Well, I suppose you could consider the Halloween themed lunch in the canteen today a huge success, as the food was truly horrific. The sort of fare that I doubt even the most wretched of creatures could stomach. And where was the "fun" element? There were a few half-arsed puns on the menu, but it really was very pitiful. They seem to have chosen a rather unappetizing play on words for some items and passed over what I would have considered perfect pun candidates. For instance, I had the Steak and Kidney Pie. Why not "Stake In Kidney Pie"? Then they called the Chicken Wings and Spare Ribs, "Flesh and Bones", which was less of a pun and more a literal description of exactly what they were. That put me right off. As did the description of the pureed swede as "Bug Mash". Turned out that the steak and kidney pie was awful anyway. Possibly made with the decaying corpses of BSE riddled cows for truly a realistic Halloween flavour? Not sure, but the taste of the kidneys triggered smell memories of cattle sheds, which of course are heavily scented with the secretions of those kidneys - cow pee. Eeyuww. No thanks.
Now something sad, or funny if you're cruel. Depends on how you look at it. Since a fairly young age I've been aware that I tend notice a lot of things that most people don't seem to see and I'm not talking about ghosts and goolies (?) etc. The things that I tend to see are little social situations in which someone is feeling uncomfortable or alienated or awkward. It's annoying. It's a bit like the really emotional dreams that I have that stay with me for hours after I wake up. They are draining, pointless and, as the drug addled Gary Oldman spits in Leon, "I don't have tiiiime, for this Mickey Mouse bullshit!". The classic example of this is being at a party and catching the eye of the loner who no-one wants to talk to who then meanders over. That happen to you once? It happens to me all the time. I'm not explaining it very well, but this latest incident, a sort of heartache-and-loneliness double-whammy, I had to share.
Looking out of our bedroom window on Sunday morning I saw an elderly woman waving goodbye to some visitors from her front door. The bungalows opposite are full of "oldies" and as such there are a fair few visits fom sons and daughters with granchildren at the weekends. You can often tell by the body language of those visiting that they see this as more of a duty that a genuine desire to brighten up their parent's day. As this particular couple and their kids were leaving, they made their way across the road and I was struck, as I often am, by the elderly woman's resolve to stand on her step and watch them walk all the way back to their car. Then I saw how she waited with her hand poised to wave as soon as they turned round or looked at her. They look back, hand shoots up as if electrocuted.
It reminded me of how my Gran used to stand on the doorstep of her house when we were leaving after visiting. She would wait until we had completely disappeared from sight before she closed the door on us. You could crane your neck right round as her house disappeared round the corner and if you stuck your hand out of the window at that split second, she would flash back a wave as quick as you like. Sadly, I'm guessing that as you get old and abandoned you start to treasure visits from your family so much that you want to savour every last second of them before returning to the interminable front room drone of lobotomising daytime TV.
What made Sunday's little tableaux of human misery even more unbearable was the shuffling Bilbo Baggins-type pensioner who had appeared on the pavement directly between the old woman and her family. As the family drove away and she frantically waved her goodbyes, the confused old man mistook her waving as a greeting, leant on his stick and started to wave back to her. She seemed to get annoyed at this misunderstanding, turned her shoulder slightly so as to shun him and then seemed to raise up on her tip toes as if to wave over him! He then looked round at the waving occupants of the departing vehicle, realised his mistake, slumped his shoulders and lowered his head and continued shuffling off into to his own lonely destiny. Too, too sad.
Never one to leave you kids on a downer, look here. I've found a real life Ting Tong for you.
"Oh pwease Mr Dudwey!"