Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The DVD Incident Part 3

Six months later.

I have stared at the DVD case every night. I have dreaded coming home. Knowing it is waiting for me.

Staring at me.

Mocking me.

The DVD represents weird and unwelcome social interaction. It is potent. It has a terrible power over me.

I fear it.

‘Have you watched it yet?’ Asks Makepeace. I mumble. I am a rational man. I can’t admit that I fear the DVD.

What if I do watch it?

I’ll be accepting the Weird. Welcoming it. BECOMING IT. I shall become a Sci-Fi person. I shall cling to strangers in pubs in an embarrassing manner. I shall accept this odd man and become his Friend. I will be ONE OF THEM. I shall purchase miniature lead figures of wizards from places called something like GAMESWORKSHOP that smell of feet and cheap deodorant.

The very sight of the DVD case begins to make me feel ill.

I hide it. From myself.

I actually put it under a cushion.

Friday last.

Makepeace: Em. That bloke was asking after his DVD. He seemed a bit cross. It’s been half a year.

I feel like someone has punched a hole in my stomach.

The moment of crisis has arrived.

I have to give it back. But on the off-chance that I ever see this man again, I shall have to watch it.

Which will be voluntarily accepting his offer of membership into the Theatre Of Odd.

He’s got me on the ropes. I’ve got nowhere to go. I can’t give it back without even watching it. It’s too damning. It would be essentially telling him how thoroughly worthless his existence is. But I CAN’T watch it. Because it would be to accept that random over-familiar social situations with odd people are actually OK. The act of watching it will be succumbing to him. He now has power over me. I am genuinely afraid.

Five minutes ago.

I read the plot synopsis on IMDB.

Ha. I am victorious. If I ever see him again, I can discuss the film with him. With some authority. And he WON’T KNOW I NEVER EVEN WATCHED IT!

I win.

For the first time in six months, I sleep easily.

I could do with a decent crisis now. Something to get my teeth into.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The DVD Incident Part 2

I had previously been fretting in a Jon Ronson sort of way about a Random Bloke threatening to lend me a DVD in a pub. Which is bollocks, and only idiots think like that, so I pull myself together.

I'll never see the bloke again, so I cease to worry about the DVD-lent-by-odd-strangers ramifications. Because there shall be none.

Monday morning.

Makepeace [Brother’s fiancé and lady who drives me to work]: That Random Bloke knocked on our door last night. He wanted you to have this DVD.

She hands me it in the car.

I feel the hairs on my arms rise. This is Not Right.

Me: Em. Keep hold of it until tonight will you? Then I’ll take it home. Don’t want to cart it around work. (And have the questions. ‘What’s that then Tired?’. ‘Oh, it’s just a DVD a Mental lent me.’)

I get home. I put the DVD next to the others that rest against my little-used tele-vision.

Sitting on the sofa, I stare at it in a troubled manner.

That night, I have a quite vivid dream in which Random Bloke fucks the eye-sockets of a decapitated pig head and repeatedly howls my name. Whilst watching a copy of the DVD he has just lent me.

To be continued.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The DVD Incident

It’s the small things that trouble me really.

I’ve had alarming house fires, impossible decisions regarding unborn and very-newly born children, career-threatening personal anguish, potential homelessness for me and my family and all sorts of grown-up-man things.

That I’ve dealt with. Without a thought.

Lend me a DVD though. I’m a wreck for half a year. It’s just too much responsibility.

Six months ago.

I am In The Pub.

Surrounded by brothers,other family and friends. There is no reason for anything Odd to occur. We are obviously safe from random events of minor importance but enormous Strangeness.

The things that REALLY trouble me.

A classic scenario ensues:

You’re stood around having a drink with a load of people you know. Random Bloke joins you and stands, drink in hand, nodding enthusiastically at anything said whilst grinning in a ‘hey I’m cool’ manner. After some time you feel compelled to include him in the conversation, assuming he must know at least one of your number.

Random Bloke goes to the Gents.

Me: Seems like a nice chap. How do you know him?

Dempsey [My Brother]: I don’t. He lives across the street from me I think. I thought you knew him. You’ve been quite chatty.

Me: Christ. Only because I thought he was your mate. I didn’t want to piss you off by being rude to him. I take that Public Information Broadcast really seriously. I NEVER talk to strangers.

Dempsey: What?

Me: Before your time. Christ. He might be a Mental. Jesus.

Dempsey: Sup up. We’ve got cabs. We’re going.

We depart in a fleet of cars and arrive at an Emporium of Alcoholic Beverages I would happily burn to the ground.

Some more drinks are consumed and I shout at strangers who bump into me and fortunately they do not hear me.

After fifteen minutes Random Bloke arrives.

RB: Must have got left behind. Whose round is it? Mine?

We chat for a bit. At this point I am beginning to feel bad for RB. Unsurprisingly, he turns out to be a big sci-fi fan. I am not, but I humour him. He talks about a show called Firefly.

I have not seen it as I am in my thirties and have had sex with real women.

He offers to lend me the DVD of the movie version.

I accept, secure in the knowledge that this is a lot of Big Talk. There shall be no lending of DVDs, no unwritten social contract that is usually involved in the lending of things, and I shall never see this man again.

It’s late. I’ve shouted at a number of large men who have felt that the quickest way to the gents is THROUGH anyone in my vicinity and decide it is time to retire. Before Something Bad And Bigger Than Me happens.

After embracing many lampposts I retire to my bed, content that I am safe and that no further oddness shall trouble me.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Conversations With My Mother Vs. Conversations With My Daughter.

Mother:[41 years of age] Can you help with this blue tongue thing?

Me: [Suddenly feeling about a trillion years old] What?

Mother: It’s just. I want the pictures off my phone and on to my laptop. But the blue tongue thing doesn’t like it.

I stop grinding my teeth and stare at the wall for a while. I think of happier times.

Me: Blue tongue?

Mother: I thought you knew about this stuff.

Me: I’m not a vet.


Me: It’s ‘blue tooth’.

Mother: Well I’m not an effing dentist so there’s no need to be sarcy.

I’m going for a cigarette.

Some time later.

Favourite Daughter:[
Five years of age] Have you had your hair cut Daddy?

Me: Yes sweetheart.

FD: Why?

Me: Because it looked stupid.

It looks even stupider now.


Me: ‘More stupid’. Not ‘Stupider’.

FD: Oh. Ok. Your hair looks more stupid now Daddy.

Me: That’s better.

You decide.
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