It’s too hot to write a story

23/07/2016

It’s too hot to write a story ©

By Michael Casey

Well we’ve had a lazy 1st day of the school holidays, we’ve all been dressed in our slobs just busy doing nothing. That’s apart from being nagged as mum attacks us and the carpets with the vacuum. I’m listening to Celine Dion again, her French album, my small daughter has decided that her school bag is too scruffy for her next year, so a new Totoro theme bag has been taken from the back of the wardrobe.

My own 1st school bag was a gift from Embassy cigarettes, our lodger had saved the coupons and had a bag delivered. It was a secret but we worked out it was him because of the with compliments slip inside. He’s gone 36 years now, but I still pray for his soul, he did get me a school bag after all.

As for my daughter’s bag I left it in the street, some child will love her panda themed old school bag, all they really need to do is put it in the washing machine. Girls do like new things after all, bags, clothes etc, so my small daughter has now moved on to a Totoro school bag. My Embassy school bag lasted a few years of grammar school, though as for cigarettes I detest them, any slight whiff makes me feel sick.

Though I believe Dunhill still to do some very high quality leather products. Which is interesting how brands change and morph into something else, I hope my writing morphs into a training scheme for English, anything really so long as it puts money in my pocket.

It’s still too hot to write, maybe 25degrees in the house itself, we have the doors and windows open, Totoro our cat has decided to hide under my sheets on my bed, she is not stupid after all. I always have to make sure she is not hiding otherwise she’d be a very squashed pussy.

What else can’t I write about, oh my plant corner to my right next to our piano. I threw one plant away, or rather banished it to the front garden because it had died, Totoro thinks eating plant leaves is like chewing gum for cats, so the plant dies. A potted plant is the same price as a lottery ticket, so instead of a losing lottery ticket I buy a plant which will last longer, or until Totoro chews too much from it.

So because of the minor heat wave we are having in Birmingham the plant on the naughty step so to speak seems to have come back to life. This means it returns to the shelf by the piano and the other plant in the posh vase gets put outside, Totoro may have fresh breath, but the plant is on its last legs despite its posh vase.

I should take a photo really, but it’s just too hot to do anything, except talk about all the things it’s too hot to do. I’ve just remembered we have ice lollies in the freezer so I’m going to have one, before I’m told they are bad for me. Well the ice lolly was great and while I was sucking it I had a quick look at the Dunhill site, Duke Large Zip Tote looked great, if only I could afford it, when I’m rich, though I’m still alive so that must count as being rich.

I’ve put the other Celine Dion album on, the one in English, it’s very good too, it’s still too hot to write a story and the clock is clicking, in 30 mins its 9pm when all the films start on tv, so I have to finish for that. I do want to thank the merry band of readers I have. Sometimes 70 or so a day from all over the world, Switzerland and China have recently joined my readership. If your name is Jack and Weibo is your company, please get in touch about my teaching English with humour idea.

Though it’s more than likely it’s a guy in a takeaway in Hong Kong who has stumbled over me, or the gay fashion designer Gok Wan wondered what was so special about me and did a few clicks. He’d need a double size tape measure if he designed anything for me. Whoever and whatever country you are from all I can say is thank you, it’s nice having any readers, and don’t forget to buy a few books on Amazon.

The final ice lolly is in the freezer so I may force myself to have it, before we settle down for a film, we are a film critic family such is the level of our film knowledge. Did I tell you the end of my book The Butcher The Baker and The Undertaker could have been turned into a film, it was another case of close but no cigar, but as you know I don’t like smoke. So stay happy and cuddle up with you own family and watch a good film or Sky 785 has some good Chinese series on, even with no Chinese you can laugh your head off. My favourite one was about a guy who worked in the marriage office!

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Are You Ready?

22/07/2016

Are You Ready? ©

By Michael Casey

Well I hope you are ready, all of you out there, are you really really ready? Schools Out For Summer, you can almost hear the thunder of footsteps down the main road, almost the herd hurtling home, if you forgive the alliteration, I threw that in for English teachers, they just love a bit of alliteration. As we know those who cannot write use alliteration, or write for the under eights.

Alice Cooper’s Schools Out for Summer is being played on radio stations, ever eager to be topical, they are all so topical, all so the same with the same top 50 playlist. I avoid that by listening to Magic Radio, and Magic Chilled, I’m listening to it now while I talk to you, though I do have one eye cast out the window waiting for my girls to arrive. My family are teachers too so they will be breaking up for the Summer as well. I’m sure they are listening to Alice Cooper’s Schools Out for Summer as they drive home.

Did I tell you I met Alice? He stayed at CPNEC when I worked there. Roger took him to the cinema and then picked him up again afterwards, what else do you think Rock Stars do in the afternoon prior to their Show? It was nice meeting Alice, I can remember in the 70s hearing the song for the 1st time and then to meet him years later…

So are you all ready? You must have you fridge filled with stuff for your kids, juice and milkshake, not forgetting snacks to go with the drinks. You must have the washing machine ready to be loaded with their school uniforms which will be abandoned all over the floor while my kids, your kids, everybody’s kids get ready for Summer and street clothes.

The cat will jump about too, she will be getting six or seven weeks of attention now, purrrrrfect. You must be ready, you have to be ready, your sanity depends on it. You have smashed the piggybank so your kids can have money for the holidays, if you haven’t smashed that piggybank then do it now, right now, don’t wait for the song to finish on the radio, get the cash.

So the fridge is full, the washing machine is ready, the door ajar, you have used a tin opener to open the piggybank. There is a pile of silver on the living room carpet, Totoro the cat is playing with the coins, now you are ready for Summer. Oh no you are not. You forgot your own secret stash. You put the kids first but forgot yourself. Do you have a stash of Stella Artois hidden under your bed, to you have your own stash of sweets for your own sweet tooth. Do  you have  a few things for yourself  hidden, really hidden well, so you can survive the Summer?

Well I hope you are ready, and don’t forget to go to Poundland for extra batteries and snacks, it could mean the difference between life and death.

Or something even worse, an accusation that “YOU DON’T LOVE ME”

I think I may open a pint of Stella Artois just to steady my nerves, you can all do the same if you haven’t done so already. Happy Holidays.

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Betting on Disaster

20/07/2016

I have a few scraps of paper on the computer desk and I sometimes write a title to write about the next day. Last night I wrote News. As you know I love News, its been an interest for 50 years. In my head I’m still 20 by the way. So this morning I was going to spend the hour  writing something on that theme. Then I remembered this 1 act play I wrote maybe 28 years ago. So here it is. Forgive typos etc, I wrote this on an old Atari 1040 and copiesdit to a modern PC years later. Remember this was written before 24 tv news and before Sky was a twinkle in Rupert Murdoch’s eye.

Betting On Disaster ©
By

Michael Casey

Opening

An office with one wall covered in tv monitors from floor to ceiling , in
front of that is a large desk/counter . There are phones and intercoms on
the counter plus an array of buttons . Almost a directors gallery but not
quite . There are three men seated in front of the counter , Mark , David,
Terry , besides them is an empty fourth chair .

The first Mark ,who is in his late twenties, in front of him are some
yeast tablets , there is also a body building magazine , though he is no
body builder himself , he is very fashion conscious .

Next is David , much older he has half moon glasses on , beside him is
a battered thesaurus , he is doing a crossword , he is wearing clothing of
a high quality though they would be more suited for Basil Rathbone in an
old Sherlock Holmes mystery . He looks up at the monitors occasionally he
is only half interested , he has seen it all so many times before .

Then Terry who is fat and spotty , his fashion sense may have been buried
with the crock of gold , its lost somewhere over the rainbow . He has the
remains of several Whimpys in front of him , along with paper cups of half
drunk coffee . He is reading the Sun , there is a colour photo of “little
Sammy Fox” , he spills food over the picture and picks it up , he belches
as he does so.

A very old man with waistcoat and gold chain enters he is leading a new
recruit .The recruit is all crew cut and collar and tie , he is fresh from
university .
George:This is your new boy , he’ll be taking my old position .
David :Thanks George .
Mark :We hope he’s as good as you were , I mean are .
George:Were is the correct word .
Mark looks embarrassed by his lack of tact .
George:I’ll still be here a while longer till my retirement .
Terry :What’s he called ?
Frank :I’m Frank .
David :You look a bit young to me , have you just finished your finals ?
Frank :Yes , I only left Strobeford a month ago .
Mark :Is that one of the new ones ?
David :Yes it’s the newest one in Cambridge , it was founded with the money
from the Aids Vacine back in 98 .
Terry :You any relation to the Strobeford’s .
Frank :Lord Strobeford was my uncle .
David :That explains it then . His best friend owns this outfit .
Terry feeds his face and though a mouthful of chips adds .
Terry :Crossover nepotism .
David :The very thing .
George:I’ve got other errands to run so I’ll leave you to it .

George slowly leaves , dragging one side of his body , he’s had a stroke .
Mark :Thanks , George .
Frank stands not knowing what to to . So Mark motions him to sit in the
spare seat .
Mark :Its quite straightforward really , we watch all the satellite feeds
as they come in ,then we speak to the tv stations by this equipment
Mark waves his hand expansively .
Mark :We give them a mix of sport , sensation and human interest .
Terry :Earthquakes and volcanoes and plane crashes and fires in skyscrapers
Mark :People getting married while they parachute from 30000 feet .
Terry :People finding long lost relatives after searching for years .
Mark :I always like those stories , its my soft spot .
Terry :He has other soft spots too , but I shouldn’t mock the afflicted .
David :Very occasionally we give them news .

Mark pushes some paper over his “body building ” magazine ,before resuming
his “induction speech” .

Mark :All human life passes before us and we help share it with the world
Terry :I have to admit I like the reunions after many years of separation,
especially when the shock and the excitement gives them a heart
attack .
Terry breaks into laughter , Mark scowls , Frank looks ill at ease . David
looks up from his crossword .

David :It always strikes me as ironic how something which people crave so
much is their undoing for a finish . If they only stayed happily
ignorant then they’d be alive . Instead they search for years only
to die of a heart attack when they meet their relatives .
Terry :But think what great tv it makes !”Father found after fourty years”
then the added bonus , “Father dies in the arms of a daughter he
never knew” , and the pictures of a daughter in tears chasing the
ambulance only to be dragged back by customs – now that’s what I
call really good tv .
Mark :You always gloat Terry .
Terry :But its true .
David :It is true , though Terry does dwell on the sensational aspect .
Mark :Well Frank that’s about it ,if you watch us at work you’ll soon get
the hang of it .
Frank :Thanks .
Frank sits down at his place a little unsure . So Terry leans over to
explain.
Terry :See the screens marked 1 to 20 , well each of these buttons will
transmit the pictures , all you do is push the button at the same
time pressing the other set of buttons .
Frank :Could you show me ?
A light flashes at Frank’s position Terry leans over and presses before
speaking into the mike at Frank’s position .
Terry :CL communications here , what do you want ?
Voice :Can I have some soccer from Brazil ?
Terry looks up and scans the screens , he then presses the button to match
the picture then presses the “phone” button again .
Terry:They are coming now .
Terry then turns back to Frank .
Terry :See its easy . Press one lot to answer ,then press tv button ,then
press answer button again . The computer does the rest . I forgot
to say there’s an ear piece to so you can pick out the sound for
the feed you’re viewing .
Frank :Seems straightforward .
David :Occasionally we ring them and tout the services , there’s a list on
a pad besides you .
Frank :You’re not very busy now are you ?
Terry :Not really , but when the sports results come in then we get very
busy .
David :People don’t want news , they want entertainment .
Frank looks at the monitors , there is a mixture of sport and disaster on
the screens , then in a corner on its own he sees another monitor .
Frank :What’s that ?
Mark :That’s Northern Ireland , we don’t get much call for it nowadays .
David :Most of it is fed straight to West Africa . It’s the only foreign
news they can afford . Andingi Shatola is the world expert on the
“100 years War in Northern Ireland” .
Frank :You all seem pretty blase about things
David :We’ve seen it all before that’s all , news is the same as history
– it repeats itself .
A burp from Terry rings out .
Mark :And so does Terry .
Terry :You’re quite the little wit today aren’t you .
David :Please don’t start or you’ll give the lad the wrong impression .
Frank :But you must get excited every now and then . Seeing things happen
live .
Terry :It’s all the same really , bad news spreads fastest , always has
and always will .
Mark :Except Royal Births , King Harry’s triplets a few years ago caused
a sensation , and we got the news first .
David :I have to admit that the appetite for Royal news is amazing .
On one of the many screens a volcano is seen errupting . Mark watches
open mouthed . He puts the volume up so all can hear .

Reporter:Here at the base of Mount Saint Helens we can see a plume of red
hot ash and fire bursting skyward trying to touch the sun .
Mark :That’s a bad one , though it does look very pretty like a Turner
painting in some strange way .
Terry :I wonder how many are dead or injured or covered in red hot ash
like the Romans at Pompeii. (HE IS EXCITED)
David :Thanks for saying Romans its given me the last answer for my
crossword .
David looks up from the crossword to see the disaster at Mount St. Helens
David :They shouldn’t call it a mountain anymore , way back in 1980 over
1500 feet was ripped off by a volcano , then in 99 another 2000ft
went . Its just a hill really .
Terry :But it still spits death and shakes the earth with gigantic hicups
Frank :This is the first time I can remember it errupting .
David :Shows your age doesn’t it .
Mark :I’ll send this to everybody then .
Mark starts pressing buttons at his position , he silences the reporter as
well .
Terry :See how Mark did that , Frank , well you do the same .
A scene of blood an mayhem appears on one screen , Frank flinches , Terry
puts the voice on broadcast .
Reporter:Behind me is the stomach churning sight of yet another victim of
the Cambleforth crusher . This person , for police have yet to
establish the sex , will be the seventh victim of the crazed man
who has struck so much terror into the North of England .
Terry :Brilliant I just love a good who dunnit , the real thing is so
much better than Agatha Christie .
Mark :I bet you’d love to be there , smelling the blood .
Terry :Of course I would ,I haven’t been stuck behind a desk all my life
David :What never ceases to amaze me is that its always the North that
produces these mass murderers ,I know the North is not a nice
place to live in , especially after Sellafield exploded and fell
into the sea , but if you don’t like the area you can always come
and live in the south , providing you are not radioactive and do
have a job to go to .
Terry :I bet this killer is a wrestler or an American football player ,
he has to be , the first thing he does is crush their ribs then
Mark :I think we can do without the details . Besides its boring now .
Frank :How can you all be so callous , so detached , its real people not
robots you are talking about . People’s fresh and blood , not so
many lumps of meat hanging on a butchers hook .
Reporter:Police say they still don’t know if more than one person has been
killed , such is the carnage .
Terry :I’ll send that to the Far East , they love Agatha Christie too .
Frank looks on disbelieving as the other three scan the pictures and press
their transmit buttons . One one monitor a picture of a little boy appears
Frank watches with interest , we hear that report .
Reporter:Paulo Caltonat , was out playing this morning when he did not
return his parents went and looked for him , all they found was a
shoe .
The child’s mother appears holding the shoe .
Reporter:Then the family dog started to bark , they found the child , but
were unable to rescue him , he was trapped down an old well . It
was 8am then , it is now 1pm . For five hours he has been trapped
Terry sees Frank staring at the rescue picture so he nudges David .
Terry:I bet you a dinner at Diablo’s that they get the boy out by the time
we finish tonight .

David looks at the picture for a second to judge the events .
David:The kid will die .
Terry:The last time we had one of these the kid lived .
David:This time he had no breakfast so he’ll be hungry sooner and in that
heat .
David shakes his head , Terry looks uncertain .
Terry:Well a bet’s a bet , It’ll brighten up our day anyway .
Mark :Sometimes I think you two are real bastards .
David:News people are bastards.(SAID MATTER OF FACTLY , AS IS ALL HE SAYS)
Frank turns to them , he’s only just noticed they have been talking .
Frank:It’s bad that isn’t it ? I hope the kid gets out .
Mark :Of course he will . (OBVIOUSLY LYING)
Terry:He’ll suffer but he’ll get out .
David:The kid’s had it .
Frank is really shocked by David’s matter of fact attitude . He glares at
him .

Frank:How can you say that , don’t you want the kid to live ? Haven’t you
got any feelings ?
David:I’m a media man , I have no feelings , the number of times I’ve seen
death and destruction . (SAID MATTER OF FACTLY)
Terry:Murder and mayhem . (SAID WITH RELISH)
Mark :Suffering and suicide . (SAID QUIETLY)

David glances at his “echo” before continuing .
David:It no use having feelings they get in the way , you’re not paid to
have feelings , ok stuck here you can have the odd sniffle if you
like , but the lads at the sharp end cann’t afford to do that .
Terry:They have deadlines to meet , planes to catch , satelites moving out
of position .
Mark :Or even mule trains to catch .
Terry:Do remember old Johnnie Campelton , he once used a carrier pidgeon
to get some film out .
David:Didn’t he win an award for that .
Terry:Yes the Kodak News Award . One or two tried copying him after that ,
only the natives in some famine ate the pidgeons .
David:I remember now , that must have been twenty years ago .
Frank shakes his head in disgust , he looks back at the monitor .
Frank:The kid’s fallen further down the well . They’re going to get some
pot-holers to go down after him .
David:It looks like dinner will be on you Terry , and don’t forget dinner
includes a good bottle or three of wine , the 97 is a good vintage .
Terry:It’s not over yet , besides I heard the 96 was a better vintage .
David:We’ll have one of each then .
Terry:Suits me , seeing as you’ll be paying , I’ve heard they’re calling
in a mining engineer to help .
David:That’s not on the feed .
Terry:I’ve plugged into the radio service .
David presses a few switches then listens intently to his earpiece .
David:I still say the kid’s had it .
Frank:You’re a pair of absolute bastards .
Terry:That’s one of the more polite things we’ve been called .
At this point old George comes in carrying mugs of coffee , he places one
at each position , a fifth mug he has for himself .
George:Coffee’s here . How’s the world today lads ?
Mark :There’s an interesting human interest item .
Terry :A kids fallen down a well .
David :The kid’s a gonner .
Frank :These bastards are betting on the outcome .
George:They’ve been doing that as long as I’ve know them .
George looks at Frank as they sip the coffee , George fingers the chain of
his pocketwatch , the chain has trickets hanging from it , one could be a
cross . Frank is glued to the rescue attempt .
George:How long has the kid been trapped ?
Mark :A few hours , since breakfast their time .
George:So he’ll be hungry .
Terry :And thirsty .
David :And he’s slipping further down the well . At least one good thing
can be said of it all .
George:What’s that ?
David :I’ll be having a really good dinner tonight .
David lights up a really foul cigar .
Frank :I need some air .
Frank storms out .
Terry :I don’t think the kid has the stomach for the job .
Mark :Perhaps he’s a non smoker ?
George:I better be off then , I’ve got my rounds to do .
David :Thank’s for the coffee , its the only good news we can gaurantee .
George walks away giving a backward glance at the rescue of child on tv .
George:I hope the kid’ll be ok . (MURMURS)
David:I think Frank will have to start to grow up or he won’t last long
here .
Mark :Come on give him a chance , it took me a while to get in the swing
of things .
Terry:I still think you’re a bit of a softie .
Mark :I still care if that’s what you mean .
David:But at least you control your feelings ,this Frank will be a nervous
wreck by the end of the day .
Frank returns , he has washed his face .
Frank:Any other good stories ?
Terry:There’s been a spillage of chemical waste in Sommerville .
Frank:I know Sommerville my father has a place a few miles from it .
Mark :Is it a nice area .
Frank:Very quite place , though there is a new town nearby and the old
quarry has the chemical works , you cann’t actually see it .
David:You can now there’s a cloud hanging over the entire area .
They all look at the pictures from Sommerville , a cloud in the sky and
people closing all doors and windows , some driving away
Frank:My girlfriend lives in that cottage , luckily she’s away .
David:It doesn’t look too bad , we have one a month nowdays .
Terry:The Europeans think GB stands for Grimey Bilge , what with all the
crap we import .
David:It was worth œ80 billion to the economy last year .
Mark :But what about the environment ?
Terry:It doesn’t matter it all goes to the North , well past Oxford anyway
Mark :It’s that attitude that killed all the seals off back in 88 .
David:I heard the World Wildlife people say there were over a 1000 pair
now , so that’s not too bad .
Terry:What’s wrong with a few species dying off anyway
Frank:You all sound like the pundits down the pub , nothing really
matters so long as the price of a pint stays reasonable .
Terry:You forgot to mention so long as the head’s not bigger than the
pint !
David:I cann’t abide pubs that do that , its a cardinal sin .
Mark :I hate unwashed glasses myself , I mean you never know what you may
catch .
Frank:You really are the most selfish lot of bastards I’ve ever met .
David:Oh do grow up , cann’t you tell when we are joking .
Terry:I wasn’t joking .
Mark :I was only half joking , well- unwashed glasses ARE unhealthy .
David:Can we get back to work , looks like a major crash on Brazilian
railways .
They all stare at the scene , bodies everywhere and a mangled mass of
trains and track .The reporter speaks , David puts it on the tannoy so all
can hear.
Reporter:Here in Santa Jorge we witness a scene of utter carnage , a train
appears to have hit a petrol tanker that got stuck on the level
crossing ; the train , a local train was full , it was market day
David:That Jenkins is a real good actor , he looks as if he IS really
concerned for the people .
Terry:Isn’t he the grandson of the late great Peter Jenkins .
David:The very same grandson .
Terry:The top journalism prize is the Jenkins , didn’t John Jenkins get
it too ?
David:Yes , that’s why this David Jenkins is trying so hard to live up
to his father’s and grandfather’s reputation .
Terry:Like you say he is a good actor .
Mark :Oh I know him , he did actually try to be an actor before he went
into this game .
David:Only his acting has improved .
Reporter:The scene is one of utter devastation with human remains littering
the area , the smell of death hangs over like a dark cloud , this
dark day will never be forgot .
Mark :I thought he’d break into Shakespeare then .
Frank:I don’t believe you , of course he’s touched , I am and I’m miles
away , a whole continent away .
Terry:Really? (GENUINELY SHOCKED)
David:You’ve a lot to learn then . We’ve all seen it all before , hundreds
of times , you get used to it , it becomes routine .
Terry:Boring even .
Mark :Years ago people were shocked when a Pope was shot , even us ,but
times have changed so much .
Frank:I don’t think I want to become like you .
David:Then you’re in the wrong job .
Old George comes in and hands a message to David .
George:The boss wants to know how Frank is doing .
David:What’s he want me to do , write him a bloody school report .
Terry:Just say “He shows promise for the future , once he gets used to the
working environment he will be a welcome addition to the team ” .
Mark :You must have a degree in bullshit .
David:Just say he’s settling in nicely .
George:Ok .
George looks up at the pictures of the train disaster , he nervously plays
with the chain to his pocket watch .
George:That’s a bad one . There must be people trapped inside too .
David:There always are in these cases .
Terry:Better off if they died judging by the look of some of them .
Frank:These ghouls think the reporter on the scene is pretending to be
moved , they say he’s acting so he can get the “Jenkins” award .
George:It used to be called the “Michael Burke” award when I was a lad .
David:Who’s Michael Burke , even I cann’t place that name .
George:You’re making me feel ancient now . As for young Jenkins though , I
hate to have to say this but he IS acting . Look at his eyes , and
haven’t you seen him glance at his watch all the time .
David:I was about to tell him that , Jenkins is hurrying so he can meet
the deadline for the next satelite feed .

Frank looks more closly and he has to agree with them . George pats Frank
on the shoulder then leaves ,as George leaves he glances at the scenes of
destruction on the monitors .
Frank:You’re right then , but somebody must care , they MUST .
Mark :Old George does , but it got him nowhere it just left him drained
and worn out .
Terry:You have to restrain your feelings or else you are left dried out
like a prune , you must be professional .
At that moment one screen lights up with the “Miss Striptease Results”
Terry:Bloody Hell look at the tits on her .
David:The rest isn’t too bad either . (SAID MATTER OF FACTLY AS USUAL)
Mark :So much for the restraint .
Terry:Wait till the “Body Builders” come on then we’ll see about restraint
Frank:I thought we were a news channel ?
David:This is part of the results service . The Miss Striptease is 50
years old , it started when people got fed up of the Miss Beauty .
Mark :I saw a video about that at the library , it was very quaint .
Terry:All” I want to meet people , look after animals and old people and
above all be happy” .
David:They didn’t mention the fact” favours” were offered .
Terry:And gratefully received !
Terry laughs like a drain , David chuckles softly . Mark looks embarrassed
They all resume their work for a while . Until there is a space report .
David puts it on the tannoy .
Reporter:Today will be the 30th landing on Mars , all is expected to go
well though everybody will be holding their breaths , for as you
may remember the last landing ended in disaster when the crew of
ten all died when a retro rocket misfired and so caused a crash .
The crew on the Mars settlement are also hoping for a safe
landing as due to the previous disaster their return home has
been delayed by two years .
David:I’d forgotten all about that , its just like clockwork .
They all press their controls to send the pictures everywhere .
Terry:Oh I remember the crash the last time , it was really good , I’ve
got it on tape at home in fact . I watch it whenever I have a
a hangover , I get so excited I forget my headache .
Mark :I bet you’ve got tapes of “Miss Striptease” too .
Terry:Of course , the space striptease ones are the best though .
Terry laughs like a drain .
David:It’s still seems odd that with all the progress in space we still
don’t have many woman up there .
Frank:I like all the harmony there is in space .
The other three stare at him .
Frank:You know Russia , America , Japan and Australia all co-operating .
David:Am I hearing things ?
Terry:No he really did say it .
Mark :I know I was a triffle naive when I started but not that much .
Frank:I don’t care what you cynics say , I think it’s nice , it shows the
true human spirit .

Terry and David exchange looks .
Terry:Go on David you tell him .
David clears his throat before he speaks .
David:Many many years ago there was an accident at a Nuclear reactor ,
this was before fision and fast breeders were commonplace . The
place was called “Three Mile Island” in America , then a few years
later a real disaster occured at a placed called “Chernobil” in
Russia . I call it a disaster , nothing compared to when Sellafield
fell into the sea or when Minsk was wiped off the face of the earth.
or when Los Angeles just dissappeared .
Terry:The Americans didn’t mind about L.A. as they call it because as they
said at the time “We’ve Lost Aids” . As Aids was rampant in the city
then , the vaccine not being yet discovered .
David:To continue , these civil nuculear accidents showed the
Superpowers, as they were then called , what the world would look
like if they ever used their arsenals . So they decided to reduce to
10% of what they both once had . So they then had a surplus of
rocket fuel , so it was decided to head for Mars . It was of mutual
benefit and prestidge . The Russians spent the money saved not on
guns but on American grain so it worked out well for everybody .
Terry:The Japs always wanted to go into space but wanted a partner , so
when one night a drunken Australian P.M. said Australia would go
to the Moon and then beyond , while at a reception at the Japonese
Embassy , the Japs showed it on tv .
David:The P.M. couldn’t back down , so Australia and Japan joined forces .
Frank my boy , its got bugger all to do with harmony , it just plain
bloody sense , its cheaper than the arms race and once this planet
is finished , which will be in 200 years at the rate we’re going the
Yanks and the Russians want somewhere else to go . As for the Japs
its an adventure , and the Australians will do anything for a laugh.
Terry:It was the Australians who started the space striptease before the
tv companies bought some timeshare on a supplies vessel .
Frank:Your joking .
Terry:Staight up . An Aussie was in space , when they beat the West Indies
at cricket so he got pissed on Australian Champagne , as did his
female crew . It ended up in the first space striptease , and nine
months later two of the Japs gave birth . The Aussie and his two
wifes and children went to live on the statelite relay station on
the dark side of the moon .
Mark :I bet you’ve got tapes of that space first too . (DISGUSTED)
Terry:Of course , its antique footage worth a bit no doubt , but I
wouldn’t sell .
Mark :A true collector . (SARCASTICALLY)
On one screen an update of the trapped infant appears , Frank puts it on
the tannoy.
Reportor:Sadly it looks as if the trapped infant has given up his fight
for life , he’s made no sound for two hours now . The rescue will
continue but it looks as if there will be no rejoicing when it is
over.
On the monitor the picture move from the reporter back to the mother
clutching her child’s shoe .Frank lowers the volume , he sheds a silent
tear for the dead infant .
David:Well Terry it looks like dinner is on you .
Terry:You win some , you lose some .
Frank looks at them in disbelief , then he storms out .
Terry:What’s the matter with him .
David:He won’t last the week .
Mark :I better see if he’s ok .
Mark gets up and heads for the door . Terry shouts after him .
Terry:He’s got a girl friend already , you won’t get a look in .
David:It never ceases to amaze me how naive the youth of today are .
Terry:They’ve got no backbone at all .
On one screen an update of the chemical spillage at Sommerville .
David:It looks like the chemicals were much more toxic than first expected
Terry:They always lie when something happens .
David:They started flying the stuff in when locals blockaded the roads .
Terry:It’s progress no doubt .
Frank and Mark return , Frank has washed his face .
Mark :Did we miss anything ?
Terry:Not really , the chemical spillage is worst than they admitted .
David:But that’s par for the course , but who care’s anyway -its up North.
Mark :I suppose you are right .
Frank shakes his head in disgust .
Terry:Do you want to go double or quits ?
David:You mean for two dinners ?
Terry:Why not its been a boring day so far .
David:What’s the bet ?
Terry scans the screens .
Terry:I say they’ll be at least ten dead at Sommerville .
David:Your pushing your luck .
Terry:The weather report says its windy so they’ll be a wider spread .
David:Does this bet include deaths caused by panic as well or just direct
poisoning .
Terry:Well I thought you’d give me a chance and include the indirects too
David:I’m a fool to myself but you’re on ,it has been a slow day after all.
Mark :Cann’t you to give it a rest , you can see the boy is upset .
David:Dear me , you’re not going soft on us are you , after all this time
Mark :Let’s just say I have some tact .
Terry:Bollocks .
David:Don’t say that word you’ll excite him . (DRYLY)
Terry:You’re right there .
Mark turns his back on them in disgust
David:So the bet is on . I’ll put it on all the screens , there should be
two or three crews up there .
The screens now all show Sommerville with a poison cloud over it .
Frank looks at the pictures with a heavy heart .
Terry:Look there’s an ambulance .

David puts the volume on tannoy for that picture .
Reporter:Here at “The Haywaine” there has been an unfortunate death .An
aged couple hearing of the alert tried to leave their cottage ,
sadly the man , a Mr John Demkin , while helping his wife
downstairs tripped and broke his neck , his wife also fell
breaking her pelvis . She was still alive when discover by a
policeman who had come to help evacuate them . She died of shock
shortly after hearing that her husband of sixty years was dead .
Terry:Two down eight to go .
David:Sixty years married , you only get thirty years for mass murder .
Mark :I think its sweet being married for sixty years .
Frank:I know them . (HE SAYS QUIETLY)
Terry:Not any more .
Frank is in shock now , he hasn’t got the strength to answer back
David:It looks like the usual story , pretend there is no emergency , then
admit there is a slight problem .
Terry:Then say the problem is just a little worse than anticipated , but
still no cause for alarm .
David:Then before the ink has dried on the press release its bingo .
Terry:Total disaster .
David:And where did we leave the emergency plans , does the kit still
work ?
Terry:There is a silver lining – it makes great tv .
David:Always . (HE’S GETTING BORED NOW)
Mark :I just heard on a radio feed the Cambleforth Crusher has been caught
Terry:Was I right , was he a wrester ?
Mark :No but , he was in an American football team . Only he got kicked
out when the trainer found him with his wife , the woman set him up
just to annoy her husband .
Terry:Don’t tell me all his victims look like the trainer and his wife .
Mark :Yes . You always spoil the fun , you should have let me spin it out.
Terry:I would normally , as you are so good at spinning things out , but I
am only interested in this poison cloud for the moment .
Mark :You really like the way I tell things . (HE IS FLATTERED)
Terry:Of course . (OFF HANDEDLY , HE IS CONCENTRATING ON THE SCREENS)
David:You do brighten the day for us , everything is oh so predictable .
Mark is really flattered , he is beaming with pride . We look at them in
turn . Mark his ego boasted , David bored , Terry on edge over the bet ,
Frank in the depths of sorrow . Old George comes in with coffee and a pile
of food for Terry .
George:How’s things ?
David:Terry is afraid he’ll have to stand me two dinners .
George passes out the coffee and leaves the tray by Terry . Frank awakes
slightly from his torpor , he picks up his coffee and sips it .
George:You betting on the poisoning ?
Terry:Only another eight deaths then its David who will be buying the
dinner . An old couple have died already .
Mark:They are playing double or quits .
George:It looks bad . What’s the matter with the boy .
Mark:All this is too much for him , he knew the people who died too .
George:Oh .
George goes over to Frank , he gives him a reasuring pat on the back ,
then before turning to leave he looks from Mark to David and Terry then
back to Frank , then to the screens , reporters jostling to film the
bodies of the old people being put in the ambulance . George looks at his
pocket watch then leaves the room , still clutching the watch .
David:What’s this .
On the screens a police car has hit another car . Both are mangled .

Terry:They look dead , the bodies haven’t been moved yet .
David:That’s another three dead .
Terry:No another four , look there’s a toddler in the back .
The reporter on the screen speaks .
Reporter:We came across this scene while on our way to a local hospital.
The camera moves around the scene , we see all the dead clearly .
Reporter:There is nothing we can do for them , so we’ll carry on to the
hospital .

We see Terry smiling now .
Terry:That’s six then , it looks like dinner will be on you . As I’m
feeling generous instead of two dinners for me on two nights I’ll
let Mark come with us
Mark:That’s good of you but I may be doing something else tonight .
David:Not washing your hair ? (QUIETLY)
Mark:Pardon ?
David:You’re not wasting a change to eat at my expense ?
Mark:Oh all right then I’ll come .
Mark picks up the phone and a hurried conversation ensues , before
slightly flustered he puts it down .
Mark:It’s all settled I’ll be going out with you two .
Mark tidies the phone and edges it away . David and Terry exchange smiles.
Terry:That’s so long as another four die .
Mark:I almost forgot that .
David:It looks like the reporting teams are all heading for the hospital.
Terry:Deathbed gasps and hands clutched in love as one “half” dies .
Mark:Those things still bring a tear to my eye .
On the screens we see three victims swathed in bandages and tubes .
Reporter:These three men were at the chemical company when calamity came .
David:Sometimes I wish they’d cut the alliteration , it sounds as it he is
describing an old John Wayne film – “Calamity Came” .
Terry:That’s quite good that “Calamity Came”
Mark:Look , I think those three are going to die .
The three watch as the screens show the men in their final death throes .
The reporter is moving forward looking for an exclusive interview when the
worker literally dies on him . The reporter is seen mouthing “Oh shit” in
his disappointment . So the reporter does not try to interview the other
two . He switches to an oration .
Reporter:As we stand here behind me these brave men fight their last brave
fight . The struggle for life itself , but it is all in vein , we
can hear them gasping for breath , choking for air , clutching
the hands of the nurses in one last desperate act of gratitude .
We look back at David and the others again .
David:Well that is nine , one more and the dinner is on me .
Terry:That reporter should go into politics he is so corny .
Mark:It’s true what you say but I still find it touching .
They notice Frank still clutching his coffee , he is at breaking point ,he
is glaring at the screens .
David:You can leave if you want to Frank.
No reply from Frank .
David:You can leave now if you like Frank .
Terry:Yes go , you just aren’t suited for this .
Mark:It’s not everybody’s cup of tea .
Frank:Perhaps I should .
George comes in at that moment .
George:The old man wants to know if you lot are on strike ?
David:We’ll be back to normal soon .
Terry:As soon as I win my bet .
There is a rush of activity on the screens , a body is rushed in on a
stretcher .
Terry:Looks like number ten and dinner is served .
Reporter:This young girl crashed her car when she swerved to avoid an
ambulance . It does not look good .
The nurses on screen cut away the clothes of the girl and a heart shock
machine is wheeled forward . We hear Terry say “God what a body , what a
waste” . We see the face now .
Frank:Jane ! Jane ! Jane ! (SCREAMING)
David:What’s the matter with him ?
Mark:It cann’t be his girlfriend he said she wasn’t there .
One the screen we see the doctor applying the shock , the girl’s body
flinches . We see Frank again .
Frank:Jane ! Jane ! Jane !
Terry:I think it is his girlfriend . What a waste , what a body . At
least I get dinner .
Frank jumps up and begins to throttle Terry , on the screens behind
another shock is given to the girl . The body of the girl jumps , then the
doctor listens for a pulse . Frank stops to look . As he loosens his grip
on Terry he sees the doctor shake his head . The girl must be dead .
Frank:No , No , No Oh God No .
Frank moves forward and touches the face of Jane on the screen . As he
strokes her hair on the screen a sheet is slowly brought over her face .
Frank screams “You Bastards” and punches one of the monitors.
There is a loud bang and flash , everything disappears .
We are now outside and two maintenance men are forcing the door open .
1st Man:The breakers tripped out , all the teams are screaming blue murder
all the satellite feeds have gone dead .
They open the door to the room David and Co were in . Only it is covered
in cobwebs , as the maintenance men enter a dove flies out .
On the desk are three Toby jugs each has a face , David , Terry and Mark
to one side is a cracked statue of an angel . The men move to a breaker
switch , before they get to it the lights come on . They hear a loud
chuckling . Outside in the corridor is George , it is him who is chuckling
He is looking at his pocket watch . We see it clearly there is a cross on
the chain , and a Star of David and a little Budda and a little sword .
The face of the pocket watch has Father Time on it . The maintenance men
look after George they are about to question him when he disappears as he
walks down the corridor . We hear news reports from offices down the
corridors . All is good news .

The End

 

 

Dressing Gown Writer

Looking at My Profile

19/07/2016

Looking at My Profile ©
By Michael Casey

If you find my Elevator Ad on the Internet, https://butcherbakerundertaker.blogspot.co.uk   is a good place to look or even at https://michaelgcasey.wordpress.com then you’ll be able to read a bit about me. And yes the bit about the Chinese Ballerina from the Birmingham Royal Ballet vetting me is true.
Ballet dancers seem to have played a role in my life. From being introduced to the Ballet by a friend at work, she knows who she is so I won’t embarrass her. I even met a Russian ballerina in a bar in Barcelona, I tried chatting her up, it was only the next day that she danced across the stage towards me and the audience, she and her beautiful hair and broken nose, though the previous night she said she was a student in a perfect American accent.

Speaking of accents http://www.michaelgcasey.typepad.com is where you can hear my posh Birmingham accent. I have 50 audio there, I would like to use some of my 775 stories to teach English via laughter. A story then a facing page translation plus my audio. That’s the plan, so George and Dave now that you have a bit of time on your hands why not be my backers? You can share 30% of the profits and I keep 70%.
Now I always attach a stupid picture of myself to a story, as there is nothing more pretentious than the head on chin pose. That pose should only be in a kebab shop, the sheep’s head or a pig’s head perfectly posed. Though the Thinker pose is acceptable, as it encourages people to play Twister.

We have a photo somewhere of my brother at Queens doing that pose. Queens as in Oxford, not the straight pub in the gay quarter in Birmingham where I was vetted by the Ballerina, just so you know. We also have a photo of my other brother trying to row on the Cam, he never made it for the boat race, though he was at Downing, never made it to that street either.

So what of me? What you see is what you get, I am the Birmingham Boris Johnson after all. Wait till Christmas, and you’ll hear Boris say “who do you think I am the Michael Casey of Westminster?”

I have been a computer operator, life insurance underwriter non-medical, march assessor, trainee betting shop manager, print room worker for Pinsent Masons, I thought I’d name drop like Andrew does on Sky Press Preview. Concierge and 10 other role simultaneously at CPNEC Birmingham, this was the job of my life, but very very tiring. And I was even an English teacher, English as a 2nd language at an Islamic school.

In parallel to this I started writing 30 years ago. Before I took up a pen I listened to BBC Radio 4 for 20 years, constantly. So that’s why I try and write for ears, and if you add 20 and 30 together that makes 50, so you know I’m over 50, though I always say I’m 28 when girls swoon. Ok when 89 year old women ask me to reach for something for them in Aldi.

By the way I got two excellents and an exemplary for my Teaching on my external assessment, so there you go, that’s why now years later I’m thinking my stuff could be marketed in groups of 40 stories to help teach English as a foreign language. By the way the wife is a Shanghai girl and we have 2 bilingual daughters. Even Totoro the cat is bilingual.

What else should I put on my profile? Yes I inherited my mother’s Arthritis, or Arthur as I call it. I was lucky I only got it 3 years ago. Thank God though I was able to buy Deep Heat in Malta, saved the holiday. When I’m rich I’ll go back, but I’d try the Hilton, though if you are reading this Paris, I accept freebies.

2015 was turning point in my life. I had an unplanned bypass. My girls were begging for a pet so I literally said “If I die you can have a dog, and if I have a heart attack you can have a cat.” So they both went immediately online looking at pets. This would have been pre-Christmas 2014, just a couple of weeks. 3rd Jan 2015, with the Christmas decorations up I was in City Hospital Birmingham , or Dudley Road as it used to be called. I was in the bed closest to the office, which was right by where my dad was when he escaped death 20 years ago. He was given a week to live, but in the end he lasted 5.5 more years.

So the heart crew told me they were keeping me in and I’d need a bypass. From having no problems at all, then a tickle to a full bypass operation. I was reading Don Camillo, the Italian professor was impressed by that. I told them not to tell me anything but just to go ahead. So there you go, you could have all been saved from reading my stuff. It turned out to be 4 grafts, a quadruple bypass, not a triple as anticipated.
Now its 18 months later and I still get pain as well as Arthur joining in, then just for fun the occasional stab in the chest, which is not heart pain, I suppose we could call it a Michael Gove pain. So I have Arthur and Michael playing with my body. Yes other pains are available and lots of people are stoic about their pain.

If ever I did make my fortune like Dick Whittington then I really would set up the Birmingham Pain Centre. I can see the irony in the title, I would prefer the Don Camillo Centre but copyright would prevent it, and people would think it was a pizza place.

What else show I put in my profile? I’m 5’ 10” or 178cm with 46 inch chest and I’m 17.5 stones which is about 110 kilo. I did lose 10kilos after my op which is about 21lbs but after a year of monastic diet I got bored with that. So these past 6 months I put the weight back, but I’ll try and lose some again. I look 20 kilos lighter than I really am, but if I stand on your foot you’ll know about it. And yes the bit everybody is jealous of, my hair really is silver, though ckd may be the cause, and no ckd is not a perfume by Calvin Klein, though I do like that one, so Paris put some in my room at the Malta Hilton.

That’s your lot, don’t bother clicking on Telegraph Profile this is the most accurate one 19/July/2016

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What do you mean?

18/07/2016

What do you mean? ©
By Michael Casey

So how did it go? She came straight towards you and bent down and kissed you. Which cheek, the left or the right? The left, you were lucky, the right cheek is the Judas cheek, means she’s going to stab you in the back, or call Security and have you escorted out the building, with just a Banker’s Box in your hands with all your odds and ends inside.

So how did it go, what else happened, did she kiss you again? She straightened your tie. No it’s not a sexual thing, she just likes everything to be exact, to be perfect. Then she brushed the dandruff off your shoulders. She really really does like you.
What questions did she ask? Do you think you could do my job? That’s a heart attack of a question. So what did you say? You said what? That of course you could do her job, because you have worked under her for 5 years. So if you couldn’t stand in for her then you’d be a moron, and she would have missed a trick, but as she never misses anything, especially the dandruff on your shoulders.

She laughed, and then came towards you and straightened your tie again, then she reached into her desk drawer and brought out a clothes brush. Then slowly ever so slowly she brushed your suit. It wasn’t the brush off was it? No, she actually likes you, said you show potential. How did she say Potential, was it snappily, or did she ooze out the words. It’s so hard to know what she actually means, she has a PhD in English and Law, a word never means what it says with her.

Then she made you coffee, she actually made you coffee, I would have fainted if she made coffee for me. And she gave you brown sugar in it, God she’s never done that for me and I’ve been here 20 years. I’m sure brown sugar is a metaphor for something, not unless she a closet Rolling Stones fan. Then she discussed, actually discussed the future of the department with you.
My head is spinning what does this all mean, she’s been so open with you, I’ve been here 20 years and I’ve never had a coffee with her, let alone coffee with brown sugar, what can it all mean, I just can’t process so much information. I’ll have to sit down and have a think about it all.

Then she actually talked about holidays, about her and her husband. I need a cigarette what can this all mean? You will tell me what it all means, we were at school together, Eton and all that. So can I come to your office and you’ll explain face to face.
Sorry I’m panting, I ran all along the corridors, I’ve got ringing in my ears now. Oh it’s only the division bells. So what does it all mean? Do I want to sit down, I think I will all this running has worn me out.

She told you that you were being promoted, and the mark of a manager is that he must be strong and supple at the same. And be able to sack somebody without it hurting your feelings. So why are you telling me this? Michael Casey you are fired, there is no place for you in her team, because, no reason required.

Kiss me Baby

It must be True I heard it on the Radio

17/07/2016

It must be True I heard it on the Radio©

By Michael Casey

And now on Radio4 , It must be True I heard it on the Radio, advertising yes you heard me advertising on the BBC, a documentary.

Can you raise the volume I’d like to hear that said a glum looking customer.  Yes please can you raise the volume, it might cheer him up.

Legal, Decent, Honest, Truthful is what they say ads must be, or they can be taken down. Here are some examples:-

Peter’s Pizza will give you spots to die for, eat our pizza and you’ll never go back to your old pizza parlour, and ours will warm you on a cold winter’s night, because you’ll be farting fire all night long. So remember not to have a fag till the morning.

This advert would be pulled because smoking is such a bad thing and is not advertised any more. Not forgetting that Americans don’t know that fag is the English word for cigarette. Two peoples divided by a common language.

Don’t leave it till you die, pay for your funeral ahead of time, because your relatives hate you and would leave you in the fridge for six months, where you’d catch pneumonia  if you weren’t already dead. Then after six months a pauper’s funeral. So book early to disappoint them, prepay your funeral and tell them they’ll inherit everything. In fact only the undertaker gets a penny, they get a cheap prawn sandwich and a sherry.

This advert would be pulled, because it could upset people by using the word die, pass on or move to the afterlife are acceptable. This person is no more, is deceased and other Monty Python Dead Parrot like words are not allowed.

Lush pushup bra, will drive your husband wild, he’ll give you the pin number to his credit card, and he’ll be a better husband, he’ll drool like a dog.

Now obviously that advert would be pulled, because though it is totally truthful, the RSPCA would complain about the use of dogs in advertising, this is England after all.

Get rid of your glasses, see like a hawk, see long distances once more, look up and see the sun, 93million miles away, look to the stars at night, and know it’s not headlights in the distance. Lie back and think of England while Des’s Eye Restorer gives you the sight you deserve. Be a sight for sore eyes again, throw away those horn rimmed glasses and be the woman you want to be once more.

This advert would be pulled because it encourages littering, throw away cannot be used in adverts. Des is just such a naff name it should be banned. Lie back and think of England is a banned sentence too, as Britain has to be used as it’s much more inclusive.

Come to Birmingham and

I’ve been prevented from saying more, though Come to Birmingham and  followed by sound effects could be a trendy advert, let the sound of fun do the talking. Hang on I’m going to copyright that idea.

Fred Pots plants for all your flower needs, though Fred’s Pot would mean something else entirely, I did wonder why there were 7 police vans outside  his florists, I thought they were buying flowers from their favourite Police and Crime Commissioner.

Radio IS more fun I hope we’d given you some food for thought, which reminds me I have to buy some plant food for my aspidistra, is Fred’s Pot still open. Buy, I mean bye from BBC Radio 4.

Well George has that cheered you up, or made you laugh at any rate? You just have too much time on your hands now. You could audition for a band, The Cross Parties are looking for a drummer. You have to do a bit of wallpapering at your new gaff, I thought we both did enough gaffes. Well I have to be going, the misses wants me to do some modelling for her new catalogue, do you like this mac? I have to pose in 200 items in 3 hours. I never knew posing was such hard work. Bye George.

Same time next week for a coffee? Sure, but bring some money, you always say you left your wallet under the wife’s side of the mattress.

Bye Dave.

p.s.George and Dave could be the next Derek and Clive, I thought of it 1st, maybe on Children in Need

 

 

Craft Works

16/07/2016

Craft Works ©

By Michael Casey

Well the school year is almost over, so the school reports have arrived, the girls’ school posts them out, so there is no fear of them being “lost” not that the girls would need to lose them. As its also end of school year any craft objects come home to decorate our house.

My small daughter has produced a wind chime so I have to find a place to hang it, as it’s quite heavy it cannot be attached to the light pull in my room or in the bathroom. So it’s relegated to the metal post that holds up one end of our washing line. The pigeons will be the art and craft critics, awarding one, two or several white marks to the device. Though the local cats might attack the pigeons first, before any artistic grading or scoring can be given.

They use laser guided design tools or some such thing at school. When I was at school 40 years ago we had a ruler and a pencil, and maybe a fretsaw. So what the girls use is very high tech. One of my brothers was a bit of a carpenter at school, perhaps he should have been christened Joseph.

As for me I was total rubbish. You make a 12 inch pencil case in 1st year, they call it Year 7 now, just to confuse parents like me. My pencil case ended up as an 8 inch one, why? Because I got the ½ joints wrong and had to trim my wood, twice in fact. So my pencil case shrunk. Mr Ely was both the woodwork teacher and PE teacher, he was very tall. I remember that fact for once on the rugby field I was able to throw him out my way, I was as strong as a man when I was 12.

My woodwork skills were just rubbish, but I tried my best, and made a football rattle out of wood. It’s upstairs in the rubbish room underneath all the junk. Nowadays it would be classed as an offensive weapon and the Police would never allow it into a football stadium.

We also did metalwork at school, and having a Blacksmith father did not help, I was rubbish at that too. We made ornaments of plastic with 3 pieces of twisted metal planted inside like trees. Only mine got warped and arthritic, I was not proud of my efforts at craft. I remember I took it home and installed it on top of the air raid shelter, it stayed there until it rusted, then we just binned it.

So the final craft subject was Art, I think the teacher was called Mr Boulton, same name as the kid in front of me in class. No we didn’t tease him about being the son of the Art teacher. And yes I cannot draw or paint or anything. We were going to carve a piece from chalk, so I drew an outline of Coffee our dog on a square of chalk we had created from powder and the we were supposed to carve it. Needless to say, if I was making instant coffee I would have had more success and at least I’d enjoy the drink.

All I can remember is taking a lump of chalk home, which we gave to my little sister to draw with on our back yard. Mr Boulton also had a few mens magazines for the A level students to look at, we stumbled over them and were told to leave them alone, despite this I never wanted to do A level Art. I did one year and that was it.

So with this lack of ability what of the next generation? Both my daughters are great artists, drawing like professionals. My brother could draw too, he used to do cartoons by drawing on the edges of books, so you flick the book and the cartoons come to life. My wife can do calligraphy, in Chinese characters, so the Shanghai side has saved them. That and the fact that we were strict parents, no video games nor such toys when they were small, all we gave them was crayons, hundreds and hundreds of crayons and pencils. Ten years of that makes for good draughtsmanship.

So now I have to shave and so forth, SSS as it’s called if you can work out that crossword clue. Then I’m off to Aldi for my daily shop and my daily walk, if my priest is right I’m now halfway through my recovery period, post quadruple bypass, it was supposed to be a triple but six months later I discovered I had four grafts. Ah well, at least I’m still here amusing you all, and that I suppose is my only craft, I am a writer, I cannot do anything else, though I hope I’m a good dad.

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As I look out my Window

15/07/2016

As I look out my window ©

By Michael Casey

As I look out my window I try and decide what to write about today, I can write about what I’ve seen on the news, or what I see out the window, or just from the window in my mind. I may write parody, like I did the past 2 days, or I may write from life, from our Shanghai/ Birmingham family, not forgetting Totoro our cat. I don’t know what I’ll write each day, it may be minutes or even moments before I know what I’ll put on the page. I just hope it’s interesting and amuses. I have been writing a long time now so I hope the quality stays high.

Now a few minutes ago 2 Polish men walked up the road carrying a bed, or the top of the pine bed frame at least. Are they moving house at this time of night? It’s nearly 9pm now. Or is one man giving away the bed to another man? Now because I’ve just seen that I could write 2 pages about beds, there is so much in the soup that I can just about write about anything at the drop of the hat.

The soup by the way is my life experience, so I just ladle out a story just like a school dinner lady, though obviously I am much more attractive if I were in drag, David Walliams is a dear dear friend. So as I write the story I add the meat and two potatoes, and a dollop of gravy splashing over the plate and onto the tray and even onto your school uniform. I may or may not add pudding, it’s not up to me, it’s up to the story, if the story is very funny it’s because the story is funny, or does that sound too pretentious.

I’m listening to Celine Dion right now as I talk to you, she’s good. But she’s also sad, because the night my mother died her song was on the radio, You Lifted Me Up etc, so that song has a family connection to us, forever. So you can see how words and events have such power, they can control us and we not them. I enjoy not knowing what will happen with my story, will it turn right or left, will it go around in circles. I just hope it’s always interesting.

Now Totoro our cat jumps up the back of my chair, she’s a literary critic, she wants a cuddle before I’m allowed to carry on. The trouble with giving your cat or wife a cuddle is that you forget your place with the story. You can run out of steam in mid-sentence, so you have to end the story abruptly. Having music on can have the same effect, Celine Dion is singing I remember L.A. I haven’t heard it in ages, so I want to stop and listen so the story suffers. However as I’m explaining the mechanics of story writing its ok, now I’m being nagged to go out to collect a Chinese takeaway, and the kids have come back from choir practice. They are telling me about a cute cat they spotted on their slow Summer evening walk back from choir.

Ok, I’ve just been up the road to New Peking, takeaways haven’t changed to Beijing yet, I’m still the take away fetcher. I get none either, my pigs say it’s for the good of my health, 18 months since my quadruple heart bypass and they’ll use any excuse not to share any nice food with me.

My big daughter is happy tonight, her braces are off after over a year, so now she has a plastic retainer over her now perfect teeth. I told her she looked like a rugby player with a gum shield, or a boxer. So she smiled back at me, and now she can smile. I did tell her we still have 1000s of photos of her with her gap teeth and I’d have posters blown up on the walls on her wedding day. Though some days due to all the pain I get I wonder will I live that long.

Noises off, Totoro’s two bells ring as she tries to get some noodle left overs, she is of course bilingual, so you cannot fool her. As for me I’m back at the computer trying to explain things to you all. Perhaps I should have called this piece Explaining, that rings a bell and not just Totoro’s bells, is it a Clapton song? And yes I did meet him once but I told you that before.

So on the story goes and it should have a structure, it should not ramble, but so long as the rambling is interesting does it matter? Then the end by tradition does complete the circle. And they all lived happily ever after. In our case, my pigs have finished the noodles and Totoro got to lick the container clean, as for me I got nothing, for the sake of my health.

Now as its nearly 10pm and I may watch the news or we may all watch a film together I have to finish for the night. At this point I read back the story and listen to it in totality for the 1st time, then I’ll give myself marks out of ten, and sometimes I’m really pleased where the story has led me, I don’t lead the story. On other occasions the meal I’ve prepared is not as tasty for me or for you, I can only use the ingredients in the back of the fridge, in my mind, in my soup. But then again there’s always tomorrow.

 

 

****** Thank you Mauritius and China for reading my stories, if you are an angel investor in China please email me, or then again you may think I’m a farmer.                    Me Easter 2014

Baubles for Children

14/07/2016

Baubles for Children ©

By Michael Casey

Well I’ve really enjoyed watching the Politics here in England, in another life maybe I’d be a Political Journalist, my wife’s uncle was a Political Editor, anyway I’ll not bore you too much with Politics. Though I will say I AM the Birmingham Boris Johnson. The other comparison doing the rounds is where Prince Hal from Henry IV Parts One and Two becomes a true King in Henry V and that’s how Boris will emerge, I hope it’s true as the country needs to show its balls now. If it does work out, it really could be a renaissance for us all. I actually studied Henry IV Part One 40 years ago as part of my English Literature exam.

Now to today’s theme, baubles for children, teachers are really wicked when it comes to children. Yes this is such an important job, I want you to collect up all the pencils and put them in the pencil box, it’s such an important job, and don’t forget to put the lid on or the pencils will try to escape. Oh Cameron, you are such a clever little boy, one day you’ll be Prime Minister, you dad Tarquin would be so proud of you. And how is his new milk round going, he has a new float and its even faster than the old one, and now he sells potatoes and bread too, not just milk. Cameron you know you are my favourite, but don’t tell the rest of the class.

George, George can you stop shaking the moneybox, we are saving that money to send to poor people, I know you were only trying to guess how much money there was by the sound.  What, you want to be a drummer when you grow up, and you could use the money box as a groovy sound thing. You are such a clever boy George, I should introduce you to my cousin Ringo, he’s in a band called Worms, or some other insect. He can give you advice on how to make lots of noise. Yes you could fill the dustbin full of coca cola bottles and then roll it around the playground.  And you’d charge the rest of the school a penny a go, or they could pay in sweets. George you are such a clever boy, one day you’ll be a payday loan person, or a bailiff if you drank all your milk and ate your free school dinners. Look how big Clegg is now, I know he steals the slops and drinks all the dregs of milk. But he says it’s a liberal thing to do, and he is saving the environment, though it does make him fart fire. One day Cleg will be a central heating engineer, he told me so, it’s nice to have an ambition.

Now Theresa can you collect up all the needles and pins and the safety scissors, you are such a clever girl, always praying. Can you stop gluing sequins to your shoes, I don’t think it’s fashionable at all. And what did you do to the toy leopard, you glued him to your wellies. Theresa you are such a naughty girl, but I do like your inventiveness, you can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. What? One day you’ll be Prime Minister, and you’ll need to make silk purses from sows’ ears. 

Where did all these flowers come from? What for me, you are all such kind children, I don’t deserve you. I think of you as my own children, I never married you know, I did have offers, plenty, well two, but it was just a flash in the pan. These flowers are just so lovely, where did they come from? You stole them from the cemetery behind the school playing field. You didn’t get them from the cemetery, where did you get them from Michael Casey, your aunty broke up from her boyfriend, and he sent loads of flowers to say sorry, but your aunty said you could have them. Because she has another bloke now, a big Polish lad from the chip shop.

I suppose I may as well keep all these flowers.

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Moving Out Day 13th July 2016

13/07/2016

Moving Out Day 13th July 2016 ©
By Michael Casey

Where’s my socks? 2nd drawer down on the left, in my dressing room. Thanks, and where are my shoes? My shoe will be up your arse if you don’t calm down.

Sorry Babes, it’s just that with will we or won’t we and then finally it does happen, it’s all so sudden, I’m confused, I cannot think straight. You are definitely straight that’s why we have 5 children, you were the only straight man at Uni, that’s why I had to grab you fast.
You took my flower in the stationary cupboard if memory serves, I gave you my flower too. We all thought you were a sl-, if you finish that sentence I’ll give you a slap. But it was for the best, how many beds have we broken with our passion? Seven, the magnificent seven. It must me love, or lust. In future we must buy a bed from Ikea, or use reinforced concrete.

Where’s my collection of rubbers? I put them in an old shoebox marked RUBBERS in felt tip on the outside. I’ve worked in so many departments I just got into the habit of collecting rubbers. Isn’t that an American word for for Erasers, or is it the other way around? Tim, just put your pants on we only have a few hours before the new owner moves in. Couldn’t we just have one last parting shot? Where? Well they haven’t lifted the shag pile rug in your study.

So Tim and Louise had a parting shot on the floor, but what they’d forgot was that the movers had moved the curtains and blinds, so their performance was in full view of the movers and everybody else walking past.

Did you pack my collection of old Radio Times magazines? Yes, in boxes 20 to 55, with RT marked on the top. And did you send Tiddles to your sister’s until after the move. No, that was your job. No I remember I told you to do it. Let’s not argue, and while we are about it, can you just put your pants back on, I can’t argue with that thing in front of me. Am I too sexy for my pants? Just like Right Said Fred? No you just remind me to buy some onions, we’re having stew at the new house.

Why is that box jumping over there, I hope it’s not a rat. You go on and protect me. Stupid, its Tiddles she loves hiding in boxes, the movers must have taped her inside, they are so incredibly fast. Don’t tell the RSPCA or we’ll never hear the end of it.
Where are the kids? They are at the new house already with my sister, setting up the wifi and the tv. Do you think they could live for a second without wifi? No, and I couldn’t live without you. Stop it we’ve done the farewell thing already. Don’t look sad, we can do the Hello to new house thing tonight. Will all the furniture be ready? Yes I paid the movers a little extra to do everything for us. Besides I said Boris and Michael my cousins would have words with them if they didn’t pull their fingers out, or they would pull their fingers out. I like Boris and Michael, how is their butchers shop doing now?

Shall we have a final look around before we go? I won’t miss the place, too noisy, all that drumming from the house next door, and all those argument between the neighbours, open the bleeding gate, you could have just left it open for me. That’s the trouble with party entrances and exits, no curtesy between neighbours. Not to mention all those expensive cars parked all over the place, I’m sure they must be car thieves, or something.

Well goodbye no.10 we’ll never see you again, what about those old glittery shoes in the corner. Leave them, perhaps Mrs Nott the new owner might use them in the garden at the back.

 

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