It Could Only Happen At Christmas……
Pointing one foot out from underneath the duvet, I tentatively tested the air. Cold. In fact it was bloody freezing, which could only mean one thing. The central heating timer had failed …. again. Swinging my legs over the side of the bed, I gave Joe an ‘accidental’ dig in the ribs. He promptly repaid me with a loud fart.
“Happy Christmas my little pudding…” he gave the duvet a Mexican wave and grinned, “….bacon butties and then presents or presents and then bacon butties?” His head disappeared back into his pillow before I had chance to reply.
“It was an Epilator Mum….I ask you, a bloody Epilator….and he looked suspiciously at my top lip as he handed it to me!” I gave the gravy a stir and looked at her for a bit of girly support. She smiled as she frisbee’d a Tupperware lid at me from the other side of the kitchen. “So romance is not dead yet then Mavis?”
I squished a lump under the spoon and watched the brown liquid bubble. “Dead! It’s buried under the wrapping paper….along with Joe.” I sighed and hammered down another gravy lump, this time a little more aggressively. “…..please tell me I haven’t got a hairy top lip mum?”
Slamming the kitchen cupboard she paused for effect before wagging her finger at me. “No sweetheart you haven’t…..but you could try it out on that awful hairy big toe of yours!”
Joe held the carving plate high, the Turkey for twelve of us precariously balanced as he edged his way past Nanny Flo’s chair, accidentally knocking my sisters reindeer ears off her head and into her glass. Crimson splashes spotted the white tablecloth. “Hey up Connie, you’ve spilt a bit there…not like you to lose a drop of the old red.”
Connie glared at him. “Very funny Joe, I’m actually pacing myself this year….” she hesitated and looked at Nan who was sitting next to her. “…..think you should do the same Flo, that’s the third glass of sherry you’ve had already, it’s not good for you.”
Nan pushed her bottom set of false teeth out, wiggled them and just as quickly sucked them back into her mouth. “Says who? A little bit of what you fancy never done me any harm before and I’m almost 87!” She defiantly gulped down the remains from her glass and held it out to me for a refill.
I looked at mum for approval.
“It is Christmas Mavis, but no whisky, just make sure she sticks to the sherry.” Mum plopped a stuffing ball on Connie’s plate. Connie held up three fingers, indicating she could manage more than just one.
“Frisky…!” Nan almost spat her top set out to join her bottom ones. “…..I haven’t been ruddy frisky since 1957..!”
“Anyone seen Nan?” Connie’s voice was temporarily muffled by a huge mouthful of Black Forest gateau.
Joe scraped the remains of his Christmas pudding into the bin and flicked a lump of bread sauce from his finger. “The last time I saw her she was bouncing off the walls in the hallway on her way to the loo. The two helpings of pudding, God knows how many mince pies and all that sherry was too much for her, think she’s asleep in the front room.” He let out a loud guffaw.
Mum wasn’t impressed. “How long ago was that? Can someone go and check on her?” she dried her hands on her apron and looked at me to oblige. “She’ll be fine mum.” I took my paper hat off, crumpled it into a ball and bounced it off Joe’s head.
“I’ll come too…” Connie jumped up from her chair, almost tripping over her own discarded shoes, before whispering in my ear “….we could have some fun here!” Linking her arm through mine, just as we always did when we were little, she dragged me along the hallway and into the main hall. We stood outside the door and waited.
“Look, I got this from your cracker..” she held out her hand. Nestled in her palm was a black plastic moustache. “….I’ll position her, you can take the photos!” She held back a giggle, which only served to make her snort loudly. She wiped her nose on her sleeve.
The door swung open, quietly rubbing against the carpet as we stood in silence watching Nan, mouth open, slumped in the overstuffed armchair by the Christmas tree. The excess wine and brandy that we had drunk with our Christmas dinner seemed to fuel our mischievous mood. As Connie carefully shoved the moustache up Nan’s nose I pranced around doing a wonderful David Bailey impression, snapping one photo after another whilst Connie manoeuvred Nan’s arms and legs into an array of poses.
“Oh Mave……this is bloody brilliant!” Connie took the camera from me, checking the remaining shots. I took another look at Nan, sprawled out, with her beautifully coiffured white hair, best frock, pearls and her black plastic moustache. I had to admit, she did look absolutely hilarious…….well that was until I noticed that she hadn’t actually moved on her own accord for some considerable time. My heart missed a beat, well, several beats if I’m honest.
“Connie, Connie, I think there’s something wrong with her..” I tentatively touched Nan’s arm, whilst Connie, still in the rapturous throes of laughter was verging on a Tena Lady moment.
“Connie I’m serious, I can’t find a pulse..!” Now I was frantically trying to find some sign of life in Nan’s wrist as sheer panic set in.
Connie stopped laughing, the colour draining from her face.
“Oh crap..” she exhaled loudly and ran from the lounge slamming the door back heavily so it hit the arm of the sofa. “……Mum, Mum…..”
I could hear Mum’s voice drifting from the hallway. “What is it Connie, calm down love.”
Connie’s voice caught in a sob. “I think Nan might be a little bit dead Mum….”
Twenty minutes later we stood on the doorstep as we watched Nan lying prone on a stretcher being carted off in the ambulance still sporting her black plastic moustache, which was now unfortunately wedged underneath her oxygen mask, quivering with each strained intake of breath.
I closed the front door and looked at Connie.
“Crap, that didn’t quite go according to plan did it?” she smirked.
I put my arm around her and shook my head. “No shit Sherlock, you can say that again.!”
….and it was at that exact moment I just knew next year’s family Christmas card wouldn’t depict Tootles, Nan’s bulbous eyed Chihuahua under the Christmas tree wearing a stupid Santa hat, but Nan herself…….
………resplendent in a diabetic coma, with a plastic Aldi cracker moustache shoved up her nostrils and a tantalising glimpse of her fuchsia pink, lace-edged bloomers!
Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Polyester Thong (c) 2016
Thank you so much for your fantastic support throughout 2016 and wishing you much love, happiness and laughter for 2017.