Thursday, November 29, 2012
In my youth — a time which seems so distant in these days of self-enforced exfoliations of ash from my rotting flesh — I was something of an enlightened tosser.
Between the era of general mania for decorating garment upon garment with badges and the dire epoch when Paul McCartney could be relied upon to sing his own songs without forgetting the words, the tune — or who he was — I regularly took it upon myself to adorn the lapels of coats and jackets with whimsical trinkets and doodads. The quartet of plastic mice from the 70s version of Mouse Trap, for instance, found its way onto a safety pin via the loops of the mousies’ biddy tails and dangled from my teenage gawkitude from pub to disco to party for most of 1981. Then there were the babies’ heads — robbed from some miniature (crap) dolls — which graced the same lapels just a few months later. My favourite, however, was the crocheted fish — and it’s my favourite precisely because I still have it, and still wear it. To this day I remain exactly the same enlightened tosser of yore, even though I no longer fit into any of my threadbare 80s Levi’s.
Here it is, on a jacket I shall wear this weekend — a 10p bargain hauled from a basket of similar wooly underwater denizens washed up by chance on a shelf of the Dartington Cider Press Centre in October 1982:
People mistake it for an octopus — my fault entirely for inverting it through ninety degrees and failing to erect a sign reading FISH — and many are the times it has helped to break the ice at social gatherings (like the Titanic smashing into the Berg of Doom).
What interests me at the moment is that Son of Whirl is embarking on a similar lapel decorating enterprise. Naturally I’m minded to wonder whether this is nature or nurture, genes or learning — or just rotten luck for Girly of Whirly to have two enlightened tossers living in close proximity?
For some weeks now, Son of Whirl has been setting off to school with bears in his top pocket. Like most schools, S-o-W’s seat of learning insists on uniforms, complete with badge and braid, and the most that pupils can get away with is the odd fluorescent pen poking jauntily from the pocket rim. It all started out fairly innocently with a Dr Who Weeping Angel protruding modestly, but since then he’s left the house each morning with most of his baybee cuddlees (some of which are the size of a small cat).
Naturally, as parents, Girly of Whirly and I are concerned. When he’s flown the nest for university (or Poundland), we’ll want to cry and sob over his baybee belongings — something we can’t do if he’s lost them, had them stolen, or sold them to some dumb kid in exchange for sweets.
To solve the problem, a mouse has been knitted — a purpose-built artifact of enlightened tosserhood based on the theme of baybee (but independent of any posset cloth style poop ‘n’ gaga memories).
Here it is, in all it’s realistic whisker glory:
In my responsible imagination, I’d visualised my son setting out this morning with his new companion peering from his braid in a modest display of teenage independence suitable for the amusement of his peers.
As it turns out, he’s safety pinned it to his shoulder like a pirate’s fucking parrot, and will probably come home blacker and bluer than a carbonized Joni Mitchell LP, having been ragged to within an inch of his life by anti-ponce hard boyz.
Like all the best biochemistry experiments, the results are to follow...
Monday, November 26, 2012
I don’t know about you, but over at Whirl Towers I’m busy ironing tinsel in preparation for the forthcoming Santa Fest.
It’s an unenviable task, necessary every year, and though I’ve been at it since 3am I’ve only managed to flatten out 2,345 sparkly fronds (which is roughly enough to cover about a foot or so down from the angel on my tree).
Add to this the re-inflation of over 200 globes and baubles and the painstaking reconstruction of my 1/32 scale Bethlehem diorama and I’m guessing I have my work cut out till well into the New Year.
But it’s worth all the effort isn’t it?
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
This is not a prediction, by the way — just a timely blast from the past to help my followers in the US decide between the nice guy and the Scooby Doo villain.
Here’s how it works.
Click on the link below to be transported back through the anus of time to Abysswinksback 2008, then study the picture for exactly 2½ minutes, Magic Eye style.
Time Portal Here.
When you refocus on the real world, an image of your ideal choice President will be momentarily flashed in inverted form onto the first object you see (possibly complete with a duck costume). Trust this image: it’s from your subconscious and reflects your deepest and truest desires.
Oh, and avoid driving or operating heavy machinery for a COUPLE hours afterwards.
Friday, November 2, 2012
“Happy Anniversary, darling.”
Clem chinked my glass like his eyelashes on the day we first met, azure orbs glistening beneath the feathery wisps of angels, but he spilt his drink on the tablecloth.
“No worries, honey,” I said. Christ, I wish I hadn’t put on this goddamn bra. Cutting me, cutting me right below one of my ribs (though which one, I don’t know — how in hell do you count ribs with a ball gown on?)
“That’s the great thing about these fancy places,” said Clem, his hands manipulating a napkin manlyly. “No shortage of decent sized cloths — and hey, look, there’s Michael J. Fox!”
We glanced over to the window seat where the once boyish star of the Back To The Future movies sat with a blonde Latino girl and what looked to be some kind of German sausage in a brown sauce.
“It’s an omen, don’t you think?” I hitched my fish knife under my gown and tugged till my bra strap split.
“How so?” Clem looked oddly pensive — a Buzz Aldrin meets a dragon in a lunar crater expression usually reserved for when he can’t open a jar of gherkins.
“I’m thinking past, present and future. Here we are on our wedding anniversary, celebrating the past — yet at the same time we’re celebrating the present with all this champagne and seafood, and looking to the future too.”
“Hey, that’s quite profound. You should have been an astrologer or a philosopher or a sage or a shaman or a poet.”
I laughed. “Hell, I’m no multitasker.” How true: holding a conversation while slipping off a bra was proving impossible.
The waiter appeared to take our order. No illusion: that’s what he actually did. A quirky guy, he reminded me of no one I’d ever met, which is weird because I have this cerebral malfunction thing going on where I perceive most people to be Japanese.
“I’ll check out the molasses,” said Clem.
I ran my finger over the list of braised succulents. “These cacti sound fascinating — but it’s the molasses for me also, please.”
Every anniversary, every thanksgiving, every Christmas — always molasses. Birthdays, Sundays, week nights, breakfasts too! God, we’re so crazy about the stuff! It’s what we ate the day we first met. On a bench in Central Park, with pigeons flying and snowflakes falling and some hippy with a snake guitar and a hobo lying by a wall, probably sleeping but we never checked because he might have attacked us or been dead. A tingle of romance shot through me and I nearly let out a fart.
I gazed into Clem’s eyes, thinking of our love. How they darted and sparkled and shone and dilated and, hell, just eyed on down. “Looks like Fox has finished his sausage,” he said.
The waiter returned. “Your molasses.”
Clem cupped the bowl beneath his chin and began spooning the glistening mixture onto his eager tongue, flapping about wildly between his lips, plus the background music changed from In Utero to something soft and classical with lots of flutes. I mirrored Clem, though in truth there was nothing between us, not even a sheet of glass, let alone anything reflective.
“So glad we did this,” I said.
Clem nodded. “Thank heaven the Hulk Hogan mystery weekend was cancelled.” He edged his spoon close to my molassesy lips. “Nope. Thought I saw a wasp but it’s only the mole on your nose.”
I love Clem, truly I do. And this whole molasses thing makes it even truer. We try a different city every year but there’s something so special about Vancouver in spite of this bra and I might even leave it for the waiter as a cheeky kind of tip, if only to acknowledge that he’s the first person in over forty five years who hasn’t looked like he was born on Kyoto — apart from Michael J. Fox, who’s gone now (and the blonde is crying).
I felt a warm softness caress my hand: it was Clem’s hand, the left one, not a snake or anything. “Honey, I have something to tell you,” he said, and now Buzz Aldrin was in a deep, deep canyon with a bunch of ninja terrorists and only 5% Oxygen.
“What? What is it?” I stared at my empty bowl. Were my finished molasses a metaphor for some impending loss, some chasm about to open between us?
Clem rubbed the side of his head. “My ear hurts.” The left one looked swollen, almost blistery, and if he’d trimmed his beard into a Hogan for the weekend I’d have spotted it the moment we left the hotel, possibly even Friday. “It’s been sore for a couple of days now but I don’t think it’s anything serious.”