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.

Book Update No.2

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Just heard back from 3rd Rail clothing who are printing these up for me – Now shipping a bit late due to supply issues. They gave me the option to choose another brand but I’m sold on these babies, great quality, ethical etc… Like me, basically. So I’ll take the hit. Have also decided to use them as shameless bribes to make you pledge something for the book when the campaign goes live, so not for sale as such. More of a chicane.

On that subject & all being well, we’re aiming to kick off in the first week of July. It will run for 35 days, and there will be an escalating series of rewards (some of which are really special) depending on how much is pledged. I’m keeping the target as low as I can manage in the fervent hope that we meet it and the book can go into production. If it falls short, you all get your money back & I go into the Priory. If we go over, I’ll make it a hardback and/or print off more copies. That’s how it works. So forgive me if you start getting grovelling emails/requests to share posts/miscellaneous irritating intrusions into your lives. It won’t be for long and who knows? You might get a lovely shirt to polish the Chippendale with.

Idle Eye 43 : The Priory Priority

Interesting stuff. Yesterday evening threw up one of them family parties which involved myself, Da Mudda & Ursula all pitching up at Idle HQ to accompany Nibs in a cab that shot us all off to Esher, where we celebrated not one but four (count ‘em) birthdays in some way connected to The Firm. Most of this I have scant recollection of due to usual suspects, but what I did note before succumbing to the ensuing jollities was that legendary sleb hospital, The Priory, was but two minutes away from the Idle Hour itself. Now, I know my brother reasonably well, and when it comes to business I’m afraid to report, gentle reader, he leaves me in the starting blocks. So this salient fact is unlikely to be a mere accident, no siree. And my suspicions were further raised when I did a little, er, research earlier this afternoon. Let me elucidate:

As we all know, what goes on in the Priory is supposed to stay in there, but, human nature being what it is, this is rarely the case. Perennial reoffenders, such as tubby Take That favourite Blobby Williams, fall over themselves to break out of those forbiddingly high perimeter walls, blurt out their respective misdemeanours to whichever red top will shell out a few bob, only to check themselves back in there a few weeks later, steeped in remorse and seeking the kind of meaningful salvation only prohibitively priced clinics can administer. This being the case, we need to get inside the mind of the fugitive patient to fully understand why Nibs chose Railway Side to be his bedrock:

Once out, he/she will almost certainly be on the sniff for somewhere to unwind. Now, according to google maps, the only logical route to achieve this would be to head north.

‘Why north?’ I hear you cry.

Well, listen up: As they hit the Upper Richmond Road, they will invariably come across a hostelry called the Halfway House. This will resonate with the afflicted in a way we cannot begin to comprehend, and will simultaneously spur them on to seek out their real nirvana. And as they stumble towards the railway crossing like Paul towards Damascus, they will find another sure sign that they are on the right track: the Vine Road Recreation Ground. From there it is but a hop and a step to the Vegas that is Idle Hour.

But don’t for one minute think that this is one way traffic: Nibs is far too smart for that. When the seasoned drinker reaches saturation and the bosom of his/her esteemed family can no longer tolerate the inevitable, redemption can be found by simply retracing ones’ steps and heading south, where it is highly unlikely all that personal info will yet have been scrubbed from the database. It’s a narcotic Pushmi-Pullyu situation, in which the hapless addict bounces from one haven to the other.

Bro: Respect is due.