It’s sad to admit, but our 21st Century society has become nothing short of a bevy of neurotic hypochondriacs… or should I say cyberchondriacs. Alas, for I speak of internet diagnoses!
For years when people had health problems a simple appointment with their doctors would suffice but now (oh how things have changed!), now we speak of our GP’s with a wave of fear in our words. “Go see a doctor!”, they’d say – what used to be nothing more than 4 words of simple encouragement has turned into a phrase of dread, as if your loved ones have turned against you, summoning you to the dark depths of hell!
Phewy chop suey, it was just a dream! But it isn’t, it’s reality. So what do we do (well, I say we, I mean most men…)? We decide to take matters into our own hands and diagnose the problem ourselves. That’s right, instead of confiding in someone who’s had years of medical training we decide to google (other search engines are available) the blooming thing so as to allow everyone to see several pages of ‘testicular pain’ filling up your history like some sort of nightmarish shopping list! I mean, why oh why do we assume that for some barmy reason we’re going to find:
- the correct diagnosis
- the diagnosis we want to hear
I’d like to firstly write a special thanks to whoever it was that made my post ‘The Sin of Socks & Sandals‘ magically appear on Freshly Pressed. I realise that it is a blogger’s dream come true to feature there since it has helped my traffic one heck of a heap I’ll tell you (pardon my French) and it certainly came as quite a shock! Now, although this person/magic wizard still remains anonymous (I suspect it could be Illumniati… but it’s best not to speculate), what I can be sure of is the identities of all you wonderful people who:
- viewed my post
- liked my post
- shared my post
- commented on post
- clicked ‘notify me for follow up comments via email’ (you guys especially seeing as though I probably clogged up your account with a lot of ‘thanks!’)
So, I guess all that’s left for me to say is a great big… wait for it… wait now, it’s coming… calm down, I’ll get there in a minute… THANK YOU! and I look forward to hearing from you again soon (even Keith!)
Scales of skin peel off, falling
Down like sycamore seeds, twirling while they
Distraught wings spin, forming
Kaleidoscope patterns yet beauty is
Obscured, shrouded by a layer of denial;
Flaky would be an understatement.
A toothless smile digs deep into my
Flesh; leaves nothing but impotent scars of
One, Two, Three, Four…
Five Wheels? A Reliant Robin with stabilisers
Without the Fun;
Pathetic would be an understatement.
Dangled feet hang precariously,
Engulfed by shoes they test the
Recoiling like snapping guitar
Strings they flee for the nearest money
Tree, not to harvest their withering fruits but to shelter;
Uncommitted would be an understatement.
Lurking deep in the depths beneath, shrouded by a neighbouring cloud of shrubbery these malefactors stay hidden. Silent but undeniably deadly – are they social pariah’s of a lost age too scared to venture out in daylight or mere delinquents seeking to commit the perfect crime? One thing’s for certain, whoever they are they remain unnamed, unsighted, unloved (well by me at least!) yet evidence suggests that these aren’t cryptids simply concocted by my imagination but that they really do exist! That one, solitary coil of dog shit that spreads itself so carelessly across my path… for fuck’s sake clean it up!
Forget the lyrical introduction, this is about one thing and one thing alone – dog’s and their owners. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know I can’t attribute total blame to the mutt since it is not entirely their fault. Yes, they void their bowels wherever they like and haven’t developed the necessary brain-power to sweep it away under the relative safety of some mud but it’s their bloody owners I can’t understand! I assume that this is the scenario:
- Owner and dog go for a walk
- Dog needs to relieve itself (on the footpath)
- I come walking down said path
- Owner decides that this would be a rather hilarious prank so decides to slip out of sight
- I don’t notice the dog’s turd (due to lack of visibility at night) and walk straight through
The worst thing is that, as soon as you’ve stepped in it, you know immediately. The combination of that tell-tale squelch and the almost immediate pungent smell, redolent of shit, warns you that you’re best taking your shoes off before you enter your house that night. What is more, I can’t fathom why we have a fine for this when no one, I repeat, no one is ever caught! These inconsiderate ruffians are roaming the streets (well paths), mongrels by their sides, just waiting to trip up some unsuspecting victim with a dollop of excrement… it must be stopped!
So please, criminal dog owners (you know who you are) clean up your act by cleaning up your shit! Otherwise, if you don’t, there’ll be a very funky smelling batch of post coming through your letterbox when I find out your name… or perhaps I’ll just get some of this…
If chips be the answer, send forth!
Or heaven purge another starch-ridden
Antidote for my hunger.
Shy not from the relinquishing of your golden goods, for
I seek to inhale, exhale and embrace all that you throw at me,
We’ll lead the crusade against the caustic inconveniences that corrode my
Screams of mercy shall greet my three-pronged General,
The war is not lost.
There will be men and women, who sit and stare, not care,
Slurping copious amounts of coffee…
…since when was a moustache a welcome addition to a man’s upper lip?
Whereas Tom, he has the right idea.
A warm wad of moss hanging from his cliff-like jaw,
The long lost piece to finish Mr. Tash’s jigsaw, yet it’s
Absent, missing, nonexistent,
Those rascal hairs have played truancy and deserted the poor sod,
Fear not though for he bears a gift of green,
Fairy dishwasher tablets for tea bags?
No thanks sir, an Assam will do just fine,
Surely nothing could be more horrendous, useless… unless
There are high visibility jackets in conditions of considerable
Visibility, then we shall try, feebly,
To break out the enviable obscenities for a quick swig,
Stand up, be a man,
Murdock would have a blind stab at it,
For God’s sake, even Tash would!
Too much choice? But
Choice doesn’t make us indecisive, having to decide does.
But now they leave,
Tash in tack,
Tablets in good knick,
Their faces exhibiting the cockle-warming benefits of a nice tomato soup,
Personally, the chips would have been better, but
Who am I to say?
Come closer; let me whisper in your ear,
Psst, oi, I’m talking to you!
All I wanted to say was that…
…a fork really is a man’s best friend.
Behind the stinging bars of social delusion,
Meanwhile mellifluous sounds sit so surreptitiously
Behind battering-ram-like choruses,
Silence is golden.
We hear the noises of eager beavers, morning birds,
Murders of crows with irksome calls,
A cacophony to raise even the deaf from their graves,
There’s never a good time to join the parade.
Seats filled with canvas friends,
Buckled, strapped, chastened by the law’s unwanted wrath, yet
Further back we hug one another like old comrades-
Supportive, not sympathetic,
“If only the tracks were cheaper than the roads”, one says.
Now utterances are thrown,
Carelessly, not caringly,
Constantly, not consistently,
Balls of fiery mesh watered down by an oncoming chuckle,
But still we sit silently,
Silence isn’t golden, it’s gold-plated silver.
Wrestling with insomnia…
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Even with a digital clock in my room I can still hear the monotonous drones of a second hand working its way round the vicious circle of my sleeplessness. Chained to the bed in a straitjacket of my own inner-turmoil I toss and turn searching for the answers to release me from this incarceration of insomnia, but, sadly (or rather typically), none are forthcoming. In an ideal world I wouldn’t be conscious enough to notice the valuable hours of sleep slowly slipping away in a countdown to inevitable fatigue and agitation the following morning – in fact my shop front should have been well and truly shut hours ago but instead the sleep-stealing delinquents are about doing their worst… and I’m helpless to intervene!
“Why don’t you count sheep?” they’ll ‘helpfully’ suggest “it’ll make you so bored you’ll want to sleep!” Oh hardy harrr Mr. Sagacious! Well, I’ve tried counting sheep many times before but, believe me, it never works – 1 sheep… 2 sheep… 3 sheep… I mean, logically, it should be a simple remedy for my restlessness however the problem I have is that I always end up over-complicating matters. Instead of systematically going: 1 sheep… 2 sheep… 3 sheep… it’s much more chaotic, like this: 1 sheep… 2 sh- no 3 sh- no 6 sheep… where the heck are all these sheep coming from!? Where sanity would normally prevail, I’m left picturing sly ewes slipping under the fence while others hide behind their friends as they leap for freedom! You see, I’m far too busy wondering where the hell the blooming shepherd is who’s abandoned his flock than to be in a relaxed frame of mind to rest my weary head! Actually, d’you know what, I’d like to find the person who concocted this farcical means for curing insomnia and give ’em a good slap round the chops! Ok, maybe that’s going a bit too far. Please forgive me for my extreme anxiety but I didn’t sleep well last night as there was a series of rogue sheep on the loose; filling my darkened sky like fluffy clouds of unease… how I despise them! Come on, surely there must be an alternative?
“Make yourself a nice warm drink!” Mmmmm… warm cocoa… warm milk… warm Robinson’s Blackcurrant… Like with counting sheep, I’m pretty certain that there are many of you out there who find the abovementioned drinks very soothing when it comes to hitting the sack, yes? Well not me. Either I’ve developed some sort of immunity to them or the rascals at Horlicks have laced my hot chocolate with a heavy dosage of e-numbers; knowing full well that I won’t be able to get a good night sleep which, in turn, will turn into a 3 hour, non-stop Angry Birds fest! Not only that but whenever I indulge in a nice warm drink I’m overcome with a sudden urge to reach high into the heavens of the biscuit tin. I don’t know about you but feeling bloated after gorging yourself on chocolate fancies is not the best way to help you to sleep… damn you Horlicks! Come on, surely there must be another alternative?!
Aha, but of course! How could I have been so blind?! Alas, for I have found my saviour in white! A refreshingly new face, an inviting smile bearing the necessary powers to seduce me to sleep. “Who is this force you speak off?”, only the cool side of the pillow! Where have you been all this time? Why have I hidden you away for so long? So many questions needn’t be answered as the most important problem has been solved – my insomnia. Wrestled to the ground I have managed to smother my wakefulness with a the warmer side of the pillow; suffocating it and moulding it into blissful dreaming!
Thank you Billy D Williams, you really have helped me to drift on off to dreamland and for that I am eternally grateful!
Please can I come back as a cat?
Curled up in a tight ball of fluff at the foot of my bed there lies a wee furry nightmare, peacefully dreaming about sleeping somewhere cosy (no doubt the same place where she’s having a catnap as I write this!) If it isn’t for a twitch of the left leg or a muffled snore hidden beneath her tail I’d be alarmed that her coma was something far more serious but, as I make a sudden jerking movement with my body, she glances up at me with a look of disgust as I appear to have woken her from her deep slumber. Giving me evils, I soon begin to realise the amount of trepidation one experiences after waking the ‘beast’ so, in unison, we both decide that it’s best to lower our heads and return to our interrupted activities – me working and her snoozing. To some extent this is the most a cat has to worry about in their short-lived lives. While men and women from all four corners of the world work tirelessly, day and night carrying the unwanted burdens on their already slumping shoulders, you can put your mortgage on that the majority of our feline friends are somewhere warm having a pleasant nap; recharging their batteries for yet another day of doing absolutely nothing.
“Surely they must get bored!” I hear the envious cry yet, having resided with these hirsute animals for my entire life (nearly 18 years now), I can assure you that there is never a dull moment in the life of a cat. The word boredom is not even a word that features in cats’ vocabulary (ok, if we’re being picky then yes I’m sure there are very few words that do…) since there’s always something to occupy their easily pleased minds. If they’re not coiled up on my lap, or more annoyingly in my seat, then an afternoon’s glance outside the window seems logical; sitting elegantly poised at the patio doors with the only movement coming from a curious neck as birds fly back and forth to my fat balls (ey up…don’t be crude now). “Shall I stay indoors and look at these winged-toys or go outside to greet them?” she might ponder, before taking nearly 30 minutes to make her decision that, yes, she does want to be let out. Anyone with a cat will tell you that they really do treat their homes like a hotel! If you don’t want anything to do with them, they definitely don’t want anything to do with you – in fact, there’s always a welcoming conservatory round the street corner for them to sneak a sleep in.
Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later – Mary Bly
You see, the wonderful thing about a cat’s life is that, although they are seemingly independent creatures, they rely heavily on their owners – well, maybe owners isn’t the right word… more feeders. Sat in the kitchen she’ll wait and with a hopeful glance over her shoulder accompanied by a pitiful meow, I fully understand that it’s my duty to feed her but, what I can’t comprehend is how, even with a full bowl of the ol’ Whiskers (other cat food brands are available by the way) she won’t wolf it down. I mean, I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve had to physically pick up my cat and direct her nose within 2mm of the bowl brimful with food! Is she blind or just picky? Of course not. She knows exactly what she’s doing – all cats know what they’re doing. Being so charmingly manipulative, they’ll get what they want, when they want, even if it’s a slight adjustment to the position of your legs to create a steady platform for another nap. Not only that but since when did my food become her food? I haven’t eaten custard in months for fear of being watched by the cream-predator that precariously perches on the arm of my chair. “Begone!” I’ll cry… she stays. Unstirred by my protests she proceeds in watching my every spoon-to-mouth motions as I try to eat my pudding in peace. Yet, for some strange reason I give in to her soupy eyes and, before I’ve even had chance to put the bowl down she’s licked it clean!
Cats are kindly masters, just as long as you remember your place – Paul Gray
If only my life was like this – waking up in the middle of the afternoon and begging someone to give you some food to eat… oh wait, isn’t that what mums are for? Ah but there’s a difference. You see, my worries, and indeed mankind’s worries, go a little further than a cat’s. Whereas sleeping, eating and manipulating appear to be all that a cat is concerned with, we have other (more important?) things to think about. Ensconced in their thrones, high in a snoozing heaven while they watch their servile minions run around them with unwavering adoration, a cat’s life certainly is a good life.
So when the time comes (touch wood not too soon), I hope to be reincarnated as a cat – so long as my feeders aren’t too stingy and the sofas not too uncomfortable.