Parental tarradiddles

People sometimes wonder why I am occasionally high-strung, and have an overly visual imagination. I am compiling a list of the complete hooey my parents fed me as a child – which is but a tip of the iceberg:

-That mouth ulcers happen when you tell lies
-That the Viet Cong lived behind the bamboo screen in Aunty Schnall’s loo
-That Darth Vader was a real man, and when he took his helmet off in Return of the Jedi, it was the first time he’d done it.
-That children with pierced ears/low foreheads/who say ‘haitch’ are Common
-That per-GO-la is pronounced ‘pergullah’
-That men in brown suits are never to be trusted
-That you should never sit on the aisle of a movie theatre, as a mad Hungarian bloke went crazy after WWII and raced down the aisle of a cinema with a hatchet, killing two people.
-That gesso is also called rabbit glue, and is made from mashing up whole rabbits. For glue, rabbit see also glue, horse – knackers
-That if you eat ‘cooking apples’, they will ‘shoot through like a chicken vindaloo’
-That discarded food and/or clothing will be sent to ‘the poor little boys and girls’
-That female AND male genitalia are always referred to as the ‘front bottom’
-That it is bad luck not to turn the shell over once you’ve eaten your boiled egg. See also: umbrella open inside, shoes on bed or table and telling someone your wish
-That you will be awarded good luck for a whole month if you say ‘white rabbits’ on the first day of the month. Should you say something else to anyone before this phrase is uttered, the luck will be declared void

Please feel free to write in and contribute to this ever-expanding list.

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12 thoughts on “Parental tarradiddles

  1. You mean pergola ISN’T pronounced pergullah?And I’m sorry but people who pierce their children’s ears and say haitch ARE common.The “white rabbits” thing was endemic in our house too – along with a pinch and a punch for the first of the month.And my mother also claimed that gentlemen don’t wear navy suits – they are solely the province of real estate agents and people who work in banks (by definition these people are not gentlemen). Gentlemen only wear grey suits. Also, if you sit too close to the TV, you will go blind, the only thing it’s acceptable to eat in the street is an ice-cream and if you eat cherry pits a cherry tree will grow in your stomach.Although admittedly most of these came from either my grandmother or a succession of babysitters.

  2. from my grandmother:- that if you go to close to the swans, they will wrap their neck around your leg and break them.- that if you lick your plate clean, there’s no need to wash the plate afterwards.- that fairies lived in the copper tea kettle, and floated about on little boats made out of walnut shells

  3. Oh, that swan one is BRILLIANT.We had the cherry pit one, but it was watermelon seeds for us.My fither emailed and wanted everyone to know that the mad Hungarian went on his spree after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and not WWII. Thanks for that, old man!!

  4. I’ve googled that Hungarian thing and come up with absolutely nort (as one n.molesworth might have said). I’m curious now as to where your parental units told you babies came from. Cabbage patches? Rose bushes? The Stork? Picking a star?

  5. My dear Bek there is simply no answer to your qu.If you were the first born in my family, early on you would have received a cool 70s book with paper cutouts of dogs, roosters etc getting it on. Later on you would have a copy of ‘Everywoman’, and a hearty slap on the shoulder.If you were the second born, you would have received early on a copy of ‘Where Did I come from?’ and later, a copy of ‘What’s Happening to me?’, which you would have kept carefully next to Noel Streatfield’s “Growing Up Gracefully’.And if you were the third born?? Why you would have received nothing at all. I believe that the eldest were told to spread the appropriate info to the necessary departments, which may have become somehwat lost in translation. So let me tell you the sum of my knowledge: babies come from Mummy’s tummy. Dr Wellington or even Miss Mac Pherson might have mentioned something about not loitering too long down at Glen Iris Station.And people wonder why I am always single!!

  6. Oh cutting, oh edge.I’m trying to remember the name of the one and only medicine they kept for all comers. No, wait – there were two. They had Tang as well. As for the education about where babies come from, I had an excellent seventies book called “How babies are made” (or similar)(referred to by my bro as a small child as “The Vagina Book”), which was full of pictures of charming bearded (men) and long-haired (ladies) yellow-coloured people (a la the Simpsons, but less fat), dressed in flares and stripey maternity dresses, and it showed EVERYTHING. Happy yellow people gettin’ it orn.Cross-sections of the mummy’s tummy with baby inside were slightly disturbing though as she appeared to have had one leg amputated.

  7. I thought Tang was the cure for everything, according to Dr Wellington. Didn’t she also have that white fizzy stuff? A name like ‘Salvital’??I remembered two more tarradiddles on le weekend:-sometimes when we’d have our familial outing to the National Gallery, we’d see kids splashing around in the moat outside the front, diving for coins. They were apparently from ‘the orphanage’. I suspect now they were merely bogans.-Also that Angus Young’s style of playing guitar had given him permanent brain damage.These last two bear the hallmarks of my sisters though!!

  8. I come from a culture where any discussion of sex is taboo. No, not exactly…sex simply doesn’t exist. So when I was about 5, I think, and got curious about where I came from (even then, I was far too egotistical to care about babies in general), my Daddy told me a most delightful – and mostly true – story. Perhaps one day, I shall share it. Or perhaps not.

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