Monday, 20 July 2009

Wordzzle No #72

My apologies for writing yet another story about a disgruntled worker. Guess it must say something about the way i feel about my job right now!

For rules and so forth visit


lavender cowboy, over the moon, preparation, zebra, area rug


corn pone, delegation, nectarines, happiness, 12 going on 13, prancing horses, magenta, butterflies, fragmentary, arthritis

Mega – include all the words listed above


Lavender Cowboy (putting the sic back into country music)

Well I’ve rode the midnight highway, on a zebra painted blue
And I’ve made my preparation, as we went back to the zoo
When the headlights started fading, you know I’ll still be true
So I sing about a lavender cowboy, or I’ll surely eat my shoe
Yes I sing about my lavender cowboy, or I’ll surely eat my shoe

Though my carpet may be fading, my area rug is new
Though my body may be weary, you always keep me true
When my feelings take me over the moon, I know I’ll still have you
So I sing about a lavender cowboy, or I’ll surely eat my shoe
Yes I sing about my lavender cowboy, or I’ll surely eat my shoe


Cookery For Numpties (or all the things TV Chefs never tell you)
(Numpties – silly people or someone who does something daft)

1) arrive home in a bad mood having listened to inane chatter all day until your brain split into fragmentary pieces
2) Look at the mountain of washing up and remind yourself that you can’t simply have beans on toast again
3) Spend half an hour trying to clear enough space on the side to make dinner
4) Open fridge
5) Look at contents of fridge in despair
6) Go to the shelf containing the cookery books and find the recipe that has a) not too many ingredients that you don’t have and b) has the least number of pages eaten by butterflies
7) Spend twenty minutes with a calculator trying to convert the meal-for-six proportions into a correct amount for one person before eventually conceding that this is the meal you will be eating cold for the next six evenings
8) Start to prepare the ingredients
9) Get half-way through measuring the ingredients and realise that what you thought said “12 going on 13” tables of castor oil was a misprint.
10) Start preparing ingredients from scratch
11) Realise that you are fresh out of nectarines
12) Realise that you are fresh out of corn pone
13) Realise that you have no idea what the hell corn pone is and that it would probably have been a good idea to check this in the first place.
14) Spend ten minutes on Wikipedia and decide that grapes and half a wholemeal loaf will just have to do instead.
15) Mix the ingredients
16) End up with a magenta-goo all over the wall
17) Ring your elderly parent/friend for advice and spend half an hour listening to them complain about their arthritis, but come away none the wiser
18) At this point some people may chose the optional ingredient of going mad and singing a song about prancing horses
19) Look at the clock in horror and realise that your dream of going straight to bed is still no nearer
20) Realise that true happiness lies in the art of delegation and call the pizza delivery man
21) Bury the meal you made quietly at midnight under the light of the full moon


The Samples Girl

Nicky plastered on her best customer-friendly smile and smoothed down her purple apron. The smile was well practiced and practically flawless: only the closest of observers would have noticed the tension lines around the side and deduced that it did not denote true happiness.

She closed her eyes, counted to ten and then let off a stream of expletives that would have shocked the coarsest of builders before opening the door of the toilets, adjusting her magenta lipstick, washing her hands and proceeding to the shop floor. All this: the bullet-proof smile, the swear-words, the lipstick and the tiniest amount of alcohol were all just part of her daily preparation for her job at Fresco.

She had worked out fairly early into her tenure as Samples Girl that she would need a technique to survive the banality of the questions she would face on a daily basis, a technique that would stop her from taking a cleaver from the meat counter and committing murder.

Life hadn’t always been like this: she had spent twelve going on thirteen years as a personal secretary, undermining a millionaire’s wife to the point where he was ready to dump the bitch and elope with her: then the bastard had been killed by a zebra and she had gone to the bank. Four years answering customer complaints had given Nicky the ability to answer any query with a degree of politeness that was veering so far towards sarcasm that 90% of her customers came away feeling insulted without quite knowing why.

And then the credit crunch had come and she had found herself working on the samples counter, squashed by the nectarines and the kumquats, breathing in a daily dose of halitosis from an endless supply of moronic shoppers.

She reached her spot, unsurprised to find that she would be sharing it with a display of hand cream that left her with little room to breathe. Nevertheless she laid down the little area-rug with the “Stop Me And Try One” motif and assembled her products. What were they expecting her to sell today? She looked at the packet and saw it was called Kent’s Traditional Corn Pone. Jesus, why did the bastards have to be so smug with their names: couldn’t they just call them bread rolls and be done with it?

Tim, the Duty Manager with the roving hands, approached her from behind the cornflakes, ‘Morning Nicky’

‘Tim’ Nicky replied shortly, silently imagining a gang of prancing horses appearing and stampeding him to death. Having a conversation with Tim was like being mugged by butterflies.

Tim, as blissfully unaware of any sarcasm as ever, smiled with the happiness that only comes to insignificant nobody’s who have acquired a degree of power to wield and are determined to make everyone beneath them totally miserable, ‘You did well last week with that aftershave…what was it called again?’

‘Lavender Cowboy’ Nicky replied, failing to add that almost all of the twenty-seven bottles she’d sold had gone to the same sixty-eight year old man. He had said that he didn’t mind the picture of the bare-chested man on the bottle wearing nothing but a leather thong and chaps, and that he was over the moon to have found something that cured his arthritis at the same time as covering the otherwise persistent smell of wee.

The tannoy cut into life above their heads, announcing in fragmentary bursts of information that a member of Customer Services was required at the check-out.

Nicky tried not to let the relief show too visibly on her face as Tim nodded and clicked his heels together, grateful for once that where delegation was concerned he was totally agnostic.
As he trotted off with a steady clip-clop of patent leather shoes Nicky adjusted her smile and turned the full force of her personality on an unsuspecting customer, ‘Croissant madam?’ she asked…with just the slightest hint of malice.


Lydia said...

The song was fun.

Cookery for Numpties amazed me.....pages eaten by butterflies, the castor oil error, fresh out of corn pone, the art of delegation = so funny.

Your mega blew me away. Again, I love the way you turn you work angst into brilliant pieces like this one. Really, Pixies, this read like a playscript. In fact, I feel like I just watchedThe Samples Girl instead of reading it! So entertaining, and now I'm going to go to sleep with a smile on my face at 3:30 a.m. .....

the watercats said...

*wipes tears out of eyes.......
blimmin eck!.... you have such a ferocious wit in your writing it's incredible! I did actually lol the whole time! The characters are fantastic and the comic timing and the well... you're just excellent! You should be getting paid for doing this!... *starts laughing again... :-D.. (loved the imagery summed up with the "mobbed by butterflies" line...)...

india said...

i'm still sobbing with laughter...

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Lydia - glad you liked the song.

I think cooking for numpties describes a lot of my own frustrations with fridges and cookery books - except for the bit with the pizza!

Watercats - too, too kind. I actually used to know someone who could be polite to the point of sarcasm and i wish i could have bottled it!

India - thanks :) Glad to bring a smile

Argent said...

Very funny. Loved all of these but "bullet-proof smile" was ace. Reminds me of a Salman Rushdie quote from (dare I say) the Satanic Verses where some of the characters are on a plane and the stewardess subjects them to "the pitiless hospitality of her tribe".

Raven said...

These were all fun. Loved your song. Great way to use the words... and Nicky was just delightfully wicked fun too... my favorite phrase... "mugged by butterflies." All three were very well done and entertaining. I could relate to the cooking one.

Akelamalu said...

I loved the song and the cookery for Numpties was hilarious! Your megawordzzle was awesome! :)

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Argent - thanks. I think there could be a song or a book in the title "Bullet Proof Smile": needs some more thought!

Raven - i forgot to mention at the end that once you'd buried the food you had to consecrate the ground! I regularly feel stumped when trying to think of something to make to eat!

Akelamalu - thanks for visiting and glad you enjoyed :)

pohanginapete said...

All three are brilliant. Classics. I love that wonderful blend of humour and biting wit; you do that so well.

the watercats said...

hellooo... you can get yourself a reverb nation account (free), they're actually a lot better than myspace, more of a muso's networking site and the player plays back better quality. When you set your account up you can upload your music files (mp3 files only), then there is a place where you can get the code for your player to embed it wherever! We look forward to hearing some toons :-) if your music files are something other than mp3 you can download free converters fairly easily. Here's reverb nation link;

the watercats said...

meant to say, if you have trouble, you can find our e-mail ad on our profile, drop us a line and I can send back more details if you want them :-)

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Pete - glad you enjoyed the stories!

Watercats - thanks: i shall indeed look up the link as soon as i can