Wednesday 29 August 2012

Time to buy flowers

I was fiddling with my laptop.  Micky had brought me a new 1TB back up drive but none of the films he had stored on it would play so clearly I needed some sort of plug in and that is what I was searching for when peace was interrupted  by someone bashing on my door saying there was trouble at the shop.  Fer Feck’s sake, there’s always trouble at the shop, especially this time at night.  I don’t know how many times I have told Marcia it is a shop, not a bar.  People should come, select and pay for what they want, and then Fuck Off.  Instead, she let’s them sit there.  The place is a bloody Shabeen and I hate it.  Especially the bloody litter I have to collect in the morning.

So I wasn’t exactly in anything approaching a sympathetic mood as I stomped down the path towards the shop.  I kicked open the door and found myself staring down the business end of an AK 47 behind which was a uniformed Gentleman by whose eyes I could tell was out of his tiny little mind, always assuming he had one in the first place.  Not something you can bet on here.

It is possible to take in your surroundings without swivelling your eyeballs.  Mine were transfixed on the 7.62mm diameter black hole just under the foresight.  I did take in, however, the sight of a dozen clients all doing the sensible thing and playing like meditating monks, avoiding eye contact with the lunatic and Marcia, as white as any Negress can be with fear, transfixed next to the counter.  And no, of course I could not tell if the safety was on or off, that only happens in films.  Besides, I was too busy shitting myself.

Bollocks, I thought, this is going to Fucking hurt with a capital F.  Selfish, aren’t I?  Then, only then, was I angry.  Very, very flaming angry.  No-one should ever have to experience this peculiar mix of rage, fear and sense of impotence.  The guy was built like a brick shithouse and clearly off his trolley.  In the second drawer down on the right hand side of the desk I had but a moment before been sitting at, I had a CZ 83 loaded with 7.65mm tranquilisers, ideal for this sort of situation.  Next to my desk were two sabres, one ceremonial the other definitely a weapon of war and only recently honed to a keen edge.  All of them, swords and pistol, might as well have remained in the manufacturer’s stores for all the good they were to me now, clad as I was in cheap Brazilian flip flops, shorts and a soon to be bloodstained T Shirt.

‘You!’ I shouted pointing my 12.5 mm forefinger at him, ‘What the fuck are you doing in my shop with a weapon?’

He gobbed off something incomprehensible and cocked his weapon, ejecting the round he already had up the spout which clattered across the floor accompanied by a collective moan from all present.

‘Stand to Fucking attention when you talk to me!’ I bawled.

‘Marcia!’ I shouted at her, ‘How many times have I told you that customers must leave weapons outside the door?’

'Take that weapon outside now or I will bar you’ I said turning my attention back to the maniac before Marcia, bewildered beyond belief, could answer. ‘And we don’t give credit so if you haven’t got any money, FUCK OFF!’  This wasn’t strictly true, we always give credit to fishermen.

He hesitated.

‘Right, that’s it, give me the fucking gun’, I took a pace forward clamping the muzzle beyond the less painful side of my armpit, tapped him gently between the eyes with my forehead and steered him out of the shop. ‘If you want to drink, the gun stays there’ I said, indicating a bit of pavement to the left of the entrance.  Now that I had the gun and he had a headache he was suddenly very polite.

I didn’t need to tell Marcia, she was already on the phone and everyone else who had been in the shop were already doing personal bests at sprinting.  The police came and took him away.

Afterwards, I was mad as hell.  In the post crisis analysis it became clear that while I was behind my laptop tinkling the keys, Marcia was staring down a pissed up loony with a gun.

‘For Christ’s sake, Marcia, why didn’t you tell me straight away?’

‘Because you would have fought him’

Fucking right I would have.  I’d have at least slipped a 1 inch AF spanner up my sleeve and caressed his temple.  That way I wouldn’t have had to play ‘Guess what’s going through the mind of the Criminally Insane’ while a clinically interesting example was pointing a gun at me.  A quick swing and all I would have had to do is wait for him to wake up and then ask him.  As if I would have been interested.  Man I was angry. ‘How dare you Marcia? How fucking dare you risk yourself like that!  Are you fucking mad?  Who would look after Alexander if you were dead?  How do you think I would feel if I had to bury you knowing that some shit bag got away with murdering you?  Don’t you fucking ever do that again!’ 

And more stuff along those lines.  I was a teensy weensy bit annoyed.

Marcia burst into tears and left the room.

Dominic coughed discreetly.



‘You know I love you?’

‘Yeah, sure, of course I know.  If you love me, pull me a cold one out the fridge’

‘You’ve never told me that you love me’

‘Hang on a sec Son, of course I have.  Loads of times’

‘No you haven’t Daddy, not once’

‘Are you sure?  I mean, really sure?’

‘I’m sure, Daddy’

‘Not even when I taught you to ride a motorcycle all those years ago?’

‘All you told me was not to fall off, I remember that Daddy’

This was all starting to get bloody uncomfortable.  I know that Dom’s Hols are over and he has to go back in the morning so he is a bit disappointed but I am just as gutted.  Not that I would admit that to him, of course.

‘Dominic, what’s on your mind?’

‘Well,’ he squirmed on the sofa a bit, ‘it’s just that Marcia really loves you’

‘Me? Bollocks! She just tolerates me.  What makes you say that!’

‘She knew you would fight the guy so she kept quiet ‘cos he had a gun’

‘Yeah well I took it off him so what’s the problem? By now he’s probably getting the shit kicked out of him in jail.  I’m just pissed off she didn’t tell me straight away instead of sending that dickhead down here when it was too late with some garbled message so I had to face the guy down in my fucking underpants.  Where’s that cold beer I asked for?’

He gave me the beer. Then the phone rang.  It was the boss of TecnoCarro, a really big company here in Angola and the employer of the loopy guard with the gun.  He was sorry he said.  He wanted to know if there was anything he could do.  Were we alright and that sort of thing.  Fuck me, no-one has ever apologised to me in Angola before and just because one of his guards got pissed and a bit out of hand, no-one could reasonably blame the boss, after all he must have about three squillion employees and odds alone would say at least one would be crazy.  We’re fine, I assured him with rare respect.  He told me that he would send some managers over just to make sure.  I was beginning to wonder if they would arrive walking on water.

I was starting to calm down.  Just to put this all into perspective, I had been terrified out of my wits.  One fuck up on my part and I could have lost Dominic and Marcia (Alex had been safe watching Ben 10 on TV only three feet away from the CZ his Daddy really could have done with) and the thought of losing them made me want to vomit.

‘I have never told you I love you?’  I had ripped the filter off a local SL cigarette, lit it and was dragging in a serious blast while Dominic was hugging his brother Alex on the sofa.

‘Nope’ he said not even averting his gaze from the TV for a second.

Bugger.  If I told him I loved him now he’d only think I was just saying it.  Is it really possible that in thirteen years I had never told the lad I loved him?  Fuck, I adore him.  I am so proud of him.

‘I guess if I told you I love you right now’, I ventured, ‘you’d think I was a bit of a dick?’

‘No I wouldn’t’ he replied, eyes still locked on the TV.

‘I do love you, Dominic,’ I said, ‘More than anything’

‘Marcia was really scared,’ Dominic responded after a deadly pause, ‘She was frightened you might get shot.’  He rolled over and looked at me, ‘Daddy, I was scared.’

‘Sorry about that’.  What else could I say?

Marcia has just come in and gone straight to bed.

Dominic and I exchanged glances.  I thought they were the sort of knowing glances between men faced with cantankerous women but no.  ‘Do yourself a favour’ said Dom, ‘tell Marcia you love her.’

Thirteen years old?  Do yourself a favour?  By God his English is good.  I am so proud of him.  And I love him, as I do Marcia and Alexander.  I guess I just need to tell them every once in a while.


  1. one of you most lovely posts tom
    you are, despite your covering humour.......
    a delightful human being!

  2. No I'm not. I'm a grumpy old bastard. Don't you have some animals to feed?

  3. Whew. My first visit here. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Do you always write such incredible posts? Guess all I have to do is read back and find out.

  4. Honestly, how old are you, and you haven't learned the basics?

    Take time, even if it's just a moment, every day, to appreciate those around you. Small gestures, but thoughtful gestures, are all it takes. Just a smile, a comment, a passing wink, litening and retaining that information to do something small and insiginificant that shows you care.

    That's all it takes; it's not too much to ask. It doesn't cost you money, or inconvenience, or time. It's the small things that count...

    And the dividends it pays in terms of washing, cleaning, shopping and other shit are fucking enormous!

  5. Nearly forgot: flowers is a bit too predictable. Do something unpredictable.

    I once gave Mrs IG a pineapple wrapped in some fancy-arse stuff. I got the pineapple from a greengrocer, took it to a florist, and paid them to make it look funky.

    Maybe a nice ham hock?

  6. Idiot Gardener, someone who once proposed to me although I was already/still married gave me a pineapple. Mind you, one up on you,it was in full flower.

    You can't beat it for impact when you fling it in the bin when you realize there is no future. Try and do that with a rose. You'll just "thorn" yourself.

    Still, I think your advice to Hippo excellent. Whilst I adore flowers a bit of a surprise, a bit of imagination in a man is an aphrodisiac.

    I am surprised none of you has, yet, suggested to Tom to write Marcia a poem. Don't laugh. Since time immemorial men have written poems when they weren't busy slaying a dragon.

    Take heart, Tom, what you wrote up there is as good a declaration of love as any. And your Dominic has a fine head on his shoulder, an observant heart. However, as the Soldier you are to this day, please remember: It's good to lead by example. After all you don't want your future daughters-in-law crying on your shoulder that their husbands never take them on a picnic in the middle of nowhere. Or do you?

    Other than that please do remember that old Bible verse: "It's not the word, it's the deed that counts." Or some such. As to deeds you appear to be doing just fine.


  7. A quiet day at the office then.

  8. Nothing says "I love you" more than a Kevlar boudoir-underwear set. For the Missus that is, not you.

    Just saying "I wuv you" is never enough, no matter what the circs - you need to combine it with some action that makes you feel out on a limb, uncomfortable and a bit of a bloke-berk. That way the recipient knows you mean it!

    Oh - and you can't just say it the once, either - you have to keep on saying it and acting it.

    You've already done all of the hard work, now you just need to finish off and tie up the loose ends by doing the "shouting it from the rooftop" thing.

  9. I've known men who've shown love in myriad ways but are unable to say those words. Moreover, they don't think they need to, because they think the actions say it all. Which they do and don't.

    Marcia didn't tell you because she loves you and didn't want you to get into a fight and get hurt or worse. You respond by becoming angry that she didn't tell you because you love her and want to keep her from harm's way.

    Some people don't need to be told, they just know from another's actions, although i suspect that nearly all of us like someone to tell us. Even if it's as plain as the nose on one's face.

    When DH and i are leaving one another for something as mundane as a trip to the store or for an extended period, we always tell each other we love each other. Just in case it turns out to be the last time we see each other, i want our last words to be ones of love. Sounds mushy i suppose, but having had any number of relatives and friends die unexpectedly, i find it's best to cover my bases.

  10. @ megan blogs:

    Sorry, whilst it might work for you it sure wouldn't for me. If you keep saying "Love you" every time you set foot out of the door it becomes as automated as the cashiers' "Have a nice day". Meaningless.

    As to Tom losing his rag over Marcia not telling him: That's the way protective males work. My husband used to go ballistic even when I was on a perfectly harmless mission somewhere in the world. Two hours later to be "found" - not that I was lost.

    Another example: How often do we worry, say, about our child being lost in the woods? By the time they turn up again (unscathed) you will have started planning their funeral. What happens? No sooner are they back, safe and sound, in our happy relief we shout at them. Funny old world.


  11. Wow! What a story! Like something out of "Ripping Yarns". But I think Dominic has taught you a lesson there old chap. Sometimes we have to state what we believe to be the obvious. Perhaps you need to go on a training course - "Getting in Touch With Your Feminine Side". This may include a bit of cross dressing!

    1. i am Jessica Gomez by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address , have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave her a reply to her address and she told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that she will help me and after 2 days that i will have my husband back. i believed her and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for Dr.Blessing . Her


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