Work has once again got in the way of an appropriate blogging schedule, with the tawdry necessities of feeding and clothing my family forcing me to prostitute too much of my precious time for the interests of others.
I'm very lucky in that I actually enjoy my job, and don't mind going to work, although one or two shifts a month would be preferable, just to keep my hand in. In the absence of a lottery win (made even less likely because I only did the lottery once when it first came out, and gave up as I didn't win even one million quid), I have to make my presence felt three or four times a week, for twelve hours a time. And because I'm a bit skint at the moment, I have to go in even more for the overtime.
It's not very fair, when you've got blogs to write, ukulele's to play, the park to mess about in and camping trips to go on, but the powers that be seem oblivious to the emotion in my emails on this subject. "Not our problem" they reply, and "Please stop emailing the chief exec with your rants." they opine.
I would complain, but they threatened to pay me what I was worth and if they did that I'd probably have to live in a hedge and lick the insides of abandoned crisps packets to survive.
I'm not greedy though. I could get by on just one billion.
Pounds, not crisp packets.
Work then. My presence was felt, and we were clearing the garage out because one of my colleagues is pregnant and therefore has decided that she can't bear the thought of any clutter on the premises whatsoever. It's called nesting, I think.
She was initially threatening to throw all the personal mugs out, including mine, simply because it's washed so infrequently that the build up of tannins inside has left an almost solid block of cup, with a small hole down the centre where the next brew goes, like pushing a test-tube into a cylinder of soft clay.
My argument that it gives a beverage some character if you only rinse a mug out every couple of months or so didn't have quite the appeasing effect I was hoping for, so we diverted her by saying how cluttered the garage was at the moment, and perhaps she should go and have a look.
She did, and then announced that it was no good, it needed clearing and we would all just have to chip in and do it.
So, there we were, finding paperwork that had been stored safely in a box under the sink and now resembled something you'd put on a plinth in the Tate Modern and call 'Essence of Chaos", mucking out the cleaners cupboard which is paradoxically the filthiest space in the area, and tentatively opening sacks of bulging items with the faint but tangible fear of finding the King of Rats holding court in it.
There was quite a lot of crap.
There was quite a bit of unidentifiable crap as well. Some of it from vehicles that we hadn't used for years, some from equipment that was now seen as a potential health and safety risk, and the occasional abandoned Tupperware lunchbox with labels proclaiming them to be the property of long dead colleagues. Opening them was a bit like the final scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where tormented, screaming souls erupt from the pretty box and tear apart Nazi's in a blaze of of mediocre special effects, but apparently can't get through Indiana Jones's closed eyelids.
There was also a BabyBel cheese, which was still edible. Well, as edible as they ever are.
One thing I did find was this:
It felt sort of heavy and expensive, and looked like it belonged to a kit of some sort. If I had to describe it in terms that everyone could relate to, I suppose it was like holding the spine of a robot monkey that had overdosed on diazepam.
I passed it around for people to have a look at, hoping to be enlightened as to it's function. In return, I recieved various explanations ranging from a Homeresque "Ahdunno." to the frankly inspired "It's one of those things you use to, you know, thingy."
The mystery wasn't helped any more when I found another one, so they're either a useful thing or they're breeding.
Any ideas anyone?