Saturday, January 27, 2007

Bad Friday

It started well. Monkey Dave texted me when I slovenly switched on my phone at 7am this morning, to say his missus had given birth to a vast 9lb primate called Annabel. I called him immediately to offer excited congratulations.

I then casually walked into the bathroom to shave my pubes - as you do - and didn't realise my beard trimmer was set to '1'. I now look like a pre-pubescent boy.

My sister called three times while I was in the shower. I had a soirée to attend tonight and chose not to cycle in, hence the pre-work shower at home as opposed to the post-cycle shower in the gym. When I called Sis back she told me my Mum, my lovely bottle-blonde progenitor with MS, had last night managed to break her ankle in two places trying to get into her wheelchair, on her birthday no less.

Suddenly I had a pissed off and anxious commute to work while Mum was in Hospital. When I got to my office I tried calling her. I phoned Watford General and asked if Mrs R____ B____ was there.

A pause.

"What about her?"

"What the hell do you mean 'What about her?' This is a hospital, she's my Mother and one of your patients, and there's an outside chance that I might like to be put through to her."

She gave me a number that for the next eight hours was perpetually engaged. During that time, my sister called to see if I'd spoken to Mum.

There's this weird thing between me and my Sis. For one thing, I don't call her 'Sis'. She's just this stranger that I'm very related to. I have more of a relationship with the commentators on this blog than I do with my own sister. Sam and I are poles apart; We don't really get each other at all. We had a falling out and didn't speak from March until December and since I saw her on Boxing Day and patched whatever had to be patched up, nothing has really changed.

She called back to ask if I'd spoken to Mum and I got very animated ~ No! Can't reach her at all!
"FOR GOD'S SAKE," she screamed, "CALM DOWN!!!"

Family members are strange creatures. I am, by nature, fairly calm. I can be surrounded by phenomenal emergencies and will act calmly and think about the situation once it's all over. I have my moments but will generally, even during the most heated eventualities, keep my head.
But for some reason, all it takes is for my one and only sibling, my Skin and Blister, to screech for my obeyance when my voice raises by a sodding semi-quaver, and I lose my cool.


Only she can bring that out in me. And then I realise the worst thing in any Man's life: I have become my Dad.

On top of this, my Boss's computer imploded the day before so today, he not only had to share my computer, but our office drive with ALL the shit on it was on that machine. The engineer was to visit this afternoon, but it was going to be between 4 and 5pm.

We close shop at 5pm and spend an hour finishing up. And my Boss had to leave uncommonly early to get his daughter.

Suddenly I had a computer engineer who would never turn up in the last hour of work, and a hospitalised Mother I couldn't contact.

But it all came together in the end. The guy turned up at 4pm. He fixed the machine in twenty minutes. Mum called and was now back home - We joked that she'd never run again. Well, I did, then felt guilty that she didn't laugh. Tom left, then I sped off to the Bountiful Cow in Hoburn and caught up with old friends. We went on to a pub in Covent Garden where I fell in slight love with a gorgeous red-headed Albanian barmaid who largely ignored me, then I returned home to drink my own body weight in vodka and rum.

I'm visiting Mum tomorrow. She's a hardy woman and can take more than I ever could, but I have to see her. It's been a tough week. My cousin was diagnosed with lung cancer two days ago and has a year left to live. She will be leaving behind four children aged 18 and younger. The odd thing is they're the religious side of the family. Her father, a wonderful, brilliant, cheerful man, was taking the trash out one rainy day a few years ago, when he slipped and landed on his head in a freak accident that killed him.

Once again, I have no idea what all this means. I moan a lot, a hell of a lot, but I have no real right to. If you're a regular reader or just passing through, the real shit is happening to other people. And futhermore, if you are reading this, we're the fortunate 12% with electricity and computers to read this nonsense.

I think we're the lucky ones.


Gorilla Bananas said...

"I think we're the lucky ones."

You got that right, mate. I feel lucky to end the day without a snake-bite on my arse. Best wishes for your mother.

Eileen Dover said...


Wow. Totally relate on the sibling front. My brother does that to me.

Glad you were able to get in touch with your mum though.

furtive said...

you use a beard trimmer to shave your pubes?

that is so cute :)

isabelle said...

Hope your mum's ok.

You do make me laugh.

Fussy Bitch said...

What a smelly time for you. Ankle fixing thoughts to your mum too.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Fweng, we are indeed lucky. Big hug for you, and for mum, who, as you know, is my hero.

I was relating all over the place to what you said about Sis. I have numerous siblings (several too many), and there is no one else who can reduce me to feeling like an emotionally retarded 12 year old.

Now... the pubes. Yes, I know I've said I think you should have a beard... but being clean shaven elsewhere is not such a bad thing, you know.

luna said...

Was it on the friday after stormy Thursday?
It's ominous hearing of disaster from every corner (viz Wayne Coff)

We don't know whether to blame fate or hazards.

For all it's worth,if it doesn't do any good it won't hurt:
I read in a book that certain mix of vitamins can help with ME especially pills of grapeseeds extract.If you want me to I'll provide the book's isbn.
And for cancer,where did I read that high doses of vitamin C (by injection) gave many people remission time?

Also an even newer idea:fasting,for many days (something like 3 weeks).Meant to force the body to start auto cannibalizing itself,starting with the tumours.

You might want to consider a cleansing ritual against curses for your entire family.

P.S.It's not a coincidence that your mum fell on her birthday.Often something happens round that time.Was she upset at being one year older?

P.P.S.What are you diddling your pubes for?You're not due to N.Y. for months to come!

Anonymous said...

Earth-hater, please give my best wishes to your mum and I hope you are OK too. Take care xx

Z said...

The moment of truth, when you realise the trimmer is on '1', is also the moment of decision. To carry on, or stop and leave a bald spot.

I'm so sorry, about your mum and all the rest. The odd thing is, with family members one doesn't get on with, one must still care, or else it'd be possible to shrug off the annoyance and not let it get to you.

The only thing in life that really pisses me off is sodding wv. when you get it right and still have to do it again. Excuse me. that rant was probably out of place.

fwengebola said...

GB ~ Welcome, and thank you.
ED ~ They have this sodding knack. Thank you too.
Furtive ~ It is? Didn't really think about it. It's just there and small and handy (the trimmer, not my penis.)
Issy ~ Hey Isabelle, a comment! And thank you for it.
FB ~ Cheers Fuss. Will all settle down soon.
LFM ~ Big family, eh? So there must be at least one sibling you get along with.
I shave crotchwise every so often to keep things tidy, but I don't go Kojak. I look odd.
Lune ~ I keep meaning to take lots of Vits/ & Fruit and Veg this time of year but as usual, I can't be bothered. And ME is different to MS in a number of ways, not least a wheelchair in lots of people's experiences.
But interesting points.
Anon ~ Hello lurker! Will pass on your messages of goodwill. That'll perk her up.
Z ~ I was so tired and not really concentrating when I woke up to shave that I didn't realise I'd rid them all (being light-haired made it less noticable what I was doing) until it was too late. Eurgh, sorry.
Dare I ask what WV is?

Z said...

They would kill me if they knew I'd said this, but my son and daughter (now early 30s) saw each other undressed a while back, for the first time in decades. "Ew, you've got ginger pubes too," they both said.

I've exchanged your 'too much information' for theirs.

Word verification. I hate it with the passion of a dyslexic. Funnily enough, I'm not dyslexic but it makes me feel as if I am.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Fweng -- Big family, and amazingly, I do get along with all of them, most of the time. Hard not to when you have that "don't show emotion, feelings bad" kind of upbringing. They can still reduce me to the very lowest of lows though, with hardly a word.

Families... you have to love 'em. You don't have to? Oh... damn. Well, that was a lot of wasted energy then.

Joie de Vivre said...

Awww Fwenge, sorry all this shit is happening to and around you. I too am trying to consider us fortunate.

Best wishes to your Ma. And kudos, a double break is big effort! (And now I need to take the rubbish out, and its raining, and uve made me paranoid)

thinking of you xxx

Shoshana said...

Yeah, I was home this weekend and my brothers and I always manage to push each other's buttons like no one else. It's amazing how different four people who were raised in the same house can be.

So sorry to hear about your mom. I hope your visit with her went well, and that she feels a lot better.

fwengebola said...

Z ~ You too? I thought I was the only person who had to re-wv Wvs.
And grim sibling pubespotting story. Thank you.
LFM ~ You are allowed to feel indifference, I think. I don't know actually. Either way, it's a whole new world of guilt.
JDV ~ Just be careful and don't take shortcuts in footwear.
Shosh ~ Thanks Shosh. She should recover in time to discover her bank details are in the hands of an Eastern European crime syndicate.

luna said...

Excuse me I was not posting for you but for your mum and your uncle,I gathered that you can buy your own fruit and veg already.
Besides there's hardly any vits left in them theses days and you'll be better off popping synthesized pills.

Do you read my comments at all??
The grapeseeds extract remedy works for a range of "systemic" diseases actually.

Why don't you screen your sister's calls and force her to text you instead,in lieu of getting all worked up.
You two are obviously incompatible.

fwengebola said...

Actually Lune, I don't just read your comments, I print them out, laminate them, and stick them on the ceiling above my bed.
(Over my mirror.)

luna said...

Well no wonder you lack some sleep then!

Lady in red said...

hi I am sorry about your mum. mine also has had ms for 17 yrs but shes very lucky as her episodes have been few and far between. She is on crutches at the moment as I only got her home from hospital yesterday after her knee replacement op.
She is a wonderful woman who has much strength. The one thing we disagree on is her wish to make me and my youngest brother like each other.
My mother was a tower of strength for me and my 4 sons when I was undergoing my cancer treatment a few yrs ago. But with everything I agree with you that we are still the lucky ones. Whenever I feel my lot in life to be poor I remember my dear friend who has been through so much more than I have and still found the time to talk me through my cancer even though at the same time her 10yr old son had leukemia. Hes now 16 and fighting fit.
I take my cancer as being my wake up call to start living instead of letting my life pass me by.

fwengebola said...

Wow. And welcome. Sorry to hear about what you've been going throuhg and you're right. The sad fact is that most people have nothing to complain about.
At least you're looking at the positive aspects and enjoying life. That has to be the only way, really.