Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ghosts of the past

How are you? Feeling good I trust. So... what's been going on? Well, other than a complete lock down out outbound flights from the UK. Scary stuff indeed.

I must confess to being somewhat confused by the plans of folk who perform these shocking deeds. While I understand that the complete lack of a voice, means that people will use any means to attract political attention - just what benefits are gained from killing innocent civilians?

Perhaps we decadent Westerners are The Enemy and are legitmate targets. It saddens me to think so, as if you don't get people 'on your side', just how to hope to influence those that make the decisions? I'm no history expert, but in recent years, the Ulster problem seems to have been resolved through talk, rather than through violence.

I'd like to think I'm a fairly laid back person and that others have a right to live their lives as they see fit. However, when I hear about people plotting to kill ordinary Schmoes like you and I, I have to fight the urge to let reason fly out of the window and jump on the Terrorist Witchhunt bandwagon yelling like the Kenny Everett character of old, General Marvin. Round 'em up, put 'em in a field, and BOMB THE BASTARDS! Of course, one may argue that that's entirely the reason why we've got terrorist actions. Faced with the seemingly impossible odds of knocking the West's military power, it is not the easy option to strike at the civilians? Are we in a Catch 22 situation? They bomb us, we carpet bomb them, they bomb us, we invade, repeat ad nauseum - or is that too simplistic?

[sigh] Answers on a post card to the usual address.

But on to more trivial matters.

Old 'Friends'

The other day the Wee Man and I were shopping in town for my Mum's birthday. We'd forsaken the pushchair because he likes shoulder rides at the mo. Half an hour in and I'm feeling an inch shorter, but one happy dad. We stroll into Next - mainly 'cos me Ma likes the PJs in there - for a look around. Who should I see but an old school friend. Friend? Well, once upon a time....

[cue flashback]

BP (not his real name) and had been good mates, so much so that I thought I could trust him with the big Tranny Secret. Note to young trannys: 1) Never give up a secret while p*ssed and 2) Never give up a secret while sober. I was right about trust, but only for a while. I left town to go to College and he stayed behind. We drifted apart and things turned sour. Gee, does like read like some f**ked up chit-lit novel or what? Maybe I should swap the names about and do a novel. :-)

Anyhoo, I'm sat on the bus going to College one day, reading a letter from another school friend. You can tell it was the early 90s, people actually wrote to each other rather than emailing or texting each other. The sun was shining, it was a week before the end of term and all was well with the world (apart from a strange high pitched whistling noise coming from something bomb shaped from about 500ft up and dropping). Fitting in well in London. Blah. Have new boyf. Blah. Bad news now. Should warn you that B. has told everyone about your love of dressing up.

BOOOM.

I read that last paragraph again. Sighed and went very, very pale. When I got to class my mate - bless his socks - asked: "You alright? Looks like you've had a shock?" I lied and said everything was fine.

So, what did I learn from this lesson in life? Well, for a long time I took it that you can't trust anyone. Eventually, anyone will - to quote Ripley in Aliens - f*** each other over for a percentage. With time, I've found that not to be true. It's a cliche, but time does heal. What seemed like such a big deal at the time, has now worked out for the best. I stayed away (coward) and made a new life with a fabby wife, wee man and I've got it pretty easy.

[end flashback]

So, what do you do when meet the guy who outed you to your [ahem] mates who had a really good laugh at your expense?* I had one of those High Fidelity moments - you know, the fantasy sequence in the movie where John Cusack's character daydreams a witty comeback or a gangster beatdown on the customer from hell?

Instead, I stopped and said "hi, would you be BP from so-and-so school. I'm blah."; it took a second for him to place me and we had a short chat while his girlfriend hovered at the fringes. Having been pleasant and with nothing more to say, I said cheerio. Then the oddest thing happened. I'd always remembered him as this cock-sure king of the world kinda guy, but instead, he made this lame-assed joke and tittered nervously. It was then that I saw through all the years of jokes and gags at other people's cost. As Wee Man and I walked out the shop, I'd got back an extra two inches of height and a f***ing great grin on my face.

I didn't get mum the PJs tho. :-)

* Actually, that's not completely true. One of the group - and I wonder if this shows who your proper mates are (as me Dad would say) said on the subject, "Frankly, my dear - I don't give a damn." which had me chuckling for a while. Cheers to you, C - whatever you're up to.

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