Funny old world


See, I told you it was worth talking to strangers! Heading back to London on a packed train after the bank holiday weekend, I wanted nothing more than to immerse myself in templating the content for an Irish government department on my laptop. You know that feeling. Anyway, the girl beside kept craning across me to check her case was still there. I didn’t mind in the slightest; I understand all too well the old belongings panic. But then I turned round and saw the size of it. Roughly a small wendy house, I would guess, and hardly nickable. She caught my glance and started talking. Lordluvaduck, I thought the African farmer ironing board inventor was a find. She was a circus performer, she said. ‘I sit in a two-foot-high bottle, and I also have knives thrown at me. And I do a hula-hoop act and some stuff with a whip. Here,’ and thrust her phone under my nose. And bugger me if it wasn’t a pic of her folded up and squeezed into a bell jar. Blame the templating, but I honestly could not think of anything to say beyond laughing. I think she took umbrage at that because she shut up and stared out of the window.

On the subject of oddities, I was chatting to a colleague in the kitchen this morning and he told me that near where his mum lives (Tamworth) villagers ward off evil spirits by keeping old shoes under the stairs. Which is not as powerful as ‘a tube of hair and beans’. Again, the words dried up. What, Mikey? WHAT? But once he explained IT ALL BECAME CLEAR. ‘A tube of hair and beans is weird, right? So that intrigues the spirits,’ thereby distracting them from hiding the bobbins or burning the porridge or whatever occult hi-jinks they had scheduled. A distracted sprite is a good thing. And hopefully you’ve kept your wits about you while preparing the PixiePuzzler™, because although you can use any old beans, you need human hair because, as any fule kno, ‘they like that.’


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