Toffee-Head Tom by Hugh Cron

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Toffee-Head Tom was born to Caramel Jeannie and Jammy-Dodger Rodger. He wasn’t an attractive child and had no friends as such. In those days he was classed as special; now-a-days he would have had a list of names.

He lived happily with his parents. They would only eat pudding if the previous meal had included potatoes.

They spent their Sundays reading excerpts from the Pears’ Cyclopedia and drinking Rainbow Sherbet.

He was orphaned as a young man as his mother and father had died in a teabagging accident; they both choked. If fate had dealt him a kinder hand, he may have been very wealthy but PG Tips were never held accountable.

As an adult, Tom had grown to a healthy six foot two but an unhealthy ten stone four. He had spasmodic, orange, blonde hair and a work-shy eye. It was strange that he was called Toffee-Head when he had more the look of a Nik-Nak about him.

Tom was either referred to as ‘Toffee-Head’ or ‘Scare the Weans’. He would answer to either.

After his parents had passed away Tom was moved into a house rented from the Council.   He decorated it purple and brown. The interior was all pale blue.

He had an obsession with poking earwigs from the knot holes in his garden fence. He did this every day to make sure that they weren’t there.

Tom didn’t have many hobbies but he had a fascination about what it would be like to be a goldfish so he spent many happy hours walking around in circles in the rain. He couldn’t swim.

If at home, one of his favourite things to do was listen to ‘The Barron Knights’. ‘Songs for Traffic Jams’ was the album that he listened to time after time. He never tired of their witty ditties.

No doctor was ever able to get to the bottom of his phobias. Tom had a tremendous fear of yellow labels and cotton wool. This held him back in his career options. He ended up working as a tester in a Tic-Tac factory. This was unfortunate for him as he hated the taste of mint.

Tom was also a very fussy eater and would only consume soda scones spread with cold mashed potatoes. He had this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He would wash them down with a can of Irn Bru mixed with a small bottle of fresh orange. He had not touched Rainbow Sherbet since his parents had died.

He didn’t socialise much but he would walk into ‘Peter’s Pet Shop’ on a Saturday to stare at the goldfish. If there were any work’s nights out, he knew from bitter experience that the DJs never had any Barron Knights. He would sit by himself, enjoy a Malibu with blackcurrant and then he would head for home. He always left at 9.17pm to catch his bus eight minutes later. Before bed, Tom’s nightcap would be some warm milk with a spoonful of Bovril.

He didn’t understand what sexuality was. He did feel a little strange when he saw early footage of a young Esther Rantzen. He looked forward to these infrequent clips of ‘That’s Life’.

Tom never learned to drive as he was scared of steering wheels. He was very proficient on the left roller-skate. He did like trains but never went on them.

He only went abroad once and this is what killed him. He fell off a pyramid in Egypt.

No-one went to Tom’s funeral. It rained and all the goldfish cried.

 

Hugh Cron

14 thoughts on “Toffee-Head Tom by Hugh Cron

    • If I have made you smile, you have made my day!! (Who says I can’t be romantic?)
      Thanks for all your encouragement and help Diane!
      Hugh

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  1. Toffee Head Tom is clearly straight out of the first version of the Beano. I was starting to really like him until he felt strange around Esther Rantzen and realized she makes me feel strange too. But perhaps in a different way. I am sure if he had lived he would have found his Liquorice All Sort Jeanie and they would have had lots of little M & Ms

    James.

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    • Thanks James, happy to see you around. All of us of a certain age will hum the theme tune to ‘That’s Life’ when we see a strange shaped carrot!
      Hope all is well with you!
      Thanks again my friend.
      Hugh

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  2. It will be hard to forget Toffee-Head, Hugh, because it matches a painting I recently purchased in a thrift store. It is weird and colorful with goldfish floating in a birdcage, and some strange food and beverage floating about. If we have a touch of lunacy in common, so be it! Always, June

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  3. Lol Hugh, you are the man. It’s Roald Dahl crossed with William Burroughs. Esther… Yeah, I can see that. Love the story. Perfect pace and a lovely weight to the language.

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    • Thanks Dave, I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Tom was fun to write. I can’t always get my pen around the funnier stories. I’ve been trying but the last three that I’ve written have even depressed me!
      Thanks again my friend, your comments mean a lot!!
      Hugh

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  4. A funny and loony tale. Not much luck for Tom, but I’m ashamed to say I enjoyed his misfortunes.
    ATVB my friend
    Tobias

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