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Darling, you shouldn't have - really

Date

Heckler

HECKLER

<i>Illustration: Caroline Adaszynski</i>

Illustration: Caroline Adaszynski

AN EMERGENCY Bad Mothers meeting was held last night. The minutes follow:

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Christmas gifts received and to provide strategies for dealing with said gifts.

One bad mother said she had received a necklace from her husband that could best be described as looking like something you might pull out from under a car bonnet. Unfortunately her reaction on receiving the gift had been so genuinely gracious that she was now required to wear the necklace to all social functions - and, never mind the looks she was getting from family and friends, was also facing hefty physio bills due to the strain the thing was putting on her neck.

A suggestion was made to lose the necklace and blame it on a faulty clasp. The bad mother said this was something she had tried, but one of the children had found the necklace in the garden and (after much elation) her husband had promptly soldered the clasp shut so it was now impossible to undo.

After a general discussion involving burglaries, house fires and murder it was decided that a life-threatening allergic reaction to the metal was the best course of action and a coffee date was organised for the following morning during which the medical emergency would take place. Stories were practised so all bad mothers were in sync re their description of the chain of events, including the bit about the doctor who was so intrigued by the case that he had organised for the necklace to be sent to Melbourne for scientific testing.

Another bad mother reported that she had received a goat with a twist. Apparently the goat had been delivered to an African village on her behalf on Christmas Eve. The goat was then slaughtered for the village to feast upon. The twist was that the spirit of the goat had arrived at her house on Christmas Day to provide bountiful feelings of goodwill.

All bad mothers were intrigued and wanted to know whether she had noticed any difference in the atmosphere of the house. The bad mother said that yes, she definitely had noticed a change. Since Christmas Day, the dishwasher had packed it in, a dead rat and three live funnel webs had been found in the pool and a candle had exploded, leaving one child requiring stitching to the index finger - giving her the distinct impression that the goat was not happy.

All bad mothers were stumped for a course of action. Visitors are bad enough, but ones you can't see? Well, that's just asking for trouble.

Meeting closed 9.35pm.

Annemarie Laurence

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