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Now then, then now, time for an update

It’s been a while since my last blog, a long while in fact, so it’s time for an up to date update, what is so up-to-date some of the information hasn’t occurred yet!

I had  another bout of depression, but I’m glad to say the black clouds that were above me have moved on and I’m back to my drowsy and lethargic old self.  Thankfully, I’m still in receipt of my ‘humour marbles’ and now it’s time to play with them.

So, what’s been happenning?  Well, a fair bit I’m glad to say.  I finished my sencond book, ‘A Section for Laughing’, which took three years to write and sometime later I found a new publisher who enjoyed the humour and this book was released into the wild, on Amazon, on the 1st of April 2015 in a Kindle format, what ever that is?  Here’s the link if you enjoy a good laugh :

It was a sheer joy to write and it covers, I’m glad to say, the happiest and daftest parts of my life.  I’m not quite sure how I became a magnet for the ridiculous but the situations I found myself in all led to a lot of laughter, and inside you’ll find over 40 true stories from everyday life. And for the record, here’s my lastest author marlarkey: To give you a feel of the new book, here’s a Bank Holiday story called – Towel please

So I went to bloody Windsor Safari Park, I didn’t want to go – but I did.  I knew it would be a day of traffic jams, noise and a car load of kids, some of whom weren’t mine, moaning and asking the question that all children are programmed to ask during an outing, “Are we there yet?”  I’m talking of course about the great British bank holiday when there are only two divisions in the weather, you either face a three hour drive in monsoon conditions from the minute you hit the road or the temperature is akin to that of Death Valley.

It’s a working dad’s nightmare; ahead of you is a long weekend.  You might’ve had thoughts above your station, like doing a 100 percent of knob-all squared for a change, but then your little preying mantis, who’s been in lengthy talks with another little praying mantis, comes up with the suggestion of a joint assault on a theme park, dragging you and the dustbin lids with them to spend money you haven’t got!  But hey, you have to do the dad thing don’t you, and I have to say it was great to see the kids with a smile on their faces that lasted all day.  Yes there were kids, noise, shit and confusion everywhere, and you could see the, “I told you so,” look on every father’s face in the park but only a fool would’ve said it out loud.

Our day began by watching the lions having a siesta; well, it was 94 in the shade and 115 in the car, but oh boy did the primates make up for the lack of movement in the big cat’s enclosure.  If they weren’t crapping on the bonnet or attempting to pull each others foreskins over their heads they were ripping off aerials, wiper blades and wing mirrors in a well organised military manoeuvre.  When the tour ended we found ourselves in a car park the size of the Wembley, and in this vast expanse of land was the smallest refreshment area in Europe.  After the sweltering conditions of the car, grown adults were throwing children and the disabled out of the way to get an iced drink, and it didn’t matter if it was Bat flavoured!  Once re-hydrated, a smart arse in our party produced a bunch of tickets for an aquarium show.  After the heat of the day it turned out to be the best place to be.  Well, it was until the sun changed position.

The sea lions did their stuff first and then it was the turn of the dolphins, and they were good too, the kids loved it.  As a final farewell the trainer gave them their last command before they made their way back to a holding pen.  How we chuckled when we saw a gaggle of fish weighing 70lbs a piece hurtling towards the edge of the pool like a bunch of smiling torpedoes.  And we laughed out loud when they landed on their backs and drenched 30 people ringside, mainly because we were sitting 12 rows from the front and still basking in brilliant sunshine.  However, this was definitely the wrong time to start getting drenched in H2O.  The sun was beginning to disappear behind an arched structure in the aquarium but there was still one more act to go in the programme and, just after 5.00pm, ‘it’ (singular but large) entered the pool.

The trainer introduced Shamo the killer whale to the crowd and the first thing that crossed my mind was, “I’m really glad I’m not sitting down the front.”  This bugger had to weigh three and half tons if he was an ounce and from where we were seated I could see that we may be in line for a soaking if he was ordered to jump.  Oh he was smart all right, but ultimately he was just a 25 foot splashing machine.

Being an ‘upstairs for thinking and a downstairs for ballet’ kind of a guy, I grabbed the Prato-matic from my wife’s bag on the pretence that I was off to take some pictures of the blubbery bugger in close up and parked myself on the nearest staircase.  Like a fool she fell for it, boo-wa-ha-ha!  I was off mate, because I wasn’t going to get wet for anyone.  If the small fry could take out the front row, this puppy would have no trouble coating an entire section of seats from top to bottom in one hit.

So the show began and opened with a few basic tricks and, after one circuit of the pool, the whale beached itself on the trainer’s platform and waited for its teeth to be cleaned.  This was followed by a counting exercise, and then the trainer stuck his head in the whale’s mouth.  Trusting brave or stupid?  I’m still not sure, but I guess the only question you really have to ask yourself is, would you stick your head in something that’s name was prefixed with the word, ‘killer’?

Anyway the sunlight had all but disappeared from the aquarium now, and what was a cooling summer zephyr had turned into an icy draft, more so (tee hee) for the people sitting in wet clothes.  Now it may’ve been just a coincidence but, to me, it seemed that all of Shamo’s tricks with the splashiest outcome were left to the end of the show, and everything after the ride round the pool with the trainer on its back had been specifically designed to soak as many people in the audience as possible.

We watched a few ball and hoop tricks first, where a fair proportion of the crowd received a generous coating from one end of the pool to the other, some twice, and then we witnessed the fish in the gob routine up a ladder.  The trainer – not the whale!  How we clapped with glee as he fell backwards into the water and soaked the front row for a third time, the whale – not the trainer!  As this trick was staged at the far side of the pool, it didn’t pose a threat to me, but it didn’t take long to work out a probable damage report if the beast was instructed to jump closer to my side of the pool.  There were only two parts to the equation, a 7,840lb fish that would do literally anything for a kipper, and 4,000,000 gallons of cold water.  Result – a small tsunami.

I waved to my wife to validate my position, and my time away from the main herd pretending to take pictures of the whale’s finale.  The trainer blew his whistle four times and Shamo began to circle the pool like a thing possessed.

Have you ever had a strong gut feeling about something but then you ignored it?  If it wasn’t for the fact that I was still bone dry I might’ve returned to my seat.  As it was, I stuck to my guns but moved up half dozen steps to improve my chances of staying that way.

The arse with the whistle blew it once more and lumpy, the seal murderer leapt out of the water and cleared the surface by 30 feet easily.  Then he turned in mid air and landed on his back; his tail being the last thing to disappear from view.  Then some of the displacement from the pool went left to right, but the bulk of splash, caused by its tail, sent a wall of well-targeted water in my direction.  I sat there dripping like a wet lettuce in my shorts amid a chorus of laughter and applause.

Have you ever smiled outwardly but through gritted teeth said quietly, “Son-of-a-bitch?”  Thinking my embarrassment would soon end I wiped my face down and waited for the 100 or so faces to turn their attention to something else but oh no, there was more to come.

Still coming to terms with the shock of being drenched, head to foot, in cold water I realised I’d neglected one simple fact – the old what goes up malarkey.  And the first sign of this presented itself in the form of a cold trickling sensation at the back of my shorts, which immediately prompted this question from one of my warmer brain cells, shortly after my testicles had made a bid to re-enter my body.  Where would the residue of a jet of water that was a 100 feet high and four feet wide go after coming back down to terra firma?  Back down the bloody staircase I was parked on of course!  The trickle gained in volume and I was now sitting in the path of a torrent of much colder water which was now crashing against my back, and cascading over my head, as it made its way back down to the pool.

As an unpaid sideshow member, the laughter and applause were wearing thin.  Outwardly I smiled, but inwardly I was cursing the oversized kipper-catcher, and began making plans to add a large quantity of strychnine to his feed bucket before we left, in a bid to reduce him to cat food.  And let’s not forget the happy-go-lucky trainer that was dishing out the commands.  Sadly, there wasn’t time to organise, operation ‘string up the bastard with the whistle,’ still, not to worry, I’ll get ‘im next time once the restraining order has been lifted!


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