Showing posts with label anal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anal. Show all posts

Thursday, January 10, 2013

No Man’s Land

When we first bought out kittens (now young cats) Karen and I were smug. We were smug and self-congratulatory.

Because, you see, they came pre-litter-tray-trained. They knew how and where to do their biz. No having to squish our way through warm wet carpet patches (or worse: cold wet carpet patches). No having to play Hunt For Brown October by smell alone.

We figured that we were set up for life. When the move came to allow them out into the big outdoors we had this plan whereby the litter tray would move out with them, placed under a secluded tree for a day or two to spell out to them that here – here in this shady, balmy spot – they could continue to carry out their motions al fresco without compromising the kid-safe, disease-free element of our back garden.

And then, due to inclement weather, the change of season, too much going on elsewhere to maintain a watchful eye on the garden we forgot about them. We left them to it. The cats came and went as they pleased. They looked neither constipated nor pathologically obsessed with their toilet activities. Apart from the odd fur-ball or grainy brown pool of cat sick (catnip OD) the house was clear of feline anal produce. 

They were happy. We were happy. We all enjoyed the cleaner indoor air and life continued.

They’ve got it, Karen and I thought. They’re digging holes and disposing of their own soil either in our garden or (more likely) in someone else’s garden. Fantastic.

And then I had occasion to venture out into the garden during daylight hours over Christmas.


26 cat poos were dotted around one side of our lawn. Oddly the other side was perfectly cat poo clear. Not sure why this is. Maybe some odd natural occurrence along the lines of moss only growing on one side of a tree thus enabling you to work out magnetic North... maybe cats only poo on the south-west portion of any given lawn? Hey – I may have just discovered the manner in which pigeons navigate their way around the globe: cat-nav.

Anyway, the worst of it was (a) they weren’t even buried but lay there glistening on the surface in the early morning dew like freshly fried sausages and (b) I knew they were from out cats because I swear to God, after months of cleaning out the litter tray, I recognized them.

So. We were hit with the horrible truth at last.

All that training had fallen at the final hurdle. All that conditioning had unravelled at their first taste of freedom.

Once out in the field they’d gone feral. They’d cut off ties with HQ and gone completely rogue.

And now my garden is not my own anymore and I’m at a loss as to how to claim it back...

...other than to follow their example and mark out my own territory in the language that they best understand.

The trouble is the little buggers have nabbed all the best spots...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

No, Don’t Talk To Me, I Haven’t Landed Yet

The CockpitWe all have our foibles. Our little likes and dislikes. Our pet hates. The things that trigger uranium enriched internal atomic explosions.

Mine is not being allowed to get to my desk when I first arrive at work in the morning.

I don’t ask for much. Just that I be allowed to come in – I’ll say “good morning” if I have to – get to my desk, sit down, turn on my PC and check my emails.

That’s it.

I want to be left alone until all that is done.

I don’t want to come in and find things – other people’s post, mysterious objects that have broken off bits of machinery or the building itself, old newspapers, miscellaneous keys and a smorgasbord of post-it notes all containing complaints – scattered all over my desk and keyboard like the dead at Ypres. I hate that.

More than anything though I don’t want a protracted conversation. Once I’ve checked my emails – fine. I’ll talk the day away quite happily. But first thing in the morning, no... I need to land. Connect with the work place. Commune with my PC. Be forewarned if there is any electronic maliciousness infecting the internet airwaves.

The worst thing is when people talk – relentlessly and regardlessly – at me. Regale me with tales of their adventures the night before. And out of the corner of my eye I can see my email client loading on my PC. And – it’s terribly antisocial of me, I know (I ought to be damned grateful that anybody wants to talk to me at all, ever) – I can feel my body, my mind, my very soul yearning to turn my face away from the speaker so I can scan my In-box. And I nod and I hmm and I give non-committal replies... searching, straining to find the very first break in the conversation that presents itself so I can switch my attention back to my PC monitor.

Talk to the hand. I got mail.

I’m rude. I know I am. Rude and ungrateful. But... *shrugs* It’s just the way I am. I need that time to lower my landing gear, taxi up the runway, disembark a few troublesome passengers and perform my after flight checks. After that my inner hostess can come out, all big teeth and smiles, and I’m all set for work.

The emergency exits are here, here and here.


Good. We’re all clear. Now sit down, shut up and enjoy the flight.

Thank you for flying Steve Airways.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2nd Class Stamp

Before the commencement of work-based employment activities this morning I nipped across the road to the post office to collect a parcel that hadn’t been delivered yesterday (how I love receiving those big red “You Were Out” cards with the big offended tick placed in the “returned to post office” tick-box... how dare I not be at home when the postman calls).

As usual there was a small queue ahead of me and the guy at the front was plainly banging his head against a brick wall in his endeavours to get his parcel located.

“Can you not trace it from the barcode?” He asked. He had this nugget of information on a scrappy piece of paper that he kept waving at the white whiskered postal worker behind the counter.

Mr Postal Worker – who, if I’m honest looked like he’d been rejected from Last Of The Summer Wine for being too wintry and vinegary – scanned a glazed eyeball over the paper, grimaced like he was beholding a snot encrusted handkerchief and grumbled, ”No. It’s an international barcode.” He then harrumphed and sighed like he was explaining the concept of cause and effect to a brain damaged monkey.

Monkey fall from tree. Monkey hurt head.

“Yes but...” said the customer (doing a sterling job to keep his temper), “It’s been sent recorded delivery. You must be able to trace it surely?”

“I know it’s recorded.” Said Mr Evil Postal Worker and shifted on his feet like a bull about to charge down an injured matador. “But it’s an international bar code, isn’t it?” Cue another sigh and the stomping of hooves.

Meanwhile my queue colleagues and I were now beginning to shift uncomfortably on our feet. As I waited (silently praying that the man’s parcel could be located without bloodshed) my eyes couldn’t help noticing all the “abusive customers” warning posters that were plastered all over the small parcel collection office. You know the kind: the post office reserves the right to refuse to serve customers who are abusive and threatening...

A copy of this poster was glued to the wall, to the serving hatch window and to the counter top upon which the customer had thrown his piece of scrappy paper.

It made me wonder if perhaps the parcel collection office had a lot of trouble with disgruntled customers. Hmm.

In the end the customer had to ask outright that someone be telephoned to see if the barcode could be traced somehow so the location of his lost parcel could be identified.

At this point the postal worker flung down his mug of tea, flung up the telephone and proceeded to have a grumpy telephone conversation with the postal worker on the other end of the line. This involved the barcode number being repeated out loud, a little louder each time, in a tone of voice that suggested that the person on the other end of the telephone was... yes, you guessed it, a brain damaged monkey with a defective hearing aid.


The telephone was then flung down so hard it bounced out of the cradle and onto the floor. The bull was not happy and stomped off to find customer no.2’s parcel.

The telephone rang. He belligerently ignored it until his business with customer no.2 was complete and then once again wrenched the telephone up to his white whiskered ear. He listened silently. Flung the telephone back down and told the exasperated customer with the scrappy piece of paper that his parcel was at “Jubilee Station” and “hasn’t yet moved from there”.

Where was Jubilee Station? A shrug of the shoulders answered that query followed by a gleeful “we can’t do anything about it until it reaches here (here being Leamington Post Office). Your best bet is to speak to someone at Jubilee Station.”

And that was it. Customer interaction complete. Scrappy paper man left shaking his head and muttering sundry imprecations to the deaf, brain damaged gods of the Great British postal service.

It was then my turn. I looked at the “abusive customers” poster on the counter and honestly thought about it for a moment but, in the end, decided it just wasn’t worth the hassle. Besides which, although Mr Grumpy Postal Worker had taken my red card my parcel was brought to me a by a nice female postal worker with an incredibly long, thin ponytail, a big smile on her face and a disposition to talk pleasantly about the weather.

Despite the wind, rain and grey clouds outside she was like a breath of fresh air.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Didn’t You Get My Message?

Read receipts.

Evidence of extreme efficiency or a level of neurosis that should be treated with industrial strength horse tranquilizers?

I only ask because I received an email this week that bullied me into sending a read receipt when I opened it, prodded me to send another receipt when I closed it and then poked me to send yet another when I deleted the damned thing.

It wasn’t even an important email. The message was totally banal.

The security of this nation did not depend on me reading this email. Neither were billions of pounds in global investments riding on its arrival in my Inbox.

Why the panic? Why would someone give a shit about me deleting it?

Did they erupt into hysterical sobs when they got that particular receipt? He... he deleted it?! He deleted it! I can’t believe it! How could he do such a thing...? Is the originator of the email going to be found hanging from a lampshade in their office, life extinguished by the plastic flex to the kettle? Is their death going to be on my hands?

I don’t want this responsibility.

I just want to receive emails and delete them without having to account for my actions. After all, once they’re in my Inbox they’re mine and I can do what I bloody well like with them. I’ll delete them, forward them, reply to them – sometimes even maliciously modify them – as and when I see fit.

Who invited the email Nazi’s to the party anyway?

I mean when you post a letter to someone you don’t ring them up and ask have you opened it yet? Do you? You don’t demand to know if they’ve binned the envelope or worse still run the letter through the shredder. Why all this panic about emails?

Plainly it is a case of some kind of inferiority / superiority complex. I send you an email and refuse to relinquish control of it. I demand to know every stage of its journey and I demand to know exactly what you do with it. Because I refuse to be ignored. You will acknowledge my email. You will acknowledge the reading and the deleting of it. You will acknowledge me, me, me and the power I have over you.


The sender has requested a read receipt be sent when the message is read. Do you want to send a receipt? Yes / No.


No. No. Effing no.

I think you’ll find that it is me – me, me, me – who truly has the power...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Mechanics Of Profanity

I perform a daily external patrol around my place of work pretty much as soon as I arrive on site each morning, armed not with a telescopic baton, pepper spray or a taser but with a bin bag and the keys to the bin store.

You see, I’m not on the lookout for armed blaggers or tooled up psychopaths but for litter louts and damned defacers. Or rather, I’m on the lookout for their multifarious droppings.

This is just one of the many uplifting and status elevating jobs that I perform regularly for my employers.

On a good morning my rounds will net nothing more than a couple of empty cans of Special Brew and an empty cigarette packet (usually Marlboro). Though on occasion these items are augmented inextricably by the presence of a pair of ladies shoes, the cellophane wrapping from an Asda T-shirt (which will be missing – presumably on the purchaser’s / shoplifter’s back) and an odd collection of serviettes still folded up into neat little squares.

Plainly the drunks and tramps around the Leamington Spa area have standards. Not necessarily high standards but standards none the less.

On a bad morning I will encounter what is known in the trade as “a man turd”.

Now, this is not to be confused with a dog turd.

A dog turd is bad enough. I don’t need to describe one to you because you’ve all seen one / walked through one. They’re disgusting and unwelcome in the extreme but have one small positive; one saving grace. The odour of a dog turd (unless stepped into and thus reactivated) is relatively short-lived. A quick slide action with a shovel and they can quite successfully be scraped up off the ground and catapulted into nearby undergrowth without too much post-contact shovel cleaning required. If you’re really lucky the turd will already have turned quite crusty and will barely have left a mark on your spade of choice. Job done (no pun intended, etc).

None of this is ever true of a man turd.

Now, you can tell a man turd by the size and smell.

They smell bad.

And they smell bad forever.

So bad in fact that even a passing hyena would gag.

And they take a hell of a long time to go crusty. In fact they retain a Christmas cake moistness of such magnitude that they may one day be identified as reliable sources of H2O in a post atomic holocaust world.

If you’re lucky the “bricklayer” will possess a healthy digestive system and will deposit a single neat sausage that can be scraped up quite cleanly and lobbed somewhere out of sight and out of mind. If you’re unlucky, however, the owner will have the digestive system of a cat on high strength worming tablets and will leave matter that can be variously described as “a broken muffin”, “a Spanish omelette” or, worst of all, “a walnut whip”.

And such matter will defy any and every attempt at efficient shovelling. In fact using a shovel is just a big no-no. You’ll just get the offending matter spread over a wider surface area and the shovel itself will be transformed into a chemical weapon so effective it would make a muck-spreader vomit.

What is needed is an industrial strength hose and a bio-suit.

I was faced with one of these this morning.

Now, I’ve become something of a stoic when confronted with these still-warm examples of ethno-botany but a couple of niggling questions always buzz around the back of my head (like the flies) every time I encounter one.

The mechanics of producing such an offering... I mean, how exactly does someone go about it?

The pulling down (or up) of clothing and the squatting down I can just about envision (though try not to)... but... cleaning yourself up afterwards...? What happens there, eh?

Do these people come pre-prepared with toilet paper or freshly bought copies of The Big Issue? If they do this suggests something premeditated about their whole activity and therefore a sickness of the mind.

Or are such droppings evidence of people genuinely caught short... a case of the poo-train is coming and the brakes they ain’t a-working?

What happens then? Surely you don’t just pull up your kecks and walk daintily home, ignoring the uncomfortable localized heat and the feeling of greasy skid marks working themselves deeper into the gusset of your Y-fronts?

You must surely make some attempt to clean yourself up, to scrape off the worst?

But with what or on what?

Nearby foliage? The wall of a building? The pavement itself?

A sleeping tramp?

My mind boggles.

Answers on a piece of toilet paper to the usual address please...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Post Rally

I was presented with an amazing document this morning. One of those documents that makes your head actually hurt with amazement and gives rise to the possibility that sheer disbelief could actually be fatal.

I can’t say too much about this document as – now that my blog has been “outed” (without my permission) at my place of work – I find that I’m officially bound to so many draconian security policies and secrecy clauses that your average Spook would get a hard-on just feeding the relevant files into the paper shredder.

Suffice it to say this document was a full and unexpurgated description of how to address an envelope properly. To make it efficient and cost effective and to ensure that it is indeed essential to the running of the corporate business machine because if it is none of these things it should not be allowed to infect the pristine arteries of the UK postal system which, as we all know, is the lifeblood of all business...

And it had a diagram – a graphic of such austere and precise geometry that it resembled Hitler’s plans to invade Poland – which showed the reader (should he be in any doubt) of the exact right way to lay out an envelope. I wish I could show it to you but I dare not lest the long knives come for me by night and present me with a well cratered wall and a blindfold.

The place for the stamp was clearly marked (the Royal Mail indicia zone). The place for the address was similarly indicated. The place for the company logo or as it shall henceforth be known “the indicia zone” was also carefully demarked (in battleship grey).

But there was more. Each zone was officiously stamped with a blood red letter of the alphabet which rather ingeniously married up with the same in an information key below the diagram which further expounded on the machine-like genius that underpinned this whole postal blitzkrieg.

But best of all the bare and empty no-man’s zone between all these other zones was also clearly illuminated. Illuminated no less by vicious cross hatching that practically goose-stepped across the page and brooked no protest or defiance. Achtung! Zis ist ver you shall not go, Englisher pig-dog! Ve require your utter und total surrender!

Even now I am desperately trying to furnish myself with a ruler, a set-square, a protractor, an octant and a micrometer in order that I may, from this day forth, correctly align any future envelope furniture in a manner most befitting of this New World Order.

That noise, dear reader, is the sound of my highly polished jackboots snapping together.

Next week I look forward to a missive from my Kommandant that will clearly prescribe the correct procedure for applying paperclips to multi-page documents and which precise setting to use on the corporate A4 hole-punch. My desk shall be tidy und laid out according to laser plumb line. Und my post-it notes shall be applied with an attention to detail und accuracy heretofore only usually located in the heady discipline of precision engineering.

Guten tag meine freunde! Ze new Europe has arrived.