Conspiracy?

 

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It was 2003 I was in New York with seven Americans having dinner. The restaurant was great, so was the food the conversation was flowing, until I asked if anyone thought the attack on the twin towers was an inside job.

Knives and forks were put down, tumbleweed bounced across the table, the air became tense. A woman sitting opposite me spluttered, our government would never do such a thing.

Well, I wonder, and now fifteen years later so do many other people.

9/11, Sandy Hook, Boston bombing, the Kennedy assassination and several more including incidents here in England all don’t quite add up when you take a closer look.

My problem is I no longer trust or believe a word I am told by anyone with a modicum of power. While others are quite happy to believe anything.

The table never recovered that night and I was never invited back.

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Words & Pictures

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Brian
One week after accepting a random friends request from Kelly 321 he was putty in her hands.

I met a double glazing salesman who told me success in his game was all down to numbers. Knock on one hundred doors, three will be interested and one will buy.

My feeling is that this scam works on the same principle and just imagine how many “doors” they can knock on.

It works as well.

I knew a woman who met a man through a FB friendship page. He said he wrote books, he said he lived in Canada, he told her, her skin looked as soft as a mouses ear. She fell hook line and sinker for his daily onslaught of attention.

Then

One day he e-mailed her. His daughter needed an operation. Gasp! He needed $4,000 Gasp! Could she help? Gasp!

As it happened she couldn’t because she was skint. She would have helped though. Guess what? When no money was forthcoming the relationship fizzled.

One more.

I was talking to a man. Not a friend of a friend this was the guy. He told me he met a woman online. She was a lot younger and lived in Thailand. Nevertheless, they fell in love. He went out there and they were married. He then brought his beautiful wife back home to England.

Not long after arriving she cleared the bank account out and disappeared back to wherever. She was gone and so was all the money.

That’s not the end of it though.

A year later she telephoned him. She was sooooooo sorry. She wanted to come home, could he send £2,000 pounds so she could settle things where she was and buy an aeroplane ticket?

He sent the money and 18months later he’s still waiting for the plane to arrive.

Friendships online can be wonderful and I dare say, we have all met someone who we like a bit more than we should. I know I have and I dare say if she ever needed help I would help.

Powerful things, words and pictures aren’t they?

Flying Monkey V Human Being?

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God created heaven and earth. Then along with his team, let’s face it he couldn’t have done it all on his own, had fun filling Earth with all manner of plants, trees flowers, seas, lakes, and ponds.

It wasn’t enough though. They tried dinosaurs that didn’t work. What they needed was an assortment of creatures from bugs to Elephants to populate the world.

Presenting to God

God. What you got?

Angel. It,s a giraffe boss

God. What does it do?

Angel. Its fourteen feet tall and eats the tops of trees

God. Great, we need topiary, Next!

Angel. It’s an Octopus.

God. Sounds interesting, what does it do?

Angel. Not a lot

God. Hmmmmm

Angel. It’s got eight legs

God. Love it get them into production. Next!

Angel. It’s a snake

God. We got loads of snakes

Angel. Not like this one it wraps, it’s body around the victim and squeezes the
life out of it. Then it swallows it whole.

God. Sounds like just what the world needs. Next!

Angel. It’s a Flying Monkey

God. What does it do?

Angel. Well nothing really it just flies around and looks cute

God. Take the wings off and give it a prehensile tail and you might be in
business. Next!

Angel. Its a human being. I have them in two sexes, male and female

God. What do they do?

Angel. Well for a start they worship you, they fight with each other, they have wars bombing the shit out of each other causing mayhem. They leave a trail of destruction wherever they go. They’re never content, they are high maintenance. They create tonnes of rubbish, pollute the land, the rivers, and the sea. They’ll eat any other creature on earth. They are basically self-centered egotistic maniacs who are very good at pretending not to be. What you think?

God. They sound dangerous. You sure they will worship me?

Angel. Sure boss

God. I’ll take one of each they’ll make nice ornaments in the garden of Eden.

Now be honest, don’t you wish he’d picked the Flying Monkeys

The Curse

The Curse

I had a few minutes spare on Friday so, on the spur of the moment, I decided to message a lady I had met this time last year. She’s is a lawyer and when I met her she was just about to take a year off to write a book.  A who done it type of thing.

I think messaging rather than ringing allows this type of contact. It leaves it open for the recipient to reply or not with no hard feelings either way. We had talked about my interest in writing so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise for her to hear from me. I asked if the book was finished and if it was where could I buy it. She responded straight away thanking me for my interest and telling me she couldn’t say anything just now but may have some good news in four weeks time.

I sent a thumbs up and got on with my day. Almost immediately she sent another message asking if I was free for an hour around teatime on Saturday. I said I was then asked how can I help? I always do it that way around it gets on my wick when you ask someone for help and that ask what it is you want help with before saying yea or nay.

She said her daughter was now based in Chester and she wanted to rent out her apartment up here. Could I help by picking up a couple of boxes of personal things from the property? I said sure and we arranged for me to pick her up from her house at 03.30pm.

I arrived on time and while I was still admiring her front door it opened and she stepped out wearing a pink cowl neck sweater, jeans, and pink trainers. I leaned across and opened the passenger door exchanging Hi’s nice to see you as I did so. She settled in the passenger seat holding a bunch of keys up and said as if to reassure us both this wasn’t going to be a wasted journey, I have the keys.

Brilliant, and as I pulled out of the drive I added, just tell me where to go. Turn left, then pull up onto the highway I’ll guide you from there. As we drove along in the autumn sunshine she slipped her sunglasses on and told me how they had just been let down by a potential tenant. We thought the place was let, it turned out they had been telling a pack of lies about who they were and where they worked.

I said It’s a good job you found them out before they got in I think people like that know that most people are like sheep who take everything at face value. I watched a thing the other day on Youtube where they did an experiment to demonstrate just how easily led we are.

Ten people were set up in a waiting room. A girl who wasn’t in on it comes in and sits down. Soon after, a buzzer goes off and everyone stands for a few seconds then sits back down. The girl looks puzzled. By the time the buzzer had gone off three times, she was standing up and sitting down with the rest.

Slowly people are called out of the room until the girl is in there by herself. The buzzer goes off and guess what? My friend sitting next to me says, she stands up. I half turned my head towards her and said, correct.

A man comes in, he’s not in on it either he sits down and picks up a magazine. The buzzer goes, the girl, and again my friend finishes the sentence, she stands up. I continue, the buzzer goes again, and again she joins in with, they both stand up!

At this point, my friend reaches up and pitches the top of her nose with her left hand pushing her sunglasses up onto her brow and with her right she grabs my forearm which is resting on the steering wheel. I was just about to say, I need that arm to drive the car when she bursts out laughing. That’s hilarious she says, you haven’t changed a bit. Then she howled with laughter in between the howls she asked if I had a tissue. I didn’t, I did, however, have a clean white linen handkerchief which I fished out of my pocket and handed to her.

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She continued laughing and dabbing her eyes, you’re so funny she said. (I’m not) then she blew her nose. She then offered the handkerchief back to me, I said, keep it. She scrunched it up in her fist crossed her legs and rested both her hands on her thighs. I said, well if you thought that was funny wait until I tell you about my concerns regarding the economic future of India. She laughed again, please don’t she said I don’t think I could take it.

Anyway, I said are we still on the right road? No, she said, settling her sunglasses back over her eyes, we should have turned right a couple of miles back I just didn’t want to interrupt your story.

For those who have read my other blogs, they will know that this is the curse I have had to endure. I don’t think I’ve ever had a serious conversation in my entire life. People appear to find me hilarious and the more serious the subject apparently the funnier I become.

It is dear reader, a curse.

Putting Me In The Picture

waitress serving a dish in vintage caf?

I finished early yesterday, well it was Friday. Instead of going home I popped in for a coffee. A waitress was clearing tables next to where I was sitting. Her arms were covered in tattoos, do they mean anything? I asked.

Yes, I got this one done, ( A Butterfly) because I love my mother, then, pointing at a tattoo of a chain around her wrist, she said, and I got this one done because I love my dad. What about that one above your elbow, it looks like a dartboard.

It is, she said, I got that one done when my Nana died, she loved darts. Look she said leaning closer the darts show her age. Triple twenty, ten and a double two to finish off. Seventy Four, I said she nodded.

And what about the inverted crosses at the top of each thumb. I fully expected her to tell me that they meant she was a follower of satan instead she looked puzzled. Upside down crosses? They aren’t upside down. I got those done because I’m a Christian and with that, she put her hands in the praying position turning them towards me. Look, she said they aren’t upside down and sure enough when she prayed she had a little cross in front of each of her eyes.

She wandered off pushing her trolly full of dishes.

The next time I saw her she was behind the counter talking to a friend. I heard her say, he’s lovely, a proper gentleman. Clearly, she must be referring to me I thought. Who is? her friend asked. Tilting her head she said, him, the elderly man.

Perhaps not then.

Now Is Too​ Late

 

Now

Although I agree he’s very young, this incident prompted me to write this.

On the short drive to the restaurant for tea, I tell Zach my grandson about locking myself out of the car. He’s six.

Me. I locked myself out of the car on Sunday with the keys inside.

Pause

Him. Look! There’s a train!

Pause

Me. You know Zach to my mind me locking myself out of the car should have brought a myriad question to your mind. How did it happen? Where did it happen? How did you get back in? Instead, you tell me there’s a train.

Pause

Me. Now, let’s start again. I locked myself out of the car on Sunday with the keys still inside.

Pause

Him. Can I have a sweet?

Me. Only if you say please.

Among many other things, my dad spent six years fighting during world war two. He never talked about it and we had never asked.

When he died his brothers told us stories about him growing up, his time in the army the acts of kindness and courage he had shown throughout his life which helped and even changed peoples lives. We were mesmerized. We knew none of it, To us, he was just dad. He was there and as far as we were concerned he would always be there.
My children, now grown up and married show the same interest in me as I did in my dad.

Now. I have a thousand questions I would love to ask my dad.

But. Now is too late.

Second Prize is best?

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My friend rang me on Thursday, Brian, are you free tomorrow? I can be I said, why what’s happening? I need you to take me out, It’s a charity lunch, well buffet really all for a good local cause. What’s up with Robert? (Her husband) she told me he was away playing golf with his mates and wouldn’t be back until late Sunday. Adding he wouldn’t have gone anyway.

I hate going anywhere on my own she said, I’m shy. You! shy, come off it. I am she said, I’m fine with work but I dread walking into a party, worse still walking in on my own, please come.

The prospect of spending a few hours with this lovely lady was a no-brainer. She may have been around ten years younger than me but we got on like a house on fire. She was attractive, funny, kind hearted, sexy and very intelligent what a combination. Is Robert OK about me taking you? He suggested it she said. OK, then I’ll pick you up before twelve if that’s alright.

Perfect she replied, it’s smart casual so no need to dress up.
I got to her house at 11.50am and sat around the corner until 12.00 o, clock. If I’m not ten minutes early, in my mind, I’m late. She answered the front door before I’d rang the bell. She looked fantastic in black patent leather shoes, black trousers, a white blouse and a pashmina around her shoulders which perfectly matched her eyes. I opened the car door she slipped inside.

Right, where we going? She told me and on the way there we chatted about this and that, what was happening at home, the charity, the person who had organized it, who would be there that I might know and all the while she thanked me for going with her. Why wouldn’t Robert have taken you? I asked. Oh, she said, Roberts always busy, busy with his daughter, busy with work, busy with his friends you know how it is.
We pulled up outside a small restaurant in a trendy part of town and went inside I knew it because I knew her, she is so full of life, interested in everything and everyone as soon as we walked in people came over to greet her. All women I may add in fact there were only two other blokes in the place and they were there with their wives.

Wheres Robert? and a glance at me meant whose this? She told them I was a friend and that Robert was away. Basically, I stood there like a lemon making small talk while the girls chatted. The only interruption to the animated discourse were people selling raffle tickets and asking for donations. Leaning towards me indicating a table laden with prizes my friend said, out the side of her mouth we should have brought a bottle of something for the raffle. Too late now, I said, let’s just buy loads of tickets instead. We shuffled from group to group sipping sparkling wine mostly saying the same things and buying more tickets.

One or two had begun to fill plates from the banquet tiered on tables along one wall. I couldn’t help thinking, if the person who had organized this had just donated the money it’s cost to hold it, the charity would be in easy street.
Would you like something to eat? I asked that would be nice she said, just then another gaggle of wives surrounded her and she was lost. I mimed I’ll get something for you. A cluster of us slowly moved along the tables laden with food carrying napkins and balancing plates until they were full. I found a table just as a waitress was passing with a tray filled with brimming champagne flutes. I took one for my friend and asked the waitress where the soft drinks were.

My friend saw me, excused herself came over and plonked down on a chair. I’m starving, she said and began to tuck into the food. The hubbub went on around us I began to talk earnestly about why the need to seek charity for such a worthwhile cause was fundamentally wrong, about how if we all paid an extra threepence in tax and there would be no need to rely on peoples goodwill. She started to laugh, Oh Brian your so funny.

I’d like to make it perfectly clear here that I’m not funny. I do however possess the unfortunate knack of making people laugh especially when I‘m talking about serious subjects.

I continued my diatribe she laughed louder. My hand was resting on the table she squeezed it pressing the nail of her thumb into the V between my thumb and forefinger, please stop she said, you’re killing me. Now in full flow and enjoying the moment I moved up a gear, she playfully punched me on the arm half turning she pressed her head into my shoulder laughing like a drain only just managing to say, Brian, you will have to stop before laughing even harder. I was laughing too and to be honest enjoying the moment a bit more than I should.

People were looking, a woman came over, wow she said, leaning in as if looking for something you two certainly appear to be having a good time. My friend lifted her head and said while dabbing her eyes, it’s him, then she burst out laughing again. Wheres the loo? Look at the state of me.
They started the raffle. Buying tickets had paid off we won loads of stuff. Not all of it much good and some of it had clearly done the rounds of a few prize winning raffle tables in the past nonetheless it was fun. We took turns going up to collect the prizes competing to see who could get the most useless item.

We put our winnings in the boot and got in the car. Well that’s the most fun I’ve had in ages she said, then we settled into a comfortable silence for the short drive to her house. I pulled on the drive, Thank you, she said I’ve had a lovely afternoon. It was my pleasure thank you for inviting me. She didn’t make a move she just sat there with her thumb under the seat belt holding it away from her clothes looking at me. Really Brian she said, it has been lovely.

That moment happened, you know what I’m talking about that thing, that quietness that descends just before you, shall we say reach out. I must say I was tempted she looked so, well, so perfect.

A few years ago I would have reached out. Not now though instead of seeing whirls of flesh on linen sheets I see all the heartache, the lies, the deceit, the sadness, the bitterness. I see Robert angry, sad, desperate. If they had, had children that would only make it ten times worse.

So rather than kissing her and telling her how much I adored her and had done from the second, she had come into my life. How I lay awake at night thinking about her, how I imagined our future together. how I hung on her every word.

So Instead of that, so instead of reaching out I reached down with my left hand and pressed the release on her seatbelt while at the same time opened the car door with my right. I nipped around the front of the car and opened the passenger door. She looked a little lost as if shaken from a dream. Look I said I’ve got to go. I promised to pop into the office to check over some figures before they went to the client. Oh, that’s fine she said, see you next time. Look forward to it! We hugged air kissed then I drove off with all the prizes in the boot leaving the one prize I wanted more than anything else in the world in her contented marriage.