Category: Story Time

Story Time with Gavin: The Festive Fall

Story Time with Gavin: The Festive Fall

I bloody love Christmas, so I’m going to tell you a Christmas story. It’s my favourite Christmas story. There might be a lesson hidden in there about goodwill or… responsible alcohol intake over the festive period, but I honestly doubt it so don’t look too hard.

T’was the night a couple of days after Christmas…

Four of us stood outside one of two trashy clubs in Balloch, though I use the word stood wisely. See, this winter had been ferocious and stubborn. Night brought snow, day melted the snow, evening froze the ground, the night brought the snow. As a result, snow packed on top of black ice and left very little walking space on most of Balloch’s pavements.

So yeah, we weren’t really standing. We were in a state of flux, somewhere between slipping and standing still. Every gust of baltic wind or sharp intake of sub-zero air threatened to throw us one way or the other.

It matched the tone of our whole night, though. State of flux was the theme of the evening, considering we went out in that space between Christmas and New Year (flux), didn’t really know why we were out (flux) or for how long (flux) or who we were really out with (you get it).

The roster for our night changed several times, but it landed on Jamie (of this fall, this eating challenge and the panic attack brought on by this hot sauce), Michael (who kind-of surprisingly hasn’t shown up in any of my chronicles so far) and Tall Ian (who is twenty-feet tall).

Jamie, that evening

A bit of background story about Jamie that evening: Jamie was Christmas. He showed up for the evening in the best of moods and nothing would break it. Jamie attired himself in his lovely new cardigan. So very proud of his new cardigan was Jamie. I would like to say as much as ten minutes went by without him mentioning the bloody cardigan, but it didn’t happen. As I said, the weather was absolutely fierce, and every single shiver or complaint about the weather came with a smug grin from between the cosy collar of that bastard’s new cardigan.

Steadying ourselves on the ground outside that Balloch nightclub, we – at this point – wanted to be too drunk to feel the cold, but found ourselves wanting.

Jamie was toasty warm as he declined a trip to the takeaway. ‘Nah, no thanks. Don’t want to spill down my new cardigan,’ he said.

(I don’t think he actually said that. Sorry Jamie.)

Michael wanted chips and cheese. ‘M’gon’get chips n cheese…’ he slevered.

We waved him off into the front door of the takeaway, living somewhere between a slip and a stumble as he went.

We took time to lament on how he ended up quite so hammered.

Michael, in general

Well, Michael is an old soul, clocking in at twenty-two going on eighty-six (at the time, anyway… I think). Weather like this rolls around, and we all genuinely fear that he might not make it, that we’d find him curled up dead in his bed, frozen to stone. He wraps up tight in the winter and walks like he’s shit himself to make sure that he wasn’t to take a fall that day. Make no bones about it, though, Michael is so partial to a fall. It became an annual event. Michael’s Festive Fall. It’s a thing.

This old soul, dear Michael, can handle his drink. But can he handle an abusive amount of drink? Can he handle such a volume of drink when he hasn’t eaten?

Well.

Black Ice

Michael stumbled from the takeaway holding his portion of chips and cheese like a baby. He hobbled towards us, joining a chat about an after party round at Jamie’s. We’re all up for it, apart from Michael. He’s sorted. He’s got his food, which I was not allowed (if I wanted chips and cheese, I should’ve got some myself – he was right), and he wanted to get in a taxi and get up the road.

Jamie, kindness that he is, asked if he’s sure. Michael seemed a touch uneasy and slinging him in the back of a taxi seemed shady.

Michael insisted, and off he went.

Hobble hobble. Shuffle shuffle. Off to the front of the taxi queue. Ready to get himself up the road. His slippers waited on him there. His cosy slippers and chat with his dog about his evening. Sounded positively lovely and WHOOMF.

Black ice.

Into the air, he went.

But do not confuse this with any particular fall, dear reader, please don’t. This arsehole piece of the blackest ice in Britain waited on Michael. Michael had the bones of a bird, the density of a bird and, for a minute, Michael flew like a bird.

His legs were snatched from under him, like a giant ran his whole arm across the pavement and heaved poor Michael up and up, legs first. His entire bottom half boomeranged over his head, kicking at the clouds. For a moment he stayed there. Suspended in the air in the shape of a perfect C – a C engulfed in the frosty night air and a whole portion of chips and cheese, scattering through the sky.

And then he came back down to earth. Right on the back of his shoulders and neck with an empty thud, followed by every single chip and grating of takeaway cheddar.

The noise he didn’t make was so gutting that a bouncer from a skeezy nightclub ran away from the door to check on him.

Horrible People and the Nice Guy

Look. I’m not a good person. I laughed a lot and so did Tall Ian. There’s a general rule amongst my friends and me that if someone goes down for any reason, you first check they’re okay and then feel free to find it absolutely hilarious afterwards. We broke that rule that evening.

Jamie didn’t though. He made sure to glare over his shoulder at us in disgust as he jogged to Michael’s aid. ‘Fucking hell, guys…’ he muttered.

I regret nothing.

Especially since Jamie approached Michael, waved the bouncer off, helped Michael up to his feet, only to have him spew a stream of putrid yellow vomit all down Jamie’s lovely new cardigan.

‘FOR FUCK’S SAKE,’ Jamie cried, shoving Michael back and – consequently – right back on to his arse.

Jamie emerged with his arms held out, gagging at the smell. Jamie, bless his wee soul, is one of those whitey-makes-me-whitey kinds of guys. As a result, he had to take himself off for a bit of a spew, screaming about what an atrocious bastard Michael is.

When Michael got to his feet, a minute or so later (with the dulcet wretching of Jamie backdropping the affair), he approached me with the crippled remains of his chips and cheese box scrunched in his right paw. He approached with a face like thunder, as though he prepared to reprimand the fact that he could’ve pretty seriously hurt himself and I couldn’t stop laughing.

But that’s not what he was angry about.

He got creepy-close to me, looked me dead in the eyes, to the container in his hand, back to me, and said, ‘you been eatin’ my chips?’

Michael fancied the afterparty now, but Jamie no longer had any issue with slinging him in a taxi.

We mourned Jamie’s cardigan that night.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

I’ll be back next year. Catch me on Twitter, Facebook or Insta in the meantime – I’m there.

Alternatively, should you need a gift for a Kindle reader, and they are an avid fantasy fan with a taste for dark humour, then GIFT THEM MY BOOK.

(Though it should be noted I have no idea how to do this.)

It’s Gavin

 

The Bonnie Bonnie Banks of Jet Ski DOOM

The Bonnie Bonnie Banks of Jet Ski DOOM

This week’s blog was supposed to be about the importance of a good ending. Yeah, I think that’s what this was originally about. But then I got carried away with this almost mortal jet ski story and forgot most of the points I was planning to make.

What? I’m a professional, shut up.

So, endings.

Storytelling 101, perhaps even the very first thing I ever learned about writing, is that every story needs a beginning, a middle, and an end.

I’ve got a story to tell. A story within a story, actually. Fair warning: it doesn’t have an ending, and if you’re anything like me you will be infuriated by it. That’s why I’m here today – to infuriate you.

I mean, there's very very nearly a death by jet ski and I'm taking it.

It Started Light

Simone and I found ourselves in a local boozer on a Friday night. Friday beers are a tradition for us when we finish work at the same time, and it usually takes us to this pub. It’s been recently done up to add a bit of class to the area, with a damp, eclectic colour scheme and no two pieces of furniture that match, screens up alongside tiny booths built for two, old wood holding the place up above knackered staff and drunk clientele that never got the memo that the pub was upgrading.

We were sat in one of those cosy booths for two when two men approached us, a Dad and Son, so very in love with their day. Dad was a heavy guy in a nice shirt and a blazer, and he informed us that Son phoned him – entirely out of the blue – and asked if he wanted to go for a few beers that afternoon. It made his weekend. The son looked like Glasgow Ryan Gosling who never made it to Hollywood but instead took up a career in tough paper runs.

They hadn’t spent a lot of time together since the incident, Dad told us.

Son rolled his eyes, ‘Dad, please don’t.’

‘Naw, naw!’ Dad insisted. ‘They need to hear this story.’

We didn’t. We wanted our Friday beers and to go home for a takeaway. Sadly, the booth had us trapped. Dad and Son, both so-very past the peak of their evening, were here for the long haul.

Still Light

Dad’s eyes positively gleamed as he detailed the importance of Son’s job. He couldn’t be prouder of the career his son had carved out for himself as a… high-rolling… something or other.

I wasn’t really listening yet.

A few months back, about a week before the incident, Son phoned Dad and said that his wife – who, so Dad tells me with a little too much vigour, was stunning – had to pull out of a boat-themed gala his work had organised. He asked if his Dad wanted to go. Dad accepted with glee.

A week later, a few hours before the incident, they found themselves on a boat out on Loch Lomond. This was no ordinary boat, though. This thing was a few million pounds worth of boat. This was the type of boat that had a jet ski bay built into it. This is the type of boat bond villains and drug dealers kick about in for laughs. (God, I wish I could remember Son’s occupation) The party had a full staff of cocktail waiters pouring booze down the throats of the guests, and a special DJ brought in for the occasion. He was famous apparently. I didn’t ask. I still wasn’t really listening. But as we got closer to the incident I was starting to.

‘Dad… don’t- please stop talking…’ Son said, but this wasn’t some standard ‘oh my Dad’s so drunk, he should shut up.’ Son was genuinely harrowed by his Dad’s story, and he really didn’t want to hear it again. ‘Dad, c’mon.’

Regardless, Dad carried on.

But then it started to get dark

Up to a half-hour before the incident, Son was having a whale of a time. Dad, though, Dad was a bit out of his depths. Son had been lovely enough to bring his old man on a beautiful cruise around the Loch, but all the other employees brought wives, girlfriends or friends their own age. He felt alienated by his surroundings, he was sinking amongst them. He wanted to go home.

Son wouldn’t have that. He’d make sure his old man had a good time!

Dad laughed, nudging his boy, ‘s’that right, son? Determined to make me have a good time! Ha!’

‘Dad… enough?’ Son’s gin shook in his hand.

The Incident came upon them with a sentence, uttered by the Son to his ailing father standing alone on a boat, draining glass-by-glass of expensive free whisky like they were the last whisky’s he’d ever have. That sentence was: ‘Dad, let me take you out on one of the jet skis.’

Now I was listening. Bad ideas make the best stories, and this idea was fucking awful.

Son finished his gin and said he was going to get another.

Dad proceeded to explain that he strapped himself into a life jacket half his size. He staggered on the back of the jet-ski and Son revved it up. He asked Dad to hold tight, and he obeyed, of course. He knew how physics works, he understood. Jet ski goes forwards, man goes back. Hang on.

And he did hang on.

For a bit.

But this is where it got dark

‘I didn’t realise how fast it would go right away! I mean, the acceleration on these things was unreal!’

Hence the word jet, Dad, but whatever.

He held on for long enough that the boat shrunk behind them, dwarfed on a relatively murky Scottish pre-evening horizon. It rapidly became much too far away for Dad to swim.

Unfortunate because Dad then lost his grip and came belting off the back of the thing. He rolled over and over, tumbling across the surface like a pebble before splashing through it.

After the life jacket had done its job, Dad identified his son leaping from the now-stationary jet ski into the water and swimming fast-as-he-could to reclaim his old man. He said he screamed like Homer Simpson as he came off, which added a lovely bout of levity to a story that was becoming quickly awful.

Son returned to the table, disheartened that the story wasn’t over yet, and tried to get his Dad to finish his drink so they could leave, but Dad wasn’t done talking.

Son more or less pulled Dad back to the jet ski; he’s not a strong swimmer. He hauled him best he could back to the incredibly expensive piece of equipment. Did I mention the jet skis were expensive? I didn’t, did I? QUARTER MILLION. The fact the Son just leapt off of it to go back for his Dad was a financially risky play.

And this is where it got really dark

When they paddled back to the jet ski, a new problem arose. Dad couldn’t get back onto it. He didn’t have the strength, he was overweight, he was sore and very drunk. He couldn’t get back on the ridiculously expensive machinery for love nor money.

They said they tried until the cold of the Loch made them weak. They tried until their legs numbed. Until Son started to cry out of sheer frustration. Until there didn’t seem to be much other option than, well…

‘Son…’ Dad said, as the delicate flutes of My Heart Will Go On drifted in from somewhere beyond the Loch. ‘Listen… take care of yourself.’

The collective jaws of Simone and myself dropped. Dad spoke in solemn tones, explaining that he’d made peace, and he was quite happy to die there in the middle of the Loch.

Son, at this point, was desperate to stop the story, but Dad kept on (thank God).

‘Take care of yourself…’ he murmured as he gently pushed himself away from the jet ski, floating backwards. Somewhere, Celine started singing about what she sees and feels every night in her dreams (from what I hear, it’s you). ‘Just… take care of yourself.’ He thought he was floating away faster than he was. ‘Bye, Son.’ He bobbed mostly in the same spot. Waving. ‘Bye.’

But not on Son’s watch, no sir. He leapt back into the water and grabbed his Dad by the jacket, screaming at him that that was absolutely not an option. ‘DON’T BE A FUCKING IDIOT, DA.’

And then it just stayed dark

Eventually, they found a solution that was not a solution. There was a handle on the back of the ski and Dad thought he might be able to hang on to it and get dragged back to the boat. But his hands were too cold to hang on, he knew he would let go or lose his grip, just like he did before.

So, instead, he thought I’ll just get my hand stuck in it.

Celine was now assuring them that, regardless of the distance between them, whether it be near or far, her heart will go on.

They laughed the idea off. ‘It sounds ridiculous now, but it really was our only option at the time.’

Son finished off his second gin and said he was phoning a taxi. It had become apparent that Son was uncomfortable hearing a story about how he took his Dad out on a jet ski and forced him to face his mortality. I couldn’t blame him for wanting out, not really.

Dad forced his hand into the gap between the handle and the ski and then rotated his wrist so it wouldn’t come free no matter how fast they were going.

Son promised he would go slow and keep an eye on him, but he had to call out if he thought his hand was coming loose.

Dad said he would.

Son got back on the ski and took off at the slowest speed one of these quarter million jet skis could go.

It was not slow.

As the vehicle took off at a blistering pace, Celine and this love of hers decided to open the door, once more, even though he was actually in her heart, which would – apparently – go on.

The physics of a jet ski doesn’t lend itself to the gentlemen’s plan of action. I don’t find that shocking, do you?

When I imagine a jet ski ploughing through the water, I notice that the nose of the ski is up high and the back of it is low. So anything – say – attached to the rear of the ski might find itself immediately submerged in the water.

Right?

Celine assured Dad and Son that they’ll stay, forever this way, as Dad immediately started to drown.

Suddenly he needed to get his hand out of that handle, but he’d stuck it in too well. There didn’t seem to be anything he could do about it! His hand was very stuck, just as they’d planned.

He swallowed water. Mouthfuls of salty*, Scottish water, in torrents, collapsing down his throat.

He couldn’t get himself free. He couldn’t make it happen. For the second time in the space of an hour, he was sure he was about to die.

But apparently, his heart will go on.

And then.

The taxi showed up, and Son ushered his Dad out the door. It was lovely to meet us and all that, bye!

The doors of the pub slammed shut and left Simone and me there, in this beat-up old-man shop, dumbfounded. Teased, is what we were.

No ending.

It’s a genuine possibility that I was speaking to two very drunk ghosts here, but on the off-chance I wasn’t, I feel utterly cheated that I didn’t get to hear the end of that story. How the fuck did Dad survive? What happened? How are they still on the type of talking terms that would have them go out for day drinks?

It happened months ago. I’m still upset.

What do you think happened? Let’s write an ending together. Tell me on Twitter, Facebook or follow on Instagram or just write it down there in the comments.

If you missed last week’s September Round-up, here it is! I go places, I buy things.

Also, if you enjoyed this story – which (Celine Dion aside) is non-fiction by the way – then you should definitely check out some of my fiction! Grim is a funny little contemporary fantasy about the local grim reaper that’s awful at his job. It’s guaranteed to bang a smile on your face, and it’s free to read on the lending library or a casual £2.99 if you want it kept on your Kindle. Give it a bash, and let me know what you think!

Happy Friday!

It’s Gavin

*I’ve since been informed that Loch water is not salty. It’s actually drinkable. You got me, guys, I know nothing about the planet.

Story Time with Gavin Vol II: The Tumble

Story Time with Gavin Vol II: The Tumble

It’s time for another instalment of Story Time. The last one gives you an idea of what to expect in these blogs – it’s more or less me and my friends drunk and making silly decisions. Don’t all the best stories start in such a fashion?

Yes, they do.

So.

Here’s a story that my friend Jamie and I have been arguing about since the night it happened. It’s basically our WE WERE ON A BREAK!! We still can’t agree. We never will. Let’s find out what the general population thinks, shall we?

Story Time Two - THE RESTORYING. Yeah that... okay

Here’s what you need to know about Jamie and Me: we get drunk a lot. There will be many a story that start and end with how we got drunk. When Jamie fell on a cat, gnome rugby, the time we got trapped on a train, chips n’ cheese, the time we rescued a trolley from the ocean – they’re all classics. None of them, however, have brought out such lively debate between us, like that of the tumble.

Here’s the story

I had just moved to Glasgow, and we were still enjoying the novelty of not having to get a forty-minute train home at the end of every night. We got to discover the joys of bakeries open until three in the morning (and the delights of an exploding pie – another story, another time) and two-pint steins that come with a free hot dog, and a whole new breed of girl we were too nervous to ever talk to.

Most importantly, we could just get a taxi home. A taxi home to the BonniebonniebanksofLochLomond (oh God I’m sorry) would usually skin us about fifty quid. But from Glasgow to my new flat, it was a mere ten-spot. We didn’t have to go home early anymore! Glasgow was ours. Our new lives as nightclub-slaying banter legends started the day I moved to Glasgow!

But… well on the night of the fall we got the train back to the flat. What? Not every night can be legendary, right? I mean… okay fine. I’m old. I can count the number of times I’ve been to a nightclub since I moved to Glasgow five years ago without taking my socks off.

Anyway

Right. We got off the train and fancied food from the local kebab establishment. I thought – living there less than two months – that I knew a shortcut. It would transpire that I didn’t.

We had to traipse ourselves through the grounds of a college for this alleged shortcut, and in the distance I could see the glowing red sign of the kebab establishment for which we aimed. We walked as the crow flies, straight for it, having the type of intense chat saved for periods of intoxication (which Offspring album is really the best? for example.) So wrapped-up in this intense chat were we, that we didn’t notice we were walking towards a dead-end. The red light was still there, but it was behind a relatively high fence, and I just didn’t fancy our chances with it. Plus, I was starting to realise I didn’t really know where I was, and even behind that fence the shop was still a substantial distance away.

It was the smart thing to do, to turn back.

A side note about Jamie

Jamie just doesn’t like being told what to do. More importantly, he doesn’t like to be told there’s something he can’t do. It makes him delightfully easy to manipulate, but in this instance, I really needed him to listen to me.

Back to the story

‘Nah this is the wrong way,’ I said. Probably. It might not have been as reasonable as that. ‘We’re not getting over that fence.’

Jamie wouldn’t have this, no sir. There’s no fence he can’t climb.

‘Jamie, come back.’

Nope.

‘Jamie.’

Off into the distance, he lurched, aiming straight at that fence.

I didn’t have the patience.

‘Mate, I’m not climbing that fence, we’ll need to go back and head around.’

(Again, there was probably swearing and name-calling. Regardless…)

Nope.

‘Jamie, I’m leaving. You don’t know where you are, and I’m leaving you here.’

He approached the fence.

‘Right, fuck ye then.’

(This is probably right)

I turned back and went back to the train station, taking the route to the kebab establishment that I knew. It took maybe an extra ten minutes. It wasn’t really worth the shortcut.

I got to the establishment and found no sign of my associate. I didn’t really know where he’d gotten to, but I knew that when he showed up, he’d appreciate some chicken pakora. Got it ordered and found myself a couple of pounds short of funds, so I left to go to the bank next door.

I wondered the whole time where Jamie was, I really did. I mean, he didn’t know the area and when I left him he was about to climb a very high fence. He could have fallen and hurt himself.

Guess what happened?

I left the shop to lift money and found Jamie approaching with both hands held out.

He was covered in blood.

‘Aw good,’ I said, ‘have you got a couple of quid?’

‘E-eh, aye,’ he stammered, digging his quite-seriously grazed hands into his pockets for the money.

The rest of the night primarily featured Jamie saying the words ‘you left me! I don’t know where I am and you left me!’ as he jammed chicken pakora into his mouth with hands covered in poorly-applied plasters. ‘YOU LEFT ME!’ Refusing to sit still as I tried to get another one on a pretty-serious gash on his elbow. ‘ABANDONED ME,’ he told his Mum on the phone but refused to explain what the fuck happened to him to give him these wounds.

It transpired the next day, when we took a trip to the scene of the crime, that it wasn’t just a fence Jamie climbed. What that was was a fence that DROPS on the other side about ten foot. Jamie climbed the fence and went to drip himself down on the other end without ever looking what he was dripping down to and fell a substantial height.

We had a laugh about it, looking up this wall.  Funny, really. People never die with drunk bullshit like this. COOL STORY.

The debate.

Did I abandon my best friend in an area he didn’t know, and thus allowed him to tumble his way to a bloody mess? Or should he have listened to his best pal, who knew no good would come of him fucking off into the distance?

What do you think? Let me know! Follow me on Twitter here, or Facebook here, or here’s my Insta where I recently posted the most devastating picture of a cheese toastie you ever did see, or here’s my BILLION Pinterest boards, or just comment down there if you’re not feeling any of that crap. I get it.

Also, here’s last week’s blog if you missed it, and come back on Monday for a new comic review!

Catch you next week, take it easy in the meantime.

It’s Gavin

Peeing at a Professional Level

Peeing at a Professional Level

This blog is about a troubling experience I had with a toilet.

If you have no interest in some stressful urination that requires regular yoga classes to navigate successfully – then see ya next week!

I feel a bit weird writing about this actually. There seems to be a litany of talented creators out there throwing their product at me, begging review. I just finished the first issue of Tom King’s Batman and I want to talk about it. Tom King is the guy who made must-read material out of The Vision – an Avenger I had absolutely no interest in. I remember, as I closed volume two of Vision, thinking about the absolute magic he could make if he were given a massive character to work with. Then DC scooped him up and gave him bloody BATMAN. The results are just magical.

But alas, I sat down to spill my guts on this comic and found something else distracting me. Something that wouldn’t get out of my way until it was written about.

I’m here today, hopefully not too early in your marvellous Friday, to talk about one of the more harrowing urinary experiences of my twenty-nine years on our planet.

I experimented with a couple of glasses of red wine on Saturday night. I was a guest at my girlfriend’s sister’s place, and her fiancé was looking a touch lonely as he looked around with wine glasses in his hand and no other volunteers.

(An aside – I don’t drink wine. People tell me horror stories where ‘winedrunk’ and a ‘wineover’ are entirely different from the typical ‘drunk’ or ‘hangover.’ I was afraid – frankly – for the results should I decide to partake.

I intend to settle in in a safe space with a bottle one Saturday night when the flat is empty and I have nobody’s evening to destroy with my antics. I’ll document the whole thing on an hourly basis on Twitter and probably write a blog about it when the time comes, but until then, I fully intended to avoid the stuff.)

So I had myself a glass, and then another glass, and then I felt control drift from my hands. I became very aware of the effect it was having on me and realised that maybe a house in the middle of Airdrie surrounded by every single one of my girlfriend’s immediate family bar one partner, but including a toddler and a child, wasn’t the best place to start experimenting with wine.

I decided to return to cider and managed to even myself out onto a more reasonable plane of drunk, while the gent that offered it to me in the first place sunk another bottle.

Later, my girlfriend and I were shown to our room and the toilet at the end of the hall. This is where the trouble popped up.

Gentlemen. Let’s take a second to admit to a fault where it is due. Are we expert marksmen with our willies? No. We are not. It takes just one distraction to send our aim rapidly askew, and suddenly there’s a seat in need of mopping. The introduction of the smart phone gave us another hurdle to get over because those notifications won’t wait until we’re done, am I right?

We’re messy. Especially when we’re drinking, we’re messy.

Not a single month ago, did I find myself too ruined to aim anywhere near the pan in my friend’s property, and actively watched myself pish the floor for several seconds. As far as I was aware, I was aiming at the pan, and I couldn’t understand why I was so far from the mark. I just watched it happen. I mopped up my mess and took myself to bed shortly after.

(I’m such a good guest to have, you guys.)

I think – without any grounds to do so – that some bathrooms are designed to make us concentrate, as a result.

Example one: the toilet seat that doesn’t hold itself up? C’mon. We’ve all seen one. The idea here is to encourage the gentleman to lean forward over the pan to hold the seat up or to just sit down. Either way, less mess.

Example two: any form of toilet cleaner that sticks to the inside of the bowl. Give us something to aim for, and we’ll concentrate on hitting it. I don’t know why, but we do. Sure, an argument could be made that the toilet cleaner on the inside of the bowl is actually there to clean the toilet on every flush, but I wouldn’t put a lot of money on such a ridiculous suggestion.

There might be more, and speak up if you think of them, but I’ve definitely found the ultimate example. The game-changer and the main event.

The bathroom I staggered into on this fateful Saturday night, had a toilet sat beneath a sloped ceiling.

I blamed the wine at first – don’t we all?

I unzipped and approached the throne and clattered my head off of the ceiling.

Clunk.

I muttered something about being drunk and tried again.

Clunk.

This didn’t make sense. I pawed around at the ceiling and sure enough, there was a slope preventing my very average 5’9 form from getting close-enough to the pan for a safe urination.

Imagine a man approaching a limbo pole set at chest level – that was me trying to pish in this bathroom. In this position, though, I couldn’t tell if I was aiming anywhere near the toilet! I couldn’t see! The actual architecture of this home was preventing me from peeing in the toilet!

Hunching forward didn’t work – that meant my butt stuck out and made me more likely to pee down my legs than get it to the pan.

Eventually, I positioned my head as though I was trying to trap a phone between my ear and my shoulder and squeezed myself as close to the bowl as I could.

The results were… unimpressive.

I emerged from the toilet a troubled man and met the homeowner (about three inches taller than me, note) waiting for his turn.

‘What’s your toilet about?’ I asked, genuinely miffed.

‘Hm?’

I pointed at the ceiling, still unsure exactly how to explain it. ‘The-the, toilet and the-‘

‘Aw, the ceiling?’

‘Aye!’

‘Fuck the ceiling.’

He informed me shortly after that if he ever uses the toilet, he treats himself to a lady-style. Which I get. Sometimes it’s been a hard day and you just want to sit down and have a pee. It happens. But I like to have a choice!

I forgot about it the next morning, funnily enough, and repeated that first clunk. I wasn’t willing to put myself through the whole ordeal again and just sat myself down.

I really need to find a subject for this blog, these are getting out of hand.

It’s Gavin

 

Story Time with Gavin! Volume 1: The Cutlery Incident

Story Time with Gavin! Volume 1: The Cutlery Incident

This week I’m gonna tell a story.

Being friends with me is annoying because if you tell me a story that amuses me, generally I’m going to absorb it and tell everyone I know. So many of my friends know my other friends as ‘the one who…’

As a result, if these people ever get introduced to each other, there’s a smile (because one recognises the other) and then blind panic (because one wonders exactly what the other knows about them).

So, like… it’s a problem, I admit. I collect awful stories and tell the rest of my friends. But now I have a blog, and…

WELCOME TO STORY TIME WITH GAVIN.

Volume I. The Cutlery Incident

I lived with a guy for a couple of years there. I don’t want to divulge his name for privacy reasons and all that, so let’s call him Dancing Neil. Nah, that’s too long. Let’s call him Da-Neil. Bit awkward. We’ll go for just Dan. Throw some charm on that, we’re going to call him Danny.

Danny and I decided to celebrate our first year anniversary of living together. Yes, we are adorable. We had a weekend extravaganza planned that started with a pub crawl on Friday night.

When we got to the last pub, a place with a three-in-the-morning booze license without behaving like a club, we took a seat in the area usually reserved for dining and got thoroughly ruined into the little hours of the morning.

Now, some backstory.

We had something of a problem in our flat regarding some vanishing forks. We don’t know, to this day, where the forks went. We each have our theories. Example: I hate doing the dishes so much that it’s feasible to think I might be throwing them away instead of cleaning them. Further example: We ate a lot of takeaway food when we were drunk, the containers for which might contain our dirty cutlery when we bin them. We don’t know, but the forks were disappearing at an alarming rate, and it was becoming a problem.

Back to the pub, three in the morning, they’ve kicked us out. When we got out of the bouncer’s line of sight, Danny – with a sly wink and a grin that suggested immense pride – extracted two sets of cutlery from his jacket’s inside pocket, still wrapped up in their napkins.

We found this hilarious. We thought we had solved our cutlery problem forever. The answer was simple, it was right there in front of us the whole time! All we had to do to prevent ever running out of cutlery again, was steal it from restaurants and pubs. How did we not think of it before?

Along the road, Danny realised he needed cigarettes for all the drinking back at the flat. Why were we going home to keep drinking? I don’t know. I firmly believe in the How I Met Your Mother mantra of ‘nothing good ever happens after 2 am.’ Plans made at that time don’t work out. Just go the fuck home. While you’d struggle to see me out after half eleven these days, I was a little more easily swayed back then, so we were going back to the flat to drink.

There’s a twenty-four-hour shop up the road and around the corner from the flat. It’s close, but not close enough to walk to and back with a full bladder. Danny wasn’t up for that, he was gasping to empty himself.

He excused himself into the area around the back of a pub while I sat myself down in the bus-stop across the road. There’s nothing innocent about a man standing in the middle of the street at 3 am, not really up to much, just checking Twitter. I decided instead to pretend I was waiting for a bus.

Now, I’m not sure how it happened. I suspect we were being followed. We were pretty hammered, probably hammered enough to be unaware of a police car trucking along behind us. Regardless, Danny barely shuffled into the spot between two wheelie bins at the back of that pub before the flashing blue lights were on us.

I’m not proud of what happened next, but I’d like a second to defend myself. Look, best case scenario of me running across the road as a backup for Danny is both of us getting interrogated separately on what Danny was doing behind that pub. There was no chance we were giving the same answer, we’d be forced to tell the truth, and Danny would end up fined. It wasn’t going to go well.

Eh… so I ran away.

Okay, I didn’t run immediately, because that would look suspicious, wouldn’t it? I’m just a guy waiting for the bus, right? Instead, I calmly return my phone to my pocket, get up and casually as I could walk away from the scenario. I was being cool. But as soon as I got around that corner, oh motherfucker did I run like the devil chased me. I ran so fast. I became utterly convinced that the fuzz were on my back and that if I didn’t outrun them, I would end up in jail.

When I got back to the flat. The shame kicked in. I mean… I ran away. I just ran.

I sat at the flat’s drinking table and poured myself a miserable Jack Daniels and waited.

About twenty minutes later, he came home. I had prepared myself to offer to pay half the fine for some reason. Because half the urine was mine, right? I hoped he would turn me down on that, because I’m poor, but I was ready to offer.

I asked him how much. He said nothing. That baffled me. I asked again but added seriously. He said nothing, seriously. I asked how.

Apparently, here’s what happened:

The police rolled into the back garden of that wee pub and Danny had barely taken his fellow out of his trousers. He quickly zipped himself up and turned around.

‘Mind if I ask what you’re doing back here?’ the officer, so very pissed at the night-shift, asked him.

‘I get a good signal back here.’

They obviously didn’t believe him. Or at least I hope they didn’t believe him. I worry about the state of our country if the police believed him.

The officer shone a light at the spot where Danny stood and couldn’t see any urine, and so, he wasn’t really doing anything wrong.

‘Right…’ The officer said.

Danny smiled smugly, positively beaming at the idea that his night had almost taken such an awful turn, but didn’t.

They readied themselves to let him go, but the officer made one grasp at trying to drag Danny down. He told Danny he’s gonna give him a pat down to make sure he wasn’t carrying anything he shouldn’t be…

Danny, forgetting that he straight-up burgled an establishment not half an hour prior, was compliant.

He stretched his arms out.

The officer bent down and started to pat him from the ankles up.

Calves, thighs, waist of the jeans – nothing to worry about here.

Danny wondered where Gav went, the bus-stop was empty, but sure he wouldn’t run away? Surely.

The officer patted up to his chest and stopped over his right breast pocket.

Danny’s eyes widened.

The officers stepped back and reached for his truncheon. ‘WHAT IS THAT!?’

‘Okay, okay…’ Danny nodded, panicking a touch. ‘Listen, look its-‘ He reached in.

‘SLOWLY.’

‘Yep, yep it’s…’ he retrieved the cutlery from his pocket and showed it to the officer, still wrapped up in napkins. ‘It’s… it’s cutlery.’

The policeman’s expression collapsed. His whole posture slumped. He sighed, beaten. ‘Why… why do you have cutlery on you?’

‘We took it from a bar we were at… we were running out.’

‘You stole it.’

‘Yes.’

The officer looked back at his partner, who offered a weary roll of the eyes.

He turned back to Danny. ‘You’re pretty pissed aren’t you?’

‘Yes.’

‘Can you get home alright?’

‘Yes.’

The officer then took the cutlery from Danny and – in a move that baffles us – he chucked it in one of the wheelie bins! Perfectly good cutlery, going to waste!

‘Move, straight home.’ The officer said.

‘I’m going for cigarettes!’

I still don’t really appreciated how incredibly lucky he was that night. He didn’t get caught for peeing – which he was a hundred percent going to do – and then he did get caught for theft, and I can only assume they just couldn’t be fucked dealing with it. The only unfortunate part of the whole story is that we still didn’t have any bloody cutlery to eat our food with.

I poured him a Jack, and the conversation moved quickly on to how much of a bloody coward I am. I struggle to disagree, really, but I still think I did the right thing.

There’s your moral this week, kids. Always run the fuck away when you see the police. It’ll turn out fine.

It’s Gavin.

~