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Titles December 19, 2005

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

As always, this will be a few lines of ill-thought-out garbled chuff but, as the great Dr. Johnson said, “Blog it when it’s fresh, for ’twill otherwise surely go unblogged and unrecorded for the good of mankind,” or something like that. So I got to thinking, as I tucked into a little cigarette while pretending to be at the computer for work’s sake, that titles are an awfully useful thing. I’ll explain…

Now I’m having a cigarette. Yet, the thing is, I am, officially, a “non-smoker”, so it doesn’t really count, you see, me smoking. I may get through a good packet and a half on a “good” day, but, having nomenclatured myself a non-smoker, I can puff away without the slightest hint of remorse or worry – this is probably untrue, in fact, and the fact that I’m writing this is no doubt the first seed of guilt, doubt and worry. I might be renaming myself with early post-Soviet vigour forthwith – about what I’m doing to my innards. (I’m in a room alone with doors and windows closed so only my cactuses and swirly bit of IKEA bamboo can conceivably be suffering the effects of passive smoking before someone high-horses me.) But non-smoking smoker, that’s me. And, titles aside, I’ve got a squillion other ways of justifying this internally. If I hadn’t gone out yesterday, then I wouldn’t have had to buy these emergency fags anyway. So, you see, they’re only an occasional vice. Honest. No, really.

I’m all for a bit of deceit. My sister and her husband claim to be vegetarians. Drones ring out across nations the moment anyone thinking of ever inviting them into their home is reminded of the fact. But the wonderful thing is that my vegetarian sister and her husband are everyone’s favourite type of vegetarian. The type that eats meat. They’re always a relief, that kind, and make such easy guests. Most vegetarians I know eat meat. I decided I should be a vegetarian aged 19. As I was too dim to know why I’d done it and as you always have to justify why you’re a vegetarian to folk the moment you declare it, I eventually came up with a stock answer that it was because I hated animals so much. That normally shut people up. I never dared say this in France, of course, where vegetarianism is a serious social crime on a par with murder and not-being-in-a-bad-mood. (Oh, mais alors là, tu m’énerves!) And France soon cured me of my vegetarianism anyway. But the thing is, when I was a vegetarian, I happily chomped away on a choucroute bursting with sausage when it was put before me, willingly twizzled lashings of spagbol onto a spoon provided or even, when nobody was looking, gorged on burgers from the chip-van that served the hordes of drunken, underfed 19-year-olds that poured out of the Student Union building on a Friday night. My ex’s family was crawling with meat-eating vegetarians. We would condescendingly sneer at the barbarians tucking into succulent venison with a good splurge of thick, meaty gravy as we prodded our lentil bake gloomily around our yearning plates. Then we’d queue up, silently, with not a seditious word peeped by anyone, to gorge on the carnal leftovers when the barbarians had retired, fully sated, for the night. But vegetarians we remained, at least in name.

So, yes, I’m all for a bit of an obfuscatory title. I don’t know what else I lie about. A well-worn lie becomes so ingrained eventually that you forget it’s not the truth any more. But the day I declare on this site that I’m a non-drinker, someone call an ambulance. Quick.


1. Bren - December 19, 2005

I got a good ol’ laugh out of that last line especially.

Given my professions of Christianity, I occasionally get challenged on my appreciation, love and, well, lust of a good bottle o’ red. (They know less of the occasional flings with vodka.)

Salt of the earth, I tell them.

Which all has little to do with what you blogged about or, as it happens, the question I’ll end with (which was actually the reason for this comment);

Why the sheep?

2. Broke in Berlin - December 20, 2005

That ain’t just any old sheep. That’s poor old Dolly the sheep, she who was also her mother. I don’t know why I got so caught up in Dolly’s odd fate, but I did. Anyway, in a silly way, I suppose the self-deprocating point I vaguely wanted to make by having Dolly’s photo was to say I’m a bit of a clone myself. Not literally, obviously, and I don’t mean in the sense of what the word used to mean in the gay world 20 years ago, i.e. the Village People moustachioed type. But I meant this was just a blog like many others. In many ways no different to those others. Just another dolly of a blogger plodding away at my keyboard. Anyway, Dolly’s better-looking than me too. I used to have my own photo up there but thought I might get more readers with her mug glaring sympathetically out at them, but have they come? Have they ‘eck as like!

Is your choice of Jack also an obfuscatory measure? But then you don’t go in for anonymity , which I (sort of) do, and I’ve seen your photo on your blog. So maybe he means something…

3. Bren - December 21, 2005

If you find your way to my profile you’ll see ‘All work and no play makes Bren a dull boy’ written once or twice.

I wrote it whilst under the influence.

And so, a few days later, I changed the photo to Jack.

Nothing more profound than alcohol and a movie that still disturbs me.

4. BiB - October 16, 2006

Booze has an awful lot to be said for it. I’m not sure what I think of Mr. Nicholson, though he entertained in OFOTCN and As Good As It Gets.

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