Monday, 13 April 2009

Dime Novel : Yam Unlikely

I'm spinning this one out of alcohol, just for small change, it's been a tough week I need the money:

I was on the way to the Asian take-away next to the supermarket when the guy from the key-mint came running out shouting something in French so I went into the shop and ran out three seconds later shouting "there's a crazy dog loose in the shop!". This is what they call the Immersion Technique of language learning. Now I know "chien" means dog, and "putain" means fuck, fucker etc. As in "don't go in there you fucking idiot!"

I wouldn't normally use such a bland description as "Asian take-away" but this one really does have a mixture of national cuisines and it's called "Asiatique" something, that's French for Asian take-away. The thing that was bugging me was our cleaner had conveniently "lost" our key the day after we told her we were going on holiday. I needed space to think and Sezchaun Chicken with Diet Coke usually helps.

I was well into the Sezchuan Chicken when I got the text from the cleaner saying she'd found the key, my last thought was "damn she set me up..."

When I woke up I was in the man's upstairs flat again, his young son was there with is computer and wireless kit. "You fix, you fix now!", I replied "why are you wearing a balaclava Kevin?", "You make velly angly, I cut you!", "for fuck's sake Kevin I've already said I'll fix your computer whenever, I do it for all my mates. But if you do this to me again I'm going to call the police, I can't be on these dodgy mickies I might have a seizure you know that". We calmed down and I sorted out his connection, just switched channels it must have been interference from a neighbour. I was explaining seizures over a cuppa and wham! Bastard. The tea.

I woke up at home on the sofa, the cleaner was there "Hiya, late night again? I found the key so I let myself in, catch up for yesterday", "fuck off Eddie, I know you're in on this and when I clear my head I'm coming after the pair of you".

"I'm not Eddie, remember? Eddie did a runner with your dvd player, I'm Moira, you've been drinking again haven't you?", "No! No I haven't, Eddie and that fucking tit at the take-away slipped me a mickey-finn. You're all morons, I just told you I'm going on holiday, why the fuck are you doing this now?"

She carried on "Shall I make you a coffee? I'm Moira, I sent you a text message about the keys, remember?". I grabbed the phone thinking it would say "text message from Eddie" but obviously the fiends had changed the details when I was knocked out.

Coffee was a mistake. When I woke up I was tied to a chair in the kitchen, with my own bondage gear, there was note on the table reading "sorry JJ, you knew too much". There was a comic-book bomb timer next to the cooker so I shuffled the chair over to see what I could do. Moira had opened all the gas burners and made a make-shift timer out of my Deep Purple alarm clock.

What Moira didn't know was that the cooker had a leak, which the gas company couldn't find yet, so I was turning the gas off at the supply in between cooking meals. I would have starved to death before that "bomb" killed me. I escaped from the bondage gear easily because any serious practitioner knows these thing only look like you're trapped in them but you never really are.

Then I put on my CD of Bond Movie Themes as background to taking a shower and cooking breakfast. Nudity and cooking seems to be the way to show "sexy" and "in touch with feelings / feminine side" I do it most weekends but frankly I find it embarrassing. If I'm a 90's man it was probably the 1890's. I don't want a house plant or a cat, I don't cry but I can nail a fucking picture to the wall and change a burst tyre and the bottom line is I've never had a massage that made me more relaxed than I already am.

Yes breakfast, I eat breakfast in the evening, so what? It's not a crime. False imprisonment is a crime but I wasn't in the mood for justice, revenge was the dish I was cooking. Revenge and breakfast, a potent combination. The breakfast was particularly potent, curried goat leftover from yesterday's dinner.

A good friend of mine served curried goat at his wedding, his wife's choice. I couldn't express my gratitude because it wasn't his choice. I don't know if he even liked it, you don't ask the bride or groom if they liked the food do you? My problem is I always imagine if that's "their" favourite food then I know what they're going to do with the leftovers. I don't want to think that about my best friend and his wife, or anyone else either. I can't think of one couple I know who I would like to see eating dessert off each other's bodies, let alone main course and starters.

When I get married again I'm definately having champagne at the wedding; Belgian beer, kebabs (gyros), chips (fries) with salt and vinegar, crisps (chips), tandoori chicken, M&M's, cinnamon mentos, HP Sauce, Mayonnaise, Ketchup, onions, Olive Oil, more Mayonnaise, a hint of black pepper. Yum.

Anyhow, revenge. I suddenly realised it was the third day, I had risen and I had a job to do. First I set fire to my car, my beautiful Silver Machine, the moths came to the flame. While they watched bemused and argued with each other I put the mickies in the Sezchuan chicken and waited. Eventually Moira led me to Eddie and the dvd player, I called the Pizza man. That was the signal, they knew something was afoot so they ran out the back door, I picked up my dvd player including their bootleg copy of Alien Autopsy and my keys, and their car keys.

Eventually the insurance sent me a new Silver Machine, I parked their car in front of their Maison, with a free gallon of petrol, and a free alarm clock.

Cue: Eye of the Tiger, run end credits.


Sunday, 12 April 2009


See if you can guess where I've been last week, here are some clues:

Island is quite literally "ice land", the Vikings weren't known for their subtle literary skills. Contrary to modern Islandic belief the Vikings didn't settle here, Vikings weren't known for their farming skills or settling skills. They discovered it and "other people" came to do the boring bit. We can say Islanders are descended from Norwegians, it's possible some of them were quite mean but they weren't Vikings.

The first real Geezer I saw was when Black Sabbath got back together in Milton Keynes in '98, and now this. The Strokkur Geysir is still blowing every few minutes, I can testify to that but the Great Geysir retired in 1916 with a small come back in 1935. They reckon all those victorians throwing things in it was the problem. Yes, the English owned it once and it's the only time people had to pay to visit the Geysirs. Apart from Geezer Butler, of course.

The biggesst glacier in Iceland, Vatnajokull, is bigger than all of the other Glaciers in Europe put together. It's also quite cold but nice to walk about on when it's sunny.

The Gullfoss water falls are all a result of Glacial melt, not necessarily global warming though, they've been there for a while. Landscape is varied to say the least, because of many volcanic eruptions over the centuries it really is a patchwork of different lands. Grasslands next to black desserts, next to rocky inpenetrable terrains.

Horses everywhere, puffins, which taste like calf's liver, and the locals get around in monster 4x4's which made our Hyundai Tucson look rather feminine. Once you get out of Reykjavic you won't see any fancy-pants Mercedes 4x4's, BMW's none, the very occaisonal Land Rover but mostly the Japanese big-boys with wheels that you can barely see over. Like those things you see at monster truck shows, that's what the average Icelander uses to nip down the shops for a tub of Skyr, a local speciality made of slightly rancid milk. (We call it youghurt but don't tell them that.)

There is highway which has two lanes each way in some parts. I don't think they're planning to build any more roads, who needs them when you've got a monster truck?

They eat a lot of fish, which is tasty, but not surprising. What is surprising is standing on a beach made of black sand, with black rock cliffs behind. Surprising and very eerie. Eerie or peaceful, depending on your disposition. I imagine some Gothic types would have great fun frolicking on these beaches.

On Good Friday we took a dip in the Blue Lagoon and applied Silica Mud Packs to our faces. I could be wrong but I thought people who mined silica died horrible deaths from bronchial diseases. Surely they wouldn't treat tourists like this? Hot water coming out of the ground laced with silica, it has health giving properties, nothing specific but at 30 euro a pop I reckon someone is doing quite well out of it. It feels nice anyway. We just assume it's good because it's natural, a dangerous assumption if you ask me. Didn't mother nature give us the Sydney Funnel-Web Spider? A two inch bastard carrying enough venom to take down an elephant, what the hell is it going to with an elephant? Eat it?

In the end it was very pleasantly surprisingly good trip for a small cold place in the middle of nowhere. I would recommend it, you could go in the summer, it's a lot warmer but I think I prefered it like this. There's something about stinging rain and snow in bitterly cold wind that makes you feel alive. Possibly slowly dying but alive. The pictures are spectacular.

I'm going to eat some chocolate now. Oh, one more thing, it was the Icelander Leifur Eiriksson who disovered America in 1000AD but they were to few to beat the Indians so they went back home. Ok, they weren't all farmers. Actually it's fundamentally wrong to say any European discovered America, there were already people living there. The best we can say is Leifur was the first modern European to try to invade America.

Ultimately, although the Vikings are famous for stealing and destroying things, the English are the best at it - the results speak for themselves. Next would be the Spanish, then French, Italians, Greeks, Portugese... it's more or less the leading EU countries.