Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Tuesday, Bloody Tuesday

Firstly an administration point; I will be committing my thoughts and experiences of a particular day on the morning of the following day. This is in case something exceptional happens in the late evening of the day in question and I had already 'blogged' that day. If you knew what my evenings consisted of these days, you would appreciate that this eventuality is what scientists call, 'Theoretically Possible'. That is to say extremely unlikely, but not impossible. For example; The Creation Story is theoretically possible, human civilization being brought about by the genetic interventions of an Alien Intelligence is theoretically possible, me spending the evenings doing something other than sitting on the left side of the big sofa in my underpants, whilst watching TV and thinking about death, is theoretically possible.

My day was, by my own low standards, pretty full yesterday. In the morning I had a phone call from the County Council HR department. They wanted to know that why, as a registered teacher, I was no longer on the teaching register. I explained that I didn't know that I wasn't on the register, and in actual fact I would quite like to be on the register, as I could then do supply teaching on days that I have writers block, which is typically every day except Wednesdays. I don't know why I feel creative on a Wednesday, I just do. She gave me the number of another Council officer to speak to about going back on the register. I called the number and was disappointed, if not surprised, by this officer's lack of what we call, in teaching circles, 'subject knowledge'. She seemed quite proud of the fact that;

a. She had only been in the job since August 1st, and

b. She didn't have the slightest clue about what she was doing.

She asked me who she needed to speak to at schools, how the supply system worked, and what I wanted her to do for me, and how she should go about doing whatever it was she was supposed to go about doing. After helping as much as I could, I pointed out that she was there to answer teachers' questions, not vice versa. This was not well received. She then asked why I had left a perfectly good, full-time, relatively well paid teaching job. I told her that I was pursuing my dream of being a comedian, to which she replied, 'Well you're not making me laugh'. I evidently need to hone the routine I'm working on, in which I describe the process of contacting school bursars, the possible implications of the application of the emergency tax code and the various means by which cover teaching is provided in the County. Luckily she pointed out the shortcomings in my material before I debuted it at my next gig.

Co-incidentally, after that call I was contacted by a supply agency, who were keen to offer me an interview that evening, which I accepted. This was, in no small part, due to the fact that I was about to head to the bank to play bank account musical chairs. This is where one takes money out of one overdrawn account to deposit it in a much more overdrawn account, in time to avoid legal proceedings. Granted there is neither a soundtrack nor chairs, but it is still quite exciting, if rather depressing. More of my interview later.

The rest of the late morning and early afternoon was spent writing, interspersed with washing the dishes twice (the second time consisted of cleaning one knife used to spread peanut butter), organising my document box, and doing two lots of laundry. I also observed Beelzebub twice from my study window and recorded the times

In the late afternoon I received two texts from the good people at Barclaycard telling me that I was not to use my card, as it had been suspended. The fact that the last time I used my Barclaycard, before I cut it up, was two years ago, made me smile. I could expand on how much interest I've paid to these modern-day medieval money-lenders over the years, but it would be as boring to read as it would be soul destroying to write about. Needless to say, when the revolution comes and I am made World Justice Minister, as Derek Acora has promised me, I have a particularly nasty fate planned for the Fuhrer of the Barclaycard Operation. He will be sentenced to ten years hard time, which will consist of writing apology letters, by hand, to the millions of students he trapped into a life of indentured labour with his offers of free juggling balls at University Freshers' Weeks throughout the UK in the 1990's. However, at the end of each year he will have another 27% (variable) of time added to his sentence, until he dies of old age, still owing 143 years in unpaid sentence, at some time in the indeterminably distant future.

In the early evening my wife arrived home to inform me that the front door of our one remaining car (I have been so successful in my comedy career that I have been forced to sell my car) can no longer be locked. This would be no bad thing if some ne'er-do-well was to steal it. But as it is a T-Reg Micra, which looks like a less-cool version of a disabled persons' vehicle, but with a much smaller engine, this is only a theoretical possibility. This car has been a great servant, once transporting combined weight of 980 lbs of passengers (3 x comedians, 1x wife of comedian), but it is suffering now. The suspension isn't great, it doesn't start in the wet, the brakes don't appear to actually slow the vehicle, the de-misters don't de-mist and there is an undiagnosed rattle when if finally does pull away. If that wasn't embarrassing enough to drive, the car's legal keeper, ie. Mrs Bubbins, added a Little Miss Naughty steering wheel cover and a dashboard Bagpuss. Indeed, despite a large stain on the back seat caused by grease, I can verify that the Micra is not automatic or hydromatic, and it is most definitely not a real pussy wagon.

In the late evening was my interview with the supply agency. It was quite formal and I find those situations the most difficult to behave normally in, as I imagine a Tourettes sufferer would; except that I don't feel the need to resort to bad language. (Strange how these individuals always blurt our swear words, not words like 'lovely!' or 'hair!' Similarly, pregnant women always 'crave' chocolate and chips, never a banana and a small salad...hmm). I held it together well, until the frankly ridiculous Q&A section at the end. During this, the interviewer asks the questions, but is at pains to point out that only she is allowed to write down my answers. I ascertained that there is no reason for this, other than that 'those are the rules'. I suppressed a grin, and hoped that there wouldn't be a question like Number Three.

3. 'For many years it has been unacceptable to use physical contact in dealing with children, except when absolutely necessary. What is your understanding of this?'

I had an out-of-body experience, and before I could intervene from the Astral Plane, I saw myself utter the words 'You can look, but don't touch.' The agency will call me, apparently.

In the night, I sat on the left side of the big sofa in my underpants, watched TV and thought about death, until the police arrived.

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