Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bus Report

From a high open window I saw the flapping of a black and red cape. I got excited imagining Zorro about to end it all upon the pavement below. I was disappointed to see that it was nothing more than a curtain1 flapping in the breeze.

I thought I read a brass plaque that read, “Homophobic Practice”. I started to imagine a classroom with one student standing, “I even have gay friends, but . . .” and the teacher cutting him short by shouting “No. No. No. More bigotry. More bigotry. damnit. Straight out with it. Just say, I just wish they wouldn’t kiss in public. None of this ‘I have gay friends but’ crap.” On second glance the sign read “Homeopathic Practice”. My mistake.

Also, I am amazed at the number of huge bellies sported by otherwise tiny teenage girls. I am talking about guts that would make a Bavarian man jealous. I’m pretty sure they were not pregnant either as none of them were smoking.

I overheard this conversation awhile ago.
"Were you at the protests?"
"Yeah. I was where it got nasty."
"Were you throwing bricks at the police and shit?" he said smiling.
"Well. I did throw one brick at a policeman."
"What?!?" The smile switched to astonishment.
"I mean it was only a small one."
"A small rock is still a rock."
"No. no. no. It as a small policeman. The rock was fuckin' huge! It knocked him tits over ass it did."

1)Who the hell has black and red satin curtains?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I forgot to mention the seagulls in this country are huge! I have seen them queue up for sausage rolls with clip-on ties and fake moustaches and get served! They really are massive. When they walk on the roof of the flat, I swear there are three year olds with swim fins playing tag up there. I am not squeamish with wildlife. I grew up in a part of the world where wildlife kill humans on a regular basis. I used to swim in the same lake as a two-foot alligator, but I definitely duck when these things swoop to snatch children out of the prams. I dam not very artistic but here is one of me and a gull to give you an idea of scale.
^O^ .
The gull is on the left and I am on the right.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

I am aware that at times my journal entries paint a utopian view of my city and this island. Well, the honeymoon is over. After, fifteen hours in the emergency room or in the local parlance, ‘causality’, I realize this place too has its problems. One emergency doctor for a ward on a Friday especially in the evening when the drunks start rolling in is madness. Maybe, I was just unlucky but next time I’ll take my chances with a broken foot.
After fifteen hours, my diagnosis was luckily not broken feet. During the excruciating wait I witnessed what felt like a very long Mike Leigh movie. There are no pretty people in the emergency room. Most of the injuries were drink induced. Sometimes the drinking itself caused the harm. Other times it was the consequences of being drunk that resulted in their visit. One particular event was more distressing than the others.
I lay on a gurney and directly across for me one young woman with weary and glassy eyes sits. She has pretty features but there is a weathering upon her skin that has faded her looks. She has not lived easily. She is restless. Uncomfortable. Behind her, the nurse’s phone rings. No one is able to answer it. After numerous rings, she picks it up and immediately slams it back down. Her agitation grows. I avoid eye contact. She disappears until I hear a scuffle outside of my view. The girl quickly reappears into view as she is roughly shoved by a police officer. I overhear their exchange. She threw water at the officer when he tried to get her to sit back down. Now, she was going to jail. For several minutes the girl told the police officer she would get him and that she never forgets a face if they cross her. Then, two more police came and lead her away hand cuffed.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Despite my republican pedigree, I love me some royals. Having met the back end of Prince Phillip’s head, I understand the hubbub that is littered about the English newspapers. They do provide a great service to the State. You can parade these anachronisms in front of people who give a shit and really produce some results. I watched people scurry and kowtow before the duke of Edinburgh as he reviewed the various displays set up for his benefit. It was almost like an important event was occurring and that someone almost important was involved. Not for one minute did anyone question why this exceedingly pruney and tiny old man was any different from the old nutter who wets himself at the bus station. They all were nervous to make a good impression to someone who probably spends more time considering his morning constitutional than anything they have to say. The only thing I regret is that more of the royals are not like our venerable duke. I’d trade him for a half dozen Prince Charleses any day. He’s how a royal should be. Completely separated from the realities of this century or the past two for that matter. The rest of the inbred lot are pathetically apologetic and mealy mouthed. They are always backtracking and covering up. I want to see a royal call it like it is. “Fuck you all. I’m the fucking king. Are your relatives cast in bronze all over the country? No? Well, go fuck yourself.” Obviously my expletives are limited to my coarse colonial vocabulary. A real royal would shroud these sentiments in much more eloquent phrases, but it would be a damn sight better than those constant press release apology cards.

Someone told me that a past king commandeered a whole train, strapped a freshly killed dear to the front and drove it to his castle in Scotland, which was in the completely opposite direction, without a question to whether it was allowed. That’s the fun of being king my friend. Not this boring and pathetic freak show they have now. What do people expect when they act up? Do you expect them to ask like normal people? Normal people have to put toothpaste on their own toothbrush. They don’t. Why would you think that they would consider it improper to dress like a Nazi to go to a “colonials and natives” party? So, they release an apology supposedly from the offending royal. Does anyone really think they give a shit? I would much prefer the true response. “Dear subject, we won the war. Fuck you. I’m wearing the swastika and the funny moustache. If you don’t like it, move the Australia with the Aboos. Your future king (ha ha ha)”

Today I taught my spellchecker pruney, nutter, Aboos. For once my additions are not of a scatological nature. Wow!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

If you are like me, when you read about an unusual animal you imagine that creature as a middle-aged bourgeois.

I am Carapidae. I live in the ass of a sea cucumber. I spend my days composing anti-triclavian poetry in iambic pentameter and writing letters of outrage to radio and television companies. My three sons are all named Joseph. The oldest has a successful business. He supplies the scaffolding that restoration companies must hire. He does very well for himself. He owns a leisure boat. We… I mean I. My wife died a few years back. I don’t hear much from the middle son these days. He’s got a Pakistani wife and lives in the midlands. We never really got on since the ‘incident’. Little Joseph is still in school. He’ll finish this year. After that, god only knows, personally I have my doubts. I think he’s a bit poofy. He’s always hanging around that Billy child, and you know what he’s like. All in all, I haven’t much to complain about. The Lord has been generous to such a humble creature as myself. It could always be worse. I could be the sea cucumber with a fish up my ass.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My focus wobbles like a drunk. It staggers from painful thoughts to daily worries to fettering reflections whose momentary attention draws me into hour long melancholy contemplations. It is a funk I am in. A case of the blahs. Something that must be suffered until it passes, like a flu. I caught this mood after a long phone call from home. The news received was inevitable but never the less made me sink to where I am. What was the news? It's not important. A loss is a loss is a loss. Whether we lose someone we love or someone we love loses something. It differs only in degree of mourning. It will pass, and until then one cannot help but lament and spit out dark words like these.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Bus Report

Three little girls are walking down the street. They are around five maybe younger. Two girls are very chubby and completely lost in the quickly melting ice creams they are consuming. The third girl is much smaller in height and circumference. She is skinny and does not have an ice cream. What she does have is an extremely exaggerated frown. She stamps her feet as she walks, her arms are crossed, and her brow is deeply furrowed.

“Woooooooo! Wooo! Yeah!” The lady who has just stepped out of the pub screams to no one in particular. I think to myself there must be some party going on in that pub. Its mid-afternoon and clearly there is something to ‘woo’ about. I can barely see into the pub as we pass it. The only occupants are two old drunks with the look of fear, as they drink, never taking an eye from the celebrant.

This is quite a regular occurrence and has happened to me at three different bus stops with the same man. There is an old man who is always trying to help me get on the bus. I don’t know why he’s taken a shine to me but mosquitoes and crazies find me irresistible. He will pass by and see that there are people in the queue getting on the bus before me. He dramatically turns to them, waves his arms manically and shouts for them to get out of my way. At least that’s what I think he’s shouting as many people have difficulty understanding the Scots accent and everyone, including the Scots, find the drunken Scots accent completely incomprehensible. Only the obscenities ring clear. I also can’t tell if his staggering is due to drink or infirmity. Probably a little of both. As we disembark he remains cursing the bus and occasionally slapping at the windows at the people inside.