Barry Colin Wordsworth was named after his grandfather, Barry Colin Wordsworth. Other than being human, male and fond of brown shoes, they had nothing else in common.
“Why do you like brown shoes so much?” his friends would ask him.
“Dunno,” replied Barry Colin Wordsworth, the most difficult boy ever to walk the Earth.
His grandfather was a fine sportsman, a lover of books, nature, astronomy, music and foreign travel. His grandson was none of these. He was a spoilt brat who drove his mother to thoughts of murder, or at least horrific torture.
She imagined tying him to their chimney and smothering him in rotting fish. A bad enough torture as it is – but Barry’s mother knew the skies above their little town was populated with ten thousand hungry seagulls.
She never raised a hand at Barry, however. She never even raised her voice. For although she dreamt of her son suddenly being dragged off by pirates, as soon as his eyes filled with tears she would run and jump to his every command.
“What sort of sandwiches would you like today my little angel?” she would whimper.
“Jam!” he would yell. “Without bread! I hate bread! I want jam sandwiches wihout bread!”
“And what would you like to drink my poppet?” she would simper.
“Tea – without water. I hate water. No water in my tea!”
And so his ridiculous demands would multiply.
When he was ten he took himself hostage. He hid in the cupboard under the stairs. He left his mother a note on the kitchen table.
IF YOU WANT TO SEE BARRY AGAIN I DEMAND THE FOLLOWING:
1. MORE FOOD FOR BARRY THAT HE LIKES
2. MORE VERY LATE NIGHTS WATCHING ANY DVD HE WANTS
His mother went to Italy for a month, danced with a Russian prince and eat pumpkin soup. She sent Barry a postcard which read:
1. am looking for food that he likes – may be some months
2. card for dvd shop in the pocket of my jeans on the bed
love mum xxx