959. For the boys

959saturday

Oswald was the youngest of five boys. Oswald was sixteen. His entire football team was coming around on Saturday afternoon to watch a video of the game. They would squeeze into “The Den” around an old television set and shout at the screen.

Mrs Borrie was used to it. She’d done it dozens of times before. Teenage boys on a Saturday afternoon. Patiently she buttered sixteen loaves of bread and made sandwiches with a dozen different fillings. She put out bottles of homemade cordial.

The football team ate while watching the game. Then it was games on Mrs Borrie’s old pool table.

Eventually they all went home. “Gotta get home now, thanks Mrs Borrie. It’ll be dinner time.”

“I don’t know how you do,” said Mrs Prout to Mrs Borrie. “Let me rephrase that: I don’t know why you do it. If they want to eat they should bring their own food.”

“The cost of sixteen loaves of bread is a small price to pay to know where they are,” said Mrs Borrie. “I’d rather they were messing around in the den than messing around in the God knows where.”

Mrs Prout took it to heart. Most Saturdays after that she sent along a large plate of sandwiches. “For the boys”.

21 thoughts on “959. For the boys

  1. Cynthia Jobin

    It’s hard to comment sweetly because the phrase “for the boys” is, for me, an exasperating refrain, and one that only overly motherly women can utter with pleasure and equanimity. As I remember, from living with five brothers, teenage boys are mostly appetites on gangly legs, looking to devour whatever is around. Buttering and filling sixteen loaves of bread? Mrs.Borrie is a saint.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
      1. Cynthia Jobin

        When I was ten or eleven and my grandmother (getting ready to host the ladies of her bridge club) would say “the girls are coming this afternoon,” I thought it mysterious and outrageous that she called all those old boats “girls.”

        Liked by 3 people

        Reply

Gentle thoughts and expressions of astoundedness are both gratefully accepted.

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