Clad in a shabby blue mackintosh, the elderly rogue slurped his John Smith’s in a spectacularly irritating fashion. With sensibilities as delicate as mine I am indisputably in a position to judge.

He would take mind-numbingly long sips, lasting for ten seconds flat, i.e. well over the average one second “beer sip threshold” and then, in a manner which implied a lifetime habit and decades upon decades of soul-destroying practice, he finished each monster slug with a peace-shattering slurp, all the while crossing and re-crossing his legs.

Now when I say slurp, I don’t mean the way people (despicably and controversially) slurp their tea, which is bad enough as it is, violating unarticulated drinking protocol with astonishing acts of flagrant slurpage. It was far beyond this, he took it to the next level, sort of smacking his lips and kissing them with such extravagance that he could be invited to a rudeboy convention as a prize exhibit. He finished the procedure by chattering his teeth and sniffing, conspiring to produce the kind of sound that, I imagine, a wild boar would make after gorging on lemon meringue pie.

It was all too much to handle, so I let my eyes wander across the pub, searching desperately for something to focus on, something which would distract me sufficiently enough so that I could enjoy the rest of my pint.

My gaze settled on five coat hooks, amateurishly packed onto a bit of wood so rotten it must have been pulled out of a ditch. Hanging on one of the hooks was a solitary leather coat, well-worn and grubby. I focussed on it intently, counting and re-counting the hooks and wishing I was cool enough to go for the Matrix look.

Finally the slurper left, peace at last. The barman caught my relief.

“Nice chap,” he said, shaking his head in empathy, “but very, very irritating.”

Comments

You, good Sir, are a gentleman. When I need visual distractions in a pub, I tend to look at women's breasts (or "B(.)(.)Bs" as I like to write it), not coat hooks.

But I suppose if the place were lacking talent and there wasn't a TV on...
.-= Scope´s last blog ..Never Forget… =-.

Is Cora planning on reading this thread?! ;)

The Matrix look is definitely best left to...um, pie eating wild boars. Back away from the duster.

Slurping sounds are never good, especially when eating pie.
.-= lola sharp´s last blog ..Ain't No Rest For the Wicked...or TGIF! =-.

You know what, I could really do with a pie right now, it would be exactly what I need. Pie and a pint.

you could TOTALLY pull off the Matrix look.

At least Trinity....
.-= Slyde´s last blog ..Summer Lovin’ =-.

As always, I love your comments most because of how affirming they are...

Mo, you are uncannily astute. Indeed it probably was Charleston. I can tell you he has been seen on numerous occasions making loud obnoxious slurping sounds with his legs. Hence the repeated crossing. It wasn't the beer, dude...that part is a ruse.

Uncannily astute or astutely uncanny? I'll take either as a compliment. Until this point I thought it was Mr Charleston, now I'm suspecting a conspiracy against Mr Charleston, led by you of course. Anyone who speaks of "obnoxious slurping sounds" originating from legs must clearly be someone speaking from experience...

*blink*

IT WAS YOU WASN'T IT?!

Sounds like a chubby kid trying to finish up his ice-cream so that he can return to play. Just giddy with the thought of going down the slide one more time. I wonder where this fellow was off to. My guess is that he had a Lemon Meringue pie waiting at home. It's the little things that makes life pleasurable.

Slurping/open mouth chewing, definitely one in the same. I'd like to place anyone who is a continual violators of said crimes next to my mother, she'd bitch-slap them into recognition.
.-= Harmony´s last blog ..Sh!t happens and there is nothing we can F@cking do about it. =-.

I'd like to place them all on the Isle of Wight and stop all the ferries. Maybe we could also relocate your mother to the Isle of Wight. That would be perfect.

There is nothing worse than a slurper... maybe a nose-picker but that's about it!
.-= Eternally Distracted´s last blog ..There's a reason why I behave the way I do... =-.

Of course, a slurping nose-picker would really be too much.

Great tip about the coat hooks!
.-= Matthew Needham´s last blog ..How to create your dream chart =-.

There's ALWAYS something to distract you, always. Coat hooks were good, but anything will do. Admire a chair leg, count patterns on the sofa or wallpaper, anything really.

I'll be back soon I hope!

Oh Whew! I thought perhaps someone had slurped just once too often, you snapped, and were now locked up in jail! You know your fans would bail you out...eventually. ;->
.-= Rochelle´s last blog ..Fun with Polaroids =-.

Well it's good to know, and if all others fail, at least I can count on you...

I feel like we need to develop a new job where people are hired by the government to be "Maker-Awarers." Their sole purpose would be to walk around and tell others when they're being obnoxious, but have no idea. And no one could get offended, cause that's their JOB, yo.
.-= LiLu´s last blog ..Dammit, the Smelly Kid is… ME! =-.

I've always believed that. I'd be a great government policy-maker when it comes to protocol.

I wonder at the leg crossing. And why couldn't he put his teeth back in like normal people?
.-= Madame DeFarge´s last blog ..Ladies Who Launch =-.

Maybe he needed a wee.

I don't mind slurping liquids quite as much as smacking sounds from eating solids.

Being of advanced years, and seen/heard/read just about everything at this point, I'm not easily skeeved out. But if I'm sitting anywhere near a food smacker (or, God forbid, and open-mouth chewer), I have been known to request/demand another table away from the offending party.
.-= Tristan Robin´s last blog ..Relaxing After the Holiday Weekend ... =-.

I think this post drew out of you a little bit more of the true Tristan than usual and I'm glad. We should go for a pint and talk about protocol violators.

You too Asphodel (the name I know you by!), I never forget a blogger and I'm glad you're blogging again, I'll be over shortly.

Good grief. Normally you're quite, um, gently critical of my complaints, but it looks like this time you and I are well and truly in agreement. We should talk more about this and maybe write a rule book.

Funnily enough, after all this LM talk, the truth is that while I wouldn't say no to a slice, I'm not that bothered by it.

I think if we ever ate together you would look at me with the same mixture of pity, disbelief and irritation that my husband does. The man holds chocolate in his hands and it doesn't melt. It's disturbing actually.

Your husband and I sound very similar. In fact, from this tiny picture that you have provided, you and my wife are perhaps quite similar. Chocolate doesn't melt in my hands, drinks don't spill, keys don't get lost, sneezes don't occur in public, you name it, it won't ever happen with me...genetic material?

Flagrant indeed. A single slurp, no matter how quiet, is enough to push me over the edge.

Maybe he's got a sinus thingie going on...

Hope your week is not getting the best of you Mo.
.-= Pseudo´s last blog ..Random Tuesday: Random Guide to Some Local Humor =-.

Thanks for you concerns...I'll be back.

Old men need more and better filters in general, but most especially when they're slurping their beer! Why, chugging is entirely more appropriate where ale is concerned, isn't it?
.-= Fragrant Liar´s last blog ..Pirate Hooker =-.

Chugging is exactly what he should have been doing. Do you chug?

I reckon it might have been the barman's and let me tell you this, he's not your type...

I want to know how you know that wild boars like lemon meringue pie. (I make a fantastic lemon meringue, if I do say so.)
.-= amy2boys´s last blog ..Farm Fresh Green Beans Amandine =-.

I don't "know" about the typical taste of wild boars, I have to be honest with you there, but it makes sense doesn't it?!

Scope.... You've seen all kinds of b(.)(.)bs, haven't you? *wink

Mo this was a crack up. Slurping is gross. Plus, I think it could cause hiccups....
.-= JenJen´s last blog ..Can You Help Me With Any of These? (Probably Not...) =-.

It might do, but that shouldn't bother you as if I remember correctly you know THE cure.

I'll bet he had a voice like Gilbert Gotfried. You should be thankful he didn't shout something out in that screeching whine voice.
.-= Eric´s last blog ..Big Round Numbers (Un Centinaio e C’ho il Dente Avvelenato) =-.

Believe you me, I'm thankful all right. That would have been the whining on the cake.

I know that guy. He was at Starbucks the other day when I was working on an assignment.
.-= Colleen´s last blog ..Found Objects =-.

You have to take the red pill before your cool enough for the matrix look.
.-= The Urban Cowboy´s last blog ..What Is Memorial Day The History of Memorial Day =-.

I did know that, but had forgotten, so at least you've reminded me and next time when I'm considering my blue and red options I'll know what to do.

Yes, but using my uncanny, Miss Marple-like powers of observation and deduction I surmise that the leather coat, since it clearly didn't belong to you, MUST have belonged to him.

So, in conclusion, we learn that whilst he may have been irritating and slurped his beer, HE was in fact cool enough to pull off the Matrix look.

In actual fact, as I think about it, I suspect that the coat may have belonged to the barman. Take that Miss Marple.

I am most definitely anti-slurpage too - makes my skin crawl. Unless they've just been rescued from a desert island and haven't had water in weeks -- and even then I don't really see a reason for slurping it all about.
.-= Rochelle´s last blog ..The Next Stage =-.

Exactly, there is NO EXCUSE.

Seems to me this guy has figured out a way to piss off the entire bar without getting his ass beat.

He slyly watches his annoyed fellow patrons as he takes another long, noisy, slurp, all the while struggling within to hide his emmence pleasure. How much more entertainment could a fellow want?

From what I gather he does that every day. He isn't you by any chance is he?

Quite funny that you were not alone in your characterization!
.-= blueviolet´s last blog ..Reason #1 for Being in Chicago Last Week =-.

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The Scar

The "sequel" to Perdido Street Station, one of my absolute favourites, and I'm enjoying it just as much, if not more so.

The worlds and races Mieville creates are simply superb. If you've not read this series and you like "weird fiction" then please crack on and get reading.

John Smith and the Blue Mackintosh

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  • PDOException: SQLSTATE[22001]: String data, right truncated: 1406 Data too long for column 'title' at row 1: INSERT INTO {aggregator_item} (title, link, author, description, guid, timestamp, fid) VALUES (:db_insert_placeholder_0, :db_insert_placeholder_1, :db_insert_placeholder_2, :db_insert_placeholder_3, :db_insert_placeholder_4, :db_insert_placeholder_5, :db_insert_placeholder_6); Array ( [:db_insert_placeholder_0] => In Which, Not Having Posted For A While, Our Hero Grabs Whatever Odd Crap He Can Off Of His Phone And Adds Some Words In The Vague Hope That Something Profound Or At Least Moderately Entertaining Will Emerge, As Will The Inspiration For A Pithy And Succinct Title To Encapsulate it. [:db_insert_placeholder_1] => http://gravelfarm.blogspot.com/2012/07/in-which-not-having-posted-for-while.html [:db_insert_placeholder_2] => [:db_insert_placeholder_3] => <br /><div style="color: black;">My 2 year-old daughter, Bonobo, enjoys colouring in.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Well, I say colouring in, but really it's scrawling random marks across any flat surface with anything that might feasibly make a mark. Crayon, ink, paint, snot, poo, blood, you name it, she seems to be able to incorporate it into her art, and will brook no criticisms,&nbsp;constructive&nbsp;or otherwise, about whether it is "good" or "insightful" or "talented" or "naughty".&nbsp; Just this morning, I found her outside making a delightful print on the patio with the juice from a disgruntled snail.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dkwNRpAx8VI/T_wNLDIiGYI/AAAAAAAABCU/-W1n9rbbJqM/s1600/banksy+wall.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dkwNRpAx8VI/T_wNLDIiGYI/AAAAAAAABCU/-W1n9rbbJqM/s320/banksy+wall.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Dear Jebus let that be chocolate spread.</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">She's like Gilbert &amp; George only, you know, she occasionally does stuff I like.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Obviously, I want to encourage the artistic&nbsp;aspects of her character, but preferably whilst discouraging the&nbsp;accompanying&nbsp;random acts of vandalism to the sofa or fridge door. This involves the purchase of vast reams of paper and imperial gallons of colouring books for her to <s>waste</s>&nbsp;utilise.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">I don't normally bother looking at them, other than giving the occasional finished piece a quick glance, saying "well done Sweetheart, I shall treasure it forever" before placing it carefully out of view in the recycling box, but I did flick through this cheap one she got as a gift in a party bag:</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="background-color: white; color: black;"></div><div style="color: black;"><span style="background-color: white;"><br /></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XuI7ztZplfU/T_S59DE1dwI/AAAAAAAABBM/G_xOtKOw458/s1600/cullrin+3.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XuI7ztZplfU/T_S59DE1dwI/AAAAAAAABBM/G_xOtKOw458/s320/cullrin+3.JPG" width="240" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">This will end in tears. </td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">It's pretty standard fare, really. A selection of motifs and tableaux of no particular ilk or order, ready for children to completely not keep within the lines on. It got me wondering how much thought and endeavour go into the creation of such tomes.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">They're basically doodles, which are then printed out in book form and sold. A starving artist whacks out a toad underneath a toadstool whilst some sort of large insect, possibly of the order Odonata wearing a bowler hat, sits on top trying to remember where it lost it's other pair of legs:</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; color: black; text-align: center;"></div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hpUH3tXyuPc/T_S75KnQeFI/AAAAAAAABB0/ptHfBJM7_Rk/s1600/cullrin+1a.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hpUH3tXyuPc/T_S75KnQeFI/AAAAAAAABB0/ptHfBJM7_Rk/s400/cullrin+1a.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Smuggest toad in Amphibiville.</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Opposite, a fairy shows an old sock to a deer with oddly long front legs, perhaps hoping the fawn will be able to track the owner, lost in the woods these past forty-eight hours and causing concern as temperatures are dropping, what with the sun playing hide and seek behind the cloud there. </div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Sticking with the toadstool theme, the next page had turned the whole concept on it's head by having the toad <i>on top</i> of the fungus, literally as a stool for the toad. Madness. It appears to be being addressed by a bizarre anthropomorphic rodent which sends chills through my spine in a way that Mickey never did:</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WvRoUwsKImo/T_S6O67sWOI/AAAAAAAABBU/TCp-728ntG4/s1600/cullrin+4.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WvRoUwsKImo/T_S6O67sWOI/AAAAAAAABBU/TCp-728ntG4/s320/cullrin+4.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">"Go on, let me lick you."</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">The chameleon on the opposing page was relatively lifelike, if one discounts the expression on it's face which suggests it has narrowly missed being caught doing something both immoral and illegal. Presumably with it's tongue.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">After expending vast amounts of efforts on the previous mouse, not only giving it a face but a set of clothes as well, the artist then runs out of time and, almost certainly, inclination for the next mouse-based piece. Here, they are sadly two-dimensional and lacking even a rudimentary&nbsp;mandible, sailing forlornly in some sort of leaf-boat 'neath a bright, croissant-lit sky:</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ml9ou9aQTSw/T_S_L5GKeSI/AAAAAAAABCI/tiqdwJygIMk/s1600/cullrin+5.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ml9ou9aQTSw/T_S_L5GKeSI/AAAAAAAABCI/tiqdwJygIMk/s320/cullrin+5.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">In the kingdom of the deaf, the one-eared mice are kings.</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">As if realising the obvious lack of talent demonstrated by the boat-mice, the artist ups his or her game and does a reasonable job on the flowers and butterfly opposite.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">On a roll now, the artist illustrates a good facsimile of a gnu, looking as if it is about to charge any child considering colouring it in pink. Other than that, though, things take a downward turn. The artist has now run out of animals to draw, and is reduced to portraying some sort of wallaby/teddy/dog hybrid about to be grabbed by a six-fingered, thumbless hand, presumably for the crime of simply existing.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--kstZBfzVns/T_S6biL8-II/AAAAAAAABBk/7Drr_TXSO4M/s1600/cullrin+6.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--kstZBfzVns/T_S6biL8-II/AAAAAAAABBk/7Drr_TXSO4M/s320/cullrin+6.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">"What am I? WHAT AM I?"</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Towards the end of the book, impetus seems to be dwindling, and rather than draw another toad or existing creature, the artists wazzes off another example of whatever the hell that thing is, only this time the freak is attempting to hide it's shame behind an oversize flower. Good thing too:</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="color: black; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mTDIO0bnls0/T_wOqDKVzDI/AAAAAAAABCk/cDOHcNs8QbQ/s1600/freek.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mTDIO0bnls0/T_wOqDKVzDI/AAAAAAAABCk/cDOHcNs8QbQ/s320/freek.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Don't look at me, I beg of you. Look at the whale. </td></tr></tbody></table><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">The finale of the book, which in my opinion you might expect to be one of the better pieces of work to leave the audience with, is of a stunted whale, gaping mouth half full of vomit, spurting juice out of it's head-hole like some sort of cetacean money-shot.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Sadly, I do not foresee see many worthwhile accolades coming to this artist. Tracey Emin could have done it. </div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">From today's reading, many lessons emerge. I have learnt that I know two more animals than the artist responsible for this colouring book (camel and dog. I'm not showing off, just saying).</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">I have learnt that&nbsp; it doesn't really matter what you put on a page as long as children get to destroy it in the name of creativity.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Most importantly of all I have learnt that a snail can indeed look disgruntled.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Sometimes, the level of profundity I achieve through writing this blog staggers even me.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">Ooh, snail!</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;">That's three.</div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><div style="color: black;"><br /></div><br /> [:db_insert_placeholder_4] => tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-917676458656665193.post-1618795888336161232 [:db_insert_placeholder_5] => 1341921120 [:db_insert_placeholder_6] => 10 ) in aggregator_save_item() (line 150 of /home/stoneskin/madd0g.org/modules/aggregator/aggregator.processor.inc).

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