Whilst I’ve been ‘away’ (euphemism for ‘poor old crippy takes turn for worse, goes convalescence, takes aeons getting better and moans constantly throughout process), there’s been some interest right across the road from our estate. Two biggish Victorian terraced houses were being turned into a ‘home’ for what we all thought was poor ladies whose partners give ‘em a good whacking and the poor souls and their kids would have a refuge in said ‘home’.
About five months ago, I remember saying to Esther: ‘Ah, that’s so decent. The poor souls need somewhere safe to go.’ And Esther (owner of Henry, Ottoman dog and wife to George, who went a tad mental on blood pressure meds) gave me a sideways sort of look and said: ‘Hmmm.’
Well, turns out she was quite right to say: ‘Hmmm,’ instead of: ‘Ah…’.
It’s not a home for poor battered ladies at all, it’s a home for totally mental ladies aged 40 plus. And when I say ‘mental’ I don’t mean a bit touched, I mean totally ‘rip bong giddely dee.’
The way I found out was this: I took my first trip to Morrisons in six months. Me and sholley, in the rain, it took about 2.5 hours (25mins for everyone else, but it’s a start) and on the way home, I saw a ‘woman’ (very unusual hair and dentition) come out of the Turkish boys’ shop and she was holding a pack of Wall’s sausages – no plastic bag or anything. And perhaps I wouldn’t have taken so much notice but she turned round and stared at me (I was behind her as she came out the shops) and waved the sausages at me.
I said: ‘Oh, lovely,’ sussing out immediately that she was bonkers, ‘Are you having those for your tea?’ (In my best ‘Does he take sugar?’ way). But she then totally ignored me, ran ahead a few feet and then sat down on the pavement, her back to someone’s front garden wall and – get this – started ripping at the sausages’ plastic wrapping.
Then, then (you’re going to die) she pulls out a string of the sausages (say six of ‘em), grabs one of them in both hands and proceeds to put it in her mouth and eat it – a raw sausage! And this is all in the pouring rain, in the middle of
Caledonian Road! A few people walked in the road, around her,
and by the time I caught up to her, there were a couple of school-kids doing
pig-noises at her (but they didn’t hang around long cos it was raining, and
school kids don’t work to full capacity in the rain).
I stopped and said to her: ‘Here up, now lovey. You can’t eat those raw, now can you?’
And she just carried on munching on the raw sausage and a bit of sausage skin got caught between her two remaining teeth and just hung there. It was like Hogarth drew it or something.
Then, I hear Esther calling to me. She’s got her rain-hat on and she’s running up to me: ‘
Move along now, girl. Nothing to
see!’ And she’s shooing me away with her
hand. Now, first thought goes thru my
mind was: ‘Nothing to see??? I never
seen nothing more to see in my life!’ Cal, Cal
So, Esther catches up to me and starts hustling me along, away from the raw sausage events and starts explaining to me about the ‘Home’. So I said:
‘Well, that might be, but we can just leave her eating a raw sausage in the pouring rain.’ And Esther says: ‘You’re too good, you are. That (pointing backwards) is not a case for roadside assistance, dear. That’s a case for break-down recovery.’
So, we go over to home and knock on the door and a really nice lady (big, big girl) answers the door. We give her the s.p. and she says: ‘My life! Sitsva, Sitsva! You come and sit at the desk, I have to go and pick up Daphne.’
So, we all come out and the nice lady runs out in the rain to pick up ‘Daphne’. And do you know what? I think the weirdest thing of all is that the sausage-eating woman was called ‘Daphne’. I reckon ‘Daphne’ would be the last name I’d ever imagine her being called!
This care in the community thing is getting a bit out of hand. When I first went out to the shops, I had a quick look about and I was convinced I saw a pair of bosoms (naked ones) at a window across the road. And then I thought: ‘Don’t be a div, can’t have been, you’re seeing things, girl!’
Now, I’m not so sure…