It wasn’t just swearing that sparked mum’s lightening aggression. Thankfully I was a spectator to her ferocious reaction to one of the funniest and bizarre series of events to occur in our family home.
It was around the time of the Fox on the Run debacle. It was a Saturday afternoon and Dad was working overtime. My sisters were having a bath together and quietly splashing away. I was in the lounge room, mum was doing some housework and Anton went to the toilet. The toilet was next to the bathroom with the bath against the plaster wall that separated the two.
All was quiet until Anton, while sitting on the loo decided to hum Tchaikovsky. Why a teenage boy would be running through the 1812 Overture on the shitter is beyond me. But that’s exactly what he was doing. Without the benefit of The London Symphony Orchestra and Band of the Welsh Guards for effect, he decided to bang on the walls when it came to the big finale – da da da da dada dah dah daaah BOOM BOOM!
All hell broke loose. I remember hearing two loud thuds, followed by the splash of bath water and two little wet, naked and terrified girls running and screaming through the house in the mistaken belief that we had been bombed by the boogie monster.
It was about to get better.
In a matter of seconds mum had shaken out of her confused state to assess the situation and attack the source of the mayhem. This is where I wish I grew up in an age of mobile phones with cameras. Mum demonstrated in the most awesome possible way that even the toilet was no sanctuary from her fury. Above the sound of screaming twin girls you could hear the toilet door being kicked in, the shrill from my brother who had no idea about the pandemonium for which he was copping a hiding, my cursing mother and the loud snap of a toilet seat breaking.
It gets even better!
The Blood Bath, Part II
A few weeks after Anton’s bruises healed and my parents replaced the broken toilet seat, an incredible sense of déjà vu struck our household. It was a Saturday afternoon, dad was at work, the girls were in the bath, I was in the lounge, mum was doing housework and Anton was on the toilet. Once again I heard the splash of bath water and two little wet, naked and terrified girls running and screaming through the house. Mum needed no time to assess the situation and immediately went on the attack; once more kicking down the toilet door and accosting my poor, confused brother. Again there was a snapping noise, but this time it was the wooden spoon mum used to hit him breaking in half.
Everything was almost exactly like the first incident, except there was no BOOM BOOM.
Mum fucked up big time. It wasn’t my brother banging on the wall that sent the girls screaming from the bathroom at all. One of them poured a whole bottle of Dettol into the bath causing a burning sensation that caused their distress.
An empty Dettol bottle and milky grey bath water would prove Anton’s innocence, but by then it was too late.