I made a terrible mistake: re-installing Civilization 4 on the laptop. Now every time I am near it my fingers tingle with the temptation of world domination. The peripherals want to play, and my armies are mounting near the border, ready to break the peace treaty and steal all those lovely little cities. It’s so addictive and so boring at the same time. It’s 4000BC and my tribe settles its chosen lands, building a powerbase and a field of cultural influence. Trading with the neighbours and competing for control of valuable resources. Grapes for wine, elephants for ivory, wheat for food and whale for meat. Soon I discover copper, tin, aluminium, steel, oil, and uranium, putting them all to uses, both peaceful and destructive. I build the Eiffel tower, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Hollywood and the Internet. Eventually most of the planet lives in the benevolent grip of Lord Bradshaw, socialist dictator; imposing universal suffrage, free speech and free religion on an unwilling world by shining steel tempered in the fire. “If you want a picture of the future,” under the rule of the Great Benevolent Leader Kevin, “imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.”
Back to life, back to reality, and I’ve spent most of the day scrubbing floors and feeling like the boot is on the other face (that felt clever as I wrote it, but it really doesn’t mean anything). I’ve taken employment in a big kid’s play centre (I mean it’s big, not it’s for big kids), but it’s yet to open to the public and we are currently running around after the builders, sweeping up saw dust and removing stray screws from the ball-pit (100% safe!). It’s quiet except for the occasional drilling or blast of Robbie Williams from the half installed sound system. In a day or two it will be full of the sounds of amazed and ecstatic children, running around until their heads burst with pure excitement. For now, between cleaning, it is just us staff running around and exploding excitement all over the slide; swimming in the ball-pit and crawling through the tunnels... come on, I’ll race you! It’s in an industrial unit that was previously a warehouse for some major retail chain. They left the staff kitchen in the filthiest state I have ever seen. The bin was caked in a thick layer of mouldy teabag, the floor was black with unspeakable ooze, even the corners of the cupboard doors looked like someone had wiped their arse on them. I have an image of some fat-cuntish warehouse worker with his pants down, laughing as his sweaty arse envelopes the cupboard door: “Turn my place of work into a jungle gym, will they! I’ll show them!” What a twat. He definitely exists.
Now I’m home (I misspelt that as ‘homme’, which I am also), drinking wine, and racking my brains for a short story idea. Just a thread I can grab on to, unravel, then spin into a classic yarn. Actually it’s more like picking my nose and flicking it, waiting to see what sticks to the lamp shade. But either way it’s a process and I had better get started. Even though this blog is supposed to be warming up my writing bones, it’s a bit of a distraction.... so... bye.