Me: ‘Hi mum. Just phoning to wish you a safe journey.’
Mum: (choking over her words in excitement)’ WELL. Safe is the word. Apparently Barcelona is a CRIME CAPITAL. Your father had no idea when he booked’.
Me: ‘Don’t be silly: The Spanish probably think that about Belfast’
Mum: ‘I’m not joking Emma. We are extremely worried. I’ve been grinding’ (she grinds her teeth at night when under extreme stress)
Me: ‘Dental erosion is probably as deadly as muggers. Are you wearing your mouth guards?’
Mum: ‘Your father doesn’t like them’
Me: ‘It’ll be fine. You’ll get there and have a lovely time’.
Mum: ‘I’m worried we’ll get our wallets stolen. So I’m not going to take money’.
Me: ‘Are you bringing magic beans?’
Mum: ‘Apparently every person who goes to Barcelona gets something stolen’
Me: ‘I’m sure that’s not right’
Mum: (rustling as she consults Daily Mail) ‘It is; it says in the paper.’
Me: ‘Well, if you stay in your hotel room you’ll be ok’
Mum: ‘Yes. That might be safest … (sighs). We could pack a bum bag. But it might make us stand out.’
Me: ‘If Dad’s wearing his holiday shirt, I wouldn’t worry about the bumbag’
Mum: ‘Leave your father alone. Not many men can wear those colours’
Mum: ‘It’s a very serious problem. Crime. Especially in Barcelona. (Lowers voice in case the cats hear) Apparently they target couples having sex on the beach’.
Me: (shaking head to dislodge a terrible mental image)
Mum: ‘They crawl under the sun loungers when the couples are – you know – and then they take their bags.
… Your father and I are very worried’.
Me: ‘If you get anything stolen I don’t want to know’
Mum: ‘We’d only have ourselves to blame’
Me: ‘I have to go now.’