Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Communication breakdown

So - what have I done with myself since the last gigs?

Well one if the things I managed to do was to lose my mobile phone. I definitely had it first thing on Saturday morning as I used it as an alarm clock (a very expensive alarm clock as we shall see) but somewhere between waking up and arriving at the shop I managed to misplace it. Or it was stolen. Or something. Bugger! I assumed that I'd left it at home and spent the day alternating between thinking things like 'oh this is nice, no one can bother me, it's actually quite liberating' and 'oh no - Paul McCartney's probably calling me at this very moment to ask if I'd like to be his rhythm guitarist at his Hyde Park gig and leaving messages like ''can you let me know in the next half-an-hour or I'll have to give it to someone else'' and I can't even get the message let alone call him back'. Anyway I got home to discover that it was nowhere to be seen - after the obligatory 'I'll re-trace my steps' scenario that we all try when we've lost something (well, we do don't we? And it never works does it?) I went back into Uxbridge to tell my tale of woe to the young chap at the O2 shop. He was very helpful, gave me a new SIM card then called customer services for me who blocked my old SIM and activated the new one for me. All was going well until I asked what I should do next. 'Is the phone insured?' the young chap asked me cheerily. 'Yes, I pay it on direct debit' I answered with all the misplaced confidence that someone who's about to be proved wrong always seems to have. 'Well there's nothing on our system' said the young chap, slightly less cheerily. 'Oh - well who am I paying that money to every month then?' 'I don't know sir but it's not us!' he replied, looking as though he wanted to change the subject. Time for a visit to the bank then... it then transpired that I'm not due for an upgrade until next July and so now have two choices :- use an old handset, or buy (buy! Shouldn't they give me one, the amount that bloody iPhone costs me? Bah!) a new one to use as a pay-as-you-go phone until then. Or of course I could buy a new iPhone for (gulp!) £449. Hmm... I'm sure I've got an old handset somewhere... it's annoying but, let's face it, I've only lost a phone, not an arm.

And, as it turned out, I hadn't lost a phone either. When I got to the shop on Monday morning I found it under the counter where I usually leave it. But I'm sure I didn't take it in with me, and it definitely wasn't there at closing time on Saturday. No, it definitely wasn't. Honest. Of course when I saw it I became even more convinced that Macca had been calling all weekend, and if that wasn't bad enough the new SIM card wasn't working yet and Eric Clapton's probably been trying to get through as well... it's still not back on as I type this, and I've now spent a fortune calling customer services on our landline, as well as no doubt missing out on every decent guitar-playing job in the known Western World. Argh!

What else? Oh yes, I've developed hay fever. Well, no massive shock there as I get it every summer but it had held off this year not least because the weather's been so lousy, and I think I'd got all optimistic in a 'perhaps-I'm-not-going-to-get-it-or-if-I-do-it-won't-be-too-bad' sort of way. No such luck - I'm sneezing, spluttering and coughing as well as having itchy eyes along with blocked sinuses which as well as giving me a headache have resulted in me not being able to hear out of my right ear due to wax build-up. That's what I get for that jibe about global warming at the last CBB gig then. Still at least the weather's better.

Oh and before I forget to mention it, England got knocked out of The World Cup by Germany. But you knew that already didn't you? I watched the game with my Dad, who's analysis of England's attempts at professional football wasn't quite as funny as this one, but was just as accurate. Will people PLEASE stop thinking that the English football team are to be taken seriously as anything other than Keystone Kops impersonators and let them get on with their cossetted little lives as celebrity time wasters. They'll thank you for it (or at least their spokesperson will) and you won't have to go through what you went through on Sunday afternoon again. Simple eh?
Except of course it isn't that simple is it? I'm not in the least bit patriotic but it's still good to see our national sports teams doing well, and therefore it's hard not to feel let down by the appalling performances of the last couple of weeks. Oh well, there's always Wimbledon... actually forget I said that because we've got no chance there either, although if by some miracle Andy Murray does do well in the tournament it'll be interesting to see if the media hail him as a 'British champion' rather than a 'Scottish failure', as well as saying that he's actually a paragon of jollity rather than the miserable sour-faced git that they've led us to believe him to be. And anyway I bet I'm not the only person that thinks that it's just a load of Top Gear-loving Tories getting sunstroke whilst watching a couple of characterless nonentities attempting to return each other's rocket-powered serves - in other words it's about as uninteresting as an uninteresting thing being uninteresting, which I think you'll agree is very uninteresting indeed. Still at least the audience could be World champions at this... and talking of Tories and football Jeremy Hunt is the latest intellectual dwarf to make some ill-advised comments regarding the Hillsborough disaster by linking it to hooliganism. Quite how someone who many people (not me of course, libel fans) might now see as an arrogant, blinkered, pig ignorant little shithead ended up with the job of (wait for it!) Secretary Of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (really!) is a subject that's perhaps is best not debated here - that said Iain Duncan Smith could perhaps suggest somewhere that he could move to in the pursuit of a more appropriate job - but the incident bought to my mind Jeffery Archer, a man who has the rare distinction of having had his name adopted by the criminal fraternity as slang for a sum of money, an Archer being £2,000. Perhaps it's time to start a campaign to have 'Jeremy Hunt' replace 'Berkeley Hunt' in rhyming slang? Well, it's a thought. And not a bad one at that.

I've got some gigs this weekend. I'll try to cheer up a bit then.

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