Wednesday 30 November 2011

Don't Read This

This blog post only contains 2 deeply offensive phrases. Stop reading now or you're going to be offended.

"It wasn't rape, your honour, it was a struggle-cuddle."

"Diversity in the workplace means not calling a spade a spade."

Richard "pc" B

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Time to kill

A couple of weekends ago RichI and I had a couple of hours to kill and we were chatting. I knew that he used to be involved in bands, and that he used to play bass pretty well, I didn't realize just how famous and how homosexual he used to be:

RichI: The archbishop of Truro asked me to turn my bass down once.
RJB: What were you playing?
RichI: The Bass.
RJB: No, where were you playing?
RichI: Truro Cathedral.
Young Jamie: I bet that sounded awesome.
RichI: <sarcastic>Yes the acoustics were like a fucking... Well... Um... cathedral.
RJB:  <exasperated>Yes, but in what group you were you playing, why were you there?
RichI: That thing I used to be in where we did YMCA.
RJB: You were one of the Village People?
RichI: Yes, I was the bent copper[1].

[Note 1]RichI wasn't in the Village People, he was part of a church sponsored youth orchestra which was supposed to teach both muscicianship and the Christian message[2].

[Note 2] It failed.
Richard "no sleep til Christmas" B

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Paradise Misplaced

A couple of authors and songwriters that I admire often make references to Paradise Lost, so I thought that I should read it. Knowing that I wouldn't understand it by myself, I looked for an annotated version, and stumbled across one by Isaac Asimov, all round genius and one of my favourite science fiction authors. It's a good job that I don't have Amazon one-click ordering because only one edition was printed, they're rare, and one in pristine condition costs about £4000.

I jokingly asked my mum to borrow one from the library. Unsurprisingly Plymstock public library didn't have one in stock, but they put out an "Inter-Library Loan Request". Believe it or not, the British Library sent their copy down for me! It came with a fantastic note saying that this is a valuable book, and forms part of the UK's national document collection, and they'd quite like to have it back on time and in good condition.

I don't think I could have understood Paradise Lost by myself, but with Asimov explaining it, and ripping apart the religious doctrine and ingrained sexism it was fantastic. With apologies to John Milton and biblical scholars, this is the important bit, and it's just an exercise in passing the buck.

God: What are you doing wearing clothes? You've eaten the fruit haven't you? The one thing I told you not to do.
Adam: Eve had already eaten some and didn't die. She was worried about how you'd punish her, and wanted me to keep her company, so I did eat it, but I ate it out of love and solidarity.
God: Perfectly understandable, good for you, you're still cursed though. Eve, what the fuck were you playing at?
Eve: The serpent tricked me into it, he said he'd eaten it.
God: You're cursed. Serpent, what have you got to say for yourself?
Serpent: Don't look at me, I haven't even got the power of speech to tempt Eve with, I was possessed by the devil at the time.
God: That's no excuse, I'm confiscating your legs. Satan, did you tempt Eve into eating the fruit?
Satan: Too right I did, it was a legitimate protest. Anything to show how fallible you are. We have serious concerns about your leadership. You're obsessed with this vanity project in Eden, you've promoted your son above all the more qualified applicants, and you have no concept of forward planning. Worse than that, rather than discuss these things with us you used force of arms to condemn us to a life of misery and pain in Hell. If you were really all knowing you'd have seen how easily I could tempt Eve into betraying you.
God: I'm God, sing my praises or fuck off.

Richard "shredding and fret-tapping for people in dinner suits and ball gowns" B

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Oven Door

I'm friendly with one of the little girls who lives on my estate, partly because she has a very beautiful, and as far as I know single, mother. I once rescued a shoe for the little girl and some months ago, at the little girls urging, I asked the mum on a date, she laughed at me and turned me down. Since then the mum has suffered a very serious loss of peripheral vision, she will in fact walk straight past me on the pavement without even noticing me, yet miraculously she can still drive a car.

At the weekend she knocked at my door and asked whether I would go over to her house and help her with something. I assumed she wanted me to help her try on lingerie, but in fact there was a problem with the hinges of her oven door. I was able to fix the oven, she was very friendly and thanked me profusely, I even think she might be able to see me again.

I can only imagine the gnashing of hands and wringing of teeth that she went through before she asked for my help. I'd like to think that as I write this, she's publishing an allegorical blog post where she's Odysseus, Scylla's a broken oven, and Charybdis is the weirdo who lives accross the road.

Richard "I can play the guitar" B

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Time is Money

People say that time is money, but I'm not sure that it's true, and if it is the conversion is bewilderingly complex. Last week I did manage to turn a twenty pound note into two hours of professional cleaning in my house. If you saw how much she did, and knew how ineffectively I clean my own house, you might think I had created four hours of free time, but it's not that simple, I could just as easily have chosen to live in squalor.

I have been asking my hobbies to pay me back for the time and expense that I've lavished on them, but they have all threatened to default and negotiated very favourable repayment terms. For example I turned six hours of guitar restoration into a tenner and a pint, five hours of roadying and sound engineering into £25, and 10 minutes of knife grinding into a haircut.

What this seems to mean is that I'd be much wealthier if I could declare cleaning and tidying as one of my hobbies, and that I'd be a millionaire if only I could find an infinite supply of barbers with blunt kitchen knives - and I could exchange haircuts for goods and services.

Richard "play that tambourine properly or not at all" B

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Forbidden Planet

I went to Surrey for a long weekend, and on Friday we went up into London. Amongst other places we stopped at Forbidden Planet on Shaftsbury Avenue. It's a shop that sells comics, graphic novels, books, memorabilia, and anything associated with cult entertainment. There was for example an adorable cuddly Totoro that I couldn't afford. I picked up a sci-fi novel and took it to the counter to pay for it. The woman who served me was wearing a white blouse and a very small black waistcoat and when she stepped back to let the till open it became distractingly apparent that she wasn't wearing any trousers. In fact she had on fishnet hold-ups with lacy tops and black pants. (I suppose it could have been the bottom of a swimming costume, or some sort of dance-wear. I'm going to assume that she was dressed as some manga heroine with whom I'm unfamiliar). I was so transfixed that I lost the powers of speech and hearing, and I fear that I might have been staring. I was eventually transported back from my delightful reverie by the question "DO. YOU. WANT. A. BAG?" And the strongly implied "My face is up here."

Richard "The Count" B