Douggie (Douglas Edward Farmley) suffered for too long at the hands of his over-protecive mother. As a child, and even as a teenager and young adult she was constantly advising him what not and what to do.  “Douglas don’t feed the dog at the table”; “Douglas don’t fool around while I’m talking to you”; “Douglas Edward for the love of all that’s holy please act your age.”

All his mother’s pleas and instructions fell on deaf ears. At a very young age he had decided that his mother was nothing but a worrier. He had no intention of having his inquisitive native being suffocated. He knew some of her suggestions were for his own good, but he wanted to find out for himself.


One evening while watching the television with his parents as a particularly annoying teenager he  could hold back no longer and let free with his trapped wind. His mother, naturally, scolded him immediately. “Douglas, please don’t. It’s not polite,”

“But mum, doesn’t everyone fart?” he replied.

“Well I don’t.” His mother looked suitably affronted.

“Then we must have a third person in the bed some nights,” Douggie’s dad added as he winked at Douggie laughing. Douggie laughed too.

“Don’t Edward, For goodness sake,” Douggie’s mother chided her husband.

“My dear everyone F…” Douggie’s dad began.

“Enough, enough talk of this ….” his mother trailed off, “I’ll put the kettle on. One day Douggie you will remember some of my words and they will save your life.”


Many years later Douggie was happily engaged and looking forward to a happy and settled life.

His best friend, Simon, had arranged Douggie’s stag party, but had not been given one important piece of  information.

The festivities started in a local restaurant, where Simon insisted that everyone get a good meal to line their stomachs ready for the heavy drinking that would come later. Simon knew that Douggie loved Chinese food and had booked the best place in town.  Because there were thirty in their party the easiest way to get food to the table quickly was with a set menu. Simon had discussed this with the restaurant manager the week before so that when they arrived at seven o’clock their table was already laden with a selection of delicious looking and smelling food.

“This looks amazing, mate,” Douggie enthused punching Simon gently on the arm. In his head his mum’s voice started up ‘Douggie, don’t….’  which he silenced by accepting a bottle of the beer and taking a generous gulp.

“Here you go, mate,” Simon said passing Douggie a plate of the starters. Without looking Douggie took a mouthful of the Chinese toast.

Within seconds Douggie’s face went a bright red and his eyes started to water. Just a couple of seconds more he was having difficulty breathing and started to pull at the collar of his shirt. His eyes closed as he started to fall.

“Douggie, Douggie, Are you okay,” Simon shouted as he rushed back to Douggie’s side. He was just in time to catch Douggie as he fell.

“Someone call an ambulance quickly, he’s not breathing,” Simon shouted in a complete panic.

As Douggie fell into unconciousness he heard his mum’s voice one more time ‘ Douggie whatever you do don’t eat fish, we are both dangerously allergic, just one mouthful could cause anaphylactic shock. Don’t ever forget: Don’t. Eat. Fish.”



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