Tuesday, 5 July 2011

On Phobias and Good Sausages

I have many irrational fears - maybe they are phobias? I dunno. Do you know that in my entire life I have never ever eaten a real live tomato? Or a Strawberry? I just don't eat things which involve eating the seeds which produced them. I think I have an irrational fear that a plant will start growing inside me. I also have a fear of high rise flats - nothing to do with vertigo or anything like that - read on dear reader, read on...

My Uncle Jimmy had a high rise flat in Mount Vernon Glasgow - I loved going there as not only was he a delightfully funny man but his flat was 18 floors in the air offering spectacular views of the city. I was about 17 years old when he invited my family to a small gathering at his place. The high rise flats were (to me) unusual in that there was an elevator for odd numbered floors or even numbered floors only. So off we went whizzing up to Uncle Jimmy's on the 18th floor. He greeted us warmly and I made myself comfortable on his nice  brown sofa and I could see that on a table by the window, lots of buffet style food had already been laid out. Before things really got started he handed me a plastic bag with rubbish in it and asked me if I'd throw it down the rubbish chute which was one floor below. He told me to leave the door open so he wouldn't need to answer it again and off I went like a good nephew would...

Rubbish dispensed with I raced back up the stairs, into his corridor, last door on the left, in the open door and goddamit if other people hadn't arrived in the meantime and were already tucking into the food on the table. I grabbed an empty chair, sat down at the table and realised that the buffet food had been moved and instead everyone was eating from plates. I smiled at my unknown relatives and looked around to see who was putting out the plates and cutlery as I didn't appear to have any and it was then I realised my Uncle Jimmy's sofa had changed from brown to red. I also realised the people at the table had stopped eating and were now staring - at me.

Now I should have said right there and then 'Oh my god - I'm so sorry - I'm in the wrong house' but my brain was so fried with the situation - and staring at the frozen in time, gaping mouth of the man at the end of the table with a half chewed sausage sticking from it, the best I could think of was "Good sausage?" His mouth never moved. "Great." I said "Great that it's good sausage." Slowly and with no sudden movements I stood up and retreated toward their sitting room door. Ma, Pa, and two little kiddies from the sausage family fixed their gaze on me as I backed away, mouths still open, eyes wide.
"Well, thank you. Thank you very much. Enjoy your dinner." I smiled at them before breaking into a run when I reached their hallway.

Nowadays as I say, I have a fear of high rise flats. But unlike most irrational fears - I know where I got this one.



  1. Yes but, you're Scottish!!!

  2. Seriously though, didn't I just read recently about a man who was having trouble breathing and they found a small tree growing in his lungs? Not exactly " a tree grows in brooklyn" but still, worth reading about.

  3. I'd say it is a very rational fear... Albeit, not the usual one associated with heights. ;) LOL!

  4. LOL - 'I'm Scottish' will now be my catchphrase to get me out of any awkward situations.

    I suspect it will wear thin eventually and someone will just hit me anyway :)

    You see! A tree in in his lungs! All these years I've been right!


  5. Strawberries are one of life's greatest joys.

    Oh my, that was really an awkward moment but you handled it well. I do love your storytelling!

  6. Strawberry's and Tomatoes? You're a troubled man Rory!
    I loved the story about the wrong flat. I can see it at 12, but at 17? Pay attention boy!

  7. Elaine and Craig - My wife finally after years of trying - enticed me into trying a blueberry and a plum. I didn't die and nothing started sprouting from my ears - so strawberries and tomatoes may not be too far off in the future!

    Craig as for the flat incident - I was mortified. Truly horrified. I can only thank God it was Scotland and not the USA or I'd probably have been shot lol...