Thursday, 27 October 2011

This Kind of Crap is STILL Keeping Me Up At Night

Thursday, 27 October 2011
Deleted post rescued!  Here it is from yesterday; apologies if you've read it once already.


A man and a woman are brushing their teeth. They are getting ready for bed. The voluptuous woman has very striking hair. The man seems as if he is in more of a hurry than normal, and worth noting, he has at least 6 or 7 days’ worth of stubble.

W: What’s your hurry? Got a hot date?

M: I want to watch the end of ‘The People Under the Stairs’ – it’s just about to finish on Sky.

W: (without speaking makes a noise to illustrate her obvious indifference)

M: Actually, you know, ‘The People—‘

W: (interrupting) WAIT! Don’t tell me! I know this one: ‘The People Under the Stairs’ was the first film you ever watched on Sky.

M: Cripes alive! (spits in the sink, and shakes his head in what could be construed as an overly melodramatic manner) I’ve mentioned that before, I suppose?

W: (smirking) Once or twice.

The couple continue their night-time routine.

M: I suppose this is it, then?

W: What is “it, then”?

M: Well, it took 9 years of marriage but I’ve finally run out of new and interesting facts to educate you with?

W: (raises eyebrows) To educate me with?

M: You know what I mean. Anyway – 9 years is a pretty good innings. Maybe we should call it quits.

W: Hmm. You might be right. Just think of all of the poor, unsuspecting single girls in Newcastle who could benefit from an education as only you could provide.

M: Oh?

The man scratches his beard. The woman supresses an urge to ask him to shave. Again.

W: On second thought, perhaps it is my duty to spare this poor wretch, whomever she is, from your 'interesting' facts.

M: I do know some great facts.

W: Undoubtedly. What compels you to issue them in triplicate is the mystery.

M: I have lost some brain cells over the years, perhaps.

W: A likely explanation, to be sure.

M: I sense we are at an impasse. How do we move on from here?

W: Well, if I could just call to your attention my present comprehension of the following, perhaps you might commit to memory my prior learning and in so doing, spare me from any future tutelage?

M: Very well.

W: I already know that Ken Barlow is a Druid.

M: Okay. Fair play to you.

W: I already know that ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen was written about Sid Viscious.

M: That might be the answer in a pub quiz scenario one day. You might be grateful for that.

W: I already know that ‘Dude Looks Like A Lady’ by Aerosmith was written about Vince Neil.

M: (knitting his brow) Now you’re just being petty.

W: I have heard your theories that nipping people causes cancer, and that Kurt Cobain was responsible for the death of hair metal.

M: Well, I –

W: AND, I know that you sometimes say that the first film you watched on Sky was not, in fact, ‘The People Under the Stairs’ but ‘Pump Up the Volume.’

M: I quite liked the girl in that.

W: Hmmmm. May I continue?

The man gestures in the affirmative.

W: I know that you used to look after your first car so well that you used to take the alloy wheels off and clean them with a toothbrush AND that sometimes if you’d just washed it and it rained the next morning, you’d leave it in the garage and make your Dad drive you to work in his car.

M: This is getting out of hand, now.

W: And finally, whenever Scott Walker comes up in conversation, I already know that when your Mam was young she wrote ‘Scott is fab’ on her school ruler.

M: She also wrote, ‘Nasty Neil’ next to it, after a boy in her class she didn’t like.

W: Would it surprise you at all to know that I already knew that?

The man gestures again, this time less politely.

W: (smug) No, you’re the tosser. Good job I still love you.

The couple exit the bathroom and walk to their bedroom. They switch off the lamps and get into bed. The house is very quiet, and the woman falls off to sleep while the man watches television.

M: Are you awake?

W: Well, I am now. What’s the matter?

M: In my defence, Scott Walker doesn’t come up in conversation all THAT regularly. And that girl was called Samantha Mathis.

W: Is that all?

M: Yes, I think so.

W: I can go to sleep now?

M: Yes you can.

W: (through gritted teeth) Thank you so much.

More adventures with our intrepid couple here, here, here, here and here.

Oh, and also most recently, here.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Blogger Ate My Last Post

Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Hello, friends.

I am blue.  Blogger ate my last post.  Because I am a bonehead, I hadn't saved it in Word, either.  So I implore you, dear subscribers -- if there are any amongst you who receive my blog in an RSS feed and still happen to have the post called 'This Kind of Crap Stops Me From Going to Sleep On a Night - AGAIN' and you could copy and paste it to me in an email, I will love you forever.

Even more than I already love you.

(Stupid Blogger.)


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Me and John Barrowman Say Tomahto

Thursday, 20 October 2011
A couple of weeks ago I declared that England was confused.  It’s nearer the truth to say that it’s me that’s the wrong way round – especially when it comes to my speaking voice.

I was born in England, as you may well know.  We moved to Canada when I was 5 years old, and some of my earliest memories of that time involve being very quickly labelled ‘the kid who talks funny’ so it wasn’t long before my schoolyard survival instinct subconsciously began to kick in, and my Teeside twang gave way to a rounded Canadian drawl.  My brother was exactly the same.  At least, between the hours of 9am and 3.30pm while we were at school.

But as soon as we were home, we’d slip straight back into our ‘normal’ accents.  With our parents, we spoke as we ever did.  And that’s the way it was.  ‘English’ with English people, and ‘Canadian’ with Canadian people – it just made sense at the time to our still fresh-off-the-boat brains.

Now?  My accent oscillates between the sublime and the ridiculous on a daily basis.  I speak in a Canadian accent in front of my husband and kids, though neither of the boys have really picked up any elements of it.  There was a brief interlude when Ben was very little, when certain words (“candle”, for example, or anything else with a short ‘a’) would come out a little bit Canadian, but it didn’t last very long.  

But hooooo-weee, when my parents are visiting from Canada, I get completely confused. I can be sitting in a room having a conversation with my parents and Jason at the same time, and if I reply to something my Dad has said, it’ll be in an English accent, and if I reply to something Jason has said, I’m Canadian again.  It is such a struggle - I don't know whether I'm coming or going.  It really is most unconsciously done – it’s just something that happens involuntarily, like sneezing or a bout of the hiccups.  I must sound like a total knob.

Jason says it even goes further than that –  even the Canadian-ness varies by degrees:  he says that when I talk on the phone to my Canadian friends, I get ‘extra-Canadian’ and as soon as I put the phone down I revert back to ‘regular-Canadian’.

And here's another one:  normally I speak in a Canadian accent to tmy kids, but when my Mum visits and it’s just me, her and the kids, I speak in an English accent to them.  They must think I'm completely bananas.  

I blame my mother, God love her.  I can hear the change in my Mum’s accent when she’s talking with her Yorkshire brothers and sisters.  It's 'put t'kettle on' this and 'by 'eck' that and  lots of 'lick road clean wi' tongue' flying about the place.  And then the next thing you know, she's a bit more North Eastern when she’s speaking with me and Dad.  Don't even get me started how Canadian she sounds when she answers the phone in her office.  IT IS BONKERS.

What is 'hubba hubba' in Scottish?
I thought I was alone in this madness, until one day I watched a documentary about John Barrowman.  John, star of Dr Who and Torchwood (which I love, love, love) who was born in Glasgow but grew up in the US.  I can’t remember what show it was – it was a biographical documentary about him, and there he was, in his mother’s American kitchen speaking with a lovely hard Glaswegian burr.  And then… AND THEN!  He turns to the camera and speaks ‘American’ again! 

Oh, but did my heart ever skip a beat!  I’M NOT THE ONLY ACCENT WEIRDO.  Hurrah for me!  And hurrah for John! 

Here he is, speaking about it a little.  
The peculiar thing about it all now, upon reflection, is that when I was a kid all I wanted was to be able to blend into the background – I changed the way I spoke to fit in, and for no other reason.  And yet now?  I want to distinguish myself from the background any chance I get.  I’m no wallflower; the hell with blending in.  So living in England, unless I’m with my family In Yorkshire, I speak with my Canadian accent.  And just to eff with things in a balanced way (I'm nothing if not well rounded) -- when I am Canada, say, for example at the supermarket with my Mum, I’m the bloody biggest blimey Limey you ever did hear.

I know you think I’m a total nutjob.

Never mind, I know John would understand.