Wednesday, 19 October 2011

What my Mummy said about the nature of my goodness

During the 1950s when we lived in Clement Park,  my Mummy would often ask me to go for a message down to Tom's, a wee corner shop just by Liff Road School. She'd be wanting a quarter of a pound of tea, or three and half pounds of tatties, or a plain half loaf. Sometimes she'd run out of fags and send me for 10 Woodbines. In those days it was common for young kids to be sent out to get their parents' cigarettes. If all my weekly pocket money was spent,  I'd ask her if she would pay me a penny for doing her messages. A penny could buy me a big gobstopper or four sticks of hard liquorice. Most times she would give me a penny but when she was hard up and didn't agree to paying me, she would win me round with a little aphorism in praise of the nature of my goodness. In loving tones she'd say, "Charlie, some boys will only be good if you give them sixpence, some will be good for a penny, but you, son, are good for nothing."

I puffed out my chest, took the money for the fags and marched proudly down to Tom's.
Post a Comment