Twitching and planking


It’s been an ornithological kind of week.  On Wednesday morning, I stumbled across a flash mob of retirement folk on the sidestreet near the cemetery, pointing their massive telephoto lenses accusatorially at a tree which unleashed a flock of birds as I approached. As they high tailed it over the rooftops, I asked what the devil was going on.

Waxwings,” he said.

“Care to elaborate?” I said, slapping his arse.

“From Scandinavia. We got an alert on the pager network and headed down here.”

Then they all got back in their Volvos and vanished like posh pixies.

“I may be from Sweden, but casual sexism is simply unacceptable”

On Thursday, I spotted another suspicious bunch, this time of beauticians, standing and pointing at hundreds of geese honking overhead in classic V formations. It really was very exciting, so much so in fact that I let my mask of enigmatic urbanity slip and babbled “Geese!” to one of the women. Social hari kiri indeed, I shall have to hunt everyone down who heard/saw me and kill them.

I’ll have to get the cat and dog to teach me since they seem have been schooled in military tactics, probably part of that distance learning course in world domination I keep finding when I open the laptop. They’ve tried everything to get me up in the morning, experimenting for maximum efficiency. Their favourite so far starts with the cat planking on my face and the dog hissing “J’accuse!” and pointing at me from the side of the bed.

“Planking cat”

As soon as I’m out of the duvet, I get a heavy pet escort down the stairs, the waddling fat cat in front leading the way and the thuggish fat dog behind making sure there’s no messing around.

If I knew how to play chess, I’d play the Sicilian Defence and enlist the help of the scary monkey puppet from the middle floor. He was laughing and dancing behind Dom in my dream, but he only liked the other me, the one that was in the nice warm room and in on the joke, not the real me that was watching through the window. I hate it when me and I fall out. If I could convince the monkey that I was the other me, then maybe I’d have a chance, but I look nothing like him.

Oh, why wasn’t I born an aristocrat? I SO WANT TO BE POSH. I’d give away ALL my money and possessions just to be rich. You listening, evil genie monkey?

Sadly, most of my friends are some kind of Marxist, unaware of my right leaning posh sympathiser ways…it would be fun to have a posh synthesizer though…Here’s my first attempt at a Posho Pop melody:

“wot wot, totes, wot wot, totes, Oomska!, Oomska!, wot wot, totes!”

Most poshos are clean shaven. That’s a deal breaker for me. I’ve got to have some wispy stuff to hide behind. And you don’t see many with shaved heads.

Now I am officially BALDING, I like to think about hats and the stirling service they provide. I have yet to find The One, though. I have many hat mistresses who fall in and out of favour, but none are fit to be permanently betrothed to my scalp.

A crazy guy in the park nicely summed up the circular nature of hat fashion:

“Are flat caps coming back? In the 1950s, not that I remember them, no-one left home without a hat. Then in the 1960s and 1970s no-one ever wore a hat. Then in 1985 I saw a man with a baseball hat. Cilla Black, you know, the singer, used to wear one.”

I’m glad I wasn’t around in the Hatless Years. I especially like that his pop culture knowledge predates Blind Date, and he knows Cilla instead for her angry cat impression. “What’s it all about, Alfie?” she yowled to Michael Caine’s unreconstructed neanderthal. I hate bad boys coz I wish I was one…

Nail Hannon from The Divine Comedy looks like my schoolfriend, Mike. His moment of greatness came early, when he  stood up on the second day of school and announced himself to our newly formed friend group; with his arms outstretched, he proclaimed

Charisma!”

The next day after I’d gone home and looked it up (this was 1992 PG, the Pre Google age), I congratulated him on the delivery and timing, and he smiled his sage smile and gave me his glasses to wipe. Ah, those were the days. Those were the days.

“Du bist a fungi”


A young professional couple have just moved in next to Lisa. The noises that emanate through the rustic walls sound very functional, she says, even when she holds a glass to it. The same can’t be said for us. Today we were having a pot of tea, all civilised like, and we got to throwing pidgin-German insults at each other.

“Ich liebe dich!” I crow, and snigger like a red-faced urchin.

“Du hat eine kleine, kleine penis!” shouts Esther, “Du hast kleine boobies!”

(Putting on her best thesp bawl) “Du hast eine grosse VAG!”

“SHHHH!!!” hisses Lisa, her face pinkening like an ominous October sunset.

“Du bist…Macauley Culkin!” I join in, immune to Lisa’s cringing, “Wo bist meine Bjork elpee?”

“Das ist nicht…(then in RP English) going to happen!”

Esther titters.

“Ich…tick tick tick, the bomb ticking down,” I have my hand aloft like I’m Hamlet, enunciating every syllable, drunk on my own genius.

“SHUT THE FUCK UP!” screams Lisa, slapping my cheek so it matches hers.

“You silly bally fool boy,” adds Esther, using the abuse my Grandad used to have hurled at him from a Scottish secondary school teacher.

We go back to sipping tea.

Presently, it’s time to walk the hounds. When we get to the park, I realise we’ve missed the annual Mushroom and Toadstool Guided Walk and I’m overcome with regret. I used to have a mushroom city, down a valley at the end of my primary school playing ground. I had it, that is, until I told a ‘friend’ about it and returned one tragic day to find each one stomped into smithereens by zealous feet.

Anyway, now I keep my shroom love to myself. I can see signs of the Walk; there’s a tree with white stickers on it saying things like “honey shoelace fungus,” and “unidentified”. My favourite kinds are everywhere: white headed Ink Caps. They look like Terry Nutkins (RIP) rising from the peat.

I bend down and poke one with a stalk of grass. It wiggles its head appreciatively like an Indian dancer.

Everything is alright with the world.

“Front view”

“Back view”

A little while later, we walk past a freshly dug mound of peaty Earth.

“God, I’d love to roll on that,” I say dreamily, “wouldn’t you?”

“No!” says Esther.

I look at Lisa.

“Erm…maybe…” she says uncertainly.

 

“My Great Great Great Grandad, Lindow Man”