D’ya hear yer man

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Mum’s the word

Someone in the Cousins household is celebrating a big birthday this week. Unfortunately my mum has threatened to stop sewing name tags onto my coats if I reveal the identity or age of the person in question.

My mother does not make idle threats as I have learnt from my track record of disobeying orders over the years.

Ironically, when it comes to my anarchic streak, I think I take after my mum. After all, it was my mother who decided in her early teens that she no longer wished to be referred to by the name given to her at birth - Sharon Elizabeth Rowney.

Such was her infatuation with the name ‘Stevie’ that she took it as her own. If you don’t believe me I can show you her signature (Stevie Rowney) on the inside cover of her copy of ‘The Hobbit’ by JRR Tolkien, or Stevie Tolkien as my mum liked to call him.

My dad on the other hand is the cautious conformist. Just a few months ago he got into a tizzy when Lucy started pressing the bell on the bus to alert the driver to pull over at the next stop. He feared they’d be ejected for unnecessary use of the bell and the driver wouldn’t accept Lucy’s tender age as an excuse. As such he’s imposed a ban for his granddaughter on all Metro services.

As I said at the beginning, I’m not in a position to reveal the identity of the person who is celebrating this milestone birthday. But all the same I’d like to wish this person many happy returns, so I’ve taken the step of giving them a fake name.

And so it is, with slight trepidation, from the bottom of my heart, that I wish my dear Stevie many happy returns.

Dusty fun in the garage

In our garage I have erected a framed collage entitled ‘People I Like’. It includes a series of stickers, cards and other collectibles from my childhood.

Back in my formative days I liked lots of famous people. Nowadays I’m at best indifferent and at worst repulsed by the vast majority of household names.

The ‘People I Like’ collage includes such inspirations to my young self as wrestlers, footballers, TV personalities and Mr Men.

At the weekend Lucy was given a tour of the garage, the highlight of which was the colourful collage of daddy’s favourite people.

Lucy is at the age now (15 months) where she’s started to remember things she’s seen more than once and in some cases she can tell you what they’re called. ‘Mum’, ‘dad’, ‘dog’, ‘duck’ and ‘clock’ are her top five words as of the start of spring.

While we were looking at the collage I quizzed her on a few of the Mr Men included in the frame. Like her daddy, Lucy is a big fan of Roger Hargreaves’ cartoon squiggles and with great ease she was able to point to both Mr Noisy and Mr Strong.

I reckoned it was time to up the ante, and you’ll not be surprised to learn my plan ended up backfiring.

“Where’s mummy?” I asked my little girl, knowing that mummy was not included in the collage. After scrutinising the images in front of her for around 30 seconds Lucy pointed to a card bearing the image of Rebekah Elmaloglou which I’d got free with ‘TV Hits’ magazine.

“Mum,” said Lucy, jabbing the photo of Sophie from Home and Away.

I couldn’t wait to tell her mummy what she’d done. As a teenager at Lurgan Junior High I’d dreamed of a being chosen for a exchange visit to Summer Bay High where I’d meet and fall in love with Sophie. I took the fact that Lucy had confused her mother with Sophie as vindication and fulfilment of my childhood fantasy.

I should have stopped there, but I didn’t.

“Where’s daddy?” I asked.

It took Lucy less than a nanosecond to point to a picture of Dusty Rhodes. For those of you who don’t know Dusty Rhodes, he was a WWF wrestler from the early nineties. He weighed 300 pounds, very little of which was muscle, and in the photo in question he must have been pushing 40.

“Dad,” said Lucy, her index finger pointed squarely at the fat man in the leotard.

I had a right mind to administer a powerslam then and there, but then I remembered where I was and who I was with so instead gave her a peck on the cheek and made a note to dock her pocket money at a later date.

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teaser was: it’s the middle of the day so the FSI Golf driver has no problem seeing the dog.

Here’s this week’s teaser: Stevie’s daughter has as many sisters as she has brothers. Each of her brothers has twice as many sisters as brothers. How many sons and daughters does Stevie have?