Boredom, Rotherham and other places of interest

Today we had Lisa and Esther’s 2 nieces and 1 nephew around.

After about 30 mins, during which she held up her new mobile phone and played every nasty tinny 2-bit ibiza ringtone on it in our faces, the oldest niece Holly shouted

“I’m bored”

and again, when no-one responded

“I’m bored

On the third time, I overheard Lisa giving her some advice.

“Just think, you’ve got another 80 years of boredom left” she, going the way of brutal honesty rather than comforting misdirection.

However, it was doomed to failure because no child can ever imagine being old, while no adult can ever forget being a child. Our bittersweet ‘you’ll learn’ grumbles pass straight over their heads and only make us look jaded and cruel, like faded sunflowers using their big wrinkly faces to ruin the sun for smaller, more youthful and prettier sunflowers.

"Stop stealing my limelight, you bottle-blonde human bean"

We keep getting post for the previous tenants, a Dickensian couple named ‘Scragg’. Having a boyfriend called that is surely reason enough to demand at least a double-barrelled married name, if not a “I’ll keep mine as it is thanks” type post-feminist stance.

They were obviously highly functioning members of the bourgeoisie, who displayed their class guilt with ostentation. Most of the mail is from well-meaning charities. This week, the envelope demands “Send Someone a Cow“.

Lisa picks it up, and looks horrified. “I’d hate it if someone sent me a cow” she says.

“Mind you, you could have it butchered and sent back in pieces. But once you’d seen its face, it would be a different story…”

When I was making the guilt-ridden transition from fully paid-up veggi to pescatarian, before the inevitable lazy belly-flop into bloody meats of the world, I used to have one rule:

Never Eat anything with Legs.

This meant I avoided prawns and shrimps, and didn’t even glance at the higher invertebrates. Now I think my motto will be:

Don’t Eat it If You’ve Seen It’s Face (or Been Its Friend). 

"Gah! I can't do it!"

Every Wednesday, Esther and Lisa are driven, kicking and screaming internally, to visit their Gromy (Rotherham speak for ‘grandmother’). Their unofficial job is to dust and wipe every surface in her museum-clean house, while she watches over them, interjecting-

“You’ve missed that bit!”


“I don’t do it like that, I do it like this. But you can do it how you do it. But I don’t do it like that” before snatching your cleaning equipment of them and doing it herself.

and Lisa, being a youngest and unaware of mortal danger, might pipe up with “well, I want to do it like this…”

To which Gromy exhales “JESUS WEPT!” before she storms off to the kitchen.

"The messiah, he had a little cry-a"

Today I have been airing the varicose veins on the back of my calves. And disguising my bloated middle with an oversized “FILTH” by Irvine Welsh t-shirt stolen off my dad. It has just occurred to me that it is offensive to police officers. But I have worked out what to say should I be stopped, strip-searched and told off.

“I like the police right now”, I will say with the smug confidence of middle-class citizenship, “so if by the end of this conversation I no longer like you, it is your fault”. This will make them feel bad about using their strong-arm tactics on me.

Right, now time to make them come get me…

Genesis. And the Boomtown Rats.

"Down with Mondays"

Allegedly, on Monday God created light. What a crock. Mondays are days for getting by, not starting the task of all tasks. Today is after all the sick man of weekdays, the rude oik nephew at a family gathering.

Luckily, there are some people who grab a pad and paper instead of curling into the foetal position when pain come a calling.

Hence “I don’t like Mondays” and “Manic Monday” and “Blue Monday” to name but a few.

I think God actually created pain today. And the police.

Me and Govinda were sat outside Spar on Saturday night, watching two bored policemen frisk a homeless man. We started questioning their motives (excuses to touch skinny men), and they came and loomed over us threateningly.

“Are you laughing at someone trying to do their job” said bad cop

“Yes” I replied.

He stomped away to think of a comeback. After the cogs turn for a while, he comes back over.

“That man is a burglar and a junkie. He belongs in prison”

“Oh yes” I say like a flash, “That will sort him out. He’ll be much better off after that!” I can feel a rant coming on. And then some cell time.

But luckily his one working synapse is taken over by hunger for red meat and he heads into Spar for some cat food. 2 for a pound at the moment.

I used to like the police. I used to believe that they had to be intelligent and sensitive and calm. Some of them are, but they end up at tribunals after being called names by the rest of them.

I suffered a similar disappointment when I found out that Waitrose and Marks and Spencers cashiers weren’t posh. I really thought they would be like the packaging: stylish, articulate and well put together. But oh no. I want to go somewhere where upper middle class types man the customer service desk, and go “hawhee hawhee haw” into the tannoy.

The best part of the day was eaten up ravenously by an afternoon nap from 4-7pm. Lovely.

"On the First Day God created naked napping. And it was goood"