty as Mum's right hand I reconsidered my tactics opting instead for docile humility.
"My teacher."
Mum's forehead creased into a formidable frown. "Well, I think I shall be having words with this Mrs Sherman. She obviously has got the wrong child here and no one speaks of my offspring in such a fashion."
Not being privy to said communication I had not the necessary knowledge to comment. However, knowing my own shortcomings I decided silence was the better part of valour.
If I were a child who had favoured gambling then I think the odds of the imminent encounter favoured 'The Tank' more than Mum even though Mum's legendary temper scared the bejesus out of me.
The following day, long after assembly and a tedious lesson featuring long division, Mum arrived looking like a dark haired Doris Day with blood red lipstick and eyes that flashed blue murder.
I watched helplessly as Mum, waging her finger at first before submitting to whatever it was 'The Tank' was saying, began to look toward me glowering . I knew I was in trouble.
You see, what I had neglected to tell Mum was that her little angel had been organising his own D.I.Y assembly where the gathered infants sang, to the accepted melodies of the hymns in the book, words that didn't really suit such a sombre occasion. I mean, 'The Runaway Train' did not enhance 'Jerusalem.' and Burl Ives 'I Saw an Old Lady' with lyrics by me that centred around a pensioner farting was not the sort of song that befitted a Christian gathering.
Years later I was selected to run the 100 yard sprint. I was, I have to say, very quick on my feet. I owe that turn of speed to my Mum who, following her meeting with Mrs 'The Tank' Sherman' chased me all the way home with frequent thwacks around the backs of my legs.

April 2013

That night, after watching the excellent 'Broadchurch,' I retired to my room and to bed. It was then that I became aware of the monotonous ticking that echoed like something from a Dicken's novel. Big Ben is NOT the tower at Westminster, it is the cracked bell that sounds upon the hour. In my room I had its bastard offspring who seemed determined to compete with its Grand-pére. And no I have no idea how Dad's prize possession was found the following morning laying in bits outside my window.

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all words and art are copyright © of Russell 'C.J' Duffy.To view my books on Amazon/Kindle go here: https://www.amazon.com/author/russellduffy -- For another side of CJ go here: sOMeThiNg For tHE wEeKeND, SiR?

2 comments:

thecheesewhines said...

The monotonous ticking can presage impending doom. Or at least so my squirrely psyche thinks.

BlackEmpress said...

I think someone once said time is like a stream and as we all know you cannot step in the same stream twice.

I like the concept of time you presented & your humor is delightful in a very original way!!