I just want to take a few moments of your time to discuss an issue that I had once been cursed with, a dis-order, now I have mentioned many times throughout this blog that I am overdrawn and I’m sure many of you are wondering how I got myself into so much debt, I know there are certainly people I know thinking, “God damn, Pete used to be so rich, how did this happen?!”
Well I’ll tell you, I haven’t touched on this issue yet and it’s a dear one to me. I suppose it all started when I was nothing but a child, say around four or five. I’m sure you’re all aware by now that there is no such thing as Santa, but back then you were adamant that there was such a man. We had it drilled into our heads at a very young age that if you are a naughty child, you will be getting no presents from Santa at Christmas, some of you may have been told that you’ll just get a lump of coal.
Now at that age, we never thought we could use that lump of coal to look for diamonds, it wasn’t a toy car, or a Power Ranger, or even an Action Man (The greatest hero of them all). We didn’t want a lump of coal, we wanted something cool and fun!
What else we didn’t realise was it didn’t matter if you were naughty or not, you would still get presents regardless, never did we think that Santa mustn’t be checking his naughty list, especially when that kid that used to pick on me got a brand new bike for Christmas!
I personally, used to leave out cookies and milk for Santa, because hey, all that travelling around is tiring work! He’s got a billion presents to give out in a very short amount of time! Some times my dad would leave out some brandy for Santa in case it’d been a pretty stressful night. Every year without fail there would be my presents from Santa, all nice and wrapped and it’d always be the thing that I wanted and the cookies and milk/brandy would be gone.
Then things started to take a tumble, as we eventually got rid of our coal fire and replaced it with an electric one when I was around 6 or 7, which meant we had our chimney blocked off.
*GASP!* “HOW WILL SANTA DELIVER MY PRESENTS?!” I thought, but those fears were quickly put to side because mother told me she gave a spare key to Santa so he could let himself in. Phew! Thank goodness for that! But then the next year, I listened out for Santa, usually I tried to listen for sleigh bells, but could never stay awake long enough, but our door was a particularly squeaky door. If I was asleep, when that opened, I always heard it.
11pm came, nothing, 12pm, still nothing! I decided to get to the bottom of this, leapt off my cabin bed (Yeah baby, that’s right) and took the slow walk down stairs. As I reached the bottom of the stairs, who did I see eating cookies and drinking brandy?!
For those that thought Santa Clause, no, you imbeciles! It was my very own father! He had scoffed the cookies I especially laid out for Santa, he gulped the glass of brandy! I shrieked in horror! You know what my dad said?
“Santa said I could have these, he wasn’t hungry.”
Does he take me for some sort of complete fool?! I know for a fact Santa hadn’t been round, I didn’t hear the door squeak, the chimney was still blocked, I said nothing, just looked at his guilty face suspiciously and went back to bed. Though the next morning, the presents were still there, so I thought nothing of it.
The next year, we had our doors changed, so when they close they leave a considerable thud, it was even louder than the squeak, I would definitely hear Santa come in the house this year! Sure enough, Christmas Eve came, I waited for the thud, for some reason I went to bed a little later that year, probably because I was older and bed time got extended until 8:30 (I know what you’re thinking, “yeah he had it all”), but I couldn’t sleep because of a certain present I was looking forward to that year, I can’t remember what it was, it was a while ago now, but all I waited for was this thud.
A thud that never came, I leapt out of the same cabin bed, went downstairs, what did I see this year?! My mum with a black bag, pulling my presents out and putting them under the tree! OMGWTFBBQ?!?! The cookies and brandy were already gone, my mum was laying out the presents she had in hiding. All these years my parents were playing me for a fool! Was it out of spite? Was it out of hateful derision? I remember not being so excited that Christmas, I had finally learned that there was no such thing as Santa Clause, I tried telling my friends, they would have nothing of it. I was alone in this!
There was at least some comfort, at least the tooth fairy and Easter Bunny still had my back.
Now I can’t remember exactly when I found out the Easter Bunny never existed, I’m sure I was gutted, there wasn’t a better experience than eating a chocolate egg a rabbit had brought you. But I remember the time when the Tooth Fairy was discovered to be a lie, I used to look forward to my baby teeth falling out.
Yeah okay sometimes there was blood, but that didn’t matter because that tooth was going to make me 50p richer, (A whole pound coin if it was a big tooth). I used to try and make them go wobbly, I wanted them to come out, sure I looked like an absolute idiot with my two front teeth missing, but I didn’t care because player had some cash yo.
It was like magic, almost like watching Paul Daniels on television, I’d put the tooth (washed, it had been in my mouth) under my pillow, fall asleep, then wake up and where the tooth once lay was a shiny fifty pence coin! Couldn’t believe it!
Now that particular scam went on for years, until the time I forgot to put my tooth under the pillow, I left it in my sock drawer (don’t ask me why, it stopped mice from pinching it in the day… we weren’t even infested with rodents), I fell asleep and was rudely awoken during the night, not by the Tooth Fairy but by mother furiously looking for the tooth, she noticed I was awake, she said nothing but “go back to sleep”.
This was just after I discovered that Santa Clause was a fraud, so I had my suspicions. I remember my dad went off to work early, I got out of bed before my mum did, went downstairs and looked through all the drawers in the house. It wasn’t until I hit the kitchen drawers when what did I find? All the teeth that’d fallen out previously! What the hell was going on!?
That’s when I discovered everything that I knew was a total and complete lie! I decided to get my own back, I took a few of the teeth out of the drawer and every other day, I’d tell my mum that another tooth had fallen out, presented her with the tooth, she told me to put it under the pillow and sure enough the day after, there was some money. She didn’t even know what teeth she had already taken.
Now why I am sure you all feel my pain, this isn’t the point of the story, this was just telling you the reasons why I didn’t trust my parents.
When I was a little older, say around 10, I used to be sat in the back of my dads car for some reason, (Usually the reason was because we were going somewhere, I didn’t just randomly go and sit in the back of the car.) and while I sat there watching all the tree’s whizzing by I just to stick my head out of the window, like a dog would, with his tongue hanging out. My mum used to say, “Don’t pull faces in the wind because if the wind changes it’ll stay that way.”
What the hell was she on about?! Don’t pull faces in the wind because if the wind changes it’ll stay that way? Why is this the first time I was being told?
How did it even work? It wasn’t the first time I was told this either, for years she used to say it if I was messing around with my head out the window. I came to the conclusion that this too must be a lie, all they do is lie!
Though because I was older by this point, in my teens, I had grown up a little bit and didn’t even pull faces anymore.
That was until a few months ago when I was out in my blue 1998 1.3 Fiesta (calm down ladies) just out on a drive, it was a pretty boring drive to say the least, my car was swaying from side to side due to the wind, there was some kid in the car in the next lane that kept looking at me, I was getting pretty sick of it to be honest, it’s like the parents were trying to keep up with me on purpose just so that kid could stare at me.
There was only one thing I knew what to do to freak that kid out and that was to pull a face. I wound down my window, turned to my right and pulled the freakiest face I could do. But what happened?
The wind changed…
I could not believe it, I didn’t notice right away, it worked because the child stopped looking at me and started crying, the parents then kept their distance, I was pretty please with myself, though I did find it strange that other drivers were also looking at me funny.
It wasn’t until I got home and looked in the mirror when I realised what had happened. For once in my life, my parents hadn’t lied to me, what my mum was saying was the truth!
I didn’t even realise the wind had changed, I didn’t even know what that even meant!
I thought it was funny at first, I went into work with this face, although my bosses weren’t too pleased, they kept telling me to knock it off, but there was nothing to knock off, this was now what my face looked like, luckily I had a job where I worked on the phones so at least the people I spoke to at work wouldn’t know what had happened.
But the people at work, the ladies especially turned their backs on me, I was alone with this, I didn’t know what to do! No one would speak to me, obviously they weren’t told this advice as a child, maybe their parents didn’t know, I never really know even now how my mother came about this piece of information.
I told mother, all she did was gloat about how she was right all along and I was wrong to distrust her.
“I told you so” she kept telling me, I no longer liked working where I currently was and to tell you the truth, the boss didn’t like me working there anymore either, he pulled me into the office one day and told me what the deal was.
“Sorry Pete, we can’t have you working here anymore, you’re putting everyone off their work, we’re going to have to let you go. Maybe when you get your face sorted out, give us a call yeah?”
So now because of this distrust I had been ousted from my place of work, jobless, moneyless, thanks to my heartless boss. How could I be putting my fellow workers off? I hid in the corner away from everyone, the only people I spoke to all day was the people at the other end of the phone!
But it didn’t stop there, it wasn’t the only place it was affecting me, it affected me when I was out about town with friends…
It affected me every Thursday when I played the pub quiz with my best friend…
Even meeting people at the pub became difficult…
I couldn’t sing on karaoke anymore (Mainly because I stopped getting invited) …
And don’t even get me started on celebrating St. Georges Day…
But it wasn’t just that, the stress was starting to make my hair fall out, it was keeping me up at night, it got to the point where I’d shut my eyes and before I knew it the sun started to rise, I couldn’t sleep…
My brother suggested to me that I cover it up while I’m out on the streets, wear like a hat or a mask, I thought this was a good idea at the time, I thought wearing a mask would certainly be cool, sure people would still look at me but they wouldn’t know who it was they were looking at.
Realizing we didn’t actually have a mask to hand, we have to make one out of a bouncy rubber ball he had…
The plan ultimately didn’t work because the last thing I remember thinking was, “You can’t actually breath through rubber, ooh sleepy now”…
To say the least my girlfriend wasn’t impressed when I told her what happened at the hospital, she was with me purely because of my looks, being the handsome devil that I was before this incident happened, she thought I was messing around at first, but after two weeks non stop of me pulling the same face she started the come round. She asked me how it happened and I told her about the child in the other car that kept staring at me, I told her about the wind changing, she too never heard such a thing. We went out for a meal one night, it was a lovely meal, the waitresses tried not to stare though as you can imagine it’d have been pretty difficult, but still we had a lovely evening as much as one possibly could with my disability.
My girlfriend kept joking how she should do it just to prove that I’m being silly, I begged her not to, because the last thing I wanted was this to happen to someone else, but as we were driving home, she kept pulling faces at me, I began to get angry telling her to behave and stop being such a trout, but then…
The wind changed…
NOOOO!!!! Now me and my girlfriend looked like a pair of psychopaths! How had it gotten this far?! It all stemmed from catching my father in the act all those years ago, eating those cookies, drinking that brandy, had I not caught him I wouldn’t have been so suspicious, I wouldn’t have tried to catch him out, maybe things would have played out so differently! I couldn’t go on living like this, it was either get it sorted or run to a far away land, I wanted to get my face reconstructed.
That sort of surgery ain’t cheap though and as we’ve already discovered, I’ve been fired from my job by uncaring bosses. I had to go to the bank, ask them for a loan, I called them, hoping to get one over the phone but my bank manager wanted me to come in and have a word. I really didn’t think it’d help, but I went in and explained to him what had happened, he didn’t believe a word I was saying, he just kept being so rude and mean to me, so I told him to try it. I told him it’d been a particularly breezy day,
“Stick your face out of the window and find out for yourself!”
I’m not proud of it, but it eventually got me the money because the moment he stuck his face out of the window,
The wind changed.
Needless to say he gave me the loan to have my face fixed, I went to the plastic surgeon, explained to him what happened, for the first time he had heard about the wind changing and what it can do, he said I wasn’t his first patient to have it done, some bank manager had the same thing done a few days before. I laughed to myself then asked him how his operation turned out, he said unfortunately it’ll take a couple of treatments but once he’s finished, I’ll be on the mend.
At least my pain was going to be over, the only thing I was worried about now was the stupid faced girlfriend I had to put up with, I don’t want to be seen in public with someone that’s pulling a constant face!
But the moral of this long winded story is, just because your parents lie to you at a young age about Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, it doesn’t mean everything they say is a lie. Sometimes they lie yes, but they lie to protect you, and from what I have discovered, they also tell you the truth to protect you. You’ll just have to figure out for yourself whether they’re telling the truth or not, if you do take one thing from reading this, it’s:
Don’t Pull Faces… In the wind. (Or until you can find a good plastic surgeon)