Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Crocodile Tears

It's snowing again. Snowing. I ask you.

In case you hadn't gleaned it by now, the cold makes me grouchy.

Other things make me grouchy too (dawdlers, rudeness, poor customer service, people who don't put the lid back on the toothpaste ...), but top of the current list of gripes is the cold.

So I'm going to ignore what's happening right here today now (roughly two inches fallen in the last hour, since you asked) and tell you a small anecdote instead that has nothing to do with ambient temperature.

I have a younger brother. He reads this sometimes (hello Bean!). He's four years younger than me, which is quite a bit in child years, don't you think? Not now. When you're +/- 30, four years is no time, but when you're seven and three, it's MASSIVE.

As a result, we bickered. I was too old and dull and, I fear, too bossy for him, and he was too small and embarrassing and bad at doing what I told him to do. I imagine that our parents feared that we would never play nicely.

So. We were in trouble for something. I forget what. It must have been bad, and it must have been a team effort. Our punishment was to tidy the garage. It MUST have been bad.

I should, perhaps, explain that, in a 1970s housing estate, the garage is rarely a place to keep a car. In our case it was a place to keep bikes, tents, balls, bats, rackets, scooters, fishing nets, buckets, the lost treasures of Babylon ... you get the idea. There was a small kitchen overflow at the back - the deep freeze, and a cupboard containing more empty jam jars than you can shake a stick at, and my Dad had a workbench. The rest was packed to the gunnels with plastic tut.

Cleaning it out was a desperate mission, fraught with danger, and perils unknown. It was also painfully dull. Neither of us wanted to be there. We both wanted to be somewhere else doing something else, but Mother is not one to be messed with. Once she's made up her mind, there's no budging her. So we got stuck in to tidying.

Suddenly Brother started to cry. Not a small quiet whimper, but a full, wailing sob. Big fat juicy tears and everything. He ran for the house and disappeared through the front door. Oh well. I kept on with the job in hand. Until, that is, I heard Mother ask him what was the matter, and heard Brother announce, "she hit me."

I was staggered! Hit him? I'd not touched him! We'd just been there dealing with the mess and now suddenly I was being accused of actual bodily harm. At the age of three he made up the lie, produced the tears, and saw it through. You have to admit, the boy's got some gumption.

Mother arrived at the door in a blaze of fury, followed by (now a slightly smug looking) Brother. A finger was wagged at me, and Mother shouted, "you hit your brother!"

I panicked. I flustered. I knew he had me, and that there was no way out. And in a rush I replied. "No I didn't! And this time, I'm telling the truth!"

I spent the rest of the day in my room with the door closed as punishment, not for hitting my brother, but for all the lies I had previously told. Odd how two words too many can get a girl into such trouble.


  1. I've heard you tell it before but it is still a good one. We haven't got there - yet!

  2. Ace. I shuddered slightly at the thought of the garage and its spiders and rusty junk. I'm glad you didn't end up cleaning it up on your own.

  3. Ahahaha! Oh he was devious! At least you got out of cleaning the garage!

  4. I'm with Maureen, surely you owe him?


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