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The Kennel Kernel

Now showing on Sunday Night at The Cranium.

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Itís Sunday night at The Cranium, & according to my calculations on the back of my daily stamped meds, weíre about due for a premiere showing. What might the unmarvelous, blackmagical mindfuckorgan have instore for tonightís Technicolor transmission? Letís add a primary smoking ingredient to usual multilayered guilt trip-The Spiderwick Chronicles that Iíd watched during the afternoon. Curtain time, grab your popcorn, slurp the slursh & if you like we can wind back the clock & you can sit on the left handside & light yourself a tab. You might as well be comfortable.

I find myself at my old primary school friendís Simonís house. Oddly it isnít his parentís home, but I donít know any other. The phone rings & itís a landline. Which timestamps it, but again, inconsistently. He passes it to me & says Ďitís Jo.í Iím a little taken back, seeing as that would have been my uni ex of some decades ago & HTF did she know Simonís number? I am terribly pleased though-my fondest of the fondest- & I manage a friendly Ďhello & what a lovely surprise etc.í ĎNever mind all that,í she says, Ďitís high time you came & saw me. Iíve arranged something, so Iíd really like you to be there.í Strewth, itís just like it was all yesterday. She goes on firmly about something that I canít quite catch, so I ask her to repeat it. This gets an annoyed & still uncatchable response, but I let it go. Bound to be some minor dig disguised as a detail if things are running true to usual. Iím really looking forward to meeting her. For once I have the upper hand-she thinks itís 20 years ago & I know it isnít. This has potential.

Jump Cut to standing outside a bookshop in London. Weíve agreed to meet here. Itís an unusual looking affair with really intricate window display that seems to be cascading down a set of steps. Think Strictly here. And then, all of a sudden Iím through the glass & find myself trying to clamber up these steps & avoid treading on the soft toys, props & not to fall over. It just keeps on going up & Iím wondering how on earth Iím ever going to find her in such a vast place. If this is just the window how huge is the rest of it? I manage to get to the top & swing over, knocking a few items off with my bag so they bounce down the window steps & start to knock other carefully placed things over, starting a dominoes effect. I donít look. I know what chaos is going to happen-it always does. And there she is, right in front of me-hurrah! Jo glances over the edge & looks back at me & says Ďyou canít do anything normally can you?í And then we go for a coffee in this bookshop. She tells me that the shop's name is something like Ďharrowgateí & that itís been in her family for years. ĎDidnít I tell you this?í she asks, meaning Ďyou werenít listening to me, again.í Errr, no, but that is possible. Before I can say anything Jo looks at my bag and then says, ĎI bet you forgot to bring your trunks.í What? ĎTell me you didnít-that was the whole point.í What, what? She opens my bag, & under the zip is a pair of rather bright long legged shorty type swimming trunks, on top of a towel. ĎOh well done, Iím sorry I doubted you.í Well stone the crows-fucked if I know how they got in there, but I go with this piece of luck without revealing the fluke.

Weíre off for a swim now & we go through halls full of books & toys & then turn into some kind of skylit atrium with huge stone baths in it. In the middle of a shop. Iím slightly agog. Jo behaves like itís the most natural thing in the world & says, Ďletís get changed & Iíll meet you out here.í And before I can ascertain exactly where, because itís huge & I wonít be wearing glasses she disappears. I open a door & walk in. Of course itís the wrong room & the girls howl me out. Open another door. This has a sort of oiled gladiator look about it & the tall everyone blonde, draped in white athletic men all stop talking & look at fat old me. Uhoh. I open a door off this room & bingo. Itís a small private room with red bath, loo, bidet etc. Thatíll do nicely. I think, I know Iíll grab a quick shower right now, because all swimming pool changing rooms have showers donít they. Not this little one, so I go to wash my hair in the sink. No sink. Oh no. Itíll have to be the bidet then. I donít know why** I have to wash my hair, but it seems really important. Turn on the taps & start to undress. Bingley tinkle crack. Yes, both taps have fallen off the bidet & itís geysering to the ceiling & back (**I do actually know the genesis of this-itís not very pleasant but I was incredibly sick a bit earlier-to the extent that I had to have a shower after, which is a 1st for me. Iím still cleaning the bathroom now..). Well be a shame not to take advantage & Iím going to be in trouble whatever happens, so I use this waterfall as my shower. Thereís a banging on the door. The jolly tanned & muscled men want to know whatís going on. Itís flooding, thatís whatís going on. There is only one thing to do. Grab a towel & leg it.

Yes, for once in my life I make a move in the correct direction! Or so it seemed. Iím back in the swimming pools alright, but not where I started. Iím in the childrenís area, with a far too short towel & nothing else. This is not going to look good. Then I Ďrealizeí, or more precisely a part of me realizes, that Iím going to meet my ex in her swim suit, all wet & she thinking weíre still on. I thought I was so lucky with my baggy shorts, but theyíre on the bathroom floor. Itís going to be tricky hiding a priapic moment in this kind of towel. This is going to be really, really bad so I make to get away as fast as I can. Would have been handy if that been a frigidarium en route, but you canít have everything.

Ah, back in the shop again. Oh well, itís better than the last location for an arrest for indecent exposure & being equipped. Keep moving & pretend itís all perfectly normal. Front it out. And Iím wandering down some stairs & there are loads of copies of a book that has ĎJo recommendsí banner over the fronts. Rows & rows of them. I open one up & itís a highly illustrated childrenís book. Very well done, but to my eyes, nothing special. Cannot see for the life of me what made her go for it in such a big way. I carry on down the stairs. Oh no-I really should have anticipated this-the signs were there. Iím in the kids section & I can hear voices behind me. And this time thereís no exit. Aaagh, hide. Chuck all the books off the bottom of this stack of shelves & climb on & try & pull the books in front of me. Hey ho, wait. I can see light. I wonder if I just squeeze through thereÖ

Itís big hall time again. Cathedral like actually. And there are groups of people with someone in the middle of each of them, giving a talk. I wander round & every talk is fascinating. I want to hear all of them & Iím wondering how Iím going to do this. Start somewhere, so I sit down. Thereís an erudite looking chap opposite me, who looks at me, smiles & looks away, listening to the talk. I get the gist & I think that if I round robin the lot then maybe I can get back to this one, see if I can fill in the gaps & repeat round again. Next group, sit down & again, opposite, is the same gentleman. He smiles once again & hands me a heavy, thick board backed book. ĎYou might find this of interestí & he stands up & quickly wanders off. Well you could have written Ďunder no circumstances EVER open thisí all over it, but Iíd still have to have a peek. I open the cover & itís full of long pieces of dark polished hardwood fitted together in square. Sort of like parquet flooring. WTF? So I get up to go & find this fellow & discover what heís on about. I pass a workman with a tool belt whoís attending to something. ĎGood isnít ití he says to me. I turn around & itís the same man in work clothes. ĎCleverest thing out is wood & what you can do with it. Books are wood really, arenít they?í And he takes a small piece of wood from the box book & uses it to finish what heís doing. Itís some kind of churchy thing, but he wordlessly beckons me to have a closer look. Inside there is a network of water pipes. Oh no-heís going to turn into Bob Ďoskins. Iíve seen this film & it didnít end well, whichever way you interpret it. The riot police are going to burst through the windows & Iím in for strap down in the seatless chair & prescribed wet & 240volt treatment administered from an unearthed electric carpet beater. Iím not having this, and this is a dream so I try to emerge from it. Like an upwards dive. Blessedly for once it works. There I am, at the top of an underground station, clothed & dry. & most relieving of all, there is Jo. ĎAh there you are,í she says. ĎI thought youíd got lost again. Come on.í And we sweep past an exit. ĎHold on,í I say. ĎI must show you this. Iíve seen this before.í She looks bemused, which is attractively rare. ĎYou canít have-youíve never been here.í ĎYes, I know, thatís the strange thing. But I have seen it before-itís that dream I was telling you about ages ago. Straight out of that exit & turn right are all little white houses, & a green & a river & a lighting shop & after that is the flat where you all live upstairs. It has a nice line in glass tables & cutlery. Except that you donít because you live in a semi in W4.í You look stunned-Iím liking this look a lot too. And then it comes to me that actually, Iíve only half dived. This is a dream, within another dream with content from yet another dream, made to look real. Oh fucking hell-it IS that film. Bob-back the fuck away from me. NOW.

And in another cruel streak of injustice, Iím just about to coyly suggest that there might just be time for, well, you know, one last proper goodbye, in that passport photo booth behind the curtain, before they bring on the rubber hoses, when my stomach propels me to the newly cleaned bathroom. To really rub it in, the priapic moment has arrived as well. Late, inappropriate & useless. As ever.

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  1. Dai's Avatar
    That's why I never eat cheese before bed.

    Bit of a mind fuck that. Glad it was yours and not mine! I'm feeling strangely normal after reading that and normal is something I rarely feel, so thanks for that.
  2. Editor's Avatar
    delighted to be able to make a contribution towards good mental elf!
  3. Dai's Avatar
    I've re-read that and I reckon there's a musical in it you know.
  4. Editor's Avatar
    I've never been the same about musicals since returning home stoned out of our gourds, switching on the TV, rolling yet another one & then the TV says, 'loose shoes, tight pussy & a warm place to shit.'
  5. Editor's Avatar
    blimey-this has just had its turn at the top of the blogs. Forgotten all about this one (well it is 4 years ago) but guess what-3 days ago I had another revisit to the parquet flooring puzzle.

    I'm at a total loss to determine what on earth is going on with the puzzle/wood/floor combination. Anyone any sort of idea here?? Please!

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