Sunday March 1st 2015
Watch this space. I'll be back soon with some houseboy chat. In the meantime, many thanks for all your emails and Valentine cards. Wishing everyone a Happy March. Spring is on the way, Peeps! It marks a new beginning for some, but for others, the final frontier - Rest In Peace, Mr Spock aka Leonard Nimoy.
Wednesday 25th March 2015
I hate fucking bagels, not that I ever have, physically fucked one I mean. I know they have a hole in the middle that would appear to be custom made for fucking purposes, but no, come on, just no. NO! I’m not into shagging baked goods. So, I hear you say, either that or I’ve left the front door open again and Jehovah’s Witnesses are holding a prayer meeting in the hall, what gives with the bagel biz, Gil? Why do you hate fucking them? Look, let’s be straight, or as straight as a gay boy can be, I have not and will never consummate a sexual relationship with a bread product. Capiche? Good! Let’s move on and start talking sense, or as much sense as I ever talk.
The reason I hate evil fucking bagels is much the same reason as I hate evil fucking mangoes - they’re dangerous and should come with a health warning. Thanks to a bagel I almost lost a finger and part of my hand earlier this month. It was worse than the freak accident with the Dyson incident, when I almost bit off part of my tongue. I have mentioned the Dyson hoover incident haven’t I? It happened a while back. I’m sure I mentioned it, or at least I meant to. I lose track of things, time included. It happened one evening when I was hoovering a mountain of stale breadcrumbs out of the bread bin, as you do, and the nozzle somehow got stuck in the gap between the lid and the bin. I tugged, the nozzle came away from the hose, suddenly breaking the suction and the hose flew up and hit me in the gob, causing me to sink my teeth into my tongue. Fuck, did it hurt. Talk about eye watering pain. I honestly thought I’d amputated my licking instrument.
I sought immediate help from the men folk, who were cosied in the lounge enjoying a coffee and a bit of telly while I slaved over housework. Poor buggers. They almost lost bowel control when I burst into the lounge making gurgling noises while gushing blood from my mouth, looking as if someone had bodged an assassination attempt on me. Shane clutched at his chest and swore I was going to be the fucking death of him. Dick was more concerned that my tongue would be permanently damaged and thus impaired in the ‘giving head’ department. Fortunately, it wasn’t. It was sore for a few days, but it soon healed.
Anyway, getting back to the bagel business. It happened on the second Sunday in March. I was in the kitchen, as per usual. If my ghost is ever seen it’ll be in the bloody kitchen. We’d all eaten a hearty lunch at Leo’s place earlier on, but apparently the arduous drive home in a luxury car had taxed the men folk to such a degree that they felt yet more sustenance were needed. We were barely over the threshold before I was removed from my jacket and despatched to make tea and sandwiches while they parked their lordly arses in front of the telly to watch a repeat of The Antiques Road Show. (Old relics watching old relics, though don’t tell them I said that)
I had a pack of smoked salmon in the fridge and decided to team it up with some cream cheese and serve it classic New York Deli style - in a bagel. Simples. All went well at first. I made a lush salmon and cream cheese bagel for Shane, placed it on a delicate china plate and set about making another couple, figuring Shane wouldn’t fancy sharing his sarnie with Dick and me, especially me. According to him I’m a greedy houseboy who doesn’t know the meaning of a small bite. He claims I’ve got a mouth like a snake - it can open wide enough to swallow a pony. He’d be lucky to be left with his fingers, never mind a bit of a bun. Honestly, he does exaggerate at times. I couldn’t possibly swallow a pony, a large dog, perhaps, but never a pony.
Anyway, I reached for another bagel and began to slice it in half, allowing, as I did so, my mind to wander, as you do, or at least I do. I was thinking about colour schemes. The bathroom renovation project I’d undertaken in February had triggered a lust for redecorating in general. February isn’t my favourite month and to be honest I’d gotten a bit down as it wended its weary way. A couple of episodes dampened my mood further still. Redecorating was my way of taking my mind off sad, stressful and annoying things. I’d had the hall and stairs repainted and was now thinking about having the lounge revamped. My winter stag fad had passed and I was looking for something more cheerful and optimistic in the décor department. Paint charts, wallpaper samples and interior design magazines made up much of my reading material.
A sudden intense sensation in my hand caused all thoughts of mellow yellows, calming creams and fresh greens to flee my mind. Glancing down, my eyes widened with shock and I dropped the sliced bagel, and the bread knife I’d been slicing it with. The cunning bastard had slyly turned into a jagged edge sabre without me realising it. Bread wasn’t the only thing it had sliced. The gash between my ring and little finger, extending into my left palm, was so deep it didn’t even bleed at first. I stared in horror at the gruesome layers revealed by the blade, another moment of cutting and I’d have severed my ring finger. Seconds later, red was the only colour on my mind, and also on the floor and every other surface in the near vicinity as blood began to bubble up and spurt from the crooked gash, like something from a Zombie movie. I did what I always do in such circumstances. I panicked. Dick and Shane came running as I roared for help. Dick, poor sod, went pale and all but gagged as he eye balled the cut.
To cut a long story short, or we’ll be here all day and I’ve got things to do, I ended up needing stitches in my hand, proper ones, not paper butterfly ones, inserted by a surgeon, ten of them, stitches that is, not surgeons, not in these days of NHS cuts and staff shortages.
Worse than the cut and the stitches was the nagging and scolding I had to endure from Daddy Shane in the aftermath of Bagelgate. Dick was all cuddles and comfort, but Shane adopted his total eclipse face (dark) and menaced me with quiet ranting about being afraid to leave me alone for five fucking minutes for fear I’d do something stupid and cut off some vital part of my anatomy. He’s never known anyone as accident-prone as I seem to be. I was forever hacking bits and pieces off myself, covering the place in blood like some ritualistic obsessive. He was sick and tired of it. I was in danger of ending up like the fucking tin man from The Wizard Of Oz, with nothing left of me in the flesh and bone department. It was all down to one thing and one thing only. I couldn’t be ARSED to pay due care and attention to what I was doing. Well, he was going to teach me a thing or two about care and attention. From now on, all accidents he deemed to be caused by a lack of care and common-sense on my part would be met with disciplinary measures. Nag…scold…smack…more nagging and exasperated scolding. He had told me more than once that it was dangerous to cut into something while holding it. The proper technique for cutting a bun was to place it on the breadboard, place your hand on top of it to anchor it, well out of reach of the blade, and then slice it. He made me accompany him to work for a week after the accident, declaring me unfit to be left home alone. He was a swine to be with too. It was a week of sheer hell. I was glad when it ended.
The stitches in my hand are now out and I’m healing well, though the fingers are still a bit tight and stiff at the base. I’m going to have a wonderful scar. Shane does have a point I suppose. I am accident-prone and it probably is because I allow my mind to wander and dwell on things other than what I’m doing in the moment. Mindfulness is not and has never been a strong point of mine.
Incidentally, the bagel in question was inedible afterwards. It was drenched in blood and bits of my flesh. Not even a rinse under the tap could render it fit for human consumption, in any way shape or form. It went in the bin, along with the other salmon and cream cheese bagel I’d made. It was all dried up by the time we got back from the hospital that night, and besides, none of us had much of an appetite left by then. It was a cup of nerve soothing tea and straight off to bed. After all, Shane had to build up his strength in preps for bawling me out the next morning.
So there you have it, a bagel’s tale, and one of the reasons I’ve been an absentee houseboy and diarist. Older I might be, but no wiser it seems. I keep getting into trouble one way and another, and probably always will.
As always I send grateful thanks to all mailers in appreciation of your notes and thoughts. You’re all very kind to take time to set digits to keyboards. Ciao for now, houseboy fans, peeps and worry warts!
PS: a very belated, apologetic, but sincere birthday greeting to J. Hope it was a good one, gal.
PPS: No, I haven't done any more work on my next book, but I will, peeps, I will.