I’ve recently written a lot about work and presents. I’m getting quite bored about it so I thought I’d hold back on those and re-live some anecdotes some mine, and some belonging to various family members.
Of course as soon as I wrote that every humorous thing that ever happened to me evaporated from my brain.
Ah wait I just thought of one, back when I was pretty small I played tennis, I was pretty mediocre but I enjoyed myself. With all the moving around I did as a kid during one of the moves the tennis rackets got lost and the tennis thing fizzled out like a damp firework. When I was 15 the school I was at decided to allow us to play tennis, eager to recapture my past (imagined) glories I picked up a racket and headed out.
For some reason it was decided we should play doubles, which I had never actually played before. I teamed up with my friend Cat, she was happily confident in my modest protestations that it had been a while since I had played.
I bounced the ball, and caught it holding it up to the racket and eyeing the intended target the other side of the net. I did it again. I threw the ball in the air, and with a rusty arc of the arm, slammed the ball with the racket, straight into the back of Cat’s head.
To this day I have not touched a tennis racket and fear the sport, everything I touch turns to pain!!!
Onto a better anecdote about how fantastic I was as a small child, before tennis ravaged my life.
I have mentioned somewhere before that I was not a talkative child, lacking the ability to converse in English until I was around four years old. My brother was not hampered linguistically and spoke with a fluency that he has lost in recent years. Now 27 he communicates mostly with grunts and passive shrugs, but there was a time when eloquence was his tool. This story takes place when I was 3 and he was 5.
My mother was sitting with us at the kitchen table. She was smoking a Dunhill and drinking strong black coffee and we were sitting eating cookies and drinking juice> My brother was earnestly explaining some imagined slight a Dutch girl had inflicted on him at his pre-school and my mother, ever the diplomat nodded her head and tisked at appropriate moments.
I had become rather bored by my brother’s monologue and as he launched into a new tirade against the ills of pre-school and the many languages spoken there, I decide that something needed to be done. I hopped of the bench and slid under the table. My mother’s hawk like gaze followed me to the kitchen sink, but she sat placid as a Buddhist statue, smiling serenely at my brother.
My brother began to tell her of a painting session in which he had been painting particularly finely, and which he would show her when she came for parent’s days. He ignored my scrabbling as I took up my position on the bench once more, with one minor addition. My mother stared at me and stifled a laugh.
My brother continued his discussion for another five minutes until my mother gently turned his head to look at me sitting on the bench next to him.
A red bucket stared back at him. The bucket was large and fit over my shoulders, hence the problematic ascension to the bench. My brother having not noticed when I had returned with a bucket on my head had been oblivious of me waving at him, with the bucket on my head, for the 5 or so minutes he had been talking.
The story is still used to prove that my brother has never been observant.
The last story is a Christmas story.
When my parents moved to their present house 8 years ago we spent another Christmas in packing cases. My mother insisted that the freezing, unpainted, grey-looking solemn dining room be used for all festivities. My sister and I decided it needed decorating and we covered the room with tinsel and wreaths. We decorated the table with holly and mistletoe and set out place-settings. We brought a space heater in from another room and the whole thing looked glorious. The last touch was organizing the crockery and cutlery.
After the long morning of cleaning the room and then the decorating, as well as the foraging for holly and other greenery in the garden I was about ready to call Christmas over and go to sleep. As I was putting the last knife in place, my sister said “You did it wrong! The knives and forks are on the wrong sides!” I picked up all the cutlery and began again, inverting the cutlery. I reached the end and she said “Oh wait, NOW it’s wrong, I guess it was ok before.”
I believe my response was to calmly tell her that I doubted anyone would notice. She began to fidget and complain and tell me how I was ruining Christmas, she chattered and complained and eventually my patience wore thin.
I exploded “IN THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS, F*CK OFF!!!!”
Of course my mother and father happened to be passing the room at that moment and I was reprimanded for being a grouch. And told to re-do the cutlery.
So who has some good anecdotes for me?