As I start this literary offering, I’m en route by train from the Lake District to Leeds. Whilst waxing lyrical** in carriage C, I cacophonously slurp on a bottle of diet coke, along with troughing a bag of sea salt flavoured crisps.
I was contemplating getting cheese and onion flavoured snacks, however as the trains trolley were bereft of that infusion of potato chips, I chose ready salted as a snacking bedfellow.
** As I don’t have nicknames for that area of the body, I’d like to make it clear lyrical isn’t my bikini line. Even if I did employ that strategy, I’d venture lyrical wouldn’t be the moniker I’d plump for.
Anyhow, there were sea salt and vinegar flavour snacks, however I occasionally have an allergic reaction to that particular crisp seasoning. Idiosyncratic incidents, during which I hallucinate I’m a football referee.
Last time, scattering around yellow cards so indiscriminately I was sanctioned by the Football Association (FA), warned about my future conduct and demoted to overseeing Frank The Butcher League matches in the fictional town of Ainsley Scragg.
As a young boy, my mum advocated I “Always choose sea salt flavoured crisps if the vendor has run out of those bearing cheese and onion piquancy. Avoid salt & vinegar seasoning if at all possible, they can have side affects for our family that manifest illusions of presiding over sporting events.”
She then added “After binge eating Smith’s salt and vinegar crisps while spectating at Headingley, your granddad Charlie ended up briefly umpiring in the 1958 Test cricket match. He nearly caused a crowd riot by controversially giving out Ted Dexter LBW, despite the batsman clearly hitting the ball prior to it colliding with his front pad!”
Deeming my mother’s yarn unlikely at best, and a fib bordering on the certifiable at worse, I paid little heed to her snack flavour advocacy. That is until my teens when her eccentric prophecy came to pass, after I uninvitedly commenced adjudicating the Low Fell Bowlers club finals days. This a consequence of binging on six packets of salt and vinegar crisps outside Kings newsagents, on Durham Road.
My unscheduled attempt at refereeing bowls matches weren’t a glowing success. The participants, who were well into their dotage, seeming alarmed at my megaphone enhanced yells of ‘Howzat!”, “Fore!” and “You silly old get, that’s miles away from the jack.”
After being escorted from the bowling green by disgruntled committee members, I crossed the road where I entered the small white building which housed Low Fell’s library. Thankfully, my salt and vinegar sourced illusions had abated at this point.
Once inside the library I was greeted by a pleasant old spinster I recognised as Miss Milktop who was the Head Librarian. I refer to her as a pleasant old spinster as she was pleasant and once told me she’d never experienced wedlock. I’m not why she conveyed that information to me, unless she eyed me as a potential future suitor.
When she mentioned never experiencing wedlock, I admit to completely mishearing her comment which my ears processed as “I’ve never had dreadlocks.”
“I don’t think you’d suit them Miss Milktop. Leave all that to the likes of Bob Marley or another character in Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.” I quipped with youthful mischief.
She looked bemused, although not as concerned as the woman sat beside me now on this train. A nosey lady who’s been reading this narrative over my shoulder.
Yes, love. You sitting next to me with the bobbed hair, currently texting your husband to pick you up. It’s too late to look away now I’ve just finished the flaming thing!