It’s panic stations. My mother has dropped by unannounced.
She’s usually fine, unless she’s had a bad journey over. Then she takes her frustrations out on us through a series of withering put downs.
I test the water…
“Nice journey over?” I ask. There is a feeling of anticipation in the air.
She lets out a deep, wandering sigh.
I don’t need to hear anymore That’s it. Game over. It’s every man for himself. That’s a sigh of despair. It’s not joyous sound, it’s not the kind of noise you make just before you go into a medley of songs from Mama Mia.
She patrols around the kitchen looking for someone to belittle, imagine Morrissey after he’s been at the sherry, and we’re all desperately looking for an excuse to slope out.
The teen gets up and delves into the fridge. My mum eyeballs him up and down. “You’ve always got your head in that fridge” she observes. He does a fake grin, thinking she’s joking. He’s too naïve to pick up on the sinister undertones. “Just like your dad when he was 16. Never stopped eating burgers. Burger, burger, burger. He would come in, put the grill on. Put the burger under. It always worried me, because back then there was all that fuss about the bad meat.”
‘Mad cow disease?” prompts my wife.
“Mad cow. Yes. I’ve always wondered if he got it,” she announces to the room. The family scrutinise me, trying to spot symptoms. In just two short exchanges she’s inferred that my teen is a glutton and I’m about to start frothing at the mouth.
My wife picks up her phone. I glare at her and whisper, “Don’t you dare pretend to get a fake business call and leave the room.”
“Don’t be stupid. I can handle caustic mother-in-laws. In fact, it’s my ambition to become one,” she whispers. “I’m actually on twitter. I’ve set up a new account. Say hello to…Sir Rants A Lot. Get it? I rant about things.”
“How do you feel about petrol strimmers being used before 9am?” I ask.
“Don’t poke the bear.”
As we speak, there are currently 4 twitter accounts under the name of Sir Rants A Lot. I would tell her but she is currently basking in the glow of her own word-play magnificence.
“Any comments yet?” I ask.
“No. It’s just a place for me to vent. Great name though, isn’t it? And it’s unique. You’re crap at thinking up names for blogs and stuff. You should get me to think up your names.”
I toy with the idea about setting up a twitter account to rant about all the Sir Rant A Lots.
My wife seems to have read my mind. “Why not set up your own ranting account?” she says. “We can moan online together. In fact I’ve just thought of the perfect name for you.”
“I’m going back to talk to my mother,” I say and walk out of the fire and back into the frying pan.