Housewife On The Brink

By Alison November 11, 2007 11 Comments 3 Min Read


If I can’t be a good example I am going to have to be a terrible warning.

At the moment my town is host to a rollerblading Grandad and a kamikaze magpie.  While my run ins with the speed demon that is the rollerskating GangGan have been few and far between, (apart from regularly dodging him as he races towards us and once agreeing that yes Finn’s hair is really rather wonderful and yes I expect he is going to have all the ladies after him soon), my collisions with the magpie have, sadly, become far to frequent for my liking.

There are, I believe, two trains of thoughts when it comes to dealing with lone magpies (As opposed to the happy dance one should perform in the presence of more…) . One can either greet said bird with the kind of greeting one would usually reserve for a long lost friend (Why Good Morning Mr Magpie, how the hell are ya?) or, and this, I confess is my preferred method, one can bestow upon its blessed little black and white head, all manner of curses  like the one a passing  gypsy was kind enough to rant at me when  I refused to buy the  tin foil wrapped  bit of heather she was trying to force upon me.  Complete with spittle and demented stare.

But clearly should you take the Damn you to hell and back route with this particular magpie, he will wreak revenge in the form of a sudden swoop upon your head, nesting in the fuzz of your hair like a happy sparrow, or, lucky me, he will peck your bare toes with vicious glee. And trust me a peck from a mean magpie on frozen Flip-flopped November toes is pain equivalent to childbirth and the curse it brings should not be underestimated: because sadly it has turned my son into a dog called Scrappy.  A beagle with floppy ears prone to crawling around on his hands and knees in Marks and Spencers and asking to be tied up outside shops. A puppy who wants his milk to be taken from a saucer on the fake Aubusson. A child no longer willing to take instructions because dogs "don’t understand Mummy Language, please try Woof!".

Now this is difficult enough to deal with when you are dragging said dog around Tesco, but on the kind of Saturday Morning when there is a mild hangover raging between your earlobes, a stupidly large phone bill and a kitchen full of last nights feast, negotiating the whims of a puppy child do not a happy Alison make.   So into the kitchen I stomped, shoving a gravy stained tin into the dishwasher,  and knocking back a  cocktail of paracetamol  and coffee to the  strains of  dog yelping as Scrappy falls off the sofa and sits licking his wounds. I go back in to discuss the need for a visit to the vets, become extremely miffed with the answer (Woof woof, I’m Ok, woof woof, can I have dog biscuits for breakfast?) and pad back into the kitchen where to my utter joy I find myself standing in grapefruit scented froth because the gravy stained tin was, the night before, soaked in washing up liquid…

So I do what I can, I throw a towel over seeping bubbles and turn around to deal with the mess that is the kitchen bin. The dog crawls in utterly naked and is surprised to find himself with wet knees and laughs in crazy doggy fashion when I pull the bin liner out of the bin and watch in horror as the bag splits and a chicken carcass goes floating down the kitchen on a sea of grey bubbles, at which point the electricity runs out, the house is plunged into semi darkness and Mark, who is already assured of  my total incompetence, lets himself in and gapes open-mouthed at a scene of such rank ugliness he is struck dumb.

To which I reply, I’ve been cursed by a magpie. Whats your excuse?


  1. Rachael says:

    yes, have been through the dog thing, we actually 'led' by a dog lead, my bestfriends daughter into a upmarket waterfront cafe on a Friday night at 5pm, ordered her a bowl of water and then 'led' her on all fours through the cafe to go toilet . . . hmmmmmmmm. How's your luck, if it wasn't bad enough the ex arrives. Poor you:)

  2. Vee says:

    Such a delightful post and I can even be glad that you were cursed by a magpie so that you had such fun material to share. Hope that you get your little boy back; the chicken carcass back in the trash; and that whatever you truly want may be yours. Oh, dig out your shoes!

  3. Chaya Bluma says:

    Very entertaining rant! As frustrating as a dog-child may be, just think of the time and energy now saved in entertaining him. A couple of outings to the dog park and perhaps a nice shoe to chew on – you’ll have hours to yourself!

  4. TXPoppet says:

    Perhaps on your next amble you should bring a shiney offering for your magpie tormentor? I have found a bit of Christmas tinsel goes a long way towards neighborhood harmony. As for rolerblading GangGans? I can not imagine.

  5. Emma says:

    I too have a dog-child. Perhaps they are from the same litter! ‘Fetch’ works well for a couple of minutes peace!
    What fun it is to read your words …

  6. Sasha says:

    Oh you do make me laugh out loud! Not AT you of course, but WITH your highly developed sense of irony and humour!
    My daughter too went through a ‘dog’ phase, at her Grandmother’s house only though, luckily for me (scarey how many of us are saying we too went through this…..). She took to putting a very disgruntled Westie out of his own bed so she could curl up in it (albeit rather squashed!) asking Nanny if she could try some dog food (and – horror – my mother in law LET HER!!!) and chewing on a dog biscuit… trust me, after the dog food and biscuit, this phase didn’t last long!
    Top tip – after too many similar incidents like yours with the bin bags (and it’s ALWAYS when you have the most minging stuff in it too isn’t it??), I now ‘double line’ the bin bag by putting a carrier bag in at the bottom too. No more bottom falling out on way outside, and it (sort of) makes use of all those carrier bags that you still seem to end up with even when you take along your ever so chic floral shoppers….
    As for the ex, smile inside that you graciously allowed him to feel better about himself for a whole 5 mins. He has to feel like a heel the rest of the time after all, poor sod…(ha ha) xx

  7. Gena says:

    Oh I love that little boy! he is so funny! roller skating Grandad? he sounds as much fun as our local aged Elvis, I jest not I have stood behind him in his white diamonte suit at the fruit shop, he is 70 if he is a day!

  8. anita says:

    Remind me not to curse at magpies…

  9. anna marie says:

    Too bad Finn didn't want to be a cat. Cats just want to be snooty and sleep all day!
    That said, you know you are of a healthy mind if you can laugh at yourself. Thanks for a post that brightened my morning.
    Anna Marie

  10. Dee says:

    My son was a "talking dog" many years ago. What a hoot! Now he's a freshman at Notre Dame.

  11. Grace says:

    Oh my, what a day!! Only you can make such a horridly difficult day sound so very funny, my dear! Glad there are no magpies here in my area!!

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