Tag Archives: Tescos

No.74: Put Off Doing Something Until It Becomes A Crisis

From calling off a wedding to having a poo, there’s nothing like a brazen IGNORE to allow initially insignificant business to escalate into full blown nightmare, just to give your day (by which of course we mean life) purpose.

Deadline of three months? Drink coffee and watch Only Connect until you suddenly realise you have 37 minutes in which to research, interview for and write up a 2800 piece on the history of the Lathe for Machine Tool Weekly (and if you’re wondering why you’re doing this in the first place, see post No.31). There is no better way to imbue your extraordinarily dull commission with all the immediate magnitude of a haemorrhaging eyeball.  Every PR you frantically telephone will hear the rabid urgency in your voice and the assumed significance of What’s Going Down Here will blow up like ankles on a long-haul flight.

Because urgency is acutely catching, people. Others want in on the sense-of-purpose gig.  Lathe-experts are literally being physically hefted out of their beds by ruffians employed by PRs for specific from-bed haulage purposes and onto the phone to offer last-minute Lathery comment because this situation is now SERIOUS. An APB goes out on all (three) Lathe-operator organisation websites. Emergency Lathe-spokespeople are mustered. Families of Lathe-operatives risk starvation as machinery lies abandoned, such is the stampede to contribute before time is up! Soon, forty-six people are swept up in your shit storm. And loving every moment of it.

At pains to further labour this point, which of these conversations is more interesting?

(a) I switched the iron off and went to Tesco

Or

(b) I thought I’d leave the iron on until I’d returned from Tesco. And unpacked the shopping. And written a sonnet. I  burnt the house down and am now as homeless as …well, the two people who live with me, actually. Except the one that died of his injuries.

Ladies, isn’t it just vastly more satisfying to shave your legs when they look like something pulled from Mumford and Sons’ plughole? Leg shaving is a faff and doesn’t feel necessary until it starts feeling *medical*. 

On a daily basis, leg shaving can never be classed a bona fide crisis situ until you are in a taxi with a recently-met Handsome Young Man  you spontaneously decided it would be ace to have sex with. You’ll suddenly remember that bristling beneath your 40 denier is the sort of thatch that would give Richard Keyes’ forearms an inferiority complex. At this point plotting how to discreetly dehair or incorporate keeping your tights on into some hot sex stops being vanity and starts being a character-building situation to be passed onto the grandchildren. Anyway, your soon-to-be-naked comrade probably isn’t noticing that behind your pouty, sexy exterior the words: ‘fuckfuckfuck I seriously hope he’s got a Bic lying on the sink or his ex left some Immac knocking about’ are going on, as he at this moment is urgently planning how to hide the Nicklebackrecords he left on the side before going out this evening.

Nickelback: crisising all over your record player

People in soap operas have long understood the power of the last-minute, crisis-engendering reveal. If you can avoid sharing the fact that you used to be a man from your 19-stone, balding mechanic, Australian fiance until, say, the honeymoon night, things prove way more invigorating than if, at the end of date two, you decide to divulge the  information that a Serbian doctor rather than your DNA provided you with your vagina .

Important information. This practice of crisis-generating avoidance is not ever applicable to: administering mouth to mouth, injecting Insulin, addressing your financial situation if you are the country of Greece and turning off Robbie Williams.

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No. 71: Get Your Hopes up. About Anything.

Rejection and disappointment can’t even be referred to as ‘large, unavoidable parts’ of flancer life. It would give them a pointlessly disproportionate amount of column space.  A bit like saying ‘Crikey, breathing, eh? My week is literally riddled with it.’  It’s a given. IT. IS. Pointless.

Nope, for flancers R&D are par-for-the course. The day-to-day. The NORM. Once, in the early days, dismay at their omnipresence may have been given supplementary airtime, back when enough Reality hadn’t yet occurred to usurp  positivity and optimism. Which, once dispensed with, left holes that were swiftly and expertly plugged by cynicism and pint glasses of rose.

However.

The work is out there. Somewhere. And thus, hope can never truly die for the flancer – it simply languishes in a hospice surrounded by undrunk Lucozade.  And as any scientist that has placed electrodes on a rodent knows, the eternal promise of possible reward keeps intelligent life forms endlessly anticipating them.  Although it is arguably much easier overall to eventually obtain Red Leicester from a maze than obtain a commission from The Guardian Life&Style section. I know. I’ve tried.

Let’s stick with the laboratory analogy. The bell is traditionally Pavlovian and ironically it is with this that flancers associate with potential reward.  Email, front door, telephone, mobile: excitement ensues because all of these bells could mean WORK or MONEY. Or that you are a Labrador.

Hazards include:  the microwave, someone on the telly ringing a bell, your budgie’s mirror toy, the local landlord calling time (if you have phenomenal batlike audio capabilities)  or a person going past on a bike wishing to alert pedestrians to their presence. None of which mean work but will set off hope fuelled adrenaline and possibly the need to cry afterwards.

When it is one of the former, however, there will be much whooping and running out to the shed to see if there is a rifle you can fire into the air like an Afghan rebel. Or failing that, a car you can drive to the local Tesco car park for the executing of tarmac-burning joy donuts. Or perhaps a hairy mammal you can sacrifice on a fire to the Goddess of Professional Interest who has been too busy washing her hair and watching X-Factor lately to stop by much. She should by all accounts be omniscient, but The Goddess of PI just prefers directing her infinate attentions  away from you and at her leave-in conditioner and Gary Barlow. Which is fair enough really as he was always in charge of the boring end of the Take That stick and deserves a bit of Divine interest. Yay!  

Unfortunately for him, this is all made up in my head. If you’re reading Gary, sorry.*

Barlow: Only interesting to made-up, preternatural Divinities. And his accountant.

But  within seconds your hopes are shattered. Rather like Gary’s were just then. The doorbell  will have been that mad woman in all the mascara who owes your dad money because her mother backed her mobility scooter over the dog. The ‘phone was your nanna who thought she was phoning the hospital for a repeat prescription on her diabetes tablets (hours wasted due to her deafness and that deeply ingrained suspicious nature of the elderly convincing her that you were not her grand-daughter at all but a deliberatley obstrictive receptionsist. ‘Because the NHS are like that’.)  The email was notification that ‘@hotpants99  is now following you on twitter!’

And the person going by on their bike didn’t have a commission for you either. You checked.

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES

*These somewhat eccentric examples of epic celebration are not definitive and may vary from flancer to flancer

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No.65: Visit the Corner Shop

For the flancer, ANY reason to exit the house is a viable reason.  The smoke alarm won’t stop bleeping because the batteries are low. A pigeon spontaneously catching  fire in the garden. An in-progress mugging that demands intervention – anything really that means you’re not sitting in front of that laptop deciding whether tearfully inhaling another crème egg before 8.30am constitutes a borderline emo-psychological eating disorder.

As most people don’t really know what to do with a burning pigeon* (or for that matter, what to do when standing between a youth wielding something they found in a toolbox and an old person who still hasn’t twigged that this isn’t someone trying to help them cross the road) the corner shop constitutes a safer option. A nice, straightforward getting-out-of-the-houseness that doesn’t give rise to third-degree burns or an eyesocket full of Phillips screwdriver.**

The Corner shop is a Godsend. It’s a journey short enough to  make in house slippers. There’s never anyone there you recognise and therefore have to communicate with (despite having lived in this area for ten years) so you needn’t put a bra on.  It also provides a quick fix of what you need so you can get on with your day feeling more alive, without having to get out of your Florence & Fred work wear (ie pyjamas).

There are only a limited range of essentials on offer, so you are also exonerated from the guilt of being a bad person who puts bad things into their ruined body because – hey – is it your fault if all there is here are E-Numbers, high fructose corn syrup, nicotine, aspartame and salt? Would a drowning human turn their nose up at a Tesco Value life buoy?   This is an emergency!

On second-thoughts, the Corner shop’s not really a Godsend is it? It is a Crackhouse.

Feral faced, teenage guttersnipes lounge around outside smoking joints and sitting on stolen bikes. Your paranoia heightens as you pull your outsize belted cardi even further around you and clutch your front door keys to your chest. You suddenly remember that you are braless under that 1996 charity fun run tee-shirt. You feel horribly vulnerable.

Once inside, to blend in, you shuffle over the peeling lino under the flickering strip lights. You feel dirty but excited. After all what choice was there? Tescos is at least a half hours drive away and that would mean getting dressed and removing the scrunchie. You slink past the ancient hair-dye, the long plastic tubes filled with Kiddie-Madness powder, the packets of Skips (only Corner shops still sell these along with Discos and spicy Nik-Naks) and toilet roll with a thick, grey layer of dust on the top.

The chilled counter houses what can only be described as items you might find if you go poking about in the local hospital’s amputee ward wheeliebins.  It is lit like a scene from a David Lynch film in which they hang someone up and do horrible graphic things to them with a Ladyshave and simply being near it is hugely depressing.

Your pupils dilate as they settle on that gigantic bag of orange-coloured cheesy snacks that glow in the dark – which you know are going to be like chewing wool –  and a treacle tart by some baked goods consortium that has Mr. Kipling up at night screaming. No, even a devoted Greggs fan would not touch that de-devilled treacle tart.

You pay, you leave. You hear Genesis playing gently on the corner shop radio.

No.  No-one must know of what happened here.

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES

*Gordon Ramsey might.

**Unless you live in Clapton, E5.

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No.53: Go Slightly Mental

You know, like that time where you’re sobbing so hard, spittle is dripping out of the sides of your mouth simply because you opened the cupboard above the sink a little too quickly and it bumped you on the head…. and that act of gross clumsiness reminded you that your life is worthless and that you have no talent or else why would you be sat here drooling onto your dressing gown rather than sat at your keyboard tapping out something for the Times, eh?  This prompts you to email all the people you’ve never really liked and tell them exactly why. And all the feature editors that never bothered (the BASTARDS) to even email you back a ‘thanks but eff off’ after you’d repeatedly sent them your best pitches.  Then you change your mind and don’t send them which makes you bitter AND spineless.  Then you go on Facebook and delete all the smug employed/married/”still-good-looking-despite-now-being thirty-and-ooh-don’t-they-know-it-from-their-posed-FB-picture”  people you know and maybe even go through your mobile phone and bin everyone who you haven’t spoken to in a month. And then you have another cry as your mobile phone book is now empty.  And perhaps you’ll even tackle the bank, who decided to shave a chunk off your overdraft without telling you and now you have to pay £69 in charges. I’ll teach them, etc…until they tell you that, no, they sent you a letter to inform you that they were going to shaft you for nigh-on seventy quid’s worth of spurious fees and promptly charge you another tenner for the administration cost of dealing with your phone call. Then, you eat everything you can find, whilst playing The Prodigy really, really loudly. And you wonder what would happen if you  just, you know, sacked it all off and buggered off to America – no, wait – INDIA, where you could find yourself and NatWest couldn’t. Then you might even contract Malaria *take a small moment to imagine your funeral and spend at least quarter of an hour choosing the playlist* and everyone that never called me or hired me will be sorry….then go and get in your car to drive somewhere ANYWHERE away from here and then give up on that plan and sit crying again with your head on the wheel because at the moment you are virtually a character from a Mike Leigh play and because your needle has been on red for the last week and a half and besides you’ll probably only drive to Tesco and bulk-purchase cream horns…perhaps then you go and stare at yourself in the mirror and decide that you’re getting old as well and who would ever want you…then wash-up and tidy-up and vacuum-up like a maniac, at which point you will catch yourself on the ankle with the vacuum cleaner and collapse into a pile of honking self-pity…then eat some more toast, try on everything in your wardrobe and decide you’re also getting a bit chubby (as well as old) before wanting a nap but feeling guilty about it (see post no. 49)

And then you look at the clock and see that it’s only 09.12 am.*

This might all just be me.

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES

*Today’s post was sponsored by James Joyce.

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No.46: Do ‘Optimism Sums’

You never have any money.

Now, ignore this phrase and read on in a state of vehement denial. 

Welcome to the financial existence of the flancer.

If Flancerland existed, it would have no capital. That will be only funny if you have just opened your bank statement and are feeling hysterical.

However, now is the perfect time to do some ‘Optimism Sums’!

These consist of the sort of mathematical spin-doctorings that would  make Le Chiffre from Casino Royale’s eye bleed and which miraculously make cash appear after a series of complex equations written on the back of an old Tesco receipt.

[PC] – IE (fDD) + MNSR/4 =  A (- R)

This, dear work*-free readers is a highly sophisticated algebraic formula that, whomever the flancer might be, will have been applied to their finances at some point. Usually after a big cry.

[Purse contents] MINUS Imagined Expenditure (forgetting all direct debits) PLUS money not spent on a round DIVIDED BY no. of people in the pub = Assets. (Minus Reality.)

Not exactly NASA standard in it’s accuracy but the flancer rejoices that things are not as bad as they seemed and continues to believe in the old Buddhist adage that:

 “If the letters OD appear after your account balance but you never open the statement envelope, does it really make a sound?”

 ‘Right.  I can sell my liver on eBay for…seventy quid…and I didn’t buy that bag I liked from topshop.com. And I bought the Value range raspberry jam this afternoon. So I am actually one hundred pounds in the black and therefore needn’t worry about my financial state for another month. Ah Ha! Take that Natwest**!’

The bank however, has other ideas based on the reality of, well, reality. Which is a bit of a spanner in the works for the flancer who is puzzled as to why, after working out that they have only actually spent twenty pounds this month on their fingers on the bus fifteen minutes ago, the hole in the wall won’t put out.

They go storming into the bank before a navy polyester-wearing individual explains why, using a calculator and some proof. 

But they didn’t incorporate the back of a Tesco receipt.  So it doesn’t count, of course.

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES:

*Substitute any of the following words: money, pride, new-clothing, thrifty.

**or whichever organisation looks after the space where your money should be.

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No.34: Try and Find A Bank Card That’ll be Accepted at The Supermarket

Flancers have two life dreams: (1) to be published. And (2) that the first card they pull out to pay for anything will actually work. Not especially in that order.

Non-flancer-writey people seem to have this gargantuan misconception that people who freelance make enormous mountains of money.  So mountainous in fact, that they probably also believe that the flancer regularly empties it onto the bed and rolls around in it in a gold bikini drinking Champagne from a unicorn’s hoof.

This may in part be due to Carrie (Bradshaw, the cake-deficient designer-draped mammal. Not the blood-soaked, telekinetic Stephen King one) or any other Hollywood cinematic flancer character  flouncing out of C. Dior with an elbow full of designer truck, jumping in a cab to go home and poke at a brand new ibook for five minutes.

In reality?  Carrie would be a potty-mouthed cynic, sweating out Nescafe, dropping crumbs from a Nutella and bacon sandwich all over a vintage Dell that takes forty-five minutes to fire up (see post.27).   Her biggest daily concern would be whether to bother washing her filthy hair as she’s unlikely to go out for at least another two days.* She would only wear Jimmy Choo footwear if he did slippers.

When I bemoan the echoing chasm of doom that is my monetary fund, my friends make this sort of ‘pffft!’ noise adding, ‘but you’re a writer!  You lot are loaded!’ Granted, most days I resemble the millionaire, Sir B. Geldof.   But I am willing to bet that he doesn’t stand at the cash point on the verge of tears every other day or get that vomity feeling when he hands over his card in Tescos for a shop of tampons and milk  totaling a mere £3.75.

Warning: A distressing reconstruction follows.

If you have never stood behind a flancer in a supermarket who is suffering from a nasty case of skint, here’s what usually happens: the nice till lady will look at the flancer with motherly pity** and convey the news with funeral directorly regret that the card hasn’t been accepted. The flancer will look aghast and, shaking their head, will say something like ‘oh! That’s funny, there’s plenty of money in there.***’ 

(As if the other customers care. They just want the poor person in the pyjama bottoms and Primark Ugg boots to get a frikkin’ move on as they have casseroles to get home and put on.)

There will be lots of sighing and huffing from the flancer, who will pull out another card and hand it over in desperation like an under-qualified magician fluffing valiantly though a failing trick.  To which the nice till lady will shake her head like a surgeon conveying news of a death to a family waiting anxiously in A&E.

Having only a Blockbuster Membership card left (which is only to be handed over in the event of full-mental breakdown) the Emergency Credit Card comes out.  It was signed up  for  in order to deal with serious emergencies – i.e. needing to fly out of Columbia if a war starts or something when you’re travelling.  But it is regularly used for other emergencies like, buying milk or Christmas party shoes.  

The Emergency Credit Card works, their gut relaxes and the flancer slinks away, red-faced clutching their booty of Nutella and smoked back. Which has ironically just cost them £126.78 after bank charges.

In the car park, the flancer resolves to go and give the bank a piece of their mind for this gross mistake and their subsequent embarrassment. They storm to Natwest, print out a mini statement and suddenly  realise that their complaint is as valid as Ratner shares.

They decide to go and buy themselves a coffee with their Blockbuster Membership card as consolation.

 TODAY’S FOOTNOTES:

*This could just be me. Apologies to any hygienic flancers reading.

**regional supermarkets only. If you live in a big city they just look at you with scorn. They may even laugh in your face like a panto baddy.

***IE. twenty pounds left of the overdraft.

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No.32: ‘Improvise’ A Cup of Tea

There comes a time in a flancer’s life when they will be called upon to make a cup of tea for someone who has dropped by unexpectedly.

This person will be a telephone technician/plumber/meter reader – i.e. a professional tea drinker.  A person for whom drinking tea is such a massive adjunct to their day job that they sure as shit know a crap cup of tea when it’s served to them by a flancer in sweatpants who looks like they have only just got up. Because they have only just got up.

The flancer – due to sustained lack of company – will lavish disturbing levels of attention on the visitor until they leave the house feeling quite soiled.  As part of this effusive attention, the flancer will eagerly proffer a cup of tea. Before realising with sinking horror en route to the kettle, that they haven’t been to Tesco for nigh-on a fortnight. As the visitor wanders off in search of the internet/plumbing/dry-rot problem in another room, the flancer stands vexed as the kettle boils realising that some serious tea-ingredient improvising is in order.

The hunt begins.

 At the back of the cupboard they unearth a chicken and noodle Cup-a-Soup which will never make a convincing brew – even if  they pick the noodles out. More hunting and a packet of loose-leaf Earl Grey is secured (because everyone has a box of loose-leaf Earl Grey knocking about, because no bugger drinks it.) Unfortunately, they have nothing in which to put the leaves and so they improvise with a coffee filter and paper. The tea duly arrives in the cup thinner than a super model with a wired jaw  so the flancer has to either (a) filter more hot water though another eighteen tablespoons of the stuff. Which will take up to four hours.  Or (b) stir in some Marmite to make the colour look right.

After this fiasco comes the milk episode. Flancers never have milk and if they do, there will only about half a centimetre left in the carton* and if there is more than that, it will be ‘off’. This is Universal Milk Law. The flancer seeks out powdered milk. They have none because no one has bought powdered milk since the war. They have soya milk but daren’t add it because it tastes of filtered laminate flooring.  More scrabbling reveals a can of condensed milk. Saved!

There will be no sugar either (of course) and after a failed attempt to grind up the contents of a jar of silver ball cake decorations in a pestle and mortar, the flancer remembers that there is something far preferable available. In goes  two teaspoons of icing sugar which floats on the top like unattractive pond scum.

The Cocktail of Satan is served. But being a professional tea drinker, the visitor will hand back an empty mug with hearty thanks.

A week  later, your favourite pot plant will die horribly, a strange-looking icing-sugar-esque residue covering its topsoil.

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES: 

*Why anyone ever leaves this ineffectual amount in the carton  is a mystery to even the greatest minds of the Twenty First century.
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No.12:Consider Pregnancy

The minute a flancer celebrates their 26th birthday*, suddenly everyone they know assumes they want to end their miserable, workless existence by getting pregnant at once.  If you are already over 30, they also automatically assume that you spend all your time – when not out in public – weeping for your barren womb and secretly put you on 24-hour Tescos-baby-snatching watch.

However, most flancers split into two camps concerning motherhood: Camp (a) the ones who are so bored of not working that they decide ‘what-the-hey’ I’m going to have a baby and will therefore never be bored again. And Camp (b) the ones who  have colleagues from Camp (a), have hung out with them and have consequently decided that if they ever even consider reproducing they must have gone mental.

Arguably, both camps have much in common that they can chat about endlessly: you both spend half the night awake worrying about money, you’re both obsessively checking something in another room (whether it be computer  inbox or newborn**), you both spend hours watching daytime telly in soft clothes and both dedicate countless hours to wondering if you will ever get back into those  jeans that you bought about 9 months ago.

If you fall into Camp (b), visiting old colleagues from Camp (a) is both a blessing and a curse. On the minus side, is there anything more boring than  hearing smug Camp (a) mummies twitter on about how ‘their priorities have changed’, how they are ‘much happier now they are out of flancing world’ how little Jonas is ‘into everything’ and how pretty much all of their child’s actions, minute-by-minute are mind-bogglingly fascinating?  A primary plus however, is that be-infanted friends are always free for coffee. Camp (a) mummies also provide guilty gloating pleasure for Camp (b)s because we know that deep-down, for ex-flancer mums, old habits die hard.  We know that in reality they shriek like haridans when little Jonas empties Ribena into their Right Louboutin.  Or when he prises the Tab key out of their new Dell Laptop. We know that their soul dies just a teeny bit when they spend a fortune that once would have gone to TopShop coffers, on plastic things to put on coffee table corners.  We Camp (b)s know they secretly dream about drinking coffee, going to the pub at half four in the afternoon and watching back to back Gray’s when they are yet again panicking in the car park down the A&E  having just seen Daisy-May-Loulou eat a Tescos receipt or the batteries out of the TV remote control.

For Camp (a)s of course, come all the joys of motherhood (arguably one of the finest feelings in the world), life is never boring, never again will you have to take a commission with a 4 day deadline, requiring 18 individual case studies that all need ‘to be attractive’, ‘are willing to be photographed’ and ‘will talk openly about their sex lives for a weekly magazine feature’.  And you have a much better excuse than flancers do for sitting about wearing tracksuit bottoms covered in crusty soup stains whilst eating Quavers  and falling alseep on the sofa at three in the afternoon.

Hmm. Tough one.

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES

*This is assuming you are female of course. If you are male and feel this way, you should sell your story to Chat and stop being a bored flancer.

**and so I have resorted to buying a baby monitor – one device sits next to my laptop, the other is with me at all times so I can hear the ‘New Mail’ ‘ping’ even if I am in the loo.

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No.11: Seek Food

Despite having hours and hours of free time in which to go to the supermarket, flancers never, ever have any food in the house.  After their email inbox, the fridge is the second most depressing thing a flancer can open due to lack of exciting content. It is difficult to describe the depression that descends when, after deciding to console yourself over another work-free morning with a coffee and a nice piece of cheese on toast you discover that you don’t have any bread, cheese, milk or coffee. Find the flancer that can console themselves with a steaming mug of boiled water and you will be in the presence of the happiest, richest flancer in the world.  But for the majority, all your cupboard has to offer is; Ryvita*, powdered milk, a jar of sweetner (which you momentarily consider adding to boiling water but then write this off as the most depressing thing in the world), assorted dried goods, a tin of flageolet beans and a Christmas Pudding** that has been there since 1990. 

If you are fortunate enough to flatshare, general practice is to then storm your flatty’s food-stores is search of  edible booty that’ll see you through this fuel crisis. However, one is rarely blessed with a house buddy that spends every other day at Tescos  (because she has a full-time job – unlike you) and so this sly comestible looting generally yields only half a tube of tomato puree, a rotting leek and an egg of dubious age. After cursing her name for being so disorganised, you then start getting desperate and tearfully poke right at the back of the cupboards to see if a packet of biscuits or some chocolates from last christmas got pushed down the back. Which there never is. And you should know this because you were in exactly this situation three days ago.

At this point, your blood sugar has hit rock bottom, all you have to eat is toothpaste and so you call a parent/guardian/older sibling***, sobbing about  how depressed you are that you have no career, no prospects and that you just ate a bowl of pasta with an oxo cube dissolved in it. Hopefully they will make reassuring noises, put some money in your bank account and mid-way through the conversation you will remember that there is *definitely* a packet of Malteasers in your handbag which you had forgotten about.

There is a God.

 

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES

*Nobody eats Ryvita. But everybody has a packet.

**You want it to be cake: and it so almost is, that it makes you even more depressed.

***Who, their secretary tells you, will have to call you back because they are in a meeting. At their full-time, salary paying job of work. Which makes you cry a little bit more.

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No.2: Run Errands

Running as many unspecific ‘errands’  as possible is <essential> to the unemployed currently out-of-work flancer. But what’s more important than the nature of the errand itself, is the speed at which you move from one errand to the next. This is because the more sweaty and harassed you look when you bump into a friend with full-time work, the more busy you appear to be and so flancers are often to be seen virtually sprinting between Tesco metro and Natwest . I particularly love happening upon gainfully employed associates when I am carrying at least three bags, one over-flowing with washing. ‘Oh God, I’m sooo hectic today!’ I gasp, thrashing off down the highstreet before they can ask the question that dare not speak it’s name*.  Some of the more popular ‘errands’ favoured by un-hired flancers include: taking an hour to post a letter, buying more cleaning product (see yesterday’s post), taking the bins out really, really slowly and going to the bank.  This last, in order to experience the gut-churning nausea the irregularly employed always suffer when pressing the ‘on-screen balance’ button. I often liken it to how international political leaders must feel when they have to drop a bomb on some poor unsuspecting country (not to take the allusion <too> far: General Overdraft regularly unleashes hell on the gentle vale of Willimott).   On a good day?  You will forget something essential (like pesto or cotton buds) and thus have to go back into town again. On a bad day? Your housemate will have taken your laundry and post in on the way to work with them.  The inconsiderate bastards.

* IE: ‘What are you up to at the moment?’

Tomorrow: No.3: Make lists

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