The Flailing Mechanism of Craziness


Here’s the story of a box, cats, and granules.

I don’t think it’s normal for a grown man to stare bewilderingly at a frozen breakfast ready meal box for ten minutes. Honestly, I’m so confused by the modern world that something is probably wrong with me. Ah, I can see it now. ‘Alan’s Syndrome’. Like a name in lights in Hollywood, that is. All this may be a minor thing to you, but it really bugged me. The name. Breakfast ready meal. Well, I wanted it for dinner. But the packaging clearly stated breakfast! Now, I know that food is food. As father would say, “It all goes down the same hole.” But in the back of my mind, there was a niggling worry that there was something unique and special about that ready meal, otherwise, why would they label it breakfast? Ready meal surely would’ve sufficed, with ‘great at breakfast’ written underneath. But it didn’t say that! So there I was, staring at a breakfast ready meal box, desperately trying to find an answer to a conundrum nobody asked. The only enlightenment I got was thus: Who the hell has a ready meal for breakfast?

Now, it’s incredibly easy to criticise me. But this is a real crisis! Who in the world is in charge of their marketing and packaging? A lunatic? A blind person? I’m struggling to think of reasons why the name was so overlooked! It’s almost as if they’re only interested in your money, and not at all interested in your wellbeing. I ask this: Is all this capitalism in action? Or it is just some cheap and shitty ready meal company who clearly have no idea how to RUN A FRICKIN’ BUSINESS!

In the end, I decided to take the risk. I’m all danger, baby. I ripped open that packaging with the same energy and vigour Rocky applied to Tommy Gunn’s face. Did ‘Eye of the Tiger start playing in my head? Oh please, of course not, readers – don’t be stupid, this is serious. Adrenaline pumping through my veins, I tore at the plastic packaging. It didn’t work, I had to go and get some scissors. I opened the microwave door and in front of me was a scene parallel to that in 2001 with all the lights. I didn’t see any lights, but I sure heard that music. I bunged the ready meal in the microwave and by God, I turned that godforsaken knob all the way up to 11. Minutes. And when it was done, I ate it. With no adverse effects, by Jove. ‘Breakfast’ Ready Meal: 0 – Me: Uno…

It’s the perils of living alone, dear readers. I have nowhere to turn to ask for help in these matters. Sure, an utter moron could figure out most of the guff I get involved with, but you haven’t met me in person. I’m several steps below ‘utter moron’. A Morlock, if you will. And ma and pa have gone away for four days. Four days! They’re back soon. But when they left on Wednesday, ‘back soon’ wasn’t soon enough.

It all started with the creaky door. It sounds like an aroused cat. I’m not sure what an aroused cat sounds like, but if pushed to take a guess, I’d go for the noise of a creaky door. The snow was falling outside as the quiet empty house stood still. Half past eight at night. The doorbell rang. But when I arrived, nobody was there. Admittedly, it had taken me several minutes to find my key. The vicious wind howled as the whole house shuddered. The bins and debris were being thrown around ominously in the back garden. All was quiet until later that night. A ring made me jump out of my trousers. The phone was ringing. At half eleven at night. I reached for the phone. Picked it up from its receiver. And on the other end – nobody. They just hung up. Ooh…

The rattling and banging was stuff being thrown around outside. The doorbell was a mystery and the phone was probably a wrong number. Still, I nearly leapt doubly high out of my trousers when a large crashing sound echoed from the back of the house. Oh. It was just the snow falling off the roof. But then came the catfight…

So there I was. Straightening my hair. When I heard an almighty screech. Like the orgasm of Satan. Mixed with a falling grand piano. And fingernails down a chalkboard. All turned up excruciatingly loud. There was a catfight outside! It was great entertainment. What? Hey, when you’re on your own, you find unusual things entertaining.

It wasn’t even a fair fight. One small cat was sitting on top of a fence. And then another, the size of a small dog, like a mole crossed with a rat, a huge ball of unkempt grey hair, came from nowhere and started harassing the other one. Its screech was the noise I heard. And the other cat goes, ‘Meow’, feebly. And there I am, thinking, ‘Oh no, the poor cat! She’s as good as dead! Come on, girl, knock that mole rat on its arse!’ I’m not kidding, that cat was so huge and vicious it could easily eat a small child. And then came the poor little cat’s friend. And boy, he was an even bigger bastard than the grey one.

You could tell they came from the same family because they had matching collars and looked like the same breed. The little cat being threatened on the fence let out an almighty cry. And, like a brave knight, her friend came to her rescue. He ran right up to the base of the wall, looked up, saw the big grey cat and ran off! I’m not kidding, the look on the face of the cat on top of the fence was priceless. ‘Where are you going? You bastard! Help me!’ The grey one attacked her and she went flying on to the floor. She was fine. But then? She went looking for her friend in the nearby hedges. That’s loyalty, for you.

The general theme of things so far is that I’m tired, bored and lonely. But I don’t think watching catfights or a cardboard box, for that matter, is a sign of insanity. I think it’s the brain’s defence mechanism against craziness. And whilst that does work 99% of the time, this week I encountered the 1%. When the defence mechanism fails. Gee, I was only trying to make gravy…

It comes in granules and you mix some with hot water to make gravy. Of course stirring for around 15 minutes. The first attempt was too watery. A lost cause. The second attempt was thick enough to build a house with. I knocked over the third attempt. The fourth attempt started well but I couldn’t get the granules to dissolve. Because my wrist was getting sore, I tried to remedy the situation with an electronic whisk. I don’t know how I’m gonna explain the brown ceiling to mum and dad. The fifth attempt? BOOM! I did it, baby! Pork chops never tasted so damn fine. VICTORY! I get there in the end…

I’m sure I’ll be fine, readers. No amount of confusing cardboard packaging can dampen my spirits, no amount of wind can shake my bins, no catfight will replace human companionship (Sentences I Never Thought I’d Say #47), and as for all the spooky goings on? Pah! No need to worry. Just get to bed, tuck in nice and tight, and you’ll be fine. Oh, and of course, one mustn’t forget the obligatory prayer to ask Jesus to kill all intruders. Although I don’t think that’s what prayers are for.

I suppose it’s a bit like asking the RSPCA to join your fox hunt…

American writer, Jarod Kintz (b. 1982), once said: “Grandpa used to like gravy on everything, including his pancakes. If love could be eaten, I’ll bet he’d prefer it with gravy on top. And I’d have to agree. Love would taste better with gravy.”

Peace Out :|:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You can leave a comment and/or like this post below, or by clicking the title on the top of this post if you are on the archives page. Likes and follows greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post

Hark Around the Words
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


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