Monday, 20 May 2013

Tell me a fable...

I like to write and put my thoughts down on paper. I like to entertain, so I hope my musings make you smile, laugh, chuckle, agree or disagree. If not, then you obviously prefer to read The Guardian or something, so close your browser and go do that instead of reading on…

I have always had a creative side to me whether it be drawing, joke telling, pranks or the written word. As a result I have created many a rhyme or silly speech or daft poem …

…speaking of poems, I probably get that from my Mum as she likes to write poems. She once had some poetry published in a book and I remember reading it. I was shocked!! For anyone who knows my Mum you’d know she is a shy, retiring type (very similar to me, honest!), but the poetry she wrote was utter filth… one poem was about making love (I was sick in my mouth!) and another about domestic violence. I like to think neither goes on in my parent’s house!! But if I had to choose one…

Anyway, I have also written speeches when people have left work, or their birthdays and a couple of Best Man speeches… I’ve never been a best man; I just gate crash other people’s speeches if they’re shit!
A word of warning to anyone that ever asks me to be best man or do a speech for them – DO NOT have any secrets like you smoke (and your Grandparents didn’t know) or that you were sleeping with two women at the same time (not actually AT the same time, but you know what I mean) who had the same name to make it easier to not get confused and scream out the wrong name… It will come out! The information I mean…

As you can imagine my humour and tell all nature (meant in a good way, not nasty) leads people to dislike me sometimes, or not get my humour. Or at least not appreciate it!

Work is a good example of that.

The company I worked for launched an internal site that profiled who you were and what you did along with a picture. My picture in itself was offensive as I was extremely hung-over the day I had it taken. I probably shouldn’t admit that! I was also pounds heavier and look like I had eaten my body weight in kebabs, but hey-ho, worse things have happened at sea! Like Mega-Shark vs. Giant Octopus! WTF!!

The thing that put people’s nose out of joint was my profile description. Everyone else had written: "I went to University and studied X, Y and Z. In my spare time I like to read philosophy, help the elderly and serve my community to the best of my ability… bollocks! Blah! Bum hole! Whatever!"

So I wrote the following:

"I am Evans... James Evans.

A former CIA agent now working undercover at *place of work* (Cover now blown!).
I have sired 14 kids; all named Earl to make it easier, which means I have to work part time as a head chef in a top London restaurant (McDonald's).
I play football at the weekends for Bolton Wanderers FC (although I support Chelsea) and have represented my country at the 2006 World Cup. Manchester City is currently interested in buying me.
I have also starred in 23 major Hollywood blockbusters alongside the likes of DeNiro, Pitt, Hoffman, Nicholson and Cruise. I have twice won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. The first of which was for Witches of Eastwick where my screen time was only 3 seconds long.
I am also very good friends with Bono and Bob Geldof and do a lot of charity work. I personally have raised over £56 Billion.
I was also the first Brit to fly solo to the moon and back in my dinner hour and cross the Atlantic using only a rubber ring and a thermos flask!
However I am most known for my invention of oxygen which I was awarded a Noble Prize for and a Knighthood.
I am also a renowned liar..."

Apparently this profile was not professional and could offend people! As a result I was ordered to take it down with immediate effect by a well known raging alcoholic (can I say that in a public forum?). I think people would just see I have a sense of humour and not a massive pole (the wooden variety, not the Eastern European variety) shoved up my arse, acting all rigid and well to do!

Maybe this is why after 8 years I am still on the bottom rung! I really should tow the corporate line more often!

I like to think I have moments of clarity and genius and so as well as the blog, the speeches and the profiles, I also write fables for children to learn from. I was set this challenge by a work colleague and so my creative juices whirred into action and I think you’ll agree the following is as good as anything Aesop or Rudyard Kipling came up with.

It’s a story of friendship and greed but also has a strong moral core to the story. So I will leave you now with my fable. Hopefully it will be passed from generation to generation and it is something you will share with your kids, a life lesson, preparing them for the big, bad world…

The story is called ‘The Gerbil & The Panda’
… enjoy!

This story begins at the end, goes to the beginning and then ends in the middle, but nearer the end. It is a confusing story with an unhappy ending. However, don’t let that put you off.
The Gerbil laid there lifeless, still, the last remains of his breath forced out of his little body. The Panda stood up and walked away from the scene.
How has this happened you may ask? And I will tell you.
The gerbil and the panda were friends, walking through the meadows, making daisy chains and singing songs. They fished by the river with the panda using the gerbil as bait. The gerbil didn’t mind though as he knew, even after close scrapes, the panda was there for him, to scoop him out of the water when danger approached. There was a trust between them.
In in their younger days they met at a local watering hole. The gerbil was very popular, had masses of friends and the adoration of many a lady. The panda was an unhappy soul in the beginning though. Close to the edge and nerves very fraught, but was the nicest living thing ever, kind hearted and generous. He wondered if he could just pluck up the courage to befriend the gerbil so that he too would become popular.
And so began a most fantastical friendship. The gerbil invited the panda to parties and social gatherings. The gerbil shared his friends and his bitches and the panda began to love life.
After years of living life on the edge and partying to all hours, their hectic lifestyle began to play on the mind of the gerbil. He was fed up of the drugs, the beer, and the un-protected sex. He no longer hungered for the buzz, the adoration of his peers or the cheap hookers.
He confronted the panda and told him he wanted out. The panda was not happy. To the panda the gerbil was his confidence feather – without the gerbil the panda feared his lifestyle would change and he didn’t want that. He still craved for the endless nights, the highs and the adulation he got. Without the gerbil he feared no one would want him again.
So the panda met the gerbil down by the river where they used to fish in the good old lazy hazy days of yesteryear. He told the gerbil how he felt, but the gerbil said he could no longer carry on and was sorry the panda felt like that. The gerbil tried to tell the panda that the panda was more confident now, that he had built his own circle of friends and no longer needed the gerbil in order to be loved by others.
So the panda sat on the little bugger…
The moral of the story is that even those who seem so nice, sweet and innocent have a little bit of bastard in them!

There you go, my attempt at a fable… take from it what you will. Meaningful or complete bollocks, you decide!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Say what you see!

As previously stated in an earlier blog I have had my fair share of pets. One such pet was a Russian Dwarf hamster. The thing with Russian Dwarf hamsters is that they are easy on the eye, cute little blighters, but hard to please and look after.

I would poke my finger into the cage and feed it bits of food. However, the first time I did that the little git bit my finger. I remember the excruciating pain and the tears that followed. I left it alone for a few days before attempting the same thing again. It looked at me with its big eyes in anticipation of a treat, but sure enough it bit my finger again. It was out of the blue, but I should have learnt.

I attempted a third time, a few weeks later, after all me and the hamster had been getting on! Sure enough, as expected, the little predator bit my finger. This time though it didn’t hurt as much as I was getting used to the pain.

Once bitten, twice shy, the third time you are just being a plain idiot and deserve to be bitten. When will I ever learn?!?!

I like that phrase though, once bitten twice shy. My experience with the animal allows me to understand it much better than I do other phrases.
"Bless her little cotton socks" for example. Grandparents normally exclaim this when watching their granddaughter dance around at a young age. However, why do they bless their cotton socks?? They are probably made out of nylon anyway! I do not understand this turn of phrase. And why is it only women say it? Why have my socks never been blessed?

Other phrases like "mind your Ps and Qs" I get. I believe it is something to do with ye old pub tavern’s. If trouble kicked off the landlord would shout "mind your pints and quartz’s!" as a warning to his regulars so as not to spill their tipple of choice.

And apparently the term golf comes from Gentleman Only Ladies Forbidden… Yes, a bit of sexism never goes a miss! I am sure if I have any of these wrong I will be corrected!

As a Yorkshire man, and I am sure it is the same for other areas around Britain, we have turns of phrase that everyone understands but no one knows why, what or where they came from, they just accept it!

"Well go to foot of our stairs…"
many a Yorkshire man will exclaim in shock and disbelief. Every Yorkshire man understands this phrase. Basically for non-Yorkshire folk it merely means shock.

"Did you hear Betty has left John and moved in with Derek over the road…?"
"Well go to the foot of our stairs!!"

I don’t know where it comes from and I am sure many areas have their own take on such things.

One I use that many folk don’t seem to is ‘Head up arse’. It just means moody twat. If I tell you that you have your head up your arse it means you better snap out of whatever stupid mood you’re in. I often have my head up my arse. I am far too grumpy for a 30-something year old!

I am also a fan of nicknames and will often make nicknames up for people around me when having banter with mates.

I call my mate Phillipe, his name is Phil, so not too imaginative granted, but it comes from the joke "What do you call a Frenchman in sandals?" The answer is of course "Phillipe Fallop". I find that joke most amusing and ever since then I have called him that (amongst other things of course). He ain’t French and he doesn’t wear sandals but it just seems to have stuck!

Then there’s my mate Jew Boy… Totally stereotyping but his curly locks a few years ago earned him the nickname and now it has stuck ever since. And even when he loses all his hair he will still be known as Jew Boy.

I also call him Egg Head because of the shape of his head and tell him he shouldn’t have a bath for longer than 3 minutes otherwise he will hard boil!

I have several nicknames too, like Fruitbat (because I am bat shit crazy!) and Fatboy Slim. It wouldn’t matter how much weight I shed or how thin (if I could ever be of course!) I get, Phillipe has always said that’s what he’ll call me… usually just Slim for short. I kinda like Slim as a nickname to be honest.

People give nicknames to everyday items too.

The cashpoint is one of my favourites, or for non-English, the ATM machine. We warmly call it the hole in the wall. Everyone gets it and it is easy to understand where it comes from.

It’s Saturday night, time to go out so you ring your taxi, it turns up, and the taxi driver asks where you want to go and you say "Train station, but first I need to go to the hole in the wall…" And he understands and off he goes.

The TV remote I find is the most diverse and people within your own family will call it different things. I call the remote ‘the box’. It’s plain and simple. Some call it ‘buttons’ and most bizarrely I have heard people call it the ‘doofer’. What is that about???

The beauty thing about all this is that you can travel a few miles down the road, be in the same county, but still hear things that do not make sense as they have their own tongue.

This ranges from tea cakes to current tea cakes to alley ways and snickets…

An alley way, or alley, is a small walk way between buildings, but I call them snickets and down the road in the next town they are called ginnels… It can all get very confusing if asking for directions!

But going further afield and the one that amuses me the most, is the difference between English English (or proper English as I like to call it) and American English.

The fanny…

The fanny to me is the reproductive region of a lady that a bloke would like to get up close and personal with (dependant on hygiene of course). Whereas to an American the fanny is the arse (not the ass, that is a donkey!). So when my American colleagues talk about sitting on their fanny’s or getting a kick up the fanny I just think it sounds painful and I wince at the thought.

And don’t get me started on fanny packs!!! Especially when they tell me how much they can get in them!! Sounds incredibly slack!

If truth be told I could go on for hours about language, dialect and accents, but I can’t be arsed… or assed… and I also have to go visit church anyway… I am having my socks blessed by a proper minister, not my just by my Grandma!!

Holy watered socks, batman!!