Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Freshers’ Fayre, traffic cones and the vampire whale

Spent a lot of yesterday evening feeling shattered and napping before … um … going to bed, so decided to stop the rot today by taking a De-Stress pill first thing. So far, it’s working, aha! Still think I should have brought the darn things into work with me though. Once again, I have been running round the campus replacing arrows so that students don’t get lost in the bushes on their way to various registrations. Or not too many times anyway. M’dears, it’s utterly exhausting … Pause for smelling salts and an elegant sinking onto the sofa …

Not only that but the boss deposited a full box of chocolates on my desk last night – sadly not for me (arrgghh!!), but for the students while they register. So I was forced to hand the choccies over to the Registration people for them to distribute this morning, sigh … But all was not lost, as I did nick one last night …

Oh, and I was dealing with an issue posted in our Student Care inbox today and sent a reply back to the parent, adding that I hoped their child was settling in anyway in spite of the problems. The parent’s reply was that yes they must be, as they’d just received a photo of their child with a traffic cone on their head. Wonderful! Difficult to know how to reply to that one really – at least not without incurring the wrath of Security!... Ho hum.

This afternoon, I’ve been helping to staff the Student Care Services stall at the Freshers’ Fayre. Only two hours, but still more exhausting really. Though the students seemed to enjoy it, so that's something anyway. Mind you, back in the office, we had a fun time reminiscing about hot-looking builders we have known. Sigh … Though I do think that Carol was wondering why she’d decided to work in an office with three women in their forties – ah, you have all that to come, Carol!...

And I was doing so well too, on the attempts to be calm front when yet another punter from a geographically distant fellow service (not the same as the last one, thank God) sent an email to my boss (who isn't in today) telling him how disappointed he was with the wording for his particular service on the new campus map. Which was the map I've spent the last two weeks running around like the proverbial trying to produce for Freshers' Week. Well, if the bugger had actually told me he wanted a wording change, that might have been nice ... I sent a rather stiff email back adding that as we currently have the only map of the University with the correct information on (bearing in mind the recent restructuring etc etc), then at least the students stand more of a chance of getting to places they want to go. Wording or no wording. I then spent five minutes spitting and swearing like a trooper in the office and deciding that the best way forward to deal with the bugger is to remove his head, laminate it and stuff it up his own bottom. Without anaesthetic. A secretarial procedure that only a few of us know ... Ah, if only, if only.

As a result the rest of the office has decided that we are all going to send as many emails as possible expressing disappointment in mealy-mouthed tones to anyone that crosses us. Ha! That'll show the b******s. Oh, and Ruth bought Dolly Mixtures sweets to cheer us all up, and Carol sent me a wonderful email telling me how impressed she was with the map and how much she loved the colours. Thanks, guys ... Hugely. Onward and upward, eh. Ho hum.

And I’ve endeavoured to respond to this week’s Writewords Flash Fiction II challenge, which is: write something about a vampire whale, a giant extra-strong red chilly ice-lolly falling from the sky (which happens to be as a result of global warming and global cooling all at the same time), and a hero or heroine. Heck! No pressure then … I came up with:

A cautionary tale

Albert was once again searching for ice-lollies. He’d been doing this for a while as the supply of dolphins, squid and the odd swimmer had grown a little scarce since the onset of global warming. It was a hard time to be a vampire whale; all his victims had swum north for the winter. Making do with sea-horses and aphids just didn’t cut it with him, and only ice-lollies helped staunch his natural blood-lust.

He sighed and just then a loud plop told him that lunch had arrived – at last! Snatching it, he realised it was one of the lollies made from stomach flesh – his favourites. He waggled his huge whale body with delight as he sunk his whale-teeth into the icy treat. Mmm. Someone up there must be killing people on the nearby mountain and throwing them into the sea in small chunks. Except this one was wonderfully large and – oh goody – extra-strong flavour too. Shame they weren’t hot and tender of course, but it couldn’t be helped; the localised global cooling resulting from the mountains had a lot to answer for. Albert smiled, master of all he surveyed once more.

Meanwhile, far far above, Jacintha the were-guinea pig chuckled to herself as she watched Albert chew the poisoned flesh she’d found for him. She’d get rid of that darn whale if it was the last thing she did. One day, global warming or no global warming, were-guinea pigs would inherit the world.

Tonight, I have a sherry in my sights – maybe two – and an evening of chilling. Mind you, after that bit of flash fiction, I probably deserve it! Not convinced that any more writing will get done either. And as for Freshers’ Week – well, thank the Lord I’m not full-time is what I say ...

And I've just finished the Heavyglow Flash Fiction collection - very enjoyable indeed. I particularly enjoyed offerings from John Ritchie, Brian Cabrera and Oren Shafir. Great stuff!

Today’s nice things:

1. The traffic cone lady
2. Carol's email and Ruth's sweets
3. Writing a piece of flash fiction.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website


Sue said...

What a very busy day! Great story too. How do you do it Anne?

Sue xx

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Sue! Adrenaline, I think!