Sunday, 31 March 2013

Jackie, my Chinese friend.

My friend Jackie is OK.

She's Chinese and looks like a child from a distance. And before you ask, she can't do kung fu or dance well.

This is a picture of her:

PS I like her lots really. Honest.

The man who was not there.

She had not heard from him in a week but he was everywhere. On a train to Blackpool, Heather spotted him in the next carriage, sat next to a brunette. He’d always said he preferred brunettes. They were sat with their backs to her and she could see the curls in his hair, right at the top of his neck, that she had played with all those times.

His head arched towards the brunette and Heather saw a flash of his cheek. That was his cheek right? The same olive skin, the same indentation in line with his lips, those lips. Heather gripped her seat in anger. He hadn’t bothered to call her but he could hang out with this girl, talk to her, make her laugh? He was wearing a coat that she’d never seen before. So he’s gone shopping too, plenty of time for that, it seemed.  The pain in her chest grew deeper as the curls shifted, the lips motioned to hers, and he leaned in for a kiss. .  

But that profile was not his. No, there was something wrong about his smile afterwards. His mole, the one which she was sure was the shape of a heart, her heart, was not where it should be. 

It was not him. And never would be, no matter how many times Heather tried to mould the picture of Ben in her head to the boy who seemed so very close.

This was a torture that she went through repeatedly. She saw him over six times that day and heard the word 'Greece' at least a dozen. It was like fate was screwing with her head. 

‘Cheers fate, give us a break will ya?’ she muttered.

'Er, hello to Heather?! For fuck's sake stop day dreaming. Have you listened to anything I’ve just said?' 

The eloquent sounds of Alice hit Heather's brain with the subtlety of a mnemonic drill. Heather groaned as they drove past another 'Discover the hidden treasures of Greece' billboard. 

'Y’know you've turned into a right sap since Ben.' Alice continued, undeterred by Heather’s sudden fascination with the ends of her hair, zips on her clothes, anything that was not Alice’s judgemental gaze.

Her friend turned to her. 'Heather seriously, drop it. He's a loser, a fit loser, but still a loser. He wasn't even that interesting when you were actually talking to him. You were always saying how he didn't get your jokes. But I suppose he's only human' 

Heather received a, slightly too hard, dig in the ribs. She moaned, 'is there a point to your bullying, because you do realise I could wang you like a welly if I so desired, Al.'

Her 4’10 friend did not care for threats over her size, and continued with her jack-russel-like bark. 

'All I'm saying is that God, fate, Scientology alien, Allah, whoever the fuck brought you two together may have just got it wrong.'

'Don't start the lectu...'

'Just because you met and talked about books all night does not make you soul mates. I mean, just because he liked the same old boring shit that you like does not mean that you are meant for one another.' 

Heather returned to the window. 'I have to believe it is for some reason, Al, I don't mean to sound like a creepy spinster from a Mariane Keyes’ novel, but surely this, us, what we had, is more than the usual, well,' Heather winced at the phrase, 'holiday fling? It has to be.'

'But maybe not. Maybe you were drunk, maybe it was a hot summer's evening and you’d had too much Sangria’

‘Sangria’s Spanish, Al’



‘Whatever. Maybe it was just the heat of the moment. Maybe it was to stop you nausing over Dave. Maybe it was to just break you two apart.’

Heather winced. Dave, she had not even thought about him in such a long time. The guilt washed over her, permeating her skin and forcing her to flush.

Alice continued.  ‘I mean, let's face it, you've been with tons of people...' 

'....and? Where the hell is this going now?' 

Alice grabbed her by the hand, 'and, Honey you weren't right about any of them. They all started off very sweet and full of potential but when it comes down to it, they were all wankers. So either you are just chronically awful at choosing men...' 

'LOTS of men, it seems' 

'Or' Alice interjected, 'or, you have just done the ground work and have to be patient now' 

'So….what you’re saying is being a slag is the same as building the foundations of a house?' 

'Even though you are being sarcastic here Heather, I think, I think that's exactly what I mean.' 

Heather returned to the window, just as the train slowed into a village and a pub called 'Ben’s Bar' flashed into her vision. 'Such bullshit' she whispered. 

Alice pulled at Heather’s anorak and called her attention. 'My dear darling screwed up slut of a best friend. Like that song, y'know the one, you just have to wait patiently for love, some day it will surely come.'

Alice began a power ballad rendition of 'that song' for the three seconds it took for Heather to reach out and press her hand firmly against her friend's gaping mouth. 

'Ok, no more.' She said.  'I promise, no more Ben. No more waiting for messages, no more moping.' 

'Thank all that's holy! Yo everyone, Hev's stopped being boring! It's a fucking miracle!'

The quiet carriage filled with elderly couples and families glared at Alice’s outburst. She had raised her pale arms above her head, like she was expecting an encore and a round of applause.  

‘It was only to stop you bloody singing’. Heather snapped, but her face soon echoed the infectious smile of her friend’s as the train lunged forward from the station.  ‘Now give me a drink. I think I’ll need it for ‘I love Lance and even though he's prematurely bald and watches too much porn, I'll still marry him’ time tonight.’

Heather took the glass offered to her from their train picnic and raised it, ‘to Lance and Lauren, I suppose’, she exclaimed, half-heartedly.

Alice raised hers to meet: ‘to being single and hanging around with pathetic, needy, hopelessly in love people all weekend’

‘Hear, hear.’ The clink joined the sound of whimpering babies and old, marginally deaf couples shouting names of sandwiches to each other in the carriage.

The wine slipped down her throat easily and a smile pasted itself on Heather's face as she listened to more of Alice's stories. But what she couldn't figure out, no matter how hard she tried, was why the pit of her stomach had turned so very cold. 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Fuck You, Snow

This morning I woke up with an anger unknown to most sensible human beings.

It was intense and has not been relieved all day. And that is because there is no way of removing the thing which has caused me such great sorrow. Because, dear readers, it's the weather.

Snow, in late March (yes I know, please do not get me started) has decided to rock up and spray its white shit all over my crib, my car; even my cat if it stands still for more than twenty seconds.

And you know what? I'm taking a stand.

I refuse to enjoy this snow. This snow will hold no magic or wonder for me.

This snow will not pressurise me with its softness to sit in it and make angelic shapes.

This snow will not cause me to spend hours battling with the elements to make a snowman which looks nothing like an actual human being.

This snow will not be 'pretty, lovely' or 'just super!'

This snow will be disgusting, annoying and plain pointless.

So, with that, all I have left to say is: 

Fuck you snow, fuck you. 

Monday, 4 March 2013

Toilets, Work and Horrible Disasters

I have a terrible problem. And, like most fully grown real-life adult people, it's with work.

Don't get me wrong (especially you, Boss) I love my job.

But there is still one thing. One little thing that causes my blood to boil and my forehead to start sweating profusely.

And that's the toilets.

Urban Dictionary says this about a toilet:

1.Toilet1001 up112 down
A place to sit and think. Also a good place to take a plop.
"I'm going to go to the toilet and figure this out."
That's right, Urban Dictionary. Toilets are a place to have a little relax; some may say a place to think about the world and put it to right. A place to let your inhibitions (and bowels) go.

But my work's rest rooms ignore all previous rules about toilet sancdom. Nay, they get the rules, cock one leg up and pee all over them. Then, to carry on the analogy, throw the said rules down their cruel stained basins and flush with a powerful vigor only relative to the strenght of Lance Armstrong's lies.

Wow, what a mouthful.

These toilets are hellish for many reasons, but I've decided on the core three below.

1) The Walls.

To relax and allow toileting to become a calm experience, privacy is key. Privacy is in fact vital to this.

But, the walls on these cubicles are so painfully thin, you can hear the person in the next cubicle doing EVERYTHING, and I mean everything.

No one wants to hear Sandra from IT's Chicken Tikka Curry coming out, but I'm ashamed to say after one year at my office I can intuitively name dinners from the sounds coming from the toilet.

What can I say? It's a talent.

Due to this issue, us ladies have a secret understanding. When entering the toilet, if I have a companion in there, I nod politely at my toilet-associate, and thus the code begins.

Toilet code #1:
Flush the toilet before you have even unzipped your flies. 

If one flushes the toilet as soon as they get into the cubicle when another attendee is in the cubicle next door, it allows  the other person to let rip with whatever they desire to do. Pipe-noise and handle pumping included, I have worked out that this gives the Toileter 20 seconds of background noise. Those precious 20 seconds means that you can no longer fear over-hearing and being subjected to hardcore office gossip as the 'farter on floor five.'

Toilet code #2:
Put the hand dryer on. 

Even though the hand dryer has the power of a baby breathing on your hands, the tessid toilet agreement states that if you are by the sinks, you must put this on in order to allow the person in the cubicle to have a small ten second window of privacy.

Some kinder souls amongst us even attempt to dry our hands by this wheezy bit of warm air so that the companion in the cubicle can plop and read the entirety of War and Peace by the time the room regains its silence.

2) The Ability To Toilet

Or lack of.

My office is a standard one in a block of around ten companies. As far as I'm aware, child labour is still illegal. And we don't employ people under sixteen. So, using simple mathematics that means that ALL people in the office blocks are adults.

So why, please tell me why, can NONE of them use the toilet in the correct fashion?

I am fully aware that some people may have complications going to the toilet. But, all, all of the three toilets we have on offer have urine/floaters/shed load of toilet paper thrown all around them.

3) The Ability to Flush

Again, or lack of.

Last but not least, my office seems to physically be unable to use the device which is known as 'The Flush Handle'.

It's a small device, some may say lever, which usually resides on the toilet 'upper-deck' as I fondly call it. It's usually not that hard to find.

See I've always been taught that the toileting goes as follows:
- Sit
- Do

It's a three stage process. If you miss out one of those stages then the whole thing goes to pot.

I mean....
- Sit
- Flush

what's the point in that?


Far too complex, uniformly incorrect and leads to a powerful amount of 'splash back'.

So why do people miss out the last hurdle, the final step in three? It causes a great strain as one can never quite relax as to what they may find in the toilet bowel of nightmares.

The next person is then severely scarred from their toiletting experience by seeing the INSIDE OF ANOTHER PERSON.

I hope you feel empathy towards my toileting disaster. 

Tell me your thoughts - I need guidance!