Memories that shape your childhood – the one with the blow up doll

Growing up, I always thought my parents were odd.  But then, I guess everyone did, really.  But when I say odd, I do actually mean odd.  Do not get me wrong, I loved my parents and still wish they were around today, but now being a mother myself and a throw away comment that Nathan made the other week, I have realised that their oddity has obviously rubbed off on me, and now it is rubbing off on Nathan too.

“I am not strange Mummy, I am just your son, you made me this way!”

Growing up I lived in a very relaxed household.  My parents, two dogs and myself.  My Dad had a soft furnishings business, my Mum, housewife, business owner and also ran a Bed and Breakfast from the house too.  The house always seemed full.  Full of people staying in the B&B who ended up being members of our extended family, members of our actual family coming round, drop in visits from local friends or customers visiting my Dad’s business. Quite often there would be parties, house parties in which large amounts of alcohol were consumed, laughter, singing… sometimes nudity.  The place was always filled with laughter and fun, something I have always been keen to keep up in the house with Nathan and I.

The type of parents I had, nothing was off limits and they included me in every part of their life from the day to day shopping, to the organising of parties or socialising with their friends.  I was a member of the family and as our family unit we believed that there were to be no secrets.  I always felt comfortable talking about things growing up and had a very open and honest relationship with them.

Now, you are probably thinking that this all sounds quite normal and lovely, a perfect family unit, always laughing, always having parties.  And yes, it was lovely but there is always that aspect of my childhood that I start to explain to people, they get a look of confusion and start looking at me a whole new way.

My parents had a friend called Bessy.  Bessy was a blow up doll.

Yes, thats right, my parents had a bowl up doll.  A blow up doll that used to wear my mums clothes and go out with them to dinner and go on her own adventures. Bessy was also part of the family.

Now you are agreeing with me that my parents were slightly odd.  This is aside from the magic tricks, banjo playing, ghost hunting, crystal balls, tea leaf reading, strippers, and everything else that went on in my childhood.

I just accepted that Bessy was a normal thing.  The wide gaping open mouth and the triangular shaped boobs really did not bother me at all. It was just a giggle.  This one evening though, my parents lost Bessy.  My Mum was distraught, mainly because Bessy had borrowed her best sexy underwear that evening and was now in the custody of the local constabulary for indecent exposure.

It was one of the evenings of one of my parents most legendary parties.  The Bad Taste Party.  Everyone was invited on kids party invites to come in the worst taste clothing possible.  The more bad taste the better.  In the run up to the party my mum had visited everyone invited and gone to their house for the sole reason to steal items from their house which she thought were tacky and in bad taste.  She collected photos, ornaments and niknacks from everyone attending.  I was almost always in charge of smuggling the items out of the house too.  My Dad then would speak to the women who were invited to the party and ask if there were any personal letters, photos, or anything at all, for their husbands or partners that they could surprise them with at the party.  My mum, went to the men and did the same.  They covered the bathroom wall in divorce certificates, nude photos, parking fines, court papers, news paper cuttings, baby photos (including some of me) and also used the dressing table and shelves in the bathroom to display all the stolen goods from peoples houses. That night there was a cue for the bathroom for most of the party – not to actually use the bathroom, but to go in and see what embarrassing items of theirs were inside.

Dad, Bad Taste Party

Sat, propped up in the bath, was Bessy. Pride of place to look at when you sat on the toilet.  The shock of seeing this lifesize blow up doll, gawping at you while you sat doing your business, made quite a few folk scream.  Somehow in the evening, a very large German sausage was found by someone and placed between Bessy’s legs to let her change into Bobby.  I can remember sitting back and watching the whole party unfold around me wondering what my friends were doing that night at home. Watching The Generation Game or Noel’s House Party I would guess.

At around the time the Natzi strippers arrived, one male and one female, Bessy was taken for a ride around our village on to of someones car.  The car was parked back outside the front of the house with Bessy tied to the windscreen of the car, sausage included. It was when folks started leaving the party it was discovered that Bessy was no longer tied to the car outside.  In her place was what can only be described as a ransom note from the local police who were passing by and had seen Bessy exposing herself to the world. They instructed that she was being held at the local police station and would be released if someone came down to claim her and bring decent clothing for the poor girl.

My mum was cheesed off that her undies had gone, My dad was cheesed off that Bessy had gone, but neither of them wanted to go and claim her, so there she stayed.  In the hands of Northants Police Constabulary, I hope they treated her well.

Do you have any stories of your parents crazy antics growing up? I would love to hear your stories.  I will be posting more stories of my parents, check back soon to see how odd it all was!


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