LIke most kids, I grew up watching my parents canoodle. The odd pinch on the ass here or a quick grab of a tit there. There was never a real sexual buzz about it, it just, ‘was’. Dad was a real Romeo. The Don Yuan of farts, ass slaps and dry humps. The kitchen sink was often a place for him to pounce, while mum had her hands distracted in the sink. He would tower over her, arms roaming, hips grinding and the canoodle would begin. She would giggle, pushing him away, flicking suds every where. It was normal. Dad is the eldest of eight children, and was the shortest of the five boys, standing at six feet two inches. The term “built like a brick shit-house” was used widely to describe my Dad and his brothers. Mum was much shorter in height, but what she lacked in height, she made up for in wit. She was a firecracker with short, jet black hair and a tongue like a whip. More often than not, the canoodling would end in a “Piss off”, Dad would oblige and the dishes would get finished.
Christmas was generally when all the family would be home together. The odd occasion for big birthdays, footy finals or weddings brought them home too. Brothers and sisters, with their wives and all their children, crammed into the kitchen, the lounge and anywhere else we could fit. It was a hive of activity at Gran and Pop’s when we were all home.
Meal times were especially full on and fun. Keeping meals simple and making plenty to feed all the mouths wasn’t always easy. Roasts were common, so too was Toad in the Hole, but curried snags was my favorite. Hiding under the green laminate kitchen table was sometimes the safest place to be, and the most interesting. Overhearing gossiping whispers, and listening to dirty jokes. My ears should have been bleeding by the age of eight.
The sweet, rich aroma of a roast lamb lingered in the house this one night. My parents and another aunt and uncle were clearing up, doing the dishes and scraping the scraps for the dogs in the kitchen. The telly was buzzing in the background in the lounge, while everyone chatted and laughed. The old aluminium kettle hissed as it heated up for the cuppas. Kids lay over the threadbare carpet in the lounge, while others played out the front on the grass. It was relaxed and warm.
From the kitchen we hear commotion. Laughing, bellowing laughter, pans clanging and the kitchen floor boards creaking. Dads booming voice laughs “ya bloody bitch!” We all race to the kitchen to find Dad standing in front of Mum at the sink. He was wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt. “You stabbed me ya bitch!” Now to most kids, hearing your Dad calling your Mum a bitch would have been concerning… not in our house, not in our family. Mum was known as the ‘Black Bitch’. Her jet black hair and sharp tongue earned her that title and she LOVED it. She lived by it. You never crossed Maisie. Dad turned to us and hanging from his leg was a roasting fork, bouncing up and down, prongs half way in his jeans. We all stood there with mouths open wide, staring at the fork.
In between all the laughing and snorting we finally learned how it come to land in his leg. Being the usual Romeo he had taken advantage of mums vulnerability at the full sink. Hands roaming, he was warned as usual with the Piss Off. He continued and she threatened him with, I’m holding a roasting fork. Clearly he thought mum was joking. Clearly she wasn’t. That fork landed in his thigh, through his denim jeans and deep into his flesh. That story is one of the funniest our family witnessed. The night the Black Bitch stabbed Rod with a roasting fork.
He never learnt his lesson. They kept on canoodling at the kitchen sink and each time the fork would be mentioned. It’s how they rolled, it’s who they were. They were happiest when they canoodled and I was happiest when I was watching them.
Make sure you turn the teapot twice clockwise and once anticlockwise!