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I lose a jacket potato

  Thu 18th November 2021

It's been all work and little play lately: fifty-seven hours last week, forty-seven in the one coming up. I just want to shift this overdraft and stop seeing my income merely change the shade of red on my bank statements.

I have been very tired at work, making some amusing mistakes. On Thursday, a man asked for a jacket potato with beans and cheese. He came back a few minutes later and asked about its progress. I looked around. I couldn't see the jacket potato that a couple of minutes ago was wrapped in foil on the warming shelf where we incubate the bacteria.

"Yes, sorry, just give me a minute." There was no jacket potato to be seen. I rummaged in the dustbin, thinking I might have thrown it away. Eventually I thought I'd have to microwave another. It was there in the microwave, looking limp and discoloured. I heated it up again and served it to him, with apologies.

He took it took it to his table. And I realised I hadn't put the beans on it. I heated some up in a Pyrex measuring jug, then had to do a walk of shame through the tables to pour them over his potato. Masterchef was on the telly. "Hey looby," shouted one of the customers. "You ought to watch this. You might pick up a few tips."

The other day I realised that I had left a bottle of cider in the fridge. I'd bought it on my way into work to save fannying about in the off-licence on my way home. My boss said she'd poured it down the drain as alcohol is not allowed on the premises. The following day I rang a couple of things incorrectly into the till and pocketed the money I'd spent on it, plus enough for a replacement.

On my one day off last week, I managed to persuade Mel to accompany me at a night of trippy-hippy dancing to Banco de Gaia and Transglobal Underground. Mel had met the leader singer of the latter band when she was working in Greece. Unfortunately by the time I came to book the tickets it had sold out, so we had a more cerebral night with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group instead.

As the air conditioning churned out its droning accompaniment, we tried not to think about being on a crowded, hot, dancefloor. The centre's manager bounced on stage at the end, dressed in the faux proletarian style favoured by artistic directors throughout the country, dispelling any reverie that might have been created with a puff about forthcoming events. "Wonderful", "amazing", "incredible."

Scootering through the park the other day, a cyclist behind me threw out a comment as we went through a flutter of leaves. "It the fall!" "It's lovely isn't it!" I shouted back. "It's like snow!" I felt all light and happy.

Mel has signed up with a cleaning agency with the kinkily coercive name Maid 2 Clean. She has also acquired a very attractive tight dress which gives me a great deal of pleasure. I try to encourage her towards a slight degree of tartiness. I find it a turn-on when I'm out with her and she's looking curvy and sexy, yet not being able to do much about it for being in public.

"I know you like it looby, but I don't want to go out looking like mutton dressed up as lamb." "Your problem Mel, is that you just don't realise how attractive you are." "Attractive to you."

I let it rest. There's no remedy against female self-dislike.


Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Just so long as Mel hasn’t acquired the tight dress to clean in!

Fri 19th November 2021 @ 02:16 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

She’s been issued with a polo shirt, which even in my often inflamed state, does nothing for her.

The firm’s name has been a rich source of humour from the Benny Hill School of comedy.

Fri 19th November 2021 @ 03:28 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Mark Cashion [Visitor]

Re: Hayley. I believe that all artists are tormented or odd in some way. A significant commission won’t change that. Perhaps if she had more a mainstream ability to communicate the diptych wouldn’t have been quite so well-executed.

I would like to see that photie of you and Mel. As far as the mutton comment, she is fishing for compliments and you go right ahead delivering them. They’re good for both parties.

How are you, pal? You are still in my thoughts and good wishes.

Sat 27th November 2021 @ 15:36 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Hiya Exile, it’s always great to see you here.

Yes, you’re quite right. Hayley can’t do anything that isn’t directly connected to her immediate self in the present, except her art (which maybe falls into the same category). I could in theory help her with the marketing and website but I’m fed up with helping her.

I hope you’re managing to get out a bit more. I’m in a crowded pub at the moment with not a mask in sight. People – or at least afternoon drinkers – seem quite determined to ignore it all down here.

The photo? Check your email :)

All the best M

Fri 3rd December 2021 @ 07:59 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.
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The Comfort of Strangers

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63 mago
Another Angry Voice
the asshat lounge
Clutter From The Gutter
Eryl Shields Ink
Exile on Pain Street
Fat Man On A Keyboard
gairnet provides: press of blll defunct, but retained for its quality
George Szirtes ditto
Infomaniac [NSFW]
The Joy of Bex
Laudator Temporis Acti
Leeds's Singing Organ-Grinder
The Most Difficult Thing Ever
Strange Flowers
Trailer Park Refugee
Wonky Words

"Just sit still and listen" - woman to teenage girl at Elliott Carter weekend, London 2006

Bristol New Music
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Sequenza 21
Sound and Music
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