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Corona quarantine diary
Objavljivač niti: Mervyn Henderson

P.L.F.Persio  Identity Verified
Holandija
Local time: 07:34
Član (2010)
engleski na italijanski
+ ...
I thought you'd never ask! Dec 7, 2020

Chris S wrote:

But rest assured I feel more than adequate in other areas. Would you like a charcoal drawing?



O boy, would I! But post it on here. I'm sure every single one of us in the whole wide world will appreciate your pensive beauty. Poems are going to be written, believe you me.


Mervyn Henderson
expressisverbis
Chris S
texjax DDS PhD
Zibow Retailleau
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Španija
Local time: 07:34
španski na engleski
+ ...
POKRETAČ TEME
The Santa Claus Files – File 4 Dec 7, 2020

It varies from country to country, naturally, but people usually leave something out for Santa Claus, frequently on the mantelpiece beside the stockings. Biscuits and milk. Not always a biscuit, of course. Some people leave chocolate. KitKats. Toblerones. Aero bars and the like. Cadbury’s Flakes. There was even a Curly-Wurly once. But I don’t touch Aeros ever, because I’ve heard some terrible tales about them. Even so, why do you think I’m as fat as a fool? It’s not from eating Gwyneth... See more
It varies from country to country, naturally, but people usually leave something out for Santa Claus, frequently on the mantelpiece beside the stockings. Biscuits and milk. Not always a biscuit, of course. Some people leave chocolate. KitKats. Toblerones. Aero bars and the like. Cadbury’s Flakes. There was even a Curly-Wurly once. But I don’t touch Aeros ever, because I’ve heard some terrible tales about them. Even so, why do you think I’m as fat as a fool? It’s not from eating Gwyneth Paltrow’s garlic-and-leek bake washed down with celery smoothies, I can tell you. Year by year Mrs Claws has to let out that suit of mine, and it doesn’t improve her humour, oh no, and then she has me spending the first part of the year with Jane Fonda’s workouts, but eventually work kicks in and I don’t have the time. Every couple of years I have to buy another suit from Jeff. Last year he threw in the hat for free (“for the phone calls,” he said airily).

Yes, just you try drinking millions of glasses of milk and eating millions of biccies in a single night. The milk starts to fill up your bladder after only an hour or so, and once you’ve gone for that first yellow-snow session, of course, it’s just the same as after the fourth pint of lager – then you have to go every twenty minutes no matter what, until well into Christmas evening or even Boxing Day, and the biscuits, well, they can block you up on the other side for hours and hours.

But I don’t want to disappoint the children, because imagine if they woke up and ran in to open their presents at fricking five in the fricking morning, and the digestive and the glass hadn’t been touched. It wouldn’t be as real for them, and also those little minds start racing, of course, they start putting two and two together, and they begin to suspect it’s all a Cruddy Christmas Con. Some of them even get it into their heads that it’s really their parents! So I either give the biscuits and the milk to Rudolf and the rest – the lads are always gagging for a bit of that! - or in I go to the kitchen on tippytoes under cover of darkness, pour the milk down the sink and turn the tap on a little just to wash it away, get rid of the evidence, see, and hide the biscuit right down at the bottom of the rubbish bin, maybe inside a load of carrot peelings or something. Got to cover your tracks in this business.



“Excuse me,” said a voice. I knew that voice. “Garmendia? What the hell are you doing in this story? It’s not even a wavie. And it’s the wrong story, anyway.”

“Jesus H Christ,” I thought, “why the hell do I have no control over these things …?"

He was pretty embarrassed again. “Yes, but maybe I could be in this one. What do you think? I’ve got nothing to do, you see. I’m a Sergeant without a story. A storyless Sergeant. A story-orphaned Sergeant. A Sergeant bereft of a story. A Sergeant stripped of story. A Sergeant …”

“Yes, I get the idea, Sergeant,” I interrupted him, “but what do you expect me to do about it? How could you be in this one? I’ve only just started it, for Pete’s sake. God knows how it’s going to go. And what exactly have policemen to do with Santa Claus?”

“Well,” he said, taking out a little notebook, “it just so happens I have a few ideas there. Maybe I could be introduced when I flag Santa down for sleigh-speeding, or owning and using reindeer with no reindeer licence, or … or … “

“Or what, Sergeant? You’ve got to admit it’s a little weak, to say the least. Whoever heard of sleigh-speeding and reindeer licences?”

“I know, I know, but it could be built up into a bigger picture. Maybe a …” - he looked slyly at the notebook, and then up at me hopefully – “a Santa Claus Christmas Murder Mystery. Starring Santa. And you. And me.”

Do you know, that didn’t sound too bad at all. Mind you, he could forget all about the sleigh-speeding, because who’s going to believe that one? I ask you. But meanwhile out of the corner of my eye I could see Santa standing there glowering, hands on hips, eyebrows raised:

“Look, leave it with me, Garmendia, will you? I’ll get back to you. Sounds quite good, yes. A murder mystery. Again.”

Garmendia winked at me. Then he put on his sunglasses, put his head on one side, looked slowly down at the floor, then slowly up at the ceiling, and glided off left.

That David Caruso has a lot to answer for …

“Can we get on?” barked Santa.

“Of course, of course,” I said hastily.

“Thanks ever so,” he growled.



Yes, you can’t be too careful sometimes. Certainly can’t. When I arrive at a house, I make sure the sleigh’s parked well out of the way in the bushes or something, with strict instructions to the reindeer not to go a-foraging and a-rustling, or make any of those strange nose noises or leg-joint clicks reindeer make, and I have some special anti-scrunch soles on my boots to deaden the noise as I creep up to the house. Jeff gave me 0.5% off those, too. I can’t do much about the footprints, but then I don’t actually want to, because it’s a big PR plug for me – when the children run out into the snow later on, when I’m long gone, they see the prints, and they rush back inside and drive their parents fricking mad with fricking endless shrill screams of “He’s been! Look, mummy, look! Santa’s been! Daddy, daddy, he’s been! He’s really been!!”

Just got home from exercising the reindeer. Well, it’s not just exercising the reindeer, really. It’s getting near D-Day now, of course, so I have to check out the sleigh too, make sure those runners are properly streamlined, and the ssssh-ssssh-ssssh-ssssh bells are working properly to sound just right and jolly and echoey on an icy night, and the mechanics of it have to be spot on too, because it has to be able to take off and land properly, bank, wheel, soar, glide and all the fancy stuff, even looping the loop. To impress the girls down there coming home from the clubs when I’m on my way back, see. But the looping’s totally safe. I always wear the safety belt, and everything’s all tied down, and Rudolf and the lads can run upside down too. But everything has to be shipshape for Christmas Eve, because what can you do if you break down somewhere? I can just see myself walking into a garage in Weston-super-Mare in my suit and asking to borrow a monkey wrench.


[Edited at 2020-12-07 15:48 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-07 16:59 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-07 17:03 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-07 17:04 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-07 18:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-07 18:16 GMT]
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P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
Chris S
Zibow Retailleau
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Velika Britanija
švedski na engleski
+ ...
On topic (OMG!) Dec 7, 2020

P.L.F.Persio wrote:
O boy, would I! But post it on here. I'm sure every single one of us in the whole wide world will appreciate your pensive beauty. Poems are going to be written, believe you me.

As of an hour ago we’re self-isolating. Which sadly means the charcoal artist isn’t allowed to come round. Although maybe I could pose in a window while he hacks his ear off on the street outside? I’ll float that past him and see what he says once he gets back from the extra-large-sheets-of-paper shop.

This corner of Wales barely saw a whiff of Covid for eight months but now it’s spreading like wildfire. One hopes that having spent all that time watching the rest of the world get it so badly wrong they’ll be able to protect the vulnerable.

I saw something about the rapid spread being due to large amounts of “dry tinder”, but quite what online dating has to do with it, or why anyone would attempt online dating sober, I do not know.

Nor do I know why we in the UK don’t spell it sobre. Sober looks so American it might as well have fins and a gun rack on it.


P.L.F.Persio
Mervyn Henderson
expressisverbis
Kay Denney
Zibow Retailleau
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Španija
Local time: 07:34
španski na engleski
+ ...
POKRETAČ TEME
"Why anyone would attempt online dating sober, I do not know" Dec 8, 2020

Thank God you warned me, Chris. There I was, completely legless, just about to hook up with someone who calls herself Pretty Polly, in Newtown Linford, but I thought better of it and sobered up in time. Especially since she's over there in Newtown Linford, and I'm crap at charcoal drawings. Anyway, it might well have been a parrot having a laugh on someone's PC.

[Edited at 2020-12-08 10:50 GMT]


Chris S
expressisverbis
Zibow Retailleau
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosna i Hercegovina
Local time: 07:34
engleski na hrvatski
+ ...
A joke. Dec 8, 2020

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

Thank God you warned me, Chris. There I was, completely legless, just about to hook up with someone who calls herself Pretty Polly, in Newton Linford, but I thought better of it and sobered up in time. Especially since she's over there in Newton Linford, and I'm crap at charcoal drawings. Anyway, it might well have been a parrot having a laugh on someone's PC.


Here's a joke I heard.

A woman was chatting with a man online for quite a while, for almost a year. She started developing feelings for him, loved his letters, messages, they had inspiring conversations, etc. She even saw his photo and found him attractive. They also chatted on video chat. One thing she didn't know is that he had no arms and no legs (their video interaction was face only). He typed letters using voice recognition.

Well, then, the day has come for two of them to meet up. She gave him her address. He appeared at her door at the appointed time and rang the bell. She opens the door and sees a man, familiar face, but no arms and no legs. She says: "Oh, I was not aware of your condition....but...do you at least have The most important manly part?"

He answers: How do you think I rang that doorbell?

[Edited at 2020-12-08 10:40 GMT]


Kay Denney
Chris S
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Nemačka
Local time: 07:34
Član (2007)
holandski na nemački
+ ...
Really? Dec 8, 2020

Lingua 5B wrote:

...but...do you at least have The most important manly part?"

He answers: How do you think I rang that doorbell?


The nose? Why that?


Chris S
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosna i Hercegovina
Local time: 07:34
engleski na hrvatski
+ ...
We have no idea what happened exactely. Dec 8, 2020

Matthias Brombach wrote:

Lingua 5B wrote:

...but...do you at least have The most important manly part?"

He answers: How do you think I rang that doorbell?


The nose? Why that?


it's a joke, fiction, so open to your own interpretation.


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Španija
Local time: 07:34
španski na engleski
+ ...
POKRETAČ TEME
Legless Dec 8, 2020

I didn't mean that kind of legless. I meant drunk.

Zibow Retailleau
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Velika Britanija
švedski na engleski
+ ...
PC conundrum Dec 8, 2020

I still can't decide whether that joke is disablist or not.

It doesn't make fun of the disability, but these days that doesn't seem to be the point.

Is it one of those that you can chuckle at internally but have to frown disapprovingly at in public?


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Španija
Local time: 07:34
španski na engleski
+ ...
POKRETAČ TEME
Who knows? Dec 8, 2020

Dodgy territory.

 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosna i Hercegovina
Local time: 07:34
engleski na hrvatski
+ ...
The joke. Dec 8, 2020

Can’t remember who told me that weird joke, but I understood it as making fun of online dating. Is there a fancy word for this, onlinedatingist perhaps? Online dating is a joke on its own.

@ Mervyn Yes, I know what you meant. Just the structure of that word and previous comments in the thread made me remember the joke.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
Francuska
Local time: 07:34
Član (2018)
francuski na engleski
. Dec 8, 2020

(I would just like, here, to let people know that if I click on "agree" in this and the frivolity thread, it doesn't mean I agree but that I'm LOLling)

Chris S
 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Nemačka
Local time: 07:34
nemački na engleski
I still don't get the joke. Dec 9, 2020

How is a tongue a "manly" part? Is that a translation issue? And she obviously already knows he has one, because he's been talking to her the whole time.

(And it can't be a nose, because no one's nose could be long enough to reach a doorbell from a wheelchair. Besides, supposing he did have a three-foot nose: He might be very proud of the thing, but what good would all that extra nose do her?)

@Chris: I think if the joke specifically emphasizes the "differently abled" l
... See more
How is a tongue a "manly" part? Is that a translation issue? And she obviously already knows he has one, because he's been talking to her the whole time.

(And it can't be a nose, because no one's nose could be long enough to reach a doorbell from a wheelchair. Besides, supposing he did have a three-foot nose: He might be very proud of the thing, but what good would all that extra nose do her?)

@Chris: I think if the joke specifically emphasizes the "differently abled" line, then you're in the clear. I have some buddies over at the thought police, I'll ask to make sure, but I'm pretty confident about this one.
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Chris S
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Španija
Local time: 07:34
španski na engleski
+ ...
POKRETAČ TEME
For whom the bell tolls Dec 9, 2020

Once upon a time in Christendom, many centuries ago, the old bellringer in a small town passed away. He had been ringing the church bell for thirty years every single day. The bishop was distraught, but resolved to engage a new bellringer immediately. He instructed the town crier to make the position known both far and near, and to make clear that the diocese was an equal opportunities employer.

A man arrived on a makeshift wooden trolley, and he had no arms and no legs. When the bi
... See more
Once upon a time in Christendom, many centuries ago, the old bellringer in a small town passed away. He had been ringing the church bell for thirty years every single day. The bishop was distraught, but resolved to engage a new bellringer immediately. He instructed the town crier to make the position known both far and near, and to make clear that the diocese was an equal opportunities employer.

A man arrived on a makeshift wooden trolley, and he had no arms and no legs. When the bishop asked him what had happened to him, he said: "I was in the Crusades, Excellency, but I hid myself away, deserted my army, eventually I was caught, and this was my punishment in the name of God for cowardice in the face of the heathen hordes."

The bishop doubted whether this man was up to the challenge, but there were no other applicants, because bellringing was very badly paid, and was seen as a lowly position, and so he told him the post was his.

When the time came to ring the bell, the bishop stood and watched as the man pushed out his breast and launched his upper body at it. The huge bell was displaced to one side, and rang out loud and clear. The man watched it closely, judging time and distance, and launched himself at it just as it began to descend from its uppermost point again. And again. And again. And again. The bishop looked out to the side, and saw that a cheering crowd had gathered down below as they heard the town bell ring out once more.

Warming to his task, the new bellringer launched himself again for the final set of peals, but this time he misjudged the distance, the bell swung back, knocked him full out of one of the wall recesses, and he plummeted to the ground outside. Horrified, the bishop hurried down. All the townspeople were standing around the dead man, and the crowd parted to let the bishop through. As he contemplated the erstwhile coward but heroic bellringer, someone asked him:

"Who was this man, Excellency?"

"I do not know his name," replied the bishop very sadly, "but his face rings a bell."

[Edited at 2020-12-09 10:01 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-09 10:10 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-09 10:11 GMT]
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P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
Chris S
Zibow Retailleau
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Španija
Local time: 07:34
španski na engleski
+ ...
POKRETAČ TEME
The Santa Claus Files – File 5 Dec 9, 2020

Yes, the Big Night coming up shortly again. I think everything should be ready in time. I’ll have all the presents checked off by the 23rd, and then we’re off late on the 24th. I hope there aren’t any contingencies this year. Because it’s not all gratitude on the Big Night, either. Two years ago, for example:

There I was outside a big house in Peterborough, four in the morning, about to unload the presents from the sleigh, and I hear a hiss from the side of the house: “My
... See more
Yes, the Big Night coming up shortly again. I think everything should be ready in time. I’ll have all the presents checked off by the 23rd, and then we’re off late on the 24th. I hope there aren’t any contingencies this year. Because it’s not all gratitude on the Big Night, either. Two years ago, for example:

There I was outside a big house in Peterborough, four in the morning, about to unload the presents from the sleigh, and I hear a hiss from the side of the house: “My lawn, my bloody lawn, you clown!”

Out comes this bloke in pyjamas and a dressing gown, and he was well angry. A big bald bloke with horn-rimmed glasses. “WTF?” he says. “Look at those sleigh tracks all over my lawn. Do you know how much I pay my gardener by the hour? A bloody fortune, I don’t mind telling you, and now I’ll have to pay him overtime to smooth over all those bloody groove marks. What the hell …!”, he shouted as he noticed the reindeer quietly munching the grass around their hooves. “Get those animals off on to the drive right now, for God’s sake!”

“Keep it down,” I shushed him. “ … the children, remember?”

Well, I didn’t want any trouble, so I did as he asked, with him grumbling in a lower voice all the while. “What are you doing up at this time anyway?” I asked.

He snorted derisively. “Well, I suppose someone who only works one day in the bloody year would know nothing about it, but CEOs like me have real jobs. I’m getting ready for a big meeting today because I happen to know a couple of jokers are plotting a boardroom coup, I have to check out the Nikkei Dow and a few other things, and then I have to find some way of disguising a huge round of job cuts as a restructuring plan to the benefit of one and all.”

“But surely nobody’s going to be around on Christmas Day anyway?” I ventured.

“I don’t give a shit who’s around and who’s not. Somebody’s got to prop up the economy of the country. And now I have to go and find a clean shirt myself because my wife says she hasn’t the time to wash and bloody iron all day long – I mean, what else has she got to do all day but that, and mess around with three kids, it’s literally child’s play, while I’m out earning a crust for everyone, weekends too, holidays, holidays?, you know, what does that word even mean? Oh, and another thing, on the subject of the kids, you make fricking sure you’re giving them quality stuff this year, in accordance with their ages. Last year the middle one couldn’t figure out how to put that stupid fighter jet together, and I had to help him, a total waste of my valuable time, and then I had to walk into the boardroom late with model glue all over my tie. So you’d better have proper presents for kids of 6, 8 and 10, that’s all I can say.”

I went to the sleigh and rummaged around a little, and brought them over. “So, one, two, three, and here’s a little something for you and for your good lady wife too.”

He stared at the five packages. “For my wife. For me? Oh … but we didn’t ask … oh, er …”

Do you know, for a minute there I thought he was going to come over all sloppy and sentimental, but no:

“ … well, yes, quite right, I certainly deserve something too, I mean, I’m the number one breadwinner around here, aren’t I? So, is that it? Are we finished here? Don’t worry about the milk and the biccie, I’ll take care of that. See, I’m even helping you do your job. OK, now get those animals off my drive right now!”

“Merry …” I said, but he was gone. “… Christmas …”

I thought about that family as we were soaring through the skies on our way home. I thought about a pair of little hands eagerly unwrapping a noisy little drum, I thought about little fingers wrapping themselves around a noisy little trumpet, and another little person getting to grips with a noisy little electric organ. Then I thought of them making that noisy noise all noisily at the same time, day after day after day after day. I thought of his wife opening her large box of Prozac. But especially I thought about him opening his own Christmas present, and reading the first few words of the book: “Marley was dead …”


[Edited at 2020-12-09 10:16 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-09 10:18 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-09 12:19 GMT]
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expressisverbis
P.L.F.Persio
Chris S
Zibow Retailleau
 
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