Monday, 31 October 2016

The Absolutely True Adventures Of Fishy Fishface. Chapter Three.

I have changed the name Flunkbum to Wisselbum. Sorry if this leads to any confusion.

Chapter three.

They say that good luck and bad luck always comes in three’s? That is rubbish. Who are ‘they’ anyway? Do you know? Does anyone? No. Me neither. In fact, to be perfectly frank with you, I have forgotten how much good luck or bad luck Fishy Fishface has had so far. But let us for the sake of not having an argument say it is about equal. Certainly, without a shadow of a doubt, it was very lucky indeed for Fishy Fishface that Albert Wisselbum whilst being tossed about and gasping for breath in the raging torrent of floodwater should happen to swallow him. I mean, come on what’s the chances of that happening? Swallowing a fish? A goldfish? In a river? No way. Added to that Albert Wisselbum had also lost his false teeth whilst being tossed about and gasping for breath in the raging torrent of floodwater. So, there was no risk whatsoever of Fishy Fishface getting bitten accidentally. Okay, perhaps a slight risk from a mild gumming but much less than if Albert had his teeth in you must admit.
What do you think the odds of Albert Wisselbum getting hooked by a fisherman as he floated rapidly down river were? A million to one? I would say that’s about right. But, and I know you won’t believe this, that is exactly what happened. You couldn’t make it up, could you?
Old Cromwell Smelly the local poacher, had fished this river for nigh on fifty years, man and boy. That should be boy and man but nobody ever says it that way. Man, and boy eh? Perhaps I’ll make that nigh on seventy years because if he started fishing when he was a boy of let’s say ten and he was old now he must be ninety years old at least. I don’t know when people started calling him Old Cromwell Smelly but he would have been quite old when they did. I suppose one day someone said, “Here comes Cromwell Smelly,” and someone else said, “He’s looking old,” and from that day to this he is known as Old Cromwell Smelly?” Makes a lot of sense to me. Let’s make it that he had fished there for nigh on eighty years. I mean, he could be a hundred years old for all I know. Yes, all right he had fished there for nigh on ninety years. However long it was, it was a heck of a long time and he had never bought a fishing permit in all that time.
He had caught some big fish in his long lifetime but never anything as big as Albert Wisselbum who was, to put it indelicately, and not taking political correctness too seriously, a right proper lardy fatso. But here luck makes another fortuitous appearance because Old Cromwell Smelly was using the same type of fishing line as that which is used to catch sharks. Don’t ask me why. He just was, okay? Not little sharks either. Oh no. We are talking Great White Sharks here. Okay, you can ask me why. It was a job lot he picked up cheap at a car boot sale.
Anyway, he reels Albert Wisselbum in and pulls him coughing and spluttering up the bank. You would think, wouldn’t you that Albert Wisselbum having just been saved from drowning, would be grateful? But no. Not a bit of it. Don’t forget Albert Wisselbum works for the river authority, normally wears a peaked cap, and is therefore, duty bound to be a pain in the ar… neck, making him an actual jobsworth. “’Ere,” he says to Old Cromwell Smelly, ‘ave you got a permit to fish here?”
“No I ain’t,” says Old Cromwell Smelly angrily, “’ave you got a permit to pollute the river with your fat, bloated carcass?”
“Ere, that’s enough of your cheek,” says Albert Wisselbum in reply, “I shall be reporting you to the authorities in that on... What’s todays date? Oh, never mind. I shall be reporting you for fishing without a permit on whatever todays date is.”
“And I,” said Old Cromwell Smelly with an air of quiet satisfaction, “shall report you to the Health and Safety busybodies at the town hall for being in or on the river without a life jacket.”
Albert Wisselbum was so shocked by this audacious counter argument that he began to splutter with rage and then he began coughing again until after one particularly strong cough who do you think popped out of his mouth? Yes, that’s right. It was Fishy Fishface. Well done for paying attention.
“And furthermore,” went on Old Cromwell Smelly looking down at Fishy Fishface flopping weakly on the ground, “I shall be reporting you for cruelty to this innocent little goldfish.”
“Oh you will, will you?” said Albert Wisselbum, “in that case you will need some proof,” and with that he quickly scooped up Fishy Fishface and shoved him into the pocket of his hi-vis health and safety jacket with the stuck zip and walked off along the riverbank looking back over his shoulder and laughing, “Hahaha, where is your proof?”
I would like to say, he laughed all the way back to his house, but I can’t because I don’t know and besides, it was getting dark. If I had to guess though, I would think not, because it is difficult to keep laughing when your boots are wet and your socks all squishy.

What Albert Wisselbum failed to notice due to being soaking wet and cold was the young man who had filmed the whole thing on his smart phone and was now uploading the video to Facebook. Where in just a few hours it will have notched up over twenty million views. Not that it makes any difference to this story. Because I probably won’t be mentioning it again.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

The Absolutely True Adventures Of Fishy Fishface. Chapter Two.

Chapter two.

You are going to find this next bit extremely difficult to believe, but it is the truth I tell you.

At the exact precise moment Mrs Snotdrip flushed the hapless Fishy Fishface down the toilet the haplessness disappeared and Fishy Fishface had the most incredible stroke of luck any goldfish has ever had in all the time that goldfishes have been bred for the lucrative pet fish market. Note I say fish market with two words and not the one word fishmarket. I should admit here that I don’t know for certain if fishmarket is one word. However, I believe a fishmarket is a place where dead fish are sold in their thousands and well, let us not go there today.

Now then, at the almost precise moment exactly that Mrs Snotdrip flushed Fishy Fishface down the toilet it happened that quite by chance in the house next door, her neighbour Mr Ivan Underpants in a last-ditch effort to dispatch a large recalcitrant floater which had already resisted several flush attempts, decanted a copious amount of water from the largest bucket he owned – and it was a very large bucket indeed – down his own toilet bowl. This superabundant extra flow of relatively clean water - relatively clean in that it had recently passed over the recalcitrant floater which incidentally had also defied this latest effort from Mr Underpants – saved Fishy Fishface’s life. Well, that and incredibly another amazing happenstance.

Can you believe it? A few minutes before the almost precise exact moment that Mrs Snotdrip flushed her toilet in the rather grandly named cloakroom and Mr Ivan Underpants decanted the large bucket of water down his toilet bowl, it just so happened that several miles away a sudden rain storm of tropical intensity had caused the river to almost but not quite burst its banks.

It is at this stage of proceedings that I am pleased to introduce you to Misters Albert Flunkbum and Cecil Bigbotty. These two gentlemen - I use the term loosely – are employed by the water authority to monitor the river closely at times of increased rainfall. Hence why they were on duty this very day. And, oh my word, thank heavens they were. Not only were they able to save the river bank from catastrophic damage but in doing so added to Fishy Fishface’s chances of survival. It happened like this:

Cecil Bigbotty is speaking on his walkie-talkie radio. “Bigbotty to Flunkbum. Bigbotty to Flunkbum.  Come in please. Bigbotty to Flunkbum are you receiving me? Over”

Back came the answer. “Flunkbum here Bigbotty. Receiving you loud and clear, Over.”

“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. Hello Albert, Cecil here. Over.”

“Yes I know it’s you. You just called me. Over.”

“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. The river is about to flood. What shall I do? Over.”

“Open the flood gate barrier thingy immediately. Over.”

“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. Over.”

“What? Over.”

“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. I am opening the flood gate barrier thingy now. Over.”

“Good. Over.”

“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. Over.”

“What? Over.”

“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. The handle is stuck. Over.”

“Hit it with a hammer. Over.”

“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. Where is the hammer? Over.”

“In the van probably. Over.”

“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. I am just getting the hammer out of the van. Over.”

“You don’t have to tell me that. Just get it and hit the bloody handle with it for heaven’s sake. Over.

“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. There is no need for bad language Albert. Over.”

“Just get on with it. Hit it. Hurry before it floods. And stop saying Bigbotty to Flunkbum every time. It’s getting on my nerves. Over.”

“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. Over.”

“What the hell is it now? Over”

“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. I expect an apology from you for using bad words and you said hell too. Over.”

“All right. I am sorry. Now just get on with it for heaven’s sake man.”
“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. Over.”

“What now?”

“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. You forgot to say over. Over.”

“For crying out loud! Over. Happy now? Have you opened the floodgate yet? Over.”

“Bigbotty to Flunkbum. Yes, the extra water should be with you any second. Make sure you are not standing in its way. Over.”

“What was that? Over”

But unfortunately, Albert didn’t get the chance to hear the last message again because as he was putting on his hi-vis health and safety jacket the zip got stuck halfway up and in a rare moment of inattention as he tried to free it he was swept off his feet and disappeared, tumbling over and over, struggling to keep his head above the swift torrent, down the storm drain. The very storm drain that Fishy Fishface also at that almost precisely exact moment found himself in. An incredible turn of events. You couldn’t make it up.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Absolutely True Adventures Of Fishy Fishface.

I have started to write a children's book. This is the first chapter. I would appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

The Absolutely True Adventures Of Fishy Fishface.

Fishy Fishface lived in a round glass bowl full of water. Space was limited. So, can you imagine how Fishy Fishface felt when his owner a small boy called Billy Snotdrip put a little ornamental castle in the bowl? You can? Well, let me tell you, you are wrong. Fishy Fishface loved it. Being mostly used to swimming aimlessly to and fro he was now able to swim around his castle and sometimes, just to break up the monotony even more, he would swim through it, because the castle had a hole in it.

Fishy Fishface swam at a slow leisurely pace most of the time because well, he wasn’t in a hurry to go anywhere but sometimes he went really fast around his bowl when Billy vigorously stirred the water with a wooden spoon. This was great fun to Billy but to be honest Fishy Fishface hated it Not only did he hate being stirred so vigorously but he also got very upset when his little ornamental castle got bashed and knocked over.

One day, after a particularly bad spoon stirring Fishy Fishface’s beloved ornamental castle got broken. This incident made Fishy Fishface so angry that he climbed out of his bowl and slapped young Billy Snotdrip hard around the face with his tail and he kept slapping until young Snotdrip managed to run off and tell his mum.

Mrs Snotdrip did not believe a word of it when Billy related how Fishy Fishface had assaulted him with his tail and who can blame her? In fact, I am struggling to believe it myself and I’m the one writing this!

Mrs Snotdrip gave her son a jolly good telling off and then, noticing the awful disgusting smell of the water in Fishy Fishface’s bowl she insisted that Billy change the water immediately or else she would flush Fishy Fishface down the toilet. Billy Snotdrip went into a proper strop at this, stamped his small foot and declared loudly to his mum, “Flush the stupid fish down the toilet. I don’t care and I will do a poo on it too.”

Sadly, Billy Snotdrip being so young and unversed in the ways of women failed to take into account his mum’s PMT and was astonished when she picked up the bowl, marched swiftly to the downstairs cloakroom which is what she rather grandly called the toilet and poured the contents, Fishy Fishface and all into the toilet bowl and pressed the flush lever.

At this stage of proceedings, I could go into great detail about how young Billy Snotdrip cried himself to sleep that night dreaming of Fishy Fishface and of how his mother Mrs Snotdrip full of remorse at her rash behaviour began hormone replacement therapy to try to deal with her PMT and hot flushes but I don’t think I shall bother because from the moment she flushed that toilet Fishy Fishface and his round bowl with its ornamental castle ceased to be a part of the Snotdrip family’s life.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Strange, Surreal Behaviour.

Mia the German Shepherd's unpredictable behaviour, which I thought we were getting to grips with has caused a bad cut requiring veterinary treatment to my friends elderly and gentle Labrador Raven. The attack came without warning and for no apparent reason. I always do my best to avoid other dogs when we are out walking, but this incident happened at home and I had let my guard down. Most times if we do unexpectedly encounter another dog this passes without incident and in fact Mia shows a disinclination to interact, but I cannot relax my guard on a walk as I used to do with Sadie the German Shepherd. The situation has now come to this; Mia has to be muzzled when we are out walking.
The muzzle looks awful and it makes me sad to see her in it but the instructions that came with it said I must not feel sorry for her. It is the best muzzle I could find and doesn't hinder her in any way. She can pant and open her mouth normally and even take treats without removing it. She doesn't seem to mind wearing it and doesn't try to remove it. So I can now relax when we are out walking knowing she can't inflict any injury. This is something that can happen when one takes on a rescue dog. It seems obvious that she was never socialised as a puppy. It would have been nice if I had been told the truth about her problem but who would give her a home if they knew the truth of her nature?
Apart from this unfortunate aspect of her character Mia is a lovely friendly dog with everyone. I love her and will not give up on her. Even though she has caused my bank account to be seriously depleted by the vet's bill.

On a happier note. Here is my latest painting. It took me ages. It started with this drawing and gradually evolved into the finished work.

Untitled.  Oil on canvas. 32in x 24in. Please click to enlarge.
The wonderful thing is I sold this painting within three hours of it going on-line. That'll help with the vet's bill.
I think I shall concentrate on surrealism for a while.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Just A Couple Of Things.

I have been having a bit of a think and wonder if any of you can answer a couple of questions for me because they are hurting my head?

Question one: Do fridge magnets work in outer space? Any magnet really not necessarily fridge magnets. I don't know why I said fridge magnets. When I was a boy we never had fridge magnets, Come to think of it we never had a fridge when I was a boy. The question is actually; do magnets work in outer space?

Question two: What direction does a compass point to if you are in outer space in a space ship?

Thank you in anticipation.

Monday, 3 October 2016



Yesterday, mother held her, suckling at the breast
And father tough, rough yet tender, spoke to her in baby babble.
He gently bathed her, caressed her.
Doing the best he could
In the circumstances.

While the mother, fraught, harassed and fearful, did her best
For the other three. Toddlers all.
Yes, the best she could
In the circumstances.

They coughed in the dust.
Choked. Retched in the dust.
Dry vomited in the dust.
But still, they had each other and deep love
To comfort see them through.

Today she won’t taste mother’s milk
Nor feel her father’s cracked and calloused hands about her.
Nor hear the sounds of brother’s laughter
Nor sister’s sweet voice.
They are gone. Obliterated. Evaporated.
Wet dust.

They died believing
When the politician in his ivory tower says truce
It is the truth.
When the politician in his ivory tower says ceasefire
It is the truth.

And when the rescuer with blood soaked hands
Pulls her tiny infant body from the rubble.
It is all he can do for her.
And all he cannot do for her
That cause his tears of pity and impotent rage
To drop heavy into the dust
To mingle with her family’s blood.
He did the best he could.
In the circumstances.

John Bain October2016