My dear Mother died on 19 March 1997. From my childhood on wards, I knew what a great sense of humour she had. She was a religious woman, who would not really swear or tell “rude” jokes, but if we told her one, she would crease herself laughing, then come over with a stern face, and tell us how vulgar we were!
For seven years before she died, she had emphysema, or COPD / COAD as it now seems to be relabelled. Towards the end, she would be breathless and weak, so she would often phone me as she sat on the side of her bed, oxygen cannulae up her nose, supporting the phone (land-line) hand with her other hand on the opposite elbow. Picture it – it’s important!
So one day she phoned me, Cardiff to London, and immediately asked:
“David: what’s a ‘wanger’?”
“A wanger?” I replied? “I don’t know; I haven’t got a clue. What do you mean?”
Then she told me her GP had just been to see her on a home visit (remember those!) My one sister had just seen him to the door. This particular sister and that particular GP couldn’t stand each other. Brenda smoked for about 55 years of her life, and the GP (and the rest of us) nagged her to give up, for as long as he knew her. So my mother said “Dr So-And-So has just gone, and Brenda said he’s a bloody wanger!”
“Oh, you mean a W*NKER!”
“Yes, that’s right! That’s what she called him. What’s that?”
So I told her!
Are you still picturing her, sitting on the side of the bed, cannulae up the nose and supporting her phone arm with the other hand at the elbow? Then add this to the image too: head spins, like something from the Exorcist as she glares right at the aforesaid sister and says “You FILTHY b-i-t-c-h!”
Hahahahaha! We all still laugh about that to this day!