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Jul 7

Hell's Mammies

Posted on Saturday, July 7, 2007 in Family, Humourarse

Today is a day for mooching around.  I mooched a sandwich together, and began farting around in storage boxes.  We have many ‘coudn’t be arsed unpacking this because sure we’ll be moving house soon anyway’ boxes, and to my delight I found an old diary of mine dating back to 1990.  I was ten years old.  Every single day was filled in, which is pretty unusual for me.  I had doodled little pictures on every page, and written addresses at the back relating to very old kid’s tv shows.  One of which was the address for the ‘Risk-a-Crisp’ competition on a Saturday morning kid’s magazine show.  The idea was that you were to package a single crisp (potato chip if you prefer) with as much padding as possible, then post it to England.  If it arrived on the show in tact (it can’t be a Burger-Bite or a Monster Munch because obviously that would be cheating and technically those are corn snacks as opposed to crisps), you won a prize.  Pure genius if you ask me.

I mooched through the pages looking for clues as to what I was up to on this day 17 years ago, and found this entry:

Only eight more days to my birthday!!! Daddy went to work.  I got up early.  I watched TV.  I watched “STRANGERS” again TWICE.  I went to the shops to get a paper, and a can of drink for mummy.  I met Maria, Sharon (her cousin) Karen (her cousin), and Laura Byrne.  I came home.  Daddy came home with Mr. Munelly.  With THEM, was mummy’s new motor bicycle.


I was delighted to see this entry, as I never get tired of ragging Ma about this bike.  It was less of a motor bicycle, more of a moped ‘bedoing-ga-mobile’.  It was blue, and came with full leathers.  The purpose of this moped was to give mum a bit more independance and mobility.  She’s never owned a car, nor does she have a licence, as a jippier motorist you will not meet.  Some people have the skills and temperament to drive, others don’t.  Simple as that really.

The moped sat in the front porch in a menacing stance for a long time.  I would sit on it wistfully and imagine bombing up and down our road on it, making brrrm noises and bouncing up-and-down.  It was such a fascinating piece of machinery to a young kid, accessible in ways that cars could never be.  I nagged mum about it, begging her to bring me for a short hop somewhere, but she was having none of it. 

Finally one day, the planets aligned into position, and mum jumped out of her seat and ordered me to get her driving gear.  Delighted beyond reason, I ran to fetch the cycling helmets and gloves, and hopped onto the moped behind her.  We drove at 8mph to the local supermarket on the footpath of our quiet suburban road without complications.

Upon reaching the carpark of the busy supermarket however, mum’s disposition changed.  A car had entered the carpark a few yards away and was circling towards us.

“Oh good mother of… oh fuck!  Fuck.  Mary and the saints preserve us!  Jesus!” was muttered in panicked tones from underneath her helmet.  Maybe those weren’t her exact words, but I know my mum and stressful situations so let’s presume it’s accurate.  She came to a halt in the centre of the carpark and froze.  I nudged her and pointed out the gathering posse of cars behind us, but to no avail.  She was panic-stricken.  My moment of glory had arrived!  We swapped positions, and I finally got to take control of the moped, scooting it around the gathered traffic and into a parking space.  

Despite my protests, we left the poor moped in the carpark and walked home.  Mum sold it as soon as the valium took effect.

She didn’t complain about lack of independance and mobility for a long time after that incident.


Bring on the comments

  1. Grannymar says:

    Down on your knees with you young lady!

    For your penance say fifteen decades of the Rosary, the litany of the Saints, and sing all the verses of Hail, Holy Queen, three times round.

  2. K8 says:

    But I like being irrelevant!

  3. Daz says:

    Ah, so it’ll be your birthday soon too.

    Was that on SM:TV live, because they had the same competition?

  4. K8 says:

    Risk-a-crisp? Seriously?! If only I could remember the name of the show.. it had something to do with a train. I think the show was hosted on board a virtual train..

    Dammit! What was it?!?

    Timmy Mallet was part of it. He hosted an association game. Two people sat head-to-head and said a word like.. cat. The other person would say.. dog. Then the first person would say… kennel. Garden. Grass. Lawnmower. Petrol… you get the idea? If you paused, Timmy Mallet would bop you over the head with a comical giant hammer and give you an oversized plaster to go home with.

    Pure madness.

    What WAS that show?

  5. Risk a Crisp is the absolute best competition I have ever heard of. They should handicap the entries though according to distance the crisps had to travel. I mean getting a crisp from Shepherd’s Bush to Broadcasting House in London isn’t much of a challenge – you could probably taxi it there. Much much more perilous for an Irish crisp making the journey, dreaming of fame.

    Brilliant post – a fabulous shot of childhood. 8mph! I loved it.

  6. baino says:

    I never kept a diary, probably why I’m such a prolific blogger these days. I love reading my mother’s old diaries though. She only wrote when she was travelling or around particular events in her life and I treasure them. Nice post K8, keep the diary handy for when writer’s block sets in, there’s prolly a host of anecdotes you can relay in your inimitable way.

    I won ten pounds once on a kids show in Melbourne, it was a big deal but not as challenging as risk a crisp. That’s a classic!

  7. robert says:

    That show wasn’t Wackaday was it?

  8. robert says:

    Actually no wait! The show was “The Childrens Channel”.

  9. Granny says:

    Gad! I had forgotten about that. It was not my finest hour!

    I did hold onto the rain-gear – most useful on our recent trip to Connemara. The shops are all sold out of wellies, by the way.

    Any chance you could get me a pair of runners with let-down wheels for my birthday? They would be very handy for zooming down the hill to the village.

  10. K8 says:

    Thanks for visiting, Sam :) Risk a crisp IS a kick-ass competition, and I’ve never seen it since. I wonder if I could set up a PO Box and start one? Hmm. I remember one kid went all out, padded box within bubble wrap within more padded boxes.. the box was HUGE, and when they had it all unwrapped, the crisp had broken cleanly in two regardless!!

    Baino, I still keep a diary, if only in a half-assed sort of way. Dad’s kept one pretty much every year since I was 2 which is impressive. The only kid’s competition I ever won was a colouring competition where I won a walkman. I was so chuffed!

    Robert- On the ball! You’re right, it was TCC! It’s all flooding back now.. Gareth Gaz Top Jones, Earthworm Jim! I remember waking up one morning and it had turned into Nickelodeon. Fair play, kiddo.

    Ma, Brand new set of heelies for you it is, so. I’ve been itching to get a pair of those for myself, too. They’d be so handy for the week’s shopping.

  11. b3n says:

    “Oh good mother of… oh fuck! Fuck. Mary and the saints preserve us! Jesus!â€?

    You never hear those kind of exclamations any more. It’s a lot more crude these days. Top 5 on my Granny’s list of acceptable exclamations only to be used in times of dire need were:

    1. Be the Lord Lanter’in Jaysus!
    2. Sweet suffer’in divine Jaysus!
    3. Scared Heart!!
    4. Mary…. Mother of GOD!
    5. You’re an Antichrist!! (Particularly applied to me)

    She was forever breaking the second commandment but if that woman didn’t make it in to her heaven then there’s no hope for the rest of us.

  12. K8 says:

    Sweet suffer’in divine Jaysus! Yep, that one’s a classic alright.
    In our house it wasn’t so much the parents giving out to me for swearing, it was more the other way ’round. Trocaire made a fortune out of us swear-box wise!

  13. robert says:

    The one that was particularly favoured by my mother:

    “Jaysus, Mary and the fecking 79 Josephs!”

    I haveno idea about the significance of the number 79.

  14. Deborah says:

    Excellent! I remember Risk a Crisp… it was on a train or something? My little brother’s crisp actually got on there, but the Brits couldn’t pronounce his name (Eoin) hehe… those were the days!

  15. ger says:

    what was the show risk a crisp was on someone please help me ……………………………………

  16. K8 says:

    It was a show on what used to be The Children’s Channel (Now Nickelodeon). Risk a Crisp was one of the competitions on the Saturday morning show “TCC Express” which was a show based on a train, hosted mainly by Gareth ‘Gaz Top’ Jones.

    It’s all coming back to me now!

    Thanks for commenting Ger :) Hope this puts you out of your agony?

  17. Kris says:

    I risked a crisp and got the medal to prove it haha ,, also won a box of ready salted crisps :) ii used bubble wrap and putt it in a watch box

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