The universe is a funny thing. Our existence is a series of seemingly random events and bizarre coincidences that shape our life-course in ways that make no sense at the time of occurrence, but, in hindsight, it often appears that our journey through life is clearly mapped out by the hand of destiny. A few weeks back, the glass double doors at the front of my building were jammed. After about five minutes of trying to cajole them open like a good-humored date rapist, I realised my patience was starting to run out, and it would only be a matter of time before I lost my cool and started kicking in the glass in a fit of rage. This would result in damage to my deposit, a severed peroneal artery, and a set of double doors that still wouldn't open. The sane and logical thing to do would be to admit defeat and go in the back way. The front of my house is on Southern Road (this means nothing to most people in Cork, yet when I use Irish orienteering and explain that it's between Paddy the Farmer's and The Southern Star they suddenly know exactly where I live), but to get to the back means going along Old Blackrock Road, then taking a turn down a street which appears to be a cul-de-sac. The street doesn't come to an end, instead it morphs into a boreen, complete with hedges, ditches, and potholes that could swallow a small child. At the bottom of this boreen, you'll find the back of my house, which means that my place of permanent residence is a bizarre rural vortex in Cork city centre.
As I made my way along Old Blackrock Road, an old woman stopped me asking if I knew how to change a tyre? Being the good old-fashioned man that I am (sexist but chivalrous), I obliged and got to work. She explained that she had been there for about an hour, she tried ringing her son but he was tied up with work, and every passing stranger she asked was too busy or didn't know how. I then explained that it really was her lucky day as normally I wouldn't take that route, it just happened that I was passing because my front door was jammed shut. I then drifted off into an immensely philosophical abstraction about how the universe purposefully jammed my door so that I could help out this poor, troubled old woman. Then, just as the last bolt was tightened and the jack taken away, her son turned up, thanked me for helping out his mother, and then handed me a tenner. A proper gentleman would have refused this, as a good deed is its own reward, but I'm flat fucking broke so I pocketed it in the most gracious manner I could muster. After negotiating the crocodile infested potholes of the boreen, I climbed the metal fire escape and got into my flat, where I cleaned the grime off my hands and did some more musing on the bizarre cosmic coincidence I had just witnessed as I sipped on a mug of heavily honeyed tea. Maybe it was the tea talking, or the honey had gone to my head, but this was far too beautifully set up to be just a coincidence. To test out this hypothesis I went down to the front door. A quick turn of the handle and one sharp tug revealed that, lo and behold, it was still stuck. Fuck you Universe, I've had enough of your shit. I spend an hour helping an old woman that I have never met before, and this is how you repay me? Although I've never read the bible, I'm fairly certain the good Samaritan arrived home to a fully functioning front door after doing his good deed for the day.
Later on, myself and the guy who lives in the flat upstairs used our combined body weight, a claw hammer, and some WD-40 to try to wedge open the door. This was every bit as kinky as it sounds, but unfortunately it did not work. We could have spent the evening changing flat tyres for every old woman from here to Carrigaline and it still wouldn't have made a difference. Fortunately, the next day Karma sent round my landlord with a crowbar. As he is a one-time rugby player and a full-time builder - who weighs well over twenty stone, I feel that the crowbar was just for show. While he's normally a good-natured jolly sort - a rosy cheeked, black bearded Santa Claus - he is also well capable of turning on the intimidating menace when it's needed (hint: in the four years I have been living here, I have NEVER been late with the rent). Although I wasn't present when shit went down, I imagine that he approached the stubborn door with crowbar in hand, gave it an intimidating scowl, and it popped open of its own accord.
So I guess the moral of the story is that a good deed is indeed its own reward, the universe doesn't give a flying Fallujah about jammed doors, and if you are poverty stricken €10 will buy you a shitload of rice and beans in Aldi.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
With my DJ career slowly swirling down the toilet bowl, it makes sense that I try to find another stream of income. As my higher education consists of an arts degree, and a lot of my employment experience consists of unskilled site work during the boom times, this makes me as useful and employable as a builder's labourer-cum-arts graduate. Recently one of the bigger supermarkets interviewed me for the position of shopping trolley attendant, asking if I had any relevant experience. My answer was no, but surely I could learn on the job? This was met with a sneering you cannot learn how to park shopping trolleys, you are either born with it or you are not. So can I expect to hear back from you? Just shut the door on your way out. As I made my way down the corridor, their notice board told me that they were also looking for shelf-stackers, but a quick look through my family tree suggested that there is no shelf-stacking in my blood either.
So desperate times call for desperate measures, and I have started giving handjobs to strangers in public toilets. If things don't start improving soon, I will have to start charging them. I also made a foray into erotica, hoping it would supplement my dwindling income. The original title was: "The Erotic Adventures of Dr. Herringbone Dread: Fifty shades of DJ" which pleased me no end. Sadly, "Fifty Shades of DJ" was already taken by a creepy hurling fan-fic series about Kilkenny's favourite Carey. I don't consider myself easily shocked, but the things they do with hurleys in those books are imaginative to say the least, and even more painful and sadistic than the game of hurling itself. Instead I have opted for: "The Erotic Adventures of Dr. Herringbone Dread: DJ, Ladies' Man, and Premature Ejaculator Extraordinaire". The sex scenes are plentiful, short, and to the point, as well as being laden with awkwardly mumbled apologies and hasty withdrawals with halfhearted promises to meet up for coffee sometime during the week.
Naturally you'd expect publishers to be having bare knuckle fights with each other to try to secure the rights to such a work. After all, it is a book written by an actual DJ who is every bit as clumsy and cumbersome at coitus in real life as he is on paper, quite frankly this makes me the Tom Clancy of the genre. For reasons unknown, there has not even been a single Dear John from any of the publishing houses I approached. Obviously this is because my work is brilliant, and they're afraid of such brilliance, and not because it's painfully bad tripe that's not fit to be printed on toilet paper. Fortunately after visiting a clinic it turns out that I have an incredibly common blood type, so while it's not really worth that much, there is a steady demand for it and my many vital organs. So after selling my good kidney I was able to self publish 100 copies of my book, and then spent a full week shtomping up and down Patrick Street unsuccessfully hawking my wares to the public. There were even a few occasions where I stopped to talk to chuggers, and then when they least expect it, I'd try to foist my fiction upon them. Sure I'll sign up for twelve months, but only if you buy a copy of this book I've written. This always ended with them running away from me screaming, so now I understand the pain and humiliation that chuggers endure on a daily basis. (This new-found insight into their world will now be used to write an erotic novel with a chugger as the central character.)
So now that I've been unable to sell my raunchy, racy, and tasteless paperback, there is no other option but to release it as an e-book. In hindsight this should have been the first port of call, as while people love to be seen with dog-eared paperbacks of weighty lit-fic, nobody wants to be caught dead with juicy clit-flick, which is why all sorts of bizarre erotica have become bestsellers on kindle. So at the the end of this month my erotic adventures will be available as an e-book on Amazon, and you are cordially invited to my virtual book launch which promises virtual wine, virtual cheese, and virtual cordial. If you would like an advance copy, just send me a message and I'll hook you up with a freebie. The only condition is that you make a small donation to a charity of my choice for every toe curlingly tender moment of my book that makes you shiver, and then make a slightly larger donation for every teeth curlingly awful moment that makes you shudder.