Black Friday

ANYONE with an atom of sense knows that if you buy eggs you place them at the top of your shopping bag or trolley and not at the bottom where they will inevitably be crushed by other purchases.

And that’s exactly what I did last Friday afternoon after buying a tray of 24. Then disaster struck. A little old lady lost her balance on the bus in which I was travelling and crashed into my shopping bag. There was a sickening crunch. When I got home, I knew the bag would be a horror, but I underestimated the sheer scale of the mishap. All but one of the eggs had broken, and a week’s shopping beneath was soaked in yolk and albumen.

This was the third of a number of incidents that set me thinking that I’d somehow annoyed Eris, the Greek goddess of strife and discord. First, my freezer decided to take a leak. When I got up to make my first cup of coffee of the day, I skidded in a pool of water in the kitchen and ended up flat on my back. Then I discovered a glitch in the comments section of one of the websites I run. Normally, I get loads of comments beneath each item I post, but I noticed that several days’ posts had not attracted a single comment. Puzzled, I checked the moderation folder, and found that several hundred were languishing there, waiting approval.

Further investigation revealed that Disqus, through which all comments are funnelled, had – without warning – erected a barrier against hundreds of ‘restricted’ words: words like ‘beer,’ ‘monster,’ ‘idiot,’ ‘pot,’ ‘crack,’ ‘gay,’ ‘panties’ and, most most unfathomable of all, ‘job.’ Meanwhile I was getting dozens of emails and messages from angry commentators demanding an explanation for what they perceived as censorship on my part. But the worst was yet to come.

After I had dealt with the website problem and returned home late with my shopping, I set about washing dishes at around 11.30pm. I then got distracted by a phone call. As I was speaking, I became aware of water lapping at my feet. Realising I’d left the tap running, I sprinted into the kitchen to turn it off, skidded and crashed to the tiles – again! Then the lights went out.

Water had seeped into our cooker and tripped the main fuse. So by torchlight and standing in an inch of water, I had to get into the electrics of the cooker and dry everything off. An hour later I managed to restore the electric supply, and it took 90 minutes to mop up the water. Then I knocked my mobile phone into the filled-to-the-brim mop bucket. Of course by then my plan to sit down in front of the telly with a steak dinner was out of the question. So, I chose a curry pot noodle instead.

Just as I sat down to eat it, I heard a rending crash. A large clock had fallen off the wall, and there were shards of glass everywhere. The not poodle, as I choose to call the things, went into the bin and I swallowed a sleeping pill and crawled into bed.

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