Powder Girls

By Mairi Scott

When I was a little girl I lived on the island of Mull with my family. Although most of the time my older sister Catherine and I were pretty good, sometimes we got up to mischief when our parents were out.


One day when we both had chicken pox, we decided to put talcum powder on, to help with the itch. Catherine, who was getting over it, got the talc from the shelf in the bathroom, and brought it through to the bedroom where I was still in bed. 


Catherine shook out some of the talc over me to take the itch away. She put too much on me, so I grabbed the talc to get her back, but she grabbed it back again and threw the talc at me: half of it covering me; the other half went all over the bed.


If you can imagine the scene:


Me: covered in talc


Bed: covered in talc


Floor: covered in talc


Bedroom: a total mess – and mum and dad due back in ten minutes.


We had to make a plan. We couldn't use a mop because of the carpet and we didn't think a cloth would make much difference, besides, a wet cloth would wet the bed covers. Dusting it away was the worst idea as we soon discovered, as all that did was, make the talc puff up into the air and land back down again over everything. In the end, we brushed it off the bed with our hands - best we could - and then used the hoover.


The problem was that my sister and I looked like a couple of ghosts. Luckily it didn't go in our hair, so we changed our clothes and washed our hands and faces. Just in time too, as mum appeared back from the shop. We must have done a good job tidying up because she never said a word.


talc mayhem, chicken pox, sisterly childhood rebellion, home alone