Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cure for the Worst Day Ever

We all have our own comfort food or comfort thing. For years I thought I was exempt to the tradition; above needing a crutch to get me through the weeks that just don’t turn out quite right.

I remember nights spent dreaming about a box of chocolates my mother bought the day before and waking to find she’d eaten her way through the entire thing during the night. Not that she ever admitted to it, we had to pretend like the box never existed.

But then one day I woke up feeling miserable and I decided to ignore it.

I ignored it so much that the universe decided to teach me a lesson. By pretending I could get up and be happy I had slighted the universal gods of Karma and so my day went something like this…

It started with no milk for breakfast so that I ended up eating dry Weetabix.
Cycling to work the basket fell of my bike and I was forced to improvise or be late. I chose the former.
At work the printer broke right in the middle of a big marketing project.
So I sent the project to some people, who said they would get back to me. While I waited I went to lunch and my card got refused, so I couldn't even get a sandwich.

My account had been overcharged by 200 euro. I called the bank people and heard a lot of “sorry I can’t help you’s”.

A generic rejection letter for my novel sailed in at about 3 pm

The people that took the marketing project turned out to be incompetent and we had to hand write thousands of letters.

It was late by the time I wheeled my bike home, still not having fixed the basket. I thought things were surely only going to get worse. I was just going to make a quick dinner and go to bed and stay there until the world was a kinder place.

So I boiled some potatoes, and I started to feel OK, so I thought, you know what, I’ll boil a few more and it worked. Everything was better or at least it felt that way.
So now whenever I’m really upset and somebody asks can they get me something, I simply tell them a potato. Generally speaking people aren't as acceptant of this answer as you might imagine.

Monday, July 15, 2013

How to Discuss Art and Get Away with it

It used to be as simple as faking a British accent, donning a fur coat and a cigar for the ladies and a monocle and moustache for the men. Then you could turn up and say things such as:

“ Darling is this not sublime,”
“The eyes, they are so vivid,”

But fashion and art changed.

No longer are we faced with simple portraits and epic landscapes. Those days are gone and now would be art connoisseurs are faced with a whole different animal, sometimes figuratively speaking and often quite literally so.
Everything's become a lot more progressive and some might say a little harder to fake. But not me, oh no...

The first thing you have to consider is your attire. There are still fur coats, of course, but they don’t really support your cause. You’ll probably blend in better if you wear ridiculously tight jeans  or a big dowdy granny dress and pair them with impossibly large glasses (with actual glass in the frames being optional).

As for affecting a foreign accent. The British accent won’t get you any further; than say an Irish one. So stick to whatever comes naturally...unless you're American. American accents are to be avoided outside of the States if you don’t want to be given the “tourist-eye-roll” treatment.

But the question is not what to wear or what accent to use while viewing art, although people might pay more attention to your statements if you’re dressed appropriately. The bigger problem here is what should you say. How do you discuss it without sounding like you fell off a bus from the 1960's.  

And this is exactly what I suggest saying, in a throw-away voice and with an exasperated sigh.

People will nod in awe at your profundity.

Alternatively you can try some other useful sentences which say everything you need to without saying…well…anything.

“It’s so derivative.” (Best said with a scowl and an impatient shrug)
“There’s such emotion in this piece.” (Best said looking mournfully at the piece and clutching your chest)
“It really just says so much.” (Best to follow this with a slow shake of the head)

Monday, July 8, 2013

My Demonic Mother’s Revenge and the Aftermath

Teenage boys are Xbox playing, computer wielding zombies. Or at least my brother was…

My mother would try to get him to do things…
And some of them would be done, or half-done and then others would be forgotten...
She would wake him up in the mornings for school after he spent all night pressing buttons and staring fixedly at a screen.

But she grew tired of all of this, she started to plot.

And plot.

And plot.

And finish his chores.

Then one day she decided to stay in bed. The longer she stayed wrapped-up in bed thinking about how he would miss school the more empowered she felt.
 Then when it turned exactly time for school she hauled him out of bed.
Would he be a bit late. Oh no, no, no. She had a better plan.
Before he had time to rub the sleep from his eyes she started issuing commands.

"You will build a fence."

"You will build a shelf."

"You will run the dog."

"You will chop wood and make fired."

"And then just as you think you are finished, just as you think you can sit down. That is when I will present you with the Bramble of Death...."

When he was finished she let him sit for a moment. Before a demonic smile took hold of her face and she issued the last blow of her ultimate revenge...
The next day, drunk on so much power, she woke to find that my brother was still in bed. She leapt from bed and stormed to his bedroom.
It was here that her outrage grew to such disproportionate levels that she chuckled mercilessly above her sleeping son.
So she did the only reasonable thing, she could think of, and dragged him from bed by his hair. 
She then began a tirade on time-keeping and responsibility while gesturing at the clock.
It was then that my brother looked at the clock...
My mother was halted mid speech as she let the news sink in. 
She realised she had jumped out of bed prematurely and my brother still had a rightful hour to go in bed. She retreated to the kitchen to question her sanity over her morning brew.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sugar, Mad Children of the Bog and Why The Two Should Not Be Mixed

My Mother’s family can be divided into two distinct groups. There’s her immediate family – the mad-children-of-the-bog and then there are her extended family – the posh-ones.
Sometimes they invite us to their posh parties and we all sheepishly attend. We wear our good-clothes, speak when spoken too, avoid sugar or in fact anything that might make us a little unruly.

One of my cousins is a particularly mad-child. In fact he is so mad that at my eighteenth birthday he released a bucket of wild frogs all-over my friends.
 He is so wild that he tamed our devil-cat, by biting its tail, at two years old and he is so unruly that at four he rolled our fridge into a river.
 So he’s the best kind of child really. Only you can’t give him sugar. Any sugar is too much sugar.

So we were at one of the posh parties when a posh relative gave him a piece of chocolate. We giggled behind our hands when she ignored our warning. She would see.

And she did. 

Fast forward half an hour and our posh relative was demanding my grandmother remove her naked grandson from a tree. My granny, who had also presumably had some sugar, thought this was hilarious and decided instead to take a picture. 

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