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Phil Mellows is a freelance journalist living in Brighton






by Phil Mellows


Thirty-something MOTHER sits under a drier at the hairdresser's. The wire from a hands-free mobile kit hangs down from her right ear.

Hello Debs! It's me! Guess where I am? (Pause, laughs.) Don't be silly! No. I'm under the drier. At Doreen's. (Pause.) Yes but can't you hear? I'm on my mobile phone. Under the drier. How do you think I've done that? (Pause.) Well guess. (Pause. Now exasperated.) I've got one of those no-hands mobiles! Look! (She waves her hands in the air. Pause.) I know. (Pause.) I'm fine. (Pause.) He's fine. (Pause.) Don't talk to me about Keanu, Debs, I had him up the doctor's this morning. (Pause.) Well he wouldn't listen to a word I said to him so I said are you deaf and he said yes mum and held his ear. (Pause.) I know, I know. It was awful. Yeah. Like that Anne Frank. (Pause.) Helen Keller, that's right. Anyway I took him straight up the doctor's and the look that receptionist gave me! (Pause.) She is. Anyway, eventually I get to see doctor Tillekeratne and he has a look in his ear with that thing and he says there's a blockage. (Pause. She is handed a cup of tea.) I know. I was. So he says he'll give him a syringe and I says Keanu wouldn't like that couldn't you just shine a bright light in it and he says that only works with live insects so the syringe it was. (Pause.) Upset? Debs he screamed the surgery down. (Pause, laughs. Pause.) Guess. (Pause.) No you guess what it was. (Pause.) Don't be ridiculous! Where's he going to get one of those? No. You'll never get it. It was a bean. (Pause.) No, a baked bean. I think if it had been a runner bean I might have noticed,   Debs. (Pause.) Heinz. (Pause.) No he won't eat the supermarket ones. (Pause. ) I have to show him the tin Debs. He don't miss a trick. (Pause.) I don't know. He does play with his food. I've still got it, yeah. (Pause.) You never know, do you? (Pause.) Yeah, it could have been worse. (Pause. Looks serious.) No. Might not have been his ear, might it.


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