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December 12, 2006

The Bosphorous Blues

Can’t find me a ferry man to take me across,
Yeah I got the Bosphorous blues,
My baby’s having lunch in Istanbul,
And I’m stuck here trying to sell my shoes,

Got to get me the money, pay my passage across,
Gotta woo my baby again,
Right now she’s having lunch in Istanbul,
Having lunch with better men.

Cause I spent all my money on hungarian wine,
Had to hitch my way right down the Danube,
Gambled my trenchcoat on a pair of sevens,
Pocket nines gave me the blues,

So I’m stuck here drunk and peniless on Bosphorous straights,
I’m a sitting staring out at the sea,
My baby’s having lunch in Istanbul,
Getting used to life without me.

Well since writing this song yesterday this afternoon I’ve discovered that the Turks have gone and built bridges over the bosphorous which is very cheeky of them but i still like the song so i’m gonna blog it anyway. I also learned that Istanbul straddles the Bosphorous as opposed to being just on one side of it, but hey i never really liked songs that made sense anyway.

July 28, 2006

Park Rangin'

I was standing at the bar when a wise old man approached me wearing a thick robe and a dusty pair of sandals. I could tell he was wise because he looked like Obi–Wan Kenobi. It has often been said that all great fictional characters have a serious flaw, and when confronted with the image of him sipping casually at a Bacardi Breezer the reader may observe that this man is no exception. The crowd at the bar went quiet as the man (let us call him Jebediah) spoke out “Kempez”, it was as if he were speaking for all of them. “Why is it that you choose to be a park ranger? Is it for the money, the women, the fast cars, a sense of duty to your country, or is it for some cause altogether more noble?” Right then on the breeze came a whiff of sea air, and with it the thought that in Caesar’s year, in Calabria perhaps or on the cliff at Syracuse, some other park ranger, quite differently dressed, heard the same question and answered with the same sentiments as me.

“Friend”, I replied, “you have listed many of the delights of being a park ranger. When I cruise the little electric cars to the shed where they’re kept, freshly endowed with a months pay and to the adoring gazes of the nubile single mothers, I am proud of the service that I am doing to my park and to my country. But that is not the reason I do the job.” I stop and sip at my half pint of shandy (I hate being designated driver), pausing partly for dramatic effect and partly to gaze further into the depths of Jebediah’s eyes. “When I was a little boy I used to go canoeing on the lake. Sometimes I would paddle so hard that I could not paddle any more, and I’d sit stranded far from the shore. On those occasions a man with a hat would put on a green pair of waders and come out to pull me to safety. These days I am that man with the hat, that bastion of safety in the dangerous world of Markeaton Park canoe lake. Why do I do the job? It’s because the children need me.” Jebediah is clearly satisfied with the answer, he sits back for a few seconds contemplation before disappearing into the night, and I am alone in the crowd once more.

Park Ranging

A free go on the bouncy castle for anyone who can spot the passage I stole from a famous play and tell me the play.

January 20, 2006

Always Carry Your Harmonica

Picture the situation, you're strolling across a Louisiana plain when by chance you bump into an intelligent and beautiful woman. You strike up conversation and things are going well when suddenly a violent thunderstorm begins. Running for shelter you find yourselves in an abandoned barn, and after you dry yourself you get out your harmonica and begin a rendition of Danny Boy. "Baby" cries the intelligent and beautiful woman, "I never realised you were so sensitive". She then sleeps with you, marries you, and for the next forty years you share a mutually loving relationship in your Barbados mansion with your four fantastic kids. But let’s rewind a little, what if you didn't have your harmonica?

You're wandering through Delaware (tickets to Louisiana all sold out) when by chance you bump into an intelligent and beautiful woman. You attempt to strike up conversation but she is clearly unimpressed by the sweat patches surrounding your armpits. A thunderstorm begins and she reluctantly follows you into a barn, which you share with an old scraggy and extremely flatulent donkey. You try one of your lines, "you know I like to play a bit of blues", before reaching for your trusty harmonica. But wait, you left it at home. "Sure, that's what every loser who wants to sleep with me says", replies the intelligent and beautiful woman. And suddenly you recognise her, she's the granddaughter of blues legend Howling Wolf, clearly you've tried the worst of your collection of piss-poor chat up lines. Embarrassed you make your excuses and wander outside. You are hit by lightning seven times and die an excruciating death.

And so the lesson of this story ladies and gentleman is that you should always carry your harmonica with you.

January 12, 2006

All the fun of the fair

He entered the internships fair, and he knew this place was his. Thirty seconds down, a smile, a handshake, and he had his first free pen. Another stall, more pleasantries, and this time a pack of mints. Surely with freshened breath nothing could stop him. The room was buzzing and he was working the stalls methodically. “Would you like a brochure sir?” Of course he takes it, but he won’t read it. He’s here for the bounty. More pens, a mug, an alarm clock. In a few days they’ll lie broken and forgotten at the bottom of his wardrobe, but right now they feed him like a drug. Who is he? He’s king of the world, number one, an unstoppable machine. He takes some Pringles but he won’t eat them until later, this is strictly business.

And then he looks up, and the smoke clears. It is as if a dampener has been put over the rest of the room, he hears nobody, he sees nobody, and in a moment of perfect clarity he regards the miniature rugby ball. He knows right at that moment that this is his Everest, his promised land, it must be his. He runs through his action plan, arranging his thoughts as meticulously as a snooker player preparing his shot. But then he locks eyes with her and he knows she is his nemesis. She’s seen a thousand cowboys like him, freebie junkies desperate to feed their habit. Her lips part revealing a row of perfect teeth as she smiles, but make no mistake, she’s not on his side. There’s a voice in the back of his head, “pull back mate, you can take a pen and save face, we’ve got enough toys man.” But he needs the rugby ball. He feels clammy, and he can definitely feel the effects of last nights’ Jack Daniels. “Are all you’re internships in London?” he asks, he’s sticking to his plan, it’s never failed. “Actually they’re in Paris” she replies, “Do you speak French?” She can see on his face that she has him, with a sentence she’s crumpled his dreams, he panics and backs off, knowing that the rugby ball will never be his. Who is he? He’s nobody, nothing, just another guy without the coolest toy at the fair.

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