"I'm going over to the cricket ground to help your Grandma with the teas, are you coming?"
"No, we're watching this on the telly"
An innocent exchange between my mother and myself one sunny Saturday morning. Who would have thought that it would lead to the false imprisonment of my father and myself receiving what was, at that time, the worst beating of my young life? Not me.
The close proximity of the flat to the cricket ground meant that my mother would often be roped in help out and it also meant that we would often go over and help ourselves to a few cakes and whatnot from the refreshment table. It meant feigning interest in cricket, of course, which was never easy, but we made it work. On this particular Saturday though, we were watching something, I forget what, and so we declined, reasoning that if we changed our minds we could just go over later.
Later came. Whatever it was we had been watching was finished, we were bored, and we decided that a trip over to the ground was just what the Doctor ordered.
Except that Daddy dearest decided that we weren't allowed. We weren't being punished for anything, we weren't in the bad books at all, he just decided, for whatever reason, that he wouldn't let us go. We had had our chance earlier in the day and said no, and he wasn't pissing about taking us over there now, he said. It was our own fault apparently.
Now, the thing is, he didn't need to take us anywhere. We lived, quite literally, 10 seconds walk from the ground. It was directly opposite us. Step out of our front door, cross the road, step through the gate and you're there. His not wanting to go was not a factor. I truly believe that it was sheer pettiness on his part; an attempt to show a couple of little kids that he was Boss. He was like that, my Dad. You know, a knobhead.
Anyway, after arguing the point for 5mins we were told to play in the bedroom or the yard, but either way to leave him alone. So we did. Now, I've mentioned before the outside toilet facilities. Well, long story short, we were playing outside, my Dad came down to use the loo, we locked him in and pissed off to the cricket ground.
Now, I'm not particularly proud of this. Not because of the inherent wrongness of locking your Dad in a filthy outdoor loo, but rather because, when you think about it, there was no way I wasn't going to get caught. I don't know what the Hell I was thinking, to be honest. Anyone with half a brain would have thought, "he's using the loo, once he's finished he's not likely to need it again soon, we can go to the ground and he'll never know we're gone". Simple. Not me though, oh no, genius over here had to lock him in. I didn't give him a second thought either, the whole time we were gone, even though as far as I knew he was still locked in. (He wasn't, one of the shop staff came in to the yard, heard him shouting and let him out.)
We returned home to a somewhat angry Dad who did what all angry Dads in his situation would have done. He blamed the oldest, which was me,(fair play though, it was my idea) and he beat seven shades of shite out of me.
This chain of events, and others very similar, are par for the course with me. It comes down to the old saying "respect your elders and betters" and the fact that I think it's total bollocks. If I think someone is talking out of their arse, or is doing something out of pettiness, or spite or just because they can, I'll do something about it, no matter how much older they are than me or how much authority they think they have over me. As a child it got me into trouble an awful lot with my parents and teachers and as an adult it has caused a fair few ructions in my work life. It's just the kind of person I am though. If you're wrong you're wrong and I'm going to tell you. At least I'll do it to your face though, so we all know were we stand.
Next : The time I was almost killed by a Horse. Good times.