Oh cruel fate, why do you taunt me so?
Have you ever have one of those unlucky days where absolutely nothing goes right for you? Fall out of bed to be attacked by killer spiders in the shower, breakfast a bowl of dry corn flakes because the milk's gone green overnight, and trudge to work in the pouring rain, only for a car to get you by driving through a puddle just ten yards from the door. I do, all too frequently, and I blame it totally on the time I told Uri Geller to fuck off.
This was the day that I walked into a lamp post in full view of a bus load of school kids, and worse, in the company of a female work colleague who thought it was the funniest thing she had ever seen, and told me so in no uncertain terms. All I really needed, then, was for something truly unlikely to happen to me, like shitting on my own head, for example.
Lunch on this fateful day was chicken-flavoured grease and cardboard, a tribute to the chef's art of throwing random ingredients in the pot and heating it up until smoke came out. Like a damn fool, and still smarting from my puddle, spider and lamp post disasters, I found myself shelling out good money for this on the grounds that "you don't know where your next meal is coming from, chummy."
It tasted like it looked, and actually tried to make its own way back to the kitchen at one stage. So revolted was I by this crime against the culinary arts, I immediately dashed to the Gents, bent double, where I let fly with a brown laser of a turd that closely resembled a tin of oxtail soup with a dead rat in it. It stunk to high heaven - how unlucky could my day get? Answer: shitloads.
Still a bit queasy, I bent over to pull up my pants. As little white dots danced before my eyes, and a distant voice told me to "move toward the light", I lost balance and grabbed the first thing I could to prevent me from falling head first into the heaving brown mess in the toilet bowl. It was the toilet flush handle.
Alas, dear reader, the toilets at my place of work are nuclear powered, and so violent was the torrent, that I was caught full in the face with stinking brown splashback from a range of no more than twelve inches.
I staggered around the cubicle in the final death throes of the Wicked Witch of the West, if she had her pants round her ankles and Dorothy had shat on her head. With the stench of crap now on a direct line to my brain, the final act of this story was not far away.
"Yaaaarch!" I shouted, "Roooolf!"
Chicken-flavoured grease and cardboard vomit cascaded into the bowl, around the bowl, and I'm not ashamed to admit, nowhere near the bowl.
"Yaaaarch!" I shouted again, just for good measure. Somebody a couple of cubicles along shouted for me to keep the noise down, as they'd reached a vital stage in their crossword puzzle.
Finally managing to get myself looking at least halfway decent, I staggered out of the cubicle and examined myself in the mirror. My brand new shirt (four quid, Homme at Primark) speckled with shit and puke. I was a distinctly brown hue, and looked like I'd been mud wrestling with Kirstie Allsopp, which, in retrospect would have really rounded off a truly awful day.
Cleaning myself up, I finally managed to find my desk, and slumped into my chair, a defeated man. Slowly but surely, the gas hiss out of the seat's hydraulic system, leaving me six inches off the floor. Fantastic. Shouty Kev peered down at me over my terminal.
"D'you recommend anything in the canteen?" he shouted.
"Chicken," I replied, determined not to be the only one visiting Shit City that day, "Have the chicken."