Friday 31st October – Partyus Interruptus

Is it just me or has this year gone really, really fast?

Last night, in the aftermath of ‘The Savaging’ – I was busy trying to scrape sticky, disgusting,  gross pumpkin intestines off of the walls, units and floor of the kitchen when I got to thinking, (I’m sure it’s the same for forensic scientists in the wake of a serial killer, you know, guts, gore and pulp, your mind wanders).

The Teenager has moved out and is at college, in his spare time he is studying hard and has a part time job.

No, no. That’s not right. He was supposed to move out to go to college where he should have been studying hard and industriously beavering away at his part time job, but, tragically but it didn’t quite pan out that way.tsdoasmpic

On movin’ day, he relieved me of £100 for school supplies (and that), packed up his old kit bag and in an exit worthy of Scarlett O’Hara, set off into his glowing future.

My heaving, Kleenex-clutching  sobs mysteriously subsided as the front door clicked closed, whereupon I spent the next hour drinking Parrot Bay frozen Berry Daiquiris out of the freezer, dancing to the Nolan sisters, and ecstatically waving my arms around whilst periodically screeching ‘one down, one to go’.

Partyus Interruptus.

Two hours and thirty-five minutes later he was back.

Apparently the room was too small for his track suits, the delicacies he had observed in the kitchen cupboards during the initial viewing of what had turned out to be (with the benefit of daylight) ‘a mud hut in the middle of Helmand Province’- belonged to other people and he had been allotted some empty shelf that he ‘was responsible for filling himself’ (insert outraged teenage face here).

tsdoasmpicTo make matters worse, there was something called a ‘Housework Rota’ pinned to the fridge.

Seriously considering taking his place in Helmand Province myself, I sloped back to the sitting room and began hiding empty Parrot Bay packages before I got busted for not having been, as he may have been led to believe, lying, prostrate with grief, flicking through his baby photo albums for the last two hours and thirty-five minutes.

Annabelle, who had been plotting for weeks to take over ‘the big bedroom’ returned home from school to discover that her ‘where shall I put my dressing table’ blueprints were no longer required and, much like myself, was forced to shelve her dreams of freedom and the odd fun-filled sleepover (different agenda for my sleep-overs but I’m sure you get the picture).

That noise you can hear is the sound of the cracking ice upon which I stand.

A whole new parenting challenge has presented itself, please someone tell me, how do you get rid of them?

October 30th 2014 – Bats & Brains

I’ve got a Smurf loose in the house.

Which isn’t good news for me because I really, really hate Smurfs.

The reason for the appearance of the Smurf, complete, I might add, with blue hair, white shoes and a perkily irritating little hat, is Halloween.

Back in the day, Halloween was something teenagers celebrated because it meant pound coins and the odd Mars bar.

Groups of gangly, acne ridden yooves would gaggle together for a regular evening of riding their bikes up and down near the shops and trying to light their roll-ups in the autumnal drizzle when suddenly,TSDOASM Gazza or Shazza or someone would pipe up with the information that it was, in fact, Halloween tonight.

And, with no clear idea what was expected of them, other obviously than what they had picked up from watching Scooby Doo after school every day, off they would set to mumble ‘Trick or Treat’ at unsuspecting door-opening homeowners who, because of the whole ‘unsuspecting’ thing, were busy watching The Two Ronnies and frankly, the treat cupboard was not just bare, it was entirely non-existent.

I’m telling you, Halloween could be pretty lucrative (just call me Shazza) – money was all that the punters, sorry, homeowners, had handy and, confronted with a gang of menacing teenagers on a damp, dark October night (in the days before porch lights) it was one step away from traditionally sanctioned muggery.

Flash forward twenty-five years and my, what a difference a couple of decades makes, not only have we all got porch lights, Halloween has become an actual thing.

Apparently nowadays, it’s the orange version of Christmas, check out aisles 3, 4 and 5 in Asda if you don’t believe me.

Punters, as punters often do, have wised up. The sneaky home dwellers have come up with a hybrid version of the ‘Neighborhood-Watch-No-Cold-Callers-Please’ campaign.

If they are Halloween Friendly, they put a pumpkin in their window, and they no longer have to throw money at the problem, they come prepared with a bumper bag of Haribo that they picked up from aisle 3.

If they are Halloween Unfriendly, they extinguish all of the exterior lights, close the curtains (those that don’t usually have curtains have been known to fashion window blankets out of duvet covers) and spend the 31st watching TV in the rear of their home.

There are only two exceptions to this general rule of thumb: Enthusiastic old people, and the Super-Yummy-Mummy.

The old folk and the Super-Yummy lose their freaking minds and have lights, decorations, three-hundred and twenty five pumpkins all carved with the delicacy of a Michelangelo sculpture, cookies, cakes, scary tsdoasmmusic, costumes, cobwebs and hand-made Belgian chocolates to hand out.

The oldies go to this trouble because they’re trying to dispel the myth that old people, fo’real actually do keep bats, make their knives and forks out of carved human bones, and seriously do sit down with them
on a Sunday to munch on the children’s brains that they keep in jars in the pantry.

The old woman in Hansel and Gretel has been a PR disaster on an epic scale for retired couples with neat gardens, and so, with the fear that Halloween could, for them become a torch brandishing villagey fiasco, they go all out to demonstrate how candy-baking and child friendly they really are.

The Yummies on the other hand, they do it because, well, why waste an opportunity to feel smugtastic.

Anyway, I have to go; I have pumpkins to savage with a Smurf.

The fun never ends but on the upside, I still have Christmas to look forward to.