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Saturday 23 October 2004

Better safe than dead [Lurks]

This morning me and the missus woke up with killer headaches. Which might just as well, with the benefit of hindsight, be explained away by the consumption of small but excessively toxic amounts of relatively nasty sauvignon blanc. However, it was still unusual.
I announced, somewhat flippantly as is my want, that it might be carbon monoxide poisoning and that we'll probably feel quite tired, drift into a coma and then die where we would be found by our neighbours when the stench reached crescendo enough to overpower the local curry house.
My darling wife being her usual cautious, vigilant and worrisome self decided to take my morbid pronouncement at face value and called up British Gas. She knows better than to mention any such thing to me before she does it since me, being a bloke, would baulk at the merest suggestion that any such threat to our safety would be better evaluated by anyone other than me. I am the hunter gatherer for fuck sake.
In fact British Gas classified her query as being an emergency and were quite insistant that they send someone around free of charge within the hour. I guess the bad press of freezing grannies in the past has in some way galvanised their response to safety enquiries from the public. Still, I find out this is happening and groan whilst trying to find a sheet of headache tablets in my top draw. No mean feat given tightly shut eyes against the perils of pain-inducing daylight and the 7x10e14 items of random detritus that also occupies my top desk draw.
Still, bloke turns up and as I launch into an apologetic tirade about how I know the boiler is sealed and the bedroom is the other side of the house anyway and none of the gas on the stove is running and I'm terribly sorry for wasting his time... he tells me shut up. In a nice way. Better to be safe than sorry he says and checks for gas leaks, checks the boiler, checks the neighbours boiler and goes over the entire lot with a fine tooth comb before declaring that all is well.
You'd expect some sort of annoyance at having dragged him out for nothing, right? On the contrary, discussing the subject he tells me of the horrible things he's seen. Dead pets, old people who were just convinced that their perpetual state of sickness was simply due to their advanced years and other horror stories. Horror stories where entire families were killed with no warning. He's pleased it's a false alarm. So are we, of course.
It wasn't carbon monoxide poisoning, it was the wine/paintstripper from some ghasty vinyard/cesspit in California. However I did come away from it thinking, I wonder if the blokey refusal-to-seek-help thing (just ask women about men and directions, they think it's hilarious) might end up biting me on my ass at some point?
Just as well I know everything really.


  1. The shocking moral here is that British utility companies will generally only deliver a decent service if you, as a customer, are in imminent danger of being killed by the service or product they provide.
    The other, more pertinent moral is that you shouldn't bother with wine from California. In fact, as per another blog, I'm becoming quite aware of just how crap Americans are at brewing up anything. Beer? certainly not. Look at Budweiser, or any of the other super-no-calorie-no-taste shite they have. Coffee? Ha! see Blog 798 - and of course, wine. A drink which implies some level of skill and sophistication.
    From the folks who elected Arnold Freakin' Schwarznegger as their governor? Never!

  2. Buy a detector. They're dead cheap. We have both carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in our place, well worth the small outlay for peace of mind.

  3. Many years ago, well far too many to count, the missus and me got together in the third year of university. The house that she lived in was eccentric on several floor and her bed was built on a big stilt-platform which left about 3 feet headroom in a room that was mebbe 15 foot tall in a typical victorian fit out. In other words the base of the bed was some 10 / 11 ft in the air accessed by a ladder. It was quite cool for all of that of course but rubbish for sitting up in the middle of the night!
    Anyway we had the same sort of query with the room one day waking up feeling total shit, the two of us, and called the gas board because there'd been some leaflets around and Katie had a big gas fire in the base of the room . The bloke that came said all of the same sorts of things about how he'd been to people who had kippered out and were dead because of CO leaks. When he measured ours he went a bit pale and said "this isn't fine or a maybe, this is you being very lucky". We laughed a bit and went "go on" and all that and he said "no I'm not sure why you're ok - maybe it's because you were high up from the source and the window was ok but this is a big problem and you're very lucky indeed". Cue swatsquads and all that stuff descending on the house.

  4. In other words the base of the bed was some 10 / 11 ft in the air accessed by a ladder
    In other words, a bunkbed :)
    I dunno, sometimes simplest is best eh!

  5. Ahhhh no because there was no bottom layer your wiseness. It was simply a platform bed with no underneath. Nyuk. And indeeed; Nyuuuh.

  6. Now what we need is some sort of evening retiring funature which protects the occupants from the unfortunate effects of cheap new world wine. What sort of shape would that be?

  7. I see a lush extra long (for obvious reasons) electronically operated chaise longue, with the following default features; wine cooler/holder, snacks&nibbles holder, speech-to-text blogging capability, and of course, its on wheels so that when you've recovered enough from the booze, you can instruct the chair to take you back to your lair.

  8. Excellent, I would add only a single refinement. Some sort of anti-chav ordinance.

  9. Weirdos, still using gas when there's electricity!

  10. Um, gas is by far and away superior to electricity for cooking and heating.

  11. Bloody good idea. Now as I understand it, hangovers are mostly due to dehydration and complex organic molecules such as methanol and acetone which are found in some drinks and basically poison you slightly as you're imbibing. It is also distressingly true that the better the wine you drink, the less hangover you get. I used to doubt this a lot but it's actually true. Shame I can't drink really good wine all the time.
    Anyway this being the case I therefore propose the addition, to the unfeasibly long chaise err longue, of a dip-stick sensor which tests your drink and, if it returns positive for methanol or acetone etc, activates a robotic arm which sprays half a pint of water down your throat and then provides you with twenty quid as a creamy voiced siren sounds from the inbuilt 9.1 speakers; "spend it all on a single deserve absolute stud....".
    If, on the other hand, the tester detects no such nasties then said creamy voiced siren would say within earshot of your significant other; "mmmmmm.....[EED]{insertnamehere} has inpeccible taste....quick give him a blowjob to make sure someone else doesn't run off with him".
    If, on the third hand, the tester detects no alcohol present whatsoever it should punch Pod in the mush.

  12. Without wishing to sound like the world's first uber gay earth mother, I should point out that organic wine is absolutely first class at resulting in a) hooray pissed'ness and b) zero hangover. And I mean zero, not even an inkling of the previous night's merriment - pity it's not available in many places, and those that do tend to have their staff wearing grass weave shirts and mud in their hair. Lifes tough gents. Tough I tell ya.

  13. I used to doubt this a lot but it's actually true. Shame I can't drink really good wine all the time.