The Minister of Mayhem


Here’s the story of celibacy, pregnancy, and a donkey.

I’M AN EGG MURDERER! I admit my indiscretion! Are you happy now! It was hardly my fault! Barely my fault. Almost not entirely my fault. Oh… shucks… it was my fault. I didn’t mean for it to happen! It just… it just happened, okay? Like many people, I can’t cook eggs. I like to think I’m in the majority of people who struggle with this most… basic of tasks. Then again, for a long time I argued most people can’t swim or ride a bike or swallow pills, but now I realise, I’m pretty much the only one and therefore, as some would say, that makes me a touch ‘weird’. But not this time! I can’t, I can’t be the only one who can’t cook a fried egg, right? I’ve always gotten my dad to do it, which, considering I’m weeks off 27, is a bit depressing. But dad is in Australia. He left me an egg and the instructions to cook it with my pork chops and chips. It didn’t go well, readers. It didn’t go well at all. It took several attempts smashing the damn thing against the side of the frying pan to get it to crack, and then it did, and then I hovered it over the pan, pushed it together to break it apart and… oh, God. It shattered into a million pieces right into the frying pan. THEY DON’T TEACH YOU HOW TO DO THIS IN SCHOOL! They should teach you life skills, like frying a damn egg. It’s far more important to know that than who the heck Shakespeare is! They should really make me the Minister of Education, they really should…

To give the UK board of education some credit, they did launch a newfangled class in school named ‘citizenship lessons,’ and to this very day, I can’t even begin to tell you what the hell it was about. I remember a lesson on pregnancy. I remember a lesson on finance. I remember a lesson on managing one’s money. Well, I was told about them, because, erm, yeah, I couldn’t be bothered with those lessons so I just didn’t go to them. So lax was the pyramid of management in my school, you could bunk off a couple lessons each week and nobody would notice. Come to think of it, they may have taught frying an egg in the one lesson I missed. THE ONE LESSON I MISSED! As a responsible adult, I’m probably obliged to tell any kids reading to stay in school and attend all your lessons. Yes. I’m not going to though. When you start attending school you’ll play a role. Anarchist misfit was my choice and I still maintain it’s the most fun role you can occupy in school, it really is…

You see, the problem with that education is that was too ‘adult.’ Financing wasn’t made easy for the children; it was at a level only an accountant with an incredibly boring personality could understand. The type of thing kids will struggle to maintain focus on, instead distracted by the butterfly on the window. I was always getting distracted by butterflies. Bloody butterflies. And as for the pregnancy, I mean… we were 13. We’d just watched a ‘70s porno in science sex-ed class, and trust me, most of the girls in my class at the end of that video were seriously considering a life of celibacy.

Suffice to say, I’ve had a difficult week. I always do when mother and father go away. I’m really not well equipped to live alone, in that, in living alone, things have a habit of going wrong. Oh, it’s not just the egg. I mean, sure, the egg is a big part of it, but… oh, that poor egg. It didn’t deserve to die. Dad had even drawn a smiley face on it. It made it even worse. It was as if Humpty Dumpty hadn’t been put back together again…

We’ve had a very hot week in the UK. Six days in a row it hasn’t dropped below 20, for three of them, it hit 25, and for one it hit 30. I can’t cope with this heat. I’ve had my ceiling fan on most days, but it’s not really that effective. So I’ve had my standing fan on during sleeping times. That was until I was woken up in the middle of the night by an almighty thud and crashing noise. Yes, it fell over. No big deal, right? Yeah… except one of the legs had buckled and several of the screws have snapped. Sigh. Right in the middle of a heat wave. They always say the heating breaks in the middle of winter. Not in my life. No, in my life, the fan breaks in summer. Bloody typical.

I hadn’t reached the end of my tether, yet. I mean, sure, an egg disaster and a dodgy fan aren’t too much to worry about. I think that, at this point, I was preparing the tether. Then my sausages exploded in the oven, the oven stopped working, and then so did the freezer. They’d only been gone three days! I mean, fair enough, people have bad luck, but why did fate wait until I was alone before throwing it all at me at once like a giant cow pat?

Then I couldn’t get the padlock off the back gate, so I had to climb onto the conservatory to get at it, because it’s the only way if the lock has broken. But at least it went better than the last time I climbed on the conservatory roof. At least I didn’t fall off this time.

I was trying to get the garden waste bin out for collection, full of grass and very sharp thorns dad had been trimming. Yes, it did fall over, right on top of me, but at least I managed to keep the lid shut. By this point, I was getting increasingly annoyed with my week. So annoyed I threw the huge bunch of keys dad had left me, for various things. Several of the key tags broke off and two keys snapped. Yeah, I’m gonna have a great time explaining that one when they get back. “You’ll never guess what happened! You really won’t believe this, right. Well, there was a goat, right, and it broke in, somehow, and ate the keys. What you’re holding now is all I could recover.” They won’t be back for three more weeks, so I’ll have a bit of time to work on that excuse. It does need a bit of refining, I admit. Maybe a donkey.

At least nobody has broken in. I accidentally left the back door wide open earlier this week. Went to work, eight hours later, returning to discover nobody had stolen anything. Which is either remarkable or incredibly depressing. I mean, I do feel a little hurt that our house is so full of crap nobody even wants to steal anything. I also forgot to turn my ceiling fan off. “Ally, why’s the electricity bill on May 26th incredibly high?” “Ah… well, erm… remember that donkey?” Yeah, I’ll go for the donkey instead. Far more believable, I think…

It wasn’t the last time I forgot something, either. As I said, it’s been a hot week and sitting on the bus in a traffic jam every day for the last five days hasn’t been pleasant. Why do they do road works during heat waves? Hmm? I thought the heat was supposed to make people nicer, but everyone I’ve encountered this week has been the total opposite. A complete arsehole. Seriously. Let me tell you the story of my coat.

You see, I may have underestimated how hot it was. And I may have decided to take it off and carry it. And I may have put it on the seat next to me on the bus. And my fellow passengers seated right next to me may have not mentioned that, as I was getting off, I forgot about the coat. Hmm. I was singing the bus service’s praises recently, but after several phone calls and emails, they haven’t recovered my coat. Somebody’s gone and nicked it! My nephew bought me that in Sydney. 3,000 miles it came. I’m not having much luck at all with gifts from Australia. I lost a coat my nephew bought me and I had a really expensive engraved metal pen stolen a few years ago that my brother bought me. Basically, the moral of the story is, don’t buy me gifts. I appreciate it, but I’ll end up losing it or accidentally setting fire to it. Like I did this week with the oven gloves. Oh, yeah, that happened, too…

But it’s not all bad, I suppose. I’ve done a bit of food shopping, normally something mum does and you know what my social anxiety does to me. I hate being in public, around people. They act weird. That said, it’s a bit rich me calling others weird. I mean, it’s 30 degrees and I don’t have a pair of shorts, so I’m sitting here, writing this in my underwear. I mean, they’re like shorts. Only much tighter. More like hot pants. Mmm… hot pants.

It’s amazing the amount of things mum and dad do and I don’t realise. It’s amazing how much work and effort it takes when you live alone to… you know, not to die every day. What? Just me? Nah. Don’t believe you. It’s amazing the things you can get away with, too. Like wandering around in your pants or spending the best part of an hour curled up in a ball in a freezer you took all the drawers out of. Erm, I mean, I didn’t do that. Ahem. I didn’t do that at all…

All that said, this has been only my first week alone, and, as I said, there are three more gruelling weeks to come. And I’m still having problems and, I’m sure there will be many more to come. They didn’t tell me how to work the lawn mower. There’s a funky smell coming from the fridge that I just can’t pinpoint. And then there’s the pork chop debacle.

Oh, yeah. I tried to get a pork chop out of the freezer. We keep them there in plastic bags. Slight… slight problem. Erm… it’s stuck to the bottom of the drawer. Completely. Why didn’t mum and dad write down what to do in the event this happens?

It’s almost as if they didn’t think it possibly could…

American Baptist minister, activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), once said: “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hated darkens life; love illuminates it.”

Peace Out :|:

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To Contrive & Jive
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