Friday, 22 April 2005
I think I understand why all these South American countries are always having bloody coup d'états, it’s because of the hot weather. The short walk into town is rapidly turning into a re-enactment of the Bataan death march as I shrivel under the suns rays and sweat profusely from the nose; this most awful of seasons sends me praying for rain like Jean de Florette. Throughout this week’s expeditions to the Victoria centre with Katie, the sweltering summer heat sent my patience to an all time low and left me consumed with hatred. Even the sight of small babies with happy, chubby faces sent me into raptures of loathing and it was all I could do to stop myself from launching a shopping jihad. The general response of the Clarke’s to hot weather is never a happy one, as evidenced by our family holiday to Crete where we retreated en-mass to a cave and sat there like lizards while bronzed Italians sunned themselves on the beach. Certain people look good in this type of weather, I try my best, but its hard to look presentable when you are sweating like Gary Glitter at an S-Club Juniors concert.
An unfortunate side effect of the summer time is that it motivates wankers to play their music at full blast. One of my neighbours has been indulging in this particular sin on a regular basis. This wouldn’t be much of a problem if their C.D collection consisted of soothing classical music; in fact I would even take Jean Michael-Jarre over the rubbish that’s been polluting my eardrums for the past few hours. If I had a piss-poor music collection I would be more inclined to keep it under wraps; sadly, other people are not as inhibited as I am. One track in particular has wound me up like a cobra in a basket. It starts off as a moderately irritating rap, but matters take a turn for the decidedly worse when it reaches the chorus; suddenly a high pitched voice chimes in, singing ‘Lonely, I’m so lonely, got nobody….to call my own’. To compound matters, it’s voice then ascends to an even higher pitch, as if it its originator had suddenly been violently grasped by the testicles. I presume this crap was produced by the same axis of evil that created the ‘Crazy Frog’. The arrival of this new threat to my sanity has caused me to relax my stance on terrorism and conclude that it is justifiable in certain contexts. I would love to post a letter bomb to those responsible for these ring tone adverts, provided I could be sure that the Royal mail wouldn’t mess up its delivery and stamp it with ‘return to sender’.
History is replete with dietary madness. I recall the Ethiopian emperor Menelik II, who thought that he could combat illness by eating pages of the Old Testament; in the end he choked on a particularly indigestible mouthful. My particular vice is that I tend to fixate on one particular food product such as pesto and pasta, which I ate nearly every day of second year. During one particularly infamous week I lived solely off a block of my flatmate’s cheese. The girl who was the tenant living in this house before us has moved on to pastures new, leaving us enough tuna to last through a nuclear holocaust and, were I living alone, I would have taken this opportunity to exist purely on a diet of tuna salad. I have however, been restrained by Mrs Clarke, who informs me that if you consume too much of the stuff, you die a slow and painful death from mercury poisoning. I can see much pathos in this manner of snuffing it, but perhaps it’s a little early to resort to that.
Luckily, none of my dinner guest choked when I invited them round for a barbeque last night. The only unpleasant aspect of the whole affair was the amount of preparation the house needed before my friends arrived. In the old days I would not even have bothered to move my dirty laundry from the settee or buy more bog roll in anticipation of a house visit, but I am now living under feminine rules. Under this new regime my undeserving guests are to be treated like the Olympic committee, and every inch of the house must be scrubbed and swept before their arrival. Every time I find this process tiresome, I cast my mind back to the days of Lamond Drive and House 43 Albany park, the hairy toilet and the pubic wall, the floor strewn with pizza boxes and rotten food, the mice in the kitchen and the mound monsters we discovered in the coffee mugs. Maybe being civilised isn’t such a bad thing after all.