Uncle Chuck

Portrait of The Nicholarse in a Cafe.

I'm reading a newspaper and sipping on a coffee. I always feel stupid buying coffee in a cafe as it's something I'm more than capable of making for myself at home for a fraction of the price. The newspaper I'm reading while I sit here waiting for my friend is The Independant. It seems to think independant thought is unquestionable acceptance of leftwing ideology. One day I'll hate it but for the moment it's the best paper out there. It's got a good name and it's got some insteresting stories in. I think this is because it's aimed squarely at my "demographic". I'm not sure I like being part of a demographic.

One of the articles is about the possibility that the pop band 'blur' will be re-forming soon. It goes on to point out, rather tersely, that the band "never actually split up" as a matter of fact. As I read that they're meeting to record a new album, possibly, I'm excited because 'blur' are the Arctic Monkeys of my generation. I saw them play live at Glastonbury almost a decade ago and they were awesome. It's a moment I now know I'll carry to my grave. I feel both excited and then very old as I read the story. It allows me to understand how previous generations must have felt as they watched The Rolling Stones picking up knighthoods, or U2 morph into tw#ts.

Another article is about a study in Brighton which has revealed a rise in violent crime that operates in tandem with the full moon. The Police are now putting on extra staff according to the lunar cycle. I'm reminded of the fact that on the old phone in show we always experienced more calls whenever there was a full moon. The callers were always more excitable as well. Brighton police force want a University to carry out a proper study into the reasons why the moon makes such a difference. Having thought about it before I come to the obvious conclusion that it's because there's a big f#cking light in the sky. Obviously you're going to have more people awake and able to do stuff. That's surely common sense?*

The Cafe is starting to fill up with young people. I've already been made to feel old and tutting at a newspaper because the world lacks common sense isn't helping. I ask the lady if there's a toilet I can use. "There's only one", she replies, "it's over there". I pop over and discover that it's a disabled toilet. There are no others so I pop in and do my business. "Phew", I gasp to myself, "the atkins diet ain't doin me any favours there". Pure meaty goodness. I'm done and I pull the chain.

WHOOOPPP!
WHOOOOPP!!
WHOOPPP!!!

"F#ck", goes my mind, "I've set off a fire alarm or something". The toilet won't flush and the worst possible thing has happened as I stand next to the evidence. "Sh#tty b#llbags", I say out loud. I'm busy trying to compose myself wh-

WHOOOPPP!
WHOOOOPP!!
WHOOPPP!!!

"F#ck", goes my mind, "does that really need to be so loud?". I can hear someone scrabbling at the door. They're unlocking it to see what the emergency is. I walk over to the other corner of the spacious toilet room as if I'm nothing to do with i-

WHOOOPPP!
The woman who served me the coffee
WHOOOOPP!!
comes in with a big smile on her face and starts moving her mouth at me.
WHOOPPP!!!

--the alarm off by accident? I'm not sure how you turn it off," she finishes saying with a giggle. "That grin'll be upside down when you smell 'the coffee' in a moment luv," my evil brain thinks to itself as my good brain takes care of the talking; "Y-

WHOOOPPP!
-es I think I have" I say to myself as she looks at me with
WHOOOOPP!!
probably the same expression as the one I greeted her with.
WHOOPPP!!!

I step outside the smelly toilet and to my horror I realise that the alarm is as loud outside as it was inside. Not only that but it's making the lights flash on and off in a red haze. I presume this is the assistance alarm for a disabled person that I've pulled-

WHOOOPPP!
. To say that it's not very discreet is a massive f#cking
WHOOOOPP!!
understatement. All the people in the cafe, all the young people,
WHOOPPP!!!

are all looking at the toilet. At me. There's even some who are coming over to help out! "Righty then, err, I'm off. See you!" I say. As I stride out quite swiftly I can still hear the woman saying "I don't know how to turn it off!". As the alarm kicks in over her voice-

WHOOOPPP!
WHOOOOPP!!
WHOOPPP!!!

NM

*I used to work, very briefly, in a mental hospital. On the nights when there was a full moon they ALWAYS had extra staff on. It's the origin of the phrase lunatic. A "tick" caused by the moon.

Comments

Lloydd said…
The Independent is so called because it is not aligned to any political party. It is not claiming to be "opinion neutral" on political issues. Therefore, it doesn't bother me that it seems generally left-wing, but it would bother me if it was found to be biased to one specific party like Labour.

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