I am six years old and have been called in for lunch with my cousin Alex and my twin sister Gemma. My brother is a baby and is therefore too young to play rounders with us, which thus makes him irrelevant. We are puffing our cheeks out, red in the face with exertion and dispute. Alex had cheated and hit the ball on a “No Ball” and, ignoring our shouts, had ran and kept running as we desperately tried to release the ball from its jail in the rose bush. He had completed five home runs by the time we got the ball and was beaming like a con man who had just ripped off his third old lady that day. The problem was we weren’t doddery old women, we were stubborn six year olds who were not willing to let this go.
“Just let it go, will you?” said my Mum, clearly not understanding the politics of youth. What did she know anyway, with her crazy Michael Jackson perm and checkered lumberjack shirts. No wonder women would wink at her in the streets. We scowled at her as we walked through the salloon doors that allowed us into the kitchen.
Sitting at the table, we saw laid before us was one of our favourite meals: sausage, chips and beans. Unfortunately Alex had a speech impediment that caused him to stutter and repeat the word “and”. When he saw this glorious feast he excitedly shouted “Wow! Sausage andandandandandandandand chips andandandandanandand beans!” With a meal like that, ours was clearly a health conscious house hold.
Ecstatic, we used our fingers to pick up the soft and slightly greasy chips and asked Mum to put the radio on. She obliged, squinting as she fiddled with the radio as the sun glared at her through the window. The radio came to life with the croons of Wet Wet Wet’s ‘Wishing I Was Lucky’. We jumped down from our chairs, united in our love for 90’s music and danced around the table, picking up a chip or sausage as we skipped passed our plates. We never picked up the beans though, what do you think we were, animals?
Alex’s favourite song came on. It was Ace of Base “All That She Wants” which made us dance faster and sing louder despite the low tempo of the song. My Father, who has never been a fan of children making noise, stomped through the salloon doors and looked us all in the eyes, his own slit. With a fag placed effortlessy between his lips he looked like a cowboy about to tell some no good varmints to skeedaddle. In his Scottish voice (which was terrifying for its intelligabilty) he ordered us to “Sit doon” and eat our dinner properly.
We fell silent, sat in an orderly fashion and bowed our heads. The cowboy took stage exit one, sucking the joy out of the room with him, leaving us with a smog of sulleness.
“At least I hit five runs today.” said Alex.