Hurray! (see below)
For some strange reason Blogger wont let me post up any pictures so you will have to wait for the comedic images of victorian drunken women fighting to be pasted on (if you will pardon the pun) here until then my ramblings will lie raw and naked on the screen in front of you.
One of the many things that I hate to see but never the less makes me watch with that infatuated study of the very nature of the act is cat fighting. I’m not talking felines here. Its actually women fighting. Now you don’t tend to see too much of it these days thankfully because in my view its degrading and nasty looking but yet as I said before if a fight broke out in the middle of the street it would stop me in my tracks and I would not look away with distain. I put it in the same category as ‘car crash ‘ television - you want to look away but cant.
When I was younger, there seemed to be quite a lot of it going around where I lived. Children would get into fights with each other , they would come home snotty, tear stained , unkempt and maybe a bloody nose. These women would frogmarch their whimpering child around to the house of the perpetrator and make the parent aware of the child’s wrong doing. Sometimes this was not a wise course of action depending on who’s mother or father you where complaining too. There were two such women that were a bit blood lusty in that department, One happened to live next door to us and the other directly opposite the road.
Liz , who lived next door came from a rough part of inner city Dublin , she had the tongue of an adder when talking to her children and had little or no scruples . My parents where more comfortable than most in our estate in a recession ravaged country my father was in a secure and well paid job which in turn made it affordable for us to have some luxuries for the era in it, which included the front of the house repointed , painted , new wrought iron gates, new driveway and new PVC double glazed windows and front door. Every time we would get something done to the façade of the house Liz seemed to follow suite and get the exact same thing done which pissed my mother off no end and she would vent her grievances to my father. I was eight years old and hearing my mothers frustrations I somehow harboured a hatred for the woman also. After all I loved my mother and was proud of the way our house looked and felt that we where cheated of our originality. Liz had a son called Darren, who although was a year younger than me was incredibly effeminate and to no surprise is gay now but back then, as children do there would be wars of words from time to time. My Dad had just got a new ford Ritmo and one evening I was walking down the driveway to my house when Darren shouted in his common albeit camp accent to me ’ you ‘s think you’s are great with yer nuuu car when its only a piece of shite’ So on the defence I piped up ’ you mam has to copy everything my mam does, look at the state of her new door’ to which Darren replied ’my ma says that yours is the cheap one and ours cost much more’ That was it I seen red, so as I neared my front door and I’m ashamed to say this even now, I leaned over the fencing and spat at the door ’tell yer ma that’s what I think of her new door’ and went inside. I could hear his diva like gasp as I closed my door. I knew there would be trouble so as soon as I got in I told my mother what Darren had said about my dads new car and said he had spat on our door also, no sooner did I have the words out a thunderous knock came on the door. It was Liz.
She was screeching about how I had spat on her door and my mother calmly told her my version of what happened and that of course she would be dealing with me for spitting on someone’s door but that the entire incident was provoked by her son and it would answer her better to take herself away from our doorstep, wash her mouth out and chastise her son for provoking the incident. She went wild as she walked away saying ‘I happen to know you are up to your eyes in debt just to make the rest of us feel you are better that us’ my mother calmly informed her sardonically that it was all paid for with cash and she would show her the receipts but she knew she could not read (Liz was in fact illiterate). I am not sure if that snapped something within her but for the rest of that summer the woman went on a fisticuffs frenzy fighting women physically .
My mothers best friend had decided not to have anymore children due to the fact her youngest had cerebral palsy and she adopted two girls, again darren instigated a fight with one of them and my mothers friend called upon liz to ask her to control her son to which her reply was ‘ at least I lay down and had my kids’ which was when it got physical- the fight lasted a good 15 minutes all the way across the road into my mothers friends garden and when she went into the house and closed the door Liz smashed her fist through the glass and opened the door and went in the house to finish off the fight. A neighbour ran in to stop it . She went on to fight several other neighbours and nearly met her match in one of them which seemed to put a cap on it all. Thing is if it was today the reality of it is that Liz would be sued for slander , breaking and entering and GBH and most likely doing time. She still lives next door to my mother and they both chat now and then .
My mother is not one for holding grudges and am proud to say not one for cat fighting. But as I grew older I somehow understood why Liz was the woman she was; married to a wife beater, had 6 young children estranged from her intimate family and struggled to do something as basic as shopping and her body was ravaged with psoriasis. I am sure there is a lot more that this woman was suffering from but understanding the marquis of queensbury rules was not one of them.