Friday, 15 October 2010

My 8 favourite things beginning with "S"

Aye well. I hevn't bin arrished to dee owt on here for a while like but young Anthony Allsop's blog caught me eye last week with a bit of blether aboot hoo e'd bin challenged to give us 8 things he liked beginning with "s".

Well I ken nee bugger is going to challenge us to owt, me being a recluse and all, but us mitts was strangely drawn to the keyboard for this effort.

skin - I don't know if you've been in the pub when they've got one of them quizzes on - they seem to be dying out nowadays - but this was always a favourite question round our bit. "Noo then here's yan for the lasses: Name the body's largest organ!" And woe betide any bugger who asked just whose body he was talking about. Well I like my skin. I'd look a right prat without it.

string vest - the coolest item in my wardrobe. When I get rich enough for bespoke tailoring I'm going to get a string vest hoodie made.

sausages - You cannot be Cumbrian and not be into sausages. And I'm not talking about the shite you get at Tescos. A real Cumberland sausage goes twice round the frying pan and is pointed at both ends.

sporran - there's nowt at all Cumbrian about this, but having lived in Scotland for a wee while I find I've developed a dreadful sporran habit. The kilt is a great garment. You can wear it anywhere, but the best thing about it is you're always ready for action. And the sporran covers a multitude of sins.

scrotum - part of the body's largest organ. And the original inspiration for the sporran. I have a soft spot for the word scrotum because it was the name of the band I was in before we scattered to the darkest corners of the British Isles. We was radge.

stottie-cake - not because I like the taste, which resembles french earwax. But because I like the way Geordies say it. I cannot really put it in print, but if you turn one of the the two t's into a glottal stop and say the "a" in cake while grinning like guilty politician you might JUST get a bit of the flavour of "sto'tie keeyak"

sinewave - human ears enjoy sinewaves, and I'm no exception. What do a violin, a soprano voice and an overdriven guitar have in common? Bar a few overtones of course. And why do you think Clapton used to keep fiddling with his guitar and amp to get his "woman-tone" going? Mine's more of a skanky crack-whore tone. And vocally I'm aiming for "bag-lady after a gallon of meths" tone.

something - in the way she moves. Aye.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Buffy and the Trouserless Accountant

I call it low carbon-footprint blogging. Some of you may have noticed that I am not too slick in replying to comments nowadays. This is not entirely out of disrespect, nor because I don't welcome and treasure your comments, ("I receive comments, therefore I am", as the famous philosopher Jonathan Ross once said), but because I've got no internet connection where I live. If I did then I wouldn't get a blind bit of studying done in the evenings. I'm already dangerously overdrawn at the time-bank, what with having a life and all, and for some reason I feel compelled to earn this fucking degree. Possibly because I want to prove certain people WRONG.

My lack of piped home entertainment takes the lead from our Mam who reckoned they didn't have a TV in the house when she was growing up in case they caught an inadvertent glimpse of Starsky and Hutch. I don't know about Father. I don't think they even knew about TV in Marseilles. All they had was a primitive form of rat-based entertainment.

Any road - even without internet I still feel a need to procrastinate when I'm supposed to be writing something meaningful about clades, or Dalradian schists and, lacking the ability to wilfully browse, I scribble. Craply.

Like this ...

I stand breathless in the park. The sun assaults me and the air swarms around me. People carelessly wander round, enjoying the summer. And over there a small group of children plays, throwing each other around on the grass or dropping wearily into the shade of the tree where their parents sit. I stand, motionless, the expectant sentinel.

I am somebody's worst nightmare.

So you want a career? Try this on for size. Every generation one is born, and one only. I thought I was a normal kid, but then the Nexus of Fail chose Brampton for a home and everything changed. I became the Slayer - the guardian of the gate: fated to spend my life hunting down the THINGS that emerge from the maw of the Nexus. Sure, I found I had been given powers to help me in my task, but it is a ceaseless task. A thankless task. Nobody can know what I am, or what I protect them from.

Did I say nobody? There is one who knows, and helps. My Watcher, Rupert. He has no special powers, except maybe punctuality, but he was specially trained for his task at the Academy of Watchers in London, England, and he was there when I needed him. He is always there when I need him.

Ah. There he is, in a tree on the other side of the park with his binoculars, ignoring the indignant looks of the low-necklined girls as they scurry past. He raises one arm. He's seen something. I raise one eyebrow in acknowledgement but otherwise remain motionless. I am ready.

Along the path to my right I hear a sharp intake of female breath, then an exclamation.

"Well, really!"


Then a single squeal and a "eeeuuwwwww!" from two pre-pubescent girls who scamper away, looking back and giggling with embarrassment.


Then a blokish roar. "Oi! What the fuck d'you think you're … oh!"


Time to take charge.

Wait a minute. Rupert is in trouble. I assess the scene across the park where a group of girls has surrounded his tree and is throwing stones up at him. Faint cries of "paedophile" float up the hill. Looks like he'll be OK. He always is. He's got a hide like a tobogganist's arse, Rupert.

But the momentary distraction has been too long. Things have gone suspiciously quiet to my right. I flick into movement, using my supercharged limbs to handspring down the slope - much easier than running when you're headed downhill - and crash into the bushes where I had set my mark.

Oh lollipops! I'm too late. He's taken his victim. The boy's eyes are already glazing over as he slumps sideways on his knees. The fiend has withdrawn his glistening member from the victim's mouth, and is cackling, gloating, as he wipes it vigorously on his dirty raincoat and tucks it into a damp-looking posing pouch. The scene etches itself on my memory - one of my rare failures. The victim is a ginger-haired lout I vaguely recognize from school, the infected ejaculate of the monster dribbling from the corner of his mouth as he lies shuddering on the ground. A ten pound note flutters from his grasp. The monster himself is a middle-aged gentleman with a bald spot, wearing spectacles and a shirt and tie. The filthy raincoat is incongruous on this dapper specimen.

But there's no mistaking the feral gleam in his red-rimmed eyes as he becomes aware of my presence. He halts in mid-gloat, turns towards me, and reverses the direction of his button-fumbling. OK. I'm immune to most of the crap that these ghouls can throw at me, and I recover like nobody's business, but not even I can take a full frontal at this range. Not if I want to make it to school in the morning anyway.

"Hello my dear!" he says, his voice all scratchy. "You must be new around here. What's your name? Can I be of assistance?"

All the time he is fumbling under the raincoat, readying himself.

"As if!" I sneer, keeping my eyes fixed on a point just above his bald spot. "Does your wife know how you spend your Sunday afternoons Mr Tate?"

He starts. I keep my eyes locked above his head but I can see that he is puzzled, dimly trying to remember something. The only good thing about werepervs is that they take a hit of about 50 IQ points when they get turned. Rupert's researches into the occult suggest that their brains get starved of blood by chronic tumescence and constant loss of fluid or something.

And this one is definitely struggling. He's new. It was only last Monday that I spoke to him in the queue at the butchers as he bought two pounds of Cumberland sausage, thin please, and I asked him if his daughter was enjoying her first few weeks at Sheffield University. Mr Tate the accountant. Pillar of society, shy, kind, and now a slavering pervert. He may be new at this game, but if I do my job right he won't get old. And he won't take anyone else with him.

I feint to the left and he buys it, squirting a foul-smelling cockful of something slimy as I cartwheel to the right, duck beneath the engorged member as it swings back round, and grasp his blackened testicles in my rubber glove. I twist. He gasps. I finally meet his eyes, and glimpse something like relief as the signature dirty raincoat fades away and he suddenly dissolves into powder. The powder hangs momentarily in the air like pollen. All that remains is the stench.

All is quiet. Good. Nobody has noticed. The killing power of the rubber glove on the wereperv is silent but deadly. Now for the other one. The newly-hatched one.

Shit. He's gone. I beat through the bushes frantically as Rupert staggers up, panting.

"You're … losing … it … Buffy ..."

"Fuck off you moron! I am so not losing it! And what about you, eh? Call yourself a Watcher! Stuck up a fucking tree by a bunch of slags when you should be watching my back!"

"I don't think that is quite fair Buffy. You know that I have to stay in character. And don't you think you're being a little too defensive here? You missed that one and he was just ..."

I cut him off with a shriek. "You bastard! You … you … fucking basstaaaard!". Tears of rage are running down my face now. "I'm stuck with this fucking job! I didn't ask for it. I was just given it! I've been doing it two whole weeks now and do you know how many people I've had to slay? Eh? Do you! That was Mr Tate, that was. Fucking hell!"

I turn away and I suddenly see that people are gathering round us. Staring. Old ladies are eyeing my rubber gloves. Fuck. I wonder if they suspect.

Rupert comes to the rescue, as usual. He falls into character - the kind of character that just blends into the background in Brampton. "Look, it's not a problem if you don't want one of my mini Mars bars". He shakes his head and starts to edge away.

He knows his job, Rupert. I back him up and turn my tear-stained face to the nearest permed head and sob witlessly, "I just came out for a tab and he… he asked us if I wanted a lick off his mini Mars bar, and my mam told us never to take owt from strangers!"

"There there dear." One of them pats me on the arm and glares poisonously at the retreating Rupert, then down at my gloves. "You'd better get back home and finish the washing up then. We'll see he doesn't bother you".

Rupert smirks ingratiatingly as he backs away. I give him a wink, but I swear to myself that I will rubber-glove him if he sets the blame on me again. I will, so help me. It is just not fair.

Then faintly, from down the hill, I hear a scratchy male voice chanting "You-and-me-girl eh?" in a pervy way. "You-and-me! You-and-me!" There is a flash of ginger hair and a faint squeal.

I roll my eyes and start off at a trot, trying not to draw attention to myself. A Slayer's work is never done.

Next week: Love at first sight. Buffy meets her first were-slag.