A Blog About Worms and Scars…

It’s been a while since I posted a proper ‘blog’ rather than just linking to a piece of prose or a poem, so… 

That said, this is another recycled one from my old website, originally published just over a couple of years ago. It should be new to my reader(s) here, though, and there’s nothing particularly time-sensitive in the content needing wider explanation. It is, like many of my blogs, just nostalgic ‘family life’ waffle, so if that’s not your thang feel free to go and peruse the other areas of the site instead! 

I was talking on the phone this morning and pretty much out of nowhere the conversation turned to that scene from Jaws where they all sit around and play Top Trumps by comparing their scars. Well I got to thinking about it, and while I’ve never been bumped by a shark with sandpaper-like skin or bitten by a moray eel while pearl diving in the Bahamas (I wrote a song about that: “When you swim in the sea and an eel bites your knee that’s a Moray…”…) I have got quite an extensive scar collection that would probably have given Quint a run for his money prior to his acquisition of that dirty great big one that circumnavigated his body and met in the middle. That said, I’m not sure that ‘bitten in half’ actually qualifies as a scar anyway, so maybe I’d get to keep the trophy after all?

Anyway, here’s the story of my first scar…

The acquisition of my first scar was quite a spectacular event, I have been told. As I was only about eighteen months old at the time I don’t actually remember it, but it’s a delightful story involving a Silver Cross pram, a puddle full of worms and a lolly-stick. I was sitting on the kerb at the bottom of a very steep hill, lolly-stick in hand, fishing for worms in a muddy puddle that had pooled around a blocked drain hole by the side of the road. My sister, who was supposed to be looking after me, was playing salt-mustard-vinegar-pepper with her Best Friend Forever and had either failed to notice me slipping away or couldn’t be arsed to retrieve me.

Meanwhile, at the top of the steep hill, a couple of my older brothers were preparing for the launch and maiden voyage of HMS Silver Cross, one poised with a hammer pointed at the chock beneath the front wheel while the other took a couple of practice swings at the ‘hull’ with a milk bottle tied to a shoelace. The launch itself went very well, I’m told, but just as the vessel reached the kind of speed that made it impossible for them to catch up or halt its progress they realised that I was sitting right in the middle of the launch path.

Absorbed as I was I failed completely to hear their screams and cries and carried on with my worming activities. They screamed louder, and I gave them a vague sort of backward wave in return. My sister looked up, curtailed her salt-mustard-vinegar and peppering and joined in the screaming, at which point I stood and turned to see what all the fuss was about. The pram hit me full on, the hinge on the hood getting me just above the right eye and tearing a lovely gash in my forehead while the weight and momentum threw me into the middle of the road. I’m given to understand that I seemed quite upset at the time, presumably because I had to give up my day’s worm fishing to ride in a noisy old ambliance to the obspittle for a largish number of stitches.

Well, that was the story of my first scar, and while not the biggest of my scars it is one of my favourites because of the story attached to it. It has been suggested more than once that it ‘explains a lot’. I have a mental image of a Beano style cartoon toddler in a drooping nappy walking up a hill with an inverted pram, three times his size, suspended in the air above him by a spike driven directly into his forehead. I know the reality was nothing like that, but the idea still makes me smile…  Hope you did too, otherwise this was a bit of a pointless exercise. Well, not that there was any point to the exercise anyway, iykwim, but I hope you smiled anyway…

In other news: I bumped into one of my son’s old primary school mates in the town this afternoon, and was pleasantly reassured by his plans to save the world through his research into bio-fuels… Sadly we have a few years to wait (he’s only thirteen) before he can really get started, but he’s a clever and determined little fella so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. On the downside, he’s just hit that age when girls might start to figure in his thinking and distract him. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course – it’s what makes the world go round, after all – but it could be a disaster on the grander scale of things. Ahhhh, the best laid plans of mice and men, eh?  ;)

Me on Mojo fix copy

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