Such wonderful correspondence I’ve been receiving recently. Julie and I have been bending over backwards to get on top of it, and we’ve had almost all we can take. I have to say, some really is hard to swallow!
Mildred in Colorado Springs writes:
“I have been so happy dressing lately, and one of my recent accessories is a lovely rape whistle on a silver chain. It looks wonderful, but no matter how long I spend blowing the whistle so far I’ve had no luck!”
Mildred, that’s not how the whole rape whistle thing works, darling, however I love the creativity of having it on a nice ornamental chain. Keep at it and I’m sure you’ll eventually find what you’re looking for.
Now, whilst I suspect you would find this very hard to believe, there are some people who have described me as being a trifle insensitive. This is something I find very hurtful, as I really do attempt to go through life shining light on those dark corners into which a little joy and happiness would be appreciated.
It is with a degree of disappointment and embarrassment that I have to relate the events of this week. In my defense I would say that this could have happened to anyone!
It all started when Max, my neighbours son, came over to my house along with one of his childhood toys. Perhaps you remember the particular toy. It’s even sold today, surprisingly. It’s called ‘Tickle me Elmo’. The big thing about this cuddly pink toy was that if you touched it, it would start start giggling and shaking violently. This in turn starts the child giggling and usually everyone in the room laughing. It was very popular when it came out years ago.
Now, like many toys, over the years it broke. In the case of Max’s Tickle Me Elmo, it was dyed brown, to be like Paddington Bear – that Max enjoyed as a little boy. So, this now brown bear like creature was renamed ‘Parkinson’. Well, it could hardly be named Paddington, as it was slightly different. And so Parkinson came into being. Max played with Parkinson throughout his early childhood, and then he was consigned to the bottom of a toybox and forgotten. At least, until my good friend Sylvester offered to fix the thing and return it’s voice and movement.
“You can do that?” said Max.
“I love fixing old toys,” said Sylvester. “Let me play around with it and see what I can do.”
Now, it so happened that Sylvester left the partially restored creature in my kitchen last time he came over, knowing Max was sure to be by, and that I’d pass it on to him when he arrived. It turned out he was unable to fix the voice, but was able to get the toy to shake and tremble every time one touched it. It was rather a strange effect, I admit, but I suppose he did his best. So, Parkinson sat on the side in my kitchen for a few days waiting for Max.
None of this should be a problem, of course, were it not for my wife’s appalling friend, Amanda. She dropped in unexpectedly, my wife being away on an unplanned business trip in Poughkeepsie.
As she came my in back entrance, I said to her, ”I’m sorry, Amanda, she’s not home. She’s in Poughkeepsie.”
“That’s not even a real place!” she replied, making herself at home in the kitchen. I poured her some coffee from the freshly made pot.
“Well, I’m just stopping for a moment. I have my father outside in the car. I’m taking him down for his check up. I wondered if your wife wanted to meet for lunch one day next week. There’s that new Korean restaurant. I know she likes Asian.”
“Of course,” I said. “The one next to the pet shop. If you give her a call tonight I’m sure she’ll be able to talk.”
Amanda glanced across the kitchen counter at the toy sitting there. “What on earth is that?”
“Oh, that’s Parkinson.”
“You are a strange and complicated person,” she said reaching out for it. As she touched it the toy began shaking and convulsing violently.
The next thing I knew she slammed her coffee on the counter, muttered something about me being a monster and stormed out before I could say a word. I was left staring at her retreating form wondering what I’d said that she found so offensive.
The next moment in walked Max. He often swings by around the time I do my yoga workout. I think the yoga pants are more of a draw than the yoga itself, with Max. My downward dog has caused a certain degree of upset for Max – See the episode with the carrot.
“Amanda left in a hurry,” he said as he wandered in.
“I can’t think what got into her,” I said.
“Not much, I should say. I saw her father in the car as I came in. He’s a lovely man. I’ve met him a couple of times since I started working with her. Such a shame about his health.”
“Oh, really? What’s the problem?”
“He has Parkinson’s disease. Terrible shame.”
I shuddered and handed Max Parkinson. I think I may have to start avoiding Amanda.