Why Catharsis Isn’t a Myth

Post CCCXXII

Here’s the story of comprende, anger, and an unsightly todger.

I don’t mean to be rude, but if she comes anywhere near me again I think my head might explode. You might say that’s not really the definition of being rude, but I think if bits of someone’s head splattered all over my lovely frock, I wouldn’t be in the best mood. I am, of course, referring to a woman who I shall name Betsy. It’s the first name I could think of. I know it’s from the olden days, but so is she. Never in my life have I had to deal with anyone so rude and selfish and she’s supposed to be a woman of God! Have you ever had to sit down with a client who, for three hours, keeps saying shit in your ear such as, “Oh, God is not happy with the work you’re doing.” It’s really difficult to know how to handle people and situations like this, especially if one is as shy and reserved as I am. And I tell you this much, I’ve been in more of those situations in just the last seven days than I have been in my entire life. I walked passed a guy this week on my way to work. He was leaning against a tree and I thought something might be wrong. So I looked over and… oh, there’s his penis… oh, he’s having a p – oh, that is not an image I’m going to forget in a hurry…

Don’t worry, people do that all the time in the UK. I mean, sure, not in broad daylight outside a school, but still… it was closed that day, thankfully. I think the art of holding it in is becoming a lost skill. People will now interrupt a conversation to go pee. At least that’s what I think they’re doing. I mean, sure, the last time that happened I never saw her again and upon investigation I found the bathroom window open, but still, I’m more inclined to believe the toilet was broken and the door lock was stuck and she had an emergency so emergent she couldn’t tell me about it – I’m thinking she was a spy, personally and… what? You… you think she stood me up? Ah come on, that’s more ridiculous than my theory…

I often wonder if the police would let you finish if they caught you doing that in public, against a tree, for example. I mean, honestly, if I was a copper, I would. He’s already broken the law and I don’t want to clean up an awful mess in my police car. For me, it would be very harsh to pull him away mid-flow and throw him into a paddy wagon with his todger hanging out. That said, there was a guy arrested near me this week who was, upon arrest, completely naked. The cops thought he might have concealed weapons so they made him take all his clothes off. That wasn’t a pleasant sight as I sat down to watch the local evening news having my dinner, let me tell you. And still, he could’ve been concealing a weapon. They didn’t even check. I mean, sure, why would you want to but – sorry, I feel like I’ve gone off-piste. Talking of being piste off…

It started out well, sure. An African lady entered the place where I work. “We arrived a few months ago and we’ve taken over a Baptist church in the suburbs.” Taken over running it, that is. Not Die Hard ‘taken over.’ Ah, what a lovely lady. Oh, how wrong I was. In this day and age, we all have to be nice and happy and friendly and other such hippy ideals, but I’m sorry, that women is awful. And hate is a strong word, I know, but it is not strong enough for her, let me tell you…

So she gave me a list of things she wanted printing. “Give me the price,” she said. I don’t deal with the prices, I’ll take your details and I’ll get the boss to give you a call. “No! I demand to speak to your boss!” He’s in a meeting and his phone is switched off. “Call him!” Phone. Off. Comprende? “I have never been spoken to like this in my life! You are so rude!” Admittedly, I’d have to agree with her if I had said ‘comprende’, but I’m not cool enough to pull that off. I know my limits.

I know you’re thinking you’re getting only one side of the story, but trust me, I have witnesses that will testify to the fact this is the only side of this story. She was, and remains, this bad. I was getting very wound up and people who know me will say they’ve never seen me angry. Like all good Brits, I keep my emotions bottled up. Unlike most Brits, I find ways to vent, like here. That’s my Italian heritage sneaking in. During said venting, there may be a lot of swearing. That’s my Irish heritage. Irish grandma would be ever so proud…

Since this day, this little shit has been nothing but a constant pain in my arse. She comes in and shouts at me, and I mean really shouts. I’m designing a roller banner for her. So she brought in a design. “WHY HAVE YOU DONE THAT! That’s not what I asked for, you stupid little man!” Okay, her English isn’t great so I’m not entirely sure she fully grasps the gravitas of what she’s saying. But I was patient. I never raised my voice and I tried my best. I did absolutely everything I could. So I did her another design. You tend to go through a couple, it’s a process with the clients. A back and forth. Not with her. No, we’ve gone through 27 designs. TWENTY-SEVEN! She came in on attempt 5 with a drawing. We did exactly what she drew. “Why! Not what I wanted! You’re so frustrating!” I showed her the drawing and I was still calm. She ripped it up and threw it in the air. “NO!”

I was becoming a tad stressed out. This is not me. I know I sound like an angry and bitter old man, but trust me, I’m only angry with people who deserve it. I never snap and I never shout. But it was really affecting me. After every round I was frazzled. I was getting no sleep and I couldn’t think straight for days. I don’t like being shouted at. I’m never shouted at. Not at all. Never. So when people like me, with social anxiety, get an ear full, it’s like we’ve been shot. It’s so demoralising. You feel pathetic and like you’ve done something wrong. Like it’s all your fault. But this week. I do not know what happened to me but I just – four months this has been going on. Four bloody months. “I can tell you’re not a man of faith,” she said to me once. “You be so much better at your job if you were.” And I had no choice but to sit there and take it. No choice. Actually, no I do. I volunteer. I don’t get paid. I do it because I love it. Not one bad review in my year there. This really pushed me to the edge. And for the record, I go to church every week and I believe in God. I think the God I’ve been brought up with would not like people like you, missy. I think, and this might just be me, that He likes people to be nice to one another and not a total bitch.

This week, she came in again. We did banner 27 and we showed it to her. She, a week previously, showed us two banners she’d designed herself. They were utter shite. And the thing is, she said copy them exactly. So I did. I really did! Exactly the same. She comes in. “Why! Why have you done this! I’m not happy!” So she gave me a list of changes and I set to work trying to get it right for her. Behind my back, literally, stood right behind me, she was having an argument with one of the bosses. “Well, I’ve asked him to do what I want and he doesn’t listen! He’s a terrible designer! Every time I come in he’s rude and arrogant and refuses to listen to me! I’m sick of him! I was told this was a good company and I’m very unhappy with this service! I deserve to be treated better than this!” I was actually close to tears. I am now, even.

She stood right over me. “Why have you not done that!” “Look, I’m trying my best will you GIVE me a minute!” She didn’t. Two-minute job. Every five seconds. “Come on, hurry!” One hour this went on. “Listen, I’ve done exactly what you’ve asked for, calm down!” I’ve never said that to anyone. Never stood up to anyone. But she… oh, God. Even the fonts she complained about. “I can’t use it, it’s $200!” “You pay for it!” “Nah, you want it, you pay for it!” And even the colours. “It’s not the exact shade I wanted.” Oh, I kid you not, I was 99% accurate. No, not good enough for her. Has to be 100%. I was so angry, I really was.

You might wonder why we put up with it. It’s a good question. I woke up the next day and I didn’t want to get out of bed. Social anxiety is like depression. You have good days and bad days, days you want to get out of bed and days you don’t. I have been volunteering for a year because I love it. It’s the best job in the world. You get to design things, like shop signs and menus. You go down one of my town’s major shopping streets and I say to myself, ‘I did that sign. Oh, and that one! I did their window graphics!’ I’m so proud. Never been happier. Everyone’s said to me how well I’ve been doing in the last year. Happier, healthier, more confident, talking more, and so on. But one little thing like that ‘holier than thou’ woman, and I honestly just feel… I don’t know. Not good. But the job is a big one. She wants lots of stuff off us. Five grand’s worth of printing and vehicle wrapping. We’re a small company. We need that money to pay the bills. You might say every job has a moment like this. A client like this. But in my 27 years, I’ve never experienced anything like it and it’s really shaken me.

Now the ‘experts’ will say I’m wrong. Countless studies PROVE me wrong. Having a rant and a rave against someone or something, especially online, is not ‘catharsis’ and is terrible. It is the worst thing you can do. It will make you feel worse. Well I’m sorry, hippies, but I think anger deserves its place alongside any other emotion. I know I feel a hell of a lot better after this. The psychologists say anger is without merit and is utterly pointless. Bullshit. Utter bull-plop. Anger strengthens us. It defines us. It makes us better people because it gives us a shield to protect ourselves from the detritus of the human race. We are, probably, the worst race in the whole of the universe. We are terrible people and anger is what elevates those of us brave enough to embrace it above those trying to hurt us. It galvanises us and gives us our hearts. Anger is not black but every colour of the rainbow. You need it otherwise you’ll get nowhere. I have worked so hard in the last year and I’ll be damned if some woman thinks she can break me down. It is anger and nothing but anger that got me out of bed the next day. It is the fuel in the rocket of life. That’s what I’ve learnt this week. Don’t use anger for hate, use it as a source of strength against those that hate you.

As was first said by one British army officer during World War II, don’t let the bastards grind you down…

American actress and stand-up comedienne, Phyllis Diller (1917-2012), once said: “Don’t go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.”

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 blog:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
Latest Post: Would You Visit Earth 36?


Advertisements

A Dendrophiliac Candyfloss Dealie

Post CCCXXI

Here’s the story of arse burn, a machete opening, and a philosophical puddle.

I cannot begin to tell you how much trees irritate me. I mean, who invented trees? We’re the only planet that has them. I’d assume. I haven’t been to all of them. Yet. I mean, they’re very pretty and all, but why are they so pointy? We have no idea if there are forests on other worlds, that would require a telescope the size of the Sun, but I like to think that, elsewhere, nature wasn’t so much of a bastard and made trees out of candyfloss. I don’t like candyfloss, but I’d much rather be poked in the eye with that every morning than a sharp twig. Admittedly, I don’t think either would be particularly pleasant, but imagine the benefits of a candyfloss forest world. The smell alone would be unbeatable. Until, that is, we find a planet with bacon trees. Although, that said, we don’t eat trees so I suppose if we landed on another world and started eating their candyfloss trees, we’d be the weird ones. It’s ridiculous of course, because the candyfloss wouldn’t be strong enough to support the weight, unless we’re talking about a planet with reduced gravity and… sorry, what were we talking about? Ah, yes. DEATH TO TREES!

You might wonder why anybody with even one brain cell would go through the rigmarole of being poked and prodded with trees every morning. It’s not some weird sex ritual. I don’t think there’s such a thing as a tree fetish. Unless they’re made of candyfloss. Although I don’t know how they’d stand up with all the wind. Unless the planet is… sorry, what’s that? There is such a thing as a tree fetish? Oh, good God. Dendrophilia. The sexual attraction or arousal of people to trees.

Huh.

You see, the problem is, to get to the bus stop, I have to walk through a small… let’s call it a forest. Others might call it a small gathering of trees, but it’s the pond/lake argument all over again. When does a pond become a lake? When does a pond become a puddle? I don’t buy in to this philosophical drivel. I’d just call it a body of water. Or a group of trees. If you’re the type of person who sits there wondering when a wood becomes a forest, I’d say you’re probably not very satisfied by your job. And sure, that might not come as a surprise to any data analysts reading, no offence, but it would be a worry if you were a… I don’t know, porn dealie. Ooh, I have this week’s post title!

What you have to do, then, is go around the trees to get anywhere, but that takes time. And because it’s a cul-de-sac, there’s only one way out. A ten minute walk to the top of the group of trees, then loop around and walk back down the other side to get anywhere even remotely useful. The bus stop, for example. The mistresses dwelling. The corner shop. Things like that.

It would seem obvious, then, to put an opening in the trees to allow people to walk through, something the council has, so far, steadfastly refused to do. For you see, on the other side of the trees is a road. And between said road and said trees is the world’s steepest bank. Which is fine in summer, but in winter, it becomes either a muddy death trap slip-and-slide, or an icy death trap slip-and-slide. Meaning you’d have to put steps and handrails and non-slip pads and safety rails and all manner of very expensive items. Now, the British being British, we don’t let anything stand in our way. So the council won’t create a clearing, big deal. We’ll create one then. And so, one night, someone, we don’t know who, took a huge machete to a load of the trees and he created a ‘sort of’ opening. More like an s-shaped tunnel. Look, it wasn’t the best job in the world but, if you’re thin enough, you can get through this ‘passage’. Unfortunately, the floor is lined with plants and sticky up things and the ‘walls’ aren’t exactly pruned. It’s very dangerous, is the point, but I’ll be damned if I’m walking 10 minutes up the road to get to a bus stop, with the cut through, one minute away. And you know me. I like being lazy. I get that bus to the nearby shopping centre. It takes 20 seconds. I literally can’t be bothered walking it. And even if I could, I’D STILL HAVE TO TAKE THE CUT THROUGH!

In case you’re wondering, yes, I have slipped and slid down that bank in winter and it really hurt. I didn’t even stop at the path, sorta cut in to the bank half way down. No, I kept going, over the path and on to the lower bank, and kept going on to the main road. This might sound like poor planning from the local authorities. You’d be right. I wasn’t thinking that at the time, though. No, I was more concerned with the huge hole in my jeans where my arse is. Have you ever got arse ice burn? Not nice. Not nice at all.

So every morning I have to squeeze myself though this narrow opening, surrounded by trees above me, below me, to all my sides, getting repeatedly poked and prodded, sometimes in very intimate areas, to go down a steep and treacherous bank, to get to a bus stop to get a bus 20 seconds up the road to a shopping centre, where I get another bus that takes 40 minutes to drop me off at an old cemetery where I then begin a 20 minute walk up a street with the world’s most shoddy paving. TWICE a day! This is not an ordinary trip to work, it really isn’t.

If there was another way, I’d take it, I really would. But I live in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by dickish trees and only one bus stop that isn’t serviced anymore by a bus that would take me straight to work! It might only take 20 seconds, but it’s 20 minutes on foot BECAUSE OF ALL THE BLOODY TREES! And then you have to endure 40 minutes on the bus of children bugging you and dogs licking your feet. Honestly, why do they let dogs on buses! They’re not guide dogs, for heaven’s sake. They should be banned. So should the children. Why can’t we have an adult’s bus? Nice, quiet and dignified. No children, no noise, no chavs with their stupid music blaring out. I’m almost as annoyed by this as I am about the trees. I tell you, when I come to power, children and dogs will be banned from everything and all trees will be replaced with something more productive to society…

It doesn’t get much better when I get off in the city centre. I have to walk through a park, which sure, is made all the more enjoyable by the squirrels and mice, but it used to be a graveyard! And did they move the bodies when it stopped being a graveyard? NOPE! They’re still there! I’m walking over bodies every morning covered in tree pricks! Why is my life not normal? I’m sure it used to be. I have vague memories of those days.

Then, then, to get out of the death park, I have to cross a mud path, which, most days, is a mud bath. I get to work with mud up to me bollocks. I may as well get to work with wellies on. And on the other side of this path is a mile long road I have to clamber up and even the slightest bit of rain, it floods. I was walking down it the other day with water up to my ankles. When I got home, I had to empty my shoes in to the sink. Two hours it took.

And it’s not safe! All the paving slabs are loose but because it’s a bad part of town, nobody really cares. They’re all sticking up at jaunty angles. And it’s a narrow pavement! I HATE narrow pavements. You can’t get around these slowpokes stopping in the middle to have a natter. You have to step out into the main road and hope you don’t get run over. Honestly, by the time I get to work I look like I’ve been on an assault course.

So count yourselves lucky, those of you who aren’t me, which I think is most of you. You get up and shower. You take the train or the bus to work. It’s all fine and dandy and you’re all so brilliant and sparkly wonderful when you show up to the office. Just think of me next time you do that trip. Just think how so much worse it could be for you. Why, you could be clambering over a mountain of bones.

Or coming under attack from non-candyfloss trees…

Indian lawyer, politician and social activist, Mahātmā Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948), once said: “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”

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 blog:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


My Heaven on Marmalade

Post CCCXX

Here’s the story of a ball rave, obsession, and Lammas.

I have a bit of a confession to make. I have a bit of thing for spreadsheets. Admittedly, I’ve just made it sound like I’m in love with them, but I’m not. Well, I am, but not a weird love. You know, like that woman and that wall she married. Although I’m often curious about what passes for a sex life betwixt the two. Hmm. No, I’m talking about obsessive love. You see, for the last five years, I’ve had my very own imaginary football league. You know, football. Soccer. Oh, I can’t believe you made me say that. You know, in Burma, in the 1880s, when football was introduced there, they gave it a name completely different from both football and soccer. They called it ball-pwe. ‘Pwe’ is their word for a rave, so, effectively, we’re talking about a ball rave. I must say, it’s a great way to get people in to sport. “I hate football!” “Okay, would you rather play ball rave?” It could work with anything. “Americans! Do you want to play our century’s old game of rounders?” “Nope.” “What about baseball?” I mean, sure, they’re absolutely identical, but they don’t know that…

I can’t really explain whence my spreadsheet obsession came. I guess it all started with that searchable thesaurus I built in Excel. It hasn’t really come in handy, sure, and some would argue the three months it took to build was a waste of time, but really, I have very little else to do. But then, one day, I had an idea to use my spreadsheet love to create an imaginary football league. Some might call it a leap from a thesaurus, I call it a great way to waste away the seconds until the loving release of death.

Driffield is a small market town in my beloved Yorkshire. The day came when, by chance, I discovered their football team, as is the way with many thousands across the UK, has a crazy name. They could’ve called it Driffield Market FC. They could’ve called it Driffield United. No, they called it Driffield Evening Institute. I mean, sure, it’s nowhere near the magnificence of what Eaglescliffe called their football club, but still, pretty remarkable. Oh, what’s that? What did Eaglescliffe call their football club? Doesn’t matter, it’s gone now. Oh, okay. The Eaglescliffe Bazookas. Seriously. Their club badge was a woman in a bikini holding a bazooka. I miss them. With 50 promotions, they could’ve been playing Manchester United at Old Trafford…

So here’s what I did. I set about scouring the English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and the Republic’s football leagues. If you’re not from here, we’re talking about hundreds and hundreds of leagues featuring thousands upon thousands upon thousands of football teams. We are… a bit, let’s say, partial to a spot of the old footy kicks. And with the way it works, most of these teams could make it to the top leagues. We could honestly live in a world where Graham Street Prims, Havant & Waterlooville or even Hoveton Wherrymen make it to the top. They are all real teams, by the way. As is Jarrow Roofing. It’s not a company-sponsored team, they just really like roofs.

So, I had my list and I set about creating a table in Excel. I had all the teams listed, along with their points and goal difference. I had a way of automatically sorting them with a push of a button. I had my precious statistics. I created a season calendar. It was all very professionally done. Like a proper league and everything. I gave my league a name and soon, the season was underway. Once a week, I updated the scores and soon, the league ballooned into six divisions with promotions and relegations. For me, it’s like an office worker painting as a hobby on the weekends. Except with me, it’s spreadsheets. I can spend many hours working away at my leagues and it’s funny team names. That was the only condition. The name of the team has to be brilliant for it to be entered into the league. Hence why Kelvedon Hatch ended up there. Oh, they’re not sponsored, they just really like hatches…

This might sound crazy and, looking back, you’re right, it is, but once I started tumbling down the rabbit hole, I just couldn’t stop. Who wouldn’t want to live in a world where Leicester Nirvana play Northampton Old Northamptonian Chenecks, to date, still the longest English football team name I’ve found. “All together now! GIVE ME AN ‘N’…”

It’s a passion and I know it’s stupid. There is nothing normal about someone creating a football calendar for a fictional football league of six divisions that spans almost an entire year. Nor is there nothing normal about this mad league just starting its fifth season. But I enjoy it. It’s exhilarating. I get so excited about updating my divisions every Saturday at exactly 5:23 in the afternoon. How have Odd Down done this week? Or the Old Barkabbeyans? Tee, he, he… we are very good at team names. Give me Prescot Cables over Liverpool any day of the week. Oh, they’re not sponsored, they just really like cables…

The mad part, however, it yet to come. As I said, I tumbled down a rabbit hole and it is rather deep. I created some badges for each of the divisions. Little crests for all eight. Oh yeah, there are now eight divisions. And four cup competitions. I promise, I haven’t gone mad. Oh, and I also created maps for all eight plotting the locations of all the teams. From Seaham Red Star (not communists) to Staines Lammas. Yes, there is a football club in England who named themselves Lammas. Another named themselves the Tonbridge Angels. And honestly, who among you don’t want to live in a world where you have the Angels versus the Lammas? THIS IS WHY I DO IT! That and I have no friends.

Oh, but there’s more. I have data tables, and boy, you better believe that’s an Excel spreadsheet. 14 sheets of data. Oh, baby, that’s like… heaven on marmalade. I have a record of all the teams, from White Ensign to Eversley and California (yes, we have a Cali), from Coventry Sphinx (no, really) to Daisy Hill. These records are a list of the total points, number of promotions and relegations, seasons spent in each division, highest ever finish and lowest. You have the longest and shortest time spent in each division, highest and lowest points tally, ditto with goal difference, longest at top and longest at bottom. You also have a record of the total number of trophies won. Runcorn Linnets are out in front with five. If you weren’t thinking I’ve lost the plot before this paragraph, I imagine some of you now are. But some of you might still be with me. So let me introduce you to the rulebook.

10 spreadsheets of rules! IT’S NIRVANA! This contains details of the bizarre promotion, relegation and playoff system. What to do when a team withdraws. And the structure! OH, THE STRUCTURE is my pride and joy! Because I don’t just have eight divisions any more. Oh, no. I HAVE 802 TEAMS! EIGHT HUNDRED AND TWO! And I have a couple dozen more I’m planning to add, soon. I’m no longer admiring that woman on the bus, I’ve followed her home and now she’s called the police. That’s the level of obsession, detail and intrigue I’m drowning in. Oh, but I’m sure you don’t want me to bore you with details of my structure. OH, BUT I MUST

So you have the top eight divisions. That’s 146 teams. From the Civil Service Strollers to Shepshed Dynamo, from Springfield to the Stone Old Alleynians. I have 802 of these, so strap in. From Waterloo Dock to Letchworth Garden City Eagles. I’ll stop now. From Oxenhope Recreation to Suffolk Punch Haverhill. Oh, you better believe that’s a real team. Why Suffolk wants to punch Haverhill is anyone’s guess…

Below this, there’s another division. Swindon Spitfires is my favourite team from that one. Then below that, there are four divisions running parallel to one another. But these are just lists, I don’t update them every week. I’m not crazy, obviously. My favourite match is the Pontprennau Pumas versus the Box Steam Brewery. We also have a Beer Albion. Then below them are another four divisions, running parallel. Then another. And another. And so on. I really could sit here all day and tell you about it. It’s hard to pick my favourite team from all this, but I think Putney Ferrets and the Crouch End Vampires have to be contenders…

You see, the reason I’ve kept all this secret, even from my nearest and dearest, is because I know it makes me sound a touch… insane. But I really would compare it to any other hobby. From painting, to photography, to building ships in glass bottles. I know it’s pointless and without rhyme or reason, but without this escapism, the world would be one unending tidal wave of misery. I mean, for God’s sake, there’s a football club called Puddletown and another named Penistone Church! And yet another named the Barnoldswick Barons! There’s a Cooper’s Edge Javelins, too! What other country would name their sporting clubs the Barons and the Javelins? That’s why I do it. Embrace Britishness and reject the harshness of reality. Because, let’s face it, reality sucks. I’d rather live in my imaginary world where, today, 60,000 are in the stadium ready to witness East Yorkshire Carnegie take on Freshlands Bruckhaus Deringer. Also real. If that makes me mad, then so be it.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m off to watch the Earlston Rhymers…

American writer, Shirley Jackson (1916-1965), once wrote: ‘No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.’

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 blog:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


The Flaming Pillocks of Our Universe

Post CCCXIX

Here’s the story of the longest pee, a terrible bus company, and drowning Weetabix.

It takes a lot to make me angry, but I swear, if that sodding bus driver doesn’t hurry up and finish peeing I’m going to give him one almighty finger wagging, I am! Come on, how long does it take to pee! I mean, fair enough if you’re a women, because you have to sit down and stand up, plus, I hear many line the toilet seat with little strips of paper, clearly failing to realise it’s been scientifically proven impossible to catch anything from a toilet seat! In the same way you can’t catch priapism from a desk. But we’re talking about a male bus driver and he was gone for a good 10 minutes. If I were peeing for that long, never mind a doctor, I’d go and see a bloody cork manufacturer to put a plug in it…

Okay, you might say, he might have ‘problems.’ I DON’T CARE! Surely one of the bus driver’s duties, which I imagine is like a little list they have to swear allegiance to in bus academy, only marginally less of a ball ache than police academy, is to get their passengers from A to B. Fair enough, if you’re running a little early, pull over and pop into the pub toilet. But when you’re running 10 minutes late, you hold it in, sunshine! YOU BLOODY HOLD IT IN! I was once walking home from school and I was really bursting to go, but I held it in for long enough to buy an ice cream and eat said ice cream before I even got home. Look, I just can’t walk by an ice cream van and I appreciate it’s a dilemma for bus drivers, BUT I HAVE ANOTHER BUS TO CATCH! Do you not have a bottle!

Don’t tell me that’s disgusting, readers. I’ve seen and heard of people doing far worse things on a bus, I thank you very much. I once knew a girl who, when she was 15, had sex on a bus. Bollock naked, too. All clothes off, for about 20 minutes. I asked her if the driver noticed or even minded, but apparently, he didn’t. Or didn’t admit to it, I’m not sure which. Speaking of such, have you Googled priapism, yet? It’s no laughing matter, it kills many people every year, it really does. But at least you’d die with a smile on your face…

So you can only imagine how incredibly pissed off I was this week, on a Friday afternoon after an incredibly hard and long day pretending to be working, when the bloody bus driver, 10 FRICKING MINUTES LATE, pulls over by a shopping centre, not to pee, but to buy a paper and put the lottery on. What the – I hope he wins. No, I really do. I hope he wins and retires from being a bus driver because, let’s face it, you’re not very good at it. He came out the shop with a paper under his arm and a lottery ticket in his hand. There were 20 people on the bus! I’m almost as angry as that time a bus driver pulled over outside a pub, told the passengers he had to ‘pay a visit to the little boy’s room,’ and I swear to God, I looked through the pub windows and there was a man looking just like the bus driver… playing a fruit machine!

Look, I know it’s a boring job, they don’t get much money and most days you have to handle a lot of dicks. That sounded better in my head. But the point remains, it’s a vocation. It’s a passion. It’s something to be cherished. It’s a calling. To drive people to… places. Your heart has to be in it otherwise what’s the point? It’s like being a half-arsed surgeon. “Well sir, anaesthetic is very expensive these days so, instead, I’m going to punch you really hard in the face and hope I knock you out…”

You know what really puts the willies up me? I missed my next bus. Next one due: 45 minutes. Now, I would’ve made it, despite the lottery break, but for a few things. One, STUPID TEMPORARY TRAFFIC LIGHTS! I HOPE YOU BURN IN HELL! NOBODY EVEN WANTS THAT NEW HOUSING ESTATE! IT’S BEING BUILT ON GREEN BELT LAND, FOR GOD’S SAKE! And two, and I’m not making this up, the driver pulled over, AGAIN, to tidy up! His ticket machine was knackered and there were tickets everywhere like a bloody ticker tape parade! So he thought, well, there’s only five people left on the bus and it’s a bit of a mess, so I’ll just use this plastic bag to go around and tidy up! Three minutes it took. I timed it. Three minutes. He then left the bus to put it in the bin outside. Another minute gone. We got to the stop where I needed to change on to another bus, and it was just leaving. If that dickweed hadn’t pulled over for a spot of light gambling and spring fricking cleaning, I would’ve made it! Instead, I had to walk for 10 WHOLE MINUTES home! I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but I would’ve gotten home a lot earlier if the buses ran on time! Where’s the punctuality and decorum, Stagecoach bus company, you flaming pillocks…

As I said last week, I’m getting two buses instead of walking in protest of the bus company’s decision to withdraw a bus that would’ve taken me directly home. It was the end of a very long and hard week, I didn’t need that disgusting treatment, nobody did. All five passengers wanted that other bus and we all missed it. Including one guy in a wheelchair, now stuck in the freezing cold for 45 minutes. I hope you’re bloody happy, Stagecoach, I really do.

You know what was worse? The kids. So many kids on that bus. “Hello, hello! Mum, MUM, he won’t say hello,” said one two-year-old girl to me. “SHUT UP YOU IRRITATING LITTLE BRAT!” I wanted to say that to her because my tether had snapped and I was very stressed out. In retrospect, it’s probably better I refrained from doing so, but no, even though I thought it, I still meant it. Why are they so loud! I don’t want to talk to you, LEAVE ME ALONE! And stop crying! Not everyone loves you!

Can you tell I’m not a parent?

This past week, honestly. Saturday. Couldn’t get my laptop to work. I punched it, I punched, I punched it – and I kept punching it – and for some GODFORSAKEN reason it just wouldn’t work! Why does hitting things never make them work! It makes no sense! I’d just finished my dinner, too, put the tray down next to me, with a full glass of water on it, and, as I was busy trying to fix that stupid useless hunk of cheap Korean plastic, the glass went right over! I had the wettest arse you’ve ever seen. And they were my only clean pair of jogger bottoms and my only clean bed sheets! I had to sit there in wet joggers on three towels and it DIDN’T WORK because the bed was so wet the water kept seeping through! You know what makes it even WORSE? I knocked the same glass over again today! I hate having a wet bottom. It’s not natural!

And bloody Tuesday, right. They were forecasting RAIN, and HAIL, and WIDESPREAD FLOODING, and IT’S THE END OF DAYS! It’s the worst weather the UK will have seen in centuries. So I did what everyone would do. Put on a thick jumper and two coats. Not a SINGLE drop of rain and 20 bloody degrees Celsius! What the hell! I couldn’t breathe, I was overheating so much! I’d be bloody angry with Naz the Sky News weathergirl if she wasn’t so gorgeous…

Wednesday. The milk ran out after two seconds of pouring it in my Weetabix. I like my Weetabix almost completely submerged, but it’s a tricky thing. If you have to open a new bottle of milk halfway through it goes all soggy and it’s ruined! IT KEEPS HAPPENING! Some dickhead called me a nobhead on Wednesday too, and that’s because I didn’t tell him the time because I woke up with blocked ears! That keeps happening, too! You go to bed and you can hear and you wake up and you are practically deaf! BUT OH NO! Keep calling me a nob you… NOB!

Thursday saw yet another moth attack, so bloody huge this time I had to get dad to deal with it. He just picked it up by its tiny pathetic head and threw it out a window! YET EVERY TIME I WENT NEAR IT, IT DARTED STRAIGHT FOR MY HEAD! Like it was trying to kill me! Why do moths hate me! And don’t get me started on Friday. The bus driver kept looking at me through the internal mirror. Right at me! He was on the radio to control and when my ears finally cleared I could hear exactly what he was saying. “Yeah, tell the police he’s still on the bus.” WHAT THE HELL! WHAT – DID I DO SOMETHING WRONG! Was that driver definitely looking at me? I STILL DON’T KNOW! I bet the bloody moth had made a formal complaint…

And really don’t get me started on that menu I was designing for some doofus on Friday. “Oh, the font isn’t big enough! I want a bigger font! I’m telling you to give me a bigger font! Why aren’t you listening to me! I want a bigger font, do you not understand English!” SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! STOP TALKING ABOUT FRICKING FONTS! WHY DOES NOBODY UNDERSTAND FONTS OR SIZE OR SPACE OR ANYTHING! ARRRRGH! THIS WEEK CAN PISS OFF!

So, as I said at the beginning, it takes a lot to make me angry…

American author, Becca Fitzpatrick (b. 1979), once wrote: ‘Whoa, who peed in your Cheerios?’

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 blog:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


30 Not Out

Post CCCXVIII

Here’s the story of a shark tornado, getting older, and a Sharpie make out buddy.

Is 20 seconds too short for a bus journey? Be honest with me. Also consider my age in your answer. You see, now the big evil bus corporation have gotten rid of the bus I used to get, I now have to get two buses. One isn’t an issue. It takes 35 minutes, fair enough. The other bus, as I timed it the other day, is a journey of around two minutes, but if you take away all the standing around at roundabouts waiting for somebody to let the bus out, you’re looking at around 20 seconds. Now, is that too short for a bus journey? I get awfully embarrassed. I can see older people on the bus shaking their heads. One driver the other day looked dumbfounded, at best. I could walk it, sure, but that would, by quirk of geography, take 20 minutes, up steep slopes, down steep banks, through unlit woods, and so forth. But the people on the bus don’t know that! They think I’m just being a typically lazy yoof. But I have a weekly ticket and the next bus comes one minute after the other! You’d be a fool not to do it, right? Yet I can’t help but feel tremendously guilty. From my perspective, it makes sense. I’m fighting the system. No, really. Plus, I have a bad knee and my heart starts hurting if I walk for more than two minutes, never mind 20. Also, I really can’t be arsed…

Honestly, I did walk it for the first few days after the change, but I just couldn’t manage it. You might think ‘getting healthy’ might be an option, but… oh, I can’t give up my bacon and sausage sandwiches. Maybe I could reduce them to six times a week, but none at all? It’s like asking me to lay face down on a bed of burning coals. Naked. You also might be wondering how I’m fighting the system. You see, the Stagecoach bus company want us to use fewer of their buses so in the future they can justify getting rid of more services to save yet more money. Nope. I’m using every single one of your buses, even if I don’t need to. I’m the only one sure, but a one man protest is better than a no man protest. An imagination protest, if you will. Don’t tell me they don’t exist. I’ve met hippies.

I know 27 really isn’t that old, but there’s no denying certain things are taking a toll on little old me. A 20 minute walk really is a struggle, and I’m really struggling to stay awake beyond 10. I used to stay awake until two in the morning watching cruddy movies, now I’m asleep at two in the morning dreaming of the corporation tax limit. It’s a very real concern to the working class independent businesses of this country and furthermore… You know, it’s not the time for it. If you told me a decade ago I’d be giving up a movie about a swarm of sharks being thrown out of a tornado, even though such would be impossible because tornados are on land and sharks very much aren’t, unless we’re talking about a zoo, to get a few more hours sleep, I wouldn’t have believed you. And we haven’t even factored in the weight, have we now? I mean, get real! A tornado couldn’t throw a shark more than 20 feet in reality…

The fact of the matter remains that I’m three years off 30 and I genuinely don’t feel even 20. Probably because I haven’t done anything fun with my life. Or anything with my life. And that never bothered me until this week. But as I was huffing and puffing my way home, overtaken by the third bus I could’ve been on instead, deciding to take a minute’s rest on a lovely and convenient bench, overlooking one of those electricity sheds that makes your hair stand on end even though I don’t think it should be, I really started to get a bit down. Have I wasted those 27 years? And why am I complaining? Unless your complaint involves literally saving one’s bacon, I’m probably not gonna do anything about it.

I like bacon.

Take relationships. I know many don’t believe a word I say on here, but it’s all true. I’ve really never been in a relationship, or been on a date, or had sex, or kissed anything other than my hand for practise. It didn’t taste nice! Sharpie really should make flavoured pens. What? Was drawing a face on my hand too much?

I looked up this week everybody I could remember from school and college on social media. They’ve all got good jobs and most have kids. Many are living in lovely houses in lovely places. It really is no exaggeration to say that I’m the only one who hasn’t changed a bit. Imagine how depressing a school reunion would be. This is what one girl has done since I last saw her, five years ago. “Well, I own four businesses, I’ve do a lot of hair and makeup for magazines and celebrities, I have four kids, I’m on my second husband, I have two houses, one in the country for the weekends, I own a lovely Mercedes… but enough about me! What about you! I’ve missed you! What have you been up to?” “Nothing. Literally nothing.” “But what about…” “Nope.” “You didn’t know what I was going to say.” “I’m pretty sure the answer is no, regardless…”

I’m not jealous, just angry. And I don’t know why. It’s too late to get into a relationship at my age. Any girl shows an interest in me now and I have to say no. She would expect me to know what I was doing at 27. It wouldn’t last two minutes. And look, it’s not just that. I know I’m pretty much the only 27 year old that’s never been abroad on his own. The thought terrifies me. I cannot get on a plane alone, I’m that frightened of them. I’ve never lived on my own, either. I’m still with mum and dad. I could go abroad with a friend, but I’ve never had one of those, either. It’s strange. I value my independence but I don’t value my loneliness. I’ve never even been outside this town by myself. I remember the first time a girl asked me out. I said ‘no’ and I walked off. To this day, I can’t tell you why. She was gorgeous, too. I’m very self-destructive. I’m like a mine on a beach. You need to disarm it. You get closer and closer and closer. And then it blows up in your face.

Is it too late for me to do these things? Absolutely. Is it too late for me to see the world? Absolutely. I don’t go out on nights out very often. And what about nights out? Until recently, I thought it was too late to start doing that, but I went to my first concert last year. My one outstanding memory is a girl dancing next to me so wildly her hair kept getting in my eye. I really wanted to tell her to stop it, but I thought that would make me a doofus. Also, I think the point of these concerts is to have fun and that doesn’t sound like I was having all too much fun. I wasn’t. It was too loud. I don’t like noise. I had earplugs in. Others did too, but they were all in their 50s, so, you know…

I still haven’t found what I’m good at, either. I spend my days doing nothing overly important. I’ve never been in love. Never had a one night stand. Never had a job. Never see my family, apart from mum and dad, although not often. Can’t cook. Never had a takeaway. You won’t find me at a party, even a family one. Never volunteered. Or had a double bed or even slept in one. Never learnt to swim or ride a bike. Never smoked a cigarette or done drugs. Don’t really drink booze. Never learnt another language. Well, I can count to 14 in French, for some reason. And I’ve never been camping, either. I’m not shitting in the woods! Knowing my luck, I’d end up drying my tinkle with a nettle.

It might sound easy to go and grab those things and accept that some of them are now beyond me and some aren’t even ‘me’ in the first place. Look, some people don’t like concerts and festivals, they’re full of young people like me and I’d rather hang out with older people who are far less irritating than my lot. Some people might call me selfish or say I’ve wasted my life. Others might say I should stop trying to live to other’s standards. That those who say I’ve not done something ‘all twenty-somethings must do’ is someone else’s ideal. Like a one night stand. I really don’t want to do that but I am finding others saying you haven’t been a twenty-something until you’ve done that. Well, I mean, I know I’m the last person to be giving a lecture on sex, but I honestly believe if it’s not with someone you love and care about it’s pretty pointless, right? “Come on, let’s do it in the toilets!” “But… I don’t know you!” “So?” “Well, I’d like to. Fancy a movie and an ice cream afterwards?” “Come on, it’s not the ‘50s anymore!” I wish it was! I’d much happier in the ‘50s! We didn’t need earplugs back then, sonny!

I don’t really have morals or standards. I don’t firmly believe we’re put on this Earth or we just ‘are’ by chance, or that we have to spend our years doing something or doing nothing. You’re born and you die, do what you like in-between, anyone tells you that you should being doing this or that is, quite frankly, a prick. Someone reading this might think, ‘Well, you’ve wasted all those years.’ Nope. There are few things I would change. I might be starting to yearn for different things, but am I going to go after them? No. As I said at the beginning, I really can’t be arsed getting out of bed, most mornings…

So I’m getting older. I get the bus instead of walking. I make noises when I sit down or stand up. Water is my favourite drink. Seriously. I was never blessed with the optimism of youth but I’ll be damned if the depression of age gets the better of me. And hey, who knows what the future might hold? Heck, I might even spend my 30s doing what most would spend doing in their 20s. I might spend that entire decade skydiving and screwing my way around the world. Not at the same time, obviously. I don’t even think that’s possible.

Oh, but I did encounter one thing recently that, ‘apparently,’ is on the list of things you ‘must do’ in your 20s that I have done. Protest! I’ve done that by getting that 20 second bus ride, as I said earlier was one of the reasons for me doing it. IN YER FACE, STAGECOACH!

It might not be what folk mean by ‘protest,’ but I know I’m proud of it…

American advice columnist and nationwide media celebrity, Eppie Lederer (1918-2002), once said: “At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.”

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 blog:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


The Impossible Cavity Balls

Post CCCXVII

Here’s the story of a government creep shack, paranoia, and a sex mime.

I don’t want to sound too paranoid, but I’m convinced the cavity wall insulation van parked outside is a cover and has top-secret government agents inside spying on me. Now you might think it’s a bit of a reach to suggest such – and… you’d probably be right, but I’m not so sure. Firstly, this is a new housing estate. These houses don’t really have cavity walls. Still a bit of a leap from that to government spies, though? Hey, buddy, I haven’t finished. Secondly, you see, I know our neighbours and none of them work in the industry. Thirdly, that is not cavity wall insulation. It’s a van with a picture on the side of a hundred rubber balls. Who fills their cavities with balls! You fill it with that inflatable foamy stuff, right? Fourthly, it’s a sleeper! It has that space above the cabin where you put a bed and the back of it is awfully square, not like any van I’ve seen before! It’s also got a Romanian licence plate. Who’s travelling from Romania to Yorkshire to fill in cavity walls! Then there are those agents I saw outside having a fag the other day. Probably shoulda led with that…

Now you might say that this isn’t a very convincing argument. I’ve seen James Bond, there’s no way the British government would be this incompetent. Firstly… come on! Secondly, Bond isn’t real. I mean, as far as I know it isn’t a documentary. And if it is, golly, his life insurance policy must be through the roof. Never mind his roaming charges. This is why people don’t go to the movies with me. I pick holes in everything.

I was leaning toward siding with you, readers, in that the government wouldn’t plant a van outside my house, which has been sitting there, suspiciously not moving even a gnat’s crochet in the last three weeks, with such obviously fake information on it. The impossible cavity balls, the licence plate, things like that. Oh, I checked the licence plate. Romanian licence plates do not look like that! But then I got thinking.

If I were a top-secret government spy, I would put suspicious information on my Romanian van. Throw me off the scent. People know what I’m like. I’m sure there’s a good thousand-page dossier on me at MI5. Or whatever agency is following me. Probably the forestry commission. I don’t know. Maybe I wipe out all trees in the future so they develop a time machine to come back disguised in a Romanian cavity wall insulation van to sit outside my house and do nothing for three weeks. Hey, I think that’s a lot less stupid than it sounds…

But you would, wouldn’t you? You hear about it all the time in America. CIA operatives parked outside your house in a pizza van or something else innocuous. It wouldn’t be a pizza van in the UK. We don’t have pizza vans. Something British instead. Like a red post-box. Admittedly, you wouldn’t get many agents in one, but still… I wouldn’t suspect it.

Something obvious might be going through your mind right now. Probably a few things. Maybe, ‘Oh, I could’ve been out tonight with the boyfriend but I wanted to stay in and now I’m stuck here reading this shite.’ Thanks for your support. Really means a lot. But also, how do I know it’s spying on me? That is an excellent question. I’ve automatically incriminated myself even though I’ve never broken the law. I mean, I was looking after a toddler once who stole a Yorkie chocolate bar in a supermarket, but after I realised, I returned, paid for it, and felt so guilty I told them to keep the change. £10 might be the most expensive Yorkie in history…

They say you never really know your neighbours, but I know a great many of mine are complete tossers. Whether by design or because of nature, who knows. I mean, the ones on the extreme right have about fifty kids who won’t shut up. Unless there’s some kind of child smuggling ring going on over there, I doubt they’re up to no good. When I say on the extreme right, I mean the house farthest to my right. They’re not flying a Nazi flag, that I’m aware of at least…

The guy who lives next door is never there, so I imagine a spying game with him would be a bit pointless. A bit like getting home from work on your allocated day of lovemaking only to find your partner has left you yet you decide to carry on without him, engaging in some weird sex mime that really does look like a cross between a cry for help and some kind of Tate Modern exhibition.

The police are very well aware of the dodgy dealings with the neighbours on our left. And sure, the neighbours on our far left are complete dicks, but they wouldn’t squish a fly. They’d capture it and burn it slowly in the microwave. And as for the neighbours opposite, well, they’re normal families with normal family problems. You know, like what should you do with a mother who thinks it’s acceptable to name her child Sonny… in 2017… IN YORKSHIRE! For God’s sake, his middle name is Rene! That’s a girl’s name! You may as well paint a target on his head now before he starts school…

By process of elimination, that van, if it is a government van, must be here for me. And it’s not the spying I have a problem with. To be frank, I quite like the attention. Most people are too busy ignoring me, but here I am, the pinup in some government creep shack. I wonder what photos they have of me. I hope they got my good side.

What have I done wrong? Have I done anything wrong? Is it simply an innocuous cavity van? It’s been eating me for weeks this. It just appeared overnight. None of the neighbours know who it belongs to. We’re all baffled. I swear to God, the last three times I’ve walked passed it, it moved. Now, some would say that’s because Storm Gert has been blowing though the UK this week and it’s nothing but a strong breeze moving the van, but how can you be so sure! I bet that’s a government cover up, too. I mean, come on! Who names a storm Gert! Nobody has ever said, “Oh God help me, here comes Gert!” Storms should evoke fear. Give me Storm Major Harm any day of the week…

Look at the facts, people! It’s from Romania. Logical reason: a Romanian cavity wall insulation dude is visiting relatives in Yorkshire. Rebuttal: WHY’S THE WRITING ON THE SIDE IN ENGLISH! Why’s it right hand drive! Use your heads, people! Rebuttal number two: Ah, it’s an English cavity wall insulation van made in Romania operating out of town but in town visiting relatives. Rebuttal number three: WHY DOES NOBODY KNOW WHO IT BELONGS TOO, THEN! It’s just been dumped there. Rebuttal number four: It’s been stolen and dumped there, hence why all four tyres are deflated. Oh yes, it showed up overnight with deflated tyres. How’s that even possible! Rebuttal number five: Ah, yeah, that’s probably correct.

Yet I still can’t shake this feeling that there’s something not quite right with that van. You might wonder why nobody has gone to have a bit of a look, then? Nah, we’re British. We complain, but we don’t do anything about it. How do we know what’s in there? Heck, we might open the door to discover a squadron of government spies playing Twister.

Or we could be bombarded by a bazillion rubber balls, come to think of it…

British television presenter and entertainer, Sir Bruce Forsyth (1928-2017), once said: “I don’t do close-ups any more. I am better looking from the waist downwards.”

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 blog:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


The Ding-Dong Wizard of Fate

Post CCCXVI

Here’s the story of canny Harry, restless sleep, and accountants jumping over a fence.

I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with chasing two Jehovah’s Witnesses down a street with a fire iron in nothing but my pyjamas. I mean, I’ve spent 35 hours this week sat behind a computer and I get but one day where I don’t have to get out of bed, but oh no, this lot come barging up to one’s front door at eight on Saturday morning with messages of peace and love. I would pave the entranceway with some kind of fire walking setup, but I imagine it would be too much hassle. Equally, I think opening the front door and taking a run up with a harpoon is a terrible idea. I’d only get one of them. I don’t have any problem with Jehovah’s Witnesses. My problem is with people who think it’s acceptable to wake me up. My mum is the one who has the problem with Jehovah’s Witnesses. I recall one visit once when I was younger and mum was doing the ironing. Tap, tap, tap. “Jehovah’s Witnesses, open up!” They actually said that. “DIVE!” mum screamed, and, as such, we all hit the deck. As you’d expect, they did indeed come for a peak through the front window, but we were well hidden. “We know you’re in there…” one of them said. “No, we’re not!” said mum. In retrospect, I don’t think mum should’ve given the game away so easily…

The thing is, these salespeople only come knocking on the weekends because they know nobody is at home during the weekdays. I’ve long been an advocate of some sort of two-system doorbell, whereby, during weekdays, it gives off the usual ding-dong, but at weekends, it gives off the noise of a large dog barking. And, if that doesn’t work, it releases a posse of deranged clowns that would chase the menace away.

Some would argue I’m being harsh. Those flogging us a new driveway are just trying to get a bit of money. How are they any different to the neighbourhood ice cream man? I don’t like him, either. In fact, I really hate him. I have absolutely no idea why he plays a sped up version of Pop Goes the Weasel but trust me, if you think little girls slowly singing Ring Around the Rosy is terrifying, Pop Goes the Weasel on acid is much, much worse.

I think it’s coming off as if I don’t like people, and you’d be right. I often get this sense that most of the world’s population is deliberately trying to piss me off. I value my sleep and I’m not getting any with constant knocks at the door. You try your best to ignore it, but then you realise that, if it’s the postman with a delivery, he’ll probably just leave whatever it is behind the bins where the feral mutant foxes will take it to their secret underground labyrinth of doom. I honestly saw a squirrel making off with our bird feeder the other day. The animals around here are insane. Except Harry. Harry is our resident hedgehog. He is absolutely tiny and is also rather partial to our bird feeder. You see, the reason we love Harry is that the squirrels run away when we lay eyes on them, but not Harry. No, he just carries on eating. He’s like me with a bacon sandwich during a nuclear holocaust. I’m gonna die pretty soon, so I needn’t worry about clogging my arteries…

Dad named the hedgehog Harry. I don’t know why. I also don’t live in a zoo, in case you’re wondering. This is life in Yorkshire. You just get used to seeing foxes and squirrels everywhere. And hedgehogs. And lots of funny coloured birds. I even saw a parrot the other day. They’re not indigenous to Yorkshire, of course. It’s one of our neighbour’s parrots. It often wakes me up in the middle of the night. Did I mention I don’t like being woken up?

The problem is that I can’t get back to sleep once I’ve been woken up, which is fine, because once I’m asleep, the only thing that would wake me up, naturally, would be the need to vomit, and even then, the only time that happened I didn’t make it to the bathroom and threw up all over the duvet, immediately falling asleep in to it afterwards. I was very tired. I wasn’t going to force myself to stay awake, readers. It’s incredibly rare I get back to sleep afterwards, after all.

Every little thing irritates me. Oh wonderful, I’m awake, I have an early start in the morning, this just isn’t fair! Why does the universe hate me so much! What’s wrong with you, you cosmic bastard! This is the first stage of trying to get back to sleep. Pure anger. I also don’t know why my eyes won’t stop watering. You might think it’s unbearable to live with considering we all wake up throughout the night, but I never do. Never. Not even to pee. It’s only the drunken neighbour who wakes me up. I mean, she’s a nurse, I don’t know why she keeps coming home drunk. And her kids aren’t much better. I was woken up the other day by her seven-year-old, running around outside at two in the morning, swearing at her brother. “Oh, for ****’s sake you ******* little ****, why the **** did you do that for?” It’s a lovely family, it really is. You should see the impressive stockpile of cheap knock-off clothing the father has in the garage. I got me a cracking pair of underwear from Dolce & Banana…

The second stage is very much bargaining. Please God, I need my sleep, this is so unfair. If you ever loved me, you send me back to the land of nod! Why don’t you love me! I go to church once a week, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT! Surprisingly, this never works, so you turn to stage three. You don’t want to get out of bed. You say, ‘If I get up and walk around, I’ll be all awake, so I must remain in bed.’ So you do. You position yourself on your back, in a straight position, for some reason, and you shut your eyes real tight. Aha! If I stay here long enough, I’ll naturally drift off! Also surprisingly, this never works. Many drift off during stage four, the distraction phase. Let’s think about that planning meeting I have in the morning! Just think about all the fascinating PowerPoint presentations I’ll sit through! And all the wonderful conversations with incredibly interesting old men with characters best described as beige. AND THEN… zzzzzz…

Having sat through a planning meeting and then falling asleep during a planning meeting (seriously), I’m often surprised by the fact I never drift off during this stage. Stage five is the point where you are so desperate to get back to sleep that you resort to the old tricks. Warm milk. Never worked for any human ever. Whisky works better. Down a good bottle of that and you’ll be asleep in no time. Sadly, you’ll end up being sacked the next day after your efforts to start a conga at work don’t go down so well.

It’s at this point you probably start counting sheep, but… come on. Has that ever worked for anyone? NO! Of course not! Sheep aren’t boring, they’re inherently funny. You want this to work, imagine a long line of accountants jumping over a fence. Stage six is the one where we all accept that we will never, ever get to sleep ever again for the rest of our lives. That all is pointless. Life is worthless. What is the point of breathing when some arsehole wizard of fate thinks my untold suffering is FUNNY! That I must lie here with a duvet flopping around all over the place, getting in the way and generally being all annoying! The entire world is so against me even the pills aren’t working and neither is the… zzzzzz….

Yes. Acceptance. The best stage. Because when you accept you’re absolutely screwed and there is no hope whatsoever, that’s when you fall asleep. You might think it’s a great idea to jump straight to stage six, but no human can get there the easy way. You have to suffer all six, unfortunately. Still. At least you’re back asleep. You might have lost an hour… or six, and sure, the Sun has risen, but there you are, all toasty and tucked up in bed. Ah. Lovely. Heavenly bliss.

DING-DONG! DING-DONG! DING-DONG!

NOOOO! YOU BASTARDS! YOU BASTARDS! YOU ABSOLUTE TOSSERS! DIE! DIE, ALL OF YOU! I HATE YOU ALL SO MUCH! ARRRRGH! ARRRRGH! ARRRRGH! YOU WILL ALL FEEL THE WRATH OF MY HARPOON!

There’s a reason the doctor keeps telling me my blood pressure is way too high, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why…

British author, Sarah Lotz (b. 1971), once wrote: ‘If there is a solar flare or a nuclear war, a thousand cans of pickled turnips aren’t going to save you.’

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 blog:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post