Sons and Mothers
You are what you eat, but some people are what they wear.
Take young Tom, for instance – a nice enough sort of chap. A draughtsman, with a bunch of engineers who did everything from conception to design, right the way through to manufacturing, installation and maintenance.
Most of the chaps travelled quite extensively, but he was content to stay put in the office. It was safe, warm and most of all, predictable. Just like him. Consequently, it hadn’t gone unnoticed that every day, for at least five years, he’d worn the self-same cardigan.
It was what they call Aran in design – twin breast pockets, and the colour was a cross between watered-down coffee and gnats’ piss tea. Lovingly knitted by his mum, no less, with whom he still lived. Yet another reason his co-workers were apt to take the Michael out of young Tom. He didn’t mind too much though. They were harmless enough ...
Until his cardigan went AWOL. Extremely upset was Tom, having left it on the back of his desk-chair, as was his wont. He searched high and low to no avail … until one day, pinned, in all its glory to the notice-board, was a postcard. A picture of his cardigan, artistically draped over the back of a camel which was standing by a date palm, obviously having just done a dump. “Wish you were here,” scrawled on the back. Signed, “Cardy XXX”
You can imagine his surprise.
His colleagues found it hard to keep a straight face.
“Perhaps it’s not Cardy after all, but none other than an intrepid impostor!” they exclaimed.
Could be, thought Tom, but deep-down, he knew his mother’s knitting anywhere. And anyway, there was that cocoa stain on the right-hand side – shaped like a dinosaur taking a shower. No. This was his precious cardigan all right.
The same thing happened again, two week’s later when another postcard arrived, depicting Cardy in a quite salubrious pose on the steps of the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
Four years went by and it transpired that Cardy had become quite the seasoned globe-trotter – the customary postcard fresh from each destination. Prone, on a bench outside the Taj Mahal, spread-eagled on the heli-deck of Thistle Alpha oil-rig in the midst of the North Sea, clinging to the railings of the Golden Gate Bridge. The list went on and on.
Meanwhile, poor Tom pined and to cap it all, his beloved mum passed away.
They knew when to call enough, enough and Cardy’s last trip was to Paris. This time, though, the joke backfired and Cardy was left, albeit inadvertently, on a chair at the very top of the Eiffel Tower. A sudden gust of wind and he was off like a shot! The likelihood was, he would never be seen again.
Until one day when our Tom received a package, courtesy of Royal Mail and inside was Cardy safe and sound – just a couple of holes and one or two missing buttons.
‘How was this possible?’ he asked.
It transpired that, unbeknown to Tom, or any one else for that matter, sewn inside the pocket, embroidered on a label in brown silk, the following:-
“If found, please be so kind as return to …”
“As only a mother would,” thought Tom.