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Wednesday, March 12

I've Not Been Up To It

I've really not been myself this week. Well, I have been myself. You know. I've worn my clothes, which seem to fit me reasonably well, so I assume they're mine, and I've gotten into my car (well, the one I call mine - it's just a loan) and gone to my job and sat at my desk. Technically my desk feels a bit like it's the wrong desk, since I've been moved across the office recently to a separate section. However, my desk is on the corner of the "hi" section, the section where ladies walk past at eye-to-boob distances and then catch your eye and say "hi". I suspect this is not friendliness, but boob protection. Who knows.

I probably shouldn't write such things on a blog which my workmates would be able to find quite easily. They might assume that my long pained expressions this week have been caused by ocular/boobular proximity issues, rather than, in fact, my rancid stomach and its naughtinesses. I should also remind them that if they know who I am enough to Google me, then they probably know I'm a stand-up comedian, they probably know I'm working hard under a lot of pressure, and they can probably work out that blethering about boobies on my blog is probably not entirely 100% serious.

What was serious, however, was my trip into work this morning. An ex-colleague of mine is now a new colleague. That's right, I've managed to contract in someone I know from a previous job. There might be a potential for old working habits not to re-form as expected. There might be a clash as old work dynamics have to be replaced by new ones. Things might seem different. As I got into the office at the expected time (to him) of 10am, it seemed like everything was as it always had been. In truth, I was an hour late, delayed by my inability to break through the pain of the morning and get myself to stop feeling like calling in sick and, instead, call in late. At least I came across as reliable to someone in my extreme tardiness this morning.

I decided I would beat this stomach bug. I decided I would go and get something to eat. It's one thing having a stomach that hurts and doesn't want food. It's worse when that stomach turns food into what can only be described as insane unpleasantries of the water closet. It's worse in a half-shell when the stomach then quips something along the lines of "you know, I'm feeling a bit empty - why you no feed me, Seymour?". Make up your mind Gastro-dude! Am I to be starving the bug out or feeding it fuel for its organic macerator? Will feeding it turn my poo-smoothies into perfect cumberland excrement sausage? or will I be back to bum-sick in no time? Is this too graphic? It's just words where I'm coming from, but then I'm just writing, so I don't have the form the images in my head.

Anyway, my decision having been made to eat something, I popped into the cafe. I wanted a really plain sandwich. The cooked breakfast stuff was too greasy and complex. There was a single cheddar and roasted vegetables sandwich in the fridge which I couldn't be doing with either. I thought a nice bread roll with a filling would do the job. All the ingredients were laid out at the sandwich counter. I had my bottle of water in my hand and I wanted a sandwich to be made. The lady, and I use that word with respect I've dug out of a fictional respect-bank marked "euphemisms for bitches I temporarily deplore", told me that she couldn't make a sandwich because she had a buffet to prepare for. She then proceeded to bugger off, despite my suggestion that I could wait 5 or 10 minutes. "Not a chance" was her smart, curt, and twattish, reply. She even left the till unattended and I couldn't leave the money for my unpriced bottle of water, since it was unpriced, and I couldn't determine the exact change for "how much is this fucking water?".

So, I put the water back and stormed out of the work canteen feeling like I'd been mistreated. I was an ill man denied sustenance by someone who clearly didn't give a flying toss.

Looking at it in a bit more of a balanced fashion. The staff member in question was trying to make a series of sandwiches for a buffet, help at the hot breakfast counter and man the till. Perhaps they're understaffed. It's not her fault. Perhaps the problem is endemic. The cafe appears to be run to suit the organisers of the cafe. It's never open when I need it to be, never serves even a sandwich after 2, shuts early, overcharges for most of its products and... well, I decided to take my lunch custom elsewhere, since I'd have to wait for a couple of hours before I got to eat.

I took my lunch custom elsewhere. I tried the sandwich shop which claims to make anything I want. They only had white baguettes for sandwiches. I wanted to tell them to "make me a fucking brown bread roll", but I decided that would be a bit harsh. Starvation makes me a bit miserable. I went to another shop which just looked too fancy to exist even near Bracknell, let alone in it. I say it looked too fancy. I mean that it looked like it was trying to be too fancy. I will not buy pretentious food. I went to M&S. Okay. That's probably more pretentious and middle class than anything, but sod it. I was ill.

I even bought a tomato/pepper/laden focaccia, which is, essentially, a middle-class dairy free pizza slice.

I digress.

Work had ups and downs. I felt like the day escaped me.

The ups included the progress enjoyed by my rekindled-colleague. There's a phrase. We even included a constitutional walk-and-talk, which helped. The downs, however, came after 5pm when my blood sugar level had tumbled back down and my body was crying for sleep and then the high-importance meetings came.

I didn't cry.

I drove home crying, listening to the wonderful Bleak Expectations. It took me to a supermarket (well, I drove, but the recording lasted the journey) where I chatted to my housemate on the phone and had a massive giggling hysteric fit in the aisles. I said a few things which amused me:

"People aren't even staring at me for giggling. They expect this of me."


"Do you want anything from Asda? Cos I'm in Tesco, but I could go there if you prefer."

Ooh the hilarity.

I bought ingredients for what my body wanted to eat. I say my body wanted it. It was a body and mind conference. My body wanted sponge pudding and custard. My mind offered low-fat custard and some stewed fruit. I'd read that "apple sauce" might help with a poor digestive problem situation. I also like rhubarb. So I bought three apples and a packet of rhubarb.

When I got home, I converted my ingredients into a bizarre sweet fruity yellow-tinged soup. It was very nice. It took longer to prepare than it did to eat. This is normal.

What's the point I was making?

There is none. The message is that stomach bugs suck. Don't get one. And if you do. Then don't.


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