Clever man

June 14, 2017 at 7:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

I apologise for the tone of this post. The topic has been bugging me for decades.  Particularly in recent months. Especially at 4 am this fortnight.

When I was too young to fathom sarcasm, I wondered if there were a better way to open a plastic bottle of Farmland thickened cream.

Instead of lifting the lid, I squeezed the bottle with the intention of popping it.

This worked, but half the contents shot into the air and landed on me, the laminated kitchen table and the linoleum floor.

‘Isn’t it clever!’ said my dad.

His tone was odd; it wasn’t a question. Nor was it quite a statement. I looked at him for clues.

His glasses glinted. ‘Isn’t it clever!’

His pronunciation was also strange. The letters seemed to slither through his fixed smile with inexplicable venom.

Was I in trouble? Mum was already fetching a Chux wipe.

Was I really clever for trying something new?

Had I blown the scant family budget with my wastage?

I didn’t know.

And I didn’t like how it felt.

As childhood progressed, I committed many more errors.

And I learnt that ‘clever’ was not a word of encouragement in my father’s argot.

The use of ‘it’ was particularly disconcerting.

The next time I heard it was many years later – in Silence of the Lambs.

‘It rubs the lotion on its skin.

‘It does this whenever it’s told.

‘Otherwise it gets the hose.’

I found it so disturbing …

And though I got it,

I still don’t get it.






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  1. Yikes. 😐

    • Good review, Ad. With your permission, I might put that on the back …

      • I am a man of few word. Still, yikes. But great to read and great that you’re writing. As Aretha Roosevelt said, R-S-P-C-A-C-T.

        • Deal! We have nothing to fear but fur it’s felt. And margarine. We’ve been to Elen back. But have we been to we?

  2. So many things were said to us by adults that we didn’t understand when we were kids… and we still get comments like that in our older age. What people say and what they mean is often a real puzzle.

    • You got it, Winno. The fact that, no matter who we are, or how old, we may still not get certain bits of life. Perhaps these puzzles have one meaning, or several, or none. And what really matters is what we do with each puzzle – rather than the solving of it. Maybe the effort to solve, even if it fails, speaks more about who we are than any ‘answer’. Thank you so much for your reflections. They’re brighter than many light sources. Best regards, P.

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