No Longer A Story of ****

Sunday, 19 August 2012

This blog post is inspired by the gulf in the experience of life enjoyed (or otherwise) by townies and country folk.

I'm talking about the whole experience.....the speed of living, the demands of expectation, the availability of consumer goods, and the ever present smell of shit. I was reminded of this gulf last week when I arrived in Devon with Mrs Mac, the Brady Bunch and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. We were there for a holiday and had booked a lovely little cottage that had the quaint absence of a telephone signal, no internet provision and Council telly. Yet it cost us almost the same amount as a fortnight in the Caribbean.

We were met by the owner, one of those guys who's managed to retain a full head of hair into his 50s, and in an arrogant, mocking kind of way, has allowed it to grow just that bit too long, despite being wholly grey in order to give him the option of styles. On the day in question the style was 'salon product wash and condition followed by blow dry.'


To be fair he didn't do that whole, 'show you round the cottage and demonstrate how everything works, even the quirky thumbscrew on the bathroom door' thing. It was a quick welcome, the presentation of some plated and cling-filmed sliced cake, that a few years ago was home-made, now has the unmistakable hint of supermarket- mass production since Tesco built a store above the nearby town, then a goodbye.

But before he went what he did labour was the point about the bog. His words are shown in yellow, my thoughts are bracketed.

'Now, this isn't the big city, capiche?... (Your referenced to the 'big city' has obviously been inspired by a recognition of my Cockney accent rather than Mrs Mac's soft Scottish lilt. And your idiotic use of 'capiche,' get this: I'm not Italian and you're not a Mafia Don, so get on with it you carrot-crunching half wit).'

'Here we have a thing called a sceptic tank that collects all the waste flushed down the lavvie... (I don't recall Al Pacino ever using the word 'lavvie;' not in Godfather nor Scarface, so your alluding to La Cosa Nostra is now but a comical memory, but carry on).'

'All the sceptic tank can manage is soft toilet tissue. Nothing more. No cotton buds, no tampons, no face wipes, nothing ....(you didn't mention condoms).'

'If you do fail to adhere to this simple rule you'll block the sceptic tank and the resulting problem affects everyone here. But we can trace the source of the problem.... (Well done, that's a more effective threat than pretending you're speaking to me with cheeks stuffed with cotton wool when in fact you sound like one of the Wurzels).

'As long as we've got that clear I'm sure you'll have a great break here in the country.... (I know I'm in the country, you bumpkin, I can smell the shit. How I wished I'd packed my knife collection and slowly unpacked it as you went through that little spiel).

After Wurzel left my little girl made the following observation:

'Dad, when Marvin the goldfish died you sent him to heaven through the toilet and he was bigger than a cotton bud. How do the goldfish here get to heaven?'

'They get buried, same as us,' I answer....(actually they end up in the same place as everything else semi edible here. They're either fed to the livestock or thrown into a steaming vat of decaying apples to produce scrumpy).

So we spent the following week with a group of children that treated the toilet bowl as if it had the same consumption ability as a size-zero super model. Meanwhile Yours Truly made it his daily mission to produce the longest, fattest, unbroken morning constitution in order to block Wurzel's sceptic tank with nothing more sinister than a healthy turd.

Not an easy task when you're lactose intolerant and most of your morning movements would have Gillian McKeith running for the hills.

But at the end of the week I realised I shouldn't have bothered with the sceptic tank, which incidentally swallowed everything it was offered like Vanessa Feltz at a Krispy Kreme giveaway. Nope, if I wanted to introduce Wurzel to some of London's finest scat, it was the famous Devon Cream Tea that was gonna assist in that.

Just mix one Devon Cream Tea to a lactose intolerant Londoner, add wine and a final night holiday celebration and voila, an innocent early morning fart becomes something quite unpleasant. If you're struggling to understand what occurred here either think Spud in Trainspotting or imagine an early morning exchange between Yours Truly and the cottage owner, Wurzel:

'Well, hello city dweller, how's tricks? What you doing up so early.....shit the bed?'




Dale Jamieson said...


Richard said...

Your son (adidas wearing youf)seems to be shooting skyward at an incredible rate.