You know how it is when your kids? You think your Parents know everything. They see through every fib you tell, they know every scrap of naughtiness – heck they even know the nine times multiplication table!!
The Oracle at Delphi had nothing on Parents and especially not my Dad. He saw through everything. He always knew when I’d smuggled the cat under the blankets or if I was reading in bed with a torch.
He obviously passed his superpowers on to me because my kids got away with nothing lol. I know now that’s because he was a proper little shit himself but back then – he was Omnipotent! The man had skills!
We had a big old house in London of which, the top floor was ours. The kids. There were two massive rooms so my sister, older brother and I all shared one room and the other was a playroom. The youngest wasn’t born at the time but I don’t think he should be excused from blame on that feeble excuse.
There were bunk beds on one side of the room and a single bed in the other side which was mine. We also had one of those ghastly 70’s chandeliers with wood and brushed steel and glass. Absolute Style NIGHTMARES!
Mum and Dad were going to a dinner dance one night and we had a babysitter! Oh how we loved that! We’d always have a ‘cake out of a box’ as a treat (my mother was NOT a baker!!) and a bottle of Coke to share. Those were the best nights ever.
This one night however, the babysitter, Helga Harlot sent us to bed early. She was our cleaning lady’s daughter. Mrs Mindyerfeet was hilarious. She was always shaking a relic from Padre Pio at us and telling us ‘Holy God is watching ye’!
So all three of us are upstairs. Wide awake because it was early and playing a game about Tarzan. My brother Pea-counter was Tarzan, I was Jane and Poshpaws, my sister, was Cheetah the monkey. The fame involved a lot of jumping on the bed but since mine was the only bed that could be jumped on – it got old fast. We were trying to make the game more exciting when I came up with “The Plan”.
Tarzan always swung through the jungle on ropes didn’t he? Well – that’s where we were going wrong. No ropes and no swinging. Jumping wasn’t really cutting it, we needed to up our game. My nascent improvisation skills set in as I looked up at the chandelier and, like Archimedes, thought EUREKA!!
I quickly explained the plot twist. Pea-counter was going to jump off his top bunk, swing on the chandelier and execute a perfect landing on my bed – and then we’d take turns. He insisted on going first as he was The Boy… and I let him because I wasn’t The Idiot!
He climbed up the bunk bed ladder stood on his bed in his Kung Fu pyjamas, beat his chest with his fists and shouted “Ah-ee-ah-ee-ahhhh-ee-ah-ee-ahhh” and jumped.
And that’s where it all went horribly wrong.
As he jumped and caught hold of the light he pulled the bloody thing right out of the ceiling. Peacounter, the light fitting and half the flippin’ ceiling came down too – which wasn’t in the plan. It was such a huge crash I’m surprised the neighbours didn’t come around. I think Helga must’ve had her boyfriend round because no way she didn’t hear that!!
The room was awash in a cloud of dust and the lath and plaster detritus covered every surface. As the fog cleared, all three of us sat looking at each other through dusty faces.
We knew we were going to be in trouble if Daddy saw the light on the floor but – brainwave!! If we shoved it under the bed, he wouldn’t see it!! Under the bottom bed it went and we were delighted with our cleverness.
Off we went to sleep like the little angels we weren’t. When Dad walked into the room the next morning to wake us he took one look and roared “What the bloody hell did you do?”
See what I mean? We couldn’t get ANYTHING past him!!