Leaving His Mark

What I witnessed yesterday was utterly unmistakeable. Printed handwriting of draughtsman like quality I’d seen on innumerable occasions during the half century of my existence.

This chance sight that of my late father’s forensically neat scription. Words transposed onto an old DVD player case by ultraviolet indelible marker, the catalyst to manifestations of a whole spectrum of emotions and questions.

One of the queries being why, after 20 years of the appliance residing in my parent’s home, I was now able to see this text with my naked eye. During the previous two decades this UV property marking had been conspicuous by its absence to yours truly.

The text itself (my parents home’s post code) fairly unremarkable in itself; it’s lack of a start, middle and end ruling my dad out of that 1999 Pulitzer Prize nomination. However, my evident new ability to read ultraviolet penmanship raised improbable notions within me that this year’s two life threatening health scares, including a heart attack, had turned me into UV Man.

He an unlikely superhero who retrieves stolen property from its plunderers by the superpower conduit of being able to read UV postal code information. Subsequently returning the stolen goods to their rightful owner, but only if they’re prepared to pay return postage costs.

His willingness to help the hapless victim bearing a caveat that UV Man doesn’t suffer chest pains leading to cardiac arrest in the interim!…… My epiphany, admittedly, absolute self-indulgent nonsense, but sadly/gladly (delete where applicable) that’s the way his mind rolls.

Another query which manifested on viewing my much missed dad’s scribble was to ponder whatever happened to the UV property security pen. Yours truly has spent hundreds of hours at my parents home over the past score years, yet can’t recollect ever witnessing that type of writing implement within that locale.

Could it be a case decades ago thieves broke in to my mum and dad’s residence, deemed the residence’s electric goods to have little ‘sell on’ value and, not wanting to leave empty handed, consequently mischievously pilfering my old man’s UV security pen. An unlikely scenario, admittedly, but as the controversial Never Underestimate A Villains Whimsy Society often say……. errrr…… well, “Never underestimate a villains whimsy!”

If such a theft did occur, knowing my late dad’s OCD, I’d not put it past him to have scribbled a UV mark on the marker pen itself! A strategy that if undertaken in contemporary times may’ve led to it’s retrieval boy UV Man…… Well, if the family would cover postage costs, anyhow!

That being said, to undertake that task of putting a UV security mark on a UV marker pen my father would’ve needed to secure the services of a second security pen. And as I alluded to above, I never saw one marker of that ilk in chez Strachan senior, never mind two!

It brought a smile to my face and a lump to my throat to see Malcolm Strachan’s impeccably printed handwriting. His neatness mirroring how he conducted himself in life – Ordered, structured, along with loads of other words that end with ‘red’. The smile borne from sheer gratitude at having this lovely man as a father; the melancholy from his loss which has left a substantial void in my life.

Anyhow, through dad’s security consciousness of putting an indelible UV mark on chez Strachan senior’s DVD player, if a burglar pilfers the appliance we maybe able to get the disk playing unit returned…… Although to be honest, as its 20 years old now and occasionally plays movies backwards we’d probably let its new owner keep it!….. We certainly won’t pay postage for it’s recovery!!


    1. It’s sadly part of life we’ve all got to experience at some point, Monica. I do find it cathartic writing about my dad; thanks for your kind sentiments.

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