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  Fri 3rd November 2023

On Friday, I went for a drink after work. I got talking to a man who showed me some official papers, issued to him on his release from police custody earlier that day. He'd damaged a door. "I don't drink that often, but when I do I lose the plot," he said, setting his new pint of Stella before himself.

I didn't rush my pint, but made it my last; bade him farewell, and wished him, insincerely, good luck in his trial.

I was intercepted on my way out by the first person ever to speak to me in that pub after starting the job in ----. He was sitting with a man who half an hour earlier had lent me his glasses, as he saw me squinting at my bank card. My account is still frozen -- originally with £490 in it, but now, with payments that are being dropped down the same well, is holding around £850. I needed my account number in order to apply for a loan from Bank of Mum.

James told me about breaking off his engagement after he bumped into an old flame and transferred his affections. His fiancée found out, and at their last meeting threw his pint over him.

James has regressed into teenagerdom, showing me farcebook posts about her I didn't want to see; but I enjoy these kind of stories. Sometimes I miss the gossip and scandal of a small town.

On my scooter ride home, I got to within a couple of yards of my front door, tried to ride up the kerb, and came clattering down. At that moment, a car slowed down and pulled over. Wanting above all to avoid the driver's solicitations, I stood up quickly and gaily smiled and shrugged, trying to indicate that I'd rather she carried on her way.

The pain that night was some of the worst I've ever had, but I thought that if I could just bear it for a few hours it would go away. I was awake all night, then at the hospital the following day, I was told that I'd broken my wrist and my elbow.

I was delighted to read, in the leaflet they gave me when I was discharged, that I'll probably be in plaster for about four weeks; but worried about what my manager would say at work when he returned my call. The phrase I feared hearing was "alternative duties".

To my surprise, it was all over in a couple of minutes. He said that there were no alternative duties available for me, and wished me well and to keep in touch.

I put the phone down, shouted, and did a victory punch with my good hand. "You have turned that phone off, haven't you? cautioned Mel. The phone was indeed off, and a radiant vista of a month of paid leisure, riding on Tramadol, opened up before me.

On Thursday I received an invite to a competitive online geometry-themed arcade game, one of the bizarre recruitment practices the railway industry uses as the gatekeeper at the citadel in which the better jobs are kept. I have unambiguously failed before at this test, but that might prepare me better for it this time round.



Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

At our age pain does not subside overnight!! Not that sort of pain in any case.
Crikey, you are being forced to save money!
Get better soon.

Sat 4th November 2023 @ 02:07 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Thanks Scarlet. I’ll say this once too often one day, but I do bounce back quite well.

And yes, having time on your hands can be pricey, but the joy in the morning of turning over in bed (very carefully) rather than having that jolt of anxiety that going to work always brings, is priceless.

Sat 4th November 2023 @ 03:09 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Turning lemons into lemonade i see my good man!! a month’s paid leave and some high quality sweeties? what could be better than that!! granted it took a few breaks in the wrist and elbow but you still have one good arm, glass half full and that, to take care of things… glad to see you’re not too banged up but we may have to keep your Evil Knievel antics to a minimum for the time being ;)

Sat 4th November 2023 @ 08:33 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yes, it’s a fair trade – it’s making an alarminlgy fast recovery so I hope my leisure won’t be curtailed. Ive got to go back to the hospital tomorrow and they’ll take this cast off and have another lok at it, so I’ve got summon up a bit of acting to exaggerate the pain a bit :) But in the meantime, it’s just great, such a mental freedom.

Mon 6th November 2023 @ 04:42 Reply to this comment
Comment from: 63mago [Visitor]

Online recruiting game ?
I hope it’s at least a First-Person-Shooter where the final enemy / boss monster is the company’s ceo ? Let GOd sort’ em out.

Mon 6th November 2023 @ 02:14 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

It’s basically shape selection, but done at quite high speed. Thank goodness my mouse arm is unharmed!

Mon 6th November 2023 @ 04:44 Reply to this comment
Comment from: exile on pain street [Visitor]

…transferred his affections… is a teriffic turn of words. You are a zen master. I’ve always thought as much.

Why avoid solicitations? Don’t be such a hero.

That’s not the easiest way to get a holiday but you’re grateful. You can study for the game with your newfound free time.

I’ve never like my job. Not one. I do it because it affords me a nice life outside of work. But it’s a miserable way to spend my day.

I lost a close friend. 64 years old and this is the first death that rocked me. When my dad died I didn’t care. I was sad when my mom died but it didn’t mean anything for my day-to-day existence. I still absentmindedly pick up my phone to text him.

Sun 12th November 2023 @ 13:24 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Hello Exile!

I’m sorry to hear about you losing your friend. You’re right – just because someone’s a close relative doesn’t automatically mean you’ll miss them. I was completely indifferent to the passing of my dad as well. Anyway, all the best with dealing with that.

Thank you again for your kind comments. It’s such a liberation being away from work for a while, as I know you understand.

All the best from a very wet Bristol.

Mon 13th November 2023 @ 01:50 You are currently replying 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.

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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?
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