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Birthday Weekend

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Well here we go. It’s been a while and I’ll probably ruffle a few pterodactyl feathers in this entry, but time to update the world on my personal life.</p><p>Let’s start at the beginning. Where were we last? Ah yes. My dad’s birthday on the 6th. Let us say that a rather good night was had by all. At least I think it was. Large amounts of Scotch managed to clog up the usual synapse-firing, so I wasn’t even sure who I was at the end of the night, let alone what I’d done. Funny thing is, I drank myself sober. Don’t you just hate that? I had a roaring night and I know that because most of it is now a blank (more so than my usual loss of memory.) On the other hand, I have good memories of the end of the night and being given a lift back to Ripon (7 miles) by my future father in law. I was fully lucid and compos mentis when I hit my own bed. I do know that my dad seemed very happy with his optic, glasses, water jug and bottle of scotch.

The story picks up the next day. Picture this:

It’s 7:15 am. My alarm sounds with it’s pig-being-sexually-violated shrill call. My left eye opens. My right eye won’t. Its lids are glued together. I hit snooze.





etc. etc. etc.

Suddenly it’s almost 8 am and I need to be in work for 8:30. In one of my rare moments of lucidity, I decide that there’s no way I can do my job. I’m not hung over (after all, I was sober when I went to bed) but the last few days of no sleep and being PISSED OFF beyond belief with Soulless Corporation ™ have taken their toll. I leave a message on the IT man’s mobile telling him that I have the squits and then instantly regret it. My conscience is like a lead weight that hangs round my neck if I lie like that. I am about to ring him and tell him to ignore the message when my bowels make a noise that sounds like a hundred warthogs hot oil wrestling. In seconds I’m in the bathroom having my first attack of Explosive Diarrhoea. The first of three as it happens. Checking myself in the process of calling my boss, I instead reiterate that I have the squits. In fact: now I do have them. Bastard. That’s karma squirling in my guts, telling me not to be a bad lad.

So I spent the day at home, searching for jobs and finding none. Double bastard.

During the morning I had visits from Hotspur (officially still a member of our company but on ‘gardening leave’ due to his defecting to the enemy – good on him) and from the Shiny One. It was rather nice. Apart from the couple of other times my rectum did it’s mountain lion-growl and old-faithful geyser impressions. I even found time to do all the washing, washing up and tidying of the house. I draw the line at the cleaning, coz that involves getting far too close to eight-legged spawns of a rancid, foetid Satan. The evening rolled round and I felt considerably better (as you do when you’ve had a day off work sick and you suddenly realise you could probably have worked the afternoon anyway.) – The IT-man is the first person whose feathers I may ruffle. Although I was genuinely ill, the intention was there.

We went to Uncle Fester and Aunt Mortitia’s for the night. I had been warned that their friends from Preston: Dogman and Girl-who-hurt-her-bits-with-a-door are going to be there. That’s no problem. I’ve always liked Dogman. He reminds me ever so much of Uncle Fester and I’ve always got on very well with him. His sister I’ve only met once, but got on with well enough (if you’re both reading this then that’s the second set of feathers). I’d not had an altogether great day. I’d done my impression of a fire hose three times and spent a lot of the intervening time feeling guilty. Plus I was still tired. So when Girl(etc) started talking to me, I kind of switched off. She had a very loud voice and had had a few and kept screwing up the game we were all trying to play by ignoring the fact that it had rules (sorry, but it’s true). You see I tend to get quieter and more relaxed the more I drink, so I don’t really understand people who get loud and forceful. Suffice it to say that by midnight I was getting rather wound up and that was the point when the inebriated Mrs Moosehunter chose to bite my kneecap. Hard.

There is no flesh on the kneecap. This hurt so much I cried a little. And maybe peed a little too. I started to boil over at that point and told Mrs Moosehunter off. This is something I DO NOT DO. I have more sense than to tell her off usually, but I’m not a masochist and pain is not my Friday night plan. So I told her off. She got very apologetic and soppy. Fine. I seethed for a while anyway (after I’d checked for blood.) The game ended and we won. Our hosts came second. There were only three teams, but still the other visitors came fourth. Sorry Dogman, but you were so far behind you couldn’t even track us by the camp fires!

Around 1 am I decided it had to be time for bed. I had a long and early day the next day (which will become apparent) and had to get as much sleep as I still could. I spent 10 minutes trying to interrupt the conversation Girl(etc) and Mrs Moosehunter were having about bra sizes and in the end just announced that I had to go to bed because of the next day. On the way upstairs, Uncle Fester cornered me and apologised for the way my Birthday weekend was working out. You needn’t have done so Fester. Even if it was your fault I wouldn’t blame you!!! And so I went to bed.

So there I am, blissfully on the very cusp of sleep. Visions of sugar-plum fairies in tight leather dancing round my head. I’m slipping away….

Bang! The bedroom door opens and Mrs Moosehunter comes to bed.

I mutter something and try to catch up with the leather fairies again.

“mumblemumblemumble can you switch the light off.”

Well, Father Sleep’s obviously crossed me off his ‘good boy’ list tonight, so I haul myself out of bed, cross the room and switch the light off. I wander back in the dark, using my sheep-like instincts to avoid collisions, and walk into the ladder of the bunk bed in the room, stubbing my toe quite badly. Swearing gently under my breath I collapse in bed again and try to get back toward the distant and receding line of sleep.

Mrs Moosehunter then spends a couple of minutes tossing and turning in the bed. I try desperately to sleep through what feels like a minor earthquake due to the sponginess of the foam bed we’re sharing. Then a voice calls out of the darkness.

“I don’t feel well. Feel a bit sick. Can you switch the light back on?”

Ah yes. Bye Father Sleep. Visit some other poor schmuck who doesn’t have to get up early. I haul myself out of the bed again and shuffle across the room in the pitch black, cracking my knee on the ladder this time. I switch the light back on and then cross the room and flop into the bed again. Come back, leather-clad fairies!

I start drifting off again. Mrs Moosehunter disappears to the bathroom and makes sounds like someone trying to cough up a deckchair. I try and sleep through this, but it proves increasingly difficult. Suddenly silence falls. I drift away again on a gossamer blanket.

Something hits me in the face and I wake rather stunned. It’s a pillow. Mrs Moosehunter’s trying to get comfy again and this involves a pillow in my face. I shove the pillow away and settle back in. Then the pillow falls gently on the top of my head. Despite the lack of force, it’s very difficult to sleep with a pillow ON your head. Under is fine. I mutter angrily and push the pillow away again. This messes up Mrs Moosehunter’s new sleeping-nest she’s built and she has to stand up to straighten it out. Unfortunately, she’s still suffering the effects of the dreaded alcohol and wobbles on the foam bed. I’m almost asleep again when she hits me at full force on her way to the floor.

You can imagine how well I slept, though I imagine Mrs Moosehunter didn’t have a fantastic night’s sleep either.

The next day dawns. It’s Saturday. It’s early. It’s my birthday. It’s my Graduation Day. Yay. I wipe the sleep from my encrusted eyes and consider getting up. A rushing around follows. I’ll cut to the chase. We finally reach Harrogate where Mrs Moosehunter and my family will watch me graduate. I go to get my gown. I go to get my photos. I fill in the form for the photos and realise that I can’t afford them. Bum! I run back through the high winds and light drizzle back to the hotel where I accost my parents and borrow the rest of the money. I then run back through the squall again and into the event centre. I run down to get my photo taken and am told (though not in such words) that I look a state and ‘what HAVE I done to my gown?’ Simple. I went outside in it and attempted to fly. The damn thing looked like Spawn’s cape when he stands on the top of the Cathedral. So he faffs and sorts my gown and hood out so that I look like a graduate and I have my photo taken. I then run back across the open space to the hotel, hoping to get indoors before my clothing’s shot again, and discover that there’s a fire alarm gone off in the hotel and everyone’s coming out. Sweet Jesus what is up with this weekend?

Eventually we got back in, ate and shuffled into the auditorium where I was (of course) the last person in my row and had to ask two ladies to stand up so I could get in. There was then a lot of cursing and shuffling around as I hunted for the presentation card I needed for the ceremony which should have been stuck to my seat but had apparently fallen off several times. It’s eventually found three seats down. I sit in stupefied boredom as a long stream of people are led up to the stage to be announced and shake hands with the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University. I envy a number of the people who go up. They look smart. Together. They are career people with style. I’m standing in the line waiting, acutely aware that I look like an unbalanced ostrich with Down syndrome. And my Gown looks like it was arranged around my shoulders like a blind sadist. I get to the steps up to the stage and suddenly realise how hot it is. I’ve been getting warmer gradually throughout the whole thing in my shirt, suit and gown with hood. Now I’m under spotlights too and starting to melt a little. By the time I’m announced and urged across the stage, I’m in serious danger of passing out and quite aware of that. So, still looking like a startled and mentally deficient ostrich, I further compound my idiocy by almost running across the stage to where it looks dark again. I’m stopped by the big man himself, who shakes my hand and says something to me that I don’t catch, because I’m starting to see flashing white spots in front of my eyes and all I can think of is cool darkness. I then shuffle at a ridiculously high speed off the other end of the stage and head back to my seat. And that was it. My two minutes of glory.

Saturday night I got drunk. Surprised? Of course you are.

Incidentally I met Hotspur and his good lady as well as the Hobbit along with my family that night.

JD Weatherspoons’ pub chain in Britain are responsible for the great lowering of beer prices. Their pubs are usually good. The one in Harrogate occupies part of the old Victorian Spa Bath complex. Thus it looks like a 19th Century railway station, with a ceiling high enough to float a zeppelin through. It has a bar about seventy feet long. On a Saturday night, it attracts at least a couple of hundred patrons. And they have two staff. I’m not 100% sure, but they may have relented and put three staff on for the late night part. 200 / 2 = 100 people per member of staff. Bearing in mind that it’s Saturday night and people will get through their drinks maybe every 20 minutes on average… That means that 200 people will be buying 600 drinks an hour on average. The staff can probably pour three drinks a minute, allowing for complex orders, beer lines going off, Guinness etc. Are you still following me? The customers are wanting 600 drinks an hour. Two bar staff means they can probably produce 360 drinks an hour each. This leaves a shortfall every hour of 240 drinks that will just continue to back up, as it did on Saturday, to the point where the bar is 12 people deep. Going to get a round of drinks feels like setting off on an Antarctic expedition. You might need to take iron rations with you. Needless to say, Hotspur and the Hobbit spent most of the night either at the bar or queuing to get to it. I did a fair amount myself (though less and I don’t feel guilty as it was my birthday!)

Sunday was actually a day of rest. Ha. No it wasn’t. Because we stayed in a hotel on Saturday night and I did not have the foresight to take a pair of jeans, I spent Saturday night in my suit and shirt. Sunday morning we were going home, so I put my T-shirt on and would only bother showering when we got back. So that of course is why we stopped at the DIY centre on the way home to buy bags of gravel for the garden, along with weed-suppressant fabric stuff. So I lugged these things around, with a headache, my hair standing on end like a character from ‘Something about Mary’, my suit trousers and scruffy T-shirt and trainers. I looked like a vagrant. People not only stared at me, but sometimes sniffed as I walked past. I heaved the stuff into the car as we left, in the rain with a Zulu war drum going on in my head. We got home and I had to unload it. I then disappeared up to the spare room to play video games in the warm and dry. Every now and then I’d peek out of the back window to see Mrs Moosehunter digging out trenches in the back garden in fourteen layers of clothing while it hailed and snowed on her. I’d like to say I felt sorry for her, but I just felt so damn good.

There’s much more gone on, but I think that pretty much covers my birthday weekend.

Yay. I’m Thirty something again. I can never remember the exact age, I just know it begins with a 3.

See y’all soon.



Written by SJAT

December 20, 2009 at 1:09 pm

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