Idle Eye 172 : The Blind Leading the Blind

I’ve never considered myself to be one of those consumer warriors. You know, the types that scour their cornflakes in the morning for evidence of weevils, and then send in a lengthy complaint to customer services, stating how their lives have been irreparably scarred by the ensuing trauma. However, it has come to light that a certain established blinds manufacturer (begins with V and ends with elux) is flatly denying a noted issue with their grey plastic runners which perish and fray the cords over time. Clearly a design flaw, IMHO. As I have three of the things, and the replacement kits (£35.66 each) comprise of 98% bits which still work perfectly well, I thought I might have a word.

Trouble is, I’m not very good at it. If I was my mother, I’d go all Penelope Keith down the phone and wait for them to cave in. But I’m not. So when they wheel out the stock argument that the problem is I’m using them too much, I simply agree and cough up. Of course I’m using them too much! I love my blinds to the point where I just can’t help myself. Up and down they go, up and down. Like a whore’s drawers. If you’re a night owl, you may have seen me from the street, overusing my blinds right through until dawn, particularly at weekends. In fact, I’m baffled my fingers haven’t worn down to the quick in direct proportion.

Now concerned that this compulsive blind usage could be a known ailment – perhaps somewhere on the spectrum of Aspergers or OCD – I trawl the net for medical clues and sure enough, I discover that NHS direct has a designated page, helpfully broken down into manageable sections. Bizarrely, excessive masturbation is down as one of the root causes, not something I’d be keen on admitting to in court if it ever came to it. Or to the nice Scottish lady so keen on taking my order for the three replacement kits. So it looks as if I’m stuck with it for the time being. I can only pray it doesn’t get any worse.

As with any form of addiction, there are drawbacks; however, I’m generally fine when in proximity to objects I can open and close. Sash windows are OK, as are those sliding metal grilles they have on coaches to store luggage behind. But get me out into the open and I’m crawling the walls (if there are any), desperately seeking something, anything, to block out the light and then let it back in again. I have suggested via email to V***x that they should consider a field kit for those in a similar predicament but, as is the way with these things, I haven’t yet heard back.

Apparently, the replacements will show up on 26th October. By which time I’ll either be in the Priory or lying spent in a pool of my own excess. There should be a law.

IE Audio 1 : The Wolf of West Norwood

Idle Eye audio will appear here until I’ve stopped dicking around with the new website and taken it live. We’ll aim to put up a new one every fortnight, maybe more. Who knows? Anyway, let’s kick it all off with Wolf of West Norwood, an oldie but goodie. Let us know what you think. And here are some written credits in case you miss them at the end: Rupert narrated it, Donald produced it (& composed the music) and I wrote it. Very straightforward.

Idle Eye 100 : The Wolf of West Norwood

“See that two bedroom flat in a quiet residential area about eight miles from where it’s at? That’s mine (when I pay off the mortgage in 15 years). I also own a decaying car that’s older than me, take painkillers once a day if the back’s playing up and I owe £132 in council tax. When I was 26, I was selling sandwiches off a bicycle in the Farringdon area for less money than my niece makes in an afternoon, couldn’t hold down a girlfriend and drank myself to sleep most nights. Like it?”

On reflection, perhaps I’ve left it too late to enjoy the nefarious lifestyle portrayed by Jordan Belfort in Martin Scorsese’s latest epic. Sadly, the days of ludes, ladies and Lamborghinis are long gone but the thirst for excess never completely abandons you, particularly if you haven’t had it in the first place. So here’s a checklist for any senior slickers out there that will not hand over the baton:

Wellman 50+. The Holy Grail of oral healthcare. Neck one of these beauties with a couple of Omega 3’s and you’ll come up smiling for 24 hrs. What’s more, you can drive all you like and still operate the Stannah. Recommended.

HSS Equipment Hire. Mandatory for any lifting gear necessary to winch yourself into position at those liberated office parties. Consider also Streatham Cars for an unhindered lift to A&E shortly afterwards.

Acme Pool Cleaning. If you do happen to get caught short at an all-important client meeting, these guys are discreet, fast as lightning and have on-site fabric care facilities. Includes Dralon®.

Ladbrokes. You like to gamble. But that itch never got properly scratched, right? Instead of pissing away someone else’s blue-collar quids on the never-never, these horses will keep on comin’ atcha until the end of time. Simply smoke 5000 tabs a week, lie to your wife like you used to and blow the housekeeping fund in less time than it takes to say ‘divorce’.

Saga Magazine. No more Hustler, no more Penthouse. But keep it real with Saga, the only monthly you can read under the duvet by torchlight without getting your head stoved in. Now subtly laminated for guilt-free enjoyment.

Viking Direct Office Supplies. Sell me this pen.

Fred Olsen. What’s this? Are you serious? A yacht!!! (With maids, cooks, 1300 paying guests, easy access toilets on all levels and occasional live music and/or comedy in the theme bar.)

Methuselah Homes UK. When your hellraising days are finally behind you, why not reminisce with like-minded chums in one of our ‘off the beaten track’ tailor-made units? Don’t worry, we’ll change your name and contact details for you, it’s all part of the service.

And for all of the above, there is no fee. We wrinklies must stick together, rallying fervently against the relentless onslaught of youth and taking whatever tablets they give us to keep us going. Senility is a state of mind, not an ailment. You can have that one. You’re welcome.