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Scrooge, in person, writes Eternal Questions of Existence 18, December 2007

Posted by babychaos in Adult Content, Grumpy Old Bag, Light Fluff, Small Scale Disasters, whinging, winging.
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Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Here they are.

Why do I never pay invoices the MOMENT they arrive so I don’t spend days over the subsequent weeks wandering the house distractedly with my cheque book trying to find the screwed up piece of paper they sent me with the VITAL number which MUST be included with my payment.

If I can remember the amount and the address to send it to by heart, why can’t I remember the sodding VITAL number as well?

Why does Goldfish – my credit card or bank as it now is – think backwards, so on my statement, if I have over paid my credit card and am in credit they show it with a minus sign?

Why do they send me a two page A3-sized bill approximately three inches squared of which is the part which gives me the nitty gritty?

Why do they treat me like a moron when I ring up and ask if the £-4.50 they have put on my account is really minus – and therefore payable – or credit?

If the minimum required payment on a debt of £100 is £5 why are they so bothered when I owe them £1.20 that they are prepared to charge me £20 administration fee if my cheque – which will cost them about £2 to cash, arrives late?

Why am I still with the bastards?

Why do they keep sending me cheques, I have a credit card why would I want to use it to guarantee cheques, I have a fricking cheque book to write cheques…? That’s another useless piece of financial paper I’ll have to clutter my life with for years or burn.

Where would I be without internet banking? Well… £20 down every month, for starters.

How do people who don’t use internet banking a) have the slightest clue what’s in their account and b) pay a single bill on time.

Why does sitting down to pay my bills fill me with complete dread and panic… no actually I guess the first point sorts that one.

Why, when I put every single invoice I receive in the same safe place for payment at the end of the month, does one always turn out to be somewhere completely different?

Why is it that the completely different place takes three days of anxious searching to find?

Why does my timing suck so badly?
Our house is a complete tip. We chose the coldest days of the year so far to have a new boiler installed so have spent 24 hours without heat. Yes the crapness of our timing is impressive. Never mind, the old one was limping a bit and I hate to think what would have happened if it had broken in the 2 weeks the gas board was closed over Christmas and New Year… so sort of reverse smart. I will be spending the next god knows how long cleaning the place up. Brick dust is not my friend, not the hoover’s friend… nor anyone’s friend. Brick dust is a shitter to get off. They were lovely chaps though.

On the up side, I have another art commission, on the down side, I drew the whole thing and then, just for a change, completely fucked up the lettering*… never mind, I’ll just trace the drawings… except for the horse, actually that was a bit crap… yeh, it’s probably for the best that I’ve got to draw it again… that’s if I can get the bloody house remotely near clean by the end of the week, of course. On the up side, at least I hadn’t coloured the bastard thing in.

I have found and paid this month’s lost invoice.

But there were two and I am panicking about another one.

I am going out tonight and I don’t really want to.

BUT the heating is on and warm.

I have at least 15 letters to take to the post office which are international or packages which must be weighed. The time from door to the counter is averaging 2 hours. Hmm… I will have to make sure I take a book… and possibly a folding chair.

Where is my usual sunny disposition?

Why am I such a miserable bastard about Christmas?

All I can think about is the obligations I haven’t fulfilled, how worried I am about the presents I haven’t bought/sorted/wrapped, whether I have covered everyone. Whether or not my Mum will throw a curve ball by introducing one of my many completely barking relations – removed cousins, mostly, most people in the world appear to be distantly related to my Mum – into the mix over Christmas without telling me until moments before they arrive and I have no present for them.

She has this thing about nobody must be alone for Christmas… there is always a hanger on from work, church or somewhere and while the odd one is great fun, there are others who are clearly alone at Christmas for a reason… Oh dear, the depths to which I will stoop, I apologise for my lack of christian charity! Then again, Mum has enough to make up for both of us!

Hmm… How many “maiden aunt” type presents should I wrap for unforeseen guests and should I take maiden uncle presents into account, as well? Yeeees… probably.

Why am I even asking the Christmas question? I have an over active guilt gland and I hate organising shit! With a constitution like that, hating Christmas is a given. If I had my way I’d not celebrate it at all but unfortunately that can’t happen unless everyone in my huge family decides to follow my lead.

Blimey! I’ll have to pull some positivity out of the bag soon or I’m going to go completely off my tree. I should be enjoying thinking about the people I’m getting gifts for and choosing what they want, instead I’m worrying I will fail to buy anything fun and disappoint them. It’s all to do with how you look at it and I am looking at it waaay wrong!

Have you noticed that there are only 30 Christmas pop songs, tops whereas there are hundreds of carols and all sorts of different recordings, none of which is particularly annoying – unless we’re talking hammond organ or pan pipe classics, of course.

Conversely, if I hear the Phil Spectre Christmas Album in one more fucking shop I will do somebody an injury… I guess when I was a kid there was a mix, carols in some shops, pop in others… but this year it’s strikingly apparent that there is no mix, it’s the Best Christmas Album in the World, Ever or the aforementioned Phil Spectre album EVERYWHERE until my ears bleed.

Since November.

Then again, at least I haven’t had to shop through Mistletoe and Wine yet and I haven’t heard the vomit-inducing “Last Christmas” by Wham either. Every cloud has a silver lining.

What bits of the pregnancy timetable have I forgotten to organise for New Year? Nope, I’m not going to go there, I’ll let the midwife tell me on Friday… do I think there’s an outside chance I’ll remember to wee into a bottle first thing on Friday morning? Probably not, it has to be the first one of the day, too so I’d better go for a dry (oh ho ho) run on Thursday, just to belt and brace… it doesn’t go off does it?

Nope, I won’t even think about that. I’ll go and put a jam jar in the bathroom NOW… subtly, where Mr BC won’t see it… but I will… hmm…

Oh look! You’ve been saved by the bell! Somebody’s come to the door to buy some of my cards.

* I always fuck up the lettering as standard and have to draw the bastard thing twice, even if I manage to do it right and then do the art work, I tinker with it last thing and stuff it then.

Additional: Hugely amused to find I am not the only one. Upon returning home after a 40 minute wait in the Post Office and a very unsatisfactory result – sent a package to America 4 weeks ago, tracked as a paper and packet for £1.98, sent the same thing, today and it was £3 something… go figure.

Anyway, got home and Mr BC was back from his meeting in town. I could hear him rustling around in the kitchen. His mobile phone was ringing and instead of answering it he was shouting.

“Fuck off! Fuck off and leave me alone!” And sipping his tea.

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Comments»

1. Joe Drinker - 19, December 2007

Wow -sounds like a crazy time at your place!

2. Geldoff - 19, December 2007

Hee hee hee … that’s sooo funny, BC!

Put the art stuff aside immediately, Victoria Meldrew, and try your talented hand at writing comedy for tv!! Your piece helped make Christmas more bearable. 🙂

3. babychaos - 19, December 2007

Joe, it is although I managed to sort out the kitchen yesterday so all is now… well… clean if not shipshape.

Geldoff, delighted to amuse – I did actually used to do stand up, very badly. Imagine Jack Dee with poetry. Yeh, it doesn’t bear thinking about does it? I am trying to write a Douglas Adams style novel… however I’ve been trying to write it since 1998. And I read it through the other day and frankly, it’s very poor until the most recent chapters and I suspect I only like those because I wrote them recently. Imagine some pretty pieces of patchwork which are impossible to fit together… hmm… when the snowflake method is finished a rewrite is in order methinks… never mind, it keeps me amused.

Cheers

BC

4. GeekLady - 19, December 2007

Mr. BC is now one of my heros.

5. Geldoff - 20, December 2007

I urge you to get a second opinion on your Adamsian novel; your own may be … biassed. 😉

6. babychaos - 20, December 2007

Mr G, you are more than welcome to have a look at it when I’ve finished, if you like… although at the moment it really genuinely isn’t finished.

It has a beginning and an end but no middle… so I guess I’m about 50,000 words short of the whole shebang but I have 60,000 in the bag already. At least I know what’s wrong with it. The first chapters are from too many mixed points of view at the same time. It’s fine to make the story the star but you still have to make sure each scene is written from the point of view of one character only. If you need more than one, you need to split them up into several smaller scenes.

So I have three important moments where the point of view is mixed and when you read it back it doesn’t work because you never get far enough into any one particular character’s head for it to seem anything more than one dimensional. So… I need to tweak those first. Then I need to add the bit that’s missing and probably about 20,000 words or so of peripheral action which doesn’t include the main character but is required to give depth – both to the other characters and the story…

It’s not a particularly new idea either, create a parallel dimension, give it access to this one, compare and contrast the two… Philip Pullman’s done it, but then, since Terry Pratchett has pretty much written all of my books for me, in theory if I took too much notice of what everyone else does, I’d never write anything at all. My view is that there are only a finite number of stories and that, rather than inventing a new story, it’s often more interesting if you can tell an old one in a new or interesting way. So the big idea is that there is something going on here, now in this world which most of us are missing… so JK Rowling, CS Lewis and Douglass Adams, come on down and join Mr Pullman!

Yeh, I am ambitious! Once it’s done then if I can read it and enjoy it, I’ll be quite content.

Cheers

BC

7. Geldoff - 20, December 2007

Hehe, BC, I wasn’t angling to get a look at your script it just seems to me that a friend might be a little less hard on the book than you yourself are and, by definition, will have a more objective view. Sounds to me like a little subtle encouragement might go a long way towards getting the magnum opus back out of the garage. (How’s that for mixing metaphors?! 🙂

Also, imvho, apart from the plots’ inventiveness much of the allure of Mr Adams excellent work was in the way he tells it, ie his ‘voice’ and perhaps that’s what a friend will hear that you may not be able to since subjectivity stamps its muddy boots all over it.

Me? well I’m just pure selfish – I want to be able to croon to anyone that’ll listen that I knew that world-renowned comedy writer BC when she only had her blog. 😉

8. babychaos - 31, December 2007

Mr G. You may well live to regret this day. When it’s finished Mr G, I will hold you to your offer to read my ramblings…

Cheers

BC


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