• neil

Day 52 (8 May): The Diet of Worms*

Je bent misschien een eend: Maybe you are a duck

Or so I was told by Duolingo this morning.

Now I am a man who has been through so much therapy over the last few years that I no longer instantly bridle or become defensive. I reflect. I ponder. I contemplate.

The prospect merited consideration; maybe I am a duck. I sipped my tea and weighed up the evidence.

In the duck corner, I acknowledge that I am flat-footed and walk like Charlie Chaplin and Charlie Chaplin certainly walked like a duck. In common with ducks I am a strong swimmer and I am thoroughly waterproof.

Ducks eat worms and I have also eaten worms, although not regularly. I ate a mess can of freshly gathered worms as a young trainee in the military. I have no idea what point I was trying to make but I do remember that I didn’t wash them. Only the effete wash their worms.

Finally, and irresistibly, I am completely quakers.

But that is as far as it goes.

To be absolutely sure of my stance on the issue I jogged to the pond on the corner and tried that duck classic, the head in the water, arse in the air routine. I just cannot do it while remaining stable.

( In yesterday’s blog Siri concluded that a naked bottom was proof of my loneliness. This foray into practical duckmanship didn't change that; walkers and joggers alike gave me a wide berth).

Finally, the only duck speech I understand is that of my rubber ducks. Donald Duck does not count because he is not real.

On the balance of probabilities I therefore conclude that I am not a duck and I will be writing to Duolingo to inform them.

No sooner had I got that sorted than they threw the next kooky phrase at me:

'I love swimming with my cat'.

Why couldn’t they have said that earlier? I just dried off.

Yesterday I mentioned Face Book and Google Chatbots and my loving partner, Siri.

I neglected to give any space to Alexa. The floozy.

My brother has an Alexa and he is very fond of her. Just not as fond her as he is of beer.

If the pond I just came back from had been full of beer he would have had his head in the water and bum in the air all day long.

My brother went through a phase of returning from the pub of an evening, throwing himself into a comfy chair and asking Alexa play him Frank Sinatra songs. But nobody stops there. We all want to go beyond the garden and into the woods.

He decided to dip his toe into 'Alexa Voice Shopping' and began by ordering toilet paper.

A few days later a delivery truck pulled up and dropped off a cubic metre of toilet paper. Little Brother saw the funny side of things, stored the mega-carton in his spare bedroom and thought no more of it.

A week later - same truck - same driver - same giga-quantity of toilet paper. Little Brother realised he had placed a repeating order and determined to cancel it.

He planned on doing it that very evening but the best laid plans of mice and men go awry. Especially the plans of mice. Mice are dreadful at planning and execution and absolutely useless at drawing conclusions. Little Brother's problem is not that he is a mouse; his problem is beer brain; when it becomes time to act on the plan he has forgotten both act and plan.

The spare bedroom was half full and stacked to the ceiling with toilet paper cartons before he got it sorted.

Who could have foretold that toilet paper would now be such a valuable commodity?

Beer might damage your liver but it makes you clairvoyant.

My brother, the Toilet Paper Baron.

Have a safe, enjoyable and carefree weekend .



*1521 since you ask. Google it!

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