Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Continuation Of The Human Race

This is a guest post I wrote for Taming Insanity (found here yesterday, but I figured I should also include it on my own site. Otters like things to be kept in small neat bundles, where we can keep an eye on them. Imagine the horror if one of my posts was caught fondling one of her posts. The scandal! We'd never hear the end of it. And with that in mind, please enjoy....

Oh, babies. If they were being marketed, the tag would say something like "People, made by people" or perhaps "Too much time on your hands? Oversleeping? Try our new BABY range!" Perhaps that's just how I've seen them for most of my life - as a wailing, screaming, weeing-in-the-supermarket-aisle majority, rather than the adorable burbling minority who undoubtedly never throw soft foods and instead settle for grinning happily at old ladies on the bus - but as I get older, my views are changing somewhat.

My internetfriend Taming Insanity asked (begged, really, and you know I can't resist anyone who makes sad puppy eyes) her fellow bloggers to help her out as she's going to be too busy to post much, what with being heavily pregnant and all. I'm personally grateful - she's populating the planet so I don't have to. Thanks for taking one for the team, bro.

It's not that I don't want to have kids, necessarily - I do like children and am surprisingly good with them (possibly because they think I am one of them and are, in a manner similar to wolves, more inclined to accept me as part of the pack) but I feel like I need a couple of things to happen first. I need to find a woman with child-bearing hips (because I'm shaped like Justin Bieber, if Justin Bieber had an awesome rack and slightly more feminine eyebrows) to birth my litter. I need to give up most of the fun but dangerous stuff I like doing now. And I need to have an actual career instead of a job, preferably involving blogging, otter-related banter or being Laura Dern's wardrobe fitter.

This brings me very briefly to something I saw recently in the local newspaper about Sarah Jessica Parker's new film, probably called I Can't Act But I'm Inexplicably Cast In These Roles Anyway, but I digress. Her character in this film is touted as being a "hard working mother who juggles her lovable kids, her architect husband and her own well-paid investment job". I'll be honest. I was confused. Firstly, quite a lot of people manage to have kids, a partner and a job. Surely there is more to the plot than that? Of course, I'm not fool enough to try to answer that question by actually parting with my money or giving up two precious hours of my life for such drivel, but all the same I'd like to know what happens. Secondly, why is SHE the only one juggling these things? Presumably her husband is also juggling the same amount of pressure - although I hear being an architect is an super easy job, with minimum effort required - unless he's a mostly absent father figure (in which case, she won't need to juggle any part of him, which should at least cut down on her stressful schedule).

In any case, the mention of this Future Baby made me wonder how different its life will be from mine, with a grand total of 26 years between us. He or she will grow up with the internet an as accepted tool of communciation. I didn't start using the internet until I was at high school, which means that I grew up in a time where you generally had to go to a library if you wanted to educate yourself on a specific topic. He or she will grow up with completely different childhood television - missing out on such classics as 'Rainbow', 'Button Moon', 'Fraggle Rock', 'Count Duckula' and so much more. God, how I love Count Duckula. In a platonic way, you know. He's not, like, the Count from 'Sesame Street' or anything, who I've always maintained has a slightly sexy edge to him. It might be the cape, the accent or the casual OCD he displays. Memo to those attempting to date an otter - owning a cape will assist you greatly in the wooing process.

This is all serving to make me feel rather old, and has the odd twin effect of reminding me I haven't done anything stupid lately. (Hmm. I have a pack of napkins, a tub of Golden Syrup and a box of matches in my cupboard. Let's see how inventive I can be) It's a toast to you, Future Baby. Hopefully by the time you're my age, science will have stopped dicking about with medicine and started working on better hoverboards. We can but hope.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Drinking Is Fun But Maybe There Should Be Rules

This may be a shorter post than normal (possibly a blessing in a false beard and moustache) but I feel like people deserve to hear this particular story. A few weeks ago, the Fleetch, her ex-girlfriend (normally and lovingly referred to as 'Tanyakit', 'Cublet' or 'Shut Your Pretty Mouth') and I were all out at a local gay bar. This was in fact the night I was (I suppose the only appropriate word is "accosted", although in my mind I'm leaning more towards "emotionally molested") by a young lady who was very drunk and horribly, terrifyingly, seemed more than a little obsessed with my teeth. Now, my teeth are fairly normal. They're not perfect, sure, but I don't think there is much you could criticise. I rarely think about them in detail, given that I only use them for crushing stuff in my mouth, and occasionally for tearing open a packet of something if I can't find scissors and the Fleetch isn't around. But this girl looked at me like she wanted to tear my mouth apart and make trophies out of me. My breaking point came when she had me backed into a corner and the Fleetch started humming the tune for Deliverance. We got out of Dodge pretty quickly, let me tell you.

In any case, we ended up sitting on a sofa next to a lesbian couple. They were not, to put it politely, aesthetically suited to each other. I'd be the first to point out that physical looks only  get you so far in a relationship, so don't be hatin'. The problem is that my friends, particularly when under the influence of alcohol, have  a tendency to speak their minds directly. I rather like this about them. It's why we're friends.
Now, it's not that Tanyakit is particularly loud when drunk. When sharing a room, I have never been tempted to edge away to ease the auditory pressure, although I have several times noted that her voice seems to carry ridiculously well (the Fleetch and I once sat in our living room, a good ten feet or so from the firmly closed window - bear in mind we live on the first floor - and could clearly hear every word of her conversation with the takeaway guy from across the street). However on this occasion, the couple in question were about three feet away. I saw my friends eye them. I considered throwing myself over them in slow motion, but decided that it would't help. This was going to happen anyway, and it was better just to batten down the hatches and wait out the storm.

Tanyakit: Look at that! Mismatch of the CENTURY! Wow! Seriously!

Me: Dude-

Tanyakit: I'm not even kidding! Look at them!

The couple pretended, very nicely, not to hear.

Me: (pinching my nose) Oh sweet merciful-

Fleetch: (leaning over) Hey. Hey. Towncrier. Why don't you pipe down for a bit?

Tanyakit: What? I wasn't even being-

Fleetch: Oh, but you were. Ten o'clock and all is not well.

Tanyakit: I didn't-

Me: Now that you have delivered the news to the populace, go forth and tell the king!

Tanyakit: You guys are dicks.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Meet Me At The Clocktower

Some amusing things have been happening this week, my pretty little reader-minions. I'm not even sure where to start - I feel like a kid in a candy store, or perhaps an otter in a river full of juicy trout. Perhaps I should mention that I'm due for a hair cut later today, and thus will inevitably be found complaining about it on Twitter later (I promise that unless something really out of the ordinary happens, I won't blog about my complaints.. this time) so I may as well enjoy my good mood while it lasts. In the spirit of goodnatured joking, I hope you enjoy the following video by the Biebershop Quartet. Incidentally, on a music-related note, I suggested the other day on Twitter that I would be up for forming a gay tribute band called Bi Jovi, if anyone is interested.

One of my colleagues approached me yesterday with the opening sentence "I overheard something really weird and I knew you'd appreciate it". She wasn't wrong. Here the following conversation is between two young adult males of European descent, and was, I'm assured, held with completely serious tones.

Guy 1: Mate. Mate. I just don't get it.

Guy 2: What?

Guy 1: Why do gay people have so many friends?

Guy 2: (without missing a beat) Because they're spies.

Picking this tangled mess of thoughts apart is a task far beyond my mental endurance, much like a politically-incorrect Krypton Factor. The points I could make are all immediately obvious so I won't patronise you by pointing them out, and will instead settle for spluttering in indignation and amusement. In addition, the thought did occur to me that if some of my friends were in fact spies, firstly they've been hiding that damn well, and secondly, I've not been utilising them in the most effective way. Clearly, 2012 is going to be a very different kind of year.

The other amusing thing, which I am loathe to admit (for it makes me and my friend look like complete dillholes) but of course will, for the entertainment of those on the interwebz. I was supposed to meet my friend Sam for dinner last night. We arranged a time, we vaguely had restaurant ideas in mind, and then she text me with instructions to meet her at the clock in Tollcross. Now, for those of you who don't know Edinburgh, there is a large clock outside the Sheraton hotel in the Tollcross area. It is immediately visible as you walk up the hill, and as far as I knew, there was no way of mistaking it for anything else. I arrived a couple of minutes early despite the hurricane winds that threatened to float me Mary-Poppins style into the oncoming traffic and stood around awkwardly under the clock, waiting for Sam to arrive. A few minutes past our arranged meeting time, she rang me. Again, because of the wind, it was hard to hear her but I just about managed to make her words out.

Sam: Where are you?

Me: I'm here.

Sam: am I. Are you at the clock?

Me: Yes?

Sam: Are you invisible?

Me: I don't think so....Okay, hang on, I'll walk around the clock.

I walked around the clock. There was no sign of her.

Me: Huh. Weird.

Sam: Wait, which clock are you at?

Me: The one in Tollcross, like you said.

Sam: Oh, I'm at the other one.

Me: What other one? The one on Princes Street?

The clock on Princes Street, I hasten to add, is only a 5 minute walk away, but is clearly on Princes Street itself and could not possibly have been mistaken for the Tollcross clock, especially not by someone who'd lived in the city for years like Sam has. I sighed, rolled my eyes and told her to walk towards me and to stay on the right side of the road. I began to trot towards Princes Street. About half way down, I started to get a sinking feeling in my stomach. I hadn't seen Sam yet and by my calculations she should have been visible walking up the hill. I'd been keeping an eye on both sides of the road, so I was sure I hadn't missed her. I rang her back:

Me: Dude. Where are you?

Sam: (giggling) I'm at the clock in Tollcross now. Did we miss each other?

Me: Okay, this is ridiculous. Where are you?

Sam: Okay, walk back and I'll meet you halfway.

I dutifully returned to the clock at Tollcross, only to find that Sam was nowhere to be seen. I rang her again.

Me: DUDE. SERIOUSLY. We are two adult women and we have now missed each other twice in an area about 600 yards long. How is this happening?

Sam: (now in complete giggling hysterics) I don't know! Let's try again, you walk towards me and I'll walk towards you.

We tried a third time and likewise failed. I called her back.

Me: (mystified and suspicious) Am I on Candid Camera?

Sam: Okay, I will come and get you. Stay where you are.

After another couple of minutes she turned up, still giggling. As if the whole debacle hadn't been bad enough already, we realised that in fact she had been talking about another clock in the Tollcross area entirely. We agreed that next time we'd just meet at the restaurant to save ourselves the 20 minutes of unnecessary exercise.

In conclusion, I am a complete idiot, there are too many damn clocks in Edinburgh, and if I had to guess which of my friends were spies, Sam would not be my first choice.

Monday, 5 September 2011

One Coat To Rule Them All

I bought myself a new jacket a couple of weeks ago. I am aware that the number of coats I already own could probably clothe a significant number of people (not necessarily the clichéd 'small country', just a medium-sized office, possibly including support staff) but I decide to splash out a little. It's a sort of khaki-coloured parka from ASOS, one of my favourite online stores which is - depending on the financial time of the month for me - either a heavenly eden of fashionable yet affordable delights or a hellishly unattainable assortment of beautiful garments which I crave but cannot afford even in my wildest dreams (which incidentally can be pretty wild - I had one recently about a group of elves who kept trying to put me and a friend in prison and then set fire to us, which I'm still not 100% sure is the traditional elvish way of killing people but then my knowledge of folklore is admittedly a little rusty).

The problem with the parka, or at least, what my friends see as the problem (I personally see this as a slightly creepy bonus) is that it is quite large, and long, and if I'm going to be perfectly honest it looks a lot like something a flasher would wear. Once I discovered this, I began to pretend to flash my friends, which they did not seem to appreciate as much as I thought they might. One particular friend was particularly uncomfortable with this, and so of course I zoned in on her and insisted on doing it over and over, to the entertainment of everyone else.

Sarah: (pinching her nose) Could you please stop that?

Me: (more pretend flashing) Stop what? This utterly erotic and seductive behaviour?

Sarah: (recoiling and covering her face) Yes! That! Seriously, no more flashing, for the love of god!

Me: But I'm fully clothed. It's not technically wrong.

Sarah: It's still creepy.

Me: I don't understand. (still doing the flashing motion, but slowly and tenderly, like a lover would) Look, I'm unfurling for you. See? Unfurling. Like a gift. Like a GIFT.

Sarah: Go. Away. If I have to tell you again, I will set you on fire.

It probably didn't help that the Fleetch was helpless with laughter in the background and was therefore to blame for encouraging my behaviour. As you have seen from the banana notes, things are often her fault, even things that happen when she is not there.

Speaking of Fleetch behaviour - on one of the crazy weekends we've had recently, as we were heading into a club, without breaking her stride, she flashed a nearby policewoman. I am still not over this traumatic ordeal.

Me: (springing away in horror and self-preservation) What the bloody hell are you doing?! I don't know what kind of odd cultural greetings you have in America, but that's not legal here!

Fleetch: (unfazed) Oh, it's fine. I know her.

Me: (gobsmacked).... I ..... I ....still don't think you're allowed to do that.

The poor policewoman was in the middle of trying to arrest a drunk girl but had time to grin briefly at the Fleetch and I before the club swallowed us up. I'm still reeling from this particular event, but I'm glad to know that I have enough sense (even when drunk) to step away from someone visually molesting the police. Hey, somebody's got to pay the bail, right?