A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times




Would you believe me if I told you I have the body of a Greek God?...

That’s just the good news. The bad news is that it’s encased in a generous layer of chalky white flab. And that sort of ruins the whole effect somewhat.

And my constant battles to rectify this one blot on sheer perfection have seen me take up a series of activities... none of which seem quite right for me.

First, back in the seventies, I took up jogging - which is fine and dandy apart from, well, just about everything about it really. You see, if you enjoy being verbally abused by groups of 14-year-old girls at bus stops, and chased by dogs of all shapes and sizes - before slipping in the excrement they kindly left for you earlier (the dogs, not the girls), then this is the activity for you. But it’s not for me. I soon gave up.

And then I tried swimming. It’s a well known fact that Goldfish have a memory span of about three seconds. Once round the bowl and it’s a whole new experience. What isn’t so well known is the reason why, and it’s all to do with evolution and Charles Darwin.

You see, Goldfish didn’t start out with such puny memories. Oh no - some were quite bright... Mastermind material in fact. But the clever ones with the genetics to pass on better memories, quickly died out - because they got so bloody bored swimming around that they all committed suicide by leaping into the jaws of the nearest predator!

There may be more boring activities than swimming up and down the same pool over and over, but I can’t bring one to mind...

Cancel that, I can bring one to mind...

Because, after giving up on the swimming, I bought a stationary exercise bike. This is a device which can warp your whole concept of time. Spend ten minutes on one of those beauties and it feels like an hour. Can you imagine a more pointless activity than pedalling a stationary bike and remaining... well... stationary? Even a Goldfish would get bored. Life is surely too short...

Which is the reason why I sold the bike and started playing football.

Now I quite liked that, but it didn’t like me. Or rather it didn’t like the fact that I hadn’t played for about 20 years, and expressed its displeasure by tearing muscles, tendons and other important bits every other game.

In fact, the only person benefiting from my dalliance with ‘the beautiful game’ was my physiotherapist, who moved to a bigger house and bought a holiday property in Spain in the short period I was playing. I don’t think these events were unconnected. “Your body is trying to tell you something Andy,” he said “but you’re not listening.”

He was right of course, which is why last Saturday morning saw me setting out on nothing more arduous than a two hour walk through local countryside.

I once read an article by a famous author who said that writing was the best job in the world because you could go for a long walk and justifiably claim that you were mulling over ideas. I can’t remember who he was, but he was right.

Because not long into my walk, I came up with a new idea for an addition to the manifesto I’m putting together for the time when I launch my bid to overthrow the government... well, who else is going to do it? And the addition to my manifesto is...

Capital Punishment is to be introduced for all Fly-Tippers!

You see, after a couple of miles of beautiful unspoilt fields and woodland, I came to a small lane littered with discarded sofas, fridges, washing machines and other assorted rubbish.

Now you might think I’m not serious about this new addition to my manifesto... but I am... in fact, I don’t think it goes quite far enough, because some smart arsed lawyer will get half of them off. It’s my policy, and so I’m now changing it to...

A Shoot To Kill Policy For Anyone Caught Fly Tipping!

And I suspect your first reaction is that this policy is a little harsh, but then let me explain it this way...

Do you think fly tipping is a temporary aberration, or do you think it’s a fairly accurate indication of how that person operates in other aspects of their life? The answer is obvious. Learn that a person routinely dumps his crap in a country lane, and you learn just about everything else about him.

What kind of business do you think a fly tipper might run?

Do you think it will be a great business supplying top quality products and services at a good price... or do you think it will be a fly-by-night outfit, set up to knock out the shoddiest possible product or service, before legging it with the cash before whatever piece of junk they’ve sold breaks, stops working, or blows up?

And what sort of employee would they make...
someone so lazy that they can’t even be bothered to drive to the dump?

Do you think they’d turn up on time and do the job to the best of their ability, or do you think they’d be habitually late and ‘off sick’, and spend more time cutting corners and trying to rip off their employer than doing any actual work? Would you want them working for... or with... you?

And as a neighbour... what do you think it would be like to live next door to someone who cares so little about other people that he discards his rubbish in his ‘garden’?

Would they be the sort of neighbour who you could turn to for help... who respected your right to peace and quiet and a pleasant living environment? Or would they be the kind of neighbour who parks four rusting cars on the front garden (for parts), keeps you awake into the small hours with regular late night parties, and thinks it perfectly okay to proposition your wife while wearing a beer stained tee-shirt? A neighbour from heaven or neighbour from hell... what do you think?

Of course all this is pretty academic, because the sort of good for nothing scumbag who does something like this won’t even have a job... or a business. They’ll be living off your tax money - on benefits and be proud of it. And they won’t live next door to you either... because nobody motivated enough to read a blog like this will be stuck in the kind of residential hell-hole populated by fly tippers and their kindred spirits.

No, the sort of maggot who fly tips will be a net ‘taker’ from every single situation he gets involved in. He’ll consume resources and give nothing back. And the last thing society needs is voluntary ‘takers’. There are enough people who, through no fault of their own, have to be net ‘takers’ - without carrying a load more who choose to be.

But the really worrying question... and the reason my shoot to kill policy is the only sensible option... is what sort of parent is a fly tipper likely to be? I’ll tell you...

He’ll be the sort of parent who attempts to bring up his children just like him... to replicate himself. Because that’s what all parents do.

It’s a self-perpetuating vicious circle which my firm-but-fair policy would nip in the bud. I’m not sure it’s a vote winner, but since I intend taking power by force rather than through the ballot box, I don’t suppose it really matters.

Anyway, after striding over the discarded mattress and sidestepping the three bald tyres (wonder what happened to the other one?) I continued on my walk...

And I was just starting to think that I wouldn’t be able to come up with anything of immediate use to write about (because I’m not going to be able to implement the shoot to kill policy straight away) when the path I was on disappeared over the crest of a hill... and on to a footbridge which spans the M66 motorway.

I don’t know whether you’ve ever stood on a footbridge over a motorway, but it’s frightening... it’s an endless stream of cars hurtling along at seemingly suicidal speeds, just a few yards apart. And they’re all jockeying for position - changing lanes at will.

For a brief moment, it crossed my mind that I wouldn’t want to be down there in what looked like an accident waiting to happen. It would be just too scary. But then I realised...

I’ve been ‘down there’ just about every day since I passed my driving test 30 years ago - and here’s the interesting thing...

When you’re in the thick of the action... when you’re actually doing it... it’s not nearly as bad as when you’re looking in from the outside. In fact it doesn’t seem bad at all. It seems quite relaxed and normal.

Now I’m sure you’re ahead of me here, but I’ll spell it out for you anyway...

This phenomena isn’t restricted to driving a car on a busy motorway. Whatever you want to do (but haven’t quite yet summoned up the courage), it will look far more daunting, difficult and plain scary when looking in from the outside, than the reality will be once you ‘bite the bullet’ and give it a try.

If you’ve ever really wanted to do something, but haven’t done it yet, now could be a good time to ask yourself whether it’s because you’re metaphorically standing on that footbridge, looking down.

It’s interesting this walking lark isn’t it? First it turns me into a raging fascist and then I go all philosophical... all within the space of a few minutes.

I think I’ll stick with it. Only another few hundred miles to go and this Michelin Man can start looking for a new stunt double. Oh and please don’t think I’m picking on fly tippers. They’re not the only group that would come under my new ‘Shoot To Kill’ policy. But we can talk about Social Workers in another issue.



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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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