Here’s the story of toast, determination and goggles.
Most people would run à la Usain Bolt when the fire alarm starts to fill your earholes like rain on a typical British day. I let out a sigh and began a depressive trudge, head down, toward the kitchen. No point in running. It was inevitable. I even came prepared with goggles to stop the thick smog from blinding me. Lesson one when you’re living with me: always have goggles handy. The difficulty was trying to get up off the floor after a painful genital contact with a table corner whilst trying to find the window. Didn’t really work. I could’ve used the extractor fan, but I didn’t know how to use that. The smog did clear. Who knew a toaster could set toast on fire? I tried to set bread on fire once. Very difficult. It was a slow day. Most people would worry about the state of the kitchen in this scenario. Me? Well, I looked to the sky, shook my first and yelled, “NOT ME TOAST, YOU BASTARD! ANYTHING BUT MY TOAST! WHY! WHAT DID IT DO TO DESERVE THIS! IT’S NOT FAIR, DAMMIT!” I was tired. I had to get up early for church.
But I’d be damned if I’d let my toast die an undignified death. One day old! ONE! That’s one pound I’m never getting back. So, through the smoke, I found a knife and started scraping the copious amount of charcoal off. This was a messy task. I ended up with around a three-inch thick layer of charcoal around eight inches in diameter. I should’ve probably given up long before it reached that amount. But I was desperate, man. Me toast. Me beautiful toast! I ended up putting a hole in it. I scraped so much toast off that it left me with no toast. It had literally calcified. I buttered it and put some jam on it. That went well. I only managed to add around another 30% to its initial 10% hole tally. But then I cut it in half and it shattered like glass. Undeterred? Me? Pah. You don’t know what you’re talking about.
I tried to eat it. You know, the five percent that remained. But it was no use. It was as dead as a corduroy jockstrap. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. I was running late for church. So I quickly removed two new slices of bread from the freezer and bunged them in the toaster. Frozen. I must say, that light show cleared the smoke up pretty quickly. But so worried was I that I’d have another ‘incident’ that I had for breakfast something that resembled bread instead of toast. The consistency of bread you’d feed ducks. I was a duck. I thought about getting a duck to clean up all the charcoal. To this day, whenever I walk around the house I hear crunching underfoot.
Determination, readers, is a very sexy quality in a man. If your fella won’t scrape the charcoal off the toast he made you and ruined, then he aint worth the plate he buttered because there were so many holes in the toast. I don’t know when to give up, is my point. I have socks with days of the week on them. One time, I couldn’t find Wednesday’s socks, although I did find two Mondays and three Sundays. Didn’t deter me. Kept looking, putting the checked socks back into the sock drawer, checking again, putting them back and repeating. Did I find Wednesday’s socks? No. Why? They were in the wash. But was all that fuss really worth it? No. Absolutely not. Why? Because it was Sunday.
I’ve had to find a lot of determination in the two weeks I spent alone. It’s difficult when you don’t have anyone to talk to. You spend the whole day wandering around the house hoping for something exciting to happen. Then, suddenly, the fire alarm. But I’m always expecting things to go wrong, so, that wasn’t very exciting. In fact, cooking toast without incident would’ve been a real rush. I suppose it says a lot about oneself when one finds toast cooking a regular fashion the highlight of one’s day. I suppose from there it can only go downhill. I ended up talking to my bedside lamp.
So you can imagine my excitement as the clock ticked past midnight and heralded my final day alone before the return of mother and father from sunny erm, somewhere. Never did get around to asking them where they went. Ah well, at least they enjoyed it.
Over the two weeks they were away, I had to deal with spiders. I vacuumed up a real big one the other day. It was huge. About six inches in diameter. It wouldn’t go up the nozzle of our vacuum cleaner, though, so it managed to scamper away. Which resulted in me chasing it around the house with a vacuum cleaner in one hand and bits of cheese in the other. For a while, I was running with the theory that I might be able to entice the spider with the cheese. Hmm. Don’t know why I thought that. You may now be thinking I’m a complete nut. Hey, the spider started it.
I also had to contend with oven burnings. Grease burnings. Water spillages. Water and electricity problems. The worry caused by the potential threat of flooding from our many recent torrential rainstorms. At one point, the garden was under five inches of water, which was close to the height of the bottom front door ledge. I had to get a television out of the attic. That was fun. You know, up until the point I fell and it landed on me. I was tired so I didn’t move for a while. I didn’t have the energy to lift the television off me. Whilst I was lying there, I passed the time by clapping and singing Kumbaya.
I even had a robot uprising to contend with. Sure, it was just an electric toothbrush, but that innocence is what the machines are counting on. It’s like an army wanting to defeat a city under the siege of insurgents. To defeat them, they throw a barrel full of two-day-old kittens at them. They’d be so distracted they wouldn’t see the huge tank coming straight for them. I’m sure my toothbrush was the equivalent of that barrel. It sped up, suddenly, for no reason. I nearly choked. Trust me to die like that. I became convinced that whilst I was dealing with the toothbrush, the microwave was hopping its way up the stairs to finish me off. You could argue it was just a malfunction, but you clearly haven’t met me. That is exactly the type of thing that would happen to me. When the robot uprising happens, I’m the type of person they’ll go for.
And then there was that last day. As if the loneliness hadn’t been enough and as if all those mishaps hadn’t been enough, I just had to make it through one more day. But could I manage that? Just one more measly day? Really? Could I manage it? Like jack I could.
I had an appointment. Not with a psychiatrist, much to your disappointment, but something else. Not important. I leave, and there’s yet another rainstorm. Vicious little bugger, it was. I couldn’t see a thing. It was horizontal and I walking in to it to get to my bus stop. The bus stop didn’t offer much protection. Eventually, after 20 minutes, the bus came. I fished around in my pocket for my money, and I felt a sharp stabbing pain. No worries driver, here are the coins. I put the ticket in my pocket and I sit down.
Like I always do, I got comfortable, sorted out my very long (and now ruined) hair, and then I reached into my pocket to check my ticket. You know, the bus number to make sure I was on the right one, the time to make sure it was on time, things like that. But I was distracted by a large quantity of blood on the bit of paper. This meant one of two things. Either I was bleeding and somehow my blood got onto the ticket. Or, the driver was a serial killer and the blood belonged to one of his victims. I started to believe the latter but I didn’t get off the bus because I was soaked through and well, I’d take being trapped on a bus with a serial killer over more rain any day. Turns out, I’d cut my finger on a large bit of paper in my pocket, a paper cut on the right knuckle. Oh wonderful, I said through gritted teeth. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. No worries at all, you little sod.
Right about the time my blood pressure had returned to its usual slightly higher than average level, I was around a few hundred yards into my journey home. At that point, I was suddenly thrown forward at a colossal rate, banging my noggin off a metal bar. Turns out, a very stupid woman had pulled out of a junction in her car and the bus nearly went into the side of her. Literally, less than five yards from hitting her when the bus suddenly braked. Oh, why, why, why? One day. I only had one day to go. Oh, kill me Jebus.
I was further annoyed when the driver kept pulling over every few minutes because he was running early and he was trying to kill some time. I just wanted to get home. I’m fairly sure I wasn’t the only person on the bus annoyed, but I’m also fairly sure I was the only person on the bus angrily looking at my watch because I really wanted a sandwich. Even when I got home, I couldn’t have a sandwich because there was no bread defrosted. So I had to defrost some in the microwave. I know I don’t have the best of luck with microwaves, but I could hardly of used the hairdryer. Actually, that wouldn’t have been a bad idea.
So there I was. Trudging upstairs, my final day alone, nice big mug of local, traditional Yorkshire Tea, a warm sandwich and a big smile on my face. Ah, the world wasn’t so bad after all. Everything worked out quite nicely. The sandwich was delicious, by the way. Ham. Proper sandwich. Then I reached over to pick up and drink my tea. The coaster stuck to the bottom, but no worries, I’d simply reach over and pluck it off. I didn’t make it. The coaster fell to the ground. Where my feet were. It was glass, that coaster. Shattered into a million pieces.
Oh, testicles, I thought.
Mother and father returned home the following day, signalling the end of an eventful two weeks.
American cartoonist, Charles Monroe Schulz (1922-2000), once said: “Stop worrying about the world ending today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia”..
Peace Out :|:
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