Friday, 28 September 2007
For some reason, Oman had a lot of flashers. They were mainly the Omani men but a few of them were from the sub-continent. If a flasher was caught, he was severely punished, but they rarely are as most of his victims are usually so gob-smacked, they just stand there and gibber mindlessly. My friend, Debs, however, was on the ball, so to speak (!) and helped catch hers. When she identified him, he was hauled off to a very nasty prison in an area called Rusayl. You really don't want to end up in prison out there - everything you read about Middle Eastern incarceration is true...Debs was told by the police that she could decide his punishment. She was offered anything up to, and including, castration. She was quite mortified by this, and having seen him in the dock at sentencing time, by which stage he had languished in his own filth for three months and was completely emaciated, she felt he had served his time. As it was, he got deported back to Pakistan.
As far as I am aware, neither of my two most memorable flashers were caught...
We had just had a new superstore open in the 'shopping district' (I use that term loosely as it was rubbish then) and everyone was rushing down there to buy their huge sacks of rice, drums of ghee, half a side of goat etc and the expats were there because, for a change, we actually had a proper shopping mall! I only had #2 daughter with me that day as #1 was in nursery. #2 was off due to chicken pox and was three sheets to the wind, which was lucky for me. While we walked around the store, we bumped into a friend, Kate, and her daughters, who were also off colour. Kate was married to a work colleague of my ex, so we had a bit of a chat and a gush about how 'simply marvellous' it was that we now had a big shop in which to while away our time.
I got to my car to load up the boot with my shopping and had just strapped #2 into her car seat. I was parked at the forefront of the carpark and, across the little access road, I noticed an Omani man squatting onto the floor. My first thought was that he was taking a leak over the drainage grid and I was somewhat indignant...then, as I focussed more (I had just had eye laser surgery!), I realised that he was having a jolly good tug at himself. I nearly crashed the car, my dear reader! Behind him, busy shoppers were going about their business, ignoring him, probably assuming the same as my initial thought. I quickly looked at #2 who was not of this planet due to all the Calpol with which she was dosed and turned back to my very own personal Flash Dance...
Well, I declared to anybody that, in an identity parade, I wouldn't have recognised him by his facial features, but his appendage was so huge that initially, I thought he was polyorchidic and gazed in amazement...then it dawned on me. I shot the Jeep out as quickly as possible, pointing out various goats and sheep on the neighbouring mountains to #2 so she was distracted and drove off, intermittently chuckling, laughing out loud, and then shaking in fright at what I had seen.
My first phone call was to the ex...I told him and he was gobsmacked. My next call was to Kate.
Kate? Did you see that flasher in the carpark at the Sultan Centre?
Bloody f*ckin' hell (Kate was a dreadful potty-mouth!) did I SEE him? F*ckin' Jesus Christ! He was right next to my f*ckin' car, had his pull, wiped himself off with a f*ck-off leaf, moved across the way and STARTED AGAIN!!!
Did your girls see it? I asked.
No! For f*ck's sake, they were in the back eating Willy Wonka sweets and I'm in the front watching Willy Wanker!
An hour later, the ex called to say that Kate had called her husband, Simon, to tell him of her experience. Kate had told him she had never seen anything so huge in her life and the ex had retorted that this Agnes had said it was minute...
My second memorable flash happened, once again, in a supermarket. I was in Al Fair to purchase a birthday present. All the toddler-aged prezzies were located on the bottom shelf, so I was squatting down looking at My Little Ponies, Polly Pockets and Lego and wondering which item the child would most be likely to choke on when an Omani chap came towards me down the aisle. Out of the corner of my eye, I registered that his dishdasha was being carried upwards like a bride walking down the church aisle to meet her intended. So, I turned to stare at him. There he was, prancing gaily down, baring his masculinity for all to see! My squat over-balanced, and I ended up sprawled on the floor. Sod the present, I thought, I'm off!
I got my trolley and sped over to the frozen food aisles. My head was spinning, but after checking my list, I realised that I had to purchase frozen veg...Well, the bugger followed me and held his willy out for me over the frozen peas, just as I was reaching into the freezers to grab a bag (pardon the pun!) and I yelped!
As I yelped, he scarpered, and I was left with managers swarming around me...one lovely Pakistani manager had just been on a pilgrimage and had his hair hennaed bright red and it was somewhat difficult to take him seriously. His English wasn't fantastic and I resorted to sign language...Have you ever considered how to sign 'flasher' as a woman?
I gave up...I went home and called the ex to tell him of my latest escapade. He found it utterly hilarious, as did my friends when I told them. They started to ask me when I was going out shopping as they wanted to experience it too. At one point, there was even a Flash Agnes Fan Club as I had way more than the two I have related...
I was flashed by mobile phone a year ago...via one of those dreadful dating sites. We had arranged to meet, exchanged mobile numbers, and then I got a mucky picture of him having solo fun. I was not impressed at all and gave him very short thrift. He went onto the website and slagged me off to high heaven and sent me very rude messages until I reported him...
I like men, believe it or not, but I don't like knobheads. I will ask to see your willy when I am ready...And not before!
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
It is almost four years since I had a proper holiday - I went to Barcelona last year with the last ex for four days, one of which was spent in hospital having X-rays and leaving with my neck in a brace, but apart from that, all holidays have been off limits.
The first holiday I went on without parents was when I was 18 (the age of majority in my father's eyes, and not a day before) with my then, lovely boyfriend, Mike. Please don't anybody ask why I didn't stay with Mike...I often wonder that myself! We decided to go to Devon and scoured the newspapers for hotel accommodation. One particular hotel caught our eyes and extolled its luxuries such as heated outdoor pool, jacuzzi, private beach, en suite bathrooms (this was in the 80s when en suite was so upmarket and not standard as it is these days) and live entertainment - woohoo!
We sent off for the hotel brochure and were utterly dismayed at the prices of the Sandy Cove, but were relieved to find it had a cheaper, sister hotel in Ilfracombe, not too far away. So, we booked our en suite double room (I told my father we were in separate rooms and thankfully, he didn't ask for written confirmation of this) and set off one very hot, sunny day in July 1988.
It took ages to get there and we tried not to make too many stops as we were eager to arrive, get unpacked and hole ourselves up for our first legal love-in.
Well, to say the hotel was underwhelming is an understatement itself. I remember the staircase vividly - it was painted dried blood red and was so steep it was like climbing the face of the Eiger. Our 'en suite' was actually a toilet and bath down the end of a corridor, but as there were no other bedrooms in the attic, we had it to ourselves - in theory; in practise, anyone wandering about, lost, could dive in for a quick wash and brush up if they so wished...
Our 'view' looked out over the neighbouring pub - not the sea...well, had I squinted and squashed my face up to the far left of the window, I might have caught a glimpse of it. And the bed - which was what Mike and I had been very fussy over - dipped dangerously in the middle. I'm pretty sure former guests had got lost in that dip, never to be seen again. In the corner of the room was a huge plate fungus, thriving on the rising damp. I am not sure if the hotel had left it there in case guests wanted to use it as extra shelf space as it was so enormous, because I could have quite easily stored my hand luggage on it.
All in all, a great disappointment...and as is my wont, I moaned. I moaned so much that Mike went to the management to complain. I think he complained about the moaning, to be honest - something along the lines of, There is an irritating whine in my room, can you do anything about it? They came up to see what I was moaning about and had to agree that under the Trade Descriptions Act, it wasn't really an en suite bathroom and pest control would be called in to destroy the new cure for syphillis being cultivated in the corner of the room. This wasn't really good enough to shut me up, so I stepped up my whinging until they relented, went off to make a few phone calls and informed us that tomorrow, we could transfer to The Sandy Cove hotel without any further charges. Hurray! I was most pleased that we were able to move to a decent, clean hotel and so we went out to celebrate in style at the pub across the road.
The next morning, we got ourselves up bright and early to get washed, dressed and ready for the transfer. Mike decided to go for a bath down the corridor, and I started running the water in the sink in our bedroom. He'd trotted off for his bath, and forgotten his towels, so he was butt naked and yelled for me. I couldn't quite hear him, and went out of the bedroom, leaving the taps running, and shouted for him to repeat himself. As soon as the words were leaving my mouth, our bedroom door slammed shut, locked to everyone but those with a spare key.
I stared in realisation at the door, looked at my naked boyfriend, looked down at my then more than ample figure, clad only in a pair of knickers and panicked. In the bedroom, I could hear water starting to overflow.
What are we going to do? I flapped, of absolutely no help to poor Mike whatsoever.
Go down to reception and ask them to open the door up for us, he snapped at me.
I'm not going down there - I've only got my knickers on! I retorted hotly.
Well, I'm not wearing anything! he pointed out, rather obviously.
Tough! There's no way I am going down there...
We argued back and forth about who would suffer the most embarrassment in displaying their 'bits' to reception and as I spotted Mike's flannel on the edge of the bath, I pointed out the logic that there was one flannel, he only had only one thing to cover up, and I had two, ergo, he went and got help.
He held the flannel over his groin, and scaled the downward slope of the staircase, which was quite difficult with only one hand. I hid in the bathroom and waited for the spare keys to be produced. A few minutes later, Mike was let in, red-faced and mortified. The bedroom floor was soaking from the overflowing sink and you could almost hear the fungal spores rejoicing at this new area of dampness to reproduce in.
Like a coward, I skulked back to the bedroom once the coast was clear. Mike was not impressed by my lack of help, and the finger of blame was pointed squarely in my direction. By this stage, I had seen the funny side of it and told him that one day, when I was rich and famous, I would recount this in my memoirs. Well, I'm not yet rich and famous, but one part of the prediction has, indeed, come true!
The Sandy Cove was a much nicer place to stay at and we were fortunate enough to have a glorious two weeks of sunshine and so were actually able to experience the outdoor heated swimming pool, which was like ice, and the private beach, which involved ropes, harnesses and abseiling, so precarious was the descent.
I have not been back to Devon since then, although it is a beautiful part of England. I prefer to holiday overseas now as the weather is guaranteed, generally, and the only time I have felt like complaining about a room was when I stayed at the Al Buraimi Hotel in Oman - the sauna was out of order, the paving slabs around the pool were broken and a veritable broken ankle/split head waiting to happen, the evening's entertainment ('Housey-Housey' NOT bingo, of course, as gambling is illegal in the Sultanate!) started at 2am under my bedroom window, and the "Indonesian cuisine" was a portion of chicken drumstick in a pool of oil...However, as I was there to write a hotel review for a magazine, and as the hotel was owned by the government, I was under strict orders not to complain and NOT to write a bad review if I wanted to remain in the country as a guest of HM Sultan Qaboos...
So, as Autumn is now here, my summer holiday for 2007 has passed without trace and I shall therefore have to dream of sandy beaches, sunshine and relaxation until next year. If any of you are going to take a late holiday and would like a travelling companion, I am very good at providing non-stop witless conversation and will always get the round in if you lend me a tenner. Let me know the itinerary, and I shall be there...
PS. It has just occurred to me that here I am, having just accepted a new job, and all I am bleating on about is wanting a holiday - there's no pleasing some people, is there?
Saturday, 22 September 2007
Well, it's a very big day in the Mildew household. #1 and #2 daughters are going to experience something today which they have never experienced before - yes, they are going to learn how to use an iron. Ahahahaha!
No, they are going to their first live gig tonight!
As a mum who attempts to be 'cool' ('frigid' is how I have been described by dates), in a moment of madness three months ago, I purchased three tickets to see Gwen Stefani at the Manchester Evening News arena (MEN). All I know about Ms Stefani is that she has also released a celebrity perfume called Lamb. Which, to me, is a bloody stupid name. I could do that and call it Cow.
The girls are attempting to educate me in Ms Stefani's songs (I remember some of the No Doubt stuff, I must admit) and I don't like them. I have heard 'Ain't No Holler Back, Girl' countless times and it is diabolical. Why does she start spelling out B-A-N-A-N-A-S? Is this White American Rap Girl code for something rude? Am I unwittingly singing along with something I know nothing about? Why bananas? Why not papayas or lychees? If it's just because it is her favourite fruit, OK, I take it back, Gwen, but I just Don't Get It!
I have No Doubt (I get that - ahaha! Do you?) that I will sit there tonight, bewildered by the array of tweenies in the audience who are all dressed far more provocatively than ought to be legal and I shall feel very, very old.
My girls are 13 and 11 - almost: I was 17 before I went to my first gig with a gaggle of friends from Sixth Form College. I organised the outing and it was to see my favourite band of the time, The Stranglers. In 1987, I was ten years too late for the punk movement, but it had affected me quite profoundly in that I really wanted to wear tartan, bondage outfits, dye my hair red/green/blue and show lots of disrespect to authority. So, in my attempt to emulate the style a decade later, I got it horribly wrong: I was more Goth, was only allowed to buy wash-in/wash-out hairdyes in shades of Autumn Chestnut to Raven Beauty and always remembered my manners.
My outfit was very carefully chosen for the evening and I painted all my nails black, wore head-to-foot black (boots, leggings, a black lacey underskirt (!) and my mother's good jumper), dyed my hair Raven Beauty (purpley-black), wore black lipstick and (oh, the shame), wore my friend Linda's nasty-smelling Kiss Me Quick hat from Blackpool beach from which I had blacked out the catchy slogan. I looked like a Goth/Emo with a sense of humour and a cardiac complaint, but nothing like a Punk, unfortunately.
We caught the H5 Crosville bus to Liverpool and wandered around trying to find the Mountford Hall, which was part of the University. We actually only had to listen out for gangs of punks snarling 'Nice & Sleazy' to find it and as there were no queues, we got in without any problems.
Well, to this small-village girl, it was a real eye-opener. There were piercings I didn't think were possible; evil-looking spikes, studs, belts and buckles; hair which could have acted as building scaffold with its gravity-defying rigidity; and both sexes poured into eye-wateringly tight PVC, ripped denim, tartan and leather outfits.
The place stank of B.O. and beer. Suddenly, I felt very incongruous in a Kiss Me Quick hat, and I got rather concerned that I might be found out as an imposter, so I hurriedly purchased a Stranglers T-shirt, put it on in the toilets and binned my mother's best black lambswool jumper (for which I received the grounding of my life - but that's rebellion, man!).
In my innocence, I thought the support act was The Stranglers and stared at them in bewilderment. Where was my one true love, JJ Burnell? Why weren't they singing all the songs I had painstakingly learned such as No More Heroes, Hangin' Around and Ugly? I also couldn't understand the apathy from the rest of the audience. While I was pogo-ing manically, the others were quaffing beer (to quaff means to throw as much beer down your front without actually drinking any) and seemingly, feigning indifference.
An hour later, the lighting changed, as did the atmosphere, and suddenly, hundreds of aggressive testosterone-charged punks surged to the front of the hall, yelling, snarling, gobbing and punching each other. We all got carried towards the front with the tidal wave and it was not a pleasant experience.
Within seconds I had received elbows to my neck, face, back and ribs and I rapidly tried to get to the back. All my, 'Excuse me, would you mind, please?'-es were completely ignored and I ended up elbowing my way out myself. At the back, it was much safer and more pleasant. As the band got into their stride, you could actually see missiles of spit, beer and urine bags being hurled at the band, and I did wonder that, now they were in their late 30s/early 40s, didn't they just yearn for a bit of decorum? I certainly knew from having read their fanzine, Strangled Magazine, that Hugh Cornwell was an opera buff and JJ Burnell (*swoon*) could deconstruct Percy Bysshe Shelley's Ozymandias.
It was, in all, an amazing experience for me and I left the hall quite elated and jabbering excitedly about it all. When we got outside to catch the last bus home, it was pouring down with rain. My mother had told me to take an anorak, but have you ever seen a Punk wearing a pack-a-mac? Muth-eeerrrrrr! Consequently, the driving rain melted all the glue in the cheap Kiss Me Quick hat which started to form a cocoon around my head. I removed it and the rain thus made my wash-in/wash-out Raven Beauty hair dye run down my face in purple rivulets. From being a pseudo Goth, I now looked like a Hammer Horror reject.
I didn't care. I was happy and I had seen JJ in real life. There was one point when I was quite certain he was staring at me and sending me telepathic messages to meet him backstage, but it might have been the lights blinding him.
So, I do hope daughters #1 and #2 remember tonight as vividly as I remember my first gig. And I hope that it is fun for them, if not for me. I shall not make any fashion faux pas tonight and dress safely in jeans, a nice warm jumper as the MEN is bitterly cold and I might sneak in my own can of diet Coke rather than pay the MEN's exorbitant prices. And if I wake up tomorrow morning with temporary deafness, just shout when you leave a comment. I shall get back to you when normal hearing is resumed.
Friday, 21 September 2007
The pub occupies a great position in the small village, Cronton, where my ageing, cantankerous parents still live. It was once a coaching inn and is about 300 years old (I think), almost the same age as the landlady, S.
I don't think anything gave S pleasure apart from bitching. She rarely smiled and if she did it did nothing to lighten her nasty, slitty, gimlet eyes. As a boss, she was totally unfair, and as a landlady she was not the genial host. I hated her and so did my mates, who were also banned one particular day after she wrongly accused one of them of using her payphone to order drugs - a completely inaccurate statement - Al was simply asking his mate to drop some mucky videos off at his house for a massive porn marathon - a considerably innocent past-time, in comparison. She lost the custom of five alcoholics that day who moved over the road to the other pub where they could have lock-ins until 5am if they so wished.
One particular night, the 'restaurant' (and I do use that term loosely) had a gourmet night and I was waiting on along with a few other girls. It was a set menu and the entrée was a dish which contained truffles (those prohibitively expensive fungi dug up by pigs and dogs from dirt). As it was a busy night, the chefs were a bit manic. One of the truffles fell on the floor and I bent over to pick it up and throw it in the bin. One of the chefs grabbed it out of my hand, licked it, wiped it with his dirty tea towel and sliced it up for the plates. "Don't throw that away! They're f*ckin' priceless those things!" he barked at me. I was speechless at the lack of hygeine, and knowing how he put himself about with any awl slapper he picked up at the 'Dope & Anchor' up in Prescot (that's where the drugs were purchased in the late 80s), concerned that the unwitting truffle-eating patrons might end up with a dose of clap by the end of the night.
Towards the end of the shift, I was the last member of staff remaining. I was starving and had been rushed off my feet. I hadn't had chance to eat all day due to all the poxy jobs I did to pay off my student overdraft and decided to pinch a sliver of cheesecake from the fridge. I think, by this stage, the cheesecake was about seven days old and had I dropped it on the floor, it would have bounced back up into my hand, but my belly thought my throat had been cut, so I demolished it.
Five hours later, I woke up with severe cramps and just about made it to the loo where I exploded from practically every orifice. I woke my mother up with the noise and she came hurtling in to accuse me of being wasted on beer. In between heaving, I protested my tee-total innocence, and she finally realised that I had a massive dose of food poisoning. The doctor was called, checked me out and confirmed it. He asked what I had eaten and I mentioned the cheesecake...
The next day, I received a rather aggressive phone call from S. Under duress, I was forced to confess that my food poisoning was probably from the lemonade I had been drinking and most definitely not the listeria-riddled cheesecake. She'd received her training from the Gestapo back in the 1940s, you know. I was actually surprised she hadn't docked my pay packet for the dessert - perhaps she considered I had got my just deserts* instead.
Considering this was the pub which had been shut down by Health and Safety a few years previously for dishing up mouse pie, their standards of hygeine hadn't particularly improved. Within a few weeks of them starting to serve food, a mouse had accidentally fallen into the meat filling of the quaintly termed Cronton Pie (the filling was made from Scousers, footballers' wives, wellies and used condoms - probably). The pie was cut at the table of the unsuspecting diner and there, peering out at him (if a dead mouse can peer), was good old Mickey. The story was considered newsworthy and that fount of all local gossip, The Widnes & Runcorn Weekly World ran it on the front page.
My mother's friend, who used to clean for the pub, swore she once unwittingly saw S and her now deceased husband** getting jiggy atop the polished wooden bar top. I cannot verify this as Mrs X was a terrible gossip, but it made for a great tale and was soon all round the village. Allegedly, all S was wearing were two Christmas baubles dangling from her little fingers. It sort of gave a new meaning to 'bar meals' in my eyes.
Anyway, two years ago, I stopped in at the pub for a drink and was at the bar chatting to some local residents whom I knew. I was stood by the bar hatch and was asked to move by S as I was in the way. There were only about four people in the whole pub, so the staff weren't exactly rushed off their feet and needed urgent access. However, polite to a fault, I did move. I asked her if she remembered me from my waiting on days and she peered at me. She remarked that I obviously hadn't impressed her much as she couldn't recall me. I smiled and said, "You haven't lost any of your charm, have you, S?" I was promptly told to clear off. I considered whether to finish my drink and then turned to her and said, "You'd better keep this and re-sell it. At the rate you lose customers, you're going to need to save as much money as possible" and I walked out. A bit of a lame come-back, really, but I simply couldn't be bothered getting into a slanging match with such a completely egregious woman.
They are still doing business....just. The carpark is rarely busy and most people drink and dine at the other pub which has been taken over by a chain and knows how to treat its patrons. If you ever find yourself in the vicinity of Cronton, don't go to the white pub - go to The Black instead...
*And I have spelt that right - check it out if you don't believe me: it's from the Old French 'deserte', to deserve. Don't tell me I never teach you anything on this blog.
**Maybe he'd eaten the food as well...
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
#2 daughter has recently had sex education at school. #1 daughter thinks she knows everything there is to know about sex from high school. I have been dreading this time as my girls don't just accept a given answer: they deconstruct it, go off at tangents, manipulate the answers to their own sick brand of humour and generally leave me a gibbering wreck.
I had always vowed to be as open and objective about 'difficult' questions since being severely damaged as a child by my mother who, when asked how big an erect penis was, wordlessly held up her little finger. As I got older, I looked at my father with pity, then as I got wiser, I realised my mother was either a liar or very bitter.
The interrogation started with one of the most ludicrous questions I have ever been asked.
#1: Mum...is it true that you can die if a man pees inside you when you are having sex?
Me: Ahahahahaha! Who on earth told you that nonsense! As far as I am aware it is impossible for a man to urinate when he has an erection.
#2: What's an election**?
Me: E-R-ection...You know...hardness...
#1: How do you know when they have finished?
Me: Erm...you can feel it...
#1: Really? What's it feel like?
Me: Erm..sort of like a pulsing...
#1: Do they make any noise?
Me: *thinks* Oh crap!
Me: Yes, there can be a sort of 'urrgghhoooooaaaaa'...
#1 & #2: HAHAHAHA!
#2: Did Dad do that?
Me: Erm, well, at least twice - you're here, aren't you?
#1: Can they pee after they've finished then?
Me: Well, yes, they go to the toilet, don't they, if they are desperate.
#1: What if they did it inside you? Would you die then?
Me: No, I wouldn't die, but he most certainly would. I'd batter him senseless.
#1: Do you like sex, Mum?
Me: I can't remember, it's that long ago...
#1: Aw, come on, Mum. Do you, eh? Do you?
Me: Yes, yes, I do. Ok? Yes, I'd like a bit of a reminder from time to time, I guess, but from what I remember, yes, I enjoyed it.
#2: You're a minger, Mum. Eeewwww!
Me: I'm not a minger at all. You'll enjoy it one day, you know!
#2: I'm not having sex until I am at least 20. I really want to have babies, you know, but I don't fancy the idea of sex. Did Dad see us getting born?
#1: Believe me, you'll have sex before the age of 20!
Me: How do you know that? You'd better not be getting jiggy yet!
#2: Shut up Rosemary! I won't! Mum, was Dad there?
Me: Yes, he was there.
#2: But did he actually see us coming out?
Me: Yes, he was down at the 'business end'.
#2: That's dreadful! YOU should have been the first to see us, not him.
Me: Well, I was offered a mirror, but that just smacked to me of too much Earth Mother for my liking, so I refused. [to #1] You're not getting jiggy are you?
#2: I hate Dad. He should have been holding your hand not watching me coming out.
Me: It is up to the mother, you know. I didn't mind. If I'd have said, Get up here now, the midwife would have got rid of him sharpish.
#2: *chunters lots of feminist curses under her breath*
#1: How many men have you had sex with, Mum?
Me: I'm not answering that question. That is my business. Are you getting jiggy?
#1: More than one? Have you been with more than Dad?
Me: *sigh* Well, yes, yes, you know I have - ICT was living with us, wasn't he?
#2: You did it in your bed? Next to my bedroom? Eeeewwww! That's DISGUSTING, MUM! I'm never going in your bed, ever again.
Me: Suits me - you kick me too much, anyway.
#1: Mum, have you ever had oral sex?
Me: Bloody hell, come on, quick, I've got to get to Asda before it shuts. Hurry up, quick!
Me, 2 minutes later: If you get jiggy, you'll be in for it, you know!
So, all my vows went out the window. I fell at hurdles I swore I wouldn't fall at. Some things are sacred, though. We went out to the shops and had a wander round until we reached the underwear section where #1 loudly proclaimed that basques were only used for porn. I felt sorry for the 40-something lady who quickly put her frilly red and black number back on the hanger and scuttled off sheepishly.
I think we have pretty much covered all 'bases' in the regular questioning, if you'll pardon the pun. I think I will be on more solid ground when we move into nuclear physics, though.
** It's almost the same thing - both concern dicks...
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Every week, people across the world play some form of lottery. In the UK, there is a mind-boggling array of forms and cards which you scratch, mark, and assess, like a randy Tom cat spraying his territory. In my 'village' (I was actually told the other day that Weaverham is the largest village in Europe and really ought to be accorded 'town' status, but all the residents kicked off at the thought of their house prices dropping by 50p) you can tell the lottery addicts a mile off.
My heart sinks when I walk into the Post Office bearing my £2.00 for two lucky dips and I am behind the following:
Short, stocky man with a grey buzz cut around 63 years of age. It's heaving with rain outside but he is sporting a saggy red vest which gapes around the arm holes displaying his hairy man boobs. His shorts are shiny blue satin and very tight. He has flip-flops on. He has a tattoo of practically every design on every imaginable part of his arms, shoulders, neck, back and calves (eewwwww!) which, against the leathery tan, look like some mad child has come and scribbled all over him whilst bored. He spends all his incapacity benefit for that week on numbers for the forthcoming month, and then checks his numbers for the previous month.
The old lady who, because it is throwing it down outside, wears a plastic polka-dot headscarf which constantly slips down over her nose making her unable to see properly. She is huffing and puffing at the bloke in front of her, complaining that 'people shouldn't do this when it's busy' and is trying to rally the complaining troops. We all stare at the ceiling and ignore her. When she gets to the front of the queue, she can't find her money and starts rifling through every pocket of her coat, tartan shopping trolley, knickers and plastic headscarf (just in case). After this charade, she finally hands over £20 and doesn't want the lucky dips - oh no, she is going to choose her 120 numbers herself...There...At the counter...In front of me...
When that is finally done, she'll continue to order a quarter of Sherbert Lemons, Pear Drops, Wine Gums (oh, no, put them back, they make me false teeth stick together) and Pontefract Cakes which 'keep me regular'.
The 15 year old spotty yoof who is rebuffed because he is too young to play the lottery. 'Aww, man, I'm, like, 19. It was my birthday last week. Honest. Ask Gaz, Baz, Tez, Kaz or Loz. They'll tell you.' He rows incessantly with the Post Master who refuses to ask Gaz et al for a reference, so spotty yoof goes next door to the off license and illegally buys 12 cans of Special Brew as if to prove a point, and then spends the rest of the afternoon drunkenly harrassing my greedy cat who goes begging around the chippy, much to my embarrassment.
When the National Lottery was first launched in the UK, practically every win from £100 upwards was reported in the press. People who seemed to have winning streaks were interviewed and asked for the secret of their success. One such woman swore blind that she put a large saucepan on her head and concentrated, trying to locate the magic numbers. I was really impressed by this and decided to give it a whirl.
One Saturday night, I sat in front of the TV waiting excitedly for the numbers to be announced. Atop my head I wore a large saucepan. It was the only one which fitted my head. It was made by Le Creuset, who only manufacture pots and pans from cast iron. My neck muscles were slowly giving out and my head listed dangerously to the left. My (then) husband walked in and stared at me. 'What the f*ck are you doing?' he asked. 'I'm going to win the Lottery!' I retorted hotly. 'What are you wearing a saucepan on your head for?' I impatiently threw the news article at him, which he read, and then declared that I had to wear the pan for calculating the numbers, not checking them. So, I didn't win that night. And it was so uncomfortable that I never bothered again.
Some friends of ours at the time held a National Lottery party shortly after this. We all went for dinner and were kindly given a Lottery ticket each. At 9pm, the gathered throng sat around the telly with baited breath. The numbers were called out with great theatricals from The Voice of the Balls and suddenly, one of our party went white. We all stared at him. He was a shaking, spitting, blustering wreck. 'I don't believe it,' he whispered. 'I've won. I've Won...I'VE F*CKING WON THE BIG ONE!!!!' Everyone clamoured for his ticket and stared. Indeed, he had. There was great elation at the thought that all of us might just get a cut if we were nice to him that night, so the women ignored their husbands and clamoured to sit in his lap and tell him what a lovely boy he was. The excitement was tangible...
About ten minutes after this, our host was visibly and audibly crying with laughter away from the meleé and we turned to him to find out what the big joke was. He was so hysterical, he could hardly breath. We caught the contagious laughter from him and all started howling, despite not knowing what was funny. Without a word, he got up, went to the TV and pulled out a video cassette and handed it to our 'winner'. Quizzical looks were exchanged. And then it dawned. Gavin had recorded the previous week's win, bought lottery tickets, making sure one of the tickets had last week's winning numbers and had started the tape running before we went into the lounge for the results.
This went down like a fart in a diving suit...Jaws dropped to the floor, eyes widened in united horror, and the 'winner', I have to say, did NOT see the funny side of it and left the party abruptly, with much slamming of doors and manic profanities. It sort of put a dampener on the evening, but I still take my hat off to Gavin and think it was one of the most wizard set-ups I have ever encountered in my life. I am just glad that he didn't choose me to be the winner, as I would probably be serving life now in the women's equivalent of Wormwood Scrubs for murder.
Well, I was given a free Euro lottery ticket for tomorrow night's draw and, no doubt, I shan't win this week. But, it's something to look forward to as it's got to be someone, I suppose, and, as Bill the Post Master says to me, if you don't play, you can't win (he's just scared his PO will be shut down as he makes most of his money on his lottery license, probably).
So, wish me luck, and if I win the big one, I shall take a grand world tour and look up all you international bloggers and come and pester you for free bed and board whilst I sit, partaking of your hospitality, throwing wads of notes at you in my generosity.
Sunday, 16 September 2007
I might be on to something here, you know. It has dawned on me that the only reason our reader visits this blog is to pick up on my insults. So, just for you, I have wracked my brains to think of all my favourite insults, which I use, if not to people’s faces, definitely under my breath.
Disclaimer: I rarely swear in my posts as my oldest daughter reads them. I dock her pocket money if she swears, so if she catches me swearing, I have to begrudgingly surrender my pennies. However, a decent insult can rarely be delivered without the odd profanity.
On their attractiveness:
He/she has a face like:
a) a slapped arse
b) a bulldog licking piss off a nettle
c) it’s been set alight and put out with a shovel
d) it's been hit with an ugly stick
On facial features:
a) Looks like she’s breaking her teeth in for a horse
b) His hair’s that greasy, you could fry an egg on it
c) Do you think his mother wanted to keep the placenta when she saw that face?
d) She’s got a gob on her like the Mersey Tunnel
e) He’s got football eyes: one’s home; one’s away
On their intelligence:
a)When he walks into a room, the average IQ goes down by 50 points
b) If she had another brain cell, she’d be a plant/dangerous
On their body size/shape:
a) You could hang-glide with her knickers
b) She’s got her legs on upside down (if unfortunate victim has ‘cankles’)
c) When he bends down, there’s a total eclipse of the sun
Regarding their sexual promiscuity:
a) She’s been banged more times than the lavatory door
b) He’s poked the fire many a time without looking at the mantelpiece
* There are many, many more of these, but they are so crude, I cannot repeat them for fear of having my mouth scrubbed out with soap and water. If you send me your address and a cheque for £1.23, I shall post them to you...
Regarding their generosity:
a) He’s so tight, if you shoved a lump of coal up his arse, it’d come out a diamond next week
b) He’s tighter than a duck’s arse, and that’s water-tight
c) She’s so tight, she’d skin a turd to save money
(Money issues are all about bottoms, I’m afraid…)
Well, since I am under pressure to break up World War 3.75 (of today), which has arisen over who gets the Cadbury’s orange crème, I must leave it here and bid you adieu. Believe it or not, I am very generous with praise, where praise is due, but as I am generally surrounded by idiots, my insults get way more exercise. And I am just about to use some right now!
Saturday, 15 September 2007
Thank you, Barby! Very much appreciated!
August was a very, very quiet month. All the movers and shakers go off to the Bahamas to sip cocktails by the poolside, get indelible tans and sing karaoke in the bar at night when they are trollied. That doesn't stop them placing ads in the job sites, though - oh no, you see a cracking job advertised, apply for it, and within seconds, an email bounces back to you saying:
"I am currently on holiday, drinking, smoking and tanning to excess. I will probably get laid - unlike you. And while you are sitting in your house watching the rain drive down your windows, I am lapping up the sun and having a fine time. When I get back, after I have shown off my tan, shared out the Ouzo, regaled everyone with my sexual conquests and displayed my X-rated photos, I might think about contacting you with a view to an interview."
August was very disillusioning...
But September has arrived and with it, the interviews. I have been for quite a few now and am also starting the rounds of second interviews and presentations. Because my job needs 'an analytical mind' (I can calculate the calories in a wine gum if necessary - but I don't go on about it, Alcoment, so please don't send me a letter, berating me for being a diet whore!), I am often put through a series of 'intelligence tests'. Generally, these are pretty good fun, and I do enjoy them, but yesterday's left me in a cold sweat.
I was presented with two sheets of printed patterns and had to work out either the missing square, or ascertain what the next pattern in the sequence was. I'm OK on these if shaded shapes move around a pivotal point, but it's the 'dots' which get me. Do you know the ones I mean? A grid of nine squares with three or four dots in them, then the pattern alters for the second and third grids, seemingly totally randomly, and then you have to work out the logical sequence. These upset me, you know. I stare at them for ages (or as long as possible in 25 minutes) and they confound me resolutely. I just circled the pattern which appealed to me most in the end, yesterday...
I was then given a list of words which had massive chunks tippexed out of them, so only tiny bits of the original letters remained - I believe this is to check out my perceptual awareness. For ages, I was sure the word said 'bollox'...then after one last stab, I realised it said 'button'...
I finished the tests and waited to be called in to the interview proper, so as I was waiting, a lovely lady came in to chat with me. We talked about all sorts of things, ranging from children, to parents, to my living overseas, to the job. I decided to regale her with a few anecdotes in my repertoire and after 15 minutes she stopped me, and said, "I'd better not hear any more as, if you get through to the next round, I interview you with the CEO - I am Head of HR"...Damn! What did I say? Did I tell her the story about falling off the cliff, drunk, on New Year's Eve? Did I tell her about our debauched Mr & Mrs parties where everyone went home with a box of condoms as a booby prize?
So, into the interview I went, meeting with the heads of Sales & Marketing and IT. It was a very, very long interview - nearly two hours (even I didn't realise I could yap that long!) and towards the end, the candidate requirements were listed. We came to 'must have attention to detail and accurate proof-reading skills'.
"So, what are your proofing skills like?"
"Well," I replied, "I think they are pretty good. You know in your tests? You have spelt 'incorrect' wrong."
"What?" came the response. "We have spelt 'incorrect' incorrectly?"
"That is correct," I replied.
I am such a smart-arse, sometimes...
So, it's a jolly good job, and definitely up there in 'dream jobs which I want when I am big', but knowing my luck, my ability to offend without realising it, and my inability to pass a drugs test, I shall end up at Tesco's, gutting fish for a living, where my Shakespearian swottings will really come in handy: "Prithee, Sirra, the world is your oyster this fine morn - and your smoked haddock and cod loin."
Thursday, 13 September 2007
Hardly unsurprisingly, men do not give a turquoise toss about personalities if they are out for a one-night stand – being more concerned with feminine looks and their ability to a) suck an orange through a hosepipe and b) wrap their legs around their head twice (I made those last bits up).
However, as men’s thoughts turn to procreation and long-term relationships, they seek a woman with intelligence, a healthy look about her, a pleasant personality AND the ability to suck an orange through a hosepipe.
Women, on the other hand, steer clear of the looks and want intelligence, reliability, protection and loyalty in supposed long-term relationships (where a generous divorce settlement is guaranteed) which must therefore account for why we get the likes of marriages such as Salman Rushdie and Padmi Lakshmi (a 32-year old model);
Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster (a 6’1” supermodel); Rick Ocasek (voted 50/100 in a list of "The 100 unsexiest men in the world”) and Paulina Porizkova (a former supermodel); Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones (a stunning former B-list British actress, now über A-list since her marriage) and Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall (a Texan supermodel). All these men’s faces are as lived-in as my Cat boots - it is nothing to do with the men’s wealth and fame, really it isn’t...
Many years ago, when I was more nubile than I was able to cope with, I was courted by a millionaire who had a mansion on the Wirral (the posh part of Liverpool); a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Bentley and many high-powered bikes; an indoor and outdoor swimming pool; and gold-plated taps in his bathroom. He would wait for me to come out of my offices and ask me to lunch, offer to treat me to any outfit from any store and take me out for cocktails and dinner.
I succumbed and went out with him for a lunch one day and allowed him to buy me a cup of coffee. He boasted about his wealth, his connections, the opportunities I could have if I let him into my knickers and the lifestyle he would accustom me to.
Well, I have to confess that I turned him down. (What a fool I was in retrospect – just think of the alimony I could have now!) He was horrible: a braggart; a dope fiend; and he was so ugly that he looked like he had been set alight and put out with a shovel. He had nothing to commend him apart from his wealth (and his gold-plated taps, which I was very impressed by).
Maybe it was because I wasn’t looking to settle down at that age that I couldn’t see beyond the ugly exterior and interior and find a life of luxury? Maybe I wanted flings with nice-looking blokes, which stopped me falling for the millionaire’s attentions? Or maybe it was just because he had the personality of a whelk…
Surely, the old adage, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ still comes into play for those of us who are genuinely not gold-diggers? If we are asked to rate a person’s attractiveness purely based on pictures, we are bound to go for the person that appeals most? That’s why we are unique and not all fighting for Jonny Depp, or in my personal opinion, Al Pacino.
An oft-included question on Interrodate, the internet dating site I once frequented is, “Do you value personality or looks more?” Generally, these questions come from a member who doesn’t include a photograph. So, he’s either butt ugly or married – I can quite firmly guarantee that, speaking from experience. Well, I’m sorry, I am going to be greedy and say, Both. If the initial attraction isn’t there, there is no way I am going to take hallucinogens every night in order to make the beast with two backs with you. I cannot spend the rest of my days in an altered state of reality believing you are some Sex God. You really have to appeal to me aesthetically and mentally.
Thankfully, my standards are pretty low these days…
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
I am late in writing up this post. I was too busy getting high on Co-codamol to sort it out, so apologies to our other reader who has been hanging on for our recommendations for his dinner party last Saturday. However, there will always be dinner parties and so take stock, read and inwardly digest, and you, too, can behave like a wine connoisseur (Blimey, that's a tough word to spell!) - that is to say, you can ponce around in a floppy shirt, sniffing, swirling, spitting and coming out with unfeasible comparisons such as 'It smells like it has matured in a bra of oak'.
The first thing when choosing a wine is to evaluate your guests for the evening. Ask yourself the questions: Do I like these people? Is there anybody whose bones I would like to jump by the end of the night? Would they prefer beer which is cheaper and goes further?
If you don't like them that much, take a bottle of Lambrusco (£2.99/litre) and leave it to go flat. Then add a bit of white wine vinegar to sharpen it up, decant and pass it off as Pinot Grigio. If you fancy a jump later on, add some vodka to it, too. If they prefer beer, then don't bother cooking dinner and just buy a load of fish and chips from the chippy at the back.
Look at the label on the bottle which tells you the wine's vintage, origin, grape variety and the alcohol level. The higher the better. Always save bottles from your rich friends' parties as you can steam these labels off later and stick them onto your own bottles so your mates don't think you are a tight-wad. I always go for the label which appeals to me most. So, when a new range of wines was brought out in Oman which had lovely pictures of cows, pigs, sheep, pasta, chickens etc on, denoting what food you can eat with the plonk, I didn't have to think too hard. They all tasted like car battery acid, but that didn't bother me as my mouth is asbestos-lined.
Look at the wine carefully. Pour a glass out and examine it for clarity and colour. Yoof-ful wines are a purpley colour and more mature wines are a deep red. Drink the wine and move on to the whites. A young white will be pale and uninteresting. A mature white should look like a urine sample. Drink the wine.
Smell the wine. Get your nose right in to that glass and have a good snort. This is where you must come out with some really stupid things to say. You can choose from the following, all of which are utterly acceptable to the Luddites at your party.
It smells like:
Day old cigarette butts with a bonfire after-glow
Bitumen intermingled with half-chewed liquorice
Wet dog, petrol and mud
Hot buttered toast and Marmite with a hint of pus
Strawberries and Balsamic vinegar, aged in a bottle of Toilet Duck
Potato peelings, grass cuttings, cobwebs and Stilton (if it is a particularly mature vintage)
To show that you really know your stuff, anthropomorphise the wine and describe it as a 'Frisky little filly', 'An adulterer if ever there was one!', 'The type of wine who will be your best friend when you're kicked out on the streets', 'A wine so mature it needs its colostomy bag changing' and other such highbrow tosh.
Now you must taste the wine. To do this, you don't just politely have a sip. You suck that wine up through your mouth, slurping, making an inordinate amount of noise like pigs at swill, gargle it round and DON'T spit it out. Swallow it. (If you must spit due to stuffy protocol, make sure you have a bucket handy to collect the slops and serve it as a cocktail with a cherry and a brolly later). One famous wine-taster, who I shall not give name to, as he is the most irritating creature on the face of this planet, recommends that you 'chew' the wine at this stage, letting it coat your gums, teeth and tongue. Is he mental, or what?
After swallowing (or spitting if you are totally stupid), assess the wine for its after-taste, stickability to the soft oral tissue and how it has stained your teeth. If you have bought the cheapest wine you could get away with, at this stage, you should be looking like you have eaten half a pound of beetroot and your mouth will feel like the bottom of a bird cage.
You can have a very enjoyable evening doing this with your friends. If you are too drunk to sort out the burning casserole in the oven, just get out some cheese, crudités and Pot Noodles. It all goes down the same way.
And comes back up the same way next morning.
Monday, 10 September 2007
David was utterly not in my league whatsoever. And by that, I mean due to his age. He was checking in at 12 years my junior and I do not do cradle-snatching, or, even worse, want to be pigeon-holed in the Grab-A-Granny boxes.
He questioned me, gave me all the philisophical codswallop about 'Age is just a number', that he was very mature, a senior level science teacher (I should have said no as soon as I read that, as young teachers have never been in the real world - they go through high school, onto university, and then back into school) and he was dying to meet with me. After many of these chats, I thought, on the spur of the moment, OK, I'll go. I told him to meet me that night at a pub up the road (not the Leigh Arms for a change as I was getting alarmed by the knowing looks from the bar staff).
So, I turned up, bang on time, and he was sitting waiting for me in the gardens, clutching his pint. He was an enormous chap - towered over me, which made a change as I always seem to be the giant in my dates - and appeared to be a rather amiable sort. We broke the ice, he got me a drink, and we commenced chatting. He told me all about his teaching at the Catholic College and how a number of year 9 girls were rather sweet on him and how he handled unruly classes. He seemed to have his head screwed on, at that point. I asked him lots of interested questions, which he enjoyed responding to and at length, but again, as happens with most of my dates, they seem to get very wrapped up in themselves and it ends up like an interview (perhaps this is my problem?).
After an hour an a half of David chat, I interrupted as he paused for breath and asked, Would you like to know anything about me at all?
Oh yes, of course, sorry, it's just that I love my job so much that I do tend to talk about it a lot. For instance, only this morning, I went to teach year 11 chemistry and the funniest thing happened...
When he wasn't talking about work, he talked about his Mum. His Mum is a staunch Catholic lady and he told me she would disapprove of me completely due to a) me being divorced and b) having children (AND divorced).
That's not my bloody fault, I expostulated indignantly. I didn't ask the ex to go off with my best mate.
Yes, yes, I know, he replied, But Mum is very religious and doesn't believe in divorce...Actually, what's the time? (It was 9.30pm) I'd better just give her a call and tell her I'll be late.
You still live with your Mum? I asked.
Oh yes, I will move out at some point, but I am an only child and she likes having me around. She's a very good cook and when I come home late at 5 o'clock (5 o'clock?? I'm generally still anticipating a further two hours work by then!) she has my dinner ready and chats to me about my day.
He rang Mum, and explained that he was just out with his mates, having a few beers and they were having a really good chat about cars which he was engrossed in. My eyebrow was raising again.
He looked sheepishly at me and admitted that she didn't know he was on a date. Great, I thought, he's not allowed to even talk to women by the sounds of it.
What if we went to yours for a coffee, he suggested.
Well, my neighbour was in that night and I had told him about the date and he said he would keep an ear open, just in case, so I agreed.
Don't try anything on, though, I warned him. First up, my neighbour will sort you out, and second, I have a marble rolling pin and I will not hesitate to bash you over the head with it if you try on any monkey business with me (I deliver this line to any dates who come to mine for a coffee. When they see it, they back off immediately).
He looked a little askance, but agreed to the terms and conditions.
Well, we got back to my house and from that moment on, he and his mother texted each other as though they were long lost lovers. Hardly a sentence escaped my lips without the Nokia tune tinkling away, making me lose my thread.
At 11pm, I told him he had better go as his mother appeared to be getting worried about him. He was too besotted to realise that my words were dripping with sarcasm and readily agreed. I couldn't wait to get him out of the house fast enough!
Next day, I was bombarded by texts from him, asking would I go out with him again. I chose my words carefully and stated: I want a man, not a Mummy's boy. Leave me alone as you are already in a relationship - with your Mum.
Surprisingly, this didn't abash him at all, and he continued to ask me out. I won't tell you my final words to him as I don't want Blogger.com to kick me off this site, but suffice it to say, he has not contacted me since. And he still doesn't know what my job is...
Saturday, 8 September 2007
I now have my wish list for Christmas - forget the metallic snot - I Want One of These!
First up is the Crazy Hen which, due to its sprung legs, tail and wings, can 'wobble even in the lightest of breezes'! I would want about ten of these dotted in my back garden to confuse and confound the cats. I have no doubt that the bunnies would try to hump them, as is their wont, but I could also use the hens as target practise for whenever I need to barrel off a load of rotten apples at Norman (kitten) who persists in using the area under my washing line as his toilet, much to my chagrin. As I like to go barefoot as often as possible, you can probably agree that a foot treatment à la Norman turds is not particularly pleasant and I get my revenge whenever I can.
And what would I do without a Pet Ramp? Yes, I know that none of my pets would be seen dead in my car, unless they were going to the Vee Ee Tee's, but what a cracking idea? My one concern is that they are marketing them for the elderly and infirm canine who's not as steady on his pins any more, but wouldn't an older dog prefer to veg out in front of the fire, twitching and farting in his sleep? However, if you bought two, you could then wheel granny up into the boot, and take her for a ride instead!
In the Personal Health section is a corking offer - buy one ear cleaner, get another ear cleaner free! I know this wouldn't be of much value to the likes of Van Goch, but I could have great fun hoovering both my ears at the same time: "This innovative ear vac, gently removes the wax without prodding, poking, pain or damaging the delicate ear canal." My only reservation is if my brain started to come away with the wax.
(Just as an aside here, my ex used to suffer with bad ear wax and one day had his ears syringed. He returned home brandishing a test tube containing a huge lump of black ear wax which almost looked animal due to the protrusion of hairs, food and grit. He had a fine time displaying it to our dinner guests that night, much to my complete mortification.)
I also want a portable LED head torch, as I have always fancied trying out a bit of speleology from time to time. One minute of charging gives 20 minutes light, which is a pretty good return on investment, I am sure you will agree. OK, I might not get very far into the caves before having to make a run for it, but with the 'free wind-up charger for your Nokia phone', if I got into serious difficulties, I could always dial 999 (signal permitting) and get rescued by some brave, rugged, heroic Mountain Rescue sort (preferably male).
My final (literally) desire, is for A SOLAR POWERED MEMORIAL LIGHT!! Oh, I feel almost orgasmic at this! I so want this tasteful piece of garden ornamentry in my back garden. I could turn it into a sort of wish-list cenotaph and prop up a list of all my exes underneath it. Best of all, it is made of acrylic, so it won't rust, get mossy, and any bird poo can be wiped off with a bit of Cilit Bang! I'd like to shake the hand of the person who came up with this idea...
So, there you have it. Don't sit around fretting what to buy your loved ones this Christmas, just visit Clifford James online if you aren't as lucky as me to get the catalogue in your newspaper and get all your gifts in one fell swoop. You can guarantee, they'll not be getting duplicates from anyone else!
Beware of Internet Dating, Agnes Mildew!
My exes first time putting a hex on my ex.
Fig leaf boxers, earliest pants -
I was nude under the jacket, Doctor!
Fat knees, Norma Stits (not impressed clothing) - Fat Cow!
How come vodka cannot freeze? Knickers!
Can my ex take my house which was a gift? Smelly old ladies...
How do I get rid of lots of spots on my tongue? PERFUME IMMEDIATELY BECKHAM!
Turgenev, Dobrolyubov,"HAL PAIGE AND THE WHALERS", yof yofferson, Benicio del Toro - FAMOUS SLAPHEADS...
Celebrity knickers, gshohs, best hairspray to use for summer - How to make my boyfriend moan?
Agnes + Hexmyex, bitter exes, two exes blog - That's what friends are for.
Beauty secrets for girls - hamster bowel lump!
Hex Your ex - Briefs are forbidden, Boxers at all times...
So let the heartache begin
Are you getting bored reading about my dates or do you want to hear more? You DO want to hear more! Well, that’s unanimous. The little voices in my head, which just won’t go away, all sang a chorus of, “Yes, Agnes, pleeaaase tell us more.”
Are you sitting comfortably? Then, I’ll begin.
At one point, Match.com appeared to be a hotbed of activity. This particular ‘point’ was the three day free trial I had subscribed to, and I was going to make the most of it. So I was not quite as discerning as usual, reckoning that if I fired away a generic introduction letter to any bloke who wasn’t holding up an ID number on his photograph might be worth a try.
One such gent who replied was Karl. Karl was a German architect who had lived in many different countries with his teenage daughter and had recently settled in the UK. We arranged to meet at the Leigh Arms, where I had met many of my previous dates (and where the bar staff were starting to wonder if I was now some form of Call Girl, collecting my punters for the night).
I was running a bit late for Karl, and had texted him accordingly, so he had chosen the seats in the pub, which were, thankfully for me, in the (then) smoking** section (A Hex on You, Labour Government, for your public smoking ban!). I walked up to him, with a beaming smile on my face, and held out my hand. I don’t know if it’s because he was Continental or what, but he pulled on my hand, and suddenly, my face was squashed up against his lips, as he performed the ‘mwah, mwah’ kissy rubbish on me. He must have felt me struggling as he let go abruptly and I recoiled, tottering on my heels and bashing against the table.
Karl’s accent, despite his many years in other countries, was still very Germanic and I did struggle at times to understand him. “Vot vud you like to drink?” he asked. When I replied, just water, he, like most other blokes, stared at me in horror. “Vot? No alcohol? Vy? Vy no drink?”
“Oh, OK, then, make it a lime and soda,” I replied.
“But zis is not a proper drink! You must have vine.”
I could continue this volley for you, but you would have done your weekly shop at Asda by the time it had finished, and I can’t be bothered saying the same thing over and over again. Take it from me, I fixed him with my eyes, and said, finally: “A. Lime. And. Soda. That’s. It. Thankyou.”
At last we got down to the business of getting to know each other. Or at least, I got to know things about him. He talked, and talked and talked. And it was only about one thing – How horrific, unnatural and freaky his ex-wife was. He told me at great depth (and in quite personal detail, some of which made me squirm embarrassedly in my seat) about her – from her dogged pursuit of her career (she is a paediatrician) to her rejection of stereotypical stay-at-home Mum lifestyle, to her new bloke, to her almost non-existent relationship with her daughter…It was all quite alarming – particularly when he petitioned me to bitch about her too!
Now, people who know me, often get rather irritated by me when I am asked to judge others whom I don’t know, as, generally, I hate being drawn into a one-sided bitching session and will always attempt to see things from the other’s point of view – just to provide a bit of balance. If I know the person, however, and have witnessed bad behaviour, well, it’s a case of, ‘Get behind me, it’s my turn to tongue-lash’, but not if I haven’t experienced anything firsthand.
(Don’t let this put you off hiring us for Hexing, though, if you give me enough info, I will get suitably retributive on your behalf!)
It was, actually, quite disturbing listening to this man harangue his ex continually. OK, as a mother, myself, I cannot understand why a Mum would willingly give up her children, but it was her choice, her life, and not my business.
As with many of my dates, I sat for the rest of the night, having my ears bashed until they bled, interjecting with an ‘Oh dear’, ‘Mmm, I know’ etc. when it felt as though I ought to say something.
Karl was onto his third glass of red wine and getting a little bit frisky when he touched my knee and fondled it. In horror, I leapt off my stool with a clatter, and inadvertently kicked him in my haste. My rapid movement shocked the pants off him and he, in turn, threw a whole glass of wine down my new frock and splashed my lovely (suede) coat. The look of horror on my face must have been a picture.
“Ach, sorry, sorry, sorry,” he wailed, “I vil get napkins from ze bar and vipe you down.” He came to me bearing a wad of tissue, and attempted to paw my breasts, but my reflexes were lightning fast, and I grabbed the tissue out of his hand and informed him that ‘I would take it from here, thank you!’ My coat was ruined. You can’t chuck a glass of wine over a suede coat and expect it to escape unscathed, and I was pretty naffed off, as it was the only coat which was halfway decent for me to go out in.
“I think this is a suitable juncture for me to go home, Karl,” I said. “I am soaked through, and I don’t want to sit, steaming here in my red wine marinade all night.”
“Shall I come back to yours, for coffee?” he asked.
“Err…no,you shan't,” was my response.
“Vel, can I see you again, as you are very, very nice,” he continued.
“Err…let’s see, shall we,” I replied.
“Oh goody! Ven ve meet again, ve shall haf lots of kissinks, ja?”
“Nein, Karl, we will NOT haf lots of kissinks!” I retorted quite clearly.
We parted in the car park, and as he lurched towards me for more of that Continental kissy slush, I backed off faster than Carl Lewis off the blocks, leaving him puckering up rather impotently, to fresh air.
I drove home, closely trailed by the police who were ready to nab me if I went 31mph through the village, hoping that my lights weren’t faulty or anything. Had I been stopped, the pong of wine over me would have meant an instant breathalyser and probably some very awkward questions.
I never did meet up with him again - I would be better off at home, simply navel gazing. He persisted for a while, texting me, leaving messages, which I never returned, until one day, I sent him an email by accident, meant for a close friend, which contained information about a more recent date, in gory, HexMyEx-type detail. At last, he was able to learn something about me, and obviously decided he didn’t like what he had read. If only I had thought of that weeks previously…
**He also proceeded to smoke all my fags, claiming he never bought any, but did enjoy the occasional smoke. I really hate people who do that...
Thursday, 6 September 2007
This, I believe, is a true transcript from a court case in the States.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you
began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: It is possible that he could have been practising law somewhere.
He finally showed me a photograph of himself, (warning to ladies and gents thinking of internet dating: if they don't upload a photo, ignore the hokum about them being shy - they're generally married or incredibly unattractive...this I have discovered time and again ever since) and he reminded me immediately of my favourite uncle, Bill, but a younger version - such dark eyes; gentle face, muscular shoulders.
He told me he was a chef, and tantalised my taste buds with suggestions of exotic concoctions which made my mouth water. As I was a very big girl with an equally big appetite at the time, I was more keen than most to meet with this man.
I am still a bit of an old-fashioned 'gel' at heart and so I hoped and hinted that he would ask me out on a date. He told me he found me attractive and liked my personality, and so I waited for what I deemed the inevitable: a date...Nothing. Absolutely bugger all. In the end, I got fed up of waiting and, throwing the traditionalist values away, came out with it: Why don't you ask me out for a date?
I got the oddest answer in response: he didn't ask women out on dates. That was it, full stop. They had to ask him. As I felt pretty desperate at the time, I broke with my principles and asked if he'd meet me at a pub in a few evenings' time. He readily agreed. I danced (or should I say, 'lumbered') round the room with excitement and next day, rushed to the Famous Factory Store and bought some incredibly unflattering (in retrospect) pin striped trousers and a jumper. I looked like a monochrome beach ball.
I was so nervous that day. All my work colleagues quizzed me about the potential man of my dreams. My mother asked lots of questions; demanded every contact number I could give her; where I was going; what brand of condoms I was planning on using (I made that bit up), until she was satisfied that every base was covered for my safety. I felt 14, not 35. My mother seemed quite impressed by my description of Dave. She always thought her brother was a very handsome chappie (especially as there is a strong family resemblance between them) and her approval was metered out hesitantly.
I multi-mapped the pub's directions and proceeded en route, to get hopelessly lost, as is my wont. If I was an inventor, I would devise a box that could be attached to the boot of my car, or the rear windscreen which lit up at the touch of a button, declaring, SORRY, I AM LOST. PLEASE DON'T GET CROSS WITH ME. I think it would be a best-seller, actually. Getting lost added to my nerves, and by now, I had been forced to turn the CD player off so I could concentrate, and was onto my third cigarette, after only 15 minutes. I suddenly realised I would stink of fag smoke and fumbled, with one hand, for my perfume which I sprayed liberally over my head and face, almost choking on the over-powering pong. Not a particularly auspicious start to my first date, really...
I finally pulled into the pub car park at the same time as Dave. As soon as my feet hit the tarmac, in my Nine West wedges, I realised I would now be towering over him by a minimum of five inches. And he didn't have the dark eyes of my uncle - it must have been the lighting (or he wore coloured contact lenses) and his was not a broad-shouldered, muscular build - he was what I might quaintly term, 'petite'.
"Arice der, Agnes!" came the dulcet tones of a very Scouse accent. "Adda recognizzzed youse anyweeeerrr."
"Er herrler, Dave," I replied, unable to keep the poshness from my voice (I always become ever so posh when I am nervous.) "So delightful to meet you. I wouldn't have recognised you, I must admit. You look...er...different to your photograph." We walked together to the pub entrance, and I affected a Quasimodo-type stoop in order to compensate either for my too high heels, or his lack of stature.
It was mineral waters all round. I didn't drink at all, and he didn't drink if he was driving. Weren't we mature adults?
I'll hand it to him: he was very friendly; put me at ease straight away; chatted amicably in order to break the ice, and gave me lots of opportunities to ask questions. So I did. Because I am nosey...and I made the grave mistake of asking about his work as a chef.
Well, his days of being a chef such as we watch on The F-Word or Ready, Steady Cook, were long over. He now held the grand title of Development Chef for a company which made ready meals for big supermarkets. What he didn't know about mashed potato wasn't worth knowing, and I can quite safely say, that I, too, now know everything about pulverised starch. I listened seemingly attentively, not glazing over too obviously, to tales of cubed spuds being intensively heat blasted, rinsed, dramatically cooled through refrigerators, pumped full of E numbers and preservatives (all to strict percentages) and finally mashed and piped into trays for him to taste and work out whether an extra 0.07% of salt ought to be added or removed.
After 45 minutes (I tell no word of a lie), there was silence and I realised it was my turn to say something. "Err, um, do you ever work with chicken?" I asked.
A further thirty minutes later, I had been told everything I needed to know about pre-cooked chicken. However, I have no idea what I needed to know, actually, as my brain went onto screen-saver and I mentally prepared my shopping list, worked out which clothes needed to be ironed for the week ahead, wrote a letter to my solicitor and fretted about losing some weight so I wouldn't have to keep financing the coffers of Match.com.
At the end of the lecture, I generously offered to get in another round of water, only for Dave to decline graciously and inform me that he had to be in bed by 10.30pm as he was a creature of habit, and didn't like to stray from his routines. I was more than happy to leave, too. My next question was going to have to be about boil-in-the-bag cod steaks and I didn't think I could stand the excitement much longer.
NB. I have lost all the weight now. And I still don't have a bloke, so I might as well go back on the Dr Fatkins Diet.
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
I often find an endless supply of loonies at our local library whose odd traits never cease to surprise me - during Monday's visit, an elderly gentleman sat reading the local Guardian, picking his nose, belching, and farting without a care in the world. Oh, to live in a world of such sublime disregard for social morès!
Today, as I sat at the library, printing off some documents (my crappy, crappy printer has broken and I cannot get three knives into the slots at the same time to open it up), deeply ensconced in my thoughts, my nostrils were assaulted by the most lethal stench of stale urine and body odour I have encountered in a long time. It was like sticking my nose into a bottle of Sal Volatilé, so dramatic was my recoil.
I turned to isolate the source of the smell, and there, talking loudly to herself, peering at the local papers, was a sweet-looking (but not smelling) little old lady. She kept up a running commentary to nobody in particular that she was going to read the funeral section, "...although they don't call them funerals in this day and age, do they?" (I was quite intrigued at this point, to know exactly what they are called, so I fine-tuned my hearing, and stuck my nose into my armpit, which even at 3pm, smelt sweeter than the air in the library since it had been polluted.
"No, they call them oh-bit-CHEW-aireez now, don't they. Yes, that's right. Oh, I see that Jane has died again (again?) and there'll be an oh-bit-CHEW-airy for her, I reckon. Not that she was a nice woman. Oh no, she'll rot in hell that one. Wonder what she died of this time..."
I had completely gone off-track at this point, forgotten what I was there for, and sat, not even pretending to be busy, listening to this potty old lady.
She started to review the jobs section, stating that she would be a dab hand as a Personnel Officer - indeed, she could do the job standing on her head...And so it continued.
My PC flashed at me that my time was up, and so, I got up and walked to the desk to collect my print-outs, all the time listening to the soliloquy going on behind me. There was another old woman at the desk, checking out her books; a very strontient, loud lady, who had told the whole library earlier that she was after a young man, looks not important, to taxi her around the shops as she was fed up with walking. I am not sure if she was deaf, or just liked to talk at the top of her voice, but I think the whole village was familiar with her comings and goings after five minutes.
As I reached for my print-outs, the loud woman declared, "IT BECOMES OVER-POWERING AFTER A BIT, DOESN'T IT? THE SMELL, YOU KNOW!" I dropped my sheets in surprise, and lifted my chin up from the floor, as, without missing a beat in her one-woman performance show, the smelly old lady, retorted, "No it doesn't, and you should shut your big fat mouth, you rotten old cow!" and then continued to bemoan the recurrent death of Jane.
I'm afraid an embarrassing cackle escaped from me, and I stared at the librarian, whose hysterical stare must have mirrored mine. The cackle turned into a loud laugh and I grabbed my stuff and scarpered.
As I got through the doors, the loud lady had started up a battle with the smelly lady. I have no idea whether they had to call in enforcements to break it up, and I certainly wouldn't like to say who I would have backed if I was a gambling woman. But libraries are fast becoming my favourite hang-out for free entertainment. Who needs television when you've got smelly vision?
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
So, I was reliably informed, yesterday, that, ‘Kate Moss has her third Top Shop collection out, like and it’s soooo gorgeous and she has these reeeaaaally cool scarves which go down to your feet, like, (handy for tripping over and blaming, when you are high as a kite (or should that be 'kate'?) on cocaine) and ohmygod, I just reeeaaaallly, have to have a pair of her new kick leg jeans. Like.’
I was dragged over to look at the collection displayed in the paper and my immediate thought was, Bloody hell, there’s that talentless, ill-looking tosser, creaming money off the public to fund her bloody drugs habit AGAIN! The clothes were OK, but no better than what I could get in the charity shops for a fraction of the price.
I am so bored with these B-listers releasing their eponymous perfumes, handbags, aftershaves, jeans, salad dressings etc. Is there a single Po’ White Trash B-lister who hasn’t released a fragrance yet? I think Britney has about four out, so far. And they’re all to mask the smell of spew when she decides to barf (again) over anyone within a five metre radius of her. Kylie has a fragrance, J-Lo has a fragrance, Jade Goodie (she of one brain cell and racist tendencies) has a fragrance, even David Beckham has a fragrance. And do you know what? They All Smell The Same. Honestly.
For the purposes of research, I toddled off down to our local chemist on Saturday morning to annoy the hell out of the lazy shop assistants, who like nothing better than to analyse the prescriptions from the doctor and go into a huddle at the back and gossip about Mrs Pritchard’s most recent STD, Amelia Smythe’s boil and where it might be, and my addiction to Solpadeine, instead of bloody serving me!!
So, I harrumphed and coughed at the perfume counter, until one of them waddled over. And it was the one who really unnerves me as she has football eyes (one home, one away), teeth that remind me of roof slates, sinus problems, and the broadest Cheshire accent you could stumble across (for broad Cheshire, read, thick-sounding).
She immediately tried to fob me off with one of the Beckham Brand toiletries, but I was there for the duration, and demanded to go through all of them, exposing various pale and uninteresting parts of my body in the name of science.
First up, Britney’s Curious, a ‘white floral wrapped in the sensuality of vanilla-infused musk with base notes of puke (I made that last bit up)’. The bottle is nasty. A squat, plasticky-looking blue thing which just screams Trailer Trash at you. The smell was revolting. It reminded me of one of those perfumes your Dad buys you for Christmas when you are eight: always by Lentheric.
J-Lo’s Love At First Glow was next. Even the name made me cringe – that woman goes through blokes like a dose of Epsom Salts. And when I was in my yoof, there was an expression we chanted: ‘Ladies Glow, Men Perspire and Horses Sweat’. So basically, we stick this perfume on at the first sign of BO, eh? The smell was cloying, sickly and my temples started to pulse alarmingly.
So, I moved on to Jade Goodie’s ‘Shh…’, which is a superb brand name, as it is exactly what the British public would like her to do. Sales of this perfume have plummeted since her racist faux pas on one of the Big Brothers, I believe. Somehow, though, I don’t think it would be high up on any discerning woman’s Christmas Wish List. Insipid, cheap-smelling and nothing to recommend it. At all.
Celine Dion’s Belong ‘was inspired by a woman’s inner beauty…’ So, if you are butt ugly on the outside, squirt some of this behind your ear lugs and all of a sudden, your inner beauty will be revealed. Is that what you are trying to tell me?
I wish I could write some of this marketing tosh. I’d be laughing all the way to the bank. My ageing mother had tried Belong on last time she was carted off to hospital and had thence escaped to the hospital gift shop. I think she was hinting strongly to my father that she wouldn’t mind a bottle, but he was having none of it and changed the subject to the progress of his runner beans. This perfume, too, was nasty and reminded me of those sweeties that pull your fillings out as your jaw desperately tries to masticate them - Chewits.
I was starting to get a thumping headache by this time and decided that I would call it quits, but not before casting a beady eye over the men’s fragrances. Aftershaves possess such namby-pamby names these days, such as ‘Style In Play’; ‘Instinct’; ‘Le Male’ (which just sounds as though somebody is experimenting with Franglais); ‘Declaration’; ‘Ultravoilet’ and ‘Loser’ (probably). At least we knew where we stood with Brüt. Naff as it was, there was no risk of it being mistaken for women’s fragrance. These days, all men’s stuff has to shout its gender-orientation at you - Pour Homme, For Him, Men’s Fragrance - as the bottles, smells and names are so effeminate, you could quite easily purchase some for a woman.
So, I staggered out into the semi-fresh air and walked back home, marvelling at how easy it is for talentless oiks to make even more money these days, purely by putting their name on some scented water.
When I become rich and famous, I am going to launch my own product range. And I shall call it Mersey. Mersey for Blokes, and Mersey for Lasses. All perfumes will be authenticated by containing pure River Mersey water; the lotions will contain a bit of Mersey Trout; and the scrubs, a smidgen of riverbed dredging to really take the dead skin off. If I tap the river up by the pet food factory, you may even find some chicken’s feet in there too. A sure winner, of that I am certain.
Photos courtesy of stock308.com; Daily Mail; Kelkoo