Saturday, April 16, 2011

Smiling As The Shit Comes Down*

A month since my last post so I may as well do another. Coming thick and fast, hope you keep up. So, what's been happening?

I'm still unemployed. I still theoretically attend the course for the long-term unemployed that is curiously called a work-experience course. There were some very silly people attending and I don't think they really took it very seriously. There is a very definite class of gentlemen, possessing as they invariably do a combination of a capacity for a phenomenal intake of alcohol with casual racism, misogyny, a devotion beyond the call of duty to football and an ability to blame absolutely everyone bar themselves for their plight, to whom even the merest concept of work, let alone the tiniest amount of effort expended in the pursuit of its attainment, is anathema. I have been accused before of being somewhat aloof; forgive me, but I would rather be considered that than to be alongside one of these peer examples. I therefore made good use of the facilities and applied for lots of jobs. Didn't get any though so, in that phrase beloved of those trying to make their vox pop sound considered and thoughtful, at the end of the day, Brian, I'm still on a par with the knuckle-dragging finger-readers as far as society at large is concerned.

There was one attendee called Chris (almost everyone, even the women, were called Chris) who spent all day staring at the middle room, breaking off only to go outside and have a fag or to make a brew. Going for a smoke entailed walking down two flights of stairs. On his return he was invariably out of breath, gasping. Sometimes he would blame this on his previous evening's exertions, which invariably consisted of the consumption of several cans of Frosty Jack, "a great drink", the kind of cider whose genesis involves not a single apple and is the focus of the oft-mooted tramp tax. Myself and Glynn from Middlewich made repeated childish references to the wonderful 8 Ace but this injection of culture proved to be way off Chris' radar so we were left laughing at our own genius. Another Chris loved the sound of his own voice so much that he felt everyone else ought to be afforded the same pleasure of which he was in constant receipt. This would have been fine had he actually had anything funny or, indeed, interesting to say. As it was his conversation consisted almost entirely of references to Wookies and misquotes from Monty Python. This man was in his mid to late 20s. I have been listening to mis-quotes from Monty Python since his mother was a teenager and repeating "Ni" ad infinitum rather exposes your limited social skills, believe me. In the belief that their constant quoting imbued him with the air of some kind of contemporary aesthete he was a deep mine of every stupid and vacuous cliché imaginable; the kind of cliché whose use for most is pejorative. The sound of my head repeatedly crashing into the keyboard in front of me as he uttered, with the most sincerity he could muster that, "my mind has no safety catch" must have been audible well beyond the screens erected halfway along the room. I really could go on and on and on...

But I was saved. A couple of weekends ago I felt a little twinge in my abdomen which I thought was the old sitcom standby of my operation scar reacting to the dodgy weather as we'd just experienced four seasons in one day. Come Wednesday evening and my belly was feeling distinctly uncomfortable although I wasn't in any pain. Being a grown-up, I did consider that maybe there was something afoot and as a result I decided to stop eating and drinking and pack an overnight bag, just in case. Sharon very kindly offered to run me in to A & E on Thursday morning. The duty doctor had a prod, I twitched, he said "appendix" and I'd be admitted. Bobbins, I thought to myself, that's going to be a slight annoyance. I was prodded and poked further throughout Thursday and told that it may also be a kidney stone. The world isn't ready for two people blogging about kidney stones so this diagnosis had better be wrong. The following day I had a CT scan, during which was found to have an allergy to the contrast medium that's injected in order to make the pretty pictures. But appendicitis was duly confirmed and I was booked into theatre. Thankfully I'd be asleep, the last thing I saw at the theatre was Robinson Crusoe with Billy Dainty in a frock and I didn't want it to lose its magic. When I came round I was told that my appendix had been gangrenous, was leaking something noxious into my abdominal cavity and that had I not been given precautionary antibiotics when I was admitted, it may have been a lot worse. They had, it seemed, "caught me just in time". Moreover, everyone in the ward seemed to know of someone who'd died within 24 hours of developing peritionitis and even my neighbour told me she'd received the last rights as a child while suffering same. They let me out on Tuesday, I'm recovering well, thanks.

Still, it was a rum do as all this rather buggered up the "arrangements". My close followers will know that lately I have been walking out with a lovely spirited young lady but that she lives in that there Forrin. Rather amazingly (although there were some other compelling reasons), she had chosen to leave Forrin and relocate to the sandy shores and balmy skies of the Gateway to the North. To be with me. Blimey, how did I manage that? It was to be this weekend that I had planned to hire a large van, drive to the seaside, get on a boat to Forrin and fetch her. Obviously this was going to be out of the question as I can barely sit down for longer than half an hour, let alone drive a van for 8 hours, load it, drive it again and unload it. We were at a bit of a loss as well, it had, for rather a lot of reasons, had to happen this weekend. Families are good in these situations, especially families that live 250 miles nearer Forrin than I do. As I write this, my brother-in-law is hopefully driving off a ferry at Dover in a van containing a confused woman and a slightly more together tortoise and some furniture. She will be staying at the family seat this evening and my Mum and Dad will be driving her up tomorrow for the reunion. Thank you everyone for mucking in at such short notice and making everything realisable. Mark and Dad for the driving duties, Mum for the hospitality services and not least Sharon for sorting out the storage facilities, the extra muscle and the hotel. I honestly don't know what we would have done without you all.

Welcome home, Zoe x


*you'll find that in here. The radio edit is "ship". That wouldn't be appropriate at all.

8 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Dave said...

Looking on the bright side, at least you didn't have to take any time off work.

That always consoles me when my kidneys twinge (as you ask, another stone started moving yesterday. I don't like to go on about it though).

6:09 pm  
Anonymous Sharon J said...

I'd just like to mention that "the extra muscle" doesn't involve my muscle. Wouldn't want the DWP thinking I'm capable of carting heavy furniture around. I think the frying pan's heavy! lol

6:33 pm  
Blogger pk said...

Nice to see you're still with us Richard. Good luck....!

6:37 am  
Anonymous Phil said...

That was me by the way....

6:39 am  
Blogger Richard said...

I guessed, Phil. I'm hanging on, just. Good to see you about.

11:15 pm  
Anonymous voip services said...

Nice to see you're still with us Richard. Good luck....!

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