Friday, March 12, 2010

Strange things arriving in the post

Yesterday I was telephoned by the ever-efficient, ever-helpful Benson, Guardian of the Mansion in which I reside, to be informed that there was a parcel from Sweden waiting for me.  I could hardly wait to get home and find out what it could be.  More Pepparkakor?  More frankly painful licquorice-based throat pastilles?  A big bag of Plopp?
It turned out to be two big bags of Dumle, my other favourite Swedish confectionary.  All the way from the grim north of Sweden, where my brother is doing something with RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS.  It came in Christmas wrapping paper, so I assume that this is my Christmas present.  Good on you, brother.  I'm glad I didn't unplug the Slingbox from the router when I was back at the parents' gaff.  Otherwise you would have been cast out into the outer darkness for depriving your family of British television.

(At least, I think he might have got the blame when his Slingbox stopped transmitting.  Unfortunately, given the horrors of configuring Slingboxes and BT HomeHubs (just Google it if you don't believe me) there's no way we could ever unplug his Slingbox and plug it back in and have it working again.  But I digress.  The fact that Swedish television is lamentable enough that my brother will have to put serious effort into allowing his wife and child to watch EastEnders suggests some horrible crimp in the face of reality.  I will say no more of this.)

I didn't think I was getting a Christmas present.  To be fair, I posted him his birthday present three months late last year.  And it was a pottery frog from a pottery shop in Foshan, a Chinese town full of pottery shops.  And ladies alternately hawking phlegm and cutting their fingernails Very Loudly.  But I suppose I should now reciprocate.  And the Christmas present I bought for my niece (that has now been waiting for three months for me to put it in the mail) should be on its way too.

All week I've been feeling more and more rotten, and it's only as I come to the end of the day and try to decide which burger I should eat before falling asleep, that I begin to feel alive again.  Apart from getting up, going to work, and then working, I can't think of anything notable that has occurred to me today.  Perhaps that is notable in and of itself.  Perhaps not.  Best not to get gloomy about being gloomy.

But I did also get another parcel today - this time, it's 5 DVDs of 'Time Gentlemen Please', a sitcom which might be good, or might be awful.  I won't know until I've watched 37 episodes of it.  I vaguely remember buying it for about four pounds from Amazon, but I'd completely forgotten that it had turned up.  And it wasn't that strange, I suppose.

And speaking of DVDs, I think this is what really I can blame my malaise on.  Last night I put on 'New World Disorder II' - a DVD of men on bicycles riding off big lumps of rock, or hopping over children's playgrounds, or riding down hills, or waving devil horn handshapes at the camera.  And it was just ... rubbish.  I used to see this as inspiring or exciting, and now it just looks like people riding down hills rather slowly, falling off rocks, or acting like a bunch of silly twats.  And it was at that point that all my childish glee and wonder in the universe could surely be said to have died, because if there isn't a spark of joy in your heart at the sight of a man pulling a wheelie on a bicycle, then there's nothing good to be said about you.

So there's nothing good to be said about me.  Now I can get on with the important job of being a soulless automaton.

Oh dear.  Wonder if I should let the girlfriend know.


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