Friday, December 19, 2008

Not watching Milo and Otis

Although the address book sits on my sideboard unopened and surrounded by a force field of naked terror, it's not really been in my thoughts today, even though it's now directly under my poster of that bloke from Sesame Street who was always on about ten banana cream pies. My mood hasn't been especially good today, it's been cloudy and stressed and rather immature. It wasn't helped by the expedential growth of prams and school leavers throughout the shopping centre today, and by a confusing incident outside Sanity today where a woman chased me down to give me something to take back to work, this woman I didn't know, while I was wandering about with no thoughts and was minding my own business. I felt like a pit pony, and she was so emphatic. The concept of customer care really didn't extend from me to her and I had to lug it around like a messenger of yore. The paring knife frenzy, which today resembled, well, not quite Beatlemania, but certainly Bay City Rollers mania, now extends to a fifteen minute demonstration about the knife, which just means the prams linger in the middle of the shop, and are hard to get around without physical contact or a well planned out route through the school supplies section. And who chases people down to hand them something to take back to work anyway? She was so sunken and evil...it probably says a lot about me though that in the midst of my horrible everyone is in my way mood where I was just arked up about everything, I looked across on my wander around and blue eye shadow girl was looking equally stressed and despairing, and I immediately felt far worse. She has a good dilligence about her, so I feel bad if she looks stressed. Maybe someone gave her a parcel. Tomorrow, I have to face a sausage trial. a BBQ where my friend with the debt problem may or may not say goodbye to us all and choose a life of domesticity which would inherently mean that I have to spend at least some of 2009 looking for a new friend, which is slightly undignified at 30 since I can't just mutually accept someone into my life at 30 based on them having the same kind of favourite crayon colour (aquamarine represent y'all) or knowledge of what 21 Jump Street was. I find it a bit re-assuring that throughout my life my friends ebb and flow but I tend to stay (more or less) the same person. The same things (more or less) annoy me now as when I was five - ignorant people, bad music, bad manners, and equally my sense of self nervousness has never left me, and I always feel like things are about to dramatically shift under my feet. I told my Dad in London I suffered from suitcase syndrome (I just made it up) but it seems to stick with me. Everywhere I go I feel like cool kids are in one corner, I'm in the other, and I can't bridge that gap, even though I know it's a patent nonsense. I know though that I'm cooler than anyone in my address book from yore...god help me if I'm not, none of them have a pair of Hi 5 Deely Bopp...OK, when I see that, all of them are cooler than me...

Of course, since I lived in Burnie, the concept of a cool kid was somewhat relative -our school "hot girl" for instance ended up, allegedly, having sex with our PE teacher in a bath tub, which rather dimmed the bulb of her electric coolness. When you think about it, she wasn't really that cool, and what gave her the right to tell people off for sniffing in an exam was only an assumed moral superiority that, well, I still can't see. And yet she got the top table in the lunch quadrangle to eat cheese sandwiches and lord over us all. As I've mentioned before though, my arrival in Burnie in FILA boots and my rather ahead of it's time grungy sense of desolation and hopelesness (although it wasn't called that in Ayrshire it was just called real life and if you were remotely happy chances are the drug dealers would tell you to pipe down) and accented knowledge that everything was shite made me a playground sensation. At one point, in a fit of somewhat poetic but downright downbeat philosophy, the future school captain said in breathless awe that I was the coolest person she'd ever met. My coolness was emphasised after I had taken with reasonable grace a rare F in English from a crusty dried up bag (I'm letting it out know) in need of a good iron across the face, after I had applied the long lost art of satire to a writing exercise. We were given pictures from the Advocate and mines was of some bloke holding a big scarf, and in a fascinating exercise we had to come up with our own story based on the picture, so I made up a story about how it was a scarf for a giraffe and sixty seconds later it got caught in the machine next to him, and choked him and he had to be rescued. An F. Honestly. I thought it was genius. I took my F and her wittering old in my day we took a Penny Farthing to a Smithton and wrote stories that made sense and by the way I used to peel potatoes for tuppence a skin ramblings with a grain of salt and shrugged and thought well you'll probably be dead by 1996 anyway but the good news was, when I read it out to the class, it got huge laughs. It was, as one might say, the ways I tells em. It was also, and I was well aware of this, my accent, and I had no doubt that at least some people were playing the lets laugh at the dumb foreigner card, but a laugh is a laugh, and when I followed it up with a sort of Ian Curtis style wander round the playground with head down and furrowed brow. I was a conundrum wrapped in a hypercolour T-shirt, and of course it was all overacted bollocks that I wouldn't have got away with in front the drug dealers, but it was a crazy new locale, and I was free to be a made up version of myself until the truth that I was just some dork who couldn't cut a straight line with a pair of scissors through some crepe paper came to everyones attention. It was a convincing act though because through the medium of my old girlfriend Sarah came a handwritten note passed in class inviting me on a date with a girl called Katrina...well, it said date, four other people were coming...the last note I'd been passed in Ayrshire was swing your chair back I want to kick it, so this was definitely a golden moment for me. Notes with no threats of casual violence, what paradisical Eden is this? Oh sorry, I'm meant to think everythings shit...what a confusing meeting of moods this is...

This was a slightly awkward moment for me, as I did have a crush on a girl who was a little out of my league but who had shown me plenty of interest. I realised we weren't meant to be together when a cute little trick I used to do to make her laugh (an impression if I believe, oh yeah, form an orderly queue ladies) was played out one last time...and she called over a much older boy to come and hear it. I certainly didn't want to be that guy, the stand up comic before the stripper comes on, so she was out of the picture from that moment on. It was therefore somewhat spirit lifting that I had been asked on a proper date, to the movies no less, and since even though the movie in question that was planned is lost to my memory banks, I know it was piece of rubbish like Milo and Otis which meant that we weren't going for the movies if you know what I mean...you guessed it, hot buttered popcorn it was all the way. The details of the date did confuse me though - there was a girlfriend and boyfriend going, Cloud (no really, of push Kayla in the mud fame) and Danny, and then me, Katrina, and this other friend of mine called Jarred. This was a bit strange as it felt like it was going to be an episode of perfect match. Why were 5ive people going to see Milo and Otis? And why was it clearly labelled a date when someone had to be spare wheel? Why not find a mutually beneficial date - that Jenny girl who sat up the back and the class and said bugger all, she must have a lot of spare time? I never really questioned any of this, but the logistics of it seemed a complete nightmare. Someone would have to watch the film quite clearly. There was suddenly a sense of dread in me that I was sort of the additional jester to the day, the Rodney Dangerfield if you will who was expected to crack wise with observations about the films ineptitude while the couples took breaks in between breaking their virgin lips in. The additional pressure me of course was that, all going well, and if I cut Jarreds lunch and left him eating the big bag of Maltesers on his own, and got we in the trade called action, then this would be my first Tasmanian kiss, and I would be critiqued for the school to hear. Debbie, my Ayrshire girlfriend, said that I kissed like I had things on my mind sometimes - yes, mostly, if we kiss this will hopefully mean she won't talk about robots talking over the world - and I thought nothing will ruin my cool like a bad kiss...it was far too much confusion and pressure for me to try and work through, and besides, I had episodes of Red Dwarf to watch and serious homesick sulking to do...it was even scheduled in my diary...

Of course, none of this ever came to fruition and the riddle was to remain a Nik Kershaw song. Mainly because my Mum and Dad drove a complete shitbox, this grey silver car that used to not only electrocute you every time you tried to touch the door handle but that really wasn't reliable to make the elongated 17 minute journey from Penguin to Burnie. Not least of all in a thunder storm, which turned the door handles into electrical generators...the day of the date came and went without me arriving in Burnie, because a giant thunder storm meant the car broke down outside a garage that I believe was later burned down by the owners for insurance purposes. It was at this garage that I used to enter the Classic Catches competition with no winning results, and now I think they took my money and threw the entry coupon in the bin. So, we had to turn back eventually and I had to slink into my room soaked and dejected without ever finding out how a cat and a dog can be friends. Would have got some action too, as Jarred poured butter on Katrinas lap by accident. The resolution of all this was a slip into everyones friend zone, especially Katrinas, and the faint sense that I was an unreliable friend. My Mum, bless her, decided to make it up to me by taking me to the local video shop to get any movie I wanted, which wasn't quite the same. Sitting in a dark room watching Summerslam 89 or Weekend at Bernies is great, hell I still do it now, but that faint sense that I could have got some act...as I stood there though pondering a moody lamentation or ode to the rusty car (it didn't get me so far...yes, poetic) I looked across through a diabolical rain storm outside the frosted glass windows of Penguin video store, and there in the rain arguing with her boyfriend was a self defiant beautiful girl with hooped earrings and if I'm honest an overuse of the middle finger, just letting her emotions pour out in a moment of undiluted rage. I watched her for about five minutes, just amazed at her anger, her passion, and most of all, the way she seemed totally above everyone else, and to be honest, she was way cooler than anyone I went to school with, whether they ate cheese sandwiches at the top table or not, or couldn't get butter out of a dress...she dwarfed them, stylistically, passionately, and she seemed like she realised it...

And that, that was Vicki, who became my pash buddy for the rest of 1992...and not once did I have to watch any movie with a cat to achieve that particular status...

8 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I tried to watch Garfield not long ago and couldn't get through it. I'm with you on cats in movies.

Jannie said...

Believe it or not, you can actually gain new friends at any age! Or at least Really Good Aquaintances.

Miles McClagan said...

I was scarred for life by the Ricci (indie kid my ass) remake of That Darn Cat! It was just un-necessary...

I think my biggest difficulty is being interested enough in people to be their friend! It's very difficult...I must try!

Bimbimbie said...

As a former wearer of the Bay City Rollers style of trousers I'm rather anxious that I might now not be able to walk past a customer care person and look them in the eye ;)

I have something for you over at mine ... do with it what you please*!*

Baino said...

mmm . .lot to take from this post:
you know I'm worried about a grown man with a sesame street poster so won't go there.
Can't blame you for arking up this time of year, the shops are mad . . .friends are hard work Miley . . if you wanna keep 'em you have to try. . .and as for cool . .I think it's all a furfy. I'm the biggest dag to some and the coolest thing since slushies to others . . all a matter of perception (theirs not mine). . . and congrats on the pash buddy . . makes all that nervous fort sitting worthwhile!

Georgie B said...

I have to agree with Jannie on this one.

I've gained loads of friends and acquaintances in the past couple years overall, and especially since I started my blog.

It's just the matter of moving at your own speed.

squib said...

I think friends are hugely overrated

I did something similiar. Got a -D for writing a sarcastic response to 'The Outsiders'

Also in science I slipped 'pink giraffes with purple spots' into my essay to see if my teacher actually read it. I got an 'A'

Miles McClagan said...

Thanks for the award, I didn't realise until then I'd got one...next post, for shua...the Bay City Rollers of course come from my country, we're, er, very proud...

It's a great poster, it's a Jim Henson...anyway, Xmas makes me mental, I can't help it. I've resolved to work harder on my friendships, and incidentally, Vicki never knew how cool she was, she didn't believe it. I don't think I'm cool, but I could be, if I put in the effort to make cool look effortless!

I just need to know where to start to find new friends...block party? Blog party? Could be a goer! My speed incidentally is good, I move a lot, but I don't achieve a lot other than fretting!

I don't understand how anyone can give marks for a story...it seems wrong...hate to get all Kanye West, but all you can really mark is the spelling surely? I hate English classes...takes the fun out of it...proper paragraphs, pah...