Monthly Archives: January 2014

It’s about time

“You haven’t written a blog for ages”  they said.

“I’ve nothing to write about” said I.  “It’s not a block, there’s just nothing happened that has inspired me”.

“Make it up” they said.   “We like your blogs”.

(I think they may have been exaggerating)

“You tell me what you want” I retorted with some mirth “and I’ll write it, go on.  Anything you like”.

A debate ensued.   Maybe about the time spent at war in a foreign country?  Far too full of risk and open to misinterpretation.   A trip somewhere ridiculous?    A love story?   “Write us a story of love and lust in the modern age Robby.  That should test your mettle”.

Bugger.

I think I should begin with the disclaimer that the above “Bugger” is an exclamation of dismay rather than part of the love story.  Here goes…

How does it all start?   The young have it easy.  They are beautiful and free of spirit.   They mingle and conjoin with abandon and the broken heart is healed as soon as the next pretty face is in sight.   My love story can’t be about them.   The young know everything about love.  It is the one true aspect of life where they have more experience than the generation before them.  So it always will be.    The youth have the internet, the youth have Tinder and the youth have bravado.  The older one gets the less one understands.    How can an oldie fall in love?

Where shall we go?    The pubs are loud and full of Sky sports.   “grab your coat, you’ve pulled” is less appealing when the sound of your voice is drowned by an inane commentary and the beery cheers of fellow patrons.    The nightclub a dark and heaving mass of thumping beats and pulsating hormones. The sweet and sticky aroma of Vodka Red bull bodes ill for romance.    The gym drips with energy of the wrong kind.  Who could fall in love in a gym?  A brief lust perhaps but love?  It’s not going to happen.

Let us follow the example of our Mediterranean cousins.  Let us visit the coffee shop.   That must be the place to go.   We can converse across a cappuccino  and slowly simmer with a skinny latte.

Now where do we start?  “Nice hat”, “Nice shoes”, “Your dog has just peed on me”.  I guess they will all do.  “Excuse me madam. You have the most bewitching eyes in Christendom and you lips were formed purely to be kissed by me” probably isn’t going to swing it whilst you are waiting for the cry of “Americano for Robby”.   We should save that for later.

So we have met.  Our gaze has locked and there’s a flutter of hand contact in and around the spillage and empty sugar sachets.  You’ve pretended it was an accident.  The mouth apologises, the eyes do not.   We’re stepping in the right direction but there is still the unspoken words.

“Would you…”.

This is the sliding doors moment.   “Would you…”.    “Would you pass me a napkin please? I seem to have dribbled”.   “Would you care to take a walk with me? I adore you”.    “Would you…”.

Those ten words are going to change the shape of your life forever.

Take the napkin and life goes on.  Nothing changes and nothing is bad.   Time goes by and you perhaps occasionally look back fondly at the brief encounter.

Take the walk and life goes on.  Everything changes and nothing is bad.   Your stomach flips and never settles.   Your head will be in disarray for eternity and you will smile.  Forever.

Will that do?   Not exactly a love story but perhaps a story of love.

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Filed under fiction, Getting old

Would I lie to you?

The daily prompt asks “is it possible to be too honest, or is honesty always the best policy”.

It’s a conundrum.   There’s a little puzzle that goes something along the lines of “Cris, Jon and Andy are three friends. One always tells the truth and one always lies, you can ask each of them one question, what questions do you ask to find the fibber”.

Something like that anyway.   I thought I’d put “Truth or dare” into Google to see what it came up with.  Oh my.   The first site on the proffered list lit up the warning signals of my McAfee security thingy like you wouldn’t imagine.    As I’m writing this in a heavily populated office of obviously delicate little angels the HR department descended like a hoard of screaming wraiths.   Chanting something along the lines of “don’t search for porn on company time” I was brutally tongue lashed for daring to type such a phrase whilst I should be designing a really boring invoice layout for a very small company with no colour taste whatsoever.  I wonder what would have happened if I had typed in “Rhino slasher porn”   (I did, I’m still number one!).

Is it better to be too honest?   There’s a game I play occasionally, described by Mark Twain (amongst others) as “a good walk, ruined”.   It would be fair to describe my level of expertise at this game as “somewhat lacking”.  I can make the ball go absolutely anywhere except where I want it to go.   This frequently involves visits into nearby stands of trees and my extremely patient friends will hear a swish, a thwack and an “Oh bollocks” several times before I emerge some yards distant from where I entered.   On reaching our final destination the question is invariably asked “What did you get on that one Rob?”  to which the reply is equally invariably “Seven, I think”.   I’m only cheating myself.

I think my threshold for truthfulness flounders at the feet of exaggeration.  It is where I fall down time and again.   Hyperbole is as much a part of my life as eating five pieces of fruit a day, every day.  Is it just me who always reads hyperbole as hyper bole?   Should I ever use the word in conversation things may get very confusing.   My listener would think I was referring to a tournament of such great renown that the mere Superbowl pales into insignificance.

I would argue that the embellishment of everyday facts is a quintessential part of me.   You could say that the sum of the facts add up to far more than the total.   Certainly in both this blog and the other one (the Macbeth blog, if you will) I try to brighten things by gilding the lily from time to time.   It’s not necessarily lies, just using my imagination.   It’s no worse than airbrushing to make a picture look better.

So in summary, I think that what I’ve just said is that to any of you who uses Photoshop, any of you who use a literary device to help write your blog.

Liar liar, pants on fire.

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Filed under rants