I have never been entirely certain that my Brain is on my side.
It plays music to itself almost constantly. I don’t mean like some Albert Hall conductor ponce, I mean something more akin to a teenager with a new Dansette, six 45rpm records all by the same heart-throb crooner and with twenty-four hours a day to kill in the room at the top of my spinal-column staircase.
My dreams are more intense, dominating and action-packed than is my waking life. I have recurring dreams, serial dreams, two dozen or more entire and complete, unchanging dream “landscapes” that serve as the settings and even though I can wake myself up during dreams and can be self-aware and change the course of (some of) my dreams, it doesn’t matter – next time I go to sleep they just continue from where we, Brain and I, left off.
When I am awake Brain insists on filtering everything so that it presents as almost cartoon-form, and if the dialogue, mine or that of others, isn’t grammatically spot-on then brain will insist on the most ludicrous interpretation possible.
A news headline such as ‘Woman killed in car accident on M3’ simply causes the homunculus between my ears to comment ‘Bastards! Why kill her when she was already having a lousy day, having been involved in a car accident? Taking the opportunity while she and others were distracted, I suppose.’
It’s really not very nice sometimes, and although it may sometimes not appear so, I do do (Dodo doo-doo) an awful lot of damage limitation and control, keeping my gob shut in spite of outbursts from Brain. It’s what I manage not to say that makes John West salmon the best. I remember once in my first office job a beaming couple brought their new grubling baby in for everyone to gawp at (for some unaccountable reason, producing babies is hardly akin to splitting the atom or capturing the Mona Lisa’s expression just before she belched, is it?). Before I knew what was happening I could hear a pair of lips expostulating ‘Christ! That’s the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen!’ Though not under my control, those lips were mine…
To be fair to Brain, it was a “remarkable” baby. Remarkable in the sense of “fetch me a crucifix” and “fetch flaming brands” and “don’t, please, let the sun go down until we’ve dealt with this”. To be fair to me, there’s just nothing to be done after that sort of thing. Slink away in shame, apologise all you like, none of it makes the slightest difference. You just have to pretend that it didn’t happen and hope that everyone else joins in the farce. ‘Mortifying’ is a lovely word, and one that often hangs around more often than it ought, although not for the same reasons as Norbert or Dentressangle.
Walking past an empty lock I have to consciously wrestle with a temptation to lob myself bodily in. It’s not that I want to, just that Brain thinks that it might be hilarious. Anything for a laugh, eh? I am well wise to the antics now. There’s no danger, unless one of my knees gives way suddenly… or someone upon whose baby “I” have commented finds me at a lock sans witnesses or cctv… 😉
Another of the delights of Brain is Trypophobia. If you knew the discomfort in obtaining that link you’d almost certainly laugh contemptuously; most do. Internet searches these days return images as well as text and links, and sites about trypophobia are awash with images that chuffing well trigger the effects – physical “skin crawling” “flesh creeping” discomfort, a need to be most urgently elsewhere, nausea and some level of panic.
I kid you not.
My personal theory is that the maternity home (Croft Baker, in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire), built me on a Friday afternoon from bits that they found on the floor.
I was assembled by drunken medical students working from instructions they found inside a Christmas cracker (in June).
Let’s face it, high-quality raw materials are just not going to be readily available in Cleethorpes at the best of times, are they?
Gods alone know what I would look like were I a car. A two-stroke diesel Isetta Bubble Car with three steering wheels, six reverse gears, no seat and a handbrake made from spaghetti, probably. Poop-poop! [Not “parp-parp”.]
So; Norbert Dentressangle.
I can type that now because it doesn’t matter – it’ll be going around in my head for days, maybe even weeks. Some phrases do that, and I don’t mean that they pop in and out for amusing consideration once in a while. Oh no. Such a phrase will be pushing itself to the forefront of my brain every two or three seconds, blotting out what I ought to be thinking of and/or causing a log-jam and congestion among other thoughts.
If I wake up in the night a little voice will give me just enough time to find the light switch and then it will begin bouncing around like a kid in a sweetshop, riding around the inside of my skull on a unicycle, shouting through a megaphone: ‘NORBERT DENTRESSANGLE! NORBERT DENTRESSANGLE! NORBERT DENTRESSANGLE! NORBERT DENTRESSANGLE! NORBERT DENTRESSANGLE! …’ until I go back to me (vivid, serial, sometimes lucid or semi-lucid and oft-repeating) dreams.
Really, it’s fun!
You’re never alone with a brain like mine.
I can go a long, long time between “Norbert Dentressangles”. The current one was caused by a narrowboat book that I was re-enjoying. Narrow Dog to Carcassonne. Tum ti tum te tum ti tum, read-y read-y read-y, page turn page turn page turn and then the idiot author slaps “Norbert Dentressangle” in the text for no really good reason. To be fair, there are a lot of other words and phrases of that “shape” and character that would have had the same effect. The author can’t be blamed.
Now I enter a phase that will, at some point, have me suddenly thinking to myself ‘Hey – I haven’t thought “Norbert Dentressangle” for a while!’ – thus starting the homunculus off all over again… and for another few days the word or phrase or sound will be following me around again like a cloud of farm flies in summer.
Seriously, it’s f.u.n. with a capital please s.t.f.u., Brain, for the love of Zeus and Apollo.
In the days when I used to drive (when I had a car – so much less embarrassing to be on the roads when you have a car, no-one these days seems to appreciate Toad of Toad Hall impressions on the M6…) all that was needed was to see a “Norbert” lorry.
Eddie Stobart, on the other
axle hand, was never a cause for Brain to break out the finger-bells and begin chanting. I can say ‘Eddie Stobart’ and then not have to say it again until next time I need to.
My ever-present consolation is that I am, therefore, quite normal and far, far more sane than most of you out there in Blogland.
On a less Mimi, less navel-gazing note, what happened yesterday, when all of my dreams were sofa away?
Well, in the one house nearby Daddy decided to burn the Christmas rubbish – and forgot to check the direction of the local breeze-ette. The family home was kippered.
I was, yesterday, the only boat (well, the Cardinal was the boat, I’m just the skipper) on this stretch, something on the order of a third to half an empty, country mile.
So where did Mr Angler and family and yappy yappy yappy dogs set up camp? Ten feet away from the Cardinal’s bow, and then he, and they, proceeded to “angle” two feet off the bow and a similar distance off the stern. People and dogs up and down the side of the only boat moored here (mine) all day long. Share the space, the Canal Rozzers tell us.
No, no, huddle together near the strange boat for warmth, reply the anglers.
When Daddy wasn’t walking up and down to change from bow to stern the kids and the dogs (not all shown here) were running back and forth, from one t’other.
Why? I mean why would you set up shop for a family expedition (which only the father was enjoying) right next to, around and about, almost all over, the only boat moored here?
It beggars belief.
Worm-danglers of the world untie!
The bread of my previous post turned out to be (I would estimate) three-quarters bread and only one-quarter brickish. It’s very tasty, anyway, and has made some fine toast & Marmite. The Cardinal’s oven doesn’t quite get hot enough for bread methinks, sometimes the heat just bores the dough to death rather than baking it. I make smaller, shallower, narrower loaves to compensate. Or buns. Nice buns, Vicar. Are there speciality bakeries that bake tur-buns for Sikhs? Wheeeee! Norbert Dentressangle.
The odd pattern on the body of the loaf is because I line the tin with baking paper, and I’m none too prissy about flattening it all out as well as I ought. The Artex texture of the top is probably because I didn’t knead it enough. Will you still knead me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four? Conjugate “knead”; I knead, you knud, they kned, we all kneadled.
Today is Sunday in that little oasis of non-descript nothingness between Spendmas and New Year. We’ve got a smidgen of weak sunshine here at the moment. The solar panels are sipping at the photon-ambrosia the way that bed-ridden invalids sip at Lucozade and then, with each cloud that passes, falling back onto their pillows with an exhausted thump.
More bread, I think, although today I’ll make it flat flat flat, with rosemary and garlic (other popular-beat duos are available).
I wonder if the anglers will come back to play?
Where will I hide the bodies if they do?
Ian H., & Co.