This could be my very last blog, because it appears I’m about to die.
I know this because my girlfriend just called up to call me a slagbag and drop some hints about my impending doom. It was only a matter of time. Most people want me dead, or at least don’t give a Bernard Matthews Turkey Twizzler if I’m alive.
This is normal, by the way. I’m not suddenly depressed, even though I did see myself in a mirror earlier today. Most people won’t be very mourned. We’re all the stars of our own little lives, but of the 6,973,738,433 alive today, 6,973,738,400 won’t know you’re gone.
I think of this when I’m damn near killing myself to please a client: if I actually went one step further and did kill myself to please a client, the result would be the following thought in the client’s mind:
- Oh dear… who’s going to finish building my website?
So my philosophy of life is to laugh in the face of death, at least until death starts to laugh back. I’m going to live forever, or die in the attempt.
But it seems I’m going to be killed soon. I don’t yet know the full details, but my loving girlfriend clearly has plans: today she called me up to tell me she’s been speaking with an undertaker to find out if my 44 inch chest requires an extra-large coffin. I’ve checked all over my body, and can’t find an expiration date, but she’s definitely got one in mind.
In an odd way, it’s touching how much she cares: checking that I won’t be cramped in my box shows that at least she wants me to be comfortable when I’m a corpse. Although she’ll probably still steal most of my burial shroud, just like she steals most of the duvet every frikking night.
What, as stand up comedians often ask, is that all about?
Fortunately I like to operate a lot cooler than she does, which is why I haven’t yet died of frostbite in the night. (I can assure you, that’s the only cool thing about me).
As far as I’m concerned, I function at a normal temperature, but she disagrees. Every time she gets in my car she’s immediately struck by how cold it seems, and I’m immediately struck for letting it get that way.
Apparently the correct ambient temperature for the inside of a Ford Mondeo is just below the temperature at which my face melts. If she becomes cooler than that, steps must be taken: and that’s why she needs 97% of the duvet, and I only need something the size of a handkerchief.
She’ll definitely kill me now.
Not that there’s anything wrong with being dead. Some of the best people are dead, including, sadly, Neil Armstrong. He stood on the moon. Let’s just think about that: he stood on the fucking moon! You and I would think it’s a big deal to go to Spitzbergen, and we’d tell everyone about it for years. If we climbed Kilimanjaro we’d bore our relatives into a coma (I speak from experience, as the brother of a man who has climbed Kilimanjaro, and has bored me into a coma). But Armstrong didn’t just go to another country or stand on a tall rock. He went in a rocket to another celestial body, and looked down at the earth from 240,000 miles away, and didn’t once feel the urge to boast. In fact the most memorable thing he said since coming back from the moon is probably unknown to you all, but is rather ace:
As I sat on the launchpad, the thing that went through my mind was this: I’m sat on 3000 tons of explosive kerosene in an experimental rocket, every component of which was made by the lowest bidder.
What a guy.
So if/when my girlfriend does do me in at least I’ll be in good company. In fact, I reckon I’m well prepared for death: I learned a bit of Latin in school, and that’s a dead language, so, like a bilingual chicken, at least I’ll be able to communicate when I get to the other side.
And I’ve almost died a few times, which you could call being clumsy, or you could call unfortunate, but I call it practice:
- Cancer √
- Broken skull √
- Hit by a car √
- Falling onto railway lines √
And my brother once scribbled out those warnings they put on plastic bags, the ones about not putting it on your head, which I still maintain was an elaborate murder plot. I survived, which made him sad, but as I said at the time: being dead isn’t everything in life.
My brother belongs in that vast crowd of people who care not a jot for my life. He cares about only two things: making vasty heaps of money in his job as an evil capitalist stooge; and pretending to be blasé about climbing Kilimanjaro whilst actually being absolutely constipated with smugness about it.
But my girlfriend, in spite of her dastardly plan to kill me soon, actually cares. She must be nuts. I know she cares – or is nuts – because of the list.
You see, we’re going on a dirty weekend, and she sent me a list of things to take along. Now, I’m of the opinion that there is something wrong with women. All of them. I’m prepared to be shouted at by feminists for this outrageous slander, but bear with me.
You see, I go to Tesco with a vague idea of what I’ll want to eat next week. Sometimes, if I’m planning to cook something special, or try out a new recipe, I’ll jot down the things I need. But 99% of the time, I manage to walk around Tesco in a fairly efficient way, filling my basket with things I remember I need, or just think I fancy on the spot. The gentlemen in my readership will know that this is possible, because they will all have done it. And you know what: none of them have starved to death yet.
But ladies need a list. Most of them can’t go to the bathroom without making a note of the functions they’ll perform when they get there. And as they sit, ticking off “wee” “poo” and “small, squeaky fart that smells like kitten’s feet” on their special toilet-break list, they’ll probably write down how much loo roll is left, and whether they need more Veet.
It’s just how they are.
I’d like to say it’s just my girlfriend, but that would be a fib. It’s also my mum. And her friends. And my sister-in-law. And every woman on the planet. And if women had followed Armstrong to the moon, every woman off the planet too. They’d probably have taken a list with them too:
- Go to moon
- Bring back moon-rocks
- Get talc
Lists, for men, are either a sign of obsessive planning, or of a demented propensity to worry, or of a big wet hole in the middle of your brain. But ladies make them all the time, and far be it from me to suggest women are obsessive, demented or have wet holes.
My mum has a special pad for making lists, which she keeps no more than 18 inches from her at all times, even though her Parkinson’s means she can rarely read what she just wrote. It honestly looks like she was making a list whilst tied to a pneumatic drill, standing on a washing machine, being driven at high speed across a carrugated roof, and having sex. But there’s always a list when I go round to do her shopping, and it’s always very comprehensive, if incomprehensible.
I’m starting to wonder if my girlfriend is the same. She’s listing badly captain! Not that I mind. I think it’s sweet, but it’s also slightly frightening. For example, as I mentioned, we’re going for a dirty weekend. You’d think by that phrase we’d need a list of lubricants and toys and ropes and goats and aubergines and marigold gloves and sink plungers.
But no: her list includes such fetishistic devices as:
- Shower gel
- Savlon and plasters (just in case)
OK, maybe I misled you slightly for comic effect. The dirty weekend is actually a weekend getting dirty by scrambling up a waterfall in The Lakes, and all of the things she’s listed are practical, sensible and necessary. But still… socks? I’m 42. Do I really need to be reminded that I’ll need to wear socks?
Sadly, the truth of that is that I probably do. You see, 42 might not seem very old to you, but seems hysterically ancient to her. She’s quite convinced that at my age, my memory is going. What’s more, she’s quite convinced that at my age, my memory is going.
Mind you, if her plans for my forthcoming demise work out OK, I’ll soon be dead: and you don’t get older than that.