Dirty Water

Here lies a girl, a friend and daughter

Who kept things secret like she oughta

When people shouted and threw things

She picked her lips and stroked her rings.

She thought of any but herself,

She nursed the healthy back to health.

All good things come to good jail bait

That knows its place to sit and wait

And knows that how, in its own time,

It is expected after crime

For some to sink and some leave waste,

Some lie down and others haste.

Here lies a girl, a friend and daughter

Who lay down once in dirty water.

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The Combined Pill

Oh look another drug that starts with m. Oh look, another pubic hair on the floor. On the sink. On the wall. Another majorly depressingly quiet day in minimum-wage minimum-effort maximum-supervision job in a dwindling-demand company.

All making up for a pretty exhausting, depressing week.

Sighhhhhhhhh it all out.

I want to talk about two people today. One I have labelled The King of Poo Town, the other Snob Cheese.

The King came into my life one night this week when I was having a nice little sit down and recovering with a friend after a horrible shift at work. The films were in, the doors closed, the weight off our backs but not our hearts. What do you know, this bastard shuffles up in his slippers made of the back hair of the working class, tries every single door, peers angrily through the windows, and then approaches us. ‘Why are the doors closed?’ Well, said friend tried to explain the lack of business = lack of film showings deal to the King, while in my more world-worn way I just repeated ‘We’re closed’ about six times, but he wasn’t having any of it. He didn’t even try to hear what we were saying, and instead screwed up a wrinkled face to convey ‘You’re talking too quietly/not in English/Your trousers have holes in them.’ Friend got up to go and search for the King’s keys that he had apparently left somewhere inside, and instead of a thank you for acting outside the call of duty, the King simply tried to follow him inside despite our efforts to reassure him we could handle the matter. Apparently, since these were his keys, they would be invisible to any other eyes. I indignantly stepped in and told the King that friend would handle it, and that customers were not allowed into the building after the doors were locked. Being the King, of course, he strolled right in after looking me up and down in a lengthy, disgusted way, and proceeded to turn and walk away while I was still talking. Friend came back with a manager who took over as Poo King’s doormat, and we made our way home. This is my one and only experience of the King as yet, and to this day I do believe I shall never need make his acquaintance again for him to remind me of his position. He shits on my life every day from the bowels of hellish memory.

Snob Cheese, though nasty for a briefer moment, shat on my day in a similar manner. Basically, for anyone who doesn’t work at the cinema and actually cares, we sell nachos. In trays. With a side pot for cheese. I had poured cheese into three little trays, one dose of which was intercepted by stray tray nachos in the side pot. Shock horror, it made it seem to the untrained eye as if there was less cheese in the pot because there was an object in the way. Everyone knows the bath water level goes up when you get in. Well. Logic might then follow that, since there was cheese spilling over into the nacho side, there must be perhaps about the same amount of cheese out of its place as there were nachos out of theirs, thus restoring equilibrium. Well, Snob Cheese didn’t think like this. Snob Cheese thought like this:

Snob Cheese Hubby: Can we get some more cheese on that one, there’s less ‘cause there are some nachos in there.

Me: You can but we have to charge for extra sauce, and I did put the same amount in, it’s just spilled into the other side.

Snob Cheese: We’ve just spent all that and you’re arguing over extra cheese?

Voice Over of Wish Fulfilment: Yes, you’ve spent £40 on food in a cinema instead of making a pit-stop at Wilkinson’s over the road where everything is approximately £4 less. I have little sympathy. I also have no choice, as I’m AT WORK IN CASE YOU HADN’T NOTICED, and am not in charge of cheese spenditure. Work it out yourself you STUPID COW, and see if you still think this problem is my fault. Perhaps next time you visit such a huge franchise you might keep in mind that the worker bees have fuck all to do with control and decisions, and are largely at the mercy of four-hour contracts in the hands of uncaring bigwigs they have never met, who will happily delete them for a lack of upselling. Perhaps, you may consider that the price of stock and their profit hunger does not budge an inch dependent on the amount you have just bought. It’s not as if you gave us extra money for what you bought, you just bought a lot because you’re a bunch of fat, unorganised people who want what they want when they want it, and nothing else will do. Oh, and when you argue with someone on minimum wage about the price of extra cheese when you’ve just spent that much on popcorn, you will not win. You are not welcome here.

Uhm yes, hiiii, I'd like some cheeeeeeeeeeeeese

Instant Pleasure

“I’d just like to say how proud I am to become one of the two million.” Jobs, jobs everywhere and not a drop to drink. It seems a degree is worth less than GCSEs and a few shiny chest hairs, more so every year. The only selling point for employers is previous experience in exactly the same position they are hiring for, as well as some pristine kind of magic only natural extroverts, or ‘winners’ possess. Training is time-consuming, people are expendable. We’re being made to face it; there are far more people in the country than there are jobs, and it’s much more competitive than it has been so far in my lifetime, including the lows of the late nineties. We are very much back in a rat race whether we covet fast cars and cocaine or a humble veggie patch of our own. We struggle, we eat badly, sleep little, drink and smoke the worries away and drink and smoke our way back to the beginning of the cycle. Bank accounts of borrowed, imaginary money.

Here are a few things the government can address in a holistic (efficient) approach to healing our nation, which despite their best attempts at sweeping things under the carpet happens to be made up of people they disapprove of, but ultimately have to deal with if they don’t want to go down under fire and pitchfork.

Address the working class. Not ‘Oh hello there, young sir.’ I’m talking about spending some time outside the bubble of London that seems to be a perfectly controlled microcosm of mirth and grime that convinces itself it is a balanced representation of the best and worst aspects of British society, and so its inhabitants have seen it all, and could handle anything. I’m telling you, you couldn’t handle the York public. Not every day. Not on minimum wage. Not on depleting depressing hours in a dark building, watching Summer come and go outdoors while you’re confronted about ticket prices that rise every month and the identity of ice cream toppings. “Yes, they are nuts. I promise.”

They can intercept the greediness of companies like Vue who are going down the pan at least on the inside because they have such a lack of respect and understanding of staff satisfaction. Essentially, the company I work for have very little interest in films and people. Kind of a starting point for a major British cinema franchise, one might think.

They can fine people who don’t flush public toilets, or wash their hands afterwards. They can fine parents who let their children throw sweets and crumbly second-rate, overpriced popcorn over an entire auditorium without batting an eyelid. They can instate Supernannies in all households where it is clearly needed. Fuck being P.C.

How about it Dave, Nick, I’ll give you my two guest tickets for this week and you can sample the atmosphere. Come and give it a go and see if you still think foxes are our biggest problem.

You want to look good, and you want it now. The fact is, you can’t just wipe down the chopping board and start again. There is a reason we haven’t achieved perfection in the thousands of years we’ve been here. Instant pleasure, here for, we are not.

The graduates of 2008 and around, and from then on for sure, from before for maybe, are going to die out. We have nothing going for us except the last string of hope that our loved ones have to pump back into us repeatedly on days when we just need baths and hibernation because it’s simply all too depressing. Humans are a dying race, because there are a few of them who like to think they own the planet, or at least the ‘most important’ parts of it, who are keeping us at bay with secret languages and locked doors, throwing up shotguns in the path when they realise they haven’t thought of everything. Here it is – you are killing yourselves off. You may think us state school products are disposable, but when they’re all gone, the food chain will adjust. And it picks up speed when there’s less substance in the way. There’s a reason you don’t see any royals on Q.I.

Golden Brown

From a noisy open-plan, workmate Rock Band in one ear and crisping brownies in the other, here comes the new piece of me that has been in the oven far too long.

Summer brings: sleepovers, long nights in my very own living room shared only with people of my very own choosing, lots of wine and brightly-coloured vodka, baking, homely mess, camaraderie, creativity and spreading the love.

In my creative head, more coming soon. Stories and joy. In my heart, happiness, knowing feeling of the right decisions, a bright future, feeling of warm support and adoration from all around. Things can only be good.

I WILL be a happy writer. I will be the exception that proves the rule. I will turn the happy bullshit chats into productivity. I will have something to show from my afternoons of lols.

I cannot tell you all how good and right it all feels. You were right, this is the summer of joy, the summer of love, loving myself and getting on with things. Starting my real life. Thinking about MY interests. Doing my thing. Putting my needs first. Asking and getting. Enjoying and letting go. I am golden brown.

I am real, and proud.