Creative Comedy Project

A beard of bacon and eggs By Samantha Pearse

I loved my Nan and even forgave her for dressing me in brown A-line skirts. She treated me as she had Grandad, every morning a cooked breakfast. This consisted of cereal, then bacon sausage and egg, followed by toast and marmalade, all washed down with 2 or 3 mugs of tea. Nan equated love with food, and I lapped it up. She was glad when I came to live with her as she had been lonely since grandad had died of a heart attack, brought on in part by obesity.

Then off to get the school bus, waiting in the cold hoping it wouldn’t make it down the hill so we could all go home again. I was all boobs and what my Nan called ‘puppy fat’ but which was obviously bacon sausage and egg in human form.

I had a boyfriend, Peter, and on the one time I went on holiday with my mum, he came round every day to see if I was back. Nan thought this was sweet on days one to three, a bit strange on days 4 to 6 and just slammed the door in his face from day 7 onwards.

His steadfast adoration was strange, as he turned out to be absolutely and definitely gay in later life, and he wasn’t the only ex of mine to become gay. I have tried not to take it personally, but have sometimes wondered how I came to be a beard for those too young to have beards, the bumfluff of the beard world. I had one ‘turns out he was gay’ boyfriend who used to sit and stroke my arm in boring classes, and who was drop dead gorgeous. I could feel the jealous stares of girls far prettier than me, thinking ‘how did she get him?’ Well, now we know, I wasn’t punching above my weight, more shadow boxing.

I lived with Nan when Mum was in hospital, which happened every so often She would start to hear voices telling her to go shopping naked or warn the neighbours of imminent alien attack, and the ambulance would come and take her for ‘a bit of a break’, as my Nan called it. I remember cycling to the big asylum she was in one time when I was about 15, and seeing her, sitting and smoking in the main room. There were all sorts of people there. I remember two women in particular. One was sitting in a chair, and the other would come up and say ‘that’s my chair, get up, get up’ and the person sitting would look up, mutter, get up and walk off, then the second lady would sit down and the other one would do a circuit of the room, then come back and say ‘that’s my chair, get up, get up’. My mum just asked me if I had any fags, and when I said no, lost interest in me, and went to ask someone else.

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