|No more milk from you|
Thursday, 28 November 2013
I’d been meaning to do it for two years. And last week I braced my loins, clenched my gluteus maximus and immersed myself in the murky world of allergy testing.
A decade ago, for no apparent reason, I began to suffer with recurrent episodes of malaise, characterised by a runny nose, frog-spawn phlegm and eyes so red you’d think I’d binged on the blood of ten rosy-cheeked virgins. These reactions rarely lasted longer than 30 minutes and did not incapacitate me; they never stopped me completing the day’s schedule, but were an irritant.
I first assumed I had contracted some form of hay fever, but I could detect no seasonal pattern; I am just as likely to be sniffling and chewing gooey spittle in a snowy winter as in the sunny spring. They can also emerge at any time of day.
Recently, a work colleague suggested that I must be allergic to something and recommended that I get myself tested. He gave me the number of an ‘allergy practitioner’ who dispensed her wisdom from the health-food shop in my local town. Curiosity raised, I phoned and arranged a ‘consultation.’
Upon entering the shop it felt like I had stepped into Severus Snape’s apothecary, an elongated, narrow room with shelving to the roof, each crammed with lotions, potions and jars of desiccated seeds. I expected to be confronted by Harry Potter making a hasty retreat with the Veritaserum truth drug secreted under his robes. Instead, I was welcomed by a vivacious lady in her early 40s, with a permanent smile and a level of animation suggestive of amphetamine intoxication.
I had expected to be interviewed in the privacy of a room above the shop, but the allergy practitioner pulled a small, wheeled table into the centre of the floor, adjacent to the shelving, and beckoned me to sit down opposite her, as if we were about to arm-wrestle. My consultation proceeded in the company of the elderly shopkeeper and a gaggle of customers purchasing their weekly fix of multi-vitamins and soya milk.
‘How are your bowels?’ she asked.
‘OK for the most part; although at times a bit volatile,’ I replied, my voice fading to a whisper as a female customer leaned across me to pick up a jar of Omega 3 + 6.
‘So you fart a lot’ she said. ‘Of course you do – you’re a bloke.’
I considered sharing the empirical evidence that women fart as much as men, but censored myself as two young women entered the shop.
This highly qualified professional asked me to hold a chunky metal electrode in one hand while she pressed a probe onto the middle finger of my other hand. She then proceeded to place, one-by-one, a sequence of vials into my palm, her machine emitting a squeal (like a mouse being castrated) the pitch of which apparently indicated my level of intolerance to the substance therein.
The verdict? What stuff do I allegedly have intolerance to? She could have saved a lot of time, and avoided the electrode jiggery-pokery, by simply asking me to list the things that make life worthwhile: beer, white wine, red wine, bread, cheese, ale, lager, cow’s milk, onions and coffee.
For the love of all that’s holy, if I’d stayed 10 minutes longer I’m sure she would have diagnosed an intolerance of Mrs Jones’ boobies!
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Two days ago I reached the pinnacle of my writing career. No, not a blockbusting first novel (my sophisticated wit puts me out of reach of the masses). No, not the Man Booker prize (after all, any randomer can win that particular honor). Not even a poet laureate (as I like my ditties rude and rhyming). The wonderful accolade I have achieved (and I’m filling up as I type) is to be nominated for the Liebster Award by my creative blogging friend, Michael Mele – check out his blog at:
Michael proposed 11 profound questions - he should be a philosopher. I share my answers below:
Q1 How do you feel about taking a poop in a public restroom?
I only poop in the Jones' residence, usually in the toilet.
Q2 Have you ever stolen someone's lunch at work?
I wouldn't even consider such a heinous crime; my colleagues were all dirty buggers so I might have contracted some horrendous disease.
Q3 Do you fart in public?
Never when there are ladies around. Not even within earshot of Mrs Jones. I'm a gentleman, you see, like those fine fellows on Downton Abbey.
Q4 Stupidest thing you've ever done while drunk?
Tough one this, as I've not always conducted myself with dignity and decorum when under the influence. I've pissed in my parents' wardrobe (twice) and fell down a cavernous hole in the road - not on the same occasion.
Q5 Have you ever been to jail/prison?
No, absolutely not. I always manage to frame my friends.
Q6 Have you ever turned a pair of underwear inside out just to get another day out of them?
Don't wear any - I go commando.
Q7 Have you ever given a homeless person money just because you felt guilty, then afterwards saw them using it for alcohol and felt like an ass?
No - I never give them any money. I occasionally offer to buy them coffee and a croissant - that usually gets rid of them sharpish.
Q8 Would you rather get caught picking your nose of picking a wedgie?
I engage in neither. As an upstanding, respected, nay revered, member of my community it would be unforgivable.
Q9 Have you ever been in a house full of people who love you, only to feel sad because you didn't get any love on Facebook, Twitter or any other form of social media?
No, you can't miss what you've never had.
Q10 Have you ever voted for a president really expecting things to change for the better?
Yes, over 40 years ago when I still believed in Father Christmas.
Q11 When is the last time you wanted to punch somebody?
Never, I'm a man of peace. And besides, I could never have retained my stunning good looks going around punching people - after all, they'd hit me back twice as hard as my lame swipe.
Now for my 11 questions - and remember, you must be 100% honest, just like me??
Q1 How often do you go overboard with positive comments on someone's blog while thinking, in truth, it was a load of crap?
Q2 White wine or red?
Q3 Do you ever think, 'I'm writing comments on this blog on a regular basis and she's giving nothing back?'
Q4 If you could, which bit of your body would you exchange for something better?
Q5 Whisky or brandy?
Q6 When you reflect on your past life, do you ever wish you had slept with a few more people? (or is that just me??)
Q7 Which nationality of men/women do you find the most attractive?
Q8 How similar to your father /mother have you already become?
Q9 Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Q10 What's the most unusual/surprising thing you've ever found languishing in a body crevice?
Q11 If you could change one thing about your partner what would it be?
I'm now required to nominate bloggers to respond to my questions. The talented bunch I've opted for is as follows:
Can I Another Bottle of Whine with my morning quiet time?
laughing my abs off
Speaking up for the Underdog