As the years wear on I’ve come quite slowly, quite reluctantly especially of late, to the admission that I am getting older like everybody else, that I’m not immune to age. Did I think that by ignoring my ascending numerals I might dodge the dilapidation of the body and slow creeping away of the follicles? I’ve discovered why older men wear corduroys. It’s to hide the general inflation of belly and an extra yard on skin droop, invested in with years of good lunches and dinners.
I’ve been rehearsing for a plane crash for the last 15 years or so, or a ‘break down in the middle of nowhere, miles from help, satellites and medical care situation’. I’ve studied the ancient art of fire making, I’ve learnt how to use the natural world for things such as cooking utensils, soap, shelter and weaponry to catch and kill it’s animal life. I can find water by observing the body language of birds, I can inform you of your true north from the moss on a tree and I can help you navigate back to your tent or cave in the pitch black of night with nothing but my echo graphic scans of the terrain just. like. a. bat.
Yes, if you were to have a plane crash with me and my survival books and iPhone apps, you’d be well equipped for a series of over confident self assured lunges at conquering the wild – a far more rapid route to certain death or glorious survival, a means to get to the end result with a break neck expediency.
I’d be the only passenger in the plane going down with an excited grin, fantasizing about limping out of the wreckage in a few minutes, dressing my wounds and yours with palm leaves and vines, setting traps for dinner (rabbit) and raiding the aircraft for whisky. We’d make a shelter out of branches overhead, I’d make a saucepan out of birch bark, we’d boil some water, drink nettle tea and think about staying in the woods forever. Then you would realize you are with a total lunatic who has no intention of ever being found again.
Things not to do on holiday:
Do not drink half a bottle of rum and think that you may swim around cliff faces in the thrashing water. You are not immune to being drowned by your stupidity and rum doesn’t mix well with sea water in the stomach. Do not drink half a bottle of rum and then rally drive around dirt roads to the airport with half a ton of suitcase in the boot. The horizon can become quite unpredictable in such circumstances and the rental car company will notice if parts of the car are missing however innocent you try to appear.
Is when 20 police cars, two helicopters and ten uniformed men running at full pelt (forgive the pun – it IS a good one, isn’t it) eventually corner a man, wide eyed and panicked, right outside my home. The only difference being that this ‘fox’ shot at them with a large silvery looking heavy metal pistol. No bugles, no redcoats, no hip flasks, no horses, no shouts of “tally ho” but in every other respect it was almost exactly the same.
To rob a man of his umbrella is bad form indeed. We pity those who stoop to such levels. I am the victim of such a crime and however minor a crime it is, it is nevertheless a crime. The insult becomes somewhat more injurious when you factor in that my beloved gave it to me. The injurious insult amplifies to near murderous levels however when you add to the equation the fact that this beautiful umbrella was taken kicking and screaming, kidnapped no less, from an umbrella stand at a restaurant that I have helped keep afloat with my over indulgence over the years and to make matters even worse (unimaginable, I know) the head of security there couldn’t be less interested in the apprehension of the perpetrator of this heinous act. Surely Mr Head of Security at the Maritime Hotel in NYC, if you’re not part of the solution you most certainly are a part of the problem and I suggest you might try your hand at something other than keeping an eye on the general well being of your very good customers and their possessions whilst under your supposed ‘watch’. Perhaps you might like a term working at Duane Reed or other place of employ that prefers such sharp thinkers as yourself. Either way, get some bloody security cameras on the premises and watch those instead of The Love Boat or whatever idiotic rerun is keeping your attention away from the despatch of your paid responsibilities. You’ve lost another customer.
Somewhere there is an academy of idiocy supplying the Duane Reeds, At&T’s, Walmarts and Cablevisions of the world with single brain cell organisms to work their customer service departments. Those of managerial quality will rise to the top quickly and will be marginally less slow in the brain than that of a sloth and will possess a vacant look, a truly vacant look. As in ‘nobody’s home’ vacant. Not abandoned, but was never there.
I was driving in Delaware the other day and saw a street sign warning me that I might at any time be swarmed by a flock of autistic children, specifically the silhouettes of autistic children playing football. Evidently the usual ‘Autistic Child’ street sign wasn’t good enough for this street and the added excitement of the game of football was added. But why? What are we to think when casually driving through this sleepy part of Delaware? That we might be chased like a ball or coerced into having a quick game by a maths genius or 20 silhouettes of them? Has it become such a problem in the area that they felt it necessary to sign post it? Has an unwary traveller been set upon on his way through? An epidemic, perhaps? Quelle horreur! If so, what is in the water in Delaware? There IS a nuclear power station down the road and Delaware does boast mosquitos the size of birds (hence the mosquito is referred to as the “state bird” although the Fighting Blue Hen is actually the official State Bird – dwarfed by the resident mosquitos, by the way). In any event, I wonder how the parents of this flock of silhouetted football playing autistic children feel about their loved ones being ‘sign posted’. The verb of it. Were I the parent of one I might prefer that he / she retains the right to the surprise attack upon passing motorists – i.e. dont sign post – or perhaps that he / she be better represented not by a footballer but linked to the more gentlemanly of sports, Rugby.
I’m looking forward to Delaware sign posting all of it’s other silhouetted possibilities on the side of it’s roads such as ‘Men That Wear Bandanas with Goatee Beards’ and other wonderful creations.
The fundamental unit of time is the second, defined officially as “the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium-133 atom”. In other words, you measure the frequency of the microwave radiation emitted when electrons move between specified orbits or energy levels in caesium – and multiply it by 9,192,631,770 to get a second.
Quite obvious really
I have a dentist. She’s terribly nice. I wouldn’t recognise her in the street without her mask on though. She likes to drop tools on me like drills and has a habit of banging neighbouring teeth with her machinery. Lots of drill dropping and banging of teeth. Every time I see her she does something bad to me and to make matters worse, I am terrified of dentists anyway. I’ve fainted more times in dentists than you and all of your friends have put together. I’ve fainted whilst being told what the procedure was going to be, even during the X ray bit. I tell them, the dentists, that I’m a nervous patient and they say “ah it’s fine really” but they soon learn it’s not ‘really’. At the hands of Doctor Fang, to whom I was referred by the dentist that drops tools on me, I had my wisdom teeth removed recently. He was a nice chap but he didn’t listen either when I told him about my hyper nervosa disposition to dentistry. As I fell over, just before I hit the floor and blacked out, I remember his last words were, or was, “Oh”. But if you’re going to fall flat on your face, a dentist’s is a good place to do it, because they can put your face back together again on the spot. Dr Fang, wonderful guy.
Watch out, you might also get stuck on a train with 15 Japanese people mid way through their hip hop dance class. Mid way through their robotic hip hop dance class to be precise. All beaming satisfactorily at each other despite failing miserably at looking like they might be mistaken for being African American robots. “Oh yes” they say with a bad James ‘japanese sub commander’ Brown accents, with arms bent at 90 degree angles, their heads off axis as they gyrate to their own squeaks and mechanical noises. Their tutor, a black man in inflated leopard print trousers and a mouthful of gold urging them on with his own examples of impossibly realistic robotic movements, his kind reassurances and words of encouragement “yea baby you doin’ it baby”. This was happening, I remind you, on a train, exactly where I was standing, all about me, in a tunnel somewhere under New York. I put my bag down and joined in. It was superb. I moon walked all day afterwards.