http://thenowherelounge.com Setting the world to rights Thu, 08 Nov 2018 16:58:36 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.1 140616280 Music Mosh Pits and Memories http://thenowherelounge.com/music-mosh-pits-and-memories/ http://thenowherelounge.com/music-mosh-pits-and-memories/#respond Thu, 08 Nov 2018 16:58:36 +0000 http://thenowherelounge.com/?p=602 Image result for the who It’s certainly true that music has played a huge part in shaping who I am. Some of my earliest memories are of creeping into the best room at the front of our house so that I could use my father’s 8 track. For those of you less than hundred years old an 8 track player was the forerunner to cassette tapes and played huge chunky cartridges, all before music was streamed effortlessly to multiple devices.

Even before this music was such a motivator to me that despite my progressive weakness I would spend the better part of an hour climbing from floor to chair, from chair to windowsill, and from my triumphant perch on the windowsill, if I carefully shuffled to the far end, then I could reach the radio. My mother would discover me listening to “cruising”, a radio show that played music from the 50s and 60s, and have no idea how I levitated up to the windowsill.

My father would also play the guitar and my amazing colourful and crazy family would sing whenever we got together for parties. I guess this led me to my preferred method of listening to music, the live venue!

Over the years I have seen many acts in venues of all shapes and sizes. I have witnessed the historic and mind-blowing through to the ‘God this is awful’ take me to the bar type of events and I thought I would share with you some of the highs and lows over the next few posts.

1. The Who –Image result for the who

At the age of 9 or 10, I was lucky enough to be sent to a relatively progressive special school for disabled children. Despite a lack of resources and an overarching policy dictated by government that seemed tantamount to babysitting rather than preparing us for the rigours of life, the staff tried their best to immerse us in pop culture and bent any rules they felt would benefit us. This led to several field trips in the evenings to see top bands. The very second band I ever went to see and still one of the best live acts of all time was The Who. They had just released their first song in a while (you better you bet) which was steadily climbing the charts and were doing their final tour to promote the accompanying album. Since this final tour, I believe they have done several other “final tours” which seem to crop up whenever their finances need topping up. I knew very little about the band other than their reputation for onstage destruction at the end of their set. It was a little over 2 years since Keith Moon had died and the internal dynamic with the new drummer was beginning to take shape. I remember the accompanying school staff handing me 2 small pieces of wax before the band came on and instructing me to put them in my ears,

“You’ll thank me when the band comes on!” Said the teacher, laughing slightly under his breath.

Everything around me became muted which I thought was bonkers until the band walked on and struck the first chord almost physically pushing my chair back with the sheer volume. In that instant, I became a lifelong fan. I remember Roger Daltrey swinging the microphone like a lasoo high into the air and catching it without even looking. Pete Townshend bounced around the stage with so much energy he looked like he would explode, periodically striking his guitar with his trademark windmill movement. Despite not knowing much about the band I realised how many songs were instantly recognisable. They worked through tracks that would now be considered their greatest hits until they finished with “We won’t get fooled again”. The energy built throughout the song and just after the last chorus, I saw Pete Townshend look across to the other band members whilst raising his foot and kicking over an amp to the left of him on the stage. Roger Daltrey shook his head and that sadly was the extent of their destruction. I wish I’d seen them 4 years earlier when they were at the height of their powers, but unfortunately, I was born a little too late to appreciate what I would have been seeing. Since the concert, like most people my age, I’ve watched Quadrophenia, bought several Who albums, owned a green bomber jacket, expanded my knowledge of other mod bands and even watched The Who play Glastonbury a few years back. This early performance became the benchmark to which I compared all subsequent live performances and remains one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen.

2. Radiohead – Image result for radiohead live the bends

I had tickets to see REM playing one of England’s largest outdoor venues, the Milton Keynes bowl. The supporting acts included Sleeper, a minor Britpop act, and an up-and-coming band called Radiohead that were touring their new album “The Bends”. I had already purchased the first album by Radiohead “Pablo Honey” and loved it especially their classic song ”Creep”. I quite liked sleeper and I was a big REM fan at the time.

It was Midsummer and the sun shone out of a clear blue sky on myself and my good friend Wayne as we try to get through the security without the 2 bottles of vodka we had stashed around my chair being discovered. The security managed to find one and poured it away but luckily they stopped looking when they discovered it. I believe we had a 2-litre bottle of coke and some water and were steadily working our way through it while the first 2 acts played to a steadily more animated audience. It was late afternoon by the time Radiohead walked onto the stage and with very little fuss they took their places and began to play what turned out to be one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. Each song was performed with precision and passion, the lyrics mirroring my own sense of alienation at the time. Let’s face it though, I was in my early 20s so not far away from my teenage angst phase and I was a young disabled man who faced prejudice and barriers everywhere so playing to my sense of angst was like shooting fish in a barrel. Because the album was new to the band, each song was played with a freshness that you will never hear live again. In fact, I watched a performance by Radiohead recently from the Glastonbury festival and was so disappointed in comparison. Most of the performance seemed tantamount to self-indulgent musical masturbation and not the angry sensitive poetic performance I remembered. I will probably get a string of comments from angry Radiohead fans telling me why I’m wrong, but in answer to all the criticism I am reminded of the quote “in matters of personal taste everyone is an expert”.

By the time the band had finished their performance had elevated them to the lofty height of “My favourite band” status, a classification that unfortunately changes way too often. I immediately went out and bought a copy of The Bends and listen to it incessantly for almost a year. I also remember feeling quite sorry for REM having to walk on stage and perform after such a mind-blowing seminal performance by a support act. It’s a testament to how good Radiohead were that I can barely remember any of the REM performance.

 

3. Prince –Image result for Prince love love sexy

Towards the end of one of the hottest summers I can remember, I was offered tickets by a friend to see Prince live in the slightly rundown indoor venue Wembley Arena. Unlike the stadium where I had seen several other acts as mere dots in the distance, the arena was far more intimate and I was lucky enough to be placed in the disabled stand very near to the stage. I remember arriving to be greeted by immense crowds and having to queue for quite a while just to get through the door whilst watching the security turn away people with counterfeit tickets. Apparently, the tickets were so sought after that a large number of counterfeits had come onto the market making the venue seem even smaller, like it was bursting at the seams. Perhaps the heat coupled with the beyond capacity venue led to the palpable feeling of tension amongst the audience as we stood waiting for the show to begin.

I had, of course, heard Prince tracks before in nightclubs and parties and was somewhat indifferent to them but had accepted the tickets because after all, it was live music! The support act, if memory serves me right, was a quite unforgettable group of very good looking women, so when the lights went down for the main act my expectations were quite low. A single beam of light lit up a dancer and he began to move to the rhythm coming out of the darkness surrounding him. He was soon joined by another light and dancer, then another until the whole stage was illuminated and full of dancers but suspiciously devoid of the main man. I then noticed space was being made on the stage and an object was being lowered from high above into it. The object was a white and neon grand piano and on top of it was Prince simulating sex with 2 semi-undressed women.

This was the most original and unexpected start to a concert I’d ever seen and was followed by one of the most intense, skilful and enjoyable concerts of my life. His live performance turned me from indifferent to a lifelong fan and although I was lucky enough to see him a couple of times after this, this remains amongst the best and most transformational live performance I’ve ever seen.

 

These 3 concerts have stayed with me ever since as some of the best memories of my younger years and are now the benchmark to which I measure all other acts I go and see. Far from living a life of disappointment after them, they set me on a path of amazing live experiences and showed me that if I open my mind to new music then sometimes I discover new passions.

 

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Why Tequila is Evil http://thenowherelounge.com/why-tequila-is-evil/ http://thenowherelounge.com/why-tequila-is-evil/#comments Sat, 10 Mar 2018 16:32:10 +0000 http://thenowherelounge.com/?p=595 I remember one particular lost afternoon which began as most adventures do with a seemingly innocent lunchtime drink. I was on another extended visit to Mike’s guest room in Great Yarmouth and after an amazing breakfast on the seafront and a morning looking round second-hand record shops, we had popped in for a quick lunchtime pint before heading home to make plans for the evening.

We’d been there a while and the banter was flowing nicely when we were joined by few of Mike’s friends. Of course, it would have been rude to leave at that point so more rounds ensued as our little crowd got steadily bigger and steadily louder. Lunchtime bled into the afternoon, and after several trips to the cash machine for more drink money and phone calls to Mike’s, then girlfriend, to make excuses, someone uttered the fatal words.

“Why don’t we do a round of tequila shots?”

The afternoon gets kind of fuzzy from then on. I have a vague recollection of chatting with a group of lifeguards in someone’s back garden. I remember a guy I only knew as “hey, Baywatch!” Rolling me cigarettes, laughing a lot, and trashing some poor woman’s bathroom in an attempt to make room for more free beer. Let me expand on that last one, it had got to the point in the day when no more drink could enter without some exiting. I kind of remember a group of the guys lifting my chair up a step to get into the house, then Mike and myself rather unsuccessfully trying to navigate down what seemed an incredibly narrow corridor to the toilet. The corridor was probably much larger but we were in no fit state for any complex in-depth operations such as getting into a bathroom without ripping wallpaper and gouging doorframes with my chair. Once successfully in, I realised the bathroom was tiny and I reversed to give Mike some room to assist me, but went a tad too far, knocking over a unit. Mike pulled the toilet roll, emptying the entire spool onto the floor then momentarily lost his footing while try to empty the urine bottle splashing its contents liberally around the room. We somehow managed to get out without doing any further damage and rejoined the group in the garden. More beer flowed and I have no more memories until sometime later.

My first semi-coherent memory is at about 10: 30 in the evening. I came to in a suburban garden which I’m assuming was the same garden but realistically could have been somewhere completely different, and found myself at some random person’s 21st birthday barbecue, in the middle of an impromptu stage. Looking up I discovered a stripper gyrating over the top of me. Baywatch was laughing so hard he almost fell off his chair, in the crowd, I spied a very drunk looking Mike who appeared to be shouting at me.

“Wake up Chris, you’re missing it!”

In quick succession, I remember thinking, where the hell am I? What happened to the pub? How the hell is it dark already?

Finding my composure, I turned to the stripper and vaguely remember saying something like

“whatever you do, don’t go in the bathroom because I think Baywatch has trashed it!”

Mike then sensibly called us a cab and we headed home.

That evening did however teach me 2 important lessons

  1. Never let your kids throw an unsupervised 21st birthday party. But more importantly
  2. Tequila is evil.
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Hobbies http://thenowherelounge.com/hobbies/ http://thenowherelounge.com/hobbies/#comments Sun, 18 Feb 2018 16:38:29 +0000 http://thenowherelounge.com/?p=591 I’ve always been a bit of a serial hobbyist, a collector of hobbies you might say! Something peaks my interest for a while before being replaced by something else. Sometimes it’s been a matter of just delving into a subject and learning more about it other times I’ve started collecting things.

I’ve always had an interest in history and at one point got interested in Egyptology. I read loads of books, in the days when I read for pleasure, on the subject.

Then, I started collecting Vesta boxes . Looking back I’m not too sure why I did this, I think I just enjoyed the process of buying and selling on Ebay to be honest. Other things I’ve done are keeping tropical fish, doing a bit of bird watching and wine tasting. I even started going to the gym at one point! In all seriousness I need to find an interest that makes me a bit more physically active.

Currently and for the last few years, I’ve been interested in watches and attempting to put a collection together. I’ve always liked them but never thought of a collection until a few years ago. My collection at the moment consists of an Omega Speedmaster, which is an early birthday present from Karen, a Seiko, a Christopher Ward and two Vostoks . I’ve also owned a Tag Heuer and a Tissot.

Whenever we got to Watford, if Chris and I go into town I drag Chris to all the Jewellers that we don’t have locally and oggle at the watches.

 

Watch Colection

Anyone else got any hobbies?

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Top 5 Comedy Heroes http://thenowherelounge.com/top-5-comedy-heroes/ http://thenowherelounge.com/top-5-comedy-heroes/#respond Sun, 14 Jan 2018 14:47:42 +0000 http://thenowherelounge.com/?p=582 By way of reply to Bryn’s top 5 comedy sketches I thought I would expand a little. I approved of every choice in Bryn’s list but it made me realise that the sketch show format seems to have died. If I think about the influences that spawned these shows in the first place I am drawn back to some of the comedy heroes that made me laugh and have shaped my own view on life.

  1. Stan Laurel – Stan for me was vastly underrated from a critical standpoint and seem to be overshadowed by contemporaries such as Chaplin and Keaton. I defy anyone to watch this without laughing.
  2. Spike Milligan – As a child, I was somewhat obsessed with the way spikes mind worked. I love the absurd randomness of his thought process and the constant sense of mischief you could see in every smirk on his face.
  3. Billy Connolly – Firstly he was and is a talented folk musician. However emerging early on in his career audiences began to notice how effortlessly funny he seemed to be. His anecdotes painted a vivid and hilarious picture of his life weaving stories and tall tales that still make me laugh today after watching them hundreds of times.
  4. Eddie Izzard – Eddie is another anecdotal comedian but like Spike has a unique and random thought process. Aside from that he appears to be fearless in his personal life and quite an aspirational figure. I have actually had the privilege of seeing him live in a wonderfully surreal anecdote ridden portrayal of the world.
  5. Monty Python – I’ve included the entire crew as I find it hard to differentiate which member I find the funniest or most comically influential. I absolutely love the almost subversive nature of their humour, but at the end of the day they were just a bunch of guys trying to make each other laugh. This sketch, like most of theirs, is now a classic. It’s a very clever portrayal of a natural tendency I have lately caught myself expressing.

I must note that there are countless other comic talents that I immensely enjoy and have greatly influenced me such as the late great Rik Mayall, but in the process of whittling it down to 5, I have chosen the ones that mostly match my own sense of humour.

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Alternative Song Lyrics http://thenowherelounge.com/alternative-song-lyrics/ http://thenowherelounge.com/alternative-song-lyrics/#comments Tue, 09 Jan 2018 14:34:16 +0000 http://thenowherelounge.com/?p=567 Everybody needs a hobby and one of mine is to share any unique interpretations of modern songs that cross my juvenile and puerile mind. Poor Amy is now totally incapable of listening to the following songs without hearing these alternative lyrics. After reading them, neither will you… Mwa ha ha (taps fingers together like Mr Burns)

  1. My bum really hurts when I poo – Billy Ocean (Love really hurts without you)
  2. Tonight I Sellotape My Glove to You – Peabo Bryson, Roberta Flack (tonight I celebrate my love to you)
  3. I do Pedo – George Ezra (Budapest) listen to the chorus and you won’t hear anything else!
  4. Johnny goes to work in a frock, the unions been on strike so he goes down on his boss, it’s tough – Bon Jovi (living on a prayer)
  5. Locked out of Devon – Bruno Mars
  6. I’ve got to move my jacket – Maroon 5 (moves like Jagger)
  7. Don’t love me for fun girl, when you take it up the bum girl, love me for reason, let the reason be cash – Boyzone and the Osmonds
  8. I’m doing anal instead – Robby Williams (Angels)

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Top Five Comedy Sketches http://thenowherelounge.com/top-five-comedy-sketches/ http://thenowherelounge.com/top-five-comedy-sketches/#respond Sun, 07 Jan 2018 18:32:07 +0000 http://thenowherelounge.com/?p=559 In the Facebook group the other day, Paul, posted a picture of a Pirate game and the comment “finally found one”. It took me a bit to figure out what he was on about but then I remembered about the Little Britain sketch show which had an on going sketch featuring a guy, Mr Mann  going into a shop and asking for really specific items such as  “Have you got any Pirate memory games?” This has led me to put together my favourite comedy sketches.

Mr Mann looking for Pirate Memory Games

So, in no specific order, they are :

One Legged Tarzan – Peter Cook and Dudley Moore

Constable Savage – Not the Nine O’clock News

The Little Girl – absolutely

Terrific Snow Storm, Rowley Birkin QC – The Fast Show

Little Britain – Lou & Andy “Judo”.

 

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Brief Problems with Gravity http://thenowherelounge.com/brief-problems-with-gravity/ http://thenowherelounge.com/brief-problems-with-gravity/#respond Fri, 05 Jan 2018 15:37:28 +0000 http://thenowherelounge.com/?p=554 Chris –Here is a contribution from Mike who I’ve been getting into trouble with since we were kids. Thankfully this is one of the less embarrassing stories he has from my perspective.

Evening Gentleman I take it the bars open. Whilst pondering the many times Mr C spent with me when I lived in Gt Yarmouth. 
We frequented many bars often in tow with our ole friend Fluffy so called because he was a violent skinhead who hated Policemen but was as soft as shit with us. 
Whilst enjoying one of our sessions I forgot how to walk and landed on my face in one of the bars we were in. Fluffy being the kind hero he is was decided to rush to my aid and help me up. At this point, I lost my ability to be polite and accepting of this kind Skinheads help.

A few weeks later I happened to go out for an evening with Fluffy at the local Gay bar (Fluffy was loved at Kings Wine Bar). We had visited a few places beforehand and I was starting to forget how to walk again. Enter Fluffy into the bar Yooo Hoo boys here I am. Enter Mike into the bar waaaaaaah flat on my face. I looked at Fluffy with sad eyes for help. Fluffy looked and me and said in his caring voice Piss Off you didn’t want my help last time. I was eventually helped up by a lovely Lesbian who sat me on a chair. Happy ending 🙂

The reason for this story is that here at the Nowhere Lounge I feel safer and won’t forget how to walk. Mr C remembers similar stories well which will hopefully resurface in time.

Cheers everyone. 

 

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Small Things http://thenowherelounge.com/small-things/ http://thenowherelounge.com/small-things/#respond Fri, 05 Jan 2018 15:22:55 +0000 http://thenowherelounge.com/?p=550 Chris – I would like to thank Matt for being the first to contribute an anecdote. Having known him as long as I’ve known Bryn, I would imagine this won’t be his last contribution.

 

So is this where you put you amusing rambling. I can start you off with one connected to my major disability – foot in mouth disease. I was working in our London office the other week I rushed to a closing lift and pushed in at pace. Saw a couple of mates already in, the type that wind you up every minute. As a came to a stop I quipped “room for a little one”, due to my diminished stature. Only to see the usual pair of idiot looking sheepish.

I turned to my right to see a very little person and I mean little giving me the death eyes. At this point, I should have counted my losses but my mouth took over and I said: “oh I see there is”. TUMBLEWEED. My mates nearly shit their kidneys once out of the lift. Not at the victim of my idiotic drivel, but my sad excuse of a mouth 🙂 I was once voted at work as the most likely to be inappropriate- why?
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Beery Christmas http://thenowherelounge.com/beery-christmas/ http://thenowherelounge.com/beery-christmas/#respond Mon, 01 Jan 2018 19:26:15 +0000 http://thenowherelounge.com/?p=531 For the last couple of years I’ve been developing and interest in Craft Beer , not that I’ve got very far since most of my beers are purchased from Supermarkets stocking faire from “Macro” breweries, which are frowned on by the true Craft Beer enthusiasts. So perhaps it’d be more correct that I’ve been trying to broaden my palate.

Chris and I thought this blog might be a way for us to develop this interest because, when we get together, we always try out new stuff, mainly from Supermarkets but Chris and Amy did buy me a a box of beers from Beer Hawk  for my birthday last year, I’m writing this on 1/1/18 so I’m having to think about dates etc.

We thought that a review of our Christmas beers might be good content for the blog so here’s a list of mine. I was only going to include beers drunk in the immediate Christmas period but I, then, remembered that Chris and I, along with Karen and Amy of course, had got together in early December and had shared a couple of Christmas themed beers.

The first of these was Brewdolph by Wychwood Brewery . I don’t remember much about this now but I seem to recall that it went down quite well. There was another one that we drank during this visit but I can’t remember it now, perhaps Chris will remember.

Then Christmas itself came around. Karen bought me a heavy glass tankard as a present and had bought a bottle of Evan Evans  “Cwrw”, for the uninitiated Cwrw is just the Welsh word for beer and pronounced, something like, “cooroo.” This beer is described by untappd as an “English Bitter”. I thought it was a tasty beer with flavours of Malt and some Hops. In terms of texture though, I thought it was a bit thin and watery. But I’d give it another go if I came across it again

Karen also bought me a couple of bottles and a glass, which lasted less then two days because I can be a bit cack handed, from a local Micro brewery on Anglesey called Anglesey Brew House . I had some of their Rhosneigr IPA . I’m more in to Stouts, Porters and dark ales than IPAs but I did enjoy this. IPAs tend to have a bitterness and, what I call, a “perfume” like flavour that I don’t always enjoy but this example had, for me, the right balance of flavours.

Sadly, from this point, the Welsh angle ends, until New Years Eve, and the quality of beer heads rapidly down hill. Karen also bought me a voucher for a beer “club” called Beer52 . I used the voucher to purchase eight bottles of beer of mixed styles on Christmas Day. In fairness the box arrived the day after Boxing Day but the contents were a disappointment. I won’t bore you with a review of all the beers that I’ve had so far but the ones’ I have had have been tasteless and fairly watery, despite coming from some reputable breweries in the “Craft” field.

Then on New Years Eve, Karen and I spent the evening at one of our favourite pub/restaurants The White Eagle . Sadly on this, rare, occasion the food wasn’t up to much but they did have “Cwtch” from Tiny Rebel Brewery on tap. Cwtch is a Red Ale full of malty, carmel flavours. It’s a beer I’ve been wanting to try for a while so I took full advantage while I could!

So, that about wraps it up for my beery Christmas. If you have any suggestions for beers that Chris and I might try we’d love to hear from you.

 

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99 Percent Human http://thenowherelounge.com/99-999-percent-human/ http://thenowherelounge.com/99-999-percent-human/#comments Sun, 24 Dec 2017 13:44:05 +0000 http://thenowherelounge.com/?p=506 I was born with the condition spinal muscular atrophy type 2. This is a progressive condition that affects the nerves between my brain and my muscles. The consequence of this is that as the nerves slowly die and my muscles get progressively weaker. This all sounds incredibly depressing but in fact, it has been a source of several lessons that have made me stronger. I’m not trying to say that I am eternally sunny, I’ve had my dark times but each of these has been caused by a life event that could potentially befall anyone and has nothing to do with any physical deficit of mine

It was always described to me as “a condition”, and in my mind, it was almost as if it was a separate entity fighting against me like a virus or cancer. It also always left me feeling somehow slightly incomplete, like a small missing element was destroyed by my condition making it affect me. Simplifying things somewhat the science describes it as incomplete or damaged DNA on the SM N1 gene. So, I guess I’m 99.999% human!

I was in the shower of all places, and it struck me that it is only society that describes the differences between myself and the average man as “SMA”. Far from being incomplete, I am a complete Chris Cusack, with the expected strength, life expectancy, intelligence and humour of a Chris Cusack.

I’m probably not describing this idea very well but it was incredibly freeing to me. SMA is not a separate entity, it is a part of me and one that has contributed both positive and negative, without it I would be missing an element that makes me whole.

Disability lessons

Out of the myriad of lessons it has taught me here are the 3 I have found most useful.

  1. A good sense of humour gets you out of far more trouble than a strong right hook. Because of this, I was never bullied at school, any new group or class I went to I would always try and make the biggest kid laugh, after that I never had any trouble.
  2. Stubbornness and lateral thinking can solve most problems. A lot of disabled adults have had to develop these essential life skills and I wish that all employers could understand this fact. If this stubbornness and lateral thinking are applied in the workplace it can just as easily turn hurdles into advantages for a company as it can for an individual.
  3. It’s a little cheesy but, taking nothing for granted. When your physicality is built on shifting foundations, you soon learn to appreciate experiences while you have them. This was one of the earliest lessons my disability taught me, as since my teenage years I’ve had to live with a profound sense of my own mortality. If others have no future expectations for you then you can either stagnate or take control of your own life. I am in control of my own happiness and I get to choose what experiences I enjoy rather than avoiding things because of my limitations. I try to say yes as much as I can, yes to new experiences, yes to adventures and challenges. I try to be blind to the prejudice that is still out there.

 

Most of the disability-related prejudice I have come up against, whilst annoying, is relatively well-meaning and usually stems from a lack of knowledge or experience. I have always seen it as a duty to attempt to gently re-educate these people when I come across them. This is usually possible simply by existing in contradiction to their perceived stereotypes. There are some instances however where you just have to grit your teeth and then move on with your life, such as in cases of the condescending earnest religious types. I have personally been “cured” at least 3 times so far.

 

One time, in particular, I had been into London with Amy, my then fiancé, for a wonderful evening of food, drinks, and friends. It was the middle of the night and we were catching the almost deserted Jubilee line back to London Bridge. The train rolled into the station and myself and Amy got off and made our way towards the lift. Behind us, the only other man in our carriage also got off and followed us down the quiet echoey platform. I had a slight feeling of unease as I could hear the gentleman quickening his pace closing the distance between us. I became very aware of how deserted London bridge tube station was at that time of night and I tried to position myself between him and Amy. Then a series of calculations went through my mind in quick succession.

Could I knock him over?

How quickly could Amy get to the lift if she ran?

How quickly would he get back up again?

Before I could finish my thought a large hand reached out and touched my shoulder. “Can I pray for you?”

“Knock yourself out,” I replied and carried on towards the lift. I could see a worried look on Amy’s face as she reached the elevator and pressed the call button.

My attempted escape was short-lived however as the man reached out and placed 2 hands one on my chest and one of my back. ‘Oh bloody great, I thought, here we go again!’

His eyes rolled back in his head and he drew in a deep breath. He began by mumbling under his breath, slowly getting louder with a gibberish I was later informed was speaking in tongues. Every so often he would pause and blow raspberries over my head. After this rather unhygienic shower, in the politest voice I could muster I said.

“Thank you, we really must be go….”

“JUMBAWA FLUMBA TIBBLE” he interrupted

“Ah okay, good point” I replied not wanting to upset the crazy person.

After what seemed an eternity but in fact was probably only 5 minutes he released his hands and with a kind smile said.

“You will wake up in the morning and be healed.” With that, he turned and headed for the staircase leaving Amy and myself to enter the lift in a stunned silence.

“You can’t ever say life with me is dull?” I muttered finally and we both began to laugh.

For those of you that are interested my encounter did not, in fact, heal me. To be frank I don’t think it even lessened the slight hangover I woke up with caused in no small part by the several nightcaps we had while discussing our adventure in the hotel room.

In my opinion, you cannot stamp this kind of thing out overnight, you can only choose how much you let it affect you and interfere with your mood. I try to look beneath the actions to the intentions before I get angry and confrontational. I will correct someone if they’re being rude but life is just too short to constantly be angry!

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