Bot­toms up, with or with­out un­der­wear

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - UPFRONT - M I K E O ’ CO N N O R

There are those who spend a life­time try­ing to lose weight and oth­ers try­ing to gain it; my mother is one of the lat­ter. I have no mem­ory of her be­ing any­thing but petite and in re­cent years she has shrunk just that lit­tle bit more, which hap­pens as the years pass. “Make sure you eat prop­erly,” I said as I col­lected her from a friend’s place re­cently. “I keep eat­ing,” she com­plained, “but I can’t put on any weight, which has been caus­ing me some prob­lems.”

“What sort of prob­lems?” I asked, sud­denly con­cerned. “Well, I went to the funeral of a friend’s hus­band re­cently and af­ter­wards, there was a gath­er­ing back at her house. I was stand­ing there en­joy­ing a glass of wine when a friend of mine started look­ing at me and rais­ing her eye­brow. I thought she was say­ing hello so I nod­ded and smiled and took an­other sip but she kept look­ing at me with her eye­brow half­way up her fore­head. I thought for a mo­ment that she was hav­ing some sort of seizure but then she walked to­wards me. ‘Mrs O!’ she said, glar­ing at me and then look­ing down at the floor. ‘What is it?’ I said to her, and then I glanced down and I saw them.” “Saw what?” I asked. “My knick­ers,” she said. “I’d lost so much weight that they’d fallen down and were sit­ting around my an­kles, and I hadn’t no­ticed.” I was driv­ing as she said this and came close to leav­ing the road as I strug­gled with the im­age of my 88-yearold mum stand­ing there in her best frock, glass in hand and with her knick­ers around her an­kles. “What did you do?” I said. “Stepped out of them and slipped them in my hand­bag,” she replied.

“And then what?” I said, re­gain­ing con­trol of the car. “I had an­other drink, of course,” she said.

“Well played, Mother,” I said. “Dad would have been proud.”

“Thank you, son,” she replied.

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