Gusty Blusts

and other stories The Weird and Wonderful World of "J"
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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Approx 219 words | Read time approx 1 - 2 mins

It’s nice ere in it?

Egg sandwich

A delivery man and his sandwiches . . . when strangers feel the need to picnic on your doorstep . . .

THE DOORBELL went and a quick glance out the window revealed there to be a delivery truck in the yard. I’d been expecting a parcel, so grabbed my keys and went to open the door.

Only I really wasn’t expecting to find a strange man sat on the doorstep munching sandwiches. And my ever-so-startled ‘oh, hello!’ to be met with the offer of some flask coffee, an enquiry as to whether I liked egg sandwiches and the words ‘it’s nice ‘ere in it?’

‘Er’ I said not quite sure what to say to the man who seemed to be enjoying an impromptu picnic on my doorstep. An entirely new experience even for me.

‘Join me?!’ he enquired hopefully.
‘No, no – yer alright – I er, thought I was expecting a parcel . . .’ I mumbled.
‘That’s right’ he said ‘I just thought I’d have a spot of dinner and enjoy the view first – I hope you don’t mind . . . ?!’
‘Er, er, no – you carry on and enjoy yourself – ring the bell when you’re ready!’ I said shutting the door and retreating back into the house.

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Approx 145 words | Read time approx 1 - 1 mins

Horse guest

A small horse turns up on the doorstep, rings the bell and then starts to eat the shrubbery . . .

ANSWERING THE doorbell brought me face-to-face with one of those miniature horses that for reasons known only to itself had decided to pay a visit, nay it’s ‘hello’ and start munching on my shrubbery.

As for where it came from, whose it was or even how it managed to ring the bell, I’ve absolutely no idea, and wasn’t quite sure how to go about finding out either.

The reality may very well have been that someone found the creature loose at the side of the road and decided it was obviously something to do with me. Brought it down to the house, rang the bell and then just beggared off. But then again . . .

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Approx 254 words | Read time approx 1 - 2 mins

Traffic light trauma

Traffic lights

Temporary traffic signals cause body trauma . . . by proxy . . .

IT’S NOT EVERYDAY you glance out of the window and witness a pair of traffic lights jiggling along merrily up the road is it? Although I suspect, that will largely depend on your personal intake of artificial stimulants. The fact that I wasn’t actually under the influence of any such stimulants made it all the more disturbing.

These particular traffic lights may very well have been on the back of a workman’s truck that was travelling up the lane as opposed to being independently mobile and taking a leisurely stroll in the country, but it wasn’t immediately obvious from my viewing angle.

And being the sensible, realist that I’m clearly not, I laughed out loud, turned around a tad too quickly and cracked my fingers hard against the side of the door frame instead.

The fact that said fingers went bright red, swelled up to the size of two large sausages and hurt like hell suggested that medical intervention was going to be required.

And after whiling away way too many hours down at the local A&E and being subjected to an awful lot of sniggering as I was repeatedly asked to explain my traffic light trauma, I was dispatched with two bandaged, but thankfully not broken fingers.

If nothing else I suppose it’ll teach me not to laugh at mobile moving traffic lights no matter how ridiculous they might be.

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Approx 193 words | Read time approx 1 - 2 mins

The gospel according to BT

Phone receiver

BT’s fault fixing bible . . .

IT’S NOT EVERYDAY you get a call from BT enquiring whether you’re called Matthew is it? Especially if you’re not actually called Matthew, or even a member of the male species for that matter. I know some might consider me to have a bit of a deep voice but even so I do have all the legitimate female parts in all the appropriate places. Well, they were definitely there when I got dressed this morning at least anyway.

So, when I received another phone call some five minutes later – this time enquiring as to whether I was called Mark, my first thought was to wonder just who the hell was winding me up, and my second, bordered on gender crisis.

Fifteen minutes later came the call enquiring whether I was called Luke – nice try but, no! Then get this, another twenty minutes later came a fourth, and after I’d given them a doing, what turned out to be final call, this time enquiring whether I was called John.

Now, I’m not normally paranoid but . . .

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Approx 240 words | Read time approx 1 - 2 mins

Wanted: someone to take care of me

A strange old woman and a novel approach to picking up strangers in bars . . .

FOR SOME strange reason a visit to the ladies room at the bar where I’d been having lunch resulted in my getting a doing from a strange old woman apparently, or so it seemed, just for being there.

The woman had been walking in front of me and having a conversation with someone, whom I can only assume was who she believed to be her husband, walking behind.

Strangely enough, her husband didn’t respond and she became more agitated and started to liven up her somewhat one sided conversation with the occasional sweary outburst.

Finally, she stopped at the entrance to the ladies, turned around to face me and started to give her husband, or in this particular instance me, a doing for not responding.

Not wanting to state the obvious, but not particularly wanting to upset her either I ever-so-politely pointed out that I wasn’t actually her husband and therefore had absolutely no idea what on earth she was on about.

But I really wasn’t expecting her to say ‘of course you’re not my husband – he passed away 10 years ago, bloody useless he was too! No, no my dear you look far too useful and I’m looking for someone who’ll put up with me. You’re not ideal, but you’ll do for the time being!’ Cheers!

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