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  Mon 25th May 2020

I was sitting at a bus stop last night when this elderly man came along, hobbling about using a walking stick.

Being a Northern man with the easy sociability that is the gift of my class, I said "yer right?" To which I received the reply "fuck off."

I was somewhat displeased by this abrasive response to my well-meant overture, so decided to defuse the situation in an understated and peaceful way.

"Fuck off yourself you old cunt."

He hobbled off and then came back a minute later. Finding that he suddenly didn't need his walking stick any more, he brandished it over his head, making as though to hit me, and shouted with the limited power available to his geriatric voice, "cunt!" He seemed satisfied with this and did not deploy his stick against me. He walked off with the gait of triumph.

Whilst I'm not advocating calling elderly people on day release from the loony bin cunts, I quite enjoyed the incident. I like a bit of ag every now and again.

I was on my way back from Hayley's. As night follows day, the cracks now appear in her relationship with Harry. The details were a little difficult to assemble, but I ascertained that they had spent £260 in one night (and morning, and afternoon) on the stuff. During the journey, Harry had started looking over her shoulder at an imaginary big black man called Patrick, whom he was convinced was looming over Hayley. She said he'd left Harry curled up in a ball on the floor. Harry said it was migraine.

"I said 'stand up! Be a man!'" and that she had told him that she has suffered worse abuse than him. A league table of abuse in which the winner takes it all.

"I basically see people for what I can get out of them," she said, and I thought of the £50 she owes me from last week that will be forgotten, and the countless times (including that night) when I've bought the drinks. "I know you do Hayley, I've known that a long time."

Two days of deadening work at a different hospital, working with a monomaniacal cleaner who talks of nothing but stain removal techniques.

A Skype interview, the second in two days. It went on for one-and-a-half hours, for a minimum wage job. It appealed because it was part-time, and I'd been wondering whether it might be possible to get away with only working three days a week, and seeing if Universal Credit could fill the gap. At the interview they said that there was an error in posting the advertisement, and it was a full-time position. I decided to go along with it anyway.

They found me in the Skype directory before I'd had a chance to make my profile pic less merry.

Hi looby

It was nice to meet you earlier on your Skype interview. As we discussed at the end of your interview we would like to offer you the post of Housekeeper at the Bad Knocks To The Head Rehabilitation Centre. You interviewed very well, and your transferrable skills will be an asset to the Housekeeping Team at BKTTH (the name by which we are known). I'm sure you will fit in very well with the Housekeeping Team and the other teams here at BKTTH.

Even my drug-laced DBS Certificate didn't put them off. I'm doing some shadowing on Wednesday and possibly starting full-time the week after.

Saw this poster near the Crown Court yesterday evening. I think it's brilliant.


Comment from: monkey man [Visitor]

The only job you haven’t had yet is the one for which you are most suited: a Jacques Brel tribute act.

Mon 25th May 2020 @ 13:10 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Oh no, I’d have to pretend to be serious. Unless I changed it all round to take the piss out of lovelorn tragedy at a slow tempo. Ring My Disco Brel maybe?

Mon 25th May 2020 @ 17:45 Reply to this comment
Comment from: monkey man [Visitor]

As long as I can get my organ in there somewhere.

Tue 26th May 2020 @ 20:13 Reply to this comment

A full time gig might put a little wind in your sail, at least for the time being. I hope you get it. And hope you’re healthy and well. We are in a state of suspended animation here.

Wed 27th May 2020 @ 18:13 Reply to this comment
Comment from: 63mago [Visitor]

Housekeeper at the rehab ?


Opens occasions for additional business. As long as nobody drops in the hall …

Wed 27th May 2020 @ 20:08 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Hello Exile! It’s really nice to hear from you. I do think about you often, being in the eye of the storm over there. I hope you and yours are coping, in every way. Your Great Leader isn’t helping things, I know. ANyway, please keep dropping by, I’m very glad to see your name pop up.

Wed 27th May 2020 @ 20:11 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Good evening Mr Mago. Unfortunately, I won’t have access to the drugs cupboard :)

Wed 27th May 2020 @ 20:13 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

The current conditions have raised the specter of work over my once relaxed and carefree life…egads!!

Hayley and Harry remind me of the couples i knew back in the Wilderness Years, i remember watching a guy practically gnaw his fingers off waiting for his lady to come back with the brown, seems addicts love to pair up thinking it may help but usually it never works out that way… “I basically see people for what i can get out of them.” No truer words have been spoken (especially when it comes to the powders, rock, and pills.)

I’d have nicked that poster straight away… brilliant indeed.

Fri 29th May 2020 @ 18:27 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

I love not being at work! It’s not as though what I do is very rewarding or interesting.

I saw Harry briefly last night – very jittery and nervous. Oh dear…

And right on cue – Hayley asks me for another fiver!

Sat 30th May 2020 @ 08:15 Reply to this comment

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looby, n.; pl. loobies. A lout; an awkward, stupid, clownish person

M / 60 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.

There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
Jeremy Wagner

La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
George Szirtes

Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
John Whale

One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
Mick, The Golden Lion, Lancaster, 21 Mar 2011

The Comfort of Strangers

23.1.16: Big clearout of the defunct and dormant and dull
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63 mago
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