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The Raw Prawn


September 16, 2018

I arrived in New Zealand yesterday and got to my 85-year-old mother’s place at about 8:30 in the evening. Mum hadn’t seen me since April last year so was waiting up in her nightie. She’d been at a party at my brother’s place all afternoon where she’d eaten a couple of kilos of king prawns. She’d also been drinking sparkling wine. Mum was tired and keen to go to bed but wanted to warn me that one of the lights over my bed didn’t work. She didn’t have a spare bulb.

‘The light on the left side,’ she said with confidence.

The bedside table is on the right side, so I decided to swap the bulbs. My mother remained in the doorway to observe. She is now partially sighted, so she was watching me in a sharp-eyed but vague way.

I took the dud bulb out and put it on the table. I removed the good bulb and swapped it over. It didn’t work. I put it back and in its original fitting and it still didn’t work. For the hell of it, I took the dud bulb and tried it in the fitting on the right side of the bed. It worked.

Mum hates to be wrong, even after a couple of kilos of prawns and several glasses of wine. ‘You mixed up the bulbs,’ she said. 

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