I don't know why I am writing this. Someone you don't know has insisted, but it's not much of a story, really not.
We bought him a TV and radio station, just like we said. Richard was happy with it. It certainly was good, perhaps the best in the islands. Quite a lot of canned stuff, imports, but never the old D&C Show recordings. It was the locally produced programs that were so good, Richard was and is wonderful.
He renamed the station “Western Isles Media”, the TV is WIM and the radio channels WIM1, WIM2, WIM3... I asked him about the name – our island was the east-most one and the islands were to the west of nothing – Richard said that it was the name of the train set that he had had as a kid. “Show me the train set that a guy had as a kid and I can tell you what kind of man he is.”
The quiet thinking men had had diesel locomotives, the managers electric ones, and the interesting men steam trains, the real crazy types had real smoke coming out. I asked Chardonnay once if smoke came out of the top of her head sometimes, she said probably.
There were no natives on the island, everybody had come from somewhere else, everywhere else, the white men from the other side of the planet still had their train sets.
As soon as we were married Chardonnay and Doreen were pregnant. I waited a year until I had fully grown. I'm not as big as Chardonnay or Doreen, but I'm no longer Bridget the midget. I'm still stuck with the name Brenda, the name I hated, the name that my parents gave to my sister.
Miss Cavendish was a bit shy. I put my arms around Miss Cavendish and Richard and held them together. Now we all have children, about nine with more to come, there is no stopping Chardonnay and Doreen.
It is not true that Chardonnay and Doreen have a special relationship, or Miss Cavendish and me, it's not true. We share ourselves. OK, when Chardonnay is having her crazy ideas she gets a lot of Brenda (that's me) and anyone who wants to get pregnant gets a lot of Richard. We accept that.
Richard runs his TV station but is a great father to the children, Chardonnay has the crazy ideas, Doreen does the clever stuff, Miss Cavendish teaches the children and I'm in charge.
There is something that could be interesting, perhaps. The children like playing about of course and like to act out stories, especially about adults and the problems they have.
Richard found this interesting and recorded a few minutes and showed it on TV. He was always looking for local content.
Yes, you have guessed, it was a success. He recorded a lot more. Sometimes they act out stories that Richard and Miss Cavendish had written, sometimes they play on the beach or swim in the sea, totally unscripted.
Richard sold the programs to other TV stations, everyone wanted to see “the little adults”. I say everyone, but I don't mean kids, kids found it boring, adults loved it. Had they no kids of their own? Did they like children too much? Did they like the way the kids poked fun out of adults?
No real adults appear in the programs, except one. The programs are for adults.
I haven't changed, I'm just a bit bigger, I can't help it, I just do it. The children found me asleep on the beach, more than once. I am the night wanderer.
Every once in a while the little adults find a big person asleep somewhere (it's me). Big problem! Why is the big person so big? And why does it speak in such a funny way?
The story always ends with the little adults taking the big person to the other side of the island where perhaps other big persons are.
Belinda and Tom are the two oldest children. They write some of the stories now and help Miss Cavendish and Richard. Soon they will take over the whole production. That makes the five of us very happy.
Very happy! It was our fifteenth wedding anniversary. Chardonnay and Doreen and Richard and Miss Cavendish and I had a lot to be happy about. A great celebration lunch on the beach and a special show from our children, written just for us.
Oh, so happy! Oh, yes! Until the last number. SHOCK!
The children linked hands and sang the sandwich song. THIS WAS TOO MUCH! Chardonnay and Doreen and Richard and Miss Cavendish and I cried. It is true, we cried. The children stopped singing.
OK, I thought to myself. Do something! I dried my eyes. It was time for a Machtwort.
You have found out the truth. This is OK.
We are crying. This is OK.
There is no need to hide our emotions. This is OK.
No one else needs to know. This is OK.
You have not hurt us. It is OK.
We are happy. It is OK.
We just need some tender loving care.
The keyword “tender loving care” worked immediately, the children, our children, formed pairs – five pairs for the five of us. Belinda and Tom took me along the beach and held me tight, very tight.
It was true, we had never told our children about the D&C Show, it was never shown on the island, perhaps that was the clue.
Belinda and Tom took me past the spot on the beach where the funeral had taken place, fifteen years before. I cried.