Monday, 28 May 2012

A River Runs Through It

So, those of you residing in the UK, may have notice that the rain finally stopped and kind of overnight we went from 'thermal vest and potentially ear muffs' to 't-shirts and flip flops' weather.  

For those, like me, originating from very northerly climes, this may have come upon you rather rapidly in terms of revealing flesh - the colour of which is naturally a couple of shades cooler than skimmed milk and you 'may' have been tempted to enlist the help of chemicals in order to stop yourself turning any onlookers snow blind.  If so let this be a cautionary tale.... (though perhaps not quite as cautionary as the one where I burnt most of my muff and denuded a shag pile carpet with that dubious hair removing foam). 

As a teenager the tone of my skin caused me immense grief. I remember temping in a factory where they christened me Snow White and wouldn't call me anything else.  Friends would mercilessly taunt my near transparent nature.  One fateful day I found a bottle of fake tan in the back of my mum's bathroom cabinet (the same bathroom cabinet that still holds 'miniature soaps and shower caps collected from the World's Holiday Inns, 1980 - 1994 inclusive'.  It's like a shrine to the Glory Years of International Business Travel).  

My heart pumped hard, surely this miracle product was my new holy grail? SAVED FROM FOREVER LOOKING LIKE I'D DIED A WEEK PREVIOUSLY! Baywatch here we come....

Now what we need to bear in mind here is that this must have been one of the first ever fake tans.  People complain now that they smell and look orange.... FOLKS! You ain't seen NOTHING.  In a covert 'using things that don't belong to me' operation I covered my legs in it and quite rapidly smelt like a properly rotten egg and my legs developed intensely bright orange stripes - think the tone of Iron Bru.  


I was forced to spend a very hot period of my teenage summer in black woolly tights and pass it off as a flirtation with Goth-lite.  

But, luckily, times have changed and there are now much better fake tans and for ultra-pale people those moisturisers with a HINT of fake tan. You know, to take the blinding reflective qualities of your skin down a notch.  

And thus it was I purchased Superdrug's So Soft body lotion with a hint, note HINT, of self tanner.   I slapped it all over and went to sleep...... By the morning? Well by the morning the Cuprinol Man Cometh.  

This is by FAR the most full on and orange fake tan I've experienced since stealing my mum's prototype job.  

And a WEEK LATER - I still had huge dark orange patches.  

Hint? HINT? Hint of tanner my flaming arse. I would recommend this product to NOBODY.  Unless Oompaloompa Orange really gets you off.  

So by Thursday night I was getting really quite peed off about this situation, a week looking like you tried and failed to join the cast of TOWIE is not my desired look, and decided it was kill or cure so covered my whole body in what ever other fake tan products were lying around.  The idea was I'd go to bed, and wake up probably looking like a sepia patchwork quilt but at least I'd done 'something'. 

So products went on.  I lay down naked and started drifting off to sleep.... I heard a wail.  


Youngest child was muttering and sobbing. 

'Wee wee?' I asked, standing him over in a zombie-like naked pose (not wanting to chaff off the tan you see). No doubt such memories will come out in some kind of regressional therapy at a later date but, all the same, he sleepily nodded... 

I picked him up, put his little arms around my neck, pressed his little body against mine, nuzzled his soft blonde hair and took a step forward.....

The next thing I was aware of was a very hot very wet sensation....

And then brain engaged and I realised he was pissing.  Like a horse. 

I set off at high speed but the whole way out of his room, down the corridor and into the bathroom it just kept on jettisoning out and as he was squashed against me, his willy was pointing directly skyward and wee was issuing forth in something of a torrent, right up to the height of my chin, and then running back down my body, down legs - frankly down everywhere.  

By the time I had him positioned over the toilet I was literally dripping in piss.  

I put him back to bed and surveyed the damage. There was a lot of damage. 

Smelling like a tramp is bad enough but of course the rivulets of urine meant great streaks of my body were now stripped of fake tan.  I knew that I'd wake up looking the delta of the Nile in negative and I'm sure some people would have now taken a full shower and painstakingly re-applied the fake tan but frankly once you get past midnight life is far too short for such concerns.  So I towelled the worst of the wee off and fell asleep.  

There are worse things in life than visually representing a great river basin.  

In the morning I did take a shower (I'm not 'that' bad) but whilst drying my face and towelling my hair I noted the towel smelt particularly fusty.  

Great.  You've guessed it.  It was the wee towel.  

So I got to look like I was suffering a rare skin disease AND smell slightly of urine.  Wow. 

So the moral of my tale is - if you are vain enough to care what tone your skin is, be sensible enough to put clothes on before entering into any situation which could involve getting pissed on.  

Got it? 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Strange Love

Sorry slacking again.....but all is good so let's get on with it. 

We haven't talked about Badger Girl for a while so lets.  For once lets not talk about me.  Badger Girl is alive and well but no longer selling kinky ladybird outfits or asking me to sell glo-sticks dressed in a tutu and thong.  No. Although she is currently trying to claim she had a surfeit of dead/dying badgers inhabiting her property. Seriously. 

She's now, mainly, teaching young people to handle stallions (or something).  She's back in the arena with a whip and her boots on and her hair extensions under a riding hat and, it appears, for this new job she requires a character reference.....

So who she's gonna ask? 


Well the first thing that shocked me, other than the fact she asked ME, was that, when I sat down and figured it out she's been part of my life for 22 years. TWENTY TWO.  Gulp.  That makes me feel like I should actually be a grown up.   

And then? Well the temptation was to run free and tell the whole story but you know, not many future employers are ready to hear that, so I just told them the bits that make her a fab employee. The fact she's the most hardworking person I ever met.  The fact she's got a great sense of humour, she's trustworthy, she never judges people, she can get on with anyone and she's honest.  Hell I trusted her to mind my children when I went to funeral.  I think she took them out in the dark to help her catch dangerous unbroken ponies before feeding them sweets and putting on Scooby Doo - but hell the kids loved it and are used to being cared for by my mother (latest update: 'Mummy - grandma has been teaching us about doing scratchcards!'..... oh hell how far have we fallen now?!) so it was a step up. But you know, there is an unwritten character reference itching to get here it is..... Badger Girl this one's for you.....may we still be calling havoc in the Sunset Retirement Home....

"To Whom it May Concern, 

I have known Badger Girl for 22 years.  Yes TWENTY TWO YEARS.  I must need help because looking back our relationship has looked something like this.... 

It started innocently enough on the back of some ponies but it wasn't long before she'd got me carrying her cigarettes so her mum wouldn't catch her, put me in a shopping trolley at the carnival and let it go down a rather steep hill. In front of the police.   I should have known to get out of the relationship right then but something made me stay (fear?).

This was a mistake because not long after she informed me she had a box of hair dye and needed to use it. On me.  I was adamant this was a NO but somehow she bullied me into 'just 10 minutes'. Several hours later my sobs of protest (and her cackling witch-like laughter) brought her mother to the table and she was ordered to stop before my entire scalp getting burnt off and wash it out. Which she did.  With milk.  She lived on a dairy farm.  There was plenty of milk around.  Warm milk.

On our relationship went.  Memorable moments include her putting me on a trailer and revving a quad bike up so I resembled a swamp creature and throwing me onto the back of an (unsaddled) horse so I flew straight off the other side and landed arse first on a breeze block.   Oh how her laughter still rattles through my brain.  

Then, for some reason, I asked her to be my one and only bridesmaid.  This meant she organised my hen do.   Her first move was to take me, her, my mum and her mum to a comedy club.  The first joke was about epileptics giving blow jobs.  My mum worked her entire live with the disabled. Unfazed by oral sex she was rather cross that people were making jokes at the expense of those with serious health problems.    


Or maybe she'd rather not swallow.

Several hours of 'oh my god my MUM can't sit next to me hearing this' later we escaped and the next day she took me raft building on Exmoor.  In November.  The water temperate was so cold we weren't allowed to build rafts as if we fell in it would kill us.  Potentially. So they put us in canoes instead with inflatable crocodiles.  Go figure.  We got very wet and nearly died.    Then we raced quad bikes. Then we went to a very bad nightclub in Exeter where I got mistaken for a Transvestite and asked to leave the ladies toilets. We then got in a taxi and the driver asked if I was on my stag do.  Nope - you really couldn't make it up.  

She's stuck with me through all my dramas.  I can be sat there saying 'oh my god, I don't know how to go on, I mean you know, it's all too much....' and she'll say 'shift it Stickhead, I need you to tell me if this badger is dead or not'. 

And if fact it was her that christened me Stickhead. A name so well known down here I once had a cheque written to 'Stickhead'.   I couldn't cash it.  Sadly.

She collects ponies like shoes and she has a million kittens that get born in her sock draw and piss all over her floors.  She's the only person that can keep up with my tea intake.  She's not been seen without copious fake tan on since about 1999.  Like me she will die with mascara on.   She's recently tried to give up smoking.  When I asked her how long she'd lasted after her counselling session she looked chuffed and told me '4 hours. But then it got stressful. And anyway, I was in the vets the other day and there was a Labrador in there which had eaten 24 packs of Nicorette gum and was REALLY ill. Which just proves all that stuff is bad for you.....'.  

She's the only person who has nearly got me killed in a mosh pit.  In a poncho.  She's scared of nothing yet she's terrified of stiff badgers.  I had to teach her how to text and even now it's easier to write her a letter.  

There are some people who never have a friend like Badger Girl and you know what, despite the bruises, the ruined hair, the laughter at my expense, the fact she nearly killed me several times, the fact she's the only living person still drinking Snowballs and has a corner bath which used to hold ducklings - before Rod the Emu came to live with her (don't ask what happened to Rod - DON'T), the fact there is an actual real 'beast' (like a panther or something) living on her farm and she once paid me to spend a night painting the torsos of teenage boys with luminous body paint - I bloody love her.  And if you're lucky enough to have her in your workforce just hang on and go with the ride.....

Yours - forever Stickhead"