Chimp Lover Wanted


Here’s the story of OCD, growing up, and a cheese sandwich.

Do you butter a cheese sandwich? I was going to talk about how angry bowling balls have made me this week, but I really want to know if one should butter a cheese sandwich. I have the same bait for work every day. Ham sandwiches. But we were out of ham and all we had left was cheese. I spent a good ten minutes staring at the cheese and bread wondering if the bread should be buttered. I haven’t made a cheese sandwich before. I could’ve Googled it. But, as I always say, the human race will decimate itself sooner rather than later, and then the few survivors will be left living a simpler existence. No Google then, readers. We’ll have to learn to do things for ourselves. To think for ourselves. Admittedly, knowing how to make a cheese sandwich won’t be that high on many people’s lists of useful post-apocalypse knowledge. I decided not to butter in the end. It was a good choice. Tip of the week for all the first time cheese sandwich makers out there. Ah, I know you’re out there. Now, about those bowling balls…

I know I complained about a British advert last week, but I feel I have to speak up again about another. It’s a dating advert. For some website or another. The advert is set in a bowling alley. And there’s this really nerdy guy; looks a bit like me when I was a young’un. And he’s organising the green and pink balls in that trough thing so all the green balls are in a line and all the pink balls are in a line next to them. Previously, they were all mixed up. And then this really purty girl, well out of his league – beyond the Moon – shows up, puts them back, and winks at him. It’s hinted at that this sparks a love between the two. But, as someone with a smidgen of OCD, I am outraged. What is wrong with that mad woman! That cheeky wink she gives him is a sign of the devil, ladies and gentlemen. That is not a woman I would date. That is a woman who does not appreciate boundaries. They were in the correct order! They need to be in the correct order! What are you doing to my order, you lunatic! You’re a bloody anarchist! Put them back! It’s not right. It needs to be right! I bet she’s the kind of savage beast who doesn’t put books on the bookshelf in alphabetical order. People like that – ooh… I hate them so damn much. That would be a much better advert if she put them in the correct colour order. Green on one side, pink on the other. That would be a woman worth marrying, I tell you that much.

I am the kind of person who has the same lunch for work every day. Much like with the brutally and horrible misaligned bowling balls, it makes my skin itch when people don’t do things with some kind of logic or order to them. I mean, I feel physically sick when someone doesn’t put a book on the shelf in a correct place. Or doesn’t put all their shoes in a nice tidy line by the door. Or just plucks some food from the fridge all willy-nilly for their lunch. Me, on the other hand. Ham sandwiches. Chocolate bar. Crisps. A mini pork pie. But Dave over there? Oh, that Dave. He’s a hoot. Today a yoghurt, tomorrow an apple, the day after? Ooh, probably a donut jamboree. Why? BECAUSE HE’S A KOOKY GUY WHO DOESN’T BELIEVE IN LOGIC AND ORDER! Damn you, Dave!

I’m calm, readers. I’m calm. Stupid incorrectly ordered bowling balls…

I shouldn’t be getting wound up, readers. I’ve had a couple migraines this week, probably triggered by our unseasonably hot weather. I mean, it’s summer for God’s sake, what is up with all this warm weather? Oh, they were bad migraines. I’m up to eight this year. I had an unlucky 13 last year. Still better than my 30 the year before, though. I don’t mind the headache. What really bothers me is when my vision goes all electric and swirly and blurry. Honestly, some days you really wish you could have a different brain. I’d quite like a chimp’s brain. I’ve always been fascinated by what they’re thinking. I might try that dating website.

‘Wanted: Chimp lover.’

Sadly, my aches and pains are getting all the more frequent as I head toward the big birthday like a runaway train. 26. In a couple weeks. Sniff. I don’t like ageing. I woke up screaming this week, but I don’t know why. I don’t remember my dreams. Do you ever do something in the night and the next day you don’t know if it was real or if it was a dream? I remember waking up screaming, my alarm clock was lit up, music was blaring from it – I believe it was Snow Patrol – and the lights were flashing at me. I remember unplugging it and having to reset the alarm. This is obviously a dream. Except I have OCD. I know that must be a shock to you. I never change my alarm time. And it’s not something you can easily change, say with a stray arm during sleep. It takes a bit of effort. I get up at 7:35 every morning. Because I know it takes me an hour and a half to get sorted in the morning, 10 minutes to get to the bus stop, and that the bus arrives at 9.15. But I’m not anal. I remember setting that alarm to 7.35 the night before. It went off at precisely 7.39. My nighttime surrealness was real. Ooh, spooky, huh? I still don’t know what happened that night.

It was the first time in my life I woke up screaming. Interestingly, it happened twice this week. Have you ever had foot cramp? Hurts like a bitch, doesn’t it? And have you ever had jaw cramp, usually caused by an awkward yawn? I think giving birth is one of the only things more painful. But it always happens in public, usually at the bus stop, meaning you’re standing there wincing, crying and writhing around like some uncouth dingus. I woke up at four in the morning with leg cramp. How? I don’t know. But trust me, fellow jaw cramp sufferers, it hurts even more than that. It was brutal. Absolute agony. How I could be so unhealthy that I get cramp in the middle of the night is anyone’s guess, but I could not stand up in the morning. It was agony. Sigh. At least the day couldn’t get any worse…

That said, there was a family of wasps on the bus to work. Men like to look tough in public, and I was surrounded by several very lovely young ladies. They weren’t flinching at the wasps, sounding increasingly annoyed. Men. Tough. Roar. Apparently. Not my forte, if I’m being honest. Men like to be brave to impress the ladies, even though we know ladies don’t appreciate an idiot. So when two wasps landed on my hand, sure, I was sweating like you wouldn’t believe. And shaking. And probably trying not to wet myself. But there was a girl sitting next to me, staring at me and those wasps. ‘What is he going to do?’ I’m sure she was thinking. I adopted a blasé approach and ignored them. I don’t know what I was trying to achieve. I don’t think many women would be turned on by how well a guy handles a serious wasp crisis. And especially so if they saw all the crying in private afterwards…

It’s been an odd couple of days.

My neighbour’s girl had her prom this week. Yes, apparently Britain has proms now, and yes, most of us aren’t happy about this latest American import. What’s happening to me? I’m aching all over, falling apart all over, and now I’m shaking my head at such a ludicrous concept as a British prom. They have them at the end of secondary school. Nobody had one when I was in school. We just left. Now you see all these 16-year-old girls dolling themselves up in ridiculously expensive dresses, plus makeup and all the fancy hair. Getting in limos and – oh, God. It’s nauseating. Why do you want to celebrate secondary school? It’s shit. Everyone has a shit time there. It’s shit. I was glad to leave. The bell rang, my final bell, I left. Went home. Had some pasta. Never saw anyone I knew again. Oh. So? Meh. Proms. Gee. Of all the things we took from the States. If we get American football next, I’m going to be really annoyed…

Still, wasn’t all bad this week. I got that mug back from the engravers. Looks rather dandy, if I may be so bold. Still, I did nearly have a heart attack when his ginormous dog leapt out at me and started barking angrily at me, like all dogs do, because all dogs are dicks.

Needless to say, it was the last thing I needed.

I mean, I’d just gotten off a bus full of angry wasps…

American writer, novelist and former nurse, Elizabeth Berg (b. 1948), once wrote: ‘It is such a terrifying thing to see a man cry.’

Peace Out :|:

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To Contrive & Jive
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