Friday, 1 June 2012

Hello


“Hello. This has been going on for some time now. It’s just not good enough, I go through the same thing everyday with you people. I know it’s not your fault, not even your doing. You are only trying to get through the day, pay the bills and get your job done. I understand the issues at hand here I really do.
The boiler is broken, making some clanking sound, there is no hot water and I’m sat here with a draft running the entire length of my spine. I know all the names of the baristas at the local the coffee shop because that’s where I have to go to warm up my insides. Steven even puts a little heart on top of my Latte now, I was worried to begin with, but I’m sure it’s for pity rather than lust. I feel like Norm from Cheers whenever I walk in because they all shout ‘Dave!’ as I walk in.
I know you can’t do anything about this. It’s my own fault I have a contract so I can’t just up and leave. It would however be nice if I felt just once that the ‘powers that be’ were on my side. But I know it’s not just me, all the folks here agree that it’s terrible. Some of them make it worse of course. Whining, loudly. Mostly in my ear using language I can’t describe. I fought for this country. Well I thought about joining the TA once in 1983 but that’s beside the point. I don’t deserve this.
To top it all my computer is down again, I know that’s nothing to do with you either. Do computers like cold though, really? They are hardly a technical equivalent of that bloke off the TV, Bear… Bear.. Grylls yes that’s him, thank you. First sign of any difficulty and the most helpful thing it can offer is a blue screen. But I digress, the computer being down I can’t access any of the records, so I can only offer vague dates and information.  
But sorry I’m going on.. Welcome to EnerGie UK Call centre. My name is Dave. How may I help you?” 


Friday, 4 May 2012

Fiction: Happy Birthday

The brisk north wind whistled through my hair. It planted icy but fleeting kisses on my face as it carried on its way towards warmer climbs. I looked at my watch, it was late, it had taken me longer to climb the stairs than I had thought. Of course I wouldn’t have had to climb them at all if the lift had been working, I don’t know why I even factored that into my plan, damn thing never worked.

 Only thing with it being later is that it was now dark, I’d never been up here in the darkness before. I would usually have had my phone what with it’s built in light but that was safely at home. Offshoot being that I spent the best part of forty minutes fumbling about with doors and locks that I’d opened with ease thousands of times before in more illuminated circumstances. 

It was worth it. Refreshing in the night air.

After all today was the day I had planned for about a year now. It had a certain symmetry to it that I liked, today being my birthday. My family and friends had gone. Don’t feel sorry for me “alone on your birthday” it was the way I wanted it. At the time anyway, maybe not now. I’m sure they are happy now though. Resting…

The city lights pierced their way through the night sky, illuminating very little of what was beneath them, but instead giving me the kind of light I could only have dreamt of whilst dealing with those locks. That shouldn’t matter to me now, but somehow it does. The people below looked very small, but not like ants as some people might have described them, ants have purpose and routes. These people wandered around almost haphazardly, some briefly stopping to check their phones, light a cigarette. Others ploughed on through crowds with their heads low. The ants work together. People even in groups could not be further apart.

Since my decision. I’d felt better. Now I’m here I almost feel euphoric. The lights are a bonus for now I feel like a rock star high up on the stage, invincible. Infinite. I move closer to the edge, the breeze pushing every inch of my body, willing me. Jump.


Friday, 30 March 2012

Poem: Changing Rooms


“Come shopping” she says,
“You’ll help me choose”,
OK I think, I’ve got nothing to lose,
So Along I trek, 
To emporiums of design,
Where deep inside,
I find much to malign,
For it is not her choices,
Which to be fair, are shrewd,
It’s not any of the staff, who were not at all rude,
I’ll explain the scene to those who are unaware,
I’ll try to do it justice with verve and flair,
Garments are plucked forth from the rail,
Opinions are requested, I try not to fail,
One hurdle over, opinion expressed,
I never worry what matches when I get dressed,
She’s looking for shoes to wear for work,
No flip-flops though, they send the bosses berserk,
I spy some slip ons, nearby some hats,
She replies “But what would I wear with that?”
So off she goes, with garments of choice,
“Do you wish to try those on Miss?” said a voice.
She agrees, and disappears....
So now I stand a man alone,
Complete with crutches and iPhone,
I gaze around so unaware,
Surrounded by floor to ceiling underwear,
Mesmerised by ribbons and bows,
And the frills on womens underclothes,
Then it dawns, the shoppers eyes flicker,
Long haired single man surrounded by knickers,
I try to lean nonchalant by some sockets,
I remember too late, hands out of pockets,
For now I have the shops designers to thank,
Those around me think I’m having a wank,
Why put the changing rooms here?
Why not put them near sofas and beer?
Oh and for the love of God and all mankind,
That dress does not enlarge your behind.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Fiction: The Voice


I awoke to a sharp pain, it seemed to be coming from all over my body. I could not open my eyes. I attempted to scream out, no noise came. Then suddenly numb. The pain was gone. Then I felt nothing.
“Please stay calm” said a voice. “Everything is going to be ok”
I tried to respond, to inform this all knowing voice that everything was not ok. Far from it in fact, yet again I could not. My whole body began to ache, the kind of ache you get when you have been on a long run on a cold November morning. Although why I know how that feels I’m not sure, I can’t remember running, in November or otherwise.
“Please stay calm. Do not try to move or speak until a representative can attend to you. Your recovery is important to us, but all our representatives are busy right now.” Said the same voice as before.
What?! I am on hold? I’ve waited in queues for a long time but I’ve never felt anything like this, well at least I think I haven’t. I opened my eyes and from where I am laying peering through my bandages, I can just about make out all four upper corners of the room. Everything is white, very clinical. That is very re-assuring when you are strapped down to a bed breathing through a tube with your face bandaged, you wouldn’t want anything to be non-clinical in that situation. I can’t make out any natural light, no windows, the not so dazzling light above my bed was flickering slightly, in a protest about me doubting it’s ability to be the only light source.
I try to sit up. I can’t as a thick strap surrounds my torso and my bed I decide against struggling. As I am now feeling quite dizzy. Then came the voice.
“Please stay calm. Do not try to move or speak until a representative can attend to you. Your recovery is important to us, we thank you for your patience a representative will..”
“Number 27?” a female voice from one of the four corners. Due to the tube I am breathing through. I can’t respond although I'm sure she was talking to me. Like a movie star I can’t quite remember, I’m pretty sure I am the only one here.
“Number 27. I’m sorry for the delay in getting to you.” She came closer and looked into my eyes, close to my face. Her red hair all tied back except one run away strand that she brushed away from her bright green eyes. “27, oh you are alive in there! I’m Stephanie your recovery representative. You will be pleased to know your  procedure went well.”
She was quite, quite beautiful, although that could have been the dizziness goggles. What procedure?
She continued “I’m going to remove your breathing tubes, I’ll try to be as gentle as I can.  I know these aren’t nicest things.”
What was I to do, I couldn’t say no. I couldn’t say yes either. But a breathing tube coming out had to be good. I watched through my bandages as she unhooked the straps to my breathing mask which held the tube in place. Those striking eyes met mine again as she said “This is going to be the worst of it. Try to relax”
She began to pull tubing from my throat, I felt a huge urge to be sick, the plastic tube her slender fingers grasped may has well been made out of razor wire, it felt as though it took my throat and all my internal organs up with it. Yet strangely, I can feel very little pain.
“Don’t try to talk yet. Let your throat adjust. The tube is out”
I did as I was told. Again I had very little choice.
“Next we’ll remove your facial bandages.” Stephanie continued. “Then when your face is out to the air, we’ll do the rest of you. You will be swollen for a few days, and you are probably feeling a little dizzy now. But you will be amazed with the results.”
I broke my silence. 
“What… “ I began huskily “What results?”
“The results of your procedure will be available for you to view as soon as we get you upright. It’s a laser generated picture, it shows you exactly what you’ll look like once the swelling goes down.”
“Picture?” I’m babbling now, dizzy and nauseous.
“Ooh we better get those bandages off, you are feeling a little sick now aren’t you?” Beautiful and perceptive. “That happened to me too.”
I didn’t try to speak again properly until she had freed my face from the fabric dressings. I still don’t know what the hell happened, maybe my stomach does and is trying to tell me through the form of interpretive dance.
“I’ll remove your head strap first, prop you up a little, then remove your facial bandage completely.
“Urgh” is the only witty retort I can muster. She moved my bed after releasing the strap that had been holding my head, another reason why I could get up, my head started to swim.
“Yes that’s healed up nicely.” Stephanie smiled. As the bandage was removed, I briefly thought she managed to make scrubs look sexy. My stomach was in no mood to be outdone by my libido though, as it made a dirty protest all over her thankfully through the slightly more glamorous oral end.
“Don’t worry this happened to me too.”  she said, waiting patently like some kind of non-squeamish angel whilst the contents of my stomach emptied into the dish which she managed to grab just a second too late. But hey at least I felt better now.
She took the dish away and returned with a fresh one and new pair of Scrubs, this time a pastel green, which set off her eyes amazingly. Now my guts had finished escaping I sat back in post vomit stupor. Aching returning to my freshly exposed face.
“Feeling better?” she asked.
“Yes. Sorry about getting you there.”
“Quite alright. Hazard of the job. Would you like to see your results now?”
“Results?” I said, still dazed.
She went to foot of my bed, took out a tablet computer.. Tapped away at it. Then a red light sprung from it. The red light pooled on the white wall to the far end of the room and then bounced towards me before I had time to duck. She then passed me the tablet. I looked into the eyes of the digitised face as Stephanie’s fingers pinched it to zoom in.
“Is this me?” I asked.
“Not now,” she said. “But it will be when the swelling goes down. They’ve done a great job. You’ll have no problem in the re-assignment pool.”
“The what?”
“The re-assignment pool.”
“Yes, I heard you.” I said. “What is that? I wasn’t a woman was I?”
She laughed, not heartily but a laugh all the same. She replied.
“No. As far as I can tell from your charts you always were a man. If you were once a woman your testosterone wouldn’t be this high.”
“Ok,” I said still peering at my digital self. “The re-assignment pool, what is that? Why did I end up here? In fact where the hell am I?”
“You have a lot of questions don’t you. Well people go to the re-assignment pool after identity cleansing has been performed to recover. You are at St James’ Secure Hospital in London. Some people come here out of choice. You unfortunately, were sent here by your employers.”
“Identity cleansing?” I hadn’t interrupted because this had sent my brain spinning. “What is that?”
“It’s the posh name for this procedure you had. Here take a look.” She flicked her fingers over the touch screen as I held it. “Here’s your breakdown.”

Procedure ID
Procedure
Cost
786
Facial Re-contour (100)
$6,000,000
101
Cranial Engineering (97)
$24,000,000
107
Vocal enhancing
$1,000,000
986
Body mould (98)
$8,000,000
1000
Aftercare
$500,000




Total Owed:
$39,500,000

ID Cleanse %
98.3%
I read with horror. Firstly shocked that someone I work for would pay nearly $40 million for a procedure to change 98% of me. I understand why I can’t remember anything. I slumped back onto the bed. Who was I?
“See you had the top treatments.” Stephanie said.
“Forty million. What did I do? There is barely any of me left.”
“Of course you don’t remember. You won. They are making you a star.”

Friday, 23 March 2012

Roads Incorporated


Ok third article on a new blog and I'm going to risk sounding like Jeremy Clarkson. Don't worry I'm not gonna suggest shooting anyone in front of their families. (for this is not ok for English civil servants, this style of death is reserved solely for enemies of the western world, not for those enslaved by it. Way to stay classy, but 'You got him' all that matters.) No after 82 words I'm going to talk about the plight of the motorist. 
Now I know all cars are born of Satans loins these days. Hell if you are smoker and you have front to drive to work then you may as well stop and eat a few new born babies, society hates you, so knock yourself out. Yet the smoking driver who may wish for beer to wash down that illicit meal contributes more in taxes than anyone else.  
However more is to come. Apparently that road tax and fuel duty isn't enough to maintain the very roads we drive upon so the government want to enlist the help of private companies on a long lease. So we'll get the A33 is association with Fujitsu and the Ragu pasta sauce spaghetti  junction.  Actually I quite like that last one. However, why would a private firm want to buy and maintain a stretch of road. 
Well the plans state that companies will get a slice of the road tax money and can put tolls on new roads built. So the money we already give to government to maintain the roads will go to (for arguments sake) Marlboro so they can do it instead. Why not just let the government spend the money? It seems to be introducing a middle man for no reason. And what is stop Marlboro tearing up the A33 re-laying it calling it Filter Road and placing tolls every 50 yards. 
Our roads are such a state for one main reason. The firms that win the maintenance contracts do so by undercutting the other bidders. The work they do undertake is then done to only last 6 months. This keeps money rolling in. If they spent a decent amount did a decent job that would last 6 years the company would be sat around with thumbs up their arses and their stats would look bad. 
How about instead of getting Apple to construct a motorway made of glass and aluminium, we actually spent the money on getting contractors who would lay roads properly and if they don't they lose the contract. 
 Keep Britain moving. Let Marlboro keep tarring our lungs, not our roads. 


Monday, 19 March 2012

Compatible Systems


We all have friends, even the people who you think don’t, do. Luckily in this world everyone is likeable by someone. Yes even satan himself has mates, word has it Simon Cowell is actually popular. But how do you know that you like people?
Well back in the day, amongst blokes one way of confirming that you were indeed on the way to a flourishing “we must go for a pint” relationship was to go through your new friends LP’s. This consisted of four stages:
  1. Browsing,
  2. Picking,
  3. Listening,
  4. Discussing.

If after these stages you managed to come to a common consensus, you pretty much were friends for life. Barring any shagging of each others girlfriends or wives, you need to share experiences for this taboo to be deemed ok. A common love of Bowie and your best mates wife never appeared to cut it.
With the advancement of tech, the LP technique has been replaced by the iTunes library. Something less elegant about making friends clicking through dodgy album art instead of the glory that is a gatefold LP. But the iTunes library gives you something extra, that is if you have an iPhone. Your iTunes library contains Apps.

Look at the apps on that!

Your Apps will give potential friends (hell even lovers) insights into you as a person much more than your music collection. One swift swipe through your home screen tells anyone all they need to know. For example:
BBC News, Sky News, Independent: News apps, doesn’t one do?
Angry Birds Free: Heard all the fuss but not sure.. savvy.
Common app ground could save you a lot of time in love and friendship. So guys stop trying to find a way to her heart. Find a way to her handbag... no wait.. thats an offence right. 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The great change

Hello world.

If you are here because you used to follow me on wordpress. Welcome. I'm giving this a bash, hopefully I won't delete this account when it has built a modest following. Because it would be stupid to do it twice now wouldn't it.

If you are totally new to my writing.. well welcome. Strap yourself in and enjoy posts that are much more interesting than these..

Enjoy the test picture of Echo.. wearing a hat