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There’s Always A Price To Pay, Pal

March 31, 2021 4:24pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 18 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

Let’s just start with the fact that I was tired. Very tired. Sunday morning after the clocks had gone forward the night before which always gives a jet lag effect. Not to mention that I’d got up at 5 am which in my current state of mind was 4 am. Still in my dressing gown, trying to make a cafetière of coffee. Forgot to grind the beans the day before so my little ground coffee pot was empty. Had to go through that rigmarole. Spilt coffee grains everywhere. Bollocks. 

Sat down at my little kitchen table, watching the news but not really listening because it’s the same old story. Groundhog Day. Stuck in a loop.  And then a banner alert flashed across my iPhone screen. 

“There has been unusual activity on your PayPal account. Please change your password now”

I did that eye-rolling thing up to Heaven and followed the instructions to set a new password. I sat there for ages trying to think of something I wouldn’t forget because I’m sure, like many others, there’s a handful of passwords that you use and can’t ever remember which one goes with which site or app. Get’s right on my nerves, to be honest. 

I get into the site and have a quick nosy around. All seemed to be OK so I didn’t know what that was all about. I scroll through this year’s purchases and it all looks legit. And then I spot the villain.

Ishmael Vanderbik.

The devious little delinquent had taken £297.84 from my account. 

And then another amount for 80 odd quid on the same day for something from eBay

Two days later, another two ridiculous amounts again to eBay.

This continued until I noted several transactions amounting to around 600 nicker.

Boy, did that make my coffee taste bitter. Resentment does not go well with the dark chocolate and cinnamon notes of an Italian roast. 

Felon and On and On

I had to fester for a couple of hours, pondering on the devilry of evildoers and rapscallions and winding myself up into a frenzy about everything that is wrong with this kind of people, and, how I think they should be dealt with. 

We’ve even got dognappers going around the area now, nicking desirable hounds from back yards and gangs rolling up in vans taking your dog off you on the street. Apparently, since lockdown, your pet pooch has become a much-valued commodity fetching more than 100g of crack. Because I’m already a highly-suspicious-of-everyone individual, this now has me being rudely aloof and ready to take action with anyone who starts paying attention to my dogs, which is a frequent occurrence.  Don’t think that just because you’re a doddery old granny I’m not on to you, lady. I bet you’ve got a ring of grandkids and great-nephews running this gig for you why you rake it in. Back off from my hounds or I’ll have to use the attack word. 

But, aside from these reprobates, who are the blockheads buying stolen pups from them? 

Where’s a pandemic when you need one?

Mithering the Middle-Man

Anyway, I eventually got chatting with a PayPal Robot. That was a waste of time because robots can only deal with 1 transaction at a time and not several layers of fraud. I gave up and went to look for a phone number. Like a bloody maze.

When you ring Paypal you have to input a special pin-code before they answer. Of course you do. Why make it simple?

I eventually get to speak to a chap with an Irish accent. 

This got me on the defensive straight away because being English he’s bound to hate me and not want to help. I’m already despising the Jewish clog-hopping Ishmael Vanderbik that’s right royally ripped me off and I don’t need an anti- English Irishman giving me any shit. This was the sort of mood I’d got myself into by 9 o clock on Sunday morning. Anyone not directly related to me at this point could go to hell in a handbasket. And even then, relatives weren’t necessarily safe.  

“My account has been hacked. There are numerous fraudulent transactions dating back to October 20. Now, before you start asking why I didn’t notice them back then, let me tell you that I’ve had a very complicated year. Plus, I fully expect to get overdrawn near Christmas because I’m loving and giving. So, I won’t have noticed stuff leaving my bank account. Anyway, I’ve been too busy protecting my dogs from mongrel-smugglers. I want my money back.”

The Irish bloke was very helpful and accommodating. 

“Ah, I see this rather large amount that has been taken from an Ishmael Vanderbik.”

Now we were mates, I could relax a little.

“Right? I mean talk about made-up names! He may as well have put Mickey Mouse and be done with it. I mean, come on – as if I’d pay someone all that money with such a fabricated moniker”

“Most of these have come from your eBay account so it looks like that has been hacked.”

“Well, it must have been because I rarely buy anything from there.”

“You need to call them on the number I give you because we will need to liaise with them. And make sure you change your password on there. Once you’ve done that we will refund all of these fraudulent transactions back into your bank account.”

I left the call feeling a lot happier with mankind than when I started.

Consign to Oblivion

I went on to eBay. I changed my password. Before I called them I thought I should check these supposed transactions against the PayPal ones. If at all they were there. I opened up recent purchases and scrolled through.

Rustic oak table made from reclaimed planks – £297.84

Ah…

Second-hand oak antique chairs – 80 odd quid.

Looks across at chairs…

All other transactions for household goods stood defiantly in the morning sunshine gleaming through the window and lighting up my lunacy.

Turns out it was in fact my very self that bought all of these things including the rather lovely table from Ish. 

I felt like such a muppet explaining my mistake on the return phone call to PayPal. Thank God for gin in a tin. 

 

Lone Stars and Dog Scars

March 17, 2021 1:38pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 17 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

So, there I was sitting at my office desk – two computer screens running whilst I tried to put my thoughts onto the page. My brain goes way faster than I can type and I’m always way ahead of where I’m actually at. Sometimes I have to write side notes further down the page so I don’t forget the ideas and stories unfolding before I get to them. I imagine this must be much like a clairvoyant feels when they get messages from the ether all barging their way in. Except I’m not making it up. I think of my imagination as a different being that can’t shut the hell up and it’s like dealing with a hyperactive child. Is this a gift or a curse? Do all bloggers get this? 

And, I am unable to sit still for long and I think it’s because of this. Everything is whirring so fast that I need to get up and walk away from it after ten minutes – even though it follows me and dances in my head, sometimes throwing extra tidbits in that I have to rush back to the screen and type out. I wonder if this is what a split personality feels like?

 You Ain’t Nothing But A Hound Dog

And then there are the hounds. Hounding. My first wolfdog, Tex does not understand why I’m sitting down when clearly we could be outside playing. Despite the fact that I have fed, walked, fussed and given in to his every need, he still wants more. There is no doubt that this dog is autistic. He wants to go outside, he wants to come back in. Repeat, repeat. Up and down I get like an idiot. And if I don’t, he gets vocal, making loud Chewbacca sounds and clawing at my arm with his giant paws and claws. It bloody hurts! 

“Why are you like this?” I ask him. “It’s a good job I love you, you maniac.”

Groom For Improvement

And, he is a maniac. He’s like a wild scatty mustang. Yesterday he went to a new groomer. Other groomers before have failed because Tex doesn’t like them. Tex doesn’t really like anything. He was left at the groomers because these animals have thick coats that need de-shedding. I can spend hours brushing him – hair coming out with relentless abandon and left wondering how in hell the mutt is not bald. Within 2 minutes of leaving him, she called back saying he wouldn’t settle and was going quite insane. The woman feared he would break her professional set-up. 

He would not go in the bath.

Once forced into the bath he would not be washed. 

And you can forget even putting a blow drier on him because he will attack it. 

She tried to put a hat on him to muffle the noise. He attacked it. 

She offered him dried sprats. He refused. No way lady, I ain’t that easy. 

She managed to brush him during his incessant howling. 

The whole thing ended abruptly.

My other wolfdog, Halo is quite the opposite. Dream pet. 

At 10 months old he’s even bigger than Tex who is a very big boy.

He sat still.

Wore his hat.

And came out looking splendid. 

Until Tex rolled him over on the field and pinned him into the mud. 

Back To The Word

I went back to the computer. I am now 17 chapters ahead of where I’m at and now can’t remember how I mentally got there. It’s a bit like reading a book in bed when you’re tired. You still read it but get to a point where your eyes are refusing to stay open. The following night you go back to the book and continue where you left off. Except, it’s like a brand new book. You don’t remember any of this and are convinced you must have lost your page. You read a bit more just to see. Steven? Who the flying feck is this new character called Steven? 

My tea has gone cold, again. Tex wants a biscuit. He’s not giving in. Not until my arm bleeds. I go to make more tea. He gets a sausage and thrown outside. I sit down again and re-read what I’ve written. There’s a knock at the door.

“For the LOVE of God!”

It’s the postman with a big brown squishy package. 

It’s all the way from Texas, I see. 

Last week I received a package from friends in Georgia containing these wonderful books.

Merricans are proper lovely, I find.

The package the postman brought to my door is a complete surprise sent by the world’s best-ever pastor from Cowboy Church. I feel a pang of nostalgia. I miss them Texans. 

Inside I have a number of presents from CDs to magnets and car stickers. 

Masks saying “Don’t mess with Texas” – these go down a storm here. 

And this.

Thirty-three ways in which to use my Lone Star Bandana. 

I’m intrigued.

I can’t choose my favourite but if we’re being honest, I think we all know I could pull off number 24 with ease. However, since I am now the new queen of wrap I am going to do number 30 cos ain’t nobody else wrapping up a present with a lone star bandana. Except I’m not going to give it to anyone because it’s mine, so I will undo it thereafter and try number 3 on Tex. That should be entertaining. 

Anyway, can’t hang around, I’ve got stuff to write. 

 

This One’s For You, Blue

March 4, 2021 12:29pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 20 Comments

Whimsy On A Wednesday On A Thursday!

Cos to be honest I don’t really know what day it is anymore. 

The fucking bitch played her last card as far as I was concerned and now all I had to do was think of how I was going to kill her.  Was the start of the new novel I intended to write but came to the conclusion it was a little dark. Dark? Yes. Isn’t it. The last time I brought a book out I released it on the eve of Pandemic Meltdown. The Meaning of Life cunningly usurped by the powers that be by giving everyone the fear. What’s the last thing you want to read about when your life has no meaning? Right. Let’s get wholly depressed about finding the meaning of life when we can’t bloody go anywhere and daren’t breathe in or out or hug your grandma. 

To Bread Or Not to Bread?

During this whole ordeal, I have found writing a struggle. Not even a poxy blog post can I manage. Well, I mean come on, what have I got to talk about?  I’m used to adventuring and being a nightmare in some other country and having a go at something I probably shouldn’t be. Where’s the whimsy in staying in and learning to bake fancy artisan bread? 

True Blue

So, my blogger friend, Blue asked how I was going on a scale of A-F. Naturally, I said F because it connotes all manner of fuckwittery and he knew I’d say that. However, to be fair I have ridden the line rather extremely as you might imagine. In one moment I can be accepting of this prison where we presently reside and try to look at it as a life lesson: how to be zen and thoughtful. How to learn to live with the basics. How to treasure those important to us when they aren’t around. How to make flowery bread. How to be at one with nature. All that kind of malarkey. But to be honest it’s not for me. I’m honestly sick to death of walking in nature now. I want to go somewhere different.  I’m never going to make it as a Buddhist monk or be able to retire contently. I’m a doing person.

It’s A Wrap

On the other extreme, I have re-modelled my house, got stuff fixed, and started a new business in gift-wrap. Having lost my job due to the companies I worked for going into a cash-flow crisis (thank you Corona) I decided I wanted a present-wrapping room. Hugh Hefner had one so I want one. I’m up to my neck in ribbons and bows and paper and all manner of beautiful things that I now have to process and put online. I don’t like that bit at all. I’ve also decided that I want to become an Instagram influencer because I find that whole concept thoroughly disturbing and vacuous. So, I want to make a point by making videos on how to wrap presents in ridiculous or novel ways. It’s a fanciful goal. I may crash and burn or I may become a famous papery princess. Oi! Have a little faith! Let’s see how it goes.

Field Of Dreams

I also decided that I want my own field so I took it upon myself to write to all the farmers near me and ask for one. Farmers don’t tend to want to give away their fields as they have the potential of becoming valuable building land on this little island. However, I persisted and met up with a willing farmer yesterday who may be giving me a few acres to play with. I know I just said I’m a bit sick of nature but this is different. I want to be able to go to my own place with my own people and not have to deal with someone being scared of my big dogs or having to deal with all and sundry that have taken up jogging, cycling, walking, bird watching, loitering and being totally annoying in the local country parks. I want my own space even though I’m sick of the two-metre rule. It’s a dilemma, isn’t it? I swear this ordeal has made me a bit strange. Anyway, I think a field of dreams will be great and I’ll be thoroughly into it right up until I have to mow the grass. 

There’s a Science to It

In other news, an infamous blogger friend of mine has asked me to collaborate with their awesome science -fiction book. You might wonder why on earth they asked me but if you ask another blogger friend of mine, Masher, he’ll tell you that I’m really good at sci-fi.  No, it’s not his book but I’m deliberately confusing. I’m getting really involved with my character and the part they play in this captivating novel-to-be and I think this might be just the thing I need to get me back on track to writing more books. The only other thing I’ve managed to write during this lockdown is stories about monsters for children because that’s about my current level.  I’ve invented 4 monsters with stories which has definitely helped me not to become one.

And that’s me up to date, kids. 

 

Brew and Bellow

January 20, 2021 7:59am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 16 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

I have bought two interesting things so far this year. 

The first was the sensible purchase of a Nutribullet juicer/blender to facilitate my journey to health and vitality. 

Once it had arrived I went to the supermarket to buy an array of fruits, fat-free yoghurt, and spinach. Apparently, you can put spinach in smoothies. And kale. I just went for spinach because…baby steps. 

How pretty does this look?

And then this happened.

 

My colourful crowd of fruit mixed into something that looked like a bushtucker trial on “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here” And if it goes in looking like that then what the hell does it come out looking like? 

Tentatively, I sipped the sludge-like liquid and was pleasantly surprised! Don’t judge a smoothie by its shitty appearance.

I got better at it…

And then I got distracted by making healthy cocktails when I found out this thing can crush ice. 

Juice and Jangle

And then, it all went horribly wrong. I got a bit blasé you see. Look at me, the smoothie queen and cocktail consort!  One finger on the pulse and a thumb on high power. Blend away!  What can I get you? Name your passion, fruit!

Cocky, some call it. 

This thing has a small lid within its lid so you can add things or mix them with the big stick it comes with without taking the full lid off. During a recent lunchtime smoothie, I decided that the brew needed something sweet cos some of these ingredients can’t half make your tabs laugh with their tartness. In a rush to get my nutrients I heaped up a teaspoon of honey and removed the mini lid to drop it in. Whilst it was still on. Whizzing away on full fruity power. 

I dropped the bloody spoon inside. 

There was an incredible racket, a juddering of equipment, and red berry sauce exploded all over the sodding kitchen. My new, freshly painted in crisp white, kitchen now sporting burgundy polka dots and wound style slashes on the ceiling. The stuff was absolutely everywhere. Dripping defiantly from the cabinets. 

Bugger.

When I retrieved the spoon it had chunks of metal missing which meant I couldn’t drink my smoothie.

The blade was somewhat dinted and I thought my fruity days were over and I’d be back on chocolate oranges. However, despite its spoony punishment, the bullet continues to perform. 

Still, the whole ordeal put me in a bit of a mood and screwed about with my biorhythms. Lacking in vitamins and fibre and all shook up by the event I made the mistake of my second purchase.

The Megaphone

Why haven’t I got one of these, I wondered to myself illogically. The days are so long in this house in Covid gaol and a megaphone could bring an awful lot of fun. I’d be able to torment the runners as they passed on my street. They’re bound to run faster with a torrent of abuse being hurled after them so I’d actually be helping with their fitness goals. 

I hop-skipped onto Amazon to have a gander and as soon as I saw that it came with a siren I couldn’t help but click “Buy Now” 

I could go out in my truck and pretend to be “Mask Police” and put the sirens on if I saw anyone flouting the rules. “ON WITH YOUR MASK OR I WILL RELEASE THE HOUNDS” Heh. 

I could make up new and ridiculous rules and yell them from the car, or demand people go home immediately due to a new and virulent strain of idiocy. 

When my megaphone arrived I found that they’d made the handle into a nifty bottle opener. Ooh!  So now I can drink and shout things at the same time! What could possibly go wrong with that?

And then I had an even better idea. I found an app on my phone that makes gunshot sounds.

 

Amplified through my megaphone, I think I just found myself a new car horn!

This might just be the year that I get arrested. 

The Wonder of the Wolfdog

January 13, 2021 8:52am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 19 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy on a Wednesday!

Today, rather than whimsy, this post is more about wisdom. As in I shall be imparting some wisdom which may seem laughable coming from someone who stumbles through life thinking, “Let’s see what happens if I do this…”

If you are ever thinking of owning a wolfdog then there are things you need to know

They are nuts Seriously. This is not like your normal pet dog. They do the oddest things.

Needy McNeedy

Wherever you go they too will follow. Everywhere. 

Get Your Teeth Into This

If you dare to go out and leave them behind they will eat anything they can in order to go and find where you are. They can chew through wood, plastic, and utensils in a matter of minutes. 

Who Sings That?

They don’t bark – hardly ever. They howl. Head thrown back in full falsetto fermata until you come back. 

Smartly Defiant

Easy to train because they are very smart but also hard to train because they are wilful beyond belief. They make a fractious toddler with a belly full of E numbers on a violent meltdown seem like a walk in the park. You need to be both patient and tough and not give an inch. However, because you get used to doing this on a daily basis you must remember not to treat people the same way regardless of how much fun that can be.

Either You Like Bacon Or You’re Wrong

If you’re brave enough to eat bacon in the morning you will be seriously intimidated all the way through your breakfast butty. Oh, and they’re as tall as your kitchen counter so don’t walk off and leave anything tasty unattended. 

The Big Outside

Come wind, rain, snow, hangovers, illness, or other – you are going out to play every day. You will be much fitter if not a little permanently exhausted. Get several pairs of good boots. 

If you don’t exercise them enough they will dig holes in your garden in protest. Or just because they can. 

Do You Like It Rough?

They bounce around looking like they’re tearing each other’s throats out because this is how they play. If you meet a submissive, small dog on the park then you have to pre-warn the owner that their little fluffy might go tumbling through the woods; Wolfdogs do not understand that Mitzy, Ditzy, and Shitzy are only 1/10th of their size. But honestly, don’t worry, there’s no need to run off…they’re just playing…

How To Turn A Workman’s Tool

When workmen come round to your house and you ask them if they’re OK with dogs and they say, “Yeah – love them..” don’t be fooled. As you open the second door and they see them silently staring, they tend to react badly by leaping onto your banisters shouting, “OOOH, NOT THAT BIG …” 

Shedding Hell

So much hair gets shed I cannot believe they are not bald. You could spin this into mohair and make a killing at the knitting shop. When they malt in spring and autumn you could stuff a sack daily. I don’t use a nice bristle brush to groom them because it wouldn’t do anything – I have to use an extra-large horse blade! 

Don’t Look A Gift Wolf In The Mouth

You cannot open a delivery from Amazon without them helping. And do not leave presents under the Christmas tree because they absolutely need to know what’s inside.

Get Two, They Said…

If you get two, thinking they will occupy each other, you are deluded. You are still a pack member and all that happens is that all the above intensifies.

But more importantly, aside from the fact these are the best pets I’ve ever owned and loveable beasts full of personality, they tend to scoff…

 A LOT

Here is a picture of my recent delivery from the pet food people.

This is for one month only. 

And does not include treats or kibble. This is just meat.

It took me 7 hours to put away and I nearly got fined at the tip when I disposed of the boxes because they did not believe it wasn’t a commercial drop. Nobody can have that much dog food…

I tell ya what – I’ll bring them in the truck next time and we’ll find out if you want to charge me then. 

 

 

 

Fade To Grey

November 4, 2020 11:00am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 15 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

It’s the last day before yet another national lockdown and tomorrow all avenues of pleasure will be closed. People are worried about how this might affect everyone in terms of work, money and business; many debate at length of the mental effect this will have on those being curtailed and imprisoned in their homes. Well, it just so happens I can answer that one. 

It appears I have gone stark raving mad. 

At some point during the first lockdown I decided that since I couldn’t travel I’d get all the things sorted in my house that desperately needed attention. 

I got the roof repaired so it would stop raining in my bedroom. 

I’m currently having the kitchen re-done.

And the bathroom.

I had beautiful new wardrobes fitted to hold all the party dresses that I can no longer wear. They are a shrine to good-times past. 

Pandemic Pile-Up

I don’t know what it is with me and stress but when I have a dose of it, I want to add more.  

“Come on, break you bitch!”

I believe that it is a result of some deep psychological imbalance. Which, is very surprising for someone as balanced as me…

Perhaps, the thought of endless chaos, workmen, plaster dust, rubble and no eating, sleeping or bathing facilities is preferable to sitting with my own thoughts on how to deal with Covid gaol.

Besides, if I have to stay in prison I may as well make it look sodding pretty.

There’s Something Wrong With the Grey Matter

For some reason, everything I have chosen for my abode sits within the greyscale.  My new kitchen is called “Cashmere” which is basically a creamy grey. The new floors are ash; in the bathroom they are slate. When the wardrobe man came round for a billion hours I chose Shaker wardrobes in a beautiful tone called “Dove”.  AKA – grey.

I reside in shades of grey with no colour.

Not so good when you’re moving into winter in England. 

I even re-homed a second wolfit to add to the drama. His name is Halo and guess what colour he is…

Night-time Terrors

Since the transformation of my decor, I’ve started to have a fear about going to bed. Completely irrational and like a 5-year-old with a sense of lurking monsters.  This went on for quite a few weeks. I tried to drug myself with Benadryl or read until my eyes nearly bled but the feeling still lingered.

And then, one evening, I realised the cause. 

In the daytime, my new bedroom looks like an elegant boudoir straight out of the Homes and Gardens Magazine:  Floor to ceiling oyster closets; a pale grey/lavender hue to the walls and a dark grey carpet. All tones melting subtly into one another like a greyscale Rothko painting. 

The bed, inviting and pure with crisp white bedding. A neutral haven for the weary and heavy-headed. 

But at night, with the dimmed over the bed reading lights…

It looks like a hospital room. A dreary room where one lies in wait to die.

“Look at it,” I said to one of my friends. “I feel like I should have DNR put up on the back wall.”

And when I’m in the bed, reading to stop the inner voices of doom, my room resembles an aircraft cabin – lights down for night-time flying. 

Radiance for Recovery

Clearly, I recognised the need for vivid accents of brilliant colour to swing the scale back to happy days. I called in my trusted decorators and insisted on a kaleidoscopic transformation.

“Dolphin Blue in the kitchen, mint green in this room, timeless classic here, and for the love of God, some dusky pink depth in this hospital bedroom before I lose my spirit completely!”

Yesterday they painted my bedroom. I didn’t look at it until I went to bed and I nearly cried. This morning when I analysed it in the dawn sunlight, I came to this conclusion:  My bedroom now looks like someone has thrown up candy-floss all over my walls…

 

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