I had always known My Grandpas for their passion for quarrelling. Whether it was the milkshake flavour I would have for breakfast, who was going to drive the Caravan or or what Christmas presents they were to buy my mum, I had child’s wisdom- which told me they loved it.
They were usually brought to sit at opposite ends of the dining table on celebrations.
Now. I had been saved from the five medium bullies on the Estate by fellow classmate Clive Richards. Mum asked me to bring him around the day after, while she and dad were at a Charity Event. Turned out to be Granma and Grandpa had come to our garden to pull out the weeds they loved doing so much.
Clive was teaching me Kung Fu and Grandma was telling Grandpa he had spoilt her crime novel reading by sneaking through the End pages and telling her. Grandpa couldn’t help his devious little smile while he repeated “you’re still madly in love with me and I’m too old for this nonsense Chick”.
It started to rain all of a sudden- one of London ‘s lovely privileges- and all four of us went in into the kitchen.
“How did you two meet?” Asked Clive, surprising me with his interest for the elderly.
” A message in a bottle on the The Canal, forty nine years ago! A waste of a life! I wish I had never opened the bottle and bet you she got someone else to write the letter inside!” Said Grandpa.
” You only picked up the bottle because there were rumours someone was throwing football tickets into the water!”
“The next World War will be for paper! I am a visionary and I even predicted Brexit thirty years ago!”
” Don’t start all that stupid chatter you’ll poison these young minds” Grandma was already preparing a cake.
“Our tools! Lets go get our tools from under the rain!” Cried Grandpa.
“It’s your fault it’s raining again because you were snoring loudly all night!” Off to the garden they went, and I followed them to hold the brolly over their heads.
Clive had been listening to the quarrel all the way and when we went back in he opened up and said he never got to meet any of his grandparents and that he’d like to hear more about the Paper World War”.
After Grandma thanked him from saving me from the Estate bullies the cake was ready.
Now, what on Earth is going on here? Twenty minutes after we started eating the cake and drinking some tea, Granpa is touching Grandma ‘s white locks and crying.
” You look more and more beautiful to me every day Chick and I am so sorry I keep upsetting you all the time, but your mum always wanted you to marry that Officer, and he keeps on asking me after you every time I go to the Newsagents to collect the unsold papers.”
“Oh, Harold! You haven’t spoken to me like this in a lifetime! Why didn’t you clear that extra bedroom we had of all those papers and cardboards, we could have used it for the baby boy I always longed for!”
And they started cuddling, crying and kissing. Clive gave me the same look he had the day he was caught bt the teacher with a cheat sheet in his smartphone. ” Come here Clive” I ordered, not impressed with his counter- bullying skills anymore.
Out on the porch, he looked down and showed me a tiny bag of Hasch. Before I could punch his face for drugging my elders, I heard mum and dad giggling in the kitchen- they had gotten in through the back door- .
Grandma was sruggling to let go of Grandpa ‘s grip and writing something on paper.
“What are you writing, nanny?”
“You’ll see! It’s a message in a bottle!”
“Can we read it?” we all asked.
“Bullied kids’ Barbecue. Meet your future other half while Clive and Sam teach you Kung Fu. Bring this message and old newspapers to be admitted .”
“Do you have any more jars, darling? We’re going to drop twenty of them in the Canal! Hope you don’t mind the mess we’ll make during the Barbecue in your Garden!”
More humour here!