Sunday, August 27, 2006

Burns on a girlfriend

Buffy is really in the wars. We thought it couldn't get worse after the waltzer incident. But this afternoon she dropped her hair straighteners on her arm and gave herself second degree burns. (You can read about the full horror on Sara Sizzle.)

As soon as she did it, I leapt up and yelled, "Enough is enough. I have had it with these muthaf*cking hair straighteners on this muthaf*cking sofa."

Yep, we've just got home from seeing the hilariously dumb Snakes on a Plane. It must be the stupidest film ever, but is also brilliant.

(There should be a YouTube clip here.)

Anyway, Buffy has been very brave, apart from a major stress attack in Boots in Brixton while we were trying to buy onitment, gauze, scissors and tape. Which took three attempts. Brixton High Street must be the most hellish place in London - apart from Oxford Street. Crowds amble along the pavement like extras from Shaun of the Dead and the classiest eaterie is a particularly wino-choked branch of Wetherspoons. I HATE it.

We're going to look at a flat tomorrow. Wish us luck.

Manchester Vibes in the Area

I've got a new friend. His name's Dave. He comes from Greater Manchester and lives in a car in Herne Hill with his wife, who owns a gold ring. I don't know his wife's name.

Friday night, Buffy and I were staggering back from our company sports day (see Sara Sizzle) when a guy came running out of the garage and grabbed us. "I'm not a beggar!" he proclaimed, before proceeding to beg for cash because there was something wrong with the magnetic strip in his car. "I've just got down here from Greater Manchester and my wife's got a gold ring and I just need someone to help me out." I gave him all my loose change and he went away.

"That's the oldest trick in the book," said my worldly girlfriend. "Pretending there's something wrong with your car."

This morning, walking back from the newsagents, someone ran across the road towards me. It was him! "Excuse me, mate. I've just got down here from Greater Manchester and my wife's got a gold ring and I just need someone to help me out..."

"Hang on," I said. "You told me this story the other day and I gave you some money."

He informed that he had been sleeping in his car since then and needed some money for breakfast. Like a fool, I gave him some. And a cigarette!

In return, he gave me a hug.

"You've got a kind heart," he said. "When I make it, I'm going to share my wealth with you."

So I gave him my address.

(Not really.)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

'Astings, mate

I'm feeling much better now, thanks for asking.

This weekend Buffy and I went to visit my hometown of Hastings - or 'Astings Mate, as cousin Martin always calls it, as in "I'm from 'Astings, mate." We stayed with my sister who lives in a massive house on the outskirts of town with her two kids and five pugs. I've never been a massive pug fan, but they are very sweet, except for when they snort saliva in your face. My sister is one of the nicest people on Earth. Both my sisters are, in fact. But I digress.

We slept on a blow-up bed in the attic room. Inflatable beds are great - except when they become deflatable beds. We blew it up at midnight, when we went to bed. Then woke up at two to find ourselves lying on the hard ground. So we inflated it again. Then again at six. And again at nine. I realise we should have got our lazy, slightly-bruised and everso-achy butts out of bed at that time but, hey, it was a Sunday. We need our lie in! Even if it is on a bit of flat rubber.

Buffy got to meet my entire family, then we went into Hastings and I showed her the wonders of the Old Town. I used to be slightly scared when walking around Hastings because so many shadowy figures from my shadowy past live there, but fortunately we avoided any unpleasant meetings. Plus these days I don't give damn anyway.

We went to one of my old stomping grounds, Ye Olde Pumpeee Houseeeee (I might have overdone the Es; half the clientele had, boom boom). We went to a restaurant called Fagins where the menu - and the prices - haven't changed since 1993. Hastings - the town that time, industry and taste forgot. Oh, I don't mean it. Parts of Hastings are lovely. OK, so I've been sitting here for ten minutes trying to think of some examples, but 'Astings Mate will always have a place in my 'eart. Mate.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Buffy and I are poorly. Dizziness, fatigue, aching bones...all that horrible stuff. I was slightly concerned that it might be meningitis, but couldn't find a rash to do the glass test on. Then Buffy suggested that it might be carbon monoxide poisoning after our windows were painted yesterday and we slept with them shut.

But it's probably just a virus.

I had to come home early from work and spent the afternoon in bed. Buffy bravely soldiered on, then came home armed with Lucozade (which I spilled all over the kitchen floor) before we slumped on the sofa and ate comfort food: veggie sausages, Smilies and beans. Followed by coconut cakes, Pringles and Maltesers.

Now I'm too fat to get up. Expect to see me on Jerry Springer soon, being winched out of the flat, clutching a tube of Pringles and drooling.

Yep, I'm delirious. Bedtime. Now.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Reality bites

Today's mission is to find ways of wringing money out of real life magazines. I've already mentioned our Pick Me Up poem (see It works a treat. Perhaps I should expand on Buffy's (and my) growing obsession with real life magazines first...

Every night, before falling asleep, Buffy needs a bedtime story to help her switch her brain off. So she lies with her head on my chest as I tell her a sweet tale about one of the following:

a) A middle-aged divorcee who got laid by a 23-year-old Turk/Tunisian ne'er-do-well on holiday before giving him all her money and watching him run off with a pregnant German;

b) A weedy bloke who is imprisoned in a caravan by his wife and her new lover. With only a goat - whose name has been changedto protect the innocent - to keep him company;

c) A woman who was tortured by her ex-boyfriend/next-door-neighbour/ex-boyfriend who lives next door, lovingly and graphically detailed for vicarious thrills;

d) A family of 'monsters' ie chavs who terrorise the street, revving up their motorbikes and generally murdering each other before inevitably appearing at Leicester Crown Court;

e) A 19-year-old woman who has seven kids who is 'finding it quite hard to cope' so agrees to become a drugs mule then gets caught and slung into a foreign jail (and not even paid for her story);

f) A miserable husband (all husbands in real life magazine world are miserable) who doesn't want his wife to run up massive credit card bills or have any fun, so she sleeps with his friend for revenge (and gets paid for her story);

g) Another middle-aged divorcee who got laid, etc, etc, and has a convenience store named after her.

Among all the fun you'll find top tips - "If your hands are too cold to pull your card out of the ATM why not carry a peg with you" - plus pictures of pets doing 'hilarious' things, toddlers doing even more 'hilarious' things, hubbies washing up in the nude while wearing their girlfriends' knickers, and so much more that if I went on I'd run out of blog space. I particularly enjoy the psychic pages, where someone sends in a picture of a piece of fluff that landed on their sofa and Mystic Mary tells them that it's their guardian angel, named Kevin.

The best thing about these mags is that they pay for everything. So, as I said, we've been trying to think of ways of getting paid . Today, as well as our poem, we've sent in a picture of Buffy with super-frizzy hair, asking for advice on how to get sleek chic hair for a party she's going to; we've taken a picture of the rats' cage and are going to pretend we found it at a boot fair, for the Boot Sale Tales section of Take a Break, and if they print it we'll get £50. I also posed for a 'Hubby in the Nuddy' pic but am too chicken to send it in. It's yours for £50.

I will keep you posted on our attempts to become real life magazine stars. Now we just need to persuade Flake to do something funny... Come on Flake, you can walk across that tightrope while holding a flower in your teeth...

Friday, August 11, 2006

A week in the life

For the last few days, Buffy and I have been battling chronic fatigue - a result of six months of emotional ups and downs - so we've taken today off work. Last night we decided, despite being totally skint, to treat ourselves to a night in a posh hotel, dinner in a veggie curry house and LOADS of booze. It was one of the fun-nest nights ever.

This morning, dried out and headachy, we staggered down Tottenham Court Road and breakfasted at Garfunkels (hmm, classy). The toast didn't have butter on it, which caused a great degree of consternation. Then, when the rather-too-jovial waiter brought some butter, it wouldn't spread. Cue Buffy spending 30 minutes rolling a clump of rock-hard butter across her soggy piece of toast, muttering "I'm gonna spread this butter if it kills me."

Buffy's friend Rachel is staying with us tonight. Like us, Rachel lost a rat this week, Gytha, who died after an operation. I expect she and Syd have met up and have launched celestial rat blogs. Maybe. Muffin and Flake are missing their older sister.

The worst thing that has happened this week is that our landlord has put our flat on the market, breaking our tenancy agreement. So not only will we have to find somewhere else to live, which is a major pain in the ass, coz we love it here, but we're going to have loads of people traipsing through our space. There are 5 of the f*ckers coming tomorrow. He's offered us a paltry amount of compensation which we've turned down; were going to fight for more.

What else happened this week? Ellie, who had been constipated for 5 days, did the biggest poo ever while sitting on my lap. She weighs over 10 pounds now. Well, she did before the poo incident.

I also read a hilarious and supremely entertaining book called Liz Jones's Diary, which is kind of like Bridget Jones but real, crossed with American Psycho, without the gruesome murders. It's like American Psycho because she's as obsessed as Patrick Bateman with beauty products. It's the story of a disintegrating marriage and is v funny and sad and I think buffy must be fed up of listening to me bang on about it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

he he he

Buffy writes:

Hey, buffy here...

Mark's left his blog logged in on my mac book so felt I should take advantage. Welcome to chicken's roost. It's a hoot.

I feel like i'm in his mind. This is fun.

Mark is running a bath and having a wee simultaneously.

He rocks.

Peace out.

Sara Sizzle

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Jobs for the Boy

The other day, Buffy listed her worst jobs of all time. I feel like I need to do the same. Here, in no particular order, are my worst jobs ever.

1. Kleeneze salesman.

I was 14 and needed some cash for a family holiday. What could be easier than trudging the streets of Hastings putting small catalogues full of essential cleaning products through doors, then going back to collect them a few days later? One woman bought practically everything in the catalogue (paying for my holiday fun). Nobody else bought anything. Including the woman with 100 cats whose house smelled like every Kleeneze product in the world couldn't make it smell of anything other than cat piss.

2. Paper boy

Also when I was very young. For years, I spent every Thursday evening delivering the free paper. I was assigned Hastings' roughest estate. The place where single mums go to smoke crack. Blocks of flats that smelled like the aforementioned cat woman's abode, with rottweilers instead of cats. Every week, I delivered papers - getting one penny for each one - while fearing for my life. The highlight was when a three-year-old called me a f*cking c*nt.

3. Broad bean picker

Summer as a student, standing in a field in the middle of nowhere, on my own, picking broad beans with just a crackly radio for company. I toiled in the fields for days. Then, at the end, the bastard farmer (who lived in shack because his wife had caught him shagging his young female farmhand in the barn) told me that 75% of the beans were "too small" and refused to pay me for them. After working out my wages were 76p an hour, I stomped off. Oh alright, I slouched off. I hate farmers.

3. Child Support Agency maintenance officer

I did this for 5 years after leaving uni. 5 years of being called what that three year old called me on a daily basis. 5 years of ruining people's lives. 5 years of listening to men cry on the phone. What a laugh. Still, we had a subsidised bar. £1 a pint every lunchtime. That's why I stayed for 5 years.

4. Factory worker

I worked in two hellish factories in Hastings, the food-packing capital of SE England, but they all blur into one. Whether standing by a conveyer belt picking out the black cornflakes, or shovelling carrots into pickle vats, or separating the siamese twin jelly babies from the normal ones, there was always one thing you could rely on. Actually make that two. One, it was always mind-meltingly tedious. Two, all the people who worked there were c*nts. Oh how I loved being addressed by my colleagues as 'poof', 'student poof', 'you lazy f*cker' or 'Rambo'. Still, I did wear eyeliner to work, so I guess I asked for it.

5. Connex customer services executive

If I ever hear the words 'leaves on the line' or 'is it beyond the wit of man?' I start to twitch. Then I start to cry. Everybody knows the rail service in the UK is crap. At the CSA, we used to joke that the only job that could be worse would be working for a rail company. So I went to work for a rail company. I can;t really describe what it's like being on the phone all day listening to people rant at you about dead pigeons, rude ticket inspectors ("I'm not racist, but he was black"), blocked up toilets and lost laptops. I feel tense now just writing about it. I need a beer. 'Let the train take the strain? You must be joking!' Aaaaaaaaaargh!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Rat in Peace

Today was a very sad day. Syd, the coolest rat in the world, had to be put to sleep after losing her battle against The Tumours. Syd was 38 months old, which is bloody old for a rat. But dying pets are my weakness so I've spent a lot of today blubbing like a big baby.

At the pet shop, when I got her, all the other rats were huddled in a scaredy heap at the bottom of the cage. But Syd knew there were better things out there. She pushed her way to the top of the cage, stuck her whiskers in the air and declared, "Choose Me!" Syd's favourite things were choc drops, chewing large holes in my best clothes, leaving droppings everywhere she went, climbing clothes horses, playing with her little sister Nancy, weeing on my books and more choc drops. She was endlessly entertaining and naughty. She had rat-titude. She was a punk rat.

Syd's gone to the Rainbow Bridge now to be with Nancy. Bye, Syd. We'll miss you. You rocked.


Saturday, August 05, 2006

While the Chicken's Away...

...Buffy will play.

Don't believe all you read on Sara Sizzle about her spending the day working. She was blogging about working! Only joking sweetheart... Buffy is a workaholic with a perfectionist streak. It's a great quality to have because one day we're going to start our own business and become a Power Couple. The downside is that she allows herself to get overly stressed about her job. I love my job too and spend a lot of time outside office hours thinking about it, but I try not to at weekends. Nobody ever lay on their deathbed wishing they'd put in more hours at the office.

Double trouble: Sara and her twin sister

I feel so loved up at the moment. I have for the past six months. I don't want to get all gushy and gooey on here, but... oh, I can't help it. I'm in a permanent state of feeling like Charlie Brown when he kisses the little red haired girl.

This is despite the fact she's listening to Gareth Gates at the moment. I hope she never thinks she made a stupid mistake.

We're going to have a quiet night in tonight with a takeaway and an assortment of DVDs. We've got The Ring (US version), Cherry Falls, 50 First Dates and the brilliant Ghost World, one of the bestest films ever. After the social whirl of the last few weeks, it's gonna be well lovely. Innit.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Keeping up with the Buffys

My cousin, 'Marv', has told me in a comment on the previous post that I need to blog more to keep up with my 'handful' of a girlfriend. I'm trying, I'm trying! Marv's blog is here. He lives in scary Florida - scary not because of the crocs and Miami vice-style drug dealers, but because of the goddamn hurricanes. Last year I went to Marv's wedding and nearly got blown off the face of the planet. Anyway, check out Marv's world for the latest news...if he hasn't been swept up and blown into a Wizard of Oz-style world. His mum, my Auntie Jo, has started a blog too. But there's nothing on it yet. Come on, Auntie Jo! Keep up!