Friday, October 28, 2005

things which conspire to ruin my life...

If, like me, you are a paranoid, self-obsessed and bitter soul, it's easy to become convinced that certain things in the world have been created with the specific task of making you unhappy. sitting on a train this week, i started to enumerate them: i was terrified by how many there were. even worse, they weren't the things that really ruin anyone's life, like impotence or death. they were all so damn trivial, and yet have consistently annoyed me enough to merit inclusion on this list. soon, i will take to wearing a tinfoil helmet.

1) the northern line. a classic, but had to be included. satan's own tube line, which, in the manner of Monsters Inc, is powered not by electricity, but by sheer human misery.

2) my own brain. another biggie. there's a fantastic episode in one of the Red Dwarf books where Lister, Rimmer etc get stuck in a simulator for a game called Better Than Life, a game where everyone's subconscious desires and wishes are realised. for everyone except Rimmer, this is a Good Thing, but it turns out that his own subconscious hates him, and wants him to be unhappy. I know how he feels... the familiar situation where I really, really shouldn't say or do something, I know, I bloody know it's best not to do it. And then.. I do it anyway. Other people have to be drunk to experience this. I'm quite capable of doing it sober.

3) roast potatoes. off at a tangent here, but i feel my culinary nemesis should get a mention. i like to think i can follow instructions. why then are my roasters never deliciously fluffy like the ones in the cookery books? I've tried everything: par-boiling, steaming, forking, hitting them with a spoon... and nothing. Little bastards.

4) trick or treaters. a topical one. there is no answer to the question "trick or treat?" which does not leave me feeling like a craven fool. and the little fuckers don't even ask for sweets anymore: they want cash. that's not a harmless holiday pastime, that's begging. and you can't avoid their gaze like the eastern european women with babies on the tube - they're children, they're dressed up, they're talking directly to you. i want to have the balls to do what i saw a man in oxford do this week: tell them to bugger off. but i won't, i'll head down the route my mother always practised at Hallowe'en, of sitting in my living room with all the lights off, pretending to be out. given that i live in bermondsey, they'll probably stick a flaming dog shit through the letterbox, and kill us all.

5) children generally. on the train back from oxford, i sat opposite a four-year-old who considered it perfectly acceptable behaviour to sing 'easy peasy, chucky cheesy' fifty seven times (yes, i counted). after half an hour, i was consumed with visions of a parallel universe where I had grabbed her head and snapped her neck like a twig. child murder never justified, you say? you should have been there. then the charmingly fat,sweaty businessman in the aisle seat next to me fell asleep, so in between restraining criminal thoughts i got to watch his head, mouth open, flecks of spit forming at the corners, moving inexorably towards my shoulder.

6) in fact, let's make trains number 6. i hate everything about trains: the way I feel compelled to arrive 15 minutes early for them, then take my seat as soon as the platform number appears, only to spend 10 minutes in mortal fear that someone is going to sit next to me. then, as the train is pulling out of the station, and i am smugly settling down to my book and my personal space, a gang of teenagers will appear, sit near me, and spent the rest of the journey using absurd slang. on a recent train journey from yorkshire, the seats behind me were occupied by a hen party, and on the otehr side, a group of 'young professionals' playing monopoly. i mean, what is that? every time one of them landed on community chest, they would sing, "Co-mun-it-eeeeee..... CHEST!" and all do jazz hands. I hope to god they were on drugs, because there is no other excuse for that kind of behaviour.

Right. I'm going to stop there, for your sake and mine, leaving me no time to talk about: fashion, tesco online shopping, hormones, mumps, the curtain rails in my bedroom, boys, sambuca, charles dickens and laddism.


Anonymous Laura said...

To quote from my general repetoire of train phrases:

The most common of all antagonisms arises from a man’s taking a seat beside you on the train, a seat to which he is completely entitled. (Robert Benchley)

I'm sure there are many people who would be glad of your brain - (probably the sort of people who feel it necessary to make jazz hands when playing monopology) - so try not to hate it too much.

10/28/2005 1:13 pm  
Anonymous Laura said...

Or even repertoire. Before you start.

10/28/2005 1:15 pm  
Blogger galatea said...

oh don't worry, i am fully aware that my wallet is too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight...

10/28/2005 4:00 pm  
Anonymous fatfish said...

u complain a lot! stop whineing!

ur clearly very clever, and funny. and why hate charles dickens? i think he's boring, but i dont like old novels. shouldnt u love him?

im starting a blog soon. come and visit?

11/01/2005 3:13 pm  
Blogger LLCoolJ said...

Place roasting dish/tray whatever with a few tablespoons of oil in the top of a preheated oven.

after boiling your potatoes for about 10 minutes, drain the water. Then hold the lid on the saucepan and shake the potatoes vigorously until they are nicely fluffed up. (This is the most important tip of all)

Remove roasting dish from oven. put potatoes in, spooning the hot oil over them. Return to top of oven and leave til crispy (anywhere from 1-1.5 hrs depending on how hot oven is, which depends on meat)


11/01/2005 3:47 pm  
Blogger leflange said...

you're such a bitch, coolj. we all know that, but it doesn't always help.

11/01/2005 5:22 pm  
Blogger galatea said...

damn you, coolj, that's exactly what i have been doing. maybe i need to be more vigorous with the shaking...

and fatfish: why should i love charles dickens? give me one good reason.

11/01/2005 6:58 pm  
Blogger leflange said...

Because you like old novels. ff has explained himself quite clearly, little lady.

11/01/2005 7:09 pm  
Blogger Artegall said...

CoolJ, did you get the advice on fluffing from your mum? Shit, I make myself laugh so much.

11/02/2005 12:45 pm  
Blogger galatea said...


is nowhere safe from these relentless 'your mum' jokes?

stop the madness!

11/02/2005 2:32 pm  
Blogger Jill said...

Thanks for making my day a little brighter. Honestly you did.

Also.. thanks llcoolj for that recipe there. I never knew that was the trick. I'll give that a try. ;)

11/02/2005 4:23 pm  
Blogger lady miss marquise said...

Thank you thank you thank you! By the time I got to the jazz hands, I was in tears. Big fat juicy ones rolling down my cheeks in glee!

The Northern Line powered by human misery! I think you've finally cracked the secret - I wouldn't be surprised that that is indeed the case.

(PS: my old housemate used to parboil potatoes, then roll them in a little flour, salt and pepper before hand before dropping them into the hot pan - they always turned out divine! The flour is key, apparently)

11/24/2006 5:38 pm  

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