Something that Dave said about the chap whose poem he has on his blog today reminded me of this.

When I was in my teens, among the people I knew was a family of several brothers – we used to all meet up at dances and suchlike. They were all at public school so I only saw them in the holidays. There was one younger than I, one about the same age and the rest were older – as time went by and one tended to pair up rather than get together in a gang, I saw them less.

One of the oldest boys had a serious illness in his teens and had to have brain surgery, and ended up with a metal plate in his skull, but he fortunately made a good recovery. Afterwards he dropped out somewhat, (in the sense that he became a drop-out as we tended to do back in the 60s. Some of us), and the next thing was that he vanished and we heard eventually that he’d run away and joined the Foreign Legion. A few weeks of the discipline there and he realised that maybe it wasn’t the best move he’d ever made. However, he’d signed up and he wasn’t allowed to resign, that had been made clear.

So he started to suffer from dreadful headaches. He put on a very good show and the doctor saw him, and the headaches got worse. Eventually, they were concerned enough to order an x-ray, and there was a piece of metal in his skull. He professed complete ignorance of it – he must have been good and they must have been pretty gullible – in the end they couldn’t bundle him out fast enough.

Anyway. After church, a friend asked me out for lunch. I said that the Sage had been away and if he had arrived home in time for lunch I’d better be there. So we left it that if he wasn’t home, I’d go and join the friend. I went back, the Sage wasn’t there, I hung around until after 1 o’clock, then left a note and went. I cooked him dinner tonight though and he was not unhappy. Or maybe he hides it well… Anyway, he bought himself a present while he was away, so he’s feeling cheerful about that.

Most peculiar – I’d put together a playlist on iTunes not long ago which I hadn’t got around to labelling and, when I downloaded Mike’s plinth mix, I found that everything had changed order on that untitled playlist. And now I can’t alter it – that is, I can list it in alphabetical order by name, artist, album etc, but not in the random but carefully chosen order I’d put it in. I suppose I’ll work it out sooner or later. Even if I have to do a new playlist and delete this one.

11 comments on “Discharged

  1. Z

    Ah. I’ve just found out where the original order hid itself, by comparing it with another playlist which I knew I’d been able to change the order of. Silly thing.

  2. Dave

    I shall say nothing about the phrase ‘change the order of’. Instead I shall feign some dreadful medical condition to get out of some long-term task for which I have volunteered.

  3. Z

    Change the order of is a good phrase. It makes sense, but has a slight feeling of unwieldiness, which makes one feel that the words aren’t quite in the right order. Therefore, there’s an element of onomatopoeia about it, which is quite pleasing.

    Ah, but he really did have a metal plate in his head. He just said he didn’t know how it got there. You’re fine, Dave. Just brace yourself and get back to work.

  4. Z

    We were reading each other’s blogs at the same time, weren’t we? How pleasing.

    And yes – but I still stand by ‘change the order of’.

  5. Dave

    Erm… I think I’m cracking up quicker than I expected.

    I can’t see that phrase in your post now. What I can see is another phrase: ‘I’d put it in’, which I’d rather was: ‘in which I’d put it.’

    That may have been what was in my mind when I started to type earlier this morning, but even if it was, obvioulsy I didn’t intend to imply criticism. I do feel very dizzy today. I’ve just given another few pints of blood away, mind you.

  6. Z

    Actually, if you want to be pedantic, the grammar in the first sentence is none too sharp. But colloquial speech is my deliberately chosen blogging style.

  7. Z

    A Victorian match box – a vesta case, sometimes known as a match safe. It has an enamel dog on it. I won’t tell you what it cost.


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