Thursday, 21 January 2010

Bovine Atrocities

There was a cow in the street today. I was minding my own business when I heard all this mooing going on. Nothing much unusual about that. It’s Scotland, after all; statistically, most conversations in this country consist of moos and baas. They just become a sort of unnoticeable background hum after a few years, and you can lump them together with the noises of teenagers vomiting up Blue Wicked and people threatening each other.

But this mooing was coming from just outside the shop’s front door, where it’s mostly concrete. You quite often get cows walking along the High Street, but this one had horns and only one tit. I don’t know where it came from, and for a while I wondered if it was going to come in and browse the books, perhaps affording us some kind of anal deposition by way of a critique. But then tourists started to yell a bit, and a police car came. I expect some hiker left a gate open somewhere, and this cow made a bolt for freedom. The butcher came out of his shop and with the help of the police he herded the cow down a sidestreet towards the river. I saw him run back to his shop and emerge a few seconds later wearing a soiled apron and an expression of avarice as he ran off down the lane wielding some sharp equipment and what looked to me like a weapon of bovine destruction. Later his assistant sped off in the same direction in a transit van.

They do fabulous steaks, our butchers. Great big sirloins. Grill them momentarily, then in a saucepan mix half a pint of single cream with some gorgonzola and a couple of twists of black pepper for a dressing. Pour the sauce over the steak and serve with a side salad. Voila. Ermintrude comes to dinner.

The California Diet

I’ve now lost 9lbs since last week. I must get that last pot of yogurt out of the dustbin and leave it in the August sun for a week while I start a bidding war between Fern Brittain and Vanessa Feltz. I’m getting better results from fucked yogurt than I ever did from my patented lager and amphetamines diet (disclaimer: for entertainment purposes only. Do not try this at home). I could make millions in California.

Thought for the day: you never see ET and Gail Platt out of Coronation Street in the same room, do you?

Your Dear, Sweet, White-Haired old Mum

Aren’t little old ladies lovely? Don’t you just adore them? Don’t they remind you of your own dear sweet old Mum? Kindly old spinsters who’ve led blameless lives and have known happiness and fulfilment before succumbing to the inevitable sorrows of lonely widowhood. Don’t you just want to give them a Mint Imperial and pat the tight little, white little perms that balance on top of their faces like cotton wool balls on withered apples?


Christ, they get on my tits. Annandale is full of them at this time of year. They come up by the coachload from whatever drabness they normally inhabit and stop in town for an hour so the coach driver can get away from their eternal carping and whining without fulfilling some Darwinian evolutionary process by driving them off a cliff. They block the pavements in great swathes of slow-moving beige polyester and fill the cafes, where they spend an hour drinking a cup of tea and looking for things to complain about before heading to the souvenir shops to buy a 99p box of fudge with a cartoon of the Loch Ness Monster wearing a Jimmy-hat on the lid, then they go back to the coach park to continue their Braveheart/Lochs and Glens/Bonnie Scotland ten-day budget tour.

And of course they come into my shop, where they ooh and aah about the clothes and jewellery and pick stuff up and put it back in the wrong place and hang around telling me what a lovely day it is for the twenty-seventh time today.

‘Ooh, Deirdre, if I was only fifty years younger,’ they say as they run their arthritic fingers through the fashions. And what I want Deirdre to reply is: ‘I knew you when you were fifty years younger, Ethel. I remember when you sucked off Bertie Gumption behind the bins outside the Stockport Majestic that night they had the Alan Ladd double feature. And then you let him do you because he’d made his own rubber-johnnie from an inner tube and some staples and had to ride twelve miles home afterwards on a flat tyre.’ But of course, what Deirdre really says is ‘Ooooh, yes, it’s lovely. Not for the likes of us, though.’
And I smile at them, and they smile back, and they look at their watches and realise there’s still twenty minutes before the coach goes and they might as well hang around the shop filling the air with banalities for a while.

So everyone’s nice to each other and says lots of fluffy, comfy things about the weather and young people today and what’s the world coming to and I know they’re all thinking ‘over-priced tourist trap’ and they know I’m thinking ‘why don’t you just go away and find a branch of Wretches R Us and buy something grey for £4.99’ and suddenly, suddenly, I know exactly why internet trolls exist, because I want to shout FUCK OFF YOU USELESS BUNCH OF COFFIN-DODGING OLD BOILERS! at them really, really loudly, just to watch their sweet, wrinkled faces crumple and see how fast they can still run, so I can stand by the front door listening out for the sweet crunch of hip on pavement.

God, that’s better.


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