What? Carl, we thought you were some kind of tough guy…
I am. But two weeks in a casino/hotel/spa taught me some things about American plumbing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very clean and does the job but…
I’m intrigued now. But what?
The toilets flush themselves! And they have suction on them that puts an aeroplane loo or black hole to shame.
Surely that’s good though? Get rid of it once and for all as soon as possible?
You’d think, but when you’re sitting there trying to relax and not expecting it, the sudden flush and rush of wind can be a little ‘disconcerting’ shall we say? – Good job I was in the right place… 😉 (Pun intended)
What can’t you believe?
I can’t believe it’s the 2nd of January 2016.
The battery in my clock stopped. I thought it was 6.30am on the 1st and wondered why I was up so early. I thought it was because I needed to pee but then realised I didn’t. I actually went to the toilet on the 1st but didn’t flush. That’s when I knew something was up… Instead of ‘down’….
I can’t argue with that.
So what did you do on the 1st day of the new year?
Don’t have a clue. I’m checking online and waiting for the police to knock on my door.
Is that likely?
Like I said. I don’t have a clue. I can only hope they have some witness reports. Possibly CCTV footage. But if anyone’s missing a prosthetic limb then I may be able to assist.
You need help…
Agreed. But at least I have a leg to stand on. Four of them…. 😉
I critiqued a story by a peer yesterday and despite it being full of gore, violence and disturbing imagery it not only entertained but left me a bit warm and fuzzy.
NO! Well maybe…
It wasn’t even about zombies per se. It featured a psycho ripping out the throats of people in a bar. You can see the allusions though right?
So what was the feel good factor? I think it came from the comfort of the familiar and predictable. I knew who was going to die and how. I knew the protagonist was going to get his head blown off or a broken pool cue through the eye. Although it was all described in a perfectly horrible way and made me go Eeuugghh… It was safe.
Carl, you really should seek help.
Wait. This does make a strange kind of sense.
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” ― H.P. Lovecraft
Say what you like about zombies but (generally) they’re very predictable. They will try to eat you. They wont stop. They will turn up unexpectedly. In short, they’re known and therefore not that scary.
At the risk of sounding incredibly misogynistic. No, there’s no risk. This IS incredibly misogynistic.
Give me a zombie over a pre-menstrual woman any day.
I’m running for cover now. I’m scared.
Worldwide austerity has placed many of us in tricky situations. It’s no longer unusual for many to miss payments on debts owing. Credit cards, bank & payday loans, electricity, gas, water, insurance, car leases, mortgages… The list is endless…
Do you dread the ‘red’ envelopes arriving?
Your full balance is now owing. We may/will pass your account to a debt collection agency. We’re sending the bailiffs…
If you end up in this situation then a knock on the door becomes an event that gets your heart racing. You sweat, you tremble, switch off the TV and lights and hide behind the sofa like you did as a child when Dr Who came on.
Of course a lot of people can cope with financial dire straits. Able to pick up the phone, they will contact the organisations they owe money to and negotiate a repayment plan or get a hiatus until they can afford to settle the debt in full.
But many simply cannot bring themselves to do this. If suffering from depression and/or anxiety then they will take the ostrich option and stick their heads in the sand whilst an envelope ‘mountain’ grows daily in the kitchen drawer or on the living room table. Some will throw them under the bed which will affect their sleep because they now have a literal ‘bogeyman’ under there and this one is real.
There are solutions available. advocates and Citizen Advice Bureaus will make calls for you and help consolidate debts into affordable payments but many are too scared and/or proud to contact them.
Instead, they may prefer to seek temporary solutions like the ubiquitous ‘Payday Loans’ available from, I’m going to say it, bastards like Wonga. They’re, to me, a scourge on modern-day society. They literally are vultures, preying on the weak and vulnerable.
It’s horrible, and a damning indictment of the times we live in, that people become so scared of their financial predicament that they are afraid to open the door or pick up their phone. If caller ID shows ‘unknown’ or even worse, ‘withheld Number’, then forget it.
What to do? unfortunately I have no solutions other than those mentioned and can only hope that people can find the strength or a friend to be able to deal with the problem.
There is a bright side – you can always ask the Jehovah’s Witnesses to open your letters and make the calls for you. After all, they want to help you?
This morning I had a ten o’clock appointment with a benefits advisor, a person who was going to help me, give advice and had genuine concern for my well-being.
I also woke up in a cold sweat, trembling and a mind trying to find any excuse not to go. Make sense? Of course not…
Did I beat off these feelings and symptoms and go to the meeting? Thankfully yes but it left me soaked in sweat and trembling like a leaf yet also with a little bit of a sense of accomplishment.
It’s hard to recognise that a relatively simple task, a 7 minute train journey and an hour spent with someone on my “team”, could fill me with what approximates terror.
Throughout my life I’ve been in way more fear-instilling situations – performed music, poetry and stand-up in front of thousands and more intimate audiences. Been on live and recorded TV, done business presentations and attended numerous job interviews etc etc.
So what’s changed?
It’s a good question and one that the answer too evades me and countless others that suffer from the condition.
I say condition because I’m pretty sure that everyone suffers from anxiety at points during their lives but some more than others, to the point that it affects them every day and requires therapy and medication to be able to function.
“Oh, just grow up!” and “There’s nothing to be afraid of” are phrases often heard, even from doctors and other health professionals. The trouble is we know that, we’re not stupid, yet it’s possible to be totally cogniscant of the reality of the non-sensical fear of the perfectly ordinary but still reduced to a child-like state by the workings of the mind.
Am I looking for sympathy? Are any of us? No, we don’t understand why we feel anxious, we hate feeling anxious and above all we don’t WANT to feel anxious!
Now, where did I put the whisky…?