The Auntie Doris Years: 1991


We were at war again, this time it was against Iraq because of them invading Kuwait. Of course we had been friendly with Saddam Hussein up until now, selling him guns and stuff, even after they had used ruddy Chemical weapons on their own Kurdish population in 1988. But in this post communist world, things were different, and besides, isn’t there a fair bit of oil in that part of the world? Saddam was suddenly our enemy.

It gave me a ruddy headache, every time you had the television on or the radio, it was there; The Gulf War, Operation Desert Shield. I couldn’t make head nor tail of it myself. It wasn’t as easy to understand as the wars we had with Germany, where it felt like there was a threat of the British Isles being invaded. Or even the ruddy Falklands War, where they tried to get us to believe that the British Isles had been invaded, even though these particular British Isles were nowhere near the actual British Isles. No, the Gulf war was against a country miles away, who had invaded a country near to them, but miles away from us. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have got involved, I just couldn’t understand why. I don’t think that we would have been very happy if the Iraqis had sent their army over here to sort out the troubles between Britain and the Irish. But that’s ruddy politics for you. And by this time I was just an old biddy. Too old to understand.
Any road, It wasn’t only me that was having headaches. My Raymond was becoming a slave to them. “Throbbers” he used to call them. “Ohh, I’ve got a real throbber on Doris” he would say. “It’s a bit ruddy late in the day for that kind of malarky” I would reply, but it wasn’t really funny. You could tell he was in pain. And none of the usual stuff worked. The doctors were baffled. They even sent him to hospital to have a little hole drilled in his forehead to see if that made any difference. It didn’t. It just made him look a bit silly, what with the plaster an’all. They took scrapings from the inside of his skull and sent them to specialists in London to examine, but they couldn’t make head nor tail of it either. They just gave him even stronger pain killers and told him to rest. But they didn’t do a lot of good. He was in so much pain with it that he all but stopped eating. I used to make him a bowl of porridge with a banana mashed into it, just to keep his strength up. But he even used to leave half of that. And I couldn’t even give it to the dog what with him having trod on her the other year.
The poor bugger. He might have been a lazy, useless so and so, but he way my lazy useless so and so, and I didn’t like to see him badly. But he was badly, very badly. All that I could do was to look after him as best as I could.
Auntie Doris’s Pop hit of 1991: “Everything I Do, I Do For You” by Bryan Adams. That’s what it felt like when he had an almost permanent throbber on, and I was mashing his banana every day. But I didn’t mind. That’s the sort of thing couples do, isn’t it.

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