Wednesday, 9 January 2013

An eye for an eye

Yesterday, I spoke of the awesome bird mutilation skills of my Father. It seems only fair that I now tell you tales of the occular disassociational episodes that my Mother peppered my younger days with.

If you're a regular reader, you'll be au-fait with my Mother's sense of humour - She definately mellowed after she died, but whilst she was still alive - Seriously, she'd do stuff even that I'd think twice about - And I can throw fruit at myself.

In the mid 70's, she lost her right eye - I mean, she didn't come home from the shops one afternoon and say 'Oh Bugger! - I must have left it on the bus', there was some serious medical reason for it. I have vague memories of visiting her in hospital and stuff - In fact, one story that she used to tell (she really spun this one out, it could take her hours to tell if someone else was providing tea and/or biscuits) - But it boils down to my Dad redecorating the kitchen, then accidentally setting fire to it, and me running down the ward screeching 'Dad's set the kitchen on fire! Dad's set the kitchen on fire!'

Anywho, after a time of walking around with an eyepatch on, she was fitted with a 'Glass Eye'. For those of you whose total experience of false eyes is Mr Ragetti from Pirates of the Caribbean - I'll let you in on a secret, They're not spherical, they're kind of, well... scutiform (If nothing else happens today, you've learned a new word, it means 'Shield-shaped').

If I go into too much medical detail in the next paragraph, please feel free to skip It - But I feel that it gives some important background info.

For the first few months after the patch came off, she was fitted with a 'training' eye - Much like the oversized bar that they put in when you first have your tongue pierced, only the other way around, in that it's smaller than standard, to make up for the swelling etc. It seems that the way you can tell when you're ready for your 'real' false eye is when your training eye starts to fall out. I poop you not, (Remember this was the '70's, there are probably all kinds of clever scientific ways that they do it now - Anyone with impending eye surgery probably shouldn't worry... Well, not about this... I mean, you should probably still worry, it's your eye, and they'll be poking at it with sharp things... Like, totally, Ewww!)

The first time this happened, I think it was February / March - It was definately Shrove Tuesday, because we were all sat around eating pancakes. All I heard was a quiet *Tink* noise and my Mother said,


There, resting on her plate, was her eye... Staring back at her. The rest of us sat there in stunned silence as she calmly picked it up, brushed the sugar off, and put it back in.

Young Dandy Trauma Level: 2.3

The second time I remember was when she called me into the kitchen and asked her to take stuff out of the washing bowl and pass it to her to dry - You know where this is going, right? I think that I'd given her a few cups, the odd plate and a knife, when I felt something at the bottom of the bowl. I thought it was a piece of broken mug or something as my Mum was famous for washing the crockery overarm - We got through a tea service at least every few weeks - But it wasn't, imagine being a five year old boy holding, what for all intents and purposed was a real, human eye. I just stood there going 'Eye... Eye... Eye... Eye...' Whilst she wept uncontrollable tears of mirth (out of one eye)

Young Dandy Trauma Level: 5.1

The third and final time, apart from when it came out into a package of butter as she was getting out of the 'fridge, was when she dropped it into the old upright washing machine and we had to go through all the pockets of the clothes that were being washed before we found it. That's an experience that brings a family together, I can tell you.

After she had been fitted for her new eye, you'd have thought that she'd have grown up a bit, but no... they let her keep her old eye (old false one that is, not old real one) which meant she had a spare. Over the next couple of years, I cannot count how many times this 'spare' ended up in my school lunchbox, on friends plates when they came over after school for tea and on the fireplace when she left the room - She would palm it and then pretend to take her eye out, close her eyelid and say something like,

'I'm watching you two,' As she left the room.

When I was maybe eight, I plucked up the courage to ask her what it actually looked like when she took it out... There was no 'Are you sure' or 'No, I don't think you'll like it', she just flipped it out, I was transfixed... If she had held her false eye to her forehead, she would have been the living embodiment of Davros.

Young Dandy Trauma Level: 9.4

She had another couple made over the years, in fact, I seem to remember that her consultant, Mr Farquhar, even made her a 'bloodshot' one as a Christmas present. This just increased the level of tricks she could play on people. One of her favourties wes secreting one in her mouth and then slowly opening her eyes and her mouth at the same time - It was like living on the set of The Reanimator at times - Although, in fairness, I did use them in the occasional modelling clay project for school.

I have one at home now, in a little box - I always toyed with the idea of having it made into a signet ring - I think that would probably go with my Super-Villain persona pretty well.



  1. It's not often I trot this one out but, O M F G W T F!!! Must have been like growing up in the Twilight Zone, I feel I have reached a new level of "Dandy Understanding"

    Remember these old adages?: "I blame the Parents" and "The Sins of the Father...." Does this lunacy run throughout the family, or is it likely to skip a generation or 2?

  2. I guess you must have missed it when I retweeted that my daughter has had a chicken named after her... I think the lunacy is alive and well and sneaking into your kitchen every night to re-arrange the Weetabix in their packet

  3. The Dandy lunacy NEVER skips a generation, it's like a disease, it effects the ones close to us... take my favorite teacher (art)for example as my Father said ^^ she has names her chicken after me... you are a perfectly normal-ish person until you meet the Dandies