Sunday, July 29, 2007

Slave Friendly

Some time ago.

I am in a Conference Room. As anyone who has ever found themselves in such a place will attest, they are not good places to be.

This is not the first day of my attendance, in which me and my fellow ‘delegates’ are subjected to the relentlessly enthusiastic attentions of a gentleman in a faintly shiny suit who has armed himself with a laptop, a projector, a whiteboard that is apparently ‘interactive’, a 100-watt shit-eating perma-grin and a covert desire to rob his audience of any vestige of individual will.

He is saying something about ‘brand strategy’ whatever the fuck that is. He grabs a remote-controller type thing with a little flourish. Big deal.

‘Let me give you a flavour of what we’re talking about.’ He says as he turns to the whiteboard thing and commences a theatre of disillusionment via the gift of Power Point. ‘Flavour’? I have literally no idea what he is talking about.

I disliked him when I met him. I now idly wonder whether it would be possible to blind him using his own fucking laser-pointer.

Of course I shan’t. Whilst not actually ‘working’ I am ironically still At Work. As such, the unwritten contract between employer and employee – that employee will pretend to give a flying fuck about the company that employs him during the hours of nine and five – is still in effect.

I look around me. Black Guy, Asian Fellow, Chap Who Looks Like A Friendly Donkey and Gay Guy But Doesn’t Know It Yet are visibly suffering. But are bound by the same contract as I.

Our tormentors’ voice has become akin to the noise of a washing machine in my mind. I am conscious of it, but am trying not to let it bother me too much. But it’s not working. I try to think of nice things. This serves only to remind me how not-nice my current predicament is.

I resolve to try and think of something even more annoying than this man’s zealot-eyed babble in the hope that this will sufficiently distract me from the thought that I would currently gladly castrate myself and shove the two detached spunky pods in my ears JUST SO I DON’T HAVE TO FUCKING LISTEN TO HIM ANYMORE.

I decide to think of the more annoying thing only in italics, so I can differentiate between the noises in my ears and the noises in my head.

Here we go.

Him: prattle prattle prattle building audiences and driving response through creative thinking.

‘It’s always like this around here … but at least we can get our credit sorted.’

Yes. That works.

Him: prattle prattle creating the Yes momentum.

Well! That’s a lot less than we’re paying now!

Oh. This is good.

Him: prattle prattle prattle address the Need not the Want.

‘Josh! Your Dad’s found your scoootah!’

Excellent. I’ve gotten through it in one piece.

He lays down his remote control-thing and ostentatiously checks his unnecessarily swanky wristwatch.

Him: Right then guys. I’ve earnt myself a short break – why don’t you take one too? There’s a coffee machine in the hall, or if you want to go up to the deli [it’s not a ‘deli’, it’s a canteen] they have that really nice Slave Friendly coffee. It’s much better.


Him: What?


Him: That’s what it’s called isn’t it?

It appears that he is perfectly serious.

Him: You know. Slave Friendly [Christ don’t say it again]. You see it everywhere now. That’s it isn’t it?

He looks around, imploring.

Me: Em. ‘Fair Trade’?

Him: Yes yes yes. That’s it. [Panicking, red, flustered. Gestures] You all knew what I meant.

We really didn’t. He exits quickly.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


The cashpoint asks me if I want to top-up the credit on my pre-pay pikey mobile fucking phone.

This is odd. I wanted some cash. Hence my frequenting said cashpoint.
But. Well, yes. I would actually. Thanks. This has saved me a visit to some News Agent Emporium where I will have to suffer old women stinking of piss purchasing unfeasible amounts of National Lottery scratch-cards and teenage girls sniggering at me.


I choose my network and tap in my mobile fucking phone number. Twice.

Thanks, says the screen. You’ll get a text in a minute confirming this marvellously futuristic transaction.


Two hours later. No text.

Three hours later. No text. No credit.


I phone the customer services people of my mobile fucking phone’s network provider. Who will not speak to me, as I have no credit.

After much keypad-tapping, I discover the mobile fucking phone has an overdraft of sorts. Which I cannot activate. Because I don’t have enough credit.


I check the receipt-thing the cashpoint had given me.

If you’re reading this, I hope you appreciate the fact that I have managed to gift you with talk-time to the tune of ten English pounds.

I hope you applaud the stupidity of a man who typed in an incorrect phone number not once but twice, making the identical mistake each time (what are the odds?).

I hope you have some good mobile fucking phone conversations. I hope you have a good life, and that similar good things will continue to happen to you, despite the fact that you have yet to reply to the voicemails of an irate stranger insisting that you owe him ten pounds and what are you going to fucking do about it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Millionaires Have No Manners.

My sister and I have made a pact.

We are at a garden party. At a large Country Estate owned by a millionaire client of my Sister the Gardener. You’ve probably eaten some of his ‘gourmet’ crisps. Fucks sake. Whatever. Big deal.

It is a charity auction also. Where braying inbreeds bid buttock-clenchingly large amounts of money on things that are not really worth it.

There is music also. I’ll get back to the fucking music in a moment.

This being a charity event, there are an unrepresentative number of spastics in attendance. Well. There are two. If it were just a garden party for the gentry there wouldn’t be any.

One asks our table for money for some unspecified coming attraction. She tried to explain it but her enunciation wasn’t all it could have been. Sister, sister’s boyfriend and sister’s best friend all pay up. I don’t, on the grounds that I have no idea what I’m paying for. Not unreasonable.

Millionaire Lady on table opposite decides she needs an extra chair. Without a word to us, she grabs one from our table, tosses my sister’s bag from it and onto the grass and takes it away.

A chap with a violin ambles casually about, making an excruciating noise. Apparently he is the brother of a famous person. Well. Not famous as such. But she is on speaking terms with Sting. He finally passes by. I am relieved. But the noise remains. Oh. He’s actually plugged into the PA. There is to be no respite.

We drink Pimms and lemonade. We are on our best behaviour. Sister and I have made a pact. We both suffer from what I suspect is a mild form of Tourettes in that whenever we find ourselves in social situations that we are not 100% comfortable with we will tend to behave in the most inappropriate manner possible and offend quite a lot of people.

So today we have made a pact. I will wear my best suit. She will actually trouble herself with make-up and nail polish. And we will Behave. We both have university educations and know how to conduct ourselves. This is an important client to my sister. This is an opportunity to acquire many more. We have made a pact.

It’s a very genteel event. I understand a Duke is present. He has a castle and everything. We shall act accordingly.

Four hours later.

I have physically prevented my sister from placing any further bids on what she drunkenly believed to be one of those sit-in-and-drive-around lawnmower things and have narrowly prevented her from purchasing a £300 bottle of wine. Which is what she was actually bidding on. And not the big shiny thing worth a lot of money that was in her head.

I have uttered the word ‘cunt’ more times than was strictly necessary. Loudly. To the palpable disgust of the people around me who would fire their servants for even imagining such words exist.


Me: [To band playing something appalling involving Northumbrian Pipes] You’re SHIIIIIT!

Sister’s Boyfriend: [upon hearing that someone had just bid two grand for a painting I could have done myself with a brush attached to my penis] Now that’s just taking FUCKING LIBERTIES.

Sister: [Very loud] I’ve just farted. Can you smell it?

Sister: [Again] I can’t believe you were the only one who didn’t buy whatever that mong was selling.

Me: Mong? Listen. That is no way to refer to that poor potato-head. She was doing her best. God only knows what she was on about.

Me: [Very drunk. Pimms. Do not underestimate] Is it just me or are all these people utterly unbearable? Aside from the retards they’ve wheeled in to make then look forgivable?

Sister’s Boyfriend: [Directed at Sister’s Best Friend and myself who had been arguing about, I don’t know, chewing gum or something] Why don’t you two just fuck and get it over with ‘cos you’re driving me mad.

We don’t want to be here anymore. We covet the LandRover in the carpark that is our transport for the day.

To leave by the normal route –a long very obvious walk around the grounds- would be a great big ‘I don’t care’ to the local artistic/spastic community. Which would be true.

We begin to wonder if we can get over the fence instead without the ladies present showing their knickers

Lady who is not my sister states she could not care less. As I have already seen my sister’s bottom whilst changing her nappies I am also content. Fences are vaulted. Eyes are averted.

We retire to Pub Not Very Far Away.

It is full of Normal People.

We buy drinks and sit down.

A stranger asks (ASKS) if a spare seat is reserved for someone. The reply is in the negative. They ask if they can take the chair.

I say yes.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

My Services Are No Longer Required.

On an average working day I am often found walking very quickly down corridors. My speed of movement gives the impression that I am in the middle of something Important. The truth is that I strongly dislike most physical activity and prefer to get it out of the way as quickly as possible.

Often I will find myself heading toward Odd-Looking Colleague, shambling along the opposite way with his usual air of being slightly put-upon.

I will feel my shoulders involuntarily tense. Here it comes, I think.

We begin to pass each other. On cue, he raises his eyebrows in a world-weary manner and says

‘Alright fella?’ in a tone that suggests some mutual complicity in his woe.

Fella. For goodness sake.


It’s the middle of the afternoon. Something has been troubling me. I realise what it is, and turn to Uncannily Similar to Myself Colleague.

Me: I haven’t seen Odd-Looking all day. Do you know where he is?

USTMC: [With an entirely unwarranted explosive vehemence] In HELL I fucking hope.


Me: Ehm.

USTMC spins in his chair and fixes me with an alarmingly intense stare.

USTMC: Fella. Fella! He must be some sort of cock if he thinks it’s ok to fucking call anyone ‘fella’. Fuck me. Either you know someone well enough to have learnt their name, or you just don’t fucking TALK TO THEM AT ALL. I don’t know who the fuck he is. So why’s he walking around like some sort of fucking I don’t fucking know what calling me fucking ‘fella’?

USTMC fixes Odd-Looking’s empty desk with a look of the blackest malevolence.

USTMC: [Clearly re-living a past situation involving the use of the word ‘fella’] Cunt.

He swivels back to his own desk and resumes whatever it was he was doing. And is promptly completely alright again.

Identity theft is one thing, but this man has stolen my personality. Who do I call for that one?
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