I was a good babysitter.
I didn’t get much of a chance to hone my mad skillz, unless you count the freakshow that used to live next door to us when we lived in the city who gave birth, asked us to help her name her child and then dumped her on our doorstep for 2 years, then off and on till the child was 6.
But that is a story for another day.
When I was around 17 our neighbour would occasionally ask me to sit with her kids while she went out to dinner with her husband. And when I say neighbour, I mean the people down the road from us that we could barely see their house from our driveway. Cause at 16 my parents ripped me from the throbbing metropolis of the city and transplanted me to a place full of cows and horses that would lay on the ground just to fuck with me.
But that is a story for another day.
So these neighbours would feed, bath and put the kids to bed and all I needed to do was just chuck on a video (shut the fuck up) in and eat myself silly on the array of snack foods they would leave out for me.
And then PAY me. SCORE!
Word got out about my awesomeness and a couple on the other side of the road decided to employ my services.
This couple were a very churchy lot. A church that I had not heard of at the time, and the name escapes me now however CULT screams at me when I think of them. They were the self sufficient type, think that show The Good Life with added freakiness.
So they clomped on over in their gumboots to seal the deal. I saw the look of barely disguised horror when they found me, surrounded by my menagerie (sheep, horses, dogs, cat and our mad death cheater chook Bent Neck) sunbaking on the menage.
This is a menage you dirty minded fuckers.
In a bikini. Well the bottom half anyway. Hey, I lived in the middle of NO WHERE I thought I was safe.
So they organised for me to come and sit with their kids while they went to a
goat sacrifice churchy thing on Friday. They said they would be back before dark. So I was all ‘cool’ and they were all ‘what is this language you are speaking?’ and I was all rolly eyes and ‘yes, that would be fine’
I got there around 1pm. Their boys were racing around the house like hooligans while they smiled sweetly at them and then at me as if to say ‘aren’t they just the most adorable kids you have ever seen in your entire life?’ and I was cursing that I didn’t think to pack the duct tape and rum.
Cause you know they ain’t gunna have no liquor cabinet for me to raid.
So after they left, the kids turned it up a couple of notches, when turned it up a couple of notches means their heads span around on their necks and they started crawling on the roof and showed their affection by punching me in the face and having an afternoon snack on my thigh.
The afternoon wore on to the evening. I was starting to get a little jumpy wondering what would happen to these little fuckers once the sun went down and goddammit I have a club waiting for me to turn up to. And it takes me hours to work out what I am wearing.
Around 10pm I rang my mother.
‘They aren’t back yet and the kids won’t go to bed’
‘Did you feed them dinner?’
So I chucked some food in their direction. What, I have no idea, I let them choose cause most of the stuff in the fridge was alien to me. All green and red and colourful but without a chocolate centre. I mean WTF?
Finally I managed to push the boys into their bedrooms and barricaded the door.
It was 12pm.
The party was started and totally without me. And man, was I pissed. There was this hot DJ that I just met that I wanted to check out… (who would eventually get me knocked up and become the ol’ ball and chain, but that is a story for another day..)
Finally around 1am they wander in. No apology. No explanation. They are all, ‘hello! Have fun?!’ and I am hoping they are fucking stoned or something cause one day with their kids made me want to stab myself repeatedly in the eye with a combine harvester.
I am wondering who ‘dark’ is and when the fuck he got home. Cause they sure as hell took their sweet time getting home before him.
‘OK, I am off now. Would you mind giving me a lift home?’
Cause I think I have rabies or something in my thigh and I can’t move my neck. Tonka Truck to the back of the head will do that to you.
‘OK!’ the wife trills, ‘Oh and Kelley, here is your payment’
And she hands me a glass bottle.
I study the bottle. I am wondering if I actually have a touch of concussion, cause my eyes seem to not be focusing properly and I have lost sense of feeling in my hands cause dammit that doesn’t feel like a wad of cash. It feels like a bottle.
I look at the wife and back at the bottle.
She smiles brightly.
‘It is parsley! I dried it myself!’
‘Huh?’ I am feeling slightly drowsy and a little nauseous.
‘You sprinkle it on salads and stuff. You will never taste any better!’
‘You are welcome! Are you free next week?’
I am only free if that fucking bottle is full of green stuff I can smoke. BEFORE I get there.
The husband goes to bed and the wife starts locking up the house while I am still standing in the middle of the kitchen staring at the parsley in my hand.
‘Well, good night then!’ as she pushes me out the door to walk the eleventy hundred miles home. In the dark.
I finally stagger in the back door, to find my parents awake watching a movie.
‘How was it?’
I show them my payment and they die laughing.