Saturday March 18th, 2006
Fire in the Taco Bell
Well off we go again.
Monday and I had the bombshell dropped on me by a 'girl' in customer services at Hounslow Housing Benefit. She casually informs me that I've been previously misled by her front desk colleagues and I'll have to reapply from scratch. The fact that my rent is a week overdue cut no ice whatsoever and she informed me more than once that 'there's no need for sarcasm'. So I hung up on her and arrived at my therapy session with the Police Welfare Officer feeling none too pleased after having navigated the arse-ache that is Oxford Street (imagine surfing between double decker buses and you're close). After about 20 minutes I was soothed by the subdued lighting, Karen's dulcet tones and 'getting off it' with regard to being pissed off and sorry for myself.
Got to Landmark Sex and Intimacy and kept my cycling knee/ shin pads on which resulted in some tittering when I went to the mic to 'share'. Afterwards a cute South African woman approached me and gave me a hug, then kissed me on the mouth a couple of times and continued to hug me. I pointed out after a couple of minutes that I was getting an erection and she giggled and said 'it's just who you're being tonight that made me want to do that'.
Tuesday and I went personally to Hounslow Benefits Office and was met by the usual belligerent jobsworths until I took my mother's advice and 'turned on the charm'. The sour faced Mr Shazahm and the equally lemon-visaged Mrs Mehta soon warmed up to my boyish humour and Mr Shazahm made the mistake of not tilting his PC monitor away, meaning I could see the comments that the telephone operator from 24 hours previous had written. The words 'rude' and 'aggressive' appeared more than once so I asked to see the manager and about 20 minutes later a very beautiful, 30-something French woman named Rema with lots of cleavage and a dominatrix attitude appeared and again I 'charmed' her to the point that she offered to personally sort this out for me by the end of the week (to put this in perspective, the first time I applied for benefit it took 10 weeks). She then added that Natasha the phone operator had been in tears after her conversation with me and even though she'd previously survived being sworn at or even threatened my 'sarcasm' cut right through her. I replied that a little compassion wouldn't have hurt and that hanging up on her was the nicer alternative to destroying my mobile by hurling it into fast moving traffic from Waterloo Bridge.
The next day I came back with the forms completed and Rema again appeared to take them from me and I presented her with 2 red roses and a box of chocs for Natasha with a request that she tell Natasha that I was sorry I'd made her cry. Rema's face completely changed and she offered to bring Natasha down to receive the gift and added that 'you don't have to do this'. I acknowledged this but replied that 'it makes the world go round'. So, a nice conclusion to what has previously been a right pain in the buttocks (i.e. beauracracy).
Wednesday night and I took a trip up north to my mother's to attend my uncle Eric's funeral. He croaked 2 weeks back and due to the vast number of people buying the farm this time of year he couldn't be 'serviced' for 14 days. It was standing room only at the crematorium (Eric was a popular guy) and I got to see my cousins Jeffrey and Ian for the first time in over 20 years. Jeff is 40 and an Actuary (accountancy for dead clever people) while Ian is only 2 years older than me and looks about 50. Both are great blokes though and we discussed going out and getting tanked up on the ale at a future date.
Tuesday, April 10th 2007
If everyone else was sensitive, I wouldn't have to be this sensitive
Life is but the blink of light between two eternities of darkness.
Or…life is the chink of light between two barmaids' enormous arses.
After about 4 weeks of silly shifts (4pm to 3am anyone?), eating deep fried crap and having a meeting with the powers that "want-to-be" where everything from my eating habits to my walk was criticised I decided to let my inhibitions spend some time with their granny and I went out on the ale.
My mate's spit and sawdust pub cannot be beaten for a good, honest drinking session, unfortunately it's 150 miles away so I made it down in record time and met a group of football hooligans, a recently released convict who raised homophobia to a piss art form and tried to convince everyone that the scabs on my knuckles were from falling over and not "from the back of some innocent bastard's head".
Friday and we're all having Good Friday drinks in the newly refurbished Benny's when people begin arguing about the most insignificant shite and the two lads I'd just been playing pool with were asked to leave by the owner. I escorted them up to my mate's bar while Joe kept seething "don't you fucking touch me!" every time I had to grab him to prevent him "going back and trashing the bastard's pub". All sorted out and I went back for a quiet pint with the owner Dan who said he wasn't going to bar them but didn't want them in there for the remainder of the day. All fine and dandy until the two twats came back to "straighten it" which was done with mere words and then one of the guys they'd been arguing with went and followed them out. They put him in hospital and had to hide for the next few hours while the Plod did their bit, trying to find them.
Same day some bloke I'd just played pool with and bought a beer for asked me if I was gay.
"No, are you?"
"Are you bisexual?"
"Why are you asking?"
"You clink glasses and you're wearing a weird shirt!"
The fact that he asked this without any trace of aggression was the weirdest thing and he then came out with the line that he'd only just been released from prison and was a bit wary.
Saturday and about 20 loud footy fans came into my mate's bar and were immediately singing and being as obnoxious as possible. Turned out they'd never been in there before and had travelled from Wolverhampton. Bad signals particularly when they began arguing with the barmaid over their orders and one of them told me to buy him a drink.
"Buy your own mate, get me one if you like".
He then came over and tried to ponse a fag off me to which I held my hand to my ear and said "magic word?" and to be fair he said it. I reckon these arseholes must have had a plan going to start with some or all of the blokes in there as the biggest and oldest one walked right up to me and asked me if what he'd heard I did for a living was true.
"Oh for fuck's sake!!!"
This then led to the fag ponser mouthing to his mate (thinking I wasn't watching) this bit of intel and it getting passed on. After about 15 minutes the barmaid whispered to me to stand behind the bar for my own protection and wanted to know why I didn't lie to which I replied "why should I have to?".
Saddest thing is that as pissed as I was I was still able to spot any danger and none of these idiots so much as spoke to me after they'd got the good news. When they did eventually kick off it was with the bloke at the end of the pub who supported Aston Villa. Apparently they all kept glaring at me when my back was turned but like all Stella Artois Warriors they have too much to lose by picking on anyone except easy targets they never did or said anything to me. When the Old Bill did finally turn up and asked them politely to leave, they did it without much fuss and the 18 relatively sober ones apologised to my mate for the attitude of the two morons.
3am Sunday morning and I'm woken from my minging slumber on my mate's sofa by 4 of the barmaids coming in to eat their chips after a late night sesh in Benny's. Two of them sat down on top of me (which as they like both beer and chips meant that I felt I was about to have a rectal prolapse). Another one farted in my face which is kind of funny in hindsight but was none too amusing at the time. They remarked how skinny I am but coming from Ladette to Lady-types with beer arses I find hard to take as an insult.
Watched Outlaw today with Danny Dyer and Sean Bean which defies belief for crapness. Still, 28 Weeks Later kicks off in a month and it'll be fun to watch the Rage Virus decimate London for the second time.