Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Money laundering

I've noticed lately that being stressed is not antithetical to being bored, as one might suspect. I'm not sure what it says about me that I have always thought that if stress is not exciting, it must at least be ... diverting. But apparently not. At the moment, I'm as stressed as I've ever been. Doctoral study has had hundreds of years under heavy selection pressures to develop this particular kind of grip on the mind. But apparently, this has no effect on my current case of boredom, one so crushing that I pity the poor trawlers who stumble upon this newbie blog. I can't tell the difference between the interesting and the mundane at the moment. So let me tell you about my money laundering exploits.

Recently, my housemate H discovered these fabulous hard fruit candies, the name of which now escapes me. They had some punnish slogan on them about being 'clearly good' because you can see straight through them. I thank God I wore my corset, I think my sides have split. We'll call them Bad-Pun Candy. Bad-Pun Candy comes in various fruity-licious flavours, and were particularly delectable according to the avian connoisseurship of our cinnamon green-cheeked conure, B. He would gleefully steal one Bad Pun Candy and spend the next half hour delicately plucking the greaseproof paper wrapping from it and then thoroughly gumming up the exterior of said candy with his little parrot tongue. Then, naturellment, when he got bored, he would drop aforementioned mass of gummy sugar and paper shards on the nearest convenient object of great value or maximum difficulty of cleaning.

This afternoon, as a result of my spectacular impecuniosity brought on by aforementioned doctoral studies, I was rooting around in the bottom of my handbag to see if I could scrape together a double-tall latte's worth of change. What I got was a handful of gummy fuity-licious legal tender. Thanks B. Now, my handbag is a very natty grey felt number from habitat. I love my handbag. It's bloody brilliant. No compartments, zippers, clips or snaps. Just dump it all in. Of course, the change is the heaviest, so the inside of my bag has an alluvial lining of Great British pence and hairpins with the lighter layer of receipts and squished-up Post-its floating on the top. Inter alia. So the good news is that as a result of the lining of change at the bottom of my handbag, all that was gummy was my money and not my felt. Small mercies, n'est-ce pas?

So I put my fruity-licious change-gum ball into my trusty Penguin of Death mug, and I washed my change in some dishwashing detergent in the sink in the departmental tearoom. There were a few undergraduates hanging around drinking tea with a vaguely stunned air, because the first week of term has just run them over and no-one got the license plate number.

They watched in silence as I lathered my twenty-pences and dried them on a yellow checked dishtowel.

I gave them all a winning smile as I left the room. Bless you all, but that is far from the strangest thing you're going to see this week. Trust me.

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