Sunday, December 21, 2008

I was driving up a one way street– self-limiting myself to one way; my car hemmed in by parked cars on either side just like how it was in the Bible. About a hundred metres ahead a figure was walking towards me down the middle of the road. I was unbothered, I’ve seen people walking before and I was sure he would move onto the pavement when I got closer. This assumption was not worth the paper it was not worth writing such an assumption on; for my closing proximity brought no adjustment to the figure’s walking down the middle of the road.. In fact, the closer I get, the more confident his stride, the more aggressive his posture. I slowed down gradually still believing he would step aside when the realisation that I was in a car and he wasn’t, hit him like a car. The boney young figure, facial hair under various tidal systems, adjusted his NY cap and folded his arms in defiance as he came to a stop in front of me.

Who was this sack of nicotine, standing there in rubbish trainers, staring at me, letting the sun dry further his blown bulb eyes?. He unsquashed his orange arms, releasing them; pushing them slowly outwards like an animatronics Liam Gallagher. He focused, like a chav yoga instucter into the complete representation of the overly aggressive man stance.

The stand-off began. He started to jig a little, mouthing something repeatedly. I lowered my window to allow this mouthing to form into words, which then uncomfortably rearranged themselves into an almost non-existent question. ‘You gettin’ out the fucking way mate?’ He chanted it, swaying in front of me, his young but shrivelled beetroot of a head bopping forward and back like that of a bearded pigeon.

Gettin’ out the road would have meant reversing for 200 metres and back out onto one of the busiest roads in Bristol; it was an unreasonable request – we both knew that. I am assuming quite a lot in this story; but let's not forget how necessery it is to determine facts with out adequate evidence in this busy, five episodes of Neighbours a week lifestyle I live in.

He edged closer and closer and started slapping his hand on the bonnet of my car. Intoxicated, angry, both? Professor Yaffle had flown away a long time ago.

Finally the tapping stopped and he looked away for a second, lent back against a parked Corsa, no longer bothering with anything at all.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I was in Weymouth and I was walking. I am a man who can do these two things simultaneously. And even with my concentration focused on juggling this unlikely pairing, a poster in the window of the Spar convenience store caught my attention. ‘Why not come in and ask our staff about our hot soup.’ it said, and just like a man with the emptiest afternoon on record, I felt I was unable not to.

I asked as to the temperature of the soup. The girl who I will call Karen (which did annoy her when she insisted her name was Clare) looked at me sympathetically and assured me that it is hot. I already knew this - it’s written on the poster. I was after additional temperature information, not the words of this admittedly striking poster regurgitated to me with a textured broth like murmur. Considering the A4 sheet had pushed me to interrogate on the subject of ‘hot soup’, I don’t think it was unfair that I then pushed Karen for a Celsius figure. 'It's hot', she repeated.

Struggling to retain my calm and sophisticated persona, I changed tact - enquiring as to where the vegetables in it were grown. A rather tired and irritated sigh from Karen quickly indicated that this was going to get me nowhere. Someone in the expanding queue behind me piped up with ‘It’s Soup!’.

‘I know it’s soup,’ I replied, ‘Your statment gave me less than that sorry piece of A4 in the window dammit - and all you're queuing for is a Kit-Kat.’

‘It’s nice soup,’ Karen offered.

There finally – the word ‘nice’! This wasn’t on the poster and thus I was at least provided with something new.

I wanted this to be enough, but how could this offered level of insight warrant the displaying of a poster asking people to come in and drag it reluctantly out of a disinterested Karen? The poster was only approximately seventy percent covered in words and the word ‘nice’ before ‘soup’ could have easily been added. The only positive experience of this whole ‘ask our staff about our hot soup’ was because of the inherent inadequacy of this noe largely discredited poster.

If you don’t want somebody coming into your shop asking about your soup then don’t prominently display a poster asking people to do just that. In fact, if your staff are going to look so positively affronted by such a line of questioning, then maybe you should be looking to create posters dissuading soup related enquiries.

‘Staff will not expand on the already presented information on nice hot soup.’

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"I was so sickened last week by a radio programme I didn’t know existed, hosted by two so-called ‘funny fuckers’, that I projectile vomited over a JVC Surround system in my local Are you going to come and mop-up the regurgitated vegetable soup from their sub-woofer Russell Brand? Or will you let one of those poor employees who pay your wages handle your disgusting orange coloured sick?

So further outraged was I by hearing details of these so-called ‘messages’ from my so-called friend Judie when she so-called called me, that I ran-over a neighbour’s kitten in my Range Rover. Is Jonathan Ross going to scrape little Charlie’s remains off the cold concrete and explain to his elderly owners how it happened? I won’t be holding my breath!!!

How can Manwell’s granddaughter: a much loved member of ‘The Satanic Sluts’, reputation be allowed to be debased in such a lewd, crude, rude, shoed, mood, dude, poohed manner? Will the BBC take any action? Will they launch targeted patriot missile attacks against the tax-funded houses of Brand and Woss? The state Britain is in today - I find it extremely unlikely. More probable is that namby-pamby-hefty-shefty-crefty-lefty Auntie will be sucking the erect penises of these murderous louts and buying them mountain bikes.

I would recommend that these two be beaten to the point of total if not complete death with a stale bun - see how they like being killed - but this would only give these suicide bombers the publicity they so salaciously crave.

I note with interest their so-called apologies lacked any mention of Jesus, Britain going to the dogs or Post Office closures."

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Issue

She’s always there. The pain in her voice elongating her unsteady words. ‘Biggggg Issueeeeee’ she’ll suggest to each person as the first push of fresh-air excitedly licks them in the face on exiting the Galleries Shopping Centre. Occasionally someone might stop and buy a magazine, hand over some change, or gift a cigarette. But mostly it’s eyes down and apologetic grunting; maybe a slight extra push on the heels to help the guilt melt away that little bit quicker.

Except with me it’s different: when I walk past not a word – stony lost silence. It’s not that she’s taken offense to anything I’ve said or done. I’ve never reacted to her or had a reaction from her. Her eyes always look so far through me: a stare that may just circumnavigate the entire Earth. I should be grateful than I don’t have to posture an embarrassed refusal to her sales request, but I feel singled-out - soulless in the centre of Bristol.

And it’s not just once. I’ve actually done a circuit - gone back into the centre through a different entrance and back out again. Still nothing, not even the most distant pathetic flicker.

It wasn’t long after that I was in Argos; inevitable you might think, for someone needing to buy something from Argos. You’d be right with that ‘think’, and you would be patting yourself on the back like a mental person testing they have one. Whilst you did that you might have seen me typing my item number into the electronic touch-screen till. It was in stock, the hair clippers, and my card was in, transaction accepted – how happy I was to have something respond to me.

I clasped my numbered ticket in much the same way as anyone else would (except Kate Bush who would swing her hips rhythmically, holding the piece of the paper in the air, wailing painlessly). I waited for ‘154’ to appear on the screen so I could collect my purchase. I waited for five minutes, ten minutes. I went to the desk to complain. They said there was no such order in the system, I said how come I’d got a ticket then. They looked at me like a man who carries round numbered Argos tickets as a matter of course. I got angry. They said to try and order again, I said that you should only ever need one attempt at buying hair clippers and that if that one attempt doesn’t work out, then there’s no reason why a subsequent one would.

I left empty handed knowing that things were getting grave. I had to do something before the ground stopped accepting my footsteps and I fell into the burning core at the centre of the Earth. My only chance was with the Big Issue women.

The next day I exited Galleries again and saw her with her pile of magazines. I wandered slowly past giving her ample opportunity to offer me magazine commerce. Nothing! I did another lap and tried again - this time with massively exaggerated hand-movements, singing loudly to myself the music of KLF, ‘Ancients of Moo Moo’, but still my efforts were as pointless as February. I was feeling faint - the last splash of wax that constitutes my soul was silently burning into nothing.

I was going to wazz this situation right up (just like how Jamie Oliver would handle strawberries, a hand full of gravel and food-processor). Change the course of the universe and rebel against determinism. I walked up to her purposefully, masking the trembling with deliberate movement.

‘Big issue please’ I asked and she smiled and said thank you and I walked away renewed.

I’m back, and it doesn’t matter that the next time I walked past her she ignored me again. I can feel my pulse again.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I don’t like pushing in the petrol pump trigger anymore – it makes me feel slightly ill. The dizzying spinning of the cost indicator racing ahead of faded former champion ‘number of litres'. Then the anger: An anger born from the creeping sense of throwing away money, amplified by annoyance at the girl behind the counter who still smiles even though she's taking money off me she doesn't deserve. I want an apologetic stance from her; a downbeat glum acceptance of the times we live in. She could wear black to mourn the passing of affordable travel, raising her veil as I approach. She'll look into my eyes and tell me how sorry she is that things have worked out this way.

Back in the car, and my post fuel purchase driving is affected by my bad mood. I believe such a sharp upturn in the cost of driving should be compensated by an enhanced experience: Emptier roads; traffic lights who’s green hue stalks me. I want people standing on the pavement clapping and cheering, unfurling banners with slogans like, ‘Keep the pedal down for us Matt!’ They'll appreciate that however much the bastards rob me, my heart will still pump golden diesel through my veins. There will be a battered blue Peugeot rolling along the empty streets when the sun stops burning.

The radio interrupts, it tells me that I am not forgotten; that Gordon Brown has sensed my pain. He’s going to help: He’s not going to put a further 2p on the price of a litre of fuel that he was apparently going to. Is this not the equivalent of helping an old lady who’s fallen over by not kicking her hard in the stomach as she lies on the pavement? My foot pushes down harder on the accelerator and the music’s up dark and loud.

The local radio DJ starts a sentence with, ‘isn’t it just typical...’ and goes on to bemoan something ‘that’s just typical’. I tell him out loud to cheer up. I’m a man in a car talking into thin air, and they put that song on where that girl chants ‘it’s not my name’. I like that song.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Mechanics of Thought

The human brain is an amazing thing it really is.Boffins are still struggling to get to grips with its mechanics and the best they can do at the moment appears to be making a computer diagram of the squelchy thing glow in different locations depending on whether a test-subject is looking at a picture of Beyonce washing a car or Noel Edmonds playing Boggle.

Where would the diagram be glowing if a brain probe was connected to the stocky, badly dressed, unshaven, middle-aged Mondeo driver I witnessed pulling over on the side of Zetland Road last night?

Out of the car he springs aggressively, a bin-liner clasped into his no-nonsense hands. It would be wrong to say there was rage on his face, but there’s a definite determined aggressiveness. This man wants to dump the bin-liner - for some reason, and I don’t know what it is (he’s not verbalising his internal thoughts the crafty beggar). What ever it is, this man is in no mood to share his battered Ford with this bag any longer.

But then he feels it for the first time - he’s outside his protective metallic shell, unwrapped from the blanket of soft-rock. He can feel the conspicuousness of the fresh air pawing at him like an excited puppy. All eyes are on him – waiting for his next move.

There’s an area cordoned off to his left with tempory six-foot metal barriers in what looks like preparation for some kind of digging. For now nothing lies within this area, its only property is its inaccesabilty.

This is where the wonder of brain mechanics takes over. This is where some series of electrical signals started firing around in this man. The wonder of evolution created his next action, an action born by some kind of thought and judgment, maybe predetermined by the movement that could theoretically be traced back to the Big Bang: He launches the bin liner into the air and into the cordoned off area.

Somehow for him this works. It’s not dumping waster on a public highway, it’s neatly filing it away in where it’s supposed to go. Back into the car he goes - the grey matter now resting.

Monday, June 09, 2008

There’s nothing like sitting back in the old deck chair and listening to a good car alarm. Feeling that carefully crafted tune whistle pleasantly in your ear as the sun gently caresses the scratched horizon.

It’s quite clear I’m being sarcastic - especially now I’ve said, ‘It’s quite clear I’m being sarcastic,’ but sarcasm is sooo good I want buy it chocolates; lie on a beach with it; whisper in its ear about the glorious life we‘re going to have together and yes the chocolates probably would melt into a sticky mess in the sunlight.. Bringing chocolates onto a beach would probably have been sarcasm's idea - That‘s SUCH a good idea sarcasm.

I don’t particularly enjoy the sound of car alarms and like most people I want to throw a fat tabby cat* at any vehicle whose alarm goes off. An alarm that's usually been activated by the wind from a butterfly fluttering its wings in an obscure village in Belgium where they distress winged insects as part of a fertility ritual.

They’re totally ignored as well (I'm back to car-alarms). People would take a book written by Jade Goody on String Theory more seriously than a car alarm going off on a Ford Mondeo. It’s just a horrid scream that makes people hate not the car thief, but the car owner who's disturbed their mid-morning suckle of Costa Coffee from the city-centre teat, by parking their car!

But some people rather than being embarrassed about having their car spunk its two-toned travesty, want even more. They want a verbal warning for anybody who unreasonably decides to stand on the same continent as their 5-Series.

’Stand back from the car,’ it will warn if you encroach into the vicinity of this overly loved lump of metallic shit. Now I understand there are those that lead and those that follow; but even the most subservient soul should have to be hypnotised by Paul McKenna before taking orders from a BMW.

And that's why everybody that has ever lived ever, should, on being asked by a car alarm to move away: stand there until they force the car into the surrender of resorting back to the high pitched whine of a lower-class Vauxhall Corsa. This is not a pointless defiance; we should do this because if we were to ‘stand back from the car’, what do you think would happen next? Give ‘em and inch, they’d take a mile( and probably burn fifty pounds worth of fuel to do so ).

Today it’s ‘stand back’, tomorrow this alloyed wheel diva would be asking us to lend it a fiver, criticise our dress sense, steal our jobs and our women. Next year's Big Brother could very well be won by a cross-dressing Smart Car.

If car alarms have to talk, their words should be aimed at dissuading a would-be criminal, not asking him to do half a Hokey-Cokey. Instead of this pointless 'stand back' bullshit, what about tickling a moment's self-reflection from the young gentlemen-thief with the simple, ‘Is this really what you want do with your life?’

*The cat would already be dead and the owner would approve of its use as a missile against noise pollution.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

What happens if you label automatic sliding doors of a supermarket ‘Entry’ on the outside and ‘Exit’ on the inside? Tesco is obviously keen to find out, and thus have done exactly this at their Tesco Extra in Eastville, Bristol.

‘Yes but if they’ve only got one set of sliding-doors then they don’t have much choice do they?’ you might argue. Well don’t argue that; a) because you’ve probably never been there, b) because I can’t hear your argument, you’re essentially attempting verbal discourse with a disinterested computer monitor, c) I really believe putting the word ‘Entrance’ on sliding doors should imply its primary purpose is for people to enter. Wouldn’t not saying anything at all at least prepare someone for the possibility that it may have a dual role? d) There are two sets of sliding doors very close to each other that could easily be assigned a directional flow each.

Inexperienced Eastville Tescoers often give me a death stare and a whispered complaint as I squeeze my exiting trolley past their entering one. They believe I’m some dirty sliding door shortcut opportunist. Someone who couldn’t be bothered to walk the tiny distance to the correct set of doors and thus push through their’s; soaking their bed sheets of polite and ordered society with my urine of borderline hooligan behaviour.

Sometimes when this happens I’m tempted to hang around until they come back out. I want to see the look of surprise on their faces when they realise the cheeky double flow rules of these sliders. And then the guilt on their faces when they see me and remember their misguided scowl. And then the return of the surprised look as they ponder why I’ve been hanging around the entrance/exit to a supermarket for over an hour.

It’s because I make the time!

Friday, March 14, 2008

If there’s two lanes, and you want to go straight on at a roundabout, you should be in the left lane. Those are the rules, or rule as probably a singular one of them is called.

Like with most roundabout approaches, the roundabout I'm going to talk about today( in what may very well be the first in a series of roundabout anecdotes that may later turn into a book and possibly a feature film starring Cher ) never has a queue in the right-hand lane. I don’t have the first idea as to what you'll see or experience if you take the right hand turn at the roundabout. What I do know is that it isn’t attracting the kind of crowds that straight on is.

So in effect every work day, I like most others, am dismissing the ever present opportunity of turning right. Like a sheep, my only priority on my journeys to work is heading towards the office I work in. I say ‘like a sheep’, I’m of course referring to a sheep that can drive and hold down a job at an engineering firm; and to be fair I don’t know that an actual sheep with these attributes would behave in this way. Maybe there’s something to the right that would be of particular interest to sheep and thus if they could drive, they’d be abandoning nine to five drudgery in search of the good shit on the right-side.

Day after day, stuck in that queue on the left, waiting for my turn to do the straight on thing at the roundabout. And there’s nothing more annoying than seeing some twat-faced twat-head drive their BMW down the right hand lane, hitting the roundabout laneage and then cutting in so’s to go straight on. Everyday these people ( and possibly the more career centred of the sheep ) save themselves ninety seconds with their rule-breaking roundabout devience.

And what do these people do with those extra ninety seconds? Do they draw money out of a cash machine and give it to a homeless person called George? Do they write a poem about the Second World War? Do they take an extra moment out of their day, stick on the Princess Diana version of ’Candle in the Wind’ and think about whether they’re living their life in the way in which Queen of Hearts would of wanted? No, of course they don’t; they spend their extra ninety seconds composing an email addressed to ‘everyone_ever’ entitled ’Unacceptable’.

Well at least I can sleep at night. That’s nothing to do with what I’ve just said above. I’m just trying not to take falling asleep for granted.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


I was left with no choice but to purchase fuel from a motorway service station on the M25. And thus, being on a motorway, the price of fuel is considerably higher. Probably due to the difficulty of transporting petrol to places along a motorway, compared to say, obscure villages in Cornwall.

I pull into BP and am rather horrified to see that Diesel is going to set me back 114.9p per litre. This is over seven pence more per litre than I have even spent on fuel. This is, without doubt, a complete fucking con.

Those of you thinking that BP hadn’t predicted their customer’s annoyance to outrageously priced fuel would be wrong. One of the world’s most profitable companies are all too aware of the hardship their prices are putting on the average Lionel in the street and thus as a sign of goodwill, are willing to practically throw free money at their customers.

So when I pick up the nozzle, my eyes are drawn to their big promotion, their giving back proudly plastered all over the fuel pumps. And if you’re standing up at the minute reading this, I suggest you sit yourself down and maybe fashion a rudimentary rope out of some old clothing and tie yourself to the chair, because at the bare minimum BP’s generosity is going to make you feel slightly faint. It will most likely make you come:

‘Three Cadburys Cream Eggs for £1’.

Because the fuel prices are so ridiculous at this place, I can only presume there are just two groups of people who would come to this garage. Those, like me, who through their own disorganisation are nearly out of fuel and those who are after big savings on Chocolate full of white sticky stuff. Maybe BP are genuinely targeting confectionary fans with Chocolate Egg loss-leaders, hoping that whilst they’re there they’ll impulse buy exorbitantly priced fuel.

But on entering the BP Shop/payment area, I am drawn towards the Cadbury’s eggs. My earlier dismissing of this offer is beginning to feel premature. These eggs retail at 47p each, and if I were to get three of them for a quid, I’d be saving my self 41p. This may not seem much, but after spending such an obscene amount on Diesel, my soul demands whatever cleansing it can get. If this must come in the form of a misguided purchase of chocolate eggs then so be it

I get back into my car and place the three eggs on the passenger seat. I drive in the direction of home as the chocolate silently melts in the unseasonal sunshine.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Anyone can fall in love...

They know when the line is to be delivered, and demand a subservient silence from the waiting throng. If there’s a raised platform nearby they will quickly scramble to it, demanding any available lighting be concentrated on their primed and dignified face; a face ready to the deliver the line they are certain will elevate their social status to someone who could call the Queen their bitch.

And then it comes: ‘I don’t watch soap operas’ they announce, back straight, eyes into a distant, better horizon. Usually they’ll further punctuate this by appending words such as ‘they’re all a load of rubbish anyway.’

It isn’t the fact that someone doesn’t like soap operas that annoys/amuses me. That is a perfectly sane and valid opinion to hold. It’s the insistence of some individuals to use their dislike of this genre of television as a boast and calling card. As if on hearing this startling insight, the recipients are suddenly going to reassess their opinion of this person; realise they’re dealing with someone capable of winning the final of Mastermind with the specialist subject of ‘The hardest questions you can think of Hawkins’. As if A-Levels and Degrees should be abandoned in favour of having a group of people with clipboards accessing people’s disgust when forced to watch Coronation Street. That maybe job adverts should stipulate that an applicant ‘Must have a full clean driving license and hate at least five “continuing dramas” including Emmerdale.’

And always the people that have ‘I don’t watch soaps’ in the Skills section of their CV, will at some point, unprompted, announce, ‘It’s ridiculous, anyone can be a celebrity these days.’ Well maybe not all of them would say this precisely, but the podgy middle aged bloke with Bristol’s most unnecessary moustache chatting away to his mates ( some ginger ) in the Bishops Tavern, was making this very point.

But I’m not a celebrity, the bad-tash man wasn’t and if he’d have looked around he’d have probably realised the most famous person in the room was the barmaid; and her fleeting brush with celebrity was with the occupants of the pub. Her claim to fame: ‘she serves us beer’.

If ‘anyone can be a celebrity’, it seemed a massive coincidence that all the fifty or so people in this pub had shunned the dirty lure of fame and casual sex to work in open-plan offices or mobile phone retailers. Or maybe I had unwittingly entered a bar that only allows in people who haven’t had the inadequacies of their body detailed by Heat magazine.

We were the clever ones. We’d realised that jumping into the swimming pool of minor celebrity could have you treading water in the urine of daytime television. The risk of turning up to a cocktail party attended by Paul Burrell would be unacceptably high. I still firmly believe that the phrase ‘Diana’s rock’ was a reference to an improvised weapon the Queen of Hearts was planning on bringing into fierce contact with her butler’s head.

If you are a celebrity with no discernable talent that would traditionally class as you as such, then you’re just a picture in the Daily Star; a naive volunteer; your life picked apart like a drunk negotiating a KFC Bargain Bucket. And then when you realise that no one’s taking you seriously; that all you really want now is credibility. You look in the locker to see what you’ve got:

You give up watching Hollyoaks.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

There I was sat at my desk looking in the second drawer down, trying to cope with the realisation that I had run out of apples. One of which I would normally consume for a mid-morning snack. I think it was either Jesus or Father Christmas who said, ‘Apples are great’, and who am I to argue with such pithy truth from magical people.

As another hour passed, I learned to live as a man without apples. By eleven, it was fair to say I had adjusted, was making the best of things. I even felt strong enough to make a humorous and unnecessary remark about Devon.

I took a walk down to the canteen to purchase a cup of tea. Standing, ready to pay, I took an unscheduled glance towards the exit and noticed a bowl of fruit by the door, a bowl which contained a number of apples. With 35p racked up on the till, I asked that the price of an apple be added on so I could pick one up on the way out. This was done bringing the total up to 75p.

My walk to the canteen exit was swift and untroubled. I approached the bowl and placed my hand on top of a reasonable looking Granny Smith and span it around in my hand to check its suitability as an edible piece of fruit. Satisfied, I extracted it out of the bowl and placed my other hand around the door handle in preparation to pull it open. My eyes caught sight of a new employee I was unfamiliar with; his stare was straight at me and noticeably hostile. My baffled returned ‘what?’-stare dissipated quickly as it dawned on me that this man would have been unaware I’d already completed the financial transaction in respect to this item of fruit.

What could I do? I could have returned to the till with the apple, but, a) this would be an admittance of guilt; the motivation of my action a consequence of being caught in the act of fresh produce thievery; and b) what would I do when I got there considering she was aware that I’d already paid? Hold it up and say ‘What do you think of my apple?’

I could have tried to nip the misunderstanding in the pip by addressing my perceived accuser, but my confidence that I had correctly read his previous facial expression as one of someone looking at an apple thief, had slightly waned. I envisaged his reaction to a comment such as ‘I have already paid for this apple’ to be one of bemusement. It would undoubtedly eliminate the risk of being considered a fruit-snatcher, but may instead label me as a man who arbitrarily presents information on insignificant instances of his life. If this got around, people may consider me to be having some kind of breakdown. My job of sitting in front of a computer, typing stuff, might be considered too high-pressured for me to handle. I could be demoted, shown the door, forced into sitting in front of woman in a tweed jacket to talk about my ‘feelings’. I’d have to fabricate a childhood trauma to explain the whole dirty mess. So I kept quiet and exited quickly and uncomfortably, probably amplifying any slight suspicions this man had of impropriety.

I hoped that the man would report the ‘crime’ to the girl at the checkout. This would allow her to clear my name. Allow her to wash the stain on my character away with the Daz Automatic of British justice. I suspect though, that this didn’t happen; that apple crime, for him, fell into the low-level category. I was just another hoody type spraying graffiti over the crumbling foundations of this once great country. He would see himself as a powerless bystander drowning under a swelling tide of immorality.

The apple cost me 40p. That’s usually enough to buy three of them. Society in a very real sense owes me two Granny Smiths, yet I am seen as the wrongdoer. Be sure of this though:

I will rise again.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't Leffe me this way...

There's a concerned, faintly embarrassed look on the barmans face as he comes back holding a still seeled bottle of lager and a half pint glass.

'I'm aftaid we don't have a Leffe glass is that OK?' he says, holding an identical unbranded glass up to the artificial light.

His customer looks momentarily disorientated by the news, struggling to understand the implications of this announcement; slowly the awful reality dawns: This brave man, who's probably been slaving all day in the office; shaking people's hands, pressing 'Page up' on his keyboard; maybe even 'Page down'; faces the prospect of sitting drinking Belgian beer from a glass that does not advertise its contents.

His right shoulder drops for a second as he analyses thoughtfully the substitute glass. He looks momentarily as if he's going to start negotiating a discount. Afterall, someone might later ask what he was drinking, causing him the indignity, not to mention waste of valuable effort, of answering a question that should have been adequately taken care of by his drinking vessel

'Yeahhh...ok' he finally says, in a tone not disimilar to someone reluctantly agreeing to adopt their dead brothers ASBO laiden son. It seems even this white shirted cock-knocker of an estate agent ( probably ) wasn't ready to ask the question 'So what bottled drinks do you have that I can have a glass with its name on it?'

The drink is poured into the glass and payment made. The man walks off with the expression of someone who's had his cat stolen. His night's not ruined...but irrefutably compromised.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Man in the Launderette

Shabby clothes hide dirty skin
His eyes wont focus on anything.
He holds the keys.
Supervising nothing.
Spouting advice.
No one acknowledges him.

He explains disapprovingly.
That from the beginning of next week.
A single lousy cycle.
Will cost an extra thirty P.

With his stained expression.
He demonstrates piety.
To the church of dissatisfaction.
Of British society.

And when we've all gone.
Left him mumbling alone.
He'll spring into action - lock the door.
Never get home.