I met an acquaintance I hadn’t seen for a few years. ‘What are you up to?’ she asked. ‘I’m waiting to be cut,’ I replied. She looked blank. I explained my fear of being made a victim of George Osborne’s fiscal sadism. ‘Oh, I see,’ she said, ‘I thought for a minute that you were waiting to have some operation. Like the snip.’ We laughed, it not occurring to us that we are all, in a sense, waiting for the snip, and if not the snip then an operation that will involve snipping. Danny Alexander, young enough to be my grandson, announced more snips the other day. I read the list before going to bed and slept very well as none of his snippings involved me.
But I can’t talk about politics. I don’t know the language. I can’t talk about landladies either because they’d kill me. She’s gone away for a few days, my l-lady, leaving me to feed Nicotine. Which is not a euphemism for my smoking habit (I don’t have one) but an allusion to the cutting up of M&S organic chicken and the feeding of it to a seventeen-year-old cat called Nicotine who has reached that grand old age precisely because she’s been on a rigorous life-long diet of bran biscuits and responsibly sourced meats. But at least I don’t have to pay any rent. Well, not until the landlady discovers my blogging activities and her inclusion therein. Oh, let’s throw caution to the wind and assume that the l-lady will be delighted to find she is being blogged about. After all, there’s only one thing worse than being blogged about, and that’s not being blogged about.
This is my sixth post and I still haven’t found a subject about which I can safely blog. There is IBS, of course, but is irritable bowel syndrome a suitable subject for blogging? To get to the point: have I got IBS? Does anyone, apart from me, care if I’ve got IBS? If I feature in the list of cuts in today’s budget and all I am left with is IBS and blogging, then what hope is there? An IBS blog. That’s where the hope lies. Unless the blog is cut as well.
Last Sunday I came perilously close to having a bowel explosion in the middle of Dalberg Road, Brixton. It would have been the fifth such incident in my lifetime, previous explosions having occurred in the queue for the boys' toilet in Mrs. Long's class at St. Winefride's Convent School circa 1968, in a disused outhouse on Battersea Rise, behind a stack of garbage cans outside a swanky Manhattan apartment block (significantly only a few weeks after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre) and, most recently, on platform 9 of Waterloo Station, where I found myself ducking down behind a workers’ hut one cold evening in 2001 and not so much opening my bowels as letting them have their say. Displaying great quickness of thought, I concealed the spreading lake of diarrhea beneath copies of The Evening Standard and Metro. The following morning I had to pass through the station again. I noticed, with a quiet satisfaction, that platform 9 had been cordoned off.