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Archive for December, 2009

Joyful All Ye Nations Rise

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Dear Rachel.

I often use cutlery to scratch my head in mid conversation, so tend not to get invited out to dinner very often. However, I see no need to waste time in restaurants over Christmas when you can get a turkey kebab with cranberry sauce at Panic Kebabs on Junction Road, served by a genial Turkish man in a paper hat and Santa beard. Admirably, he dismisses the increased fire risk by jovially explaining that ‘It’s Christmas’, an explanation I suspect he would cling to even if his face was in flames. (Also – and this just occurred to me as I was writing – he is in the habit of wearing at least five gold rings, so there is a nice festive tie in there, too.)

The cranberry sauce part of the kebab is, oddly, far more important than it should be. I only eat one teaspoon of cranberry sauce per year, but, if it was denied me, I would be outraged to the point of civil disobedience. I suppose it’s the tradition of the thing, like clip shows of Morecombe and Wise Christmas Specials. There was, incidentally, a huge turn out for a local Boxing Day custom near my auntie’s which involved running into the River Medway, under conditions which the Met Office described as ‘fucking freezing’. I tagged along as I thought there was going to be a hanging, and was therefore disappointed.

[Hitting Read More now will reveal I dunno all sorts, probably]


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Friday Afternoon Down Bishopsgate Way

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Dear Rachel

Last Friday, I had my boxer shorts on backwards all day, which made the world seem like a more roomy, but also more cramped, place than normal. I might do it more often, as it was sort of wrong but right, like Elvis in Vegas. I only noticed in the gents’ at the Lamb public house at Leadenhall Market, when, at a happily deserted urinal, I spent rather more time than I suspect would be considered socially acceptable trying to work out where my cock had gone.

I have very little to do with our stall at Leadenhall, apart from dropping off stock to Tony, which usually occurs on a Thursday afternoon, and I found it interesting to trade there for the day. All the markets we operate in have their own little foibles: Greenwich floods suddenly and dramatically whenever there is heavy rain. Camden has its hoardes of shrieking fucktards, and Leadenhall, I noticed, has endless likeable but slightly, I dunno, strained full-on career ladies. One of them got her face out and gave me a proper look with it when I extended a hearty welcome to our lovely kitchenware stall, so I said ‘Yeah, sorry, you look really familiar – have you ever done any porn?’ as she stalked back off to, I presume, a life of hair straighteners, opaque tights, waxing, internet dating, Snow Patrol, solitary wine consumption and weeping herself nightly towards childless spinsterhood. People who don’t want aprons with ‘Beam Me Up, Biscotti’ written on them are all the same.

[Hitting Read More now will reveal pigeon-related near arrests]


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A Binliner Full Of Thighs

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Dear Rachel

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a meat raffle. If you are unfamiliar, a meat raffle is a lovely old Sunday afternoon pub tradition where a local butcher supplies a carrier bag full of, I dunno, stomachs and offers it as the main prize in a draw, splitting the proceeds with the landlord. At the Printer’s Devil public house, Stoke Road, Slough, the landlord was, for quite a while, me. I tidied the meat raffle up a bit by insisting that the contents of the bag should at least be recognisably bovine, or porcine, or sheepine, as otherwise I might as well have slung a cloak and bowler hat in among the whole ghastly jamboree and auctioned it off as Jack the Ripper’s overnight bag.

Anyway. As a result of me adding a touch of sophistication to proceedings, the Printer’s Devil ‘Win A Bag Of Legs’ raffle, in which a lucky drinker could go home with a selection of miscellaneous shins, was born. I would further entice participants with the promise that it was ‘All hooves – no paws’ to get around the fact that at first glance it appeared to be a binliner full of thighs. To compete with the Grapes, which had a big screen for the footie, we had a disco and music quiz as well. Sunday afternoon was party afternoon down Stoke Road way, I can tell you. One of my many golden memories of the Win A Bag Of Legs raffle is of a delirious and clearly hammered Mr Singh – rotund local carpet vendor of distinction, whose unlikely catchphrase was ‘A pint of John Smith’s, you fucking bastard’ – dancing around a Tesco bag full of animal legs to ‘Walking on Sunshine’ by Katrina and the Waves.

[Hitting Read More now will reveal further horrors, I should think]


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