Monday, January 30, 2012

There Are Two Types of People....

..those who poo at the office and those who don't / can't / won't.

And I fall into the latter category, pretty damn firmly I might add.

I'm a home loving bird who likes my own toilet and has a certain level of bowel discipline that others, I fear, just don't possess, or perhaps don't want to possess. The whole procedure involved in dropping number twos in my own bathroom is one of life's luxurious tasks, when done properly.

I like to start by getting comfortable. This, and I tell you at the risk of giving away way too much information, necessitates some removal of clothes. Trousers and pants that is. I find that this lets me widen my legs by the correct angle, thereby ensuring the aperture is open the right amount. A half closed aperture, which happens so often if I'm caught short and have to do the dirty at work, can often make wiping one of those messy, dirty, use the best part of a whole toilet roll type of jobs.

Comfort and relaxation also involves, crucial for men but strangely not for women, one's choice of reading matter. I'm of course partial to a drumming magazine, but failing that a good car mag or perhaps a mens' magazine (no, not that sort) will happily suffice. The important point here is that no self respecting man wants a title that involves too much of the written word. Brief paragraphs are ideal, preferably if they're extended captions for photographs. Any more than that and we lose our place too easily between strains and plops.

Most men like to glance down into the pan to admire our work and there's nothing worse than when you do that and lose your place in a complicated article about the state of the economy in Europe or something.  I also find a bit of straining can make me take my eyes off the page and lose my place. It's just easier and simpler to only have to think of a big picture of a Ferrari to have to refocus on.

All of this very personal stuff is only really possible when I'm at home. I once worked in a rather large shop and there was a bloke who'd go into the staff toilet every morning without fail with a cup of coffee and that day's issue of The Sun. It was disgusting. Cultured and classy chaps like me draw a line somewhere.

And, you know when you've unloaded one of those quite large and firm logs? Not too long, not the kind that just slide into the water gently like a snake and definitely not the little rabbit dropping sort that go "plop" but have no splashback either. I'm talking about those very distinct medium size but heavy ones, the ones that have an impact that splashes.

Well there's nothing worse than the thought of someone else's germs, poo and urine being mixed in with the ingredients of the splashback water is there? I know a fellow who always used to lay a "lining" of toilet paper in the pan before he started. Ostensibly it was to prevent the noise of the splashes but I wouldn't be surprised if it was also to prevent the splash germ thing.

Smell is another factor. Let's face it, we all love the smell of our own emissions. They're our own work and they smell interesting and fascinating, whereas other's people's ones are just plain foul. And a toilet that has even the vaguest hint of odour from previous occupants is merely a toilet. As a parent I can say that one's own kids fall into an in between category. The older they get the worse the smell tends to be. That's with two daughters, God alone knows what I'd think if I had boys.

But, the thing is, none of these things matter when I'm at home.

There are times when I've been forced to pay a visit whilst at work. It's almost always satisfying, most likely because I've spent the previous few hours doing my utmost to keep it in until I get home, but I feel as if I'm cheating on my home toilet.

I kind of envy those chaps who just pop off to any toilet anywhere, do their business and then carry on with their day as if they're normal. One friend of mine goes regularly through the course of the day about five or six times and most of these are at work. Mind you, he's a highly successful solicitor so may well have personalised toilets and a little Filipino boy to wipe his arse.

But no, that's not for me. I'm a home loving chap.

Except when necessity strikes.

Which one are you?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Touched By Your Presents Dear

Over four years ago I wrote this post, in which I told you about M, one of my employees, and his somewhat unusual toilet behaviour. He's from the Ivory Coast, which probably explains everything. As we're taught in schools here, foreigners can't be trusted.

At Christmas time M went back to the Ivory Coast for a one month holiday. It was a big one, the first time he'd been back since he left, the first time he was taking his newish wife and child to see his family, something most people who read this can relate to.

We were going to miss him at work as he's one of the absolute best people I have, but I felt pleased for him and genuinely wished him bon voyage. Which was handy, as they speak French over there and the only other French I know are random words found on menus and in supermarkets.

He went off, we worked on and all was sweet.

Then, he came back.

Owl was happy, Piglet was happy and even Eeyore, usually the most miserable of them all, smiled a little bit.
Everyone was happy to see M back at work. There were slaps on the back, smiles, proper handshakes and a good few of those trendy handshakes that black people favour. I did the boss thing and asked him how the holiday was, making all the right noises, some even at the right time.

And then M told me that he'd bought a little present for me. I felt sincerely touched, though not literally touched, as he presented me with a carrier bag with something inside it.

I opened the bag. I took out the present.

You know when you get a gift from someone and you have to fake appreciation, when you have to pretend that it's a thing you were only thinking about buying last Tuesday, perhaps even Wednesday, when the reality is totally different? Well that's quite easy isn't it? We all do it now and again, it's part of life. Although come to think of it I was recently told that I wasn't good at it when in actual fact I really did like the presents in question. Anyhow, I digress.

What I meant was that this was one of those times when a chap is tested, when the mettle is really pushed to its outer limits, when I'm not sure if my face could portray something that was different to what was going on in my head.

For I held the present in my hand and stared, wondering what exactly had gone through M's head when he'd decided to give me the thing.

What was it?

A three pack of white vests, large.

I don't wear vests.

If I did, they wouldn't be large and, as one of my partners said to me when I showed him later, one man never gives another man underwear anyhow.

Strange.I'll probably have to give them to someone as a present.

Monday, January 16, 2012

You Little Beauty

I just had to share this with you.

So many of the conversations I have with musos these days bemoan the lack of decent new music around at the moment, then I stumble on this.

It reminds me of all that's good about music, the joy, the fun and what can be made by people with real talent.

And it does what great music should do; it makes me smile. Check it out.

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 and all that.

Happy New 2012 to you.

It's Sunday morning as I write this and the holiday season is rapidly coming to an end. I've just dropped C at Heathrow so she can return to Singapore and I'm mentally preparing myself for my return to work tomorrow. These long distance relationships are full of ups and those other things, downs, that's them, and this is one example.

Only a few hours ago I sat here with C and the girls and we were watching Jurassic Park, eating Super Noodles and just generally shooting the breeze with plenty of activity. Now, as Bjork would no doubt say, it's oh so quiet and I go back to the pretty solitary life. She wouldn't have said the bit about going back to the solitary life, that was just me.

The festive season was a particularly good one, full of variety and spending time with the people who matter the most to me. C and I got in a few days break to Cornwall, which was damn fine. I haven't been there since I was a little kid and was amazed by the eerily bright and sunny light there. Lots of people have said that's why so many artists have felt drawn there over the years. It was something I never understood until seeing it for myself.

We went to the Tate (Cornwall dept) and I must tell you that I strolled around feeling more confused than a fart in a collander. What is it with this modern art business? Seriously, I ask you. There was one piece that was a white canvas with a small black line painted across the corner. It wasn't even a straight line, not even done with a ruler. My life as a parent is full of memories of A and K bringing back "art" like this from their nursery school days that would have then been displayed on a wall at home for a few weeks before being consigned to the attic or dustbin. If I could have come up with a story about the thinking that went into the placement off the crappy black line, or how the empty space symbolises the relationship between the human mind and a piece of cheese (not cheddar), I could have sold the things and made fortunes. But you know me, I'm just too honest for that kind of thing.

Overall though the Cornwall trip was a welcome sojourn and the new car was allowed to open up and fly for a bit. It doesn't really fly though you understand.

The afternoon is going to be a busy one here. I'll probably pop over to see my olds in a minute. The cancer continues to be fought and things look positive and good, yet we can't seem to get my Dad to have a positive and happy attitude about things. No one ever said this battle was going to be easy, but the unexpected things are, well, unexpected.

Then, after the parental visit, I've got a ton of drum practice to do, hard stuff at that.

So then I'll wish you a good week and an even better year, particularly to all those people like G12 who may be getting back to normality like I will be by the time you read this. And my apologies for any errors in the formatting of this post as I'm trying out a new device and not entirely us how to use the bloody thing.