“Joe Dodd!!!! Get your arse in here!!!”
“I’m coming! The census man was at the door. I told him that there was no spare room!”
Joseph ran to his wife. She was lying in bed with her legs very tightly together.
“What is it Mary?”
“I’m with child!!”
“I’m having a baby you idiot!! Didn’t you notice I was getting bigger?”
“Well, not really. But we haven’t…”
“I know but I am having the Lord’s Child. An angel from the community centre told me. And it is coming tonight! I’ve already phoned my brothers. They travel from the East.”
“What from Dalmilling?”
“Will I boil some towels?”
“No get me ten fags and a bottle of Frosty Jack!”
He left to do as his wife asked. He felt humble and a little confused. But she had told him thus was this and so be it. Joseph bowed his head as he headed out the door.
Mary wasn’t ready to christen her child but she christened her husband that very night.
She wondered if she would get away with it. She had been shagging the guy from the top flat for the last year and she reckoned that this was her comeuppance. She had it comfortable with Joseph. Their claim was joint and his family had kitted them out with all the essentials: Plasma TV, Xbox and George Foreman Grill. She had to play this carefully. He had swallowed this but what she was worried about was whether or not the kid would look holy enough and her mother-in-law was also a problem. She had told her brothers what she was doing. They would go along with it as The World Cup was due to start and they wanted to watch the telly.
It was a typical night in The West Coast of Scotland, a clear night with snow on the ground. It was June the twenty-fifth. The three men headed over the railway towards Lochside. They had dressed for the occasion in their finery. They thought they looked the bollocks but they were more like extras from Puff ‘N Stuff.
“You’ve got to hand it to our Mary, she comes up with them!! Fly bitch that she is. Fly Mary!!”
Peter looked around at his brothers James and Andrew who were lagging behind. They were nodding slowly. The blues that they had taken on the way down were starting to kick in.
“What did you get for the sprog? A teddy or something?”
“See you James, you are so predictable. No. I got her some washing powder cause the kid will shit itself all the time. I also bought some pot-pourri for the same reason. But I have had a wee accident with that, the bag burst and I’m only left with a cone. And I’ve got her a paper to read but it fell in the burn. There was an interesting leaflet in it about the NatWest and all its services. I’ll tell her it is for her to open an account for the sprog like. We can all kid on that we are going to give it some money.”
Andrew grimaced, “Talking about money… I can’t give you anything for the washing powder, I’m skint.”
Peter held out his hands, “Lads would I take anything off of you when I nicked this out of Lidl?”
The two other men shouted their thanks.
James suddenly looked up to the sky, “Fuck me! Is the sky glowing… Just above Mary’s house?”
Andrew shook his head, “I don’t think so. It’s more likely the wee bawbags have set the Star of Bengal on fire again.”
They all began to laugh.
James stopped. He grabbed his two brothers by the shoulders.
“You can all laugh. But here we are travelling from The East, following a star, with gifts of Bold, Banking Sense and Fir!”
They all paused, contemplated for a moment and then pished themselves laughing.
Joseph had returned just after the kid was born. Mary didn’t need much help. The kid had a helluva grip on it but its arms had eventually cramped. They didn’t have a cot but she had put him in a box from Cash Convertors. He seemed quite at home.
The new-born parents looked at each other and smiled. Joe attended to his wife. He lit her fag and poured out her cider.
“Have you thought of a name for him Mary?”
She gulped most of her drink. She belched and then smiled as she held out her glass for a refill.
“He is going to be called Sonny.”
Joe began to nod, “I think that is a lovely name. I really do love you Mary. You complete me. You have given me a beautiful son who is very special. I don’t know what all this means but I do know that I am with the one I love and we have mankind’s interest in that little bundle of love. Together…”
“Och will you shut the fuck up and pour me another cider.”
Joe did as he was asked and poured a little for himself. Mary glowered at him.
“Here’s to us! Joseph, Mary and Sonny Dodd!”
They both downed their drinks.
“Oh, by the way, I phoned all my family Mary, they will be here any minute.”
Mary spluttered into her drink and nearly dropped the fag.
“But Joe, your mum hates me. She doesn’t trust me. We can’t tell her about Sonny being the Lord’s child”
“There is nothing for my mum to be suspicious about. We will play it by ear and tell them when we think everything is OK. Everything is perfect and she even stated that there was a good few quid for us once she sees her grandson. So have another drink and calm down.”
Joseph’s family arrived and his mother even began to stop frowning at her daughter-in-law. Mary tried not to jump about when the grandparents stated that they were giving her and Joe one hundred thousand to buy a house. She tried to look humble.
The brothers arrived outside the flat.
“Right boys,” James whispered, “We’ve got to play this right. The football depends on it.”
They all nodded and walked into the house. They entered the bedroom and kneeled at the foot of the bed. James quietly bowed, looked at the child and stated, “He surely does look like the man upstairs…”
“I FUCKING KNEW IT!!!”
Joe’s mum grabbed her family and left.