I called my mum last night. I hadn't heard from her since last week, when we'd had this conversation:
Me: How's it going?
Mum: Listen, I wanted to tell you now before you heard this from anyone else-
Me: Oh god, what now?
Mum: I was in a car accident.
Me: Bloody hell, Mum! Are you okay? Is everything okay?
Mum: No, I'm fine, I just thought that your cousin might have twitfaced about it, and I didn't want you to hear about it like that.
Me: You were in a car accident and you're worried that my feelings are hurt because I might have seen it on ...what did you call it?
Mum: Twitface. Is that not right? Twitbook? Booktits?
Me: That's... close enough.
She wasn't hurt at all - surprisingly, because she's a very small lady and she got thrown around a fair bit inside the car. To cheer her up, I told her, for the first time, about this blog. I had wondered how she might take the news that her embarrassing stories are posted on the internet for anyone to see. Luckily, she was delighted.
Mum: So, people can read it? All over the world?
Me: Yep. I have readers from Japan, and Ireland, and Denmark and all kinds of places.
Mum: (digesting this) Oh. How wonderful! Do you need me to tell you more stories?
Me: That would be excellent.
She launched into some of my favourite Dad stories of all time. My dad, as I have mentioned previously, is an awesome guy. He puts up with my mum's ludicrous ability to get herself into scrapes because he finds it hugely entertaining, but sometimes, when he's on the receiving end of such a scenario, he doesn't find it quite so amusing. My mum has done several notable things to him over the 30-odd years they've been together - there was a time a couple of years ago, for example, when they went on holiday to the Caribbean and Mum had bought expensive moisturising sunblock for herself and some cheap sunblock for my dad, who made the mistake of letting her choose their products. Mum had not really been paying attention when she purchased them, and on the first morning when he lathered it on, it had looked like perfectly ordinary suncream. It was in fact designed for teenage girls. Forty minutes later, he was doing an Edward Cullen impression as he sat, mortified, on his beach towel, looking with desperate incredulity at his now glittery skin. My mum was doubled up laughing. He tried to scrub it off, but he stayed sparkly for four long days. I don't think he's quite forgiven her for that one.
Another time, while on holiday in Portugal, my dad accidentally fell asleep on a sun lounger. While the rest of his body stayed comfortably under the shade of the nearby trees, his feet had stuck out into the sun. When he woke, it was to excruciating pain as each foot had grown a massive sun-ripened bulging blister on top. It was too painful to wears socks or shoes, or even flip flops. The slightest pressure was agony. My mum, who has a background in medicine, decided to burst them carefully with a sterilised needle. As my dad lay on the hotel bed, hands over his eyes, my mum knelt down and delicately bled the pus out of each blister. You know it's true love when it involves pus. My dad was incredibly relieved. He felt like he might even be able to walk again. He thanked my mum, and she got up to walk away. As her foot hit the floor for her second step, she felt something wet on it. She looked down and noticed she'd stepped in something. My dad let out a strangled yelp of pain. My mum had inadvertently pulled one of his massive blisters clean off as she'd walked by. My dad asked her, rather politely considering the circumstances, to immediately leave the room. As she did so, his screams followed her down the corridor.
These are fairly painful, horrendous stories. But I don't think they quite compare to the following, which happened years before I was born. My parents had only been engaged for a few months, and had recently moved into a small bungalow. They were getting ready to go out to a party. My dad was just back from the barber because my mum had decided it was time somebody sheared him. The barber had missed a small piece of hair curling over the top of my dad's ear. My mum fetched the scissors and advanced on my dad.
Dad: (trying to fend her off) It's fine, leave it!
Mum: You can't go out like that. Just let me snip it.
Dad: Well...be careful.
Mum: (indignant) Of course I'll be careful!
However something shiny on TV distracted her for a split second and she looked away. As the scissors closed, they did not close on hair. They closed on flesh. Specifically, the top half centimetre of my dad's ear, which she had cut clean off. My dad, again, quite understandably, yelled in fright and pain and began to bleed profusely all over the carpet.
Mum; Oh god! I'm so sorry! Wait, I'll get some bandages or something.
They didn't have bandages. She returned seconds later, holding a cup of cold water.
Mum: Just lie down and put your ear in the cup. It'll stop bleeding eventually.
Dad: Are you sure about that?
Mum: Just do it!
My dad lay on the floor mournfully, with his ear in what was now a cup of blood, presumably debating whether or not he should marry this lunatic. He was not in the party spirit. Yet he mustered the courage, after the ear had seemed to finally crust over, to have a quick shower and change into a clean white shirt. He was not best pleased with my mum at this point, mostly because she'd just maimed him quite badly and partly because they were already late. Eventually, after they got to the party and had been there a couple of hours, he began to feel better. The couple of drinks he'd had dulled the throbbing in his ear, and his mood began to lighten. At this point my mum, who had been keeping a relatively safe distance since they arrived by dancing with some of her friends, wobbled over drunkenly and looked up at my dad.
Mum: I'm...I'm scho...schorry..... Ahaha... your ear.
Dad: I suppose it was kind of funny.
Mum: Ahaha. I love you.
She reached up to put her arm around him, but unfortunately as she did so, her engagement ring caught on the newly formed scabby ear and sliced it open again. The blood poured down my dad's face for the second time that evening. Man and shirt vyed to become the same colour. He looked like he'd been in a duel. Needless to say, they had to go home so he could lie down, and presumably plot ways to destroy my mother once he'd stopped fainting and falling around the place. He has forgiven her for this one - I'm not sure I would, frankly - but his ear has never looked the same with the tip missing. It does make him easy to find in a crowd though.