Having a memory like a sieve has meant that I put myself in an awkward position last night while walking around Sainsbury's in Wellingborough. "Are we still doing *blah* on Sunday night?" Asked the wife as we neared the diary aisle.
"Huh?" Says I, paying more attention to the milk than my wife's questions.
"Sunday night. You haven't forgotten that I'm not at work on Monday, have you?"
"No!" Of course I had.
What the fuck did I say we'd do on Sunday?
Without thinking, "You do know that England are playing Italy on Sunday?" I saw her body language visibly alter. "I was going round Roger's to watch it." Oh dear...
The diary aisle is about half way through that specific supermarket and we were nearing the end of our shop and the only noises that emanated from the wife were a series of short sharp grunts. I was still trying to remember what I'd agreed to do. I figured the best way to deal with this was meet it head on and bluff it. "What time do we have to go?" She looked at me like I was asking her what my own name was.
"You know better than I do." Oh double shit with pooh on it... Then the penny dropped.
"It starts at 9."
"What time is the football on?"
"7.45." She nodded, but she might as well have said 'oh'.
"Look, I'll watch the first half and then we'll go. I'm sure we'll probably lose." (I actually think we'll win, so perhaps missing half the match is for the best, I won't be so crushed at the final whistle). She took on the role of injured martyr and I knew that all was lost. It's not like she'll hold a grudge against me for weeks or withhold sex and stuff; but I knew that her weekend - of which she is working today - would be rather spoiled.
I couldn't do that. It's only a game of football and my wife's happiness is far more important. Besides, I've told her that she has to watch the England v Germany semi-final (if it happens) with me in return. She blew a raspberry at me and effectively told me to go fuck myself. See, marriage is always fair!
Humans are horrible, but kids are even horribler. I hear about events that are trending at other schools now - there's a network between schools for sharing information, which is a good idea because you get to hear about trends and organised stupidity before it reaches you, so you can try to prepare for it or at least be aware of the latest craze (most recently these included the salt and ice challenge - look it up - and the Scotch Bonnet challenge; which is where kids eat an entire scotch bonnet chilli - which is a bit like putting an acid covered starving wolverine in your mouth and then calling its mother a whore).
Most of these fads are stupid, can cause injury and makes you question the sanity of those doing it. However, I was aware that not all of these fads and trends involving kids are based around pain or ones ability to tolerate it; some trends are devious and evil...
An area in Lancashire has experienced a spate of extortion plots aimed at sole traders and small shops. What girls aged between 12 and 14 are doing is visiting a small clothes shop or something similar, decide what they want and then tell the single male owner or shop assistant that if they don't give them the goods they will go to the police with allegations of sexual impropriety. Obviously some shopkeepers are telling the girls to sod off, but some have been extorted of hundreds of pounds worth of goods because they are frightened that they might get a reputation; because, you know, there's no smoke without fire. Nice, huh?
Personally, I blame two people - obviously I blame Margaret Thatcher, because I blame her for everything and either John Hughes or Macaulay Culkin, because one wrote the line and the other delivered it. That line, which I know so well I can't quite remember it, was something along the lines of "I'm a kid, that's what kids do." I have said that we don't give children the credit they fully deserve sometimes, especially as every human being is born a psychopath and we learn about all the laws of life and society as we begin to grow up. As everyone knows, psychopaths are all really clever (and bonkers) and if a kid is essentially born one, unless they really are as thick as pig shit, then they have the ability to outwit us all. Coming up with a scam like the one above doesn't surprise me in the slightest.
Music is My First Love
Something I usually do in the Stuff section of my blogs is to talk about the music I've listened to this week, but for one week only I must make a bigger thing of it.
My job, because I don't think I've ever really full explained it, is essentially to babysit and re-educate the badly behaved kids in the school and help them to stay in general education. In my youth, if you were a little shit you got expelled; nowadays you get a series of escalating sanctions that include spending time in something called Internal Exclusion and I'm the manager of this section. I get a select bunch of students on a daily basis who are not allowed to be in the main school for whatever reason and they have to put up with me all day.
Now, something like music isn't allowed in my room; these kids are isolated so therefore they don't get any of privileges other students get. But this isn't really fair on me; I have to sit there and get a bit bored at times in the silence; so when my computer was upgraded a few months ago, I discovered it had a speaker and I started to listen to music when the kids weren't with me. One day I forgot and when the little blighters arrived one of them asked me to turn that horrible noise off. It gave me an idea.
With the backing of my boss, I started playing the students classical music and they hated it. The problem was after 30+ hours a week of listening to every bloody composer I could think of, I started to run out of things to play and the kids were beginning to get used to it. In fact, because they're kids, they started to play it around and when I got to playing movie soundtracks they almost began to like it. So I moved into jazz and they began to hate me again. The problem was the jazz was so fucking awful I couldn't concentrate on my work, so I started to get creative. The last couple of weeks I've dabbled in opera and that really grates on them. I have to admit that I've even started to like some operas (but La Boheme really is hard work). But still it lost its edge really quickly, because kids get melodies. So I thought, 'hang on a minute; my boss said I could play anything I thought would essentially annoy the kids, just so long as no one could construe it as popular chart type music.'
Sigur Ros went down a storm. At one point one of my students said he thought his ears were going to start bleeding. Jon Hopkins actually calms them down. Ulrich Schnauss is pretty much ignored; it has all become background noise to the kids and as a result there is a edict that has circulated the school - don't complain about Mr Hall's music or he'll put something worse on!
I feel as though that part of my work is now complete.
This week I have subjected them to lots of Scandinavian instrumental music; I sampled some Finnish acid folk, which is pretty fucked up and weird; Explosions in the Sky just got looks of horror; Acid Mothers Temple was a bit too much even for me at times - perhaps I should play that early in the morning. Mogwai were a bit too lively and Last.FM gave me a selection of things that I was completely unaware of (and quite grateful of that I am). Honeyroot - Falling was quite good, so I made a note of it, as was Ben Woods - Lights of a Tired City, but most everything else that was played made the kids want to cry and curl up in a foetal position with their mothers. So, I'm now looking for inspirational instrumental or limited vocals music that is likely to make me even more unpopular! Plus it's educational - they need to experience real music not this dubstep bollocks they all listen to.
Quote of the Week
Former head of HSBC, Dennis Turner: "David Cameron said if you voted labour at the last election we'd stay in recession and things would get worse... he was right. I did vote labour and things are now worse." That works on so many levels.
Another FB Rant
A good friend of mine is on Facebook. She's not your typical FB participant; she admits that she checks the social networking site out almost as an afterthought and doesn't really spend any time on it at all. So I was quite taken aback when she appeared in my news feed having played some game called Bubble Safari and recommending it to me.
This prompted me to send her an jokey email about finally succumbing to the addictiveness of Facebook. Her reply was one of puzzled bemusement. I explained that she'd popped up in my news feed, etc and she was horrified. She says she has never played Bubble Safari, in fact she's never played any game on it, ever. A bit of investigation and she came back and said that she has about 50 invitations to play the game, but she didn't even realise that she had a games invite section. Curious. So, I opened up my phony second account, the one I rarely even think about nowadays and as that account has very few 'friends' and I'm about the most prolific of them for posting stuff, I was quite pissed off to see that my daily excursions into the world of Scrabble and Bejeweled Blitz were all over other people's news feeds.
Despite going into my FB settings weeks ago and basically stripping it down to nothing - unliking everything, leaving groups and removing all my personal information; I'm still being used as an advertising tool by the companies that produce the games that I like to play. yeah, it's free (apart from the advertising), but I really think it's an invasion of privacy.
Besides, Scrabble is okay, it makes me look intellectual; Bejeweled Blitz on the other hand...
- I've been at something of a musical impasse just recently. I've had 5Live on it the car; I've told you about work and at home I've been sifting through my thousands of CDs and just not getting any inspiration. So, I lifted the 147 compilation CDs I have - things made up of songs and bits of music since 1996 - when I started doing this with CDs rather than cassette tapes - and have been playing these (and skipping a lot of tracks). The last six decades are all accounted for and it has been a mixture of nostalgia and confusion (the confusion coming from me wandering why on earth I saved a particular track, especially if it was rubbish).
- My week has been made up of data collation and trying to come up with some radical plans to be looked at for the next school year; because there's only three more weeks before the Monsoon Holidays - my new name for what used to be called the summer.
- Speaking of education - isn't Michael Gove just a complete prick?
- The Sexually-Explicit family have a building site sitting on their front garden; one suspects changes are afoot with their house. They probably want to move another 30 relatives in.
- Speaking of neighbours; I came home for lunch on Thursday and noticed that Fuckwit and his partner Lard Arse Girl (or whatever I normally call her) were sitting in their new compact car listening to what sounded like Radio 1. 30 minutes later, when I re-emerged to return to work, they were still sitting in the car listening to music. I'm still trying to work out why.
- Did you know that Scasty Vam is Good Luck in Ukrainian?
- Gender biscuits.