Wednesday, May 29

inspirational addiction

For the price of a carton of cigarettes, you can now buy a device that helps you wean yourself off smoking, by inhaling steam. Take a hit of pure nothing! A new business model moving in to exploit the market in smokers' lungs. I suppose it is a kind of progress. 

Meanwhile, thanks to innovation in the alcoholic world, diet-conscious drinkers can now inhale alcohol to avoid the calories ...

Even old Albert has resorted to indulging his addiction in inhaled form - his way to get a hit of pheromones is by breathing deeply around a fragrant young beauty. 

sometimes wonder if I'm the only normal healthy person left.

Wednesday, May 22

afflicted again

The last time I suffered an attack of waitress love, it wasn't my fault, the jet lag made me do it. I was in sub-zero Bavaria on my way to a family crisis. She was young and presentable, efficient, but otherwise unexceptional. She brought me coffee and a boiled egg, and that was all that happened between us, but it was a ray of sun at a dark time. 

Tonight I met up with Cap'n Kev in a city slicker bar. When Kev knocked over some glasses, within seconds a young goddess materialised to fix up the damage without fuss. She seemed to be the manageress, and though we were a couple of old scruffs she treated us with just as much attentive warmth as if we were the usual smart young clientele. I'm a sucker for an efficient and capable woman, but when it's combined with physical beauty and dress sense, I go weak. I experienced a strange urge to hand her my wallet and say "go and buy yourself something nice". I would ask nothing in return, but the right to gaze at her in wonder. 

Now, I know what you're thinking: it was just the beer getting to me. But this was all before I had a single sip. If I'd been drunk I might have taken her hand and gone down on one knee. A woman like that needs to be told how special she is.

Denny used to be like that - quick-witted, practical, capable and lovely. But only when she was sober.

When Kev redirected my attention to ordering a drink, we had tall glasses of draught weissbier. It was happy hour, so instead of paying about £16 a litre, we got it for the bargain price of £10, a mere three times what you'd pay in Bavaria. 

Sunday, May 12

feat of strength (with clickypic)

I once won a bet by tearing a phone book in half with my bare hands.

If you click the pic, you'll see how it's done.

Click to see how to do it.

Yes, if you slowly bake the phone book for several hours in a just-warm oven, the paper dries out and goes so weak that anyone can rip it, even me.

You could try it too, but I accept no responsibility if you turn your oven up full blast, set fire to the phone book and burn your house down.

For younger readers, an "oven" is a sort of clockwork microwave.

For younger readers, "clockwork" is a kind of ... ach, never mind.

Wednesday, May 1

cool at the beach

I had never given a second thought to this photo of my father, taken at the beach in Germany when I was a kid. I saw it again yesterday and realised - it's a man on his holidays at the seaside, but dressed immaculately in starched shirt and tie, and white socks. Why would he do that, when everyone else was in beachwear?

Then I recalled times, like in the picture below, when I have struck a similar pose or dress style. At a formal function, I was sitting by myself, trying hard not to show my true feelings about the situation - I didn't know most of the other people there, I was nervous and wishing I could be anywhere else. A man came up to me, took my photo, and said something like "you must be the coolest man in the room, how do you manage it?" And he was serious.

I think that must have been the first time I had an insight into the power of deception, and perhaps the value of a good tailor.

When in doubt, fake an aloof nonchalance - it must have been my father's strategy too. There he was, spending 2 weeks at a German beach to please his wife and kids, surrounded by a language he couldn't understand, when he would much rather have been golfing at home in Scotland. He was doing his best to hide how pissed-off and isolated he really was. I know how he felt.