The Machine
Tuesday January 27th 2009, 8:18 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today I played a lot of Darts
(Sounds like someone’s on the dole)
And then I had an afternoon nap
(Sounds like someone’s on the dole)
I drifted slowly into my nap
And then ‘ping’
I appeared in some sort of central lounge with no windows
I was sitting in an armchair
Behind me to my left
I noticed my Dad
He was reading a magazine
In front of me on a corner shelf
Was a small white machine that kept clicking and whirring
It looked like a fax machine
“What’s that machine on the shelf?”
He peered over his glasses
“I don’t know”
I stood up to investigate
And first spotted a cable that was connected to the phone box
So it seemed to be connected to the phone network
Every 10 seconds or so
Some of the numbers on the readout
Would descend
First the left side then the right side
Whilst a bunch of lower numbers were not moving
I lifted the lid
Inside was a group of small silver wheels spinning around
I closed the lid
“Dad…I think I know what it is”
He wasn’t listening
“I think this machine is relaying a live darts score from somewhere”
“Really?…Who’s playing?”
“It doesn’t say”

Tangled Web
Friday January 23rd 2009, 8:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is what happens when you have had a coffee
First thing in the morning
My mind starts to debate my issues
All together
In one mind swirl

1. DWP have decided to bypass my ignorance
And have arranged one of their Nazi medicals for the 30th jan

2. My only defence to keep my current entitlement
Is the palpitations that keep me awake
Some nights of the week

3. I could get a part time job
But the chances of succeeding in doing this
Before 30 jan are slim

4. If I sign off for work now
I will be entitled to £40 per week from DWP
Plus £40 per week from Working Tax for rehab
Plus £450 cash
If the Nazi doctor gets me I will lose it all

5. If I sign off for work now
And not actually do any work
I will get £450
But £200 of that is from an agency
That seems impossible to contact
So there is a good chance of missing out on that

6. If I sign off for work now
I will need evidence that I am working
So I called My old Taxi Boss
Who said that he could provide me with a letter
And a few weekly receipts
And I could get some petrol receipts from another taxi buddy

7. If I sign off for work now
And not do any work
The first £40 will not turn up for 5 weeks
And the housing benefit will stop after 4 weeks

8. If I sign off for work now
And not do any official work
I could respond to an e-mail for filling in data forms at home
But they want £10 up front for training
And there isn’t time to try out the whole process
Before the nazi doctor
And I will still have to use
The evidence from my friends (No.6)
To get the stash (No.4)
Because the data bunch are not an employer

9. If I sign off for work now
And not do any work
And do some unnofficail work
I could work for a chap called Keith
Who was given my number by Sue
He needs someone to run his car business part time
But he hasn’t rang me back
And obviously is unaware of my urgency
And even if he does
He is a car dealer
And won’t provide evidence that I am working for him
So I will still have to use
The evidence from my friends (No.6)
To get the stash (No.4)

10. If I sign off for work now
And not do any work
I will be fucking skint
And the stash (No.4)
Will only be of use
To pay off the giant gas bill that I am expecting

11. I am glad I wrote this down
Because it is looking far simpler
And more practical
To face the Nazi Doctor

12. Living on benefits
Is immenseley complicated
And difficult

13. When I went bankrupt in July
I thought
a) That the rest of the debt free year would be simple
b) And due to tax rules I would be able to keep all this years earnings
c) I haven’t earned anything
d) That advantage has disappeared

14. When will I get back in a taxi?
Well yesterday
I pressganged the doctors receptionist
Into calling the hospital
To track down my treadmill test
She found out
That I will be receiving a letter
With an attached treadmill date in three weeks
Not a test in three weeks
But a letter with a date for the test
It could be may
Before I return to the Alsation hotseat

15. I must switch back to tea in a morning

Tuesday January 20th 2009, 3:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Every morning
I need to scream
I need to scream
I need to scream
To stir the waves
To form like cream
Thick and smooth
And lightly sweet
Rising high above the street
Til I am empty crystal glass
Less all distractions
Free at last
Send my mind
Above abroad
To follow a magical
Coloured brick road
To seek not heart
Nor courage or brain
A simple single aim
That is what I want for me

Give it a rest
Sunday January 18th 2009, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As I headed off to do some grub shopping
There was much talk on the radio about our new shopping habits for 2009
And one of the winners
Was going to be the charity shop
I had to laugh
I already had been a charity shopper
And now I had decided
That I was going to stop shopping altogether
For anything other than food that is
I really must be proper “lower class”
I walked into a charity shop on my route
To pick up some plates that mam had bought me
The shop was packed
I counted 15 people milling around
I pointed it out to both the little old ladies behind the counter
But they seemed non plussed by my observation
So I leaned on the counter in a friendly manner
And brought up the subject of the new shopping habits
Thinking that they may be bouyed
But my ball landed in their court
And bounced slowly passed them
They really didn’t give a shit
I left with my plates

When I got home
I popped on the kettle
And switched on the radio
Radio 5 live
Is now “Recession Live”
And it seemed today
That they may have been running out of ideas
It’s understandable
If you are covering something every day
For most of the day
And the economy is massive
And is turning like a super tanker
They must have had a ‘cage rattling’ meeting that morning
Because what they were talking about was ridiculous
“Ghost Towns”
For the whole of the morning
They were pushing and probing callers
Bending them to their way
And occaisonally they would read out a text
Blaming the media for whipping up despair
They read them
Then disregard them without any discussion
They really are responsible for a large part of this problem
But they won’t acknowledge this responsibility
A big part of the economic situation is confidence
And they are hacking away at it like lumberjacks
Never will they be satisfied
No matter how bad it gets
They are insatiable

Somethings Eating Me
Saturday January 10th 2009, 3:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am pacing around in the kitchen
Trying to clean up
But somethings eating me
Don’t you ever get that?
You just don’t feel right
I can sense something approaching in the ether
I think about it long and hard
To get to the bottom of it
And lay a blanket over these feelings
But nothing comes
No thought can alleviate the edginess
Then the phone goes
I answer it
“Could I speak to Mr Dial please”
“He’s not in” I say “Who’s calling?”
“It’s the Dole Office”
I blink several times
They are ringing me on a Saturday
I put the phone down
And realise
That this is what has been bugging me all morning
Things are starting to conclude
I have been on incapacity for about six months since my first hospital test
And about to receive a clutch of benefits
That are related to going back to work
And I want to go back to work
I am looking forward to it
But I am being held up by the NHS
And my fitness certificate to get back my licence
The dole office however
Seem keen to thwart me
Yesterday I received a letter from DWP
They want to arrange a medical
In big block letters it says
You must arrange an appointment
With one of their unsympathetic nazi doctors
Who would seamlessly move me from incapacity to dole
And I would lose all of the extras that are due to me
I must avoid these people until I have seen my dole agent
(She is on my side)
I have brought forward the apppointment to Tuesday
There I need to make sure that six months has passed
And arrange all these extras
And promptly sign off
As if I have started work
I will have to ride out the gap
It’s all a bit stressfull
When you have already ran out of money
Just gotta cross me fingers
And hope everything goes to plan

Yule Tidemark
Saturday January 03rd 2009, 3:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s the day after Boxing day
And despite my aversion to direct whingeing
Something that used to drive me to will people out of the cab
Today was just an accumulation of wrongness
Yes wrongness
That has accumulated over the Yuletide period

Firstly my mother
She arrived last Sunday
And woke up the following day with a minging cold
Though she is insistent on it being flu
And if you think of Manflu as something that is augmented by complaining
Then you haven’t come across this version of Grandma flu
She has made it known
At every opportunity
The full and extreme extent of this illness
And today it got worse

I spent the most of the morning
On Christmas house clean up part 2
It has taken 2 days because of the ‘sick’

After steadying my mother back to her bed
I managed to content her by setting her up with a laptop
And a re-run of Twin Peaks
And a cup of tea

Then some school mumfolk rang us
To offer to take out Junior for a country walk
I said yes at first
Then after a moment of thought
I called her back and said no
I explained that Junior has ‘worms’
And that it is causing him problems in the toilet zone
Basically we are going through a lot of pants
And he is having a lot of showers
I think I am also infected

In the early afternoon I spent some time preparing
To take a few things into the hospital for Mrs Dial
Another part of the christmas wrongness
After a week of being pregnant
We had a calamity on Christmas Night
Mrs Dial went into miscarriage
There was a lot of blood loss
And the calling out of an ambulance
Mess and distress and tiredness

I sat and prepared some entertainment
On a spare laptop
And took it to the hospital
I had to carry Junior to and from the various bus stops

She was looking well and happy
And was receiving a new supply of blood
It turned out that she had lost half of her blood
And would have to spend the next few days at the hospital

I returned home
As Junior steadfastly refused to go to the shops with me
When we got in
Junior went to the computer to log on to ‘club penguin’
But Mother had switched it off
And something odd was happening
There was a big system error
And I had to head into the bios
A dangerous place for a non nerd
Halfway through Junior started pestering me
And I snapped at him
Then Mother Dial started chipping in
“Did you walk to the hospital?”
“No…Junior wouldn’t walk…so we got a bus?”
“He said it was because his legs were cold”
“I doubt it…he just didn’t want to walk anywhere”
“But you said earlier that Junior was perfectly cabable of knowing his own temperature…when I was telling you to get him dressed”
I turned round…I was on the verge of exploding
The computer kept sending me back to the same place
My mother was sticking me in the back with one of her
‘I told you so’ arguments
Junior wouldn’t keep still
I was really tired
Mother continued
“So Junior doesn’t know when it’s too cold then?”
I wheeled round and glowered
One tries to hold a diatribe down
It’s like holding down an oncoming puke
Until a whiff or taste just brings it out
And the memory of the constant whinging
This bin needs emptying
Juniors left some clothes on the bathroom floor
There’s still some blood on the toilet
This tea is too strong
Sort out that draught in the bedroom
I am right
You’re wrong
I am right
You’re wrong
She’s sitting over there right now
She doesn’t know that I’m writing this
My mother is a Trans-Dimensional Pole Beast
If things don’t line up in the direction of mothers pole
She is not happy and she fires up
And you might think at first you can influence her into another direction of thinking
But you soon realise that her pole
Is out of phase with the rest of the world
It sits in the dimension
Where logic doesn’t exist
And leads only to the grip of infuriation
Here is an example
My mother is absolutely insistent that she has the flu
I told her in the first instance
That influenza is rare
My doctor was quite specific
When I offered him my own self diagnosis once
I was in an awful state at the time
But he just sat there shaking his head
Mother is all set to go back to spain and kick ass with the person who smit her with it
Thus ruining her xmas and ours
So I pointed out to her that the person in Spain who apparently gave it to her
Has only a cold
We heard this the other day
And I pointed out that she has smit Junior with it
And he appears to have a cold
“So…Richard has a cold and gives you the flu”
“And with that flu…you give Junior a cold”
“Yes” she said “That’s exactly how it is”
Then she marched off growling something about me never backing her up

So wound up as I was
I lurched forward with my finger pointing
Breathless convulsion and a rising escaping diatribe
“For fuck’s sake…will you fuckin stop arguing with me…
…everything I do you’re picking fault with…
…everything I haven’t done around the house…
…you’re looking for it so you can tell me to do it…
…and then it’s not bastard good enough…
…cause I haven’t done it your way…
…I’ve spent the whole of Christmas looking after the sick…
…a constant carousel of cleaning shopping and cooking…
…The only time I have had to myself is when I have been walking somewhere…
…I’ve had enough…give it a fuckin rest…
…You’re not helping matters

I took a breath and stopped
And mother went quiet
The computer miraculously started
Great…I could leave
It was 7pm
I still had to do some shopping
And some cooking

One of the problems to compound this Christmas
Was finally running out of money
On the 23rd of December
I was gearing up for ‘Manshopday’
Traditionally known as Christmas eve
‘Manshopday’ is the day when real men do their Christmas shopping
Men who like to take risks
Men who like to build things
Men who would fight
Should this land ever really need defending
‘Manshopday’ is the day they shop
Often seen wandering the town
With just the one carrier bag
And a vacant look
They sometimes chance to bump into each other
And tempt one another with the pub
Thereby leaving it daringly late
As shop doors start to close all around them
They will usually just make the finish line
With that one roll of inadequate wrapping paper
Tucked under their arm
But this year it wasn’t for me
I checked the bank account
And all I had left was £23
There it was again the number 23
Some people fear the number 23 is an omen of bad luck
I prefer to see it as a challenge
When it appears in certain situations
One needs to be ready and alert for a trap

As I headed for Tesco the £23 was in my pocket
I whizzed round the store
And collected about £12 worth of stuff
I got to the till
And handed the woman the whole £23
A twenty pound note and three pound coins
With the intention
That she would give me back
A ten pound note and a few coins
At that point I switched off
As I loaded the bag
I left the building and hopped on the bus with me pass
And travelled two stops down the line
I got off and went into the local to get some phone credit for Mrs Dial
On the way round I grabbed a carton of Orange for Junior
At the till I turfed through my pockets looking for that tenner
My last tenner
It wasn’t there
I checked the Tesco receipt
The damned till woman had thought that I had given her £13
I dashed out of the shop heading for Tesco
There were no buses in sight so I had to do a ten minute walk
When I got to the till
I realised that the woman didn’t speak much English
It took sometime before I could get the matter even considered
And was eventually ushered off by security
Who took my name and address
And never got back to me

On the way back
I chanced on a cash machine
And gave it a try
Bingo…£70 had appeared
All I dare take was a tenner
I popped back into the newsagent
And made a second attempt at getting Mrs Dial’s phone credit
As I entered the girl had gone
And the man was distracted with another customer
When I eventually asked him for it
He looked down at the carton of Orange under my arm
“I’ve already paid for that”
He raised one of his eyebrows
The guy is an asshole
I have had disagreements with him before
There was a pause
I dropped the orange on the counter
“Fuck it…I don’t want anything”
“I’ve had it with this shop”

I went home and cooked
Two different meals
One for me and Ma
One for fussy Junior

After this I sat there staring into space
For about ten minutes
Then I took a breath
And set about clearing all the bedding from the beds
I gave out worming tablets to the sick
And then replaced all the bedding
I then called Mrs Dial
To tell her that the phone credit mission had failed
She told me that the laptop
Which I had spent an hour preparing
With a bunch of entertainment
Had failed to turn on
It was just a picture with no icons
I felt a real urge not to accept defeat
To get out my day pass
And catch a bus to the hospital
To sort it out
But she was going to go to sleep

So instead I crawled into Juniors bed
To read him a bedtime story
“tim the tiny horse” by Harry Hill
I reached the part
When tim…who was a horse the size of a mouse
Was looking at his christmas present
His friend the fly had given him a christmas cracker
He pondered for a moment
What to do with it on his own
So he wedged one half of it in the door crack
And pulled
And pulled
And pulled
Until the cracker snapped
Unfortunately the door had won
Now tim the tiny horse was in a quandry
Should he take the door’s winnings?
I fell into a tired helpless laugh
For ages
I couldn’t read anymore
Just a wobbling giggle

I wasn’t in bed long myself
When I found myself in the middle of some action
I was driving a smaller than usual Mini
Down the hill of Trafalgar Street
I turned into a square archway on the right
And stopped underneath it
I got out
And opened the little boot hatch
Inside was a bomb the size of a small suitcase
Surrounded by circuitry
I selected three switches
Closed the boot and set off down the street
I did not hear the explosion
But realised later that I had killed hundreds of people
I had parked under a gas storage tank
For what seemed like days
I was on the run
For the most part
I was convinced that my life was at a ruinous end
Until at last a vigilante mob caught up with me
And an innocent friend
After chasing us to the edge of a massive precipice
I thought they were going to shove us off
So I protested the other guys innocence
But they dragged us back
Pushing me off was too good for me they said
They had worse in store for me
But couldn’t decide what
And started arguing amongst themselves
The argument escalated into fighting
So I grabbed one of their guns and ran for it
For once
I wasn’t trying to run through drying porridge
I was a swift as a gazelle
Until I was halted by a fast flowing river
They were almost upon me
I had no choice but to jump in the river
As I did I fired into them
It was a bloody water pistol
I could see them laughing
As I became swamped by the water

I awoke
It took me a few moments
To grasp that I wasn’t a fugitive
Then I got up
I stood and pondered for a moment
The words of the taxi driving nutter
Bobby who picks me up from Tesco
“Everything is temporary”
It gave me heart
At some point soon
Yuletide will become Yulebb
And we will be able to get on with the recession
I made breakfast with new found energy
And then got on with the chores

At Midday I got a call from me dad
My Grandmother had died
She was a 102
And recently had a fall
Requiring a hip replacement
It didn’t take
And she had to go back in again
After my dad had signed heaps of forms
She vanished with the anaesthetic

It might sound like a bad end to this epic entry
But the last time I saw my Grandma
She wanted to go
It was all that she wanted
To float off and be reunited with Grandpa Dial
To drift past all the levels
Of the dead trapped on the plateau of their religous beliefs
To where Dennis sits
In true ‘Dial Style’ atheist freedom

Phylliss Dial

Motown Top Ten
Friday January 02nd 2009, 9:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yesterday I switched on the radio
It had been left on Radio 2
Bleating away with his usual enthusiasm
Was Paul Campogenie
He was running down a top ten of some sorts
Of Motown tracks

The resulting run down
Epitomised everything that is wrong with this world
It left me thinking
That one day
Wars could be fought over taste alone
And I would probably part of a minority Avant Guard
Even being outnumbered over a 1000 to 1
I would be up for the fight

With the whole back catalogue
Of the Great Motown available
To the voting public
It came in as follows
Number 1
I just called to say I love you
Stevie Wonder
Number 2
Lionel Ritchie
Number 3
I can’t fucking remember
I tried
But all there was
Was a sigh
And I switched over to constant birdsong channel