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Showing posts from June, 2009

More evidence that I either write depressing or comic, but nothing in between

A poem from Miss's pen


Butcher

I think my neighbour
is training to be a butcher.
I hear him at his work.
He leaves his door open.
I can listen
to systematic slapping of
large soft joints
against hard bloody surfaces.

He yells about his business -
coarse and vulgar words.
He is not the sort to wear protective gloves.
I think he enjoys
the chopping and tenderising.
His hands are stained
and his thick sausage fingers
grab greedily at flesh.

His meat hangs about
in a cold room
looking something like it used to,
but less and less as the days pass.

Why unDuck-like looking Ducks might feel inferior

I haven't told you about The Rat. And as various members of my family have created themselves a Facebook quiz ('How much do you know about me?') and included the question: Who is my favourite member of my family? 1) Mother 2) Father 3) Sister 4) Brother 5) The Rat, 'The Rat' being the correct answer, I think it's about time The Rat got a post all to himself.

The Rat was born into the family a couple of years back when Younger Daughter, then 16, kept saying how much she wanted a pet rat. We demurred. We hedged. We hesitated. We ummed. We ahhd. We turned the radio off if anyone mentioned rodents. We refused to say any words which rhymed with 'rat' (which meant no one could mention my weight for a while - it was fab.) We hid in the garden when she came in from school. We leapt out of our chairs if a door squeaked and yelled: 'Ye Gods! How can anyone bear such a noise?'

Somehow she got the idea we weren't keen.

Then, a friend asked YD if she'…

Evidence that even road markings can be inspiring

I wrote this for a local competition recently run by my county's Library service, and was highly commended. (There wasn't a category called 'mediumly commended' or 'fairly-okayly-commended', so you went straight from 'got nowhere, you loser', for which you received nada, to 'highly commended', for which I won lots of books and other interesting booky things like bookmarks and magazines about books and a bag to put books in and had to have my photo taken carrying all my booky things. I looked like a storeperson who just got accidentally involved in the photo shoot.)

What you had to do for the competition was look at a picture of some double yellow lines (in England, meaning no stopping/parking etc) on the road and write something inspired by them. Here it is.

By the way, if you're looking for laughs, give me a miss today and go make faces at yourself in the mirror. This is what my kids would call 'another of your depressing pieces, Mother…

Things I have learned on buses

1. If someone has stuck their leg out in the aisle and you trip over it, check that it's not a broken plastered-in-white-up-to-the-thigh leg before you give them the evil eye.

2. If you have taken a sopping wet umbrella onto the bus because it is raining and decide to keep it on the seat beside you because the bus is fairly empty and no one will need to sit there, it is exactly at this point that a queue of twenty-five will appear at the next bus stop and someone will need to sit in the puddle next to you and exactly at the same point that you will realise you left the packet of tissues on the kitchen table.

3. There are some combinations which are lethal: one of them is wearing a silky skirt on a bus with shinily upholstered leather seats which is being driven by a maniac who brakes very suddenly.

4. If you are round of derriere, sitting next to a thin person is a good idea, as sitting next to another round-of-derriere lady means that two inches of you is protruding into the ais…

Horrific sequel to yesterday's bin story

She rounds the corner of her street, peering left to right to check for ghosts, strangers in black or anyone with two teeth sharper than the others. No one. Clouds gather as she approaches her house. A low rumble of thunder growls in the distance.

Outside her house, the black bin waits like a reproach. She lifts the lid.

(Violin sounds like in 'Psycho'.)

She drops the lid and the slam of it echoes in the deserted street, like cruel laughter.

It has not been emptied.

Old rubbish lurks in the bottom of it, festering, moulding, mocking.

Weeping hot, terrified tears, she fumbles in her pocket for her mobile phone. Her hands can hardly hold it steady. She dials the number, waits, speaks, holds her breath. Her heartbeat thumps against her breastbone like a warning drum.

"They haven't taken the bin," she says. She glances behind her; is anyone listening? The street narrows its eyes at her and she looks back, ashamed.

"Which colour did you put out?" His voice…

Why the Husband won't be allowed to go away again

Husband goes away. Says, 'Don't forget to put out the bin and recycling on Tuesday.'

'No, I won't forget to put out the bin and recycling on Tuesday,' says I.

Two minutes later, he says. 'You won't forget to put out the bin and recycling on Tuesday, will you?'

'No, I won't forget to put out the bin and recycling on Tuesday.'

'The bin and recycling are collected on Tuesday,' he says.

'I know,' I says, 'and it's no good rephrasing just to make it sound like something different. I teach syntax, y'know.'

'Okay, sorry. But I thought you might forget.'

'Forget what?'

'To put out the bin and recycling on Tuesday.'

'Ha ha, got you!!'

'That wasn't very funny,' he says.

'Neither is having the same sentence repeated at you seventeen times,' says I.

So, on Monday evening, I goes out the back door. Pick up the recycling boxes. Carry them through the side alley. Put th…

Something which my kids will say is all about me but isn't ...

Something serious from Miss's pen. Yes, yes, I know. You didn't think it possible ...

This is a dramatic monologue I wrote for a competition. No, of course it didn't win, otherwise I'd be in the flippin' Bahamas right now, wouldn't I?

Tidying

The pay cheque’s always a surprise. I forget. The other teachers go home, mix a gin and tonic, watch the news, go to salsa class. They get their pay and they say, ‘Where does it go? Bloody tax man.”

I have to pretend, for Colin. I said to him last month, ‘It’s all spent before it’s even in the bank’. He wasn’t really listening – too busy finding the remote – I keep telling him: put it back in the same place. He nodded, anyway. He’s okay, Colin. I shouldn’t complain.

I like being at school. It feels right. I’ve got a window desk in the History office. I’ve a pot for my pens – one that Jenny made when she was at Juniors – it says ‘Mum’ on it in big childish letters. Then, there’s my filing trays. Everyone laughs – they say, “…