I accidentally found myself on a course the other day.
Usually, I'd avoid courses like the plague as they tend to detract from my valuable work
This one, however, was on public speaking, and being a writer of TEH FUNNAY, it might help in my awful, red-faced retelling of same. Also, it might come in handy at work.
The only place I can perform – the fragrant Mrs Duck can testify - is at the till in a supermarket.
So, a nice lady from Emmerdale turned up and turned me from a gibbering wreck into the kind of annoying git that hogs the limelight at social gatherings. And, in doing so, she uncovered the one great phobia in my life.
Many people have a mortal terror of something benign. I mean – who on this Earth could fear OWLS? But, an exercise in speaking for 60 seconds, Just A Minute-style revealed just that.
"Scary," she said, "I'd like you to talk to us for a minute about gardening."
"Time's up. Hesitation, there, I think."
And it occurred to me: I have an irrational fear of gardening, based around the desire to kill, destroy and maim rather than to nurture new life, fertilized by my own fair bottom.
Or maybe I'm just a lazy bastard. One or the other.
"So," she said eyeing me with the sort of gimlet stare that might turn Eric Pollard into a gibbering wreck, "would you like to try again?"
"My fear of gardening is the result of a bizarre space-hopper accident, a rose-bed and the accidental combustion of half a hundredweight of sodium chlorate weedkiller at the age of eight. The scars on the outside healed, but those in my head festered, grew, took control until Alan Titchmarsh was nothing but a bloodied pulp beneath my raging fists and Charlie Dimmock had to disguise himself as a woman for several years until the drugs took control."Annnnnnd... Time's up."
"The front of my house – I loathe to use the 'g' word under any circumstance - is set to gravel, while the back is set to concrete. Two sheds to fill the space and act as workshops for my killing machines, pictures of the hosts of Gardeners World pinned to the walls along with the painted words 'KNOW YOUR ENEMY'. The decking acts only as an area where I can observe the mantraps in action, commanding a full sweep with the sniper rifle over any feline that dare think my property a latrine.
"While medical professionals have tried to 'cure' me of this so-called 'anti-social' longing, their success – or lack of it – can only be measured by the number of unmarked graves behind shed no.2 and the parched thigh bones in the leopard enclosure. If the Good Lord had wanted us to take part in such unsavoury acts as tending plants, why did he expel Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden with nothing but a voracious desire for freshly-culled flesh to protect them?
"Horticulture? Not a million miles from what Adolf Hitler was trying to do. AND he was a vegetarian..."
"No. No it's not," I say, still twitching from the effort, "I've still got two seconds left."
"Ah. Right you are."
"I am not mad."
I am not mad.
On the 2009 Bloggie Awards
Vote for me, you mutinous dogs. And Fark. But mostly for me.