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GAL FRIDAY: Mother dearest knows best


VEOMA ALI

GAL FRIDAY: Mother dearest knows best

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“LIKE YOU NEED A LAXATIVE?!?” Such was the unexpected exclamation from my good friend when I confessed that I had writer’s block. Yes, I confessed because he is a priest. Not the type of response one would expect from a man of the cloth, right?

Especially when he was getting ready to perform someone’s last rites. And there was no sympathy from my cunning linguist-mother, either. According to mummy, the priest was right.

“You suffer from cranial-rectal inversion sometimes!” Well, no solace for this writer with writer’s block. “A block of Brooklax will do you just fine.”

Some are born mothers, others achieve motherhood and some have mothers thrust upon them. I was about to thrust a few mothers myself, when I realised that she was right. You could surely trust my mother to remember.

She reminded me of the time I ate Brooklax. Chocoholic that I am, I love anything even remotely resembling chocolate. Patisserie Flindt used to have little chocolate figurines stuck all over their counter.

I remember licking one when Zoe Flindt went to the back. (Don’t worry, karma was wide awake . . . keep reading!) I was so engrossed in my act I didn’t notice that my mother was totally grossed out.

It was the twelfth night of February of 2005. My mother mentioned the figurine-tasting episode and how distasteful she found it. I remember this like it was yesterday.

She said to me, “Veoma Ali, I did not raise a daughter who goes about licking people’s chocolatey display things. If you wanted chocolate, all you needed to do was ask.” With that, she handed me a few little blocks of chocolate, littered delicately onto a napkin.

I focused less on the reprimand and more on the delicacies before me. “Yes mummy,” I greedily agreed. I thought it was thoroughly refreshing of my mother to not make the generic who-cyah-hear-go-feel comment and instead focus on the actual indecent act. Nonetheless, she still claimed the victory of making me feel, that night.

My esteemed and beloved mother had deliberately given me Brooklax, knowing that I wouldn’t have deliberated twice before stuffing the effluvium-inducing bits into my mouth. But I must apologise to you if you don’t know what Brooklax is. In fact, I don’t even know if it’s still marketed . . . although I do know where you can source it, if you’re ever blocked.

Brooklax is a laxative, very much resembling chocolate and tastes quite like a dairy-free version of the stuff (See how much I like chocolate? I would even eat it dairy or sugar-free.)

Anyway, to make a long story short, I spent the remainder of the day with Charmin in an extremely uncharming way. Belly gripe to the point of prayer. All kinds of prayers. Our Father, Ave Maria, Act of Contrition and Eternal Rest. Come to think of it, maybe I shouldn’t be too harsh on my priestly pal.

He surely meant that I should pray about the writer’s block . . . and for forgiveness of sinfully licking public chocolate exhibits.

Veoma Ali is an author, broadcaster, advertising exec and, most important, a karaoke lover.

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