Old Man Mohr

Posted: June 21, 2011 in Chawn, Family Fortunes - Love A Bit Of Les Dennis

I am at a book launch. In a hilariously posh country town that’s never heard of Lee Sharpe or chips. Grandma is a publisher, and today’s big. It was due to be held in Worcester Cathedral. Until the protests.

Full on demonstrations!

In the not-1960s! Sandi Thom would love it.

The book’s full of guts; gently buttering a social hot potato from a loving Christian perspective. I’m proud of Grandma. She has the backbone to publish a book about what she believes. I am proud to be a Mohr.

Especially when there’s cake.

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I’m in the car with Rob and Wilf. A roaring bassist and a man that defines what it is to be English and British. We arrive, and meet Dad, who leads us inside, where we’re introduced one by one to The Author. I’m next in line, and overhear a conversation. Somehow My Brother’s been mentioned.

“So this is his brother?”

The Author is pointing at Dad, and asking Dad’s Dad if Dad’s son is his brother. I chuckle.

“Yes he is.”

I double take, and wish that I’d double-taken some more cake. I look at Dad’s Dad. He’s German, but he’s lived in England longer than Lee Sharpe! Though he doesn’t know that. He can’t have misunderstood! Or can he? He’s definitely eaten chips.

I grin. As another man introduces himself.

“Hi, I’m Tony.”

“Hi.”

“So did I hear that right; that you’re Pete’s brother?”

I smile. And decide to have some fun with this.

“Sure… Which of us do you think is younger?”

Tony looks at me. And then at Dad from a distance. He looks uncertain. He’s clearly struggling to explain that one of us looks so much older.

“Erm… I think you are.”

I smile. It was worth a try.

“Correct.”

“I’d say you’re younger… by about two years.”

Hang on. About two years? Really!?

Hang on. Do I look fifty-two!?

I smile. That’s absurd. I’m 24. A physical child! He must mean that Dad looks twenty-six! Which is ace, because that means I can’t age for the next thirty years! Brilliant! I’ll love being 54! Still doing young people things, like nudging cars at traffic lights! And RoyBombing! And taking my top off!

I decide to let Dad have some fun with this. He’ll definitely want to know how good he looks.

“Hey Pete! Can you come over here for a second?”

Dad looks over, and hears me using his first name. He looks surprised, and I try to mask the horror of not calling him ‘Dad’ or ‘Pater’.

“Heya Pete. This is Tony. He was just trying to work out which of the two of us is the younger brother.”

Dad smiles. And decides to have some fun with this.

“What did you decide?”

“I said Dan was the younger one, by two years.”

Dad smiles. But is 54, and forces me to come clean.

Tony looks humiliated.

I probably shouldn’t be grinning.

I feel bad. So sit at a table and have a drink. It’s England, so there’s tea. And England fancies America, so there’s coffee; but a thought is lingering in the back of my brain like a child bursting into a room so slowly that people stop being impressed at his impossible slow motion and find it irritating that he’s blocking the door. Could I be wrong? Could Tony have thought that I look 54? I decide to proclaim my youth, and choose half a cup of milk. I show Rob, who looks annoyed at being interrupted in a conversation about business so I could show him half a cup of milk.

Grandma walks over. I smile. She stands at the other side of the table, and looks at me.

“Pete?”

“No! It’s Dan!”

“Oh sorry Dan, I thought you were your Dad.”

Eep.

 

That’s it! Dad doesn’t look young…! I look ancient! Even with milk!

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

The launch finishes and Dad and I are walking down the road to the car park. Where the car is parked. We’ve visited the £1000parents and came away with gifts, thoughtfully procured for my nursing degree. Dad’s holding a 60 year old anatomy atlas.

I am holding a skeleton.

And it looks like me. I shiver.

“D’you think I look like I’m in my 50s, Dad?”

Dad smiles.

“I don’t know Dan. How do people react to you?”

“Erm. I don’t know.”

“Well, let’s find a stranger on the way back to the car and see. Hold on, there’s a car coming.”

We move into the grassy edge as Citron Atkinson wheels by; slowly enough for us to see the driver, who looks at me like he’s never seen a bloke carrying a skeleton down the road before. Or a sofa on his head.

Dad smiles.

“I haven’t had that look for a long time, Dan! Gotta be at least, what…? …30 years?”

I smile, and Dad asks what I’m going to call my new friend.

“I was thinking ‘Chris’.”

“What?”

I smile.

“Must be a 24 thing.”

Dad shrugs his shoulders. “Well you should definitely put him in your closet!” I smile. Because I have a better idea.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Dad drops me off at home, and Big Boots asks what I’m going to call my new friend.

“I was thinking ‘Chris’.”

“Chris… Bones… Perfect!

We laugh, and put him in the front window to scare kids.

For the next thirty years.

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YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK!!!

A Whole Episode Of My Favourite Childhood Show

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