Back in her school days, my sister Sian used to wear eight pairs of socks.
That’s right, eight. I’m told it was the ‘in’ thing to do at the time.
I didn’t know about it back then and I can assure you this isn’t a trait that has run in the family. I’m a one-pair-of-socks kind of guy, unless I’m playing sport when I’ll occasionally wear two pairs. I make up for it when I’m in on holidays when I’ve been known to wear none.
Anyway, back to Sian. It’s nice having her back home. This column often feels like a bit of a soap opera and I was conscious that it needed a new character. That’s not to say I’m going to axe any of its established stars like my wife, my uncle or my boss. Still, it’s nice to have someone ‘new’ to tell tales about.
I only found out last week that Sian used to wear eight pairs of socks to school. I’m told she operated a rotation policy so the same pair weren’t on the inside or outside for more than one day.
It now makes sense why Sian was one of the few people who got excited about getting socks for Christmas.
If I’d been aware of it at the time I could have played all sorts of pranks on her, such as hiding objects in her shoes to see if she’d notice, like in fairy story The Princess and the Pea.
Had I known back then about her wearing of eight pairs of socks I’d have come up with an inventive nickname like ‘Sockrates’ or ‘The Spider’.
I suppose I can’t really talk. I did wear eight pairs of pants one night. You can laugh, but I was determined not to lose that game of strip poker.
Pledging my support
I saw an advert the other day asking me to pledge my support to jaguars as they are coming close to extinction.
I gathered together all my loose change and sent it to the address given out during the advert.
They wrote back and told me that I hadn’t managed to raise enough money to save a jaguar, but at least they’d been able to fix a faulty brakelight on a Ford Focus.
When I went to Lurgan College we had this game we played in assembly.
If my old headmaster is reading, I’d advise him to turn the page now.
What happened was, when prompted for a round of applause, each of the boys taking part in the game would see who could get the last clap in.
Yes, I know it was childish, but at least we weren’t taking drugs or brandishing knives.
At one particular assembly I can recall one very late clap that came nearly halfway through the next announcement.
We looked at each other in amazement. We couldn’t fathom how someone could have been this brave. It later transpired it wasn’t a clap at all, the culprit had accidentally sat on his bag of Monster Munch.
The idea of being the last person to do something isn’t confined to schoolboys. I reckon there’s a similar competition going amongst politicians.
Rumour has it the last Assembly candidate to take down their election poster stands to win £150 from a Stormont sweepstake.
Guide to good parenting
In light of my impending fatherhood I’ve been paying particular attention to how other mums and dads deal with their children in order to pick up a few ‘Dos and Don’ts’ when it comes to parenting.
I heard a woman shouting at her child the other day and took note of what she said under the heading of ‘Don’ts’. I’ve changed the child’s name to hide his mummy’s embarrassment.
Here’s what she shouted: “Dylan, don’t walk off from your mummy when she’s texting.”
The answer to last week’s teaser was: none, regardless of whether they’re born in Lurgan or otherwise, famous people, like the rest of us, are born as babies, not as men or women.
This week’s teaser takes the form of three ‘Letter Equations’. Here’s an example: 8 L on an S = 8 Legs on a Spider
Here’s three for you to solve: 1 GL for M, 3 BM SHTR and 9 P in the SS