Well, the darts was ace, wasn't it, a complete unknown from the Netherlands winning in impressive style, plenty of entertainment, and we got to see him beat that miserable git Mervyn King on the Tuesday night in what was one of the matches of the tournament. Highlight of that evening for me was getting Martin 'Wolfie' Adams autograph - I haven't been autograph hunting since I was about 11, so I really must have got pretty excited by the night's entertainment.
But enough of the past. Tomorrow is a Monday, which means the slow return to work and all the tediums and frustrations which that offers. I take solace from the fact that Violet Elizabeth has now departed, no more shrill expressions of delight at some utterly riveting and highly tenuous correlation - "Wow, Gosh, I say that's really exciting" (no, it's a load of numbers on a computer screen which are ultimately irrelevant and shed no great light on the meaning of life) - no more stomp stomp stomp as she charges past pretending to be terribly busy, no more hammering as she single finger types made-up words into the amazing environment that is Microsoft Powerpoint.
Have we evolved so highly as a species that all the effort involved in progressing from a small repertoire of grunts to the wonderful richness and variety that is human language is now to be wasted and discarded to suit the tyranny of a software application? No room for subtlety in such a place. Presentations must be 'impactful', so that the client will 'diarise' further meetings. The consultants and coaches tell us that 80% of all communication is body language. My stock response to that is to offer them my ball-and-chain and invite them to order a pizza using body language. VE had a tendency to polysyllabicise without reason, with the result that she often used words which she did not understand. 'Duplicitous' is a word which she often used to mean 'duplicatory', and we heard lots about 'metrics', 'leveraging', 'equities' and a variety of other curios which had the effect of inducing ridicule.
And the tantrums, real wobblies. I asked my other colleagues if this was due to rag week, but was assured that no, it was not, women can tell these things. I know I can't. I learnt that after asking one if she was regularly rifling other peoples desks looking for medicines, only to be told with a curled lip and terrier-like snarl that "I can do what the fuck I like when I'm on." OK, bit more than I was after, did I mention that I've had chronic diarrhoea the last couple of days, do you want to know the colour? The same individual has now taken to e-mailing us from her maternity-leave nest, to post bulletins about the latest state of sore nipples and baby-shit. DO I CARE? I don't mind subsidizing her lifestyle choice, I'm even resigned to the injustice of her being able to have her job and promotion expectations protected whilst mine aren't, just don't expect me to be remotely interested in her child, my only concern about her choice to breed being that she and her kin don't piss in my gene pool.
Am I the only person in an office environment who has understood that I can turn the fucking 'phone off? Neither the desk 'phone or the bloody mobile is switched on, both get looked at and listened to at my convenience. Wake up, folks, the telephone is the tool, not the master. It works for you, not the other way around. I'm under no obligation to it, or the people at the other end. There is very little that is so important, and I don't notice it hurting my relationship with clients.
Anyway, the major benefit of being back at work is not the work, 'cause that is boring and ultimately unrewarding as the pronounally challenged proclaim their successes (increasingly few, and desperately clutched straws), lots of 'I did this, and I did that', nary a 'we' in eyeshot or earshot, no, the main reason to be there on a Monday morning is the fact that, through some careful manipulation of events, and a preparedness to stand up to a now-departed office manager, I made sure that I got a very good seat with a very good view of the office, including the top of the stair well. You can't get in or out without me seeing. As a soldier has an 'Arc of Fire', so then I have an 'Arc of Lechery'. When I started at my current employers, there was a dearth of talent, but oh, things have changed. Across a range of ages, a variety of women now work around me with a positive cornucopia of assets to be admired. From the close-up captivation of the eyes, to the long range adoration of a good mover who just knows how to walk properly, and hold herself properly - oh, such a pleasure to watch a woman walk upright and alert, such a delight - and the more base pleasures of a tightly wrapped bottom (more skirts, please, ladies, you can really show a good arse off in a nice skirt, and it has much more tease factor than some of the cheaper trousers and jeans we see), and let's not neglect the simple wonder of breasts; I'm a shape man, not a size man; yes, we have plenty to enjoy these days. And even when penned into some meeting (always bloody 'meetings', as we sit around for 2 hrs to discuss what we want to discuss and achieve precisely nil), there is increasingly a charming smile to enjoy, and it's just too easy to make comments about nice outfits and great jewellery blah blah blah, yes, there is a reason to get up of a Monday morning and endure the horror of the roads.
I don't even make an effort to conceal it anymore. What's the point? Most of my colleagues are women, and they know what I'm up to, I think it was the fairly obvious dropped jaw and turning head when a particularly voluptuous representative of a supplier visited us, I could get lost in those, I think they just have to accept that in the same way as I like to go to a gallery and look at paintings of beautiful women, I like to appreciate them in the world around me. If I go to look at a Rubens painting, that's cultured, if I admire the figure of a colleague and the art with which she dresses and presents herself, that's lust? Not really, I don't see the difference. I'm not propositioning them, and I don't use them as wank-fantasies. They should just be flattered. I don't sit there nursing a woodie, I just allow myself to be distracted from the e-drivel and over-complication of commerce by the far more satisfying aesthetic pleasure of looking at attractive women. And I'm smart enough, and broad-minded enough to not be restricted to media-driven stereotypes of what attractive is.
And this leads to one of the main thumpworthy tubs in my life. Pubic Hair. Or specifically, the absence of it from most published material. Now, guys, when you furtively go into the newsagent, having made sure there's no-one you know around, and you make that blushing dash for the top shelf and grab your preferred title, and then there's that awful moment at the till when you haven't the right change, and the assistant calls out back for help, are you never disappointed by what you've actually paid for? I don't mean the obvious fact that twat mags never quite scratch the itch - hell, if your imagination isn't a better view than some recycled pictures, then you should question yourselves, and besides, there is the obvious absence of response, smell, taste and touch - no, I mean the utter sameness of all the models. Whichever title you purchase, the models within are usually interchangeable. They look the same. And a major factor in this is the obsession with shaving. I don't buy twat mags any longer, because it is just impossible to find pics of a woman who looks like a woman.
Pubic hair is there for a reason. We might be 'the naked ape', but we ain't that naked, folks, so think about it. Evolution has left us with hair in specific regions of our bodies. There is a reason. If I did subscribe to the notion of Intelligent Design (not that intelligent judging by the people who advocate it), I'd say that the reason women have pubic hair is to please me, and the reason that so many shave it is to really annoy me, but I suspect it's more to do with preventing chaffing when we walk (thighs, groin, armpits?). But it is sexy stuff, and a lot more sexy than a shaving rash, no? Do the razor companies have some sort of hold on the porn industry? So let's hear it for pubes, we all have 'em, let's celebrate it.
Right, gotta go now, back soon though....