Pulling the plug on the Pirates of Slammanan

"IS it me?" I ask myself, wondering at times if I am sane or not.

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Turns out that pirates really do exist, even if they don't look like actor Johnny Depp
Turns out that pirates really do exist, even if they don't look like actor Johnny Depp

My daughter Jenna and her best friend Gemma appear late Sunday morning for their usual post-Saturday girl's night out fry-up and post-mortem of the previous night's antics.

They sprawl over my settee, one at each end and they look like road kill.

What I would do for a quiet Sunday morning, I think to myself.

However, the tranquillity has now gone.

I place bacon rolls and mugs of tea on the coffee table and settle myself down to listen to the gossip.

JENNA: "What do you make of this mum? You know, Gemma can be quite selfish at times."

GEMMA: "Me?" (she looks genuinely confused)

JENNA: "Yes you."

ME (I know I shouldn't ask but I can't help it. It's a compulsion): "What have you pair been arguing about now?"

Too late. Even as I spoke I knew I should have listened to the warning alarm going off in my head.

JENNA: "We got home late last night and both crashed out in my double bed.

"Through the night I could hear what sounded like Gemma having a drink. Glug, glug, glug.

"I was gasping for a glass of water but the kitchen seemed like a million miles away."

Already I knew I was going to have a headache listening to this.

JENNA: "Gemma, pass over the water I'm dying for a drink."

GEMMA : "I can't."

JENNA: "Go on, pass it over. Don't be selfish. I'M DYING here."

GEMMA: "I can't. IT WON'T REACH!!!".

JENNA: "What do you mean it won't reach?"

GEMMA: "It's still plugged in. It won't reach."

JENNA, confused and too hung-over to even try and work out the logistics of a drink, manages to lift her head from the pillow, just enough to see Gemma drinking the water out of the steam iron which was lying on the floor next to the bed - and still plugged in to the wall!

Even Jenna had to admit that Gemma was absolutely right - the cord would only stretch so far.

I had absolutely no answer for either of them. And anyway, what was the point. Both thought they were right and both were oblivious to the absurd nature of their argument.

I shake my head and turn to the pair.

ME: "You two seem to find something to argue about every night you are out."

GEMMA: "You're right. That wasn't all that happened last night."

I roll my eyes and sigh. What the heck now?

Gemma looks at me, and with an unusually serious look on her face asks: "Janice, sure there's no such thing as pirates?"

ME (not having a clue where this was leading): "Well …

Seeing I have doubt in my mind, Jenna butts in.

JENNA: "See. I told you (she points in Gemma's face) I told you there were real pirates."

GEMMA: "I know there WERE real pirates, but not any more. They only existed in the olden days."

ME (attempting, somewhat unwisely to educate the pair of them: "Well, that's not quite true. … Anyway, what's brought this about? Was it the Pirates of the Caribbean film?"

JENNA: "No. We overheard a couple behind us in the pub talking about the Slamannan pirates."

ME: "Slamannan pirates?"

I am totally lost.

GEMMA: "Yes, they were talking about the Slamannan pirates who kidnapped the English couple."

ME: "Really? "

I am still mystified.

JENNA: "Yes."

I see Jenna now looking at me disappointedly, as if I should be more aware of what's going on in the world.

JENNA: "Gemma doesn't believe that there are real pirates today."

GEMMA: "Janice, Jenna says that Slamannan pirates kidnapped an old couple and held them hostage for a year. Can you believe that?"

To be honest I'm not quite sure which part she finds unbelievable. The fact that pirates do exist in this day and age. The fact that they are from Slamannan or the fact that the couple were held hostage for a year.

GEMMA: "Sure that's rubbish? Tell her Janice."

But Jenna is adamant.

Jenna: "I remember it was on the news every night for ages and eventually the couple were set free.

She looks at me for confirmation that she is telling the truth.

And then … all of a sudden the penny drops and everything falls into place.

ME: "Jenna for a start. Slamannan is inland. It's nowhere near the sea."

JENNA: "Well the couple definitely said Slamannan pirates."

ME (beginning to lose the will to live): "No Jenna. They said Somalian pirates, who are from Africa."

JENNA (incredulously): "Really?"

She quickly turns to Gemma and smugly laughs at her friend's comprehensive lack of knowledge on the subject of pirates.

JENNA: "See I told you there were real pirates.

Oblivious to the fact that the pirates in question were definitely not from Slamannan, Jenna was delighted that she was correct and that pirates do exist in this day and age.

GEMMA (looking at me, not for the first time, with a confused and somewhat bewildered gawp): "Seriously, real pirates?"

She is still in doubt. I must be making it up.

ME: "Yes. Definitely, real pirates Gemma. And just so you are aware. They don't dress up like Captain Hook."

My daughter, regardless of the ridiculousness of all that has been spoken in the previous hour, is delighted with the outcome of our conversation and continues.

JENNA: "Anyway mum. Where is Slamannan?"

Roll on next Sunday......

Food and drink

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