I have often said that living with The Man is like living with a ten year-old.
This situation shows no signs of abating. Just last night he got into bed and nearly asphyxiated me with an appalling trump, which he then tried to pretend he hand’t done. And, when I shouted angrily at him that I did not wish to fall asleep with a load of his bum particles hanging around in my respiratory system, and that I slightly hated him at this moment, he grabbed me and held me hostage in the bed, crooning, ‘No, I love you, you cannot leave.’
As I said. A ten year old.
I thought I’d seen it all, but yesterday I was exposed to the true horror of The Man. When he actually was ten years old.
The Man’s old schoolfriend and his wife are staying. I’ve already realised that when these two get together there’s a lot of naughty giggling but last night I was treated to a little taster of where this relationship began.
I’ve selected three stories for your reading pleasure.
1. Aerated sausages
The Man realised one day that it was very easy to steal extra food from his primary school canteen. Like most primary school canteens, the kids moved through a servery, loading their plates, and paid at the end. Many kids tried more standard tricks like hiding burgers under buns or under salads, and they were quickly caught and punished.
Not The Man. The Man came up with the ingenious ploy of sinking sausages and burgers into his soup. He became famous for it.
And it worked well, until the dinner ladies became suspicious. Now, this remains unconfirmed, but it would appear that – as they mounted their surveillance operation against him – they decided to aerate the sausages.
Because one day, just as he arrived at the cash till, a big sausage burst upwards to the top of The Man’s soup. And then it sat quietly on the surface until the Headteacher arrived and dragged The naughty Man off for a very serious talking to.
2. Indoor fireworks
The Man, his naughty brother and his naughty friend had bought some fireworks. Those ones that whistle noisily and whizz around in the air emitting lots of smoke. (I should add that these children had already learned to aim and fire rockets at their adversaries using a long pipe and extra explosives. They very nearly set fire to a shop. They were not the sort of children that anyone should be selling fireworks to.)
The three of them were in The Man’s bathroom with their fireworks. They opened the window a only crack so that they could launch the fireworks outside – onto unsuspecting members of the public – without being detected.
They launched. But the gap in the window was too small. The fireworks instead hit the window and then shot around the bathroom, emitting a piercing scream and literally filling the room with dense black smoke and soot. The Man et al had to take cover in the bath. Rather than crying and screaming like girls would have done, they were helpless with laughter. Curled up in the bath, howling.
“WHAT IS GOING ON UP THERE!” The Man’s Mum roared up the stairs.
And – get this – The Man poked his head round the bathroom door (out of which was pouring thick black smoke, I should add) and called, with an innocent voice, ‘Me and Henry were just, um, having a whistling contest . . . .’
AND HE GOT AWAY WITH IT! SHE DIDN’T EVEN COME UP THE STAIRS! Bad, bad BAD Man.
3. Green Vom
There was a nice hotel next door to The Man’s house. For no obvious reason, The Man decided to wage war against the Hotel and its guests.
1. I am ashamed to admit this: he used to throw dog poo over the fence into their serene, pretty gardens. No joke.
2. He regularly bought long green ice pops, which he would squeeze into his mouth, masticate for a bit and then, just as a guest arrived to check in, he would feign a huge green vomiting fit. He would vomit green ice pop all over the pavement at the feet of the new arrivals. And then he would beam at them, with his lovely innocent little face. And because he was a nice little middle class boy none of them realised that he was waging a campaign of terror.
It’s funny how boys are so much naughtier than girls. None of these things would have been within my capabilities. Not even close. And what’s even more curious is that boys, as well as being NAUGHTY, just don’t seem to worry. About anything. For example, The Man was also giggling yesterday about the first time he got drunk, aged thirteen and a half. He came back home, went to the toilet and hurled for about half an hour. His older brother – rather than panicking, crying and calling a doctor like I would have done were it my little sister – just sat in the bath, laughing, and took photos.
I want to be cross and shocked, but I’m afraid I’m not. I’m howling with laughter as I write this. I should have been a boy.
I think The Man will probably object to my posting a photo of him here. Which is why I’ve posted a picture of my dog, Grouse, who is THE NAUGHTIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD. Here you can see him demolishing a yoghurt pot.