Last night I watched Moon Boy, a really funny comedy about a wee Irish boy and his imaginary friend. It had us in stitches! Such a supportive imaginary friend, who after his lad was beaten up by the school bullies said "Ah well, that wasn't so bad was it? We're still alive."
It was then I remembered my middle sister's imaginary friend, Beanie Booker, she always wore a beret and when she was interested in anything or tried to be funny, she'd twist her lips into funny shapes. Not that I ever saw it, but Carol would be creased up with laughter watching Beanie pull her faces, standing alone in the bedroom having a long conversation with her imaginary friend.
Bebber Nuggins however was a different kettle of fish, he appeared to my son when he was about four and stayed with him until he was nearly nine. Then, The Bebber as we called him, retired to Spain to live on his favourite food Brandy Floss.
I had to set a dinner place for The Bebber, make room for him in the car, apologise if I accidentally trod on him. He grew very quickly apparently and was as big as me by the time Matt was nine. The Bebber had eight skinny arms two skinny legs, was round like a ball and had a bald round head like a snowman, two beady eyes, a button nose and a great big mouth. On his head he always wore a bright yellow straw boater with red and white ribbon.
Matt drew him for me once or twice, Bebber wasn't a good influence as imaginary friends go, he was quite often drunk on Brandy floss and wrecked things, now this is the weird bit.
Bebber would wreck things in a different room sometimes while Matt and I were talking together, then come in and tell Matt what he'd done.
Then he left for a month to go and get married. He and his new wife lived in Spain.
When he came back from his honeymoon to carry on the tough work of imagining
as he called it, he wasn't exactly a changed man.
One day Matt and I were sitting at the table and as usual I laid a place for the Bebber.
"Don't need to do that, he's gone." Matt said seriously.
"Is he coming back?" I asked,
"No, he's retired to Spain to live in the sun and eat Brandy Floss with his wife."
After that Matt never mentioned him again.
But what if he did come back? That got me thinking Matt is 33 now, how would the
deal with the Bebber now?
So last night I started a little imagining of my own. A little book called "The Return of
Bebber Nuggins." Should be out soon.
Strangely while writing this, the page cleared itself and was very hard to get back,
so perhaps he's here already!