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  • Writer's pictureGemma Catherine Malak

The Diary of Jenny McFluff: Charlie & the Potions.

I’m sitting in a bath full of hair. MY OWN HAIR I mean, not a bath full of random hair belonging to another person—that would be gross. Don’t worry, I haven’t gone bald, I have just shaved my legs and er…bits for the first time in three months.

Don’t judge me, it was Winter!

I thought bits was the only name for bits up until I was fourteen and someone at school said minge. It was like a whole new world of names for bits!... lady garden, muff, piss flaps, bearded clam and my personal favourite Vulvarine (like Wolverine!) like my vagina is some kind of superhero (perhaps without the retractable metal claws though).

Anyway, that’s enough fanny talk for now. I’m shaving because I’m getting ready for my first date in about a year. After the Stinky McStinkerson fiasco (his breath was like an old slipper that was left out in the rain for a few months and started growing things on it) I kind of gave up, until I met this guy that I am going on a date with tonight. I met him in the dinner for one isle at Iceland. He’s picking me up at 7 (what a gentleman! No-one does that anymore).

I have a hair tint on, a moustache remover and a smashing frock I’ve never worn that has been sitting in the wardrobe for an eon. I’ve even got swanky perfume that is a guaranteed pheromone booster (it won’t hurt right?)

“Sweetheart, the babysitter will be here in thirty minutes, what are you doing?” I ask my five year old.

“Making potions Mummy.” The little voice replies.

“Lovely. Don’t make a mess ok” I don’t mind him using a bit of washing up liquid and baking soda, it’s good for his creativity, little scamp.

“I wont” He replies as if he means it. Last time we had ‘potions’ it looked like a scene from Carrie. Full on beetroot juice ALL over him, I mean, not a shred of non-beetroot could be seen upon his person.

“Oh Mummy, I’ve filled up some bottles.” He calls as I unwrap my towel turbaned hair.

“Okay.” I reply, I don’t know which bottles he’s on about, ah my little Einstein, probably creating something amazing by accident, like George’s marvellous medicine.

Fuck. I stare at my reflection and a big wet plop of neon orange hair is staring back at me.

Sunset it said on the toner, fucking sunset! Not sunset in Chernobyl! What am I going to do?

“You look like my furby.” Charlie giggles, suddenly standing in the doorway.

“ha ha ha, okay sweetheart get back to your potion while mummy gets ready.” Maybe it won’t look so bright once it’s dry. Meanwhile my phone alarm rings to tell me it’s time to remove the moustache cream, and when I do, I have a moustache pattern that looks like two pink slugs where the cream has been. It’s not neon like my hair, but it’s pretty damn bright.

“Noooooooo.” I yelp and scramble around for the tube of Immac. I discover that he tube of Immac expired five years ago, and I now recall that it has been called Veet for quite some time—obviously that was the last time I de-moutachioed myself. No wonder I’m single.

“Fucking pissflaps!” I mutter to myself.

“What?” Charlie pipes up, appearing at the door again.

“Oh, nothing sweetheart, I said Clucking Mishaps.” Good save Jen.

Okay, so disaster appears to be striking, but perhaps I can turn it around with a positive mental attitude. Hair will probably look better when dry and foundation will cover my red upper lip. I begin to dry my neon mop with the hairdryer, blow drying as I go, It’ll be fine.

“Mummy, I filled up some tubes.” Trills Charlie.

“Okay” I reply, I really don’t know what the fuck he’s on about but I’m sure it’s something very creative.

My hair is as dry as Gandhi’s flip flop, and its more fucking neon orange than it was before.

Okay, nil desperandum there’s a solution to everything. Talc! Fucking genius, I’ll dull it down with some talc. I retrieve the talc bottle from the bathroom and stand in front of the bedroom mirror shaking the powder all over my head and flipping my hair back and forth like some sort of deranged rocker. That’ll distribute it evenly!

My hair smells all pine-fresh, I don’t remember talc smelling of pine. Weird.

I apply my make-up next, that is definitely in date. The foundation is covering the red moustache, hurrah, I don’t have to go out looking like Red Beard after all. Hair is more on the Mick Hucknall scale of orange than it is Linda La Hughes from Gimme Gimme Gimme. It’s passable.

My head is itching, why do I smell like a fucking alpine valley?

Okay, make-up success, just mascara to go. Christ. I’ve poked myself in the eye really quite a lot. Eye is streaming, eye is streaming! Oh God.

“Mummy, why are you crying?” Charlie has appeared at the door again, I swear that child has teleporting abilities.

“Mummy isn’t crying darling, I’ve just had a little accident.”

“Shall I call an ablumance?” He suggests.

“No no no no I don’t need an ablumance sweetheart.” Just normal colour hair and a friggin’ eye patch.

I am hopping around itching my head, holding my eye which has made a lovely stream of black down my cheek. Charlie is giggling.

“I had to use the talcum powder.” He says, eyeing the bottle on the bedside table. “So, I filled it with the shakey shakey carpet powder.”

Oh baby Jesus are you serious?

“Ah, I see. So, what you are telling me is that you put Shake’n’Vac in the talc bottle, is that right?” He nods in agreement. Fan-bloody-tastic. “Okay, now darling, please don’t do that again because otherwise I won’t know which product is in which bottle and that could be troublesome.”

Only my child could do this! Now I understand why my head itches and I smell carpet-fresh!

Babysitter will be here in a moment, phew. Next job, clean teeth. Nothing can go wrong with cleaning my bloody teeth, that's a sure fire safe activity.

I’m brushing, so far so good. Toothpaste tastes a little odd, okay maybe it’s old like the moustache cream, it won’t kill me.

My tongue and gums are tingling.

I can’t feel my mouth.

I’m dribbling.

“Chawwwwllliee.” I call, with a semi-functioning tongue.

“Chawllleeeeeeeeee.” In he bounces, care-free like this is a totally normal situation.

“Yes Mummy.”

“Dd you pu suffin I da toofpayst.” I struggle, my whole mouth and tongue is ninety percent redundant.

“Why are you talking like that?” He asks as I scramble around the bathroom cupboard to find the evidence. Emla cream, fucking numbing cream in the toothpaste tube! How the little fucker even got numbing cream into the toothpaste tube I’ll never know, he’s some sort of five year old evil genius.

The doorbell rings. Of course it fucking does.

I run to the bedroom to pull on my frock so I’m not letting the babysitter in dressed in a towel. I answer the door to find Dave standing there, beautiful Dave from the meal for one isle who is early coming to pick me up.

'Crikey O' Big Cheese, send help', I plead silently to the the big G above.

I am standing there with neon orange Shake’n’Vac hair, a pink slug moustache where my streaming eye has washed off my foundation, and a dress that looked like a cute vintage lace affair when I bought it but now it’s on I look like the bride of Chucky.

“Hiiii, I ot weady yet.” I dribble. Yes, I am actually drooling out of one side of my numb mouth.

“Sowwy.” I try to apologise for the ridiculous sight before his eyes. Then I spy my fifty quid bottle of perfume on the floor on its side, empty. Next to it lies a funnel and a bottle of Zoflora in Lavender escape scent.

I wish I could escape to Lavender...or Hell, just anywhere that isn't here right now.

Dave looks like he’s trying to form some words, he’s probably got a better chance than me of doing that right now.

“Fucking pissflaps!” I hear my five year old yell from the kitchen. I’m trying to communicate with Dave via my eyes, but I just look like a starey weirdo. I can’t even tell Charlie off because I can’t fucking feel my mouth.

And in the little devil bounds, the icing on the cake. He has done Carrie all over again and stands next to me, his whole head covered in something that looks like blood, but is in fact food colouring for my red velvet cake that looks like it has been mixed with icing sugar.

Dave stares at me dribbling, looking like a scary Victorian doll that smells like a car air freshener. Then he looks at Charlie, standing there motionless with a pool of blood red icing forming from the drips off his face.

Meal for one it is—when I can feel my mouth again.

© 2020 Gemma Malak

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