Mr Nobody did it

It wasn't Wil, it was Mister Nobody. Picture: LILJA KRISJIANSDOTTIR/GETTY IMAGES

It wasn't Wil, it was Mister Nobody. Picture: LILJA KRISJIANSDOTTIR/GETTY IMAGES - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There are times when small boys need an imaginary friend

We have a new member of the family.

He is Mr Nobody - he is not a member of the Mister Men canon of children’s books but after a weekend with George, five, Wil, three, and Herbie, 12 weeks, maybe he should be.

Mr Nobody, not by Roger Hargreaves

Mr Nobody lived in a house in Essex with Wil. He was Wil’s BFF (best friend forever or at least until the end of the month). This was because every time there was an accident, such as a weak drink of orange cordial being spilled on the carpet, it was Mr Nobody who did it.

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At grandpa’s house, it was Mr Nobody who pulled the heads off the irises.

At tea-time, it was Mr Nobody who put Wil’s knife into the bottle of juice.

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It was Mr Nobody who sat on a chocolate button.

Wil had turned his big blue eyes to grandma and announced with the cheekiest grin: “Look, Mr Nobody has put my knife in my drink.”

Mr Nobody could tell grandma wasn’t pleased because she denied his involvement. “It wasn’t Mr Nobody, was it, Wil? It was you.”

“No, it was Mr Nobody,” he reiterated with a tone of finality.

One of the problems with that mischievous, invisible friend was that he would run off and hide before anyone could give him a spell of time on the “thinking step”. This was vexing for grandma and grandpa because they started to think that perhaps Mr Nobody was not a real person. They thought Wil might have made him up.

An accident, they felt, could well be the responsibility of this evasive chap but the deliberate placing of a knife in a bottle? They didn’t think so.

If he wasn’t imaginary then, they suspected, Wil and Mr Nobody were holding twice-daily planning meetings to set the day’s naughtiness agenda.

Like Wil, Mr Nobody is three-years-old, blond, and blue eyed. Like Wil, red is his favourite colour and he prefers a Tyrannosaurus Rex above all other dinosaurs. Unlike Wil, Mr Nobody doesn’t appear to have a penchant for chocolate ice cream... in fact, he doesn’t eat or drink. He is, however, expedient (yes, that is an unusually big word to use in a Mister Man story) when life gets complicated and Wil is asked why he is washing his hands in the bird bath.

One day, when Wil and George went to the seaside, Mr Nobody stayed at home.

The brothers played on the beach, making sandcastles and drawing big footprints to make it look as if a giant (with three toes and no instep) had walked across the strand. At the stall on the promenade, grandpa bought George and Will ice-creams. Grandma sat ready with the wipes.

They were at the seaside for three hours and there were no accidents. Nothing was spilled, no-one’s day clothes got wet in the sea and no buckets were swept away by the tide.

Back at the house, Mr Nobody was bored. It was no fun without Wil and he had nothing to do, so he sat quietly on the sofa, read a book and waited for Wil to come home.

When grandpa, grandma and the boys got home. Wil was asleep and so was Mr Nobody. Busy Bear at the Zoo hadn’t proved the diversion he had hoped.

But soon, Mr Nobody and Wil would be up and about and grandpa realised he would need a contingency (yes, that’s another rather large word for a children’s story) so he filled the paddling pool with four inches of water, which took three-quarters of an hour, including pouring in hot water to take off the chill.

Wil and George stripped off and got in the pool. They were ordered out to put on their trunks. Mr Nobody got in just as he was because no-one could see him.

n The story of grumpy bride, with picture, stirred some memories last week.

Pat in Leiston wrote: “I’m fascinated to see that those circular flounce sleeves (such as those on Lynne’s wedding dress) are now fashionable again as I saw lots at the Royal Wedding. Yesterday I saw full-skirted net petticoats that I wore in the ’60s are now vintage clothes!

“How many of us wish we still had our former clothes, but after more than ten house moves and many more weight ups and downs they’ve gone a long time ago.”

Dorinda also admired my sleeves: “I loved your wedding dress, those sleeves are so now. I have a top with similar ones and constantly have to be careful not to dip them in my food.

“As for your husband, well I can totally see why you felt the need to snap him up early before anyone else spotted his potential. (This sentence has been withheld from my husband, Dorinda.)

“My younger sister was, like you, a ’70s bride, although we don’t ever see her wedding photos out on display. This may be due to the fact that my brother-in-law wore a white suit with flared trousers à la John Travolta but to somewhat less effect.”

Crumbs, I’ve come back into fashion...

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