Two Negatives Make a…?

“It’s all good.”



“It’s all good.”


If this is meant to be a quality assurance statement then I think things need an urgent manufacturer’s recall. It is certainly not all good. In fact, a hell of a lot of it positively stinks. It is often very shit. Lots of us are walking emotional-time-bombs waiting to be triggered. We don’t even know that there is a clock ticking and a sensitive hairspring waiting to be sprung (that makes me feel so young). My friend with the bike,  still feels so young. Or should I say that the women he is attracted to are young and are mostly inappropriate choices.

It’s all good!


It was that disappointment again in which somebody who you trust, have trusted and hope always to trust, lets you down. He is recovering from his problems, he will be recovering for the rest of his life (as we all will be), but that is not the problem. My friend’s problem is that he is just a little self-serving. His attitude to life is to grab the bits that will most satisfy him and then squeeze them until they are dry. Once dried, he throws them away, as of no worth, before moving on to the next thing to squeeze. I found this both vaguely amusing and deeply disturbing at the same time. Beyond anything else, I found his company to be rewarding. That was until that company came to play Mallorca.


My fault; I had invited him over to stay.

The idea was that he could avail himself of the excellent cycling on the island. My friend has been borderline destitute for about two years, but that has never seemed to stop him from doing a variety of things like foreign holidays and other adventures. As a reforming human-being, he has become a little bit spiritual; his life programme demands that.  He has his reading which comes in the form of a black book of inspirational self-help stories. He also has a mentor whom he chats to several times a week. The mentor is on the same journey of discovery and enlightenment, so can give insights and support whenever is necessary. My friend likes the inspirational part as this is an aspect of his own personality that he is particularly proud of.

I agree with him that charisma counts but at times charisma alone will not float a ship.


I hired a van to pick him and his bike up from the airport. He was well over an hour later than other people who had been on the same flight and, when he finally emerged from his arrival point, he was swearing about, “The stupid fucking Spansh security guard with a gun,” who was not helping him to find his lost bike. He went back into the luggage section and I thought that it could very well be the last time that I was going to see him. Then, I had this strange thought that he may have gone to the wrong conveyer belt; the bikes have a separate area.


It turned out that my hunch was right. Chris emerged less puce than before yet still a long way from contrite.  His mistake, but he never sought to admit that to me or feel any guilt over the security guard. We packed his gear into the car and I drove us back to the apartment; the one he was going to stay in for free.


It was about 3am before I got to bed. We shared some reminiscences and he shared the latest news on his latest disastrous relationship. He also tried to impart some information about his latest date-site bits. I didn’t let him which I am sure he found somewhat abnormal. The truth is that I hate all that crap. I hate the way humans debase themselves in the name of a good time. Everything goes; literally.


I slept a good three hours that night and woke for work, but had arranged to go in a little later. I took him on a quick spin of our part of the island, an act that he neither questioned nor appeared to appreciate too much. All the while, I listened to him going on about his shitty exes and all the while I nodded at the right moments and acquiesced at others. I was beginning my stint as a tour guide without realising it.


Each night, after a long, dull day at work, I was pounced upon to go for a ride. Our rides were never short, but they were enjoyable. Apart from his frequent comments about the women (he preferred a catchier form of nomenclature), I found that it was quite nice to have another human being around, even if that human being was becoming a little controlling and critical.

I put that down to his condition.Speaking of conditions, the harpy of the English department had begun to flex her head of vipers.


She was building again towards conflict and refusing to do any of the assessments that she needed to do for Key Stage 3. When she was advised to do so by the Head, she came screaming at me for mark-schemes. My intention was to mark all of the assessments in order to take the weight off the teachers and to standardise. Each viper stood on end and each of the serpents whiplashed towards me. It was a Thursday afternoon with a heat-wave building and the little patience I had left beginning to fray. I got my stuff, got on my bike and cycled home.

My friend was waiting, bored.       


I took the next day off believing that I would not be setting foot in that particular institution again. I was wrong. However, that day I spent turned out to be a wonderful time cycling with my buddy who had started to make a couple of wrong directional calls whilst insisting that he was correct. I cycled the extra couple of miles, that this entailed, in order to maintain a quiet life. The quiet life never came.


His arrival, far from making me happier, made me more homesick than I had been for some time. I had noticed his critique of the things that I did. Okay, I did get just a little squiffy on his second night with me and the third night saw me downright pissed. I suppose that this is not prescribed behaviour if you are willing to let an old friend freeload his way through his holiday. But freeload he did, even eating whole untouched bars of chocolate, bags of crisps, unshelled peanuts which were then dropped on the floor. Soap, shampoo, shaving foam, and bath towels also followed suit. On top of that, he constantly informed me about how lucky I was and that I should count my blessings.

He, on the other hand, he was not lucky.

“It’s all good,” he kept saying. “It’s all good.”



The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those who have not got it.

George Bernard Shaw


It didn’t end well. 


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