You’ve all heard it, “wash your mouth out with soap!”, was often the cry at the slip of a profane tongue. If it’s not heard then it’s kind of uncomfortable, almost like not saying ‘bless you’ or ‘Gesundheit’ when you hear someone sneeze; you’re left with a feeling of something’s missing if you fail to utter the follow-up, knee-jerk retort (no, not the glassware distillation device…). Doesn’t soap taste awful though?
After one of the worst days at school in my life, when I caught the unwelcome attentions of a cocky new starter, my slip-of-the-tongue the next morning was met with the old saying, “you need your mouth washed out with soap!” My unwelcome antagonist made it his business to make my day a misery, resulting in me arriving home from school covered from head to toe in mud! I have to say, later on I did have my day with him…
A warming bath and some clean underwear and jammies made it all cosy-right later on. However, whenever my hair was washed, the next morning, I’d have a mass of curly bed hair, twisted and bound almost in knots! Of course, I couldn’t be allowed to go to school like this so mum always brushed my hair through – a comb simply wasn’t up to the task. She’d pull and drag and all the while commenting on how tatty my hair was but how it was still lovely… The morning following my run-in with my new arch-enemy had mum pulling at my tats with determined intent. She was asking me about the state I had come home in the previous afternoon and what had happened. All I could offer was a stuttering, broken explanation as she went to work with her brush. Not only was I a little sad and anxious about going back to school and enduring more attack, I was suffering as my hair was pulled from front to back. Somewhere lost in a broken sentence I spat, “fu..”! Too late, she was on to me! Pushing me only just far enough away from herself, one hand firmly on my shoulder, the other pointing and waving the brush, she snapped those obvious, knee-jerk words at me.
Although embarrassed, it followed that once the idea was planted, I felt it only right to have a go… It wasn’t long before curiosity had the better of me and I was in hot water again for taking a huge bite out of a new bar of Imperial Leather!
Oddly enough, soap is definitely not suited to my palate!