Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I had too much to dream last night (Paul Newan I owe you one)

Despite the snow that greeted Lisa and I this morning, I can feel that Spring is in the air. The mornings are significantly lighter and the flowers are starting to bloom, it won't be long before the birds and bee's try to have sex again.
One poinant sign of spring's impending arrival is the effect it has every year on my sleep patterns and dreams. I had too much to dream last night.

Not being a 'dreamer' as such, I rarely wake from my slumber wide eyed and bushy tailed wishing to explain to every man and his dog of my mind's nocturnal activities. On the rare occasion I remember dreaming I usually keep it to myself, possibly because of its explicit content. There has been the odd occasion when I've had a dream worthy of mentioning to Lisa, however as dreams by their very nature are confusing and difficult to describe, I spare the details and try to surmise it in a few simple sentences. Describing dreams it could be said are one of the few things I keep short and to the point. The other being my descriptions of my day at work.

"how was work?"


or the more common response:


Unfortunately, when my response is the latter, I'm usually required to follow this up with some example of my displeasure. I often struggle, and more often than not when I inform Lisa of my grumblings, it actually makes me sound a churlish and petty man, which as you will no doubt know, is not the case.

You may remember my disgust with my colleagues' lack of consideration in unloading the dishwasher in a previous entry (kkk). Do you know how sad it sounds when you're asked by your nearest and dearest as to why I feel it appropriate to describe my day as "crap" and your response is "I had to do the dishwasher again". It's not right.

Thankfully Lisa now takes it as read that my day is going to be lousy as she knows just how much i dislike my vocation as a Dog’s body and on the occasions that she will ask, I've learned to answer "okay" to avoid any follow ups, which as I've just explained prevents me from looking more pathetic and lets be honest, I need all the points I can get.
Plus the is the regular "why don't you get another job?" conversation. I hate this response as she's right. The fact of the matter is I'll hate most jobs no doubt. I have yet to complete my application form for the Advisor role in the One Stop Shop as it is exactly the same cruddy wages I'm on now, only I'm going to be speaking to idiots all day.

I've had the odd eventful day though in other jobs. The most eventful day was on Mourn day Thursday (day before Good Friday -you heretics) in 1999 when I worked in Hutton’s Off Licence in Allerton, Liverpool. Despite it being fairly menial, I enjoyed this job. I liked speaking to people and when I used to a be cheerful chappie, I would often provide the punters with gems from my patented sense of humour. Eg:

Woman customer who looked like an anorexic Seal (the musician not the animal!) rushed into the busy shop mid Lottery rush shouting:
"Do you have extra large condoms?"

"No, but we sell bin liners and I could give you a elastic band?"

The shop gwafores and i bask in the glory whilst she storms out. Sadly, I never get those kind of opportunities stuck behind this desk.

Anyhoo- that Easter night I was working with Kev. (by the way I'm sure I've told this one before on this site- if so please ingnore the following crap)

He was several years younger than me and a archetypical slacker. He like his alt rock, and would attend the Krazy House three times a week. He lived with Ste who also worked at the offie, and they both work part time- as it meant they were still eligible for Housing Benefit. He was also little bit fey. Slightly effeminate, but according to him -100% straight, not as my less than enlightened colleagues would say "on the other bus". He was a nice bloke.

The shift went without too much incident, so much so that I don't actually recall any other details except I wanted to get home for as near to 11.00 as I could as the film The Sting was due to be shown, and never having seen it before I was looking foreword to in immensely. Once again, my sad life was being run by the TV schedule.

The shop was due to be shut at 10.30, but on nights like these it was very rare to see any customers after 10ish so Kev and i prepared to clean the shop, cash up etc in order for a quick departure. Kev, of course was due for another lonely night a the Krazy house, and I remember cringing at him whilst he painted his thumbnails black in preparation.

By 10.20 the shop was spotless, and one of the two tills had been cashed up successfully. The other till has as good as cashed up, and I had devised a full proof method in which we could officially cash up the till, however still serve any customers should there be any. We proceeded to put this method into action and I locked the door prematurely, of course should a customer arrive, we would naturally let them in, as shoudl we close early Mary- theboss, would no doubt find out the next morning.

As I locked the door at 10.25 I turned around and walked back toward the two tills in order to face up (a term referring to tyding them up in case to the non Shoppe experienced don't know) the crisps. I made the few short steps to the counter when I heard I loud bang against the glass shop window. Assuming it was the little buggers who plagues from time to time with their high jinks and endless purchasing of Space Raiders whilst their little co-horts steel the Yorkies and other more expensive confectionaries, I though no more of it. I looked at Kev though and he had literally turned as white a sheet. He was pointing to the window in a manner that reminded me of Shaggy from Scooby Do when the monster was stood behind them as he couldn't say anything through intense fear.

"what's up?" I asked whilst holding several bags of ready salted Hula Hoops.

"Two men in balaclavas and shot guns just ran at the door, hit the glass and then ran off..."


We both dived to the bullet proof office and called the police immediately.
Kev was really shaken up and struggled to light his Marlborough red ciggie. He looked really gay smoking it I remeber, the black nail varnish and choker he had around his neck didn't help. The police arrived in less than two minutes. Three Volvo Estate cars screeched up and armed policed jumped out. I ran to the front of the shop and opened the door and explained the situation. I was starting to shake a bit too, but The Sting started in fifteen minutes. The police then dispersed around the surrounding street and I could hear the police helicopter flying above. One of the officers came to our office and watched the black and white CCTV footage of me locking the door turning my back and then these two burly looking types with shotguns barging into the door then fleeing. I noticed on the CCTV footage that the back of my hair needed cutting.

There wasn't much to do really. the police took the video and told us how lucky we were, as this sort of robbery had been happening to all the off licences in the area. If we hadn't had locked the door early who knows what could have happened. Paul Newman I owe you one.

Once the shop was locked up we both ran to the rival Off Licence, Bargain Booze as it was cheaper and stayed open later. We immediately let the staff know of our lucky escape and told them to keep their wits about them. Kev sacked off the idea of going to the Krazy House, but I was determined to get home in time for The Sting.
I made it home having just missed the intro, but I couldn't concentrate and decided to phone a variety of concerned friends and family and regale me story of heroism. By midnight I was very anxious, and when Gareth and Ziad arrived at back after a few ales at the Dovedale, I once more re-told my story.

Thus far this is the only work story I have where I felt it necessary to tell other people and do you know what the most common reaction was?

"I can't believe you haven't seen The Sting"

Monday, February 27, 2006

captain of my industry

Today i am the captain of my industry. I am a umpa lumpa with a beard. My hump is (at present) being busted. I am of worth to the Council at long last...my stock is on the rise once again. Huzzzar!

For the first time in an age, I'm actually busy, or busy with worth while work at least, my brain is whirring and I can feel the long since missed chest pains of stress and hard work (oh how I've missed them). It feels tres good and couldn't come up at a better time for me, with a job application form winging its way out to me.-the one stop shop here I come! I want to be able to say in my interview that I enjoy hard graft and I can meet a challenge (just as long as the challenge isn't photocopying endless reams of paper or endlessly answering the phone).
Spring is in the air and optimism is embracing me in a close and tight clinch.

I always mention this on a Monday- but I like Mondays. Sunny Mondays are better.

Maybe this is partially due to the sad death of Murray the Brain Tumor?
Maybe it’s my old shirt that I’m wearing- a throw back to the tough days at the Abbey National?
I don't quite know.

Anyhow, keeping it short- a sort of subdued 50th Blog entry celebration- plus I'm busy!!!.

Life is good!

Still no joy with getting my pictures back up though.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

my folk's chew rules

What a fabulous waste of a day.

Murray and I have been getting along ok. I don't bother him and he tries not to bother me too much. My colleagues have been most forthcoming with their tea making duties which I am very much appreciative of. Bob especially has made at least 4 or 5 rounds of drinks today.

What joy life can be when one is drinking vast amounts of tea, having extremely long pisses, a Tamarillo's sandwich and making peace with my tumor. Huzzar.

To be honest not a great deal has happened since I wrote yesterday- which is just the way i like it. My only gripe would be the difficulties I have recently experienced eating. Of course I don't mean the quality of food or the manner in which I hold my knife and fork, rather I appear to have done some serious damage to the roof of my mouth. I have thought at great length as to what may have caused this irritation and I have arrived at the conclusion that the culprit was yesterday morning's porridge. I'm sure I have a blister of some sort.

My injuries were so severe that last night for my tea I could only manage a bowl of Super Noodles, which I left until they were nearly cold and a slice of bread. Surely this dietary disaster highlights the amount I have suffered. Lisa of course was as sympathetic as ever. Her retort when I explained my ailments was "It serves you right".

Let it please be known that Lisa did in fact make me the noodles so she wasn't being heartless, it's just that she has often lambasted me for the speed in which I eat. I have always been a fast eater though, and I blame my current physical condition to my lack of chewing foot properly. A quick masticator I think she called me...

I can clearly remember my folks try to get me to eat slower as I would often wolf my food and alarming speeds. This at first was out of survival as soon as I had finished I could make a start on eating Lucy's food before Adam had finished his meal. To prevent this eating sprint they took the time and patience to ensure that I put my knife and fork down between each mouthful, counting the amount of chews they deem appropriate and instructing me when to swallow. Sometimes I follow these rules when I realise that I am eating like a pig, although if I'm being honest, I don't adhere to them very often. Usually when I think a heart attack is around the corner.

Lisa on the other hand is an incredibly slow eater, and of course this only highlights my food consumption speed. I often look up whilst shoveling down my food to inspect her plate. Most times I'm almost done and she has hardly made a start! It's at these points I try to refer to my folk's chew rules.

When in the company of others, or for the most parts, when I'm eating out, I seem to slip into a more adequate and less nauseating eating tempo. This is partly due to the impeccable table manners installed in me and partly due to the conversation and drinking. Most times when we eat at home it is usually in front of the television and I think this hinders any chance of eating slower. It's possibly why my parents also insisted that we ate at the table with the TV off, with the following exceptions:

Grand Prix,
Spurs/England Games,
The Simpsons
And for a short period in the late eighties- when Neighbours was on.

My enthusiastic approach to eating was actually complemented whilst dining in Marantos recently by the hairy Italian waiter. After we had devoured the food and wine in just over an hour he came over and asked if I ate out a lot.
As this was an odd thing to say, I thought that I had misheard him and asked him politely if he could repeat his question.
He asked the same question again.

I was confused and Lisa, embarrassed by my confusion and awkwardness translated for me: DO - YOU- E-A-T OUT O-F-T-E-N?

"Erm, a bit i suppose, not that much. Why?" I replied.

"Its the way you eat your spaghetti and pour your wine, you obviously know what you're doing. It's -a- good to see."
He went on to state that lots of people pretend they know what they're doing and clearly don't. Slightly embarrassed and a tad miffed, I just mumbled "erm, I was just hungry" -which I was.

Lisa thought it to be a compliment, however i took it as a rough translation for:

"Mama Mia, you eat like a big fat Italian, you greedy bastardo."
The fact is I've always been an excellent spaghetti eater, having been taught my folks at an early age. Granted, I'm not the spaghetti eater that I was, due to my vegetarian exile and the breaking of my front tooth. I've also always managed to put quite a lot of it away too- "hallow legs" my grandparents would say. Also Marantos isn't exactly the Savoy is it. It is nice but heavily laden with scallies. I suppose it means that I'm marginally better than they are and I should perhaps have taken it as a compliment, but decided not to, and the big mealy mouthed fat waiter lost his tip. Now who's laughing eh?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I felt like Gollum but looked like Compo

Coming back into work after being on a vacation is always messy.
Firstly, there is the unnecessary and thoroughly over friendly remarks from my colleagues who all suddenly express a n interest in my goings on. "where did you go?"
"what did you do?"
"how was the weather?"

Then there is the work you need to catch up on thankfully this only took a 10 minutes.

In regards to the former, I did my best to evade the majority of the pointless questioning before I managed to divert the conversation back to the usual topic of the previous night's football, which considering the foxures was easy peasy japan-easy

The weekend retreat was of course thoroughly pleasant and most enjoyable. It highlighted some alarming changes in my life style that perhaps I wasn't ready to accept.

For I am now a city dweller.

This perhaps ought not to be so surprising, after all I have resided in the fair city of Liverpool for nearly 10 years but I don’t like it. Granted, I’m not exactly born and raised in the wilderness, but I hail from a small town and spent the remainder of my youth (when not watching TV) being the outdoor type. I did as a youngster, never want to move to the bright lights of the city as the mere idea of would have been thoroughly repugnant, however once I had tried and failed with most of the women in my home town of Harrogate, the odds of success on this 'front' looked a lot greater once I decided to move to a larger community.

I lost my trusty penknife years ago.

My Hiking boots were binned after they started to rot.

I no longer own a fleece.

I am now a city dweller, and I don't like it.

A partially blame Murray (my Tumor) and a practically blame my piggish insistence on wearing these god damned contact lenses.

To reinforce my love for all things outdoor, we took part in a great passion of mine that I had long since forgotten; making and playing with fires.
The childish delight in my eyes was there for all to see.

I was a bit rusty but I'd lit a thousand fires before. This was day 2 (proper) and we had driven out to the Campbell Family Loch. Its location was top secret and Lisa and I were forced by Messers Stock and Jeeve to wear blindfolds.

When we arrived and the cholorphorm had worn off we found ourselves amongst the trees and sheep. The weather was cool but not cold, but I chose to remain under the comfort of my lucky Spurs Bobble Hat (sans bobble). After negotiating a stile and a waterlogged field, we were waterside. The loch's tranquility and stillness was a refreshing sight to behold.

It wasn't long before Steve started to collect twigs and branches in order to make a start on a fire and piled them up in the designated spot. I found a lighter and the bracken and newspaper used as kinderling was soon slowly smoldering away. The wood was mostly damp so it took a while for it to get going. Lisa, Stock and Jeeve spread out foraging for firewood whilst i designated myself the role of chief watcher of fire, ensuring that it is kepy going. This wasn't laziness, despite it no doubt appearing this way, I was transfixed by flames as they licked into the oxygen soaked air. I felt like Gollum but looked like Compo.

It brought to mind a plethora of fire related anecdotes, that despite not wanting to witter on in my usual way for sake of annoying the hell out of my companions I was unable to stop myself.

We sipped ice-cold cans of Miller ingeniously left in a carrier bag under the water by Lisa.

A short while later once enough wood had been fetched, our hosts appeared on the Loch in a small row boat. Huzzzzar!

I was convinced that I should vacate my fire watching post to participate in a bit of rowing with Steve. It was very romantic.
As we slowly glided across the still water all that you could hear was the oars splashing into the cold lake and the distant murmur of the lady companions, oh and my Captain's dismay of a faulty rollicks. After successfully changing sides on the boat it was my turn to row.

Once back at the fireside and my beer, it was all hands on deck to get more wood. Well when I say all hands on deck, it was just Steve who bravely ventured into the foreboding woods nearby. Lisa was incredibly useful at poking and containing the fire with her stick. Her enthusiasm brought out a new side in her I'd never seen or perhaps I was just giddy from the smoke, either way she impressed us all.

There is few better experiences a man can savor and enjoy that making fire and then pissing into a sheep's footprint left in the mud. It must have been cold as the steam from my piss rose almost as high as the smoke from our ever impressive fire. After my second can, I had filled up three hoof prints with my urine.

So how does the sophisticated city dweller that I have become convert himself back to the bumpkin he once was? And how much of a bumkin would i wish to be?

I would like to think that I would draw the line at bestiality- but if you haven't a got a Starbucks or Subway nearby, how else do you while away the hours?

The sky had already started to get darker by the time we trudged back to the car, and we all stank of smoke. We were once again blindfolded and sedated, and woke up as the car pulled into the driveway. A change of clothes and footware and we were in the local hotel for a few ales. Kronenberg was the beer of choice.
I discovered in the hours that followed that I have absolutely no talent at darts, despite convincing myself that perhaps I did.

Perhaps my lack of darts playing ability stems from my newly found city dweller status? After all both Steve and Lisa excelled at it?

Of course there was more noteable moments whilst away, and this will of course feature in due course, but I wanted to convey I wish to return to my more rustic roots and shun my metropolis.

A goat and a monkey indeed.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Murray and Mr. West

As reported yesterday, last night I went to Manchester to see Mr. Kanye West.

I left work earlier than usual. The brain tumor/hemorrhage I have convinced myself I have, was really starting to smart. I made a slight improvement back in the flat and eventually managed to convince myself that I wasn’t going to die, and that going to the gig would be a good idea. Of course Lisa’s enthusiasm for the gig helped spur me on, but I felt tired and unwell.

Having been a passenger on many of journeys to Manchester I felt happy to oblige and offer my services and give Sweet Jon-ay and Eve-e-o a lift in my* fine automobile. Lisa had taken the precaution of getting enough AA batteries from the various remote controls we have littered about our flat, so we could, in the absence of a car stereo, listen to her personal CD player through her portable speakers. It did the trick.

The journey itself went without a hitch which made a nice change Of course negotiating the multi-story carpark was a tad problematic, due to my inept driving skills and the fact that the Audi has the handling abilities of a Sherpa Tank. It wasn’t long before my head started to hurt again.

Once the car was eventually parked up after several comedy driving moments courtesy of myself, we headed towards the Arena passing several clutters of make-up caked teenagers looking excited and shifty- cigarettes and cider most probably.

Due to the headache, I started to feel a little flat it was agreed that beverages should be acquired. Of course, since I was driving a beer was out of the question. This made the 15 minutes queue feel worse. Whilst queuing I had time to observe the variety of people in attendance. It did seem that there was an awful lot of 14-17 year old girls. Hiding their acne with several inches of make-up, wondering through the crowd in procession, arms linked together and enough metal in their teeth to repair the Titanic. Alongside these mini skirted Lolita’s was a truck load of Chav lads. Top Man and Burton’s clothing was in abundance. (shudder) Alongside these fashionably unaware, were the middle class whit hip hops fans, complete with clich├ęd sideways baseball caps and Elizabeth Duke jewellery. There was also a small contingency of young fans there with a parent or older sibling, savoring the atmosphere sporting their newly purchased Kanye Merchandise that will now doubt take the remainder of the year to pay off. There was spores of the tradional looking Hip Hop fans, young black men donned in Wu Wear and other such expensive sports attire. The odd Emo kid was spotted and I even saw the odd student wearing their obligatory scarf- despite the uncomfortably warm temperature.

There was also a lot of ladies wearing mini skirts.

Whislt waiting and categorizing the other punters, my right eye started to hurt. I subtly try to rub it without disturbing my contact lense. I failed, and I could feel it sticking out of the right hand corner of my eye. Lisa spotted it immediately and I removed it. Alas, as I have only just managed to put them in with the aid of a mirror when they come fresh from their packaging, I knew attemopting to re-insert it was a fool hardy gesture. I tried. I failed. Jon, Eve, Lisa and I watched it fall from my awkward finger onto the grubby M.E.N floor. Bugger. I was now blind in one eye.

Eve bravely suggests retrieving it, and putting it in my mouth in order to recite my sudden inconvenience but IK decide against it.

My head hurts more now than ever. Of course Lisa’s attentions turn to her and my friend’s impending safety as passengers in my car. I think my erratic car park maneuvers had flustered them. Having a driver suffering from a brain tumor who could only see out of one eye did not install a metric ton of trust. I irritably assured her I was fine and continued rubbing my eye.

Finally we get to the front of the queue and because I was feeling lousy I was seduced buy the idea that a hotdog would be a good idea, washed down with a litre of Fanta. The Fanta, I hoped would give me a much needed kick start as, in my youth its consumption would always send me a little hypo active.

When we eventually found the section where we were to be seated. It was high up. Very HIGH up. We were “up in the Gods” as it were. We were forced to make the entire row stand up in order for us to reach our designated seats. I apologized most profusely with a mouth full of hotdog, mustard and ketchup decorating my beard. When we finally made it, we dusted the snow off our seats and parked our arses until our nosebleeds finally stopped.

It wasn’t long before the Kanye West show started. Oddly, he chose to open the set by playing one of his videos before making his entrance, whilst his 14peic all female orchestra took up their positions and look nervous. Of course, being blinded in my right eye made it very difficult for me to actually see if they were nervous or not, but that was my impression.

Ahhh. The show was good. Only blighted by the girls in front of J,E & L who decided to dance badly throughout. Also a few technical difficulties Kanye experience, blaming the VT guy, Monitor guy, Sound guys, DJ etc. But it was good. I chose not to stand though until almost the very end. I wasn’t in the mood to sway. After all, my standard gig position is to fold my arms, pint in hand and not my head subtly. It was quite amusing to see young white scally lads stood up, donning their hoods and baseball caps, throwing some rather lame Vanilla Ice style moves.

During one instrumental interlude, I decide to name my tumor Murray.

Jon commented whilst Kanye decided to milk the crowd and dance, that he passed a remarkably resemblance to Carlton banks from The Fresh price of Bel Air (Alfonzo Ribera). He was spot on, he really did! Oh Alfonzo where are you now?

Anyway, it was good, and even the 40 minute wait to leave the carpark wasn’t too bad I suppose, although I had more tricky car park maneuvers to make yet again.
I’m off to the land of Scotland tonight for a Withnil & I type break (we’ve come on holiday by mistake). Thankfully I’m the only one of us ho knows the dialogue to the film on an unhealthy level, therefore it’ll stop me from regaling the same lines over and over and over again as I do on every trip to the countryside. Therefore won’t be in work until Wed, therefore I’ve been ensuring that all my work is sorted before I leave…the hand towels have been loaded up in the toilet and the dishwasher has been emptied…another job satisfactorily done..

Thursday, February 16, 2006

brain tumor

I've been blighted with a headache since Sunday.
It hurts and I'm now contemplating how my life will change if, as I suspect, I have an inopperable brain tumor.
This needs further thought, but it makes my head turn more.
When you're feeling low, and your headhurts and you find yourself grumpier than ususal, there is nothing better than a trip to the Manchester Evening news Arena.
Kanye West I have high hopes for you sir.
On a more cheerful note, today is the anniversay of Fidel Castro becoming the Premier of Cuba...woot!
Anyway, despite my usual willingness to waffle on at alarminly exssesive lengths, I'm keeping it short today. I've got work to do today.Fat Karen is on training, although she did her ususal "I'm off to Sayers" at 8.45 am to get a slice of toast for her and Tom (kiss arse) and doesn't come back to the office until well after 9.10am stinking of smoke.
Happily though she isn't makling the toast here although we have a toaster and fridge etc. You wouldn't beleive the mess she used to make every moring when she used to cook it here, and who'd end up cleaning up after her-yes muggins here.
Sean's in fine fettle though- he must have finally worked out how to access the porn channels last night.
Anyway, hopefully I'll live through the night to bring you up to speed on tonight's events tomorrow.
Untill then, take care of yourself and each other....

Also I'm working on getting my pictures back up- I don't know why and where they went but I AM AWARE OF THIS- SO STOP SENDING ME EMAILS ABOUT IT!!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

You can't curry love

t'was the day after the night before.

The office appears to be quite buoyant today, as no doubt the majority of my esteemed colleagues indulged in the obligatory Valentine's Day carnal activities the night before with their respective wives/partners, as they all seem to been tres cheerful, of course, with the exception of Sean. He is as stressed and cranky as ever. Thus far he has failed to laugh at anyone's jokes and flat refused to be made a coffee this morning. As I look across my desk at him now, he's looking very worryingly at his computer monitor and whilst holding his chin is shaking his head with a look of disbelief. Of course Sean is the only singleton in the office, and Valentine’s day does little more than to emphasise loneliness to the single dwellers amongst us. In fact it's only really enjoyed by couples celebrating their first valentines day together.

It's a woman's thing.

It's American.

It's gotten out of hand.

Fat Karen, as far as we know, is also single. She left her husband last year of some 25 years as she was having an affair with someone she'd met in an internet chat room. Of course, this was a very difficult personal time for her and her family, and although I'm not exactly her greatest fan I felt genuine sympathy for her. Naturally I was the only one to do so.
When she left the office once to answer her mobile phone after it had happened and returned looking very upset, she decided to have a smoke in the rear car park to calm herself down. Lee's comment upon seeing her in this state was "sort your head out". He didn't say it to her face as no one is brave enough to do such a thing here, it’s all done behind the victim's back, or in my case written down on the internet.

I recall that I stuck up for her and explained her predicament, he then informed me of the FULL story, and without wanting to judge her, my sympathy did wane somewhat. I also encountered the phrase "you don't bring your personal problems to work" for the first time.
I wonder what they would have said behind my back when i took seven weeks off work to be near my mum when she was at death's door?

Funnily, I was having a chat with her (Fat Karen that is not my Mum) the other day, and she explained that her teenage daughter turned up at her flat in Southport saying she'd had enough of living with her dad and wanted to live with her. She was so pissed off with this, and told her 15 year old that she couldn't live with her. I had to look impassive as she told me this for fear of reprisal. Again, I don't know the full story there but it's not exactly going to win her Mum of The Year.

I do actually still feel sorry for her sometimes, but not often, it’s usually repulsion. The sight of her hideously long and over manicured fingernails on her exceptionally fat fingers, covered in the orange fragments of Wotsits whilst she talks with her mouth open on her mobile, coughing and spluttering away is enough to make me want to take the 2litre bottle of Pepsi she always has on her desk, and club her to death with it.

Either way, Fat Karen isn't in today.
She's off sick.
On the office’s whiteboard someone has rather sardonically written:

"Karen- Off Sick- Abscessed tooth"

Everyone's been grumbling about this (except myself and Early Doors Gerry), and they've got a fair point. Bob heroically pointed out that he's had an abscessed tooth for ages and has visited the dentists on several occasions during his lunch break during the last few weeks and he doesn't indulge himself in such luxuries as 'sick days'. To which I replied that at his age it doesn't matter, as I doubted he has no feeling left on the left hand side of his face anyway. Oh how we all laughed...except Sean who was still looking bemused with his usual rye smile and a shake of the head as he plows through further emails.

I believe that my colleagues are all thinking the same: She was either up all night emailing some sad twat in Surrey or Warwickshire, or she was out on the lash, either way she's not going to be missed as she is rarely in the office anyway, the only noticeable difference is there isn't the smell of Ciggies/perfume/cat piss/toast.

Last night, I made the whole Valentines Day effort. I got a card and present for Lisa. What could say 'I Love You' better than the gift of a Tropical Fish Shaped Shower Radio, several games of shit head whilst drinking Cava and over indulging on a fabulous Take Away Curry? Who said romance was dead?

Alas, Lisa didn't get home from work until nearly 7.20pm, and I made the school boy error of putting the dead lock on the flat door....again...ooops. This is without question, one of Lisa's pet hates "You know how much you get pissed off when you see people reading Harry Potter on the train- locking me out of the flat is the same deal for me" Fair enough. To make matters worse when she came in, the rose petals weren't exactly lining the stairs, rather i was sat on my arse enjoying a can of beer whilst playing ISS 5 Pro Evo listening to Slint. Thankfully my charm, once again, rescued the situation.

Anyway, I’ve now had this headache for three days. A brain tumour does not sound unlikey.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My stock is falling.

I must admit, I'm actually quite proud of myself today. Not only have I knuckled down to some hard graft, but I've also resisted the my usual derogatory remarks and sarcastic comments to my fellow shlums and have even abstained from going on the internet (fist cup of tea at 9am excluded of course). Not something to wrote home about, granted, but worthy of noting here.

The office is in a very tranquil state. Sean, possibly due to his extended weekend is in a most pleasant mood. This doesn't mean he's skipping around the office with a smile on his face, rather his face hasn't get gone crimson the vain on his head isn't throbbing and he hasn't slammed his pen on his desk muttering "this place is a f***ing joke". This is a good sign.
Tom has been away from the office for the majority of the morning today too and therefore i haven't been asked to stable frickin' pieces of paper, or photocopy two pieces of paper or something equally pedantic for him. I feel I should point out, in his defence, since my return to work after my lengthy absense, Tom has conveniently for me, now directed all of his petty little tasks to Mike instead. I feel no remorse about this, especially as Mike is to be jumping ship soon.

Lee is in a bit of a fluster though. Usually I can get on with him the easiest of all the office staff as he's the only one anywhere near my age group, and in a previous life, was a musician back in Bury (he knew Elbow apparently-though when I met them non of them knew him)- a bass player no less. He's got what I would refer to as a text book music taste, he like the classics; Marvin Gaye, Led Zeppelin, Stone Roses, etc. Nothing too risky. He's also bought into the Artic Monkeys phenomenon hook, line and sinker. When I said it's good- he immediately responded with "it's better than good! It's genius". A little over zealously to say the least. We also had a debate on the merits of Channel 4's the IT Crowd as he thinks it's a big pile of “student silly pap” and that My Name Is Earl is "genius".

For the records please let it be known I like My name is Earl. Infact, I told everyman and his dog to watch it because of Jason Lee, who as you may already be aware, appeared in a handful of Kevin Smith films and was the best thing in each one. My only reservation is that it's not very funny. The IT Crowd on the other hand; I just find a 'silly' and a refreshing change from all the 'clever comedies' The Office etc al that I watch, as no matter how good they are they rarely make you laugh out loud, which is sometimes what I want. Belly laughs galore! I'm a laughter junkie.

So he's good chap to have around the office. Unfortunately he's a bit of a stress head. I have no doubts, he would have been the type of kid who would have panicked and started his homework the day it was given to him, rather than the night before as I chose to do. Clearly this work ethos has been beneficial to him as he's a home owner, new car owner and is content with his social status and cat, however, this dedication can make him appear a tad rude from time to time.

I suppose the last thing you want when you've got a tight deadline to meet is a hairy sod like me waffling on about my dislike for mayonnaise or as an example of yesterday's discussion, why people who buy mixed frozen vegetables are chumps. –(I am a scintillating conversationalist am I not?) His response is not to acknowledge me and just continue to stare at the computer.

When I first started here, the division between the 'workers' and 'the slackers' was clear for all to see. I was recruited to the 'workers' side and enjoyed late afternoons slagging off Fat Karen’s skiving, and Gerry 'early doors' lack of effort and commitment. However, since November/October time, no one has confided in me about the unfairness of the work loads, or why Dave is always conveniently out on a site visit when his lunch break comes-(this was a really contentious issue at the time). The balance has shifted. I am now one of the slackers and a rarely make the tea. My stock is falling.

It's going to take more than wearing an ironed shirt and abstaining from the sarcasm to get back in the good books of my fellow colleagues. Perhaps they've stumbled across this blog? Perhaps they’ve hacked into my computer when I wasn't here and read what I’ve written about them? Perhaps they've heard me masturbating in the toilet? Either way, I plan to show them I can be a model employee. I'm just going to check My Space first though...

Most jobs I've had (27 and counting) I have tried my best to impress the boss or supervisor, it’s in my nature to, at first aim to please. The only exception to this was when I first started my three year hell at the Abbey National Insurance Customer Service Department. As I had only planned to work there for a couple of months I felt the sucking up to one's superiors was unnecessary. Carmel was the room’s co-ordinator and everyone slightly feared her and kissed her arse. Her birthdays the team leaders who several hours earlier would have been bitching about her, would gather round her desk and each give her a individual present. It was vomit inducing.

In my books she was okay I guess, a fat lady though, but not fat in the same way as Fat Karen. Karen eats none stop and drinks 2 litres of coke a day, whilst Carmel, in public at least, always appeared to be on a diet, not that it ever showed. Her main job was to sit in the room (which they laughably referred to as studio 4) and make sure that the teams were working hard. It was almost Dickensian really.

If, for example your phone was in the 'not ready' status and there were calls waiting, she would politely and with a smile on her chubby face ask "is everything okay?" to which the culprit would either apologise, stating they didn't realise, or say they were doing follow up work. Either way, in response she would ask them sternly but nicely, to answer a call. Often people referred to her as The Smiling Assassin, and there were rumours that she was sacked in her last job for bullying. I didn't believe this nor did I give a crap.
She would often ask me "is everything okay" my usual response was "yes thanks, how are you" and then look away and casually answer a call several moments later. The thing was though, every time I responded in this way she would laugh- loudly. This was my response every time for the first few months.

She would also ask how I was, and my usual response was "crap. I hate this job", again her response was to laugh loudly…too loudly for my liking. I'm assuming that she thought I was a card or a joker, but as you’ll probably know yourself, I am neither. I was genuinely unhappy that after 4 years of working towards an art degree I was working in an insurance call centre speaking to idiots all day, hiding in the toilets to avoid work, and getting the piss taken out of me on ‘Dress Down Friday’ as I didn’t wear a tracksuit. “You’re clothes are jarg!” or “My top is worth more than your house” etc etc.

If anything, my honest response to her questions, and always using foul language somehow, I think, did me a favour. Within a month I was embarrassingly made the "Brand Hero" -the Abbey Nat's employee of the week. I don't know how I managed it. I think it had something to do with my telephone voice. Coming from Harrogate had fro the first time been beneficial rather than a cause of discontent.

As the years went by, I slowly conformed and became part of the establishment, although never fully. My scruffyness and sarcasm always kept me out of that crowd.

Several months before I left I was covering for Elaine, my team leader, and noticed that some of the advisors were in the 'not ready status' and as instructed, I was forced to go up to them and ask them to take some calls. Her response was "who the fook do you think you are? You’re not a team leader". Fair point I thought. Of course this didn't endear them to me and that I was starting to alienate myself further. I realised that I had joined the darkside and was being slowing carved into a bigger cog on the Abbey National General Insurance Wheel. I left shortly afterwards with no job to go to. I had escaped with most of my sanity left.

So perhaps I shouldn’t try too hard to get back into my team's goodbooks as it will no doubt make me unhappier.

Perhaps a few more hours on My Spage wouldn't hurt.

Monday, February 13, 2006

lived a man who sailed to sea

Another weekend, and unfortunately yet another cause for sadness for me and my kin as my Uncle Terry (Grandma's brother) passed away on Saturday at his York home. The cause of death has been determined as an Heart Attack, furthering the inevitability that I too shall leave my mortal coil at some point in the future (hopefully another 50 years or so) due to the hereditary heart problems both sides of my family suffer from. Either that or the hereditary cancer which also blights our family.

Without wishing to sound too morbid, or make light of yet another onion in the ointment, but I feel the sword of Damocles dangling above my head. I really ought to cut down on the cholesterol riddled cheese I consume on a daily basis and perhaps take the clothes off our exercise bike and put it to good use. This could be a fitting epitaph for me "we told him that the cheddar would kill him, but would he give it up?"

As planned I paid a visit to my mother yesterday at my Grandparent's abode and as you would imagine it was a sombre yet philosophical mood which greeted me when I arrived around 12ish. My poor grandparents have really had a rough few months of late-as we all have and this was certainly the last thing they, or any of us needed.

I can only ever recollect seeing my Uncle Terry at Weddings/Family functions, which when I was young was a very frequent occurrence, and he was always very funny and the life and soul. He also enjoyed a drink, and I remember chatting to him at my nana’s wake, re-introducing myself -not having seen him for about ten years. He was alarmed and surprised to see a 22 year old man before him with stubble and a paunch, and when I told him that the big lump stood next to me was Adam, he had a great comic facial reaction -the equivalent of a "F*** me!!!!". He insisted on buying us both a drink, and looked at me with incredible disappointment when I requested a pint of larger rather than a traditional pint of bitter. He told us he couldn't stand the stuff after a particular Christmas Eve when he consumed in excess of 12 pints of the fizzy beer, and the following Christmas day he was so rough he spent most of it in bed nursing a hangover from hell. His wife, Auntie Pam remembered this with a smile on her face. I remember this especially, as I thought of the trouble one would get into with one's wife/partner/Family should this occur. My mum always regaled stories of how Uncle Terry could down a pint in less than two seconds, I guess this act of heroics inspired Adam's record breaking Steinlar guzzling at the Harrogate Arms years later. He also had a tattoo on his forearm of a swallow which had long since started to fade and be concealed by the fair hair which grewupon his arm. Unlike today, tattoos were not a common sight so they always interested me; Uncle Brian's and Uncle Gary's especially. Notably, he and Auntie Pam were the first to send a card to my mum when she was admitted to Hospital recently.

The journeys back and forth to my Grandparents were particularly dull. The lack of radio in my automobile is starting to have its effects on me and my mental state. The only noise to accompany me on the journey is the whistling of the air vents/heater and the extremely noisy rear windscreen wiper. After about an hour of driving the car's noises start to resemble songs and conversation. After another half hour I start to argue with it. By the time I arrive at my Grandparent’s idyllic village, the car and I are no longer on speaking terms. On route home, we had made up and I shly sang at my car's request. I don't know the words to many songs, so it was a poor performance but the car acknowledged my valiant efforts and duly reward me by powering me home at great speeds. The car especially loved my rendition 'The Yellow Submarine' which was sang with gusto and featured sound effects and an sloppy impression of Sir Ringo Starr. This tired me out and when I arrived home I was spent and my throat hurt.
The M62 late at night can do strange things to a man.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I knew I shouldn't have been such a Myspace whore

Well I knew it wouldn't be long before I had my fingers' stung on Myspace.

Put it thins way, for some reason an American High School girl invited me as a friend, which of course I duly obliged. Unfortunately when i checked out her site 20 minutes later, her details had changed, and her profile stated that she "wanted to be raped by a black man". Oh dear.
Not particularly something I can assist with really.

It gave me the fear bigstyle. I wondered why a total stranger would invite me for no reason?

I knew I shouldn't have been such a Myspace whore.

I panicked and deleted her as a friend post haste!

I'm now feeling guilty, anyone who wishes to be abused sexually must have a few problems, perhaps my rejection has made her feel worse?

Just like in real life , since ’hooking up' with Lisa, on those very very rare occasions that I have been chatted up, or someone of the opposite sex has flirted with me I do act very strangely. Usually it is fear. One such time occurred in the Magnet bar, when some buxom young beauty came over sand started to talk to me asking to try on my glasses.

My response was of course to panic and tell her that I had a girlfriend who was momentarily in the toilet.

This girl just sat down anyway and tried them on. I was helpless.

Lisa returned to see me looking totally petrified with some other would-be-suitor wearing my glasses. Thankfully, Lisa accepted my explanation, however bizarre it sounded. Of course by the next morning my recollection of the events had been somewhat exaggerated (moi?). Infact as I write this I remember another occasion in Harrogate's former only quasi decent night club 'Jimmys' a rather good looking girl who was about the age of 18-19 tapped me on the shoulder and said:

"Hi, I really like your glasses"

My response, being the cool player that I am, was:

"Are you making fun of my disability?"

Her face dropped and she replied "I was just complimenting you" and walked away to talk to the group of friends she was with.
I could tell that she was talking to them about what I'd said, and she had a look of snarley annoyance across her face, I'm pretty sure I her mouth the words "twat" but I could be wrong.

Ho hum.

Of course my friends thought I was a shmuck of the highest order.

I do wish to point out that in my single days, I was marginally better, and although I might have been fearful, usually I was pretty wasted so I was of course able to use my sparkling wit and charm. Unfortunately, another incident at Jimmy's resulted in me being slapped across the face by some lady who had taken my fancy. She obviously wasn't that interested, but as Luke was getting it on with her mate I felt duty bound to have a crack. The conversation wasn't good though, and she insisted that she had a 5 year old child. I didn't believe her and thought she was fobbing me off with a ridiculous lie (I was used to this) and spent the duration of our convesation calling he a”liar” (always a successful method of charming the ladies). I'm not sure what happened then, but after about an hour I was going nowhere fast, when Luke leaned over to her and whispered in her ear. He laughed. She frowned. I got a slap in chops. I later demanded to know what he'd said but he was totally rendered (you wouldn’t be in Jimmy's if you weren't) and conveniently couldn't remember. I wish I were a glasses wearer back then.

I've had a fair few (and please excuse the derogatory term in which I am about use to describe the fairer sex) mingers express and interest in me, however, I’ve always been pretty good in turning them down without a wiff of fear. Infact I've often quite enjoyed being a bit rude and curt. It's just the pretty ones that I fear.
Thankfully these events are so few and far between I can only recollect the above incidents, and I ain't getting any prettier. Of course I have always been extremely poor at working out if a girl is interested. (once again the Sally Williams Senario..d'oh!). It's all irrelevant anyway as I'm more than happy with my current status.

Anyhow, he forthcoming weekend looks to be a busy one for sure. I've got about a thousand and one things to fit into two short days.
A late night radio session at BBC GMR Radio, the start of a new set of recordings, the construction of a million shelves, drawers etc, and of course a visit to see me mum on Sunday.
The weekend after though looks to be a hellova lot more promising, as both Lisa and I have been most kindly invited to a relaxing weekend away to Scotchland with both Stock and Jeve. Considering the Xmo holidays was about as stressful and un-relaxing as you could care to imagine, and as you may know; pacing up and down a hospital corridor crappin' it isn't exactly a time one savors, I'm already looking forward to it.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bill Hayley we hardly knew ye...

Bill Hayley we hardly knew ye...

Despite a unusual sensation on Tuesday of professionalism, since writing the last blog I have done little more than scour and pillage the depths of www.MySpace.com and try to hide the fact that I have done sweet bugger all.
Yesterday was the worst day for this yet, I spent the remainder of the afternoon sucked in, and what’s more I didn't even try to hide the fact from my dimwitted co-workers.

Today, however, after a pleasant night and a alarmingly cheerful morning, despite the Council turning off the water, I have once again set myself the challenge of actually getting knuckled to do to some work. So far it has proven to be fairly productive too. The time has passed quickly, and I even threw in a obligatory loosening of the tie and heavy sigh whilst holding my forehead- ensuring that my colleagues knew I was indeed busting my hump. I even justified myself to eat a Time Out choccy bar for my breakfast. Brain food.

Obviously, writing for this blog does not constitute doing work I suppose, and I fully appreciate the irony that instead of working I am regaling tales of blood sweat and tears, crouched over a hot keyboard, however as I write, it's now 11.25, and it is the standard one hour wind down to my lunch break, not doubt 'Early Doors' Gerry will make a cuppa any minute now.

The Office is pretty quiet and all one can hear is the pitter patter of keyboards, the occasional rustle of paper and the odd swirling noises our printer/photocopier makes.
It is a different story from 10am this morning, as Sean was doing his usual stressedoutmyheadisgoingtoexplodeunlessifindthatfileanditsallgoingwrongandit'sunproffesionalthisplaceisafuckingjokeblahblahblah. This is quite a common occurrence and unfortunately for him he must be heading for a heart attack if he carries on like this. I could tell from his reaction to my "good morning" greeting this am that he was in one of those moods, whereupon he would stare intently at his monitor, his tie firmly loosened, cheeks a reddish hue and that look of woe he wears so well upon his face. You can usually tell on what scale of stress he is on by the time it takes him to acknowledge when someone is talking to him. In this morning's case it was nearly two minutes before he returned the customary "ooh, good morning Matt" to me. This was all over a missing file. He saw me check my drawers in case it had found its way there. He then when I was up making a cup of tea decided to treble check and proceeded to rifle through my stuff whilst his face grew ever reader and he seemed to be chuntering in a Star Wars bounty hunter-esque dialect. Granted when file is misplaced, it is usually found on my 'pile' or desk-despite me assuring folks that I have looked thoroughly (I am the world's worst looker- officially! "has anyone seen my shoes/keys/glasses/phone/self respect/car/cheese grater/bankcard" etc)

Sean, as pleasant and funny a guy as he is, is alas; one of those people who takes everything to heart. He feels the weight of the world upon his shoulders and wakes up in the middle of the night thinking about a potential acquisition problem that might occur should he not get into the office at 6.00am to rectify. No one else is like this in the Office. I have a healthy "sod it" attitude. This is partially because I don't class myself as a worker per say. I romantically see myself as a musician (or to quote Sweet Jonny when he told the census people of my job title "creative force") who spends his days in a dour and depressing office for the wages and free use of the internet. The other reason I don't take it to heart is because I’m working for the friggin' Council and there is always someone out there you can delegate it to, or blame.

When i first started to work her and we had the problems with the temps (see last Monday's Blog) It was up to me to get some poor suckers in to replaced them. After the early departure of two of the temps, I felt duty bound to apologise for this and made the following bold statement:

"If the next temp doesn't work out, I'll take full responsibility!"

The immediate response shocked me. Every stopped what they were doing and looked at me a gog and bewildered. "Don't be soft. you're working for the Council now, no one takes responsibility" I was coolly told by Sean (oh the irony eh?)

I should have this phrase tattooed upon my body somewhere as it some how embiggens my work ethos.

Oh Gerry's offering the team tea...bang on time- see I told you!

Anyway, I'm actually becoming ever more guilty with the fact my days are so uneventful, especially when Lisa informs me of some of the horror stories from her days working as a social worker. What response can I possibly give when questioned about my day? "God damn it-so what if you've been dealing with poor abused children none stop in ever more stressful and emotionally challenging scenarios, working 9 hours straight with no lunch or time to sit down- the photocopier in MY office ran out of toner, the internet was slow and no bastard emptied the dishwasher!"

Trust me this response was not greeted well at all.

On a slightly more positive note: today's calendar message is:

"Virtue is its own revenge."
As I lost my virtue years ago I think I'm safe from my revenge, although I do feel that fate is playing a cruel trick on me sometimes.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What took Heidi Von Pankhurst's mob so long?

Work Association' (a fictional association to make the previous sentance work). I have formly established myself a set route to the office and today and yesterday I gave Lisa a lift as far as the Liver Buildings whereupon she can walk to one of the near by stations and catch her train to the Wirral.
Ho Ho!
Much to my own suprise I'm feeling somewhat professional this morning. I've knuckled down to clearling the huge pile of paper work that has been towering above me on my desk. What joys a desk tidy up can bring. Not only does it make one's time at work go faster, it also makes you look as though you are hard at work. It has brought to the surface many lost trincets of joy hidden in the dark depths of my desk's nether regions. So far I've found a Jeeves A& Wooster book that I bought from the Lark Lane Sunday market yonks ago, three empty packets of paracetamol, literally hundreds of peices of paper chock full of my silly drawings and about 12 important documents that required posting/typing/faxing as a matter of urgency back in August and September. I have naturally therefore spent the last twnty minutes shredding them before Sean returns back from his meeting.
I've also prooved myself to be of worth by repairing Fat Karen's desk, re-attaching her drawer together with the cunning use of a match. The whole Office genuinely marvelled at my desk repairership.
My plan of action today is to get busy on my desk for the duration of the morning and then attempt to go through my desk's drawers this afternoon. Of course this hard graft will be broken up intermittantly to go on the internet, have my morning constituational and make the odd cup of tea. I must also, after responding to an email in my usual witty way, try and decifer waht "lmao" means. Oh how very exciting it all is!

Perhaps my new found enthusiasm for my vocation as a dog'sbody can be credited to my wisdom soaked callender that I found recently. Today's advice is a pearl!
"Don't try to be different. Just be good. To be good is different enough"
It doesn't attribute this quote to anyone unfortunately.

It does sound a little Orwellian/Nazi-esque doesn't it? Perhaps this is Sefton Council's tool to crush the already diminished sprits of us workers. Perhaps Dave, wearing his ghastly purple shirt and lavender tie should take note.
Not that you need reminding, according to this calender; today the anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in Switzerland today- huzzzar! Yes, doesn't the time fly when you're milking goats, playing with penknives, yoadaling and enjoying your democratic right as a citzen to convey you political preferances in an election. Unbelievably, according to my calender, this decision was only made in 1971! What took Heidi Von Pankhurst's mob so long? Perhaps Orson Wells' famous Third Man Speach should have gone a made a note of this:
"In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed — they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock....oh and dicriminated subserviant women!"
So I've been thinking about Switzerland for a while.

Okay its neutral- but Hitler wasn't exactly a reasonable chap was he. Why didn't he just invade it anyway? What would teh Swiz have done excpet stroke theri beards and exclaim "you not allowed to invade us we're neutral" What was to stop the German guards from shooting Steve McQueen even if he did make it over the barbed wire in The Great Escape. Surely they wouldn't be allowed to shoot on Swiz land -but nothing would stop them from standing on good old German soil and shooting him in the back should he have made the jump? What does being neutral entail? Although who would know if they were to shoot McQueen on Swiz soil anyway? Were the Nazis and the Swiz in cahoots?
Whats so damned special about a Swiz Bank Account- is it the interest rates or do you get a Penknife when you open an account?
Why do they feel the need to speak either French or German?
What's deal with the big water jet in Geneva lake?
Why call the Geneva convention the Geneva convention- what do they know about war?

Anyhooo, think on Matt.
This desk won't clean itself.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Temp, Temptations (like a log)

Thus far this Monday sucks big time.
The weekend was good, which is probably why it feeling such a friggin’ chore to be here today.

I bowled like a God.

I argued with Phones 4U like a pensioner…

I drank like a girly priest….

I built drawers and shelves like a pro-drawerer/shevererer….

I slept like a log. …

I awaited a ‘new’ bacon incident with no luck…

I drank more like a man and less like a girl but still liek a priest…

I talked like a twat. …

I gave people ‘Frozen Hugs’…

I resented my ‘Frozen Hug’ labelling.

I slept with a priest…

..no wait- that not right!!

I hope you appreciate the quick surmised version of my weekend’s goings-on. Suffice to say that Happiness is three strikes in a row whilst enjoying beer served in pitcher by a pin monkey. (that and swimming goggles- happiness truly is swimming goggles)

Hell, on the other hand is finding out that the only guy in the office who is lower down than me on this flimsy hierarchy we have installed here, is to leave. The lucky bugger has landed himself a great job earning a hell of a load more cash than me with responsibilities and all of the other things we lowly administrators crave.

It reminds me of how I used to feel when colleagues resigned when I worked at Abbey National - somewhere between jealousy, sadness and bitterness- think of the moment in Withnail and I when Paul McCann’s character returns from speaking to his agent and informs Withnail that he has landed the lead role. Withnail’s “congratulations” (Possibly the best piece of acting in the film) is exactly how I felt when I conveyed a hollow ‘well done’
I’m not going to beat myself up about it, but as Mike was covering for Debbie whilst she is on her maternity leave, and she’s not due to return until June, it means that we’re going to have to get a temp in.

(exasperated sigh)

This means that I’m going to have to show whomever is unlucky enough to take on the role, this job. I’m once again going to have to be helpful and polite.

(exasperated sigh)

I’m going to have them coming up to me when I’m arsing about on the internet asking me questions I can’t be bothered answering.

(exasperated sigh)

All this talk of not wanting to be helpful and sighing in an exasperated manner, might seem a tad tight and is no doubt portraying myself to be a particularly unpleasant person, but I’ve had to do this on so many occasions. It’s crap.

It’s worse if the temp should quite reasonably decide that this job is lousy, and decide to leave. I’ll have to do it all again. I just don’t have the heart to do it anymore.

My first week here, I was employed to work the reception for three weeks whilst Debbie enjoyed a 3 week marriage/honeymoon in Thailand (why do people feel the need to get married abroad?). There was a young girl who was doing the job I do now. I don’t remember her name, but I did remember that on my second day she offered everyone in the office a cup of tea except me. Bitch. Anyway, on the following Monday when she hadn’t returned to work I had to call her agency, who after trying to call her themselves said that she was in fact a teacher and had returned to work now that the holidays were over! Great- so I had to sort out a replacement. As the agency felt bad about this misunderstanding, they sent someone new the very next morning.

The new temp was only aged about 16, and despite the main criteria for the job being typing and using a computer- she had absolutely no computer knowledge what so ever and could barely spell her name. I did feel terribly sorry for her, as quelle surprise,; her agency told her the job was just answering the phone.

Anyhow, she went out for her lunch break and never returned again!

The next temp was the worst. A fat twenty something with a scouse fake tan, straightened ginger hair, wore her denim jacket indoors and revoltingly long fingernails. On her first morning when I showed her where all the data she required was on the computer, she said :
”what’s with the beard?”

I mean, this was her first day, and it was the first conversation she had with anyone in our office! Later I heard her remark to Sean (to whom she was directly working for) ”You look like Lilly Savage”

Granted, he does, but decorum states that you at least wait a few weeks or days before you start insulting your colleagues/superiors. No surprising that Fat Karen befriended her straight away. She was the annoying type who used phrases like “you’se are off ‘yer heads” Thankfully she left after a week. I was so glad that she left before I killed her..

The next two temps were okayish. One was from Belfast and had a seriously bad dose of acne. So severe that one shouldn’t mention it (like Orca fat) anyhow, she only lasted a few days before quitting, but then she was a bit of a weirdo. The next girl stayed the longest and was proper quiet– nearly two weeks. Whn she left and Debboe returned they asked me to do the role. Of course like the sucker I am, I said yes and the rest, as they say is history.

Friday, February 03, 2006

rinse and repeat

This morning was a bugger to get out of bed. Lisa’s not at work today so for the sake of compassion I repeatedly punched the ‘snooze’ button on the alarm clock, and thus it took me an eon to rise.

I also had to wash my hair this morning as the damp smell of the rehearsal room was clinging to me somewhat, much to Lisa’s displeasure. Now that my hair seems to be growing at an alarming rate, washing my hair is becoming a depressing necessity that I hate. Not to say that I never used to wash my hair on a regular basis, but when it was short I could get away with washing it every other day, now however, it goes far too fluffy and ‘big’ and looks extremely ridiculous and curly, Not that I’m new to this phenomenon of course. Throughout my life I have always had a mop of uncontrollable and unruly hair, and I have always resented its unmanageability, but it’s sadly just the cards God has dealt to me. I’m just grateful I was blessed with the talent of making exceptional tea, as throughout my adult life this has made my vast array of jobs run much smoother, Granted it made the persuit of ladies a tad harder, but it is about one of my few redeeming features that keeps Lisa by my side.

The office is a horrible place to be on a Friday. No one can be arsed and everyone’s is in a vomit enduce-ingly good mood- which as you might have gathered makes me that little bit more miserable. Thankfully though I received a spot of good news. Yes, the original line-up of the greatest band in the world, Dinosaur Jr are to record new material. Oh yes, oh yes and indeed ; oh yes!

After the re-release of their first three albums, it had reacquainted me with my love of all things J. Mascis. I was st the front at their Leeds Festival performance and even stooped so low as to record footage of them with my phone (something I loathe other people doing) Ahhh, I once again feel the need to blow the dust off my Tokai Super Edition Black Strat’ (the Matt-a-caster) copy that I purchased of Luke for £90, hook it up to my feedback damaged Marshall Master Lead Combo via the thrift store distortion pedal I love so, and re-learn Mascis penned songs that I learned to play guitar to all those years ago. During my Art Foundation course at H.C.A.T, I would rush home early to play along to the live version of ‘Thumb’ which is featured on the B-Side collection ‘What ever’s cool with me’ (hence the Blog title) incessantly. I knew every sound, bend and distorted howl of that song- as did my family and neigbours.

My first ever Dinosaur Jr gig I went to, I still regard as one of the finest and pivotal moments of my young manhood. This was during the ‘Outta’ Hand’ Tour of 1997- which although wasn’t their best regarded work, was still a fine album nonetheless. The band featured Mike Johnson on Bass and George Berz on drums and of course J. Mascis of guitar/vocals. (I had actually received a promo copy of this album during my short lived Student Magazine writing days, and I wrote a thousand word review which the dumb editor cut down to 250 words- “how dare they tamper with my work!!!”)

It was the first gig whereupon I knew ever song that was played. It was the first gig that I had ever attended sober. It was also the first gig I’d been to in Manchester. ( a school boy dream was fulfilled when we performed at that venue when we supported the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs “oh my God I Dinosaur Jr have played on this stage”)

Ahhhh I still remember the twenty-minute guitar solo of ‘Seems Like the Thing To Do’ note for note. The other main recollection from this show was getting lost in Manchester for the first time, and getting pulled over by two lady police officers on the Harrogate Road in Leeds. That, I can tell you, was not a good experience.

Because the gig was SO loud, my hearing was totally shot, so when the first lady copper approached my car’s window I couldn’t actually hear what she was saying, which thinking about it now would probably be why they must have thought I was either drunk, stoned or retarded. (insert own joke here!). I remember them accusing me-quite wrongly of cutting several cars up and not stopping at one of the many round-a-bouts the fair city of Leeds has and driving in a “wreckless manner.”

“Do you know why we’ve stopped you?”
“Can you please step out of the car”

I was then escorted to the back seat of their massive Volvo estate police car, where I was grilled like a ‘terror’ suspect for ten minutes. I tried my best to explain my temporary loss of hearing, and I really struggled to comprehend what they were accusing me of. I remember the sight of the back of Luke’s and his ‘special’ friend at the time; Lucy’s heads in my stationary car ahead of us at the roadside.

I think I had short hair at the time, so at the very least if I was to be arrested my mugshot wouldn’t be too bad.

I did protest my innocence, until realising this was doing no good, I decided to take it on the chin. I was eventually set free from their clutches after looking sufficiently apologetic and worried (this talent should be up there with my tea making abilities –and I owe a large portion of my love life and career to this gift) I also threw in the classic phrase “my dad’s a policeman,,,” into the conversation in the vain hope of a reprise from them.

Upon my return to my Citroen, and grumbling about Police harassment, I was duly informed by my two travelling companions that I had been driving a tad erratically, especially when I had let go of the steering wheel to play air guitar to ‘Start Choppin’
Anyhow the police followed me for the majority of the remaining journey back to Harrogate, and when they did eventually leave me alone, and when I knew they out of sight I gave them the V Sign and re-cranked up the Dinosaur Jr. on my feeble car stereo, but safely ensured that I curtailed my air soloing until I got home.

I only hope that the album won’t disappoint me like so many other long awaited albums that have plagued my life. With this in mind I have decided to list in a Blog stylee, the top ten most disappointing albums in my collection. Please feel free to pour scorn on my snobbery:

The Beach Boys- Party

I read in one of my many Beach Boys related books that this was regarded as a I forgotten classic, and was infact the album they release before ‘Pet Sounds’. When I finally got it I felt sick that I’d blown my record buying buget on this dross.

Faith No More – King For A Day, Fool for a Lifetime.

After ‘Angel Dust’ I couldn’t wait for its follow up. Alas, the departure of Big Jim Martin meant this album was bobbins.

Faith No More- The Album of the Year

Perhaps my beloved ‘Angel Dust’ was a fluke? This album was marginally better than ‘King for a Day…” but that wasn’t saying much

Sugar- F.U.E.L

Fact: Bob Mould IS a friggin’ songwriting genius and I loved ‘Beaster’ and ‘Copper Blue’ to an unhealthy leve. This album, and the subsequent live performance that promoted its release was utter dross. The track ‘Explode and Make Up’ was the album’s only redeeming feature and a bloody beautiful song. NME actually had it spot on for when they stated that Bob mould could have written the album in his sleep.

R.E.M- Monster

A total snooze fest and one of the most boring gigs ever. Put it this way, I was shocked that one of the support act, The Beautiful South, pissed on their performance from a great height.

Swell – Too Many Days Without Thinking

I only acquired this album recently after years of searching. With the exception of ‘I know the trip that you are’ whioch I had as a single anyway, it doesn’t hold a flame ‘41’ which is a classic.

Pavement- Terror Twilight

The Pavement album I never listen to. Not a bad album per say, however as all their other albums were genius , this just sounded jaded. I was appalled when I first heard ‘Carrot Rope’ as I thought it sounded like The Barenaked Ladies.

Grandaddy – Sumday

It pains me to admit that this album didn’t live up to any of my expectations that the two albums they released before built up. It is okay I suppose, but as ‘Software Slump’ and ‘Under the Western Freeway’ are classics, this is just a tad bland.

The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite sadness

A double album of Baldy Billy and Co. was too much for anyone to take, despite it having two or three great songs.

Smog- Dongs Of Sevotion
I love Smog completely, however this album just grates on me and is no- where near as good as any of his other albums. It has ‘Dress Sexy At my Funeral’ which seems to be his biggest hit – and that annoys me too.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Psycho Party's only sucker.

Tai Pan restaurant was the setting for an unique lunch break here in our office. For tomorrow is our much loved and esteemed colleague; Bob's 60th birthday and we decided to surprise him with a discount Chinese meal.

I for one, am not a great appreciator of Chinese Cuisine but I wasn't going to turn down an opportunity to take leave of my desk for a couple of hours and part take in these festivities. I was however, careless enough not have brought any money with me to the restaurant as I forgot to go via a cash machine on route to work this morning, so I was forced to go on bended knee and ask for some money of off Boney Squirrel- who was kind enough to do so.

Once again I was put in the awkward situation of stumping up £12 although my total came to £6. I didn't eat much of my Cantonese Chicken as some prick said we'd all have Egg Fried Rice without asking us all. As I suffer from 'egg fear' it really spoilt my enjoyment of the food, not that it was particularly nice anyway. Anyway, as I was borrowing money I decided not to complain that I was paying for Joe's spare ribs, two beers, and spring rolls even though he earns near eight times the amount per year than I do. This is the second time this has happened. Either I'll stop going out on these functions altogether or next time I'll order a huge selection of expensive dishes whilst the rest of the team order from the cheap set menus.

Unfortunately I've been roped into going to his retirement meal, which will of course means that he won't have to pay despite the four figured sum pay off we all know he's going to get. I really had no intentions of attending this 'farewell you tosser' type send off, and like the majority of my fellow workers I'd politely declined to answer his email begging us all to go out with him. But he cornered me at the restaurant and like the spineless dog I am, I lied and said "I'd love to come. Did you not get my email?"
What makes matter like this worse is that in this office I am second to bottom in the hierarchy. I work in the Admin Dept. I fax letters, answer the phone and photocopy. WHY would a highly paid director wish to have my company? I can tell you its not for my sparkling wit- I rarely talk to him on these occasions. No It's because a) he's very unpopular and he knows that by asking me to one of these functions it would be too much of a fo-par for me to refuse and b) he knows that I will only spend £5 yet chip in £12. I am a sucker. Perhaps I should plot my revenge for this night? I doubt it as I'm going to do my very best to worm my way out of attending.

I must be a sucker. I do tend to feel sorry for unpopular people and waste my precious time attending toe curlingly boring and cringe worthy parties just out of politeness. It really is pretty pathetic.
This started to happen when I was at Primary School. I remember getting an invite to the most unpopular kid's birthday party and being the only one there. It was awful. He then assumed that as I wasn't the only one at school who wasn't nasty to him (well -to his face) and that I was the only one who came to his party I was his bestest friend. He followed me around like a bad smell for weeks until he got the hint that I didn't like him.

A very similar situation occurred whilst I worked at Abbey Nat Insurance, whereupon the most unpopular and disliked person there, invited the whole department to his 30th birthday at his house. Now, before you start to feel sorry for this guy, he was unpopular for a very good reason, he was a twat. For the sake of compassion I won't disclose his name as the guy was a total psycho who kept a 'list' of people whom he wished to extract bloody revenge on; someone whom I still expect to read about bringing a gun in to his workplace, butchering his colleagues in a hail of bullets whilst whistling the theme from the A-Team. Anyway, Carl had spent the previous year talking about his plans for his birthday. He repeatedly showed my the list of attendees and how much he'd spent on nibbles and drinks. The invitation list included work co-ordinators who hated his guts, fellow team members who ridiculed him, the office babes who he letched after and who he totally freaked out alongside other such people who he wrongly assumed would jump at the chance to come.

We all knew that no one was going to attend. Perhaps he did too, this would explain why so many people were sent invitations. Maybe he hoped that if he invited everyone then at least a few would be able to make it. I decided as I was in his team and I suppose I was as close to him as anyone (I lent him a Mogwai CD once) that I would round up a few colleagues to go. It took a lot of effort on my part to do this and the usual response when I asked was: "piss off". Eventually three of us decided ithat although it wasn't the best way to spend our Saturday nights- it was the decent thing to do.

The three of us, Beachie, Kristal and I were to meet in Central station and I made Kristal delete both mine and Beechie's phone numbers to ensure that she wouldn't phone up and cancel (we knew her well enough for this to be a possibility). I arrived at Central Station with the plan to go to the party for 2-3 hours then home in time for 'Match of The Day'.

It was just as I arrived at central Station I received a text message from Beechie apologising, but stating that he won't be joining us.


What a shithouse.

So it was just Kristal and I who boarded the train to Netherton. Neither of us wanted to be there, but as I was responsible for us going, Kristal was pissed off with me. I was getting annoyed with her and I was pissed off with Beechie. Further more Lisa was pissed off with me too, believing me to be a sucker for going to a party of someone whom I disliked and moaned about quite a lot..oh how right she was.

When we eventually arrived at the party nearly two hours late, we were the first non-family members to arrive. Great. Carl, much to my embarrassment, introduced me to everyone as 'a wannabe rock star'. I shook hands with his younger brother and his brother's 'older' (by some twenty years) girlfriend, his mum and dad, his cousins and his 'Mad' uncle who was a bass player in a K.C & The Sunshine Tribute Band (a lengthy and extremely boring conversation ensued about his musical adventures).

His house was pretty nice I guess, but he had far too many computer games and DVDs/CDs I thought for a thirty year old- which in hindsight is pretty funny considering the stockpile of CDs and DVD I hoard in our flat. His kitchen was full of party food- the usual; Chinese chicken drumsticks, crisps etc- way too much. Carl took us on the grand tour and then the poor delusional fool went on about who else from work was going to be attending- of course as expected- none of them bothered.

After about an hour, I was on my own. Kristal simply had had enough. She was pretty drunk already and decided to make her excuses and leave and asked if I wanted to come along. I really should have left but being the "sucker" I am I reluctantly declined. To make matters worse she decided to make up a hideous web of lies to get out of it, saying her flat mate was in a terrible state and in floods of tears in town as he had been dumped by her boyfriend of 5 years and she wanted to look after her. Carl's Dad heroically drove her into town. Why hadn't I thought of that?

I not only had lost my taxi buddy but I was now faced with the prospect of a 'sing-a-long' as Carl's uncle had brought an acoustic guitar. Sigh. I thought that perhaps if i ate enough Chinese chicken I may suffer a heart attack and therefore not have to subject myself to this tedium anymore. Thanks a lot Beechie!!!

Things however, improved as two 'friends' of Carl's arrived. I can't for the life of me remember their names, but they were thoroughly decent chaps who also didn't know anyone there. I ended up talking to them for the rest of the night, surprised that some other suckers had been roped into coming to his horrible shindig. It turns out they used to go to school with Carl some 13 years ago and had only bumped into him earlier that day and turned up on a whim. To be fair they were led to believe that Carl mustn't have been the same insecure freak that he was at school, as he informed them that over a hundred people would be in attendance.

As the night went on, Carl looked so disappointed that no one else had bothered to show up. This made me feel guilty, as the only reason I had attended was that I felt sorry for him, which in turn made me pity him more.

I did, however, come to realise whilst in his 'gym' (a converted bedroom with a punch bag suspended from the ceiling) that I required glasses, after chatting with Carl's 'friends' one of them insisted I try on his glasses, which,- much to my sunrise- made everything so much clearer- I could read the small print of Carl's 'Blade' posters which decorated the room.

Eventually at 12 I decided I had to go home. I was depressed and my two new friends had long since gone and once again i was stuck in the Hell, forced to listen to his 'mad' uncle's musical anecdotes whilst Carl's Dad drunkenly played the 'The House of the Rising Sun' for the millionth time.
To finish off a thoroughly terrible night, Carl's brother insisted on organising a taxi for me with the firm where he worked. The taxi driver arrived and Carl's brother said he'd only charge me half price. Cool.
The whole family waved me off like I was a beloved family member and i was free. woot.
Unfortunately, the taxi driver stiffed me and said he knew nothing about the 'half price discount' Carl's brother had assured me and I was forced to fork out £18.

Lesson learned. I came to stop pitying Carl as the months went on as spending more time with him made me hate him more. I last saw him in the crowd at the last Festival where I wondered if I was still one his infamous ‘list’. I would have to assume that I still have revenge coming my way, despite my best efforts to make him feel good.
Like I said, I AM a sucker.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Basting my time

I hauled my carcass out of bed at a more productive time and thus missed the worst of the traffic congestion this a.m. Yesterday’s stress of Queens Drive was but a distant memory as I hurtled along the dock road like a hairy Mr. Toad.
toot! toot!

Last night was Sweet Jonny's 28th birthday and after a relatively short rehearsal it was round to his abode for a drink and engaging one's self in hi-brow conversation (provided of course by myself). Alas the night was marred somewhat by his neighbour's insistence on knocking on the door to ask them to turn the music down. This is my first experience of this kind of behaviour. Firstly it wasn't even 10.30. Secondly the music wasn't loud at all and thirdly it was his friggin' birthday!

There are certain neigbourly rules that must be adhered to and his neighbours were in direct violation of these aforementioned code of conduct and from what Sweet Jonny and Eve-e-o have told me previously it wasn't the first time and incident like this had happened.

Surely 10.30pm is the acceptable cut off for moderately volumed music? As we all know and agree, 9pm is the cut off for loud music and the playing of musical instruments, whilst 10.00am is the acceptable time of the morning to crank up the volume/play musical instruments. This is, of course only applies to Mon-Thurs.

Fri-Sat it's fair game to do what ever. Sunday- the window of opportunity to make noise is a tad smaller- namely 11am to 9.30pm. However, should your neigbour work night shifts, and providing this was mentioned in goodwill in advance then the rules would have to be amended accordingly. Other exceptions to these rules are birthdays, Christmas, bank holidays and major sporting events (cup finals, England games, world cup etc). Granted, perhaps their neighbour's kids might have taken umbrage with my less than subtle voice talking about the freakish penis and penile practice that I encountered the previous night on Channel 4's 'The Perfect penis' or my slightly garish conversation topics about masturbation, rape, turkey basters and masturbation. Ho hum.

It did though, make me appreciate the seclusion of our flat, as despite being able to hear just about every noise the neighbours below (front room and bedroom) make, it makes it fair game to be noisy ourselves without fear of reprisal. Co-existence and harmony ensues. Oddly enough, this discussion of our neighbour's volume was mentioned at an earlier point in the evening, long before the buzz kill neigbours pissed on our bonfire, as Lisa mentioned to the 'gang' that we met the new girl who's moved into the ground floor flat. It was during this conversation that I made reference to the fact I could hear 'squeaky' Kate’s (below front room) text message alert as clear as a bell, which alarmingly meant that no doubt she could have heard me masturbating at full volume. This of course was a joke (honest) as I am such a card. So perhaps my booming voice discussing neigbourly volume and obnoxious wanking, was ironically the most intrusive of the sound pollution to these less than understanding folks. We made sure we re-iterated the fact it was Jon's birthday when we left hoping this might guilt the neighbours sufficiently enough to think again before making any similar complaints in the future.

J & E said that they have complained in the past. Apparently they shouted over their wall for them to turn down their TV last summer, yet amusingly J&E hear them having loud sex all the time. Which is worse? I would sooner be forced to listen to the dulcet tones of Alan Titchmarch and his 'Ground Force' programme (or whatever the kids watch these days) encroaching into my living space rather than two over weight adults in their forties rocking the Kasbah whilst their kids play out in the street.

Anyhow, speaking of Turkey Basters (before I digressed), I knew that the Bootle Strand wouldn't let me down! Godbless T.J Hughes.

They even had the two different makes of baster to chose from. One at £1.00 the other priced at £1.50. Being the flashy sort, I of course purchased the more expensive one, and Jon being the kitchen connoisseur spotted its pedigree immediately. I also lowered the tone and make a barrage of crap innuendos regarding squirting hot juice over his bird etc. Not that I wanted to but as it was the first time I’d spend in the company of my friends in a ‘hella’ long time, I was to eager to please and provide juvenility, nevertheless, my long and ardous search was over. Woot! Better still, not that this fabulous gift needed any endorsement, but Jocasta exclaimed the greatness of the utensil as she was fortunate enough to receive not one, but two of them for Xmo. huzzzzar! My only regret was not purchasing one for myself, especially as it was agreed that I’d cook a chicken for dinner tonight – a treat for Lisa as she’s really been under the kosh at work of late (yes nothing says ‘I love you’ more than an Asda chicken). At £1.50 though, well I didn’t want to break the bank did I?

When Lisa and I arrived back at the flat we had our dinner (11pm) as Lisa decided to go to bed early as she wanted to watch a programme about John Wayne Bobbit- the chap who’s wife decided to lop off his ‘piece’ and throw it out of a car window. After watching ‘The Perfect Penis’ the night before, I’d decided that I’d seen enough penile surgery to last me a life time. Before she departed to bed though we had a lengthy discussion on what merited ‘the bacon incident’ being labelled as such.

Last Friday Lisa went out on a work night out for some reason or another (retirement, engagement, death, birthday- I’m not sure) and when she arrived home with her chips and garlic mushrooms (a regrettable choice considering the options she had), she was oddly overcome with delight when she discovered that I had removed her bacon from the freezer and placed it in the fridge in order for it to be defrosted in time for her ritualistic Saturday morning bacon buttie. Seriously, she was almost moved to tears by this simple act of kindness on my part. I don’t know what this says about me, but maybe perhaps she’d been starved of consideration or attention on my part, but either way I still basked in the glory. This is what I labelled ‘the bacon incident.’

Lisa, however, disputed this story’s merit, and suggested that our only ‘bacon incident’ was the weekend before when I was on my death bed and Lisa entered the bedroom about to feast upon a greasy bacon sarnie. The smell from this sandwich made me fell incredibly unwell and nauseous and I was forced to make a dash to the toilet. Lisa of course found this hilarious.

As I put it to her, this didn’t justify being referred to as an ‘incident’, rather it was just an amusing episode of my temporary illness, however as her over zealous delight and gratitude over the thawed bacon was so bizarre, it totally justified it’s categorisation as an incident.
Anyhow unless something occurs involving bacon soon then I feel this dispute will continue for some time, much to our discontent.