Monday, May 18, 2009

Happily Sad

Good news, bad news. Both require dealing with differently.

Good news - how happy should we be towards the person who's had the news? Dunno. We don't want to be too sycophantic, obviously. We want to express joy at thier news, but not jump in there in a way that suggests we hope they'll share whatever good fortune they've earned with us, cos that would be tacky, and a bit pathetic. Tricky. 'Congratulations' is generally the best way to start, I find. That's heartfelt, it's truthful, it contains no inherent jealousy (depending on how much sarcasm you lace it with of course, but sarcastic typing is a whole other subject). Assuming it means what it says on the screen, 'congratulations' can't go wrong as an initial reaction. What do you follow it with, though? That's where it can get sticky.

Please note that all of the reactions listed below are things I've said to others, not things that have been said to me, or said by people I know. The only fuckwit in this room is the one typing.

Told you you could do it - there are issues right there. 'I told you' - oh did you now, you patronising twat? How many other people did you say that to who didn't make it, eh? Just cos I found a way through the pile doesn't mean you're a prophet. Throw enough arrows, you're bound to hit the bullseye eventually. That's probability, not prescience.

About bloody time! - sounds both safe and friendly, and it mostly is. Sometimes, though, it means what it says, ie - thank fuck you're out of my way. Maybe I'll get a chance, now!
See you, you're a bit too talented for my liking, it can mean. Now that you've been scooped up I don't need to feel so inferior now.

If it was going to happen, I'm so glad it happened to you - means: It should have been me, ME, I tells ya!

But, that's all bollocks. It's meaningless. This post isn't about being sarcastic, that just happens to be my default mode.

I had a day, today, where I had friends get good news at exactly the same time as another friend got bad news. What do you say to bad news? That's my real question.

It went as well as it could have - eh

He won't be able to eat for 4 days - eh

He won't be able to speak for a few weeks - eh

After that, we'll see - eh

A person I care deeply about is in a hospital bed unable to speak, right now. And he's a mouthy cunt so I know it's killing him. I'm not a believer in prayers, but if you chose to send one his way I'd believe in that. And I'd thank you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Slave to the Rhythm

We’re tired, but the supplies are holding out well. We still have plenty of tinned goods to work through, and even a few luxuries; though I don’t expect the chocolate will last too long with Melanie around. It’s early days yet, but I’m hopeful we might make it all the way this time.

Back to basics, now. The chocolate is gone, as is the fresh fruit and veg. Strictly tinned and frozen goods from here on, but that’s okay, we’re used to it. Bread and biscuits are the key, I find. If you have them, even if they’re a bit stale, you’re fine. Beans for the bread, tea or coffee for the biscuits.

DAY 12
Biscuits are all gone, now. Melanie has a guilty look about her.

DAY 15
We argued today. Nothing unexpected about that, it’s common enough under these circumstances. Luckily we were able to come to a compromise - the remaining tea is Melanie’s, I get the coffee. We share everything else equally. We agreed not to mention the tomato soup again.

DAY 19
It’s getting more difficult, for both of us. I know I’m just as much to blame as Melanie, but I can’t help feeling aggrieved that she so obviously took the lion’s share of the tinned stew last night. Although it’s true enough that I sneaked a tin of spam outside with me. The joke was on me, though. The stupid little key thing snapped and I was unable to open the can. I had to throw it away, afraid that Melanie would catch me out if I took it back inside. What a waste.

DAY 22
I dreamed of beer and sausages last night.

DAY 23
The atmosphere is raw. We’re both feeling it now. We try to remain civil, and manage it for the most part, but the tension is always there. Food remains the biggest issue, but we’re both concerned about how long the cigarettes will hold out. I’ve taken to smoking only half at a time then nipping it for later. I hate baked beans with all my dark, dark soul.

DAY 25
The cereal is finished! Good God, what I’d do for a pizza.

DAY 26
I’ve forgotten how it feels to be drunk with a full belly. I miss it so. Personal hygiene is suffering from lack of shampoo and fresh razors. Melanie is giving me the look. She’d be better off looking in a mirror, I feel. My own hair may be lank and greasy, but at least it’s short.

DAY 27
We’re within days of reaching our goal, but bitter experience has shown that this is the most dangerous time of all. Stocks are low, and so are our tolerance levels. Melanie hasn’t spoken to me for three days. I don’t mind.

DAY 28
Melanie used the last of her teabags this morning. She’s taken to staring at the meagre remnants of my coffee. She won’t ask, she’s too proud for that. Should I share? It would be the chivalrous thing, the right thing, even.

DAY 29
Ugliest day of all, today. The silence ended and it became an outright, bloody battleground between Melanie and me. Only one more day till we reach our goal, but we couldn’t retain our dignity. She thought I hadn’t noticed the missing spoonful of coffee, but I had. She denied it, of course, but I knew, I knew. We both said things we’ll no doubt regret, but I for one feel justified. It was my coffee, she had agreed to that. It’s going to be a long, cold night, and I have no cigarettes.

DAY 30
Thank God, an end! We’ve made it. Last Friday of the month. There were some shamefaced apologies from both of us this morning, but the knowledge that we’d survived made forgiveness easy.

So far so good. The supplies are holding out. Pizza, sausages and beer last night. It’s a four week month, too.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Stop It!

There's a lot happening in the world at the moment that it's valid to be angry about. There are people, and things, on this earth that I reckon it's justifiable to hate without having to worry if you're being a reactionary twat.
They can be boiled down to one thing. That is: choosing a course of action that you know will result in someone else being detrimentally affected.
That's it, really. All the world's ills are summed up, right there.

So, you know, stop it.

You want clarification? Why? It's all there. If I ever run for office that'll be my campaign slogan: Stop It! (and yes, I will capitalise the 'it')

Macro/micro, obviously.

Macro - if you're a banker, stop banking so much, you'll only hurt youself in the end, and leave stains you'll struggle to explain.

If you're religious, in any shape or form, stop thinking that means everyone who doesn't happen to subscribe to your particular beliefs deserves death, scorn or placards.

If you're a politician, well, how's that working out for you?

Micro - If you know you're likely to offend or hurt someone with the things you type on a keyboard in the secrecy of your own home, stop it. It's neither big nor clever. Sarcasm is a wonderful thing. Stop mistaking it with bile.

If you want to be funny, stop not knowing the meaning of the word 'funny'.

And, the best Stop It of all:

Stop bloody judging. Just stop. It.

I've seen people I respect torn to shreds online for no reason other than they expressed an opinion. They didn't judge, just commented on things honestly.

We're still in the 'micro' world, obviously. Someone I regard as a friend typed something awful recently, truly awful. It was typed flippantly, but it made me feel sick.

The lesson it taught me? Other than just Stop It, it was this:

Stop it, and shut the fuck up until you have an intelligent argument to present.

Maybe that's just me.