Saturday, October 30, 2004

Day 142 Charges

Got a call from the police station.

"Do you want to press charges for criminal damage of those pumpkins?"

"What do you mean? Do I have to give statements, or go to court, or appear as a witness, or identify the skaters at a lineup?"

"Well if the due process of the law has to be followed then yes it would involve some of those things"

I thought for a moment. Do I really want to get involved with punks who don't tie their shoes laces, and don't have enough sense to buy trousers that fit them properly at the crotch. Punks who are perpared to walk around with the arse of their trousers at their knees, and hip pockets at their ankles. Punks who wear wooly hats indoors, and have goatee beards that look as though they have black licorice spittle running down their chins. No way, so I said.

"Couldn't I just hit them a couple of times with a baseball bat?"

"I'm afraid Sir we could not condone that. It is not for citezens to take the law into their own hands"

"Forget it then "

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Day 141 Pumpkins

It was getting dark and a skater boy was down among the pumpkins out back. He was doing something wrong with that pumpkin. Not practicing any skateboard moves I can tell you. There was some serious trouser snake action going on.

I called the cops.

They arrive and caught him red handed on the job.

"Excuse me sir, but do you realize that you are doing unspeakable things to that pumpkin?"

He was startled at first, but he just hitched up his baggy pants and looked at the cop and said

"A pumpkin? Damn, is it midnight already?"

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Day 140 Ghosts

Couple of kids came into the store dressed up as ghosts.

"Can we buy a couple of pumpkins?"

"No, we don't sell pumpkins to ghosts"

The sniggered happily "But we are not ghosts really"

"Then why are you dressed up as ghosts?


"Tell you what, the pumpkins are for free if you can tell me why you dress up as ghosts on Halloween"

"Cos it's fun"

"So you are fun ghosts huh!"

"Naw, we're scarry ghosts, and we frighten people"

"Well you don't frighten me, so beat it"

They left the shop crying since I had not joined in their stupid game.

A prune faced old spinster who had been listening in said

"That was a bit harsh. They were only little kids having a bit fun"

and I said to her.

"And you can take that halloween mask off was well"

"But I am not wearing a mask"

"You could have fooled me"

Monday, October 25, 2004

Day 139 Darkness

Why are those clouds so dark and sneering, Blotting out the sun. The flowers on the clemitis are straining to open. Their lower leaves are turning yellow. Everything is going to sleep. Closing down. Shutting up shop.

In desperation we will stock piles of pumpkins for halloween. Now there is a festival of death. All saints day, all hells day more like it. It is as if human kind realises that winter will soon be apon us and wants one last fling to celebrate life.

The children dress as witches and skeletons and believe that the lost souls who haunt the night air would not want to come and possess them... but darkness attracts darkness.

This halloween I will dress as an angel.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Day 138 Frost

What do you do in a garden centre when the winter comes along. When the branches of the weeping birch hang heavy with rain. When the mornings combine frost and fog, and the sun creeps along the horizon, blinking it's sleepy eyes and nodding its weary head.

The birds use all of their energies to move away. Swans wait for their young to strenthen their wings. They lift their necks high and beat the air with practise strokes, as if to say we must be on our way.

Squirrels hunch forward and bring their forepaws up to their face as though to wipe away a tear. Flowers decay and keel over.

A dusting of frost stands at attention on benches and fences, each crystal erect and defiant. Soon the gates will be closing, and the sales of plants will shrivel, and become as hard and tight as the heart of a witch in winter.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Day 137 Hepatotoxins

"My liver... it must be damaged by all the alcohol I have been drinking. I wonder if that green gunk you gave me yesterday has anything to do with it?"

"Look if you have got any complaints with the water quality of the water from the pond out back, then I would take it up with Charlie Dimmock. There might have been a bit of blue green algea in there but what the hell, but we are not talking major hepatotoxins here are we? Or neurotoxins for that matter."

Personally I am a bit worried about that nervous tick Jussi have developed on his cheek underneath his left eye

Ref: Cyanobacteria and toxins

Day 136 Fish


"Relax Jussi, how about some lovely smetana with onion to go along with this beautiful salmon roe. See how it shines golden in the sunlight"

Ref: Listeria and fish

Day 135 Ergot

"Have you ever heard of ergot poisoning?"

"Can't say's I have Jussi... would you like some rye bread?"

Ref: ergot and rye

Day 134 Peanut

"Did I tell you about aflatoxins?"

"No Jussi... have a peanut"

Ref: Aflatoxins and peanut butter

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Day 133 Colon

"It's the period of time that you keep the stuff inside you. I mean to say it is waste after all, and it should not be in there for very long. Eleven days is too long don't you think? That's where you get cancer of the colon. It is worrying, and junk food just makes it worse, cos there is no roughage. It's like flushing babies nappies down the bog. The tubes are going to get blocked. There is going to be a stink, and trouble."

"Look Jussi this is a garden centre. Well sell flowers. We are not doctors. Even though your bowel movements are of tremendous interest to you, frankly we are finding these conversations tedious. Boring to the degree, that listening to you and your intestinal disturbances borders on a near death experiance."


"No buts. Drop it"


"Look!! no hard feeling mate. Let's go out for a burger after work. What do you say?"

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Day 132 Calories

"Do you realy think it is important to have a balance diet?"

"Here's what I think...

Negative calories - lose weight while you eat!
What a promise divine - what a sugary treat.
Pudding and pies - beans and peas
Buy anything - just eat what you please

Salt and ice-cream - belly fat pork
There is no difference - between butter or Stork.
Now there is a promise - you just can't beat.
Negative calories - lose weight while you eat!

Triple quarter pounder -where does it stop
Eat what you like - if it's got lettuce on top
Blubber and skin - and fast frozen meat
Negative calories - lose weight while you eat!

The more you eat - the more weight you loose
Buy what you want - no need to choose
Mix yoghut and garlic - they'll go down a treat
Negative calories - lose weight while you eat!

Make your body - a fat burning machine!
Drink olive oil - it's exceptionally clean
Dress your salad - with hard skin from your feet
Negative calories - lose weight while you eat!

You don't need to fast - you don't need to pray
Just double your intake of food everyday.
No charts to offend - no weightwatchers to cheat
Negative calories - lose weight while you eat!

Flatten your stomach - get rid of the flab
Eat oysters and whelks - and fine Cromer crab
Just keep on eating - never admit to defeat
Negative calories - lose weight while you eat!

Just be amazed - watch the pounds disappear
For breakfast drink - a six pack of beer
Just don't mix protein - along with your wheat
Negative calories - lose weight while you eat!

Speed eat your food - and make your pulse race.
Use lots of energy - getting food to your face.
Your heart must pound - with a rhythmical beat
Negative calories - lose weight while you eat!"

"Are you saying that with some foods, you burn up more calories just digesting them, than what you get from eating them?"


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Day 131 FastFood

"Do you get much roughage?" says Jussi


"Do you know anything about average throughput time"

"No! and if I know where this is leading I don't think I want to know"

"Well in Africa some tribes they eat lots of veg and get lots of roughage. They got them to eat a dye along with their food and then timed the average throughput time. It was fast. Faster than anything in the West, and alot lot faster than people who eat fast foods."

"So what you are telling me is that if you eat fast foods then your your average throughput time it long?

"Yeah we are talking big time walnut in the nylon sock constipation"


"Well I have been eating rye bread, and taking linseed seeds with my acidofilus yoghurt, and drinking 3 litres of water a day, and you wouldn't guess what my average throughput time is"

"Tell me"

"Ten days and nothing has happened. I think something is wrong with my system"

"Tough shit man"

Day 130 Poo

"Working in a garden centre you must have to handle a lot of different sorts of poo."


"Like chicken and horse and the like"

Jussi slides up to me and out of the corner of his mouth says in a discreet whisper

"What do you think of your own poo?"

"Nothing. I do it and flush it. End of story"

"Did you see that movie about the madness of King George?"


"Well the doctors were always looking at his poo and his wee-wee"

"Were they perverts or something?"

"No! now we know he had a condition called porphyria variegata. That is why he was having hallucinations, and doing all sorts of crazy things, like loosing America. They reckon that that Vincent van Gogh suffered from attacks of acute intermittent porphyria, made worse by malnutrition and absinthe abuse. "

"Yeah! drinking that stuff turned Toulouse Lautrec into a stunted dwarf."

"Some people claim that vampire stories are associated with porphyria The disease disrupts the production of heme. People with porphyria can be so sensitive to sunlight. It causes them to be nocturnal and avoid all light. People with porphyria can also have red eyes and teeth, resulting from buildup of red heme intermediates. That is the stuff of legends"


"Well do you think a persons well being can be determined from looking at their poo?"

"You mean, is it is as slick as a bobby's baton, or like a nylon sock filled with walnuts?"

Jussi's eyes brighten up since I have obviously been describing some of his efforts on the throne.

"Yeah! You've got it. Precisely"

"Well to paraphrase Clark Gable in "Gone with the Wind" `Frankly my dear I don't give a shit`"

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Day 129 Memory

Virpi is all excited. She does this thing with her face when she is trying to get an idea out of her head. Sort of closes her eyelids and flutters her eyelashes as though she were having an icecream head-ache. At the same time she sucks her cheeks in as though she had bitten into something sour.

"It's called ground zero"

"What is?"

"This new radical technique for erasing bad memories. You see most of the junk in our heads is excess bagage. Like a locker room at the station. Filled with rubbish no-one will collect. Totally unneccessary"


"Well you get a completely clean slate. Tabla Rasa. It completely clears your mind"

She struggled the eyelashes flickered and the mouth puckered.

"Doesn't that sound good?"

I pretended I had not been listening.

"Sorry what did you say? I wasn't really listening. I seem to have forgotten what we were talking about."

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Day 128 Joke

"Do you want to hear a joke?"

"Not really Uno. I have no time for fooling around"

"It's really funny. You'll like it. It will make you laugh"

"OK go ahead then"

"Well there was this red-head... no wait a minute, there was this blonde with really long hair... no she had short hair, really short hair, and anyway she got what do you call it, that thing where their bellies grow big like a balloon, but not like a balloon exactly, not filled with air or anything, but you know that balloonish type shape, but not the colour of a balloon either, because a big blue belly would be stupid, wouldn't it?"


"Well she's got this condition see, and she goes to her girlfriends who's a brunette, well not really a brunette, she's a blonde as well but she's had her hair dyed green, but it all went horribly wrong, and she is thinking of suing the hairdresser"

"So she's pregnant?"

"Yeah that was the word I was looking for, couldn't remember it for the life of me. Sometimes my brain is like a pack of rats in a bag. What did you say that word was again?"


"Yeah she was prefernent and she turns and says to her mate. She says to her mate." Uno looks confused "Wait, just hold on a mo' it is coming to me. Right on the tip of my tongue. She says to her mate. She turns to her mate and says"

"Do you think it's mine"

"Yeah that's it. Good joke eh?"


"Glad you liked it... see I told you, you would like it"

Day 127 Standards

"So how is Uno?"

"Works well when under constant supervision and when cornered like a rat in a trap."

"Yes but does he hold his own"

"Are you saying what I think you are saying?"

"I mean is his work adequate?"

"He has delusions of adequacy. He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."

"But does he get on with the other workers?"

"He would argue with a signpost. He has a knack for making strangers with everyone immediately. He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room."

"When I have talked to him he seems OK"

"If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the one doing the talking."

"But do you think he is teachable?"

"Some drink from the fountain of knowledge, he only gargles. All in all it's hard to believe that he beat 1,000,000 other sperm to the egg."

I always put in a good word for Uno when he is up for promotion.

Day 126 J-Lo

And she's like "Whatever!!!"

And I'm like "You what?"

And she goes "In your dreams mate"

And I'm cool with that like "No big deal"

And she flips out "Knock yourself out then"

And I'm like "Uh Huh?"

So she snorts "Go twist your knickers"

And I laugh like "I'm butt naked right?"

And she's like "Impress me, dog's breath"

And I'm like "Whoa there... no need to get personal"

So she goes "RatBoy"

And that's it. I've had it with her up to here, and I say

"Your bum does look big in that"

Then there is this long silence. The feeling that I have overstepped the line. Entered into some territory that should never be mentioned. Just an ackward silence hanging in the air. She rushed out in tears. As she went, as some slim consolation I shouted after her.

"J-Lo has a big butt too"

She was gone and didn't stop to listen.

Day 125 Kafka

The twin set tweedie with the astrakahn collar minces up to the counter and sniffs.

"Your deportment young man leaves a lot to be desired"


"Your slovenly appearence is upsetting to the patrons of this garden centre"


"You will soon be turning this emporium into something that resembles the grubby little dives that you no doubt inhabit, bars where you can drink cheap blended whisky, and bad imported extra strength lager, and the conversations are more about football than Kafka"

"Kafka!!! Was he the mid-fielder from Sparta Prague who tried to sign for Celtic but couldn't get a work permit?"

Day 124 Fishy

"I am looking for fish"

"Japanese Koi?"

"I'm not sure"

"Butterfly Koi?"

"You know the Feng shui fish."

"Nishikigoi Koi?"

"The kind that absorb negative energy"

"Tategoi Koi?"

"I don't know!!! What kind of fish do you have?"

"We don't sell fish"