Tuesday, 23 June 2009

But it's not surprising my hair is turning grey

So I'm getting ready for bed, in the upstairs bathroom brushing my teeth, trying not to remove what's left of the enamel, concentrating on making sure the teeth in my head at the age of 99 are mine and not plastic, when I hear a blast of noise from the street below - like kids WHOOPING and SCREAMING - which is not particularly strange given that it's 10.30ish at night. But it is strange I hear some kid shout SHE'S GOING TO BLOW!

Now naturally curious about these late night impromptu street parties hosted by teen gangs here in Smalltown, I go to the window to look out with my toothbrush stuck in my face and my mouth full of Colgate foam and I see a lot of small bright fires blazing over the tarmac. One fire is under the wheel of a parked car and some kid is pumping his foot up and down on that blaze like he's trying to kick the fire out, but he's not having any luck with that because fire and rubber like each other very much and no Nike trainer is coming between that embrace.

The kid does what any responsible young adult does in our society, and runs off, with three other kids, away down the street whooping and calling. And Grit does what any responsible old adult does, tosses the toothbrush on the floor, runs down two flights of stairs to the kitchen, grabs a flower vase, chucks the flowers out, runs outside and throws the water over the fire and ppffff, out it fizzles.

Just as I stand there in the middle of the road, holding a flower vase, staring at the tyre, a vehicle screeches to a halt by me, a young man jumps out and shouts That's my car! What the hell's happening? Grit, with her mouth full of toothpaste foam, puts up a forefinger by way of suggesting Could you wait one moment please? and goes and spits in the hedge.

From that point life becomes slightly more surreal but involves the young man chasing four teenagers, a stand off down the back lane and Grit phoning the police. Over the next hour I have to hang round street corners half undressed with toothpaste dribble down my chin. It almost beats the time I stood in the business district with a plastic bag on my head thanks to a fire alarm at the hairdressers.

But I would say that it is an appropriate ending to a day here at the Pile. We have been guided by madness all day long, possibly a form of post-gooseberry disorder. Squirrel has declared she is writing a book and is copying out someone else's book as an expedient and quick way of doing it. Shark has wailed she now needs a pet so badly she has gone out and caught greenfly in a jar and is now looking after them with an intensity that will make them wish they were dead. Tiger, not to be outdone, has manoeuvred a reluctant slug into a marmalade jar and demanded I give up my organic lettuce to feed him and, by the way, his name is Nutmeg.

Given this daily environment and the routine state of Smalltown, it is surprising that I am as normal as I am.

8 comments:

Potty Mummy said...

Are you SURE it wasn't all a gooseberry/sugar dream? (I'm off to the supermarket tomorrow. Guess which soft fruit I'll be buying, and which website I'll be checking for the recipe? Unfortunately I won't be able to share it with a)the boys - nut allergy or b) husband, because he's off gallivanting.

Shame.

Mr Farty said...

Is this car-burning week? Live by the Woods has a similar theme, but I think it would take more than a flower vase to put that one out.

Well done for the public-spirited stuff and that.

The Green Stone Woman said...

You were the hero of the day, I hope you were appreciated by the owner of the car. Or was he too busy being angry and indignant?

Minnie said...

Hope you've recovered from the foaming.

Pity it wasn't that Balls' car!! Couldn't be 'cos he lives in La La Land!

Mud in the City said...

Thank goodness toothpaste isn't combustible!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I don't know what gets into their heads sometimes! Curiousity perhaps? You have to be so careful though don't you, we hear about tragedies on the news when people have tried to intervene. Well done to you for helping out.

CJ xx

mamacrow said...

(by the way - I never commentated (having only my phone that could get on line for a while) on your fab art exhibtion - so brilliant, not just the high standard of the exhibits, but that you went all the way - hiring space, and doing the little 'about' bits by each picture, etc etc... I also wondered if you'd be selling any, I rather covet the mice.)

Grit said...

oh PM! you cannot share the delicious gooseberry thing! TRAGIC SHAME. (just go to the gym after, and it will all be ok.)

mr farty, i hope someone would do the same for our clapped out old banger. and i hope there were no parcels addressed to me in that van.

hi irene! the owner was very kind, although i doubt he'll be parking his cars round our way again.

hi minnie, we live in far too downmarket a town for those who rule over us and are used to better.

mud, you are right, otherwise i could have been learning how to fire eat pretty quickly.

cj, once i truly thought i'd done the wrong thing by saying, 'excuse me, would you not do that?' um, i didn't get quite the reaction i hoped. i scurried back inside and called the police.

thank you mamacrow! we are selling (and donating) the paintings, depending on whether the kids can part with them or not. if squirrel comes to a frame of mind about her mice, i'll let you know. (because we don't have space in the house for them all, quite frankly!)