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. 

 

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