Saturday, October 31, 2009

After a night of thinking too much.

Fear is thinking that the scenarios in your head could actually come true. That the things that went bump in the night could be more than rogue draughts under the ill-fitting doorways to your heart. That the glass which seems half-full will no longer remain so once you put your thirst into practice. Fear is the irrationality of a nightmare becoming flesh, and overruling your concept of stability and normalcy. Fear is paralysing and debilitating. Fear is the full-body cast of plaster on your damaged frame, pinning you to the place where bedsores of anxiety and paranoia perpetuate a cycle of emotional infirmity.

Fear is the awareness that the end of your existence is a phone call away, the confirmation of the imminent collapse of your brittle architecture. Fear is the knowledge that others can find a place on the lifeboat, but your inflatable vest will leave you vulnerable to attacks from below.

Fear will petrify you- not in the ghoul-in-the-cupboard-under-the-stairs way, but like a life-form made stone by scorching forces from within the bowels of the earth. It puts you on trial, with a never-ending parade of witnesses, an archive of irrefutable evidence. It judges and condemns, and sentences, and shows no mercy. Fear decapitates and disembowels, it takes the body and preserves it as a cloudy formalin-soaked husk in a jar.

Fear brings an empty sack and a sawn-off shotgun to your heart, and holds you hostage while it rummages through your belongings, looking for anything of value and destroying the rest. It burglarises and robs, and is ignorant of human rights or constitutions.

Fear is a lie.

The truth? The truth is a lost object suddenly uncovered in the back of a drawer. Truth is putting on new clothes and feeling fresh. Truth is being discharged from the hospital ward, a certificate saying that you are healthy enough to carry on. Truth is in the experiences of others, the validation that comes with common knowledge. Truth says you are not alone, that hope exists and we can endure. Truth mobilises and encourages, and heals. Truth is a surprise gift in the mailbox, the reuniting of long-lost relatives. Truth restores and brings restitution. Truth is an exposure of false evidence and a verdict of Not Guilty. Truth is transparent- it’s always there, but sometimes you look right through, and miss it. Truth rewrites endings and revises condemnation. It defies destruction and cynicism with happy endings, and erases the meaningless graffiti of emotional vandalism with a fresh coat of paint. Truth is there. You can grab it, share it, hold it, live it. The truth will always be the truth, relative to nothing but itself. Truth is not a Winfrey-ism or a motto on a badge, but more real than the landscape which surrounds you. Truth is sulphuric acid to fear. Truth smothers it and dissolves it, reveals it as nothing but holograms and mirrors.

Fear fears truth. Truth fears nothing.

I don’t particularly give a hoot if you don’t relate to this non-entry. I need to set some boundaries in my head, so you can skip this one and go to the next, which may be funny, or it may not. Thanks for reading if you made it this far.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Out of the freezer, into the dustbin

If you leave the freezer open, the meat is gonna go off. (Why did that sound like Dr Phil just took over my head?)
If your meat aint frozen, you’d better get the fire a burnin’.
(May as well just go with it)
You throw a raw meat party, a lotta flies are gonna gatecrash.
Salad is just there to make meat seem less aggressive. Kinda like a tie on a homicidal maniac when his trial goes to court.
Why is it that the freezer couldn’t keep the meat cold, but the salad compartment was still cold enough to freeze the lettuce leaves solid? If ya can’t keep the balance between hot and cold, you’ll end up luke-warm and rancid.

I’ll step off the ‘wise’ southern aphorism elevator for a while. I’m just going through a wee life crisis- you know, when the freezer defrosts by accident, and it seems like a personal affront? If you spill something on the floor, and you have to tidy it up, it appears that the spilt substance was out to get you? You don’t have much in the way of stuff, but what you do have starts rebelling against you in a totally personal way. Yup. Crisis.

You stop saying things like ‘I burnt my hand on the stove’, and instead say ‘the stove burned ME’.

I planted some flowers the other day. The seedlings are starting to push through the earth. I shouldn’t be angry that snails are somehow managing to eat them- that’s what snails do. But what bugs me is that I can’t catch them at it. I tried building a small hide on the roof of the house, wearing camo to make me more roofish in appearance, and lay still for 48 hours, occasionally making slothlike reaches for the paper cup to relieve myself, but the snails would not appear. They must have perfected mind-control techniques, though, for when I finally leapt to the ground, snagging my tile-camo on the gutter, and having to do a parachutists roll into the trash can, I discovered that the seedlings had been eaten. Again. Is it too much to ask that the baby alyssum and nasturtiums and black-eyed susans have a chance at life?

The trouble with railing against inanimate objects is that they stonewall you. You can’t look into their eyes and chill them with a look of contempt, or burst into tears and appeal to their maternal instincts. I have it as unhappily proven fact that when you slam your fist into a wall in frustration, the wall wins. Slamming doors doesn’t help, either, particularly when they tend to bounce back and snag your toes. The trick is to think like an inanimate object.

Next time my boss asks me why things aren’t getting done, I’ll act like a defrosting freezer, or an overheated stove, and keep my emotions deeper down than the online account to which I’ve forgotten the password. I’ll not retaliate, nor defend myself, but merely sit in cold, aloof, appliance-like malevolence. I’ll be meaner than a washing machine, man.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Adding the Mean to Meaning

Modern Moral Number One:
The first little pig was quite enamoured with green architecture, so having consulted the very latest edition of the Architect’s Yearbook, opted for a house built out of straw bales. This ensured a natural insulation against cold and heat, while limiting the carbon footprint and ultimately the rate of attrition of the polar ice caps. Fortunately, wolves were limited these days to one or two individuals cross-bred with huskies, and so preferred kibble to live porcine flesh, so there was no huffing or puffing. The other two pigs decided to teach English as a foreign language, and unfortunately ended up in small bowls, served with noodles and sweet and sour sauce.

Modern Moral Number Two:
Goldilocks was pretty damned good with alarm systems- using software on her mobile phone, she was able to bypass the sensors and gain entry to the three bears’ house. She spent some time in the open plan kitchen admiring their cell phones, which were all recharging. She rejected the Nokia immediately, the classic shape would have made her just another blonde with a mobile. The more serious debate came to her as she weighed up the benefits of Blackberrys vs iPhones. She was fond of the Blackberry for its heft, the gently curved keyboard, but finally chose the endless Apps of the iPhone. She would have gotten away with it, too, had she not left her Twitter page open on the Blackberry as she left, unwittingly allowing the three bears to gain revenge by hacking into her Facebook account and posting pornographic status updates until she was entirely friendless.

Modern Moral Number Three:
Rapunzel was bored. She had to live in the penthouse of her luxury Tuscan Townhouse development, and wasn’t allowed out because of the crime levels which were supposedly just beyond the electrified razorwire of her confines. She spent most of the days ordering soggy fast food delivered by one-degree-away-from-the-breadline middle-aged retrenched middle managers now working for Mr Delivery, and aimlessly posting pointless lies about enjoying Walks in the Forest and Fine Dining on dating websites. She tried some speed dating online, but the guys weren’t interested in hearing about her sad childhood, and only wanted her to do unspeakable things to them with battery-powered curiosities. Listless and bored, she thought to herself, Screw it, long hair is sooo last year, and became a celibate lesbian, passing the rest of her life contentedly watching entire TV series collected on DVD, and comparing the way different brands of fast food altered the quality of her flatulence.

No real people were harmed here. No people were edified, either.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The one with the waggly tail

It’s a legal thing. I signed a bit of paper saying I can’t, so I don’t. But there are always loopholes. I read the small print, and I accepted it, but I have my own small print- so small in fact, that it is like the ‘zee’ in the Cat in the Hat’s hat.

It comes down to definitions- a pet is a domestic animal. No arguments there. Some landlords don’t allow domestic animals being cultivated on their properties. Fair enough. But wild ones- they can colonise at will. My friend, the completely wild and undomesticated gecko likes to twitch across the walls in the cool of the evening, starting skinny, but eventually bulbously-bellied as he feasts on the smaller wild creatures shacking up in webs and cracks.

He’s pretty cheerful- always grinning, and happy to nod hello when he catches sight of me. In act, it seems as though he’s surprised to see me, as if he was the one with the doleful music on the CD player, sitting on the couch with a beer, and I was the creature figure-eighting on his ceiling.

Familiarity breeds contempt, so I try not to get too close. No names, no details. We opt for a healthy distance, a begrudging respect. He admires my toast-making ability, I am secretly awed that he can cling to vertical surfaces with his webbed toes. But he is not a pet. He doesn’t come and cuddle on my lap, and in return I don’t have an online photo account with pictures of him in amusing poses.

You could argue that a cat, for example, is not a domestic animal. That cats tend to haunt the outskirts of our lives, or tolerate our presence with undomesticated aloofness. But the problem with a cat is that you think everything is cool, the boundaries are there, when one lonely evening, you’ve maybe had too much to drink. You unthinkingly reach out and cuff her under her chin, slide your fingers over her furry spine, and the dynamic is ruined. You can’t return from that. Once you’ve kissed her with your fingers, you are lost. Maybe you have both slipped into the wilds, the remote forests of emotions of distant epochs, rather than domesticated her, but the legal implications are clear- you have violated the lease. No cats for me.

So Gecko can stay, for now, or come, as he wishes. I don’t set a place for him at the table at mealtimes, or make tiny gift-wrapped parcels on his birthday. I am careless when I open the back door; if he has slipped into the cracks and is crushed, it will not be on my conscience. He’s welcome, anytime, his smile, his wide-eyed amity is comforting. His presence is part of me, his powdered tangibility made soluble by the liquid of my loneliness.

I have no idea what that last sentence means, either, but it was oddly arousing.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

How to Offend Almost Everyone

There’s a certain amount of religiosity when it comes to having children. They approach life with the attitude that it is all about personal enlightenment through experience and the acquiring of arcane knowledge. They repeat pleas for stuff as though they are chanting, and come up with meaningless epithets and koans without even trying.

They study the visual scriptures of Disney and Pixar, happily absorbing themselves in these up to five times a day, the TV facing west to avoid the glare of the sun, the spectral glow informing their decisions and slowly cramping their ability to make independent decisions.

They commune with nature in a personal way, summoning up spirits and emotions direct from the soil and the plants within it, personalising and deifying the creatures lurking within. They name them and anthropomorphise them, give them human frailties and powers. The eternal mysteries of sun and moon govern their lucid hours, and the control of light is imperative to their settled sleep, much as the ancients constructed temples of standing stones to echo the course of the sun and moon, the nightlight becomes the security beneath which dreams are fashioned of endless pleasure, rather than the gnawing fear of ill-defined monsters lurking in the dark.

God is in the details, for them. The complexities of how deceased domestic animals pass the time in eternity a deep philosophical problem. Yet in their innocence it is accepted that animals are good, and humans also, in some way, redeemable. Small things can shake them in a massive way, and, conversely, huge issues are merely subsumed by a general acceptance that life is a continuum of mystery and confusion, and that some concepts are larger than the mushy span of grey matter inside our heads.

They live with heart, pure hearts. They are quick to acknowledge the presence of evil and the unpleasantness it causes when it infiltrates the architecture of their existences.

And asleep, they are beatific, holy even, their tiny faces not in constant struggle, but at peace. In the same way that people follow austere gurus or meditative holy men or women, the absolute nothingness of a child at sleep is something to be craved.

This isn’t a comment on religion, on who or what you pursue in your quest for fulfillment- that’s up to you- but merely an idea that, perhaps, children are a hand’s-breadth closer to god than we shall ever be as adults.

And they come up with jokes like: Why did the priest take a machine gun to church? He wanted to make the people hole-y.

Friday, October 16, 2009

In the Employ of Evil

Work. The final frontier. The carefree life of a quail farmer- loads of tiny boxes, special tweezers to extract the eggs. Or the sweat-and-blood existence of a macaroni core extractor, labouring day after day with his miniature pasta swizzle, to create hollow delights for you and me.

Honest work.

Truth is, it is hard to come by. Harder to keep. No matter how sweet the dream, how intense the effort. You may have lofty goals of being an office administrator when you are six years old, but there are only so many offices in the world. If of an entrepreneurial bent, you could open your own office to administer, buy the stationery, create a filing system, but you need the lesser roles of management in order to give your dream substance. You’ll need money to hire a university graduate who knows how to speak in the diarrhoeal verbosity of someone with a library full of tomes such as ‘Take Your Cheese and Shove it’, or, ‘the Lonely Life of the Long-distance Skyper’

As it is said, “The devil makes work for idle hands”. He did. It’s called email. Sometimes I feel like the sum total of my professional life is clicking send, reply to all, please find document attached, warm regards… Of course, when I was a child, there was no email- no personal computer either- so it is fair that my pre-adolescent dreams of finding the fossilised skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the back garden seemed realistic. If you’d told me I’d be spending my days shooting messages down cables, I would have laughed so loud it would have drowned out the Buck Rogers re-runs on the technicolour television.

Something I still don’t get about text messages and emails- you confirm receipt, and then the other person sends a message thanking you for the confirmation of receipt, and then you thank them for their confirmation of your confirmation. Where does it end? By the time of the second confirmation, you usually need to correct something in the original email, so it starts all over again… There should be a polite way of saying ENOUGH! THIS CONVERSATION IS HEREBY DEAD!

I can’t be alone in trying to deal with emails over the weekend- to come into work on a Monday morning and find an intray with 20, 30, 40 emails is unnerving. You can spend the entire day confirming this, cc’ing that. I suppose the expression ‘going postal’ refers to the way all the paper mail used to arrive in the mail sorting office on a Monday, sending the post guy off the deep end. Now we all have the luxury of having our own post offices, and the opportunity to go off the deep end on our own.

And no matter how hard you read what you’ve just typed, the law of email states that after seeing the confirmation message ‘sent’ you will notice the most glaring of errors- misspelling of names, nonsense words like thnkyou, or warm regrads… It’s the curse. The devil has you on his chain gang, and you’ll never escape.

Please find the attached document with information on how to break free.
No message attached! Please resend.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The inner hobo

You’d think that the simple act of helping someone out in their hour of need would be reward in itself. Sure, the warm fuzzy glow of knowing that you are in a position to answer the void, whether it is emotional or monetary, or something more practical is there- settling like a butterfly on the petals of your heart, but, having sucked the sweet nectar from the flesh, it flits away again.

Where I live there are beggars. Poor people. Homeless people. Perhaps that doesn’t seem strange in South Africa, where the gulf between rich and poor, or even solvent and poor is wider than the laughing maw of Mexico. Mostly, the poor people I have around me, sleeping in doorways, peddling diseased bodies on street corners or merely passing a life by sleeping in the park are not just unemployed. They have the terminal pleasures of cheap booze and mind-scorching narcotics to blame for their marginalisation.

That’s why it’s hard to help. The streetkids are two sniffs away of the glue from stabbing an old lady for her handbag, the drunks incapable of setting boundaries. If you have a day when you have some money or extra food, and you hand it over like Elvis did jewellery at his sunset concerts, you consider it a job well done. Until the person appears at your door with a slightly different version of the story which induced your generosity. Again, and again.

Eventually you find yourself undermining all your selflessness by shouting at them, when they are threatening you, and telling them to get the hell away and not return. They are immune to threats, and the dulled emotions from the drugs do not respond to threats of police. I’m not violent, but these beggars have clearly had their share of violent giving.

Ultimately, it is not better to give than to receive. The money goes on drugs, the food gets discarded, and the person is disempowered to the point of stretching out their tendrils around the neighbourhood until they cannot leave. It’s a horrible feeling turning people away, and yet it seems to be the only way to avoid this warped culture of dependency. The charities all insist that it is better to give to an organisation, but when these organisations are often merely subsistent; paying salaries and subsuming all the donations, then this, too seems futile.

I sometimes look at indigents, beggars, down-and-outs; socially bankrupt people, and see myself in them. I remain one salary check away from a backpack and the kindness of strangers. We survive. I make it through the month, and feel no joy on pay day, only the staving off of the fear of bedding down on cardboard for another month. Is this just more paranoia, or is there really a soup kitchen with my name on it? Look closely, I could be the man in the browned clothes, the one with the haggard desperate look and the lying hook- I need some money because… because…

Is it freedom to live without bills or bonds, responsibilities? I don’t think so. We live with the knowledge that we are all striving to create some fossil imprint in the earth, but sometimes, even while we live, we blow away as ash, dust, powder.

Cheerful, eh?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Inner Collapse

He gets onto the same train every day. Looking slightly surprised as if there should be a train at all, and steps through the door hesitantly. There’s a brief moment when you see something in him, something that seems familiar, something vulnerable. He finds a square space to stand and plants, replants his feet. He has the stature of a prop-forward; his massive shoulders roll down into huge fists, although he is the same height as me. His neck is wide; the triangle of his back taut as it pushes up into his head.

He looks at his watch. Twice. Then at his wrist. He looks to the left, although his eyes never quite focus on the crowds. His head snaps to the right, and he shrugs, rolls his massive shoulders, tucks his jaw into his collarbone. He shuffles to the left, and to the right. His head snaps back and he looks straight up, then looks at his watch again- a cheap watch, but even I can see that if I were to ask him what the time was after this brief double take, he wouldn’t know.

He’s the man with the tic.

His powerful build is surely in part due to the constant checking and rechecking, the compulsion to act out in certain ways has taught his muscles how to support the irregular yet regular activity. When I try and catch his eye, read his feelings, his head shakes to the left and the right, his eyes struggling to find something, nothing, to focus on.

I see the man with the tic, and I wonder if it is tension that he feels, or whether he is relaxed inside, and it is merely a muscular activity going on. The jerkiness of his movements seems to suggest some inner conflict, and I have to resist the urge to pat him on the shoulder, and say in my best soothing voice, it’s ok, friend, its ok.

When I see him, I feel less uncomfortable in my own stature- as if his apparent discomfort makes me feel more confident, his disability seems to translate into my feeling able and secure. Normally, I am not the most confident of people- seeming uncomfortable or nervous- actually- felling that way, too, but the man with the tic helps me to set my feet solidly in place, and to feel that despite my insecurities, I have at least a normal lack of confidence, or at best, I am at peace with myself.

I don’t mean to mock what is an obvious challenge to him, or to seem cruel by feeding off his weakness, but rather I am made aware that I have one less challenge than I could have in this world, and that his daily struggle is not one I share, although there is no reason why he should have that affliction and not I. I have my own inner tics and foibles, the voices telling me that I am this way or that, or that I am in some ways incapable of normalcy, but despite these chatterings and mutterings, I am able to present a person who, at least at face level, seems normal.

I hope it is human and not totally selfish to think this way: Does seeing a sight or hearing impaired person make you appreciate the things you are able to hear and see? Does a person sitting with withered angled limbs in a wheelchair make you appreciate being able to stride to the shop, and feel less inclined to complain about having to stand for too long? Perhaps I am selfish, although I know that these people with their outward challenges have inner beings too. That they are sometimes pleasant people, sometimes bitter. Sometimes filled with the capacity for love, sometimes hate. They are in every sense like me, only my afflictions are within.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Please Respond Mildly

“He went and joined that stupid club”.

Not the one where you have to give a fanciful password in order to gain access to a muggy wendy house, and eat home-made cookies, drink orange pop and fantasize about the possible criminal activities of your neighbours.

Not the one where you have to maintain a cool wardrobe and make sure that you are on speaking terms with the mountains of testosterone guarding the door.

Not the one where you get together on Sundays and wear sweat-stiffened leathers and roar through the countryside scaring the crap out of the local fauna (the jury is out on whether or not flora can be scared, too).

Nope- the other club. That was the one Kurt Cobain’s mother was talking about in the quote above. The one where the only two qualifications have to be fame and early death. The membership is growing, and the members never age. Immortals. Sometimes immortalised for their final act of senselessness or debauchery, sometimes by accident. You can’t get in by being recommended by a current member, or by bribing the right person. The best way to get in is to have a string of popular or controversial singles, maybe an album, and then to have a sudden death either induced by substance abuse or a dodgy aeroplane engine.

The club is odd- it has a huge fan base, but a tiny membership. The members become larger than life at the moment of their running the gauntlet. They come with their personal myths and legends, and it is never mentioned that they were foolish or stupid, or that they, too, had to go to the toilet; eat, sleep and occasionally bathe. Their creative output excuses their personal excess, and they even manage to recruit people into mock admission- the kids who can’t bear the thought of living without another poster or song being made of their loser-heroes, and string themselves up in the closet using the cord from their Paddington Bear pyjamas.

The club includes Cobain, Vicious, Joplin, Morrison, Townsend, Bolan, Hendrix, Socrates (ok, ok, just threw in the last one to appear clever) and some others, although people like Michael Hutchence and people like him aren’t real members. The club is for musicians, but people like Elvis, Michael Jackson and John Lennon have their own clubs. They don’t need the fellowship of other members, just the firm foundation of idolisation.

The throw-away society we live in is always ready to admit people to the club who don’t deserve to be there. Take part in your grade school talent show, and then suffer a peanut-related fatality, and suddenly you seem eligible. Wrong. The fickleness of celebrity can only take you so far. You wouldn’t really want to join, anyway. Bookies have run odds on whether (or how soon) Amy Winehouse or Pete Docherty will join, and it is to be hoped that the Roman citizens clamouring for the death of these pop culture gladiators will realise that their lives are not currency, or entertainment. The tabloids can create the myth, but that is all they are. When you become a brand, you are no longer an individual, and that brand can be subject to the most hostile of take-overs.
We seem to thrive on hysteria. On being the first to find out and disseminate information about untimely deaths. On gazing at screens at footage of sheet-shrouded people on gurneys being shoved into coroner’s vans. We urge their posthumous nomination at awards evenings, and everyone has a favourite story to tell of how sweet or clever or funny the dead guy was. As Elvis (purportedly) used to say: As funny as a turd in a punch bowl.

Ok. You’ve read this far, and you are hoping for a clever twist, or some point that will make this entry useful. Ha! You can’t catch me out! I refuse to be caught up in the excesses of fame and adoration, so I will remain a non-joiner, and aim to keep this stuff as crappy as possible.

I bet I’d write better after a handful of speedballs and some Wild Turkey, though. Any offers?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Lost Art of Portraiture

Some people hate having photos taken of themselves. Forgive me- but especially women. They see the lens, and fear the click. It’s understandable- these days a photo is an afterthought, an accidental moment caught in pixels, deletable, sure, but more likely to appear on Facebook, or another online album. In the olden days, (lets call them the ‘80s), a snapshot had to be printed out, then selected- remember booboo bins?- and the whole process was so tedious that we sat with undeveloped films in drawers and cameras for months at a time. When we did get around to developing them, we considered it an act of pride to migrate the best of those into an album. A photograph was something special, a talisman to contain an instant of your life, and in the small rectangle to summarise memories, dreams and reflections.

Fast forward: Now we whip out our phones and digital cameras that are only slightly bigger than an old roll of film used to be and click the shutters like we are pumping a semi-automatic rifle like the deranged and terrified troops at the start of Saving Private Ryan. Within an instant, we are uploading them from our phones onto the internet, where anyone in the world can see them. We tag them unthinkingly, and in some formats, this means that all five hundred of your closest ‘friends’ will see you with your eyes half closed, your accidental post-real-smile-rictus-grin, or a tell-tale glistening just inside your left nostril.

Worse than that: the tense ‘I’m trying to look like me’ face that you adopt for passport and identity document photographs. The ones you know you will never be able to show anyone without adding the caveat that ‘passport photos are always dreadful'. I know that feeling. In my ID book, my photo is of a wide-eyed (I was on drugs) nineteen-year old with hair, my passport has a mugshot of some stranger with a very ill-conceived goatee beard.

As if that weren’t enough, we can now scan in all the hideous photos from our childhoods- the ones that should have been booboo’ed, and remind everyone of the horrors of hair and fashion that belong to previous decades. And those self-taken photos (see above) with the weird camera shooting down your arm angle... Lovely.

Whatever happened to the old way of posing for photos, holding those poses for minutes because of the time it took to take a shot? See the photo I’m holding? Those two guys with the ramrod straight postures are relatives of mine. Pocket watches, hats, and a polar bear rug. Nary a beer bottle in sight. Those were the days. My brother complained (justifiably) when I put pictures of him up on the internet- they were horrifying ones- so I’m more careful now. I also found out that photos of my children in the bath got a creepy amount of hits. (Check that put if you have ever put up photos like that- I promise you, they’ll be taken down in an instant).

Still, I’m not complaining if people stick pictures of me up- at least I feel a bit more like I exist, even though I am a lopsided, crosser and older version of how I feel. I need a body double. An avatar. Someone who only has a good side…
Now. I have my webcam on, and have created some new software, so as you read this, hold still…. and… smile…

Friday, October 9, 2009

Getting Your Rocks Off

It’s no big deal- stop panicking! So a big orb of rock and dust is going to be pocked with tiny missile craters? Pech!! It isn’t as though we’ll miss it if it turns out to be a huge grey party balloon, which will deflate, shooting across the universe with the loudest sound of flatulence EVER.

Maybe there will be a star-struck romantic who will no longer be able to gaze at the moon and think of a distant lover looking at the same.
Maybe the cow will have to find something else to jump over.
Maybe lunar-gardeners can take up air guitar, instead.
Maybe it isn’t so bad- we’ll never be plagued by lycanthropic lunatics again.
Maybe we won’t miss college students shoving their backsides out of moving cars.
Maybe there will be a vein of pure stilton running through the heart of it.
Maybe those who follow a lunar calendar will have to just count on their toes.
Maybe it isn’t so bad for industry- flag designers are about to make a loooot of money redesigning.
Maybe I’m not the only person who has instant nausea on hearing the song which contains the lyrics “I saw Brigadoooooon”
Come to think of it, what about the one about the river being “wider than a mile”, and the other about the “big pizza pie”?

Culturally, we’ve not got much to miss when they bomb the moon.

But I will miss the cool blue reflected glow of the arbiter and orbiter of our nightly histories. Farewell, sky blob.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Wretched Tale of the Scabbed Head

Recently I moved into a house with no mirrors. After a couple of days of shaving my ears, I realised that I needed to see myself again. What kind of a house has no bathroom mirror (or hook to hang one on)? I can only imagine that the previous occupant was a vampire without a reflection, or someone with self-esteem issues.

So I bought one. A snazzy small one which I put on the bathroom windowsill. It was double sided, and pivoted around, to show a magnified version of my face. (For that early morning startling feeling) I carefully examined my nicked ears and the tufts of facial hair growing at randomly skipped intervals, and felt human again. I see myself, therefore I exist?

Stupid wind blew the stupid mirror into the bath, where it exploded. Seven years of bad luck, beginning with a lacerated butt?

Next, I bought two other mirrors. Cheap ones (my mirror budget appearing to now depleted with the destruction of the first). The trouble with cheap mirrors is that they tend to distort your appearance. In the tall one, I look like a Modigliani bendy-toy portrait, and in the other, an old sad guy. Ok, the latter is how I currently look, but then a mirror should at least do a Snow White commentary- “Damn, dude, you are lookin’ scooooorchin’ today” would be nice.

It comes down to life crises- I’ve been “immediately forgetting what I look like”. The mirror-image version of me is similar, but with definite warped features. Maybe it really is the house. Like something Poe could have written- The Twisted Mirror. Well, this raven is going to quoth nevermore, soon. I think I’ll go back to shaving parma ham slivers off my nose, and walking around with congealed egg on my chin. The only other option is to seek out a tranquil brook, and gaze at my reflection in that, but tranquil brooks are a mite scarce near my house, and also tend to be damp on the banks. It isn’t summer yet.

Seven years. Good grief. I’m trying to remember the one I broke seven years ago, and fourteen years ago and…. Well. You get the picture. As warped as it is.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Catching Up

Maaaaaybe I was kidnapped and held underground in a coffin-like box with a rubber air-hose.
I grew my pinky nails and clawed my way up through the musty sand.
Lots of changes too dull to discuss here, but I'll be moving urls. In fact, maybe I already have. (I'm a bit clueless about this). The name of this rather pointless blog will also change, pointlessly, to another pointless name. The best part of it is that I'll see you all here, or in a circus mirror version of here shortly.
I'll attempt to redirect you, and follow you from the new URL.
If all this techno crap fails me, I'll start a new blog and put up details for ya.
Thanks for listening, you've been very kind...
The old URL:
The new one: