Monday, December 19, 2005

The Truth About Dandy

Division of labour by gender doesn’t always bother me. I’d much rather sort dirty laundry into whites and coloured than mow the lawn. And baking apple and cinnamon scones is much pleasanter (and sweeter smelling) than unblocking sewage pipes.

But today when I arrived home this afternoon after mopping, cleaning and shopping for Matty I was ever so slightly peeved to find that Bert ‘hadn’t lifted a cup’, which is local parlance for completely ignoring domestic tasks. Instead I found him on top of the turf shed allegedly dismantling the roof. Says he,

“This is a good thing to be at isn’t it?”
Oh yes Bert. Excellent idea. The house is upside down, it’s Christmas in five minutes and we’ve got lots of people coming. When I was writing my Christmas list of things to do I had ‘dismantle roof of turf shed’ right at the top just before ‘order turkey’ and ‘buy presents’.

His Aunt Lizzie came in for a chat later on and I was having a bit of a moan about his undomesticated ways. She said,

"Of course he was very badly spoiled when he was a wee boy. Never had to lift a finger. His father would have wanted him to go outside to help him with the cattle and his mother and his Aunt Tilly would have said ‘Sure the child will catch his death out in that cold air. Let him stay in the house where it’s warm.’”

“Is that right? That would explain his hatred of cold and rain.”

“Oh he was ruined. His mother and Aunt Tilly were that afeart he would catch something. They always had him well happed up in hats and scarves. He would never be allowed to wear anything darned or patched. Everything always had to be the very best of quality.”

“Is that why he was called Dandy at school?”

“It likely was.”

“It’s funny you should say that for I said to him once that I’d bet he never had to wait his turn for new shoes.”

“Shoes! They had him in at the best shoe shops in the town getting his feet measured and all for fear the shoes would hurt his poor wee feet.”
Later that evening Clint was in and I asked him if this was true.

“I’ll say it was. He was spoilt rotten. He got every thing he wanted and never had to do a hand’s turn. “

“Lizzie said Pearlie kept him in great style. Had he a velvet suit and a lace blouse then?”

“Well I don’t know about velvet but he had a wee corduroy suit he wore with a bow-tie.”

“The dressy thing didn’t stick with him?”

“No. He rebelled against that all right.”

“Lizzie said he never did a hand’s turn and hated going outside when it was cold.”

“Och sure the mother and him were always wrestling each other for the seat nearest the fire. She was as bad as him. The two of them would be sitting at the kitchen table cutting out and pasting into scrapbooks or some other fool carry-on and the men would be outside raving with hunger and not a bite ready for them to eat.”
And what was Bert doing when Clint and I were talking about him? He was enjoying being the centre of attention. He just loves people talking about him no matter what they’re saying. His only quibble? He says he was called ‘Dandy’ after Dandy-Long-Legs. I said it’s Daddy-Long-Legs. He argues it’s ‘Dandy’ around here. Clint disagrees. He says it’s definitely Daddy-Long-Legs around here. And in those days Clint only lived at the bottom of Bert’s lane.

13 comments:

Adam said...

Kick him!!! :D And it's daddy long legs (I'm one of them!)

ed said...

Poor Bert, getting all this abuse. And him going out of his way to ensure that the turf shed was in good condition.

[/runs and hides]

Nelly said...

Adam - I hope you don't grow up into one of these men that are only good for demolishing sheds, hacking down Christmas trees and unblocking sewer pipes.

Ed - Bert is a very fortunate man. Obviously.

ed said...

Obviously. Not everyone get's their own 'best oul wee weblawg in NI, one of the bestest in the world.'

Nelly said...

D'ye want to hear one of my old granny sayings? It is this - if you believe all you hear, you'll eat all you see. And I do.

Adam said...

I'm not going to be one of those useless men (:P to Bert) I am going to be an astronaut (Not joking!!)

Adam said...

Oh yeah and I'm useful for hacking down Christmas trees, etc. too! :D

Nelly said...

Adam being an astronaut must be very boring. Stuck in a tin can 24/7 with all those guys back at Mission Control bossing you about and having to poo in your underwear. Compare with being a white van man (who has left his mobile at home). No-one to boss you around, go where you like, admire girls, eat big fry-ups at the Sizzling Sausage and access to shiny white toilets (usually).

Adam said...

You forgot about the pooing in the vacuum too and peeing in a pipe! :D

Nelly said...

I have to say it all sounds a bit grim to me. I've always thought that, while it would be awesome to see the earth from space, I'd be terrified in case I didn't get back to it.

Adam said...

Well guess what...
By the time I have finished uni, been trained, etc. I should probably be in good time to go up to the moon (2018) :D

Nelly said...

You be careful up there.

Tell me this - what's the best thing to study if you want to be an astronaut?

Adam said...

Lemme find it....

Here we go, a natural science, engineering or medicine