Monday, 4 August 2008

The missionary position

Now, one thing that you never really think about when you leave for the office of a morning is those little things you will have left behind should the unthinkable happen and you never make it back home.

Private emails, drunken texts, diary entries, autofill google searches for big breasted Milfs, love poems you wrote in 6th form, the Culture Club cd... stuff you'd be embarrased about should it be discovered.
A few weeks ago I lost my best mate in an RTA, and later on faced the emotionally draining and difficult task of going to his house to help the family and partner sift and sort through his belongings.
I was upstairs in his bedroom with his mum and girlfriend. The top drawers had already been cleaned out earlier, and just the bottom one remained.

Now, anyone knows that the top drawer is usually for undies, socks, aftershave etc, the middle two for t-shirts, and the bottom one for junk. Private junk.

My man instinct kicking in, I tried desparately to usher his mum away from the potential horrors the bottom drawer could contain - the kind of stuff that would put a different slant on the person you thought you knew by discovering the kinks and private passions they had.

At first glance it seemed innocent enough. Band biographies, music sheets, and the odd bit of paperwork and bills. Peeling, piling, and packing off this layer, the truth finally emerged and in amongst copies of Nuts and Heat there it was. The pron.

Not just pron, but the selection of pron that he'd bought as we travelled around europe on what was to be the greatest, most lifechanging, of our adventures.
I thought back to the moment, having sat bored in Milan's train station for hours, that he'd decided upon his personal mission to collect the pron from as many countries as he could. Wondering if these cultural pamphlets would offer an insight into the psychology of each nation. Yeah right! Pron is pron and he thought it'd just be, as with many things in his life, a bloody good laugh.

So there it was. The first time I'd seen the stash since our travels. Five years hence. I couldn't bin it knowing the emotional attachment it had. It reminded me of probably the best time in my life. I'd think about what to do with it later... so I bagged it up and put it in the car boot.

There it stayed, out of sight and out of mind for a couple of days.

Back at the office I recounted my dilemna.

Then Nic lit up with a brilliant suggestion.

"Why don't you return it to the bushes"


Just a few days earlier we'd had a good laugh at a post I'd seen on the f365 forum about life before the internet. The concensus in the thread was that prior to the web almost everyone found their pron in bushes, hedges and dens. It was so true, so brilliantly observed. The men of the office, it appeared, too used to find pron in bushes. Some even phoned partners and friends to further quantify this theory. Of course some had whilst some just thought we were plain weird.

We laughed and enthused over how it got there, who put it there, and recounted our own experiences.

It had to be done.

The pron stash had to return to it's rightful place where a new generation would discover the lost joys of searching for the other pages and ripped up pieces.

I bounced the idea off a couple of other of his mates and they agreed he'd love it; be pissing himself, tears rolling, with that sometimes uncontrolable engine of a laugh he had.

I told my old man. He too loved it with a fatherly "watch you don't get caught son".

It was on.

For the first Friday in an age I didn't drink. Waking at 6.30 on the Saturday I went over the route, the various places and ways I would dispose of it.

Everything was in place so I hopped in my car and drove on over to the place we'd drank many times, where we'd walked and turned the world's problems over, and more often than not gurned at the idiocy of things.

I ripped up the mag, and folded it into the side pocket of my combats for easy access and disposal.

The first idea was to do some good old fashioned crumpled pron. So a few hundred metres in I prepared my first drop.

And I disposed of it in some gravel near the bushes at the side of the road:

Next up I decided on some good old fashioned torn pron. The kind that'd have you scrambling through the bushes for the rest of the pieces; to complete the picture you know?

Which I dropped in a hedge and the wind blew the pieces into a broken puzzle...

Next up was some multi-page pron. The golden discovery of an entire section together. No bits missing, no tears, just pron in it's purest form.

I now ventured towards a busier stretch of path, along the dog walking route and I knew that there was no way that I'd be able to drop the pron and take a picture without arousing suspicion. A 30 odd year old bespectacled, balding fella in a hoodie and combats at 8am getting caught dropping and taking pics of pron would need a sound justification.

But what's this?


By now there was a fair few people about so I knew I had a good walk ahead until it would be quiet enough for me to continue my mission. No problem though, as it would give me time to think of what other forms the pron could be dispatched in.

About a mile further down the road I created some hedge pron.

A bit further up I found a discarded beer can. Brilliant! Beer can pron. It would be made to seem as if some loner had been out with a solitary can, drinking and perving at his one torn out page of pron. Thus I placed the pron under the can. Yay for beer can pron...

Now by the canalside, there were a fair few folk around so I had to curtail my mission until I reached a quieter stretch. Then I had an idea. I could make a pron boat and do a mini viking funeral. I began to ferret around in my front pocket, folding the pron into what I thought would make a sailable vessel.
It was tricky. I hadn't made a paper boat for years and ocassionally needed to take my work out to see how it was getting along.

At around this stage, two miles or so in, I realised I wasn't alone and I was being followed by a lone fella with a rucksack on. Now, there's nothing for miles in the direction I was heading so I started to get a bit paranoid. I hung back and let him pass.

By now I was looking for somewhere to launch pron boat so I continued on. Trying to find a suitable launch. I found a low patch where I could release pron boat and was about to let it go. Cigarette lighter in hand, prepared for it's flaming departure. But NO!! The fella had snuck off the path and was now behind me again. Drat and double drat.
With nowhere to sit, or seemingly rest without it appearing like I wanted rid of my pron stalker I did the old 'something in my shoe' routine and after what seemed an age looking for the imaginary stone, even checking my socks, pron stalker passed once more.
I was finally alone and pron boat was ready. Alas, the wind flipped it and pron boat was now pron raft.

The current quickly took it too far away for me to set fire to.

Before a barge sunk pron raft

Rethinking my model, I made pron boat 2, which had a sail.

This one was ace if I do say so myself. I was about to set it on fire when a posse of morning joggers came by. So I did one.
Time to go home and complete my mission with...
Hole in the ground pron

Some more hedge pron

I also found some kind of place where kids who'd go drinking down the lanes would dump their beer stash

So I created some stash pron

My favourite on this leg of the journey though was the teasing pron. The pron that had the essentials missing! It would drive it's discoverer into a frenzied search.

So I put the pron with no bush into a bush.

I was now near the end of the journey and was slightly elated to see that the beer can pron had been tampered with and moved. Was it the gang of teenagers on bikes that passed me earlier?
Now getting back to where it's busy I placed my remaining pron in various bushes and hedgerows whenever the opportunity arose.
5 or 6 miles from when I started off, my mouth dry, legs knackered, and pron distributed in as many ways as I could think, my little adventure and tribute was complete so...

It was time to go to our favourite haunt for pron and a pint where I laughed like a loon, with Rob looking down chuckling at his dickhead of a mate.