Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ti-i-i-ime Is On My Side, Yes It Is

Another Tuesday, another newspaper column, another glossary of terms to flesh out the potentially obscure stuff.

Time, as Jimmy Greaves* would no doubt say in that quaint cockney* way of his, is a funny old game son. Last year when I was jobless and off gallivanting round the world, the days drifted by slowly and my biggest daily decision was whether to climb out of bed in the morning or the afternoon or, indeed, at all. Now I’m back home and working full time, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to meet deadlines or enjoy the important things in life – like sneaking a quick afternoon nap in the office toilets.

It’s been over two weeks now since I’ve had a day off and the cracks are beginning to show. Life’s testing little moments which I would have shrugged off in the past are now conspiring to push my patience levels to intolerable limits. Why is it, for example, that when I’m trying to catch a train at the height of the rush hour, the man in front of me in the queue ALWAYS wants to buy the most complicated season ticket possible? He’ll then try to pay for his ludicrous request with some kind of credit card that either won’t swipe through the machine or is rejected altogether.

“Holy Sugar,” I hiss quietly to myself through gritted teeth as I watch this farce unfold. “Can’t you see I’m trying to get home in time for Richard & Judy*? AND I haven’t had my afternoon nap!”

Then, of course, Mr. Season Ticket causes more queue carnage when he single-handedly cripples the automatic ticket barriers trying to insert his outrageous purchase. But don’t get me started on automatic ticket barriers at railway stations or I’ll end up huddled in a corner swaying back and forth and mumbling incoherent phrases like “wibble*”.

So in the interests of retaining what’s left of my sanity, I’ve hatched a cunning plan*. This coming weekend heralds the end of British Summer Time (I know, I thought it ended during that wet weekend in July too) and we’ll all be given that most precious of gifts - time; an extra hour to be exact and I for one am determined not to waste it on frivolous indulgences such as The X Factor* or trying to track down Ulrika’s* phone number.

I’ve drawn up a comprehensive list of ways I can utilise my extra hour most productively and come Sunday you will find me doing one or more of the following.

1. Cleaning the house. A bit mundane I know, but when I tripped over the remnants of last year’s Christmas tree recently, I realised it had been a while.

2. Scouring the Yellow Pages for a cleaner after I tear up the instruction booklet for the Dyson* vacuum thingy in frustration.

3. Ensuring my cd collection is in strict alphabetical order. (It’s been almost a week since I checked this and I’m starting to get a bit twitchy.)

4. Going to the gym*. Of course I’d have to lose what’s left of my marbles and actually JOIN a gym first so that might something of a hindrance.

5. Shopping for belated “Sorry I forgot your birthday because I was too busy queuing at a railway station” greetings cards for everyone I’ve neglected in the past few months.

6. Tracking down the home address of Mr. Season Ticket and posting a selection of bus timetables through his letter box.

7. Using the extra hour of darkness to dismantle and remove the automatic ticket barriers from all major Scottish railway stations.

8. Christmas* shopping. Nah, just kidding.

And when I’ve finished with that little lot, it’ll be time for an afternoon nap.

Jimmy Greaves: Famous English footballer turned infamous television football pundit who described everything – football, life, bananas, you name it – as “a funny old game son.”

Cockney: Person from the east end of London famous for being either a cinematic chimney sweep or an annoying, Union Jack shorts-wearing tourist.

Richard & Judy: Television chat show couple who are actually married… or is he her son, I can never remember? He’s famous for shoplifting and she’s famous for flashing her tits at awards ceremonies. Essential viewing.

Wibble: Famous catchphrase of Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) in “Blackadder IV” when he was pretending to be mad.

Cunning Plan: Famous catchphrase of Baldrick (Tony Robinson) in every Blackadder episode ever.

The X Factor: Crap reality talent show, somewhat like American Idol, which you have to avoid because once it catches your eye, you can’t look away. Deadly viewing.

Ulrika: Ulrika Jonsson, former morning show weather girl, famous for doomed relationships. (She announced the end of her latest marriage at the weekend.) Still an RAF* though! Google her and see.

Dyson: Multi coloured, nuclear powered Dalek-like machine that sits permanently in my kitchen cupboard humming menacingly and plotting world domination.

Gym: Mythical, modern day torture chamber where, apparently, seemingly heterosexual men go to “work out”! Isn’t that right Dave?

Christmas: Festival and celebration of goodwill to all men, women and children that begins sometime during September. Apparently.

RAF: A term of endearment and adoration when describing the opposite sex, much used and loved by male training instructors working for a major Scottish financial institution, circa early 1990s. (There’s an air force base near St. Andrews in Scotland called RAF Leuchars; pronounced ‘Lookers’. Gettit?)


At 27/10/05 6:14 pm, Blogger DC said...


I suggest an hour of quiet, calm ,reflection, deep breaths, deep breaths,focus on your breathing now ... inhale..... and now exhale .... I SAID DON'T FORGET TO EXHALE !!!

I also predict a riot.


At 27/10/05 11:58 pm, Blogger Neil said...


I am quiet, calm, reflective and relaxed. I am also drunk... which helps a lot.



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