Sunday 14 May 2017

Episode 45: Tell it like it is

You know me. You followed me around the country. You loved me on the TV when I had you in stitches with jokes about my penis. You followed me in the tabloids, you supported my charitable works. Then you didn't. I don't know why. You just stopped. Now, I have people who love me again. So much that they made me their mayor. This is my new story, From Under Dark Clouds.

We were in the car on our way to the next town before I realised what had happened. My phone was dancing in my pocket. Smiley, thumbs up, smiley. Mike was pleased about something.

“You were great!” The driver passed me his phone. I tried to find what I was supposed to see. “Over a thousand Likes on your post. Someone put a vine on instagram, look.” It was me saying if I don’t do this, who will? Over and over.
I wasn’t sure that I was.
“Mike, what’s the wife up to?”
Her browser history scrolled onto the screen. Mostly news sites, mostly Greece. Then her facebook, she had been active. My old stand-up routines, my diatribes about the government starvation of the NHS. The good days. The old days. Before they turned on me.
“You’re trending on Twitter,” something approximating Mike’s voice said.
“From the rally?”
“From the UK.”
“Is she OK, Mike?”
“Hasn’t left the house, sir.”
The bare rock at the peak of the mountains looked like snow as it reflected the sunlight. The EU-paid road traced the parting between jagged summits and turquoise seas. The occasional village perched on the coast unaware that they lived in the pages of National Geographic, where the people back home dreamed of spending their lives, a place under the sun to the soundtrack of the waves.
We passed the first signpost for the next town.
“Give me the most popular social from the rally, Mike.”
Seemed they like me saying Politics shouldn’t be trusted to the politicians and Greece has stood against worse and won before. The old, old stories. The old routines. “Mike, make sure 40% get a response and 20% get a personal reply”
“68.4% and 14.7% would be optimal.”
We arrived in the next town square where the team had made sure my car was mobbed. I put on my stage face. The cameras were always rolling. The heat spilled into the air-conditioned car. I prayed for rain, London rain.
I shook hands, kissed grandmas. A pretty young voter squeezed through the crowd, stopped then kissed me on the face. I smiled and forced a blush.
We didn’t have a big stage and sound system, this was guerrilla campaigning. I used to do the same thing at Covent garden before I made it onto the telly.
What are you going to do?
“I’m gonna clear the debt!”
“I’m gonna get the country wiped from google maps. Then, if we’re all really, really quiet, they won’t find us and go away!”
I expected someone to challenge this. But no one did. They just laughed at the stupidity of the world. Same old stories, same old routines.
I recycled some of the routines from the mayoral elections that seemed so long ago that no one would remember. I made sure I left the stray dogs out this time.
The team collected up the modified karaoke machine that was our PA system while I did a round of the cafes and ouzeris that bordered the town square. I carried a bottle of water to avoid too many offers of drinks.
A pavement cafe was my first stop. Some young voters. I introduced myself and punched some fists. They googled me then beckoned me for selfies. I told them that their vote was their future. They said I was cool.
“So, what are you doing?” I asked.
One circled out a big group with his finger. “We’re students.”
“What are you studying?”
“Economics.” They shouted in ragged union.
“Wow! Guys. We are really going to need you!” I looked impressed. “Adam Smith, Maynard Keynes, Hayak. All English. Well, not Hayak but he did do most of his work there.” They looked at me puzzled.
A stout girl from Another group yelled something at me, I think, in English.
“Sorry, love?” I replied accordingly. She yelled again. “Didn’t catch that sweetheart.” Her friends laughed at her.
“English literature!”
“Oh!” I smiled. “So why aren’t you at lectures then? You come down here to see me?”
“No!” a giggle broke out.
“So when do you graduate?”
Another giggle. “When we give the lessons.”
“What are you going to do then?”
“Learn English in a school.” A pretty, slim woman answered.
“Your English is great already.”
“No!” Her frappe straw choked at the bottom of the glass. “Learn English at the childrens.”
Good luck with that one. “So, are you old enough to vote, how old are you?”
They each called out their ages, like a kindergarten roll call. 24, 26, 27, 29…
“Tough course, eh?”
More laughing.
“Well, my dears this may be the most important election of your lifetimes so make sure you help make some changes. For your futures. We are counting on you.”
“Mister.” One of them raised their hand. “You are very fun!”
“Thank you.” I bowed.
I moved on demographics to a coffee shop patronised by senior citizens. I found a spare seat next to a handsome looking gent with a well-kempt moustache. “Do you mind if I sit?” He looked at me and I was ready to walk away when he ushered me to sit.
“Who are you?”
I introduced myself, “… I am the new independent candidate in the upcoming elections. I stand for…”
“Yeah, yeah. Who are you, I said.” He looked me up and down. “Your mother, your father. Who are you?” The other men, for there were only men, joined his question. “Who are you?”
“I was born in England…”
“Your parents? Greek?”
“No, my wife is and my kids…”
“English. Foreign.”
“Let me ask you all something.” They conceded. “Are you happy with the government?” They grumbled.
One thumped the table. “Malakas! All of them.”
“Are they Greek?”
“Politicians are all malakas!”
One spoke up, “English, eh?” I nodded. “Thatcher! Good woman. Strong!” They all agreed.
“The last government. Were they Greek?” We all knew my question was stupid. “Einstein said doing the same thing while expecting a different result is madness. You don’t look mad.” I stood and began to leave.
“Grandfather?” I shook my head and some hands then moved on.
The next was a taverna. A large man draped over a protesting chair waved two stout fingers at me. “Eh! Boy. Come sit down.”
I complied.
“What are you going to do for businessmen, like me?”
“I don’t know. What kind of businessman are you?” I think my thought did not translate well.
“Eat something! You look thin.” He waved the same two fingers at the waiter. “Bring my friend a plate and a glass.” The plate and glass appeared. “Eat!”
I attempted excuses but it was only an attempt. He loaded my plate and poured me some tsipouro.
“You drink tsipouro?”
I nodded and necked it. He gaffawed and refilled.
“You gonna cut my taxes?”
“Maybe. You gonna pay them?”
He slapped me across the shoulders and declared to the whole taverna that he liked me.
He told me how this and previous governments had been bleeding honest businessmen like him dry. He told me how he had built his business from nothing and that his son would probably lose it all.
“Eight years for his bachelors, eight fucking years! Girls, night clubs. Lazy malaka!” He filled my glass, I necked it. “I sent him to London, Oxford university for masters. London is a very expensive country.” I took small bites at the meat on my plate but I couldn’t chew and respond. He loaded my plate with more than I ate. “I never went to university. I worked. These kids are useless malakas. No hope for this country. It’s his mother, treats him like a baby. You go to university?” I choked on my no. The eating didn’t impede his speech. He continued to fill his mouth. “See.” He pointed to a BMW parked on the pavement right out front the taverna. I don’t know much about cars but it looked comparable to anything my showbiz mates drove.
“Hard work is what this generation needs!”
I stood, necked the tsipouro and took a meatball from the plate. “Speak to some of the businessmen from my town. By the way, what is your business?”
“Me? I am a landowner, not a farmer!” He shook the fingers off my hand.
My car was waiting with the engine running. We left.
It was nearly half an hour to the next town. I told the driver to slow down. The tsipouro had kicked in along with the heat and the malakas. The selfies and pictures with the oldies were upped and shared to sharers, Mike saw to that. I needed a nap.
We arrived. Town square, mob, I thought we had doubled back. A curvy brunette pushed through the crowd. I blushed.
The banners were up and the photos taken. Always before I spoke, just in case the crowd wouldn’t smile after they heard what I had to say. Smart move.
“I don’t want to win, you need me to win,” I goaded. It worked before. “Politics shouldn’t be trusted to the politicians anymore…” Blah fucking blah! “Come see what we’ve done in such a short time in my town. Come, I invite you all!” I paced the square trying to find someone to give me a soundbite. “You have stood against worse and won. I want to do it WITH you!” I wondered what the wife was up to. “A change in vote is a vote for change!”
“Who are you?” I ignored the question. “Eh! Who ARE you?”
“You know me, I’ve been on the TV!”
“Not MY TV!”
“You speak funny!”
“He’s from London!”
“You from London?”
“Nearly, Essex. It’s close.” I replied in the general direction of the question.
“Sorry! He’s not even Greek.”
“From London!”
“Maybe his parents…”
“Let him speak, guys.”
“He’s the mayor over in… where is it?”
I stood back watching me being volleyed back and forth. “Hey, I’m still here!”
“Is that him on the poster?”
“Hey!” I shouted down the mic. “SHUT UP! No, I’m not Greek. Not my parents”
“Not my fucking grandfather!”
I wished I was back in Covent garden, Leicester square with my hat jangling with coins, a fucking tube station. Anywhere but here.
“So you’re worried about a foreigner in your government?” a murmur of agreement. “I drove up here on a road paid for by German, British and French taxpayers, built by immigrant workers. You beat each other senseless on the terraces for a Russian oligarch’s football team. You drive a German car or dream of driving a German car. You let your country be sucked into a Eurocratic empire run by the same people that your people and my people fought against in you grandparents’ lifetime. The money in your pocket is controlled by the ECB based in Frankfurt… That’s in Germany!”
“Yeah, now they’ll make us have a limey prime minister?…” a man in Barcelona F.C shirt looked to the crowd for support. He found it. “Always the same! Remember Cyprus?”
“While you want to make money after starting work at 30, after eight years getting a bachelors degree. Your kids can’t get into University because it’s too stuffed up with students who drink frappe all day. So you send them to Bratislava to buy a degree with a carton of Marlboro. Then they become doctors, prescribe antibiotics for a cold and demand a back-hander to do their job properly, a job that you pay for with your national insurance and taxes, if you pay them because you don’t trust the government you have which is full of your own people! Greek people!”
“You wanna live in a better place? Make it a better place! Patriotism is an action not an excuse!”
I felt hands on me, pushing me into the car but I hadn’t finished.”
“Stop fucking bleating like the sheep you should still be herding!” the car was there, the door open. My arm pulled from within. “You bunch of fucking spoilt children grow some fucking balls!” My ear snagged on the door frame but through the pain I heard the cheer as the door slammed. I reached for the handle, there was so much more that needed to be said. My office door that smelled like a butchers block, my family in exile. For what? People who looked at their country like they looked at their mothers. Their dinners cooked, their shirts ironed and an allowance that allowed them to roll in at 6am to a clean, warm bed and sleep till lunchtime.
The driver left rubber as we snaked through the narrow, pocked streets toward the EU highway out of there.
The driver turned, “Sir, it needed to be said. They are malakas.”

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Sunday 7 May 2017

Episode 44: Worried

You know me. You followed me around the country. You loved me on the TV when I had you in stitches with jokes about my penis. You followed me in the tabloids, you supported my charitable works. Then you didn't. I don't know why. You just stopped. Now, I have people who love me again. So much that they made me their mayor. This is my new story, From Under Dark Clouds.

In previous episodes, 41 42 43, the Mayor announces his candidacy for the upcoming general elections. Then, he comes into the town hall one morning to find a Chinese street peddler nailed to his door. He sends his family back to UK but he decides to stay and continue what he started. His wife is worried and she's not the only one.

“You had me worried,” I touched the screen.
“I had YOU worried! What the fuck is going on?”
“Some people don’t like what I’m doing, darling.” I wanted to tell her everything was going to be OK, I really did. Technology gives us the chance to see who we are talking to but it robs us of the chance to lie.
“What are you doing? Come home. Be funny again. Do what you do best.”
Where is home anymore. Was I ever funny. I know I made people feel uncomfortable. “What about…”
“Shit, honey! They’ve forgotten about that. Nobody cares. You’re not Jimmy Saville ferchrissake! If you haven’t fucked kids, they don’t care.”
“But you said…”
“Is that…” I knew that face, she was swallowing words. “…woman still filming you?”
I didn’t notice Roni’s lens trained on me anymore. She circled round behind my laptop. I slashed my throat. She dropped the camera but the red light was still blinking. I slashed again. “Off.” She grimaced. “OFF!” She complied. I think.
“I wanted you away from those people. The drugs, the partying.”
“Now you want me away from these people!”
The doorbell rung.
“I gotta go, darling. They need me.” Roni smiled from behind the camera.
“Come home! I need you. The kids need you.”
I touched the screen, blew a kiss and clicked out.
“I’ll fucking sue” I looked to Roni.
“You signed…”
“She didn’t!” She pursed. “She won’t sue. She’ll make that Chinaman’s fate look dignified!” She shrugged. “Are you still filming?” She shrugged again. “Fuck you, bitch!” She smiled. I went to answer the door. I had to do something, I could fuck her but it’d be on YouPorn before I came.
Socrates had sent someone to take me to the studios for an interview. It was Chris, the security guard from the airport, he smiled like a child but I wouldn’t want to see him pissed.
“Your car awaits, sir.” He said in English. I thanked him. The people needed to know that I wasn’t deserting them. He spent the journey telling me what an honour it was to drive me and how he had some friends in London who were keeping an eye on the wife and kids. The need for this worried me more than anything.
At the studio, a small crowd had gathered. Some were friendly.
As I approached the open door I felt a shadow on my back and hot rancid breath on my neck. Chris pushed him away but not before I heard his words. “Next time it’s you!”
The studio was cool and calm. I was not.
“Can I get you a drink, Sir?”
“Water will be fine.” I know, I heard it too!
The station was friendly so we could expect a smooth ride but Mike the IT guy had farmed the messenger, whatsapp and viber accounts of everybody of note, just in case. The encrypted stuff was always the best read.
We didn’t have the budget to grease palms but with Mike wandering around cyber-space like a local we had plenty of shit to sling. Trust me, you can’t truly know anyone until you seen their browser history.
The set was an arc desk with the TV logo on the front and bare wood and staples on the back. Threads from previous guests’ clothes hung like a mangy dog. They miked me up and the signature tune played.
“5,4,3,.,.” The red light lit on the camera and we were off. I had no problem talking Greek in public anymore. I knew I sounded like a seven-year-old but I had the honesty and conviction of a seven-year-old, at least that’s what Socrates said.
“Good evening and welcome to The Open Files. Tonight we have with us the outsider, independent candidate who has been getting more attention than all the front runners put together.” She turned to me, “But not all of this attention has been welcome, has it?”
Fuck, she was going straight for it, no foreplay at all. A man likes to be wooed a bit.
“That’s quite right,” I replied. “But I think it only fair to say that it’s not me that’s getting the attention. I think it’s my message, Elena.”
“Yes, and that message has upset some people, has it not?”
“Has it upset you, Elena?”
She dipped her head and said, “No, of course…”
“Well, and I don’t think it has upset many of the great and proud people of this nation.” I’d like to see her browser history. My phone buzzed in my pocket.
I ventured a look.
“Something important?”
“Public duty never rests,” I said. It was Mike with her browser history. Kinky bitch. “The proud people of this nation are already tweeting.” Highlighted were sites with mother and NOT son. “Do you have a son, Elena?” She paused but her blush didn’t. “Can he vote?”
“He can’t yet.”
“Would you be happy with him voting for fascists. Not the nice cuddly ones you had from…” My phone flashed again. “1967 to 1974. No these guys would be far worse and probably bankrolled by the Germans.” That bit was mine.
“I would like to show the viewers what awaited you at the town hall when you arrived yesterday.”
“I am sure you would, Elena but I would not wish to inflict that on anyone, especially prime-time TV with kids watching.” It was too late the monitors were showing the video from YouTube of the Chinaman nailed to my door. I looked over at Roni, she shrugged. This was not her footage, someone had been allowed past the cordon, could have been the police themselves. I stood. “I can’t be a part of this. I won’t!” I pulled out the mic, holding it close enough for it to pick up my departing words. “This is the problem. Sensa… sens…” I couldn’t think of the word for sensationalism. “Making a scene of people’s suffering is your business?” I moved it away from my face and spoke to my phone. “Mike, take them down. Now!”
I walked down a corridor until my driver came to redirect me to the door. Outside the crowd had grown. I faced a forest of phones.
“Is that journalism? A man, a father, a son, a brother who died at the hands of people who want to represent you!” I directed at the audience. “You think they’ll treat you any better?” Chris looked nervous. Jude and Roni might tell the story but he’d take the beating. He tugged me into the car.
We went to a safe house. Well, it was Chris’s mother with pie awaiting. Socrates was there as well. I accepted a drink, then another. Jude had two slices of pie, Roni waved her refusal. The driver’s mother took a shine to Jude.
“Fuck! Socrates, I thought these people were friendlies.”
“Ratings, it’s all ratings.”
“They just wanted an excuse to put that inhumanity on the TV.”
“We… They wanted to show what you were up against and your resolve.” Socrates was smiling.
“So, you?…”
“This is great!” Socrates clinked my glass. “You performed better than we expected!”
“I performed…?”
He went to clink my glass again. “I thought you were going to fuck it up when you started with the son stuff. Elena’s a good friend. She likes you!”
“She likes fascists and sex with young…”
“We all have our little fantasies.” He took out his phone and wrapped it in a tea towel. “I need to have words with Mike.”
I pushed my glass away. “Socrates, this is not great. A man died a horrible death. I had to send my family away. I could end my career as a piece of interior design. This is NOT great!”
“He was a street peddler. They won’t do anything to you.”
“A guy outside the studio…”
“Oh! did you look scared?”
“I was… fucking perturbed!”
Socrates looked to Roni and she nodded. “Good.”
I took the drink back. My head was far too complicated to process this.


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Sunday 9 April 2017

No Sweat

Spring is here and the days are getting warmer. Good news. But for many of us it brings with it some very real problems. Sweat. Yes, for many of us still looking for the perfect remedy for stained armpits and that au so naturale aroma that comes with it. Well I think I may just have found the answer.
I recently read an article (Google it, you'll find plenty more) that made me try a different tact. Nothing. Yes, nothing. Seems the body likes to maintain equilibrium and the more you destabilise that balance the harder it works to fight you. 24/48 hour antiperspirants, manly deodorants do nothing but put a veneer of chemicals over the smell that must be smelt. Your skin is the largest organ of the body and it works hard to protect us from the elements while maintaining suppleness and supporting bacteria that shield us from airborne pathogens. For this it needs natural oils that we work tirelessly to eradicate.
The reason that this resonated so much with me is because it is not an entirely new idea. In my 20s, I had long hair. My hair is quite curly and as a result whenever I washed it my hair became dry and frizzy. I tried gentle shampoos, conditioners, I even tried olive oil but the result was always the same, unmanageable frizzy hair or lank greasy locks. Obviously the solution would be found in the right product. There are products that save us from all our human flaws and there would be one for this too. A simple transaction at the supermarket or body shop would surely fix this one and my hair, like so many other problems would be cured.
Then, I had a talk with a Norwegian girl with beautiful platinum hair. She told me that she hadn’t used shampoo for years and my reaction was probably similar to your right now. But, she did not look like a vagrant or a patchouli-smelling BoHo. I tried it and have used shampoo a hand-full of times since. The first month was hard, my hair went into withdrawal. Greasy and lank. I washed it everyday in the shower with plain water but kept soaps away. I have never looked back. Even using gels and styling products was no problem, they just wash out with water leaving the hair in a natural state of equilibrium. My scalp is healthy and dandruff-free.
So, when I read that the same could work with the toxic cesspits that are my armpits I ditched the expensive fragrant shower gels in favour of a simple olive-oil soap from the supermarket for less than 50c a bar (UPDATE: found multi-packs which work out to 30c a bar) and completely ditched the antiperspirants and deodorants. Antiperspirants contain aluminium chloride (aluminium and bleach), aluminium oxide (aluminium rust) or aluminium sulfate, you get the picture. Metal which blocks the glands to stop the nasty stuff getting out (also linked to breast cancer). in fact, the wife has found lumps before that at her annual checkups have been dismissed as blocked pores caused by antiperspirants. Deodorants contain antibacterials which kill the natural friendly bacteria which helps the skin protect us from airborne pathogens. The result is that the skin, the body’s largest organ, goes into defence mode and works harder to cool itself and protect us from the world by producing more stinky bacteria. Result, more sweat, more smell.
I have been doing this for just over three weeks now and have already noticed a marked reduction in sweat and almost no smell at all. In fact, a couple of people have remarked on how I (don’t) smell and asked what I use.
Now, the other part of the study recommends showering less. There I draw the line, even if it is really eco-warrior. I enjoy my steamy winter showers and my invigoratingly icy showers in the hot Greek summer. I will not give them up for the penguins or anyone else. The waste of drinkable water could just as easily be reduced by buying less bottled water. But, I don’t try to soap myself up like a snowman. I concentrate just on my stinky bits and I don’t have that tight feeling anymore like my birthday suit shrunk in the wash.
I have had to throw out so many shirts and my favourite Fred Perrys due to pits crusty with aluminium deposits. Every year we spend fortunes fighting the foulness that springs from every pore on those balmy summer days while we are trying to look cool. But when it doesn’t work, we do more of the same. More showers, more deodorant, more powerful antiperspirant, more, more, more.
Sometimes the answers are not to be found in the relentless pursuit of more of the same but in starting with an entirely new slate. Don’t try to think outside the box, rub the damn box out and get lost. You never know what you might find.


Things are going well. So well that the wife shouts Fished called Wanda! every time I check the progress by sniffing my own pits. She has joined me in the experiment and I have no complaints with her aura. 

Trial 1. Took a drive down south, about 500km. Now, driving makes me sweat and I did. No more or less than usual but the difference was once we arrived. It dried and then the shirt is usually more offensive than Prince Philip at a... well anywhere (My favourite is his 'eating dog for the anorexic' quip) but there was nothing. No stains, no offence. Even the next day, the shirt was OKish.

Trial 2. My Vespa let me down yesterday on a 28 degree day. After frantic kick-starting and general kicking, I pushed it around 300m to a cafe while I called a man with a van and had a beer. Still no offence.

I have been doing this since February. Generally speaking, I have been sweating normally but there are no strong odours. My theory is that the antiperspirants and my perspiration joined forces to produce an unholy whiff. Now, some of this could be due to my diet or hormones or something to do with my body but it has been a resounding success. My shirts clean easier and I feel more confident. I have continued with the olive soap, which I can't be sure if it contributes to the outcome but it's cheaper and smells better. My only indulgence is a dab of something behind my ears (CK Obsession and RL Polo are my favourites, old skool).  Also, I  like the AXE (Lynx) everyday fragrance Amber and Tobacco, which I may pump under the pits from time to time.

The wife describes my smell as 'warm' and I think she smells like spring.

I cannot recommend this strongly enough...   

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Chaos theory

wild fruit
Centuries of farming technology and genetic research goes in the produce that we buy everyday. Our fruit and vegetable are the result of painstaking study, grown in perfect conditions with the perfect nutrients at the perfect temperature. Often they are the result of genetic modification, selective breeding. Now venture out of the city, climb a mountain, hike in the wilderness and you will find forgotten bushes hanging with blackberries, wild fruit cared for by nothing more than nature. But pluck that fruit and you will enjoy the most exciting flavours you have ever tasted. Maybe it’s the thrill of the chase, finding the few berries ripe enough but not too ripe and unmolested by insects. Maybe it’s the fresh mountain air and the climb to reach it. Maybe it’s the joy of something for free. And, just maybe it’s the satisfaction of sustenance at a time of great exertion. I have my own opinion on this. There is an ingredient missing from so much of life’s fruit. Chaos.

Speak to any enthusiast, someone who has a passion for something, be it art, cars, travel, sport, music and you will often find someone unable to articulate the root of their passion. What makes the heart race is the unfathomableness of its nature, the discombobulation of not knowing what it will tell you, where you will arrive, who will win, will it get you there.
Let me take cars as a point of reference. No one gets sweaty over a Toyota or Honda straight off the production line. People lust over old Jags, TVRs and Ferraris, machines that could give you the ride of your life or leave you in the middle of nowhere, machines that could kill you. Many years ago some friends of mine after passing their tests, bought brand new Honda CBRRs, a well-engineered street racing bike. They still had the chicken strips on the tyres (the little ‘hairs’ from the moulding that show a bike hasn’t been taken far from vertical) One asked me to take it out to tell them what I thought. I did. I took it down country lanes and on fast straights then brought it back unimpressed. Of course my mates were disappointed, they thought they had bought the best machine that kind of money could buy and they had but it didn’t scare me. It was so well balanced, the power delivered so evenly that I felt cocooned in the confidence that I would get home intact. At the time I had an old GSXR 750 that never had good tyres and the brakes had a habit of sticking when they shouldn’t. I would take it up to motorway speeds and see how long I could keep my eyes closed. The Honda did not impress.
Sport, the agony of not knowing if your star player will stumble or soar. Music, the feeling of whether the audience will tingle the way you do at the chord change or the line that makes your underpants dance. Art, are you seeing what the artist really painted for you. Literature, are you really getting what you are reading. Sometimes (read: always) when I finish a piece, my hands deliver the final line, my heart stops and my eyes well. Something, and I don’t think it is me, has put those words in just the right places to make it something more than ordered letters. Just like closing my eyes at 100mph and opening them to find a caravaner with a handful of sticky brakes. I am still alive but some of those heartbeats have put years on my life or life in my years. They were not wasted.
One of the, No! the main reason I came to live in Greece was just that. I didn’t know what was going to happen next. Greece is a drama Queen. In sexual terms, if Greece was a man he would never go on top, cause he can only fuck up! Other countries in the Eurozone went into recession took bailouts and pulled themselves back up. Greece is still too busy pointing fingers to get its hands on the work to be done. The uncertainties and fear, however have taken their toll and I have retreated to the Honda-like safety of my home.
So, back to the fruit. Take yourself somewhere hard to get to. Get lost and find some wild fruit.

Is this all an allegory? You may never know…

Monday 13 February 2017

Lost Civilisations

The door effortlessly slid aside and a small boy stepped in from the corridor. He walked up to a screen in the wall and touched a panel. The screen changed from an image of a tropical fish-tank and a friendly female face appeared.
“How can I help you chuck?” the face inquired.
“Down study-files from my tutor-base at school, reference LOST CIVILISATIONS”
“Done Chuck. Some home study?”
“Yup sure! Jobs says knowledge is power”
“How wise!”
The boy ran his hand over the panel and the fish-tank reappeared.
“Chuck! Is that you, boy?” came a deep voice from another room.
“You betcha Daad” the boy called back.
“Get me some cookies and calsovit and come in here”
“Yup sure Daad”. The boy walked up to the tray dispenser and took out a small tray with two round holes and a flat area for cookies. He slid the tray to the next point where he verbally requested cookies and was duly rewarded with four round cookies. Next for the drink and the machine dispensed two beakers of white liquid with a moo! He carried the tray into another room where a man sat at a large terminal.
“Ola Daad”
“Hi son, how was school today?”
“Gee, Rootin Daad! I loaded plendi. I got some home study about lost civilisations from before the great virus!” the boy smiled enthusiastically.
“Lost civilisations? Hey, how datasome.”
“Yup sure Daad! We loaded files about Atlantis, the brand that sunk down into the ocean, the Incas and the last great Empire” The boy paused to sip his drink and nibble his cookie. 
“The last Empire? Oh! I know that one, it was the Brits if I recall correct.”
“Radical Daad nice recall! It was the Great British Empire and they controlled most of the world without APPS!”
“Yup sure son they didn’t have APPS then, that was before the great Jobs upped himself from cyberspace to save us from the Great virus with his fruit of wisdom.” They both observed a pause of respect.
“The whole corporation was controlled, or rooled”, the boy paused to focus on his new word and his father looked suitably impressed, “by a Queen!” the boy smirked. “In those days a Queen was a woman who had power and a non-functional wardrobe!”
“Well who-da” the man pondered.
“Yup siree to Musk, Daad it’s true as the constitution! She was so powerful, like with magic that she could control the sun! They said the sun never set on her Empire.”
“Is that right son?” the man looked on incredulously.
“No jokin! And her name was Victory”
“So Chuck, if we know all this what the rootin’s Lost?” the man quizzed. His attention caught by the drink in his hand that he had forgotten. He drank. He looked at his son, who was merrily nibbling on his cookie, and smiled. Chuck looked up at his father and smiled, his white liquid moustache glistened. The man looked at his son and smiled, he realised that something was amiss. “Missy, what was the conversation?”
“The topic of conversation Mr. Hank was Chuck’s home study lost civilisations. In particular the Great British Empire of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”
“But Missy I don’t know anything about the Great British Empire!” the man said dumbfounded.
“Billickers Daad, we loaded that at school today! I know all about it.”
“If I may contribute the last question was…” the computer replayed last pertinent question about what in fact was lost from this civilisation “ Does that help at all?”
“Damn tootin it does Missy. I don’t know what we would do without you, peesies are so smart. So chuck, what in the name of Gates is lost?” pleased that they were back on track the man took a big bite out of his cookie to find that he had already finished it.
“Well Daad” the boy lowered his voice and crouched slightly, “nobody has a notion of where Great Britain was. We know that the Empire’s power went as south as the states of Oz and Zealan as east as the province of Honkong and even a powerful leader called Tom Jones controlled Vegas, but we don’t know where the HQ was. We can’t even be sure of what they looked like. Some say they were people of color, some say they were as white as Jobs himself. Evidence has been found of their occupation all over the planet and many references of Great Britain but no country. Some say they came from somewhere around what we call Hermany because we know they made a fabulous vehicle called a Rolls and they found evidence of its manufacture in this area. Some say they came from Spane, because this is where they discovered the most flags but It could have been just a very loyal colony.
The dad smiled at his son with pride, his pupils still directed at the screen before him. “Yeah?”
“Lol, Daad!”
A ping came from the terminal.
“Lol, son.”
“O me Gee Daad!”
“Calsovit and cookies?”
“Double Like,Daad!”
Missy pondered the scene before her, logged all relevant data and despaired.

From Under Dark Clouds

The Century of DIY