Gusty Blusts

and other stories The Weird and Wonderful World of "J"

Archive for the 'Mini Blusts' Category

Approx 290 words | Read time approx 1 - 2 mins

Old farmers and fire starters


Black bin bags and a strange old man brandishing a petrol lighter . . . just some of the bizarre things found in the garden . . .

IT’S NOT every day you draw back the curtains to discover a strange old farmer trying to set fire to a pile of rubbish in your back garden is it? Well, thankfully not at least anyway.

Just because your garden might well have resembled a post apocalyptic aftermath is beside the point – you still really don’t expect this kind of thing.

So there he was, this strange, manic old farmer sporting a flat cap, grubby tweeds and wellybobs, emptying out two big black bin bags of household waste into the garden. Before producing a lighter and then setting fire to it. Or at least trying anyway, since half-empty tin cans, mouldy, half eaten slices of bread, egg shells, rotting vegetables and the like aren’t exactly reknown for their flammable properties.

Whereas the stuff that was of a flammable nature like newspapers, empty cereal boxes, yoghurt pots and cartons were busily being scooped up by the wind and distributed around the neighbourhood as part of a major countryside littering campaign.

As for why he was trying to torch the trash I’m not entirely sure, but even the not-so-subtle ‘what the bloody hell do you think you’re playing at you silly old pillock!’ from the other half, who was never one to mince words, unfortunately seemed to fall on deaf ears.

What a mess. Let’s just say he cleared up what little had neither burnt nor blown away, but as to why he’d chosen our garden since it wasn’t exactly near anyway, I’d absolutely no idea.

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Approx 345 words | Read time approx 1 - 3 mins

The last laugh

Cappuccino smiles, partially eaten pears and sniggering strangers . . .

WITH TIME to kill between appointments, I headed for the cafe where I grabbed a drink and found what I thought was going to be a quiet seat, out of the way . . .

So, there I was minding my own business, jotting down notes and sipping my cappuccino when someone started sniggering loudly nearby.

Glancing up I came face-to-face with a man in his mid-to-late forties, who was by now grinning and pointing at my face. Not that I was paranoid or anything, but I didn’t think I was that bad. I wouldn’t mind but it wasn’t as if he’d have won any beauty awards himself. Especially since half his teeth were missing and those he had all pointed in different directions. The cheeky sod!

Then the penny dropped as I remembered I’d been drinking a cappuccino and knew only too well that without supervision things could get messy. Sure enough I had a first class froth smile, chocolate sprinkles on my chin and forehead, and the piece de la resistance in the form of froth on the end of my nose.

It was then that the unexpected happened as the grinning guy dropped a packet of sugar on the floor and bent over to pick it up. Only as he did so, he caught a three-quarter cup full of cold tea that had been left at the edge of the table by the previous occupant. Spilling the contents down the back, side and left arm of his light grey jacket, not to mention the floor.

Well, it certainly made his expression change I can tell you. Gone was the smug look and snigger as he tried to save face by remarking ‘never mind, it’s only liquid!’

Ah, but it wasn’t as he quickly discovered when the remnants of a pear that I’d conveniently disposed of in the cup earlier, plopped out and took up a new residence on his shoulder . . .

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Approx 280 words | Read time approx 1 - 2 mins

Mmmm – you smell nice!

Social interactions and interesting smells – how to unwittingly attract strangers in your doctors waiting room . . .

THERE WERE already half a dozen people sat in the doctor’s waiting room when I arrived. Two men were sat together, but the others sat as far apart as was physically possible. Each occupying their seats like remote human islands, steadfast and determined not to contract whatever lurgy or social diseases the others might possibly have. Either that or they could just have been downright unsociable of course.

I’d just sat down to wait for my appointment when one of the two guys who were sat together decided to try do his bit for community relations by addressing each and everyone of the ‘islands’ in turn with the words “don’t I know you?”
‘No!’ Came each aggrieved response.
‘I think I do – you just don’t remember me!’ he was nothing if not persistent.
‘No, I’ve never seen you before in my life!’
‘Ah, yer do know me really – don’t you?!’
‘No, shut up yer silly bugger!’

And, finally having tried his luck with all the ‘islands’ and received similar responses, he physically got up out of his seat, walked across the room and of all the spare seats, came sat next to me. Then grinning like an imbecile, he leaned in just a little to close and said ‘mmm – you smell interesting!’

What?! Although admittedly it was marginally better than the other half’s bizarre ‘you smell of Cornish pasties’ remark I received when collecting him from work that same evening . . . I wouldn’t mind but I hadn’t even eaten a pastie.

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Approx 194 words | Read time approx 1 - 2 mins

Tractor tales

Phone receiver

Strange country bloke calls and offers a ride on his tractor . . .

ANSWERING THE PHONE I was met with what sounded like a bearded man with a heavy west country accent demanding to know whether I had any ‘luv-ver-lee tractors?’

‘Er, no’ I said before telling him that he’d obviously got the wrong number. Although the response of ‘no I haven’t – I’m talking to you aren’t I?’ wasn’t the kind of logic I wanted to hear.

‘But I don’t have any tractors – lovely or otherwise’ I said before telling him to try the farmhouse instead.

‘Oh!’ He said sounding a little downhearted before quickly recovering with ‘well, nevermind I have – would you like to see them?’

‘Er, no, no, you’re alright thanks!’ I said whilst wandering once again into the realms of why me?

‘Oh, well would you like to come and have a ride on one of my luv-ver-lee tractors then?’

‘Er, no, no, you’re alright thanks!’ I said again wondering whether this guy was for real.

‘Are you sure?’ he said ‘I’m sure you’ll enjoy it – I know I certainly will!’

‘What? Goodbye!’

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Approx 175 words | Read time approx 1 - 2 mins

Alternative amusement

Nurses, needles and audience reactions – experiencing the art of acupuncture so they don’t have to . . .

IT’S NOT everyday you attend your alternative therapy session to inadvertently find yourself being the source of entertainment for a bunch of doctors, nurses and well, anyone else who expresses the remotest interest at the time.

Although in all fairness I really don’t think they fully understood what they were letting themselves in for. Since the first needle hadn’t quite gone into my back before three of them produced muffled screams, one fainted and a fourth hurriedly departed the room. Closely followed by my specialist and acupuncture therapist who, determined to prove that the needles didn’t in fact hurt, proceeded to stick one into the poor escapee. Who,somewhat understandably screamed out loud and then started crying.

Anyone would think that having a conversation with someone resembling a human pin cushion or even that guy from Hellraiser was just a little too much for them . . .

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Approx 241 words | Read time approx 1 - 2 mins

Funny fowl


When the outside world decides to check out life on the inside – animal related reasons for not opening your windows . . .

AS IF THINGS in the world outside the window aren’t quite mad enough, at least they’re on the outside, well, that’s the general theory anyway.

There are reasons, or so I’ve discovered, why you really shouldn’t open your windows if you live on a farmstead. The noise of course being one of them. After all a closed window can make the difference between a reasonably acceptable, but nevertheless, cringe inducing cock-a-doodle-oooohing as opposed to the ear-splitting, cacophony of COCK-A-DOODLE-ARGHHHHHHING! when the windows happen to be open.

But then it doesn’t exactly help that neither of the five and a half cockerels in question have actually grasped the concept of ‘pitch, tone or timbre’ let alone the ‘try it once and then give up’ approach.

Animal noises outside the window are one thing, but indoors, it’s an entirely different story as I discovered when a ‘cock-a-doodle-ha-haaaaa!’ suddenly bellowed through the open downstairs window behind me, and into the quiet of the room. And it was with a mixture of amusement and horror that I turned around to discover a large cockerel head, complete with flappy, wobbly bits attached, somewhat unsurprisingly to an even larger cockerel body, and swaying from side to side amidst the vertical blinds . . .

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Approx 161 words | Read time approx 1 - 2 mins

Floating legs

Dangling legs

Floating legs and confused birds – the things you see outside the window . . .

IT’S NOT everyday you glance outside and witness a pair of legs float past your upstairs window is it? Legs that appeared to be surreally suspended, sans body and thereby giving rise to the suspicion you’ve overdone the E numbers again.

Initial shock aside, it turned out the legs in question were in fact attached to the body of a micro light pilot, but then that wasn’t immediately obvious at the time . . .

Meanwhile, on the otherside of the house, and for reasons that no doubt made sense to it at the time, a bright yellow budgie decided to fly, head first into the kitchen window. Understandably it met with a certain amount of resistance, as it hit the glass with a resounding thud, and bounced back with a decidedly dazed expression . . .

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Approx 336 words | Read time approx 1 - 3 mins

Freak fruit fallout

Overly-ripe peaches, umbrellas and public places – a freak incident just waiting to happen . . .

BY A CERTAIN age I guess you kind of get to naively thinking there can be few of life’s little lessons yet to learn, which is quite sad really, but nevermind – thanks to random memory lapses you get to learn it all again . . .

It would seem there are reasons, as I, and just about everyone else happening to be in the neighbouring vicinity at the time, discovered to their horror, why you really shouldn’t put soft ripe fruit in your handbag. And especially not under the premise of “mmm, that looks just about ready to eat, I’ll eat it later” because you probably won’t, you’ll just forget about it and only rediscover it quite by accident several days later.

I made this mistake by accepting the offending article from my brother and thinking I’d eat it later, only forgot all about it of course. And how did I rediscover it? Well, try leaving a hospital, walking to the busy car park, discovering it raining and putting your brolly up, that’s how. Actually it was more the cries of ‘Urgh! that’s disgusting!’ and ‘what the hell is that? it’s slimy!’ that sort of hinted something wasn’t quite right.

That and the large dollops of orangey-brown, seriously slimy stuff that seemed to descend indiscriminately from the heavens. Meeting various degrees of alarm as it splash landed onto bare, sandalled feet and other assorted exposed anatomical parts. It never dawned on me of course, that I could possibly be in some way responsible for the slimy spatter fallout. Not until I had to rummage in my bag for a tissue to wipe the gunk off my brolly and discovered that my tissues had in fact turned to peachy papier mache, and that the entire lower contents of my bag were currently in the process of decomposing . . .

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Approx 533 words | Read time approx 2 - 4 mins

Wrong train right station

Empty shopping trolley

Wrong train right station – a stranger, an empty shopping trolley and a sticky proposition . . .

YOU KIND of know the day isn’t going so well when having asked six different station officials you still somehow manage to get on the wrong train. Albeit the train you’d been repeatedly assured was in fact the right one.

It all started when the conductor wandered into the compartment, asked to see my ticket and said ‘and where do you think you’re going?’
‘Halifax’ I said hopefully, although had I not been so cold and tired probably anywhere would have done.
‘Not on this train you’re not!’
‘What?!’ I exclaimed only not quite as loudly as some of the other passengers, who had evidently also been told to get on the wrong train.
‘But six of your officials told me this train was going to Manchester via the Calder Valley route!’
‘That’s as maybe’ he said, ‘but I’m telling you it’s not!’

‘You’re gonna have to get off at Huddersfield and then catch the right train to Halifax!’
‘Whatever!’ I said feeling really too tired to argue.

Disembarking at Huddersfield station with at least a dozen other ‘wrong trainers’ we suddenly found ourselves having to tiptoe through a sea of spilled shopping. Turned out someone had tried to take a fully laden Tesco’s shopping trolley down two flights of the station stairs.

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Approx 293 words | Read time approx 1 - 2 mins

I’ll show you mine

Personal problems and public places – a strange man feels the need to compare anatomical anomalies in a packed waiting room . . .

THE EYE CLINIC was pretty full when I arrived and I’d just sat down to wait for my appointment when I was accosted by a smartly dressed middle-aged man reading a paper . . .

‘Have you got what I’ve got?’ he enquired with a worrying glint in his eye.
‘Not entirely sure’ I replied without really wanting to know – let alone compare notes.
‘Well have you?’ he tried again.
‘Er, I don’t really know.’
‘Well you look like you probably have . . .’ he said leaning forward and grinning expectantly.
‘Oh!’ I said thinking my eye must have looked much worse than initially thought. Although needn’t have worried. Turned out it wasn’t my eye he was referring to as he leaned in even closer and said ‘I’ve got piles – would you like to take a look?’ just a little too loudly for the densely packed waiting room.

‘Er, no, you’re alright thanks . . .’ I said while desperately scanning the surrounding area for the next available spare seat. Only of course there weren’t any.

‘Well, do you mind if I have a look at yours then?’ he persisted amidst a spontaneous outburst of sniggers from the occupants of the surrounding seats.


‘Your piles – can I look at your piles?’ He exclaimed as the two on either side of me burst into simultaneous laughter.

‘What? What piles? This is an eye clinic – I’ve come to see a man about my eye!’

‘Oh!’ he said leaning back into his chair and continuing to read his paper as if nothing had ever happened.

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