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Open To Interpretation

This afternoon, aching and perspiring profusely after several hours gardening, I took an invigorating shower. Returning downstairs groomed and in fresh clothing, my mother averted her gaze from a daytime TV show, enquiring, “Have you had a shower, Gary?”

As I was now adorning fresh clothing, along with being significantly less mucky than when I passed her on route up the stairs, I deemed the old ladies question as strange. However, not wishing to become embroiled in one of our habitual surreal conversations, I merely responded to her open question with “Yes!”

Sadly, she was less reticent to let the conversation die at this juncture; going on to sharply retort “Blimey, that was quick!”

“Well, since you got that new shower curtain I’ve reduced the length of my showers, mum!” I attempted to explain away my lack of longevity while cubicle in situ.

“What are you talking about?” responded the matriarch with a look of bemusement.

Well does having a shower curtain bearing a silhouette of Norman Bates mother yielding a knife not also unnerve you mum?” I queried.


“Ah is that what that design is?” mother proffered in her newly enlightened state.

“Yes, what the hell did you think it was?!” I continued bewildered.

I thought it was Hutch from Starsky & Hutch being attacked by a pelican!” came her confounding revelation.

“You what?!?!…… Are you seriously telling me you thought there was a shower curtain on the market displaying a silhouette of a fictional 1970’s US cop being assaulted by a large water bird?!?!” I sought to clarify, in disbelief.

Well, yeah!….. Why wouldn’t there be?” mater queried, clearly put out by my patronising line in questioning.

“Well for a start off, I doubt very much whether detective Ken Hutchinson ever came into contact with pelicans in New York City!” I barked in exasperation.

“He could’ve incurred the water birds wrath elsewhere.” my mum argued firmly.

Such as?!” I enquired misguidedly.

Flamingoland in North Yorkshire!” Mrs S countered with baffling assurance.

“There aren’t any pelicans at Flamingoland!” I vented.

“Is there not?…… What do they have residing there then, Gary!” mater enquired.

“Bloody flamingos!!!….. Is it not obvious by it chuffing name?!” I ranted with veins and sweat appearing on my brow.

“Flamingos are fairly similar to Pelicans to look at, aren’t they!” Mrs S enquired.

“Well they’re both water birds, and their beaks are similar I think….. Why?” I queried.

“In that case, could that silhouette not be a flamingo attacking Hutch from Starsky & Hutch?!” the matriarch posited.

“Look mum!!….. That isn’t a water bird assaulting Ken Hutchinson of the NYPD!….. It a shadow of the lunatic Norman Bates, from the Hitchcock movie, immediately prior to butchering another victim!” I vented, desperately seeking a way out of this conversation.

“A shower curtain with Norman Bates stabbing to death a victim in a shower cubicle is as unlikely to be marketed as one bearing a pelican attacking one of Starsky and Hutch!” my mum argued vehemently.

“For god’s sake, mum!” I exclaimed at volume.

Are you ok, Gary?!” Maggie question. “You’ve gone bright red and are sweating buckets!!….. You’ll need another shower if you don’t calm yourself down!

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