Saturday, March 11, 2006

Why accountants are the new therapists, swans are evil killers and weddings don't hurt people, but being late for them does

So I spent two hours with an accountant yesterday. I like the accountant. He's funny. He does accounts. What more could I ask for?

Answers, that's what.

I just came away with more and more questions. Every time I said, 'So, if John given me twelve apples and Janet gives me three and a half apples, and I have to give Virinder two apples per month anyway, how many apples can I give out to Derek and Siobhan when they ask if there are more apples?'. he says, ' Hmmm. Interesting. What sort of apples are they? Where did they come from? Does John require that you eat the apples he gives you or that you store them in a special apple box? Is there a sell-by date on the bag of apples Janet gave you? Might Virinder settle for an apple and two small but perfectly ripe plums?'

Just tell me how much money I can spend, please.

It really is like therapy. I thought I was paying to get the accountant to do stuff for me, but no. It seems I pay him to make me answer my own questions and sort out the puzzle for myself. Which is all very well and Plato-ish or somesuch (I did a degree in philosophy but it was a while ago and I was really never very good at it), but quite annoying too. If it turns out to be like therapy, at least I can live in hope that it will do me some good in the long run.

It was the swans (and The Manchizzle) that did it. I was about to leave the flat yesterday when I noticed some swans having a fight on the river. I thought it might be a bit of seasonal hot swan sex for a while, but no. It was a full on lynching with two big lads knocking the crap out of a smaller lad (I know the difference between boy swans and girl swans now - I'm almost qualified to be a farmer or similar). The losingest swan was in a bad way - sticking its little scraggy neck onto the bank trying to keep above the water and squeeking in a very distressed fashion. It was terrible. My initial reaction, throwing some apples from my living room window at the winningest swans while shouting 'fuck the fuck off', didn't seem to be working.

Anyway, I was heading out for a big meeting, so I went onto the river bank (the path is my way to work) and realised the full extent of the horror. The losingest swan already had one broken wing, had swan blood on its face (yes, swan blood) and was all waterlogged and desperate and looked like it was nearly dead. The other swans were still pecking and beating it senseless. So, in a 'What would David Attenborough do?' moment, I thought about letting nature take its course and moving on. Then I thought, fuck it, are swans supposed to murder each other right in front of people's flats? I don't think so. They are supposed to do graceful landings on sheets of calm water, neck in a decorous fashion, and occasionally defend their young against foxes and the like - I watch television, I know this to be true.

So I did some more useless shouting at the killer swans and leant over the railings by the river and swung my bag at them to drive them away. Now I am five ten, and a little bit chunky I admit, and I am good at shouting, so I expected an immediate withdrawal of negative swan attitude. The bastards just withdrew for about five seconds and came back for more. After a few more swings - and a slight wobble about the fact that anyone looking from the flats where I live would just see me in the process of attacking swans with my bag and would, quite rightly, consider calling the police at which point I would have to explain my attempt to fight nature's course and dishonour the name of David Attenborough - I thought, What would Rolf Harris do? A much safer option.

So I called 118118 and asked for the nearest animal niceness centre. They put me through to one very close by. As I was continuing to fight off the evil swans (with my lovely Crumpler courier bag and its contents becoming damper and muddier by the minute) and encouraging the bedraggled losingest swan not to die (mainly by saying, 'don't die, please' in a slightly weepy fashion) - I spoke to an animal expert and explained the situation. 'Will someone come and rescue the swan?' was my parting shot. Yes, she said. Possibly. But it would take a while, and the swan would probably be dead by then and swans just got like this in mating season and there is nothing that mere people (even if they care and dare to flout the laws of Attenborough and risk their lovely bags) can do. Or even should do. The red-in-tooth-and-claw speech was only moments away, I could feel it. 'So, you think I should leave it?' 'Well, I can give you the number of our inspector and you could call that if you want.' Hmm. I sensed a moral back off - i.e. she was willing to let me flout the law of Attenborough and was willing to give me the means to do it - but she wouldn't actively recommend it herself...

At that point the losingest swan moved a bit of reach (i.e. drifted a bit against its will) and the evil swans came back and started pecking and mauling it in a horrible way. I could no longer reach them with my bag - I had thrown all the bits of stick and mud I could find, and I had ten minutes to get to a meeting with some consultants who were travelling from Edinburgh specially to see me - and the meeting was at least 20 minutes away. And it was pissing down and I was soaking wet by now.

Bye bye river bank. Bye bye swan. I feel awful.

I have yet to go and see if there is a body there - but when I got up this morning, I thought I could recognise a glint of (swan) blood lust in this little bastard's eyes... it's the same swan by the same bit of river bank. Evil - like going back to revisit the scene of the crime... How could it?

Going to weddings can seriously disturb one's world view. For the better I think. I still can't blog about it properly - this is why I haven't been able to blog for a few weeks now - thanks to Rullsenberg Rules and others for their kind comments and interest - but I'm sure I will be able to at some point.


Blogger Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Awh, your swan tale had me cursing on your behalf. Yes they can be evil F*ers, but so can geese...

And I do hope you get back to blogging (its doing my ego no end of good to come and see my name mentioned here!)

As for weddings, they can be great but not having been given the pre-programmed female gene for loving them and wanting them I'm not always sure I'm responding in the right way. The best 'weddings' I have been to have always been the most unconventional, if not utterly lacking in legal legitimacy!

4:58 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

Interfering in a battle between swans was never going to be a feel-good moment. Harsh though it is, the Attenborough approach is probably right. Plus you really don't have too many other options.

I once saw the immediate aftermath (falling green feathers) of a black kite taking advantage of a momentary lapse of vigilance on the part of a green parrot. (Over an outdoor hotel pool in Delhi.) Nothing you can do about it.

2:35 am  
Blogger c&v said...

I know you're right - and I know transposing patterns of justice onto the animal world is athropomorphic and facile- but I just couldn't help it. Perhaps our helplessness in the face of wider injustices makes the local, smaller (and winged, in my case) occurences, more tempting to try and avert... I shall know better next time.

6:06 pm  

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