Saturday, 3 May 2014

Sacrificial birthday


There has been a spate of almost ordinary, almost well-intentioned people being thrown out of Bath pubs in the last few days.

The last time that I am aware of was the 'Farage Wave' incident at The Bell Inn, which has paid for Gary's bar-bills for the next month or two, but because of its wide appeal to right-thinking people across the nation, has overshadowed other incidents involving well-intentioned people on both sides of the bar. I'll explain what I mean.

On April 23rd, a group of young men decided to take the day off to celebrate both St. George's Day and Shakespeare's birthday, so dressed up in white t-shirts with the red cross of St. George printed on the front, and went into the Hobgoblin pub in the middle of town.

The landlord of the pub mistook them for a bunch of fascist BNP (British National Party), dressed up as EDL (English Defence League) and refused to serve them. They explained to our local newspaper that they were not rowdy and shouting and, as far as I know, they didn't all have shaved heads or 20-hole Doc Martens on, so it seems the landlord overreacted.

This weekend is a bank holiday here in Britain, ostensibly to celebrate the pagan-rooted Mayday festival. Even this innocent, agricultural holiday has been hi-jacked, and now Britain's Labour Party (or what's left of it) claim it as their own, hard-won day-off for the workers.

Why is it always young children who dance around the Maypole? Because ancient lore decrees that in order to maximise the chances of a fruitful harvest, it must be virgins who perform the ritual, and virgins over the age of 15 are pretty hard to find these days.

In Scotland, the 'Tatty Holidays' will arrive soon. These were originally arranged by farmers who needed to pull their children out of school to help with the potato harvest, but they are now just meaningless days off. Most of these old holidays were centred around agricultural cycles and seasons, and - like all popular things - have been hi-jacked by others to suit their own purposes. This weekend's celebrations at The Bell have been dubbed, 'BELL-TANE' - gedditt?

My birthday is coming up soon this May, but even that has been hi-jacked.

Almost exactly a year ago, H.I.'s daughter called me to ask what day it fell on. When I told her, she said, "Shit. I thought it reminded me of something when I booked the wedding with the registrar."

I had my last birthday two years ago, but I wasn't aware that it would be my final one at the time.

20 comments:

  1. But that keeps you young - now you can subtract the last one. I do it all the times, lying like Baron Münchhausen.

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    1. But it's so undignified. I have a friend who was born in a leap-year, and nobody believes him when he says he is only 16.

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    2. Dignity is the last thing I strive for. Pride: yes. Dignity: no. A good lie remains in the boundaries of possibility - and the older you get the more the bounderies blur - because the 16 year olds don't trust anyone over 30 - rightly, but the 47+ swallow a lot.

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    3. So she is right? The 47+ swallow a lot? Not in my experience they don't. Anyway, dignity is like happiness - pointless to strive for.

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  2. No comprendi. Did a bunch of lefty, 15 year old, potato-picking virgins half-inch your birthday?

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    1. No. A 45 year-old, very much a non-virgin, non-potato-picking, blushing bride did.

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  3. I don't think there were many 15 year old virgins back in the (ancient) day, either.

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    1. Yes, I was thinking the same thing. They used to drag them out into the fields in those days, and not unwillingly either.

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    2. I can't remember being a virgin.

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    3. Probably because you've been pissed since you were 15.

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  4. In Austria they still have the Energietäge, holidays introduced during the fuel crisis in the 1970's when schools here were closed on certain days to save fuel.
    Every village seems to have a maypole. But a band of anti-maypole hooligans armed with chainsaws is on the loose according press reports.

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    1. During that fuel crisis, my brother drove his 4.2 litre Jaguar up motorways at 30 miles per hour, just because he could.

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  5. It's your birthday. Reclaim it. If you don't want to do that you cannot moan its loss. Well, I guess you may; it's expecting folks to feel sorry that's uncharacteristic.

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    1. I wouldn't take me too seriously if I were you, Joanne. I don't give a flying fuck about my birthday.

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  6. I often move my birthday a day or two either side of the real date if it suits me. You should do the same, as you get older you don't know how many more you are going to have.

    If you want a glimpse of yours truly Tom, click on The Solitary Walker on my side bar.- he is my niece's husband and visited us last weekend - and took a photo of me and the farmer.

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    1. Ok, but I'm going to brace myself first.

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  7. Mine's soon too. 50th. Let's not talk astrology. Have changed wording to save you further pain; I hope it meets with your approval.

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    1. The recently deceased Bob Hoskins's daughter came to my 50th party. Trying to save me further pain is a nice thought, but a futile one. These two sentences are not related.

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