Today started at two in the morning, not because the early nights are starting to tell, but because I was woken up by the pain. Ah yes, glandular fever is notably marked by an absence of pain, well, except for the feeling that your neck might actually explode, like an over-enthusiastic bullfrog in mid-song, so the feeling of a alien chest-burster gestating in one’s intestines is not par for the course.
Hmm. Methinks, an accidental weekend of ingesting no calories at all, followed by a medium-rare steak of colossal proportions, might do that. Hopefully; otherwise it’s something sinister. Like, an alien chest-burster.
Well, the pain wore off at six, because that is half an hour before Getting Up Time, of course. And as is becoming a feature of my life, I was strongly tempted to call in sick, citing being up all night feeling, well, sick. But I decided I’d better not, what with it being Monday, which is the most common sickie ever to take, and right on the end of me taking two days off to get well, haha. So everyone would think I was dogging it, oh yes. And I was having hallucinations by this point about the uproar I might walk into work to find. Nobody is going to cover my workload while I am off, and what if Dr Anonymous did not show up at clinic last week; what if he did and there’s all this urgent stuff that needs done?
So I dragged my sorry arse in. Ha, gone are the days where I could march along to Shakira singing gentle ballads about things like living in London with a big house full of frocks she can’t wear for the rain*; nope, these days, it’s Linkin Park, to my everlasting shame, angry music for angry teens, and I can still just about manage a stroll.
*(This may not necessarily be quite the gist of the song.)
Dr Anonymous did show up, hurrah, and there was no big clamour after all. Oh thank god. I even found time to phone up at lunchtime – having frantically scraped all my finances together, leaving a gaping pit – and register for this distance-learning course.
For which it turns out, I only need to pay the first three hundred quid up front. Ha. All these months…
The woman on the phone was a bit alarmed when I fell about laughing.
Well, the joke will really be on me if it turns out I cannot fathom the fourier transform, so I guess I should just be grateful I’ve got this far.
Having jumped the gun a bit, however, I have an email subscription to Shiny New Things In the World Of Engineering, and today it announced NASA are holding a big live press conference tonight regarding a shiny new discovery. Ooh, a novel nearby object has been found, you say? Well, what could it be?
A sodding asteroid heading right for us, perhaps. Well, that would work – have I just, JUST, after two feckin’ years, finally got someone to say this course will start? It makes perfect sense that the world would immediately end just to prevent this happening. Well, it would make sense if I was the most important person in the world, which I am not; except to me, oh what a horrible confession that is, but until I am cruelly exploited by Cupid once more for shits and giggles (his, not mine) then it’s all I got, really. I mean, obviously, I hope I would jump in the way of, I dunno, a bus or a bullet or something heading for someone else, random pram-pushing strangers included, because that’s what you’re Supposed To Do (as far as I can gather).
(Besides, it’s a helluva lot easier to do a one-off Heroic sacrifice than it is to, say, nurse an invalid for years and years. It is also far more laudable, as far as ballads and movies down the ages go, but possibly because it’s really difficult to convey the reality of twenty years of bedpans in a noble light. Or because we collectively need our heads examined, one of the two.)
Erm, so yeah. Impending end of the world? I thought, as I stomped home through the gloaming, taking especial care to revel in the darkening beauty around me in case I never saw it again. At least I called my Chestnut-haired Old Mother last night, and had a long chat with Rice Krispies, and emailed Breadbin back. And forwarded my ex-flatmate’s mail on the way home tonight, not that that would really matter under the circumstances. Can’t think of any other outstanding social business, really. So, other outstanding business?
Well, and who’s been meaning to update their bug-out bag for a while? I guess I should totally get round to it. I mean, it’s probably not the end of the world, or I don’t think it would be NASA making the announcement about it, but I can use it as a trial-run. Much more fun than the real thing!
(A bug-out bag, to those whose paranoia levels are at around the ‘sane’ mark, is a big rucksack full of all the items one thinks one might need to survive the apocalypse; or, since items such as ‘nuclear bunker to which I have the only key’ don’t leave much space in the average 80 litre rucksack for reading material, all the items to aid such that will actually get in there. Being a card-carrying pessimist, I have a bug-out bag. Being a somewhat disorganised card-carrying pessimist, it currently contains a tent, a rucksack and a bottle of gin, so it does at least double handily for surprise camping trips.)
And lo, ten minutes’ work and the bug-out bag now also contains a bottle of mixer, a plastic tumbler, a raft of sleeping pills, a jumper and a wind-up torch/radio. Hey, it’s the Apocalypse, dummy, any plans to survive it would of necessity go tits up. This is the bug-out bag for card-carrying pessimists, as stated. It holds everything needed to run away to a quiet, secluded mountainside and snuff it in peace.
So with that out the way – although, asteroids? I’d be well advised to at least stay home and snuff it indoors, where it’s warmer – I got the NASA telly website up and running, debated doing the dishes, decided the flat could expire with em still dirty and nobody would ever know, and ate the rest of the massive steak while waiting to hear the outcome.
Tis a new black hole. A mere hop away at fifty million light-years, so not even in our galaxy, but it’s one we saw being born, and by our standards, even younger than I am, at thirty years.
So, not the end of the world after all. Jolly good. I suppose I’d better do the damn dishes then.
Time was, I woulda found this an excuse to throw a party. Time was, I did not have the ever-loving bug that never quits, however. Oh alright, and I’m getting old. And everyone else is too, can’t see folks cabbing it to mine on a Monday night to throw open the homebrew. That’s Saturday’s plan (touchwood).
So instead, I spent the rest of the evening attempting to fit a new Yale to the front door. Ah, it was all going so well, too, but the new, heavy-duty one seems built for people whose front doors are slightly more impregnable than mine – I.e. it’s half an inch too long, and the damn sneb won’t shut. Since this is slightly useless from a security point of view, I screwed the old one back on and went to bed. Early, because these days I seem to be unfeasibly feeble. I hate it.
In conclusion: Awww, happy birthday, new black hole.