5 Fears I Have About Fatherhood

Father and Son

Since learning that my fiancee Laura is definitely, thoroughly, 100% wazzed up with a small, developing foetus whose sole hobby at present appears to be to make Laura as uncomfortable, ill and exhausted as possible, I’ve found that the impending fatherhood that’s hurtling towards me faster than when Laura’s little boy Max sprints at me with his lightsaber drawn and teeth bared is starting to stir up latent fears that I never even knew existed. Fears, I suspect, that only (would-be) parents are able to understand. As this is the first time I’ve ever experienced the unmerciful worry of expecting a child and all that it entails, it’s slowly starting to dawn on me that this unmerciful worry might not be buggering off and leaving me alone any time soon, and, in fact, is only just getting started.

As a misanthropic human being who finds the majority of human beings, myself included, irrationally stupid and irritating, you can imagine my slack-jawed surprise at discovering I’ve inadvertently created one of my own owing to our over-reliance on the rhythm method. That’s probably far too much information but the point I want to make is that impending fatherhood has caused me to conjure up anxieties that can emphatically remove one’s ability to think in a rational or cohesive manner. The slow but unremitting descent into parental madness has already begun, mostly when I’m sitting at my desk at work, scoffing crisps I’ve half-inched from the vending machine, and staring into the middle distance while the words ‘parent’, ‘dad’, and ‘what. the. actual. fuck’ do a tormenting dance of doom round my head.

Fear. All of the fear. All of it.

Fear. All of the fear. All of it.

Fortunately, I’m currently in the middle of an extensive training programme with Max and I’m quickly learning the ins and outs of upcoming dadhood. I’ve discovered with some aplomb that discussions with a small child don’t necessarily have to involve a conversation as such; more a frenetic rap of improvised words and half sentences spoken at 400mph and usually referencing a toy weapon, a heavily-sugared treat or an assiduous analysis of a favourite Ninjago character. Another startling revelation is how the space-time continuum dramatically alters whenever I’m dragged into the living room by way of a tight fist around my thumb in order to play some elaborately imagined game. Spending whole hours of your time breathlessly staggering around a room in the throes of a Star Wars Lego battle, while under strict rules that forbid you to use any Lego model other than that with which you’ve been carefully assigned, is immensely dispiriting when you realise that the whole hours you think you’ve been doing this actually amount to a grand total of about twelve minutes. It’s mind-blowing.

I’ve made peace with the unavoidable fact that whenever I’m in the bathroom it’s going to be accompanied by a symphony of relentless knocks on the door with cries of, ‘can you come and play yet?’ I’ve come to terms with being used as a climbing frame when I’m minding my own business on the settee and Max is in a playful mood, clambering all about my person simply because he can. I absolutely adore the sound of his laughter and the spontaneous hugs he bestows upon me. Thanks to his tutoring I’d like to think that I’m well on my way to completing my apprenticeship in modern parenting.

Unfortunately, this valuable training course doesn’t provide skills on how to cope with fear, worry and anxiety when faced with the undiluted terrors of pregnancy, childbirth and the resulting lifetime of ‘what the fuck do I do now?’ In fact it exacerbates them. Spending time with Max is telling me all I need to know about just how frigging terrifying this is all going to be, not only from the obvious natural concern that he’s going to be okay every single day of his life, and if he’s safe, happy and healthy, but other stuff too such as, ‘am I playing this game with him correctly?’, or ‘is he having fun with me today?’, or ‘does he hate me for refusing to allow him to tip the entire tub of fish food into the tank because he thinks the fish look particularly hungry?’ Traversing this minefield of anxiety is overwhelming. Of course these may sound like trivial concerns but until you’ve experienced the fallout from providing a small child with the incorrect plate at dinner then you have no base from which to judge.

General fears and worries about actually being a parent are slowly but viciously beginning to take over my life so I’ve put together a list of the ones I think are the most shit-my-pants inducing:

 

The Health Of Mother & Baby

Just healthy.

Just healthy.

Given what Laura’s currently going through with this pregnancy there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not scrolling through horror stories on the interweb about the worst case scenarios of pregnancy and childbirth. It’s chilling reading. I spend at least a whole day a week at work trawling through articles about what to look out for, what to do, how often to check this, that and the other when reading about some awful ailment that can befall a mother and her unborn child.

In fact, about a month ago, after discovering how to dispense free espresso from the coffee machine at work and helping myself to about 19 cups, I began reading a terrifying article about a woman who gave birth to a 400lb baby sideways that killed her, and I suddenly developed severe palpitations, a thick sweat that ran down my back like a layer of frost, and extremely worrying breathing difficulties. Thankfully I was calmed down by my workmates who dismantled the coffee machine and installed parental controls to Google that blocked all internet searches that included the words ‘pregnancy’, ‘fatherhood’ and ‘complications’, as well as the words ‘Brad’ and ‘Pitt’ given what they found in my internet history.

When it comes to Laura giving birth, the only thing I care about is the health of Laura and the baby. Boy, girl, hairless, hairy, screaming, laughing, covered in ectoplasm, not covered in ectoplasm, I don’t care. The only words I want to hear are, ‘mother and baby are doing well’.

 

Financial Fears

This is just part and parcel of being a parent I reckon.

This is just part and parcel of being a parent I reckon.

Presently, I work almost full time in a job that only pays when the overweight HR lady decides to log out of Facebook for long enough to run my hours through the payroll system. Consequently I spend a large amount of work time opening the vending machine cash boxes, taking large handfuls and replacing it with Monopoly money or doodles I do of the Queen when I should be doing more productive work like applying for jobs on the reception laptop or hiding in the disabled toilet when it’s busy. Despite how much fun it is, I can’t help but worry there’s an immoral if not criminal undertone to me helping myself to Mars Bars, Skittles and large amounts of currency but needs must.

As much as this so obviously appears to be a sound financial plan, I do have a niggling doubt that providing for my offspring in this way won’t quite offer it a secure or healthy platform for a rosy future. Just the other day I had a mild panic attack when I attempted to purchase a small Peter Rabbit-themed outfit from Mothercare. It cost nineteen sodding quid, it was smaller than my hand, and I had the depressing thought that one day I’d be using it to wash the dishes with.

As everyone is painfully aware, offspring cost money and my plan to mastermind a Point Break-style bank heist is the only way I can realistically see myself becoming financially solvent.

 

Responsibility/Readiness For Parenthood

Good parenting...

Good parenting…

What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago I was drinking all night, sleeping for up to 12 hours a day and waking up chewing off my own tongue while threatening to kill anyone who ventured within four miles of my bedroom.

Nowadays I’m awoken any time between 12am and 6am by a child who enjoys shouting at the top of his voice for his mummy the minute his eyes open and realises it’s pitch black in his bedroom. Then when he eventually rouses himself and gives Laura and me a treat by climbing into our bed without one of us having to fetch him, he’ll spend another hour giving us a synopsis of the latest episode of Power Rangers as we loll about in a kind of drug-addled fuzz before he does his level best to clamber over or stand upright on various limbs while repeatedly making punching gestures and lightsaber noises in the general direction of my head.

I’m trying to consider whether being able to withstand this daily trauma counts as a huge accomplishment and a potential step forward towards my readiness as a father because, basically, I’m shit scared of whether I’ll be able to cope with every sodding aspect of parenthood. I should probably enrol on one of those mother and baby classes, buy a doll to practice on to see what my reaction is when I accidentally drop it on a hardwood floor, and start listening to Laura a bit more than I do when it comes to parenting. In the meantime, if anyone can offer any tips and advice please do so in monetary form via PayPal to the email address at the top of this page.

 

I’ll Become The Scourge Of Social Media

Aww! Look at my kids! Look! LOOK! LOOK AT MY KIDS! FUCKING LOOK AT KIDS NOW! FUCK YOU!

Aww! Look at my kids! Look! LOOK! LOOK AT MY KIDS! FUCKING LOOK AT MY KIDS NOW! FUCK YOU!

Few things are more galling than a parent who posts nothing but images, statuses and links about their kid or parenting to social media, specifically Facebook. Apart from those vacuous fuckwits who repeatedly post links to their tedious blog imploring their digital acquaintances to read it in order to appease their sense of self-importance, a human who throws every single aspect of their developing child onto the world wide web genuinely needs to get their priorities right. The internet is for annoying people, buying shit you don’t need and being a bigot, not for ruining your mates’ timelines with pictures of a pink alien looking bewildered.

More often than not the baby pictures tend to be the exact same image of the child with a shocked look on its face except dressed in a different outfit that presumably cost more than the parent’s weekly grocery shop. If I upload my future son or daughter’s entire life onto the internet before it can walk, talk, wipe its own arse or grow to an age where it can tell me to fuck off and mind my own business then you can happily report me to social services.

 

My Offspring Will Grow Up To Kill Me

Please, son, don't! Put the gun away! I bought you a Playstation when you were 8!

Please, son, don’t! Put the gun away! I bought you a Playstation when you were 8!

This is one of my biggest fears. How annoying would it be to raise a child as best you can only for it to turn on you the minute you ask it for a bit of rent once it turns 18? My best mate, Phil, a father of two, told me the other day that this was something that never crossed his mind at all but that the likelihood of it happening to me is extremely high which makes me wonder whether he himself thinks about killing me, and how often.

A similar fear is being the parent of a kid who ends up being a despotic lunatic with a penchant for genocide, a Sunderland fan, or one of those little spelks who can’t differentiate between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. Genuine concerns.

 

To be honest, I had another few hundred thousand fears and worries about fatherhood that I could have added to this list but at the risk of this turning into a cloying parenting blog I thought I’d better stop here.

My friends and family have insisted I’ll be able to just fall into it and be a fine father. Even people I don’t speak to or even like have contacted me to congratulate me and reassure me I’ll be a good dad which I find rather unsettling. Why I’m all of a sudden their best mate just because some of my semen can swim a few lengths without dying is beyond me.

But I digress. I should expect I’ll update the current status of my impending fatherhood over the coming months which I’m sure all both of you will be overjoyed to hear. In the meantime I’ll go back to sending irritating email to dimwitted strangers on the internet.

Bye!

Correspondence #6: BT

Bee Tee

 

I’ve briefly touched on this in a previous post but one of the more annoying things about living as a human being is the depressing reality that almost everything that’s ever been conceived by man doesn’t really work. Bus timetabling, Newcastle United Football Club and dysfunctional penises are just a few examples of how every sodding thing on this planet simply refuses to work properly. Even making toast for breakfast in the morning has become an exercise in flamboyant swearing, closed eyes and gentle whispers to oneself to not throw the toaster through the kitchen window when it eviscerates the bread despite being on the lowest setting. Also, why doesn’t bread fit in the toaster? You would think toasters would be manufactured to comfortably accommodate a slice but instead the top sticks out like a crown of untoasted evil, glaring at you with yeastful spite. Bread is a bastard.

What I’m getting at is whenever you want something to work, it just doesn’t. Case in point being all broadband services on earth. For reasons only known to General Robert E. Lee – the bloke who invented the internet for you ignoramuses who don’t have any common knowledge – whenever a human being sits down to watch a Netflix, that little buffer circle thing is guaranteed to appear and exasperate you to the point of wanting to smash your own teeth in with the hammer you’re using to bludgeon the home-hub with. 

Our broadband connection goes mental roughly 400 times a week so the other day, after Laura texted me the below image, I finally snapped and decided to get in touch with India in order to try and ascertain why. I was at work at the time so naturally I was placed last in a queue of twelve million people so abandoned the idea of phoning Delhi in favour of the online chat feature. Eventually, after seventeen failed attempts to resolve the problem with twelve different chat advisors via repeatedly impaling my head off the corner of my desk, I was connected to an advisor named Kanwarjeet who immediately sussed out that nothing was wrong with the connection despite our Wi-Fi being as extinct as all the dinosaurs that never made it to Jurassic Park.

 

BT in a coma, I know, I know, it's serious...

BT in a coma, I know, I know, it’s serious…

 

 

Kanwarjeet Part 1

Kanwarjeet Part 2

 

 

 

Dr. Bloglovin’ (Or How I Learned To Hate U.K. Bloggers & Love The Blog)

Presumably what the admins of U.K. Bloggers look like in human form.

Presumably what the admins of U.K. Bloggers look like in human form.

I quite like writing a blog. It’s very enjoyable because getting to write frivolous bullshit about any topic I fancy is more entertaining than the time I tripped on a chair in a pub while carrying two full pints before landing on them and puncturing my wrists with two-inch shards of glass, spraying blood three feet in front of me and ruining an evening’s imbibing for at least forty drinkers. That was a great day. In fact, I should think blogging is very similar to slitting one’s wrists. It can make you feel suicidal, light-headed and bloody. I suspect all bloggers know what it is I’m talking about because most bloggers are either a) emotionally redundant, 2) lacking in any mental acuity whatsoever, or d) in-bred, and thus have an emotional connection with one another that hasn’t been seen since the time E.T. telepathically invaded a small boy’s head in that alien documentary he was in and commanded all humans to submit to him as our extraterrestrial overlord. It’s that powerful.

I’ve previously mentioned how much I feel the blogosphere has helped and encouraged me to pursue all of my blogging goals despite all evidence to the contrary. What I find most helpful and supportive about the blogosphere is simply knowing that they’re there, hanging in the ether like the fallout from an atomic blast; a nuclear winter in which all who survive the initial blastwave slowly but surely die from the inside out because of the toxic atmosphere, the dog-eat-dog nature of survival, and the total and utter desperation to be heard against the scorched landscape of unadulterated shit.

If that sounds harsh, that’s because it isn’t. Granted, not every single blogger is a defiled or broken human being, clawing their way through the digital rubble in order to tell any poor sod they come across how their trip to the beach picking up dogshit with their bare hands as part of a health kick was unequivocally life-altering and every Tom, Shit and Twatty should be doing it. Unlike me whose reason for blogging is because of a deep-rooted vendetta against the living, a lot of actual bloggers have genuine reasons for running a blog. For the most part, however, the majority of blogs are written and shared by some mightily illiterate spelk who wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a dotted ‘i’ and a crossed ‘t’ if they were rammed up the shit chute with ‘it’.

With this in mind, I reserve my particular brand of love and vitriol for a U.K blogging group on Facebook that call themselves, originally enough, U.K. Bloggers, the name of which presumably came to one of its admins in a flash of inspiration after a four-hour brainstorming session involving slowly but forcefully pushing their eye onto the tip of a sharpened pencil. I originally butted heads with the fascists at U.K. Bloggers Corp not long after I began throwing shit up on the internet as part of my blogging regime, and, being new to it all along with being a blogger and therefore automatically thick as mince, immediately got things wrong by sharing my blog where it wasn’t supposed to be shared. The online equivalent of wandering into the Forbidden Zone in Planet of the Apes except with more apes. What followed was a digital slap on the wrist, a heart-tugging and sincere apology from myself, then an unprecedented online attack from the ubergruppenfuhrers at U.K. Bloggers Corp at which point I posted this aforementioned clear-as-crystal apology post for my obvious insubordination. Never having been a part of a cyber-war and fearful of a cyber-death and whatever that entails, I crawled into bed and cried for three days solid, drinking the milk from the cat’s bowl for sustenance and gently playing with myself in order to stave off boredom and cabin fever.

However, when word got back to the generals at U.K. Bloggers HQ about my olive branch and potential white flag, the fascists immediately rebuffed my efforts at peace, and another digital offensive was launched at my innocent neutrality, this time involving Twitter ground troops and fighty words. I’d never been trolled on Twitter before but found it to be wholesomely erotic, and because I was so apologetic for my actions I felt I compelled to respond via email to a handful of the humans who’d so lovingly taken the time to call me a cunt on social media.

*The following contains scenes that some readers may find disturbing, and names and dates haven’t been changed to preserve huge egos.

I was naughty and they kicked me. In the shins. P.S. hashtag irony.

I was naughty and they kicked me. In the shins. P.S. hashtag irony.

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

12/20/15
to amymayhunt

Dear PurelyAmy,

Many thanks for your kind words on Twitter and the extra views I’ve received on my blog due to your advocating and praise of my work.

Such is the sky-rocketing nature of my viewing figures, I suspect you have quite the influence in the blogosphere. I don’t think you’re anyone I’d like to butt heads with should we ever have a disagreement about anything but I don’t ever foresee that day happening. Thanks to your fine promotional skills my blog has never been more popular which is something of a relief as the only person who ever viewed it prior to your extensive marketing campaign was me. Unfortunately I didn’t realise this as I was viewing my blog when logged out of WordPress, and pushing the viewing figures up myself. I genuinely thought I had one unique uber-fan and spent days staring out of the window with my chin resting on my hand wondering who it could be. I must confess that when I did find out it was my own doing I wasn’t overly disappointed as I feel I have many strong attributes including patience, Lego-building skills and the gift of dance.

Unfortunately, due to the excessive recreational drugs I’ve been forced to use since I started blogging, I’ve lost all sense of what #irony is. If you could explain it to me without the constant grammatical errors and poor sentence structure that you employ when writing your blog, it’d be most appreciated.

Many thanks for your Christmas ecard by the way. That was above and beyond.

Kind regards,

Chris

Thankfully I received no reply from #irony lady which is a relief because she encourages physical violence and I am a lover, not a fighter.

 

I make £0.99 a year playing the sax. What have you ever done?

I make £0.99 a year playing the sax. What have you ever done?

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

12/20/15
to mrskatystevens

Dear KatyKicker,

Many thanks for your kind words on Twitter.

To answer your question, no, I do not think Micky Hazard is better than his 2015 equivalent Eden Hazard. However I would be more than willing to open a debate about this with you as I quite enjoy watching netball.

Just for information it’s important to never share financial information with strangers over the internet unless you’re contacted by an African prince who needs your bank details so he can deposit $3,000,000 into your account. So with that in mind I am unable to divulge what I earn from blogging. I can’t imagine it’s more than whatever you earn with your money making escapades.

I hope we can be friends.

Many thanks for your Christmas ecard by the way. That was above and beyond.

Kind regards,

Chris

Thankfully I received no reply from Eden Hazard fan lady which is a relief because I prefer Micky Hazard.

Legal threats. I am not a wise a man.

Legal threats. This truly is a testing time.

 

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

12/20/15
to testingtimeblog

Dear Sam – A Testing Time,

Many thanks for your kind words on Twitter. It heartens me that you’re speechless at my idiocy. I think you’ll agree that what the world needs right now is less bloggers so your speechlessness is a massive step in the right direction. You’re doing the world a great service. I expect your family is very proud, as am I. I’ve put you top of my Christmas card list.

Though having said that your tweet was 21 words long which doesn’t amount to a total silence but it does give you something to work on if you’re not completely speechless. If you can aim for less than 10 words per day then you might one day become interesting and that is definitely cause for celebration. You can celebrate with the magistrates and solicitors from which you receive legal advice about rogue bloggers. I do take your ambivalent legal threat very seriously though.

When I was about 8 I wrote a viciously disparaging note on the back of my pencil case about a boy in my class who used to eat glue. It was something along the lines of ‘David Pollock eats glue and smells of poo’. While it wasn’t the best rhyming couplet I’ve ever written, the sentiment of the message did get back to him and he threatened to ‘get’ me after school. For the rest of the day I was extremely fearful, so much so that I wet myself during PE which had nothing to do with the amount of free school milk I’d guzzled during the day and everything to do with the severe threat which was hanging over me. I remember thinking ‘that was not a wise move’ and felt terrified. Thankfully, nothing ever materialised as his mother was waiting to pick him up after school like she did every day and the only thing he did was scowl at me as he was frogmarched home by his mother who was angry at the amount of glue on his face. I expect your legal inference should amount to something similar.

With that in mind I am very much looking to our showdown in court. It could be epic as I am quite the litigator. I’ve read ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Carly Simon twice, and watch all the glossy American legal dramas in order to gain legal experience should I ever face a legal threat for writing the word ‘blog’ an excessive amount of times.

Many thanks for the Christmas e-card by the way. That was above and beyond.

See you in court.

Chris

Thankfully I received no reply from legalities lady which is a relief because I’m not really a trained solicitor. I didn’t even pass the barre exam unlike Leo DiCaprio’s character in ‘Catch Me If You Want’ where he trained to be a lawyer via becoming a doctor, an international con-artist and a dashing slice of pie.

What makes this whole affair truly heartbreaking was that they immediately banned me from the U.K. Bloggers Corporation group, obliterating my burgeoning blogging career with one click of the mouse. What they probably don’t understand – and still don’t to this day by all accounts – is that I’m still very much a member of the group as I have at least seventy-five versions of myself on Facebook in various forms, thirty-four of which are still in the now infamous U.K. Bloggers group. So, really, you could say I was like Leo DiCaprio in ‘Catch Me If You Fancy’ but with a poorer haircut. But I digress. 

Unfortunately, the new best friend who’d started this whole U.K. Blogger controversy in the first place by complaining about my poorly developed comment-leaving skills, deleted her Twitter love-letter to me so I am unable to present it to you as a screenshot. As a replacement, I will include this screenshot of the high traffic to my pretendy website off the back of this international scandal.

Despite her initial Tweet implying that she was unable to comprehend the difference between two completely different words in the English language, we managed to send an affectionate email to each other and to this day there isn’t a day goes by when she doesn’t think about me.

Thanks U.K. Bloggers. Wuv wu.

Thanks U.K. Bloggers. Wuv wu.

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

12/20/15
to rhian.westbury

Dear Rhian Ragefury,

Many thanks for your kind words on Twitter, and subsequent offer of friendship.

While it doesn’t interest me to write comments on blogs I have no interest in, it does interest me to correspond with new people who tweet me with high praise for my blog so I thank you wholeheartedly for that.

Despite getting something of a twitch in my eye when you confused the word ‘hypocritical’ with the word ‘hypercritical’, I am willing to overlook that fact and embrace your offer of friendship. And though I disagree with the notion that rules must be obeyed primarily because this generally removes one’s ability to think for themselves, I understand your need for conformity.  When I was your age and didn’t know any better, I used to have to conform to many rules without question. Especially during science class as the teacher there had a completely rational hatred of anything under the age of 10 and really used to let us know about it if we were insubordinate. My friends and I would cross our fingers and hope that we weren’t the ones he attacked with a Bunsen burner that day. If we didn’t conform the odds were very much on that we’d get a swift punch to the back of the head if we couldn’t figure out the chemical symbol for screaming. We’d know if we were for it because the science lab would smell like whisky when we entered.

But I digress. I expect our blossoming friendship will include many rules and regulations and I look forward to discovering what they are.

Many thanks for your Christmas ecard by the way. That was above and beyond.

Kind regards,

Chris

 

Rhian Ragefury

12/20/15

to me
Good Afternoon Chris,
Thank you so much for your lovely e-mail, it has certainly brightened up an otherwise dull Sunday morning.

I am incredibly sorry if my tweet resembled a want to be friends, I don’t think i’ve got room to cram someone like you in there so any notion of a blossoming friendship please ignore. I’m sure my retraction will cause you some upset or discomfort so i’ll give you a moment to have a little sob to yourself.

If it doesn’t interest you to write comments on blogs which you have no interest in then perhaps you did not read the thread properly that you posted on. The wonderful group of bloggers you asked to be a part of may be tricky but the clear rules showcasing specifically a comment swap which you put your blog on to shows that you did want to ‘swap comments’ incase the phrasing comment swap wasn’t clear enough. If you want comments on your blog (which evidently you did because you put your URL on there) then you have to be prepared to write a comment back on someone else’s blog. Everyone who chooses to put their URL in the thread is prepared to comment. If you merely wanted to showcase your wonderful talents of writing and degrading the blogging world which you are a part of that is what post shares are for then you can read the posts you want to and people can read yours with no commitment or agenda. Maybe you need to get your eyes tested because the wording on these threads is certainly far from hard to read.

I worry for people like you. You join groups understanding the rules of how they work and the wonderful work they do putting bloggers in touch with one another, providing advice when you just don’t know where to turn, wonderful opportunities from PR’s who want to work with us and yes sometimes things like comment swaps (which are completely optional and you don’t have to take part in!) By joining these groups you have a want to be a part of it, the group didn’t invite you because they thought ‘You know who needs to be part of this Chris Peet, he is what our group is missing’ you asked to join it yourself.

Again thank you so much for reminding me how wonderful the blogging world can be as we all joined together last night when your post went ‘live’, but of course you won’t know how many people read it because no one other than the person who found it actually wanted to give you the satisfaction of visiting your site.

Again thanks for your e-mail and I hope you now understand how little I want to be friends with you.

Rhian

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

12/20/15
to Rhian

Dear Rhi Rhi,

Many thanks for your friendly reply and your confirmation that you wish to be friends despite initially getting off on the wrong foot. You know what they say though: best foot forward. Mine’s my right foot as opposed to my left as my left is slightly clubbed. Which is your best foot? I’m interested to know. Perhaps you could have a think and write a blog post about it. If you do I will share it with my friends with no commitment or agenda.

Unfortunately I haven’t had time to accept your Facebook friend request as I’ve spent the majority of the day taking down the Christmas decorations now it’s almost over and done with. But I promise I will. I’ll put it on my daily to-do list which today includes taking down the Christmas decorations now it’s almost over and done with, and accepting Facebook friend requests.

I must confess I did have a little sob to myself but this was mainly because you mentioned you were worried about me, and carefully took the time to explain the rules of the U.N. Bloggers group. I have printed them out and put them on my wall next to my festive poster of Michael Caine in his career-high performance as Scrooge McDuck in ‘A Muppet’s Christmas Carol’. It was very thoughtful of you and I can’t thank you enough for spending the time crafting an email in order to encourage our nascent friendship.

In all seriousness though, I hope you’d welcome me using your reply to fuel another rant. If anything I’m sure you’d be glad to help create new content for my blog. And you’ve got to admit my emails are quite funny. I expect you did chuckle at the story 😀 However, I completely understand if you just block me. I’d never be in the mood to argue with a mindless idiot, and maybe you should do your best to refrain from replying anything further from me though. I mean, honestly, how much spare time do I have?!

Many thanks for asking your friends to visit my blog too. I’ve never had so much traffic and this is down to you. You’re like the gift that keeps on giving and I’m so glad we’re best friends.

Kind regards,

Chris

Thankfully I received no more replies from Rhian Ragefury which is a relief because I was sick of her constantly liking my Tweets on Facebook. 

Anyway, with me being such a master of disguise, I was able to covertly follow the fall out from this international incident via the comfort of my bean bag chair which I prefer to normal chairs because they have beans in them and you’re never too far away from a healthy snack should you need one. This fancy gallery below provides just a few of the loving comments about my existence from the group. And don’t be alarmed, I thanked them all personally.

 

After my viewing figures reached double figures I began to lose interest in the U.K. Bloggers Corporation mainly because they couldn’t decide whether they loved me or hated me. I would have preferred both because being unable to differentiate between love and hate is a vital skill to have in this day and age. Just look at David Cameron, Donald Trump and that pervy bloke off The Great British Bake Off. Although I’m proud to announce that one of the admins of this cyber-terrorist organisation was kind enough to email me privately to inform me that my blog was the finest thing she’d read since finally getting around to learning her ABC not long after she’d turned thirty. This came as something of a shock given the vitriol with which she attacked me within the group. I won’t betray her to her underlings though as that would be pretty U.K. Blogger-esque but suffice to say I’ve included her on the list of invitees to my circumcision operation after-party.

Anyway, parting thoughts of which I have two:

  1. If you’re a blogger, be glad you don’t know me in any way, shape or form. The fall out of this unfortunate accident caused several of my blogger friends to be booted out of the group simply by way of association. Several of these were fundraising or charity blogs, providing awareness of various causes, raising money and offering information about ways to help and share. By simply knowing who I am they were unceremoniously evicted from a group which, to be honest, didn’t help or support them in a single sodding way. But that’s not the point. The point is that the U.K. Bloggers – and I hate to be the one to invoke Godwin’s Law here – are clearly more Nazi Germany than Switzerland.

  2. I forget what parting thought number two was so I’ll just say this: if you’re a member of U.K. Bloggers, you can’t spell. There, I’ve said it.

Your move, Goebbels…

On Being A Father

DADS!

DADS!

About four months ago I got my girlfriend up the duff.

Apparently this is life-altering news which will completely change my outlook on everything that’s ever existed in the history of this 4,500 year old earth. When my outlook will change, however, is anyone’s guess because I’m still stuck in what I’m reliably informed to be the ‘Wow, pregnant? Big day. What’s for tea?’ phase.

I can almost hear the swell of disapproving voices, or stifled laughter accompanied by the ‘he has absolutely no idea what’s coming…’ lecture from the po-faced matter-of-facters. While I appreciate and sense that all the giddiness and otherworldly excitement is in the post and will at some point be heading my way, at this precise moment in time it seems I’m caught in the limbo between the initial feelings of shock, awe, glee and wonder, and the finger-tapping humdrum feelings of ‘now what?’ Apparently this feeling of abject uselessness is completely normal for the father-to-be because, as a father-to-be, the only thing I can really do is sit and feel utterly useless watching my poor girlfriend implode from the effects of her pregnancy. This is because my poor embattled partner, Laura, is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum which was unfortunately popularised as THE pregnancy illness to wish for after ghekko-faced, shape-shifting lizard-woman Kate Middleton was lumbered with it when she was knocked up with her evil offspring, Prince Georgie Porgie Pudding and Pie. And it’s utterly grim stuff.

For the first few weeks of this intense illness, Laura was violently sick multiple times – not just multiple times a day, but multiple times an hour – consumed nothing but jelly, a bowlful of which would last her up to a week, as well as having such violent feelings of intense nausea that I wouldn’t have been surprised if she’d asked me to euthanise her in order to put her out of her misery. This was all day and all night, and culminated in several trips to hospital via several trips to the doctor’s. And while the effects of this misery are currently not as monumental as those first couple of months – or Laura’s putting a stupendously brave face on if they are – she’s still in a constant state of exhaustion, sickness, lethargy and constant unease. Being the utter marvel that she is, however, she’s still managing to work full time, run a household, and look after her 4 year old son, Max – the ‘metre-high whirlwind’ as she delightfully refers to him – as well as put up with my constant whinging about everything and everyone like the absolute male that I am. How she manages to do it completely boggles the mind especially with me not having a sodding clue how to help her feel better thus feeling completely irritable and tetchy.

And let me be clear: this isn’t just morning sickness. All wazzed up women get that. This is unrelenting, unremitting, merciless, all-singing, all-dancing hell. on. earth. But Laura just gets on with it. I should probably start helping out a bit more instead of shouting at her to keep the noise down in the kitchen when I’m watching the football.

Christ...

Christ…

Anyway, to get back on point, I’m still waiting for that giddy moment of glee that awakens in me the realisation that I’m going to be a dad. Because it still hasn’t struck home yet. Friends and family have informed me that the moment I hold my future offspring in my arms when it’s a newborn will be the moment that life as I know it will never be the same again; I’ll fall instantly in love with a squidgy ball of flesh and not feel at all disgusted that it’s screaming at me, vomming on me, or shitting on me. Or a sprightly combination of all three. As a gambling man, I would proffer decent odds against immediately experiencing pangs of adoration for something that was doing all of that at me.

Furthermore, I’m still harbouring feelings of intense suspicion towards my nearest and dearest after they all confidently assured me that when I was learning to drive everything would just ‘click’ and I’d be an annoying boy racer in no time. Spoiler alert: it didn’t, and I’ve abandoned all thoughts of driving after my confidence and finances were utterly crushed with nothing to show for it. So you’ll forgive me if I don’t take their word as gospel when it comes to me experiencing appropriate emotion towards my future son or daughter.

Thankfully, however, all is not lost, and there is hope for me growing a soul and developing into a proper human father as I’ve recently been in intense training on how to be a new dad with Laura’s delightful little boy, Max. For the most part, Max and I are best buds. We laugh, joke and wind each other up, have spectacular lightsaber battles, create entire universes with his vast array of Lego blocks, and can wax lyrical for ages about the finer points of Star Wars, Peter Rabbit and what he’s going to get for Christmas off me for the next decade or so. Admittedly, there are moments when things aren’t all as rosy as can be: a constant war of attrition when Max clambers into our bed in the middle of the night, asserting his territorial dominance and booting me in the back 400 times over the course of the night resulting in me relocating to the floor in the spare room is just one of the more stickier moments in our relationship. As all parents can appreciate, when things go well, things are wonderful. But when they don’t, it’s unadulterated terror. I’m slowly but surely learning this but I’m still some way off appreciating just what the fuck is going on.

Weapons. Always with the weapons.

Weapons. Always with the weapons.

One of the more disarming things I’ve found about training to be a dad with a 4 year old child is the newly-discovered brevity and concise nature of my everyday vernacular. Where once I’d offer emphatic declarations of awe and affectations of amazement at a messily coloured picture, or a box of Lego successfully constructed, the consequences of hearing my name repeated 400 times an hour, being yelled at to ‘look at MEEEE NOWWWW!’ every 12 seconds, and being attacked with improvised weaponry made out of cardboard has understandably dulled my enthusiasm to respond with apparent fervour. The result of this is my responses to whatever activity Max is immersed in now simply consist of raised eyebrows, a nod of the head and elongated, one word responses – ‘Wowwwww!’ ‘Woooaahhhh!’ ‘Cooool!’ – while hoping I won’t get screamed at if I don’t stand instantly to attention.

Furthermore, I’ve often found myself, with much amazement and wonder, caught in deep conversation with Max before the discourse has really even begun. I regularly have little chats with him, the dialogue of which unfolds something like this:

Max: ‘Chris…’
Me: ‘Yes, Max?’
Max: ‘Chris…’
Me: ‘Max?’
Max: ‘Chris… Um…?’
Me: ‘Yes, Max?’
Max: ‘Chris! Chris!’
Me: ‘Maaax…’
Max: ‘Um…Chris, Chris…?’
Me: ‘Max, Max… yes?’
Max: ‘Um… Um… Um… Chris?’

And so on and so forth. Chats like these happen over the course of about 12 seconds. Obviously this is just his little brain working overtime and getting overexcited, trying to get everything out at once before he can launch himself into another mini-adventure involving attacking my lower body with his lightsaber and repeatedly informing me that I’ll soon be experiencing a bloody and gruesome death involving the removal of several limbs and my head. For a 4 year old, getting overexcited is something that comes as naturally to him as hiding in the bathroom with the door locked does to Laura and me. What I find terrifying fascinating is the process in which the over-excitement presents itself when Max wants to play a game. Especially if he’s very tired and knows that time is at a premium. Below is a conversation I typed out when I happened to be working at my laptop right at the time Max was asking me to play with him as bedtime was approaching:

Max: ‘Chris! Chris! Chris!’
Me: ‘Yes, Max?
Max: ‘Chris! Chris! Will you… Chris! CHRIS! Will you..?’
Me: ‘What, Max? Will I… what?’
Max: ‘CHRIS! Chris! CHRIS! CHRIIIIIIIS! Will you…? Will you…? CHRIIIIIIIS!’ CHRIS! LOOK AT ME! CHRIS! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!’
Me: ‘Yes, Max, I’m looking!’
Max: ‘Will you… Will you play a game with me? Chris, will you play a game with me? Will you play Lego with me?’
Me: ‘I’ll be twooooo seconds, duuuude…’
Max: ‘Ah-ahhhh! Play Lego with me now, Chris! Chris! Chrisss!’
Me: ‘Okay, Max, what shall we build?’
Max: ‘We have to play Lego. Chris, will you play Lego with me?’
Me: ‘Yes, Max. We’re playing. What shall we build?’
Max: ‘Okay, okay, okay. Chris, Chris, Chris… We have to build Lego men. Chris, Chris, Chris, you need to make a Lego man with a gun and I need to make a Lego man with a sword. Chris, Chris, CHRIS! CHRIIIIIIIIIS! CHRRRRRIIIIIIIIISSSS! Noooooooo! You’re doing it wrong!!! CHRISSSSSSSS! NOOOOO! CHRISSSS!’
Me: ‘Well, show me how to do it, Max.’
Max: ‘That Lego man CAN’T have A SWOOOOOORD! He has to have a gun!!! Aaaarrrrrrrgh! CHRRRRIIIIISSSSSSSSSS!’

On occasion there would follow an explosive scream of frustration, tears and a mini-tantrum which sometimes incorporates an off-the-scale screech that causes the neighbour’s cat to go and drown itself in the nearest garden pond.

Another arresting situation that I’ve found myself being privy to is as a central part of a deep and meaningful conversation while Max is ‘having a poo-poo’. Nowadays he seems incapable of doing his business without me being there to accompany him as he goes through the motions, all the while discussing the salient concerns of which is the most powerful Ninjago character, and how cool it would be to be able ‘spinjitzu’ up and down the stairs. Call me naive, but this was a scenario I never, ever thought I’d be involved in when Laura and I first got together. More recently it’s become an inescapable necessity that I be the one to undertake this eye-opening task, and the times when I’m unable to, or suggest that he’s more than capable of doing it all by himself, can occasionally result in an ‘incident’. A shouty one. So this is something I’m just going to have to come to terms with. Deep discussion and putting the world to rights in the bathroom amid the aromas and symphony of a small boy having a shit.

And I don’t think there’s anything that can prepare you for the shock of watching a child sitting on the toilet doing Chewbacca impressions before standing, baring his wee backside and shouting, ‘FINIIIIIISHED!’ while demanding you wipe his bum without gagging.

But this is all excellent training I suppose. I should expect I’ll be changing nappies and cleaning up throughout the wee small hours when the new offspring arrives in July. You can’t even imagine how much I’m looking forward to doing that especially if there’s live boxing or UFC being broadcast from America at stupid o’clock in the morning. Obviously. And then there’s all the vomit and stuff but, again, I’m getting completely used to all that what with poor Laura hugging the porcelain every day.

No doubt I’ll be posting regular updates about all this and I’ll be sure to let you know if I grow a soul…

 

A Visit To Hill Top Farm

Absolute style

Absolute style

This morning I awoke to this news: Beatrix Potter story Kitty-In-Boots discovered after 100 years – BBC News and I wet the bed.

For a reason that’s emphatically unknown to science, God, and everyone I’ve ever crossed paths with, I have a comforting yet inexplicable obsession with the children’s author and scientist, Beatrix Potter. Several years ago, almost overnight and for reasons I’ve never been able to figure out, I developed a deep and definitely-not-completely-bizarre fascination with everything about her life, art, mycology and anthropomorphic animal tales involving lots of anthropomorphic animals and their anthropomorphic animal adventures.

While you would probably expect this Potter fixation to have stemmed directly from my childhood experience of Peter Rabbit and all his fantastically-attired chums, it turns out that though my early years were obviously splashed with a touch of Beatrix’s critter creations (and, let’s face it, it should be law that all babies and toddlers are drip fed an early childhood of Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle et al – and one would expect those that aren’t probably grow up to be extremely dangerous), it wasn’t actually until I reached the pointless old age of 30 that I began to acknowledge that this was a person with whom I was completely captivated, and was clearly everything I could ever hope to be as a human being.

Peter Rabbit presumably being strangled by his mam.

Peter Rabbit presumably being strangled by his mam.

I suspect it’s obvious that there may be an argument for a link to pre-school literature and my general mental age, but I can assure you this is only half the case. While I’m so obviously besotted with the children’s books that made her name, it was her general outlook on life, her way of living and her contempt for authority that resonated mostly with me.

Read any article or biography of Beatrix Potter and you’ll discover a society-raised, well-to-do young woman who despised the snobbish foppery, social aspiration and high society that her background represented. She held principles that align completely with my own, forged a career in something I’d love to forge a career in, pissed off an entire community (in this case the mycological science community by submitting, as an amateur mycologist, a paper on fungi that has since proved to be entirely accurate prompting the Linnean Society to issue an apology in 1997 for their sexism) before buggering off to live her later years as a sheep-farmer in the Lake District, all the while maintaining an outlook on life that makes me drool.

Here’s a few quotes from Miss P that illustrate just how startlingly wonderful she was:

“Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.”

“All outward forms of religion are almost useless, and are the causes of endless strife. . . . Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest.”

“I remember I used to half believe and wholly play with fairies when I was a child. What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood, tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense.”

This woman knew what’s what.

She was also a brilliant businesswoman, invented what we now know as merchandising, and was notoriously tough when it came to quality and output of her creations. Fun fact: she once told Walt Disney to basically sod off when he approached her in 1936 about adapting Peter Rabbit into a film. Oh, and she was also a huge conservationist, stubborn-headed when it came to preserving the landscape and fell-farming, and bequeathed all of her land and property (as well as her illustrations) to the National Trust which included the land which now makes up the Lake District National Park. I just simmer at her brilliance.

Beatrix Potter lived a perfect life. At least she did in my eyes. Aside from my fiancee Laura (of course!), she’s the one person who I idolise unequivocally. There isn’t a single aspect of her existence that I’m not fascinated by, completely in love with or just plain bowled over by. My friends and associates fully acknowledge my strange fixation with all things Beattie P and I’ll regularly get people who I’ve not spoken to in years pinging a link to my Facebook or Twitter when they stumble across something about Beatrix Potter they think I may have missed. Apparently just the mention of Beatrix Potter reminds them of me and my delirious fanboyism, and I am more than fine with that. Admittedly I’ve had friends say the same thing regarding Brad Pitt and Andrea Pirlo which, again, I’m absolutely fine with.

But Miss Potter’s my true icon. If I was eleven I’d have a poster of her on my bedroom wall. I’m not eleven though so instead I have a poster of Peter Rabbit and as many Beatrix Potter-themed trinkets dotted around the house as my girlfriend will allow. If it sounds creepy that’s because it isn’t.

But I’m blathering…

My future home

My future home

The first time I went to visit the Mecca of all things Beatrix Potter – Hill Top Farm – was with one of my oldest and most delightfully loopy mates, Emma, back in 2010. Such was the immensity of occasion, I was overawed and compelled enough to write a couple of poems about it, one of which is presented below in sonnet form. The day itself was one of the best I’ve ever had because BEATRIX POTTER’S HOUSE! Emma, being as much of a fangirl as I was a fanboy, really got into the spirit of it, ooohing and aaahing at handwritten letters and pencil sketches, and almost causing a riot when she discovered we weren’t allowed to take photos inside the house. This was a marked difference to the second time I went in 2014 with my friend Dan who looked as pissed off as one would expect a 34 year old to be when being moaned at for not acting as excited as I was at visiting Peter Rabbit’s house.

It took Emma and me about four hours to find the place despite driving straight past it about a billion times, completely oblivious to the hordes of Japanese tourists queuing up outside. Added to this was getting yelled at and chased by angry locals on Windermere for Emma’s illegal parking manoeuvres as well as spending an arresting few hours encouraging her pet dog, Arthur, to swim in the lake and acting like a proud mum when he didn’t drown. It’s days like these that memories are really made of.

So here’s the scribbles from the day we had tea and cake at Beatrix Potter’s house. It’s obviously dedicated to Emma because it was an utterly glorious day plus she drove us all the way there and I still haven’t paid her for the petrol.

 

‘A Visit To Hill Top Farm’

_____________________________________________________________

Hours in the car, laughing; a trip we took,
On winding roads towards green, looming peaks.
You drove us there. We got lost by a brook
And in fields; endless moors steeped in mystique.
We drove past it five times. Possibly six,
Laughing, wondering if we’d ever see
Her home; the cottage where our Beatrix
Spun her tales and inspired us. You and me.
Then we found ourselves there, softly entranced
By bunnies, ducks, or a handwritten note.
We stood where imagination once danced;
The creatures she drew, the stories she wrote.
And all day we laughed. You and me. Content.
Still you don’t know – you don’t – how much it meant.

Dedicated to Emma Kate Corr, written in the summer of 2010.

Emma also edits a superb parenting blog at www.emmakatecorr.com. Have a gander. Right now.

 

Correspondence #5: eBay

I found this image on the internationalnetwork. I've no idea what it's referring to, and I'm using the image without permission.

I found this image on the internationalnetwork. I’ve no idea what it’s referring to, and I’m using the image without permission.

My username on eBay is mr_jimmy_grimble which is something my brother occasionally calls me. I’m not sure exactly why, nor where the name originated but there is a film called ‘There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble’ which is a football film about a young footballer who plays football with a football. It wasn’t about me though as I haven’t played football for ages due to laziness and severe trench foot caused by a pair of £8 trainers that I purchased on eBay.

I usually buy the same pair of these trainers twice a year, and because they’re so cheap coupled with the fact my feet are Hobbit-esque and belong in the circus, they have a tendency to fall apart after about six months due to the unnecessary stress my freak feet exert to the interior lining. This time, however, the seam in these sneaky sneakers split the second time I put them on, and when I opened up a correspondence with the seller I genuinely wanted a simple replacement. If it wasn’t for them ignoring me then emailing with a dismissive retort I probably would have forgotten about it which happens a lot because of years of recreational drug abuse that has removed large chunks of my memory.

 

From:mr_jimmy_grimble
To:shucentre-uk
Sent:17-Nov-15 18:39

mr_jimmy_grimble has sent a question about item #321177794881, ending on 20-Nov-15 11:33:21 GMT – New Mens Ladies Unisex Black White School
PE Pumps Plimsoll Plims Shoes Lace Up

Hi,

I purchased these trainers last week, I’ve worn them twice and the seam in
the left shoe has split open.

Would I be able to return them for a pair that aren’t damaged?

Kind regards,

Chris

From:shucentre-uk
To:mr_jimmy_grimble
Sent:18-Nov-15 10:18
please send us an image so we can check this thanks

Kind Regards

ShuCentre
http://www.shucentre.co.uk

From:mr_jimmy_grimble
To:shucentre-uk
Sent:18-Nov-15 20:54
As requested
Not a hint of hedgehog...

Welcome to Splitsville. Population: shoe.

From:mr_jimmy_grimble
To:shucentre-uk
Sent:26-Nov-15 15:42

Hi,

Did you receive the image of the split trainer? If not, here’s the offending item now.

Many thanks,

Chris

Not a hint of hedgehog...

Seams dodgy. See what I did there?

From:shucentre-uk
To:mr_jimmy_grimble
Sent:26-Nov-15 17:03
yes just wait. we are dealing with this

Kind Regards

ShuCentre
http://www.shucentre.co.uk

From:mr_jimmy_grimble
To:shucentre-uk
Sent:26-Nov-15 17:39

Dear Sue Centre,

Many thanks for your friendly response.

It pleases me greatly to know that you are dealing with this swiftly, efficiently,
and effectively – all adjectives that one would use to describe responding to
a query that has been sitting festering for over a week with no communication.

However, I completely understand your reticence to reply to my request for
a replacement shoe. At present I am ignoring approximately 40 emails
including several from a solicitor regarding a tax evasion scam I am
caught up in as well as about 25 from my manager at work asking how
the stock level in the vending machines halve with no noticeable profit
every time I am on shift. I find replying to email gets in the way of
more pressing concerns such as chewing my fingernails or trying
on my girlfriend’s clothes when she’s at work.

I should only presume, given the length of time it’s been since my first
query, that you’ve sent off the photograph of my diseased trainer to
Kodak to be analysed for authenticity should you be concerned that
I am attempting to con you out of £10. You need not worry as I can
guarantee that it’s genuine as that is my freshly manicured thumb
pointing to where the split in the seam is. I had it manicured especially
for that photograph. As a token of goodwill from yourself, I’d gladly
accept a refund on the manicure as well. It only seems fair. It cost £50.
Just transfer it into my PayPal account at your earliest convenience.

I look forward to your early response regarding my trainer troubles.

Regards,

Chris

From:mr_jimmy_grimble
To:shucentre-uk
Sent:09-Jan-16 10:09

Dear Sue Centre,

Many thanks for your reply which still hasn’t arrived.

I replied to your friendly reply back on 26th November 2015 and it’s
now 9th January 2016 which I calculate is approximately 6 months
since we last corresponded. That’s a long time to leave me hanging.
It’s like the email equivalent of me going to high five you and you
just looking at me blankly while my high-fived hand is just hanging
in the air. Perhaps that’s where the phrase ‘don’t leave me hanging’
comes from. Something to think about I suppose, especially if you
don’t high five and opt for ‘big tens’ instead. That would just be
embarrassing if you attempted to big ten someone and got nothing
back. I can’t imagine anything more excruciating.

Anyway, enough about high fives and big tens. My damaged New
Mens Ladies Unisex Black White School PE Pumps Plimsoll Plims
Shoes Lace Ups are still awaiting return to the mothership to be replaced.
Can you tell me when this will happen? Presently, they’re sitting on a
shelf in my flat looking at me and wondering what’s going on and why
they’re not being used. I haven’t the heart to tell them that they’re
damaged and pretty much useless, and that I’m still waiting for a
younger, more attractive, more nubile pair of New Mens Ladies Unisex Black
White School PE Pumps Plimsoll Plims Shoes Lace Ups to arrive to
replace them.

Incidentally can we please refer to my New Mens Ladies Unisex Black White
School PE Pumps Plimsoll Plims Shoes Lace Ups as simply
‘my damaged trainers’ from now on? When I called the police to
inform them about your shoddy correspondence and apparent
refusal to replace my New Mens Ladies Unisex Black White School PE Pumps
Plimsoll Plims Shoes Lace Ups they hung up after the seventh time
I referred to them as New Mens Ladies Unisex Black White School PE Pumps
Plimsoll Plims Shoes Lace Ups.

I hope this matter is resolved sooner rather than later. I’d hate to
have to open up a dispute thing with PayPal as I’ve heard they’re
Mafia-esque.

Kind regards,

Chris

From:shucentre-uk
To:mr_jimmy_grimble
Sent:09-Jan-16 13:36
please send us a picture of the received item and where its faulty, we advise you to return the item back to us so we can check this, we have not been ignoring you as you state, we are not a company to rip you of for £8 worth of shoes?????? you can call the police or do what is best but its not the way we deal with our returns or faulty items. please firstly send us a picture of the item as you are claiming it to be damaged

Kind Regards

ShuCentre
http://www.shucentre.co.uk

From:mr_jimmy_grimble
To:shucentre-uk
Sent:09-Jan-16 14:28

Dear Sue,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

Unfortunately I’ve deleted the image of my diseased trainer from my iPhone,
as well as the 400 photographs of my feet that I take each time I’m on the
toilet, in order to free up storage space so I can download images of Brad
Pitt with no top on. I’ve attached my current favourite image of Brad instead.
I’d like to think he was thinking of me in this picture; perhaps about meeting
up and watching all of his movies together. I think he’d be a really nice
person to hang out with. We could talk about trainers. Perhaps he’d ask me
why I was wearing a damaged pair of New Mens Ladies Unisex Black White
School PE Pumps Plimsoll Plims Shoes Lace Ups, and I could reply that
the seam split; then he could ask why I don’t get them replaced and I’d
say that I’ve been trying my hardest but not getting anywhere with Sue
Centre. Then he’d probably call Sue a cow and give me a hug. I expect
he doesn’t wear damaged New Mens Ladies Unisex Black White School
PE Pumps Plimsoll Plims Shoes Lace Ups.

However, if you read the previous correspondence you will see that I
sent an image of my diseased shoe back on 26th November, as per your
request. As previously mentioned, you can see my thumb in the image so
please let me know what you think of the manicure you so kindly offered
to pay for by way of recompense for failing to respond to my enquiry
about replacing my damaged trainer. I am still awaiting the funds to
be deposited into my account.

It does reassure me to know that you aren’t a company that rips people
off for £8 worth of shoes but it’s quite apparent that your shoes rip
themselves off given how easily the seam burst away from the sole
the second time I put them on. On the plus side, wearing damaged trainers
that expose my feet to the elements does have its advantages including
trench foot and mild frostbite which I think creates a connection between
me and Mother Nature.

Please let me know when my new trainer will be sent.

Regards,

Chris

Oooh la la...

Oooh la la…

From:shucentre-uk
To:mr_jimmy_grimble
Sent:09-Jan-16 20:31
please provide us with proper photos and not brad pitt

Kind Regards

ShuCentre
http://www.shucentre.co.uk

From:mr_jimmy_grimble
To:shucentre-uk
Sent:10-Jan-16 13:17

Dear Sue Centre,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

That was a test and you failed. It’s quite clearly a picture of a shirtless
Johnny Depp and definitely not a picture of Brad Pitt with no top on.
I know this because I’ve memorised the intricacies of Brad’s abdominal
muscles and they’re clearly not on show here. I’m disappointed with you
in making such an elementary mistake and fear you cannot be trusted in
a combat situation. If this is the way you conduct your business then it’s
no wonder that your Ladies Unisex Black White School PE Pumps Plimsoll
Plims Shoes Lace Ups surrender and capitulate to the elements after only
36 hours of use playing football, rock climbing and kicking small
hedgehogs against garage walls as they go about their business.

Having said that I have, at no extra expense to you and despite having
already sent the image twice previously, attached the initial photograph
of the diseased trainer and my manicured thumb which, given the
protracted nature of this correspondence, is due another one as my
thumbnail is nowlong and powerful enough to slice open the seam on the
other shoe with minimal effort.

I trust procedures will now be in place to get my New Mens Ladies Unisex
Black White School PE Pumps Plimsoll Plims Shoes Lace Up replaced at
long long last.

Kind regards,

Chris

Not a hint of hedgehog...

Not a hint of hedgehog…

From:shucentre-uk
To:mr_jimmy_grimble
Sent:10-Jan-16 16:36
we advise you to return them to us so we can inspect the shoes and help you get it the situation resolved thanks

Kind Regards

ShuCentre
http://www.shucentre.co.uk

From:mr_jimmy_grimble
To:shucentre-uk
Sent:11-Jan-16 13:21

Dear Sue,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

I am very glad we are approaching something resembling a resolution with
regard to my diseased New Mens Ladies Unisex Black White School PE
Pumps Plimsoll Plims Shoes Lace Ups. I have taken your advice and
first thing this morning I went to the post office with my broken trainer
and asked them to wrap it up and post it to you. When they asked me why
I wanted to post one shoe I explained that it was infected and needed to
be replaced with one that isn’t extremely ill with an infectious disease.
Not entirely sure of what to make of my statement, the clerk behind the
desk offered to throw it in the bin if it was as terminally ill as I suggested
so I hastily agreed because I didn’t want them to make a scene as I was still
in my pyjamas and night cap.

However, I have instead sent you the left boot of the slipper boots that
I got off Santa Claus this Christmas. They too are damaged due to the length
of my toenails and their all-too-easy ability to penetrate soft, woollen fabric
and half-arsed stitch-work carried out by child sweatshop workers in
Bangladesh.

The damaged slipper boot should arrive tomorrow, first class post, so please
send me a New Mens Ladies Unisex Black White School PE Pumps Plimsoll
Plims Shoes Lace Up as a replacement.

Kind regards,

Chris

From:shucentre-uk
To:mr_jimmy_grimble
Sent:11-Jan-16 17:12
we can’t accept a damaged slipper in place of a shoe. return the split trainer and we’ll see what we can do

Kind Regards

ShuCentre
http://www.shucentre.co.uk

From:mr_jimmy_grimble
To:shucentre-uk
Sent:12-Jan-16 9:06

Dear Sue,

You owe me a slipper.

Kind regards,

Chris

Road Rage

Definitely this...

Lots of this going on…

A few months ago after a moment of uncharacteristic positivity, I made a casual enquiry with various instructors about what my chances were at ever passing a driving test should I choose to learn the practicalities prior to actually taking one. I spoke to several driving instructors and informed them that the total experience I have when it comes to driving amounted to playing Mario Kart on the Super Nintendo when I was 12, being forced to watch Formula One against my will whenever I visit my friend Steve, and gleefully grabbing the wheel of the car and lurching it into oncoming traffic for fun every time I’m in the car with my best mate, Phil. I was told that while this was all reassuring experience it probably wouldn’t help me learn to drive in real life so I should best get some lessons booked in. So I did.

As you may or may not be aware, back in October I blogged about my initial forays into attempting to manoeuvre a car without it resulting in an explosion of some sort, and aside from gaining extensive experience in how to endanger human lives, the only thing I’ve learned is that spending £800 of your money, four and a half months of your time, and an infinite amount mentally pissing on your self-respect doesn’t guarantee you the ability to move a car from A to B. Given how much I despise anything to do with cars – most intensely the people who drive them – the likelihood of me picking up the basics of driving straightaway wasn’t high at all. And let me tell you it was nowhere near as high as how my instructor’s voice gets when he shrieks in terror whenever I nervously approach a junction and I get my feet muddled up resulting in me slamming my foot down on the accelerator instead of the brake.

All of the death is heading my way...

All of the death is heading my way…

Literally everyone I spoke to before I started learning to drive confidently asserted that one day everything I’m being told during my lessons would just ‘click’ into place like some magic spell that would wondrously transform me into the mentally-agitated equivalent of Lewis Hamilton, but without the money and annoying disposition. Once everything ‘clicks’, I was told, then it’s just a case of improving with each lesson, the instructor would ‘put you forward for your test’, whatever that means, and then it would only be a matter of time before I joined the mass throng of impatient, self-centred, obnoxious arseholes that currently patrol the UK’s roads in their metal coffins. In theory it sounded simple. In reality it was an exercise in complete and utter incompetence.

Never have I been as bad at anything as I am at driving. Or at least attempting to drive. Though maybe that’s overstating it a bit as I’m pretty abysmal at anything to do with numbers. Once, during my GCSE Mathematics examination when I was 16, I opened the test booklet that contained the sums that would potentially shape my future, took one horrified look at the jumbled array of figures looking back at me, wrote ‘I give up’ on the front of the paper then quietly went to sleep for the remainder of the exam. Comparatively, I’m far worse at driving than I am at attempting to negotiate a page of angry-looking numbers, figures and fractions. My family and friends think I’m exaggerating how woeful I actually am but let’s take a look at the evidence:

Previously, I’d mentioned I was eight lessons of driving tuition in, sixteen hours in total, and during that time I’d been told how to start the car, change gear, pull away, stop, reverse, and what to do at roundabouts and junctions. In the following weeks and lessons (and let me state for the record that there’s been another twelve of the bastards which amounts to a grand total of forty hours of driving tuition), I’ve been informed of parking, reverse parking, parallel parking, three-point turns, overtaking and absolutely loads more that went in one ear and out the other. Of the six basics of driving that I’ve stated (starting the car, changing gear etc) the only thing I can do with any degree of ease and confidence is stop the car. And that involves such a sudden thump on the brake pedal that it regularly causes my poor girlfriend in the passenger seat to lurch forward and only narrowly avoid knocking herself clean out on the windscreen by the car immediately rolling backwards and throwing her back into her seat because of my inability to apply the handbrake before I release the brake pedal.

As for the others, where do I start? I routinely lock the steering wheel when attempting to start the car which, bizarrely, causes me to stare absently into the middle distance, my gear changes involve two hands and a struggle that suggests I’m stabbing somebody to death, and my approaches to roundabouts are guaranteed to include the phrase, ‘WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO NOW?!’ as happened seven times when out and about with Laura the other day. And my parking? Call me naive, but when I first decided to learn to drive I never thought parking would entail driving into a car park, stopping the car, getting out, then watching as your girlfriend did it for you.

Additionally, I regularly go into what I call ‘shit-my-pants mode’ in which my brain disengages function with the rest of my body and I kind of freeze and loll about as the car cruises at 50mph towards a red light. I’m only jolted out of this psychological death-hold by my instructor screaming that now is the time we’re going to die. And let’s not forget I’m twenty lessons in. That’s forty sodding hours. That’s eight hours a day for five days, and I’m still no further forward from where I was after lessons three, four and five. It would be infuriating if it wasn’t so depressing.

This happened to me once. Not as dramatic, but still...

This happened to me once. Not as dramatic, but still…

My biggest problem by a substantial distance, however, is pulling away after I’ve stopped at a junction. It’s literally blind luck if I do it right. Just the other day I stalled three times attempting to pull onto a busy roundabout, screamed a bit, then the car kind of shut down and just rolled forward into speeding traffic with me helpless and clueless to do anything. I never, ever, ever thought that one day I would class driving to the local shop as an extreme sport.

The only flicker of light in all this doom and gloom was how easy the theory test was. Believe it or not I passed first time, and that was simply because the test I got was exactly the same – I’m talking a question for question carbon copy – of the practice test I’d done at work that morning when I should have been working. Apparently, however, it’s only valid for two years after which you have to take it again if you don’t pass the practical. So I’m going to have to take it all over again. Sigh.

Anyway, it’s very clear that I can’t drive even after all this time and tuition so I’m changing my instructor next week. In spite of all of my flagrant ineptitude and troubles behind the wheel I will insist on blaming it on someone else. So, mercifully for him, his life expectancy will probably increase with me now out of the picture; though I can’t account for the extreme blood pressure he’ll have accrued from being in a car with me.

I expect another few months of fear and terror on the roads as I learn all over again with a new instructor so no doubt I’ll be updating right here if I survive.

Happy 2016!

Correspondence #4: DPD Part II – The Search For Choc

Kevin Costner as an Oscar-winning postman in Field Of Dreams.

Kevin Costner as an Oscar-winning postman in Field Of Dreams.

Last week I opened a correspondence with DPD regarding their comically poor delivery service, and in-between all of the mania, frustration and subsequent blood on the keyboard, a resolution of sorts was agreed whereby they offered a gesture of a box of compensatory chocolates by way of an apology for their wilful insubordination. Unfortunately these chocs never materialised and I was consequently forced to open up another line of communication with these bad prats to ask why the delivery to compensate for my initial failed delivery was now another failed delivery in itself.

I quite enjoy emailing people when I feel something of an injustice has occurred as the distraction of annoying other human beings helps cushion the shock and subsequent depression of waking up every day and realising that Skynet is not even close to being a thing, apes are not even close to a revolution, and my brain is not even close to being fully developed. With this one, however, even I got sick of how much it dragged on. So much so that when it was finally over I took the rest of the day off work. Sometimes I wish people would just tell me to piss off and stop bothering them.

On the plus side, today I received a message from my mother that DPD finally arrived with her apology, a hamper full of drugs and a look of abject fear in their eyes. So, every cloud…

 

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

Dec 16 (2 days ago)

to Social

Dear Whoever It Is Who’s Going To Respond To This Particular Message,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

As per the previous correspondence attached to this email that’s stretched itself out over the course of 7 days, please find attached in vibe form my total and utter despondence at the web of lies and broken promises with which DPD now aligns itself.

Despite all of my eagerness and hope that there’d be a resolution to this ongoing crisis – and rest assured…. this… is a crisis – it turns out that all hope and eagerness was merely a fart in the wind that dissipated quickly and prematurely, and didn’t linger about waiting to surprise people with its presence. Corresponding with DPD is very much like this: plenty of promise, plenty of excitement, and then nothing. Just air, and nary a hint of follow through.

While you may have promised my mother a fine box of chocolates by way of recompense for your earlier mass failings at attempting to deliver a parcel to my home for which she took the day off work, it seems this too was damn dirty lie which, given the time of year, is completely understandable. The amount of times I encourage the kids in the playgroup at work to get excited about Santa arriving next week only to tell them he doesn’t exist and if he did he’d hate them is probably excessive. The fact of the matter is I like watching their faces drop after a fleeting sensation of glee. I can’t get enough of it, and given your general procedures and correspondence, I suspect this is the kind of thing DPD thrive on too.

To be honest, I thought I’d be more dismayed about this whole secondary DPD situation until I reminded myself that this is DPD I’m dealing with so I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise. DPD – which stands for Delivery People Deliverers – should really think about changing their name because you’re not at all delivery people deliverers. You could change it to any number of original and relevant names such as ‘Doesn’t Post Deliveries’ or ‘Don’t Pick DPD’ or ‘David Pollock Dickhead’, though that last one isn’t massively relevant, it’s just that David Pollock was a human boy who used to bully me in primary school every day. He wasn’t very nice at all and when he got to middle school he was expelled for staple-gunning a classmate to the wall. He’s a postman now which I think has agreeable symmetry to our current predicament.

Anyway, I hate to have to escalate this situation but unfortunately you leave me no choice but to write a complaint letter to your superiors regarding your lies, betrayal, emotional blackmail and hate. And I wouldn’t expect anything decent off Santa this year. He doesn’t exist and if he does he hates you.

An email of complaint will be forwarded to the relevant department in due course.

Merry Christmas,

Yours never,

Chris

Social Media via 6j21uev6ljh3o.2-ms7weag.eu3.bnc.salesforce.com 

Dec 16 (2 days ago)

to me

Hi Chris

I’ve had a look into this. You are right, we haven’t delivered the service that you deserve.

I am sorry about this. I’ve spoken to the depot and have asked them as of to why the delivery failed more than once. We can see that on an occasion the driver was on his way, but as you requested for a delivery to your neighbour it failed. You aren’t at fault here by the way.

I am sorry to say we do not offer compensation. However if you speak to your sender they may be able to refund your delivery charge, as you paid this to get the best customer service and it wasn’t given to you.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask us.

Many thanks

Nathaniel

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

Dec 16 (2 days ago)

to Social

Dear Nathaniel,

Many thanks for your friendly reply, and your inference that I am at fault here by the way.

While I appreciate you speaking to the depot to ascertain why they aren’t capable of carrying an item from point A to point B, it’s been over a week since I was told that the reason they weren’t capable of this was because of the clear, precise instructions given to them with plenty of time in advance of delivery. This is understandable as carrying out instructions to the letter can be difficult for some people. Just this morning I was asked to email an important client about retrieving payment for several invoices he was in arrears with thus keeping our business above water and securing our short-term future. I was told it was vital I got this done but instead I got distracted by the new toy lightsaber I’d bought for my girlfriend’s little boy for Christmas, and began charging around my office attacking anything that wasn’t secured to my desk. Unfortunately, just as I was re-enacting the scene in Star Wars IV: A Brand New Hope when Hans Solo is arguing with Greedy The Bounty Hunter then gets angry and slices him in half with his lightsaber, I accidentally popped a light bulb while doing a jumping-backflip-dance-attack and the subsequent smoke set the fire alarms off. The entire building had to be evacuated and by the time I got back to my desk I’d completely forgotten about the important email I’d been tasked with. It’s probably okay though. From my experience if you don’t do a job properly all you have to do is lie about it then promise someone a box of chocolates as compensation then lie about that too.

Thankfully I’ve made my peace with the DPD people being unable to carry out a job that they were literally created to do which leaves me with one of your social media advisors dangling a box of chocolates in front of my poor mother’s face then snatching it away from her as she awaited her one-hour delivery window text.

As per the previous correspondence from your social media advisors, please can you confirm when these chocolates will be delivered? Please add a bouquet of flowers and a voucher for 12 free months of Netflix as an additional gesture for this second failure to follow through with a service that you promised.

I look forward to your speedy reply before I call the police.

Yours never ever,

Chris

Social Media via 1nj4ndxw0w6.2-ms7weag.eu3.bnc.salesforce.com 

Dec 16 (2 days ago)

to me

Hi Chris

Firstly I am sorry for telling you we don’t offer compensation.

On the plus side, we’ve arranged for your mother to receive the flowers. You definitely deserve them as we’d let you down.With the box of chocolates I am chasing this for you.

Many thanks

Nathaniel
Social Media

 

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

Dec 16 (2 days ago)

to Social

Dear Nathaniel,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

However, I must take your offer of flowers and chocolates with a pinch of salt as I was told I’d be receiving the chocolates on Monday as well as a one hour delivery window text and this never happened. My mother was going to be receiving the chocolates which left me with the one hour delivery window text which I was really looking forward to getting as I rarely receive texts these days ever since I was viciously ‘outed’ on social media. I won’t go into detail with that but suffice to say it involved a change of identity.

Nevertheless, despite the friendship and trust I feel we have now established between us, I just can’t shake the feeling that you will disappoint me.

Perhaps you could text me a test delivery text to confirm your commitment to our working relationship, and to get these flowers and chocolates and Netflix vouchers sent out before Christmas.

Kind regards,

Chris

Social Media via x6hq989a9vsakc.2-ms7weag.eu3.bnc.salesforce.com 

Dec 16 (2 days ago)

to me

Hi Chris

I completely understand your hesitance to rely on us. Please leave this with us, we won’t let it go.

Again, sorry for all the mishap that happened.

Hope you enjoy your evening

Nathaniel

Social Media

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

Dec 16 (2 days ago)

to Social
Dear Nathaniel,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

I am glad that you understand that my understanding of your understanding of my dissatisfaction of DPD’s service is, at the least, hesitant, and at the most, borderline manic. If this isn’t fully understood then I understand the next step will be a complaint letter notwithstanding. I expect I can count on your understanding. I hope this is as clear to you as it is to me.

I have set my alarm on my phone to wake me up in the morning at 4am so I hope to have a resolution sitting in my email inbox waiting for me at dawn.

I look forward to meeting you, Nathaniel.

Kind regards,

Chris

Social Media via bmr5pekso1q.2-ms7weag.eu3.bnc.salesforce.com 

Dec 17 (1 day ago)

to me

Hi Chris

Hope you’re well 🙂

I’ve spoken to the depot, and the manager I asked for is in a meeting.

I briefly explained to a member of staff (as he’d asked) what the query was about.
He will help look into this, and I’ve told them to add notes so I can often update you.

Will keep in touch 😉

Nathaniel

 

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

Dec 17 (1 day ago)

to Social

Dear Nathaniel,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

I’m not going to lie I’m not 100% today. I barely slept a wink thinking about the depot staff at DPD laughing at my plight, eating the chocolates that were meant for my mother, and not sending the one hour delivery window text that had my name, telephone number and personal details on it.

However, I completely understand that the manager you asked for is in a meeting. Whenever I can’t be bothered to speak to anyone I have one of my subordinates tell whoever I’m avoiding that I’m doing something exotic and exciting such as lion taming or logging in and out of Facebook with my chin resting on my hand. Just this morning prior to consuming the eleven espressos I have at once in order to be able to function as a human being, I accidentally told a customer that I didn’t work here anymore and to come back in the past should he wish to see me. This was despite me telling him this directly to his face. As abstract conversations go, it’s up there. Thankfully I’ve had my caffeine fix now and despite severe chest pains I’m feeling a lot better so thank you for asking.

I’m glad you have another member of staff helping you with this troublesome situation. That means there’s three of us all trying to pull in the right direction to get these flowers, chocolates and 12 months of free Netflix vouchers delivered before Christmas. My favourite proverb is ‘Too Many Cooks Make Broth Taste Nice’ so I think this an apt phrase for our situation.

Please keep me updated with delivery of the chocolates, flowers and 12 months of free Netflix vouchers. It still seems bizarre that you offered me these yet didn’t send them. I can only put that down to your horrid working conditions and your general hatred of life so I’m willing to overlook that if you get them shipped at some point today with a confirmation email, letter of apology and a hug.

Kind regards,

Chris

Social Media via draxs64jpuxtby.2-ms7weag.eu3.bnc.salesforce.com 

Dec 17 (1 day ago)

to me

Dear Chris

Thank you for your honesty; I’m really sorry you’ve lost sleep over this situation. We’re doing our best to get this sorted for you. I must say 11 espressos is a rather large dose of caffeine but I agree that life without espressos would be rough. I hope the chest pains diminish as the day goes on.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Kind regards,

Hemin
Social Media Team

 

Social Media via uf5c4ldfr5v3bx.2-ms7weag.eu3.bnc.salesforce.com 

Dec 17 (1 day ago)

to me

Dear Chris

The depot manager has updated our notes and advised that the courtesy gift will be on its way to you ASAP. I’m sorry we won’t be able to give you a physical hug but please accept this cyber hug instead. *Cyber hug*.

Kind regards,

Hemin
Social Media Team

 

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

Dec 17 (1 day ago)

to Social

Dear Hemin,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

Much like your cyber hug, I suspect your courtesy gift does not exist. I’ve been promised so many promises and so many promises have been broken. I honestly don’t know where to put myself. If it wasn’t for my alcoholism I don’t where I’d be. Thankfully I have a bottle of Gordon’s Gin in my desk drawer here at work and I am sipping from it. Admittedly it’s not Tanqueray or Stovell’s Wildcrafted Gin but this is work and who wants to drink the best while stuck at your desk. Not me. Not on your nelly. I will, however, be celebrating with them should the fabled courtesy gift arrive.

Just for peace of mind please can you confirm the delivery address I gave you, what the gifts will be and when they will be delivered? If not I will give you a piece of my mind. I’ve already opened communication with your complaints department and, while disagreeing over which is the best brand of gin, they are shocked at my ill-treatment, and rightly so, Joe.

Kind regards,

Chris

 

Social Media via 1dpzisqclg7vj7.2-ms7weag.eu3.bnc.salesforce.com 

Dec 17 (1 day ago)

to me

Dear Chris

I can assure the courtesy gifts are real. The depot have confirmed they will be sending a box of chocolates and bottle of champagne to the address you originally requested:

**** *******

****** ******

***************

**************

**** ***

We will also be sending flowers to the same address, although this is being sent from our head office. Again, I’d like to apologise for the trouble this has caused and hope you have a great day.

Kind regards,

Hemin
Social Media Team

 

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

Dec 17 (1 day ago)

to Social

Dear Hemin,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

I await with bated breath the courtesy gifts you so confidently assert will arrive. I do hope they’ll be delivered sooner rather than later or later rather than never as if I hold my breath for too long you’ll have a death on your hands which is something none of us wants. Except everyone on your social media response team.

I do hope that these legendary gifts find their way to the correct destination and with that in mind I’ll leave you with this quote that I think sums up this whole sorry saga:

Life is what happens when you’re busy arranging schedules with your friends and it sneaks up on you” – Kurt Cobain, 1998.

I look forward to the make-believe gifts in the post.

Kind regards,

Chris

 

 

There was free drugs stashed in the umbrella. Just saying.

There was free drugs stashed in the umbrella. Just saying.

Correspondence #3: DPD

Fuck you...

Fuck you…

I wasn’t going to post this particular correspondence because of the multiple people I was forced to correspond with, all with varying personalities, flamboyant grammar and sentence structure, and middling to okay sense of humours. But I’ve decided to post because of the time of year and the heart-warming resolution at the end of it.

It consistently baffles and amazes me how every little thing in general society fails to work properly. From buses and trains that repeatedly fail to arrive on time to my brain disengaging correspondence with my body when driving causing me to veer wildly across whole lanes of traffic and giving my instructor cause to wear nappies each time he gets in a car with me, there isn’t a thing on earth that doesn’t make my piss boil.

My most recent bugbear was the delivery people at DPD. Attempting multiple times to arrange and rearrange delivery of a parcel to my home vexed me so much it caused me to have to text my mother to ask her to sit in my pig-sty of a flat staring at the front door in order to sign for it when they arrived. I love my mam very much but engaging in a text conversation with her is more stressful than being attacked in my sleep with improvised weapons made of cardboard by my girlfriend’s adorably loud little son at 6am. More often than not the text messages I receive off my mam require a degree in modern languages and an hour of intense deliberation in order to decipher what it is she’s saying. The same goes with her general every day vernacular. As well as regularly referring to my brother as my dad, me as my brother and my dad as the pet dog, she also has a habit of muttering dizzying turns of phrase the likes of which cause my dad, brother and I to exchange confused and bewildered glances. Often she’ll say things like, ‘I’m making cake for the dinner afterwards for pudding later as dessert’ or something similarly bamboozling. She also has a clever way of presuming that everyone is talking to her regardless of whether she’s partaking in the conversation or, indeed, if she’s even in the same room. I’ve had conversations with my dad that unfold something like this:

‘Yeah, he should have started as a striker as he’s wasted on the wing,’ I’d state.
‘Without a doubt,’ my dad would chip in, ‘complete waste of a pair of football boots out there.’
At which point a distant voice, usually from upstairs, would pipe up:
‘What?’ My mam, a flight of stairs and two rooms away, would deduce that we were talking to her. ‘What are yous saying? Did you shout of me?’ We’d ignore her and carry on our discussion.
‘I need Newcastle to win on my accumulator but I’ll say a 7-0 home defeat. You?’ I’d continue.
‘Double figures defeat.’
Then a voice from upstairs: ‘what? Hello? What did you say? I can’t hear you.’ Then footsteps would carry across the ceiling and pitter-patter down the stairs. My mam would pop her head around the door, breathless: ‘Were you shouting of me?’
‘NO!’

Every conversation that occurs at my folks’ house involves a sub-conversation to remind her we’re not addressing her directly. And despite me being an idiot, she usually drops whatever she’s doing to attend to whatever I ask of her. Once, when in the Highlands of Scotland, I told her I’d contracted some form of poisoning from wild swimming in a river and she basically offered to come up and get me and take me home until I reminded her I was 33 and not 3. Bless her. She must really care for me though that may well change when she discovers that I’m going to pack her off to a nursing home when she’s outlived her usefulness.

 

DPD – Your Delivery 5012032174

Inbox
x

Social Media socialmedia@dpdgroup.co.uk via exn3ez146lzs.2-ms7weag.eu3.bnc.salesforce.com 

Dec 9 (2 days ago)

to me
Good afternoon Chris

I’m writing further to my earlier voicemail and in response to your tweet. I’m so sorry to learn that you have experienced difficulties with your delivery.After I left my message I called the driver straight back and was able to stay on the line whilst he delivered the parcel to your house and Mrs Peet signed for it.

With regards to your request to deliver to your neighbour, there is no reason that this couldn’t have happened with the way that your delivery was arranged by the sender, but the driver did mention that he had previously attempted to deliver to one of your neighbours who had refused to accept delivery.

We strive to deliver all parcels swiftly and promptly and upon this occasion we have not met expectations, for which I apologise. As your parcel has now been safely received I trust that all is now in order, however if you have any further concerns please do let us know.

Very best wishes

Julie
DPD Customer Services

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

Dec 9 (2 days ago)

to Social

Dear Julie,

Many thanks for your voicemail offering a potential solution to a problem that was resolved myself via 40 text messages, 14 phone calls and several threats towards random members of the public and my mother due to my frustration at DPD’s poor delivery service.

Having recently purchased an item that was comparable in price to that Ark of the Covenant thing the Nazi’s loved in the Harrison Fjord film ‘Raider Of The Lost Ark: The Adventures of Indiana Jones’, I was keen to have this delivered at the earliest convenience and not have to endure the unabashedly stupid comic-book adventure thrill ride in which Harrison Fjord’s character had to partake in order to get a hold of his own undeliverable item. Given my recent experience, unfortunately that’s turned out to be the case despite me not owning a fedora and bullwhip. Judging by the title of the film, I can only presume that Indy had attempted to have the Ark of the Covenant also delivered by DPD given how it ultimately ended up in the hands of the Nazis and everyone’s faces melted when it arrived 2 months late, not at Indy Jones’s house, but on a weird rock thing in the middle of the sea where it emitted a powerful light that killed dozens of people. It was a great movie though. My favourite bit was when Indy finally got the Ark delivered and you could see the relief in his face that he hadn’t threatened his mother with violence if she didn’t take the day off work to go to his house to sign for it.

Furthermore, it did distress me a lot to learn that my five requests to have my parcel delivered to one of my neighbours went unheeded. Except that one time you mentioned where my neighbour apparently refused to accept delivery of it. This is understandable as if it’s the neighbour I’m thinking of he still hasn’t forgiven me for the time he saw me in the street, stopped to make small talk and I pretended to be speaking to someone on my phone which then rang loudly at the mid-point of passing him. He still goes on about that sometimes.

But I digress. I really would have appreciated an acknowledgement that you at least attempted delivery to a neighbour. All I got was several photographs of the front, side and rear of my flat which, while it brought to my attention a potential guttering problem, it did seem to imply that your couriers have something of a voyeuristic component attached to their personalities.

And while your service offered multiple choices for redelivery should I not be home, my repeated attempts to option one of these was met with a radio silence the likes of which will not be seen until the nuclear apocalypse that’s due to occur whenever the next Terminator film says it will.

Is there any form of recompense for not meeting my delivery expectations? Ideally I’d like leather trousers but a cash prize would also be acceptable.

I expect to hear from you in due course.

Kind regards,

Chris

Social Media via 32ycooggtbovek.2-ms7weag.eu3.bnc.salesforce.com 

Dec 10 (1 day ago)

to me
Hi Chris,

Thanks for getting back to us.I do have to commend you on the film references to a DPD delivery I’ve honestly never thought of one of our deliveries in this way. Although come to think of it we do track our drivers like Enemy of the state :O Staring my favourite actor Will Smith.

I’m sorry your parcel wasn’t delivered to you since the 3rd as it should have been and our driver have struggled to deliver to you or one of your neighbours. I know our drivers are franchise driver that attempted at your address. This does mean that they are only paid per successful delivery attempt as an incentive to do their best to get parcels delivered (none of Indiana’s treasure for Steve). I can now see this was delivered to you yesterday as you’ve said.

I’m really sorry that you have been through such an ordeal. I wouldn’t be able to get you a cash prize but I did enjoy reading your email as it was slightly different to those that we’re used to if you have a delivery in future please mail in and we’ll do everything we can to stop this happening in future although some steps have already been taken.  I really hope you do get those leather trousers but if there is any rock unturned or a question I’ve left unanswered please let me know.

Kindest regards
Simon
Social Media

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

3:25 PM (21 hours ago)

to Social
Dear Si,
Thanks for your friendly reply.

I too enjoy staring at my favourite actors in all the movies I like. Once, I stared at an image of Brad Pitt’s abs for so long that I developed a slight astigmatism in one of my eyes the side effects of which cause me to sweat and tremble profusely every time he appears on screen. I’ll admit that this has caused some concern from my girlfriend regarding my sexuality but even though I’m slightly curious, I can confirm that I’m probably not gay. Despite the existence of Brad, Andrea Pirlo and Lion-O from Thundercats.

Regarding the protracted delivery of my parcel, it has caused something of an issue with my mother who had to take the afternoon off work because of DPD’s repeated refusal to change my delivery. I know I made something of a joke regarding a compensatory gesture for me but when it comes to my mam I’m deadly serious. She does a lot for me and if she refuses to help me in my time of need she’ll certainly know about it. She can’t half take a punch that one. She lost a lot of flexi-time finishing work early to wait in for the parcel so it would be much appreciated if you could refund this flexi-time via email at your earliest convenience. I know she would appreciate the gesture. If you could gift wrap it, even better.

I expect this act of kindness will thoroughly make up for your repeated failure to deliver my present.

Kind regards,

Chris

Social Media via rln3c3v01ttd.2-ms7weag.eu3.bnc.salesforce.com 

4:20 PM (20 hours ago)

to me
Hey Chris,

Thanks for your reply, I must say I admire your great respect for Brad Pitts abs :)In regards to your mother waiting in I agree that she would probably have been quite peeved for it to fail and wouldn’t be too impressed when you got back. I would like to offer that we send out a box of chocolates to her as a good will gesture. Is this something you think would make her feel better?

Thanks,
Alison

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

4:37 PM (20 hours ago)

to Social

Dear Alison,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

A box of chocolates sounds like a pleasant goodwill gesture. Will she get fries with that? She can take them or leave them to be honest but I was told to always ask.

If you could send the chocolates (and/or fries) to the following address and have them delivered personally from Mr Kriss Kringle then I promise I won’t send you the other 86 emails addressed to DPD Customer Care I have sitting in my drafts folder*. Many thanks indeed.

Mrs Ann Peet
**** *******
****** ******
***************
**** ***
Kind regards,
Chris
*this is dependent on the physical state of my now-delivered parcel. I’ve yet to get home to see it so you may well receive further correspondence from me should I be dissatisfied with the delivered package.

Social Media via cs03r51nsve3.2-ms7weag.eu3.bnc.salesforce.com 

5:52 PM (18 hours ago)

to me
Hey Chris,

I’m glad you said yes! Unfortunately we’re out of fries :'(On a brighter note, the chocolates are being arranged for you and I’ll drop you a quick email to let you know when they’ll get there.

Social Media via qctovxce0jppjx.2-ms7weag.eu3.bnc.salesforce.com 

5:56 PM (18 hours ago)

to me
Chris,

They will be there Monday, you’ll get a text with the one hour slot 🙂

Chris James Peet <chrisjpeet@googlemail.com>

6:41 PM (18 hours ago)

to Social

Dear Alison,

Many thanks for your friendly reply. Additional thanks for your goodwill gesture.

It pleases me greatly to know my mother will receive an early Christmas present of a box of expensive handmade personalised chocolates shipped in from Belgium especially and wrapped in a satin bow by you personally. It’s more than she’s getting off me because frankly she doesn’t deserve a thing given the amount of times she tried to get out of waiting at my flat for my parcel. You’re obviously a lovely person. I’ll send you a Christmas card occasionally by way of thanks.

I hope your Christmas is more Santa Claus and less Ebenezer Scrooge.

Happy Easter, Alison.

Kind regards,

Chris

Sent from my iPhone

Social Media via rccdbmvl8dv.2-ms7weag.eu3.bnc.salesforce.com 

6:27 AM (6 hours ago)

to me
Hey Chris,
Alison doesn’t start until 8 but I’ll make sure that she see’s this thanks so much for getting back to us and spreading the Christmas cheer I hope you have a great Christmas too 🙂

The Problem With Blogging

My blog is better than yours

My blog is better than yours…

There are many reasons that caused me to take up writing a blog and almost all of them are completely uninteresting. Actually all of them are completely uninteresting. The main reason that I joined 100% of the global population in choosing to write a blog is essentially the same reason that 100% of the global population choose to write a blog: because I have nothing interesting to say yet repeatedly try to keep saying it. Anyone who writes a blog basically discards all sense of creative substance, flings shit on a computer screen then tells all of their friends about it in the hope of amassing likes, retweets, comments and reacharounds. And let me tell you a harsh truth: in the two months that I’ve been blogging I’ve only copped one reacharound and it was absolutely amateurish.

Worse than ISIS, people who put xxx’s at the end of every Facebook comment, and anyone who pronounces the letter ‘h’ with a hard ‘h’ as if it’s a word itself, the most horrifyingly awful thing on earth is when someone posts a link on social media that’s preceded by the words ‘new’, ‘blog’, and ‘post’. That’s a guaranteed unfollow, or immediate self-harm session. I post mine to Facebook and Twitter all the time because if I didn’t then all people would be left with is status updates about what my latest trip to the toilet was like and no one wants that. Apart from a couple of you. Mind, I never commit blog posts to social networks with ‘new blog post’ written before it. I did that once and my viewing figures were minus four thousand despite logging out of my WordPress account, typing my blog address into Skynet then repeatedly refreshing the page in order to generate a high amount of views. A bit like when blokes sit on their hand to make it go numb before pleasuring themselves. Sure, it might feel like it’s someone else tugging you off, and it might be enjoyable in the short term, but you’re ultimately going to be woken up by a deafening sense of self-loathing and a gooey mess all over your computer screen.

But I’m going off on a tangent. One of the more enjoyable things I’ve discovered about writing a blog is the discovery of what is known as the ‘blogosphere’. This sounds far more inclusive and wide-ranging than it is which is basically a collective of dangerously bored human beings writing flimsy shit about what they had for tea, how hilarious their hilariously uninteresting offspring is turning out to be, or how pathetic they are at learning to drive. It’s all frivolous nonsense that no-one in their right mind should give two flying buggerfucks about what with everything else happening in the world right now like the war in Syria, everything in America, and David Cameron’s globulous fucking face.

The thing that keeps me interested in it all, however, is how seriously certain bloggers take their blogging. Uberbloggers. Due to me being a mere blogger and thus vacuously stupid, my overenthusiasm for sharing my blog posts has landed me in hot water with multiple blogging groups on Facebook who find it a slight on their general existence that I don’t take it as seriously as they do. Blogging and the subsequent sharing of your blog is a grave vocation and must be taken seriously. There are many serious commandments you must obey and take seriously. If you don’t take them seriously then you will face serious consequences. Take this exchange, for example, where I was banned from the UK Bloggers group for not commenting on a stranger’s blog post as per the rules of the group thus not taking it as seriously as they did:

You owe me a comment, sunshine.

You owe me a comment, sunshine.

Which was a perfectly rational response to a group of people so apparently desperate for strangers to comment on a blog every last one of them couldn’t give two shits about that they’d shoot you on sight if you didn’t conform to their exacting high standards. I’d already started writing a three-page complimentary comment about her Etsy shop and how everything on sale ended in .99 (like £179.99 for a tea cosy), and was explaining that I became interested in British politics because the Monster Raving Loony Party wanted to introduce a 99p coin to save on change when I received this correspondence not long after:

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I NEED COMMENTS!

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WON’T SOMEBODY COMMENT!

I was becoming a non-conformist; a rebel. An anarchist, if you will. I wasn’t adhering to strict blogging rules and thus I was unknowingly ostracising myself with every second that passed. Minutes later, I received a rather snooty response and found myself in Facebook-closed-blogging-discussion-group limbo. I was hanging in the ether between being accepted and rejected and soon found my place when I attempted to reply to the latest comment:

YOU SHALL NOT POST!

Many thanks for all your encouragement. It means so much to know that the blogosphere takes all the blogging very seriously. If we didn’t then that means we might actually enjoy all the blogging and sharing all the blogs to the blogosphere and then where would we be? Retraining pet seals in our local swimming pool that’s where.  I was barred from using the sea by other seal enthusiasts because I dressed my pet seal Rebecca in a hat and bow tie and banned for not taking it seriously enough. It’s just never-ending isn’t it?’

As you can see, my warm-hearted response hung limply in a void of nothingness like a dysfunctioned penis, and I was castigated and put on the naughty chair where all my attempts at a red-eyed, snotty-nosed apology were firmly rebuffed despite me not attempting one. As much as I’d enjoy and appreciate spending whole minutes of my time leaving a comment outlining my thoughts on a hair conditioner pack that revolutionised the way I wash my hair, or how a new lipstick about made me feel sexier than sex, I went to my safeplace (the toilet) and decided that I probably wouldn’t enjoy and appreciate it and would much prefer to take drugs, or sit in a warm chair for 11 hours instead.

I’ve since been allowed back into the group as I quite rightly presume that they’ve forgotten who I am given that all bloggers have a finite amount of brain cells with which to function. I know this for a fact as I, too, am a blogger and I, too, am writing things down for the world to see, and I, too, know that my blog is more influential than the Bible, Dandy and Beano put together.

Everyone thinks their blog is worth a read which is why most are eminently unreadable, especially if a blog post doesn’t fall within a remit of 140 characters or less, or happens to appear on Facebook alongside posts that include racism, evil devil children or Jeremy Corbyn. Having said that, there are a few blogs that I like to cast my eye over, the top four of which are listed here:

  1. My favourite blog
  2. My second favourite blog
  3. My third favourite blog
  4. My fourth favourite blog

So there you have it. My blog post about my blog about blogging about bloggers blogging about blogs is now finished. It turns out that the problem with all the blogs and blogging is all the bloggerers blogging. Shame that. I hope you enjoyed me blogging about blogs and if you feel you have something interesting to say about blogging, blogs, bloggers or bloggercise, or even if you fancy blogging about blogging about blogs yourself then feel free to mention my blog to all your friends, tell them my blog is the best and blogging is also the best. You can also comment about the blogs and all the other blogs such as my list of favourite blogs as long as your comment about my blog is three sentences long and made up entirely of vowels. Happy blogging bloggerers!

P.S. As a post-script to this, the word ‘blogging’ and its derivatives such as ‘blog’, ‘blogger’ and ‘self-involved lunatics’ appear approximately 90 times or more during this post. This was done on purpose because I… am a blogger.