toxicsoup

Well, not toxic, exactly... maybe just a little bit rank. But in a nice way. With a garnish.

Friday, April 28, 2006

doctor's waiting room

I've been waiting an hour now.

The other patients stare straight ahead and occasionally I make eye-contact with someone.
We each immediately study the ceiling, in case the other thought we were actually looking.

At a rough guess, I would say that I was the most contagious person in the waiting room and, possibly, The World.

I think the others agree, as they are all crammed onto one bench (all 15 of them, plus a buggie complete with smiley Afro-Baby) whereas I have a whole bench to myself.

Unless they are all feeling a bit cold, which is possible, I suppose.

Friday, April 21, 2006

neighbour

I lie in the bath.

This is one of my favourite times in the day. Or at least, it was until the Music Therapist moved in upstairs.

“Dum-de-dum-dum, dum-de-dum, dum, dum, duuuummmm”.

This is like water torture without the water. I had no idea that a guitar could sound so irritating.
Its irritatingness is around about the same as having Dot Cotton read the entire book of Leviticus, syllable by syllable, in time to a very slow metronome. Oh, while scraping her fingernails on a blackboard.

“Dum-de-dum-dum, dum-de-dum, dum, dum, duuuummmm”.

I don’t think she is doing actual therapy. This is because it is 11:30pm and it started at 6:15 this morning.

She must be researching the kind of mental stress it takes to make someone:
a) snap
b) remove all their clothes
c) smear themselves with organic gravy granules
d) stand in the middle of the street trying to direct the traffic using only their genitalia.


“Dum-de-dum-dum, dum-de-dum, dum, dum, duuuummmm”.

I am nearing stage a) and am hoping that I will never, EVER reach stage b)*.

*In public, I mean. I do remove my clothes to get into the bath.

It’s ironic, because music therapy would be the last thing that I would need if I arrived at point d) with my sanity unintact. A shotgun and a crowbar might be more appropriate.

I stare at the ceiling accusingly, blasting it with some floor-penetrating nuclear disapproval.

I hope that she learns a new tune by tomorrow (or suffers a tragic re-stringing accident which perforates her entire head and leaves her unable to even look at a guitar without setting fire to it).


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

undercover

Imp tried to smuggle the dog back out the house by putting it in a bag.

It was my suggestion, I know, but she’s the one who tried it.
The dog wasn’t having any of it.

I keep snorting snot down my front every time I think about it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sunday Game

This game, Mozaik, is a little bit like Rubik's Cube.. but not three dimensional and not half as irritating.
In fact, you've got a chance with this one, without needing to be some smartarse 10-yr old maths prodigy with a brain the size of a bungalow and no friends.

Click on the nodes to rotate the pieces. The aim is to rearrange the board until it looks like the one in the bottom left hand corner.

Fantastic for work as it doesn't have any sound.

Addictive though. Watch out.

Click

Saturday, April 15, 2006

no pets

“You can’t take that in there,” he says.

Imp and I recoil in surprise.

“What, the dog?”

“Yeah.” He points with his face. “No dogs allowed.”

We consider this in silent horror and look down at TinyDog. She looks back up at us with cutesy little puppy-eyes and does a kind of boy-trapped-down-a-mineshaft cutesy head-turny thing.

I know that I am not allowed to have pets in my flat but I did not think that this meant I could not have other people visiting with their pets.
I mean, this is a social visit, where we will all sit down and sip coffee and chat about World Affairs and the dog will sit on the windowsill watching the traffic until we have resolved the world’s problems and are ready to make placards… and then Imp will go home, taking TinyDog with her and my flat will once again be pet-free.

I argue the toss, as I am very argumentative as well as being very grumpy.

I lose the argument. No animals at any time, because soon everyone will want visiting animals and then where will we be? Apparently we will soon be overrun with cats, dogs, snakes, parrots, guinea pigs. Incredibly, all on outings to my house.

It’s improbable, but I don’t happen to have my lawyer to hand so decide not to pursue it further.

I try another angle.

“What if she was a Guide Dog, or a Deaf Dog or a Seizure Alert Dog?” I counter, getting into the swing of things. “That would be illegal.”

Aha! Now I’ve got him.

We all look down at TinyDog who is doing astoundingly well at looking like the World’s Dopiest Dog. She dribbles a bit, just to illustrate.

“So is she a Guide Dog?” he quizzes, sceptically.

I consider lying, but Imp is clearly not blind and TinyDog is obviously not particularly brainy.

In fact, if she were human she would be spending the rest of her life in a day-care centre for adults with special needs, watching endless reruns of Trisha while picking holes in her shellsuit.
Somehow she manages to ooze dopiness, even while standing at the end of a lead doing nothing at all.

TinyDog crashes dimly into my leg.

“Erm…. No. She’s not.” I admit, weakly.

We put her back in the car, defeated.

***

We give it an extra ten minutes until we’re sure he’s gone, then Imp smuggles her in under her coat.


Hmm

For those who are interested, this is turning into quite an interesting debate.

Rudder Maas: Student who wrote he was gay dismissed from school

Back in August I had a bit of a rant on this very subject - Why are Christians judging the gay community?
Warning: Only wade in if you're prepared for a good old-fashioned argument! Bring your handbag*... :)

*obviously the women will have to make do with their fists

Friday, April 14, 2006

hot curry

I make a curry.

Making a curry should only be attempted if you are familiar with the complex herbs and spices required and are able to chop an onion without crying.

I chop an onion, shedding only a tiny tear, as I am a hardy lass. It’s a very strong onion. Most people would at this stage be wiping snot over their sleeves and hanging for dear life to the kitchen units in fear for the longevity of their sinuses but luckily I cauterised my sinuses a few curries ago.

I chuck it all in a pan along with some freshly chopped chilli peppers and some cumin seeds.
It is then that I fully come to terms with the frailty of the human eyeball.

I’m not sure what the medical term is for radiation burns of the corneas but I have it twice. I throw myself to the floor, gasping for air that doesn’t burn and whimper a while.
I find a chickpea that I lost a while ago. That’s lucky.

I hope that there is no hidden surveillance equipment monitoring my kitchen as my landlord seems to be quite a particular kind of bloke and I can imagine that he might consider this unacceptable behaviour for a tenant. I frantically try to remember if cooking very strong curries and then writhing on the floor would be classed as antisocial behaviour and if therefore he would have grounds to throw me out. I must ring the council to ask.

Also I hope that he hasn’t seen my Big Pants as I would be quite embarrassed.

I wait until my searing eyeballs can detect the difference between light and shade and squint up at the ceiling (or where I remember the ceiling being). No hidden cameras that I can see.

I find my way by touch back to the Curry for Tough Bastards cookbook and, grateful that I had the foresight to memorise some Braille, check the instructions and peel some garlic.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

plastic cups

I am going to learn how to do the Needle Exchange!

It is very complicated and quite horrific. Mysha points to a needle.

“That’s a Short Orange which you would use to inject into your forearm,” she tells me matter-of-factly, “And that’s a Green, which you would use in the larger muscles”.

I squirm a bit but I don’t think she has noticed. I hadn’t expected the needles to look quite so pointy.

She then prods a huge-barrelled cylinder which possibly was used to gouge out the Channel Tunnel.

“This is a 10ml barrel. People use this to put Heroin up their bum when they’ve run out of veins. It’s safer than injecting into the groin or below the eyeball.”

My buttocks clench tighter than I could get them if I squeezed them into a vice and cranked it all the way. Watertight would be an understatement… my sphincter could do catwalk appearances for Gore-Tex.

I squeak quietly while trying to look intelligent and unmoved. This is quite difficult when your entire blood supply has sidestepped into the other room.

We look at sterile spoons for cooking up heroin, long needles, short needles, needles for steroids, extra think condoms, Hazardous Waste bins, user records, charts about vein health, sachets of citric acid.

This is so much more scientific than I ever thought it would be. I wonder if they forgot to mention about the Chemistry Degree on the job spec? I wish I’d worn my Mad Professor outfit today.

My head fills up with about 42,876,000,00000000 pieces of new information and any minute now all the old information is about to cascade down my spinal column and out my bottom… and I won’t be able to remember my name, or where I live… or how to fold empty crisp packets into handy TV ornaments.

I run out of intelligent-sounding questions. I’ve asked questions about pretty much everything I can think of and I don’t think my mouth can produce intelligible sounds any more.

Mysha smiles reassuringly and points out the supplies, stacked in tidy piles in a locked cupboard.
I only need to keep my brain ticking over for a couple more minutes, thank goodness.

“You can see that they are all labelled so that you can tell immediately if we are running out of anything. Oh, and here is a box of spare plastic cups,” she says, pointing to a plastic cup.

“Aha!” I think to myself. “I’m about to learn another amazing drug-fact.”

“Er… so what are they used for?” I ask in my most erudite-sounding voice, adding a professorial twitch to my left eyebrow as I enquire, chin-strokingly.

I step backwards thoughtfully. I probably remind her of Melvyn Bragg (but with better hair), or someone even more intelligent.

I collide with the water cooler.

Monday, April 10, 2006

first day

I cycle to my new job. It takes me 4½ minutes!

I used to drive for an hour.
In the time I save I could cycle home again, cook myself a three-course meal, watch one of the Lord of the Rings films, walk to Germany and back. I could also conceive, gestate and give birth to an elephant.

Or at least, half elephant, half human... if I were to have sex with an elephant, which I don’t think is legal so I won’t try it. I am an upstanding member of the community and only break the law when I am driving.

I am assigned a desk and I fill in all the relevant paperwork, promising never to write on it or carve my name in it. I also fill in an official-looking form which I hope means that I will get paid on pay day.
I didn’t read all the small print. I hope I haven’t agreed to join the Cuban Army. I don’t speak Cuban at all well.

***

We drive to the other office.

As we approach a roundabout I see a flat-bed tipper truck screeching around it ahead of us. On the back is a huge pile of twisted metal, rubbish and general crap. This is quite a normal thing to see, even if it is driving at about 48,300 mph.

Then I blink.

Delicately balanced on the back, wedged in diagonally like a flake in a 99… is an Escort estate car.

It is more off than on, and we wonder whether the driver realises that there is a car sticking off the back of his van.
It would take a feat of quite extraordinarily bad driving to become accidentally parked on the back of a tipper truck.

I muse loudly. Perhaps there is someone trapped in the front seat, frantically trying to reverse? They would be very annoyed at being driven to Barry when in fact they probably wanted to go in the opposite direction. Barry is not as exciting as say, Bristol or Bruges.

There is of course, always the possibility that the driver of the Escort is being very naughty and sneaking a lift. Petrol is very expensive these days.

I secretly hope that this is the explanation.

We stare, mouths open, eyes wide in various stages of disbelief as it tears off into the distance and disappears around a corner, two metaphorical fingers up at public transport.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sunday Game

Remember Sonic the Hedgehog?
I never had enough money to buy a Nintendo so had to be satisfied with watching other people play it. That is why I am now completely and utterly rubbish at this game.

Tomorrow I'm starting a new job. Working with young people.
That is why I'm thinking of calling in sick and spending the day honing my Sonic Skills. Essential research, I reckon.
One day they'll thank me.

Click

Saturday, April 08, 2006

flapjack

I’ve forgotten to let everyone know I’m coming, so that they can buy my Easter Eggs!

I wobble a bit at this upsetting realisation and think about pulling over so that I can call my relatives.
Unfortunately I am in Shropshire at the moment and it is a well-known fact that there is no mobile phone reception in Shropshire. I think it is something to do with the fact that Shropshire is the most depressing place in England and Tony Blair doesn’t want them to find out and thus provoke a tide of Shropshire no-hopers trying to steal the lollipop lady jobs available in Birmingham.
Birmingham has enough problems, thankyouverymuch.

Luckily I have an emergency flapjack in the glove compartment. It is possible to overcome most difficulties with a flapjack. If the Manic Street Preachers had had an emergency flapjack, they wouldn’t have lost Richie.

I make a mental note to tell them next time I see them, and keep on driving north.

Friday, April 07, 2006

worried

Imp goes to work and I pack.

I’m going to North Wales as part of my duty as Daughter-Auntie-Sister, but also to harvest Easter Eggs.
It is Easter in a few days and a bit - and I am having a break from my diet in order to prepare myself for my new job. I’m not quite sure what ‘preparing’ entails, but it does involve eating curry and drinking beer. In a few days I will assimilate Easter Eggs into the equation. Out of love for those who have bought them for me.

For someone who is on a diet, I do manage to drink quite a lot of beer.

I load up my car and check the boot, that there is going to be sufficient space on my return for the many eggs that I expect I will be given while I am visiting my family. I wonder whether I should have rung all my aunties/uncles/grandparents so that they could go shopping in readiness. I relock my car and run back inside.

Ah! Almost forgot my phone charger. I stick it in my pocket and gaze blankly at the wall. I can’t for the life of me remember why I came back in.

I tidy all the dirty washing up into the sink, hoping that Imp might drop by and wash it up for me… and climb back into my car.

X Files DVDs! I climb back out of the driver’s seat, hide my wallet under my bag, relock my car and run back inside.

I collect my DVDs, add my skateboard to the pile, make myself a coffee in my travel mug and worry about the I’ve-forgotten-something feeling that’s threatening my neck.
I don’t know why I always have this feeling in my neck. I’d prefer to have it somewhere less intrusive, like my elbows, but I always feel like I’ve half-swallowed a fish. Which I haven’t on account of being vegetarian, so that would be most unfortunate or even upsetting. For me and the fish.

I check the plugs, switch off everything that might catch fire if there was a break-in and someone put a lit cigarette near a plug that was switched on… and lock up again. I hope they don’t because I don’t smoke and I wouldn’t like my flat to smell of cigarette smoke.

I drive off, frowning hesitantly and hoping that whatever it is that I’ve forgotten isn’t something that will affect my sex-appeal or my bank account.

Monday, April 03, 2006

car trouble

Something under my car makes a loud, clangy-scraping noise and my teeth get goosebumps.

3 ½ years at 55 miles a day is approximately 46,200 miles, allowing for holidays…. and I’ve made it to 46, 199.5 miles and now, on my last day, half a mile from home, something has gone wrong. The irony.

I swing into a parking space and climb out.

My exhaust has fallen off!
Well, not completely off, just half off. There’s a whole mass of metal dangling down and dragging on the ground. Bugger.

It’s a well-known fact that when at the side of the road in a scrape, you must ring everyone you know just to let them know that your life has gone horribly wrong.
I find that by doing this I can spread my misery nicely… and there’s always the possibility that someone might offer to do something, like buy you a new car or something.

I ring Imp. She doesn’t offer to buy me a new car.
Stingily, she tells me to ring the AA.

Obviously I don’t take her advice because I am an expert at almost everything. In the event of not being an expert I can always look like an expert.
I utilise this particular talent in the hope that a stranger might pass and offer to buy me a new car.

I crouch down again and squint expertly at the mess under my car.

I’ve lost a bit of weight recently, which is great, but it means that my arse has a habit of making an appearance whenever I bend over. Luckily I remember about my bottom and hoik my kecks up.
I bend over, desperately hanging on to the waistband of my jeans and study the exhaust. Aha! Nothing a bit of rope and a granny knot can’t fix.

The boot of my car is full of many useful things (like a unicycle and a spare pair of pants) but unfortunately no rope. I rummage a second time, hoping for inspiration.
Spotting my First Aid kit I root around and triumphantly emerge with an ambulance dressing. Fantastic! I get to fix my car with a bandage!

I assume the position and realise my dilemma...

Fact 1. The exhaust is boiling hot and will require two hands to tie it to the tow-hook.
Fact 2. The second I bend down my arse becomes public viewing.

I have no choice.
I check for policemen.

Thus I end my career as a local government employee by squatting behind my car, presenting my bottom and, pull a nice big, shiny moonie at the Friday night rush-hour traffic.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sunday Game

This is a gorgeous little game from Orisinal called A Daily Cup of Tea.
You control two mice whose mission for the day is to climb up the bookcase collecting sugarlumps for their tea.
Each day becomes slightly more harrowing as you encounter falling books, bouncing balls, wasps and various hazards.

The trick is to have one mouse on one level, knocking the cubes down to the other mouse. For those of you with dodgy pasts, just think of shoplifting with your mates and you'll be away.

Control is using the mouse :) so you can clutch a cup of coffee at the same time. Perfect.

Click