Monday, 12 September 2011


When my daughter was about three years old, a friend of mine invited me on her hen night.

This involved a group of us going to the local theatre to a performance of Sing-Along-A-Sound Of Music. Before you say it, I know it’s not exactly the height of sophistication, but compared to my hen weekend at Butlins in Bognor it was high class culture, believe me.

As part of the prescribed fun, we had to dress up as characters from the film. 

Not for me, the easy option of a generic nun. Oh no. I had to be different. I decided to go as ‘The Hills’. If I’m honest this was purely for cheap gag purposes. It meant if anyone asked me what I was, I could reply: “I’m alive, with the sound of music.”

But where to get the materials needed for my makeshift costume? Easy, I thought. I’ll pop into the greengrocers, and they’ll give me a spare bit of that plastic astroturf they use to display the fruit boxes on.

However, when I wandered in with my daughter (who I was still pushing everywhere in an oversized buggy), the fella behind the counter said: “Sorry, luv, no can do. It’s expensive stuff. What do you want it for anyway?”

It was at this point, I lied. Not wanting to wheel my girl round a fancy dress shop at the last minute, and thinking on my feet, I looked downcast.

“Oh, don't worry. It’s just my daughter. She’s disabled. She just loves this plastic turf. It’s very tactile and she loves to feel it. But it doesn’t matter. Never mind.”

The greengrocer looked slightly guilty at his earlier refusal, and took a small piece out from on the counter, placing it on my daughter’s lap, looking expectantly at her face. Of course, as her astroturf adoration was entirely fictional, she wasn’t remotely interested.

So I leaned forward and whispered in her ear: “Bananas!”

Instantly, she grinned from ear to ear, and the lovely man behind the counter ran, literally ran, to the back of the shop and returned with armfuls of the stuff for me. (Enough to transform me into The Hills, I noted, with satisfaction).

It was wrong of me. I know that. I invoked her disability, played on a stranger’s pity, and then used the hunger caused by her Prader-Willi Syndrome for my own selfish ends.

But I’m not a complete bitch. I did buy her a banana.

Video is The Dickies - Banana Splits

1 comment:

  1. THIS STORY is worth coming home for. The number of times I dragged my daughter into shopping in Bolton so I could park easily with her disabled parking badge. Terrible parents.