Crispy Crisps

October 30, 2014

Today I discovered what it is like to be a real life archaeologist, to uncover the remains of a lost civilisation, albeit in a very unlikely place.

On the way home I was really hankering for something special for tea. Something which brings such unbridled joy that it cannot be enjoyed every day for fear of the magic wearing off.

I wanted a crisp sandwich.

Because I’m 38, and screw you rules about tea.

So I visited the Tesco Express to purchase the two major components of this dish: crisps and bread. When it comes to the bread it has to be thick cut white sliced – something you can really Beryl (a word meaning to squash a sandwich flat, derived from the name of a character in The Liver Birds) around your crispy centre.

And when it comes to the crisps I usually go with Walkers, more often than not ready salted ones.

And that’s pretty perfect.

But I fancied something a bit swankier tonight, and was immediately drawn in by an offer on the Sensations range of crisps. They had a load of Baldamic Vinegar and Red Onion, and a load of Sweet Chilli. But I really wanted Chicken and Thyme.

Of which there were none.

But then I saw the unmistakable likeness of a chicken breast staring at me from a bag right at the back of the shelf. I was in luck!

I was not in luck.

For a variety of reasons, the packet caught me eye. It looked like it had been through a war. It was all crinkled, crumpled and you could see the outline of crisps where the bag had pressed against it.

So I looked closer.

These crisps had a Best Before daye of early August. They were nearly three months out of date. I couldn’t use them for a sandwich. Well, I could if I’d wanted to find out what that sandwich would feel like leaving my body in liquid form at an inopportune moment.

So I did what anyone would do in that situation, I moved the bag to the front of the shelf in the hopes that an undesirable will by them.

In the end, I had ready salted.

Breaking The First Rule Of Bus Stop Club

October 29, 2014

I made friends at the bus stop last night.

I didn’t set out to make friends because if I have one rule it’s that I should never, ever engage anyone else waiting for the bus in conversation. But it just kind of happened. I ended up in a little bit of a chat with two women who catch my bus home in the evening – we’re always there, come rain or shine, but we don’t talk to each other. It’s just not the done thing.

But yesterday there were just the three of us. There was me – waiting in the usual spot I wait, despite it once being the site of an incident involving a pigeon with the shits, and the two women who wait under the shelter. Just the three of us. I moved under the cover of the bus shelter because it started to rain – or, at least, I assume it was rain. You can really never tell anymore – once you’ve been dripped on by a leaky pigeon sphincter, it really changes your views on precipitation.

Anyway, there we were. Just the three of us waiting for the bus.

And then along came a group of lads who bypassed all three of us and established themselves as the head of the queue.

And that’s how we got chatting. We started to talk about the number of people who push in at that bus stop – who just rush to the front because they think that all the other people are maybe just standing around for the fun of it, rather than to catch the exact same bus.

And, inevitably, our conversation turned to the little woman with the gym bag who always barges her way to the front. I just mentioned her as a joke, saying that she was all we needed now and our evening would be complete. What I didn’t realise was that these two had massive amounts of hate for this little pusher-inner. I mean, she annoys me with her ducking and diving, but these two… wow.

Apparently, and this is something I’m going to keep an eye out for, they like to trip her up if she pushes in. “There’s nothing funnier,” says one of the women, “than seeing her stumble onto the bus when I’ve legged her up as she rushes past. I really enjoy that.” I mean, obviously, that’s so wrong. It is. It’s just wrong. But when you travel on public transport as much as me you know that, occasionally, people just need a gentle nudge in the right direction, just to remind them that there are other people who use the same mode of transport.

“I think there’s something wrong with her,” she continued. “Because when she sits down she kind of spreads out, and flings her bag about. So one day I just asked her… I just said to her, ‘do you have to be such an ignorant bitch?’ She doesn’t seem to do it as much anymore…”

Remind me never to push in for the bus…

Brand Loyalty

October 28, 2014

I’m a person who knows his own mind
So there’s one thing that I cannot stand
Wherever I turn or whatever I do
Give it a sec… Russell Brand.

He wants to start a revolution
By stopping the stuff that we hate.
For me it’s realky quite simple -
Russell, stop chuntering. That’s great!

The way to bring about change
And make the most of the lives we have left,
Is to not pay for things when you want them.
I might be wrong, but that’s theft.

Oh be the PM, people shout.
Like they do when Clarkson’s a twat.
But just take a minute and think it all through,
It’s a crappy idea is that.

But old Shagger Brand has a book out
And one that he’s keen to promote.
If we all took a copy and paid not a jot
That’d teach the self-rightous old scrote.


October 27, 2014

A nice quiet night at home
Just reading and watching TV
A noise erupts from the kitchen
And scares the shit out of me.

At first I don’t know what is is,
This noise that I have heard.
But as I look towards the kitchen
The destruction is quite absurd.

There goes the cat carrier
On the cupboards is where it should live.
But a black and white cat has fiddled about
And something’s decided to give.

Crashing to the floor, it bursts apart
The catches no longer quite catch
Between gravity and Peppa the cat
That cat box has now met its match.

Apparently, Peppa resents it.
After all, it equals the vets.
In her eyes the cat box is evil
And deserves everything that it gets.

But the destruction doesn’t stop there
As I leap from my chair quite alarmed
For the ironing board is now falling.
Peppa’s lucky she hasn’t been harmed.

At the too of the stairs she is sitting
An innocent look on her face.
How can you be cross with those lovely big eyes.
Yellow, with some blue – just a trace.

It wasn’t me, the face is saying.
You’ll have to show me some proof.
But uo until then, I’ll remain innocent,
Mysterious, sly and aloof.

Curiosity Fed The Cat, Then Couldn’t Get Rid Of The Cat, And Then Had A Dilemma

October 26, 2014

The cat that we nearly ended up with last week came back yesterday. A lot of things happened in that visit.

1) it came in the house
2) it ate some of the food
3) it had to be removed from the house
4) it would not leave
5) it’s very affectionate
6) Peppa doesn’t like it
7) it really proper cries when you leave it
8) it would not leave
9) it just stared through the cat flap
10) it might belong to the woman we affectionately call Mad Cat Woman (because she’s a woman, has a shit ton of cats, and is insane)
11) it’s pregnant

Now, under rules laid down by Carole’s sister as to the acquisition of rogue cats, we should already own this cat. It should be ours. No questions asked.

But there are issues – Peppa not liking it is a big one, because it’s all about Peppa. There’s no point getting another cat if it drives Peppa away to live somewhere else.

The fact that it may belong to Mad Cat Woman is another biggy. And the issue isn’t even that it might belong to her. I would genuinely have no qualms about spiriting away a cat from her as she’s a vile woman with far too many cats and very little in the way of care. But that’s the problem – if she is one of MCW’s posse it could be riddled with anything – lets face it, it’s already riddled with kittens. How much we would like to acquire a cat – especially one that has chosen us – is outweighed by how little we want to have to pay to treat every disease known to man.

And the pregnancy thing. I didn’t notice it was pregnant, I will admit. When I picked it up I will admit to being freaked out by the size of its cat nipples – which now makes sense – but a pregnant cat is not really what we’re after… Apart from all the kittens contained within, obviously, like a hairy Kinder Egg.

So this is what I’ve figured out. We won’t take it in. But, say, if that cat was to find a warm, sheltered space in an unlocked, open, tatty green shed in a back garden very close to where this very blog is written. And if, say, that cat decided to pick that warm, sheltered spot in which to lay and push out tiny little balls of fur, then given that it’s the winter months it would be my duty as a caring human to take in those kittens and their mother and make sure they got the best start in life possible.

Especially if any of those as-yet-unborn kittens really looked like they’d suit the name Pickle…

“Is She Not Well?”

October 25, 2014


A box of diet coke (30 cans), four scotch rolls, a packet of Thornton’s triple chocolate squares.

That was it.

We could have gone through the self-checkout, but Carole decided we should go to “the happy woman”.

So we did.

When we arrived she was enjoying a full-blown conversation with a customer, clearly someone she knew, and putting the world to rights. For a long time.

A very long time.

And then it looked like we might actually get served, at which point the till lady asked her friend a question:

“How’s your mum?”
“She’s in hospital…”
“Oh, is she not well?”

No, obviously she’s in fine fettle, but is quite partial to semolina and individual pots of jelly. I could have this entirely wrong but, in my experience, it’s very rare for a well person to decide that what they really need is to go to hospital for a bit.

Sort of like a mini-break, but one themed to be a bit like Holby City.

I suppose there’s a tiny part of her that might have thought maybe her friend said “she’s in a hostel” and that asking if she was not well was a way to remove the vagaries of the potential mix up.

Don’t Look Directly Into The Trap

October 24, 2014

I looked into the trap, Ray.

There’s been a recurring theme this week. A terrible, unsightly recurribg theme.

Earlier this week I shared my half hour lunch break at work with a workman’s arse crack peering at me from the cupboard under the sink. I had to angle my chair slightly towards the wall so I couldn’t see it directly, but my peripheral vision still kept me aprised of all the movements of the man’s arse cleft.

And tonight, on the bus, A man got up to move seats and sit with his family. He was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms.

I can only assume that he’d been sitting in such a way that he’d kind of shuffled himself out of his own pants because…

… well, I don’t know how long the average arse crack is, but I am willing to bet that I saw upwards of 90% of it this evening. Obviously, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever been in a position to prove that fact as, hopefully, I will never see the man again (not that I can remember his face) or be in a position to measure the diameter of his bum crevice.

You know how there are paintings which have eyes that follow you around the room. This was like the complete opposite of that – this just drew in your eye and any hope of looking away was snatched away. It was like staring into the void – the vast expanse of nothingness that is a stranger’s arse crack on public transport.

And then all I could think, as an array of people got on and off the bus, was that anyone who sat there was essentialky sitting on a seat which had recently had a naked arse upon it.

I love public transport.


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