Yet another disaster has devastated Cactus World. I was in my bedroom a couple of days ago when all of a sudden I felt the Earth move, but not in a good way. A crashing sound in the lounge followed by an ominous rumbling similar to how I imagine the Gates of Hell would sound if being opened (without the support of a can of WD40), is not a good thing to hear. I quickly switched on the TV to my favourite Cactus World news channel, CW1 News, to try to find out what had happened.
A few weeks ago, the Easter Cactus in Cactus World produced The Flower. In fact I wrote about it here, it being such a once-in-a-lifetime event and all that. Well news was soon coming in of a disaster of cactusclysmic proportions. (Did you like how I altered cataclysmic to put cactus in it?) Obviously overtaxed by its recent efforts, the pot holding the Easter Cactus had become detached from the ceiling of Cactus World and plummeted to earth. Emergency services were quickly dispatched, but the pot had fallen into one of the most inaccessible places in Cactus World, behind a speaker and a lamp in the corner of the room, which hampered initial efforts to reach it. When they finally arrived at the incident zone, the rescuers were met with the sight of the pot, upright, but with most of its soil missing. More critically, there was no sign of the Easter Cactus anywhere, although some mangled sections of it stem were spotted lying about. However, satellites supporting what was quickly becoming a full-scale emergency, quickly spotted that the Easter Cactus had been entirely separated from its pot and was hanging precariously from the top of the speaker. Once found, highly trained paraplantmedics were quickly airlifted to the incident zone, but had to carry out a full pot transplant at the scene. It seems too early to tell what the long-term consequences of this are, but in the immediate aftermath, estimates from people who’ve visited the scene have described the horrific sight of seeing around 30% of the Easter Cactus having been ripped from the main body of the plant and parts of it lying around all over the place. Experts are suggesting that there will now be a glut of baby Easter Cactus plants for Cactus World to share with its neighbours and friends over the next six months.
Despite this disaster, officials has expressed relief that the pot actually landed the right way up. The gully into which it fell is heavily crisscrossed by power lines and other services that support about 75% of Cactus World’s entertainment industry. A large amount of dirty water and soil in this area could have devastated TV, music, DVD, Blu-ray and cable services for weeks, had it got into what are technically known as “the wrong places”. Given the incident zone’s inhospitable and inaccessible location, along with ongoing concerns about the safety of the area due to dirty wet soil and anyone nearby getting understandably depressed about the mess and the damage to the Easter Cactus, cleanup teams have not yet been dispatched to sort out the mess and it remains officially off-limits to visitors.
To try to reassure the general public, the authorities have issued a single picture of the Easter Cactus, resting peacefully after its pot transplant.
Right now I’m listening to “3 Minute Hero” by Sonic Boom Six.
Easter has come late to Cactus World; (about six weeks late, to give some context to this statement). Preferring to eschew the dubious values of stuffing ourselves silly with overpriced and over-packaged chocolate, the citizens of Cactus World prefer to take a more traditional and dare I say it, a more cerebral view of the event.
First spotted as a small, red bud, by Cactus World’s top scientists a few weeks ago, my Easter Cactus has now produced its first ever flower! At the age of, (well the sort of age that polite society suggests that you don’t ask houseplants what their real age is), this one’s magnificent bloom has been casting a wonderful, scarlet tinted hue across the skyline all day, on what is also the sunniest and warmest of the year so far. Pretty well the entire population of Cactus World has visited The Flower today; I myself have been several times to gaze in awe at it. To protect The Flower from well-wishers, who might inadvertently damage it in an attempt to take pictures or smell it, an official photograph has been issued by the authorities, which I’m pleased to be able to reproduce here. An official statement has also been released, to the effect that The Flower has not produced any especially discernible scent.
No one knows exactly how long The Flower will last, but calls for 22nd May to be made a National Holiday have already surfaced. The best news is, of course, that there’s a second flower bud developing, so hopefully another will appear soon.
Right now I’m listening to “Fall Into Place” by China Drum.
I have just officially wet myself:
Right about now I’m wishing I owned a gas mask. Why? The Mother in Law’s Tongue on the window sill has decided to flower. This common indoor plant, hardy and innocuous enough, which we’re all used to seeing in offices and receptions areas etc, hides a dark secret within its soul. When the sun goes down, its flowers release a scent of hypnotic power. It draws all towards its sweet nectar, man and beast alike, as the heavy perfume overcomes all inhibitions, rational thought and self-determination, sending those who seek its wisdom in a sleep that lasts 1,000 years zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………
Well okay that’s not all entirely true. But it does however have a seriously powerful smell at night that quite frankly would give any air fresheners silly enough to challenge it a good slap. My entire flat stinks of it at the moment. It’s not that it’s got a bad smell or anything, but it does feel like I’ve got a can of Tesco Value air freshener and sprayed it directly up my nose. It’s serious quite overpowering and I am just a little worried that if I go to sleep I really will not wake up for 100 years, a bit like Sleeping Beauty; (although the similarity probably ends around about there). It’s also making my throat and nose feel weird. Penny’s in an odd mood tonight too; personally I think she’s been sniffing it a bit too much.
And here is a photo of the beast. Sorry about the slightly weird look of it, but I had to take it by hacking into a US spy satellite and borrowing its camera for a few minutes, as there’s no way I’m going to risk getting close enough to it to use a normal camera.
You think I’m exaggerating things? Ha! You have no idea what I’m dealing with here!
Anyway, I bet you’ve never even seen one with a flower before. It doesn’t happen very often. Then again, this is Cactus World, where nothing is ever quite like it seems; and, after all, I am the horticultural equivalent of Superman. (Please ignore all the rubbish you might have heard about these plants needing to be neglected to flower; that’s just rumours put about by jealous people who can’t manage the magic I can. In fact, you virtually have to agree to marry one before it will even consider flowering; and yes, that’s a bit of an awkward issue that I’m going to have to deal with later.)
Right now I’m listening to “buried alive” by Visqueen.
Despite evidence to the contrary, life for the population of Cactus World isn’t always doom and gloom. Yesterday, Cactus World was blessed with the appearance of a new cactus flower and one of its community minded citizens was on hand to record this momentous occasion.
Behold! The Flower:
Sadly, today it’s looking somewhat limp. (Please inset your own penis joke here). However, there are reports coming in of not one, not two, but three flower spikes on the Mother in Law’s Tounge approaching Cactus World. Stay tuned…
Meanwhile, Penny has faced her nemesis, The Puppy Shaped Door Stop! Again, one of Cactus World’s brave citizens was around to record this epic battle, which shows Penny heroically fighting a piece of string, which the cowardly Puppy Shaped Door Stop is apparently using as cover for it own nefarious plans, whatever they may be:
Right now I’m listening to “Underwear Goes Inside the Pants” by Lazyboy (or Lazy B if you prefer).
My telly has broken down. It was working – and then it wasn’t. It’s only 14 months old and was itself a replacement for its predecessor, which broke down after less than a year. It’s not like I use it that much either, probably only about 6 hours a week, to watch DVDs. When I was young (and there’s your cue for humming Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony Number 9, Opus 95, “From the New World”, aka the Hovis commercial music), TVs were complex, high-tech things made by hand, yet they seemed to last forever. Now nearly everyone (at least in the so-called Developed World) has at least one in their home, they’re a more ‘mature’ technology and we’re able to automate most manufacturing, for some reason the TV making industry (does it even have it’s own name anymore) appears to employ monkeys to put them together. Not only does this seem cruel (to both the monkeys and the humans like me who buy the things), but leads to shoddy TVs being supplied.
Last time it was replaced (with a better model I have to say) under guarantee by Dixons (which I also have to say dealt with the problem very efficiently). However, now it’s out of the one year guarantee period from Dixons, I was left with the worry that I’d have to go and work as a male prostitute on the streets of Reading in the evenings for the next ten years, (well I don’t think I’d earn very much to be honest so it would take a long time), to enable me to be able to afford to replace it. (Because okay yes, it’s a stupidly big TV that cost a fortune and doesn’t really fit in my lounge, but because I’m a bloke I had to buy the biggest one I could possibly get, to impress birds, make guys jealous, improve my social status and otherwise make me look like I’m a success in life, and basically say, “look, my TV is huge, so just image how great I am in bed”. None of this has actually worked by the way). So anyway, I rang up Samsung. (Not at random, it was made by Samsung monkeys). The good news is that a repair should be covered by the manufacture’s guarantee and that it will be arranging for an engineer (whatever happened to “TV repairmen”) to come and fix it. So like all good mini-series on TV, I leave you with this cliff-hanger of an ending. Part 2 to follow…
And as an added bit of culture, here is the ‘famous bit’ of Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony Number 9:
Right now I’m listening to a live version of “Fill Me Up” by Citizen Fish.
Well well, it’s been a while since I wrote anything here. I guess that means I’ve been in prison again, on a secret mission for the Government, or abducted by aliens, (which in the latter case would be the third time, as far I can remember anyway). An alternative might be that I’ve just been too busy at work to want to type yet more stuff when I get home, or perhaps I’m just a lazy, old sod. Who knows?
Talking about being old, it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago. I spend the day in a place called ‘Up North’ at a meeting, to hear how we’re all going to be reorganised at work. I really like my job (most of the time), but I must say that I’m fortunate indeed to work for the organisation that probably restructures itself more than any other in the entire universe. (Okay, I appreciate that I’ve not actually got a total understanding of the universe and all the organisations in it, but I do have a good enough grasp on things to realise that it’s simply not possible to restructure more and not break any laws of physics.) But as I’m apt to tell the people I work with, if you don’t like the changes don’t worry, because it will all get changed again in a couple of years.
Anyway, back to my birthday. There I was, sitting on the final leg of my journey back to Reading, the last 30 minutes between Paddington and Reading, looking forward to getting home for my birthday; not that I had any plans, but there’s a principle here so stick with me on this. So anyway, there we are, speeding along at something over 100mph, when, oh dear, someone decides to get run over on the track up ahead and consequently turns my 30 minute journey into one lasting more than two and a half hours. Well done mate. Now this is of course, a really tragic thing to happen and call me self-centered if you like, but it was my birthday! And I’d had a long journey too. So much for partying the night away with a crowd of beautiful women, plentiful drugs, good music and an endless supply of beer. (As an aside to this, I only got two birthday cards, and one of those was just a 50p off voucher in a card from some company that I probably won’t use, but it did say happy birthday on it so it counts.)
And in other big news, I’ve decided to join the human race. What I mean by this is that I’ve now got a Facebook account. Having felt for several years like I was living off the grid by refusing to have one, ‘The Man’ has finally got me in his grasp. Bastard. I do need to point out that I’ve not done this because there’s been a huge influx of people suddenly thinking that I’m the best thing since sliced bread and wanting to be my mate; (sliced bread isn’t that good for you anyway, it doesn’t fill you up and it’s full of rubbish calories and salt, a bit like me really). The fact of the matter is I’ve only done it because hardly any bands are using MySpace anymore (as they’ve all gone over to Facebook as the new MySpace is virtually unusable now) and I’ve started to feel like I am loosing track of things. As this is basically all I care about in life (actually that’s not quite true but for dramatic effect I’ll say it), this is obviously a bad thing. I wonder how many Friends I’ll manage to pick up. None so far. I hate it’s ugly, blue colour and angular design too. The one good thing is that my having an account there has probably doomed it, as has been the case with several other social networking sites I’ve joined in the past. Facebook is the social networking equivalent of Tesco, minus the Clubcard Points. Oh God, I’ve even put a link in to them…
Right now I’m listening to “West Blanket” by Picked Dick (now known as Mike TV).
Technology hates me. I know this to be a fact…
First my car became incontinent (which it has been for many months), in the sense that it couldn’t hold a charge in its battery for more than three days; (cure, nine days off the road and a bill of £638.31).
Oh and while I think of it, both the Nectar and Ford web sites say I can collect Nectar Points from my local Ford dealer, but just you go and try to do so. (Cue whiny, Ford employee’s voice), “you have to get a voucher from the web site as they took all our swipe card machines away.” Then ring Nectar to get told (in a, fuck you you’re a moron, do you really think customer service means customer service kind of voice), “there aren’t any vouchers, you need to get the dealer to swipe your Nectar Card, it’s nothing to do with us.” Lying bastards. They’re first up against the wall when the revolution comes. ‘They’ haven’t heard the last of this from me, ‘they’ don’t know who they’re messing with.
Then my immersion heater at home broke; (cure, three weeks or so with no hot water and then its replacement is apparently scared of heat, given the barely more than tepid temperatures it seems capable of producing).
Then my computer decided not to start; (cure, a morning of my time, three trips to Maplin and about £60 for a new power supply unit). Just as well I’m an IT god.
Then last week no less than three trains I was travelling on got badly delayed; always on the way home of course.
Then finally, American Express are on the phone whining at me to pay my credit card bill as I’ve gone over my limit. Don’t they realise technology hates me? I bet all those bankers with their disgustingly huge bonuses didn’t get rung up and moaned at when they overspent by billions? Oh I forgot, it’s them on the phone whining about my credit card payments and halving my credit limit without giving me any notice whatsoever, just so they can charge me £12 for going over my limit, to feed their obscene greed. Bastards.
Sometimes you see stuff on TV about people who live in what are little more than mud or straw huts, have bugger all belongings or money, but seem very happy. No TVs, no cars, no DVD players, no expensive holidays, no iPhones, no electric can openers, not designer clothes, no ready-made meals, etc, etc. How can they possible be happy? Then you realise this is exactly why they are happy. No consumer shit to worry about breaking down or being stolen. (This of course assumes they’re healthy, have enough to eat and enough money for the things they need, which given the way so many countries exploit so many others, probably isn’t especially likely. But give me a break okay? It’s called a poetic licence.)
Right now I’m listening to “Wilderness” by the Mega City Four.
Watched Four Minutes on DVD last night. This is a 2006 German film (so that means subtitles for the Euro illiterate like me) about a young woman who’s in prison and also a great pianist. It’s the best film I’ve seen for months (and I watch a lot of films). It looks good, it sounds great, the story mixes up a lot of different subjects that you don’t normally get together really well and it has two actresses in it playing the main characters that’re totally awesome. It manages to include prisons, guns, punch-ups, decapitation, Nazis, lesbians, incest, pianos, really intense arguments and a psycho pianist! And it’s nothing like how I’ve just made it sound. It also has a great final scene (the four minutes of the title). It’s not a comedy and it’s actually quite a slow and serious film most of the time. You need to go and watch it. It’s certainly a new entry into the Top 50 Films of All Time in Cactus World. Penny hated it though, so not a great film to watch when you’ve got all the neighbourhood cats around.
Right now I’m listening to “Pathways” by the Frank and Walters.
God no, I’ve got another gig induced cold. As usual it’s the worst cold anyone has ever had, ever; even surpassing my own personal Worst Ever Cold, which was the last one I had of course. At least I’ve worked out why I never get ill other than colds; because nothing can bloody well find a way to infect me because a cold has always got to me first!*
*Incidentally, I’ve not idea if statement is medically accurate or not, but I never get sick with anything ever, except colds. However, in the weakened, pitiful state I find myself in right now, this thought gives me some comfort, as I sink into a hazy twilight of pain and misery, combined with all the dance-floor moves and vocal attack of a zombie. I guess I’ll soldier on somehow, without making too much of a fuss; I’m not one to cause any bother or over-dramatise things.
Incidentally, in an evolutionary sense, what is the point of the common cold? Like wasps, they just appear to exist to piss people off, me mainly I think.
And just in case anyone has thought it, what I have is no way anything like Man Flu. Man Flu is a bit of harmless fun, whereas what I have is probably new to medical science and Extremely Dangerous to all life on Earth, just like my last cold was, probably. But here’s an amusing little video all about Man Flu, by Punks Not Dad.
Right now I’m listening to “4Q” by Blitz.