I'm SORRY, okay?
Fuck. It wasn't as if I was just not bothering, I swear. I've been genuinely busy. I've nursed a single-level domicile in one of the better parts of Kill City back to health, become a grand master at IKEA, exorcised a spirit from the deepest corners of my heart and played the fourth emergency service at 4am by staying on the phone whilst drunken Rock Star exes walked miles home alone after being left stranded yet again by things loosely referred to as 'friends'.
Reminding her that 'friends' don't fucking leave you halfway across Brighton without cash or company at 4am when you've got work at 8 isn't the best conversation topic when she's trying to speed-march home in leopard-print platform heels. She'd rather talk about happy stuff. She forgets who woke who up halfway across the fucking country at 4am. But hey. I guess the fact I can do that says something in itself.
I'm a sucker, perhaps?
Naah. I give a fuck. I do. I walked her home (albeit remotely), she got in safe, happy days. And alright, that in no way constitutes an explanation or excuse as to my absence from blogging for the better part of two fucking months. I know that. But I've had very little access to the necessary hardware to be able to blog - almost all my online contact has been via my phone for weeks, and writing a fucking text message or a tweet on that without wanting to smash it into pieces is hard enough. Attempting a blog would be unnecessarily torturous. So I didn't bother.
But now I'm back...
From outer space...
You just walked in and found me here with this sad look upon my face. You should have changed the stupid lock. You should have made me leave the key. Cos I've been eating all your biscuits and I've helped myself to coffee...
See what I did there, Gloria? I took the lyrics of your popular gay anthem and subverted them for entertainment purposes. You should try it. Anyway, did I mention this is my first blog for ages? Well it is. And as such, I've had a bit of a think. Previous paragraphs notwithstanding, I'm gonna write about something I find positive and uplifting this time, and if I do spin off into a vitriolic rage (it's more likely than not to happen, let's be fucking honest) it'll be entirely reasonable and justified under the circumstances. Happy days? Cool.
Anyone who's read my Twitter profile will see the words 'reality engineer' together, and one or two of you might have wondered exactly what I meant by coupling those words and using said coupling as a descriptive device to define what I sometimes get up to when I'm not getting up to other things. Clear? No? Well I'm about to proffer a petite 'explanation-ette'...
Most Reality Engineering involves two things:
One: being in a certain place at a certain time where 'some shit' be 'goin' down'.
Case in point - my journey home on public transport after taking small out for the afternoon. Bus stops en route to change drivers. Existing driver packs up and fucks off, leaving thirty plus people on a bus on the side of the road. Waiting. This is what a Reality Engineer (TM) would call a 'Sandpit Event'. It follows much the same rules as ordinary cause/effect or action/consequence reality, but has a great deal of scope for influence or manipulation in order to effect a range of outcomes.
In this case, a fucking mutiny. :)
Now I'm sitting somewhere up back, surrounded by feckless college teens and DNA bargain bin rejects with neck tattoos. What the fuck is compelling everyone to get their necks tattooed these days? Does a swallow's arse sticking up over the collar of your Man U shirt sound that much of a 'must have' to you? Does it improve your chances of dipping your weenie into one of those big lumpy velour sacks of watermelons you lot call 'women'? I can't see it myself. I'm sure the same result could be achieved by loudly spitting on the ground while waving a Greggs Steak Bake in the fucking air. Anyway. Where was I? I was at the back of the bus. And I'd noted with interest the following things:
1. No replacement driver waiting to take over at our stop OR making their way toward bus from depot, perhaps 200m away behind us.
2. Our current bus driver is VERY fucking eager to pack up, lock up and fuck off. Meaning he's aware of the fuck up, but isn't prepared to take responsibility or do anything about it.
3. There are currently 3 potential 'Agents' on this bus.
Which brings me to the other thing you need for a bit of Reality Engineering:
Two: The AGENT (an individual or individuals prepared to subvert / divert the existing course of reality).
Now when it comes to Agents, you can do it yourself, by all means. All it takes is the balls to stand out from the crowd. Nobody really likes to stand out from the crowd - we draw attention to ourselves and, eventually, someone else will stand up and say 'who put THIS cunt in charge?' - but if you want to play, and I mean really play, with the universe - then you have to engage with it on a direct level...
And out of the three potentials I've clocked when this whole situation began to unfold, it took almost exactly five minutes before Agent 1 got up out of his seat and pointedly looked out of the back window to see if there was any sign of a driver, before sitting back down and loudly grumbling about how 'bloody ridiculous' it was...
Here we go. We're on. Time to give reality a little 'nudge'...
He looks around again and this time I allow him to catch my eye. I take off my headphones, letting him know I'm willing to listen. Again he repeats how 'bloody outrageous' it all is and that they're 'taking the piss'. I hold up eight fingers to represent how many minutes have passed - increasing his annoyance.
Time to call reinforcements. I call down the bus to nobody in particular:
"Anyone see any numbers for Stagecoach (for it was they) on any of those posters?"
I get replies:
"Nothing. Not surprised they don't give you a number to complain. Bloody idiots."
"Terrible isn't it. They just don't care, do they?"
Bang. Just like that, we're a team. All thirty-odd of us. But I'm not the leader. He is. Agent A. The General is on his feet, down the bus and out the door because he's seen a figure approaching with the unmistakeable Stagecoach fluorescent jacket. And as he charges down the aisle of the bus, he causes a wave of rising bodies to follow suit and decamp, en-masse, in his wake.
Uh-oh. Problem. Young, female, foreign driver. This isn't her bus. She's waiting to relieve the next one along, and she has no idea what the fuck she's walked into. This mob, that just three minutes earlier was sitting tutting to themselves in a terribly British manner, are now sharpening the fucking pitchforks and about to lynch her from a fucking lamp-post. Time to deflect the anger, I think.
"Of course, we're ALL aware that YOU aren't directly responsible for this..."
The General glares at me briefly, but he knows I'm right. After that, things become a great deal more civil toward the girl until the next bus arrives - which, joy of joys - contains a ticket inspector. The poor girl practically throws herself onto the bus, tears out the current driver and shoves the inspector in the direction of the General, who - with his massed ranks behind him - is oh so eager to tell him what they all think of his shitty company.
Upshot is, we all boarded the new bus, and the final crowning moment came when the Inspector bravely suggested that we all line up and display our tickets before we embark. To which, a lovely old Doris that had been silent throughout finally snapped, waddled up to him, stuck her finger in his face and spat:
"YOU can FUCK OFF. I'M not queuing up and I'M NOT fishing round for my bastard ticket AGAIN. I showed it once. YOU want to learn how to do your BASTARD job properly. Now GET OUT OF MY WAY!"
And like that, we were homeward bound. So what have we learnt? We've learnt that if you have the balls to stick your head above the parapet, sure - you'll get it blown off from time to time, but sometimes...just sometimes - you'll get sexy kisses. Or something. Be well.