Saturday, 23 October 2010

Good God, Is Everyone Going Commando?

Bloody Buddhists. No offence but, honestly, I could kill idiot brother Robin. He's probably cost me a gold star.

It's all going so well up until teatime, too. Max has suggested he take me out for a meal and, when I say I don't think we can afford it, he says he has 2 for 1 vouchers for Pizza Express - and that Mrs Bloom gave him a tip the other night. (I don't enquire what for, but am hoping he hasn't become a gigolo.)

So I'm all excited, and am upstairs hurling clothes around in an attempt to find something to wear, when the phone rings. Then Max appears, looking very concerned.

"What now?" I say.

"It's your Mum," he says. "No, don't panic - she's all right. She's just had a fall."

"Oh my God," I say. "Where is she?" I'm sick of that damned hospital, thanks to Josh.

"At home, with the paramedic. I said you'd get round there as quickly as possible."

"Shit. And just when Ted's away fishing, too." Probably without a licence. Ted's a man who knows how to live dangerously.

I abandon the hunt for clothes, and grab my handbag and coat. Oh, and Arnica. I don't care what the LibDems say about homeopathy, this stuff works. It's been proved effective on too many occasions, all Josh-related, to be a fluke.

Then I have a moment of clarity.

"Has anyone told Robin?" I say. Max shakes his head, so I start dialling the number as we head for the car.

"Ah, Moll," says Robin, the albino Isaac Hayes of Buddhists. "How's it hanging? All cool with you?"

"Yes, I mean, no. Rob - Mum's had a fall. I'm on my way there now. Are you coming?"

"Oh no,"  says Robin. "You're the expert at family stuff. I'm sure you've got it all covered - and I've got some mates coming round tonight. Poker."

I don't say anything, so he continues:

"I'll leave it in your capable hands, then - shall I?"

"Sounds like I don't have a choice," I say, before I hang up on him. Practice compassion daily, my arse.

Talking of arses, God knows what Mum's been playing at. When I walk in, she's sitting on the sofa, wrapped in a (hopefully non-flammable) blanket and looking very pale.

The paramedic's bustling around, and Mum starts mouthing something at me. I move closer, and she whispers in my ear.


"I know it is, Mum," I say. "But the paramedic says you're fine, just a bit shaken up."

"No," she says, looking very agitated. "I need you to get me some pants. I haven't got any on."

Good God. Now my mother's walking around knicker-less? What the hell is going on? First Mr Beales and his Ann Summers habit, and now this. It's all far too much.

Later, after Mum's had a cup of tea, and explained that she tripped over the hem of her skirt, she tells me that the reason she wasn't wearing pants is somehow related to the sore buttock thing. Tender skin and seams, or something.

"If you say so," I say.

Then Robin arrives, all smiles and bonhomie. Maybe he did some emergency chanting, or divination, and the Buddha revealed that it might be a good idea to turn up and earn some Karma points.

He holds Mum's hand, smiles devotedly, and makes her scrambled egg. I wonder if maybe I'll be able to go out with Max after all, but then Robin kisses Mum on the cheek, and says,

"Gotta run, Ma. People to see, places to go - you know how it is. I'm sure Moll will stay overnight. She's the expert, what with having kids and all."

If you read about the murder of a Buddhist with a penchant for bling in tomorrow's papers, don't forget that there were mitigating factors, that's all I can say. I dread to think who Max is sharing his voucher with right now. Hopefully someone else who doesn't wear knickers - but only because they're male, and called Josh.


  1. why is it that male siblings have the absoulute knack of opting out of any care for parents, but when around are the 'golden' children and can do no harm? Hope your Mum is OK. I have heard also that Pizza Express isn't what it used to be... if that makes you feel better