Things I didn’t know about my mother. (Part 19)

27 08 2012

I’ve never been brilliant at remembering names. It’s always been a weakness. And it doesn’t help much when mother and I get together and start discussing celebrities or places. Mother’s forgetfulness combined with my weakness for names nearly always ends up forcing us into playing a game of charades. ‘Two syllables, second word, rhymes with jar’. ‘Carr?’ ‘Yes Carr, that’s it, did you watch it the other night? He had erm … what’s his name? If nothing else these conversations have developed my acting skills as well as developing mother’s ability to describe things or people, and of course there is always the possibility of a good belly laugh when one of us makes a wrong guess. ‘Big man, funny laugh’. ‘Naughton?’ ‘No erm .. he’s a bit camp.’ ‘Ross?’ ‘No not that camp … errm .. oh yes …. David Walliams.’ All those giggles, distractions, and the whole point of the conversation often lost some where amidst all that laughter. ‘Now what was I saying … Nuisance … oh well… whatever you do don’t get old.’ ‘Alright then I won’t’. Loss of hearing doesn’t help either, mothers little ear piece sometimes emitting a siren like sound which actually ruins my ability to hear anything she says – both of us forced to mime, point, and enhance our wordless conversation with exaggerated eye movements. Anyone passing by would just assume that we were guests invited to an epileptic fit party. But at least I’ve got used to the subtitles flashing across mothers TV screen in a sort of stuttered anxious burst of interpretation, the translation inevitably lagging behind the screenplay dialogue which in some cases can prove quite funny. ‘I love you too.’ (Scene showing a couple cuddling each other) ‘Right then, cup of tea?’ (Scene showing the intensity of their gaze at each other.) But the biggest communications test I’ve been put through recently was when mother returned from the bathroom with a drawn facial expression and sunken cheeks. ‘Are you alright?’ ‘Muddy Woosance’. ‘What’s happened?’ After much slurping and slobbering and an inability on my part to guess what mother was trying to tell me I accompanied her to the bathroom. We did our best to peer beyond the u-bend in the toilet bowl but nowhere beneath the blue bleached water line could we find any trace of mother’s false teeth.



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