Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How NOT To Get In My Spare Room

For the first time in known history (and possibly also history that is as yet still undiscovered and therefore not known), I knew what I was going to write in this week’s newspaper column a whole seven days ago; almost a week in fact. Plenty of time then you’d think to have it all typed up and spell checked and ready to submit (or ‘file’ as it’s apparently known in the newspaper game) to enable me to let my hair down over the weekend and sip a few Malibu and pineapples. Allegedly.

But alas my lazy streak kicked in, the hair stayed up and the only thing I sipped was the bitter sweet taste of a looming Sunday deadline. Still, it was fun writing it for a change and there’s another of those trademarked glossary of terms© at the end to explain the parochial stuff.

In last week’s thrilling installment of this column, I mentioned that due to a recent change in domestic circumstances, I am currently accepting applications for the vacant post of lodger. Since then the response has been overwhelming and I’m still sifting through all of your letters and emails and trying hard not to laugh too hard at some of the photographs that accompanied the correspondence.

Those of you who make it through to the final stages of this selection procedure will hear from me soon when you’ll be invited to attend a gruelling Lodger Idol-style interview and audition. I can’t say too much about the process at the moment but I’m particularly looking forward to the swimsuit parade* as well as the hands-on tasks to determine your compatibility as a roommate. How will you fare I wonder in the Star Wars trivia multiple choice quiz or in the should-milk-go-into-tea-first-or-last* practical assessment?

For the rest of you however, the road ends here. I thank you for your time and interest and I wish you all the best in your search for lodgings. On this occasion it was just not meant to be. Specific feedback as to why you didn’t make the grade will be provided on request since the reasons were many and varied and, in extreme cases, quite disturbing.

Take the email I received from a Ms. Terious of Fife for example, who asked if I would be sharing my light saber with any new house guest. Whilst the thought of re-enacting classic Jedi duels has a certain appeal, I’m not convinced that that was what you meant. My light saber is a precious instrument that requires careful handling so I wouldn’t want you to misinterpret any spontaneous cry of “May the force be with you!”

Then there was the rather abrupt letter from a Mr. A. Retentive of Perthshire which included a long list of conditions I would have to follow if I was lucky enough to have him as a lodger. I’m sorry but anyone who believes that toilet rolls should be hung in the bathroom with the loose end hanging down the back is living a sad and deluded existence. Everyone knows that loose end to the front is the only rational and acceptable solution.

To Miss Little of Moffat, I don’t care how “friendly and cuddly” your pet tarantula* is, I will leave the country if you ever come and visit my town. And please stop sending me photographs of you and “Chuckles” in increasingly compromising positions. It is neither big nor clever nor, I suspect, legal.

The same goes for Mr. B. Bag of East Lothian who wrote to tell me that his main activities include “digging up stuff, setting fire to stuff and stuffing stuff.” It’s not a career path I envisage following myself but I’m sure there’s a soul mate (or a qualified therapist) out there for you somewhere.

And finally, to Big Eck of Govan*. I’m not sure what kind of mishap must have befallen you to warrant your desire to “get the hell out of Dodge” but my spare room is not a refuge for people on the run. From the tone of your letter it sounds like you need a quiet break from things so why not just grab your golf clubs and hop a cheap flight to the Med. I hear Portugal is very nice at this time of year.

Interview packs containing full details of the auditions will be dropping through the letter boxes of successful applicants in the coming weeks. Plenty time for you then to brush up on your movie trivia and run your swimwear through the wash. Bikinis only please.

Glossary of Terms:

Swimsuit parade: Ladies only.

Should milk go into tea first or last?: If your answer to this question is anything other than “last”, you are wrong.

Tarantula: Big, f#ck off spider.

Big Eck of Govan: This is an ever-so-clever reference to the predicament presently facing Alex ‘Big Eck’ McLeish. Mr. McLeish is the (current) manger of Glasgow Rangers Football Club (the club play their homes games in an area of Glasgow called Govan) who are not enjoying the best of fortunes at the moment. On Saturday they endured what can only be described as a severe, 3-0 ass-whipping by their biggest rivals, Glasgow Celtic Football Club.

Everybody in Scotland is expecting Mr. McLeish to be fired in the next day or so (personally, I hope he stays for at least ten more years) probably after their midweek visit to Portugal (see what I did there?) to play a European Champions League game.


At 22/11/05 7:29 am, Blogger Green Glass Beads said...

When Celtic have Keane there´ll be no stopping them!

At 22/11/05 11:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure about the light sabre? I'm fully qualified with a firm yet sensitive touch...

At 22/11/05 3:38 pm, Blogger Ophelia Of Perfidia said...

Heh, well... Geez, stalkerish much?

But ya know what? I've had these guys read my blog (i.e. the one I had to move eight times), and post these unbearably scary comments about how they wanted to "corner me in a sex shop and shag me," so let's not get started.

At 22/11/05 5:13 pm, Blogger The Other Half said...

i know you're holding out for me to apply, but Neil, I will NOT move to Scotland. ;-)~

At 22/11/05 7:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope Keane goes to Celtic too - he's so hot headed he'll get red carded in every game and Rangers will go on to win the treble
THANKS VERY MUCH FOR READING MY COMMENTS A TRUE BLUE Ps. any chance of having the Gers curtains and accessories in every room if you let me be your lodger??

At 22/11/05 11:55 pm, Blogger Neil said...

Sai - Agree.

Anon 1 - Oh my!

Willowrose - Oh my my!!

Wendi - Don't knock it til you've tried it - no hurricanes here.

Anon 2 - Disagree.

At 27/11/05 1:30 pm, Blogger Ophelia Of Perfidia said...

Naw Neil ya know what? ...Read my blog. Seriously. If you want fiascos you got 'em. lol. Can't a day go by without a fiasco to brighten up my day.


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