So as I write this I’m surrounded by half empty boxes of Kleenex, cursing the day human beings crawled out of the ocean and started breathing air filled with bacteria specifically designed to make me ill. Now I’m not one of those people for whom every little sniffle becomes an Earth shattering drama. In fact I’m fairly proud of my never-say-die, terminator like, last man standing approach to feeling unwell. Many a time I’ve been seen bravely fighting a cold saying such amazing things as “I ‘aint got time to sniffle!” and “I came here to kick ass and drink lemsip. And I’m all outta lemsip.”. But I’ll be dammed if this wee bugger hasn’t managed to wear me down. Seriously this sumbitch would be the virus that made Godzilla cry.
Anyway, currently I’m typing this in bed, wallowing in a sea of self pity and mucus. I’m also terribly, terribly bored. I’ve watched Avatar on DVD twice (Gee Note: Is it just me or is Michelle Rodriguez the best thing in that movie by a mile? I mean sure “oooh look it’s all pretty with the luminescence and everything”. But really give me a Latino chick who can fly a helicopter and shoot things and I’m a happy man. Apparently). I’ve watched so much daytime television I’ve developed a strange throbbing pain behind my left eye, as well as starting to learn the TV spots for forthcoming movies off by heart. I’ve developed a particular loathing for this one.
(Gee Note: And people wonder why psychos end up laying waste to public places with shotguns. Seriously, shit like this can make you lose all faith in humanity).
Thankfully the future ex-Mrs. Davies has been an angel and bought me a collection of magazines and a box of smarties (Gee Note: This might take some explaining. You see when my dad was a little boy, if he was feeling under the weather his dad would bring him home a box of smarties. Then when I was a little boy, my dad used to do the same for me. However I have no children and complain about things a lot and so to placate me my partner continues to bring home a box of smarties whenever I feel poorly. My life is phenomenal when you think about it). The printed highlights include
A copy of Private Eye. Apparently some kind of election’s been going on. Who knew?
A copy of The National Enquirer. Gary Coleman has reunited with his wife and opened a dog breeding business. In other news, readers are shocked to discover Gary Coleman is still alive.
A copy of Good Eating. Food porn for the fat man in your life.
A copy of Rugby World. Including a useful article about which rugby ball to buy. Now if only I could run and catch one without falling over and looking like an arse I could be playing for Wales in no time.
And finally, a copy of Take a Break’s Fate & Fortune. Which is now my favourite magazine ever.
For those who haven’t read this unparalleled work of genius allow me to explain. Take a Break’s Fame and Fortune is a glossy rag aimed at middle aged house wives who whole heartedly believe in psychics, mystics, and the spirit world. In fact the front cover does it’s best to make them throw their noisy kids in the cupboard and put the vacuum cleaner down for half an hour with headlines such as “Digging my garden disturbed the DEAD!” and “TOYBOX TERROR: MUMMY… THERE’S A SPIRIT ON THE PHONE!”. Couple this with promise of “All the top psychics and spookiest true life” (Gee Note: Which means that if you’re a psychic and you’re not featured in TaBF&F you’re probably doing it wrong. “I’m in contact with your Uncle Ted.” “You mean Jim?” “Yes. That’s what I said. Your Uncle Jim. He has told me that he wants me to touch your boobs.” “Umm. Are you sure this is right?” “Listen lady which one of us is the psychic here? Hmmm?”) and how could anyone resist?
Each page is a joy to behold. Which is amazing considering there’s not an awful lot to it. Out of the 62 glorious pages on offer roughly six of those are what could be considered “articles”. The rest is dominated by Agony Aunt pages. Except the Agony Aunts here aren’t professional relationship counsellors or any such jazz. Oh no siree Bob. These guys are psychic.
Now in such a crowded market place it’s important that every columnist stands out from the crowd. Therefore, while there is a smattering of regular Joe mediums offering their advice to the public, the majority of the writing talent have their own individual gimmick. You have the “mumsy” psychic (Gee Note: Our dear friend Sally Morgan. A manipulative horror if ever there was one), the ghost hunting psychic, the psychic who’s on good terms with angels, and the psychic with no arms.
Honestly I didn’t make that last one up. Mandy Masters has no arms, but outside of that is your typical British medium. 1980’s haircut, chunky jewellery, a penchant for candles. In fact, truth be told she’s rather dull. Which at least can’t be said for Leanna, Fate & Fortune’s resident Witch. Under the heading “Real Magic” folks write in with a problem and Leanna gives out a recipe for a spell which will somehow help.
It leads to some unintentionally hilarious results. For example, take a letter from some put upon mother who wished to remain anonymous.
“My son’s addicted to his computer. He spends hours playing games on it, and I’m worried what it’s doing to his mental state. Is there a spell that could help?”
Um, does anyone else see the problem here? You’re writing in to a witch to help place a secret spell on your own offspring rather than - oh I don’t know - sitting them down and having a chat about it, and you’re worrying about his mental state? Really? I mean… really? Of course Leanna treats this as the most natural request in the world, and advised the best way to deal with this is to chuck some lemon rind and mint in to a bowl, light some candles, and chant the following
“There once was a man called Reg,
Who went with a girl in a hedge,
Along came his wife,
With a big carving knife,
And cut off his meat and two veg.”
Well ok not really. Actually it was a horrible little poem about the young man “finding new horizons” or something. Then you simply hide the bowl near the computer for two days and, hey presto, your son stops playing videogames and goes back to his miserable existence where everyone teases him because his mother is a loony (Gee Note: Either that or with the lime and mint you‘re half way to making a decent Mojito). Hoorah.
As insane as Leanna’s Real Magic is however (Gee Note: And trust me it’s more bonkers than that guy who thought hiding his son in the attic and claiming he’d flown away in a hot air balloon was a good idea.) it is nothing, I repeat nothing, compared to Texas.
Texas is yet another of Fate & Fortune’s Agony Aunt’s. Except Texas isn’t an Aunt per say. Or an Uncle. In fact Texas isn’t even human. Texas is…
Wait for it…
Not just any horse you understand. According to his blurb Texas is a 19 year old Appaloosa wonder-horse. To whom readers write in to with their problems. Which he helps out with. Psychically.
Now if you’re anything like me, right now your mind will be racing with questions (Gee Note: Such as “How does a horse speak to dead people?” “How the f*** does the horse write back?” and “Why are my new boots so itchy?”). The problem is, alas, those questions aren’t really going to be answered in great detail. It’s all something to do with a lady named Holly Davis who can, apparently, communicate telepathically with Texas. Which when you think about it is pretty insane. On the one hand you have a four legged Mystic Meg, and on the other you have a Doctor Doolittle wannabe. All you’d have to do is through in a sinister government conspiracy and a wide eyed all American blonde and you’d have the making of a really bad/awesome schlock horror. You know, with a title like “TerrorHorse” or something.
Still people do actually
Still I guess the whole ordeal has confused me enough to make me forget about this bloody cold. In fact for some reason I feel five thousand times better.
Well I’ll be dammed.