Sunday, June 19, 2011


Google is being a complete dick and is 'moderating' my comments willy-nilly and I'm not noticing because I'm busy and such. That is all.

I Mow My Lawn And Quietly Despair.

Regular readers with long memories and no lives or friends will recall my ‘lawn situation’, and my gratefulness levelled at the two shirtless radge-packets who last summer came round twice a month and strimmed said lawn in return for enough money to buy some cigarettes or cider and for not putting my windows in.

This year, I approach the assembly of my new lawnmower with some trepidation. To be honest, I’m astonished it needs any input on my part construction-wise at all. Shouldn’t it already come in one piece? It’s one of the largest functional item’s I’ve ever owned and I’m becoming concerned about a future in which I purchase a car or a house and find it comes requiring a degree in Air-Fix. Is this how it works now? You pay people for stuff you then need to build?

Oh well. It’s not the most dispiriting birthday present I’ve ever had but at least it serves a function.

Blonde Colleague: [Several days earlier] But what about the radgies? Where are they going to get their White Lightning money now?

Me: It’s not my problem anymore.

B.C: They’ll probably start mugging old ladies for their pension again.

Me: You don’t know that. [They probably will.] And to be honest, it’ll be a relief not to have a couple of shirtless fourteen-year-old boys knocking on my door – the door of a single adult man – anymore. People talk.

B.C: But they were canny! Doing all that work for a couple of quid instead of going on the rob!

And she’s right. As I heave my new lawnmower onto the front lawn I admit to myself that I am now depriving some local delinquents of legal employ. But it’s a gift – I have to use it.

I reflect to myself that it would be funny if they came down my street now and saw me with my new lawnmower.

The radge-packets walk down my street. “This is ridiculous,” I think. “If I write something on the tedious subject of mowing my lawn no-one is going to believe this is happening. Fuck.”

Radgie 1: Alreet, like?

Me: Yeah, um…

Radgie 2: Lawnmower is it?

Me: Aaah…

Radgie 1: WE’D do THAT [gestures at lawn] for ya!

Me: I know but [gesturing at offending lawnmower] it was a present so I’ve got to use it, you know?

Radgie 2: Aye. Right then. Used it before?

Me: NO! First time! I’ve just put it together!

They shrug.

Me: Here we go!

I pull at the ‘power’ handle attached to the real handle. Nothing happens. I release the safety-thing that allows you to ACTUALLY pull the ‘power’ handle and it whirs into life. I grin at the the radge-packets. They scowl.

After mowing for a bit I feel oddly content. Adult. Capable. I glance back. THEY’RE JUST STANDING WATCHING.

I realise they are going to watch me mow MY ENTIRE LAWN.

I manfully shoulder-on, aware that every square-foot of grass represents a mouthful of Diamond White to them. They’re gone by the time I finish. I collect the grass clippings with my newly-acquired rake (get me) and bag it. Judging by the weight it’s at least equivalent to twenty Lambert & Butlers.

I feel DREADFUL. I am convinced the local crime rate will soar. And am also dismayed that this is the only interesting thing to have happened to me in some time.

NEXT: I take the sunflowers back inside, realise I'm being silly and put them back on the patio again. REALLY.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


An early Saturday afternoon. I’m in the queue for the checkout at my local ‘super’ market armed with some eggs, a loaf of bread, a newspaper and a monstrous hangover.

I’m in no mood.

A man I sort-of know joins the queue behind me.

Namesake: Alright mate?

I’m going to be forced to have a conversation, aren’t I?

I glance at the length of the queue ahead of me, briefly calculate the number of items each person has and the resulting transaction time and come to the conclusion that it’s going to be far too long.

[With heavy heart] Mmm?

Some back-story is required. A couple of years ago I did the hellish ‘flatmate’ thing and moved into the spare room of a ‘lively lady’. She’d had a number of ‘flat-mates’ in the past, and had agreed to ‘take me on’ as I was a ‘fella’ and she felt she didn’t ‘get on’ with her female lodgers.

It was ok until she perplexingly got quite ‘keen’ on me and that. Which was awkward for a bit, but then she pulled herself together and got herself a new bloke with the same name as me. And, I assumed, lived happily ever after once I moved-out and got my own place because I couldn’t tolerate all the ‘happiness’ going on.

Anyway. This is him. He's not a 'bad' bloke I suppose.

Namesake: Been up to much? Still in the same place?

Two questions at once. The bastard.

Me: Mmph. Yeah. Out last night though. Bit delicate.

Namesake: [Needlessly enthusiastic]Gotta be done though, yeah?

Actually, could you just not talk?

Don’t know if you heard?


Yeah, me and Lively split.


I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this information. The fucking queue isn’t moving any quicker and the conversation is quickly getting into a place that is ‘not my area’.

Yeah. I mean. I moved out, then we weren’t together.

Yeah, that’ll do it,
I think to myself. Especially if you try it in that order.

Namesake: We were still seeing each other after I moved out and that – her idea for me to go, you know – money and that, I’ve not done well after the divorce - and…

The old woman two spaces ahead of me – after paying for her shopping - is now paying her utility bills on those pre-payment card things. One-by-one. Marvellous.

…so she got a new lodger but he didn’t work out. This is before we officially split and that. Apparently he didn’t like having the flat to himself ‘cos she was always round mine…

Yeah, no doubt mate. ‘He hated having the place to himself’. That was his problem.

Fuck me, Mum-Ra has been replaced by Discount Coupon Lady who is taking even longer.

Namesake: …but she’s got a new one now and it seems to be going well. I mean. I don’t see her much anymore, but sometimes I see them and they’re even out together. You know? Of a night-time and that? Seems like a nice chap, actually.

I think of the Friday night texts I used to get from Lively Lady.

Namesake gazes thoughtfully into the middle-distance. The poor bastard.

Thankfully, I have been served.


Oh. Yeah. Good to see you again mate.


I don’t then grab his shoulder and say “At least I didn’t fuck her” because I’m far too hung-over.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


I’ve a tiresome work-related problem to deal with and it involves Blonde Colleague.

We’ve been put-back a good couple of days by some absurd ‘training’.

Me: [Brandishing a memo from Accounts] Now then –

Blonde Colleague:
[Squirming in her seat] I’ve got the mother of all wedgies.

Me: *sigh* Right. Accounts have been on at me and –

B.C: [Wriggling] Friggin’ hell, if they were any further up they’d be in my mouth.

Me: Ok. It’s just there’s a query on –

B.C: If I coughed they’d come flyin’ out my gob.

Me: Yeah. Apparently you spoke to Client X and agreed –

B.C: [Standing-up and doing a weird thing with her hips] They’re big pants, you know – like boxers but for girls?

I can’t remember when it happened, but either I became ‘one of the girls’ or she became ‘one of the boys’.

Me: Ah. I need to get this sorted today, so –

B.C: They cost two pound and one-seventy-five of them are up my arse.

Me: No doubt. Can we get this –

It’s nae good, I’m going to have to sort this.

She heads-off in the direction of the ‘ladies powder-room’. Or the ‘can’ as she prefers to call it.

[To her rapidly-disappearing back] I’ll talk to you later, yeah?
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