bored of excitement – the griefjunkie blog 

Archive for August, 2009

Reverse Fertilisation At London Bridge Station

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Dear Rachel

If you are a casual trader at Greenwich, you have to be outside the market office at half past eight – or, as my God daughter would doubtless have it – parp parp apes. As you might expect, a gentleman trader of my considerable standing within the London casual retail sector does not have to mingle with the proles. I can wander in at nine o’clock if I want, thereby avoiding the distressing scenes as they are stripped, hosed down with powerful disinfectants, beaten dry by thugs and thrown, naked, onto their pitches.

Being a solid professional, however, I still like to get in around eight, so I can set up nice and early, and chat to the locals walking their dogs. I also like to have coffee and a doughnut from the place by the traffic lights while chatting to Danny and the other traders. Not long ago, in the run up to the recent West Ham v Millwall game, I walked in there in my West Ham shirt, and asked for coffee as usual. The bloke behind the counter asked if I wanted sugar, to which I replied in the affirmative.

The remarkable next thing that happened was that the bloke said – and I’ll ask you to ensure that any children are safely out of the room at this point – ‘You can get it yourfuckingself, you West Ham cunt’. It’s difficult to know what to do under those circumstances, so I mentioned that I thought my cup might be leaking, poured my coffee on the floor, and walked out throwing the now empty cup back over my shoulder as I did so. It did look pretty cool, yes. There’s never a dull moment with such a Pavlovian hatred as exists between West Ham and Millwall, and the only surprising thing about the the rioting that occurred before, throughout, and after the game on Tuesday was that, eventually, it stopped.

[Hitting Read More now will reveal class issues in modern Britain, as well as the selection process for London Bridge staff, among other things]

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Anxiety On The Streets Of London

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Dear Rachel

‘She’s Scottish. Yeah baby she’s Scottish.‘ So sang Bananama in their hit single ‘I’m Your Venus’, used most recently in the Gilette lady razor adverts. I am reminded of this every time I go to buy a newspaper from the bloke in the paper shop near Greenwich Market, who unaccountably has them mingled in among the fags and rolling tobacco. I’m not one to gossip but I think he records cctv footage of female customers and then puts it on the internet.

That probably isn’t true, although I’ll ask you to assume that it totally is, because he just looks the sort, and I can’t see why you’d want to look like the sort of person who records cctv footage of female customers and puts it on the internet if you weren’t actually the sort of person who does record cctv footage of female customers and put it on the internet. It would be like habitually walking around with a ladder and a bucket of water, but not actually being a window cleaner. There would be absolutely no point.

[Hitting Read More now will reveal exciting, and at the same time, not excting, times in south London]

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The Fat Majorettes

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Dear Rachel,

Last year, my summer holiday consisted of watching twenty bored labradors being led around a field to Solitary Sister by Seal, in the pissing rain. Afterwards, I spent an hour talking to some Star Wars hobbyists in a tent, and fruitlessly entered a raffle.

This year has been, if anything, even more exciting. It has thus far consisted of having a Slush Puppy and watching some fat majorettes in unfortunate leotards twirling and thumping along to the theme tune of Match of the Day. One of them was asthmatic, and appeared to be playing her inhaler. I suppose that if she had really been getting into the spirit of things she could’ve thrown it behind her back and over her head and all that, but considering one of her comrades was actually on the phone, I for one am willing to forgive her.

[Hitting Read More now will reveal smoking secrets for the suave adolescent, among other things]

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Ten Letter Words In Greenwich Market

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Dear Rachel

Notorious Camden Lock East Yard toothbrush sceptic Pikey Dave once informed me, in an offhand manner reminiscent of someone reading the big easy letters on a chart at the opticians, that he wanted to ‘fight women.’ It remains one of the most remarkable conversational snippets of my life. Not so much a raconteur as a random word generator, he also once snatched a crossword from me on the fairly random basis that ‘it could never work.’ If memory serves I subsequently whiled away the afternoon leaving lighted matches on his stall while trying to distract him long enough for a handbag fuelled fire to break out.

It’s a different matter at Greenwich, where Danny, a fellow trader, and I can usually wrap up the Times2 crossword between us over the course of a Saturday. Danny is an ardent atheist. I thought that having an atheist on board while doing a crossword would be handy, as, considering that he has somehow managed to solve the central philosophical questions of human existence – ie why are we here and is there a God – a ten letter word for plant or shy person would be comfortably within his grasp. It wasn’t on Saturday – the answer is wallflower, of course, and I got it in the end – but I cheered him up by reminding him that life is pointless and unmagical, and that the sum of human creativity and endeavour has only come about because we are a mutant species of over evolved intergalactic space fungus.

[Getting on Read More now will reveal more crosswordal shenanighans, among other things]

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Calm Down With Me

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Dear Rachel

To my considerable delight, it occurred to me yesterday that Come Dine With Me, when spoken in a strong Northern Irish accent, sounds a lot like Calm Down With Me, which I think would make a lovely show, possibly featuring a grandma with a pot of tea and a plate of jammy dodgers. A smiley old skool grandma, though, not one of those new style ones that look like Iggy Pop. Delving into my own family history, my grandfather once calmed down my cousin Stephen after he had rather comically stung on the nose by a wasp by placing a teabag on the affected area to ‘draw out the sting’. Such is the unconditional trust placed in senior family members that it took me until literally the last week – ie a full quarter century – to work out what you may already have spotted, which is that this is bollocks.

Those of you with very long memories will recall my grandfather as a man who not only shot one of his own ears off by accident but made German air raids even more annoying for my grandmother by endlessly repeating the same admittedly quite funny joke over and over again until she threatened to walk out into the firestorm, find a solicitor, and divorce him.

[Hitting Read More now will reveal reasonably interesting tourist attractions, ineffective swine flu precautions, and sundry other items]

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Can You Hear Me, Tony Fletcher?

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Dear Rachel

I’m sure we all know how difficult it is to sell kitchenware when you have blood pouring from your mouth like an ebola victim. This was, however, my predicament last Sunday at Greenwich Market after I cut my tongue quite badly while licking soy sauce from a pair of scissors I had been using to eat sushi with. I was going to just carry on and not mention it, or say that yeah I do spit blood when I talk, it’s traditional, or I just like doing it, and see if anyone took offence. Or I dunno offering a light bulb and saying you really should try one of these, they’re delicious, or something.

It would in any case hardly have deterred my favourite visitor of the weekend, a bloke from Saudi Arabia who stops by for a natter whenever he is in the area. I like him a lot as he is a good giggle and always offers me peanuts, as if I am an elephant, chimpanzee, or other personable zoo animal. He was particularly taken with an apron of ours which has I Only Cook When I Drink on it – one of Tony’s designs – which he got for his wife. ‘The funny thing is’, he said between peals of delighted laughter, ‘that if she ever did actually drink she would be taken outside and stoned to death!’ which demonstrated the lighthearted side of Sharia Law which is always there, twinkling away beneath the surface.

[Hitting read more will reveal apparant heroin addiction and inattentive biographers]

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Image Of A Ghostly Dog

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Dear Rachel,

On my phone, I have a template which says ‘I saw an image of a ghostly dog in that room you were just in’, which I regularly send in to Most Haunted Live, hosted by Yvette Fielding, who you want to punch in the face, apologise to, and then punch in the face again. I do this because I watch a distressing amount of late night telly, to the extent that I now use Most Haunted Live as an admittedly fairly limited social networking site. “I saw the image of a ghostly dog in the room you were just in’ is my calling card, or screen name I suppose, and it has been on the horizontal scrolling text at the bottom of the screen loads of times, although I manifest variously as Paul from London, Paul from Middlesborough, and sometimes would you believe Paul from Margate. I like to do this, as it gives me an air of Scarlet Pimpernel-like mystery, which I think you’ll agree only enhances to my generally raffish and dashing persona.

Anyway. That’s a Friday night for me, making up the same spectral canine over and over again and texting it in to Most Haunted Live. I do, however, have a bit of history in this field as a mate of mine and I still have an outstanding £100 wager on who can get a letter – which must contain the word ‘Hubby’ – into the ‘Aren’t Men Daft?’ column of, I think, Take A Break magazine. I assume that the thing readers of Take A Break magazine are taking a break from is reading other magazines very similar to Take A Break, as they don’t look like pioneering neurosurgeons or Nobel Prize winning physicists to me. They do, however, look like the kind of people who buy tattoos as birthday presents for their mums.

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