Wednesday, October 12, 2005

This story can be independently verified.

Last night, out for a meal in Falmouth with Person I have known since I was about fourteen, and shall henceforth be referred to as Best Mate (B.M.). She is an girl, and there is a candle between us as we peruse the menus, but romance is not in the air. We have been friends for too long. In many ways we are like one of those nineteen-fifties married couples who sleep in seperate beds with one foot on the floor at all times. I don't usually drag her into the blog thing as she doesn't read it, and so has no means of correcting 'mistakes', but she comes out of this one rather well, I feel

ME: I think I might be mildly autistic, you know.
B.M.: What was your first clue?
ME: The Dungeons and Dragons.
B.M.: Yup.
ME: Also I fear change.
B.M.: We all fear change. What are you having?
ME: Um, chicken kiev, I think.
B.M.: You had that last time.
ME: I know. I didn't like it very much.
B.M.: Have something else then.
ME: I will. I'll have something else.

We look at menus for a while.

ME: We could open a theme restaurant for autistic people. It would be called 'Quantusnevercrash' (see UPDATE below). And the forks would always be in EXACTLY THE SAME PLACE.
B.M.: Hee.
ME: Hoo. And-
B.M. That's enough now.
ME: Mmm.
B.M.: Also, you don't recognize me in town, even when I'm jumping up and down and shouting your name.
ME: You go on tip-toe and murmur. It's not the same. But I am quite bad at... you know, the big picture. I'm better at details.
B.M.: We don't talk about you enough.
ME: You're right. Sorry.

I'm holding the menu at a low angle, trying to decide what to have.

ME: It's weird though, with the absent-minded thing. Sometimes it's, you know, not that funny. Today I was on the phone, and I kept trying to take my glasses off, but I wasn't wearing any, so I was just poking myself slowly and repeatedly in the eye.*
B.M.: Oh dear god.
ME: I know.
B.M.: No, you've set fire to your menu.

I have indeed set fire to the menu. I stare at it.

B.M.: Probably blow it out.
ME: I'll blow it out.

I blow it out. There is a large hole in the menu, and an unpleasant chemical smell is drifting across the restaurant, not adding to the other patrons' enjoyment of the meal, for which I feel guilty. The waitress appears.

WAITRESS: Are you ready to- oh.
ME: Your menus are terribly flammable. It's probably quite dangerous.
B.M.: Also, 'sorry'.
ME: Yes, sorry.
WAITRESS: Are you ready to order?
B.M.: I'll have the rack of lamb.
ME: Chicken kiev please.

I didn't like it very much. But I did tip quite heavily.

UPDATE: 'Non-U' (good reference) points out - 'Psst. No 'U' In Qantas. A true autist would know that so I think you're ok.
Otherwise, as you were.' Thanks Non-U.

*In fairness, I was arranging a meeting with the Head of Comedy for quite a large broadcasting channel**. But still.

** No I'm not, I got confused. But the person I'm meeting is much better than that and has produced some comedy stuff I liked very much indeed. Also, I haven't slagged this chap off on the interweb, which is a bonus.


Dave said...

My ribs are sore now. But don't feel guilty.

You ought to be a comedy writer, but I expect someone's told you that before.

Even though you don't know who won the county championship in 1883.

James Henry said...

Well now I demand to know. Also, a list of famous fictional Victorian cricketers please. I can only think of Raffles and Flashman.

Also Edwardian, so I can have Psmith. But are there enough for a full team?

cello said...

I hope David Renwick doesn't read your blog. He'd be mighty envious and probably nick the scene for a future episode of Love Soup.

Dave said...

Sorry James. This was a pedantic response to your comment on Quinquireme's blog yesterday. I posted the correct answer there too.

Don't most of the cast of Tom Brown's Schooldays play cricket, not just Flashman?

And they're 20th C., but Greyfriars probably played cricket too - although Billy B. seems an unlikely cricketer.

Kell said...

[quote]Today I was on the phone, and I kept trying to take my glasses off, but I wasn't wearing any, so I was just poking myself slowly and repeatedly in the eye.[/quote]
Do you occasionally wear contact lenses? I do that every single time I wear them (possibly coz I don't wear them all that often & so forget).

It hurts when you do it repeatedly. Stop or you'll go blind! LOL.

Smat said...

have you ever tried taking contact lenses out while wearing glasses, then wondering why you can't poke yourself in the eye? That's quite scary.

James Henry said...

Sad to say, I have never worn contact lenses. Too squeamish. Also my brother tried them, but they made him walk in circles and throw up, which put me off.

Although smat, I like the image you've presented there, like a gary larson cartoon brought to life.

Anonymous said...

I am terrified of trying contact lenses, party because of the scary putting them in/takuing them out business and partly because I'm worried I'd drink them by mistake.

Don't feel bad about the menu thing. I once set fire to my sleeve in a restaurant. Another time it was a napkin. (I'm not a pyromanic, I'm just clumsy.) Thinking about it, that could be why I never get dinner invitations.

Anonymous said...

I used to wear contact lenses. You get quite used to putting them in and taking them out. The only problem I had was that the one's I had were the soft variety, which are all too easy to put in the wrong way, and then...

(space left for squeamish people. Don't read any further.)

.. they disappear under your eyelid. You then have to try and firk them out. I nearly freaked out the first time it happened, but fortunately a couple of blinks got it out.

I don't wear contact lenses any more due to my right eye now being too short-sighted in addition to sporting an astigmatism, which cannot be completely corrected via contact lenses.

surly girl said...

uurgh, contact lenses. i keep thinking about it but every time i seriously consider them someone tells me a story about them getting stuck round the wrong side of your eye and i go right off the idea......

Kell said...

Ah, they always come out eventually - honest! And with the soft ones you can't even feel them when they're in (so if you accidentally fall asleep without removing them, when you wake up, you think for a moment that a miracle has occured & your sight has returned... then you realise what's happened).

And yes, I've tried to take out the contacts while wearing glasses.

Yes, I'm that dumb - LOL!

Anonymous said...

Cello, let us hope that David Renwick does indeed read James' blog and pinch this entry for inclusion in "Love Soup" - I so want to like that series but I just can't bring myself to care about Gil. He is, quite frankly, unworthy of Alice. Also "Love Soup" has not made me laugh once - something which can't be said for this blog entry.

Smat said...

sg, I've never lost a lens round the back of my eye: I did however lose one during a drunken snog with a nose-eye collision...

Anonymous said...

Kell : You went to sleep with them in? I was told never to do that, otherwise they stick.

irony in motion said...

My sight is still intact, thankfully. All of contact lens terror talk has panicked me slightly, because I think short-sightedness runs in my family, and it's only a matter of time.

Same Best Mate with which the dicovering-where-vaginas-were conversation took place, incidentally?

Anonymous said...

Elfgirl, I once set fire to a napkin when I was out with my parents, aged about 10. It went up a treat. I did it on purpose, too, just cos it seemed like a good idea. I remember, as I slowly brought the napkin towards the flame, thinking something like "This is a stupid thing to do. You're going to calmly set fire to this napkin for no reason in the middle of a conversation, and your parents, who thus far have correctly judged you to be a harmless bookworm of a boy, will forevermore regard you as 99% harmless bookworm and 1% unpredictable lunatic arsonist." Happily there was a naff little vase of flowers on the table and my dad emptied it over the flames before Littlewoods cafe caught fire. I still pity my mum, explaining to the waitress why the table was covered in smouldering ash, water and bits of singed flowers without getting us all thrown out.

James Henry said...

iim - that's the one. Travelled together through strange times we have. I may have to make her some kind of cardboard medal...

Stef the engineer said...

Biggest contact lens mistake: taking them out after chopping chillies for Thai food.

Love Soup: like a comedy, without the laughs. Such a shame. :-( We've given up.

Autism: apparently engineers are this anyway.

cello said...

Can I just say - UST? Or is that just another instance of my sad and slightly dangerous viciarious romance-seeking.

James Henry said...

Yes it is. We know waaaaaay too much about each other for anything naughty to happen. Also, she's enormously ugly. It's very sad.

My word verification thing then was yumdjm, which is my new favourite thing, whatever it may be. Ladies and gentlemen: 'yumdjm'.

patroclus said...

Much as I doubt that you're in any way autistic, J, have you tried the "How Asperger's Are You?" test from Transmission?

James Henry said...

Wow, if that test had a bell, it would still be ringing now.

Anonymous said...

There are toric contact lenses for some types of astigmatism. Freaked me out the first time I tried one as they are weighted at the bottom to hang the right way round and so one eyeball felt a lot heavier than the other. Had to look up astigmatism on interwebnet to find out why that would be.

Kell said...

Steve Dix said...
Kell : You went to sleep with them in? I was told never to do that, otherwise they stick.

You can get ones that you leave in all the time for, like, a month.

I didn't have these - I just got monstrously drunk & fell asleep wearing my monthly disposables.

(PS my verification this time was "zhteuki" which I think sounds just as cool as "yumdjm".)
My eyes did feel a bit "glue-y" till i took out the contacts, cleaned 'em & popped 'em back in.

Note: DON'T CLEAN 'EM WITH SPIT! Always, & I mean ALWAYS, use the saline solution. Otherwise you end up with stingy (& sometimes stinky, depending on if you had garlic - LOL!) eyes!

Smat said...

hard lenses (the ones they won't let you have any more) were fantastic - you could leave them on a bit of tissue overnight (if you happened to be not sleeping in your own bed), then in the morning, lick them and pop them back in. Just had to make sure that the right one went in the right eye, otherwise you could think you were still drunk...

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I have no comedy contact lense stories to share except I have, on more than one occasion, put my glasses on while my lenses were still in giving me a fairly accurate preview of what life with cataracts will look like.
Also, Lord Peter Wimsey was an Oxford cricket blue particularly revered for the elegance of his cover drive. 1930's though, unfortunately.
In real life, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle captained the Portsmouth Cricket Club. Does this count?

Anonymous said...

Other potential cricketers might include characters such as Bulldog Drummond, AJ Raffles and Beau Geste. I'm pretty sure about the first two, but not sure about Beau Geste.

patroclus said...

Lord Peter Wimsey! Now you're talking. I had *the* most unseemly crush on him throughout my sixth-form years.

Smat: this is not a cue for you to reveal any embarrassing details about my sixth-form years.

Anonymous said...

Kell : Cleaning your contacts with saliva is the fast-track to conjunctivitis, as a colleague found.

Entropy : I had Torics, but the problem was, eventually the correction required was too great : they could correct vertically, but not horizontally. I tried this partial solution, but it lead to horrendous migraines, so I gave up.

Smat said...

patroclus - I must have missed the Peter Wimsey crush amongst the many and varied others...oops, I wasn't have supposed to have said that, was I?

Anonymous said...

Psst. No 'U' In Qantas. A true autist would know that so I think you're ok.
Otherwise, as you were.

patroclus said...

Also, a company is also singular, as any obsessive pedant kno. So the correct restaurant name is Qantasnevercrashes, which doesn't have quite the same ring.

Although it's growing on me already.

patroclus said...

Always singular, not also singular.

It's been a very long day.

Sorry, J, as you were.