Thursday, August 12, 2004

Rebuffed by a builder

Being back isn’t enough. I need to be back with something for you to read, don’t I?

An interesting and thought provoking article is being worked on.

In the meantime, in the blog tradition of: ‘Today I walked the dog and ate a tin of peaches’, here’s a tidbit from my day:

The tradesman came this morning. Ostensibly to paint the window frames of my Victorian terrace house. I knew though, that his object was going to be (once again) to trample the garden, break tiles, move neighbor’s satellite dishes, make trees slant at funny angles and drip black paint onto the freshly painted white sections of the window. Such is the man’s bubble of reality and I think he just takes it from place to place, wreaking havoc in suburbia and giving housewives something to talk about.

This guy is so used to being here (for one reason or another…so many things need fixing) that he just opens the door and hollers ‘hello’ – hoping, I suppose, that I’m actually dressed. Today I was unusually tired (probably from outlining my views on humanity last night at Samizdata HQ) and in a dressing gown. This unnerved him a little…but not quite as much as the music.

I usually have music playing, he’s used to it. He’s varnished to Vivaldi, drilled to David Gray and sanded to Danielle Spencer (where I prefer to alliterate to ABBA…boom, boom). So far, my choice of music has been fine – even though Tubular Bells III made him spookily reflective – I listen to that with headphones on now.

Anyhow, as I said, I was tired this morning and decided I needed something harder to wake me. I chose coffee and the soundtrack of the movie Spawn (one of the few films that actually understood the noire element of its founding comic). As my hapless little man walked in, Marilyn Manson was doing his best to explain exactly how difficult life and love was.

He looked at me. I looked at him. Marilyn seemingly gargled the intestines of a small animal to the beat. He just stood on the stairs looking. I decided to smile. This didn’t seem to make him feel any better.

I suppose he had thought me a refined lady up to that point. I gave him little leaf shaped biscuits with his tea. I worked at a computer all day. I usually dressed with some care. I came as close to refinement as possible in his eyes without actually doing the twinset-and-pearls thing.

This morning, I may as well have just draped myself in an animal skin and greeted him with a raised club. My aura was gone, I was just one of those young punks that listened to incomprehensible music.

At this point, though, I really don’t care. It wouldn’t be possible for him to do a worse job unless he strapped a paintbrush to the left hand of a chimp and stapled said chimp to the top of his ladder with written instructions for painting frames. In Hebrew.

I’m at the end of my coffee and feeling much better. Besides, how could you possibly complain about an album that teams Moby with the Butthole Surfers?



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