Words and pictures March 3, 2008Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
But without the pictures. There should be pictures, as illustration is a good thing, and has caught on like mad. If clever types aren’t illustrating their points with cogent examples, then other types, who might easily be just as clever, are illustrating their words with pictures. You know, like, I want to tell you about a house. And, oh, look, here’s a picture of the house. Such a good prop to help foil any potential slip twixt brain and lip. So I’ll have to try and paint a picture for you in words, when some pictures would have done just as well. Would have done much better, in fact. But I can’t really take pictures, because of not really being able to do anything, and when I do own pieces of technology – I do have a camera, oddly, bought during a rash flush of seeming solvent – I like to hide them from myself to unremind myself that they exist. It often doesn’t matter too much, because what I’d do with a camera is no better than what I don’t do by not using it but it’s problematic with a mobile phone, say, which I normally like to have switched off in case I die and the Russian will be able to rifle through it.
So, darlings, some light Sunday-afternoon*, hint-of-spring, rainbow-weather, roaring-hangover, dreading-the-working-week (yes, planning to start some work on a Monday morning like normal folk), not-showered-and-dressed blogging. Some things-wot-I-have-seen blogging. Some really-my-life-doesn’t-deserve-to-have-a-website blogging. Some I-can’t-think-of-anything-else blogging.
Darlings, I’ve told you before that Ruislip is Ruislip. But there are the seeds, which probably won’t thrive, of gentrification. You know, the Lidl stocking lobster. The real gay hairdresser. And the odd café or two springing into existence if you don’t mind. We don’t give them our custom because it is now pavlovianly embedded in us to get as far away as possible from where we live whenever we leave the house. Fun can not be associated with Ruislip. We did have one friend who lived close by but we instantly had to lose touch when we simultaneously understood, as our eyes met over a suburban table, with stabbing, unforgiving clarity, what we had both surrendered to. And I haven’t practised walking blindfolded from Ruislip to the border of the next area enough times yet to have learnt where all the obstacles to an injury-free start to a night out are so I do still, on my way to somewhere else, receive visual evidence that I live where I live. Sometimes, if we’ve had two booze-free days in a row, say, I might even notice what I see.
Darlings, and all of sudden there was a Kaffee Togo in Ruislip. Africa! In Ruislip! Who had thought through the branding? We don’t want the outside world in Ruislip. We want the wall back, for fuck’s sake. Wedding, our nearest West-Berlin bit, seems a million miles away. No, if we’re going to go international in Ruislip, we need to start easy. Soften the culture shock. A Café Austria, say. A Café Luxembourg at a push. Ruislipians could cope with that. But odd that their sign said Kaffee. Coffee. And not Café. Until I finally clicked that they were selling coffee ‘to go’. Tossers. To go! In Ruislip! You’ll be relieved to hear I firebombed the premises to avoid any such linguistic misunderstandings in future.
That got me so livid I started noticing the written word non-stop. A clothes shop I’ve bought at multiple times, because every time I bought something they gave me a voucher for a reduction on my next purchase and I bought inexorably and inexorably on until I had to turn to crime to feed my habit before I realised that not buying things is even cheaper than buying things with 10% off, had showcased on its window, presumably written in the fresh sperm of its employees, “Sale continues inside store.” Continues? And in English? Admittedly, not in Ruislip, but still. I had to take my begloved hands out of my pockets so that I could make indignant tosser signs at the offending window and then started taking a run up towards the shop for increased momentum, to make sure they’d understand I thought this was awful toss, and in my enthusiasm accidentally shattered the glass their non-poetry was written on. Still, linguistic crime no. 2 solved.
A café was offering an ‘Anabolisches Frühstück’ – an anabolic breakfast – which I thought was overly caving into drugs in sport, even for the former East Germany. What sort of message is that to be sending to the kids? And this an Olympic year! I ducked in to see if these flagrant purveyors of non-sportsmanship were wearing dark-blue vests with DDR sewn on in a pleasingly square font. Some Turkish men sold standard Turkish fare. “Queer,” I thought. “I wonder if they’re lacing the kebabs with designer steroids.” Till it turned out I was being dyslexic again. Their Frühstück was in fact Anatolisch – Anatolian, euphemistic for Turkish.
Darlings, all too disorienting. I staggered home and resolved never to read again.
*got delayed. Goldfish attention span.