On Being an Asshole


Esther & Lisa have become obsessed with a self help guru who looks like an evil albino magician. I came back from work the other day to find them mumbling his mantra over and over again:

“I am independent of the opinions, either good or bad, of others…”

Bit of a complex sentence, I thought, bit of a clumsy clause in the middle there. It’ll never take off.

evil albino magician

Evil Albino Magician

 

‘Does this coat look alright?’ I ask Esther the next morning as I get ready for work.

‘You are independent of the opinions, either good or bad, other others,’ she says.

‘Ok,’ I say, ‘But just for this moment I choose to listen to your opinion.’

‘That’s not how it works,’ says Esther, ‘The only thing that matters is what you think.’

Which is why I spent a day in the wrong coat. What a horrible day.

I get back from work to find Esther & Lisa in deep discussion.

‘It’s so hard to be an asshole,’ Esther is saying, ‘I need to try harder.’

Lisa guffaws.

‘I can’t believe you just said that. You are an asshole,’ Lisa says, ‘It comes naturally to you.’

‘What’s going on?’ I ask, ‘Why are we talking in American?’

‘We’re People-Pleasers,’ says Esther, ‘We have to learn how to be Assholes.’

‘What does that mean?’

‘Well the video says you have to go into Starbucks and take ages choosing your coffee until a big queue has formed behind you. Really make everyone wait and don’t act apologetic at all.’

‘God that is asshole behaviour,’ I say, ‘I don’t like that at all.’

‘That’s why we’ve got to do it,’ Esther says, ‘We need to care less what people think.’

name-tag_asshole

The following morning, I was so stressed, I thought my head was going to explode Scanners-style. I’d changed what I was wearing for the fifth time (independence of the opinions of others sucks) and then ran to the busstop. As the bus was about to deposit me at City campus ON TIME, I happened to check my diary FOR THE FIRST TIME to find it was a 9am start at THE OTHER CAMPUS.

I legged it across town to the busstop for buses going back the same way. As the bus crawled along, and I watched the seconds tick past 9am, my head began to feel like it was popping. I need something soothing I thought, something lovely and calm.

Q: What’s the most relaxing music in the whole wide world?

And so I googled ‘that music from the Shipping Forecast’ and binged on Ronald Binge’s Sailing By, eyes closed. The trouble with that is that Esther & I had a spate of using the Shipping Forecast to send us to sleep, Sailing By being the lullaby that one of us had to turn off, finally drowsy and heavy-armed, at the end. (Clue: It was always me.)

Dragging myself out of the departure lounge of snoozeland was enough to make me really grumpy and so I ran to the other campus full of the joys of hell.

‘I’m getting a damn coffee,’ I told myself, ‘nobody can stop me.’

It was ten past 9 as I ran up the back stairs, taking huge John Cleese strides and gurning in frustration. As I rounded the corner flailing and gnashing, I realised there was a man sat at the top, watching me.

‘Just getting my legs to work’ I said and then laughed enough for the both of us.

Of course, what I was really doing was Being An Asshole.

freshmanstarbucks

My social IQ is 50; what’s your excuse?


"All my multiple personalities are idiots"

As luck would have it, my greatest skill in life is in making life less skillful.

Yesterday I had a phonecall, which reverted to NATO’s phonetic alphabet (beloved of bobbies and geeks) with foolish consequences. Why she couldn’t make sense of my usual phone slurring I’ll never know, but we started to speak in letters and then words-for-letters. I don’t know the phonetic alphabet, so I made up my own. “Bezelbub, Electric” I said with trepidation. “Bravo, Echo?” she corrected hesitantly. “Figaro?” I added. “No, not Figaro” she said with confusion, “send me an email”.

I also had to call Amazon that day, because I have ordered 15 books to go to my old house. By mistake of course, I’m not that perverse.

It seems I will have to wait for them to be sent back before being refunded and re-ordering them to be re-delivered the correct address. All except one book, which is out of print. She won’t tell me which one.

“Which one is out of print?” I ask

“Err, the Chris Kraus book” she says after some hesitation.

I scan down the list of orders, and see “I LOVE DICK” by Miss Kraus. Why did it have to be that one? I think about possibly coming up with a story about why I am not like that. Truth be told, I can’t remember why I ordered it. I think it looked ‘interesting’.

Thinking back, I wish I’d probed a little more;

“What’s the book called? I can’t quite recall it…”

“Erm, I Love…Richard”

“Oh, I don’t remember that title…” followed by a Sid James guffaw…

"Wycliffe can't speak Spanish"- Hips

In other news, I’m just like Shakira. My hips don’t lie; I just can’t pretend to be skinny anymore.

But, neither do my hips say sorry. I just went to the shop to get some stodge. On the way out, I was bottlenecked with 2 young women coming into the shop.

“Sorry” I said automatically, and backed up. Really, I was being chivalrous and should have barged through in the name of equality.

As the front one walked past me I found myself pushing past, and somehow managed to flip her into the magazine shelf with my hip.

“Oh!” she yelped in shock. I had crossed the boundary into her personal space and not only that but touched her. I mean, ugh!

I seem to have that reaction. On the first day of high school I sat down for the first time in my form class, to be met by “Ewww!” as the girl nearest me pushed herself away in revulsion. Ah, school days. Truly the best time of my life-if best has reversed its meaning and now means abject shitiness.

“Sorry” I said again, only this time it was my moral duty. I daren’t look behind me because no doubt both the girl and the viewing shopkeeper were giving me the evils.

As I left the shop, I think I even added another “sorry” under my breathe; this final one was for generally being alive. I affected the rolling gait of a generic cripple just in case, to make it seem that it was my body that was impolite, not my mind. Regular readers will know this is not true.

I have just returned again from a shop- this time however, things went relatively smoothly. I am catching my breathe and looking down on the 2 comatose, puffy faced girls in MY bed- the sisters and their snoozing takes priority. There must be something in this genetics lark, because they are both facing the same way with the same arm draped across their fronts. I imagine the same daft puppies are lolloping around in their dreams too. So bitter and jaded on the outside; so pathetically girly within.

Earlier, we were talking about holidays this summer. Correction: I am remaining mute and listening, having used all my chitchat ability up for the day keeping up with the nattering of the two sisters in the first half hour of their getting together.

“I want to go to Berlin” says Lisa, with a voice and expression that would make Guardian readers reach for their credit cards with one hand while continuing to whip themselves over Third World poverty with the other.
“It’s rubbish” says Esther. “It’s just like Sheffield except everywhere smells of cowpats and everyone speaks German”.
“Oh” says Lisa. “Isn’t it beautiful?”
“No”
“Isn’t it full of amazing cool people?” asks Lisa
“No, they’re all old and ugly”
“Oh”

I have left Esther in  charge of sorting out our holiday this year. So far, she has found a weekend on a barge on Sheffield canal for £1000.

Kill me now.

"WISH YOU WERE HERE...AND I WASN'T"

Boring, ugly and annoyingly cute


"When do I get to be the remote?" "Never"

Esther is flicking through the TV channels. Just as I get to see what is on, it gets whisked away. It’s twisting my melon something rotten.
“I can’t stand to watch lottery winners” she snarls. “Or golfers.”

She goes right up to channel 100 on the digibox, and works back down to number one. Before starting again.

“Actually, I hate everyone” she grunts and the TV is whipped onto standby.

I suddenly feel world weary too, and try to come up with a list of people who would be put to death if I was king:

  1. Happy people
  2. People who hog remote controls
  3. Rich people
  4. Conservatives
  5. Religious people
  6. People who believe in capital punishment

You see it’s hard for someone like me whose primary emotion is schadenfreude. Life feels like one big School Reunion.

I decided to wear my hair slicked back last week for the first time. It’s kind of counter-intuitive since I have a receding hairline, but what the hell. I don’t know what I’m emulating- maybe Christian Bale in American Psycho. Maybe a spiv. I got on the bus today and without realising it sat right next to an OAP with the same hairstyle. I did a double-take. He had a similar summer preppy outfit on too. And he got off the same stop as me. Interesting.

"Wanna buy a second hand toilet roll?"

Lisa is really depressed today. She is sitting around our kitchen table chain smoking and groaning involuntarily. her misery only ended when Dom came round with a giant lighter as a present. It’s a foot long and actually works, until I broke it. Luckily Dom managed to fix it before Lisa started crying. Lisa has an obsession with massive and miniature scale things.

After each meal, she creates a miniature version of it to feed Devo: a tiny piece of roast potato with a cube of steak and a green bean balanced on top.

She had a dream last week which seemed really normal until some giants walked past the bus she was on.

“Who are they?” she trembled.

“Oh, they’re the Other People” said a fellow passenger nonchalantly.

‘How could I not have known about the Other People?’ Lisa thought with horror. What else don’t I know about?

“I’m really scared that me and Dom will be shrunk, and on our way up to your house some drunk people will capture us and put us in their pockets and take us to the pub to show people” Lisa admitted.

Today we were talking about how cute things make us happy.

“I can’t believe how small mice are” thrills Esther.

“I wish I could put them in bumblebee suits” chuckles Lisa in a day dream.

"Leave me bee"

I’m doing the beetroot workout


"surely not?"

After work, I head down to the gym. I avoid the treadmill like the plague because I have had to lather my thighs with vaseline to stop the agony of constant chafing. I am also being very careful about how hot I get- last time I went, I overdid it, and went to meet Esther and Lisa in Tescos afterwards. Along the way, I seemed to be the centre of attention. I felt like a guy from a Lynx advert, who has stumbled across the secret of universal seduction. I get the pansexual eye (girls, boys, dogs), and my ego inflates like a pull string dinghy, floating me along the street an erect penis’s height from the ground.

The problem is that although I think that I crave attention, if I ever get it, my brain melts and I have an ugly panic attack. I am starting to forget how to walk and to breathe when I manage to run into Tescos and find the girls.

I creep up behind Esther. I like creeping up on people. As Esther catches sight of the looming freak behind her, her face spasms in horror.

“Oh my god, you look like a beetroot” she says.

"Having exercised, I must go into hiding"

It turns out I had been waking along looking like a boiled lobster/sore thumb/busta blood-vessel comedy character, and that was the source of my allure. How disappointing.

I get to Lisa’s having escaped the gym in a milder hue of cerise.They must be in a good mood- there’s a cup of tea waiting for me. We all fall silent as we guzzle and read the trashy magazines lying around (Heat, Grazia, Look).

“What’s the point of donkeys?” says Lisa out of the blue.

“Some people just have fields full of them. What do you do with them?”

Nothing comes to mind.

“I spose you can stroke them” she reasons. Yes, that’s right. That makes sense to all of us, and we go back to reading.

“I just had a really strong urge to superglue my lips together” says Esther, again breaking the intellectual silence. I think it was my brain telling me what I wanted to hear, but no, she actually said it.

“I thought the tube of glue was Zovirex. When I realised it wasn’t, I thought ‘what’s the worst thing I could do?’ and I have to stop myself from putting it on my lips”. It’s a traditional bloke joke, to want the woman to shut up. I briefly feel a sense of belonging by wishing it too.

I reach for my special Blog notebook. The girls notice, and figure out what I’m doing.

“Quick, say something funny” thinks Lisa aloud.

After a few moments of tense, brain whirring silence, she blurts out;

“I wish I could transform my body…into a frog’s body! Ha, then everyone would love me.”

She pulled it out of the bag didn’t she? However it all goes downhill from there, so I put my notebook away in disgust. I need an invisible pen and pad really, or to do some serious ethnographic shit to live in this crazy uncivilised world with the natives till they forget I’m there. Oh, wait…

"I was invisible till I got 3rd degree sunburn"

Front bottoms, mostly


"No, not that wonderful urge, this one..."

I have the sudden urge to press my willy against the mouse pad on the macbook. I hold it there till Esther sees, and screams. As I let off a low, satisfied belly laugh that wobbles the laptop and the sausage squashed atop, a banshee wail rips out of her horrified mouth.
“Oh dooooonnnnnn’ttttt! That’s like me putting my fanny juices all over the computer!!!” squeals Esther.
“No it’s not, it’s dry” I reason.
“It’s not! It’s always sticky and horrible” says Esther as if she can remember the last time she touched it.

I’m looking for a picture of a sausage on a computer to go with this story. “What do you call that bit where I put my willy?” I ask “When I Google ‘mousepad’, it just comes up with the thing you put your mouse on…” (Duh!).

“I don’t know” she grunts grumpily, “the dickpad?”

I take Safesearch off (the culinder which catches all the genitalia gushing through the internet) but strangely I can’t find a picture of anyone else with their willy on a mousepad thingy. Surely I can’t be the only one?

I am getting fat. I can tell because of 2 recent developments:

1. I have ripped the ass area of 3 pairs of trousers in the last month

2. All of a sudden, my balls are constantly being crushed between my monster thighs when I walk.

Now I am getting massive chafing there. I have started going to the gym, and I have to go commando to stop it getting worse. I went yesterday and now I can hardly walk. I think I need to buy a posing pouch to winch my balls out of trouble.

"dog guarded codpiece"

Esther has decided to go on a diet now.

But of course, she can’t just be normal. She has developed her own telepathic diet. She only eats “what my brain tells me to”.

This means that while me and Lisa munch on chocolate brownies, she emerges from the kitchen with lettuce and some garlic sausage.

“Your brain is suspiciously healthy” challenges Lisa.

Esther tastes the sausage quizzically. “Hmm, I just want the lettuce actually” she decides. My brain wants cake, and a pudding with every meal. What’s up with that?

“My wife’s so depressed, she reads Russian novels for light relief “


Esther wants to kill herself.

Again.
“Change the record” I groan. But inside my tummy goes tight and I can’t think straight. This happens every few weeks. She starts off by saying;
“Life is shit”
And I say, “No it’s not…is it?” because I am a weak optimist who doubts my own feelings in the face of other people’s declarations of belief.

For example, if Lisa or Dom say they hate a film I love, I start to think ‘actually it was a bit shit and why have I got such bad taste?’

Next, I try to question her. “Is it really?” I say, hoping she’ll say. “Yeah. Only kidding. Let’s go do stuff”. Instead, she says;
“Yes it is. What have I got to live for?” she adds with weary resignation. This is a rhetorical question, because as I start to think through the options;

  1. Food
  2. Sex
  3. Socialising
  4. Career/Achievements
  5. Shopping
  6. Getting wasted

I realise that Esther is not capable of enjoying ANY of these because it either involves her worst fear (people), or it is drained of all pleasure to someone completely numb of feeling like Esther is (sex: typical quote, when I try to grab her ass; “why should you enjoy my body when I can’t?”).

In fact, life has no saving graces seen through her bottle-top monochrome glasses, and I can’t help but doubt my own thoughtless enjoyment. I like;

  1. Eating
  2. Listening to music
  3. Keeping up with pop culture (movies, music videos, fashion)
  4. Wearing nice clothes
  5. Getting drunk
  6. Feeling attractive
  7. Receiving praise
  8. Pet orgies

But if I really think about each of these, I am just trying to scrape together some short-lived and essentially damaging self esteem from other people/animals- I am just doing stuff that feeds my insecurities and negative sense of self worth, and I always come a cropper.

I comfort eat and drink to feel socially adept, I worry about my appearance because I am vain and I need people to like me to feel good about myself, I keep up with culture because I am under the delusion that I am still young enough to matter to that world when in fact, I am over the hill and invisible.
So, yes, Esther wants to kill herself. And I can’t think of one reason why not.

But before she does that, she feels like the only thing she could get any pleasure from is to;

“Seduce men and destroy them completely”

In case you need some rationale, here goes: “I have no life skills. I can’t work, I can’t bring up kids, I can’t do anything useful or productive in society. All I have is my body, and all I can do is make men fancy me. And that’s getting harder too” she says. I don’t have an answer. All the things I take pleasure from are alien to her. But, she doesn’t want to want to do this and neither do I, but what the fuck is there to say?

“You can do it if you want” I say, thinking of death row prisoners and their last meal. Why deny that? If the only possible pleasure in Esther’s life is to play a sad and destructive game and wring some sadistic thrill out of it, should I stop her?

It’s like when she picks her spots, and I get angry and tell her to stop. But then I realise she’s doing it coz it’s the only way to relieve stress, and that it is probably the most fun she’s had all day (“this is the most fun I’ve had all day” she says when I ask her why). So mostly, I just let her pulverise her face.

“No I don’t want to” she says when I give her permission. It must be like being a paedophile. You may not want to want to fuck children, but you can’t help it. To live a good life, that is acceptable to others, you must condemn yourself to a life without pleasure. I pity people who only want what they shouldn’t want. That goes for all the addicts and abusers and psychopaths out there. Your life sucks, and I’m sorry for you.

“I’m sad” Esther says, “I don’t like my life”

The problem is that all the schemes and ideas and motivations I can think of seem like impossible tasks to someone so depressed that they can barely get out of bed. What is the point of doing hard, horrible, stressful things for some vague relief somewhere in the future. What kind of life is it to have to live in constant mental pain just to carry on like normal people do? When do you get to have fun if everything is too hard or too terrifying? What’s the point?

I am reminded at this point of the classic joke formula;

“My wife’s so [insert unpleasant trait here] that she just [insert tragi-comic activity here]”

Let’s have a go;

‘My girlfriend is so depressed that she wants to fuck other boys and kill herself”

Hmm, maybe not funny enough. My favourite is;

“My wife’s so fat, she just sits at home and cries all day”

My days as a stand up are looking increasingly likely, hey?

Bad Head Day


I’m tetchy today.
“What’s up with you now?” asks long-suffering Esther, with barely concealed irritation. Actually, it’s not concealed at all.
“I’m wearing all the wrong clothes” I mutter. I imagined that when I left the house, I would be wearing something understated and quietly elegant, that looks “nice”. Instead, everything feels ill-fitting and uncomfortable. Looking back, I think it’s my brain that’s ill-fitting.

"Does my brain look big in this?"

Everything is annoying me.

“Pathetic little mummy’s boy” I snarl at Devo, who is curled up in luxury on the sofa, gumming Lisa’s dressing gown like a blissful baby. PAH!

Under my breath, I mutter “I wish I could do that”

Babies are lucky bastards. Every need is catered for; every spiky thing is rounded off. How can the rest of life compete with that?

You start off a baby and you end up that way too, said Shakespeare. The older you get, the more you end up needing your bum wiping and your food mashing up for you.

Lisa and Esther are getting utterly despondent about having to clean their Gromy’s house every week.

Last time they went, Lisa said;

“It’s about time for your electric chair, isn’t it?”

What she meant (of course?) was a mobility scooter. But what her Freudian slip meant was a lethal piece of furniture.

Esther and her cousin, Britney, were chatting about Gromy yesterday after tea. Me and her boyf Justin sat in bemused silence.

“I reckon she’ll live to be 100” said Brit,

“If she lives past 100, I’m killing myself” says Esther resolutely. “It’s me or her.”

“Don’t worry, if she reaches 100, I’ll take over” reassures Britney.

After this had been decided, we moved on to ghost stories. The tension is building. We’ve had some high quality tales so far. I decide to mine the rich vein of odd things my mum has told me.

“My mum once slept in a hotel built on a Victorian pet cemetery”, I start,

“But she didn’t find that out till the morning after her dream…”

I am forced to abandon the story because everyone is laughing at me. I try a new one.

“Oh, and she saw the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the park near her dad’s house…Oh, wait, it was only one of them…”

I have to abandon that one too. These are meant to be scary not funny, god-damn-it. I give up.

I am temporarily distracted by The Whistling Man of Sharrowvale. Every so often, when me and Esther are sat in bed, we hear a funny repeated whistle out there in the street. First of all, we assumed it was a little old man who was too shy to call his dog by name, and was whistling his pet in for the night. How sweet, we thought.

However, I saw him a few days later and he is a young, blonde haired, sporty man that walks along and whistles sharply and nervously every 30 seconds along the way.

Esther has decided that he has Whistle Tourettes. Now we know this, it is really tempting to whistle back and see what happens.

I think she has Thought Tourettes- she just can’t stop thinking out loud. It really is a problem.

There’s Something Wrong with Esther…


"Damn right"

‘Esther’ thinks I have named her after the freaky murdering child-woman in The Orphan. I haven’t but when we watch it together, the similarities mount up:

  1. Born in 1976
  2. Practically a midget
  3. Old beyond her years
  4. Generally freaky and menacing
  5. Ageing under her makeup (her comment not mine…)

So it seems I have my own little dwarf psycho girlfriend. Luckily, I am too scared of her to ever stand up to her, so hopefully she won’t kill me off while she can still use me to get her things (makeup and takeaways).

When I was watching the film, I really wanted to have a sister like Esther. Unhinged, sadistic, Russian, Goth, a girl- all the things I wish I was. I’d love to go round just being intense and freaky, without having to pretend that I didn’t just desperately want everyone to love me. I wish I was a psychopath, but no, my parents did too good a job damn them. Instead I’m just a mild-mannered, empathetic soft-touch of a boy-man. I’m a meek little cleaner fish, servicing the jaws of a narky sharky and buffing up those teeth in the hope that I don’t make its jaws chomp down in anger. Pass me the scissors and I’ll cut off my balls- I’ve got no use for them.

"Why don't you understand preppy-chic?"

“I wish I was going to be castrated” says Lisa, “It must be lovely, getting packed off in a box without having to talk to anyone, going to have my balls chopped off”.
“Would you have a lobotomy if it would guarantee you the brain of an averagely mentally healthy person?” asks Esther.
“Above normal confidence?” qualifies Lisa, seriously considering it.
“No, normal”
“No” she decides. The a few seconds later “Oh, go on then”. Lisa goes silent as she she runs through the next few months of her lobotomised life. “But we would be different, we wouldn’t fancy our boyfriends or love our parents. We’d become mentally ill pretty fast. No, you might as well be dead”.

“What if the lobotomy made you look averagely attractive for your age?” asks Esther

“God no!” replies Lisa, “I’d only do it if it made me look 15!” She has definite ageing issues at the moment.

Esther thinks this through; “But you’d wonder why a 30 year old man was in the bed next to you!”

Paedophilic overtones aside, I still happen to believe that I am 15 inside, and I’ve spent 15 years trying to get out of this shitty body. It’s not that I’m young at heart, it’s more that I was crap at being a teenager and I want to go again. In fact, I refuse to grow up until I’ve acted like a brat and done all the things I think I should have done. The me inside is stuck with a torch and a toothpick, and when it flicks the light on, every inch of inner flesh has the words “IT’S NOT FAIR” scratched into it, in angry jagged little cuts. Get me the fuck out of this lumbering carcasse, and i will live out the impossible lives every Hollywood teen I’ve ever seen!

"The Me Inside Me"

On a lighter note, I was seduced last night. Esther was trying to get me to stop drinking and come home so she said:

“If you come home, I might have sex with you”

When my eyes glazed over again, she changed it to,

“Actually, I PLAN to have sex with you, so let’s go”

Truth be told, I am too far gone to those type of shenanigans, and I can only sit there like a deaf mute, watching people who can still walk and talk. But I don’t want to upset Esther, so I rouse myself and we cab it home.

As I go for a pre-sex wee on our ensuite loo, Esther attempts a strip tease next to the toilet. She lifts one leg up and slowly unzips her 90s block heel, before falling back against the wall. She’s not used to using her body for anything but snoozing and lifting teacups you see.

She tries again with her left foot, and the same thing happens, so instead she crawls off to bed where she can get by just lying there. So much for having things done to me- I have to do all the acrobatics (we’re talking acrobatics for people without any co-ordination or balance), and my body has only just forgiven me for going to the gym on Monday (yes, I know that’s nearly a week ago). Still at least my libido came gallumphing back and I got some.

One day, I will have the power of seduction. And I will sing this song:

"Like the shotgun need an outcome
I'm your prostitute, you gon get some"

Up the chocolate highway with Jesus


"I died for your skins"

My parents have sent us a Green and Blacks Easter Egg. My mum chose it because it is mega-thick and was the only chocolate egg that could survive Royal Mail intact. It got here safely, but as I was reading aloud the packaging’s claims about how difficult it was to crack, Esther grabbed the TV remote and with 3 heavy blows, she smashed a hole in it and was gorging herself on shards of inch thick chocolate.

We made short work of it. This was on Maundy Thursday.

Tesco has been pushing Easter eggs relentlessly since February and I hate this new policy: everyone buys them in while they’re cheap but never has the self-control to leave them alone, and they end up having to buy more.

“Every little helps” does it? Not if we’re talking puppy fat, you bastards. Have you ever noticed that all the offers are on the food with the nutritional value of a sugarmouse.

"Who you calling fat, you cake whore!"

Tesco is also responsible for my regular slavery to Esther (aka my only exercise).

At the bottom of our old hill, Esther used to complain that the only way she could keep up with me is if I carry all her bags. So, torn between a tediously slow journey or looking like a laden donkey, I choose the latter. I just hate waiting. And I like donkeys.
When we moved to our new house, I was downhearted to realise that we lived again at the top of a hill, although a smaller one this time.
Although Esther promised me that this hill wouldn’t be a problem, every time we round the corner she pretends her bags have become unbearable and then strides up with a cat-got-cream expression when I take them off her (every time). If I didn’t think it was so cute, I’d call her a chauvinist pig. Or a smug sugarmouse.

"So long, sucker"

On Easter Sunday, we were down at Lisa’s house (sitting in the same chairs we sit in every day, hollowing out what little padding they have until soon only our precise bottoms will fit into the dusty hollows)…

"Yep, this one's definitely mine..."

We were talking about the gangs of rampant men we had just seen on the dog walk: packs of check shirted, shiny shoed, gel-hardened men roaming the streets in search of cheap and slutty thrills.
Suddenly Lisa mused “It’s like Jesus. Everyone gets drunk and then finally on Sunday they are reborn and go walking the streets”.
Yes Lisa, just like Jesus.

Those Pesky Time Flies


"A late 20th Century torture device"

Esther found out that the Japanese earthquake has made our days a few micro seconds shorter FOREVER because it made us spin faster on our axis. Now she can’t stop thinking about this lost time.

“What if the next earthquake knocks us completely off our axis and we go spinning out into space?” she quivers.

“Well then, I guess we’re all fucked” I reply. No, I don’t actually because she’s the boss and such a quip would be considered insolent. Instead I comfort her with logic.

“That will never happen, I’m sure they would tell us etc”. At this point you conspiracy theorists will be sniggering at my naivety. As I have already told you, I think the man is misunderstood, and I enjoy the feeling of his/her big overprotective/oppressive arm round me. Oh how I wish I’d had a big brother to wrestle some sense into me. And to compare penis size with/ experiment with mutual masturbation. You know, the usual time-honoured family escapades.

“How many micro seconds are there in a second?” she asks

Google tells me there are 1 million.

“Oh, that’s rubbish” she mutters. “I don’t give a shit anymore”.

Real life always disappoints. Nobody discovers their junk is worth millions on Antique Roadshow. You don’t get model scouted on your way to Tesco. Getting high only leads to plummeting lower. Weird stuff that does happen is never the amazing things, always the mundane or sinister or depressing.

Thus, Lisa has become too scared to walk Devo in the cemetary in case the Polish man proposes. She has been forced to take affirmative action to point out to the overfriendly Pole that she is a taken woman.

He found her on facebook, and last week she agonised over a message that would put him straight. “I have a boyfriend” was all she could think of saying.

Unfortunately it only made him defensive. “I have a girlfriend too, of course” he wrote back. “Why should that stop us from meeting and talking?”

Lisa and Esther decided instead to avoid the park around the time he usually bumps into them.

"Goddammit, why isn't he looking at your beaver?"

I got really jealous the other week that he fancied Lisa and not Esther. “Why doesn’t he want you too?” I asked. “Maybe you’re not attractive enough” I thought. Fucked up as it sounds, I keep needing to know my girl is pretty to other people in order to have proof of my own attractiveness.

“You’re weird” says Lisa when she overhears me.

“Fuck off and get counselling” is Esther’s understandable reply.

A few days passed, and the girls managed to miss the Polack, thinking that maybe he had got the message and has backed off. Nipped his European openness in the bud so to speak, slapped a restraining order on his free spirit.

Today though, he finally caught up with them. He went aggro, singing raucous Polish songs to himself and throwing sticks at their heads, yelling “You should have safety helmets, hahaha”. He had replaced the behaviour of a lech with that of a sociopath.

“At least he had to stand further away to ‘accidentally’ throw sticks at us” Esther reasoned.

Is it better to be murdered than raped? Better to offend strangers than to have to pretend to be their friend? Better to throw sticks than to invite ridicule?

Adam Ant once went to his local for a quick pint, only to be bullied by chants of “ridicule is nothing to be scared of.”

When he could take no more, he slunk off home and returned with a gun in his hand and a righteous glint in his eyes.

Poor Adam. He’s just like me, but famous. He likes to rant and get naked, and he can’t take any flak.

He’s welcome round mine any time. I really want to ask him how to apply eye shadow convincingly.

Today I dared myself to walk round Topman with a pair of purple glasses with flip-up shades, flipped up proudly. I managed a quick circuit of the men’s bit, then fled down the stairs, pretending to multitask on my fone so I didn’t meet anyone in the eye.

This is phase one of operation ‘pompous, public and proud’. More to follow. Ridicule is nothing to be scared of. No pain no gain. Or, as Rihanna sang, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me”.

"I meant it metaphorically"