Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A fast food Henry Kissinger

Just in case for some unbeknownst reason I forgot that I loathed this job, the last few days had reiterated and refreshed my distain and resentment.
I’d sooner not have to divulge my displeasure and unhappiness for fear of coming across as someone who whinges far too much. I’d rather regale the activities of the past weekend. After all it was Lisa’s birthday on Friday.

As per every year I dreaded the run up and once again I was totally stuck for something to buy for her. Every year it’s the same, and often results in me getting to the level of stress that should only be inflicted on football managers or soldiers. Let be noted that this year was no different. I did however have an ace card up my sleeve; that being the use of a car and a day of annual leave from this crap hole job. I chose to visit the gut wrenchingly awful Speke-o-Boulevard-e-o (speke Boulvard) to acquire her presents.

At least this way I didn’t have to deal with the constant pigeon attacks that I suffer from whilst walking through the fair city of Liverpool. When I say attacks, I don’t simply mean they crap on me- no that would be considered good luck in some cultures, nope; I have them fly at me at full speed, usually aiming for my head with deadly precision. Lisa of course finds it hilarious, but having to dodge the filthy, disease infested bodies makes one look a tad foolish. Lisa has on many different occasions assured me they fly no were nowhere near my head, but I know that if it wasn’t for my Matrix style manoeuvres then some paramedic would be trying to remove a tattered blood splattered bird from my cranium. How would Lisa explain it to my family?

Lisa: “You know he always said that pigeons were trying to fly into his head?”
Family member: “yes…”
Lisa: “Well, this time, rather than look like a twat and ducking, he didn’t move and a bird it flew right between his eyes killing him instantly. I could only look on as his corpse twitched and the dirty feathers slowly floated to the blood soaked pavement”
Family member: “NoooooooO!”

Well I’m not going out like that. I choose to move out of the way even it make me look soft- Health and Safety. To avoid the whole pigeon attackage I chose to go to a ‘Retail park’ for my sins.

Why do they have the two electronic retailers; Currys and Comet at opposite ends of the Park? Surely it would make more sense having them near each other? I must have walked back and forth from them about six times to compere the prices. I’m sur ethey do it on purpose knowing the standard fat bastard who shops at these shops wouldn’t be bothered to walk to the other shop and of course carparking is a nightmare. I guess they didn’t count on me- a tight fisted sod, to be shopping. To be fair, both shops were particularly uninspiring and my MP3 queries treated with a unpleasant cocktail of indifference and procrastination. It kinda’ made me wish I was working back in retail,

Whilst making up my mind between the two products in question I decided that a McDonalds’ meal would somehow alleviate the boredom/stress I was going through.
Oh how could I be so wrong?

Firstly, I wasn’t hungry. Yes gluttony had got the better of me, but I had a day off and I had hit the shops at 10am I think I was entitled to it don’t you?

As I walked in and pushed my way through the army of pushchairs and prams I decided to go a for a quarter pounder with cheese meal and retrieved the correct coinage for said transaction and waited in the queue patiently. It was at this point that I noticed the two female shlums serving behind the counter. On was a very pretty blonde and looked, despite it being particularly un enlightened of me to say so, like a dumb blonde. Either way she looked too pretty to be working there and therefore she mustn’t be the sharpest knife in the drawer. Her colleague struck a different image completely. A real brute. At least 6 foot tall, wearing her own cardigan on top of her McDonald’s uniform (why was it cold in the kitchen?) and her baseball cap at a slight tilt. I thought to myself that she was even lower down on the food chain than the dumb blonde. I remember the guilt shooting through my brain as the brute asked me for my order. How could I be so judgemental? I figured being as polite as I can to her may in fact lighten her otherwise dreary day up.

“Can I have a cheese burger meal with a coke please?”I figured that I’ve given up tea for the best part of 4 weeks a coke would give the necessary pick me up I needed.

“That’s £2.75” (note the lack of the word please)

I looked at her and with her cross-eyes and hairy top lip and then to the bright neaon menu behind her and the back at her. Something was wrong.

“Has it gone down in price- I thought it was £3.10?”
“That’s and extra value meal”
“that’s what I ordered- a cheeseburger meal”
“that’s a quarter pounder with cheese meal- you ordered a cheesburger meal- that’s different.”

Hmmm- it appears that she was a bit sharper than I had given her credit for.

“Sorry about that” I said –wishing to be polite “I meant a quarter pounder with cheese meal.”

She rolled her eyes and brought Mike, the scrawny short sleeved manager to overwrite the transaction error. I’m sure I heard her say “the customer has changed his mind” but wishing to avoid a scene I just smiled.

My fries were given alongside and empty cup and she explained that my burger would be a few minutes, but if I wanted to take a seat she would bring it over to me. I asked about the empty cup and she just pointed towards the “Self Service sign” and a drinks machine underneath it. Fair enough I thought and filled my cup (the Lord is my Shepard)

Because I didn’t trust her , I chose to sit near the counter facing her directly and tried to eat my fries as slow as possible. Sitting down felt good on my poor feet.
I suddenly heard a loud aggressive voice shout “ Are you calling ME a liar!”
I looked up to see two mechanics arguing with the brute.
Both were wearing overalls and hadn’t washed their hands.
The brute replied in a hushed shout.
“No I didn’t…”
“Yes you F***ing did” he screamed back at her.

Ah the cheese burger confusion no doubt I thought. Thankfully Mike was on hand with his thick glasses and short sleeved shirt to intervene and appease the customer- a fast food Henry Kissinger of sorts.

They then sat on my table and I over heard the passive on of the two say “ I thought you were going to kick off then” and the aggressor reply “I was…”

Maybe it was the caffeine perhaps or the guilt from my judgemental descriptions but I felt sorry for the brute. I looked over to see if I could catch her glance to remind her of my burger, but she was in conversation with Mike looking very flustered and a bit upset. What a crappy job I thought. The poor knuckle dragging girl. I tried again to catch her eye and when she did she smiled. Phew my burger won’t be long I assumed myself.

Another 5ish minutes past and I had sucked and chewed the ice cubes from my coke and was getting a tad disheartened. I decided enough was enough; sympathy and fast food have no place together. I pushed in past several other customers and caught her attention and I received the most vacant look I’d ever seen, akin to Jack Nicholson’s character in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest after he’s had his lobotomy.
“Can I help?”
(through gritted teeth) “I’m waiting for my cheeseburger?”
Blank look..
(still through gritted teeth) “ I mean my quarter pounder with cheese?”
The penny dropped and she flung one at me, apologising for the delay.
I grabbed it and got the hell out of there ready after a nice relaxing lunch to continue shopping. Woop de do.

I the got very snappy and short this the staff at Comet and regardless of the fact that I may have got a better deal there, I was too embarrassed to go back and so slumped my weary body across the huge car park back towards Currys.

When I got home I tried to get on with the ever increasing art work that I’ve promised to do and worked hard with little to show for it, I gave up at 9pm as we were in the birthday countdown.

28 years old- my old lady-literally now an old lady.

The birthday festivities went well and she was made up with the gift I had chosen. All talk though was of the main event on Saturday- iceless skating and the obligatory school/teacher conversation.

* * *

Perhaps we all should have known better. Especially good ole cynical me.
The concept of going ice skating on plastic sounds as naff as it turned out to be, but in all fairness fun was had by all.

The alarm bells rang once we arrived at the ‘rink’. Alas, it was nothing more than a wasteland. Rusted and sadly defunct vehicles littered the make shift car park and we where not entirely sure where this fabled man-made ice was meant to be.
After entering the building and handing over our hard earned cash we walked through the go-carting section, listening to the sound of the mini engines racing around the figure of eight track and openly discussing how good it would be to do.
I noticed a poster on the wall done on Microsoft Word, and I am making the assumption that it was produced on a printer of poor quality. The noticed stated that bullying is not permitted. No doubt poor little buggers who find themselves unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of this victimisation breathe a huge sigh of relief upon spotting this warning. Perhaps it was written by one of these alleged bullies to lull its pray into a false state of security. I decide to keep my eyes peeled.

Our first glimpse of the skating arena soon quashed any enthusiasm that we may have been hiding from each other. It looked crap. Having already paid we decided that there would be no harm in trying out. I was soon handing over my beloved converse trainers to a track suited clad youth, who thought it was good customer service to exchange my shoes/ice-skates with a fag still in his slack jawed gob.

I was unable to steady myself upon the perimeter due to there being an abundance of pigeon crap on the rails and thus decided to go for broke and give this so-called-skating a go.
It was hardly dancing on ice.
The only time it actually felt like proper ice skating was when it started to rain, and the roof being in poor repair, leaked on the hard white plastic surface making it extremely slippy as you would imagine. It also meant rather large globules of rusty dirty water splashing down on my rusty and dirty hair; causing girl like yelps of shock and alarm to come from my mouth.

We all failed to make a convincing attempt, and the arrival of one of the two hoods working there in his special-not for the public-black skates did little to ensue a metric tonne of trust that it would be a worthwhile sport to pursue. In fact it soon became clear that his only motive of getting out there was to try and show off to the group of 14 year old girls laden with too much make and bad clothes. Whilst I struggled to maintain my balance I looked out of the corner of my eye and sniggered to myself at his fumbled attempt to look cool to girls 6 years younger than he was. Showing off that you can master plastic ice skating is a bit like showing off that you can play a computer game really well and does little to install the fire of passion with the fairer sex.

It would be not too unlikely to imagine that someone could die in the dank warehouse which we found ourselves in. After all I don’t think health and safety was one of their priorities. The rusted factory floor clock that precariously dangled above our heads or the single speaker suspended from the ceiling that pumped out Brittany Spears and the like throughout also looked remarkably unsafe.

As we left as swarm of children arrived bright eyes with optimism, possible realising that ‘bullying was not allowed”.

Once we had trudged home and enjoyed a cuppa and a slice of cake we played Buzz on the playstation2 for some time and decided it was time to hit the pub for a little bit of pub grub and a drink. Lisa had pre-ordained that we wouldn’t be going out for a meal per say, rather a burger or something. I was easy, anyway and would have quite easily eaten anything. Alas I don’t think everyone else was in the same frame of mind as I.

We walked into Marantos and we were told that we would have to wait an hour 15- and as people were “starving” we decided to try elsewhere. What ensued then was six adults stood in the rain trying to decide where, out of the plethora of different eating establishments on Lark Lane, we should frequent. A decision wasn’t made, and JK & JK and Sweet Jon-ay & eve-e-o decided that they must eat and went home. Lisa and I decided to have a few beers and wait on our own.

We waited longer than we were told. Not that it was a problem., the cake I ate back at the flat had filled me up and even after my delicious goat’s cheese starter was consumed I declared myself completely full.

We had to wait an eon for the main courses- two Italian burgers to arrive. Lisa wanted to ask the waiter how long it would be, but I reasoned with her that you can’t complain until at least half an hour after the starter had been finished and the plates removed. We waited for the half hour mark to cometh.

30 minutes and 5 seconds after our plates were collected I asked a young waiter about the delay. He looked genuinely concerned and checked with the kitchen. He arrived back saying they would be there in five minutes and apologised for the delay.

For once the cynicism came from the birthday girl, who remarked that they had no doubt forgotten and they would be doing it now. I told her to have some faith.
True to his word, the waiter arrived with our food. Yay!
Like I’d previously mentioned I was full anyway and was confronted by an awkward and inconsistent burger.

Firstly, Lisa had ordered the same dish as I, only she had ordered the double burger. Both were Italian burgers and therefore came complete with a dollop of bolognaise sauce, only rather unjustly, Lisa had a far larger portion of sauce. I didn’t complain, but showed my discontent to Lisa, who foolishly tried to justify it saying that a double burger should get more sauce. Quite reasonably I argued that the sauce should be a constant – the double burger just meant just that –a second burger.
I decided, at Lisa’s request, to shut up and eat.

There was also a bun lid situation going on that I wasn’t totally satisfied with. Not being the type of chap who orders a burger at a restaurant (usually I think people whom do are quite vulgar) I had come to expect meat in a bread bun. Instead they had made it impossible to eat with your hands. The bun lid just lay dormant on the side of the plate with a token bit of salad on it. I tried at first to attach the bun lid and using a knife and fork to eat it- it was clear this would not work successfully. I decided to eat the lid on it’s own- dunking it in my meagre sauce portion like a tasteless popdom.

The burger didn’t taste very good either.

I looked at it prodding it with my knife. I spotted something quite alarming whilst doing so.

Surely not?

I looked closer and wiped the bolognaise sauce away so I could get a better view. The inside of the burger was pink. Not ‘I like it rare’ type pink- but more mince meat in the supermarket pink. I asked to see the inside of Lisa’s burger. At first she refused but after explaining what I had found she showed me. Hers was fine. Why me?

I spoke to the head waiter. I didn’t ask for him, but he was walking past at that moment. I showed and explained the reason for my discontent. He took a quick look at it, and in his broken Italian/English said some people like it like that. Who-cannibals I thought. He said he’d take it back of course and enquired as to how I would like it cooked. I told him without any sense of sarcasm “properly”.

Lisa thrust her plate towards me as king me to eat some of her chips- I accepted although I wasn’t hungry in the slightest.

The waiter came back and leaned in close to my ear and apologised “ sometimes in the food trade mistakes happen, I am sorry”

I imagined the conversation in the kitchen:
”hey you stoopidio idiotio- you didn’t cook this burger properly.”
“Hey if that vulgar bastard orders a burger in a restaurant he gets everything he deserves. Hey look- he’s eaten most of his chips, and he’s eaten the bun lid- tell him to shove it if he had a problem he should have said earlier.”

I was pretty nonchalant about it all and assured him it wasn’t a problem, but I was tempted to mention the unfairness of his bolognaise distribution policy.
“We’ve got a new one being readied for you, and of course you won’t have to pay for it”

He scuttled away leaving me thinking over what he’d said. Lisa reckoned that they must have sn how undercooked it was, hence the proper apology and the free food. I disagreed, and to be honest with you was pretty brassed off that he had the ordasity to say that I didn’t have to pay for the fresh burger. The followed a ‘Fraiser’ style misunderstanding between Lisa and I regarding the term ‘not paying for the burger’ suffice to say she was right.
Eventually a fresh dish was placed before me.
Aggg. They’d over done the bolognaise this time and refilled all the chips.
I was totally stuffed but as a matter of principal I decided to eat it. Naturally this time I left the bun lid well alone.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

8.25am is far too early to be yelling "Twat!" to a stranger.

Despite previous attempts to stop writing this blog, I have resigned myself to the fact that I simply cannot do it.

The car's been running on fumes of late, and today another challenging decision must be made- can it last one more journey? I've neglected to put the car into neutral when going downhill in the vain attempt of conserving my fuel supplies, and therefore I'm pretty damned sure it'll run out soon.
The fact of the matter is that I have a very strict schedule and only wish to purchase diesel on a weekend or as is sometimes the case, a Monday. Thursday just doesn't seem appropriate, especially as this will no doubt mean me having to re-fill every Thursday, as I rarely will put more petrol than I need to get me back and forth from work. Anyhow, as I have recently been too busy to write this blog, I feel in a tad inappropriate to inform you of this pointless information, so what have I been up to? Furthermore do you care?

The answer to the former questions is that I have been as busy as a bee. I have been working hard in my alter ego existence as a musician and I've been cooped up in the recording studio. It's going well thus far, and the Markus-enforced new and fresher approach to recording has been most effective. Of course, spending my time holed up in a studio resulted in the customary non stop eating of Pizzas, burgers, chips et al, but thankfully I got plenty of exercise going back and forth from the studio. I was, as Jack said, a food bitch.
I even surprised myself that I didn't go into a strop when I was sent out for food, which involved a walk in the bitter cold and rain to the not-so-near-by car park to get my car, and drive around several sandwich shops looking to acquire a bacon sandwich for both Markus and Tom with no luck, asked to go to MacDonald’s, drop the food off, drive back to the car park, then walk back again.

Perhaps I wouldn't have felt such a dog’s body should i have been chief tea maker as per usual. However, I'm still under the pointless abstinence of lent- giving up caffeine? What was I thinking? But the recording has gone swimmingly well.

I also attended another work night out, and despite my reservations it was actually pretty good.

I was forced to drive into work that morning, despite my previous intentions being to catch the train so I can join the 'gang' and go straight from work. Alas, the weather put pay to that idea. A not so difficult choice; get to work dry and warm, as opposed to impending drenching that public transport would have resulted in. After getting in the car I somehow managed to find myself embroiled in a moment of road rage- something I'm ashamed to say is on the increase.

The moment I set off, I noticed a small van approaching me from the opposite direction from myself. Being the charitable sort, I decided that I should inconvenience myself and pull over on the curb in order to let him through. I of course flashed him to indicate my gesture of goodwill. The van slowly trundled towards me, until he was nearly alongside my car. It was at this point when I saw red as it became clear that he wasn't going to offer me a gesture of gratitude-the Wave of Thanks- so I parped my horn and yelled "don't mention it you twat!!!".

The van driver gave me a look that made me instantly loose all my bravery. His face had no doubt been in the way of a few punches over the years, and his ruddy complexion got, well…. ruddier. I decided at this juncture to floor it. And fearing he may cut me off, should he decided to drive down the road parallel to mine, I chose to take an unorthodox route to work.
8.25am is far too early to be yelling "Twat!" to a stranger.

Thankfully Lisa wasn’t in the car that morning otherwise the burly builder would have been the least of my worries.

Of course having the car at work, meant that I had to go home first, which in all honesty came somewhat as a relief as I didn't have to watch Dave get himself ready in his customary red-going out-shirt getting all excited, then waiting painfully for about 40 minutes whilst Sean decides to write War and Peace in a sequence of ‘urgent’ emails before leaving. Then there’s the “who’s going with who?” queries relating to who’s is driving. This usually continues to the point of nausea. It gives me a headache just thinking about it.

It also meant that I had to wear my civilian clothing rather than my trusty work shirt, trousers and tie ensemble. Fearing reprisals from my colleagues, I decided that my converse trainers would not doubt be a poor idea and was therefore forced to wear my shoes. I also felt it necessary to don my Flemmings Jeans which I was given to by the designer for our trip to SXSW in Texas last year, despite the fact that the buttons on the fly fall off every time you undo them, which as I'm sure you can imagine, is a little embarrassing when going to the toilet. But unlike all my other jeans, they weren’t ripped and the bottom and ,more importantly they were clean. Jeans and shoes...a very unhappy combination.

Of course upon meeting the fellow employees, I was greeted by 3 individual shouts of "I thought you were going home to get changed" Tres funny chaps, tres funny.

The meal was nice and paid for, along with the drinks, by our soon to be former Director. Although there was much cynicism about his motives beforehand, I can't really fault him for his generosity. I even got on quite well with him chatting readily on matters of which I have no blinking idea about- i.e. Housing. I did have the misfortune of timing my trips to the toilet as the same time as him though. He commented that we must have the same size bladders. Now there's a thought… I was in the uncomfortable position of stepping up the urinal whilst he continued to talk about pensions and mortgages whilst he washed his hands. I just wished he would have washed his hands sooner as I knew the malfunction on my jeans would cause me no end of embarrassment.
Each time he left I would open my fly only to hear the sound of the metal riveted buttons bouncing along Ask's marble floor. They are quite easily re-attached, however, the pains of having to rummage through several urinal cakes in order to find the missing button gets somewhat irksome.

Other than that it went without incident. Alan regaled his only four anecdotes again and soon the conversation turned to football. Alarmingly, whist the conversation of football continued, I noted a young lady (21ish) walk past and start to climb the stairs which we were sat under.
Aye camumba! She was wearing a skirt the size of a belt and as she slowly walked up the stairs I could just about make out what she was trying to say, although I was never a great lip reader.
Once she was out of view I pointed this alarming sight out to all who could hear my whisper. Well okay, perhaps it wasn't technically a whisper, as I'm actually incapable of whispering, which has actually landed me in hot water before- notably during my GCSE's exams when I asked for more paper and whispered in the ear of the female games teacher, who everyone hated. She said I was being too loud and threatened to send me out of the examination hall for not adhering to the whisper rulings.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I told everyone that she was wearing the most ridiculously short skirt. Debbie thought I was taking the piss, and did her usual laugh (she thinks I'm joking all the time and laughs hysterically often with no cause-I think....although it has just occurred that she is probably laughing AT me.) Tony, rightly pointed out that girls don't wear skirts like that if they didn't want people to look. He has a valid point I suppose.
There restaurant’s air was thick with the smell of expectation as she finally re-surfaced and walked down the stairs. Alas, some of my colleagues were a little less subtle than I. Dave notably craned his neck to ensure he got a proper look, laughing loudly like Sid James. i had to look away. I was mortified that everyone had made it so bleedin' obvious.
Once she had taken her seat, people continued to eat.
It was then relayed to us that her boyfriend was making a scene, upset that she had flaunted her nether regions to us and possibly the other diners too. Our party suddenly looked sheepish.

I also decided that seeing that I wasn't paying the banoffee pie wouldn't be a bad idea.


Birthdays are coming around fast, and my bro's birthday is tomorrow. No doubt the pubs across the world will doff their caps, and enjoy their own little McParty. Lisa's birthday is next Friday. I have little to no idea as what to get for her birthday, and I'm already getting stressed about it. Perhaps she may like a Fender Jazz Bass Guitar? Here's hoping!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I wasn't dressed for success...

I have of late become a soup coward.

As I write this, a vat of soup purchased from 'the' Asda sits in the office's refrigerator untouched and un wanted. This soup along with another Country Vegetable soup which remains at home, was bought in order to curtail my Office based eating and thus avoiding the hit and miss qualities of the local sandwich shop, whereupon again, I have acquired a Cheese and Salad Sandwich on a Brown Roll, No Mayo and No Onion with a dash of salt and pepper.

Often the case will be that the sandwich will be most satisfactory and will be enjoyed by myself whole heartedly as i stare in to the mindless vacuums of the internet or more recently typing this pointless blog whilst on my lunch break. However more often than not the case is, I'm sad to say, the sandwich can be dull, dry and a let down. If a sandwich lets you down what can one do to?

Soup cowardice stems back to my days of call centre servitude, where i was too damned lazy to make my own sandwiches, rather I would chose to bring in a tin of Heinz soup. This proved to be a most beneficial enterprise, as not only did i avoid the unpleasantness of the Abbey Nat canteen a blatant case for false advertising- no hot food with the exception of soup and baked potatoes was ever served but I also enjoyed the rewards of a healthy diet. This lasted for some two years and as a direct result I now have a physical aversion to soup from a tin, which is why I bought a carton of soup instead. Its container isn't the issue though I've learned.


As you will no doubt see the blog front has been relatively quiet. i apologise most humbly.
I've lost the will to write the usual self-obsessed-narcissistic-dull-anecdotal drivel for a while. Not only that, but contrary to my initial intentions of starting this, people are actually reading it. This has ruined quite a large part of my social interaction as when meeting with co-horts and acquaintances, they already know what I've been doing. Also, the main vex in my life- this dumb ass job, is keeping me relatively busy at the moment. That doesn't mean I'm happy with it by any stretch of the imagination, rather I'm too busy to moan about my station as the office dog’s body.

You will also no doubt have deduced that I didn't win the 'Birds in the City' Design contest, and it didn't really bother me, although the £££ would have been nice. It was a pleasant night out. I was reliably informed that we must be there for 7pm- but after sending them a begging email I was instructed that as long as i got there before 7.30 then I'd be okay. Lisa, bless her, had 10 minutes to get ready from her arrival from another busy and highly strenuous day at work. When we got there I regressed. I was given a red sticker indicating to anyone who cared that I was intact an artist. Great. After a few simple "what's your name" type questions of which i looked totally bemused and embarrassed, it was upstairs where Lisa pointed out where my two designs were located. Cool.
If you have never been to Microzone then you're not missing much. Choc full with a variety of miscellaneous modern antiquities (can you have a modern antiquity?) for cretins with too much cash who would be suggestible enough to buy anything. i mean, would you really pay £650 for a old reconditioned TV, stylized a kitsch Krraftwork-esque manner? I didn't think so.
But hey, the drinks were free. Also, we weren't best pleased that people were still wondering in at 8.15 and they hadn't, as i had previously been told, closed and locked the doors a 7.30 sharp. Liars.

After the wait for the awards whereupon we spoke to no one except the guy pouring the drinks, the tedious awards were given out along with the customary pointless speeches. Once this had had come to an end and the organisers had slapped their own backs enough, we decided a few ales would be the right thing to do considering…

After a relatively uneventful drink in O'Neils*, we decided to frequent the good ole Bar Ca Va. The Tequila bar.
It hadn't changed at all and it was still a hang out for students and the like. As no seats were available we stood by the bar reminiscing about the many ridiculously daft nights we'd had in there. Lisa and I both wanted to sit though and we spotted a sofa near by that looked vacant and it was proposed that we take rest on them. I happened to note that there was several coats on it though and therefore took up the high moral ground that we shouldn't sit there. Lisa disagreed, and observed that the coats' owners were on the nearby computer pub quiz machine. I suggested that if there time exceeded 15 minutes on this game then, under my rules, we could sit there.

We stood for the remainder of the night.

I decided that we should take our chances on the quiz machine and put in several good attempts to win some money. We were let down by chance and the fact some student shouted the wrong answer out when we were stuck. He immediately apologised, and surprisingly I wasn't pissed off with him. This guy was about 19 and was wearing two polo shirts- TWO. That's two collars! Anyhow, he and his oafish co-hort decided to have a bez at the game after we decided that £7 was enough to waste on it. These guys were terrible. REALLY terrible. It's multiple guess- so you've at least got a one in three chance of guessing the correct answer. In scenes of much embarrassment, they asked for help on several occasions- for the love of God they didn’t know that 'Revolver' was a Beatles album! They also were unaware that the Oscars’ ceremony is held in L.A - not New York as the oaf incorrectly guessed. "How was I supposed to know that?" he said in his wide boy cock-er-nee accent. For a very short while, I basked in the glory of superiority.

On our departure and the customary visit to the toilet, I was greeted by the kid with two polo shirts mid flow at the urinal. I was acknowledged with a "waaaahaay". Thanks. Not wishing to stand next to him whilst I did my business I chose the option and safety of the cubicle-and whilst I pissed I stared upon the wall which featured my first dose of graphitti, enthusiastically scratching the would-be band name "Vasco-De-Gama" amongst the various gentlemen’s and football allegiances already showing.

Whist I did my 'shake', the loud and cacophonic sound of very poor working pipes reverberated in the small restroom. Over this din, I hear two shirts say something to me regarding the noise and I shouted -"It's not the pipes, its my prostate playing up" Laughing to myself whilst I zipped up my fly. I walked out of the cubicle and was greeted by three equally chinless student looking at me in a confused manner, with my mate two shirts no where to be seen. Bugger. I comforted myself that they wouldn't have got the joke anyway.
I explained this to Lisa upon my return from the bog and she just rolled her eyes.

The rest of the weekend has been somewhat of a blur, and a busy one at that. Safe to say that I’ll forgo the usually ramblings as I’ve hawked on enough already, but there was some excellent news…

Should you have read this attempt of a blog for sometime you may recall that Lisa and I have been in dispute over the definition of the term ‘The Bacon Incident’ and I was waiting for a new bacon related episode in order to re-define the term. However in a stroke of genius Lisa reinvented the whole concept.

As it has been mighty cold in our flat, and I’d had enough, I dug out Lisa’s trusty hot water bottle and proceeded to warm the bed for Lisa with it. She was most appreciative of this gesture. The next day, when in defence of yet another careless or fool hardy action on my part, as usual I brought up the list of good things I’ve done of late. I recalled the Hot Water Bottle gesture, and Lisa said ; “it was hardly a bacon moment” and thus a new phase was coined. Kudos! It didn’t stop there, as the next day she coined the phrase “bullambling” in reference to the incessant nonsense that I was spouting. Her explanation was “…a cross between bullshit and rambling”.
I really, really liked this phrase, but was jealous that it was Lisa who came up with it.

* In O’Neil’s whilst waiting for the barmaid’s attention I happened to over hear a chap of about 30+ nervously talking to a girl. My guess was that it was obviously a firs date and he had no other conversation except talking about O’Neill’s, about how good/rough/great/terrible it was, contradicting himself several times, yes folks he was bullambling. When I turned around and saw to whom he was talking to it made sense. She was hideous…Homer style shudder…

not really an incident but it did make me laugh inside hence my first footnote!

I wasn't dressed for success...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Dishonesty rained true!

"You should always have a lie up your sleeve" I told Lisa on route to work this morning referring to her impending lateness for work. "Blame the snow."

I have, to varying degrees had several lies nicely tucked away under my sleeves for a variety of wrongdoings, or potential wrong doings which in the past, has certainly saved my sorry skin. They haven't always worked, likewhen I was caught by two Mersey rail Guards during the height of my train hopping career and trying, unsuccessfully to lie my way out of it. One such example, of this pre determined telling of porky pies was when I accidentally knocked a wing mirror off a Vauxhall Astra on lark Lane with my hip on a late summer's night back in 2000.
For the record, please let it be known this was a genuine accident on my part. I was stood outside a kebab shop whilst a friend of ours, Laura was saying her fair thee wells to us all. I was tired, swimming in Guinness and unsteady on my feet. Whilst Laura went around the small group of us saying her goodbyes I wobbled and gently clipped the wing mirror with the left hand side of my hip. It fell and crashed to the kerb and rolled into the gutter.
I looked around and thought what would the honest things to do be? Should I try and locate this vehicle's owner in one of the many salubrious drinking establishments near by and explain my actions, or should I scarper?

Being a coward the latter of course seemed more appealing.

I walked up to the rest of my co-horts, "Quick, walk! NOW!"
Of course the response to this was "What? Why?"
I had no time to explain, and could just point to the ex-wing mirror enthusiastically!
The penny dropped and we started to walk away quickly.

"Hey you!!" A foreign sounding accent called after us. I looked back to see the proprietor of the fast food establishment beckoning towards us. It would be fair to say that he did not look best pleased. Not wishing to make a run for it, I decided to confront him.
Perhaps I should have ran, but as I was accompanied by several females I didn't want them to be involved in any kind of fracas that may follow, plus I had a few pre-prepared lies that would get me out of it.

I went into the shop apologising for my clumsy and fool hardy actions. I offered to recompense him should he find the right replacement.
Obviously thinking it was his lucky day, the Kebab Man agreed but wanted to take some details from me-name and phone number.
For some reason, call it foresight if you will, I had programmed my phone number on my mobile incorrectly, for I had amended the last two digits purposefully should an occasion such as this arise. I showed him my phone so he could copy down my number for future contact. He took he phone and wishing to ensure that I wasn't giving him a erroneous one, asked me to tell him my number whilst he verified it. I of course did this remembering the changed latter digits. He seemed satisfied, although I still can't believe he did try calling it whilst I was there, sucker.
I had also given him a false name- Ian Bailes; named after a former school friend who was safely living in Cambridge. Everything was in order, although there was a moment of alarm when Laura came into the shop shocked that I was 'fessing up and preparing to pay for the damages.
"Matt what are you doing?"
"Shhhhhh-My name is IAN!" I whispered.

We left the shop after several more insincere apologies, and all duly ran home sharpish before the dimwitted kebab man noticed he had been had.

Cool as a cucumber eh? Not quite, for the next two years I would insure that I never entered his establishment and always crossed over the road when walking by. Lisa to this day still finds it a hilarious notion that I believed he may have remembered me. But I like to think that I leave a last impression.

I have long since abandoned such lie preparations as I live a modest but honest life, but that doesn't mean I should walk around un-guarded. For example, when stopped by the incessant tin rattlers that plague our cities and towns, my pre-prepared lie is:

"I've just donated some money to your friend/colleague earlier" or "I just bought a Big Issue yesterday"

My last 'white lie' to a stranger was whilst we were visiting a small town on the Scottish borders a few weeks back where we stopped to acquire some quality Scottish meats and treats. Knowing full well that most Liverpudlian shops etc would be extremely unwilling to take any Scottish money we had to get rid, but unfortunately I'd somehow managed to tear a Scottish £10 in half whilst paying for a round of drinks the day before. The likely hood of anywhere in these here parts accepting a torn and sellotaped notes was even more remote, I needed to ditch it somewhere before entering good ole England.

I decided that whilst the others drool over the hand made chocolates I would ditch this note in the local Spa shop. I entered and proceed to remove £10 in order to pay for a bottle of water and then pretended that it had just ripped. The woman behind the counter was less than impressed but the pantomime worked, Dishonesty rained true!
There is a moral there somewhere.

Tonight is the T Shirt design award thingy. I'm not attending it as I believe that I have a snowball's chance in hell of winning, I just want a few free drinks. In order to prepare for a thoroughly deserved hangover I have booked Friday off work.
Should I win the £5K top prize, this will be my last blog entry as I'll be far too important to write (plus I will be fighting off the legions of people whom I owe money to)