Back in a previous Leeds' life when I had a steady job, fixed-abode and a vague sense of security, I had a fish shower radio that helped me feel marginally more alive in the mornings by pumping out cheesy tunes of old courtesy of the cheery folk at Magic. You see, even back then, I had moved on from Radio One, preferring the Magical blend of 80s tunes with new music and friendly DJs. My new shower buddy's first run was actually hours after I was presented with it - not in a shower but inside a gazebo as we lay around in star shapes apres barbecue. Listening to an unidentified radio station, I found myself enthused by new artists again who maybe weren't the most current releases but were certainly unfamiliar to me. Hours later, several artists' names were scrawled on old receipts in my wallet. And what was the station? I should be ashamed to admit this but anyone who read my turning 30 entry will know I am well beyond shame... the station was Radio Two.
Since that illuminating day, the penguin showers with me every morning, channeling Chris Evans' voice into the cubicle. Evans' show is no match for Magic mornings of old and some of the features are clearly aimed at my seniors but the penguin's selective nature and my rushed mornings mean that for the moment, failing to find a better option, Evans' voice is the first I hear every weekday. I am particularly happy with the random nuggets of information I occasionally acquire from the show. On Friday, I was informed the average person reads about 10,000 words a day - a figure I have since tried to confirm elsewhere but have been unable to.
From the 10,000 plus words I have read in a twenty-four hour period, I have learnt some new vocabulary and as I love words, I thought I'd share these with you. Re-reading notes I made for a film review, I came across “Moodle”. “Moodle” is one of my favourite types of word creation – a blend, combining “Man” and “Poodle” to describe the kind of guys girls think are cute and like to just take out for a walk, rather than date.
The next day but still just within my 24 hour time-frame, browsing a Liverpool charity shop, a friend came across a cracking book - one so appallingly bad, I had to purchase. And the title? The A-Z Of Being Single – a tongue-in-cheek self-help book for men written by comedian, Jeff Green. Trying to predict "Z's" entry, we flicked through the book and found Green's opening advice – something we could have never guessed and was both so surreal and awful, it was enough to convince me to part with 60p:
Be careful not to show excessive interest in your new partner's life, especially during the early days of the relationship. Remember, you're a bloke; you're not supposed to be that keen. There is a thin line between healthy attention and downright creepiness. You will raise her suspicions and possibly drive her away forever if you look deep into her eyes and say in a sincere voice things like:
Please tell me about your cat's operation again...
I wish I could have your periods for you.”
Cruising towards the beach, money parted with and book in hand, I enthusiastically opened up at “A” and started to skim through, stopping at particularly ludicrous entries to share my dismay with my companions. All of us coupled up, we were amused to discover we have already nearly reached Green's fifth stage in his “Seven Stages Of A Relationship”:
Stage 1 - Holding hands
Stage 2 – Pet names
Stage 3 – Flatulent familiarity
Stage 4 – B & Q
Stage 5 – Matching tracksuits
Stage 6- Twin Beds
Stage 7- Death
I hope the last three stages are a long way off, although I guess The boy and I are kind of going through a temporary version of Stage Six, in that we are currently living in separate cities so most definitely sleeping in different beds.
The two nuggets of information that less personally affected me and satisfied my love of words were the definitions of “Beater” and “Boomerangs”. According to Green, Beaters are: “A socially unskilled friend who comes along with you on the pull for the sole purpose of driving any available women into your range”. He goes on to formulate a hypothetical situation, illustrating how men can use this friend by pretending not to know them, agreeing with the disgusted women trying to escape the “Beater” and offering to save these damsels with his company or suggestions of a new venue to accompany them to. Green implies that a “Boomerang” is another socially inadequate person who “as adults actually chooses to live with their parents”.
All that amazing information in a mere 24 hours! And my top three, rather bizarrely, are all belittling negative categories for types of men. I look forward to the next day's worth of reading material, I have time to reflect on. I am yet to finish my delightful new purchase and something tells me, it might not be the last time you hear about it.