Saturday, April 23, 2005

Like I was never here

See, I didn't post much at all this week. No-one appears to have noticed. The site visitors still streamed through from The Jayhawks bulletin board, along with my Google visitors who remain gripped by the Dasani commercial. And they were here to look at that past.

This is the blogosphere. I feel like putting up a message announcing my own demise.

"A sad coming together of ice cream truck and Extreme Unction... no-one quite sure where the blood ended and the raspberry syrup began..."

Or the old Northern club joke. "There was an ice cream man lying on the floor, covered in nuts and syrup. He topped himself."

(Pulls back curtain and says, "Start the car" - yet another Northern club joke)

I remember now why I am here, let me tell you about an uncomfortable afternoon in the 80s, on this theme. There was a kid at school, Christopher Hancock, that's his intro. Blonde hair, large bones, moptop. After leaving school, we were both about 17, he drove past my house and saw me outside. I went back to his house for having nothing better to do. There was straw on the floor of his car, farm mud, empty beercans. "I get my money shovelling cowshit," he said, enthusiastically. He was more enthusiastic about cowshit than most people are about winning the lottery.

"I can get you a job shovelling cowshit, too..."
This surprised me. I'd always thought cowshit shovelling was hard to break into and now I had a direct line to fame and riches. I saw myself being crowned World Cowshit Shovelling Champion in a packed arena, everyone cheering.
He kept pestering me. I cited old war wounds.
"The Falklands War? You were at school with me..."
"No, past life, The Crimean... a bayonet missed my heart by centimetres, or inches, as it was back then."

We got to his house, believe me, this story does relate somehow to earlier parts of this post. We sat in his room and drank beer.
"Listen to this," he said, but I couldn't hear anything.
Then I realised he'd said "Listen to this," pre-emptively, as he was now going through a box of cassettes.
"You've always been funny," said Chris. He said it in a way that made me think he might have tattoos of me hiding under his shirt. "Listen to this..."
I listened. The tape was of some Northern club comedian, only with the racism jammed in the red zone, up at that point on the dial where the needle doesn't even wiggle anymore, it just stays locked as far right as it will go.
"It's funny, isn't it?"
I agreed it was funny as I was in the bedroom of someone I hadn't seen for a few years. Maybe he'd been in prison or refining his strangeness by never leaving the house and doing weird things to his genitals. Maybe he drank lots of cough syrup, smoked dope, smeared himself in Vaseline, and drove around town at night at excessive speed. Was he that sort of guy?
On and on went the tape. "Let's hear another one," I said. He put in another tape, it was the same guy again, the same kind of jokes.
I finished my beer and said I would walk home.
He didn't seem that disappointed.
As I walked away from his house, Chris shouted after me, "Remember, I can get you a job shovelling shit!"
I never saw him again.


Blogger L said...

Well, I'M here!

Actually, I haven't visited the past couple of days... or posted either! Been a little swamped, but I will rectify the situations.

don't get hit by a truck

10:44 PM  

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