I have a little toy on the dashboard of my truck. A miniture set of dentures which, when wound up, will chatter away till their heart’s content. I think it was one of the kids who stuck them there with chewing gum during a “helping Daddy drive” day, a couple of years ago.
When I was a boy my mother would attempt to make me laugh by popping her dentures half way out and crossing her eyes. I can’t remember if it made me laugh or vomit. But i remember how it transferred her face to the point where it was unrecognisable. Then she would suck them back in and say something like “Mocking is catching!”
There was a story she used to tell – she did that a lot, tell the same stories over and over, only the stories which got a laugh. But she never seemed to grasp that the stories decreased in funniness with each repetition.
But she used to tell about an incident which happened in her home town, Derry in Northern Ireland, during the second world war.
The story goes that there was a growing fear that Derry and Belfast, being part of the UK, would be bombed by the Nazi planes. So one evening an evacuation was hurriedly organised. There were trucks and buses waiting at the end of each street to take people across the border to the safety of Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.
The residents were running down the streets in their droves. An elderly couple, Agnes and Willy, were among them. Suddenly Agnes stops. “I have to go back!”
“What for?” asked Willy.
“My teeth. I forgot my teeth.”
Willy dragged her by the hand “C’mon woman! It’s Bombs they’re dropping, not sandwiches!”
Thanks for the stories Mammy. They’re stuck like chewing gum in my mind.