Swimming Lessons Two

June 13th 2006

Having taken the precaution of equipping myself with a pair of goggles should the fat fuck Mr Liddiard take it upon himself to jump in the pool again I decided to risk continuing with my swimming lessons, and I’m glad I did because the second lesson went a lot more swimmingly than the first. The same can’t be said for one of my fellow learner swimmers, the dwarf, Mr Leeson.  

One of the teaching techniques employed by the swimming instructor Miss Hobday is to have the learner swimmers stand in the shallow end of the pool, squat down a little so that their shoulders are level with the top of the water, then practice the arm movements of the breast stroke. This, she assured us, would give us the feel of actually swimming and build up our confidence.

This exercise is fine for people of normal height, but as I mentioned last week the shallow end of the pool is four feet deep and Mr Leeson is only three feet tall, a discrepancy of one foot on the part of Mr Leeson. Last week when Mr Leeson got in the pool and promptly disappeared underwater he quickly got out again before he drowned. He obviously didn’t want the same thing to happen again so when Miss Hobday – who had more than likely instructed dozens of other would-be swimmers since our session last week and had probably forgotten all about Mr Leeson’s problem – asked us all to get in the pool, Mr Leeson refused point blank, and told Miss Hobday his reason for refusing, i.e. that if he did he may never see dry land again.

Miss Hobday had a think about it but from her bemused expression clearly a solution to the problem was beyond her. She told us to practise the arm movements of the breast stroke on dry land and disappeared for about ten minutes. When she returned, obviously having taken counsel from a higher authority, she told Mr Leeson that to overcome the problem he would be transferred to the ten-year-olds swimming classes, where the pupils would be the same size as him. She added that unfortunately, unlike the Oldie lessons, the lessons wouldn’t be free and would have to be paid for by Mr Leeson, but it was the best they could do under the circumstances.

Mr Leeson hit the roof. Or as near to the roof as it’s possible for a dwarf to hit.

“Are you trying to belittle me?” he protested, ignoring the fact that nature itself had belittled him, in a manner of speaking. “If you think you’re putting me in with a load of ten-year-old kids and expect me to pay for the privilege you’ve got another think coming. People will accuse me of being a bloody paedophile!”

“Yes, I’ve already had to stop being a Santa Claus because of that,” said one of the normal men, Mr Littlewood.

“And anyway,” said Mr Pargeter, the man with the glass eye, “How do you manage to teach children if they’re the same height as Mr Leeson, how come they don’t disappear under the water?”

A good point, and one I hadn’t thought of myself.

“Yes, if the water goes over Mr Leeson’s head it’ll go over a child’s head as well,” said the man with the hump back, Mr Gearing, adding his threepennorth.

Miss Hobday had the answer to that: “We use a different teaching system for children.”

“Well then use your usual system for us and the children’s system for Mr Leeson,” said Mr Pargeter “If Mr Leeson doesn’t mind.”

“No I don’t mind,” said Mr Leeson. “Anything that means I won’t have to drown before I’ve learned how to swim and I don’t have to pay for it.”

The plan was adopted. The lesson continued.

You Twat’s First Walk

June 12th 2006

My intention was to take You Twat out for a total of five walks, contriving to lose him on the fifth of our jaunts. I would have preferred to lose him on the first of our walks, because since he has started barking and howling again he’s quickly built up to and seemingly surpassed his previous sound levels, but to do so would only point the finger of suspicion at someone who is already deeply under suspicion for recently rendering him comatose.

Things started to go pear-shaped the moment I attached You Twat’s new lead (£4.50 from Dogerama) to his collar (£6 from Dogerama, a necessary purchase after I’d bought the lead only to discover that You Twat didn’t have a collar either. Actually this suited me; if he’d had a collar there might have been a name and address on it. Naturally there is no name and address on the collar I bought, not a good thing if you happen to be a lost dog and someone finds you, but a good thing for someone intent on losing a dog).

The problem that immediately presented itself was that having attached the lead to You Twat’s collar I set off walking for the back garden gate at my usual steady three miles-per-hour, whereas You Twat set off at a speed that would have left the winner of the Greyhound Derby in its wake.

I could probably have coped with a greyhound but You Twat is a big strong dog, and as I held on to the lead its breaking strain was tested to the full and unfortunately not found wanting. Consequently my arm was almost wrenched out of its socket as I held on to the lead, and both my feet left the ground at the same time.

I was now on my knees, being dragged along the Pollitt’s dog shit-strewn lawn towards the back gate. I managed to stagger to my feet only just in time to avoid being dragged into an ornamental stone bird bath, and was dragged into a fully laden clothes drying carousel, where my head became entangled in the washing lines. Fortunately I managed to grab hold of the carousel’s central column with my spare hand otherwise my head could very well have been pulled clean off my shoulders.

You Twat ploughed on regardless of my plight.  Fortunately the carousel mustn’t have been mounted very securely because after only token resistance You Twat, assisted by me, pulled it clean out of the ground. I was now being dragged along the lawn again in what can only be described as a melee of carousel and Pollitt’s sundry clothing.

At this point I had the good sense to let go off the lead. (Some might say I might have taken this precaution at an earlier juncture but the entire incident only lasted for about five seconds)

I hauled myself to my feet and took stock of myself. My right arm felt as though it had had a tug-of-war team pulling on it for the last half hour; my neck was throbbing from almost being strangled; thanks to my unnatural exertions my bad back had started up again; and, while not covered in dog shit, my clothes bore more than a passing acquaintance with it.

You Twat stood at the back gate looking anxiously at me and wagging his tail. He could have wagged it all day as far as I was concerned. My You Twat walking days are over. Enough is enough. Plan B is called for.

Baby On Board

June 11th 2006

What is the point of those Baby On Board stickers that clutter up the back windows of so many cars. Does the owner of the car expect you to stop them and ask for a look at their darling little pride and joy?

“Why have you stopped me?“

“Well I’d like a look at your baby of course.”

“ Look at my baby? Why?”

“Well why else would you be advertising the fact that that you’re carrying your baby in your car?”

Maybe it isn’t that. Maybe the stickers are designed to influence the judgement of the driver in the car behind as to whether or not he should crash into the car in front?

“Oh look Ethel, I see there’s a Baby on Board sticker on the car in front, I was about to plough into the back of it but now I’ve been warned there’s a baby on board I’m going to take avoiding action.”

A noble thought perhaps, but a realistic proposition? I don’t think so; for surely anyone about to plough into the back of a car would already have taken all the avoiding action they can, whether the car is in front is sporting a Baby on Board sticker on the rear window or not. So that isn’t the point of them then.

When I first saw a Baby on Board sticker I thought it had perhaps been put there to warn the driver of the car behind not to get too close, as in addition to any other people who might be on board there was also a baby, so be ultra careful. But I soon dismissed that theory, common sense telling me that if you are near enough to a car to read the Baby on Board sticker you are already nearer to it than safe braking distance will allow, even at only thirty miles-an-hour.

Women being the way they are, one might consider a Baby on Board sticker to be more likely to cause an accident than to prevent one, for what woman does not like to look at a baby? And that being so what then are the chances of a woman driver, on observing that the car in front is displaying a Baby on Board sticker, and in her eagerness to see the baby, getting too close to it and crashing into the back of it? I don’t think BetFred would give you very generous odds against it happening.

“You’re driving too close to that car in front, Ethel.”

“But I want to see the baby.


 “I think that’s it there, the one with the busted head and the rattle.”

After much thought I’ve reached the conclusion that it must be some sort of announcement – the proud mother proclaiming to the world that she has had a baby; but at this moment she isn’t out with it proudly showing it to her friends, pushing it around in its trendy three-wheeler pram or slung to her front like some tiny mountaineer trying to scale the twin peaks of Mount Tits , but hidden away in a car where her new pride and joy can’t be seen and admired by anybody. So she has to tell everyone. BABY ON BOARD!

I once saw a sticker in a back window, obviously put there by a mother-to-be who couldn’t wait any longer to tell the world about her good news, that read Foetus On Board. Perhaps it was a joke. But perhaps Baby on Board stickers are a joke too, because they certainly don’t make any sense. Now Stupid Pillock on Board….... 

Walking The Dog

June 9th 2006

“Can I take your dog for a walk?”

Liz Pollitt looked me up and down. “What you say?”

“I’d like to take You Twat….your dog for a walk, if that’s possible?”

“Are you fuckin’ mental or somefink?”

“Look I really would like to take your dog out for a walk.”

“An’ I’d like to be Liz ‘urley, so fuck off.”

I gritted my teeth. This was proving to be harder than I’d expected. “Please? Please let me take your dog for a walk.”


“In the hope that it will stop barking.”

“It’s not barkin’.”

“Not at the moment, no, but when you and your family are out of the house it does nothing else. Except for when it’s howling. I think if it’s taken for a regular walk it won’t bark and howl so much.”

“The twat can bark an ‘owl all it wants for all I care. S’ free country innit.”

I was getting nowhere fast. An incentive was called for. “I’m willing to pay of course.”


“A fiver.”

She looked me up and down, as suspicious as a milk bill. “Why would a geezah pay somebody to take their dog for a walk?”

I feigned surprise. “Well for the sheer pleasure of it of course. Surely you’ve heard of a dog walking service? Whereby people pay dog owners to take their dog for a walk?

Her brow creased as her underemployed brain wrestled with this concept. “I fought it was like the dog owners what paid to ‘ave their dogs walked?”

“No, it’s the other way round.”

She didn’t need any more persuading. “Five pahnds you said?”

I took out my wallet. “You’d better introduce us.”

You Twat started barking as soon as he saw me but I’m not bad with dogs and I soon made friends with him; or perhaps he quietened down because he was fearful I’d slip him another spiked meatball.

“Right, I’ll take him out tomorrow morning when you’re all out. Where’s his lead?”

“It hasn’t got one.” She thought for a moment. “I can problee find a lengf of rope somewhere.”

You Twat on the end of a lengf of rope might prove to be too tempting and we might never make it out of the back garden, so I declined. “No problem,” I said. “I’ll buy him one.”