Friday, June 30, 2006

Phase One Complete

Okay, so that’s the making nice over and done with. Back when I was scutting my way around the UK animation industry, I would turn up at a new studio to work on whatever imbecilic commercial/short film/worthless tat was waiting to be made, by some of the most ego-inflated cracksnackers* I’ve had the misfortune to encounter, and I would sit at my designated desk, keeping a low profile, trying to guage the lie of the land (as well as working out which were the decent people and which were the dickheads).

Of course that would only last a couple of days before the twisted, bile-soaked inner demon couldn’t take it any more and would tear a way out through the ennui-blasted, rictus-glazed stare**.

So carrying on that simply marvellous tradition, the two days are well and truly up!

* Of course there were places where I found myself working with some incredibly delightful and amazingly talented people. They were absolute aces! But most of them were fucknut spazs or butt-smooching weasels. Feckin' pencil monkeys!

** Not to appear like some bipolar chucklehead, but working in animation was so utterly, utterly tedious at times that you had to find ways to entertain yourself. Since taking a shit in the directing animator’s mouth and sewing it shut was seen as not the done thing, alternatives had to be found. And fast!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Police, Community, Action!

Away from London, where their fellow officers use foreign nationals for live-fire target practice and invite everyone in the back-up squads to impromptu house parties, the police here still look for every opportunity to spring into action as best they can.

Brain pans may not be filled full of lead or dwellings invaded with uncontrolled force, but the morning still managed to kick off with the local plod issuing residents with police notices that declared their vehicles had been left in a position which causes inconvenience to other road users.

With proper parking spaces at a premium, such a rude awakening would have the neighbours suspiciously eyeing each other up, trying to figure who had ratted them out. It was already obvious from the night before who the snitch jacket belonged to. Maybe the fire engine whooping it’s siren in staccato bursts as it tried to inch its way between the parked cars last night had something to do with it.

Later, when two oiks on bicycles a size to small for them (curving their spine and giving them the posture of someone whose back has given out dry-humping a rhinoceros) ride the wrong way down the high street’s one-way system, slaloming from pavement to pavement, a police car happens to swing by.

Instead of wresting them to the ground and giving them the hiding of their life – which is what even borderline chav scum deserve on a regular basis – the officers rein in any seething violent impulses and simply get both lads off their bikes and give them a jolly good talking to. (Which is something of a disappointment given that they could just as easily pop into M&S for a towel and a bag of oranges).

Ten minutes later and the ticking off is still continuing. Whereas a member of the public complaining of their behaviour would get a gobby reply, the callow youths are cowed by the real face of authority. Ten minutes sitting, heads bowed, on a bench appears to have been more than enough time for their peers to idle along and spectate.

If the reprimand had been swift and brutal they would have come away with war stories to greatly embellish from the offset. Instead the sly grins and whispers gives their contemporaries something to dine out on.

Two streets on, a white-haired old man on a cherry-red mobility scooter came hurtling around the corner. The St. George’s flag, flying from the felxible pole mounted on the back, snapped in the breeze as he mounted the pavement and tore between the non-plussed-looking pedestrians. (It was pension day after all). Keeping the accelerator pressed to the floor, the unwitting driver steered his way toward the police officers.

Watching him tear past, I wondered whether it would be worth backing up and watching how this little confrontation would play out.

Considering that it was unlikely that he would be knocked off the scooter and stamped on either, getting back for the times2 Su Dokus won out. Disappointed at the imminent lack of any seriously violent spectacle I went home.

(Puzzle no.829, rated "Fiendish"? Pah!)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

First Class Lady Grey

The footage from yesterday’s interviews, transferred onto DVD, has to be sent to the client so that legal can approve which sound-bites are used in the final edit.

Post-production takes place in Work Buddy’s studio north of London. The only real downer is sending off the DVDs for the client to approve content. Instead of using a business-district post office where people are eager to get in and out as quickly as possible, I have to go to a high street post office.

Business-district post offices may have harried office assistants dragging in 2 cwt of packages to ship out or lining up to buy practically every first class stamp in existence but the counter staff do their job and everyone gets served lickety-split. But local post offices...

Somewhere above the door there must be an inscription that reads:

Enter here all idiots clueless of their parcels’ contents’ cost (for insurance purposes), or who are posting for a friend and baffled at what the contents may be,
The hopeless munters who haven’t properly filled in the forms for whatever the hell it is they need to fill forms in for,
The stroppy peasanty mothers with squawking baby or unruly brood running freely as if they are on a day at Alton Towers.
But best of all, doddery old pensioners who either haven’t a clue or think they are at a WI coffee morning.

I know we should be reverential to the blue-rinse brigade because the old dears gave birth in Anderson shelters during the Blitz, and had to eat their saucepans for victory. But buy your stamps, pay your bills, collect your pensions, do what you have to do, and then sod right off. That’s right. Sodding sod right off!

Instead the post office queue lurches violently to a swift and sudden halt as the old dears plant themselves in front of the available counters and start a long catch up with the staff, whose blank smiles seem to be taken as indications of eager encouragement. Or worse they reply with eager encouragement, happy to have a chat.

When did local post offices take over from the Lyon’s Corner Houses? What the goddam hell happened here? Talk about relatives, recent operations and the tingling feeling in their legs. Do they all work to the same checklist?

And finally, when all is said and done, they cap it all off by being too stupid to work out how to stick the card into the reader and too senile to remember their chip + pin number. For pity’s sake, please, please, bring cash with you next time!

All I want to do is get the package weighed, postage paid and then get the living hell out of there. I have things to get on with, honest.

Sunset Over Cairo

So this is where it begins.

Here I can write something when I'm not writing what I'm supposed to be writing, so that when the call comes through to see how things are progressing I can say that I was writing. I mean, it's not like I'm procrastinating, right?

And doing this also gives friends a well-deserved break - although I know for sure that they goad me on at times just for the pure hell of it, and I take the bait every time even if I don't always feel like putting on the fez and clambering up on the barrel-organ. And gives me a free go at ranting at complete strangers. Bonus! While I usually do that anyway, at least now I don't have to leave the apartment.

I was going to open with a joke to lighten the mood. It was a pretty good one actually; told to me by the Actress.

"What's the worst thing about diddling a five-year-old?"

“Hearing the sternum crunching and getting blood on your clown shoes!"

Except I mentioned this to the work buddy who said it probably wasn't a good idea to start off that way. So I won't.

...Ah, damn it!

My excuse for all this: I probably didn't get enough attention as a child. So deal with it. Because I do. (And you all know that 'diddling' isn't the word that is used in the joke, right?)