Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday 12 November 2010


Friday 12 November 2010

Another idiot prayer.

The week has caught up with me.  Today I wake tired and with a headache.  It has been earned but still it hurts nonetheless.

I begin the day with only one eye open.  I had less than five hours sleep last night and I expect it shows.

Despite this fact I leave on time and with a busy drive to the station that happily does not cause me to swear.

Again its another quiet day on the platform.  I spot one of the Kym Marsh lookalikes followed by the pregnant Epiphany Girl and then against the trend of the week the 6.59AM train thankfully turns up early (before the labourer lads have had the chance to bowl up).

As the train passes by there is a bird crushed in one of the first set of doors.  There is blood splattered on the side of the train, it is a truly horrific sight that causes me to genuinely gasp.  Nobody else reacts to it though, did I imagine it?  Have people become so jaded?  Usually I am not necessarily prone to hallucination but this morning, I don’t know.  It begs the question though: what happened?  My wide imagination envisages some kind of Hitchcock scenario.  What is happening?  Will there be more birds attacking the train?

The train is quiet again today.  To counteract this I spend the early part of the journey listening to The First Four Years compilation by Black Flag.  I am truly off podcasts this week.

Against all this sat to my right is the Ralph Steadman lookalike.  Welcome back.

Eventually I go back to listening to the Guardian Football Weekly.  The podcasts are now mounting up on my new iPhone.  This episode is particularly great for its lengthy consideration of the potential encounter between AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons in the FA Cup.  It would seem the football world wants it (basically it would be the Wrestlemania of football) but neither club, particularly AFC, is enthused at the prospect.  Without doubt I am sure one (or both) of the clubs will lose their first round replays to prevent the tie.

When we get to Chelmsford the rookie extra sits opposite me and as ever steps (literally) on my toes.  The cunt has a Fitness First rucksack (as used by the 7/7 tube bombers) which he puts/places on the seat next to him and eventually leads at Ingatestone (always at Ingatestone) some woman avoiding that seat to squeeze in between the Ralph Steadman and I instead of between rookie extra and some weird woman on a Blackberry where there is infinitely more space for her to sit.  Thems the breaks.

Briefly the train beaches at Maryland while the beep of a girl playing a game on her phone deafens the carriage.  This was a faux pas lesson I learned years ago the hard way.

Eventually we get to London and I suspect the train is on time for the first time this week.  Unfortunately in contrast the tubes are kind of fucked upon arrival as I step out onto a packed platform.  In the process I spot Bellalike for the first time this week and it is a rare occasion of seeing her with her hair down.  She looks fantastic for it.  Elsewhere I also spot the Barnet FC boys again.  What a life.

Finally I step into work where today I need to get a revised draft of the October accounts over to the bosses.  These accounts are far from finished but at least they look the part.  The lion’s share of the work has been done and now it is the fiddly review and adjustments on the balance sheet that require my attention.  This is never fun.  Or simple.

In the end it turns out to be a stunted day where people are already in the weekend mindset and mentality, me included.

An eyebrow gets raised when the boss offers some potential overtime to The Girl for next week.  He doesn’t know that she didn’t bother to turn up on Monday.

Elsewhere this afternoon The Girl attempts to send me a text message with a photo of her smoking a fag in a pub on Sunday night at Elephant And Castle.  She knows how much smoking fucking disgusts me and it is a horribly spiteful and arrogant gesture.  It also reveals that this night out was why she was off work the following day on Monday.  Is she really so stupid as to expose her tracks so blatantly?

With this gesture The Girl begins boasting about the place (the smokers pub) and with it the afternoon fully turns pear shaped.  At this point I reveal that I realise that this (and the subsequent hangover) are why she was too lazy to actually come into work on Monday, not least as she knew the boss was away which offered her such an easy opportunity to take the piss.  I cannot deal with this.

From here a nasty atmosphere engulfs the office making the final two hours of the week an annoying and unpleasant pairing.  As the radio plays she takes great effort to sing along to the songs in order to annoy me, much like that scene in National Lampoon’s European Vacation.  I am sure there are better way to deal with these things but I just concentrate on work, try to ignore her and pretend she is not there.  She is truly indescribable.

Thankfully 5PM arrives and with it freedom from such petty lunacy.  Ultimately I have a good understanding of the world; I just do not know how to apply it.

With plenty of time to kill this evening I get the Jubilee Line down to Green Park and decide to walk to Westminster even though it is drizzling with misery.  By the time I reach Haymarket the actions of The Girl are still incensing me to the point that I feel the necessity to send the boss a moaning text message:

“Hi. Just a thought but I don’t think it is necessarily good to be offering overtime to a person when they don’t actually fulfil their salaried hours.  Needs be I guess.”

For a moment I remain standing on Haymarket under cover awaiting a response.  It doesn’t arrive.

Eventually I step back into the rain and pass through Trafalgar Square which tonight looks amazing as ever even if caked in rain.

As I head towards Westminster my phone beeps with an inevitable response from my boss.  He tells me that he agrees with me and if any overtime is to given to The Girl that it would be discussed with me beforehand.  This is something I do not necessarily believe.  Aside from the misery of this exchange it is impossible not to find that there is humour to be had in the reality that I am discussing office politics outside Westminster.

Soon I arrive at Westminster tube station in the shadow of Big Ben.  As I approach the Houses Of Parliament there is a gang of police officers approaching me with a gnarly looking Alsatian.  As we pass one another I pray that its not a sniffer dog.  Suddenly I feel in a whole new zone of upped security.

From here as I pass the green where all the protestor tents are housed and find myself in the shadow of the cathedral (laced with a bed of poppies) soon I realise that I am lost with regards to where I need to be this evening.

Eventually I find the street where the event is happening but even then there is no clear sign of the actual building I am supposed to be entering.  In the end I step into the building that looks most like a conference centre where within seconds an old guy on security breaks from his conversation to ask me what I am doing.  As I explain that I appear to be lost he curtly sorts me out, pointing towards an unmarked building.  Oh yeah, that was fucking obvious.

With this I step inside the Central Hall Westminster for The Thick Of It event where indeed things are borderline regal.  And not only is this an officious environment it is also a seemingly intellectual one as it is being organised by The Guardian.

Soon I get awarded entry and after a quick visit to the bathroom I step into the Lecture Hall where it is full of strange people.  This will be the middle class then.

Tonight’s event is titled MEET THE TEAM BEHIND THE THICK OF IT which sees the writers and REBECCA FRONT talking about the TV show to coincide with the Malcolm Tucker book (The Missing DoSac Files) that is being released just in time for Christmas.  The line-up of writers is ARMANDO IANNUCCI, JESSE ARMSTRONG, SIMON BLACKWELL, TONY ROCHE and IAN MARTIN.  In other words super funny people.

Not long after sitting down and attempting to dry off the talk (hosted by Anushka Asthana) kicks off with a general background description of the show from both behind and in front of the camera.  It appears that the success of the show almost feels like a fortuitous mistake as it sounds as if it was originally made to be buried in the schedule.

When recalling being offered the opportunity to play Nicola Murray, REBECCA FRONT states that she did not necessarily think that it was a serious offer.  Despite the massive amount of talent associated and involved with the programme it sounds like it has also experienced a decent amount of luck also.

From here the talk goes into the machinations of the show, of where they get their ideas from and whether any one particular writer does so for any specific characters (they don’t).  It appears however that IAN MARTIN holds the role of swearing expert with a job that sounds akin to smearing shit over the scripts (their words).

With this we get various readings from the book including Malcolm Tucker’s colourful descriptions of TV news interviewers.  It is the break downs of Kay Burley and Adam Boulton that are particularly funny while the Kirsty Wark is just horribly spot on.  Elsewhere they also verbalise various post-it notes of nonsense found on the desk of Julius Nicholson.

Following this we get treated to a number of clips on the screen behind the writers including the very famous scene of Terri Coverley taking Malcolm Tucker to task and his reaction of pre-explosion at hearing the words.  Off the back of this the writers then give a background story on how Peter Capaldi works and achieves such a frenzied state of expletives.  The guy sounds like a pro to the end.

Eventually it comes to close with discussion of where the programme is going in the future and if any of it has actually been written yet (“nope”).  They do sound as if they have been handed a gift in the form of the spare tyre third party we now have (the puppet party).

With that the event gets wrapped up and comes to a close as the writers head off to do a book signing in the lobby.  I don’t hang around to get signed book, instead I’m eager to get home after a tough and testing day.

When I switch on my iPhone it beeps with a text from Iain saying “Are you doing anything tonight?” followed by the rapid response of “Sorry mate, wrong name!”  Receiving social invites by accident and having them immediately yanked away.  That’s my life!

From here I board a tube at Westminster which takes me the long around the Circle Line to get to Liverpool Street.

Roughly an hour and a half later I get home not too late and finally happy.

Relief.

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