The surety I have when writing about my parents is that there is always a moment when their lack of sound judgment takes centre stage.
Recently, I wrote about a mental patient who’d tried to get a friend of mine to follow him into the woods when we were kids. Later, the patient succeeded in using the same tactic to lure and kill someone.
When I mentioned this tale to my younger sister recently, she didn’t recall any of the story and decided to ask my dad about it. I’d like to go on record by saying I’m against fact checking. How much good can come out of other people mucking about in my memories? I mean, really!
My father remembered the incident of the murdering patient quite clearly although he disagreed with my recall on why mad Jack had been a guest of the hospital to begin with. I’d thought it was for murdering his parents but it was worse even than that. He'd had a penchant for capturing and torturing small animals and had gone so far (or was so far gone) that he’d joined The Kindness Club, an organization dedicated to teaching kids to be kind to animals, so he'd have easier access to his prey.
My sister said it was lucky I’d been there to point out to my friend that following a mental patient into the woods wasn’t the best life decision. My dad agreed but added ‘he was always doing that because he liked boys’. My mother then piped up nonchalantly about my friend saying ‘he was a good sized kid, he probably could’ve taken care of himself anyway’.
My sister was aghast and wondered why this nut had been allowed to hang around the buffet grounds of the hospital at all and my father didn’t know why either.
Over the years, my mother has proudly declared that all of her children graduated high school and none of them ended up in jail. More than ever, I’m convinced that my folks had nothing at all to do with the way things turned out.