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Monday, 18 June 2012

Come Back, I Need You

Today is a sad day readers. A sad day indeed.

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that I have something of an obsession with that wondrous creation known as The Twitters. I joke about it, but it's true. I really do have a, probably more than is healthy, obsession, with the service.

And I make no apologies for it.

I am, in life, a bit of a hopeless case. I don't do well socially, at all, and I have major difficulties relating to pretty much anyone on an emotional or empathetic level. I've talked on here before about how I don't grieve when people die, about how I fake concern when people tell me their woes, about how I spend all my time battling the inner voices that tell me that no-one cares what I think, no-one cares what I do, no-one wants to hear anything I have to say. It's a constant struggle not to just sit in the corner and stick my knuckles in my mouth.

Twitter has changed that. It was a slow process, and I certainly didn't expect it to happen when I signed up, but it has. I care about the people I've met on there. This is a new feeling for me, but while I like it, I'm well aware that it's early days for the new me and I could backslide at any time. For now though, twitter is making me a better person.

Take a look at that list over on the right there; the one that says 'The Best Twitter Has To Offer'; and you'll see a list of some of my favourite people in the world. And I say that without a hint of exaggeration.

In no particular order;

Charlotte, or La_Diabla as she insists on calling herself on the twitters, was one of the very first people on there to encourage me in my stupid attempts at humour. She actually seems to find me funny, which as insane as that probably makes her, has had an effect on my own self confidence that I cannot overstate. I no longer worry that my daft stories about celebrity encounters and secret missions make me sound stupid, because I know that at least one person enjoys them. Unless she's a really good liar, in which case, if you're reading this Charlotte, don't ever start telling me the truth.

She's also hot as hell, if you'll pardon a shallow moment, which makes her willingness to tolerate my existence even more baffling, and even more welcome.

Tamaris is, unless she's perpetrating some kind of elaborate long con on all of twitter, one of the most genuinely sweet people I think I've ever had the pleasure to talk to. I hope that doesn't sound as patronising as I fear it may, because I genuinely and unironically love talking to her; love seeing her get all shocked and flustered at the merest hint of innuendo and  love her Pavlovian need to tell people off if they swear in tweets. She's just nice, and there isn't enough of that in the world today.

Stephanie doesn't know I exist. I've spoken to her maybe four times in the 18months or so that I've followed her on twitter and she's answered probably twice. That doesn't matter. What matters is that her tweets are honestly some of the most bizarre, out of nowhere, surreal comments I've ever heard. I'm sure they make sense to her in the moment, but... What also matters is that she writes; or wrote, because it's all but inactive these days, which is a crying shame, one of the funniest blogs I've read. The very blog, in fact, that I mentioned when I started this one, as having inspired me to write this. So you have her to blame.

Mike is my beard, whom I throw in whenever I do lists like this, to break up the constant femaleness, and disguise the fact that I'm basically listing a bunch of girls young enough to be my daughter.

He is also a long time supporter of this blog who has, on more than one occasion, recommended MoaN to others and encouraged me in my writing, both here and elsewhere. He is good people.

But mainly a beard.

Emily is probably the one that has the most effect on my life. You'll laugh when I tell you this, but in my entire life I have been in a pub 4 times.  On all bar one of those occasions, I was dragged kicking and screaming; I do not like pubs, I do not like crowds of strangers, and I do not like enforced, and thus fake, camaraderie, especially where drink is involved. All of those things make me very very nervous.

In almost 15 years of working in a very 'laddish' industry, full of people who pride themselves on their twin abilities of drinking loads and loads of alcohol and making raucous fools of themselves in bars, I have refused to attend pretty much every works related outing, to the point of telling one person to f*ck off over it. So if any number of friends, bosses, and even crushes, couldn't get me to go out, what could?

Going to a stand up comedy night to support someone who was, for all intents and purposes, a total stranger, that's what. That's how much power twitter has to make me give a f*ck.

And, because I'm waffling on way more than I intended, I'll just say that the others on that list are all just as awesome in their own ways and if you are on twitter, you should absolutely be following each and every one of them.

 So if, sad case that I am, my life has been so enriched by this wondrous invention, why is today a sad day? I shall tell you. That list is missing a name. Someone who has been, for the longest time, one of my absolute favourites, even by these rarefied standards. She (because you knew it had to be a woman) has been threatening to leave twitter for a while but always stayed, until now. Her account has been deleted and she is no more so, it was with heavy heart that today I went into the bowels of blogger and figured out how to delete her link. I shed a tear and said a toast, and sent her off into the great beyond known only as 'a real life'. I would follow her, but it's scary.

Still, at least it prompted me to write this soppy pile of twaddle, eh? Imagine if I hadn't. Doesn't bear thinking about.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

People don't realise how expensive dishcloths are, you know.

Another week, another nail biting wait to see whether I'll actually bother to post anything on here. It's ok, you can admit it, you live for this shit right? Right? Yeah, whatever, I know the truth.

I've given a lot of thought to what to write on her this week. Given that last weeks post was along the lines of 'I don't make stuff up, it really was that bad' I felt that this week I should tell a particularly bad tale. So if you don't mind, and I'm sure that you don't, I shall skip forward about a  year in the ongoing story of my life, to tell you of one of my Mothers finer moments as a parent. Not going to give you the full story though; just a prologue, if you will. Think of this as a trailer for a movie you can't watch for a year.

One of my tasks as a youth was to do the washing up after a meal. Originally, my sister and I were put on a 'taking turns' system but incessant arguing over whose turn it was and whether it was fair that 'there wasn't much when you did it but this time there's loads and wah wah wah' led to me, in a fit of 'I can't be doing with this bullshit' declaring that I would just do it all. Because frankly, who can be bothered? And to be honest, the washing up takes less time than the argument anyway.

So, yes, washing up. One fine morning I was preparing myself for my escape, upon the chiming of the ninth hour; the weekend rule of not leaving the house before 9am was extended to every day during school holidays; when a shout erupted from the kitchen. A shout that boded in the realms of the not well. Very much so, in fact.

"PAUL!, Where is the dishcloth?"

Now, I'll grant you, as shouts go, that sounds pretty nonthreatening. You had to have been there. And to have knowledge of where this could so easily lead. My Mother, when she couldn't find something she was looking for, could put the shits up, well, a clever metaphor is unnecessary here. She'd scare anybody.

"Dunno Mam, probably on the side of the sink" I replied, as casually as I could. I was a nervous wreck, knowing full well what kind of an eruption was brewing. A desperate race had started, between my mother's temper, and the clock striking 9. Could I mollify her long enough to get out unscathed?

"I've fucking looked there, I'm not fucking stupid, where the fuck is it?"

No, then. The excessive  use of the 'f' word so early in the conversation meant that we were on an accelerated schedule. I was pretty much resigned to my fate at this point. You have to try though, don't you?

"Maybe I left it on the countertop by mistake?" It's worth a shot.

And then she's there. Barreling down on me like an articulated lorry that's had it's brake lines cut by a scared kid trying to kill his abusive parent. Or something.

"You'd better fucking tell me where it fucking is, now! I fucking need it!" Snarled into my face from inches.

I should probably tell you, because even back then my first thought was always the sarky one, that my initial instinct was to ask why she needed it, cos I didn't think she knew how to use one. I didn't say that though. Instead, I came out with...

"I don't know, maybe someone moved it."

Which I thought was a pretty reasonable response. Yes? You'd think.

"Why the fuck would anybody move it? You're the only one who ever uses it, so you should know where it fucking is."

There was a pretty massive flaw in her logic there, given the conversation we were having. I could see it, can you? Course you can.

"Why can't you look after stuff? You think I'm made of fucking money!" A dishcloth, people. A dishcloth.

The ranting went on for a few more minutes, during which I stayed silent, so as not to provoke her any further, since my every utterance was apparently wrong. This of course led to her shoving me to the ground and shouting a load of abuse about me ignoring her. Ah well. Then...

"Get out of my fucking house and don't come back. I'm sick of the fucking sight of you. Go on!"

I picked myself up, dusted myself off and was about to had out the door with my bike, when she stopped me and ripped the bike form my hands, causing me to unbalance again and land on my arse. Which is where I was when she threw my bike down on top of me. This, as you might suspect, hurt not a little bit.

It seems that, as evidenced by the dishcloth debacle, I was incapable of looking after things and therefore I was not to be permitted the use of my bike. Makes sense.

"Now fucking pick yourself up and get out. Go on, and don't fucking bother coming back you little bastard. I've had enough."

So I went. Now, the whole 'get out and don't come back' routine was a popular one for my Mother and I knew full well that all I had to do was stay out of her way for the day and she'd be fine come teatime. But I wasn't in the mood for that this time. I decided to take her at her word. I walked out the door and into the sunset. Er, sunrise? More blazing sunshine, really. Whatever, you know what I mean. I left, and I wouldn't be back for nearly a month.

So there you have it folks. I left home for a month because my Mother beat me up with a  bicycle over the loss of a dishcloth. You'll have to wait and see what happened during that month though, and what led to my eventual return home.  Just thought I'd whet your appetite. Ta ta for now, y'all.

Monday, 4 June 2012

A rebuttal of certain libellous comments!

It's been far too many moons since last this blog updated, but worry not ye faithful readers, for today I return triumphant with an entry so dripping with arsomness that if I were a green skinned alien with a  liking for polystyrene cups I'd be issuing dire warnings about upgrading thrill buffers right now.

(That introduction will mean nothing to a large proportion of you. Haha, I don't even care, look it up. You'll thank me later)

So a few weeks back, my delinquent brother Jake, contacted me on the twitters to ask about this here blog, which he has lately been reading. He wanted to know whether I might possibly be, as he put it, 'exaggerating for comic effect.' Or, in other words, HE CALLED ME A LIAR!

Now, in my younger days; back when I was a classically trained bare knuckle fighter, before I gave it up for Lent one year and never went back; I would have handled the situation like a manly man. By going round his house and pummeling him into the ground with my mighty thews. These days I'm more of a Ruffalo than a Norton though,* so I decided that the best thing to do in the circumstances was just to laugh it off and move on with my life.

Besides, he was right.

I do, on occasion, use humour, or the closest approximation I can manage, to try to lighten the mood slightly amongst all the cheery talk of domestic violence and crippling psychological issues, and reduce the soul sucking depresiveness (is that a word? yeah, bound to be) of most of my posts. I'll be honest, I had a bit of a re-read through some of my early posts; back when I thought I could write and I was all serious and shit; and some of that stuff is seriously painful to read. I've no idea why anyone kept reading beyond one or two, and I sincerely doubt I could have kept writing them. Probably would have killed myself by now.

Making 'jokes' at the expense of the bad stuff is one thing though. Making stuff up is another, and that's something I don't do. Ever. If I say something happened, it happened. My brother, in his question, mentioned one specific post and I was a bit confused because while I couldn't really remember exactly what I'd written (it was an old one) I could remember the incident it referred to and I knew I wouldn't have been able to make it funny if I'd tried. So I had a read back; it was this that prompted my aforementioned re-read of the older posts; and yep, just as I thought, everything in there was true.

So to my Brother who found it hard to believe I can only say this; YOU DON'T KNOW MAN! YOU WEREN'T THERE!

It did pose an interesting point though; interesting being a relative term, shut up;  and that was to do with my Mother. She doesn't come off well in that post, and rightly so, but I can kind of see why he might have trouble believing what I wrote about her because the woman I wrote about there is not the Mother he knows. She has changed, a lot, and it's only now that he has prompted me to stop and think about it that I see just how much. Don't get me wrong, I still don't think she's a particularly good parent, or a particularly nice person for that matter, but her flaws are different now. He'd probably not recognise her.

As this blog continues, if he continues reading it (and I kind of hope he doesn't cos once his Dad comes on the scene, and then him, he might not like what he reads; aint gonna censor cos you're reading mate) he'll see those changes happening on the page. But until then, all I can say is, STOP CALLING ME A LIAR YOU OIK!

*Gratuitous Avengers reference there. Just because.