Books I loved reading.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Pain and politicians - the same thing.

After twenty five years of searching I’ve finally discovered a painkiller that works on my strange excuse for a body. I won’t bother naming them since they’ll have different names in each country. Yet even though they’re not the strongest in the world – especially compared to the myriad drugs I’ve tried for all that time, they take away the pain immediately and keep it at bay for twelve hours at a time.
     That was the good news.
     Tomorrow I finally have my dentist’s appointment. Surely that’s good, you might say. Yes it is, but since I have two abscesses in my bouche and the dentist will only deal with one ailment at a time, I’ll have to secure another appointment. Surely Mark 2, I hear you say, you can just book another appointment?
     No, in the company for which I work death is the only excuse for not coming in. And after a week’s holiday what possible justification can I give for taking another day off?
     There is a chance, though. If I grovel and cry enough, which I’m more than willing to do, she might get me an emergency appointment at another clinic this week.
     And even if (God forbid) I was willing to pay for it myself instead of getting in on the NHS (for which I still have to pay, albeit less) I still can’t get another appointment with her, or anybody else, this week.
     I’m keeping the pliers handy.

     And that’s another thing. In a few days time, when I get paid, the government is going to extract money from my wages to pay for a new pension scheme even though I’ve been paying into one myself for over twenty years. What really galls me is that I’ve repeatedly expressed the opinion that I do not want another pension. “Don’t worry”, sayeth the pay person at work, “you’ll get it back once you’ve opted out.” I never opted in! And what about the millions in interest the govt will make this month from all the money they’ve taken without permission. Will they be repaying the interest?
     I don’t think so.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

It's not pain that hurts - it's bureaucracy

After four entire nights without a single second’s sleep I turned up at the doctor’s surgery this morning three nano seconds after they’d pried the doors open. Unusually, the delightfully cheerful receptionist would have nothing to do with me. Apparently they could offer me no assistance with anything involving teeth and pointed a talon towards the dentist’s dungeon.
     ‘Alright, forget the teeth part’, I groaned. ‘It's just pain. Surely you can do something about that.’
     ‘Dentist!’ she snapped.
     Aforementioned dentist wouldn't see me on an NHS basis, it being Saturday and all, but offered me a (paid) walk-in service immediately. I left thirty minutes later considerably poorer after he'd given me an injection that I'm pretty sure scraped my knees, from the inside. I did indeed have two abscesses in my mouth he confirmed with a grin. Thankfully the injection stopped the pain for three hours, and prevented me from talking for the same time, much to the joy of my wife. He also issued me some enormously powerful antibiotics he assured me would cure an elephant - although he did not say what of, and me of the pain once they'd got into my system. And further promised to email the X-rays he’d just taken to the dentist with whom I’ve booked an appointment on Wednesday.
     He also sold me some painkillers guaranteed to bring back the dead. That remains to be seen. My immunity to all anesthetic suggests that it's unlikely. 
     I just hope all the infection has gone by then or the dentist who will see me won’t do anything. If that happens I have a pair of pliers in the garage and I’ll tear the sods out myself.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Got my own back - didn't work.

On arriving home after eighteen hours at work the other night, my house was in turmoil as not one but two women were bathing and changing. It’s bad enough when either my wife or daughter does it but together! I thought I was going to choke on the assorted perfume/talc miasma.
     ‘Where are you going?’ I demanded since I was clearly the only man on the planet who’d ever worked an exceptionally long day.
    ‘We’re going for a drink with the girls from the stable.’
     ‘And am I invited?’ My wife spared me a pitying glance before returning the mountain of clothes she was not going to wear.
     ‘But you wouldn’t come if we had invited you.’
     That wasn’t the point.
     ‘But you didn’t ask me!’
     This time her gaze was less than warm.
     ‘Very well, darling. Would you like to come?’ I noticed a cessation of movement from the bathroom as my daughter paused from whatever it is young woman do during the eight hours it takes to transform themselves.
     ‘What, go out with a bunch of chattering women, making fun of their boyfriends and husbands? Not if my soul depended on it!’
     ‘There.’ she smiled sweetly, ‘You’ll have a whole evening without us. War films, horror films and all that rubbish you like to watch again and again and again.’
     ‘It was time to get my own back on my daughter, who’d come down in the hope of witnessing violence.
     ‘You both hate me and wish I was dead!’
     This is beloved daughter’s standard shtick whenever she doesn’t get what she wants.
     ‘Yes, darling. Now have a good evening. And if you can stave off slitting your wrists for a few moments, I’ve left your favourite dinner in the oven.’

     And my favourite war film wasn’t on!!!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Does anybody read forewords'?

I don’t like reading forewords, and if I do so it’s begrudgingly. Prefaces, forewords’ and acknowledgements are just a barrier through which I must plow in order to get to the story. Am I the only one who thinks this way?
     My new novel, the one I shall publish after Geezers Two is called The Book of Pain and is (I hope) an original concept. In fact I did begin to write a foreword. It was going to be precise, concise and the epitome of brevity. Unfortunately after a few days it had grown exponentially, and not wanting to chuck away what I hoped was some decent writing I decided to make it chapter one and do away with anything before it.
     Would I be harming the book if I do? The now first chapter holds all the information the reader needs to know about how it all began and will, I hope, be enough to persuade them to continue. And as it’s only four pages long should not be too burdensome.
     In order to do something I’ve included the two passages below before chapter one. They are in context with the novel and not simply chosen for their unpleasant wording.
Any thoughts on the matter would be welcome.

"Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. 2 Corinthians 7:9

“Indeed, those who disbelieve in our signs, we will roast them at a fire. As often as their skins are wholly burned, we will give them in exchange other skins, that they may taste the punishment.” (Qur’an, 4:56)