That’s the question

6 07 2010

During the 80’s, My Cousin was going through a pretty hard time. Her Husband walked out and moved in with another Woman, leaving Yvonne, Her Daughter and a foster child alone and in great debt… Hubby had wished to buy a semi-trailer truck, and had borrowed from Yvonnes Parents to get it, He hadn’t payed much back when he began playing around with this other Woman.

Yvonne became terribly depressed and we were all worried for her, a few times she was nearly suicidal, but would phone Mum for support. Mum would generally be asleep at eight, but during these years, the phone would sometimes go at seven and the phone call might last till midnight.

Mum did everything to try to keep Yvonne afloat, She found that talking about horoscopes helped. Now I’m sure they both thought Horoscopes were nonsense, but if one sounded like it was for Yvonne, but against the Husband, that sometimes buoyed Yvonne just enough to keep her going.

Jokes would be told too, anything that happened to be floating around at the time.

Mum was fairly straight-laced and dignified most of the time, so she never cracked “vulgar jokes” although fart jokes would usually have her rolling around in fits. She loved The Dave Allen Show, On The Busses, Are You Being Served, Some Mothers do ‘ave ’em, Mother and Son… Just to illustrate what she found funny.

One night I was sitting on my bed, and since the phone was in the other room, I could clearly hear the discussion between the two.

Mum was a cleaner at the factory nearby, Apex Belting, Where Dad had been, and still was, a deliveryman.
A fairly raunchy joke had been told one day, Though apparently Mum didn’t realise, as she relayed it to Yvonne.

“I heard this joke today” she said. “Someone at work told it and all the others screamed laughing but I had no idea what it was about so I just made out that I knew, and pretended it was funny”.

My ears pricked up.

Mum began to speak, sounding quite confused.

“What’s the definition of trust?”

oh no… I knew this… surely it couldn’t be, could it?

Then Mum, obviously perplexed, told Yvonne the punchline

“Two cannibals having a….. sixty-niner???”

I shouldn’t have, but I laughed like mad, I’d heard the joke dozens of times, it was so old, and rude, and to hear Mum repeating it was unreal.

Then I heard her say “Oh HE knows”

Oh no…

I walked out still smiling, and a bit red-faced, and Mum looked at me in all seriousness and asked “What’s a sixty-niner?”.
I’m sorry, but I wasn’t going to answer that and told her so.

She asked me a few more times, but I just didn’t have the courage to tell her, How do you face your Mother and tell her something like that? Well, I think I was about fifteen, so discussing anything sexual with my parents was difficult, in fact we never discussed it.

I wonder if anyone ever did tell her, or if she found out somewhere, I’m sure that if she had found out, she would have thought back to this day and been pretty embarassed.





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