Monday, May 17, 2004

Am I a bad person?

Probably. But then again aren't we all...

This weekend my mother and her husband came to visit me (they had been staying with their friends in Reading, Pennsylvania). They arrived on Friday evening. Cunningly I contrived to be out of town on Friday evening. I was, in fact, driving back to State College from New York (well, JFK airport) when they arrived. But I had foreseen this occurrence and I had surreptitiously (praise be for spell-checkers) concealed a key between my two doors (praise be for black electrical tape). Now, the reason I was in New York was that I was generously picking up some friends from the airport, well okay it wasn't that generous... being as they had been kind enough to lend me their car for the last three weeks. However, what I hadn't anticipated was that it would take Until The End Of Fucking Time for me to drive back to lovely State College. Curse all the bloody roadworks and do something worse than curse all the fucking retards on the road who are incapable of driving at consistent speed, and insist on wasting my fucking life by being dicks and then causing the traffic to come to a standstill. I'd told my Mum that I'd probably be back around 7... due mainly to stoopid people I actually got home at 10:30. On the plus side the only people who had discovered the key and plundered my apartment, were me Mum and her husband.

I thought it was very good that I managed to turn up three and a half hours late to my own flat. Go team me!

Anyhow, I got to see Mumsie on Friday night and I received my haven't-seen-you-for-six-months parcel. Which included some things I'd asked for — the new The Streets album, the Keane album and a couple of Terry Pratchett books — and some things I hadn't asked for — a elephant with a mortar board, the rugby world cup final dvd, an England World Champions t-shirt and my Birthday presents (my birthday is in October... they like to forward plan) — which was all very well and nice. (By the way, the previous sentence included my first use of the — symbol; as you might have guessed I have no real idea when, or why, one uses it. To be honest, I'm not really sure about the colon or semi-colon either, 'cause I haven't got that far in Lynne Truss's book yet.)

By that most wondrous of phenomena, coincidence, this weekend happens to have been graduation weekend here at Penn State, which means there were no motel rooms available. As the chivalrous gentleman, I offered my own bed to Mum (and husband) while I crashed around my, recently returned from their three weak European holiday, friends' place.

Um... I seem to have gotten myself confused... I guess we have arrived at yesterday. Yesterday we visited historic Bellefonte, which was not especially historic, and went on a boat ride through Penn's cave, which I still want to read as Pennis cave. And I think that, sadly, we actually saw the most interesting bits of central Pennsylvania... unless of course you are into hiking up and down hills and that sort of t'ing, somehow I doubt Mumsie is anymore. Although, for you purists out there, we also visited Best Buy, Wegmans and Walmart. And I cooked some nice trout fillets, filled with onion, black peppercorns, coriander and parsley, served with green salad, rice and brocoli.

This is where we come to the part of tale where I feel like I'm a bad person. After spending nearly 12 continuous hours with my Mum and her husband, I tend to feel like I'm going insane. Now, it's not that I don't love 'em (because like any good son I love my Mother), but spending time in an enclosed space, say a car, with them, for more than ten minutes is a form of torture that could very well be used to abuse the prisoners in Iraq. I think I just need breaks every couple of hours, where I can swear and curse as freely as I like (which has probably got some thing to do with the fact I'm a foul mouthed, dirty minded so-and-so). Unfortunately, I didn't get these breaks. So, by the time yesterday evening came along I couldn't get out of the house quick enough... I nearly ran out of the door.

(Now I'd recommend that people stop reading here, what follows is an account of an unpleasant bodily function.)

As I mentioned earlier I was staying at my friends' place, see I did mention it for a reason, and they had just returned from Europe the night before, ditto, and hence went to bed early on Saturday night. For some reason or other, the last few days I've had a rather dodgy stomach. Due to the fact that I was nearly running when I left my flat, I neglected to make use of the facilities. The combination of a few beers, the fish, my unsettled stomach and the fifteen minute walk to my friends' apartment, meant that when I arrived at their place I needed to use the toilet quite badly. Whereas, the combination of a hard day spent tidying and rearranging their apartment (the room I was sleeping in went from a tip with a mattress on the floor, to a spotless room with a made bed), and some jet-lag from the flight, meant that my friends were asleep in their room when I let myself in to their home last night. I carefully removed my shoes and stealthily padded to the bathroom... where I endured some of the most uncomfortable minutes of my life. I was a guest in their home and they were sleeping, so I was trying to be as quiet as the proverbial church mouse. However, I had what seemed to be several litres of liquid unpleasantness and a similar quantity of gas that were trying to force their way out of my body through the back door, so to speak. These were irreconcilable forces which I was struggling to reconcile. Eventually my discomfort, and the several litres, passed.

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