Janet White’s train of thought: Our continues rolls right along

Hello again, Oh Larcenous Literati!  And you thought it was only writing that did not pay! In this entry into our contest, motherly love blinds mom to the inevitable turns of the wheels of justice.  But such is love!


Only a Mother…

by Janet White


“Brazil, you say?”

Ethel beamed and pointed at the picture postcard carefully propped between the salt and pepper pots. “Copacabana Beach.  Beautiful, innit?  My Ronnie’s such a considerate boy, never forgets his old Mum.”

Millie picked up the postcard and studied the picture while slurping her tea.

“Brazil – that’s South America innit?  What’s Ronnie doing there?”

“Oh, business.  He wrote that he’s been transferred there.”

“Travels a lot, your Ronnie does.  What line of business is he in, again?”

“Something to do with banks, love.  I forget.  Last time I asked him he tapped his nose, confidential like, winked at me and said just the one word, ‘Banks’.  He must be doing really well – did I show you that pretty bracelet he gave me for Christmas a few years ago?  The paste’s so good you’d think they were real diamonds.  And the telly, that was a present from Ronnie too.”

“Nuts!” shouted Millie.

“I beg your pardon?  What do you mean?  You don’t think my Ronnie’s a good boy?”

“No, no, dear.  Brazil nuts.  They come from Brazil, don’t they?”

“Yes, love.  Now about Ronnie.  You know, it’s his birthday today.  Thirty eight years old.  I remember the day he was born, as clearly as if it were yesterday.  I always knew he was special.  ‘My little tycoon’, that’s what I called him. Even when he was at primary school he found ways to supplement his pocket money. He used to come home with his shorts pockets stuffed from the sweet shop, much more than he could have bought with the sixpence I gave him.  Even his step-dad Arthur called him ‘little tyke’. Arthur used to pretend he didn’t like Ronnie but I saw through all that. Everyone loved him, but no-one so much as me.  It’s a shame about that wife of his – I don’t know what he ever saw in that slut.”

“Carmen Miranda!” shouted Millie.

“No, love, Ronnie’s wife’s called Charmian, not Carmen.”

“No, dear, I meant Carmen Miranda’s from Brazil isn’t she?  Those exotic hats all heaped in bananas?  Do you remember the Christmas when we smuggled those Brazil nuts under our hats on the ferry back from Ireland?  After the war, during rationing?  When we couldn’t buy them in the shops?”

“Now Millie, we’re talking about Ronnie.”

“About Ronnie, Ethel.  Is it true what they printed in the newspaper the other day?  About him being tangled up in that Great Train Robbery?”

“Millie!  How can you believe that nonsense about my Ronnie?  The newspapers can print what they like, but it was only a rumor. I know in my heart of hearts it’s not true.”  Ethel paused and her face fell. She picked up a sealed envelope from the kitchen table. “I just wish he’d left a forwarding address so I’d know where to send his birthday card.”

7 thoughts on “Janet White’s train of thought: Our continues rolls right along

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Here, here to “Only a Mother” adoring the fact that love is stronger in tough, upper lift loyalties and admirations than any ordinary nut from Brazil. Being both British of mind and Carmen Miranda of lust with a set of romantic notions about trains, I found Ms. White’s story endearing and human as we the reader eavesdrop on two women friends who are clearly on different tracks of thoughts yet riding the same good company. One is a mother lovingly grateful and praising her son; while the other is of a different continent and believing in grand crime. Aren’t relationships grand fun at tea time. Cookie? You tell me that this story is quite the cookie with a Brazil nut as chopped topping? Well, I quite agree that, “Only a Mother” is a delightful and whimsical reminder of the depth of a British mum’s love for her son. More tea?

  2. elizabeth sloan says:

    Delightful humor. Kind of a Who’s on First, or It’s Complicated tangling of perspectives.
    Brought a smile, and that’s a good thing! Thanks.

  3. Diane Cresswell says:

    Oh wow Janet – this tosses a conversation back and forth like a soccer game. Reminds me a bit of Lucy and Ethel talking. What fun and you have to admire the Mum for her undying belief in her wonderful son. You have a wonderful subject here to write about…all Moms do have a blind spot with their children. Great read.

  4. wendyjoseph says:

    I kept expecting Ethel to get a phone call from Ronnie: “Mum, I’m in a little trouble. Can you get through to Mr. Hopper, the famous drug lord lawyer? Thanks.”

  5. Stars Fall On My Heart says:

    Oh. My. GOD! I knew where it was going, but when I got to the end, that was all I could say! The only person who can truly love a con man/thief is his mother. But I guess that’s what love is: doesn’t matter what you do. If you exist, you are automatically loved. Not too bad of an idea overall, don’t you think? <3

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