Coming round to my Mums, since Dad died is a laugh a minute as you’d probably expect. The telly is turned up to 11, she fails to hear a word I’m saying sometimes even when I’m looking right at her, describing what colour dress Mrs T is wearing for my second cousins wedding next week was chatted about on the phone, and when I showed her a photo of said today she said,
“But you said it was green.”
To which I mumbled,
“You made up an alternative reality, these are fake facts”
Anyway, today I got up far too early because no one is walking the damn dog and we hiked steadily in the early morning glow, just as dawn was breaking a beautiful light, a couple of rushed cups of tea later and I’m on my way to Bruntingthorpe, racing against a clock which says I’ve got a business meeting at 10, only to find it was at 10;30, and having to cram in 10 minutes of charging at the super electric chargers at Rugby so I could get to Mums, but also, crucially, have the mileage to escape, abscond, or what ever you want to call it. If indeed you want to get involved and call it anything at all, thats not for me to decide. You have to make the choice dear reader. But back to business.
Mum has been talking to me about clearing out my old room, the one which is boiling in summer, freezing in winter and just about ok in the spring and autumn. Its not a pleasant place to sleep but its close to the internet and I find it hard to be downstairs immersed, in a bad way, the intense volume of Who Wants to be a Millionaire hosted by shocker for hire, Jeremy Clarkson. So today we started to shift books into boxes for my attic and Dads old suits into bags for the charity shop. Some suits deemed too good to throw away just yet, and so we managed about 5, with Mum Musing “People probably don’t wear suits to work anymore” People probably wear tracksuits to work now, of which Dad had none. So loading the car with junk for the tip and suits for the chazza, Mum then gave me a posh paper boutique bag full of drugs which Dad didn’t get the chance to finish before he passed, and some mystery bottles marked Vaporising Fluid and also crucially marked Poison. Mum told me to pop into the chemist as they would be more than happy to dispose of the pills which they would burn in some huge incinerator until they are just ash and then probably pour the poison down the drain.
At 2;15pm the chemist was rammed, with the queue snaking to the door, and in danger of spilling onto the pavement, who knew Saturday afternoon prescription runs were a thing? I had just removed a massive carpet of ivy from 3 walls of Mums house and so was sweating, full of insects with scratched arms, my glasses momentarily slipping down my moist salty nose. I told the chemist, who then had to fetch the senior chemist, and I made some jokes about distilling the poison to try and kill the new cabinet, or at least give them some tummy trouble, which didn’t go down brilliantly and from that moment the women who I was chatting to ignored me, and my sweating suddenly stepped up a gear as I realised the senior chemist had gone to the back to speak to the Oracle. A few minutes later she came back and handed me the 4 bottles of Poisonous Vaporising fluid. She told me that it was not possible for her to dispose of these bottles and I really shouldn’t be touching them, as she gesticulated to her be-gloved hands.
“These bottles and the contents are carcinogenic, and should be disposed of carefully and handled equally carefully”
So I took the bag and walked out of the shop, slinging the bag into the footwell of my car when I reached it and wondered what the hell I was to do with this stuff. Now the really interesting thing about this fluid was that when I was in my youth, I suffered from Croup (not sure what it is, google it) but it meant that I had trouble breathing smoothly at night when I had a bout of said croup. Anyway, Mum and Dad had a kind of burner which they would light in my room and pour this fluid onto the burner to create a kind of medicinal, menthol type smell in my bedroom. This would help to clear my tubes. How little I knew. It turns out that what was actually happening was my folks were lighting a fluid which was full of cancer producing nasties and was poisonous, which I guess is the same thing; but cancer poisonous, like cigarettes, but just for me in my bedroom. Flipping heck, I thought to myself and when I told Mum, she mentioned that she can vaguely remember reading somewhere (the mail?) that the Wrights Vaporiser was now banned in all countries of the world apart from India, not dissimilar to Limca. Its political correctness gone mad, a little bit of Floating Cancer Danger held in suspension in the air keeps you on your toes in the 3-9 year age bracket. As our idiot of a prime minister might have said “Be Vigilant” in the face of an invisible enemy.