I was all set to do a proper Scottish crime fiction related post but time has escaped me, so you'll just have to put up with this, dear reader.
I've mentioned before how my Mum won't read anything I write (too much swearing, and she thinks that every female over 50 is based on her). I've also mentioned how she tries to protect her neighbours from me too.
So, you can imagine the trauma of The Day I Sent My Mother Porn.
I've always had to protect her from my tastes. She's great fun and has a wicked sense of humour, but is easily shocked. I thought she would be really angry with me when I dyed her hair bright pink (by mistake I hasten to add), but she was actually quite proud and told everyone she was now "a punker".
I taught her how to do the Chicken Strut to The Cramps' I Ain't Nuthin' But a Gorehound and she surprised me by joining me on the dance floor at the Pupils and Parents school disco. Unfortunately, the whole 'Cool Mother' effect was then ruined when she stayed up to headbang to Status Quo and I had to spend the rest of the evening in shame hidden in the school toilets with a bottle of Pernod and a box of tissues.
But, as I say, she has a strangely prudish outlook. When I was a teenager, during love scenes on TV I used to sweat a lot and start up a ridiculous conversation about weasels, or tulips, in a very loud voice to distract my mother's attention just so that she wouldn't start tutting like a crazed woodpecker. My Dad was no help. He'd clear his throat and vanish behind his newspaper. Protecting Mother from Indecency fell on my tender shoulders.
And it's still the same. When she used to come up to visit, she would rummage through my bookshelves (when she's not checking that the baked bean tins are properly arranged in my cupboards). "Now, dear, what have you got that I would like?" she says - unerringly pulling out Christopher Brookmyre, or Allan Guthrie, or Ken Bruen, or some other favourite author, whose books are peppered with salaciousness, scatology and...shock, horror...sweary words.
I would have to make sure I had a supply of the cosiest cosies on hand otherwise she would berate me for half an hour in hushed tones:
"Dear, I don't know what type of books you're reading lately, but you have to stop. I was shocked. Shocked I say. Why, on page 40, the heroine said a very bad word. Not just a fairly bad word. Not that word I slapped you on the leg for using when you were 10, but a really, really bad word that I couldn't even read in my head without blushing. And then on page 64 she gets into bed with a man who is not her husband, and there are three pages of description about what they do in bed. I had to read those three pages twice, before I understood what they were talking about. I don't want to read about all of that sort of stuff. Especially not when I've just sat down with a nice cup of tea and a banana. What happened to all those nice books you used to read when you were 12? You know, those ones with that nice young lady who solved crimes with her friends? She never used to go out without a fresh handkerchief in her handbag and wearing a clean pair of knickers just in case she was involved in an accident. What was that series called now?....Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys, that's it....."
So, you can imagine how I felt on that dreadful day which is now known as The Day I Sent My Mother Porn. You see, we'd been discussing presents and she wanted a bed-jacket. She was a bit vague in what she was looking for - I wasn't sure if we were talking elegant chiffon and lace or cosy flannel. So I decided to look some up on the internet and e-mail her some websites. I typed "bed-jacket" into Google and clicked on a few. If I saw one that looked like just the thing, I immediately e-mailed her the link. I should have known that things weren't going well when she rang me up and told me off for sending one from the Help The Aged website. I think she thought I was insinuating something.
However, the second time she rang me up she whispered in a shocked way "Donna. Why have you sent me to a naughty website?"
I was confused - until I went back to the site. It was a seemingly innocuous site selling lingerie and underwear. Near the top of the page was the little bed-jacket I saw. Unfortunately, I'd neglected to scroll down to the crotchless knickers, peephole bras and... errrr...some things even I didn't recognise and which looked VERY uncomfortable. But not as uncomfortable as I felt when some of the pictures even further down the page showed people wearing them.
My Mum was in shock for some time after that. My Dad told me that she sat with a glass of sherry in her hand for 3 hours, shaking her head and mumbling "I wonder if they come in pink."