When I collect John on Friday afternoons he likes to brief me about his weekend schedule as I wander around his room packing his goods and chattles. Multi tasking is my speciality. As routine is everything to John, there is rarely if ever anything different on his long list of activities. This week however he slipped something new into the mix.
‘Hi Johnny you gorgeous boy’ I said as I hugged and kissed him. John reciprocated by getting me in a very affectionate headlock and blowing a loud raspberry against my cheek, ah bless he had missed me!
He followed this up with a particularly moist cheek lick and a loud ‘moo’ in my ear before releasing his hold on me, only narrowly preventing a trip to A&E.
As I was gathering everything together John started to run through his itinerary at great speed….
‘Red crane. Godsend Moron. Debris. Tea nanny & gwaha. mince & Sehee breh.’……
‘Hang on hang on John’ I interrupted ‘what is Godsend Moron?’
‘Yes Godsend Moron’ confirmed John nodding enthusiastically.
Confused I asked again ‘What or who is Godsend Moron John?’
I had never heard these words before and could’t make an educated guess at who or what it might mean.
Everything else on the list were Johns usual friday activities, consisting of a trip to the huge red tower crane on a nearby building site followed by sweets from Sainsburys or ‘Debris’ as John calls it. Then he checks with me that nana and grandad are coming for tea and that he is having his usual ‘Mince & Sehee Breh’ which is Spaghetti Bolognese with a Ciabatta roll, just in case you were wondering.
Back to Godsend Moron….
‘John, is Godsend Moron a person?’ I asked as I held up several CD”s for John to select the ones he wanted me to put in the box to bring home.
‘Yes Godsend Moron. Baddie’ nodded John, adding ‘Cama’ and pointing to his camcorder incase I forgot to pack it. I put the camera in the camcorder bag and wondered who this bad boy Godsend Moron might be. He sounded like he could be a bounty hunter in a Clint Eastwood film.
‘Baddie, baddie, Moron Godsend’ said John reversing the names, getting excited and slapping his thigh. ‘Yeeehaaa! biiiig clock please mum’ he added, again pointing to one of his many clocks and then at the box. John always elongates the word ‘big’. he cant pronounce the ‘L’ in clock either which can be embarrassing in certain situations.
‘Concentrate please John’, I didn’t know any baddies never mind ones called Godsend Moron or the other way about, ‘are you sure its a man?’
‘Man two baddies’ he said confidently.
‘Two baddies’ I shrieked, adding ‘John do you mean baddies as in a bad naughty man? ‘ realising that the conversation was now getting a bit bizarre and my own verbal skills were declining rapidly.
‘Rabbit please mum, ABC , box yesss’ and incase I had forgotten ‘Godsend Moron ‘.
I placed a musical rabbit and the ABC singing toy in the box. ‘John can you show me where this Godsend Moron is after we have been to the crane?’
John nodded, whooped, hollered and headed for the door. I staggered behind carrying a camcorder bag around my neck, and armed with a large toy box filled to the top and a big ‘Debris’ bag also full of various sundry items.
I was keen to get to the bottom of this new addition to our afternoon, slightly worried of what or who I would find. We set off for the red crane, John insisted that I sing the first verse of the Banana song over and over until we reached the building site but with one difference, instead of Banana I had to sing Baddie….’One baddie two baddies three baddies four’…. and so on. When I reached the end John would yell ‘Again!’ and of I would go.
The red crane was as always a great source of delight to John. He jumped up and down on the spot slapping his head and sticking his arm out like the boom arm of the crane. As the crane turns so does John slowly and in perfect sync, a beautifully weird kind of ballet. Not sure it will be taken up by The Bolshoi though.
John and I headed back to the car, at last I was to get to the bottom of The Big Bad Godsend Moron. I hoped he was going to be as excited to meet me.
‘Right John, lets go to see Godsend Moron’ I tried not to sound too anxious, ‘Show me the way’.
‘Two baddies’ said John holding up his fingers to emphasise his point. ‘Ome’ directed John indicating I was to drive as if we were going home. He is great with directions and I trust him absolutely.
We drove all the way back and when going along the Morton stretch John pushed my left indicator down as we neared Carr Farm Garden Center.
“In here John?’ I checked his direction.
‘Yes ere’ confirmed John and then as we drew up to the entrance he yelled ‘Godsend Moron’ and leapt out of the car.
It was with considerable relief that I realised John had been saying ‘Garden Center, Moreton’ Silly me, it was so obvious…..not!
He hasn’t run off for years so it came as a surprise when he skipped at full speed into the main shopping area of the garden center without waiting for me. Once inside he completely disappeared. I thought it was funny at first and expected to see him in the aquatic section licking the fish tanks but he wasn’t there. ‘Fish man’ as John calls the young assistant who knows us well hadn’t seen him, so I started checking all the usual areas that John finds interesting. He wasn’t by the outdoor clocks or in the small animals and birds section. I was getting worried as its a big place and very busy. I remembered he liked the unusual lamps in the ‘Posh Ornaments and Kitchenware shop’, I dashed in there hoping that he hadn’t knocked anything over that cost more than I could afford. He doesn’t have any spacial awareness so he accidentally bumps into everything. I follow in his wake catching wobbling china and apologising to the unamused sales assistant.
He wasn’t in there either, the sales assistant was filing her nails and looking bored, when John is around she looks sweaty and anxious, usually with good reason.
The strange thing about John disappearing was that he is usually so noisy he could never hide anywhere without giving himself away. Peter gave him the ironic nickname of ‘Stealth Johnny’
However I could not hear him and my heart started to beat faster. Its not easy to hide when you are 6ft tall and 18 stone of giggling shrieking mischief, but he was somehow managing it this afternoon. I tried the coffee shop thinking he may have been tempted by the variety of cakes on display but to no avail. The only other place was the outdoor shrub and plant section which he never goes into as he is not remotely interested in plants. Then just as I was about to burst into tears I heard a familiar sound coming from outside.
‘Mum. Three Baddies Man. Now! Please. Yeehaaaa!’ followed by helpless gigging.
I didn’t think for one minute that there were any Bounty Hunters or Baddies of any number or kind, but I was not prepared for what I did see. John was stood, seemingly alone and rocking with laughter at something.
He was pointing and shouting ‘Three baddies’ in between fits of hysteria.
I followed Johns finger and standing with arms outstretched was a young man, an empty hanging basket swinging in each hand and one on his head like a World War two helmet.
‘What!’ I gasped ‘are you two doing?’ Starting to laugh at the craziness.
‘Oh he is fine’ said the young World War two veteran….he came up to me with two hanging baskets and I realised he wanted me to swing them….the hat was my idea’
I felt obliged to buy the two hanging baddies much to John’s delight and we drove home wearing them, in honour of our new found friend.