Friday, March 30, 2007

I sit with the Baby, playing mindlessly.

From her collection of wooden blocks, I take a semicircular one. Placing it upside-down on the carpet, I can bash down on one end to send it spinning into the air.

The Baby is delighted by this. She laughs heartily. I have an audience!!! I do it a few more times, to more laughter. Then I start catching it, which provokes utter hilarity.

She is clearly a simpleton. But it is brilliant. There is this hammer-blow sense that I have somebody who really admires me. This is a new feeling. I mean, I know that my written output is widely-read and laughed it by the halfwit community, but this is different – a real live thing.

I sneakily pass the block into my other hand whilst catching it. The Baby is agog at its mysterious disappearance, then creases up again when I reveal its whereabouts. She might even have wet herself, although she wets herself all the time so it would be difficult to establish the cause as my funny block trick in a court of law (if wetting yourself was illegal).

My dad used to do tricks like this with me. And Granddad used to make a coin appear out of my ear. The thought that I am now doing this with my own Baby is almost unbearably poignant. It is just a simple trick, but she loves me for it. All I am doing is flicking a block into the air and pretending that it has disappeared.

Boooooo – my dad’s and granddad’s tricks were probably shit as well. They were not magicians after all. It is a depressing realisation. I really looked up to them, as well.

I flick the block again. Twelve minutes have passed. The LTLP will be home in seven hours. A rabbit runs across the garden.

Monday, March 26, 2007

My vegetables arrive!!!

I thank the Vegetable Delivery Lady as she hands over the heavy box. There have been a succession of Vegetable Delivery Ladies since the original one hastily moved out of the county, plus the occasional man with a beard. I wave as she goes on her way.

She has a cheerful disposition, as have her predecessors. I do not blame her. Sometimes I think that I would love to drive around delivering vegetables all day and chatting to customers, especially fit ones like me (but women fit ones), instead of the stressful job that I have, viz looking after the Baby and sending important emails ect ect. It would get me out of the house and stop me from going mad from the lack of visitors or human contact, and be a lot cheaper than pills or drink.

There is a cabbage in the box!!! I make excited noises about it to some friends who are visiting, despite the fact that nobody ever visits. They are unimpressed. I tell them that I like cabbage. They appear to regard this as an affectation. I point out that I had served them delicious cabbage the previous evening for dinner. Controversy grumbles over the cabbage issue.

We go to the pub for lunch. I order a pie and some cabbage. I sense that they think that I have done this in a macho ‘I am going to eat more cabbage and pretend to like it even though I don’t really’ way. They are wrong, as I would have ordered just cabbage if this was the case, as it would have been cheaper without the pie. Both are delicious.

There is left over roast chicken for dinner tonight. I am going to warm it up, and serve it with some cabbage.

My visitors have left.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Village Pub is packed with the Friday night crowd.

I offer ‘excuse me’s to waiting diners, as I push my way through to join the throng. Friday nights are tremendously enjoyable in the Village Pub – I delight in the community spirit and intellectual conversation.

“Evening!” offers Big A, convivially. “How are your…”

“Guess what? I’ve got a banjo!!!” I interrupt.

“Gosh!” He is obviously impressed by my banjo acquisition, and I tell him about it at some length. After a while, to his clear disappointment, Medium-Sized John drifts over to join us, interrupting my banjo monologue.

“How’ve you been?” he asks.

“I’ve got a banjo!!!” I explain, and tell him about my banjo. I don’t know Medium-Sized John that intimately, and I assume he is not a musician from his eagerness to move the subject along. Ray is at the end of the bar. He knows all about music and will appreciate my banjo.

Short Tony returns from the bar.

“Jonny was just saying,” prompts Big A.

“That he has a banjo.” Short Tony finishes his sentence for him. There is a dejected look in his eye. I expect he is sad that he does not have a banjo also.

I spend the evening trying to form a Village Banjo Society, to counter the women’s feminist book group thing. But it is early days. I resolve, however, after much encouragement, to spend a summer’s morning sitting on the bench by the Village sign strumming the banjo. The tourists will like it. With the advent of cheap flights etc. places must diversify and I could be just the thing to attract hard currency to the Village Shop.

Friday, March 16, 2007

It is Mother’s Day at the weekend!!!

Personally, I will be buying my mother a copy of Shaggy Blog Stories – a collection of amusing tales from the UK blogosphere.

This is not in retaliation for her getting me a girl’s bike for Christmas when I was about 6, but because it’s by lots of funny readers of my private secret diary, plus a few that I chortle at myself but who don’t give a toss about events in Norfolk. They are insular.

It also contains also some amusing banjo-related material. Plus it’s for the orphans an’ that.

It would be great if youse lot could buy one as well.

There will be further news on banjo matters next week. Enjoy your weekends!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I receive an unexpected banjo!!!

Inside my large package is another large package. This secondary package is oddly quadrilateral – a familiar shape to us musical people, familiar with oddly quadrilateral boxes. But it is too thin for a guitar. I tear at the parcel tape with ravenous fingers.

The contents reveal themselves in their banjoness.

“But… why… how?” I goggle, ogling at its chrome fittings and immaculately varnished neck. I have not ordered a banjo from anywhere. I would have remembered. Perhaps someone has sent it to me as a threat.

“It’s a present. For looking after me.”

I gaze at the LTLP thunderstruck. She has bought me a banjo, for looking after her after she was run over!!! This is clearly the most beautiful, loving, selfless, thoughtful, wonderful gesture that has ever been gestured by anybody ever. I want to throw my arms around her and tell her one thousand times how much I love her. But I have a new banjo, so I fuck off into the living room to play with it.

Dwonggg! it goes. Dwonggg! Dwinggg! Dwinggg!

Its form is unfamiliar, but I will soon get used to it. I have a banjo!!! A proper banjo!!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

I return home to find a card pushed through the letterbox.

They have tried to deliver a parcel!!! The card tells me of this fact.

Booooooo – I have missed my parcel. I am not expecting a parcel, so it is an exciting surprise parcel as well. And I have missed it due to having to buy milk. I will never drink milk again.

Normally if there is a parcel they just leave it by the front door, or stick it in the old outside toilet. Clearly it is a valuable parcel!!! I rack my brains to think what it can be.

“A man tried to deliver a parcel!!!” I tell the LTLP, who is making tea with the evil conniving never-to-be-used-again milk.

“Aha!” she replies.

I am a bit confused by her aha, and study the card again. Wait!!! There is a scribble!!! It is all-but indecipherable, and indicates that my parcel has been delivered by a monkey with a crayon. Somebody in the Village may have noticed a monkey driving a van and seen which way they went. A shadow crosses my face. It is ridiculous banning you from using your mobile telephone to call premium rate numbers whilst you are at the wheel if they are happy to let monkeys drive heavy goods vehicles.

I will be disappointed if my parcel is a consignment of bananas.

The LTLP studies the card. “They’ve left it over the road,” she concludes.

Over the road!!! They have left my parcel over the road!!!

“I’ll get it. I know what it is,” she continues.

I do not have time to explore this last statement before she has hobbled out the door. My head is a maelstrom of possibilities.

A few minutes later she reappears with a huge and interesting-looking box...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Shaggy Blog Stories - a book for Comic Relief

If you’re a UK Blogger (or a Brit expat, or one of those peculiar foreigners but currently living in the UK) and have ever written anything funny (or, at a pinch, amusing), then here’s something for you.

We have one week to write a book together.

Who’s up for the challenge?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I lie on the floor of the toilet.

It is comfy and cosy down here, and I am nice and warm. It is best when I shut my eyes – things go all snuggly.

I can hear the LTLP. She is on the telephone.

“…had some effect on him… painkillers… took the ones that I had for my broken leg…”

It is nice that she has telephoned somebody. I would imagine that it is an expert. I pull the blanket further around me. It is lovely. They should make mattresses out of wood laminate.

“…coming over? Oh that’s brilliant.”

This is excellent – an expert is coming over. They can have a sleep with me here on the floor if they would like. I sort of doze off.

What might be 30 seconds later, I am awoken by a blurry shape looming above me. The shape seems to be expertly studying me, whilst resolving into humanoid form. It is beautiful, with fresh unblemished skin, flowing locks of red and a voice like 10,000 angels descending on gossamer wings from a golden heaven crossed with Meatloaf. It resolves some more into Short Tony.

It is not an expert after all!!! I try to protest, but although I appear to be aware of everything that’s going on, I can’t seem to do anything except lie on the floor with my eyes shut. It is very unnerving. I hear their voices discussing me in the kitchen, low and urgent. Suddenly the floor seems less comforting.

The LTLP has given me rohypnol!!! They have given me rohypnol and are planning to perform a lewd act on me!!!

“Let’s get him onto the couch,” says Short Tony, and I feel my blanket being pulled.

“No, no,” I manage to murmur, in increasing alarm.

“You can’t stay there,” orders the LTLP’s voice. “We need to get you onto the couch.”

They are planning on putting me onto the couch!!! My hands reach round the floor to grip it tightly, which doesn’t work, as it is a floor.

I feel some arms. “No!!!” I hear myself saying, although it is like hearing somebody else speaking, although it is definitely me, or at least somebody who sounds very much like me and who has the same sort of idea of what to say as I do.

“I’ll take myself,” the voice that is possibly me continues.

I try to stand up to walk to the living room. Standing up is more difficult than I remember.

“I think I’ll crawl actually,” the me-voice explains.

I crawl slowly to the living room, across the brick tiles, step by step. I can feel Short Tony and the LTLP watching me. But I do not want to be carried and lose my dignity. The next thing I know I am lying on the sofa under a blanket.

“…these sort of pills before…?” I hear more conversation from the kitchen.

It does not seem interesting, and I drift off to sleep.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I first noticed at Short Tony’s 40th birthday party.

Normally, I sing like 10,000 angels descending on gossamer wings from a golden heaven crossed with Barry Gibb. But I could not even hit the high notes in ‘You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling’. I drank my way through this, and stuck to the Tom Jones. But it preyed on my mind; my throat has not been the same since and my health deteriorated rapidly and spectacularly at the weekend.

I make an appointment.

“Hello Jonny!!!” cry the fit receptionists, clustering round me as they do whenever I visit the surgery.

“Where’s your little Baby today?” one asks.

“Left her behind today. Ill. Me ill. Me. No baby.”

Eyes narrow and lips purse; the receptionists disappear in the twinkling of an eye.

“You’ve got tonsillitis,” announces the Doctor, pulling away hastily from my mouth. “It’s pretty grim,” he adds helpfully.

Tonsillitis!!! It is a proper itis!!! I do not know whether to be pleased that I am officially properly ill, or worried about the fact that I have got one of the major itises. This tonsillitis is bad enough – God knows what it will be like if it progresses to hepatitis or tuberculitis. It is a fucking good job that I live in the developed world, is all I can say.

I lean forwards to give my shadow of a voice the best chance. “I am not really up on medicine,” I confess. “But seeing as we are all going to die anyway from super microbe bugs that have built up resistance to antibiotics due to prolonged and largely inappropriate prescribing in the past, can I have some antibiotics please?”

He scribbles out a prescription.

“I don’t know if it’s connected,” I continue. “But I have also had flu, and conjunctivitis?” Even as I speak I realise that I have had an itis all along!!! But just a local minor one that is unlikely to cause death or becoming a cabbage. I do not mention my sore toe as I do not wish to overburden the NHS with my problems.

“Not connected,” he confirms, before leaning back in his chair and eyeing me up and down. “Look. Far more likely – you’ve been running around for months after the LTLP and the Baby, looking after them all hours, and you’ve just run yourself down. You’ve been overdoing it.”

This had not occurred to me.

“Could you put that in writing please?” I ask hopefully.

“No, fuck off,” replies the Doctor. “I don’t mind telling you that between ourselves, but I’m buggered if I’m getting involved in your domestic life.”

I am disappointed with his unhelpfulness and once more consider reporting him to the GMC via anonymous letters cut from the pages of the ‘Lancet’ and ‘People’s Friend’. But he has given me pills, for which I am grateful. I drive home tenderly, to swallow these and some painkillers.