More cocoa, Mrs Vicar?

Saturday 18th

Sample phone conversation with my Grandad:

“The female parson is coming round tomorrow for tea. I don’t like female parsons.”
“Why not?”
“They’re part of all this happy clappy stuff which is why I don’t go to church anymore; they have all these skiffle bands nowadays.”
“Skiffle bands? Like Lonnie Donegan?”
“No, you know people with beards and guitars. Hymns Ancient and Modern is what I was brought up on. I’m coming to religion a bit late, lad.”
“Maybe you should turn Catholic, it’s never too late to repent!”
“They’re even worse, it’s all dressing up and messing round.” There then follows a 10 minute tirade about how Catholics are rubbish Christians.

Tuesday 21st

I went for coffee with my boss. I didn’t really know what he wanted so I was quite nervous anyway. As I was took decaff latte to the till, worrying about whether it made me seem like a wuss, he said;

“Not having any cocoa?”
What could he mean? My brain worked fast. This must be manager-speak for caffeine.
“Uh, no- it makes me high if I have any…cocoa”
High? High? Why the hell did I use that word that suggests a totally unprofessional lifestyle of Class A hedonism.
He laughed uncertainly.
“I have to have a triple espresso to start the day.” I was really losing out on the man stakes.

With a thunderbolt of prickly sweat, I realised that when he said ‘cocoa’ he had meant ‘cocoa’ . I looked sadly at the little shaker he was emptying over his drink and thought whether I should explain the whole mistake, like “Oh, I thought you meant caffeine, like cocoa was the street-name for caffeine”.

Wisely, I chose to shut the fuck up.

Wednesday 22nd

At work today, I thought there was a Hare Krishna coming down the corridor. The ethnic bell noise got closer and closer but instead of yellow robes there was just a bloke and an iPhone with the ring set on ‘Bells’.

Thursday 23rd

When we get down to her house, Lisa looks gaunt and shaken.

“I didn’t sleep very well” she explains,
I woke up at 5am because the window was shaking in the wind. I thought it was fireworks, and started to think ‘why are people setting off fireworks at 5 in the morning? Has the apocalypse finally come?’ And then the man next door started using his hairdryer and I thought ‘Oh God, that’s not normal, something’s happening.’ Then there was a creaking and it sounded like  a burglar walking around the house so I tried to force Dom to go downstairs but he just turned over and snored.”

It wasn’t the apocalypse, it was just Lisa’s brain.

Friday 24th

On my way back from work I see two amputees on crutches walking side by side- one has their left leg missing, the other has no right leg, and they are walking so that their missing bits are next to each other (or not…). It looks like a Benetton advert, and I have to stop myself getting my phone out to photograph them. Those crutches wouldn’t be very nice in my face.

I am the God of Hellfire and I bring you…Puns

Fri 10th Jan

Just attempted to sing Fire by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown to my iphone to see if Shazam recognized it.


“SHHH! What the hell are you doing?” Esther shouted over me.

Not wanting to interrupt my perfect rendition, I continued.

“Doo-Doo Do Do Do Do Doo-Doo Do Do Do Do Do Doo-Doo”

“Just seeing if it recognizes the song” I explain.

“You’re not even singing the tune!” she says and stomps off to let the pets out. Song Not Recognized comes the damning reply.

I think the thing that really got her goat however was my hysterical laughing at Police Academy, especially the bits that aren’t funny. The angrier she gets, the closer I get to hysteria. But then I have a revelation that shocks me to my core-

Steve Guttenburg is really good looking! We’re talking painful to watch his beauty good looks…he spends the movie running around in a sleeveless crop top and denim hot pants, and it only serves to enhance his masculinity, and at one point, Esther cries out-

“Whoah! Look at that package!”

Short cute guys have all the fun. Us giants over 5’6 lumber around like drunken zombies while these fresh faced whippersnappers nip in and out getting all the girls. Sigh.

Sat 11th Jan

What better way to spend a Saturday than with my brainbox mother, who has booked us in to a writing workshop in Hipsville, Manchester. After a word-association game, we have this list of words:

  1. Ireland
  2. Moscow
  3. Show
  4. Hare
  5. Folly
  6. Chi
  7. Gong
  8. Mandolin
  9. Moccasins
  10. Beer Tent
  11. Hebrew
  12. Beard
  13. Forecast
  14. Cabbages
  15. Shoe Laces
  16. Polyhedron
  17. Ampersand
  18. Colt
  19. Domino
  20. Macerate
  21. Hydrating
  22. Loblolly (my mum’s suggestion… “I don’t know what it means though”)
  23. Dormouse
  24. Parrot

And the task is to make a story using them all. Unable to think of anything but puns, here’s my story;

Polly H. looked anxiously at the latest deals on Ireland offered  a green, Guinness land where colts ran below like unravelling shoelaces or the stubbed toe-ends of a Hare Krishna’s moccasins. Moscow meanwhile was her loblolly- the one place she could see her mother-in-law (founder of the Hadron collider, hence her full name- Polly Hadron) refusing to visit. Entering her card details, she grinned like a snow hare.

Arthur Rank winced as the check-in lady read his name out, waiting for the inevitable gong joke, which never came. He was fluent in Mandolin, but marred by dyslexia. The beer tent where he had picked up his Hebrew (the barmaid’s Aramaic was a little rusty) had been his greatest folly- he’d dribbled his Chi away make no mistake; and the chance of rehydrating was as slim as a parrot forecast of a dormouse apocalypse.

Suddenly, his pants fell like dominoes- the nervous twitch in his left hand had finally macerated his eco-friendly cabbage belt. Turning in horror, he found himself face to face with the girl of his dreams- well, last night’s anyway.

“It’s you!” he said incredulously

“Yes” she retorted, “And?”

“Huh?” he mumbled in confusion

She breathed on his glasses and etched out an ampersand in the condensation.

“That’s not what you’re meant to say” he replied wistfully

“It is in my dream” she replied, flicking her floppy mane so it enmeshed itself velcro-style in his beard….

Sun 12th Jan

“Apparently Whitney Houston is dead…” I say gingerly. Esther is a child of the 80s like me, and I’m not sure how sad she will be.

“Good!” Esther retorts in an instant and rolls over in bed.