I have been thinking about doing stand-up comedy, I seem to be able to make people laugh so why not. Why should my life become more sedate just because I am in my sixties? So – I was mulling through some of the situations I have found entertaining in my past and thought I could employ the fact that I have survived cancer, as a starting point so here goes with some of my ideas…….
I had breast cancer in 2016, I underwent a lot of treatment including chemotherapy and one of the side effects of chemo` is chronic constipation. I needed a shed load of Senakot and it reminded me of a time years ago when I was similarly affected and went to visit my local Boots where everyone knew me. I asked the pharmacist for some Senakot and she said, “Are they for you?” For some reason, I have no idea why, I suddenly felt embarrassed and blushing mightily I replied, “No, they`re for my mother.” She looked at me in a puzzled sort of a way and said, “Helen, your mother died fifteen years ago.” “Ummmm, for my mother-in-law!” I hastily corrected myself. How daft.
During treatment my immunity levels dropped and I found I was troubled with all sorts of niggling ailments that I would otherwise have fought off, including a permanently stuffy nose. One of my friends suggested I purchase some menthol crystals to inhale some steam and clear it. I tripped to the chemist once again and said to the pharmacist, “Do you have any crystal meths?” She looked down at me, which isn`t difficult as I am only five foot two and said, “Helen I think you mean menthol crystals?” and then smiling she said, “Mind you, this is Acocks Green, how much do you want?”
And talking of my mother, many years ago my mum and I walked into the Midland Bank in the Green to withdraw some money. My parents had a flat over the bank and at that time, they also had a beautiful ginger cat called (unsurprisingly) Tom. Most days Tom was in the habit of strolling into the bank through their open office window, for some fuss and a saucer of milk. Behind the counter worked a young teller called Richard. Richard was ultra conservative and a bit of a fuddy-duddy for such a young person. Bending over the counter towards my mother and in hushed tones Richard whispered, “Mrs. Pitt, did you know your pussy`s got fleas?” He was absolutely unaware of what he had just said and my mother and I were in bits, collapsing with laughter.
I reckon if I add a couple more anecdotes, I`d have a reasonable ten minutes to deliver at my local open mic night……..
The other day I was recalling the time when I worked as an advocate for parents with learning disabilities. I often accompanied families to court as almost all of them were heavily embroiled in child protection proceedings. Over time I got to know many of the judges and some of them had a fearsome and quite deserved reputation. Some of them were lovely characters and warm, one in particular liked the barristers and me to bring in home made cup cakes and sausage rolls to court and she would enjoy them in her private rooms.
One day I turned up and all the courts were full, they were spilling over actually so this particular hearing was held in some rooms at the back of the building. As is my habit, I was chewing on some Wrigleys that morning, you can sometimes sit about for hours waiting to be heard and my mouth gets so dry. I don`t know what made me think it was ok to keep my Wrigleys in my mouth when we were called in but that is what I did. I took a seat at the back of the court and looked at the judge. I had not met her before. To put it politely, she was a very large lady and she had the most enormous bosom I have ever seen in my life. Her breasts were at least twice the size of her head and were swathed in her very capacious black silks. As she moved about shuffling papers around, her enormous boobs hung and swung like big, soft pendulums, over the polished wood of her desk. So mesmerised was I by this fascinating site, when she asked me for my name I quite forgot where I was and answered her quite naturally with a smile.
It all happened so quickly, for a moment I was confused as to exactly what was unfolding. Raising her billowy arm and pointing at me with a great, long finger nail, her deep voice boomed out over the court room, “ARE YOU CHEWING GUM?”
I immediately turned into a quivering five year old and meekly replied in a tiny voice which is most unlike me, “Yes m`am.”
“WELL GET OUT OF MY COURT AND DON`T COME BACK UNTIL YOU HAVE DISPOSED OF IT!” She yelled at me.
Red faced I got up to make my way to the door when suddenly, all hell was let loose. The court alarm started to ring out in an even more deafening fashion than the judge`s voice. It all became a bit shambolic, barristers ran hither and thither, security people with worried expressions appeared as if from nowhere and other people in the room did not know what to do. When it had quietened down and everyone was settled again and I had disposed of the offending gum, I was told that in raising her arm to oust me, one of the judge`s enormous mammaries had hit the court alarm button, situated on the top of her desk.
I don`t think I have laughed so much in ages. Discreetly. With no chewing gum!
Having forgotten my good friend Mark`s birthday recently, last night I decided to make him a belated birthday cake. I duly bought the ingredients for a Victoria sponge and beat and baked for the next hour or so. When it was time to take it out of the oven, lots of the mixture had overflowed and was now glued hard to the oven floor.
I thought, never mind and lifted the cakes out of the oven. They looked rather nice. After ten minutes I was ready to transfer them to a place to cool. Unfortunately and in spite of greasing the cake tins liberally with butter, the sponges had stuck to the tins. When I gently tried to prise them out with a knife they just fell apart in many light and airy heaps of brokenness.
I was disappointed and briefly contemplated making a trifle but then thought better of it and decided to make another cake in the morning and give the cake disaster to the birds.
When I got up this morning, inexplicably, the once light and airy cake had mysteriously altered and now weighed about two stone. I don`t have any idea how this transformation has taken place and it poses many metaphysical questions for me….. I took it outside to scatter over the garden for the birds and watched with interest as some crows and magpies alighted on the ground to eat their early morning feast.
One by one, the birds lay down on their backs and started rubbing their bellies with their feathery wings. One of them has just knocked my kitchen door and asked if he could come in for a lie down and two others are currently on my grandson`s bike in the hall, pedalling away furiously.
I may shop buy and pretend I have cooked a cake for Mark, honestly Mark, if you read this, it`s worse than my home made cheese soup! 🙂