Musings From The Padded Cell

Dumb And Dumber Ride Again

“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
William Shakespeare

School’s out again so all those whining teachers can now moan about how stressed they are about having to spend six weeks on their arses and what factor sun cream to choose.

Working mums are also in a state of panic having forgotten that the local institutions that house their treasured ones in preparation for secure units later in life are now off limits; what to do with the little cherubs?

This is where favours are begged and desperation reaches its maximum.

“I’m in London next week….big meeting…very important…brunch and lunch…ok…yah…you’ve got bugger all to do…fancy a day or two with Harry?” said Power Mum, grovelling to me shamelessly to entertain my Godson in her absence.

Clearly she had tried her entire family tree before reaching the end of the line and having to ring me. Naturally, I grasped the opportunity to enhance the young man’s personal development.

Coincidentally I was helping out local entrepreneur Patch with a spot of driving so I nominated Harry as my co-pilot.

“All you have to do numbskull is manage the satnav!” I gently instructed, thinking that this modest gadget designed to steer us around the hellholes of Leeds and Wakefield would not present a problem to one of Generation X-Box.

Dumb & Dumber…you choose!

Off we set in a Toyota Aygo – the Japanese giant’s version of a hyperactive dodgem car – complete with a menopausal satnav in the hands of a minor; the fates were conspiring.

Power Mum, not known for her culinary ability, had packed him lunch the contents of which I inspected in the hope of a free nosh. Clearly she had been far more interested in her free lunch as the contents would not have fed a starving cat.

In the corner of the container was the “signature” dish, a miniature potted meat sandwich sweating like a dominatrix wrapped in cling-film.

There was an Aldi chocolate brioche that tasted like ground sawdust and a packet of sliced carrots that probably cost more than a kilo bought loose! Small wonder kids turn to junk food I thought.

I consider calling Social Services on the grounds of child endangerment but was persuaded not to by Harry on the grounds of my personal endangerment when Power Mum got back from the City.

Pretty soon I realised my choice of co-pilot was hasty as Harry could not even switch the satnav on. I concluded it must be the hunger setting in already and mused if Patch would stump up expenses for lunch.

White Bear

The Scruffy

Our first drop had been my top rated receptionist of the week to date, a ridiculously pretty young blond who had lifted my Scruffy induced hangover in an instant on my first call of the week.

“Stay put young man…can’t have her thinking I’ve got baggage!” I instructed as I hopped across the road to deposit somebody’s soon to be brand new smile courtesy of my gammy 54 year-old one.

I returned somewhat downcast having encountered the “Senior Receptionist”, a frightening beast if left unchained. As Harry wiped his brioche all over his face, we bounced down the road with him now in traffic cop mode.

“Take a left,left,left….right,right,right…” After a while we both tired of this preferring to conserve our energy and not resort to picking the chocolate debris off his face to ward off starvation.

Ms Satnav was now in full control and clearly taking the piss, subjecting us to a triple circuit of Wakefield to find one port of call; we still had an hour to go and our wartime rations had long gone.

I considered my options: lighten the load in the dodgem to go faster by leaving Harry in Wakefield? Swap him for food? Or ring Power Mum and tell her we were lost in Pizza Hut and needed money fast or the kid was doing the dishes?

By now he had tired of Ms Satnav and was now tormenting me with a taste in “music” a man of my age could only describe as water torture. I rued having left Glenn Campbell’s Greatest Hits in my car.

For the next hour conversation died as I endured a gyrating 12 year-old emitting constant grunts of “yoh, yoh, yoh!”

Then it was the traditional annual burst of questions.

“Do you ever think you’ll get married?” he asked clearly sharing his parents’ love of a free piss up.
“If I do I’ll make you a page boy, dress you in canary yellow and sit you next to a fat auntie!” I replied and that was that for another year.

We made it back to base as Patch’s very own Senior Receptionist viewed up Harry for some summer employment. Failing to open the door after several attempts convinced her that it would be money down the drain and the interview was curtailed. Unperturbed he went back to Da Hood.

The following day Power Mum decided that making a packed lunch was not within her official duties so Harry turned up with a single sweaty brioche which looked like a wet turd. Out of the window it went; it would be another long day.

One Hundred Years Ago – Passchendaele

There is little to add to this.

Tuna Man Does Pilates

After four months of abject failure to prise Tuna Man from the remote control and a horizontal position, I finally got him to Pensioners’ Pilates and the teachings of the Iron Lady.

Head Receptionist, Illegal Eddie, surveyed the nervous young man. “You really want to go spend an hour with those old fossils? Come…I show you Bucharest hotspots…you like girls?”

Tuna Man walked nervously past Illegal and entered the den as the old dears cooed around him like a new born which, in terms of the average age of the flock, was close. A few of them were lying on their mats waiting for the session to commence.

“Is she dead?” he asked pointing at 97 year-old Doris.
“Go prod her.” I replied.

He looked terrified as I handed him a mat and told him to follow the Iron Lady, sporting a curious new hair colour of pink, orange and the usual grey.

“It’s her psychedelic schools out look!” I said “Don’t stare or we’ll be doing a five minute plank again.”

As the 80’s soundtrack – All Men Are Bastards – kicked in he looked at me nervously; would he ever escape?

Soon the Iron Lady was getting us into positions Tuna Man had yet to imagine and the rest largely forgotten. As the session ended with a few exercises designed to cure those bingo wings, I asked him for his thoughts.

“I felt like a knob!” he offered.

Get used to it son, I whispered quietly, plenty more days ahead like this.

And Finally

So that’s why?

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