Back again ......
Anyone there? Alfie the OK here again. The last few days, I have mostly been Alfie the can’t be arsed, busy, pissed, absent and just plain Alfie the Alzheimic….. Yeah, I've been through the whole spectrum of adjectivorial Alfieness during the last week or so….. (Is ‘adjectivorial’ a word? Well it is now)
Yesterday, I was ‘Alfie the removals man’. I took my eldest lad back to his new digs as he embarks on his last year at college.
New digs? Christ! A bit of an exaggeration there …. What a dump! Our car, stuffed to the roof rack with student type stuff rounds the corner into Tatty Arsed Street, just off Roach Drive in Bed-sit land, Blackpool. And there it is in all its faded, pox-ridden, paint peeling glory - ‘Shite Towers’.
Ring bell…… doesn’t work, obviously.
Knock on knocker and peer through windows that last saw a chamois when George Formby was leaning on a lamppost at The Winter Gardens.
Cue ‘Arsenic’ without ‘Old lace’ as 80-year-old biddy staggers down the corridor to open the door.
She insists on shaking our hands. Christ, I thought (mental note) – must eat my butty with my left hand on the drive home. Must remember NOT to pick my nose or adjust my manly bits with my right hand. That’s in quarantine until I get home and dig out the bleach.
"It’s up there" she says and points a bony, wizened digit in the general direction of the stairs.
Cue crusty, flowery carpet, in dire need of a ‘Bex Bissell’ and woodchip wallpaper in dire need of a bonfire.
We breast the top of the stairs. Below us the biddy has hardly made base camp, although her odour has sat on our shoulders all the way up. We peer down a black.... black..... bible black corridor to a distant toilet.
The biddy chimes in "Now it’s not gold taps you know John" and gurgles a laugh so chilling I would swear that old Nick himself had suddenly materialised in front of us as ‘old Nicola’.
We get near to the toilet and on our right is a door. THE door to John’s pad. We hurry in – in a vain attempt to avoid the ghastly odour emanating from the bog.
The room is as bad as I thought it would be. I peer around in the unremitting gloom. I must say something. I REALLY MUST say something "35 quid a week for this hovel! JEEZZZUSSS H. KERRRIST this place should be con-bleeding-demned you horrible, horrible, horrible, smelly old bag!!"
Well, that’s what I meant to say. It sort of came out as "Ooooh yes, the room is LOVELY - 50’s chic, functional in a Stalinist sort of way -and yet uncluttered… perfect". Then she shows us the shower room. God all sodding mighty. Underneath the shower tray is a collection of towels, they have been there so long they have morphed together into one wet-through amorphous blob. Vigorous cultures of fungi flourish in near perfect growing conditions.
"Right then John, let’s get you unpacked"
We thank Auntie Festus for the tour and tell her we are just going to the car to unpack John’s stuff.
I didn’t know that a fully laden Toyota Avensis could do 0 – 60 in 7 seconds….