CLICK5: Potato, Pot Arto… */shrugs…*

CV Soldier In Training

CLICK5: Hope Springs Eternal

Providential Planning Etc.

 

*It was inevitable, Clicky… /lights up… Gotta work from home for at least three weeks…*

 

*Ooh… /drags… knot seen a spangle in ages…*

 

*Well, yeah, Spangled… /plumes smokes… Hey, the movie Cade and I remote viewed last night was set in Boston…*

 

*Providence! …/flicks ashThat’s where I heard Providence. Wow, those Italians took a beating, eh?*

 

*Fourth Turnings are scary-weary, Clicky…/final drag… They’re called the ‘Crisis’ season for a reason…*

reality bites winter of discontent

*/squints… Winona’s in that movie…*

 

*Still, Clicky… /stubs butt… at least I can now smoke whilst working. Fank fuck, Thoughtful Man stocked up on fags…*

 

 

 

 

Story Time: BOGOF

*What’s got DP so riled up, Clicky?*

*Oh, the latest installment of the Battle for Brexit… /lights up and smokes… The everso grubby Corona Skirmish. How’s that going for the Remoaning Media?*

*Figures. They never learn…*

Welcome back, Dear Reader. After posting ‘She’s In The Shower’ earlier this week…

*Beautiful, Clicky… /puffs contentedly…*

…We thought we’d treat you to another story from UAVIII. Mine this time. It’s called ‘BOGOF’ and has nothing whatsoever to do with toilet paper. Enjoy 😉

*******

BOGOF

By Roo B. Doo

The supermarket was already a hive of activity by the time Clive Ambrose squelched into the admin office of the Marchway Emporium. He removed his sodden jacket, shook his feet and inspected the wet hem of his trouser legs. “Good grief, Sylvie, the weather’s absolutely filthy today.”

His assistant looked up from the paperwork on her desk. Sylvie arched a quizzical eyebrow and clucked at the dripping store manager stood in front of her. “Morning, Clive. You’re late.”

It was barely fifty yards from his reserved parking space to the staff entrance, but the morning’s unexpected squally shower had drenched Clive every step of the way. The car park could do with resurfacing, he thought glumly. Some of those puddles are deep.

“And today of all the days!” Clive exclaimed, pinching wet and steamy glasses off his nose. “Fiona’s car wouldn’t start, so I had to drop her off at the University first. She had an early lecture. Empowerment of women in a post-Brexit toxic wasteland, or something like that.”

Sylvie widened her eyes and pursed her lips. She offered Clive the box of man-sized tissues from her desk.  “Doesn’t she know you voted to leave?”

“Lord no!” Clive snorted, patting away the rain and perspiration beads that studded his face. “That would kill her. A shock like that could cause an embolism.”

“Or a heart attack…”

“At the very least it could induce a catatonic state.”

“But they’re all natural causes, Clive,” Sylvie simpered slyly. “No court would convict you, surely.”

Clive dried his glasses off with a fist full of tissues. “Probably not. I’ll bear it in mind.” As much as he enjoyed the banter with Sylvie, Clive was under no illusion that should his beloved wife Fiona ever find out that he’d voted for Brexit, she wouldn’t be the spouse in danger of dying.

Sylvie pushed her ample frame away from her desk, stood up and slipped on her shoes. She straightened the seam on her skirt and tottered over to the office doorway. “I’ll get you a coffee, Clive. A frothy one with sprinkles?”

Clive returned his now freshly dried glasses to his face and looked his assistant up and down. “You look different today, Sylvie. Are you taller?”

“I’m wearing heels.”

“I’ve not seen you in stilettos before. And is that make up?”

Sylvie flicked her thick, blonde hair from her shoulders nonchalantly and plucked a non-existent piece of lint from her sleeve. “Well it’s not every day the Emporium is graced by celeb chef royalty. Housewives favourite, Freddie Calender, here, giving a cookery demonstration? I thought I’d make the effort, Clive.”

Clive was suddenly worried that he’d gone too far. He would hate to offend Sylvie; sometimes he thought she was his only friend. “No, you look very smart. That’s smart thinking, Sylvie. Well done. Smart all round.”

Sylvie smiled at her blushing boss and bobbed her head. “So, coffee. With froth and sprinkles?”

“Yes please,” Clive said gratefully. He clapped his hands together and looked around his office. “So, big day ahead. I’ll go and check out the Freddie Calendar books and DVDs promotion once my shoes have dried out a bit, but I do need to speak to Alan. I suspect with this weather, and the amount of customers we’re likely to attract today, we’ll need extra matting and mopping.”

“I’ll find him and send him through,” Sylvie said with a smile and left the office with an unsteady wobble.

Clive grimaced and continued to worry about slips, trips and falls.

+++

Kara Swinton pulled the sun visor down from above her head and checked her appearance in the tiny mirror fixed to the back of it. Despite the early hour, she didn’t think she looked too bad; a little pale maybe, but better than she ought to considering what little sleep she’d managed to get the night before. As she turned her face from side to side she caught a glimpse of the figure slumped, sleeping in the back seat of the Uber cab they were taking to Marchway, and thought he looked considerably worse than her.

“There’s a light if you want to fix your make-up,” the driver next to her said helpfully. His eyes didn’t waver from the dark road ahead as he reached up and flicked a switch next to the mirror.

Ugh! Kara thought at the dark rings under her eyes, now illuminated by the harsh, blue light that spilled over her. She quickly switched it off and pushed the sun visor up to its original position. She could kill for a cigarette. “No, that’s okay. Thank you, I don’t want to wake him.”

“No problem,” the driver replied. He flashed a bright smile at Kara before tilting his head back toward the sleeping figure. “Late night, was it?”

Kara considered telling him that they’d spent the evening in the bar at the House of Commons – how they’d drunk far too much in an effort to keep up with their very thirsty host, an MP of twenty years standing, in an attempt to solicit further backing – but decided against it. “Kinda,” she replied with a shrug. “A work thing.”

They traveled in silence that was intermittently broken by burbled snores from the back seat. Several times Kara noticed the driver’s dark eyes flicking up to the rear view mirror, to stare inquiringly at the slack jawed, drooling face of her boss. He can’t place him, she decided. And no wonder, the public rarely sees Freddie Calender, TV chef and food activist, without his trademark grin and sparkling eyes. Kara stifled a yawn, I won’t tell him unless he asks.

Freddie turned in his seat and farted loudly.

“Oh Freddie,” Kara groaned under her breath and pushed a button on her door. The window whined down and the raw sound of the motorway rushed in. “You’d better do the same,” she advised the driver. “It’s Dev, right?”

“Yeah and you’re Kara,” Dev chuckled and shook his head. “That’s okay. I lived in India when I was little. Nothing pongs as bad as India. It was like being inoculated against future bad smells.”

Kara smiled as she allowed the cold air to stream over her face, letting it beat all traces of tiredness away. She breathed deeply; it smelt like rain. “Dev, would it be okay with you if I smoked a cigarette?”

“Freddie?” Dev started having caught the name. “Is that’s Freddie Calender, the chef off the telly?”

Kara pulled a battered metal cigarette case from her coat pocket and waggled it at Dev. “I’ll tell you if you’ll let me smoke.”

“Sure,” Dev said, flashing Kara with another bright smile. “If you don’t mind that I vape.” He pulled a white plastic tube from his door well and twirled it between his fingers, waggling his eyebrows.

“Heh. Not at all.” Kara returned his smile; Dev had a nice smile. “Thank you, you’re a life saver. This is my first today.” She reached into her other coat pocket and pulled out an equally battered lighter. “Of course, the first one always tastes better with coffee,” she sighed, lighting up, careful to blow the first drag of smoke out of the window.

“So am I right?” Dev opened his window and took a pull on his vape stick. “I am aren’t I? That’s Freddie Calender.”

“Yes he is,” Kara said sweetly, turning back to look fondly over her comatose boss. Freddie shifted and farted again. “TV chef, mediocre businessman,” she continued tartly, turning back to face forward, “and scourge of BOGOF.” Kara inclined her head toward the open window and took another deep drag on her cigarette. “That Freddie Calender.”

“And what’s a BOGOF?” Dev asked.

Kara laughed softly to cover her surprise. She watched the orange sparks dance atop her cigarette and disappear into the morning air as the car’s slipstream simultaneously whisked away it’s ashen hat.  “You’ve never heard of BOGOF?”

Dev turned his head toward Kara and shook it, although his eyes remained fixed on the road ahead. “No, is it a toilet thing?”

“Eww, no.” Kara studied the blank expression on Dev’s face and concluded that he really didn’t know. “It’s short for ‘Buy One Get One Free’… bee-oh-gee-oh-eff. BOGOF.” Still nothing. “Obviously you don’t do the grocery shopping in your house,” she teased.

Dev took another deep pull on his vape stick and blew a plume of steam out of his open window. “If you want to know if I’m in relationship, you can just ask me.”

Cheeky sod, Kara thought, coughing to hide her embarrassment; she had noticed that the very good looking cab driver wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. “Okay, I’ll play. Do you have a girlfriend, Dev?”

“No,” Dev stated seriously before flashing Kara with another winning smile. “But I take my mum to the supermarket and help with the food shop every week. I’ve just never actually heard anyone call it BOGOF before. Do people even say that?”

“BOGOF,” Freddie slurred from the depths of sleep.

Kara and Dev burst into laughter. They tried suppressing their mirth so as not to wake him so that their shoulders shook all the more. Kara threw the butt of her exhausted cigarette out of the window and let the rushing wind carry it away with a howl of laughter.

“Surreal,” Dev said shaking his head slowly. “My first famous fare and it’s completely surreal.”

“Freddie has that effect sometimes,” Kara sighed. “Have we got very much further to go?” she asked, arching her back. The cigarette and laughter had relaxed her somewhat, but Kara could do with stretching her legs.

“Marchway is about thirty minutes away,” Dev replied, glancing up through the windscreen at the overcast sky. “If it doesn’t rain.” He tapped at the sat nav screen. “Actually, there’s a service station coming up. Do you want to stop and get coffee?”

“That would be great, thanks. I’ll wake his nibs up then, so he has enough time to come to.” Kara knew Freddie would appreciate that, and a strong, black coffee would probably do him the world of good.

+++

“There you go.” Sylvie placed a bacon sandwich and cappuccino in front of Clive. “I thought you could do with something to eat as well. I doubt you had time this morning.”

Clive was touched. He’d had to forgo his usual bowl of muesli because of Fiona’s car troubles. Not that he minded missing Fiona’s muesli, but he’d hadn’t realised just how hungry he was until he smelt the aroma of bacon. Clive smacked his lips and beamed up at Sylvie. “Thank you very much indeed.”

“You’re welcome,” Sylvie said beaming a smile back.“Did you talk to Alan yet?”

Clive took a huge bite out of his sandwich and nodded enthusiastically.

Sylvie liked to see Clive eat and was quite convinced his wife didn’t feed him at all. “Good. I see Freddie Calender is in the newspaper today. We get a mention.”

Clive stopped mid-chew and swallowed. “National or local press?”

Sylvie pulled a folded newspaper from under her arm and passed it to Clive.” Local, but he’s in all the nationals as well. Page seven.”

Clive wiped his fingers on the napkin Sylvie had thoughtfully tucked under his bacon sandwich, and opened the newspaper. Freddie Calender stared out, all twinkling eyes and dimpled grin. Clive read the accompanying article in silence, while Sylvie watched his brow slowly furrow.

Eventually he looked up. “Here we are at the end, but what’s this ‘BOG OFF to BOGOF’ business? What’s he got against ‘buy one get one free’?”

Sylvie had already returned to her desk and kicked off her shoes. “I’ll look it up,” she said, skittering painted nails over the keyboard. “Here we are. I’ve found the website.”

Clive continued eating his sandwich, more slowly this time, and re-read the article.

“It’s like it says in the newspaper,” Sylvie murmured reading the words on screen. “He’s heading up a national campaign to ban ‘buy one get one free’ deals. “‘It’s time to tell Big Retail that we don’t want more of their junk products that we didn’t need in the first place.’ Bloody cheek!”

Clive took a slurp of cappuccino and sucked the foam off his mustache. “Listen to this: ‘It’s all too easy to be lured into buying ready meals, thinking ‘what a bargain’, when the truth is, that second portion of processed crap languishing in your fridge, will be binned when it’s past it’s sell-by date because the first one tasted so bad.’” Clive looked up at Sylvie and blinked. “He’s very strident in his criticism.”

“He’s very rude is what he is,” Sylvie huffed, bristling with indignation “And quite wrong. Our ‘Authentic Dishes of the World’ ranges are delicious and very popular. Especially the chicken Tikka Masala in ‘Feasts from the East’. Do you think Head Office knows about this?”

“I doubt it, Sylvie.” Clive rubbed his hands together to remove any sandwich crumbs from his fingers, and wiped his mouth. “They’ve been exceptionally buoyed ever since landing Calender’s ‘Time to Cook’ nationwide tour. His name has a certain cachet, but you’re right to ask. We should find out. Can you get me Megan at Head Office on the phone?”

“Of course.” Sylvie picked up the receiver of her telephone console and jabbed at the keypad with a pen. “It won’t stop with ready meals, Clive, you mark my words. We have BOGOF deals on wine, pet foods, toiletries… Oh good morning. Could I speak to Megan Prendergast, please. Clive Ambrose from the Marchway store would like to speak with her. Thank you, we’ll hold.” She kept the receiver to her ear but placed a hand over the mouthpiece. “And has he even considered the impact this could have on food banks? I bet he hasn’t.”

Clive drained his coffee cup and reached down to slip his mostly dried shoes back onto his feet. He appreciated his assistant’s feistiness – finding Sylvie strangely attractive when she had her hackles up – but unintended consequences were a fact of life. The trick, in Clive’s opinion, was to deal with them as best you can and to always look for the silver lining.

His thinking was interrupted when Sylvie nodded several times toward the phone on his desk. He picked up the receiver. “Good morning, Megan, Clive Ambrose from Marchway here. Tell me, have you seen the Freddie Calender articles in the press today?”

Sylvie leaned back in her chair and watched Clive’s conversation. He didn’t say much but from his facial expressions and body language, Sylvie could tell that Head Office was as shocked by the news as they were.

“No, of course you need to scrutinize his contract thoroughly. The issue I have is that we’re expecting him to arrive at the store in a little over an hour.” Clive rolled his eyes at Sylvie at the response he was hearing before eventually saying “Goodbye” and ending the call.

“Well?” Sylvie asked expectantly. “Are we going to cancel?”

Clive stood up and pulled his jacket on. “No, the Legal department needs to study his contract properly. That takes time.”

Sylvie gave a snort of disgust. “So we’re going to have to be nice to him, all the while he’s slagging us off in the press?”

“Well, not us per se, he’s not stupid,” Clive soothed, straightening his tie. “But Head Office seems a little bereft of ideas.” He started for the office door, but stopped to pick at something stuck in his teeth. He pulled the irritant out; it was a piece of bacon. He studied it and thought about Fiona’s muesli, the morning’s deluge and his satisfied bacon-filled stomach, before popping it back into his mouth. There’s always a silver lining to be found.

“Come along on, Sylvie,” Clive said, holding the door open for her. “We should go and inspect the demonstration and promotional areas. I really hope this weather doesn’t keep the customers away.”

+++

Dev leaned against the pillar in the coffee shop, watching Kara pay at the counter. He allowed his eyes a moment to rake over her slender form, though he quickly looked away when she glanced up and caught his stare.  Kara was all smiles as she approached him with the coffees.

“Here you go,” she said and handed Dev a cardboard cup, topped with a plastic adult teat. “A tall Flat White. That’s on me.”

“Thanks Kara, but there’s no need.”

They moved to the napkin station where Kara liberally applied brown sugar to her larger cup of white chocolate Mocha. “Oh don’t worry about. I got it with my loyalty points.” She pulled the wooden stirrer between her lips and sucked off the milky foam. “Consider it as part of your tip.”

Dev sipped gingerly from the steaming hole in the lid of his cup. “I’ve had plenty of racing tips as tips but this is much nicer.”

“Why, weren’t any of those tips any good?” Kara asked playfully.

“Nah, they were all nags,” Dev said with a grin and tilted his cup toward Kara. “Thanks again.”

They left the coffee shop and as they reached the entrance doors to the service station. Both were surprised to find the rain that threatened earlier had actually arrived. A sheet of water fell from the roof covering the entrance like a second transparent door.

“Oh hell, we’re gonna get soaked!” Dev declared as he gauged the strength of the rain and the distance to the car. “We’ll have to make a run for it.”

“No sodding way,” Kara hollered over the sound of the falling rain. “I want to have a smoke before we go back. Freddie hates me smoking.” She sauntered over to an empty table and chairs set back from the cascading rain, under the cover the overhanging roof.

Dev followed her and sat down. He patted his pockets. “Oh shit, I’ve left my vape stick in the car.”

“You won’t be able to vape when we get back either. Freddie hates that too.” Kara said pulling the battered metal box from her pocket and extracted a cigarette. “Would you like one of mine?”

She watched Dev dithering as to whether to take one or not. Oh you bad girl, Kara, she chastised herself but felt no pangs of guilt. “You don’t have to of course, but you should also consider this as part of your tip.”

“No, it’s okay,” Dev laughed, “but I appreciate the offer.” He took the battered Zippo lighter from Kara’s hand and flicked it into life. “Here, let me.”

Kara took a deep drag and blew the smoke out of the side of her mouth, away from Dev. She took the teated lid off her coffee and took a cautious slip. “Ahh, the second smoke of the day tastes equally as good with coffee.”

Dev turned the Zippo lighter between his thumb and index finger. “Hey, the case and lighter match. That’s neat.”

Kara took another drag and plucked the lighter from Dev’s fingers. She placed it on top of the cigarette case. “They were my granddad’s. He swapped them with a Yank during the war.”

“What did he swap them for?”

“Provisions. They were both POWs in World War Two. I got them when he died a couple of years back. Well, my sister doesn’t smoke, so they came to me,” Kara said with a shrug. “They’re a useful memento.”

“Of your granddad,” Dev murmured solemnly.

“Well yes,” Kara drawled and release a plume of smoke from her mouth. “And that neither smoking, nor bloody combat managed to see him off.”

Dev eyed the steadily falling rain and lightly drummed his fingers on the table top. “Go on then, as it’s part of my tip.”

Kara chuckled and slid her cigarette box and lighter over to Dev. “Knock yourself out.”

Dev lit up a cigarette. “So if Freddie Calender doesn’t like smoking-”

“He hates smoking.”

“And vaping-” Dev popped the lid from his Flat White.

“Completely loathes it.”

“And hates BOGOFs-” He took a slurp of his coffee.

“Vehemently.”

“Is there anything Freddie Calender does like?” Dev asked, licking hot foam from his lips.

Kara flicked ash onto the floor. “You mean apart from Freddie Calender? Um…”. She puffed out her cheeks in contemplation.

“Ha, yes.”

“Jammie Dodgers.” Kara lent in toward Dev and whispered conspiratorially. “They’re his secret vice.”

Dev smiled and gazed at Kara snort with laughter at her own joke. He let his eyes linger on her pale and beautiful face, and this time, when she caught him staring, Dev did not look away.

He chipped off the remains of his cigarette and stood up. “The rain seems to be easing up some. If you’ve finished that, I think we could make a run for it. We shouldn’t get too wet.”

“Okay.” Kara took a final drag and discarded the butt into an encroaching puddle of rainwater. It hissed and fizzled out. “Freddie hates it when his coffee is cold.”

+++

Freddie Calender slung his foot out of back of the black saloon car and into a puddle of water. “Bollocks!” he swore loudly and pulled his foot back inside, wiping the sides of his pristine white trainers against the tufted car mat. “Fella, you’ve managed to park on a lake. Can’t you find us somewhere drier?”

“Sorry,” Dev said and reversed out of the parking bay and maneuvered it into a empty spot immediately behind. “Is that better?”

Kara cracked open her door and looked down. “Yes, much. Thank you, Dev.”

“Yeah, thanks mate,” Freddie said, slapping Dev hard on the shoulder as he slid out of the car.

“I’ve got my phone with me if you need me,” Kara mumbled and pulled her bag up onto her lap, rummaging inside. “He’s booked for three hours but this shouldn’t take much longer than that. You’re sure you don’t mind waiting?”

“No problem.”

“I mean, you don’t mind us not paying for you to wait.” Kara placed her hand on Dev’s arm. “I’m so sorry. I had no idea Freddie was going to suggest that.”

Dev smiled and shook his head. “No, that’s okay. As Freddie pointed out, it’s extremely doubtful I’m gonna get another fare from Marchway back to London. Besides, he’s promised an autographed photo for my mum. I can’t leave before I get that.”

“Okay then, see you later.” Kara open the car door and got out.

Dev sat back in his seat and watched Kara heft her bag up onto her shoulder, and weave her way through the puddles littering the car park, toward the supermarket. He pulled out his vape stick and switched on the radio. All in all, for his first celebrity fare, he thought it had gone pretty well so far. But Kara? She was definitely the best thing about it.

+++

Freddie saw the expectant delegation of suits and primary coloured uniforms before he stepped through the sliding doors and into the supermarket. He knew they had seen him as soon as he heard a squeal of excitement. There was always a squeal.

“Hello Mr Calender!” Clive called out and strode toward him. “We’re so pleased to welcome you to the Marchway Emporium.” He grabbed Freddie’s hand and pumped it enthusiastically. “Very pleased indeed.”

“Yeah, I’m excited to be here.” Freddie grinned his trademark grin at the waiting crowd before him and shook the proffered hands. “I can’t wait to get cooking.”

“Shame about the weather but hopefully it won’t put too many people off coming out to see you.” Clive placed his hand on the small of Freddie’s back and attempted to steer him forward. “This way, we’re all set up for you.”

Freddie stopped. “Wait. I need to introduce you to my assistant,” he said tentatively and swung around, looking for the absent Kara. “There she is. Kara!”

Kara had just arrived and was stamping her wet boots on the matting inside the door. She looked up and smiled at hearing her name. “Hello. How do you do. Golly, it’s extremely wet out there.”

Sylvie tottered forward and took Kara’s hand. “Yes, it was dreadfully unexpected. I’m Sylvie, the Store Manager’s assistant. I can take you to dry off first if you like.”

“Kara’s my go-to gal, aren’t you, Kara?” Freddie wrapped an arm around Kara’s shoulders and pulled her in tight. “If anybody needs anything of me, especially whilst I’m cooking, speak to Kara. She’s on point. Okay?”

“Ah, well perhaps I should give this to you then,” Sylvie said to Kara, and loosened a page from her clipboard. “It’s all the ingredients specifically requested for today. We just want to make sure there’s nothing missing.”

Freddie snatched the paper from Sylvie. “No, I’ll check that. I am the chef.” He pinched his bottom lip between forefinger and thumb as he scanned the list. “No, that’s everything. Thank you.”

You arse! Kara thought sourly and plucked the page from Freddie’s hand. She’d seen the flush of colour in Sylvie’s cheeks and decided a spot of charm might be the best remedy. It’s amazing how skillful I’ve become at charming people since I started working for you, she admonished Freddie silently.

She passed the paper back to Sylvie with a toothy smile. “Oh my god, your nails are wonderful, Sylvie!” Kara held Sylvie’s hand and studied the finish on her nails. “Did you get those done professionally?”

The flush in Sylvie’s cheeks turned to blush. “No, I did them myself. I used transfers. I learnt how to do it on the internet. There are so many videos on YouTube…”

“Well then,” Clive said clearing his throat and replaced his hand on the small of Freddie’s back, nudging him onward. “Shall we go to the kitchen demonstration area? We’ve converted part of our Riverside cafe for the day. Temporarily of course, but we think you’ll be satisfied with the layout.”

+++

“Hey! I thought I might find you out here,” Dev called out and ambled over to Kara. He passed her a cardboard carton, a wisp of steam curled out from the hole in its lid. “I thought maybe you could do with one of these.”

Kara was stood smoking alone in the bright sunshine, and rocking on her feet. The free hand she had stuffed in her coat pocket took the coffee from him gratefully. “Hey! Aw, thank you! How did you know that the third cigarette of the day is spectacularly good with coffee? Wow. You really are an excellent cab driver, Dev.”

 “Thank you, Kara.”

“In fact I suggest you prepare yourself for a most effusive customer review.”

“Consider me already bowled over,” Dev said with a wide smile. “So how’s it going with Freddie’s demonstration?”

“Pretty good, I think. Despite the earlier bad weather, he’s drawn quite a crowd.” Kara took a long drag on her cigarette, followed up by a short sip from her coffee cup. “Have you been shopping?”

Dev was carrying a bulging plastic bag, with the primary coloured Emporium logo emblazoned on the front. “I have. Fortunately I had some time to kill this morning, so I thought I’d check out inside.”

Kara smiled and released a cloud of smoke into the bright blue sky. “Did you buy anything nice?”

“Yes I did,” Dev said pulling his vape stick from his pocket. “I got some presents for my mum.”

“That’s cool.”

“Yeah.” Dev took a hit from his vape stick. “Say, Kara, have you had a chance to look around the rest of the store?”

Kara looked at Dev and flicked the ash from her cigarette. She squinted in the sunshine. “No, not really. I’ve been busy with the demonstration. Why?”

“It might be nothing, but the Emporium seems really keen on BOGOFs.”

“What do you mean?”

Dev shrugged his shoulders and sighed. “I mean, really keen. They have a whole aisle of ‘buy one get one free’ ingredients from Freddie’s demo dishes and it’s jammed with customers.”

“No!” Kara could feel the blood draining from her already too pale face.

“Yeah, there are even food bank reps behind the tills collecting BOGOF donations. I didn’t know they were allowed to do that.” Dev reached into his shopping bag and pulled out a book. “And then there’s this.” Freddie Calender’s twinkling eyes and trademarked dimpled grin shone from the cover. “They’ve got a big promotion of these inside as well. All ‘buy one get one free’. I bought this and got one of his DVDs with it. What a bargain! Mum thinks Freddie’s great.”

Kara placed her coffee cup on the floor before taking the book from Dev. She stared at it in astonishment. It was Freddie’s latest title, ‘Time To Cook’, but a large, primary coloured sticker had been placed over the last word. “’Freddie Calender’s Time To BOGOF’?”

Dev tried hard but the giggle that he’d held inside him could no longer be contained. “I’ve only known Freddie a morning, but even I know that he is gonna hate that!”

Kara roared with laughter and grabbed Dev’s arm. “We’d best not tell him then, eh? We don’t want to ruin the journey back.”

+++

Sylvie was typing into her computer when Clive returned to the Emporium’s Admin Office. “Well, that all went off very well in the end, I think,” he said, sitting down at his desk. A steaming cup of tea and a jam doughnut, with a thoughtfully placed napkin, were waiting for him. “Thank you, Sylvie. That’s very kind of you.”

“No problem, Clive.” Sylvie turned away from her computer screen so that she could watch Clive take the first sugary bite from his doughnut. “Have you spoken to Alan this afternoon?” she asked.

Clive shook his head no and continued chewing.

“He stopped by earlier, cock-a-hoop about something he’s posted up on Twitter.”

Clive swallowed and licked sugar and jam from his lips. “Alan’s on Twitter?”

“Yes. I’m not on Twitter myself, but Alan says he’s got a number of followers on there. They’ve been liking and retweeting a photo he took of our Freddie Calendar book promotion. Apparently it’s gone viral.”

“Really?” Clive wiped his fingers on the napkin, woke up his computer and opened Twitter. “Did Alan happen to mention the name of his Twitter handle?” he asked, reaching for his tea and taking a large gulp.

“Yes. He posts anonymously on…” Sylvie paused, peered down at her notebook and grimaced. “At silver streaky bacon?”

And for the second time that day, Clive Ambrose found himself unexpectedly soaked.

*******

*Trust Jammy Oliver to land a show with a captive audience, Clicky… /stubs butt… Time for a Song methinks…*

And that, as they say, is that. Underdog Anthology XI: Ay Corona! (working title) is due out in April, and I really must get back to finishing my story for it. So until next time, Dear Reader, have a Song ❤

*Seriously, Clicky? …/laughs like a drain…*

CLICK5: Kung Flu Fightin’

Missive From ‘Merica: Coronaromathon

*Again? Mind, you, Clicky, it would be ironic if the ‘Crown’ virus was indeed to see Fillip orf… /rolls eyes…*

Welcome, Dear Reader 😀 Today we have a lovely missive from Cade Fon Apollyon for your entertainment and delectation. For the self-isolating, take heart – you’re not alone 😉

Enjoy! ❤

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Is it true that toilet paper in the UK is shitty before you even use it?

^BEACH HOUSE – MYTH^

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If you think that’s funny, wait till I tell you that I started this writing back on 26 of January, which was long before toilet paper became “funny” in the public eye because of this krono-vyroos nine-erteen thingie. Yep, I wrote one line, saved the doc, closed it, haven’t touched this thing in almost two months.

How goes things with you? Everything OK? Ya’ll all separated from tyranny and out from under the thumb of Mig Mother? Footloose and fancy-free? An independent nation again? I bet there are certain interests trying to twist and gouge the fuck out of you because of all that Brexit business. Distort facts, manipulate truth, spin the fuck out of every scrap of information, hell-bent on punishing you libertarianistic fucks for leaving the family and jumping ship. Gonna make you suffer. Gonna make you pay for what you did. Make you think twice about ever voting for the unpopular stuff ever again. Which, is voting for shiny stuff ever such a good idea? Elected officials are supposed to be representatives, not storerooms, warehouses and/or distribution centers of goodies. Maybe I’m just an idealist. Purist? Realist?

/shrug

Sure as shit am a wanderer.

^Glory And Gore^

Back in January, I had just watched some film on the NFL (American Football) starting to spread out all over the world. It’s gotten so popular in the UK that it would appear the NFL now plays one regular season game per year in the UK. Now, that may not seem to be that big of a deal, but it is. These teams only play 16 regular season games per year, and only half of those 16 are going to be home games. Yep, you heard right…football fans only get their team, at home, 8 times per year:

  • Each game is 60 minutes, but most games last for about 3 hours;
  • 8 times per year * 60 minutes = 480 minutes of official play (8 hours);
  • 8 times per year * 3 hour actual game length = 24 hours (1 day).
So yeah, you get them 1 day per year

Anyway, they were talking about all the preparations which need to be made in order for the teams to make the trip across the Pond, and one of the sticklers was…toilet paper. Like, 300 rolls per team is shipped over months in advance because it would appear that American football players do NOT like the toilet paper (bog rolls) that you guys use over there. This revelation got me to thinking…

Q: How shitty could their toilet paper really be?

A: And is this before, or after wiping?

Hence, I guess the message was that toilet paper in the UK is shitty before you even wipe. Of course, that’s just a spoiled rotten and completely crass American’s perspective.

^Queens Of The Stone Age – 3’s & 7’s (Official Music Video)^

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SAY!!! It just occurred to me that all this shut-down and lock-down business would be a GREAT fucking time to get some really unique data on water usage(s). This is going to be a highly unusual period, prolly can collect some really rare metrics, in realtime, and hedge the living shit out of that information. Water is the next Gold afterall. Solid data on solid Gold?

Priceless
^Raining Blood^
tenorCamiliarity Breeds Fontempt

Is contempt the same thing as jealousy? Wondering here if contempt is some yet unrealized form of jealousy. You saw something, wanted it, went after it, then had some “all that glitters is not gold” kind of moment, and now you are in “DO NOT WANT” mode.

That “familiarity breeds contempt” nonsense really fucks with my head. You get to know someone, and you start to hate them? The statement implies that the one thing we all want (intimate knowledge of a something) is actually the path to something we don’t want. Not only that, it kinda implies that professionals, experts and masters all likely hate what they are good at. Hate what they have striven to know so well.

Dead love?

Strangled to death the one thing you once loved?

Love for future dead things?

Love for things that we know we can: A) acquire; and B) get the fuck rid of down the road?

Squeezed ever bit of adulation and joy out of this wondrous thing, and both you and it are left hollow and hateful? But back on the “path to a something we don’t want” idea, that makes me think of a Bible verse…

‘There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.’

Proverbs 14:12(NKJV)

Not very encouraging to someone just beginning a journey.

Even less encouraging to someone halfway across the pond.

Gotta be downright discouraging to those who have the destination in sight.

^Lemon Demon – Jaws^

fire-sphere-spell

Feels pretty good to be righteous, eh? You always knew you were on the correct side of things, and now, wheels are turning in such a way that all you believe and all you espouse is indeed, right. Those wheels are turning exactly in your direction. Like, right at you. Headed right for you! MOVE GODDAMNIT!!! GET THE FUCK OUTTA THE WAY!!!

Best not get squished

I’ve seen some instances of destiny arriving…it ain’t pretty. Not that you’d care prolly. You’re nothing but a greasy spot in the middle of a smoking crater. What do you care? We’ve never been through this before. Others may have, but not us. Do you realize how long it took Cholera to spread after Tambora erupted in 1815? How many epidemics and pandemics it took for this stuff to propagate and spread?

1815 Eruption Of Mount Tambora
Cholera Outbreaks And Pandemics
1883 Eruption Of Krakatoa
Booster Dose (Redirected from Booster Shot)
Booster
List Of Large Volcanic Eruptions Of The 19th century

Are you old enough to remember “booster shots”? I dunno if they still do that, but it seems like we had to go in every six months for some, yearly for others, and the rest were on some 2, 3, 5, 7 year cycle or something like that. Was just sitting here thinking about a large event getting things rolling, and booster shot kind of events sustaining the primary event. Not that our planet is a living thing or anything.

Just thinking

Plenty of saucy talk on my Twitter feed on the topic of this nCoV-2019/COVID19/Coronavirus thingie. Loads of people taking the opportunity to tell others what to do. Some speak as if they know exactly what to do and have loads of experience with this kind of stuff, but I’m kinda skeptical because: A) we’ve never been through anything like this; and B) we’ve not been through this that is happening right now.

To be fair tho, much of this acerbity and scorn is likely just some people’s way of asking questions. They’re unsure of how to ask the questions they have, whom to ask, or maybe even questioning themselves as to the right questions to ask. As a result, lots of anger. Lots of contempt. Lots of lashing out. And of course, lots of opportunists trying to get others to sing their tune, and all in the same key.

^The Ultimate Showdown (with MP3 ♫)^

Some of the breeding contempt stuff makes sense. You gotta get rid of this something that you have become attached to, so what better way to do that than to brew up a festering cauldron of contemptuous poison to murder the living shit out of this whatever it is. Prolly why we break things in the manner(s) that we do.

(Usually, completely manner-free)

“Things” many times do for us things that we’d rather not be doing.

EX: Lawnmowers. No one wants to mow the lawn. Hence, when the lawnmower malfunctions or displeases us in some way? We lose our shit and beat the hell outta the lawnmower with whatever is readily available. Our contempt for mowing, manifests as rage when this task we hate cannot be complete, and that lifeless hunk of metal and plastic becomes our lightning rod.

Plenty of other professions and trades which require lots of contempt in order to perform the job with precision. Not gonna tell you any of the specifics that I’m thinking of right now, but that’s mainly because you’re smart, you’ve got your own life, and I’m sure you can think of plenty of jobs which require contempt. You can prolly also think of some permanent fixtures of all kinds which require contempt. Maybe even some really abstract ideas which require contempt.

^DakhaBrakha – Sho z-pod duba^

Camiliarity isn’t a word. Camiliar is also not a word. However, it appears to be a name.

Guilielmus Camiliar

Gent? Isn’t there also a town called Ghent? Some band called Soulwax hangs their hat(s) there?

That “Camiliar” lead me to something called Gotama Capital C.A., and a shitload of litigation surrounding this Gotama something. C.A.? What the fuck is a C.A.? And why is “Gotama” ringing a bell with me?

CA

So which is it in this case…Chartered Accountant or Certification Authority? Google is showing me lots of pending lawsuits with Gotama’s name on it. Gonna assume that Gotama Capital C.A. is a Chartered Accountant. Must be some shady shit needs sorting, and Gotama is right in the big middle of it all. So who is Gotama Capital C.A.? I have no idea. Gogghoul tells me that they are embroiled in some something with HollyWall Entertainment, and maybe also with someone called Vapor Hub International. Sorry you…I know you are likely wondering what I’m on about, but I just seemed to have crossed paths with this Gotama and/or Gotama Capital before. It’s bugging me.

Gautama Buddha
Gotama
Gotama
Buddha
Prajna
Prajna (Hinduism)
Prajñā (Buddhism)
Arhat

Arhat…I like hats…I want one. That fucking wizard hat of mine is still on backorder, and I wonder if I’m ever gonna get that damn thing. Especially with all these latest goings on.

Digress

The most funny thing about “camiliarity” is all the search results that Google provides. Page after page containing typos where “familiarity” is misspelled as “camiliartity”.

Dyslexia is sometimes kinda fun

Dyslexic vision is sometimes kinda fun

Certainly can be interesting and educational at times.

^Icicles – The Scary Jokes LYRICS (ft darkmario2’s Cold Heart)^

giphy

Once you’ve gotten past the contempt and jealously + the anger that those things bring, what is left?

Spite?

Anguish?

Bitterness?

Can’t be any hate because hate and contempt are gonna be pretty much the same things, where contextual jealousness has crept in due to some knowing.

Melancholy?

That doesn’t even exist anymore. Depression has been substituted for Melancholy all things blah.

Paroxetine (Redirected from Paxil)
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor
Antidepressant

We can fix it tho. This depression? We can fix it.

Anyone who needs yourself some fixin’, step right up.

^Dayglow – Can I Call You Tonight? (Official Video)^

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Just got news that someone b0rked their arm.

Sorry 😦

Get swell sooner rather than later. I woulda warned you against attempting to karate-chop trees or whatever else kind of nonsense you were up to, but we don’t talk much.

/shrug

And whilst I’m at the wishing well doling out the well wishes, hope the shoulder is getting better.

^Alice In Chains – Them Bones^

If I catch this Coronavirus thingie, can I now update my CV to include “CV”? Saw somewhere earlier where someone had truncated nCoV-2019/COVID-19/Coronavirus to…CV. Truncating ‘Ka Ronin VI Rust One Nine-er’ to CV…

what could possibly go wrong here I wonder

I ask someone for their CV, and they lick my mouth instead of handing me a resume? Which reminds me, anyone familiar with Chicken-Pox Parties? Chicken-Pox Playtime Gatherings? Dunno if they’re still a thing, but they used to be. All kinds of bugchasers in the world.

Clarity = muddied
^The Chemical Brothers – Hey Boy Hey Girl (Official Music Video)^

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The home of America’s Team is shutting down. So I hear anyway. I know someone who is being partially furloughed, and two others who have been told to prepare themselves for the places they work to be shut down indefinitely. Been keeping somewhat up to date on all the airline cancellations and even some suspensions. I can only imagine that much of the shipping industry is doing the same or similar. This is like 9/11 times a thousand or something.

Actually, I was just outside after hearing about all the closures, and I got to listening. I’m basically in the crotch of two major roadways, and there’s pretty much always a roar coming from those busy roads from all of the traffic. I listened…the roar is there. Got me to thinking about who is going where, and why so many if loads and loads of places are really shutting down. Got me to thinking about…

September 12th of 2001

Then September 13th of 2001

September 14th of 2001.

Quiet. Very quiet. Spooky quiet

No planes, no air traffic at all, no contrails, reduced traffic, lots of self-isolation. Loads of fear, loads of uncertainty, plenty of confusion, and some boiling anger. It occurred to me that maybe when I step outside, and no longer hear the roar of hundreds upon hundreds of tires on pavement? No lingering engine roar from all the aircraft in the air? Maybe even a silence close to that of 18+ years ago? Welp, that might be indicative that the shit has hit the fan.

It stormed all night last night
^Crumb – Locket [Official Video]^

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This doesn’t feel like 9/11 (or, 11/9 for any overseas readers). This feels more like Hurricane Katrina.

Cept everywhere
^Fazerdaze – Lucky Girl (Official Video)^

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Yesterday, I was pondering whether Uranus and Neptune can be considered twins. This evening, I see this.

^We May Have Figured Out Why Neptune and Uranus Are So Different^

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Not suggesting that twins need to be the same or anything. I’ve known some twins that were quite different. Even have known some identical twins that were way different. Just wondering how the “twins” nomenclature has wandered off into more abstract realms, and whether or not the term is even applicable.

In terms of entanglement and/or spooky action, you move something here, something there moves also. What I never hear anyone talk about, is what happens if someone moves the something there. Does the something here still move? Gotta be some kind of weighted something that maybe dictates whether a companion particle or object, or whatever, emulates and mirrors its opposite’s behavior. Some observer effect kind of something, ‘cept more participatory maybe?

Which makes me wonder how participatory observation is. Does an observer do any kind of work that can be measured? Ever heard the term “human shield”? How much work does a human shield do.

If they absorb a blast of radiation which minimizes your own exposure, or take a shotgun blast which was meant for you, or maybe have some blame assigned to them that was actually yours? Sounds to me like some work is being done there. They ain’t doing much of anything, and yet, they are somehow doing a shitload of work. How is this possible? Maybe it’s an adjustment in the conditionals based on a contextual (and somewhat arbitrary) result. Adjusting outcome based upon a specific chain of events, all after-the-fact.

^The Jam – Town Called Malice (Official Video)^

Irrespective of whether or not you have children, you should check this flick out.

Pretty goddamn funny. Quite revealing too
^A Town Called Panic – Trailer^

lf0d

/ \

/IN\

-/R G\-

– RING –

!RING RING!

!!RENG RENG!!

!!!RONG RONG!!!

! !!!RUNG RUNG!!! !

!!!RYNG RYNG!!!

!!RANG RANG!!

!RING RING!

– \R G/ –

\IN/

\ /

The re mem burr ring…is a cold, cold ring.

A cold, cold thing…for re mem burr ring.

Re mem burr ring…is a cold, cold thing.

A cold, cold thing…full of cold, cold things.

Ring spelled backwards (gnir), when said aloud, almost sounds like…near.

BURRRRRR!!! It's suddenly cold in here
^The Power Station Get It On Bang A Gong^

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Speaking of “after-the-fact”, that’s another thing that’s been burning my brain recently…

Thinking…

predicated upon the benefit of hindsight…

with no consideration(s) to hindsight.

That’s a difficult thought to express in text. Lemme try again…

Thinking and asserting without acknowledging having the benefit of hindsight

Not giving the past any credit.

EX: Samuel Morse – co-inventor of the Telegraph and co-creator of Morse Code. As a person in the now, I can say:

“Everything Morse and the people he worked with did makes total sense to me. I have no idea why they had such a difficult time creating such a simple contraption and its simple code.”

Firstly, they were moving backwards to forwards, and not forwards to backwards like we in the now. Secondly, prolly plenty of people in the world who could not even come close to creating a telegraph machine right now, nor are they likely to be able to understand Morse code. With that in mind, how can someone be so cavalier about diminishing someone’s achievements just because: A) these breakthroughs came long ago; and B) the technology is archaic by today’s standards? They put in all the hard work, did all the figuring, taught the rest of us what they learned, and we benefit. Hence, we can be some ungrateful little shits. But invention isn’t really what I’m thinking about here. I’m thinking in little less concrete terms than some tangible something.

What worked before, may not necessarily work now. Not evaluating your reliance upon, and the benefit of hindsight with respect to your decision-making, could be catastrophic. May be a good idea to evaluate whether or not you are you relying upon precepts in your decision making processes that you don’t even realize are there. And I’m not necessarily thinking about identifying things that we take for granted or givens. We rely upon these “given” types of things (I would think anyway) based upon or own personal experience(s) and our own personal usage(s). They are tried and tested, and others we interact with tend to also use and be aware of these types of things.

What I am thinking about here is not being dismissive of the possibility that your thought processes contain hidden elements that you didn’t even realize were there. And I’m talking foundational kinds of things. Things that, were they absent, you’d (potentially) be a completely different person, making completely different decisions based upon completely different thought processes.

This one is a mind-bender. I'm struggling more than usual here

Within one’s own self…how does one locate some hidden or potentially non-existent something, when this something is providing no discernible data as to its presence, its location or its function? How does one know when this something has been located, and lastly how does one determine what this something even is. Is the answer…

Time?
^Wannabe – Spice Girls (Vintage “Andrews Sisters” Style Cover) by Postmodern Jukebox^

Had another thought here regarding locating things that aren’t there, but I lost it.

Maybe we aren’t skilled in finding certain things because we never look.

Me? I’m still searching for bottom.

Seeing all kinds of crazy shit on the way down.

This thing may have no bottom.

I may be searching forever.

Makes sense.

Makes total and complete sense.

^French 79 – Hometown [Official Video]^
Chaos...creates...clarity

Guess you gotta see it a time or two in order to believe it.

Don’t sweat it tho.

Soon, you’ll see.

Maybe anyway.

Maybe not.

/me shrugged
^DAFT PUNK – AROUND THE WORLD (Official Music Video)^

agifcolossalspiral2opt

It occurred to me tonight that most Twitter users aren’t following you, they’re following themselves. Even if you follow them, and they don’t follow you, they are following themselves, via you. Same goes for every other social media something I guess.

Speakers in the wheels of the bespoke

I woulda said “spokes in wheels of the bespoke”, but there is this odd decay or atrophic kind of something going on there. The main says something, you say something similar, those who hear you say something similar to what you said, and the message decays from there, necessitating a return to the source for the original message. So yeah, by following someone, you are nothing more than a medium for attracting those way down the chain to some source. Almost like a missionary. ‘Cept a follower.

Vacuum decay: the ultimate catastrophe

Did you know there’s a something called Vulvovaginal Atrophy?

Atrophic Vaginitis

I guess some women with large(r) labia can’t wait that long and are getting their stuff shaved off.

/shudder

Once you’ve gotten those already sexy lips shaved down to what you think is sexy (or popular/trendy at the time), I wonder what they do with the stuff that was removed. Speaking of, heard from a certain somewhere this morning that San Francisco has been closed. Shut down.

Sealed off. The whole city

LA appears to be doing the same. No idea how accurate this information is, but no doubt this is some old school shit goin’ on up in this hizzay. The walls are already going up, now all we need is some massive and impenetrable gates.

This person also told me that all elective surgeries are being cancelled. I guess unless you’re bleeding out of your eyes, having a heart-attack, have suffered some kind of major trauma, or are infected with nCoV-2019, you are unlikely to receive medical assistance over the next 2 to 3 months.

Data Degradation (Redurected from Bit Decay)
Software Rot

“Soft Wear Rot” and “Bit Decay” have suddenly taken on some whole new meanings.

^The Drums – Money^

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Can you tell that I just got turned down for another job? Lots of soul-searching going on here. Looking for that something I’m missing. It’s there, just can’t find it. Even if I can find it, I can’t identify it. Question is, even if I do find it, and even if I can identify it, can I understand it? If I can do all that…

Q: Now what?

A: ?n¿o?t¿t?a¿c?l¿u?e¿

I guess if I knew where I was going, I’d maybe be in a bigger hurry to get there.

I don't, so I ain't
^M83 ‘Reunion’ Official video^

somusu7

cYacFa

^Buttercup^

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We hope your brain enjoyed Cade’s scenic ramble, Dear Reader, even if you yourself are confined to your abode…

*Cancel Culture Cretin Promulgates… /sighs deeply… There’s sick and then there’s sicko, Clicky…*

…We’ll have another post for you tomorrow, so make sure you come back then. And have a Song 😀