Tuesday, 19 July 2016

In Celebration of the Sneeze

I love to sneeze, me. I enjoy the explosiveness. In otherwise sedate situations one can really let rip. I am and always have been a ‘good girl’; polite, trying to do the right thing, but let me tell you, when I sneeze everybody knows about it! It is joyful, loud, wild.
You can tell a lot about people’s personalities from how they sneeze. I tend to ‘Aaahoo’, I know a jolly sort who goes ‘Atchooee’ and an excellent friend of mine does a wonderfully sergeant-majorly ‘Atchoom’. I shan’t share my conclusions, save to say I would never romance a supressed sneezer; a hanky-swallowed squeaker will never a great lover make.
   Yes, I have always enjoyed my facial exclamations, ideally in volleys of four or more, but recently they have taken on new dimensions. From a few months ago I have started to move when I sneeze. It’s a well-known fact that you can’t keep your eyes open during a sneeze, and in that millisecond when my eyes are shut, I physically relocate.
   It started off only being about a metre or two and I thought I was maybe imagining things, until I actually materialised in my boss’s office. Luckily her door was open; even so it took some quick thinking to explain my sudden appearance on top of her filing cabinet.
   The next evolution of my sneeze has been that I now sometimes move in time. Only by five minutes at first, but in the last few weeks as much as half an hour. I have benefitted from the high pollen count. Generally I have been getting away with it, my boss thinks I am amazingly efficient, being in two places at the same time, but my untimely presence has caused confusion among colleagues, and on occasion I have had to hide from my future and past selves so as not to give myself a heart attack.
   It has made my life a lot more interesting. It has, you might say, reinvigorated me, which is what any good sneeze should do. I am experimenting in controlling my time and space travel with significant success. I have procured some snuff so I can continue my investigations. I will report back with my findings.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Flash: Gay Toothpaste

He is sweating in front of my counter. ‘I wonder if you can help me. I’m looking for gay toothpaste.’
I frown at him. ‘Does that even exist?’
‘Um, my girlfriend was talking about it.’
‘So, why do you want it?’
‘Because… I’m gay,’ he looks around to make sure nobody is close enough to hear.
‘Does your girlfriend know?’ I ask.
‘Err, no,’ he says.
That’s not very fair, I think, but I don’t say anything. I am obliged to help. 
This department store has most things that I can think of and a lot I can’t. I take him to the dental area but it is not there. We try male grooming products, no gay toothpaste to be found.
‘Why aren’t you Out?’ I ask, trying to make conversation as I lead him down a swooping staircase to another section of the shop.
‘Snakes and Ladders,’ he says, by way of explanation. I am no wiser.
After several more failures including an embarrassing bisexual boxers blunder I take him to my last resort. I summon the lift and we wait patiently for it to arrive.
‘She dumped me,’ he says, as we stand waiting, ‘my girlfriend.’
‘I’m sorry.’
‘We were in the supermarket arguing about toothpaste, and she said we needed different brands and that it was over.’
I watch the numbers light up as the lift grudgingly makes its way down from the thirtieth floor.
 ‘She told me she was in love with the postman. I should have realised; she kept ordering things that wouldn’t fit through the letter box so he’d have to knock. It was me that opened the door when he delivered Snakes and Ladders. He did have nice legs, I'll give her that.’
The lift finally arrives and we get in. I press the bottom button and we travel down to the sub-basement, which is where the Miscellaneous section is. Young Michael works here; a lovely lad, but shy, and so this department, that people rarely visit, suits his introspective nature.
We walk out of the lift as Michael is bringing in large boxes of stock to unpack.
‘This is Miscellaneous Michael,’ I tell my customer, ‘If he can’t help you then nobody can!’
The two young men glance at each other. Michael, I notice, looks rather fetching in his fitted work shirt, and has a healthy gleam about him.
‘Gay toothpaste,’ I say to him.
His mouth drops.
‘What?’ I ask.
He nods down to the box he is holding, which I now see is full of rainbow-patterned toothpaste tubes.
‘Perfect timing!’ I say.
The two lads grin at each other.
I have fulfilled my purpose so leave Michael to make the sale.