Friday, September 01, 2006

The North West London Chainsaw Massacre

Most of the time The Tezter could pass as almost normal. There are his little eccentricities, the way he always wears his t-shirts inside out, the way he stands with his hands turned back to front, the fact that he always paints the frames of his glasses with blackboard paint, and his obsession with the Waffen SS. Little things that just hint that what you see isn't exactly what you're going to get.

There are, however, other 'special' times, for The Tezter is bi-polar, not a phrase he likes. He prefers the older 'manic depressive', as indeed he should, because when The Tezter is 'up', manic hardly starts to describe his personality. Apart from the drinking and ranting, there's the cleaning and bathing, and of course the wearing of the Special Clothes. When he's being manic, The Tezter dresses in black. Black trousers, black shirt, black waistcoat, his special religious medals (he's a product of a strict RC education and upbringing), and slung across his chest, like a Mexican bandit's cartridge belt, a dog's lead.

To go with the clothes, there is, of course, the bizarre behaviour. There are many stories I could tell, but this one, I think is my favourite. The Tezter and his long suffering wife, henceforth known as The LSW live in area that has residents' parking. They have such a permit (£90 per annum and cheap at twice the price), which has to be regulalrly renewed. One time, the renewal time came during one of his episodes, and they forgot to renew the permit. Well, we all know what Parking Attendants are like, and this one was waiting outside Tezter Towers as the controlled hour arrived, and quick as a flash, stuck a ticket on his car. And when The LSW went to take the dog for a walk, there it was, waiting for her to discover it.

When she returned from the walk, to find him dressed in his Special Clothes, and washing everything in sight, she foolishly mentioned it to him. Now The Tezter does battle with authority at the best of times, but when he's having an episode, the battling takes on a status that could best be described as monumental. The Local Authority obviously had to be punished, and he was the man for the job. He went in search of his chainsaw. The LSW, obviously in fear that the NW London Chainsaw Massacre was about to take place phoned Katy for some legal advice. While she was advising her, she heard The LSW cry 'Oh no!!' followed by a distant buzzing sound. 'What's happened?', shouted Katy. There was no reply. Then Katy heard the buzzing getting louder. 'Oh Jesus! You haven't!' she heard The LSW exclaim. The buzzing sound had increased.

The Tezter was in the house. In the right hand he held the still whirring chainsaw, and in the left, sawn off at ground level, the 'Residents Only' parking sign.

3 comments:

J.J said...

Oooh, I found you by sheer chance and you are the lovely Katy's mum! That is all I need to know....

I love you already.

TBTAM said...

Great piece of writing, this. What is the derivation of Tezter? (I;m thinking its an English term and I'm missing something significant...)

Chairwoman of the bored said...

j.j - Thank you, and I love you too.

tbtam - Thank you. I hope I can do it again.
The Tezter. 'Tezzer' or 'Tezbo' are the Scouse (Liverpudlian) abreviations for Terry or Terence. Family members would say 'Our Tezzer/Tezbo'. I usually call him Tezbo.

When my daughter, Katy Newton, was younger, she took to adding 'ster' to the end of everyone's name, and prefixing them with 'the'. I was 'The Mumster', her father 'The Dadster', etc. Ergo, Terry became The Tezter, and it stuck.

So part English, and part Newtonian, so to speak.

BTW, if you can lay your hands on Petrishka, I believe it's known as Parsley Root in the US, try it in your Barley Soup.