For many years my mother and I were estranged.
I prickled when she was brought up in conversations. We just didn’t get on.
I wanted to move away from it all. To forget.
Every time I tried to tell her something that I felt was wrong or I knew or made good
sense, she would say “Don’t make sense.Make sausages.”
My father and her would laugh. I always thought they were laughing at me.
It’s an awful feeling to have your parents make fun of you like that.
“Don’t make sense, make sausages.”
How could I respond to that? I wasn’t making sausages.
I even missed my fathers funeral as we were estranged and I couldn’t face her.
I struggled with her as I grew up, really thinking she was insane.
I dismissed the things she used to say, she sounded like a mad woman to me.
“You can’t make sense out of nonsense.” I used to say to my friends.
I dropped everything when I got the call that she was dying.
My mother was the only family I had left.
She didn’t look good at all. Her breathing was slow and difficult,like our relationship.
“You never understood me, did you?” She said.
She was talkative and said did your father ever tell you I used to work in a sausage factory?
I cringed as it was back to sausages again.
She told me how her and my father for the first time.
It was low paid work, but who else doing low paid work has a choice?
My mother got on really well with her co-workers, and while she didn’t enjoy the job
she could see how it could be improved.
My mothers idea was to purchase a new grinder. It would enable them to process higher
quality meat. Those with a higher meat ratio and move into selling higher quality
sausages. It would also mean they could produce more sausages overall.
A large outlay at the start but the business could be far better in the long run.
The other workers encouraged her to speak up.
Each morning the boss would talk for five minutes, a pep talk, saying how the business
was doing or if any big orders were coming in.
One morning my mother spoke up.
The boss was not interested.
In a workplace its more about hierarchy and respect for authority.
A bad business will always ignore good ideas.
Some people need to assert their position in the hierarchy.
A couple of other workers joined in, saying it that it made sense.
The boss got really mad. He didn’t want to hear it. He shouted at them :
“Don’t make sense, make sausages.”
He stopped doing the pep talks after that.
It became a running joke amongst all the workers,
and was often repeated when the boss would make one of his foolish decisions.
New Day New Sausages
One day my mother went into work and the sausage production had changed.
They had adopted my mothers idea.
She noticed she was often asked to go into the bosses office, for no apparent reason.
He started to ask her advice on things.
One day the boss asked her out.
Regret and Relief
So, when my parents repeated the phrase to me and laughed they were just
remembering their time in the sausage factory.
The humiliation of being made fun of, which my father once felt, I had carried for all my
I had been so wrong.
My mother looked at me and I think she saw the love in my eyes for the first time.
“Don’t make sense,son,” she said.
Our eyes filled up with tears.
“Make Sausages.” We said together, those wasted years falling away.
I still say the phrase even now.
It so ironic that selling the fridge magnets with my mother’s phrase on it is now my biggest form of income.
So it seems you can make sense and cents out of nonsense.
Seriously? Don’t buy it.
A True Sausage
It is true.
I want you to know what it feels like to give up a lifetime of being wrong.
I want you to feel that gift of freedom my mother gave me,
To face the humiliations in your life that I did and let them go.
I want you to know that the story attached to my fridge magnet is unique.
Most of all, I want you to be able to say “Don’t Make sense not sausages” and know what it really means.
I want you to know there is a bulk discount on purchases of 500 or more.
Buy the magnets if you want.
It’s national Sausage week in the UK.
I emailed them to ask for some free sausages but they have yet to get back to me.
Latin Roots and the Birth of a new Capitalism.
You were just thinking yesterday – I hope Tim Willow comes up with a world first for his blog today.
Well, here it is.
The latin root for fish is PISC.
It stands for Post-ironical satirical capitalism, as embodied in the product above you and fitting for the Rebel Fish.
If you oppose certain aspects of capitalism,the way it relentlessly defines humans through what they buy, the irony is to sell a product not because you want to buy it but because you’re making an ironic statement about how stupid it is to buy such products.
Buying the product can therefore give you a longer feeling of self-satisfaction. That feeling that no one really gets you because you’re so smart.
If you were buying a product without irony, the joy of purchase would soon fade.
Using, PISC, you can get that long lasting feeling of smugness encapsulated in the fridge magnet above.
You really have to buy it to appreciate the irony.
I also toyed with the idea of calling it Post Ironic Satirical Hypocrisy.
You’re used to me talking PISH, right?
That joke only works if you’re Scottish.