There is swearing in this post.....
I mentioned in a previous post that my parents used to own a farm. I have so many great memories of the farm and in an effort to share more of myself and my family I want to tell you about some of my favourite times there. I'm hoping it will paint a broader picture of my family and of where I come from and who I am.
Like the time we rolled Miss P in a crusted dried cow pat as a joke .. Nobody was laughing when we discovered that it only looked crusted and dried on top and it squished everywhere when she hit it with her back. It took her two showers to get rid of the stink. She didn’t talk to us for days – it was so peaceful. And years later she still brings it up (usually when she is vilifying my parenting skills –like somehow that would worry me –jeez I survived you wishing me dead all through your teen years , you're gonna have to try harder than that old chestnut) and she still can’t see the funny side of it. We’ve been dining out on that story for years. If I could find cow plop in the city I’d roll her in it again – just for the giggle.
Like the time we returned from a weekend at the farm and 7 year old Miss. P wrote an essay the very next day at school about her weekend entitled “My Grampy is a Chicken Murderer” complete with a drawing of a chicken spurting arterial blood from it’s little chicken neck. I rush to point out that my Dad NEVER killed chickens in this way. Unfortunately, I didn’t see this literary masterpiece until the end of school term when her work folder came home and by that time she’d had 4 sessions with the school psychologist. Come to think of it that was the same year she was asked to write and illustrate a cartoon that included the following elements: Santa , a rope, a bell and a pair of underpants . In her story Santa got tied up with the rope, the underpants got stuffed in his mouth as a gag and she rang a bell while she held Christmas hostage. I still have that story somewhere as evidence that she has been disturbed since childhood if she picks “serial killer” as a career choice later in life. And now that I think about that, WTF was up with that teacher?? A rope, Santa, a bell and underpants indeed.
Like the time we gently asked Miss P not to look in the 30 litre stockpot on the stove when she asked what my Mum was cooking. We warned her it was unpleasant. and not for young eyes. Like so many tales that teach a moral she could not do what she was told and reaped her reward when she peeked in the pot and saw an entire boiling pigs head eyes skyward staring at her from out of the pot. She hasn’t eaten pork or been able to look at a picture of a pig since. The mere sight of bacon makes her weep.
Like the time a snake chased me through the orchard ...let me just say those f***ers move fast and it’s complete bullshit that they go out of their way to avoid humans. This one was actually gunning for me. I’m pretty sure I heard it hiss ” You’re mine, Bitch” just before it lunged. It’s a good thing I can duck and weave. I sure had freaking motivation that day. I actually beat Ben Johnson's record for the 100 metre sprint without the aid of chemical enhancers. And I bet Benny didn’t run his race simultaneously wailing in fear and screaming at the top of his lungs either. Pussy.
Like the time my Dad took on some orphaned cows and gave them cute names like Basil, Bertie and Bruce. He told us that that the Mummy Cows had died and the cows were all alone in the world. We all took turns bottle feeding them 12 times a day for weeks , patting them, domesticating them and loving them, and then my Dad sent them off to market to be slaughtered for steak. Good One Dad. Way to psychologically scar your kids who were in their 30's at the time. You couldn't do that in our childhood like a normal parent?
Like the time my Mum served up an awesome roast dinner although the meat tasted slightly different which made sense once Mum told us it was actually veal. After dinner she confessed to me it was actually Goat. And she wonders why we now rock up to her house with our own takeout bags of McDonalds for mealtimes...This incident led to the standing catch cry in our family when Mum announces what we’re having for dinner we all chime in with “Yeah but what is it REALLY?” even when its obvious it’s scrambled eggs on toast or something simple, but you never REALLY know and it’s entirely possible that they’re duck or snake eggs . And the bread is probably made from pressed egg shells mixed with some funky gluten free flour milled by trained iguanas in Peru. Nothing is as it seems. It always pays to ask.
Like the time my dog, Blossom , decided she could carry ducks by their necks in an attempt to round them up to be “helpful”. Well, she was a Huntaway and it was in her genetic makeup to round things up. My Mum screamed so hard at the sight of the dog with a duck’s neck in her mouth she nearly busted her pooper, because everyone knows once a working dog “goes bad” the dog has to go. Imagine if you can, a duck ‘s neck in a dogs mouth and everything else still flapping and squawking like crazy. The duck was only scared not dead. This was the same dog that would spend hours in the back paddocks playing unsupervised with sheep. Stress makes sheep meat go tough and stringy. So this was also a big no no. Bloss eventually died of natural causes.
Imagine the panic when my Mum discovered she was allergic to bees at the age of about 60 (although she never had been before) when she got stung while picking herbs Christmas Eve and my parents lived 45 kilometres from the nearest hospital. Gee that was a fun drive! My sister made it to the hospital in about 8 minutes. In a Magna. I made it in 10 and I had to detour 12 extra kilometres to find my father at the boat ramp. We all still joke about how Mum faked anaphylaxis to try to get out of cooking Christmas lunch. The joke was on Patty because we made the hospital discharge her so she could come home and cook it anyway.
Like the time my Dad discovered the pig had broken out of the pen in the far paddock and he had to trudge about a kilometre on foot to retrieve it. And then he had to drag the pig the whole kilometre home again on a rope. Pigs can be mighty stubborn if they don’t want to go back to pig jail folks. He came back into the house looking and breathing like he was about to have a heart attack from the extertion.(and because he was secretly mad at the pig) And we all just laughed because it was such a funny story. Because it hadn't actually happened to us.
Or like the time my Dad, who has a really bad habit of being a sneaky eater, popped into pantry (which was actually a room) and snuck a couple of Mum's home made lamingtons in the dark, hoping nobody would know.(and as you all know - if you eat in the dark it also has no calories) Fifteen minutes later Mum brought the lamingtons out to share with us all, and noticed they were green and fuzzy ...with mould. Dad ran to the bathroom retching...screaming “I just ate two of those.”And my mother’s response was ”That’ll teach you to sneak food then” . The man could have been dying of botulism and we were pissing ourselves laughing. That story is now family legend.
P.S. To prove my point. Miss P just came and read this post over my shoulder, and said "Do you HAVE to tell the story about the cow shit?" Still no sense of humour about it. So Yes I do Miss P... Yes I do... Be thankful I’m not posting it on your Facebook wall.