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44 Acacia Avenue declares Christmas

  Sun 22nd December 2013

It's a credit to the new lodger that I've not had to mention him here. He's in the kitchen at the moment reading the Guardian and peeling a pear. I wonder why, when he has a halfway decent job at the Uni, he's renting a small, chilly room in a house that is more shabby than chic.

He manfully bought another bottle of cava when he walked in after work the other day to see me, together with Trina and the lodgers--I should indicate to Crinklybee that Trina and the Lodgers isn't a little-known Stockport-based indie band of the mid-90s--as we were midway through an early declaration of Christmas which had begun at midday. I haven't got a bed frame and so my mattress rests on the floor directly above his room, so the poor lad had to put up with his boozy housemates carousing beneath him until 5am and then the soundtrack of sex from above shortly afterwards.

Next day I was apologetic. "I'm sorry about the noise last night Tom, it was just that we got slightly pissed and then I got this urge to shower Trina in a volcano of love lava." Or words to that effect.

"No, it's OK, honest. I didn't hear much. And anyway, it's Christmas."


Saturday afternoon was the Christmas party of the organisation for which I work part-time. The nature of what it does leads it to attract intelligent middleaged women in well-cut clothes in good fabrics, and the odd be-jumpered man. I expected it to be a cool affair, all quiche and grant applications.

In fact, there was an acre of food and intoxicating liquor. Once we'd got a few down us it was a conversational bagatelle game, the women pinging around remarks that fluctuated between wit and seriousness. It was an afternoon I don't think men would be good at, as they'd demand more silence and an audience. If you wanted to say something on Saturday afternoon, it had to be clever, relevant and short. I didn't want to leave, but then I saw Dorothy at the door putting on her coat in a way which I thought implied "You've had enough; we're off."

In Dorothy's car I told her about how corroding I had found it being single for so long in my twenties. She told me about her ex-"partner"'s (ugh, I hate that word) brain tumour and infidelity and how she doesn't know to what extent it would be right to causally collapse those two events, and how much simpler it is for its public presentation if she does so.

She was off to Manchester in the evening for a show and said she had an hour to kill in Lancaster before she picked up her friend, our boss. "I would ask you up to mine for a coffee Dorothy, but I've got things to do now with the girls and Christmas--you know." "Oh no, no, that's alright looby," and she told me how she can easily lose an hour playing some game on her phone.

A few minutes later we slowed in a traffic jam on Caton Rd in Lancaster and she yawned. "Oooh, dear," she said. "I could go to bed." "Well, it was more a coffee I was thinking of," I said, and she slapped my knee. "Shut up!" We were silent for a few seconds and then I said "I think it's the sewage works they're doing that's causing this." "What, making your head go funny? "I was just trying to change the subject."

I was heady with the wine and successful flirting and wanted to carry on the mood, so I went into Wetherspoons and ordered a large glass of Shiraz. I sat by myself amidst the shouty men and regretted doing so.

12 comments

Comment from: Chef [Visitor]

Pear peeling Guardian readers, they usually like to think of themselves as the moral elite of the train travelling world. In fact, most still get that slight swell of self-righteous pride, sometimes even a limpish erection, by simply spreading a perfectly fresh copy of the Guardian over a shared train table with a large cup of faux Arabica coffee and some hurriedly thawed French croissants in a greasy nondescript cardboard box.

In their privileged, silver-spooned positions, they feel they should do more than occasionally bleat about the underprivileged of the far north - they should quantify their own privilege and apologise for it every day by leaving the Benz in the garage and using public transport as they journey southwards towards the unmistakable stench of old money.

I therefore surmise that Tom, oh he of the cava inclinations, is a blatant closet homosexual, has a budding career in Westminster on the cusp, votes yes for fox hunting and irons his own underpants when not frequently masturbating to illicit copies of ‘Mature Lactating Milkers’ of which he has secreted beneath the loose floorboard in the bathroom.

I must admit to being slightly more affable in regard to Vasilije and Dragan, the previous short-lived Serbian hitmen lodgers who stashed more than a few corpses under the outhouse, than Tom and his cava stained silken study robe. But then, one does not partake of the Guardian, of course.

Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 06:37
Comment from: smallbeds [Visitor]

I’m trying to work out precisely what mood you were hoping to prolong, when you thought of going into a Wetherspoon’s in the daytime.

… Merry, shouty Christmas?

Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 07:28
Comment from: [Member]

Chef–but he pays the rent. We can forgive him many things as a result.

SB: Yes, it was a silly idea; I could have at least chosen a less crap pub.

Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 09:47
Comment from: Chef [Visitor]

My dear fellow, of course he will pay the rent. Meanwhile, his Torian buddies are secretly hatching a plan to snatch the property from beneath you and demand incomprehensible taxes in order for you to live once more in your own property. Take no chances, oust him from his filthy bed and fling his silver edged attache case to the street while you still can.

Better still, sell the property to me for a reduced rate and I will modernise it within a week, fill it with foreign female students, of which you may boink at least a fresh one every week whilst collating my rent. A representative of mine will call on you later this day with a contract. No need to read, merely sign and he will stop hitting your knees with the lead pipe. Simples…

Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 10:09

Who peels pears?! The skin is where are the nutrients are. Do you know if Tom keeps a blog? Might have made for an interesting post from his perspective.

See that…you didn’t know when to leave well enough alone and as a result were serenaded by shouty men. Same as the rest of us. Never knowing when to pull the plug.

Chef has the best perspectives of anyone.

Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 12:53
Comment from: [Member]

Ah Chef, if only… I’m sure there are ways around discrimination laws so that we only get Dorothy-like tenants I’m not overkeen on the young ones. Once they’ve stopped photographing their dinner and saying “like, I was like", there isn’t much left to say.

Exile–yes, it did look a bit “refined", seeing the peel come off in exquisitely narrow strips. And the lesson that less is often more, is one I still have to learn.

Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 14:39
Comment from: Hipster Yaya [Visitor]

Oh Dorothy… she was very flirtatious and suggestive. Careful with swofties, Looby. They’re too Young to get old. They can either babysit you or eat that gorgeous body of yours alive!

Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 19:43
Comment from: Leni Qinan [Visitor]

Being born and raised in the land of cava, Tom, the pear peeling Guardian reader can’t make a bad impression on me. He pays on schedule? Then cava bottles are welcome!

Merry Christmas Beautimous!

Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 20:45
Comment from: [Member]

Swofties?

And oh Hipster–you are flattering to that extent only possible from never having met me.

Leni–here’s to cava, bring me excessive of it, that surfeiting, we may sicken and so die. (Or however it goes).

Beautimous?

Mon 23rd December 2013 @ 22:25
Comment from: Leni Qinan [Visitor]

= Beautiful and Fabulous at the same time. ;)

Tue 24th December 2013 @ 10:53
Comment from: Hipster Yaya [Visitor]

Dear Looby,

A SWOFTY is the latest acronym to describe women over 50, and it refers to a new generation - baby boomer women doing it for themselves.

They’re over 50, without a partner, and they’re loving life - living that single, independent existence into their fifties and beyond.

There are cougars as well, older women seeking a sexual relationship with younger men.

So rephrasing myself (up above): Beware of Dorothies, Looby. They could eat you alive as if you were a Candy bar. ;)

Merry Christmas to you, dear!

Tue 24th December 2013 @ 11:00
Comment from: Hipster Yaya [Visitor]

You’re right, Looby. I never had the pleasure. Your answer is perfect for a Burdish gentleman. I can almost see you went beet red.

*laughs loud*

Wed 25th December 2013 @ 19:09


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