The Exile Files

Raging Against the Outrageous. Laughter and Insanity Abound.

Archive for November, 2007

Coincidence, or the Hand of Fate?

Posted by Exile on November 20, 2007

I celebrated my birthday this weekend. My wife, bless her, decided that we should go to Prague to celebrate in style. A lovely old city, she has never been there and as an added bonus, my birthday coincides with the anniversary of the democratic revolution that led to the free Czech Republic that we know today.  The whole city was out celebrating.

My birthday is also my brother’s birthday. No, we are not twins. I was born on his fourth birthday. We have a common date on the calendar. A rare accident of birth. I have not seen him in seven years.

A week before we left, my wife scrapped her old car. Father in law had decided to buy a new car, so she could have his old one. We were to make the necessary trip to the vehicle licensing office and fix all the paperwork. Also, a week before we left, my long lost brother rang me, to say he was back from Spain, now in England, and how was I? We talked for a while, I wished him happy birthday and explained that we were going to Prague for the weekend to celebrate. It was good to hear from him. Contact is rare as he lives, shall we say, a bohemian life, hanging his hat where he pleases and working wherever he can to get by.

The day before we left, the paperwork necessary to complete the change of ownership on my wife’s car arrived in the post. I rushed off to the vehicle office and finally made the change official. We packed our cases and began to look forward to a weekend in Prague.
Just before we left,  on the morning of our departure, my wife said she would ring her father and let him know about the car. An afterthought.  Picking up the phone, she said that someone had left a message on the auto answer machine.  It was my brother. The message said, “I’ll be in the middle of Wenceslas Square, in Prague, at ten thirty on saturday morning. Meet me.” Which is a bit of a chance to take, as the answering machine is at the providers and not a free standing answering machine coupled to our telephone. Had my wife not decided to ring her father, we would never have known.

I met him on cue. We all had a great weekend.


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Getting With the Programme

Posted by Exile on November 3, 2007

Both my better half and I work wierd hours, including weekends. Often, I am just getting up as she is going out, or the other way round and, most nights, I get home after she has gone to sleep. This means that we get little time together, which makes us appreciate it whenever we do.

One result of this life apart is, that we get pretty egoistic about what TV we see. Being alone with the TV remote means you can pick and choose to your hearts content and never have to discuss what is good or not. I like the programmes about tanks, aircraft, natural history, fast cars and action movies. My wife likes documentaries, emo-stuff, chick flicks and pointless entertainment. Neither of us watches Oprah. Or Dr. bloody Phil.

Today is saturday. We are both home for a change. My wife has decided that it is time for her to hog the TV. She wants to see a show where well known personalities, such as sports folk, politicians, actors and the like, are forced into a competition where they need to dance with a professional ball room dancer, either to excell or flop at the whim of public opinion. The competition goes on for weeks. My good lady is an avid fan. Watches it almost religiously, week after awful week.

I try to exude some enthusiasm. I ask questions about who the punters are, what they do. What is this dance called? How do we judge it? Who’s that guy on the panel, the one that sounds like a homosexual Simon Cowell? Not that I have anything against homosexuals. Or Simon Cowell. The guy just appears that way.
All this only seems to provoke my wife in some strange way. “Shut up”, is the usual response. Or, “Now you’re being stupid.” “Go away and let me see the show”, or “You’ll never understand anyway”, is about all I get out of her.

Let’s be honest here. My ballroom dancing accomplishment is zero. I have never excelled at it, never really tried to get to grips with it and my physical size and stature is working against me. On a dance floor, I am as graceful as a wounded elephant in a china shop is careful. In both cases, the result is usually catastrophic and often ends in injury to someone or untold destruction within my near vicinity. This is not something which I wish to be reminded of or confronted with. I am not exactly what one would call “elegant”. My middle age figure is hardly comparable to an Elgin marble statue of David. More Schrek than sylph.

Leaving my wife in peace in front of the talking box is all I can do for now. Her turn to have it. I’ll be watching “Great Military Commanders” this evening. Then it’ll be her turn to ask the stupid questions.

I can’t just leave it there though. I mean, why can’t they make the dance programme more acceptable to people like me? I have put some thought into this and realise now, that it is the content that is boring, not the activity. I mean, women wearing half a dress and swinging their asses about on screen shouldn’t be all bad, should it?
I can hear all the red blooded males out there saying “No”, and agreeing with me. So what’s to be done? Well, I think I have it. We need to change, or add to, the categories of dance.

Instead of just the Passo-doublé, the Waltz, Latin, Samba and all that jazz, they have to branch out.
I would suggest the following categories be included; Lap dancing, Pole-dancing, Strip-tease dancing, the Dance of the Seven Veils and, finally, when all else is played out, The Dance Macabre.

Now that’s what I call entertaining TV! I might not understand it, but it’s easy to watch.

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