Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This Isn't Funny.

First my son gets on here - I'll let him off.

Fucking Biffo?

It's only fair I suppose. Promised myself I'd leave him alone, but FUCK ME have you read anything at his place recently?

My Lovely Holiday.

Went to that Chernobyl.

I know. Bit grim. But hark at me for doing it.

Really bigged-it up on my blog first though. You know, for the hits. I need the gratification. 'Oooh you could have gone to Spain, but oh no, Chernobyl for you! Mr. Ace!'

God it was grim. So grim I couldn't help but write three seperate posts about it on MY blog. Because it's ME you see.

Even if I did go to Spain, there'd probably be at least one post.

Oooh parts were awful. Some parts were actually so-not-awful-at-all and I felt a bit let-down. This cost good money I thought. Don't these people know I do something interesting (to me) in the British media?

But it was alright in the end. I met some people who were so desperatly poor that I was amazed they even had electricity. Or tellys and that. Amazingly thet hadn't heard of me, but they let me take their picture.

I do feel quite fulfilled. Like I've learnt something about myself.

It really puts it into perspective. Everyone should do this. Honestly. And bring your kids as well. Because they will fucking love it.

It is so awful though. I would tell you more, but I've got some shitty pilot for whoever to write and if it ever goes into production (which is unlikely) it will sap you of any will to think about anyone worse-off than yourselves.

I'm off to read the Guardian.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

He's Poo-ed in My Shoes!

I can't believe what I'm hearing.

Not only does she buy a pair of shoes so unmentionable that someone has actually given them to a charity-shop (and lets face it, how bad do shoes have to be before a woman will actually give them away) but has spent probably more than they are worth getting them re-soled at the local cobblers.

And now this.

I dare not look. But I do. He has, indeed, poo-ed in her shoes.

I then make a number of mistakes that I shall catalogue below:

1: I do not immediately grab her in a bear-hug and quietly, fiercely, whisper into her ear 'It's all right, it'll be fine. It will. Honestly. We'll be O.K. Everything will be all right. We can fix this. Oh yes we can.'

2: I laugh for a bit. (It was quite funny).

3: I point out that really, although the need to sooth his nappy-rash is important, letting him wonder about without one on will only really lead to one of two results. Sadly it was two, but she should really know this by now.

4: I also point out that, given her Tired Mam-to-shoe-ratio, as opposed to the normal person-to shoe-ratio, although such an event were by no means unavoidable, it was much higher than the norm. Typewriters and monkeys. If you've got far more than the average pairs of shoes, the chances of someone shitting in them has to be higher. Much higher if that person is only one and does not have a nappy on.

None of this goes down too well.


Logic vs. shoes: shoes will always win.

Do not, gentleman readers, attempt to fight it. You will lose.

Fear Not.

It occurs to me that my second-to-last post may have been construed as a swan-song. Please let me assure all of you who have sent messages of concern (ie: no-one) that this is not the case.

Next: He's Poo-ed in my Shoes!

The Shoulder as Status Weapon


I stagger slighlty, the other guy reels a bit.

It is late evening, some years ago. When me and other half (not yet Tired Mam) had the 'luxury' of walking town-centre streets at night.

Another heads our way. Can of Stella in hand. That pimp-roll walk so well-described in Bonfire of the Vanities that will always always look so absurd when practicised by white men. In the Cotswolds.

I do not alter my direction.


There are many more. It is Friday night.

I look each in the eye. For no longer than a second-and-a-half. I know the rules. Any longer and the result is the same as staring-down a badly-trained bit-bull. Any less and you are a pussy.


Other Half says nothing. The street is thronged. After a little while, the Burberry-and Elizabeth Duke-clad denizens begin side-stepping me (us).

We get to where we are going, and enjoy our evening.

One year ago. Tired Mam brings this up. She is talking to some people we know.

TM: I mean, he's built like a stick-insect! You know that Verve video? He's just like that! He always does it! And do you know what? All these big hard lads - no-one - no-one - says a word to him! He walks around like a mini-Ashcroft, staring them out, not getting out of their way, banging into them, and no-one does anything!

I do not understand her tone. Half-admiring, half-satirical. I do always do it. Even in the city, the roughest parts of which I am drawn to.

I am no longer in my twenties. I have two children. I am a responsible and good father. I pay my taxes. I worry about the future. I wonder if my son will like me. I hope we will not always be short of money. I hope that what we can provide is more than enough. I think it is. By the time they both want their Playstation 5's, Xbox 4700's and ponies/cars, I am still not convinced I shall effortlessly provide them. But I know they have absolutely everything else loving parents can give them.

And if I want to walk in a fucking straight line, then I will.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Nothing to Myself.

The end of a very short era.

I arrive home.

At some point during the evening, I wipe my brow in a my-word-it's-hard-work-getting-these-children-to-bed-I-don't-know-what-you-do-all-day manner.

Tired Mam: Aw. Are you tired?

Me: A bit.

TM: Aw. Poor Dad.

She never refers to me as this.

TM: Poor Tired Dad.

I, with immense heroism, decide to front it.

Me: Eh?

TM: You. You must be Tired, Dad

I shrug. Not in real life. You know, inwardly. We're not married, but it is a marriage. There are no secrets and never should be. But it was nice having something to myself for a second.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

BT Are Not Very Good.

Quick one because I'm up far too late - been setting-up a wireless network and foolishly used the wanky software BT gave me to configure the router and card when I'm perfectly capable of doing it manually and have now had to spend two fucking hours removing all the twatty shite it's installed and getting the whole fucking thing back the way I fucking like it. Wankers. My fault though.

This afternoon. Went into the city. Things to do you know. I quite like the smallish town I live in. It's nothing exciting, but sometimes that's best when it's home. And everyone says hello. Which is either quite nice or fucking infuriating, dependent upon your mood.

But I bloody love the city. No-one knows who the hell you are, and you don't know anyone.

I'm walking down Northumberland Street. It's huge and wide and teeming with people.

Many people seem to be focusing their attention on something. A scene is occuring. I lower my pace.

Present at the scene are:

Two student-looking types.

One Police Officer.

Another Uniformed Man.

And a cast-iron bath, overturned in the middle of one of the busiest streets in the city for reasons that probably made sense to the student-types at the time. It has the same effect that finding a camel in the bathroom would. It just doesn't belong there.

As I pass, I hear the following exchange.

1st Student Type (to Uniformed Man): You have got to be having a laugh.

2nd Student Type (talking to Police Officer. I suddenly notice that Uniformed Man is in fact a Traffic Warden): You can't let him [gestures at Traffic Warden] give us a ticket for [gestures at bath] this?!

I keep walking.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


My name is Favourite Son.

Finally got the grumpy old sod off to sleep. It's taking longer each night.

It's difficult from my cot. Bars and that. I have to bloody shout to make sure he's O.K. He always trots up to tell me everything is fine and lie me back down (as if I couldn't do it myself) but you can never be sure.

He's kipping on the sofa now. Don't know why he hasn't gone to bed. It's like he's given up on the idea.


Sometimes, when he really wants me to comfort him, he'll sit with me in front of his magic television that he controls with his hand. But he'll make a funny noise and do some things very quickly and all the pictures of Mummy without her shirt on will dissappear from the magic television.

Wait a minute. Doesn't Mummy have black hair?

Anyway. Feeling a bit sleepy now. Just got everyone settled - even Big Sister (need a wee my arse) - so maybe it's time I got my head down.

It's bloody hard work running this place you know.

Breathtakingly Uninteresting Facts.

This place is now number one on Google if you type 'tired dad'. I'd forgotten my own url and had to do it. What does this mean? Am I now one of the popular kids at school?

Many people use Google. One such person typed 'tunguska blast drink' in the search bar and came here.


Many MANY others have typed 'Tony Blair 33rd degree Mason' and landed here. It seems the mentalism is spreading. Is it still coming from me? Does anyone have that bloody serum?

Most astounding of all, there are at least two separate people who have ACTUALLY sat in front of their computers, gone to Google and have ACTUALLY, REALLY, HONESTLY typed 'dad wanking' and, more astoundingly, 'wanking with my dad'. And have then come here.



As previously mentioned, the internet is indeed a strange place. I may stick to Ceefax. It's a bit slow, but there's a wealth of information and no-one NO-ONE tries to sell you Viagra. And you can get really cheap holidays.

God, imagine the disappointment of the daddy-wanker people.


It is Friday night.

I arrive home from work. I am exhausted.

Every fuck-wit and nut-job in the county have phoned each other.

FW: Hey.

NJ: Hey.

FW: What ya dee-in?

NJ: Nowt.

FW: Should we all gang together and bombard Tired Dad with idiotic tech-support calls? Howezz. It'll be a chuckle. He's probably not had much sleep, and he gets really touchy when he's knackered.

NJ: Aye. Alreet.

I hang my coat on the back of one of the dining-table chairs. What I want - all I want - is to spend half an hour on the sofa with the small people climbing on me, pulling my hair and gouging my eyes. I want to sit with them and make sure they eat their dinner properly. I want to listen to their largely incoherent tales of the days' events. I want to bath them. I want to get them in their P.J's. I want to snuggle on the sofa with them as they drink their milk. I want to read them their story. I want to kiss them goodnight. And then I want to mix myself and Tired Mam a bloody stiff drink and do nothing else until one of the buggers wakes up.

I notice Tired Mam is in bath-robe and has wet hair. Something is amiss. She seems to be preparing for an event.

TM: Oh hi. I've invited Dempsey and Makepeace around for dinner and some drinks. That'll be nice?

I feel myself wilting. Instead of slipping into my hoped-for vegetative state, I shall now have to be witty and amusing all night. Which, as anyone who's read this will be aware, is not one of my strong suits.

TM: Here. Feel my skin.

She flashes a length of thigh. At this point I would normally be concerned; since the birth of Favourite Son (ONE BLOODY YEAR AGO) I have experienced something of a dry-spell in the romance department. However, a couple of weeks ago, TM's libido returned with a ferocity so alarming I have begun to fear for my physical well-being. But no. The small people are still up. They will protect me.

I feel her skin.

TM: Isn't it soft? Smooth?

Me: Mm.

TM: I've been saving the coffee-grounds from the cafetiere. I'm using them as a body-scrub. And using cinnamon essential oils.

Her skin is indeed soft. And she smells like an outlet of Starbucks.

And then.

You know that scene toward the end of Finding Nemo when Dora is chatting to Nemo, completely unaware that she and Marlin have been desperately searching for him for the last 90 minutes, then suddenly the whole film's narrative flashes through her brain in about one second flat?

The bathroom. The pint glass. Brown sludge. Hellman's Mayonnaise. Fear of immense psycho-sexual dysfunction in at least one member of my family.

Coffee bloody grounds. Who would have thought? (Thanks Sabrina.)

Tired Mam has obviously noticed a far-away look on my face.

TM: What are you thinking?

Me: Nothing.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Common-or-garden blog-person was Ranting Dullard. These people are the best. They don’t think they are IT because they’ve managed to get something published on the internet, there is no self-aggrandisement and they don’t bang on ad infinitum about how they do something in the media and isn’t it all amazing. There is no agenda. They just talk about their lives, their thoughts.

Ranting Dullard is/was pretty good. But in the later posts, something was amiss. Mentions of surreptitious boozing in the workplace. Not in a confessional way either. Almost boasting. And tales of visiting an anonymous fight-club of dubious reality in order to feel alive.

He’d obviously ignored the first rule of fight club.

I leave a message on his comment-thing. Nothing really rude, no swearies or anything. Just of the shape-up-you’ve-got-a-family sort of thing.

The next day his whole blog has disappeared.

I quake at my awesome power.

Then have to change Favourite Son, who is hysterical with delight at the almost-unbelievable foulness of his discharge. I realise if anyone in this house has any power at all, it’s this little sod. Get over myself.

Find Ranting Dullard chap has started another one, and the ceasing of last one had nothing to do with me. Feel slightly relieved.

Then get quite-nice email from Dullard chap. I shan’t reproduce it here – have decided that stuff in the public domain is fair game but emails are private. Apologies Coleman. Seems he was wallowing a bit, and if anything my comments acted as a much-needed kick up the arse. All is well.

Wow, I think. Maybe I’m like the Knight Rider of the internet, righting wrongs wherever I may see them. Except I don’t have a talking car. Or any firearms skills. And have no law-enforcement experience. And can’t fight. And am very skinny.

No. I am just a tired man with nothing better to do late at night.

I check the comments on his new place.

May 12
Camie Vog said...
I am a close runner up!! Dude, you freaked me out for a bit there! Saw the crap comment on your last post at the old site...I was too tired to comment on it, so I hopped on this morning to blast the guy and your site was GONE!!! Went over to Fatfiz's site to root you out, all worried and such. Glad you are here! Want me to put this site on the blogroll, or do you care to remain secret?? I have tagged a new email onto my should be up and running, so feel free to email at anytime.
6:46 AM

Dullard chap replies that he actually thought the final person to leave a comment was well within his rights. I think no more of it.

I decide to leave a comment of my own. This takes place:

Tired Dad said...
Delighted to see you didn't intentionally delete the whole thing because of some prick posting a harshly-worded comment.

What *did* happen? Oh, and no-one should ever stop, no matter how shit people think it is.

Hope small person is well, and you and Mrs can find *it*. We've all wigged - hope the second adolescence is finished.

Please leave up so all your loyal followers can insult me.
4:54 PM

Tired Dad said...
Oh, and sort out your clock on Blogger. That sort of posting-time makes me think I'm REALLY REALLY late for work.
4:55 PM

Camie Vog said...
Not that I am sitting here all guilty, or anything, T.D. Because I'm not. I didn't have a chance to respond to your harsh worded comment. If I'd had a chance to do so, I doubt you would be as paranoid as you are about being flamed.

R.D. Been thinking of removing it on my blog for the same reason.
7:15 PM

See. I am nice sometimes. But I’m genuinely puzzled by the final comment.

Leave the following at her place:

Tired Dad said...

Carnie (or whatever) - what am I paranoid about?

And what does it mean to be flamed?

Do you possess a flamethrower? Is that what you are saying? Is it really?

Why would your replying to a comment of mine avoid any said carnage and apparent paranoia on my part?

Please explain.

Do you really have a flamethrower? Do you really? Like on Aliens? Could you send me a picture? Could you?
3:11 PM

Do you see what I’ve done? Yes, I am taking the piss. Aren’t I just completely hilarious? I have pretended not to understand internet-speak. I have deliberately miss-understood, and have not-really led myself to believe the woman has access to military ordinance. Like on Aliens. And have repeated myself like a spastic child. My word, I am one funny man.

Camie Vog said…
No, I don't own a flamethrower....a grenade launcher, but not a flamethrower...I was under the assumption that you knew R.D. in "real life", as in, outside of the blog realm....I also assumed that you were dredging in dirt on a public forum about a personal issue....Perhaps my assumptions are wrong. If that is the case, I apologize.Flaming is when you write a comment, and the other readers pelt you with comments about how you are an idiot. I wasn't going to flame you, per se, I was going to tell you that if you did indeed know him in real life, it may be better to speak your piece to him in person... Like I said, I assumed you knew him outside of the blog...that is the impression I got after reading your comment.I'm not interested in getting into it with you. If you don't like me, well, fine. No sence in being ugly to one another. Life goes on
3.06 PM

This is too good to be true. She has explained in some detail, what ‘flaming’ means. I can scarcely believe it.

She has reassured me that she does not own a flamethrower. But jokingly (I assume, but you never know with Americans) that she has a grenade launcher. She does not mention if it is like the one in Aliens. It’s all too much.

Camie Vog, you claim to be a reader and if so I hope you will take this in the spirit it is meant – the internet is a bonkers place. I’ve nothing going-on with the person who writes Camie Vog, nor do I with any of the people that write blogs – I’ve never met any of them. Many, however, create online-personas that are shite. You, my dear woman, are not one of them. But you are easily taken in, and too-quick to point the finger.

This is at an end.

Friday, May 19, 2006

You Decide

I am dreadfully DREADFULLY tired. So.


Either a story about my interesting day at work [ I did not have an interesting day.]


How I insulted someone (yet again) on their silly-blog-thing and how people got a bit shirty and then realised they shouldn't have but me not minding anyway because it was a bit funny.

Clue: it's not the first one.

Second Clue: I'm not the sort of person that genuinely needs people to prompt his half-formed and half-arsed ideas into fruition.

Yeah. You know.

On this occasion it's nothing to do with the Duck or Biffo, Gillen etc. etc. (I could write a VERY long list) but your common-or-garden blog-person. The best type in my opinion.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Brown Sludge.

MMR-related/teething/generally-being-a-bugger whinges quelled.

Favourite Daughter's very-late-night pad down the the stairs for two second cuddle before she is happy again. Back to bed.

I fret about this. It's unusual for her. I think of a few reasons. None of which are anything to do with anyone but me and Tired Mam. This isn't that sort of place.

Upon realising the time, I retire to the bathroom.

It's there.

I thought I had seen the last of it.

Not a pint glass. Oh no. In this escalating scenario, that would appear normal.

A washed-out Hellman's mayonnaise jar filled to the brim with a dark-brown sludge. Sealed with the bright-blue Hellman's lid.

Right there. On the window-sill. Right next to the toilet.

I try not to think too hard about it. I know I will.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Do I Even Have a Bed Anymore?

MMR my arse. It can't be that bad. Give him Calpol and new bottle and all is quiet. For 15 minutes.

Tiny footsteps on stairs.

'Need a wee.'

Supervise, then carry her back to bed. Half-way downstairs:


Avail myself of drink in favourite cup, then back upstairs.

Downstairs again. Begin turning things off.

Tiny footsteps.

'Wanna cuddle.'

Still-asleep angel-face. Eyes all scrunched against the light. Hair like something you could happily drown in after being released from its day-long bunches prior to bed.

I cannot be cross.

I shall be in a foul mood tomorrow.

On the upside, I notice the Pint-Glass of Doom has vanished from the bathroom as mysteriously as it arrived. My mind was bloody racing about that one. Thoughts of child-psychologists or getting the missus sectioned. I feel a weight has been lifted.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mentals, Part 2

He seems inoffensive. Getting to the point of being elderly, dressed in the dapper manner of chaps that age. He orders his drink and makes his way toward me. He has one of those elbow-braced medical walking-stick things, and is not doing too well. Feeling unusually magnanimous that afternoon, I am about to offer some help. I decide not to - if I were in his place, that sort of thing would make me bloody furious. He is clearly capable of transporting a pint-glass the distance of a few feet.

He sits down at the other side of the bar, at the table opposite me. We are now pretty much alone. We exchange the obligatory glance.

'Quiet isn't it?' He says.

'Yes,' say I, and - trying not to make it sound too pointed, 'I like it quiet.'

I don't want to be rude to this chap, he seems alright. But what I want to do right now is stare at the wall, enjoy my drink and empty my mind of the day's events. If I were feeling especially chatty I would be halfway home and about to begin discussing the finer details of the economic fall-out involved in Tired Mam's latest shoe-purchasing escapades.

'Quick one after work is it?'

I sigh inwardly. Then decide to make the effort.

'Erm, yes. Snatching a few minutes to myself. I've two young children, so, you know. The real work starts when I get home.'

'Ah yes,' he says, 'been there myself young man. I have two daughters of my own. They haven't spoken to me in seven years.'

I stiffen slightly, and give him a closer look. He seems outwardly normal, but this is an awful lot of personal information to be giving a stranger in the pub. I thoughtfully take a sip of my drink, temporarily forgetting (being tricked into forgetting?) its potentially noxious contents. Seems a shame about his children though - wonder what happened? I decide to keep an eye on him.

He notices my cigarette.

'Well,' he says, 'at least you can still smoke in here. If he had his way, no-one would be allowed to do anything in this country.' I say nothing. 'Tony Blair.' He adds, by way of explanation.

'Mmmmmm.' I say.

He looks to his left and right, and then leans toward me.

'You realise of course,' he says in a low voice, 'that Tony Blair is a criminal?'

I try not to panic at this point. The chap may still be O.K. He may just have some strident non-nanny-state opinions and have a firm position about Iraq and the dubious international legality of the action. Everything may still be alright, I think.

The chap is warming to his subject.

'He is acting outside of sovereign law. Do you know what that means? He is acting against the Queen.'

I am now starting to worry. Can I be sure this is even happening? Have the two sips of my sweating-sausage-fingers-nutjob-barman-infected drink conjured up this illusion? I try to remain calm and rational. To freak-out at this stage would only facilitate the progress of the mento-nanobots. Must remain calm.

'I've written letters,' he continues, 'to Her Majesty. I never receive a reply. It's futile. MI5 intercept all of my post.'

Oh fuck.

'You won't know this. He doesn't publicise it. Tony Blair is a 33rd-degree Mason.'

Shit. Oh shit.

'Check. It's true. Then ask yourself why he doesn't publicise it.'

'Check where?' I ask, foolishly drawing myself in. He looks at me in a benign manner, as if I were a simple child.

'Why, the internet of course.'

Ah. Yes. The internet. Of course.

'But I shan't let them stop me. I will expose the truth, no matter the cost. I have already lost my health, my wife, my house. They have bankrupted me, I currently have debts of over £70,000. But they shan't stop me.'

I am no longer curious as to why his daughters no longer communicate with him.

And now I am very worried. Is this happening, or have I lost it? If it is happening, was this chap O.K. when he came in? If so, then this is a worryingly short amount of time to succumb to evil Doctor Spazzfinger behind the bar. How long do I have?

And then it dawns on me. Oh yes, there is a conspiracy. But not in our government. No, it is right here in this very bar. This chap and the barman are acting together. It's a two-pronged Rain-Man-onslaught. No-one can withstand both the infected drink and the molecules of mouth-gibber spewing from this man in my direction.

'When I gave Northumbria Police the documentary evidence of MI6's assassination attempt against me, they did nothing. And then claimed that they had never spoken to me in the first place, and did not possess the evidence at all. I ask you - how else could you explain my bad leg?'

My palms are sweating as I pull on my coat. I mumble something about a bus, and burst onto the deserted street. I fill my lungs with good, clean, sane air. The sun is shining. Perhaps everything will be fine. I shake my head at the lunacy of the past few minutes, and at my own idiocy.

'Fuck me,' I say to myself, 'I am one cunting fucktard magnet today.'

Of course the street is not deserted. The two pearl-and-twin-set old ladies look at me as though I were some sort of abomination. The look they give states that they believe me to be irretrievably MENTAL.

Oh God. I hope there is an antidote. Some sort of serum or something.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Nothing to do with Mentals


But I have just noticed. There is a pint glass on the window-sill in my bathroom.

Slightly unusual in itself.

But it is also filled to the brim with a dark-brown liquid sludge.

I'm going nowhere near it.

I have resolved to not mention it or ask anyone about it. I am sure it is a trick or test of some sort.

I will not be taken for a fool in my own home. I can wait. Someone will crack before I.

Mentals, Part One

Tired Mam has an unusual policy with mentals. She calls them interesting or eccentric, and takes them under her wing in the hope that they will blossom into fantastic individuals following her Pygmalion-for-Mentalcyclists tutoring.

Inevitably they turn around and bite her - because they are mental - and she gets very upset (most recent mental, after weeks of apparent friendship, accuses TM of kidnapping her daughter and FD of abusing her in, you know, a sex way. FD is three, as is Mental Woman's daughter. TM is chairperson of the committee of the nursery she had supposedly snatched MW's daughter from, and was in a meeting with the committee at time of 'snatching' to be abused by my Rose West-wannabee-three-year-old-daughter. MW has since cried, apologised profusely and admitted to going through a breakdown because her husband has left her. Because of her allegations that her uncle molested her when she was a child that also turn out to be less-than-accurate. And was really pissed when she made the original accusational phone-call at eleven o'clock at night. You get the picture. I feel for this woman, and something at some point has obviously happened to her. But I don't want her anywhere near me or mine).

The upshot of this is some very heated conversations between me and Tired Mam. Of the 'Why do you insist upon letting these people into our lives?' variety, which tend not to go down too well. Rows of spectacularly mental nature then take place - 'Well you don't like anyone - maybe you're the one who is spazzed in the head!'. That sort of thing, despite the fact that we've already had to speak to the Citizen's Advice, our Health Visitor and Her Majesty's Constabulary on the subject.

I begin to wonder. Is Mentalism a communicable disease? For a short time it infected our household through contact with MW. If you spend any time around a nutloaf, to you become a flidder yourself? This is brought to mind the other week.

I pop into the pub round the corner of my place of work. I can either hang around at the bus-stop for quarter of an hour waiting for the early one and tolerate the standing-for-the-duration-of-the-journey-whilst-suffering-the-high-school-students-playing -unspeakable-mp3s-on-their-mobile-FUCKING-SPEAKERPHONES - because-why-invest-in-a-pair-of-£1.99-earphones-when-the-SHITE-tinny-speakers-on-your-Motorola-will-do-the-trick-with-the-added-bonus-of-fucking-off-anyone-with-ears or I can have a crafty drink in a deserted lounge, contemplate the day's events and ride the almost-empty later bus home.

I'm standing at the bar. I exchange the usual raised-eyebrows, half-nod and half-smile with The Old Guy Who Sits at the End of the Bar - the one you have to demonstrate you have access to before you are granted a liquor license.

The barman ambles over. My heart sinks. It's the fucking mental one.

To justify.

He's significantly younger than me, probably early twenties. But going VERY bald. Not at the crown. But front and middle. If you have seen any pictures of the Tunguska blast site it looks a bit like that. But normal at the sides and back. What little hair he has on top is grown at normal length in a nothing-odd-here manner. Despite the fact that comparative acres of pale whiteness shine through these pitiful shreds.

Not only is this man a FREAK OF NATURE, but is obviously mentally troubled, as evidenced by the fact that he has not done what any sane man would and just shave the lot off.

But there is more.

Several weeks previously, I was enjoying my increasingly guilty pleasure at the pub across the road, not the one round the corner. For the lark. I purchase my drink, and sit in a quiet corner. There's another guy there but he doesn't look in the mood for conversation so that's O.K. He receives a mobile call. Of the 'yes, I'm here' variety.

A few minutes later in staggers Mental Barman. Who cannot talk. Who sloshes his pint all over the gaff (how he even got served is a mystery I have yet to solve).Mental Barman's companion listens to his tale of woe with the resigned but patient air of someone who has done this more than once.

The upshot is that Mental Barman had been on the lash the night previously, turned up to work still pissed, had recieved reprimand on the subject and had been invited to leave the premises. I think. The man could barely speak. According to Mental Barman he then proceeded to 'smash the place up' and 'deck the cunt'.

His companion made 'mmmm' noises. I suspect these tales were equally familiar to him. Feeling that the ability to consume such heroic amounts of alcohol by five in the afternoon was not evidence of a happy mind, I left my drink untouched and managed to catch the early bus.Anyway.

My heart sinks. It's the mental one. I order my drink, and feel the same involuntary shudder between me picking-up said drink and him pouring it. I sit down and think. I realise that this shudder - something I have long experienced - is my subconscious fear that - in some some way - even touching the same glass as this man will lead to the communication of spazz-brain.

I stare absently at a framed painting of a man in a red coat on a horse surrounded by dogs whilst I think about this. Somebody has gone to the trouble of of placing a gold-coloured light fixture of some sort to further illuminate this depiction of all that is good about provincial pubs. This is not important.

Perhaps, I think, the minute amounts of sweat and nutter DNA of the man's hands, mingled with the pleasing over-spill of froth could travel into the contents of the glass itself. Perhaps tiny nano-bots of loony-tunes could then populate my otherwise pleasant drink, only to invade my body when I begin drinking and attack my cerebral cortex. Attacking the strong core of rationality that I have always insisted exists even when people give me funny looks when I say such things.

(Note to any lady readers:

If you see the gentleman in your life sitting quietly, with a serious expression and a faraway-look in his eyes, you will - without exception - ask him what he's thinking about. He will - without exception - reply 'Nothing'. Accept this. He does not want to admit to thinking about something so mind-bogglingly foolish as the above - which he invariably will be. We're not emotionally retarded per se, we're just idiots. Don't force the poor bastard into making something-up on the spot about 'thoughts' and 'feelings'. That just isn't fair.)

I take an exploritory sip. And monitor my thoughts.

Insomnia I think. Life-long affliction. Always tolerable, but a bit worse now that I get to the point of exhaustion and two small people seem to sense this and then think it's play-time despite the fact that I'm ready to sleep on a washing-line at that point. Result: General ill-temperedness.

What else. Oh, have recently started not-very-good-blog. Have long been rude to internet-people, and have guiltily admitted it through not-very-good-blog. I think about this. The insomnia; that's genuinely a life-long thing. I can't put that on the door of Mad Barman. But this inter-net stuff.

It does seem to coincide. Maybe he's been slowly infecting me with his mento-bots over a long period of time.I think some more. No. I have long been rude to the slightly less-than-deserving throughout my natural life. For example.

Years ago. I am in my place of work. A visiting IT tech that I am more than familiar with sticks his head round the door of me and my staff.

Me: Oh here we fucking go. Fucking Harold Shipman.

IT Tech Guy: What?

Me: You, you cunt. Every time you come here to 'cure' something, the fucker dies the minute you get back in your car.

IT Tech Guy: What?

Me: (noticing his shoes) Shitty shoes, you shitty-shoe bastard.

IT Tech Guy: What?

I then went back to work.

This is not boasting. I say these things before I even realise my mouth is moving. Neither big nor clever, I know.

Sitting in the pub, I look back at this and numerous other exchanges. He was shite at his job. And they were genuinely appalling shoes. The fact that I always say these things to people in a jovial manner and a big smile on my face also means that the whole thing has a veneer of social acceptability. No-one believes that a person can be honest, forthright and not have the patience to mince their words. They just assume you are joking. Which is lucky for me because I'm built like a toothpick.

No, this is O.K. and also proof that I am not Tyler Durden. I start to relax, and light a cigarette with the flourish of a man unaccustomed to being allowed to smoke indoors.

And then.

A man walks in.

More tomorrow. Or whenever.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Another Intermission

Mentals on the way. Very long. Be warned.

In the interim.

What is more annoying?

People who think they're clever, but aren't?

Or people who think they're funny, but aren't?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Don't try this at home

Bloody birds. How they can sound so cheerful at this hour of the day is beyond me.

As a child, I decided that the only way to know for sure was to conduct an experiment. There was something troubling me about my Lego-men. Not the fact that their entire head would come off when you tried to remove their space-helmets - although that was tiresome and probably quite inconvenient for them - but something else.

I retrieve a long length of thread from the old biscuit tin that served as my mam's sewing box, and tie one end securely around space Lego-man's head. And wait.

When the time comes, I retire to the bathroom and perform some rather lengthy ablutions. Before leaving, I drop Lego-man into the Bog of Eternal Stench and, keeping hold of one end of the thread, flush.

The thread spools out in a pleasing Jaws - type manner, and I wait for the foam to settle.

Slowly, carefully, I pull him back out. I dangle him in front of me without touching him. I am astonished.

The little FUCKER is still BLOODY SMILING.


Next: Mentals.
Go to newer posts