Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Saulte to you Googlers

Saint Patrick's Day, a mild, sunny one. My hit counter is as imperfect as they come, but it does give a general idea of what is drawing traffic to the blog, WIDFIPOTP.

On sunny days, people want to put up gazebos.

On St Patrick's Day, people appear to wish to know what time the beer can be sold in the Offo, and what time in the pub.

So, let's raise a glass in the gazebo today for a 323% increase in visitor traffic, searching for "gazebo instructions" or "opening hours Saint Patrick's Day."

I write about other things too. No, really. I do.

Hope you had as fine a day as I had.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Liam and the family

Another typical afternoon on the bus ride home. Two girls, each about 15 years old, punching each other affectionately in the back seat. A mobile phone rings between them.
"Liam, you're drunk!"
Her friend in the pink pajamas and trainers shouts:
"Ha! Ha!"
into the phone.
"Mary Gillick texted me and said 'Ure kid is plain in the road'."
Liam says something...
"I don't care. Why are you drinking?"
There a reply of some kind...
"Oh *you* get depressed, do you? Well *I* get depressed too, but I don't spend all my money on drink in the middle of the day!"
He says something more...
"We're walking around The Square. We'll be home in an hour."
They're on a bus leaving The Square, but Liam isn't to know.
"What were you doing phoning my mother for money last week and telling her the baby needed rusks? I *know* that's a lie, because I bought her rusks. And me Ma knew it was a lie, cos I told her I bought rusks."
The conversation waltzes about in wide-spinning circles with her ear-bashing him about his drinking, his friends, his money, his dole. Occasionally, the friend shrieks something meaningful in the direction of the phone.
I drift away into my own thoughts for a while.
Almost home and a bunch of other 14 and 15 year olds get on the bus.
"Jesus! Look at you!"
"I know. Jesus! Three months is ages!"
Bringing up the rear is a black kid in a baseball cap. He is to gangle what blizzard is to snowflake.
"No, I'm in court on Thursday. I'll call you after....", he says. "I just have something to do in court. Yeah. Bye."
The three-monther turns to the friend:
"What do you have on?"
"Are you serious? What do you have under them?"
"Skin, mostly."
They start chatting to the black kid and I trudge downstairs, wondering what's in the cupboard for dinner.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sign of the Times

Today, I am standing in a frill-free, foreign-owned supermarket, peering at the Schnitzeblibil herself has found at a bargain price.

"What is a Schnitzeblibl?" I ask, innocently. It's been a long week.

Herself looks down her nose at the foreign label on the plastic bottle.

"It's either a shampoo... or a salad dressing. I'm not sure."


I lift up a green net bag.

"And the Defergaumin?"

"Six for the price of four," she says.

"Do you think," I ask. "Do you think the Defergaumin could be served with the Schnitzeblibl?"

"Don't be silly," she says. "Look, give me that trolley and go and look at the Man stuff."

I examine the rotary motor mower; poke briefly at the energy-saving L.E.D. work lamp; try on then put back the protective chainsaw boots. I meet Herself in the next aisle, where she is wrestling another woman to the ground, growling menacingly.

"MY....! I said MY Liebenhaffabudenschtiffel!"

In the car park, a man is tentatively cutting off a shopping trolley wheel with a brand new plasma rig.

"Only nine-ninty nine in the third aisle," he says, grinning.

I pack the groceries into the car and we drive away.