This Mans Day…. By Mr Martyn Taylor

mart and vicky

5:40 AM – After an uncomfortable nights sleep in bed next to Vicky tossing, turning and snoring, the sadistic morning alarm goes off. I wake up in horror, she doesn’t react. I run over to my phone and hit the 10 minute snooze button. I jump back into bed and snuggle up to my wife in the hope of some early morning action. After 10 minutes of kissing her neck and stroking her back, the snooze alarm goes off. for the full 10 minutes she did not move an inch. I take the hint and get up turn off the alarm and slope off downstairs, in a mood!

6:30 AM – After a rushed coffee and bowl of cereal, I sit an the toilet to ‘relax’. I have my phone with me so I see what all the night owls have put on ‘Facebook’. Nothing good on there, so I finish up, get washed, dressed and take the dog out.

7:00 AM – Off I go to work. Half asleep I drive almost on auto-pilot to the factory. I hate this place. When I arrive some bastard has parked in my spot, so I abandon my car wherever I can.

7:30 AM – I clock-on and prepare for the day ahead. Vicky will be getting up around now, she can relax while the boys get themselves ready for school, they’re old enough now.

10:00 AM – The hooter goes off for tea break. I have 12 minutes to rush down a cold cup of tea, a pasty, a few grapes and an apple. After throwing them down my neck, the hooter goes off again signalling work time, I get back to it. I bet Vicky is enjoying hot brew and her daily appointment with ‘This Morning’. Lazy cow!

12:30 PM – Finally I have 30 minutes to myself, I can relax and enjoy my dinner. I sit with the same people every day out of habit. We talk about the same things every day, its boring now! but its comfortable. I reckon Vicky will be having a nice hot bowl of soup with another cuppa, I have stale sarnies…. great!

1:00 PM – 4 more hours at work for me then home to see my family at 5 o’clock. It will be the first time I’ve seen them all day and can’t wait, the boys are fun and Gracie is an angel.

4:45 PM – YES!!! That’s the home time hooter, I clock-off and head to my car to go home.

5:00 PM – I get home and go into the house the boys are playing and Gracie greets me at the door with a hug. Vicky tells me dinner is in the kitchen, so I go through. Great! its beans on toast again, I told her I liked it one time and now I get it all the time, I’m sick of the sight of it now.

6:00 PM – Oh no, she’s watching ‘ Home and Away’ and ‘Neighbours’. Can’t she watch this shit when its on during the day? I ain’t watching it, I’m off to do the pots.

7:00 PM – Vicky is off to work, I use the word ‘work’ loosely as I reckon all she does is gossip and drink tea for 4 hours. 4 hours! Is it worth going?

8:00 PM – I’ve bathed the kids and put them to bed. Gracie went to bed with no fuss for a change, the poor kid was beat. I can finally chill out and watch some football.

11:30 PM – Oh shit! I nodded off no later than 10 minutes into the football. The sound of Vicky’s’ keys in the door had woken me up. I sit up quickly so she doesn’t see me asleep and think I’m lazy, I can’t believe she’s moaning about me not drying the pots. Oh fuck this. I’m off to bed!

See the day from Vicky’s perspective here.

Why Everything Was Better Before (Part 1) by Allen Miles

For those of you who don’t know why our website is called Sitting On The Swings, myself and Mr Taylor were among a number of children who grew up on the Bricknell Avenue estate in Hull, and on the periphery of that estate is a small playground and playing field known unofficially as County Road Park. It would be the social hub of our pre-pubescent years and Martyn and I grew so attached to the place that at the end of our last year of high school and the summer of exams and decisions, we would drag ourselves there practically every day in the early afternoon and literally sit on the swings for hours, drinking Sunny Delight and talking about the previous night’s fare on the Paramount Channel, which we’d stayed up until four a.m. to watch. We did this because a) we were hopeless with women, b) we had absolutely no money and c) we had nowhere else to go. When I started this site up a few weeks ago I thought it would be a nice idea to use an actual photo of the swings themselves as the backdrop so I wandered down there one afternoon when I was off work during the week, camera phone in pocket, to take my pictures. I live quite a way from there these days and have no reason to pass the place in my usual routines and so I hadn’t seen it for quite some time. When I got there something seemed so wrong about the place. It was still recognizable from as I remembered it, but everything had been ever so slightly tweaked somehow. An iconic image from my childhood had been interfered with and it was disturbing, sterile and rather sinister, as if the Mona Lisa had been photoshopped.

I looked round trying to work out what changes had taken place, then decided that I ought to leave ( It was half two in the afternoon, I was wearing a long black coat and waving a camera around in a children’s playground; I probably didn’t look too savoury.) When I looked through the photos on my laptop upon returning home, I realised what it was: everything looked so much safer. Where once the surface under the swings had been merely concrete, now there was slabs of that horrible rubber tarmac stuff that gets ridiculously hot in the summer. Opposite the swings, if I remember correctly, there had once upon a time been a slide, which, even taking into account how the memory distorts these things, must have been a good seven or eight feet tall. This had gone, replaced by a small, chunky climbing frame type thing that stood no more than five feet off the ground at its highest point. A few weeks later, I was taking my daughter to see my mother so I took the long way round and once again walked through County Road Park. Looking around with scrutiny this time, I deduced that it was almost impossible for a child, or anyone for that matter, to hurt themselves in this place. And thinking deeper, I realised this was because if someone did get hurt here, the council would get sued, the newspapers would be involved, and Cherry Healey would have recorded a BBC Three documentary about it within days. Without wishing to sound like my father, it was so different in my day…

I first started going to County Road Park when I was about eight, nearly nine years old. The summer of 1990. The summer of Alex Kidd in Shinobi World, Spatz, The London Boys and Salvatore Schillaci. Barmy, balmy evenings. We would be allowed to go to the park minus parents. No-one was worried about paedophiles back then, as they were all working for the BBC. The whole aim of going on the swings was “trying to get level” which essentially meant you would build up so much momentum that the chains of the swing would be horizontal, parallel to the ground. It was dangerous and that was the thrill. We knew that if we fell off we would hit the concrete and break a leg, so we didn’t fall off. If we had have fallen off, our parents would have blamed us, told us off and hugged us while we tried not to cry. They wouldn’t have even dreamed of suing the council. Kids aren’t allowed to make mistakes anymore. They are not allowed to get hurt, they are not allowed to get mud on their knees, they are not allowed to learn common sense. If you got hurt, you would realise how you did it, and you wouldn’t do it again. For example, when I was nine years old, my best friend was a lad called Hiu Lam. One day he was running towards our classroom, which was a portakabin situated on a raised platform, accessed by a few large, flat concrete steps. He tripped up, fell onto the steps and scraped his face from forehead to chin. He had huge graze marks right across his features for about three weeks afterwards. Did his parents attempt to sue the school? No, of course they didn’t, they accepted that their son had had an accident at school, as so many kids do, and put some Savlon on his face. Hiu Lam himself would have learned not to run up the steps again. Today, if that had happened, some new-age interfering dick would have run to the local paper and started an online petition to have the entire school knocked down and rebuilt completely out of cotton wool and foam rubber. And probably would have succeeded.

Next to the park, there was the abandoned shell of a social club. We as kids disagreed whether it had been called Golden Quay or Rosie O’Grady’s (it had in fact been called both.) We played there regularly, and to be fair, in hindsight, it probably was quite a dangerous place. Certain areas of it were in total darkness, it stank, and it was always in danger of collapsing. We never told our parents that we played there, as we knew that we weren’t supposed to. One day, I was there in the middle of the afternoon with one of my friends; I can’t remember who but I think it may have been Stevie B, and in the centre of the open space which I now realise had probably been the dancefloor at one time, me and Stevie noticed some discarded hypodermic syringes. It was a terrifying sight for a couple of ten-year-old kids. We didn’t know why we were so shocked, we just knew that we didn’t like it. I remember it like it was yesterday; we didn’t speak, we just looked at each other and walked out into the daylight. We knew, we knew, that we couldn’t go back in there anymore. It was off limits. Kids are not stupid.

profile b and wAllen Miles is 31 years old and lives in Hull. He is married and has a 20 month-old daughter who is into The Ramones. He is a staunch supporter of Sheffield Wednesday FC and drinks far too much wine. He spends most of his spare time watching old football videos on youtube and watching 1940s film noir. He is the author of 18 Days, which is widely recognized to be the best book ever written by someone from Hull. It is available here. http://tinyurl.com/8d2pysx

 

The Crazy Mind of Heston Blumenthal…. By Martyn Taylor

My name is Heston Blumenthal, and I love to cook! Well, with a name like mine I was hardly going to get a job on a building site was I?
I do not class myself as a chef, that title would not befit such a talented man like me. I decided that I needed a much more pompous title. The idea that food is a science in its self led my to adorn myself with the job title ‘Molecular Gastronomist’. This basically means, that I mess around with your food in such a way, that makes you think that it is satisfactory for me to charge you £195 (+ VAT) per person to dine at my 3 Michelin star restaurant ‘The Fat Duck’

The time has come for me to totally overhaul my pretentious menu. I have decided that I shall aim to impress the people whose job it is to destroy me, the food critics. People think that because I am a perfectionist, that every body thinks my food is perfect, but 3 people did not.

During my time at ‘The Fat Duck’ 3 critics in particular have given me less that favourable reviews in their respected mediums. I have thought that the only way to win over these 3 is to take their remarks, over analyse them and produce dishes based on their criticism.

STARTER :- My new starter is based on German food critic Wolfram Siebeck’s remarks when he visited my restaurant back in 2005. He stated that my ‘Mustard ice-cream in a red cabbage gazpacho soup’ reminded him of a ‘ fart of nothingness.’ The dish will be called ‘Tofu Tear Gas’. It will be presented as a plain plate of flavourless tofu, which they will start to tuck into. At which point I will deliver a jar of my very own stale wind. These jars will be opened and wafted into the face of the customer. This will result in the tofu taking on the flavour of my well seasoned bottom burp!

MAIN COURSE :- The main course is dedicated to the Independents food columnist Ben Rogers. In 1996 Mr Rogers described my monkfish dish as ‘rubbery’. RUBBERY!!! That piece of fish was slow roasted in sea water from ‘Atlantis’, then smoked with the fumes from Mount Vesuvius, that I had flown in from 79 AD.
The new dish will be a whole donkeys dick braised in the semen of a unicorn, then wrapped up in a mock ‘Durex’ made of sausage skin. the diner will be instructed to remove the prophylactic from the donkeys dick and suck out the incredibly salty (and incredibly rare) unicorn gravy from the pigskin. All the time the sound of a mule ‘braying’ will be played around the table.

DESSERT :- Dessert is to be produced to commemorate what world famous chef, Nico Ladenis remarked about my most famous dessert. He said “Someone who makes bacon and egg ice-cream is hailed instantly a genius, if you make ice-cream out of vomit, are you a star?”. So, for the last 3 months, I have been having the contents of my stomach pumped and freeze dried. This will be delivered to the table in miniature toilet bowls. The customer will be asked to lick the creamy chowder from around the rim. Grated carrot will be available to deliver that truly authentic vomit experience. While all the ‘rimming’ is going on, the smell of a men’s urinal will be emitting from the bowl.

To win over the people who criticised me originally, I will invite them all to sample the full menu together before the menus debut in the restaurant. Bon Appetit!

Here is the full menu

STARTER :- Tofu Tear Gas

MAIN COURSE :- Donkeys Delight

DESSERT :- Shout at Your Shoes Sorbet

 

mart questionsMartyn Taylor is a 31 year-old father of three and lives in Hull. His pastimes include watching 80s action films over and over again and and debating the all-time Premiership XI with Mr Miles. His knowledge of American sitcoms of the 90s stands second to none. He once walked into a men’s public lavatory absent-mindedly singing the theme tune from Two And A Half Men. You can find him on http://www.twitter.com/shirleysblower but he never tweets, so just follow him on here.

Here Comes The Science with Doctor Dave

Who here hasn’t, dear readers, after a long day at the office selling prescription books to the plebeian classes or passive aggressively torturing our secretary with sexual innuendoes in the vain hope that they will eventually succumb and we can finally have our wicked way with them in the pharmaceutical cupboard, wish nothing more after been chauffeured home through the rush hour traffic to take a nice relaxing bath.
The anticipation to soak away the stresses and strains of the day, as our man servant runs our bath, is one of life’s more exquisite pleasures; patiently waiting, brandy in hand, as we threaten the old fool with a damn good thrashing if he does not hurry up is a joy we can all share.
Finally the brandy consumed , the bath complete; we can disrobe and slide our pink, naked flesh into the warm beckoning waters. As we lay, prostrate and calm, our muscles unwind there tensions and our minds can drift. But as we reach the plateau of near nirvana, resisting the thoughts of self flagellation, a vile monster awakens with terrible ambitions of destroying our bliss. For, in this state of moderation, the light lunch of foie gras, quails eggs and four glasses of a particularly fine vintage Newcastle brown have conspired to create within our being a heady mix of digestive gasses which our relaxed stomach muscle can no longer contain. As this miasma emanates from our loosened buttocks we would expect, what with the afore mentioned lunch, to experience a slight unpleasant aroma. But what has risen forth is a bouquet of our nether regions so toxic that a thousand aroma therapy candles could never hope to contain. What we have created is the nefarious Carbondibackside.
And here dear friends let me, with the aid of my dear mistress science, explain to you how this foul beast comes into existence.
It is a common misapprehension that the gases which on occasion leak from the human body, usually at awkward social occasions, are concocted wholly of methane. This is quite, quite wrong. The actual combination of an arse cocktail varies from person to person and are composed of four main ingredients, these being oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide. How these blasted things work their way into our digestive track is a different story for a different time, but rest assured that they are there. The main culprit we want to be examining for belching into existence the dreaded carbondibackside is hydrogen sulphide. This molecule on its own is a whiffy little bugger at the best of times, but released into a nice warm bath it becomes a tenacious hunter. You see in its raw form that the human body produces it in, it is highly unstable, been as it is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one of sulphur, it quickly breaks down after a brief assault on our nasal passages. But when given the opportunity to react with water, which we all know to be comprised of two hydrogen atoms and one of oxygen, it will balance itself by devouring the water molecule of its oxygen atom; thus balanced it has transformed itself from an unstable state into the more stable and vigorous carbondibackside.
When this particular element was first discovered back in the 1890’s, there was not much commercial demand, for although it was realised to have great explosive properties, the stench given off when burned was deemed too outweigh the benefits and after some failed experimental steam powered locomotives where quickly decommissioned, it was largely forgotten. The next time this reprehensible rouge of the periodic table appears in the pages of history is in the brief but brutal uprising on the Dutch colony of Suriname. In late august of 1932 the native peoples of Suriname became disenfranchised with their Dutch overlords, wanting the right to self govern and be free from tyranny. At this particular period in history, Suriname was the chief exporter of rubber in the Dutch empire, fuelling the vast gimp mask and dildo factories in Amsterdam which accounted for 80% of all Dutch wealth. With the uprising on Suriname all exports of rubber stopped and the factories ground to a halt causing mass hysteria within the Dutch borders, gimps where to be seen wondering the streets blatantly unmasked. This scene was totally abhorrent to the Dutch people, for as everyone knows it is preferable to have your sex slaves remain anonymous when you are performing ungodly acts upon their person.
With their economy in near tatters, a secret conclave of the Dutch ruling elite was held on how best to deal with the revolt on Suriname. After long hours of deliberation, it was decided that swift military action was the only viable option. Within days a crack commando unit was dispatched on the long voyage to the far east tasked with quelling the rebellion by any means. Upon there arrival on the shores of Suriname, the commando’s, although heavily out gunning the native peoples, where quickly surrounded due simply to weight of numbers. Having to fight an intense rear guard action, which the Dutch specialise in, the commando’s in a desperate bid for survival unleashed their secret weapon. The Dutch hand grenade.
Three year prior to this episode, Dutch Belgian relations had hit an all time low after the Belgian illustrator Hergé, of Tintin fame, had gotten royally off his tits on Advocaat. In his inebriated state, and with a deadline for his next Tintin adventure looming, he quickly bashed out the story of his intrepid hero in under two hours and sent it to his publishers without bothering to proof read his work. His publishers too, respecting the integrity of monsieur Hergé, also failed to proof read his submission and immediately set to print. Unbeknownst to both parties, contained within this rip-roaring adventure book, on page seventeen, the plucky champion Tintin was depicted sodomising the Dutch queen Wilhelmina behind some bins whilst his dog Snowy takes a shit in an alleyway. Queen Wilhelmina, upon seeing this odious image, was quite perturbed and immediately demanded an apology from monsieur Hergé and the Belgian government. Far from issuing an apology, monsieur Hergé in an interview on the matter with the Gazet van Antwerpen escalated the situation when he stated that queen Wilhelmina should welcome the attentions of Belgium’s favourite son, what with her not been much of a looker and she should take it where she could get it even if it was up the wrong un.
With no apology forthcoming the Dutch and the Belgians stood on the brink of war. Knowing that their military might was lacking in comparison to that of the Belgians, Dutch generals knew the only way for a Dutch victory would be a pre emptive strike. With this knowledge, esteemed scientist Hendrik Zwaardemaker was summoned to the war ministry tasked with developing a secret weapon.
Zwaardemaker’s research at the university of Utrecht had lead him to develop the Olfactometer, a device helpful for smelling things, and in his research he had concluded that our old friend Carbondibackside was the most foul smelling substance known to man. His Task was to weaponise this substance. Initial trials, as one might expect, didn’t quite go to plan. The first idea being to make shells for the artillery that could be launched over the border, leaving the Belgian front line troops incapacitated and retching from the noxious gases, making them easy prey for the advancing army. This proved to be a flawed idea, metallurgy techniques at that time could not contain the power of the carbondibackside, leading to explosions when attempting to load the munitions resulting in casualties to the crew loading the weapons. Successes was only achieved when the idea was proposed to develop a hand portable device for close quarter combat, smaller amounts of Carbondibackside could be safely contained with the technology to hand. Thankfully by the time the Dutch hand grenade was finally developed, tension with the Belgians had cooled and there was no need to deploy such an odious weapon on the field of combat, it remained hidden from the world until that fateful day on the shores of Suriname.
The Dutch commando’s having found themselves surrounded and running low on ammunition, had managed to fight their way to the local town hall and then proceeded to barricade themselves within. With an angry mob numbering in the thousands enveloping the walls of this makeshift bastion, the Dutch commander gave the fateful order to deploy the Dutch hand grenade in a desperate attempt for survival. Donning their gasmasks, the Dutch troops were given fresh confidence, feeling the cold rubber against their skin reminded them of home and of happier times in the red light district of Amsterdam. Then after a muttered prayer to the almighty, the order was given to launch the grenades into the baying mob. At first there was little evidence that anything was happening, fearing that the plan had failed the Dutch troops began to panic, but as the wind caught the gasses released from the grenades, faint tendrils of green smoke could be seen meandering between the crowd. Slowly, in ones and twos at first the horded began to clutch at their throats and noses in a vain attempt not to inhale the noxious gasses. As the grenades continued to disgorge their vile contents, the miasma intensified to a crescendo of arse gas the world had never seen. The lucky natives of Suriname where the ones to die quickly, trampled underfoot as the crowd tried to escape the pongy cloud of death, those not so lucky, unable to free themselves from the mass of bodies started to retch violently, so violently in fact, that several natives where observed to have vomited their entrails out of their mouths.
With the death toll well into the hundreds, the leaders of the rebellion fearing more reprisals, quickly sued for peace, remaining under Dutch tyranny until the outbreak of the second world war. When news of this incident reached the league of nations, all members were horrified that that this event had taken place, fearing the might of this new Dutch wonder weapon, strict sanctions were quickly implemented to curtail the preserved rising threat from Amsterdam. British and French fleets blocked the Dutch ports, effectively crippling the Dutch sex tourism industry. Amsterdam eventually capitulated, promising to destroy its stockpiles of weaponised carbondibackside.
The Dutch hand grenade had since been banned under article twelve of the Geneva convention.

doctor daveDr David Salmond is 31 and lives in Hull. He has a keen interest in former Eastern-Bloc Europe in that he eats lots of sausages and drinks beers that have unpronounceable names and are served in vases. He gamely joins in with mine and Mr Taylor’s discussions about football despite the fact he much prefers rugby league. On my wedding day he was legless by 11am. He has read more books than anyone in the entire world.

The Big Bang…. By Martyn Taylor

thatcher vs taylor

1981. The year of the big bang. Mr and Mrs had enjoyed an unplanned, yet particularly fruitful night out around March ’81. Little did they know that their impromptu evening in The Sheffield Steel Workers Union Bar, would have such an impact on the political and social landscape of a yet unknown 1980’s.

A bleak winter in 1981, a child was born. A child just like any other. 10 fingers, 10 toes and 1 brain. Oh but what a brain, what was in that little infants head that could cause Margaret Thatcher such problems? Mrs Thatcher’s spiritual guide and long time advisor had the paranormal knowledge to warn of the birth of a new voice. A voice that could, if left to its own devices, could cause political unrest in the future.
Lets have a look at the families history now. Mr Taylor was working as a successful steel worker during a particular prosperous time during the 80’s. The work was backbreaking, but he knew that it would be worth it in the long run if it meant that his son wouldn’t have to follow in his footsteps.

Maggie Thatcher knew that the child would, as foretold by her medium ‘Madame Foresight’ would become the future charismatic leader or the Labour party. She knew she had to act, and act fast!

Her first act, remove the father, but how could she do this? luckily, Mr Taylor was a member of the Territorial Army. The timing couldn’t be better. The Falklands conflict was brewing at the start of the 1982. Maggie organised the full war to get the one biggest influence out of an as yet juvenile Master Taylor’s life.
As it turns out Mr Taylor’s skills as a Royal Marine rope knotter were never required on the islands. No sooner had he been deployed, he was back at home with his fledgling family, and back in the Sheffield steel mills.

Her plan had failed! Knowing that the future opposition leader was in the clear, she needed a new plan. The evil bitches attention turned to his mother. Mrs Taylor was working down the coal mines in Nottingham, she was one of the only women at the time working in the collieries, a role model to others. If Thatcher could get his mother out of work, it could break his spirit and he may not further him self as Labour’s new protégé.

Maggies plan to cause unionistic unrest down the pits backfired. Mrs Taylor’s and her colleagues resolve was strong in the summer of ’84. The battles with the authorities during the long hot summer months were bloody, but the collieries stood strong. After all the battles, she decided to quit her job anyways. Mrs Taylor got a job working on the lingerie counter in C & A’s until it closed in 2001.

So far the Prime Ministers attempts to tamper with the future ‘Right Honourable M.P Martyn Taylor’ had been a failure. A visit by Thatcher to her trusted psychic resulted in ‘Madame foresight’ predicting a new future for the Sheffield steel industry, privatisation. In 1988 her privatisation plan was put into place for the steel works of Sheffield. This caused Mr Taylor to be made redundant.

Her secondary plan had prevailed. surely now with his father figure a dole bum, Martyn would never make anything of his life. Unfortunately for ‘The Iron lady,’ Mr Taylor was a shrewd business man. He took his pay off from the steel works and moved to Hull with his family. The redundancy money was invested Wiltshire Caravans. Wiltshire Caravans became a roaring success.
Bad luck Thatcher!!!

Martyn Taylor left Kelvin Hall School as ‘head boy’, went on to Wyke
College, where he attained his A levels. He was accepted at Hull University, where he studied politics and philosophy.
Unfortunately, during the summer of 2001, Martyn discovered Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. He now goes by the name of Lee Langman!

AUTHORS DISCLAIMER!!!!!!! I may have made a slight portion of this story up a wee bit. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which parts…

 

MartynMartyn Taylor is a 31 year-old father of three and lives in Hull. His pastimes include watching 80s action films over and over again and and debating the all-time Premiership XI with Mr Miles. His knowledge of American sitcoms of the 90s stands second to none. He once walked into a men’s public lavatory absent-mindedly singing the theme tune from Two And A Half Men. You can find him on http://www.twitter.com/shirleysblower but he never tweets, so just follow him on here.

Army, Be Depressed. (Part 2)

Every one in my block had gone home or out partying for the weekend having passed the room inspection. I was the only fool remaining. The night before, for some reason I still can’t work out, I thought it’d be a good idea to go out on the piss, and believe me from what I can remember it really was, but on top of my morning hangover I had to deal with the prospect of having to re-parade my bed space later that day!
Already feeling sorry for myself, I somehow had to conjure up the strength to blitz my corner and appear sober enough so as I could still clear off home like the others.
I totally had this in the bag, I’d done it loads of times, this time tomorrow I would be at home with my friends and family. Little did I know that, that wasn’t the plan!
The guy came back to inspect my work and smell my breath. He was a sergeant, and a total knob head on a power trip. I stood to attention as he entered the room and made his presence clear by clearing his throat, and then made his way over to my locker. I looked around as far as my eyes could press without turning my head, and held my breath, hard. Crossing my fingers in my mind Praying that he had seen sense and would let me on my way. Then he appeared in my line of sight. He seemed to slide in front of me like an apparition that wasn’t there at first and then revealed itself. His eyes bore into mine and his face had an evil expression, black and deathly like the eye of a great white. He got straight to the point:

“You’re a shit state boy! Did you go drinking last night?”
“No sergeant!?”
“Are you lying to me boy?”
“No sergeant!”
“Re-parade at 1700, after scoff!”
“Yes sergeant” I replied, only this time with a weakened tone, knowing any plans I had of a weekend’s freedom were kaput.

As soon as he had left the room, I slumped onto my bed, dropped my head into my hands, and wept.
I had been there for 6 weeks solid, with no glimpse of the outside world, and now I was facing another 6 weeks of the same shit.

As I shuffled along the conveyor belt of food in the scoff house, I loaded up my plate and turned around to see a field of empty chairs sat quietly in groups. I was spoilt for choice on where to sit this time, which made a change.
Soon as I started to dig in with my fork, I realised how relaxed I had become and that I had stopped feeling sorry for myself and began to think clearly. If he was gonna punish me with mind games and not give me my little bit of freedom, I will be a worthy opponent for him, and so I sat plotting scenarios, ready for our next encounter.

I stood to attention as he returned for another round of mind games, he glanced around my locker and bed space and squared up to me with the intent of breaking me written all over his face. Only little did he know I was ready!
He asked me “So lad, would you have gone home today if you had passed inspection?”
It was too quick, he revealed his hand too early, I had him by the balls and he didn’t even realise.
“No sergeant!” I replied victoriously. I went on, “I have no home or family, the army is my only home, this is my family now.”
He looked at me puzzled and confused but most importantly defeated, all of his attempts to break me where instantly dashed with just one sentence.
“FUCKING LITTLE SHIT!” he screamed, his anger beyond boiling point, his rage took over and he trashed my locker, slinging everything out of the window. Bit by bit all of my hard work destroyed in seconds, but I broke him, I beat him at his own game and after that I smiled every time he passed me or beasted me and I couldn’t have been more happier!

 

army men

The author of this series has asked to remain anonymous.

Army – Be Depressed.

I always hated the long drive back, it was exactly the same distance as the drive there but the destination sucked big time!
One trip in particular always sticks in my mind. I had travelled with friends to a festival, and spent the weekend getting wasted and naked in a field. It was brilliant, I didn’t want to wake up, just stay there and never come down. But time flew as it does when your having fun, and before I could find myself, I was back on that dreaded journey from whence I came.
Things seemed different this time, I didn’t feel so nervous, and everything around me looked overly colourful and exact as it should be. I felt at peace at least for a little while, until the colours began to drip from the page and leave an empty dirty canvass of a motorway all around for me to look at.

This was it! I was being made to face my demons, being stripped of my happiness and any innocence I had left and hung out to dry with the scarecrows and the fallen heroes, exiled for being too weak! I was too weak, too fragile. I couldn’t handle the pressure bearing down upon me, I needed to get out, but i was travelling too fast and the windows only reflected the state I was in.
I remember thinking that if I ever were alive to look back at this moment in my life and reflect, I would swear to myself and God that I will never ever touch a drop of absinthe for the rest of my days! Oh, and fuck the army!

army men

The author of this series has asked to remain anonymous.