Paul King

I’ve forgotten what this post was going to be about.

I woke up this morning, lay in bed mulling things over, when a great idea for today’s post suddenly introduced itself to me, and gradually invited his friends over. Annoyingly, I thought that they’d be there after I had a quick doze, but they were gone. When I write annoyingly, I mean annoyingly, for it is not unknown for me to start a conversation with my partner just before we go to bed, which she calls me getting my ‘second wind’, when all she rather selfishly wants to do is sleep so she’ll say ‘Hold that thought’. And upon waking the next morning I’ll say “As I was going to say…” It really is the first thing I’ll say.

It drives her mad, which is a bonus. Mind you, I know what it’s like for someone to start talking at you first thing in the morning and I didn’t mind. But then that someone was LMS. One morning I was expecting a delivery of a mattress so had slept on the sofa bed in the lounge the night before in expectation of it being delivered early. ‘Slept’ is being generous, it was more that exhaustion at being so uncomfortable eventually got the better of me and I woke up feeling as refreshed as error 404. They rang the bell at much too early in the morning o’clock, me being up and dressed let them in, only for LMS to emerge from her bedroom door and to immediately begin chatting away, like she’d been awake for hours. And I thought, ‘That’s what I’m like’

That was the fourth or fifth time they came to replace my mattress. Say what you will about John Lewis, their customer service is fantastic. I’d changed mattresses so often, that I was one first name terms with some of the staff in their bedding department. Whilst a mattress felt right in the store, literally sleeping on it was another matter. What I should’ve done was to take LMS with me so she could give it her approval. Not as something to sleep in, but as a trampoline. She’ll open my bedroom door, take a run-up through the kitchen and into my room, and hurl herself onto my bed. She my thinks mattress is perfect for jumping up and down on. Bless.

I however have got another, more depraved fantasy for testing out the beds in a furniture store. One Saturday afternoon when they’ve got a sale on and it’s nice and busy with young families, get an older couple to browse and generally act interested and when a salesman, seeing commission before him, invites them to test it, all their years in the porn industry are given a mainstream audience. They’d give an energetically detailed performance, before being hastily ushered away. Of course they’d keep their clothes on, I mean doesn’t everyone go to bed fully dressed and lay stock still? Ah furniture stores! What fun they used to be. Armed with a box of stink bombs, I’d go into one and hide them under sofa cushions, and sprinkle them on the floor. One had to imagine the confusion. Although it wasn’t as immediately gratifying as sprinkling them in church. Oh no siree!

You know that bit in a church service when everyone shuffles along to the aisle to queue up and get communion? When people are acting all solemn, heads bowed thinking goodly thoughts and not how much longer they’ll be stuck here for? That’s when I imitated ‘Hansel and Gretel’, liberally dropping stink bombs surreptitiously behind me. It was wonderful! The smell people were able to ignore at first, but soon it was unbearable. The key to pulling stunts like that is to act all annoyed and upset, but not to over-do it, lest you give yourself away.

Like the time I was testing out a ‘TV B Gone’ key-ring device, which as the name suggests, is a gadget that’ll turn off any TV. I was naturally sceptical about its effectiveness and it being small enough to conceal in my hand and there being a Champions League Final with Liverpool showing in a pub down the road, I naturally thought ‘Golden opportunity’.  The pub was packed, of course, and the football match, was as exciting as the pub was quiet. Come on. Full time. Nearly there. First half of extra time. Just another fifteen minutes. Yes! Penalties! Every time a Liverpool player would run up to take a penalty, I’d turn off the TV in the pub, the place would predictably erupt, the landlord would be frantically but ineffectually pressing the remote, before thirty seconds later it’d  turn back on. I repeated this a few times, being careful to enthusiastically join in with the sweary abuse being hurled at the TV. It never occurred to me that had I been caught I might’ve been glassed.

I saw that once, well more heard it and saw the pandemonium that it unleashed, as a teenager in a pub we used to go to. All towns have a pub like this, or they used before pubs started closing down at a rate of one per week, where as long as you looked vaguely eighteen, or had a friend who did and therefore could get served, they’d get the drinks in while the rest of you tried not to attract the bar staffs attention. We were there one Friday night, when over the sound of Paul Kings ‘Love and Pride’ from the video-jukebox came the most blood-curdling scream. See, I can even remember the song, that’s how blood cuddling it was. In truth though, the blood wasn’t curdling, it was gushing. Pouring out of a guys face like a red Niagara, his mates chasing the bloke who’d done it out of the pub, him wondering what the fuck had just happened and why his face resembled a very messy lasagne.

We’d just bought a round, so were not best pleased when the pub closed.

I wish I could remember what todays post was going to be about.