Monday, June 22, 2009

It's Not Only Lankan Mothers

M, one of our salespeople here at work, turned up on Monday morning.

He had with him about six packets of Wagon Wheels, biscuits that are an essential part of the childhood memories of most Brits of around my age. Each of the packets contained six Wagon Wheels. That's a lot of them, by anyone's except maybe a cowboy's, standards.

To be fair Wagon Wheels probably won't win many awards in the healthy eating stakes, they won't be championed by Jamie Oliver as the epitome of tasty and nutritious food that should be force fed to all schoolchildren for every single one of their meals.

They feature fake chocolate, that oh so sweet and flimsy substitute for the real thing, some dodgy biscuit that tastes as though it's old biscuits that have gone a bit mouldy and been added to water to moisten them up a bit and some marsmallow that is so sticky and sweet that it makes normal marshmallow taste healthy and crispy in comparison.

Yes, you've guessed it, I love Wagon Wheels. They're also one of those things that, as an adult, I would never consider actually buying for myself, like in a real shop or something.

I saw M with the WWs and my eyes lit up.

"Mmm...Wagon Wheels" I said cleverly.

"Yeah" and he rolled his eyes and gave a frustrated look.

"I went to see my Mum at the weekend." he added.

"Ah right" I said, with a not inconsiderable dollop of understanding, even though M doesn't possess a Mother of the Sri Lankan variety.

"And once, God knows when, I mentioned to her that I like Wagon Wheels. Now, every time I go there, she buys me a load of them." said M.

"Oh my God, your Mum does that too" said I, your hero. It was a bit like two kids in a playground talking about their Mums, except for our combined age being about eighty five.

For about thirty five years I'd thought my mother was the only person who did this thing, the whole mistaking a son saying that he likes something for the son saying that thing is his favourite thing in the whole wide world and he'd love to eat or drink astronomic quantities of said thing at every available opportunity.

"Mmmm they're nice" is often all I have to say as I nibble on a biscuit. Then, the next time I go round there I find the entire stock of the product from a medium size supermarket served to me. If I say no the the offer, however diplomatically and graciously me efforts, I'm met with the line

"but it's your favourite, don't you like them anymore?"

Whatever I say is guaranteed to cause mother hurt. There are several options, from saying that they're not my favourite but I do like them, just not right now, to saying I'm not hungry to saying I'll take them home with me. Nothing will overcome the rejection and sheer hurt that I'll cause by my heartless and cruel act of saying thanks but no thanks.

"Well then take them home with you." is inevitably the next line. It's a trap, one that I never know how to avoid successfully. A refusal offends and an acceptance is like feeding the habit, making the mother think that next time she should buy more. Then, before you know it, you're at work on a Monday morning with six packets of Wagon Wheels and your boss, who should be working, is writing a blog post inspired by you.

I have no solution to this problem but am pleased to know that it's not just me who faces it. Until exactly a week ago I'd thought it was just my mother that did this.

It's a wonderful feeling to know that there's at least one other person in the world who struggles to deal with the same thing.

Mum, if you ever read this, I really like Jennifer Aniston you know.

And Wagon Wheels.


Anonymous said...

Ha,ha,ha. A good one RD. Really enjoyed. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Made me chuckle, as always!


DD said...

Heh heh heh...
My youngest of the elder sisters has now taken over and I die in anticipation for her goodies parcels from Paradise. Date Achacharu, Love Cake from Divine and Kalu Dodol!