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Mother Love

by Opal 

Posted: 01 October 2003
Word Count: 1252
Summary: A Monologue

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He came in the caff again today. He was wearing a woolly hat. She was all over him like a tablecloth. I don't know why it is; but she seems to have a' thing' about men in woolly hats. Do you remember Charlie Barnes? Him what had the wet fish stall in the market? Well he always wore a woolly hat. She said as how he had to wear it because he had 'hallo' something or other. Then there was Billy Sims, although he always kept his in' is lunch box. Now there's this one.
Have you seen the colour her hair's gone? No of course you 'aven't. You don't see anything unless it's got four legs and jumping hurdles or chasing a mechanical hare.
Well anyway, she's only gone and dyed it a bright red, and with that green eye muck she puts on she looks like a demented carrot. I'll tell you this Joe, if I hadn't been there the day she was born; I'd swear she weren't no daughter of mine
Of course she gets it from your side of the family. Tainted! That's what she's been Tainted.. After all she was with your brother when he pinched them knickers off Mrs.Brennan's line, and gave 'em to his Elsie for her birthday.
My mother warned me but would I listen. I would not. Headstrong I was in them days. Headstrong. Anyway I'm telling you, there's something funny going on between her and woolly hat. I went up to him ' Can I help you?' I says, polite as you like.
Madam waltzes over. 'That's all right mother. I'll see to this gentleman. It's personal.'
Personal! Whatever next. Getting ideas above her station. That's her trouble.
We should never have let her take them violin lessons. A mouth organ was always good enough for my family.
So there they are. Plotting Gawd knows what, and where's Tom all this time. He's standing around like a loose leg. Some fynancy he's turned out to be. She can twist him round her little finger.
(If you must do that at the table, kindly use your handkerchief)
Well, they're hanging over the counter with their heads together while I was rushing around like a fart in a colander, that don't know what hole to come out of. Benny's leaning against the tea urn wearing a soppy expression with them earphones stuck to his head as if they'd been glued there. I blame his mother. Never did have any control over him . Madam's not much better. She prances around in skirts so short, she looks like she just come from playing Principle Boy at the local panto.
Then Woolly Hat goes out and she comes up to me bold as brass.' I've got an appointment at the Doctor's' she says.
'Doctor's?' I says. 'What you got wrong with you now?' Never heard anything like it. Always at the Doctors. Well she don't get it from my side of the family that's for sure.
Keep your bowels open and your trust in the Lord was what my mother taught us and it never done me no harm.
'It's my nerves' she whined.' I've got to get something for my nerves'.
That did it. 'Nerves'. I said. ' You don't need nothing for your nerves. They're all right as they are. You've got more nerve than anyone I know, if you think you're leaving me here to run this caff on my own you've got another think coming. Oh I told her straight. But she did she listen. She did not. 'Now mother' she says' Don't get all uptight'
Uptight! Now what's that supposed to mean? Do you know what it means? No of course you don't (Oh do leave your feet alone when I'm talking to you)
Anyway, he goes out first then, a few minutes later Madam follows. I don't know who they thought they were fooling pretending to go their separate ways. He was outside waiting for her. I could see the bobble on his hat sticking up. So that left the three of us to run the caff, but Tom was staring so hard at those half naked women in the paper that his eyes had lit up and gone to 'Tilt'. Benny couldn't hear nothing under them earphones.
I was the only one with all my facilities working. Then who should come in, but Big Ernie? Him what drives the articled lorry. He says he just seen our Bethany going up the road with a bloke wearing a woolly hat, and didn't her Tom mind who she carried on with? Bethany! I ask you. Where do you think she got a name like that? You don't know do you? Neither do I. What's wrong with the name she was given I'd like to know. Can you see anything wrong with Bertha? No of course you can't. Bertha is a decent sounding name; after all it was my own mother's name. My God. That poor woman would turn over in her grave if she was alive now to see how her granddaughter's turned out.
Of course I could see she'd be trouble. I told you didn't I? That girl's going to be trouble I said. Didn't I say that? It was obvious that she was going to bring disgrace to the family. Do you remember her first week at school? No of course you don't. But I do. Her teacher called me to one side and asked me if I could get her to stop pulling her down her knickers in front of the class.
I blame that on your sister Ethel. It's in the blood. She was always doing that, only she wasn't five, she was twenty-five. Naturally a child is going to copy something like that. Six months old little Bertha was when she saw her aunt make such a show of herself. You must remember it. So of course, I had to explain to the teacher about your family
I'll tell you straight though, something's got to be done about this new-fangled health food she keeps trying to sell at the caff. Them lorry drivers need something to line their bellies, not little bits of cake made out of carrot, but all she keeps on about is lowering their colostomy's Then there's these diets she's always going on. Have you noticed how skinny she is? No of course you haven't, but when she wears that mauve outfit of hers she looks like a varicose vein

Do you know what today is? No of course you don't, although you would've though she would. She is my daughter flesh of my flesh, and did I not carry her for nine months and her lying on my sciatica nerve all that time. Oh how I suffered. Does she car? She does not. Can't even remember her mother's birthday. Not even a card. I blame you for that. Well she needn'tů Hang about! Look she's coming up the path, all dolled up, and Tom's with her and he carrying an enormous bunch of flowers. And there's Woolly Hat. Only he's not wearing a woolly hat he's got a chauffeurs cap on. Quick let them in.
You're taking us out to dinner? For my birthday? Oh how lovely. I hadn't even given my birthday a thought. I was just saying to your father.' Bethany is the loveliest and most thoughtful daughter anyone could wish for, didn't I say that Joe. Didn't I?'

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Comments by other Members

Anna Reynolds at 16:01 on 07 October 2003  Report this post
Opal, this is such a nice self contained piece. There are some surprising lines in it that jumped out at me- 'rushing round like a fart in a colander that don't know what hole to come out of' and 'we should never have let them take violin lessons. A mouth organ was always good enough for my family'. These both made me laugh out loud. The narrator is fab- and her u-turn at the end is well done, with absolutely no shame at all. Being picky, I think there are maybe just a few too many repetitions along the lines of 'that girl's trouble'- you've set it up much better with specific incidents such as the dyed hair, the violin lessons, the carrot cake etc. Lovely.

bluesky3d at 16:17 on 07 October 2003  Report this post
yes ...I can imagine this working really well as a monologue.. and the relationship with her silent spouse seems uncannily familiar .. great humour too.. eg - '...but all she keeps on about is lowering their colostomy's..'

enjoyed this very much

Andrew :o)

Junie Girl at 00:05 on 20 October 2003  Report this post
I am fairly knew here and write mostly nonfiction. I have been reading stories for about 2 hours and came upon yours.
Read the first , then the second and finally the third. Really enjoyed all three but Mother Love broke me up and I really needed that. I actually laughed outloud and it was a great feeling.
I am also retired and have time to write now. Will look forward to more of your stories. June.

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