Beatrice, I asked one day, in the rare times Godfrey seemed worried, usually when he was asleep, he muttered about The Last Poor Pickle? Yet never told me what it meant when awake, is it part of his legend?
He was rough and tumble as a lad, Beatrice shared as she poked for pickled onions, deep amid the gherkins in her jar. Miss Commerford the school nurse (she spits when she talks) knocked him into the drain once accidentley with her car. At game time and sports he was always chosen last, usually not picked at all.
They used Godfrey as a tumbling mat, hit him over the head with cricket bat and ball. Arthur Bosomswoth, head teacher I called the “grunting garden gnome”. He wore disturbing white shoes, he lived in a posh home.
He oft made little Godfrey sit alone in the hall, by age 8 he had sat there many times before, he could hear teacher grumbling through his office door…Said Bosomsworth to the spitting nurse, “He reminds me of the last poor pickle bottom of the jar”
In that old kilt he wears, the green one stuck with bits of burrs and twigs and fur from pets and patched with pink wool” .The lad really looks like the last poor pickle…By now I was laughing as the story Beatrice told, of Godfrey falling out the back of a vehicle on the road.
“We had all been dragged to church, on a summer morning stuck for hours inside. We were happy when Stench Mulgrew offered all of us a ride, us kids in the bed of Stench’s ute, Godfrey playing pirate bold, wind in his hair. Sister Alice held out beets she had hidden in her top, he dodged her and went flying out the side, it was many miles onward when we got Stench to stop.
Battered but unbroken he sat bewildered in the dirt, his kilt was gone, his Ma yelled at Godfrey for tearing his good shirt. Alice got a rollicking for staining her blouse, when Stench dropped us off at their house.
The beets were pickled, bottom of the jar, Alice explained, his kilt was never found, Alice pushed that beet prank to far. Beatrice told me, “I recall, those dreadful trousers of his we tried to throw away”. Remember fondly the deep footprints of his gumboots gathering flowers for me down in the mud by the stream” “Tormenting Alice with fresh herring, listening to her scream”
“At Barafundle Bay, summer nights talking neath the stars, we were the last poor pickles bottom of our awkward teenage jars.
..Arthur Bosomsworth still lived a fence over from Beatrice, I’d avoid him in the mornings seen, shaking his cane at her hens as he was want to do. The grass was tall and wet with dew on the pathway to Beatrice’s outdoor Loo. “I was a friend of Godfrey, you may recall he disliked beets, I spoke politely this day as he cornered me by the weeds”
He blustered, I listened at length about the beets he’d eaten daily as a lad in the war- and of course Bosomsworth remembered Godfrey- Ragamuffin he was, last poor pickle bottom of the jar.