Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Keep behind me. There's no sense in getting killed by a plant.

Now this may come as a shock to some of you, but I'm not what you would call a practical man. I mean if you need someone who could tell you who wrote, directed and starred in the horror movie "Def By Temptation" then I'm your guy. However if you need your washing machine fixed or something then, well, you'd be better off asking someone else. Put it this way, the last time I tried putting up a picture I ended up nailing my shirt sleeve in to the wall and breaking the photo frame. It's like I am David and DIY is my Goliath. Except Goliath always wins. Convincingly. And then dances around me while chanting "You suck!" over and over again.

Well that was until last week.

Before we start I really should explain something. I hate gardening. I mean really hate gardening. Actually a more accurate statement would be I hate gardening when I have to do it. Because, deep down, I'd love to be able to grow my own vegetables and cross pollinate Roses and Shrubs to create, oh God I don't know, Shroses. It's just I'll be damned if I can put the effort in. As such gardening is firmly established in the realm of something "other people" do. Such as working out. Or learning how to play guitar.

So it should come as no surprise when I say that the last time I did any work in my back garden, Michael Jackson was still alive and nowhere near as popular, George Walker Bush was President of the United States, and very few folks thought that Kanye West was a complete jerk. Problem was during that time my garden was taken over by a large family of Triffids whose sole purpose was to grow to head height and make me look bad in front of the neighbours.

Anyway at the tail end of last week I found myself with nothing else to do, and so decided to cowboy up and tackle this gigantic floral mess once and for all. And so, armed with an industrial petrol strimmer I'd hired that afternoon (Gee Note: "I'd like a petrol strimmer please!" said I. "What type would you like?" asked the Hire Store guy. "What do you mean?" I replied. "Well" said he, "Is it stuff like grass your looking to cut down, or something thicker like brambles?". "Er, it's green." said I. "That's probably grass" said he, with a knowing smile. Those Hire Store guys sure do know their stuff.) and dressed to impress in a pair of goggles and safety gloves, I set to it.

All in all it took about seven hours of constant strimming. That's not including the half hour it took for me to realise that the reason the strimmer wasn't cutting stuff down anymore was because the cord needing rethreading. By the end of it all I was sweating, aching, and covered in gunk.

I was also as giddy as a penguin (Gee Note: Penguins are giddy right?). The reason? Well not only did I kick the garden’s ass, but I had a ton of fun doing it. You see, there’s  something very pleasing about hacking up plants with a piece of machinery that could turn your limbs in to confetti should you make one false move. The sense of achievement as you hold down the trigger and watch the greenery fly above your head. The sheer joy in retiring for a cup of tea and discovering that you still have all ten toes. Had I honestly known how enjoyable it was going to be I would have done it months ago.

Which is all well and good. But sadly it means this blog has suffered in the process, as my cheery disposition has meant that I’ve been far too flighty to concentrate properly. I haven’t even been able to choose a topic to blog about this week. I managed to narrow the possibilities down to two choices but after that got a wee bit stuck. I simply couldn’t choose between the two, like Pamela Anderson with Tommy Lee and Kid Rock. Except with less tattoos. And less drugs. And less sex tapes. So not really like that at all. Anyway, as if I was Commissioner Gordon throwing up the Bat signal, I picked up the phone and called my good friend Jenny from Generation Minus One.

Without telling her why I asked her to flip a coin for me. If it came up heads I’d blog about topic A, if it came up tails then we’d go with topic B. Not only does it make my decision for me, but this way if it’s no good I can always blame her. Win win? You’re damn right it’s win win.

It came up tails.

There’s been a loose series of posts on here recently about folk who should know better claiming to have had dealings with extra terrestrials. Like the Japanese First Lady. Or the former Vietnam Vet from Florida. And obviously I enjoyed finding out more about these crazy characters when composing those posts. But part of me was relived that nobody like that had come from the UK. You see being a tiny island filled with tea drinking, crooked toothed dandies we need all the help we can get when it comes to international relations. The last thing we need is some fruit cake banging on about how they saw an alien walking down the high street one breezy morning.

Meet Adrian Hicks.


Mr Hicks is an orthopaedic technician in the Accident and Emergency department at Royal Hampshire County Hospital, a role he's held for the past 35 years. He is also a member of Winchester Council representing the Lib Dems. Basically he’s the kind of guy that on paper screams pillar of the community. Thankless job that benefits the community? Check. Heavily involved in the grass roots of local politics? Check. How can this guy not be the straightest of straight arrows?

The answer to that question is “When he claims he once spotted an alien moseying on through Winchester city centre.”.

Says Adrian:

I was near The Works bookshop when I saw this strange woman, a humanoid walking with a penguin-like gait. She had very large prominent eyes and was twirling her hands in a circular motion (Gee Note: HA! I told you penguins were giddy). She seemed friendly and totally at ease with us. She wasn’t scared, she was smiling, and seemed to be enjoying herself among us. She walked very slowly up the High Street. I remember she was very interested in the clock over Lloyds Bank. She was taking it all in. She was human enough to get away with it. Everybody’s heads were turning.

Hicksy claims this was in January or February 2004. However Adrian didn’t go public with his sighting until earlier this year. Why? Well Winchester’s finest was afraid that people might not elect him councillor if they thought he was crazy (Gee Note: I wouldn’t worry too much about that. It worked for Margaret Thatcher after all.). Instead Hicks spent £400 employing a sketch artist to knock up an accurate depiction of Miss Universe.

Well she sure is a striking individual. So how did the sensible shoe wearing Adrian react upon spying such a vision?

I was very confused and shocked. I was going to say ‘excuse me, you’re not from around here?’ but I thought it best to leave her alone.

So if we’re to believe Mr. Hicks and accept that this is a being from outer space (Gee Note: Rather than, say, a slightly barmy lady wearing big glasses) one question is perhaps more important than any other. What the hell was it doing in Winchester?

I think we have established contact, because I have seen this ‘being’ in the High Street. Other people will have seen her. I would like them to come forward. Clearly there are UFOs flying around and I’m keen to set up a UFO watch group for Winchester.

UFOs are flying in and out of the military base – Winchester is the UFO capital of Europe. (Gee Note: You must be so proud)

So is Hampshire the first place in the world to genuinely house creatures from another world? Well yeah. Sure it is. I mean Adrian Hicks seems like a decent guy, so there’s no reason to doubt…

Oh who am I kidding? Anyone who looks at that picture and listens to the eye witness report and thinks “Dude, a crazy woman walking around a city centre. I’ve never heard of that before! It must be aliens!” is in need of serious help. In the case of Cllr Hicks however he genuinely does seem to be a nice man, and maybe it’s just a case of him wanting to believe in something so much that he’s let his imagination run wild with him.

Either that or Winchester have elected a lunatic to public office. Which would be madness of the highest kind.

You know, like enjoying gardening.

Or leaving a blog post up to the toss of a coin.

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