Evidence that I really ought to keep things in better perspective

I don't watch horror or slasher movies.  I just don't see why I should pay money to be frightened out of my own skin.  If I wanted to pay to be scared, I could put some money in one of those speak-your-weight machines, but I wouldn't do that either.  Call it denial, but whether it's extreme violence, or finding out that the diet of chips, cheese and chocolate isn't doing much for my ambitions to be J-Lo's body double, I just don't want to know.

J-Lo was thinking, 'I wonder how Fran's getting on with her diet.  I could do with a day off soon.'

But sometimes you see horrific things by accident, and it's too late to look away.

I was in a toy shop on Friday, browsing to find a present for someone.  There was this little cherub-like blonde girl, trailing around behind her a toy donkey on wheels attached to a pull-along stick which she'd taken off one of the shelves.  It was a clever toy because the donkey kicked its legs about while it moved, and looked quite realistic, as well as making convincing donkey sounds.  Ah, how innocent a scene, I thought, watching the child pull it along affectionately, urging it to 'come on, donkey, come on'.  It would not have looked out of place in one of those 18th century paintings of rich children playing in the nursery, all dressed in royal blue silk even at 4pm, with cheeks like beetroot, rolls of fat round the wrists and ankles, and a towering bowl of sweetmeats on a table with bandy legs.

Anyway, back to the toy shop.  Two minutes later, Cherub Child had abandoned the donkey to its fate and bogged off to find something else to play with.  And there the donkey lay, rejected, on its side, where anyone could have trodden on it, its legs kicking uselessly, and with sounds like 'ungh ungh' coming from it.  It was a scene from Texas Hee-Haw Massacre.

Having said everything I've just said about not watching violent videos, what I really really want to do now is google 'dying donkey' and find you a video clip to illustrate the way the donkey looked, but this would be distasteful.  As is, no doubt, even just TELLING you I feel like doing that.  But I think you can visualise the scene.  In fact, think 'dying fly' and just superimpose donkey features on the scene.  It shouldn't be hard.  You need grey, not black.  Then you need mammalian features, not insectian.  Then you need massive ears ... No, this isn't working.

I feel really bad about the dying donkey video comment now.  I should never have said it.  Here's a nice picture of some flowers instead, to get your mind off it.

Talking horror, I was once walking along with my daughter, who was about 6 at the time.  (Queen Victoria had just been crowned.)  Suddenly, she stopped, looked at something which had been discarded in the gutter, and cried, 'Aarrghh!  A dead apple!'

You see, horror is all about perspective.  I've never, ever been able to look at an old apple core since then and not think Fruit Corpse.

Thanks, kid.


  1. The gutter is full of interesting stuff. When our son was small we took him to Washington D. C. to see the sights and all he cared about seeing was a cockroach. You see, we don't have them much here in Oregon and a friend told our son D.C. was filled with them. We didn't seet any on the trip but I spotted a dead cricket in the gutter near our hotel and told our son it was a cockroach. It was the highlight of his trip. I can really imagine this poor little donkey. Poor thing.

  2. My brother has always loved horror movies, but is terribly squeamish about rotten fruit... go figure!

  3. I assume you would not be interested in seeing photographs of the contents of my compost bin?

    I assure you I only take them for scientific reasons...

  4. Stephen - you say 'we don't have cockroaches much here in Oregon' in such a wistful way, like 'we don't have beautiful mountain scenery' or 'we don't have very good weather'. Love it.

    broken biro - and you SPEAK to this person?

    Steve - I will call you for the pictures at any point I feel my life is lacking excitement. Rely on it.

  5. Just had a big catch up of your blogs. What a treat. Loved the hippo/flamingo bit. Been there.

  6. (does your maligned daughter read your blog??)

  7. elizabeth - thanks for coming over and reading. yes, the hippo/flamingo image seems to have struck a chord with a few!

    Elephant's Eye - maligned? Maligned? You haven't heard the HALF of it!

  8. Dear Elephant's Eye,

    Yes, she does. And thank you for your kind comments on my mental state. Also, thank you mother for sticking up for me there.

    By the way, I'm 28, so I think Mum got her dates and Queens mixed up. Never was very good at numbers. Was going to write something nice about being good with words, but in view of the comments above have refrained from doing so.

    Having worked for the last 10 years for a bereavement charity, I can confirm that one person's view of death is unique and individual; therefore it WAS a dead apple.


  9. PS I have no idea why it won't let me post on here as me, unless you've blocked me!!!

  10. Ooooh I think I've worked out how to! Yay!!

  11. sausage - of COURSE it was a poor dead apple, dear. That's why we stopped to pick it up and then buried it along with all the gerbils in the garden. Don't you remember?


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