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The International Writers Magazine


The Parents Revenge
Ben Macpherson on embarrassing childhood stories

Picture the scene if you will: two families sat round a table for a meal. One family - loud, large (in number), and fairly excitable. The other, three people: mum, dad and only child; quieter, less chaotic and in many ways, the cheese to the other family’s chalk. I am that only child.

I am sat opposite my parents and daringly, precariously, but forcibly held in between the mother of the other family, and her youngest daughter - who happens to be my girlfriend. I say ‘happens to be’, I got threatened with many horrible things if I didn’t finally ask her out (after what had seemed like an eternity of trying. Eight years give or take). Now, this may come as no surprise. The two families who have known each other for some years and who have a common bond (ie: the fact that they may one day be related) sitting round, sharing a meal. However, why is it that when these events take place, my other half and I sit there and are the targets the whole time? We hear nothing but horrid embarrassing stories about what we did when we were young and the parents just laugh at us.

I can see my dad gearing up for take off. I tell him, in no uncertain terms to be quiet. But the more I do, the more he proudly announces “Ah well, nineteen years of misery; it’s time we get our own back”.

So I just sit there whilst my other half pays rapt attention to the sordid details of the time I decided to empty the talcum powder all over the green velvet arm chairs in the front room and mum couldn’t vacuum it out; or help with the decorating by drawing dinosaurs on the newly papered walls (they looked quite good for four years old!). Me going red, her smiling at me with patronising delight; “Aw, its sweet” she says. I cringe.

I do tend to dread these outings. They don’t happen that often I’m glad to say. Ah, good. Now her mum starts. “Well, she did the same thing with talcum powder and then blamed it on her brother”. Sounds about right. She’s Italian and female: passing the buck comes in a double dose. It also means she is dark haired, olive skinned, strong willed, a great cook and looks fantastic in red. But all of that is somewhat besides the point. Her antics break the record in anyone’s book. I laugh and she goes red. Tit for tat I say. She says nothing.

Next time we are all together; her mum proudly announces that she had been got at my by other half for embarrassing the pair of us. Hell! We do that enough together, let alone with our parents help! And my dad still swears that at some point he will show her “the baby photos”.

Even my best friend glints when he asks “So, when you get married and I’m best man…what photos can and can’t I show?”. He can’t use the excuse of ‘nineteen years of misery’ can he? Bet that wouldn’t stop him though.
© Ben Macphereson Feb 2004
krazeebob2001@yahoo.co.uk
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