Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Trouble With Edwina Currie

I discovered Gabby in a black mood this morning. She was sitting at the kitchen window with her air pistol, shooting at sparrows in the garden below. I made my way slowly around to the fridge, having discovered on many previous occasions that it’s dangerous to disturb a trigger-happy Romanian with a handgun.

‘So,’ I said, as I began to squeeze my morning orange, ‘are the sparrows biting today?’

Crack. The distant squawk of wildlife, though I can’t dismiss the possibility that it was the postman.

‘Edwina Currie thinks I have talent,’ said my death-dealing buttercup as simple as an accusation gets before noon.

‘And so do I,’ I replied, but inwardly steeling myself for an argument I knew I simply would have to win.

‘So why won’t you lend me money?’

‘I haven’t got a penny to spare,’ I said. ‘My financial thong is empty. And if it wasn’t, we can do better things than pay somebody to publish your poetry. Vanity publishing is just that. Vanity. When they see your genius, somebody will offer you good money to publish it.’

She frowned, fired, and a starling suffered a mortal flesh wound.

‘Edwina said…’

‘I don’t give a damn what Edwina said,’ I cried. ‘You have to still to learn some things about the British. We’re a nation who like to see people make fools of themselves.’

‘So why did she say I was good poet?’

I hadn’t the spirit to explain the rest of what the needlessly profane one-time Junior Minister for Health had to say on the matter of poetry. I merely regretted that the bad language she’d been recently displaying on my blog hadn’t been put to more use a decade ago when she should have been more vehement in explaining the dangers of under-cooked poultry. I might never have suffered the food poisoning that led to my dismal A level results, eventual rejection from university, and led me to my current low paying work as a male stripper.

These were the distracted thoughts that went through my head as I snatched the pistol from Gabby’s hand and managed to shoot myself in the foot.

‘Damn that Edwina Currie!’ I cursed, falling on the floor as blood made an early appearance over the Chipster’s slippers. Even then, I was proud of myself for not resorting to profanity, even as I felt the blood begin to seep between my toes.

‘Chippy? You okay?’ asked Gabby, rushing to my side. ‘It okay if we don’t publish poems,’ she added, cradling my head. ‘I’m not good at rhyming yet…’

‘Shot… foot,’ I gasped, feeling suddenly faint with the pain.

‘No, no, that not good rhyme,’ said Gabby, apparently oblivious to the serious nature of my injury. ‘Cut rhymes with foot. Soot rhymes with foot…’ She went silent and I believe I passed out for a few minutes. The next thing I remember was Gabby slapping my face and forcing a piece of paper into my hand.

Gabby shot a sparrow, then a thrush,
Then poor Chippy shot himself in foot.

‘Does this rhyme?’ she asked.

I was beyond caring. My foot was a congealed bloody mess the likes of which have slapped many a certificate 18 on a film. Tears ran down my cheeks and pooled on my lips. ‘Help me,’ I pleaded. ‘My foot…’

‘Pah,’ said my Romanian humanitarian looking at my yellow slippers, now completely covered with Chip Dale’s finest O positive. ‘Gabby uncle once shot foot off with shotgun. He did not stop work until he pick up every potato on field.’

‘Please…’ I begged.

‘Finish washing up,’ said Gabby, dropping my head onto the tiled floor. ‘I want to finish this poem before we go.’

An hour later, I was in Bangor’s emergency room waiting for a nurse to bandage my foot. A doctor has just pulling a lump of pellet from it, which Gabby had taken as a souvenir. ‘I think I make into earring,’ she said, holding the bloody mess up to a lobe.

‘It suits you,’ I replied over lips parched dry with suffering.

‘So, do you think Edwina Currie would read my collected poems?’ asked Gabby. Now having turned her attention to a box of scalpels she’d found in a drawer, she began to juggle three.

As I watched the razor sharp blades arc through the air, I thought of the nine hundred pages of tightly typed manuscript sitting at home, waiting to be discovered like an extra forty cantos by a Romanian Ezra Pound.

‘I’m sure she would,’ I said with a grimace or a smile. ‘I’m sure she would…’

26 comments:

Edwina said...

Fuck knows why, Chip, but some people do evidently enjoy poettry and some rare few even make money from their efforts. If there's one thing I can spot its talent and Gabby has an obvious eye for a sharp rhyme, and in my humble(though infallibly correct) view, she deserves to be published. Her refusal to be bowed by your injury marks her out as a special talent & you as a bloody fool.

Chip Dale said...

I never expected sympathy from you, Edwina. I can see that you're fanning the flames, encouraging something that is better left unencouraged.

Gabby's poetry is beginning to exert an evil influence over this household. Her rhymes are malicious and meter more so and as long as I've an ounce of manhood still in these thongs of mine, I won't help her get published. It's as simple as that.

rilly super said...

I would watch out for the trigger-happy translyvanian chip darling, or you may very well end up without an ounce of manhood in your thong. With gabby's lousy shooting and taste for unusual ear rings who knows what could happen.

Chip Dale said...

Well, Rilly, all I can say is that they'd make for a very fine pair of earrings.

Edwina said...

Behind every unsuccessful woman is an envious chauvinistic pig. Yours is not to stand in the way of greatness, Chip.

Chip Dale said...

[And tears begin to well up in the Chipster's eyes...]

I bow my head in shame, Edwina. In you're tough but fair way, you've shown me that I'm wrong and you're right; so damn and bloody right. I've been projecting my own failures onto a poor girl who would do so well without me. All my unpublished books, my unread short stories, and my own hesitant attempts at poetry: they have blinded me and prevented me from seeing my sweet Romanian's genius.

I'll drive her down to Hay on Wye in a couple of weeks and set her free in a field of book lovers.

I just hope that everybody will forgive me and stand behind me as I try to rebuild my life and my self-esteem.

Realpolitik said...

A bit off-topic, but I can't help laughing at your Google ads:

"Shaved Women and More! Feed your passion with Ebay."

"Billy Goat Lawn Vacuum."

"Nappy Express."

"Buy Man Wearing Underwear."

Edwina said...

Get a grip on yourself, man. Flitting from one extreme to another like a feather in the wind. Gabby needs you now more than ever, for fuck sake.

Chip Dale said...

Realpolitik: I always say that a man's Google ads are a window on his soul. Those ads are just so me...

Edwina: I'm merely acknowledging that I must stand up for the poor girl. What do I know about poetry? I've even agreed to fund the publication of her collected poems, so long as you agree to edit them. All 1352 pages of them...

Realpolitik said...

Could not resist clicking on "Horny Goat Weed".

Chip Dale said...

I'm not allowed to, Realpolitik. Actually, the AdSense terms and conditions state that I'm not even allowed to acknowledge that they're there.

[In a loud voice] I don't know what you're talking about, Realpolitik... What ads?

james higham said...

The closest I ever got to Edwina was her daughter.

Chip Dale said...

James, I'd be careful what you say. Her mother has been known to drop by occasionally and she could take you out at the kneecaps at a hundred paces.

Edwina said...

1352 pages of editing, you say. I know just the man. I got friendly with him over at Appleyard's ideas shit-pit...Karl Marx. Long-winded bearded gent with literary pretensions. Should suit him down to the ground.
Careful indeed, James. I'm more man than woman and more woman than man, whatever the fuck that might mean.

Chip Dale said...

Edwina: That Marx chap sounds ideal. Gabby has communist leanings and has been known to leave nations facing ruin once she's done with them. She's already looking forward to explaining her theory of how the hokey cokey is the new opium of the people.

mutterings and meanderings said...

I spoke to Ms Currie on the phone once. She was most unpleasant and hung up on me. Mrs Archer was highly unpleasant to me too. Is it me?

Edwina said...

Well it sure as fuck wasn't me, so you'd agee we're not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to alternatives after that.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Ah, Edwina, sweet as ever, darling ...

Chip Dale said...

M&M: I know how you feel. I've not stopped blushing all day, and when you're only wearing a thong, that's a dangerous amount of blood being sent sloshing around the system.

Do you think I should consider a swear box, or, at least, some kind of censorship? I can't believe this is the very same Edwina Currie who wrote some on the finest political novels of the last fifty years.

Edwina said...

I wouldn't wipe me arse with those novels. They're just to pay the bills. This is the pure undiluted Edwina. And if that's to much Edwina for you, you know what you can do.

Daily Referendum said...

Edwina, what are you wearing?

Chip, great post, why don't you get the pellet made into a stomach piercing, it could add an air of danger and mystery to your routine.

Chip Dale said...

Steve, you really don't want to ask Edwina what she's wearing...

Great idea about the stomach piercing, though, only I'm not one to defile the sanctity of my perfect body. It's all a bit too James Bond, too. I'd hate some MI6 agent to appear at the club in order to retrieve the bullet so as to track down that infamous Romanian hitman called Scaryandmangy.

Edwina said...

Too fucking right. One doesn't ask a lady such intimate questions.
One other thought is that I must speak up for Mrs Archer; a fine woman even if a bit foul-mouthed for my tastes.

Chip Dale said...

I know what you're saying Edwina. Mrs. Archer used to post regularly to my blog but I had to start deleting her comments. You own language may be on the cusp of the acceptable but hers is something else.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Mrs Archer (the fragrant one) was highly unpleasant to me. It's not my fault I'm just a little Northern oik journalist who had the audacity to sit in the seat she had eyed up for herself ...

Jan Tregeagle said...

Poor old Chippy, best to watch out for folks from Eastern Europe with guns. Might I suggest a kevlar thong?