Shirley Harring

writer, peddler, madwoman

Lesbian Cucumbers

July 31, 2008

Shopping with my mother is guaranteed to be an interesting event.

Being a woman of a certain age, as she is, things that I take for granted, seen on a daily basis, still turn her head.

I catch her staring at Mohawks, facial piercings, Goth make-up. Clothing fads catch her eye, men with dyed hair get a sideways look, extreme hair and makeup get a ‘tch’ and a head shake – sometimes audible to the wearer, and always to me, her oft-times shopping companion.

It always makes me smile.

The young man on the train, who had a rat on his shoulder attached by a chain to a nose ring gave us enough ‘tch’s’ and head shakes to rival steady Eddy.  However, more fun for me, is her names for the new, or things she has yet to try.

Like me, my mother is a keen wordsmith, and has always had a high regard for the English language. So sometimes, on the rare occasion of a gaff, I have a good laugh.

On this day, us were in our local supermarket, and had spent time stopping and chatting with a number of people we knew, as is wont when you live in a close community. We wander through the fruit and veg, comment on the sky rocketing prices and looking at interesting produce that catches the eye.

And, as often the case, I ‘lose’ my mum.

She  has wandered off to look at something. I eventually find her standing in front of a stand of cucumbers. In a very loud voice she calls across to us:

Oh, LOOK! Lesbian Cucumbers! I have always wanted to try a lesbian, do you think we could try one while I am here?”

Ever noticed how quiet things can get in a supermarket?


  1. ROFL!!!!!
    My mind fell straight into the gutter when I read the title of this post and saw the picture… And even still the ending COMPLETELY cracked me up.
    Still ROFL!

    … So… Did she try one? LOL

  2. Omg! That is hilarious!

    And I can so relate to cringe-worthy mothers….I have one of them, too!

    Btw, I have nommed you for a blog award. Visit my site to find out details.

  3. He he he

    That reminds me of a toilet door exchange I read years ago

    Original statement : My mother made me a lesbian!

    Reply – If I get her the wool will she make me one too?

  4. Tch, tch.

    She and my mother-in-law may be kin to each other. Nobody ever says embarrassing things quietly do they?

    The guy on the train with the rat would have earned a tch from me too.

  5. Mothers are always good for a comment that makes you think “huh”? and then want to back away quietly.

  6. Oh my gosh! I just about fell out of my chair! Did she ever realize what came out of her mouth, or did she just continue to natter on?

  7. I’ve never heard that term ~ is it what we now call an English cucumber? LOL!

    It almost matches the time I was in a restaurant with my mother who was trying to get the waiter’s attention and finally called out, “Hey, Dick”! (as in the expression “Every Tom, Dick and Harry”). My mouth fell open with gaffaws as I discouraged her from calling anyone Dick in public again! LOL! Thanks for that memory!

  8. A Greek court only just last month dismissed a case brought by some residents of the island of Lesbos arguing the use of the term lesbian in reference to gay women insulted their (the residents’) identity. If those residents find out about your mum and her application of the term to cucumbers, they’ll be after her next!

  9. Oh my goodness… that was hilarious!!! So reminds me of my Dad… honestly! Dad’s alway a crack up when we go to the Big Smoke… I was working in the city and met Dad for lunch one day. An angry-looing mohawked punk walked past with rings in his nose and Dad just stopped and stared openly before announcing loudly (the guy was not ten feet away): “Is that bloke going to the Ekka? Are those rings to lead him around the bloody show ring?”. The punk actually stopped for a moment, then kept walking. I exhaled.

    Yup. Parents, man. From a different planet.

  10. lol – that was gorgeous!

    My grandma used to be a corker for saying completely inappropriate things straight-faced to people. The funny thing is, most punks really got a kick out of her!!

  11. Oh man, that’s fabulous in a kind of way. Did you laugh, or hide? Or both!

  12. This is absolutely one of those stories where truth is stranger (and better and funnier) than fiction!

  13. ROTFL

    I’m not sure cucumbers get much of a choice, sexually speaking.

    Ahhh, many’s the elderly person who’s ‘tch’ed at me (wildly-coloured hair and mildly punk clothing). Kinda funny to see someone choke on their ‘tch’ when I smile and say hello. *evil grin* That reminds me, gotta go dye my hair for work. My new boss doesn’t quite believe the claims that it’s usually blue… mwahaha.

  14. “Lesbian cucumbers,” she muses. Hmmmm.

    I can’t even begin to process how something phallic-shaped could be called a lesbian. I can only imagine how funny your mum is when she’s actually trying.

  15. Ohhh, i didn’t see the “Lebanese.” Too funny! I think I absolutely love your mother.

  16. Had a girlfriend who used the wrong words all the time. Can be hilarious or embarrassing!

  17. That is so funny!
    I hope she had a good laugh too after you explianed!

  18. LOL!! Oh thank you, I really needed that good old belly laugh today! Just stopping by to catch up and see how you are going sweetie. Wishing you a terrific week!
    Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

  19. Pingback: Bzzzzz…. « Rhubarb Whine

  20. You couldn’t make this stuff up! Poor Grandma…..

  21. Guilty on all charges, Of all the gifts God gave me, the ability to laugh at

    myself is my favourite; & if you laugh with me then it’s twice as good.

  22. Sounds like your mum’s a source of great material for your book! The one you ought to be writing, that is …

  23. yeah, my mom as well. She put up a notice at the organization my dad advises (a university thing) that they were hosting a Tube Steak Grill at their farm. Now, I don’t know about Australia, but Tube Steak here is a euphimism (however that’s spelled) for penis. I have no doubt the students got a lot of mileage out of that.

  24. I love your mother!! I’ve never had a lesbian either but once she tells me how it was, I might try one too.

    I had an aunt who fancied herself a wordsmith because she took the Reader’s Digest test every month and one day we were at a local department store and it seemed like the entire store went quiet when she said, “Maureen, look, they’ve changed all their lights for floresteen lights.” I was only 17 and remember feeling total embarrassment.

  25. Thanks Maureen. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. Some of her moments were priceless.

    How gorgeous was your Aunt! Hilarious. x

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