Monday, August 23, 2010

The Festival Wanderer

I enjoy my own company yet don't do well on my own. Simple tasks become Herculean efforts when I have to fend for myself. For example, I can't cook so every time I venture into the kitchen it usually results in bitter resentment directed towards the inedible unidentifiable slop slowly sliding off my plate. Thankfully very few people see these hideous offerings so my mistakes go unnoticed. Its a different story however when I have to be on my own in public. Making mistakes in front of complete strangers is something that sets me on edge. I'm not sure why, maybe I shat myself in public when I was younger and have blanked it out but it always subconsciously enters my mind the minute I leave the front door.

Anyway, I recently went down to Edinburgh for a jaunt round the festival. I was meeting a chum in the afternoon and we were going to see another friends free fringe show. I decided to go down in the morning and spend the day wandering around in search of any shows that caught my eye. I quite like the fringe now that I don't live in Edinburgh. When I did I found it to be a massive pain in the hoop especially when walking home from work. There were always aggressive half naked nutters handing out flyers advertising their shows, most of which could barely be considered entertainment, more like painful exercises in seeing how long it would take before you had to shout out 'this is bollocks!' just to keep yourself from going mental at the sheer awfulness of coked up art students trying to do avant-garde comedy about the romantic coupling of Hitler and a horse.

So, arriving in Edinburgh it was nice to wander around taking in the familiar sights, the festival buzz, even the nutters weren't too bad. Slowly I began to realise that I wasn't really stopping anywhere, instead I was just walking past things, occasionally slowing down to peer in venue doorways and busy pubs. It was then that I remembered that I hate going into pubs and shows by myself. I never know what to do with myself, I hate just standing or sitting, staring into nothingness. Occasionally you get lucky and they have a TV but normally its showing football which I don't follow so I just stare at it pretending I'm enjoying it but instead hoping they'll change it to something else, anything else, even Loose Women.

Eventually I got so tired of aimless walking that I went to a pub called Lebowskis which had no festival shows. After ordering a pint I picked up a newspaper from the bar. It was between The Sun and The Times, I went for the latter just in case I came across a page of breasts and was branded a pervert loner by the sexy barmaid. She was sexy too and Spanish and a woman. Winner! I sat at a table nearest the bar which was a bad choice as the barmaid was also serving food and had to slide past me to get back to the bar. I felt like I was in the way, I probably wasn't but the thought of being a nuisance, an eyesore to people coming in and seeing my uncomfortable coupon made me rush my pint which made me look even more awkward.

Five minutes later I was out in the street again. I had a couple of hours to kill before meeting my friend so to avoid another traumatic solo pub experience I went to Princes St gardens and sat in the sun. I felt much more relaxed doing this since other people were doing the same. I felt like I was doing nothing wrong, making no mistakes, it was great. Apart from the dog that was watching me, and that seagull and the old couple and the pretty girl with the big busters and...I shat myself.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The charmer and the slapper

I was slapped recently. On the face. By a girl.

It was a strange situation, partially remembered through a drunken haze. Did I deserve it? Did she overreact? Does violence solve anything? I don't know. I'll let you decide while I spin my own one sided interpretation of events that paints me in a good light. Can't say fairer than that, can you?

I was in a pub talking to a friend minding my own business. The chat was animated and engaging. I was gesticulating wildly, my hands windmilling around as I made my point...innocently. From out of nowhere this girl appeared by my side. She was wearing a hat, specifically a beret which made her look like a character out of Allo, Allo. She was also wearing thick colourful rimmed glasses. Both these things immediately told me she was someone that liked to draw attention to herself while confusingly also using them to hide the majority of her face. She leaned in to talk. I figured she would say this only once...

"You won't get a girlfriend using your hands in that aggressive manner" she said.

My first thought was "Huh?", my second was "stupid hat!". She then started to drone, a monosyllabic whine in my ear about my aggressive hands or the "women repellents" as they would now be known. At some point she left to go smoke (out of her arse! Zing!). I tried to return to the conversation but I was now perturbed. Was she right? Were my hands the cause of my singledom. No, I thought, if anything my right hand was the solution to my singledom. I was on the defensive now but as I refuse to admit to my own faults I came to the conclusion she was mental. I used science to work that out and a couple of vodka cokes.

I was now in an arguei...discussing mood so I went out to find her. It wasn't hard, there she was standing right at the door looking french. She was chatting to a guy who looked mightily pissed off at her. Turns out she had said that he had a crap arse or something. Who was this force of pure evil? She needed to be stopped.

Jumping into the conversation I questioned what she meant when she said that I won't get a woman because 'she' found my hands aggressive. So this meant that she spoke for all womanhood, some kind of uber-woman. Smugly (really smugly) she said "but I am a woman". So I went for the low blow and said "Debatable".


It stung for a bit but my comment stung much harder. She was now flustered. Every time she brought up the aggressive hands I would just point out she was the one hitting folk. Argument over, here endth the lesson. I'm not proud of the comment but it won me the arguement by getting her angry so it was a necessary evil.

I wonder how I would have reacted if a beautiful leggy blonde had said I was never going to get a woman instead of some beret wearing fool. Would it would have been a different story? I would probably be crying right now, scooping ice cream out of a tub with one of my aggressive hands while coming to the conclusion that I was doomed to die alone. But it wasn't so I'm not.

For the record I don't have aggressive hands, they are actually very small and gentle (perfect for holding hands and stroking kittens)... I'm doomed to die alone.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My shit cop show

Flicking through the TV channels I often look for new and interesting programmes that will stimulate my mind or alternatively I will look for programmes that contain boobs. It really all depends if I have trousers on. So there I am (wearing trousers) tapping the remote through the channels when it becomes apparent there are a lot of cops shows or procedurals as some people call them. You've got the 3 CSI shows where they solve crimes using forensics and snappy one liners like "He's been decapitated...he's probably dead!". There is Bones in which a woman with a large transparent head solves crimes by looking at the victims bones. There is Lie To Me in which Mr Orange can read body language and facial expressions and totally knows when you're fibbing. They are gimmick shows where the detectives use their one skill to solve every crime imaginable. So since there is a market for unique crime solvers I've decided to create my own. It's called Stool.

Stool follows the brilliant but tortured detective Neil Stool who solves crimes by looking at murder victims post death shit (for those that don't know when you die it is very common for the body to have an involuntary bowel movement. Isn't death hilarious!). Stool will use his brilliant understanding of feces to deduce who murdered the victim...somehow.

Using unorthodox techniques he sniffs, prods and when really stumped licks the poop with the tip of his tongue because he's a maverick and he doesn't give a shit. Except he does and he licks that shit. A lot. Throughout his investigations he keeps praying that he will be able to catch the elusive 'Public Toilet Killer' who offed his best friend who was out cottaging. The 'Public Toilet Killer' then violently defecates on the victim because he's a sadistic and immoral bastard. He'll be played by one of The Goonies probably Corey Feldman. Definitely Corey Feldman.

Stool will be played by Lou Diamond Philips whose intense and constipated performance will win him many awards and acclaim. His boss and mentor will be played Danny Glover in a tongue in cheek performance where he will mutter the immortal words "I'm too old for this shit!" every week. He will then burst into uncontrollable laughter until he...he...shits! There will also be a hot female detective who is trying to bed Stool played by one of the girls from two girls, one cup. The cup will not appear.

I think it's a winner or it might be a lot of shit. I'm 29 years old.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ah, Mr Slow!

When taking stock of your life (especially if you are currently jobless and living with your parents again as I am) it's interesting to look back at moments that have come to define you.

When I was in P7 I had to draw a picture of a Wild West setting. Having drawn the right amount of fingers on each of the cowboys I then proceeded to sketch the landscape. I believe I drew a palm tree in the background. Despite my geographical inaccuracies I finished the picture by drawing a sun in the right hand corner. Believing I was the smartest 11 year old in the world I decided that I would just draw the sun as a golden orb in the sky. No heat rays or squiggly lines emanating from it. It looked better as a gold circle, more real somehow. I finished and sat back quite smugly awaiting the teachers approval.

Her name was Miss Norrie, young, attractive but not an object of lust in those pre-erection days plus she was a rumoured lesbian. As she glanced over the picture I saw her features change from mild indifference to a deep set frown. Damn, I knew the palm tree was wrong. I saw her finger jabbing furiously at the image of the sun. "Whats this?" she said. "Its the sun" I replied, thinking maybe she lives in some sunless apocalyptic hellhole (or Brechin as it was more commonly known.) She then proceeded to chastise me for making the sun so bland. No heat rays or squiggly lines was a big no-no for her. It didn't convey the full majesty of the sun. I just thought it might have been an overcast day. She was having none of that and then like that she was gone, on to the next kid to destroy their artistic hopes and dreams.

It doesn't sound like a defining moment in my childhood and to be honest it wasn't. However it did mean that from then on everytime I drew a sun I always made it a giant flaming ball of hate. The sun was now a monster to me, on the verge of happily wiping us all out everytime it farted a solar flare in our general direction.

So you see its the little things that shape us. Its the same reason I don't like maths. In P5 Mrs Adamson drove me to tears in front of the class because I got my seven times table mixed up. From that point on anytime I had to count I would break out in a cold sweat and shout out random numbers like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.

Of course I had great teachers, Mrs Moir, Mr Davidson (who played a mean Kumbaya on the guitar) Mrs Reid and Mr Simmons all helped define me as person, its only years later that I realise that. Thinking of those teachers made me acknowledge that being a teacher was not for me.

I had dabbled in teacher training briefly. Three months learning the do and dont's and then six weeks in a secondary school in the isolated village of Gairloch. I was to teach English despite my atrocious grammer and punctuation, something which I had manged to ignore throughout my English degree. It was during my first solo lesson that I realised it wasn't for me. Thinking back to the good teachers I had I discovered I wasn't one of them. I'm too sarcastic and tend to look at things negatively despite my cheery facade. The defining moment came when I imagined all the moon faced half asleep pupils in front of me in some sort of Battle Royale tournament. I had already picked out a clear winner, a quiet lad who was busy carving the word 'die' in to his desk. I could clearly see him casually decimating the rest of his classmates while spouting off dreary poetry over their mangled twitching bodies. This was most certainly the road to madness so teaching was out the window.

I never once regretted quitting teaching because I knew I would become one of those cynical alcoholic ones who just did it for the long summer holidays. I am grateful that I never got to become one of those teachers who berated a child for their crappy picture of a sun which resulted in that child one day writing a second rate whine in his first blog posting. I am happy I broke the cycle.

As for the title of this posting, well that was what a French student teacher called me while I was trying to count to thirty in French. Numbers and foreign languages, merd! Normally an authority figure calling me slow would upset me but in this case I laughed out loud. Why did this not affect me, who knows? Maybe it was because he was a thin geeky man child who looked like he was furiously masturbating under the table. I'm not bitter, honest. French prick!