We were reminiscing earlier about my mother, who left this earth quite a few moons ago now. She had a sense of humour that at times could be quite cutting, yet other times, very funny. Which led us to the story of ‘not my socks.’
Like most women, she loved shopping and was always on the lookout for a bargain. Sometimes, she would come home with some utter junk that was no good to anyone. Her answer was always, “Ah, but it was a bargain.” For example, a goldfish bowl that you hang on the wall!! It was made from perspex and shaped like a ‘polo mint’, but the back was flat so it would hang flush against the wall. What she didn’t realise was, you had to fill the bath to the brim and submerge this piece of junk to fill it up. Many occasions, I heard my Dad coming down the stairs and as he reached the bottom step, there would be a loud ‘berlooop’ followed by some expletives and him going back to the bathroom to repeat the process. Sometimes it would take him 3 or 4 tries.
I think I must have been around 50 when she gave me the socks as part of a Christmas present. No doubt, she had found them while bargain hunting as there were about 6 pairs. Unwrapping them and feeling pleased as I needed socks, I soon realised that they had a name on them. Kevin!! Who the heck’s Kevin? After 50 years of being her son, you would think she would remember my name was Trevor. She said I could always change my name by Deed Poll. What? Just so I could wear these socks bearing the name Kevin? Mind you, it has given us a laugh down the years and my daughters still think it’s hilarious. I don’t think I ever wore those socks and if the truth be known, they probably ended up in a local charity shop where hopefully a local Kevin will have purchased them.
I don’t think I should mention the plastic, lethal-looking self hair cutting tool she bought. Another bargain, another piece of unnecessary junk. As I was the youngest in the family, I was also the ‘guinea pig’. So, at the age of about 7, I had my first and last home haircut with this contraption. Although there was a blade in it that passed through a comb-like edge, it didn’t cut but rather ripped the hair from my head. Literally, it left a huge bald spot, which isn’t a great look for an up and coming wannabe ‘Mod’. My Mother, bless her, stopped as soon as the screaming started, but the damage was done. The revolutionary haircutting tool was destined for the trash, along with most of my hair. I had to wear a cap for the next month or so and I don’t think I spoke to anyone for a month.
As for the goldfish bowl that hung on the wall, that ended in the dustbin too. On a visit to see my Mother, I found one fish on the back of the armchair, completely lifeless. I don’t know if they had tried to escape the thing or just fell out. We never did find the other fish. We all decided it was best not to replace them and with a wink of an eye from my Dad, the bowl disappeared for good. Another bargain bites the dust.
And I never was any good at learning from mistakes, as this video shows, nearly 50 years after the first home haircutting disaster!