Tuesday, September 8, 2015

How To Punish A Child Who Squeezes Your Cat So Hard It Farts

Mamamia recently published an article entitled “Things your family does that you didn’t realise were weird” cataloguing the things that the author, Lucy Gransbury, thought were normal but upon leaving home discovered they were actually super weird. I’m calling bullshit a bit on this article because it lists things like Dad Tax and Wish Chips, which also existed in my household, and undoubtedly thousands of others. Compare this to, say, when I was little and every morning without fail my dad would tell me that while I was asleep he and my mum put me on the road, put yoghurt on my face and a truck ran over me and then I think we can discuss what constitutes weird family shit. Yogurt Truck would stress me out to no end. My parents loved my adverse reaction to their story and no explanation for the yogurt part was ever given. So, sorry Lucy, but you can take your frozen cheese and shove it, because I have a list of things that my family did that were actually weird.
  • At 5 years of age I squeezed my cat George so hard that he did a terrible fart. As punishment my parents made me ring the vet and apologise, the vet sounded confused and just told me not to do it again.
  • My dad used to take out his two false teeth and chase me around the house yelling “I am Gunkafore, you are Labrador” it used to horrify me and I still don’t know what it means.
  • On long road trips my parents would buy us cheap little items to keep us entertained. To prolong the excitement and to keep us quiet for as long as possible they would give us these items piece by piece. For example, one year on a road trip to Uluru we were bought walkmans. At 5am we were given the Walkman. At 7am we were given the batteries. At 9am we were given the tape. And at 11am we were finally given the headphones – the puzzle was complete and we were over the moon! I’m still amazed that these little bits and pieces, which did fuck all until all put together, sustained our excitement for six or seven hours. Ah, times before the internet…
  • My mum used to make crosswords for us to do at our birthday parties as they offer some “quiet time”.
  • My dad wore a night gown instead of pyjamas.
  • Until I was 20 I thought yellow was pronounced “yallow”.
  • My dad used to pretend to be the ten year old version of himself and tell us all about his life in his hometown of Guilford. This was done at night, in a high pitched voice while walking around on his knees (in his nightie).
  • My dad also used to do this character called “Marty Mosquito” (basically his hand scrunched into the shape of a “mosquito”) who would wake us up in the morning. Marty was friendly, but if his friend Boris showed up instead of Marty, you were liable to get pinched incessantly. Like, really pinched HARD.
  • My dad thought it was HILARIOUS to make incest jokes. Nothing too rough, but still pretty blue. Eg. When I was asked by a girl in the grade below me why I had been performing, alone, alongside a teacher (my dad, who taught at my school) at the end of year concert, my dad felt strongly that I should have responded “because he’s my boyfriend” and walked off. Just to freak them out.
  • I think this may be something that lots of peoples’ families did, but my family used to speak the internal monologue for our cat Jeffrey. If he was hungry or in a mood, we would voice his opinions or disdain or even just his general thoughts on the weather (he hated the wind). For a really stupid cat, I was always amazed at how articulate he was.
  • Speaking of Jeffrey, we used to have a theme song we’d sing for him when he came into the room, along the lines of “Jeffrey the cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat”. Not lyrically superior, but effective enough.
  • My brother and I used to have a song that we sang AT each other when it was the other person’s turn to wash up, a sort of musical bullying. It went “Guess who’s turn it is to wash up? You-rs. Yeah yeah. Woo.” It drove my mum insane and was eventually banned in our house under threat of being made to do the washing up when it wasn’t your turn.
Who knows what repercussions these oddities have had on my life, but I’d be intrigued to meet the Maz who had never experienced any of them. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t be writing this blog though. Or gently feeling Nick’s eyeball through his eyelid whenever she got a chance.

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