20 Feb 2004

How are you?

O, you know, knee deep in something or other.

And how is the wife?

What wife? I think she’s dead.

Glad to hear it. And the kids?

Buried.

How wonderful. Do come in.

I’ll sit down shall I?

Actually, no. I’d much prefer it if you didn’t.

Right ho - umbrella stand it is then.

You’re obesely overweight. You do understand?

Of course. My weight is legendary. Stuff of myths.

So I hear. You are entirely large. Port?

No, I flew in. How about a drink then?

Alright. Sherry?

Sherry is fine.

No. Sherry is my maid. Sherry, the port please.

I liked your piece in the Times by the way.

Slightly below the belt I’d like to think.

I should say. I was pelted with jam when I left the House on Monday. Truly you are a miscreant.

An utter bastard but then again….

….I’m worse. O, entirely. But I never actively attempt to publicise the fact.

Of course not. You don’t have to.

Yes. You do it very well for me.

He took it for granted
That once she was planted
Her bush would grow.

She wove her hands
Across his foreign lands
And felt his storm blow.

Fnarrrrh.

Praise be to the bubbly verbal laxative
That I know as champagne
And let’s salute the soother of the beast
That I watch you dance to
So much more together than apart
And with them I plan tonight
To steal away your heart.
(If that’s okay?)

Just one more ditty and I shall be away
To smoke a cigarette amongst the hay
And forgetfully drop the match there
And return shortly with far less hair.

Met this man in a bar
Said he’d arrived from afar
And the reason he was blind
Was far too much moonshine.

He wore a peaked cowboy’s hat
And it was on the pooltable that he sat
And told the world his name was Jack
While his left buttock potted the black.

After the second jug of flat beer
He sang to all those who could hear
Quite truly the saddest ever song
Composed about the game of Mahjong.

As we all wiped away the tears
He appeared to have disappeared
And although I searched the bar up and down
No trace of the old guy was to be found.

But under the table where he sat
I found his peaked cowboy’s hat
And out of it fell
A purple scaled lizard’s tail.

And as I stood and mused
For what this tail could possibly be used
There came a scream as if from Hades
And out stumbled Jack from the door of the ladies.

Followed shortly by a lady enraged
Screaming to the heavens that she was engaged
And, nonetheless, even despite that
She never touched a man who stood while he shat.

So quickly I picked Jack from the floor
And led both of us nimbly out of the door
Because the night as we knew it was still young
And there was still much drinking to be done.

We cruised the streets for a time
Talking gibberish with no reason no rhyme
And agreed upon a plan for the night
That somehow we’d get Jack back his sight.

We considered the idea of visiting a specialist
But I had little money and Jack just his vest
So as it was through drink that Jack his sight did loose
Perhaps it would return if he drank enough booze?

“A-ha” yelled Jack, and the plan was agreed
He’d drink and drink till he’d had all that he would need
So once again he could see all the splendour
And visit the bathroom of the correct gender.

I knew of a bar across town that would suit our needs
Where the drink was cheap and the stools just reached your knees
So when you eventually fell from the bar
Your head to not have to hurtle so far.

“I’ve done it before” said he to a tree
“Exactly!” said I, “But never with me.”
“It may or may not work….”
“But either way we are going to get horrifically drunk.

Our strides took on a purposeful gait
As it was already late and neither of us could wait
To quaff plenty more spirits and such
And see if Jack’s sight might tonight be in luck.

We eventually reached the bar
And only once had he been hit by a car
And only thrice did Jack the night toast
With his forehead, on a passing lamppost.

We found the door and shortly the bar
Where we sat ourselves and ordered a jar
Of the most potent liqueur known to man
Or at least the deadliest to be found in this land.

“Glug, glug,” went we and then “Same again but doubles!”
The bar man nodded and looked mildly troubled
As we had just sunk his whole supply of scotch
Straight and neat and without the rocks.

And after the tequila and vodka had gone south as well
The barman knew we were heading for hell
On our way with only a few stops
To drain his bar of even the brewed hops.

By now all the bar custom had departed
But we were hardly started
“Plenty more percentage need we,
If you are ever going to see.”

At this point the bar man realised the situation
And reached for the bottle of liquid nitrogen
Shaking his head profusely he poured two pints
And with tongs he placed them in front of his two remaining clients.

Jack and I looked at the glasses the barman had unveiled
At least I looked while Jack just inhaled
And slowly grins took over our faces
As we both reached for our lethal vases.

The barman saw our deadly intent from afar
And threw himself headfirst behind the bar
No doubt expecting exploding bodies and estranged limbs
He poked his head up and saw only our fixed grins.

Our bodies still intact but our minds blown away with beauteous pain
I smiled at him only to hear Jack exclaim
“Great Gods on high! But I can SEE!”
And slipped down the bar to firmly embrace me.

We thank the relieved barman and made our way
And “Thank Fuck” was all we heard him say
To each other we said what we had to say
And tipping his hat Jack slowly blew away.

11 Feb 2004

So, minding one's own beeswax, I was affronted in the town by a goat herder from the Eastern steppes of Mongolia. On closer inspection, she was a very attractive goat herder and she was gesturing at some papers she carried in her hand. She smiled. As I waited for the cars to pass between us I supposed she was lost and needed directions on her map. I smiled back and darted across the road. She was mostly wearing red wool. She had a sherper hat pulled down over the top of her noggin with two thick plaits of black hair either side of her dark skinned visage. Gosh, she was awfully yummy and she smiled and I smiled and I already knew she was no lost goat herder but some well intentioned lass who would now attempt to eke out of me my bank details. It was for Greenpeace.

Her: Would you like to help to save the planet?

Me: Not really. I'm not that concerned for it. I think that Gaia will prevail.

Really? Who's Gaia?

O, you know, the Earth Spirit as coined by Lovelock. Do you know?

No.

Well, basically, Gaia, which is the planet and her balance, will survive us humans as it did the dinosaurs. I know there will be some scars...

O right. I see. I believe in that a lot as well but I still want to help.

That's fine if you do but I also think that there is no real point. The flaw in every system is man and his nature. As long as we are still here, things are fucked. What we need is a complete destruction of us by nuclear radiation and then the cockroaches will inherit the earth...

cockroaches, errrrh, I don't like them much...(with her fingers playing with her hair)

...maybe not but they survive radiation, one of the few creatures that does. Then they will be in charge. (smiling)

That's really interesting.(wide eyed)

Yeah, well, it's just something I read.(all humble) Good luck(smiling)

Thanks.(really smiling)

See you around.(really smiling)

Bye.(really smiling)

And I carried on up the hill to the video shop. I did my business, did what I had to do and then realised I'd done it all wrong and had to go and get a thing for the other thing. Walked up the hill, round the top of town and back down the other side, then nipped down the alley next to the poolhall and there she was. We headed straight for each other, smiling of course.

Me: Had any luck?

Her: A little.

I reached for her id badge which was swinging from her neck, caught it, had a look of what she looked like without her hat on, smiled and asked:

Where do you guys come from then? (I forgot to mention that there were three of them, Greenpeaceniks, wandering around Bude being all overly happy and smiley)

O, from Oxford.

And where do you come from?

O, originally from London....

O really? Whereabouts?

North East but I lived in Cornwall for three years a couple of years ago.

Really? Whereabouts?

Padstow, but then I went traveling and now I can't really afford to move back down here.

(Then we talked about house prices and demographic shifts, all the time smiling at each other and digging the Good Vibe.)

Her: ...but I don't really mind because I spend so much time traveling.

Me: Yeah? I can understand that. You love traveling do you?

Totally. That's why I'm doing this, because I've actually seen for myself what's going on all over the world.

So you can really tell it like it is...

Yeah.

Have you ever been involved in slightly more drastic action, you know, like a little bit of B and B technique negotiation?

(blank face)

Baseball Bat and Balaclava. You know, like breaking into animal testing labs and videoing monkeys with three arms and no hair with a penchant for toxic lime cordial?

(He He she laughed whilst shaking her head) No, no, Greenpeace is totally non-violent. (smiling) It's the media that make us out to be loonies.

I know. (smiling)

And then it strikes me as I am studying her face, her dark eyes and wonderfully shaped nose and her full lips. She is beautiful. And I know, by the end of this meeting, I will have told her and it will be good.

Me: Well, I gotta be getting on. It was really nice to meet you again.

And you. (puts her hand out)

(taking her hand and warmly shaking it) You are startlingly beautiful. (looking deep into her eyes, not smiling, still holding her hand)

(Momentarily taken back but still smiling) err, thank you.

See you (smiling)

See you (really smiling)

And we went our separate ways. I, personally, was buzzing. She was so lovely, so dark, and so susceptible.

Anyhoo, back I perambulated to the video shop, put the thingy into the thing and ran into Jack, the surfing Dentist, who gave me a lift. As we pulled away from the kerb and passed the fork in the road in the centre of town, just by the bookshop, there she was again. I exclaimed such and Jack, in the midst of my excitement pulled over and as she approached (smiling) he wound down the window. She bent down:

Me: Got anyone else yet?

Her: No. I'm off back to the car I think.

A car pulled up behind us, waiting for us to move so they could get past. I ignored them. This was no time for social graces to impatient strangers when there was this honey, whom I knew a little, smiling at me.

Me: What's your name?

Her: Maria. And what's yours?

Bruce.

She reached across Jack to shake hands. Smiling, the pair of us.

Jack: Er, Bruce, there's a queue.

Me: Listen. Maria, are you about tomorrow?

Maria: No (not smiling so much). We're off to Exeter tomorrow.

Me: (looking pained) Damn....

Jack puts the car into gear...

...well, I'll see you around....

Her: ...hopefully.

Me: Yeah, you never know.(Jack pulls away, she stands back) probably soon, maybe in Ecuador..? (smiling inanely)

And that was the last I saw of her. So far.......What a total honey though. Maria. I love that name. Not everyone can carry it off but she certainly did. I wanted to wrap myself up in her, spend hours lying next her running my fingertip over the small scar she had under her chin. I bet she would taste like a warm, mulled caramel with a hint of nutmeg.

10 Feb 2004

Listen up you maggot fuckers! I came here to clean house and by motherfucking Jimminy that is what I will do! In case you were wondering, ladies, my accent is from the deep south of Texas. You got that, you ass sniffers, I am a Texan and accordingly, as is my god given fuck you all right, I am a one tough old mean sonuvabitch! Can I get a hell yeah?!

Oh, most certainly my dear chap. Hello there and how the devil are you?

No, you pig nipple fuck bucket! I said, can I get a Hell Yeah!?

Oh, I do apologise most profusely. I think it is you deep and thick southern drawl, which incidentally reminds me of the noise a heifer makes when overly constipated, that threw me rather alarmingly off track. So sorry, old bean.

What did you say, you puddle of rat spunk?! Are you making to irritate me some, boy? I would not recommend that as a very motherfucking wise plan of action. You got that!

My gosh! Why certainly, my little red-neck periwinkle blossom. I am reading you quite clearly. Mint tulip anyone?

Simple statements of no more than eight words.

Clear concise and elegant descriptions that engage you.

Statements that tell you much but don't last...fuck it...long.

Okay then, we shall have to use nine words.

Eight just did not give us enough room at....oh fuck it...all.

So, ten words it is going to have to be.

Ten is a nice stable number that accommodates us perfectly.

I have the distinct feeling that things are not as they appear. O rather, that things are not as they appear to us. Things are just things after all, and would exist quite happily whether or not we were there to perceive them. I have never bought into the whole ,"If a tree falls in a forest with noone to hear it, does it make a noise?" speculation. The answer to that is utterly obvious. Of course it makes a noise. Matter has contacted matter at a impetuous rate and the accordant energy that is released is partially dispersed as sound waves. The very fact that some of us ask that question with a straight face and an honestly quizzical furrowing of the brow is clearly an example of how we, us and our perception can often do we, us and ourselves a dis-service.

If you ever catch yourself thinking "That cannot happen because it just is not possible" then I suggest you check yourself immediately. Just because it appears impossible to us because our limited knowledge declines to accept it as a possibility, that does not necessarily make it so. Note that I included the caveat "necessarily". I would never suggest that I was able to comprehensively explain anything. Rather, I might offer a possible explanation all the time being quite forward about the fact I was possibly wrong.

As I said, although the cause might evade us the effect is still there and so, accordingly, there must be a reason behind it. Perhaps it is not easy or preferable to deal with healthy speculation as the only foundation upon which one's approach is built but, at the very least, you shall not err as a result of being confident yet wrong. It reminds me of a little aphorism that occurred to me a year or two ago. "The only thing that does not change is the fact that everything changes." The saying itself is a contradiction but I find it poignantly at odds with itself and so casts a healthy glow of unsurity over one's whole perception of time and life.

Or then again, this could all just be rambling pseudo-philosophical bollocks, the outpourings of a damaged cerebellum and mis-wired psyche. Or then again, it might change the whole world. Possibly this is a test and you've just read the question and will be marked on your resultant thoughts. Have I failed? Did I get that distinction which we enable me to go to the Advanced School of Thermodynamic Machinations? Fuck me. What drivel. Stop it now.

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