Sunday, 3 April 2011

Innocent Until Proven Otterwise

I was a very honest child, although I was not always believed, which is why the following memory sticks out in my mind. One day my mum called me into the kitchen.

Mum: Otternator, do you have anything to tell me?

Me: (staring blankly) Like what?

Mum: Anything? Maybe something to do with something being broken?

Me: (still staring blankly) No.

Mum: Are you sure?

Me: (starting to doubt my own innocence) Yes?

Mum produced a swan ornament with a now broken wing. It was a spectacularly ugly Ladro (which she collected obsessively for decades) and the overall look of our living room would have been massively improved had we piled them all in a cupboard and locked the door forever. However, regardless of how much I was against the aesthetic appeal, I definitely wasn't responsible for the broken wing.

Mum: Did you do this?

Me: No!

Mum: (sighing) Otternator. Just tell me the truth. Were you, I don't know, roughhousing with one of your friends or something?

We looked at each other. I was about 8 and a gentle breeze could have carried me away like Mary Poppins. I've never been built to roughhouse with anyone. Maybe a spaniel, if it was quite a small spaniel. It would still probably win.

Me: (firmly) No.

Mum: Okay, well. You're grounded.

Me: What?! But I just told you I didn't break it!

Mum: You obviously did, and now you're lying about it, which is worse. Go to your room.

Me: Your evidence is circumstantial at best.

Mum: GO!

I went to my room, closed the door quietly (I wasn't much of a slammer, feeling even at such a young age that slamming was rather undignified) and picked up a book. My dad came home about an hour later and found my mum in the kitchen trying to glue the wing back onto the swan.

Dad: Hi honey.

Mum: Your daughter broke my swan!

Dad: How come she's mine when she does something that you don't like?

Mum glared.

Dad: ...Okay. I meant to tell you sooner. I broke the swan.

Mum: You?! ...Oh. Oh, damn. How?

Dad: (embarrassed) I...I was...practising with my 9 iron in the living room...

Mum: Oh for god's sake. I've just grounded Otternator. 

Dad: Oh. Right. Er... sorry about that.

They both  apologised profusely, which did little to appease my sense of tragic injustice. It also made me wonder what normal person tries out a new golf club in a room full of expensive figurines that his wife dearly loves. Then I realised that my parents are horrifically, beautifully, perfect for each other. They are both crazy.



    P.S. I'm sensing that father Otternator did not like the figurines either? LOL

    P.P.S. Muff on the Rocks!! - we're still playing right?

  2. Haha, Muff On The Rocks is a good one. I think we may be playing forever! And yes, perhaps Daddy Otter also considered these decorations to be small ceramic demons... :)