My Begunklement of Vengeance


Here’s the story of gnarly walls, a lot of anger, and boombox malarkey.

You know what really bumfuzzles my tayberries? Admittedly, it’s a long list. Mismatched paving, for example. Grumpy bus drivers. Mismatched bricks too, come to think of it. Street signs that cover the entire street, because, as we all know, it’s extremely bad luck to walk under street signs. Put ‘em over the whole street, I have no choice but to inflict bad luck upon myself. I once contemplated carrying a ladder over my head, opened into its triangle shape, so I’d be under a ladder, a potent symbol of bad luck, then walk under the street sign, also bad luck, in an attempt to counteract one act of bad luck with another, in effect, two negatives creating a positive. I then realised it would be easier if I just crossed over to the other side of the street. Still, could be worse. When I was little, I used to avoid walking on the cracks in the pavement, as I believed they were a portal to hell. Or, at the very least, a Morlock orgy…

I’m probably coming across as rather a superstitious person, but really, other than the street sign avoidance, staring at a clock with ‘13’ on it until it changes to ‘14’, my rabbit foot menagerie, the fact I read my horoscopes, and the fact I have a yin/yang necklace constantly around my neck, I really don’t think I am. I mean, my brother found that little metal disc with the yin/yang symbol engraved on it, in a field in the ‘70s in the middle of nowhere. As for the rabbits, they had it coming. And, really, I don’t read my horoscopes to ‘discover my future,’ but not to do what they say to see if I can screw up the universe. ‘If you don’t do this, this week, then a lot of bad things will happen to other people.’ Good. I won’t do it then. Ha, ha, ha… screw you, universe! You’ve spent 27 years screwing up every facet of my life, now it’s time for some sweet revenge! VENGEANCE WILL BE MINE! MINE! Mwa, ha, ha, ha… Shouting at the universe is probably the first sign of madness, but, let’s face, we all knew it was coming.

Actually, now I mention it, I haven’t had a grumpy bus driver in a while. Nor a woman one. What happened to all the female drivers? There used to be so many canny young ones, who didn’t drive like lunatics. I miss them, but not the grumpy ones. The closest thing I think I’ve encountered to a cute bus driver recently is this butch bloke who’s actually rather lovely. Sure, I don’t think he’s that cute, but his wave is adorable. All the bus drivers wave to one another, you see. Most, all seemingly being men, do this very manly, flat hand in the air, maybe a nod of appreciation. The women tend to go for a more traditional wave, although I did see one once blow a kiss to another driver. I still maintain there was something going on, there. But this driver, this butch bloke. Yeah, sure, he has the flat hand in the air thing, but then it transforms like a beautiful butterfly into this very jolly and rapid wave, proper left to right, full of gusto wave. It’s lovely. So cute. And he has this little smile, too. It might seem insignificant, but in this harsh world we live in, when was the last time someone smiled and waved at you, huh? Or gave you a hug. Or told you they loved you. Didn’t spend every waking second telling you how much you reminded them of unpleasantries. Sigh. Just me?


This is the sort of thing I pick up on, you see. That and walls. I do love a good brick wall. Especially the Victorian ones. So much detail and intricacies in the designs. And the handmade bricks are to die for. As you can tell, I’m a very interesting person…

Adorable hand waving and smashingly neat walls aside, as I say, there is a lot of anger in the world. And I may be the source of quite a bit of it. You see, our neighbours are having a detached garage built. Most normal 20-somethings wouldn’t dwell too much on it, but I haven’t stopped complaining in about a week. The first thing I did was check the legal limit for building work in the UK, because they’re being bloody noisy, what with their grinding machines, huge lorry loads of shit, and general loud boombox malarkey. Ah, it’s all this modern pop gubbins. Now, if they put on some of Mamie Smith’s 1920 classic, Crazy Blues, I wouldn’t be so bothered…

You can’t start work before 8am and you must stop at 6pm. Not that lot of cheeky buggers. No, they’re outlaws. Total rebels. Flouting the law at will because they don’t give a damn about the man. Bah. They’ve started every day at 7:30 in the morning and, some nights, have gone on until 11:00. If this were America, we’d have called the fuzz, by this point. No, not in England. We say we’ll call the police, but it’s more of an empty threat. “IF YOU DON’T STOP THAT, YOU’LL GET AN ALMIGHTY FINGER WAGGING!” Then, later on. “Oh, so you’re still at it, huh? You know that’s illegal, right?” Then, “Oh, I’ll show some parliamentary legislation proving I’m right – oh, you’re still working away? I’m opening my laptop… I’m going on Google… I’ll do this, DON’T THINK I WON’T!” Then, “Oh, so you’re still going? Right, that’s it. The final straw. I’m going to Google your planning application, find a pair of binoculars and watch everything you’re doing. Just one little thing that isn’t on the planning application, and I’m ratting you out to the council!” AHA! YOU’RE PUTTING A DOOR IN THAT WALL, WHICH ISN’T IN THE PLANS! You’re dead meat, buddy! I’m going to call the council and destroy your entire life! Ha, ha, ha! And, you know what, we never do. We love to complain and threaten to call the cops, but we never do…

Throughout the entire build, the other neighbours have all been complaining. I see some almighty finger pointing but never any action. A lot of tutting. “Tut, tut, tut. I can’t believe they’re pulling down that tree.” I know, I know! It only leaves us with 57. That’s an outrage! The bricks don’t match the house, either. That’s also an outrage, even though the difference is only really noticeable under a microscope. They actually have a garage already, but in the UK, if you convert a garage that’s built in to the house into a habitable room, as they intend to do, you must, legally, replace it with another garage on site otherwise you won’t get permission to convert the original garage. It’s a stupid rule of course, but this is the country that won’t let new houses have a conventional washing line, genuinely, because it’s a ‘potential hanging threat,’ failing to realise the alternative, rotary washing lines, are more dangerous than a North Korean despot. I don’t even know why they’re bothering to give their kids a playroom, which is what they’re gonna do with that converted garage. I mean, I’ve met their two little boys. They’re both dicks.

And it gets worse! The neighbours on the other side are building an extension that overlooks our, at the moment, un-overlooked back garden. It says, quite clearly, in their planning application, ‘We have consulted numbers 65, 66, 67 and 68, and they’re all fine with it.’ No, they didn’t. They lied to the council. Have the council done anything about this? No, because they’re also dicks. But I will congratulate them on finding matching bricks…

You might think I have a weird brick fetish, and you’d be right. We have lots of grand old houses in my town and some pretty ‘50s and ‘60s ones, too. Many have been extended, and, oh boy, the state of some of them. I mean, honestly, some of the quoin work is a flipping disgrace. Half on, half off. Brand new that doesn’t match. Bricks that are horribly miscoloured. Gable roofs morphing into hip roofs and vice versa. Misaligned windows and doors. I mean, really, THEY SHOULD BE IN THE CENTRE OF THE WALL, YOU LUNATICS! You monsters! What are you playing at! The poor quoin work gets to me more than anything, but seriously, misaligned windows? Oh, boy. The worst part is the bricks on the sides of old houses in the UK are different to the ones at the front. The ones at the front are all fancy and expensive, so your house appears all fancy and expensive but the ones down the sides are cheap and nasty looking. This rule should be followed in new extentions, and it never is. It’s infuriating and a total waste of time! Like this entire paragraph for you, I’d imagine…

At the end of the day, however, it’s just a garage. Yes, it’s far too tall. Yes, it’s sad all the lovely trees are gonna be pulled down and the lovely garden is gonna be concreted over. Yes, it’s sad they’ve changed the plans and haven’t kept the neighbours involved. And yes, I’m not apologising for what I called their kids. Seriously, just last week, a new family moved in the estate and they have little girls. I was walking past when they went over to say hello to the two boys. What did those boys do? Punched the little girls really hard and pushed them over. Bloody Kray Twin wannabes over there. Sod the playroom, it should be a kiddy jail…

It’s all insignificant though, really. Life can be cruelly short. All you can do and be is the brightest possible flame. We shouldn’t be angry over the little things, should we? We have but one life and we spend most of it complaining, endlessly. I know I do. Although I did manage to get some of the garage anger out of my veins by jumping in a couple puddles this week. What?

No, I’m not 27 in two weeks. Ahem…

American doctor and author, Dr. Edward H. Stieglitz (1899-1958), once wrote: ‘The important thing to you is not how many years in your life, but how much life in your years.’ RIP Bradley…

Peace Out :|:

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

To Contrive & Jive
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