David’s Daily Digital Dollop: 101 – Rembering Mrs Jenkins

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I’ve come back home to Hartlepool for a couple of days to see the family. Yesterday’s Dollop was released at 1135pm, with only 25 minutes to spare. The reason for this was because I spent most of the day playing with children. I am aware of the many comic avenues I could potentially take with that last sentence, but predictable punchlines don’t fall under the remit of David’s Daily Digital Dollop, which is all about breaking new ground and exploring new comic frontiers. So, when I say I was playing with children for most of the day, I am referring to children who form a part of my family, and there was nothing sinister going on, and I’m not even going to pretend that there was for comic effect. OK, I think we’ve dealt with that now. Don’t worry, I don’t intend to analyse every sentence in this much detail.

If you are listening to the audio version of this Dollop then you’ll have just heard my eleven-year-old niece Lucy, who appeared in the first few audio episodes of David’s Daily Digital Dollop. We did another batch of Dollop jingles yesterday, which I’ll be starting the Dollops with over the week. We agreed to reconvene and do some more jingles in 100 days time, although there is of course the possibility that in 100 days time she will feel that such exploits are the height of immaturity, far too childish and way beneath her, which will be sad and disconcerting for two reasons. firstly, it’s scary for me to consider how I have known Lucy since she was mere days old and seeing someone grow up at what seems to me to be a terrifyingly quick pace is a stark reminder of the rapid passage of time. When Lucy was born I was still at university. it will also be yet another reminder of my refusal to grow up and take life seriously. I don’t necessarily crave marriage and children, but there is a strong possibility that she will have kids and be married before me, which I think would force me into a situation where I’d have to start taking a look at my life. She is eleven now. She could have a child in just five or six years, in fact, she’s living in Hartlepool, teenage pregnancy capital of Britain, so let’s knock that down to three years.

I think going home always resurfaces these kinds of thoughts about the passage of time. It doesn’t help when my dad and his fiancée Irene seem to enjoy talking about death so much. One of the first things they told me upon me entering the house was that they were both sorting out their wills. Then the next conversation that followed this between me and my dad was a familiar one, because we have this same kind of conversation quite regularly.

It will start by dad saying something like, “I was in church last Sunday and I heard about Mrs Jenkins. Remember Mrs Jenkins?”

“no, I don’t think so.”

“You do. She went to our church.”

I haven’t been to church for ages, since my early teens.. My dad will persist though, despite me telling him that I’ve no idea who she is.

“She used to give you sweets after mass.”

“No, I don’t remember.”

“She used to nurse you on her knee if you started crying in church, and you used to immediately calm down.”

“no. I think it’s highly unlikely I’m going to remember that, because I was a baby, unless you’re about to attempt an obvious punchline about it only being five years ago when I was crying in church, in which case, be warned that I’m definitely not going to include it in thhis Dollop when I later mention this conversation, because as I said earlier, or at least I will have said earlier once I write the thing, this Dollop is about breaking new ground ad crossing new comic fronteers.”

“She was one of the helpers at Sunday school, who used to read the stories to you, because obviously you couldn’t see them to read.”

The conversation continues, and I gradually start to get a vague memory of Mrs Jenkins. My dad continues.

“She used to make the cakes for the church fate, and they were always your favourite, and you insisted on going to visit her stall first, remember?”

“Oh yes, you know, actually, I am starting to remember.”

“She knew you enjoyed music so she gave you a little toy keyboard to play with and said you could take it home. Your very first keyboard, remember?”

“Oh my god, of course, Mrs Jenkins. Lovely old Mrs Jenkins. Oh, she was great. I can’t believe I’d forgotten about her. Oh, how is she? I should visit her and thank her for everything. She was lovely. Mrs Jenkins, how could I forget. Oh, so, how is she?”

“She’s dead. She died last week. That’s why I’m mentioning her.”

Brilliant, I’ve just become reacquainted with a long lost friend who I am suddenly filled with so much love and appreciation for, only to immediately have her cruelly taken from me for ever.

And that’ll have to do for this Dollop, because it’s 1120, and I still need to record the audio version and upload it.

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