Before the more curious among you wonder if this is a post about a hideous growth deformity, have no fear; I assure you that it isn’t. It is merely social commentary on the unfortunate habit that many of us have experienced of saying the wrong thing in our myriad of social interactions.
As a single man negotiating the pitfalls of London’s dating and bar scene, I have learned that sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all, than feel obliged to say something to cover an uncomfortable silence. It isn’t necessary to chat constantly without pause. Unless perhaps you are a horse racing commentator.
My main ‘partner in pulling’ the ladies (or not) is a mathematician, who by his own admittance spends his days in academic geekdom and is something like an uncaged Tasmanian devil when freed from the formulas, bouncing enthusiastically between girls with the impatience of a speed freak in the toilet queue; frequently to be heard saying: “I’m not getting anywhere, she’s hard to talk to”. After five minutes. Continue reading
So that’s what cabbies mean when they say
they don’t want to go ‘south’ of the river
My twice-weekly trip to university includes a short walk across London Bridge for a connecting train, which allows me the chance to take in the sights. The nearby historic Tower Bridge, the modern skyscrapers of the City of London…. homeless beggars, traffic congestion and a strange little Asian man who hands out free newspapers with a persistent inane grin. Just what the hell has he got to be so happy about?
Nothing really changes. Except one day this week, when a rather large black man obstructed my path, looked me square in the eye, and shouted “REPENT!” Well now, did he see me pretend not to notice the charity collectors outside the station? Surely not.
“HELL IS REAL!” Yes, I know that. I’ve been to Delhi. “HEAVEN IS REAL. TIME IS RUNNING OUT!” Yes, I’m aware of the famous gay nightclub, but I’m not interested in any promotion big boy. I’m sorry but I don’t bat for that team.
“JEEESUS IS WATCHING YOU!” Oh, I get you. You’re not Apostle Jack are you? Continue reading
Those of you who use the retailer Amazon (and that’s probably most of you), may have noticed the fairly recent trend of the friendly multi-national giant helpfully suggesting alternative products for us to buy. Because they care. Such a helpful bunch.
For example, Amazon recommends Dexter on blu-ray because you purchased Six Feet Under. Makes perfect sense as those two series have similar dark humour and plot lines. Or Amazon recommends this ball bearing gun because you purchased the book ‘How best to kill squirrels in a slow and painful manner.’ Didn’t happen, but you get the gist.
But you can surely imagine my surprise when I received the following unexplained suggestion:
I was just about ready to go to work, so I leant over the bed to give my girlfriend a goodbye kiss. “GRRR!” she growled in a high-pitched, insane angry cat tone, as she turned her face away from me, causing my lips to slither, snail-like across her cheek. Not the kind of kiss I was expecting, I said out of the corner of my mouth. I quickly scanned the previous day’s memories in an attempt to ascertain what heinous crime I had committed.
No results found
Okay then, you win. What’s wrong? “You woke me up by talking in your sleep.” Is that all? “You shouted: ‘QUICK, PUT THE PHONE DOWN, HE’S COMING!’ It gave me a fright and I couldn’t go back to sleep.” Oh… that’s weird.
Having been suitably admonished for my unconscious misdemeanour, I trudged off to work. Well, I actually jogged, but ‘trudged’ is more apt description of my running style. A passing colleague once told me that I “looked terrible”. Enough said. And thanks for that. Continue reading
As I near the end of my month-long abstinence from the demon drink, I thought that I should update you on my progress. It’s true to say that a small amount of alcohol has passed my lips. Just two pints and two rum and cokes in 28 days. So, technically speaking, I guess you could say that I have failed. But have I really?
It was on day 21 that I was invited for a drink with a couple of friends. I fully intended to avoid drinking. But then, on the day, I had a change of heart. It was a Saturday, after all. That day is designed for drinking.
I started to analyse why I was yearning to break my self-imposed exile from Booze City. Was I weak? Could I not enjoy a night out without alcohol? But then I realised that the whole point of taking a break from drink, was to cut out unnecessary drinking and to (re)learn more healthy drinking habits. Continue reading
The stranger got to the door first and flung it open wide, rather theatrically beckoning the other person through: “After you.” How chivalrous, you may think. What a gentleman.
Except that, in this case, it was I who was being shown through the entrance by a young woman. For a split second I hesitated. This had never happened to me before. Normally, I was the one opening doors for other people. And I had never seen a woman being so courteous to a young(ish) man.
Was it a trick? If I took one step through the doorway, would she tut at me in disgust? Was I supposed to insist that she should go first? The trouble with being a modern man is that we never quite know what we should do, for fear of offending someone. Quite often we simply choose the easiest option… Which is to do nothing at all and feign a lack of attention. Continue reading
I’ve finally decided that I’ve had enough of the booze. Not permanently though. Hell no! But I just feel that I should really push myself and aim to go for a full month of abstinence. I have done this before, but that was during my studies, so it wasn’t a real test. I barely went out!
Also, I didn’t have a girlfriend then. This time I do, so she will undoubtedly want to have the odd tipple. I will be the killjoy. And, let’s face it, it’s no fun drinking on your own and facing judgemental looks from your partner.
It’s time to listen to my body. I’ve forgotten how to moderate my drinking since I moved to London. The variety of options and expendable income make the demon drink just too tempting. Since I’ve grown older my hangovers have got worse, to the point where I commonly receive a visit from my old nemesis Captain Chunder the ‘morning after’. And he’s a real bastard. Continue reading