Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wolfgang in sheep's clothing: Part One

I don’t know about you, readers, but I had a shit Christmas. In fact, it would be no exaggeration to describe the whole experience as a complete disaster. The bottom line for anyone who can’t be bothered to read on is that my mother has disowned me.

Looking back on it I suppose it was a bit of a bad mix. Coming off the twelve drugs of Christmas was probably not the best time to be making my last, big push to out Roger to Mum as a fascist. But I thought, in my addled state, that it would be my best chance, all of us under one roof at Christmas. It’s a difficult few days at the best of times, so I was hoping to capitalise on the season’s traditional tensions.

As you know, the idea is that I persuade Roger that I, like him, am a neo Nazi and, once I have his confidence, make a secret tape of his evil ranting on my little voice recorder, play it to Mum and send him packing once and for all.

In preparation for the whole thing, to finally get behind Roger’s veneer of respectability, I shaved my head. I tell you what; it really does make you look more intimidating. I noticed as I was walking down the street that people were giving me strange looks. You can imagine how this was making me feel having spent the previous twelve days taking the hardest drugs known to man.

By the time I reached the station on Christmas Eve I was almost shitting myself with fear. And then I actually did shit myself, just a little bit. The drugs have played havoc with my insides. So I ran to the toilet and when I came out of the toilet I got a nosebleed. People were properly moving out of my way. One woman grabbed her kids and ran. It was horrible. And this on Christmas Eve, of all days. Season of goodwill! When we’re supposed to be looking after our fellow men, people saw me in distress and legged it.

I didn’t have time to worry too much, though, as I had Roger’s destruction on my mind.

I got on the train and managed to get a seat, which was great. After a couple of cans of Cobra (I’d brought them with me. One of the great barbarisms of our national rail network is the onboard lager selection) I was feeling a little bit calmer. I stuck my ipod on and settled down for the journey.

Mum met me at the other end. She said:

“Are you alright, love? You look terrible. And what in God’s name have you done with your hair? I know it was thinning a bit on top, but you didn’t have to go and shave it all off. You look like one of those football hooligans from the eighties.”

My hair is NOT thinning on top, readers. It’s a fact that my Mum is five foot three and I’m only a shade under six foot. She hasn’t seen the top of my head since I was eleven. I don’t know what the bloody hell she was talking about.

“Roger couldn’t come with me to pick you up,” she said. “His Mum doesn’t like being left alone. She’s remarkable, really. She’s 96, you know.”

I should point out here that I don’t much like old ladies. I had a very nasty experience with one once. And not like that, if any of you are thinking mucky thoughts. I’m not Wayne bloody Rooney.

No, I was visiting my Gran in hospital. I loved my Gran, and I’m not afraid to say it. Unfortunately she was well on the way to losing her marbles at this stage and, in many ways, had reverted to a kind of childhood. Certainly a lot of words were coming out of her mouth that I had never heard her say. I guess that generation was never really able to shake off the prejudices of their upbringing. It’s sad.

It’s like my Great Aunty Em. When I was about eleven, just as Mum was bidding farewell to the top of my head forever, I went round to see Great Aunty Em. It was the fashion at the time for boys at my school to wear St Christopher’s medals round our necks. Great Aunty Em opened the door and instead of giving me a mint humbug and a wet kiss she narrowed her eyes, pointed at my necklace and said: “That’s not one of them Stars of David, is it? Cos you’re not coming in if it is.” How’s that for open mindedness. Looking back now I realise she must have been pretty stupid. Not many kids up and convert to Judaism at the age of eleven, after all. There was only one who did at my school. Poor old Aashif. His parents didn’t speak to him for a month. He had to go and live with Mr Cohen, our guitar teacher. And that sparked a few rumours.

Anyway, Aunty Em didn’t have it easy looking after her husband, Terry. He went soft in the head and started rolling his shit into little balls and putting them into an empty Maltesers box, which he’d offer to visitors. Disgusting, really. He was bloody good at table tennis, though. County champion, or something. That’s how he’d want to be remembered, I think, not as some mephitic old goat playing in his own filth.

Anyway, I was visiting my Gran in hospital and she was sharing a room with an old lady called Elsie. Every time the nurse came in, she’d shout at Elsie (in a nice way, because Elsie was deaf as a brick):


And then she’d turn to me and shout:


And I’d say:

“You don’t need to shout at me, Nurse, my hearing’s fine, thanks.”

And then my Nan would whisper to me:

“There are lots of darkies in here, aren’t there.”

And the Nurse would say:

“My hearing’s very good as well, you know, Mrs Deakins,” and then she’d tut and walk out.

And that’s kind of how it went, round and round and round. Anyway, one day, I was visiting Gran and Elsie, who had been asleep when I arrived, started to moan. She said:

“Help…. Help me.”

Naturally I pretended that I couldn’t hear her, it was a very quite moan, so I was within my rights. I don’t need to be administering first aid to an old lady. Even though I did go on a course when I was in the scouts. But she kept it up:

“Help me… Help me….”

It was a pathetic sound really, and she was trying to reach for the panic button. After a few minutes I got up and went over to Elsie’s bed. I shouted:


And she said:

“Help me…” and carried on trying to press the button.

So I said:


And she said:

“Help me…”

So I pressed the button. As soon as I’d done that, she sat bolt upright, laughing and said:

“He he he he, now you’re in trouble.”

And I bloody was, too. I didn’t get to see Gran again until she was put in the home. And by then she’d gone completely. It wasn’t much fun in there. I tell you what, if I lose my marbles, give me the pillow and don’t let up ‘til my feet stop twitching.

Anyway, I’ve gone right off piste, haven’t I. I was supposed to be telling you about what happened up in Lincoln with my final big push to out Roger. Unfortunately I’ve got to go see a man about a dog, so I’m going to have to give you the low down tomorrow.

Hope you had a better one than I did.




  1. I'm just glad the drugs didn't do you in. Welcome back Barry. I can identify with the whole falling out with your mother thing, looking forward to part 2.

  2. Sounds like Gran was quite wily. Looking forward to the next update.