I reckon I must have been about five when I was having tea with my Mum, Grandmother and Grandfather. Suddenly I needed to say something, and started to talk. But unfortunately for me, Mum and Granny were in full flow.
Mum turned to me sternly: “Stewart, we’re talking. Be quiet.” So I was duly quiet for a few moments, but the urgency of the situation grew.
“Stewart, be quiet.”
Another minute passed. “Mum…there’s….”
“Stewart, you wait until Granny and I have finished talking before you say anything.” To which I replied: “If I wait for you and Granny to finish talking I should never say anything.” At this juncture my Grandfather started choking on his cup of tea, before eventually uttering the immortal phrase: “Out of the mouths of babes.”
Order was swiftly restored, as was Mum and Granny’s full flow.
When they finally finished, Mum turned to me and said: “Now, Stewart, what did you want to say?”
“I just wanted to say there was a big hair on Granny’s piece of cake. But she’s eaten it now.”
Cue Grandfather choking on his tea again.
That episode also brings to mind another wise old saying: “Children should be seen and not heard.” Do you think that’s why I developed into the quiet, shy, retiring wallflower I am today? Cue my Grandfather’s ghost choking on his tea.