Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Every picture tells a story...or not- in some case a picture shows one's disillusionment

Cleaning my work computer...I found this. I think I did it around Christmas 08 time...not sure- anyway I'd completely forgotten about it. Pretty crappy really, but is testament to how much spare time I had on my hands in the office

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Each to their own Eddie. (RIP Dom Deluise)

As I walked up the steep flight of stairs upon returning to my office from my lunch break, my thoughts turned to the sight I had encountered whilst taking a walk in the nearby surroundings of my place of work. 

It was whilst passing the slew of shabby second hand shops, budget jewellers laden with classless gold adornments and betting shops with Presbyterian Church-like slogans in the window, I walked past the local branch of MacDonalds. Usually the sight of uncontrollable children with cola moustaches and aggressive looking mothers in uniform blue tracksuits and shabby coats greets me, however on this occasion I happened to note that the window seats were occupied by an elderly couple. I noticed nothing but contentment as they ate their food, sitting opposite each other quietly. 

The gentleman was leaning back against his chair and had a slight stoop as he held the remainder of a small child size burger. In the few seconds that it took me to walk past this sight, I saw him take a very small bite and place the unsavoury looking food onto the grease proof paper that I noted he had flattened and then folded in half to make a small plate for himself. After doing this he slowly chewed and dabbed the corners of his mouth with a neatly folded napkin before crossing his arms to continue chewing. The man had a slight and gaunt frame, his thinned hair was snow white, and was brushed back over his shiny dome of a head. The female was chewing slowly also and I noticed she had chosen to acquire a hot beverage to accompany her meal. She too had folded her burger wrapping and was using it as plate of sorts. From the brief opportunity I was given to examine the food on this plate, I am confident in saying she had opted for the 'small cheeseburger'. Unlike her male companion she had decided to keep her coat on and was looking blankly out of the window. 

Trudging back up the office stairs, with my sore knee and winter coat I couldn't shake this image from my mind. Was it an impromptu visit? Was it some form of treat? Or were they regulars? Perhaps they had received some form of bad news?

Whilst pondering this, a colleague caught up with me on the final flight of stairs between the third and the forth floor. We made small talk, with him doing most of the chatting as my mind was elsewhere. As we approached the entrance to our floor, a young and modestly attractive woman wearing black trousers and cream coloured jumper left the door, and held it open for us. I thanked her politely, and she smiled back in return. On the other side of the doors, ensuring she was out of earshot my colleague said:

“Phwoar” and smiled sickly at me. It was inappropriate but not necessarily or particularly offensive, well not to me anyway.

“I wouldn’t mind a go on that, would you?” he said affably.

I shook my head remorsefully. “Each to their own, Eddie, each to their own” and thought more about the elderly couple in MacDonalds.

"It only hurts when I point"

In other news, Dom Deluise (Picture above) star of a many a zany comedy film sadly passed away...

His sterling work, most notably for his performance in Cannonball Run shall not but taken for granted by myself. 


G.Love & The Special Sauce Fatman.mp3

Friday, May 01, 2009

Killing fields flat (Birthday Pt 1)

The woman from the Council said that someone would be round between 9am to 5pm when I phoned four days earlier. I reluctantly agreed and had to take the day off and wasn't best pleased as it was my birthday.

The Friday morning the door bell rang out at 8.20am, we were still in bed. Finding a shirt and a pair of shorts I ran down the stairs whilst this impatient son of a bitch kept ringing the bell incessantly . I opened the door to be greeted by a small and unusually sweaty man of about 30 years, with a bucket and wearing a pair of large rubber gloves.

"Mice?" He asked the second the door was open.

"Yeah...sorry I've just woken up, the woman on the phone said it would be between 9 and 5"

"Nah, we start from 8 now"


He followed me up the stairs and I pointed out the large hole in the skirting that looked like a mouse hole. He explained that he couldn't put any poison on a landing in case it killed someone.

I opened our flat door and he stormed up the stairs, bucket in hand. He turned into our back room and started to fill two little cardboard boxes with holes in either end with little red poison pellets. He placed one by the door and in the far corner after I said where we found mouse evidence. Whilst tending to the latter area he stumbled over my better half's shoe collection and nearly spilled all of his poison.

He then said he'd be visiting flat 2.

Miffed I said that we had also found 'evidence' upstairs. He said, again, that he could only put poison where he'd been told by his office, as the poison could kill someone. My better half, who by now was up and making a cup of tea, reassured him that 'upstairs' merely meant our living room. He rather hurriedly laid one more little box of killer pellets then speedily walked down our stairs stating he had to put poison down in one of the other flats. I followed him, giving my better half a look of disbelief.

I could hear him knock on the door and then state he was coming in.

I caught up with him and he was letting himself into the wrong God damned flat.

"what are you doing?!" I barked in hushed tones "it's this flat!" pointing out Flat 3, with whom I had shared my rodent discovery.

"Nah, it says flat 2 on my paper work"

Before I had the opportunity to call him a dickhead, the door to flat 3 opened and our neighbour stood smiling and thoroughly apologetic for sleeping in, stating that she shouldn't have gone drinking on a school night.

The poison guy walked in and I waited on the landing, he emerged less than a minute later barging past me, stating that he'd be back in 2 weeks. Whilst following him barefoot and still discombobulated from the rude awakening, on my birthday no less, I recommended that he looks in the cellar.

"Is that downstairs?"

I resisted the opportunity again to call him a dick head.

He led the way and I tried to converse with him about mouse traps. He asked me what I used for bait, to which I replied chocolate.

"The little buggers go mad for that stuff." he said smiling before tipping the bucket of poison into two of the corners on our dark and dank cellar before barging past me up the stairs.

He repeated that he or a colleague would be back in two weeks. For what I don't know.

On the way back up the stairs to return to my bed, our neighbour waited for me by her door.

"Is that it?" asked rhetorically.

"I guess so- a waste of time really wasn't it? I could have just put some poison about the flat. He was an odd fellow"

She agreed.

"He wasn't quite the Pied Piper of Hamlin character I had expected- though he did look like a mouse" She said.

I concurred at returned to our killing fields flat.


GANG - Rat Poison.mp3

Ganja Smuggling (Live).mp3

Landlords' Idiot Son (Birthday Part 2)

It wasn't too long before the doorbell rang again. I had been out of bed for only a few minutes cavorting around our home in a pair of ill fitting pants, so once again upon hearing the dulcet chimes of our doorbell I raced around the room looking for some clothes wear in order to answer the door. I wearily trudged down the ill kempt lino covered stairs and was disappointed to see that the caller was in fact our landlords’ idiot son standing on our door step with his familiar look of confusion, concern and worry on his scrawny and feebly bearded rat face. He was wearing a spectacularly awful jumper and his usual shabby grey coat.

He alluded to the fact that the grass on our lawn, if you can call it that, needed cutting and asked if he could plug in the lawn mower into one of our power sockets.
We of course reside in the top floor flat, making this request impossible.

I resisted from calling him a dick head.

He said he would ask another tenant, perhaps one on the ground floor, I concurred and went back to the flat to pass on the good news to my better half who rolled her eyes with frustration upon hearing this news that he was here.

As I pottered around the flat, tidying in readiness of an overnight visit by my brother and his better half, I could hear the sound of the Landlords’ son’s lawnmower try to hack its way through the shin high grass and weeds. From our bedroom window I could observe his extremely poor efforts with the contempt his shoddy work deserved.

No sooner had he started when it started to rain, however to my surprise and much to his credit, the landlord’s son persevered with this long over due task.

I watched him from the bedroom window, on my birthday, for a good twenty five minutes whilst he toiled away in the light rain.
I was transfixed.

He had removed his coat and I noticed that his jumper looked more spectacularly awful from this vantage point and thought about him and his life and how it came to be that here, in this lousy flat, he would be here, in his awful jumper, toiling away. I pitied him.

It was only 10.30 am and I looked out earnestly for the next visitor, the Virgin Media Engineer who had promised to arrive between 9am and 1pm. It was going to be a long morning.
My better half brought me a cup of tea and asked politely why I was staring out of the window.
I couldn’t explain.

Gorkys Zygotic Mynci -Mow The Lawn

The Engineer (Birthday Part 3)

The engineer was kind enough to phone me to explain that he was running later than expected and I thanked him for letting me know. He arrived an hour or so after he’d called. I was still sat by the window watching the landlords’ idiot son struggle with the overgrown garden.
I bounced down the stairs in anticipation when I saw his van arrive. The engineer stayed in his van for 5 minutes so I was forced to converse with landlords’ son. He was packing up slowly stating that he would get his father to arrange to get the garden finished.

I looked at the mess he’d made. It looked slightly better than before but it was a poor job to say the least, and he was ill equipped to deal with some of the thicker weeds which remained intact but squashed from the weight of the lawnmower. I reported what the ‘mouse man’ had said and he raised his eyebrows in faux interest whilst stuffing a large bin liner with some of the grass cuttings. Whilst I was wasting my time talking to this imbecile, the Virgin Media Engineer walked up the drive with a cardboard box and tool kit in hand. I recognised him from a previous visit, in fact I was pretty sure it was the guy who originally installed the system, though I couldn’t be sure. I led the way up the stairs.

He insisted on wearing some covers for his shoes before entering our living room. I insisted that he didn’t need to do this, however he was insistent than I; stating that it was his company’s policy.
After covering his footwear, he picked up his tool box and it tipped over onto the floor, spilling dozens of little screw, nails, and other TV repairman type paraphernalia. I helped him clear it up and he looked grateful for the help and also a little discomfited. Some of the screws landed near a box of mouse poison and it was my turn to feel embarrassed.

He had a quick look at the problematic apparatus, and after testing it with a futuristic looking but scratched and beaten up telephone, he whipped out modern looking replacement from the cardboard box he had brought with him, and proceeded to remove the wires from the existing unit. I offered him a cup of tea and he graciously accepted.

My better half was in the kitchen baking scones- she had intended to bake a cake in honour of my birthday, however as I had made one for hers the previous month and it took up far too much energy and time, so I was content with the scones.
I brought him his drink.
I stood arms folded and chatted to him on a number of matters, some related to the faulty equipment and other topics of conversation had nothing to do with it.

The more I thought about it, this wasn’t the chap who installed our system, that bloke talked incessantly about sport, and after spotting one of my guitars, he blabbed on about his friend’s band who played weddings and various working men’s club in the North West. I remember very clearly as he said that his friend’s band were paid £900 for a one hour and a half set of cover versions, whilst I had just played a gig in London in conjunction with the release of our latest single and we were only paid £50, not that I told him this. That gobshite had me talking like I used to when I worked on the building site and various factories; with an over exaggerated Yorkshire accent and swearing and cursing unnecessarily, however with the gentleman currently working hard to ensure I don’t spend the whole God damned bank holiday weekend without television, was quiet and I felt I could be myself.
Soon enough it was working and I resisted calling him a beautiful person.

I must have thanked him several times before waving him off at the door. As he walked down the drive I noticed that he was still wearing the shoe covers and as he got to his van I saw that he’d noticed this and berated himself under his breath.

The landlords’ son was still there packing up his equipment very slowly. He has a skulking and creepy way of walking, let alone the fact that he’s particularly unusual in his appearance.

I asked in a friendly manner if he was heading to the tip with the grass cuttings to which he replied with a non committal ‘yes’.

“Would you mind taking this Christmas tree with you please- it’s been here for ages and I have no idea who’s it was” I asked.

I pointed to the dead Christmas tree. It was approximately four feet high and had shed most of its pines. I had moved it to the side of the porch stairs when I had spent a good 40 minutes in the garden trying to remove the melted wheelie bin from the garden wall in mid January last.
“Oh…I don’t want to uproot it, I don’t know who’s it is” He said with surprising defiance.

I looked at the dead tree, then looked back at him in that stupid jumper and then back at the tree and for the hundredth time, resistant the urge to call him a dick head.
I lifted the tree with my right hand and raised my eyebrows.

“Oh” He said and walked towards me and I handed him the tree. He skulked off down the drive way.

I shook my head and shut the door and trudged up the stairs back to the flat towards the smell of freshly baked scones and mouse poison.


Television- Venus