Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Mental Images of Paisley

The Arctic wind and rain have finally departed and high temperatures and sun have put a smile on many a Paisley buddy's face*, along with traditional sunburn. 
On my evening walk at the local park, I see bare-chested youths gather in a small huddle around an impromptu camp fire behind the goal posts, drinking from litre bottles of alcohol, with spares in blue carrier bags stored nearby to entice the ladies. Chilling in the evening warmth, they summon the nearby cackle of ladies with guttural obscenities, and it works, as the ladies, wearing inappropriate high heels for a playing field, slink up to the males as a pack and decide who they'll pick to be the absent father for their next child. The mating courtship has begun. I can hear swearing.

Further down the hill at the play park, a teenage girl is having great fun on the swing, much to the disappointment of her young children, who would prefer if mum would push them instead. The other swing has been wrapped around the top bar and is out of reach. They whine and grumble but she's having too much fun, listening to some dance beats on her headphones. One child runs away up the hill to look closer at the fire only to be shooed away by one of the youths. The man isn't showing any paternal concern for the boy's safety, because statistically there's a good chance he might not be the father. He's keeping his fingers crossed, much to the pleasure of his new lady friend, whose name he's decided is now 'Doll'. The boy just stares, images imprinting on his impressionable mind. "That's what I want to be when I grow up".

Further on, an older man stands outside his six-in-a-block tenement, leaning over the railings, reading a paperback book. He looks a lonely figure as he casually turns a page, engrossed. He's probably not allowed to read indoors in case it leads to thinking and a desire to vote Liberal. A social pariah, perhaps he's taunting the youths in the park, holding something which to them would appear to be a large quantity of kindling. A woman (his partner?) shouts down at him from an open third storey window demanding he go buy her more fags from the 'Icy'. He ignores her, possibly wanting to finish the chapter or simply embarrassed but is startled when a metal ash tray narrowly misses his head and bounces off the grass onto the pavement. "And bring that back up when you fetch me my fags". He complies. Compromise is the backbone of a successful relationship and he doesn't have one, which is why they've stayed together so long. He looks at me as we walk past, my tongue lolling as I grip a salivary tennis ball in my mouth, and he smiles. He takes pleasure in my pleasure.

I head home. 

I am content. I've shit in the park. I've wee'd on the grass. I fitted in perfectly. 

* (a smile seen anywhere else would indicate a failure in the belt department).

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Castle Dracula F.C.

The Old Castle Dracula

The life of a traditional vampire is a hard one in the modern world. Take Count Dracula for example. He's had no luck selling his castle in Transylvania. At an asking price of $135 million, it's extremely difficult to get a mortgage for such an old and expensive property. It needs completely modernised, rewired, with new windows to lighten up the place. Having a master bedroom in the basement is very off putting to a lot of viewers and someone should tell him coffins on open display are also a huge turn off. A home should smell of coffee or baking, not corpses and the undead. The local area is quite rough too what with all the roaming wolves.

Maybe if he'd tried to sell it himself, rather than using an estate agent, he'd have had better luck. He'd have been able to charm the house hunters with a vampiric glamour. Maybe he couldn't trust himself not to drink their blood, cause selling a house is very stressful and often leads to heavy drinking, especially when you've got financial worries. Making prospective buyers forget afterwards does tend to hamper second viewings.  

He wouldn't need to sell if he hadn't tried to defraud the assurance company. Being dead and alive at the same time causes major complications when making a claim. You can get away with it once but seven times is pushing your luck. Turning into a bat and flying away is no use if they know where you live.

If he does manage to sell, where is he going to move to? He's tried Whitby, North Yorkshire (unsuccessfully), so maybe he should try further north. It would have to be somewhere shy of Catholics (to avoid those pesky crucifixes) and Italians (garlic), so maybe he could buy Rangers F.C. and move into Ibrox Stadiium. The smell of death around the terraces wouldn't change and the undersoil heating would keep him warm in winter. There would be plenty of room for his trophies in the cabinet and no one's going to care if a few players go 'missing'. It would save on the wage bill. 

The only problem would be during home Old Firm games (see Catholics reference above), but the way things are going, Rangers won't be playing in the same League as Celtic next year so maybe not. 

The new Castle Dracula?

Sick Poop Trilogy

After a recent vomiting bug (I blame living so close to the RAH - six wards shut with the winter vomiting bug - which must be ironic, shutting a hospital due to illness), I came up with a plan to extend my evening walk. They know I get sick when I eat grass so if I eat grass at the start of a walk they won't take me home until I've brought it all up again. We could walk for miles.

It backfired. My master ended the walk early, complained about my behaviour to the mistress and I didn't get my post-walk treat. I got sent to bed with only a throw rug and newspaper to lie upon in case I puked on my bed. I'll not try that again. I'm too delicate to sleep al dente. What was worse, the following day, it looked like I was pooping linked vegetarian chipolatas, which the master confused for worms (the links, not the chipolatas!), and now we're going to the vet to get me more worming tablets. When will I learn?

That night I didn't get to see a film called "Coco Before Chanel". It doesn't bother me. I'd rather wait till they complete the trilogy, 'During' and 'After', before dedicating the time. I mean, it was made in 2009 and there's still no sign of the first sequel entering production. I'm never happy when they don't complete the story, like happened with the animated version of "Lord of the Rings". Thank heavens for Peter Jackson, although he did go overboard with the many endings to "The Return of the King". Overcompensating I believe. No ending for the animated version and six endings for his version. And now he's filming 'The Hobbit' for completeness over two movies. What's next: "The Silmarillion", shot over five, one for each story? Now that's what I would call an extended Trilogy!

View of Mount Doom from the Lake of Menteith

Saturday, 12 May 2012


The master is recovering from his second cold virus since the wedding. He blames the gold ring he now wears. He says it must be making him vulnerable to cold germs, like the way green kryptonite affects Superman. The mistress was dismissive. But what if it were true? What if gold could suddenly debilitate humans? Rappers would be wiped out, all the "Cash for Gold" shops would go out of business (Gold for Colds?) and the plot of Goldfinger would be rendered ridiculous. 

Bond: "Do you expect me to talk?" 

Auric Goldfinger: "No, Mr Bond, I expect you to sneeze."

I suppose the film could be remade, incorporating the illness development, and instead have Goldfinger as a psychopathic terrorist, himself immune to the effect of gold, buying up all the world's stock cheaply and surreptitiously as part of Operation Grand Slam. He then would plan to hold countries to ransom by threatening to explode gas cannisters of Delta 9, an aerosolised version of gold, in their capital cities. Odd Job would now wear a surgical mask and throw dirty knotted hankies instead of his trademark bowler hat. U2 would sing the theme, "Catch it, Bin it, Kill it" over titles bursting with gold filled droplets exploding from sneezing mouths.

It would be, like many modern remakes, poorly.


Monday, 7 May 2012

A Marvellous Day?

Thursday was a fantastic day. It was gloriously warm and coincidentally both my owners were off work due in part to the local council elections. They had intended to see 'Marvel's Avengers' Assemble" (the UK title, if the producers knew how to punctuate) but changed their mind in favour of enjoying the unexpectedly pleasant weather. The new plan included taking me on an extended walk up the Braes in the afternoon. The master had heard that the highland cattle were away and all three fields were open to ramble. 

Unfortunately, it got so hot in the afternoon that the long walk looked unlikely. I sunbathed after a little gentle ball-retrieving and the mistress gardened. The master napped on the living room couch, knackered after having worked the previous ten days in a row. 

After dinner, and the disappointment of discovering the 2D version of the film was only on in the very early evening or late night (whereas the 3D and 3D IMAX were on at prime time - kerching for the cinemas), the Braes walk was put back on the agenda. I could sense a little tension between the pair as the master had already seen the film with a pal, whereas the mistress hadn't. 

The plan was to have a leisurely walk then vote on the way home. There had been a debate over whether they needed to take the voting cards, because the website said you didn't but the cards stated you did, so the mistress tucked them into her rear trouser pocket, just in case.The polling station closed at 10pm so we had plenty of time. 

The walk was fabulous. Dry, warm, lots of smells and ball throwing, manure-rich soil to chew and knee-deep burns to drink and paddle in (the first vowel in that last noun is accurate). We crossed all three fields, as far as the golf club and back, encountering other dogs and walkers along the way. As we approached the last field before the car park, the mistress checked her pockets to discover the voting cards had fallen out.

Normally the master gets lectured by the mistress about carrying his mobile phone when away from home, in case of emergencies. The mistress has told him off on many occasions for leaving it behind so, by chance, the master was quite pleased with himself for remembering to bring his with him this time and formulated a plan in his head to split up and search the route quicker, a plan which would have worked had the mistress remembered to bring hers. So instead I got an even longer walk as we retraced our path back as far as the last field, where the cards were eventually located. It's amazing how such a warm day can end up so frosty.

By dusk they had voted. They didn't tell me how they voted. Probably by marking a number on a ballot paper and putting it face down in a ballot box. I slept well that night.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Bye Bye IE

This is weird. Blogger won't let me use Internet Explorer any more to see my blog. Now I've got to use Google Chrome. What next? Google highlights my PC is old and needs to be shut down. Google doesn't like mixed breed dogs and demands I choose which part of me I want to keep, erasing the remaining gene pool. 

I don't like getting pushed around. I might have to write a barking email to someone.

Anyway, now in Chrome... isn't it shiny!