The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

If You Want To Be Safe, Don’t Mention My Birthday…

Posted by BigWords on January 9, 2010

I stomped around all morning, grumbling under my breath and trying – not entirely successfully – to work out the easiest way to clear the snowdrift from my back doorstep without the benefit of salt. The past week has been spent trying to conserve the little remaining reserves of the stuff, despite the fact that I need to have clear paths – really, I do, it isn’t just OCD. I’ve been brushing away the loose snow with a hard brush and scraping away the ice beneath with a spade, but that just makes the path dangerously slippy once I finish. The spreading of salt over the paths is the only way to keep me from breaking my neck, but I’m down to half a tub and none of the shops withing five miles has any more. The snow, unfortunately, has fallen quite heavily since last Sunday, rendering all my hard work pointless.

I really can’t stand not being able to walk around the house.

Oh, while I’m bitching about the weather, I should add a major inconvenience and cost into my rant – on Thursday I got a plumber in to fix a valve (or something) which had dripped water down the side of the house. In other weather I might not have noticed it, but in the current climate it presented me with more visible effects… A trail of ice, roughly a foot wide at the base and protruding eight or so inches from the wall at its’ deepest part, had appeared in the space of a couple of weeks. The cost of getting the (minor) repair done? Only a mere £210 thankyouverymuch. If I knew how to fix it myself I could have saved myself a bundle of cash… So much for blue-collar jobs paying less, right?

Up until Friday my mood has been fine (if not bright and cheery, I was at least restraining myself from verbal assaults on anyone who crossed me), but a three-hour journey ended any pretense I had of enjoying the bone-aching cold. It should have been twenty-five or so minutes, but with the weather trying to kill of anyone stupid enough to travel – moi – there was a reasonable enough excuse for the journey descending into farce. I hate winter, I hate Christmas, I detest (beyond any normal levels of bile and spite) the damned and uncontrollable snow and ice, and I really, really, really want to throttle anyone who deigns so much as smile at me in the morning. What is wrong with people? There’s nothing to smile about. Smiling simply makes me believe you are mentally challenged. Seriously, this is not the weather for cheery people…

If you read that and think, obviously, that my week has been bad, then this morning – as per bloody usual – managed to trump any problems thus far. The bank, in their infinite wisdom, has lowered my credit. This wouldn’t be a problem, but the fools have managed to lower it below the sum which is on my credit card, necessitating four letters dropping through my letterbox this morning – one to tell me I’m not allowed to spend over a certain amount, one telling me I am overdrawn (thanks to the bank) and warning me that I have incurred a fee for doing so, one with the standard thinly veiled threats of repossession, bankruptcy and (possibly) jail, plus a fourth which has the sum I am due to pay this month, handily including all of the information from the other three letters in case I didn’t get the message the first time I read through their crap.

I swear, sometimes it feels like the universe is playing an extensive and coordinated game at my expense, probing the edges of my patience until I explode into a frothing rage.

So it’s my birthday… I’m really not sure if I feel older, but I certainly feel more cynical, more irritable, definitely more aches and pains… Some of the benefits of birthdays (the presents, f’rinstance) are out of the question with the abysmal postal service here, so I’m stuck inside the house listening to Jefferson Airplane on a loop and drinking Jack Daniels. Hey, it ain’t as bad as it sounds… At least I don’t have to worry about my brother moving in until the end of the month – which is a problem I’m ignoring until he actually turns up on my doorstep with the rugrat in tow. Jeez, if only things could turn out as planned, rather than the unexpected little problems kicking me in the face at ever opportunity.

Seeing as how I’m venting, I may as well expend a bit of energy complaining about the idiot tax in the UK, otherwise known as the television licence fee, which currently sits at £142.50 per annum. I’ll pay the money, but I do so grudgingly, and with the complicit agreement that I am under no obligation to be anything but disrespectful to the overpaid, under achieving idiots who staff the BBC – one of the worst run companies in the UK at present, which is really saying something. The latest brain-dead decision (to let their lisper in residence, Jonathan Ross, walk from the corporation) is one which confounds me. Are they trying to drive people away from their channels, or is there some secret master plan at work?

My guess is plain, old-fashioned incompetence.

What, precisely, am I paying for? A bunch of radio stations I don’t listen to? The Gaelic channel with twenty-eight regular viewers? The web presence they keep needlessly promoting? The parliament channel that runs twenty-four hours a day, even when nothing is actually happening? Can someone please pull the Director General to one side and explain to him how crap the service is in comparison to the money they get? There is no need to have such a large fee when they seem determined to pack the schedules with endless repeats. I wouldn’t be so annoyed if they were the shows worth watching, but they seem to be under the impression that their bargain basement crap needs viewing at least a dozen or so times… Make it stop, pleeeease… I don’t want to see Heir’s Hunt For Cash For Antiques In The Attic Roadshow bullshit on the schedules any longer.

Oh, while I remember to include it here – I finally got a doctor’s appointment set. It’s for the 28th, so a bit sooner than I expected for the NHS.

5 Responses to “If You Want To Be Safe, Don’t Mention My Birthday…”

  1. Our cable company here recently deleted the BBC from our line up. They used to have a lot better shows and documentaries. Towards the end, the daily line up was nothing but improvement shows (which I do like, but in moderation), The Weakest Link, and what seemed to be at least ten episodes each of both Doctors and Eastenders. Daily.

  2. bigwords88 said

    For the past few years there has been increasing concern over the number of repeats being shown in any given week, with the total number of hours tallied up by industrious and conscientious people. The numbers vary, but it seems that they like 120-160 hrs of repeats in any week. To say that I am irritated by the fact I have to pay for their laziness is an understatement, but even more aggravating is the fact they pay their top execs so damn much. It is, in essence, a public company, therefore there should be some internal analysis of pay scale involved. Nothing about the company makes any sense when analyzed closely, and every passing year makes me more determined to tell them where they can stick their unofficial tax.

    I checked with the BBC website a few weeks ago as to their international operations, and it seems they are doing rather well with television sales, plus their DVDs are doing rather well. In a sane world the BBC would be privatised.

  3. Moses Klaiber said

    Is this used as a quit smoking aid?

  4. bigwords88 said

    No. When I quit smoking (make that if I give up smoking) I’ll be an even bigger bastard. It will also be one of the signs of the apocalypse…

  5. [...] note of it, today is my birthday, but I’ve already mentioned the fact that they tend to go awry, so steering clear of the subject is the smart thing to [...]

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