Parental Advisory

Hooray! Finally, a mere six weeks after my ship came in, my possessions did. Rather than a SWAT team descending, it was a removal firm, who piled the 49 boxes (“I counted them all out…and I counted them all back”) neatly up in the corner of the garage. From there I have been gradually picking my way through them, although at the current rate, it’ll take another six weeks or so to finish the job, assuming room can be found for everything! I’ve started with the more fragile items, and so far the mortality rate has been pleasingly low – my DVD of Poison Ivy 3 was rather crushed, but if that’s the limit of the destruction, I’ll cope. [It almost as if supernatural forces are at work here – my LD of the film got laser rot] Even my beer glasses seem to have made the trip unscathed. Thus, for the moment, Fleet Shipping, who did all the packing, equals top bunch of blokes.

My parents are still here (hence the severe lack of movie reviews this week – the only thing seen has been Bye Bye Birdie with Ann-Margret and Dick Van Dyke, as well as the bloke who did the voice of Dick Dastardly), though tomorrow they head off to the somewhat-chillier climes of Indiana. By then, it’ll be virtually two weeks they’ve been here, which is the longest time I’ve lived with them since graduation. I love my parents dearly ‘n’ all, but it does serve as a good reminder of why I moved out.

I am, basically, an intolerant bastard, and there are very few people whose company I can stand every hour of the waking day. [Indeed, the count stops at one…hi, Chris!] So far, I have just about managed to bite my tongue, but I confess to some sarcasm slipping out when, while unpacking some of my boxes, my mother said, “So, you’re unpacking some of your boxes, are you?”. No, I’m emptying them in order to construct a cardboard glider, in a daring yet likely futile attempt to escape from Nazi-occupied territory. What made you think otherwise?

Mind you, they have pleasantly surprised me in other ways: Mum’s interest in baseball was gratifying, while Dad has bitten the bullet and used the Internet for the first time. Admittedly, this has so far been limited to scrolling up and down the home page for their local newspaper, the Forres Gazette [top story this week: Tesco get the go-ahead for their new store], but this represents a major step forward. I don’t think he’ll ever quite turn into a cyberpunk though.

At least they managed to get our here without needing to get dunked in tanks of disinfectant, which I believe is the fate of most British tourists departing my former green, pleasand and foot-and-mouth infected land. Well, I suppose it makes a change from BSE. I do have to wonder what is going on back there; in the short time since I left, the whole place seems to have gone completely to pot. I mean, as if Railtrack don’t cause enough accidents, we now have people turning the tracks into a multi-storey Landrover-park. And that’s disregarding the tube strikes and the weather.

Okay, with regard to the last, the past week here has not exactly been anything to write home about (even if my parents no doubt did, at length, on their postcards); the trip to gaze into the Grand Canyon ended up being a trip to gaze into five thousand feet of fog. Pity the poor mule riders who had booked, a year in advance, for their scenic trip down. On the plus side, I did get to make my first snowman in a good decade or so (hey – snow here is white!), though later on, I was brought back to earth when I had to drive through a blizzard of the damn stuff, with big rigs whizzing inches past me.

The main revelation for this week is thus: snow is something best viewed as a pedestrian, or better still, from a warm living-room, accompanied by a steaming cup of hot chocolate…