Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Struggling To Get Back In The Closet

Design by Vivi BrowneI try to spare my readers the details of my daily life although reading other blogs suggests that, in doing this, I have failed to grasp the essential purpose of blogging, just as I never understood the point of algebra. But a major project threatens to impact adversely on the frequency of postings. This is a Herculean task that I call Doing Something About The Bedroom.

In order to keep my living room sufficiently free of clutter so that it takes only ten minutes to clear a space for a visitor to sit down, I regularly move what my mother called 'Muddles' into the bedroom. This means they are out of sight and is based on the working assumption that few visitors these days are likely to end up in my bedroom. Even if they did, I could always invent a fetish for wearing blindfolds and they would remain unaware that the earth was moving for them in a replica of Steptoe's yard.

But periodically things reach a tipping point. Literally. What happens is that a juggernaut roars past the house in the middle of the night and one of the precarious stacks of books, files and old newspapers tips over and crashes to the floor causing me to wake up with a start - the only thing I ever wake up with these days.

Thus it was that I found myself at 5 o'clock this morning sitting on the floor surrounded by black bin bags and a row of Post-It Notes on the carpet which read: THROW AWAY, SHRED, TO FILE, and NOT SURE. Then I realised I couldn't use the shredder at such an ungodly hour for fear of waking the neighbours. So I sat and read ancient copies of the Guardian to find out which article had made me keep them and computer magazines so old that they had scoops about a new operating system called Windows 98. To keep my spirits up I quietly sang the Bin Bags song from Phoenix Nights:

Come and get your black bin bags,
They're on offer till December
Heavy duty black bin bags,
No matter what your gender
Come and get your black bin bags,
Whether bi or straight or bender.

(For those who don't know this classic, it's sung to the tune from Men In Black.)

Anyway, two hours later the NOT SURE pile was climbing steadily towards the ceiling and the black bin bags were still almost empty. But I must persevere because things have got so bad that I can only get to the wardrobe by means of a hazardous trek across my king-size bed. More conventional routes are closed to through traffic by overflowing cardboard boxes.

My mattress, like me, has seen better days and its topography is now as uneven and perilous as the surface of Mars. The other day when trying to reach the wardrobe I tripped and did an ungainly somersault and found myself lying shaken and breathless on the duvet. Although this brought back some pleasant memories, a middle-aged man who hasn't seen the inside of a gym since Sonny and Cher were at No 1 could easily do himself a mischief and I haven't tried the manoeuvre since so now I'm running out of shirts to wear.
And I read somewhere that pink is the new black so I need to retrieve that pink shirt I bought in Carnaby Street in 1972 before black is the new pink or I'll be dead before I can wear it again.
On reflection it may not be in the wardrobe. It may be up in the attic with a yellow sticker on it saying NOT SURE from the last time I tidied the bedroom.
That's the final stage in the life-cycle of my possessions. I hope the joists are strong because I'm sitting here with ten tons of bric-a-brac above my head. On the other hand, being killed by an avalanche of retro chic does have a certain je ne sais quoi about it.

The deceased was partially covered by a knitted poncho and a 1970s kaftan. Forensic investigations have failed to establish conclusively whether the fatal blow was struck by a 1962 Bush record player or a 1971 Morphy Richards toaster. A fine grey powder recovered from the deceased's hair is thought to be from a decomposed joss stick. Foul play is not suspected.


At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Lupin

Would it not be far easier to have your servants move the accumulated detritus into the little-used East Wing of Lupin Towers?

While I'm here, could I just say how much I enjoy your blog - one of the wittiest and best written around.

- Tony S -

At 4:21 PM, Blogger zaphod said...

This your chance of fame Mr. L. You could go on the telly and flog all your all retro at a televised boot sale.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger mike said...

"Black Bin Bags" is one of those insidious little ditties that I often find buzzing around my head at unexpected moments. It's that last line what does it.

This blog goes from strength to strength, by the way.

At 5:50 PM, Blogger james henry said...

I was given a paper shredder for christmas (everyone's a critic). Turns out, shredding paper is one of the most satisfying things on earth. Partitularly those charity begging letters that fall out of every sunday paper. Bzzzzzzzzzz....

At 12:50 AM, Blogger portuguesa nova said...

Ahhh...this post makes me miss living alone...

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Thank you all for your kind comments.

Tony, Carlo won't go into the East Wing because it's reputedly haunted by a chambermaid who died there in childbirth in the 19th century. Soon afterwards my great-grandparents divorced.
How did you know the East Wing is little-used? I'm sure I've never mentioned it. Now that really is spooky.

Mr Zaphod, the car boot option is being deferred until a fourth term Labour Government abolish the old age pension.

Mike, I discovered Phoenix Nights at Episode One of Series Two which begins with that song. To use a Peter Kay line, it was like St Paul on the road to Domestos.

James, you are right. I am sure that shredders give more satisfaction than any other electrical whirring device currently available.

PN, you are never alone with a black bin bag. I once spoke to one at length. I didn't have my glasses on and mistook it for my black dog.

At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of one of the early strips in Viz: 'Black Bag, The Faithful Border Bin Liner'.


At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tune is originally forget-me-nots by Patrice Rushen - Will Smith ripped it off (no doubt legally) for MIB.


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