Posts Tagged ‘rash


What are you allergic to? Bet it’s nowhere near as lame as what I’m allergic to

In addition to my ‘Victorian widow in mourning’ get-up, I can accessorise any Halloween ‘look’ by carving a pumpkin – I’m violently allergic to that stringy stuff inside the cursed things and emerge after a carving session with weeping, blistered arms which go down a storm at fancy dress parties. Not that I go to any of them. God forbid.

Bastard number one: the orange hell that is pumpkin guts

No wonder I'm allergic to it. Look at it! It's like the burning core of Satan's underworld.

In addition to pumpkin guts, I’m also allergic to cucumbers, lichen, cut grass and people who think it’s endearing to sneeze ridiculously loudly in public as if they expect a round of applause for spraying their germs over an unnecessarily large area (try that kind of ostentatious behaviour when you’re farting, I dare you).

Bastard number two: This is what hell looks like

The fifth rider of the apocalypse

My idea of hell is a round of cucumber sandwiches at a picnic on a log in the middle of a field of cut grass with an idiot whose hayfever offers them the perfect excuse to sneeze like a possessed accordion player auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent. It’s a very specific kind of hell, but it’s feasibly possible, which makes it far more terrifying than the fiery lakes of damnation you read about in the Bible.

My allergies may be strange, but they are nothing compared to my VW Golf’s.

At just over a year old, my silver Golf had developed a white rash in the delicate car door areas of its bodywork, transforming it from a GTi boy racer’s wet dream into the ‘Singing Detective’ of the VW community. Other Golfs started avoiding it in the car park and refusing to go near it unless their washers and windscreen wipers were on full pelt.

Initial suspicions – of foul play, a dodgy batch of paint, demonic possession or drive-by icing sugar dustings – were quickly ruled out, and a paintwork expert was called in to give his diagnosis. ‘I’ve seen about 20 cases of this,” he said, grimly. “It’s children.”

It turned out that the VW Golf was allergic to children who, apparently, cause certain silver VWs to develop irregularities on their paintwork due to ‘substances’ on their fingers. I kid you not: this is the official reason that my car looked like a heap of shit.

“It could be sun tan lotion,” added the expert, “or perhaps Play-dough.” Or pumpkin, cucumber, lichen, grass or attention-seeking, sneeze happy fuckwits, presumably.

The damage from my toxic children could, he explained, be polished off with the kind of effort Hercules would have found impossible to muster, but on no account was it the type of damage which would be covered by any insurance. As you can agree, it sounds like a perfectly reasonable explanation. The VW Golf, a vehicle heavily marketed as a family car, cannot be touched by youthful, virginal hands – if you look in the small print I’m sure it’s all there.

Ironically, just two days after the car was sent away to contemplate life with its unsightly rash, it was forced off the road by a van making a last minute decision to turn right, causing it to smash into a traffic light junction box.

In addition to the huge list of repairs the car needed, a respray was ordered. If I didn’t believe in karma before, I certainly believe in car-ma now.

On this note, I’d just like to thank the owner of the house whose wall my allergy-ridden car (slightly) damaged and whose overwhelming concern for my family touched me deeply, a little bit like a liver tumour or being impaled on a fence post.

Following the accident, he came racing out of his property, his face a picture of concerned anguish as he surveyed the scene (two small children, one bruised, both shivering, a shocked driver, a smoking car, a smashed-up van, a police car, a crumpled traffic light junction box). He then started taking photographs of his wall and asking about insurance details: after all, you can always have more children, but a wall is for life.

Thank you, sir, for restoring my lack of faith in human nature. It brought to mind images of strapping gentlemen stumbling along the listing deck of the Titanic using women and children as stepping stones in a bid to get to a lifeboat.

Another job for the Karma police, methinks.


The woman in black has scarlet fever – finally, some colour in my life

“We don’t want to worry you, but there have been several diagnosed cases of scarlet fever in year three…”

This letter narrowly pips last year’s missive about the strange man hanging around the lower playground with a camera during PE lessons (turned out he was a bird spotter, although that’s what I’d say if I was a paedophile in hiding) to the post in terms of the worry factor.

The woman in black felt slightly overdressed for the school run

The woman in black felt slightly overdressed for the school run

Generally, I ignore all letters that arrive home from school, or at the very least I try very hard to. The last time I did look at one, it was three sheets of A4 instructing parents how to make an exact replica Tudor costume for seven-year-olds. Just who is at school? The children, or me? My delicate ego can barely afford further shame on the scale of what I will only refer to as: The Egyptian Servant Costume Debacle.

Letters from school serve only three purposes: to chastise (‘there have been several cases of headlice in school – have YOU been checking your child’s hair?’), to beg (‘there are still plenty of spaces left for parents to sign up for a stall at the Country Fair!’) or to extort (‘the school trip this year is to Saturn. Please send your first installment of £12,053,021 to the office by Tuesday morning’).

I cling to the hope that if I ignore things for long enough, they will go away. This is a policy which has let me down very badly in the past.

Scarlet fever, however, cannot be ignored. I have tonsils like golf balls, a tongue like raw beef and a rash that renders me even more loathsome to the eye than usual. I am weak, weary and irritable. Those who know me might think this is no different to normal: they have yet to see the creeping plague over my shins and wrists.

I may take to my bed. Inform the emergency services if you hear nothing for more than 24 hours – or at least whip me up a Tudor costume, it’s ‘History Alive!’ day at school next week, and I have a feeling Tudors didn’t wear Darth Vader outfits. Boring, madrigal-obsessed bastards that they were.

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