Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday 24 November 2010


Wednesday 24 November 2010

Dream: I return home to discover that the Trash Humpers have spread out dozens of pieces of post across the floor of our landing in ordered fashion covering it with a layer of letters.  The post spreads right across up to my front door.  This is insanity.  I attempt to ignore it as best I can and step into my apartment as normal.  A few minutes later some letters begin coming through my letterbox.  It is the girl next door (Caroline Geary) sat on the floor of the landing putting the post through my door.  Initially one letter comes but then it is followed by a batch of three at the same thrust.  These letters are indeed addressed to me which begs the question: what is she doing with them?  I watch her through the slit/gap in my door and then suddenly she looks up and we make blatant eye contact.  It creeps me out, she is not all there.  With this however I feel obliged to acknowledge her so I step out and speak to her.  She apologies for all their actions and past problems promising that they are not going to do them again.  She is plainly around the bend, crazy as it is imagined her to be.  At this point her other half emerges and its some grotty old man with a moustache who reminds me of a b-list actor.  I thought her partner/boyfriend was a young guy.  He appears less than enthused to make amends or touch base in general.  From here I step out of the building into a sunny summer day just to get away from them.  Its nicer outside.

I wake up pissed off today.  I am experiencing serious angst about this evening, I’m not in the mood to deal with a works social.  The bowling last year was frosty; I don’t think I did myself any favours.  Then again why would I need to?

It is fucking cold today.

This morning I return to watching Daybreak on ITV where they are still arguing as to whether dogs or cats are better.  I swear they were saying this on Monday morning too.

With this ringing in my ear I leave home disheartened catching another glimpse of the shit TV and shit washing machine dumped outside on our landing by the Trash Humpers of 15 Hollytree Court.  Their presence is already annoying enough but the washing machine is plainly damp and probably leaking as it fucking stinks, God only knows what damage it is making to the carpet beneath.  Here comes soil.  Just when I thought they couldn’t get any worse again they outdo themselves.

My car is just about frozen this morning but swiftly de-icer just about deals with it.  As a result though I leave home late but fortunately have a fairly decent drive to the station.  Obviously I get stuck behind a moped though.

When I finally get to the platform as the 6.59AM arrives everything appears to go topsy turvy as it again arrives almost full with the Sturrock Gang sat in what are the remains of my seat.  Later we manage to get to Ingatestone (always at Ingatestone) at 7.26AM this morning.  This feels very early.

Soon we arrive into London where quickly I find myself on the tube heading across town.  Again at King Cross the Parminder Nagra lookalike boards.  In addition to looking like Bend It Like Beckham she also has a touch of the Winnie Cooper about her.  Ultimately though she looks all over grumpy.  Together we both exit at Baker Street where we both change onto the Jubilee Line as once more I begin to feel like I am stalking her.  Maybe this is why she looks so grumpy.

When the Jubilee Line train arrives it comes with the French Looking Lady.  Ultimately it means nothing.

I step into work comfortably to the sight of my boss and the angry boss discussing our bank position.  After their argument on Monday morning this is an impressive reconciliation.

Early on as the others arrive our boss finishes off dealing with the bank and heads off to Sussex to deal with his ailing mother.

I notice again this morning that my Twitter followers have gone down again.  The other day it was up to a pathetic/woeful 151 followers but now it is down to an even more pathetic 147 followers.  I am becoming worryingly obsessed by this now.  As I vocally complain via a tweet Thom points me towards a website called who.unfollowed.me.  Upon checking I discover at some point the rejected comedian and the Tall Guy from Baker Street have both dropped me.  Should I take offence at this?  I know/realise I shouldn’t but to some degree I do.  This comes after my Jordan Newell unfollow revelation last week.  What a head trip.  I also note a few people I follow do not follow me back, people I had considered friends but I guess in reality this is a stretch.  Should I be reading into this also?

The day continues in anticipation of the Christmas meal/party at Los Locos this evening.  The other two are excited but I remain dreading the event.

Early into proceedings the IT Guy comes in and unfortunately the invitation has not been extended to him (it wasn’t last year either).  I feel it is gauche to be discussing the event in front of him but The Girl does not acknowledge this as she continues to go on about it.

Over lunch The Girl declares “I’m good at talking with my mouth full”.  Nice.

Into the afternoon I splutter slightly on the accounts as I struggle to shake my apprehension towards the evening.  The one that I have to do is process the wages transfer.  In the end for some reason the transfer takes ten minutes to action as the bank website gets pedantic.

As the other two doll themselves up to leave we exit around 5PM leaving the IT Guy to his own devices.

For some reason The Girl really does not want to get the tube down to Covent Garden but I cannot see that it is avoidable.  She even resists to the point that she considers/suggests driving down there during rush hour.  Is she crazy?  In the end I get my way as we grab the tube down to Green Park where we change onto the Piccadilly Line and across to Covent Garden.

It is as we change lines that The Girl does her good Samaritan act by helping a black lady lug her pushchair up the stairs.  Myself, I’m an arsehole as I can’t help but feel the stupidity of dragging a buggy onto the tube at peak time is just asking for trouble.  Will I always be so mean spirited?

As we emerge at Covent Garden I begin to get flashbacks to the night spent at Dirty Martini back in January.  I can’t believe how so much has changed since then.

Eventually we wind up on Wellington Street where for the first time I spot one of our old restaurants.  I was always curious about this location and wondered why it failed.  Looking at where it is situated the reasons are not necessarily obvious to me.

From here we find and step into Los Locos where the early birds from the close by locations have already arrived (although this does not include any boss types).

In the end things thankfully pan out better than the works social of last year (bowling).  We begin the night with a number of cold drinks consumed at the bar while being getting slapped onto a tab behind the bar that has been opened before any of the bosses actually turn up.  Is this not being presumptuous?  Regardless I am soon downing bottles of Sol before moving onto lemon cocktails that feature Red Bull.

I wind up talking to the manager of the most successful location where we discuss Essex at length and eventually Mersea which he painfully pronounces as “Mercia”.  It would seem the island has a far stretching reputation that perhaps paints it in a better light than is reality.

By this point the angry boss and posh boss have arrived (although our boss does not put in an appearance probably still being in Sussex).  I get talking to the posh boss at the bar who murmurs that one of the flats above our Soho restaurant on Old Compton Street may become available soon and immediately he suggests that I should take it up.  That would be amazing, that would be incredible.  That is also too good to be true and as great as it sounds I cannot bank on anything this guy says.

The time by now is already heading towards 7PM which was the original time the Filipino was intending to leave but we are nowhere even taking to the table for food letting alone finishing up.  Instead I find myself showing the posh boss a photo on my iPhone of our boss asleep at the spare desk in our office.

When we eventually take to the table there is some minor squabbling over seating arrangements.  It feels like Rome on a budget as all the women get strategically placed next to the bosses.  As I remain silent I wind up stuck between four drunk and lairy Eastern European chefs sat to my right while to my left is the Australian dancer manager that doesn’t appear to like me (and thus vice versa).  In addition to this I find myself sat opposite the manager at the top performing location in our organisation while at the other end of the table the bosses continue to wrestle and jockey for the best positions, mainly the ones next to the females which all in all leads to a flashback for me to Christmas 2002.  Is this really that bad?  I only get the fear when The Girl tells me (texts me) to keep an eye on the posh boss as he letches towards the Filipino.

Early on into proceedings the drunkest Eastern European chef (fuck knows what his name is) begins ripping into the English mocking by saying “they just want eggs, they just want eggs” which makes me laugh and prompts the other to apologise.  I just respond with a confused “please”.  This is a stereotype I was not previously familiar with.  Then there is the other drunk chef with fucked up eyes (this is Eddie)

As things continue fortunately I score points with the posh boss via my various quips, not least when I note the Australian’s man bag with a Crocodile Dundee comment saying “you call that a bag?” in a crap Aussie accent.  No wonder the guy hates me.

From here I wind up talking to the successful manager about Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas at which point he casually recounts dropping acid in the eighties as we talk about the student protest as it transpires that he has kids at university already.  At the other end of the table is a manageress from another location who looks young enough to be at university that I later learn he is fucking.  Apparently.  So while talking to him about this stuff little do I know that he is also separated and now nailing someone half his age.  Whatever happened to not shitting where you eat?  When ZoĆ« told me she didn’t go out with work colleagues I can’t help but feel she was lying, just using that as an excuse to get rid of me.  It appears everyone meets their partners at work.  Everyone except me that is.

Eventually some food gets served up but annoyingly and frustratingly I find myself stuck between two camps and out of reach to any food.  And obviously it looks good, all fancy nachos, potato skins with amazing looking fillings and all the dips underneath the rainbow.  I look on with a pained expression as people nosh into the tasty looking Doritos.

Fortunately before long the main courses arrive in the form of bad tortillas.  They sizzle with excitement but hardly sought or provide salvation as the flimsy wraps fall apart upon construction.  Originally I was going to have the chicken and almost immediately I regret changing my decision and following the crowd.  That’s my life!

It would appear that I am not alone in my disappointment when suddenly the lid of a tortilla pot comes flying across the table.  This is then soon followed by a few pieces of food as angry boss instigates some kind of food fight.  Its like some kind of metaphor for the management of the restaurant.

Before long the Filipino is heading off as I begin to lose supporters and allies in addition with losing interest for proceedings in general.  As she leaves the posh boss performing like a complete letch insists on leading her out and seeing her safely off.  At another time, in another context this might be regarded a gentlemanly act.  Still like a fucking mug, despite him being married into money (a literal fortune served with a silver spoon), it is I that gives her £20 to pay for a taxi cab.  Such is life.

By this stage drinking now feels essential in order to get through this scene as some of the table condiments also begin flying across the table again at the hand of the angry boss.  This time its not as many but still it is enough.  Is this how he acts at his beloved golf club?

Eventually drinking begins to get serious as I remain huddled with the Eastern Europeans requesting all kinds of weird drinks.  I cannot say that I am necessarily clicking with any of them or even fitting in but at least I’m not stuck on my own and it would seem banging the table after each shot is something of a universal language.

For some reason I am not getting drunk tonight.  I guess because we are doing shots the hard liquor is entering my being with the eventuality of going off like a time bomb.  Quite frankly it is very likely that at some point I will feel this hard but while in the game I remain healthy.

It is at around this point the angry boss heads over to join us, harping on about real drinks and real drinking.  This it seems is a man with something he is eager to prove.  From this point forward be begins calling me “Skinny”.  Sarcasm is most definitely the lowest form of wit when it is coming from a jock, especially one that looks like Josef Fritzl.  Oh well, moving on.

When I get to choose the shots my selection is a round of Jagermeister.  This does not go down well with the angry boss who immediately begins swearing about my selection.  What can I say, I love the stuff.  Then it is not long after this round that he loses interest and returns back to the other side of the table.  This turns out to be something of an undoing for him as when he goes to sit down the chair he selects spectacularly falls off a small ledge of the rise and he goes flying in comedic fashion.  All in all this is a pretty undignified moment, one that we all find pretty amusing but being that this is the boss we disguise our laughter with concern and make sure we check in on daddy.  We all find it hilarious but are somewhat afraid to laugh and exhibit this so instead we feign concern while concealing smirks.  Then again this is the kind of mishap/accident that can see an unfortunate person in a wheelchair for the rest of their life, so some concern maybe warranted.

By now more people are beginning to head off while one of the chefs that looks like a weedy Sylvester Stallone appears to piss off The Girl by asking her if she will do a strip for him.  Sex pest ahoy!

It is not long after this that the staff of Los Locos begin flapping and hassling my bosses to pay up their bar tab much to the chagrin of the pair of them who are currently in full flow.

Undaunted by the bill the angry boss continues to call for shots for his drinking game until he appears to eventually realise that he is up against an Eastern European whose eyes are rolling around his head while I am in the process of getting Andre drunk and borderline morose.  Most definitely mouth before brains.

By this point the Los Locos staff have cleared away most of the tables in order to make way for some kind of dance floor setup.  It’s a situation and scenario that serves to suggest awful.  At this hour a large number of our group have already headed off meaning that the night is now officially for the hardcore.  And of this I am not proud.

Elsewhere The Girl, now recovered from the apparent offensive remark, is drunk and beginning to get chummy with everybody in our party while I find myself left drinking with the Borats.

I keep my eye on the time (the prize) with view to leaving at 10.30PM in order to get home in time to listen to the beginning of The Ashes in Australia and Test Match Special.  I am boring like that.  When I eventually begin to make moves The Girl tells me that I can stay at hers in Earlsfield tonight but I just want to go home.  And with that I gain escape.

Now spewed out onto the streets of Covent Garden I actually manage to get lost walking to the nearest tube station and I wind up walking across Waterloo Bridge over the Thames to Waterloo itself.  How did this happen?  With this I wind up walking past the IMAX which at this hour looks pretty fucking cool.

In the end I get a tube up to Tottenham Court Road and across to Liverpool Street where, despite the errors of my ways method and route, I still manage to get aboard the 11.30PM Norwich train home.

From here the ride back is a shaky one where the train spins as much as I do.  Towards the end of the journey I nod off and the next thing I know is that the train is sat in Colchester causing me to suddenly have to bolt up and run to get off the train in order not to miss my stop.  I achieve it but only by a cunt’s hair.

By now the time is well past midnight and The Ashes have already started.  Officially exciting times.

On the way home I check to see if anyone is in the North Station Road kebab shop and there isn’t it.  With this I briskly visit the ATM opposite and within minutes I am ordering a doner kebab and chips for which the guy behind the counter only charges me £5 which seems criminally cheap.  Then after a wait the man finally hands me just one Styrofoam tray.  At this point I drunkenly point out that “I ordered chips too” at as he opens the tray to reveal a layer of chips on top of a layer of kebab meat.  No pitta, no salad, no fucking about, just pure cholesterol joy.  I almost well up with happiness.  To say my ride home is subsequently filled with excitement and anticipation would be an understatement to say the very least.

Once home I royally tear into the fucker.  Meat is dinner.  Breakfast of champions.

Eventually I head to bed where I finally put on Test Match Special and swiftly pass out having experienced peaks and troughs of an evening.

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