Ihave often wondered what it would be like to be a mum. According to Persil being a mum involves doing a lot of laundry, and not being able to afford pretty hats. Persil’s centenary ad  features Marion, a single mother of two sons, and five daughters. Marion has just been mugged for the last packet of Birds Eye fish fingers and she is now lying prostrate in the washing powder aisle in Asda; her whole life is flickering before her like a series of old TV commercials.
Marion’s five daughters never needed much care – they never got grubby, and all were born with an innate understanding of intelligent dosing and how to handle excessive foam – it was in their jeans. The girls were neatly washed and scrubbed and dispensed out into the world shortly after their fourteenth birthdays. Unfortunately, Marion’s two sons, now 45 and 48 respectively, still live at home, and neither has the ability to set foot outside the house without being covered in mud/strawberry milkshake/banana/Bacardi/lipstick or baby oil. And, even though both became quantum physicists, neither have ever mastered the art of how to pour Persil into the soap powder drawer. Instead they have learnt that the laundry room is out of bounds – it is their mother’s secret, private, place where they must never venture – curiosity may leave them badly scolded.
Marion is tough but gentle and knows where, and how, to seek Comfort. Sometimes late at night the ‘boys’ hear the rumbling of the much loved washing machine accompanied by their mother’s squeals of delight as she deals with stain after stain whilst also making good use of the extra spin cycle.
Regaining consciousness, Marion smiles to herself… to hell with pretty hats…. the rewards of motherhood come thick and fast depending on the washing program.
First published on The Scarlet Blue Archive 13th May 2009 – edited and revised 2022
Some women have it all. They spend their days reclining on plush sofas wearing silk pyjamas, taking selfies for their Instagram feeds, and testing a limitless supply of premium anti-ageing products sent to them by marketing departments in high end stores. If that isn’t enough, they also have gentleman callers dropping at their feet. One such woman is Debbie Von Arlington-Grange who lives in six bedroom neo-Georgian barn conversion, known as ‘Rose Cottage’, just down wind of the Dartford tunnel. She also has a luxury yacht called ‘Hello Dolly’ moored at Dover with obvious Russian connections.
Here we see gentleman caller, Kevoff, desperately trying to keep Debbie sweet. He fearlessly dives off the white cliffs into the shark infested waters of the English Channel. He swims to Debbie’s yacht, climbs aboard, and delivers a perfectly wrapped box of Cadbury’s Milk Tray. Then, without so much as a nibble on a coffee cream, Debbie sends him packing.
Why? Because firstly he didn’t text to inform her of his impending arrival, and furthermore, because he forgot the Champagne, flowers, and the 65″ widescreen TV she wanted; he also forgot her dairy intolerance; and that she prefers Black Magic. To add insult to grievance, he then proceeded to make a soggy mess all over her pink shag pile carpet, AND, quite frankly, she is weary of him trying to convince people that there are sharks in the English Channel.
You’ll be pleased to know that I’m not as high maintenance as Debbie. I enjoy the simple pleasures in life; I don’t have a yacht – I’m quite at home on a lilo, and after a Moscow Mule or two, I might be persuaded to share my strawberry creams, and soft centres, so long as the ironing’s done.
Actually, I am probably more high maintenance than Debbie. Please bring me Lindt chocolate [don’t expect me to share it], and a bottle of whiskey. And what is all this nonsense about a lilo??? AND ironing???
First published on The Scarlet Blue Archive 12th February 2009
Revised and heavily edited in 2022.
Next week: Debbie does Dymchurch.