I was about six years old, in grade two at school.
It was a scorching Sydney summer’s day and Mark Sacharowitz, one of my class mates, was buying everyone 20c icy poles from the canteen. I didn’t have any money, and he’d bought everyone but me an icy pole, so despite being incredibly shy, I gathered all my courage and went up to him.
“Mark,” I said, “May I please have an icy pole?”
“No,” he replied.
“Why not?” I wavered, close to tears.
“Because,” he said. “You have a weird mother!”