Settling In

October 18, 2009


The Mushroom returned from her weekly sojourn to the library looking slightly shaken.

“I’ve just seen a moose.”, she said to my Dad, who was lounging on the sofa with the remote control in his hand, still clearly not over the novelty of having 73 channels of shite to choose from.

“Where?”, he said, turning from an infomercial for a ‘Slap Chop’, which apparently comes with a free ‘Graty’, whatever that is,”In the town?”

“In the back of a truck.”

“Someone was just driving round with a Moose in the back of their truck? What, like a dog?”

“No, love, not like a dog. Like a moose. Like a not-very-alive, I’ve-just-been-hunted-with-a-shotgun Moose.”

“Oh. Urghgh. They shoot anything that moves round here.”

My ears prick up. They had already pricked up at the mention of a Moose. Where there’s one Moose, there’s bound to be more Meese and whilst these were the vegetarians on my list of ‘Animals to Avoid in Saskatchewan’, I was quite happy to see none of them. It wasn’t that, though,  that concerned me the most. They ‘shoot anything’? What if someone confuses me with, I don’t know, a beaver or something and shoots me? Crumbs. As if I didn’t have enough to worry about with the giant cats and the Husky/Alsatian hybrids and the constant state of vigilance regarding Coyotes and Cougars.

The Mushroom’s shaky state was also due, in part, to the drama of two nights before. My Dad has always had concerns about her in the kitchen. She gets distracted easily, by, I don’t know, sound and bright colours, which is maybe where The Baby gets it from, and this is not ideal when one is wielding a very sharp knife in one hand and a giant potato in the other.

“I can’t look I can’t look I can’t look!”, she screamed, whilst kneeling on the floor with, I have to admit, a mildly worrying pool of blood next to her. “Have I chopped the end of my finger off?”

My Dad looks at the finger.

“No.”

“Do I need to go to hospital?”

“Why would you need to go to hospital?”

“Do I need stitches? I need stitches. And I need to go to hospital.”

“No, pet. You need, firstly, to stop shouting and then, my love, you need a plaster.”

“Oh.”

What followed was three hours of The Mushroom holding her finger in the air, wrapped in kitchen paper, because it would not actually stop bleeding, asking at two minute intervals whether it was time for her to go to hospital yet. My Dad insisted that it was not, whilst continuing to be mesmerised by the advertisement for the ‘Slap Chop’ and free ‘Graty’. I’ve always known no good could come from those knife things. If you want smaller pieces, people, use your teeth.

The loss of blood seemed to affect her for a good couple of days. She cut her finger on Monday. On Wednesday, she seemed to believe that the tumble drier was singing to her. In French.

‘Rumble Rumble Rumble’, goes the tumble drier.

Alouetta, gentile Alouetta, Alouetta, je te plumerai”, sings The Mushroom. “Can you hear it, Zeebs? Or is it just me?”

Nope, Mushroom, just you. And you haven’t said anything that bonkers since you were eight and half months pregnant and you accused my Dad of having an affair with your Mum, I thought.

Anyhoo, things have been busy. For one, I have a new friend. His name is Brian. He pops round quite regularly and sits on the sofa, talks to my Dad, plays with The Baby and strokes my ears. I was a bit concerned when he said that his cat, Hilton, ‘would squash me’, but I’m guessing that was a hypothetical statement based on the fact that maybe Hilton is a fat bastard and not a statement of intent.

“So,” asks Brian of my Dad, “What to you think of Saskatchewan so far?”

“Well, it is incredibly flat.”, my Dad replies.

“Yes”, pipes up The Mushroom who, thankfully, appears to be over her cutting-finger-off drama and is now back to having vaguely normal conversations, “I thought you’d be able to see the Rockies from here.”

“Oh, they’re not far”, replies Brian, “It’s only a six hour drive to Jasper.”

There is a pause, as my Dad and The Mushroom think about what Brian has just said.

“Why would anyone drive for six hours, Brian?”, The Mushroom eventually asks.

“You wouldn’t drive for six hours back in England?”, he asks.

“No, Brian.”, replies my Dad, “If you drove for six hours in England, you would end up in France.”

Don’t give my Dad ideas, I thought. Before you know it, my Dad will think it’s okay to drive to Toronto for Christmas with me in the back, a drive that would, apparently take two and half days. I think I might, just, prefer to fly. As long as the tight gits buy a different kind of carrier and pay the extra $50 to have me travel in the cabin with them.

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2 Responses to “Settling In”

  1. Jelly Belly said

    Watch for me when I run! I only run for food!

  2. Granny Janey said

    And for dinner that night, did you get to eat the end of The Mushroom’s finger, Z?

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