Every Saturday there will be nine questions – sometimes they will be around a common theme, other times completely random – to be answered however we like.
Apologies for being later than usual. I decided to try to spend a little time outside today in an effort to combat my anxiety. After treating myself to a Subway Egg and Cheese breakfast sub (50% off with a coupon) I visited a charity shop and found a cracking deal of four books for $1 (Jane Eyre, Chine Miéville’s The Scar, the superb fantasy Mythago Wood and an 800 page collection of short stories from Tolstoy, Hemingway, Joyce, Capote and dozens more!).
However, I was then scolded by an old woman in a bookstore for daring to comment that the version of Pink’s Blow Me (One More Kiss) that was playing on the radio made absolutely no sense with the naughty words edited out. Apparently there are far too many swear words being used in today’s society and I should have my mouth washed out with soap for contributing to it. Which I thought a little severe because I didn’t actually swear!
So I promptly returned home where I’ve been berating Subway for ending my ‘no vomit’ run ever since; omelettes in a sandwich are brilliant, as long as they’re cooked properly!
Anyhoos, hope you enjoy my answers for this week :)
1) “The End of the Innocence” is one of Crazy Sam’s favorite songs. Do you like it? Loathe it? Or is it before your time?
In all honesty I have never heard this song before so I have no opinion of it either way.
2) Obviously Don Henley was a smoker back in the 1980s. Do you smoke? Are you a former smoker? Or did you never start?
Although I’m loathe to admit it, I am a smoker.
I started in 1999 as a means to control self-harm and ‘want to die’ cravings and have smoked ever since. Throughout that time there have been long periods where I was a non-smoker. After giving up at the end of 2006 it was only the loss of my life and mind that drove me back to cigarettes. Which – when you consider some people become alcoholics, heroin addicts, criminals, violent offenders or suicide statistics following a breakdown – wasn’t all that big a deal.But that didn’t stop the anti-smoking brigade from making me feel like a piece of shit for failing to quit (again!)
Like I didn’t have enough on my plate at the time!
These days – homelessness, mental health, social isolation – what else am I supposed to do with my time? Even psychiatrists and counselors have informed me without cigarettes I would be dead. So please keep any anti-smoking rhetoric to a minimum; yes, they’re unhealthy; yes, they’re bad for me; yes, they will kill me one day…why do you think I smoke?
3) Childhood is generally considered an innocent time. In what town did you spend yours?
I’ve tended to separate my childhood into three distinct periods:
My kindergarten years were spent in a Welsh valley mining town called Treharris. My only memories of this town are: my granddad living a short walk up the road, a library that was (at the time) the center of my universe, an evil teacher who refused to let me visit the bathroom and a gigantic Tolkein-esque spider that made his move only when I was naked; once on the toilet, once in the bath.
My primary school years were spent in a town on the east coast of Scotland called Portlethen, a hop/skip/jump from Aberdeen. I have far too many memories of this town to list here but I did loved that place and have returned on several occasions to relive old times.
My secondary school years were spent in a town near the Welsh/English border called Caldicot. I prefer not to think about this insidious place whose only positives are: it’s castle (once used in the show Robin of Sherwood) and from the train station you could catch a train direct to Birmingham New Street, and from there change trains headed to Edinburgh and the glories of Scotland.
4) Do you abide by “innocent until proven guilty?” Or did you come to your own, pre-trial conclusions about famous defendants like Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson?
Given I was once accused of committing a major crime that I DID NOT COMMIT, I am firmly in the innocent until proven guilty camp.
5) Is there an old TV show whose cast you’d like to see reunite?
There are two:
In all honesty I’m not a fan of shows returning after a long break as they generally lose the magic they once had (yes, Only Fools and Horses, I still haven’t forgiven you!) So no matter how much I’d love to see the Frasier crew (or the Spaced crew, or the Black Books crew) come back together again I am praying that they never do.
However, if there is not a Chuck movie within the next few years it will be a missed opportunity of biblical proportions!
6) Do you know how to ride a horse?
Yes, I know how to ride a horse. But here are three examples of what happens when I do:
Age 8: Okay, it was a donkey (which is like a horse only smaller and better looking…yay, Eeyore!) Whilst out for a ride I stubbornly refused to inform the donkey ride person that my saddle wasn’t affixed properly, even when it (and I) began to slide slowly around the donkey’s torso until, perpendicular to the earth, I fell off; much to amusement of everyone watching!
Age 27: Whilst I was suffering from glandular fever my ever compassionate girlfriend decided she wanted to go horse riding. Cue half an hour of excruciating pain (imagine a nine-inch knife repeatedly plunging into your abdomen for thirty minutes) and near passing out.
Why did I go horse riding?
a) If I didn’t, I knew her abusive tantrum would have been ten times more painful than the pain of horse riding whilst suffering from glandular fever.
b) She was my girlfriend and I loved her. I wanted her to be happy.
(Unfortunately I forgot to take into account her penchant for finding whatever reason she could for an abusive tantrum so you can take (a) off the cards considering three hours later she launched into an abusive tantrum because I wasn’t initiating intimate emotional conversation as we walked the five kilometres back to a bus during which she genuinely asked me ‘why her happiness was not important to me’. Sigh.)
Age 29: Okay, it was a camel (which is like a horse, only with a hump or two). During a camel ride with my girlfriend in the Northern Territory the movement of the camel affected my IBS and brought on explosive diarrhea, then, my glasses fell off and were stepped on by my camel, then, when the instructor came to collect them from the ground he made sure they were completely broken by accidentally standing on them.
7) You’re ordering ice cream. Cup or cone?
Cone, always a cone, because:
a) You can’t eat a cup (unless you like the taste of moulded plastic)
b) You can bite the end off the cone and suck the ice-cream through it.
c) You can eat the ice-cream and then use the cone for (un)amusing parrot impersonations.
8) Do you believe a gentleman should help a lady with her coat?
Note: in my answer I will be using the word woman or plural thereof because the term ‘lady’ irks me. Sorry, I just don’t like it.
One of my favourite characters (and idols) is Lloyd Dobler. If you don’t know Lloyd Dobler, you’re missing out. If you do know Lloyd Dobler, you already love him. In one scene he kicks some glass out-of-the-path of his girlfriend because he’s being a gentleman, and that’s what gentlemen do.
I like holding a door open for a woman. I like offering a woman to leave the elevator first. I like pulling a chair out for a woman at the restaurant. I’m not doing it to check out her ass, because I feel superior or because I don’t think she can do it for herself.
I’m doing it because I want to, because I’m being polite, because I’m a gentleman and because I like putting other people first.
So yes, I would always help a woman with her coat. I would hold doors open for her, kick glass out the way, put jackets over muddy puddles, buy her random presents for no reason other than I love her and many other things men aren’t supposed to do in fear of being slapped, have wine poured over them or be called a sexist pig for doing so.
9) Which search engine do you use most often?
On a related note, I made a strange excited gargling sound yesterday when – for the first time ever – someone found my blog using Bing.