Mad House.

I may have had one of my better ideas, or. then again, not.  It’s difficult to tell as I am slowly going mad.  I read in the paper that a sizeable proportion of carers become clinically depressed; I think that’s an understatement.

I also read, some time ago, that dangerous criminals will have to be let out onto the streets at exactly the time the prisons become so full that they can only be fitted in by standing on each other’s heads.

And round about the ninety ninth time that my mother required the presence of me, or, ‘the servant’ as she so enchantingly calls me, summoning me by repeatedly shouting ‘Jane’ non stop at the top of her little wavering voice until I appeared, magically, like Jeeves, with a tea tray, I thought ‘What have I done to deserve this?’

And lo!  There was a Eureka moment.

I’m sure you’re ahead of me.

Yes indeed, we get the surplus jail fodder to be the carers for the elderly cantankerous!  How simple.  How cheap.  How many problems would be solved at one stroke.

Those of a criminal bent are, one hopes, immune to the mental anguish of those of us who, criticised for the umpteenth time for our choice of television programme, will turn over to the desired and boring channel in the middle of the thing we were watching, in a futile attempt to please someone who will watch their choice at full blast for a good three minutes before falling asleep.  The only thing in the entire universe that will then wake her is changing the channel or turning the noise level down.  I have missed numerous things I was really interested in, especially the ones that were after ten at night that I regarded as a reward for a fourteen hour day lived at the whim of a wandering wit.  Your average miscreant would either ignore the pleas, the invective or the scorn and just watch what he wanted with no soul searching, or simply pick up the television set and hit her with it.

I’m not sure why I am still trying to please someone whose main raison d’être is to criticise.  Intellectually I appreciate the paradox, emotionally I cringe and cry, practically I comply.  There is nothing as good for increase of mental anguish, having summoned an ambulance for someone you suspect is having a heart attack, than to be called back waveringly to the bedroom (at five in the morning) when on your way to answer the door to the crash team, to be told to put on a dressing gown that matches your pyjamas and fasten it properly before opening the door.

A criminal would have turned over and gone back to sleep.

Then there was the joy having visited the hospital twice a day, on foot, through the park, in the rain, to be told when she was let out that it was easy for you because you only went once.

I feel a nasty light fingered burglar would be well chastened by having some one grab his recently broken arm, hold it for an hour, tightly, in order to emphasise every point of an unfathomable story and endless complaints about the food by slapping said broken wrist vigorously every minute.  (When I got back in the hour before I had to turn round and go back again, it was so big I couldn’t get my watch over my fingers.)

The entire process of ‘caring’ which would be so much better described as ‘enduring’ is a fit punishment for practically any crime.  You don’t get much sleep, all dinners will be interrupted, whatever you do will be wrong and the haranguing is absolutely endless.

You don’t even get to sit on a toilet without being shouted for and it’s not as if you can shout back, even at the top of your voice because people with cantankerous ears can only hear you if you stand in front of them and speak so they can see what you’re saying and once you do there is, of course, no need to shout because we’re not deaf, you know.

For criminals of any variety, loss of personal time communing with their own intestines is quite a good punishment, though whatever is in the said intestines will not be what you shopped for which will have been ‘fancied’ by someone who normally ‘cannot eat a thing’ and feels constrained to comment on every morsel that goes in your mouth.  It’s a wonder how I can ‘eat that whole plate of food’ ‘eat so little’ ‘only drink water’ drink ‘her’ pot of tea, be ‘unfriendly by making tea in a cup, just for me, etc and so forth.

I have days when I think I must surely be breathing the wrong air.

I have, however, after eight months, given up living out of a suitcase and moved into a small corner of one of the four wardrobes.  I have also, defiantly, extended my run in the park to half an hour because if she keels over dead in the second quarter of an hour it will just be jolly bad luck.

I think rather than the relative comfort of prison uniform it would be a much harsher punishment for the average drug dealer to do all the waiting on and fetching of tasty treats in heels of an approved colour, full makeup and, naturally a full coiffure, yet without ever appearing in curlers, especially not to tradesmen.  Even the most hardened criminal would crack if he had to suck his stomach in and wear his (matching) cardigan at all times, at the double, with the heating turned up to a fast rolling boil to suit the little cold feet that haven’t moved off the footstool for three hours.

There is no remission for good behaviour.

There isn’t any remission at all.

Carers get depressed do they?  That surprises me.  In my experience they get beaten into the carpet with words and then have to scrub away the stain they so carelessly caused with their twinset and pearls.

Oh to be wearing tat and pouring porcelain.

Never take freedom for granted, if you can do what you like for the next five minutes, spend half a minute being grateful (but only if you want to.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ – banged up.

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