Childhood Fragments

There are many things that I remember about my childhood which don’t, of themselves, amount to entire stories. On the other hand, I don’t want them to be lost forever, so I’ll collect them together from time to time as tiny little tales of my younger days.


Bad language around the house was never tolerated. Whilst it took me over thirty years to realise that whenever an adult said ‘fiddlesticks’ or ‘fish hooks’, they were probably suppressing a much earthier epithet, even the merest vernacular word for the rear end was banned, at least between children. As a result, Karen and I decided to replace those with the phrase ‘mub backwards’. Because “Move, or I’ll kick you up the mub backwards” is far more socially acceptable, obviously.


Some of our favourite childhood games seemed to be those which involved falling over. For a while – probably rather a short one – Karen and I played a game where any time I sang (yes, sang, I don’t know why I couldn’t just say it) the word ‘multiplication’ she would fall to the floor and not move until I sang ‘no sums, no sums’. I suspect that I was crudely taking advantage of the fact that, being two years older, I was better at maths than she was. That didn’t last!


The best falling down game involved Kevin. For obvious reasons we were only allowed to play this for a few weeks. There’s a scene in the original Star Wars film (the only one I have ever seen) where R2D2 comes down a ramp and falls flat on his ‘face’ when he reaches the bottom of it*. When we were young, Kevin could quite easily be persuaded to emulate this and, funniest of all, would not put his hands out to break his fall. Our little brother would, quite literally, fall flat onto his face. We all – and I stress that Kevin himself is included in that ‘all’ – thought that this was hilarious. Needless to say, though, the game was stopped before concussion could set in.

*I tried to find a clip of this for you and failed. Blame George Lucas


About Richard

Just your less-than-average married father of one
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