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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Work In Progress



Not a lot of people know this, but I get quite de-motivated sometimes. Dispel your disbelief! I understand how someone would come to think that I spend my days surrounded by teetering piles of notebooks bursting with drafts of bestsellers in a cabin on a lake somewhere, having not interacted with society for weeks because I simply cannot stop writing. I would appreciate how someone would think I'm consistently battling with inky fingers, from scrawling yet another fantastic idea up my arm on the bus, for fear it get lost in the endless tide of inspiration spewing relentlessly from my tiny brain. It's easy to see where you would get that idea from, considering I blog here on an almost astoundingly regular bi-monthly basis. It would shock you too, to know that I often suffer from crippling writers block. You would never know it of course, considering the fantastic calibre of writing which is invariably posted here on The Saucy Cow. From my ground-breaking observations between Irish & Welsh boys, to my philosophical social commentary arising from whatever embarrassing thing I've done in a night club this week, it really is only a matter of time before I decide to stop giving everyone else a chance and submit this entire blog for the Pulitzer Prize.

I can see how someone would think that. But that someone would be wrong. It is for that reason I've decided to regale you all with what it's like when I get writers block. It's my hope that some struggling blogger out there might stumble across this and feel reassured that, well, if someone as exceptional as myself struggles from it, maybe it's ok for them to struggle with it, too. (That is most certainly the reason, and it definitely is not because I'm putting off writing a proper grown-up post for the other blog. Definitely not.)


The Saucy Cow's Guide
 to 
Writers Block


  • Get a FANTASTIC idea. Absolutely fantastic. An idea so fantastic, it actually scares you. "Why, Saucy." you think to yourself, "this idea is so fantastic! But are you ready to be launched from general obscurity into the glare of the public eye for your brilliance?" Take a mere millisecond to consider this before deciding that yes, you definitely are. You must write this masterpiece at once! But wait, this is going to be your Fight Club. It needs to be handled carefully. What you simply must do before you begin writing, is create a very meticulous spider diagram of all your ideas and then colour it in with pretty highlighters. Take all the time you need. You can't rush brilliance and this brainstorm needs to be very pretty. Your potential career hinges on it.

  • Now you may begin writing. But, you're very tired. You spent a lot of time on that spider-gram. Take a moment to admire the spider-gram. That is one pretty spider-gram. Concede that now all your ideas are in delicately coloured bubbles on paper, so all that remains is the small task of writing. It can wait.

  • Sit down to try and write again. There's something missing. It's a cup of tea. All writers need a cup of tea by their side, so that when someone comes into the room you have something to hold as you stare at the screen with your brow knotted, scrutinizing your own brilliance. Go to the kitchen to make yourself a cup of tea. Bump into several housemates. Hold a mini-summit in the living room where you all discuss how you "should really be doing work. Ugh! I have so much work to do." Drink tea, occasionally shaking your heads at each other and saying '*sigh* so much work...' Discuss in-depth all the things you have been doing, instead of doing work. Discover that Frozen Planet is on. Writing can definitely wait until after. Unfortunately, it's the episode when the baby penguin is abducted by a large bird. You try to write, but your piece becomes a dark dissertation of the cruel world we live in where baby penguins can be abducted and eaten at a mere moments notice. 

  • Approach your laptop once more. It's very lonely in here. No wonder so many writers go crazy. You had originally thought that it was from living with the burden of literary brilliance. Note that that's not something you find you suffer from that much... Maybe you should go on Twitter to satisfy your social cravings. Run the risk of exhausting all your creativity by spending almost an hour constructing hi-larious tweets about how bad your writers block is. This is networking, really. You need to engage many other people in 'writer banter!' so you have lots of 'industry friends' to invite to your book launch. Decide to do the same on Facebook. You're keenly aware that none of your Facebook friends are writers but you need to make sure that they all know what you're up to, so it won't be too much of a shock when you return to your hometown a superstar, having had your novel turned into a massively successful screenplay. Decide while you're on Facebook you may as well see what everyone is up to. Look at the clock. Somehow, five hours have passed. It's much too late for writing now. It can wait. 

  • It's time to write your magnum opus! Catch sight of your reflection as you sit down. Jesus. Your piece will definitely benefit from you smartening yourself up a bit. May as well start from scratch and have a shower. Find a mysterious tub of face mask. Decide to give yourself a complete makeover and preen & groom yourself within an inch of your life. Return to your room several hours later. Now in your new cleanly state you realise how filthy your room is. Toy around with some "diamond in the rough" metaphors. Decide to clean your room. Re-organise your entire desk space. Cluttered room, cluttered mind and all that. Sit down to write. Nothing. Curse yourself. True writers sit in grungey apartments brushing aside rodents and cracker packets as they complete their piece de resistance. Decide to go out, seeing as you've dolled yourself up anyway. You need to brush up on your drunken debauchery so that you have a lifestyle that will fill tabloids when you're a famous author. 

  • Sit down in your hungover state to write. You're still a little drunk, but this is a good thing. You shall be the next Hunter S. Thompson. Armed with some cringe inducing material from last night, you are now ready to write. 

  • You forgot the tea.

  • Check your email. Perhaps someone has discovered you and has already sent you a grovelling email, begging you to come write for them in exchange for lots and lots of money. If so, you should probably hold off on writing this piece for free. You have to milk it, Saucy. Notice an ad at the top of your email account for journalism placements abroad. Dismiss fears of the emergence of an Orwellian empire, because clearly Gmail have been giving your personal information from emails to advertisers. Focus instead on an elaborate fantasy where you spend the summer uncovering groundbreaking stories in India, wearing a understatedly pretty headscarf with a monkey on your shoulder. Imagine the moment in great detail when spontaneous civil unrest breaks out and your image is beamed around the world as you're held hostage by militant locals in exchange for the entire nation of Britain. Which is bizarre, because it was civil unrest. But no matter. Who are you to critique the mysterious ways of Indian rebels? You would of course manage to escape using some single-handed ingenious maneuver. So ingenious, you fail to imagine it yourself. Ponder what you would wear for that celebrated moment when you step off the plane to rapturous applause. David Cameron would come running over, sobbing and embrace you wailing "We were so worried!'. Over his head,you would assure the assembled enquiring media that "that's enough excitement for now! You're going back to being on the right side of the story." Everyone would laugh. Discover you have no new mail. 

  • Reach a stage of despondency and abasement so low that you identify with the every character in Trainspotting. Sob quietly as you flick through your University's prospectus, trying to choose an alternative career path and wonder if you may have an aptitude for Commerce which you never discovered before. Fight the impulse to post an ambiguous and depressing status on Facebook, such as a solitary sadface, in an attempt to get some much needed attention. Make a mental note of how this moment feels. It will be excellent material for the chapter entitled 'the lows' when you inevitably write your stunning autobiography. 

  • Get a burst of motivation, energy, ambition, drive & inspiration. Chirpily knock out the entire piece in less than an hour. Print it off, absolutely beaming. Scoop up the paper as though it were your first born child and cradle it in your arms as you prepare yourself to read your masterpiece. Scan the page in confusion. Check it again. Re-read. This....is terrible. Scrunch it up dramatically, in a way which you feel would be characteristically typical of a passionate writer. Check the grade requirements for Commerce again....
The Saucy Cow
xxx

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Getting Absolutely Smashed

'Saucy, was your window always like that?'



The sentence snapped me from my usual Wednesday afternoon activity of lazing on the couch and glaring expressionlessly at Jeremy Kyles latest batch of tv-zoo-animals with my housemates. Such is the tedium of University life between dragging myself out to lectures, and dragging myself in from nights out.

'Hmm?'
'Your window.... come here. Was it always like that?'

Brummie Housemate was standing outside the back door with her head cocked, staring at my bedroom window. Four of us trooped out after her, absolutely ecstatic at having something to fill our vacant student day. We all stood beside her and turned to face my room. My bedroom has two patio doors at the back, which lead into the back garden. From where we were standing, we could see one of the panes of glass had been smashed in three places, sending huge spiderweb-type cracks across it.

The five of us stood there, staring at it. For a few seconds we had to blink away the sunlight to fully absorb what was going on. This was our first taste of daylight that day, what with it being only 3pm and all.

Someone had tried to break into the house! Not just into the house, into my room. The excitement. In my head I already could picture myself heroically wrestling them off, fighting to the death to defend my macbook. When had this happened? Had we all been in the house? Being students, we didn't see this as a threat, merely the potential motivation we all need to finally renew our home insurance. Suddenly though, things turned a bit more serious...

'Oh my god......' Welsh Housemate pointed a shaking finger at the ground underneath the window. A long steel, Ikea knife glinted menacingly up at us. The big raindrops which had collected on the blade reflected the comedic 'O' shapes we were all making with our mouths.

'FUUUCKING HELL'
The tv channels of reference points in our heads immediately switched from 'Emmerdale' to 'CSI: Las Vegas'. Someone didn't just want to steal and iPod, they wanted me dead.


Male Housemate spotted a towel beside the knife. Those bastards didn't want to leave fingerprints. This was obviously a professional operation. In my mind, the level of skill and foresight needed to bring a tea towel with you meant we were dealing with super assassins.

'No...' Brummie interrupted me. 'I've seen that on TV before.... the towel muffles the sound. They wanted to do it silently.'
Oh my fucking God! I was endangered. I stared in panic at my housemates for consolation, but each of them just stared back at me with horrified 'you are so fucked' expressions.

Welsh Housemate gingerly picked up the knife. She was hit with a cacophony of screams.
'EVIDENCE, EVIDENCE!'
"DON'T WIPE THE FINGERPRINTS!'

It was obvious. We were now dealing with potential murder.



It felt like my heart had realised it was in danger and was cowardly trying to make a break for it through my rib cage. A cold sweat drenched me, assuring me I wasn't dreaming. I was absolutely sure from the conclusive evidence that someone wanted to kill me under extremely suspicious and exciting circumstances. I became inconsolable. A kaleidoscope of possibilities started rapidly flicking through my mind, each one more harrowing and ridiculous than the last. What had I done to be targeted? What court cases had I been covering lately? What was the last story that I'd written? Who had I annoyed? I sniffed bitterly. So this is the price of hard hitting journalism. I vowed to myself that if I lived through this, I would get that car park prices story published if it was literally the last thing I did.

I had pissed someone off. Someone big. Someone with connections. Someone with enough economic diligence in their operation that they purchase their murder weapons from Ikea.

At this point Male Housemate & English Housemate were on the ground looking for more evidence, Welsh Housemate was vainly trying to make me feel better and Brummie Housemate was attempting to explain the situation over the phone to South Wales Police.

'What did they say?'
'They said they'd send someone over within an hour.'

An hour?! Within an hour someone would have had the time to not only slaughter me, but to begin meticulously posting my body parts to family members and lecturers as a warning against future teaching of journalistic integrity. If living through this doesn't get me work experience, I honestly don't know what will.

The fact that there were five of us there meant that we were five times as hysterical as normal people would be. We'd each begun formulating plans to check into hotels under an alias and keep an axe under our pillow. In my mind I was picturing where my passport was and estimating the cost needed to flee the country. We all nervously glanced around the garden, expecting to see my potential assailant emerge from behind the washing line in a ski mask. All we could hear was the innocuous sound of 'Loose Women' starting on next door's TV.

'..... Maybe we should go back into the house.'


We sat in the sitting room together, in silence. Silence, with the exception of the sound of leather creaking as I rocked back and forth on the couch in distress. They had been here, where I live. Right under my nose.... I was eyeing my own housemates suspiciously (well, how well did I know these people) when Housemates 6 & 7 arrived home.

Immediately they could tell that something was wrong.
'Guys, sit down. We've got something to tell you.'
'...What is it?'
'We are all no longer safe here.'
I was overwhelmed with guilt. My occupational hazards clearly meant we'd all have to be separated for life, given new identities.
'What do you mean?'
'Someone....attempted to access the house.'
Because of our over-exposure to crime shows, and under exposure to normal life we all began to adopt the vocabulary of a New York Cop from an 80's made-for-tv movie.
'We believe the culprit tried to get in the back of the house, and when they were disturbed they fled the scene.... they had a knife.'
We watched Housemate 6 & Housemate 7's expressions change as they finally reached our level or paranoia and panic.
'Come and look...'
We led them into the back garden and pointed dramatically at the smashed window.

There was a moment of silence. I allowed for this. They needed time to digest the fact that they may never see me again. The two of them turned towards each other, then turned towards me.

'Saucy, don't you remember what happened?'
'No??!'
They stared at me incredulously. 'Monday night, remember?'

******

On Monday night, we had a Class night out. We won't go into details, but I can assure any worried tranditionalist Fleet Street hacks out there that alcoholism is alive and well within next generation of journalists.


Housemate 6 & 7 stayed in. At about 3am they heard a tremendous banging noise. Obviously paranoia is not sparse in this household, because they immediately began to think someone was breaking in and so crept downstairs to see what was going on.

*****

At some point in the early hours, I had decided I'd had enough to drink and went home. Well, better late than never. Unsurprisingly, I'd lost my keys. Thankfully, the front door had been mysteriously left wide open, so I wandered in.

*****

Housemate 6 & 7 got to the living room, which was ram-sacked. I can assure you from living here that there's nothing suspicious about that sentence. The only way the living room would have been a cause for concern in this situation would be if it had been left eerily spotless. Either way, they noticed that the back door had been left open and from outside, they could hear an unbelievable banging.

'Hello.....Is anyone there?'
The banging stopped. 
Silence.

*****

I tried to get into my room, hoping against hope that I'd somehow left it open before I left. After deducing that my bedroom was, much like myself, locked, I accepted defeat. I calmly curled up on the sofa and fell into a deep deep Jager-coma, woefully accepting the hungover turmoil which tomorrow would bring.

*****

Housemate 6 & 7 clutched each other in the living room. They repeated themselves.

'H....hello?'
They heard footsteps. A shadow appeared by the door, slowly getting closer and closer. They glanced around the room searching for anything that they could use to defend themselves. 
'Oh my god....'
They saw the glint of a knife appear first in the doorway, followed by a hand, followed by an arm..... followed by.....

*****
Back to that faithful Wednesday in the back yard, as we waited for the police to arrive:

'Guys.' I tried to remain calm but this time wasting was annoying me. My life was at stake. 'Guys, I don't know what you're talking about? Monday night? I came home and went to bed. I don't know who did that.'


'Saucy.....you did that.'


'............'

For the briefest seconds there was a sharp intake of breath as everyone swivelled towards me in a 'so the butler did it'-type moment.

'Excuse me?!' I pished, exasperated at the need to defend my integrity as 'not-a-killer'. I suddenly felt myself underneath enormous pressure to convince everyone that I had not had a Black Swan moment trying to break into my own room in a psychotic frenzy with treacherous kitchenware.

'I think I'd remember  doing that...'
'No babes, I don't think you would....'

*****

I walked into the kitchen, brandishing a knife. Housemate 6 & 7 were a blend of fury, and relief.
'Saucy, what the fuck are you doing.'
'Hello.'
'Saucy.....'
'Oh. Am. I'm just trying to break into my room.'
'Why?'
'I've lost my keys, I'm afraid.'

You're confused, right? I was. As we recalled, when I couldn't get into my room I gave up and fell asleep on the couch. Apparently not. 



What actually happened:

I came home with my keys, dear reader. I opened the front door myself. At some point between walking in the door and getting to the living room, I convinced myself I had never had my keys in the first place. I couldn't get into my room. Next logical step? Why, gather a sharp knife, a towel, and a garden chair and try to break into my room, of course.

Some sort of deranged sociopath had taken over my drunken brain and fabricated the whole 'fell asleep on the sofa' story. It appears I've read American Psycho one too many times my friends. Not only had I forgotten the whole affair, I was so convinced that my sober self actually called the police to protect me from my mystery killer: myself.

'Hello, police?'
'Yes.'
'Hi! Am, we just called, about a break in?'
'Yes. Someone is on their way, don't worry.'
'No eh, actually. Big misunderstanding! Bahahahahaa... you see it's actually fine. It was one of our housemates.'
'What, really?'
'Yeah, there's no need to send anyone.'
'Are you sure? It says here there was a knife involved...'
'Yep, that's her. It's absolutely fine thank youuuu...'
'But wait, wha...'
*click*


The Saucy Cow
xxx

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Saucy Cow's Guide To Men - That Are Not Irish


Moving to a new county is always scary. Especially for a young woman braving this new adventure all by her lonesome. If you're naive and have lived a fairly sheltered life, (or in simpler terms, if you're Irish) you may expect to fall in love with some mysterious foreigner and bring him home to relish the two weeks for which you will be the talk of the parish. Of course, many of you may have difficulty trying to establish a relationship with someone who is not Irish. Because I am so well travelled - that's right, I have been to Wales - I decided to impart some of my very very helpful advice upon you all.  

As regular readers will well know, I suffer from crippling insecurity and social anxiety issues with the opposite sex. The only thing this ever really proves good for, is as an endless source of blogging material, but I digress. These mental problems were helped in no small way by my attendance at an Irish Catholic all-girls school for the duration of the six poignant years of my adolescence. This was the kind of place where our only exposure to a male figure was our school priest, the crowd of boys in the christian brother's school down the road, and the character of Pádraig from An Trial. None of these provided useful reference points, particularly the boys from the CBS. We mixed with them rarely, usually when we were sent to learn Engineering at their school for a week, and they in return came over to us to learn Home Ec in an effort to keep those damn Parish liberals happy. These visits were kept strictly controlled by our teachers, for fear they prove detrimental to our precious teenage pregnancy rates. We mixed long enough, though, to learn that they were even more clueless when it came to sex than we were, which led us girls then to mistakenly assume we were some kind of sultry vixens who could reduce a group of pubescent boys to a quivering mess. 

Irish people are never brilliant at being sexy anyway, and it's strongly believed Colin Farrell was a prototype created by the Irish Catholic Church to falsely convince the western world that we fornicate regularly. We have a hard enough time (wahey!) trying to philander between ourselves, never mind adding the stress of one person not being Irish. It is for that reason I have compiled this helpful guide for any ladies heading out there into the wild wild shores of the UK, or someplace even further afield, if you're feeling chancy.









The Saucy Cow's Guide To The Difference Between
 Irish & International Men

1.  Accents
I cannot stress the importance of this one enough. Your first week in your new country, you may make the same tragic error I did. 'Oh my god, oh my god!' you will innocently think, 'It's finally happened! I have turned gorgeous!
No, you have not. If anything, you have gotten less gorgeous. Now in your new foreign surroundings you will probably look pale and Irish and uninteresting. However, interest in you from boys will go up approximately 3,000%. This is because for some inexplicable reason, men absolutely love the Irish accent. I mean, they really love it. I feel it is compensation from God for the whole economy thing. Do not rejoice.
If a boy takes you home, you don't want it to be because he wants to sit you on his bed and make you say 'thirty three and a third' over and over again into the early hours of the morning. This is something you never have to deal with at home, with Irish men, because we all can't stand the sound of each other.
No matter how flattered you are, it's best not to engage in the 'Oh my god, I love your accent!' zone. Not as easy as it sounds. From 20 years of being perfectly resistible, I found it quite the power trip to finally be able to assert that at least one part of me was attractive. Resist the temptation, ladies. It clouds their judgement and you will be the anecdote they tell people about how an accent can make you fancy anyone... 
When talking to foreign boys, be wary. If, when you say something, his eyes widen and he leans forward and says 'are you....Irish?!' take immediate decisive action.
Furrow your brow in confusion, look disgusted and reply '....no?'
He'll feel so awkward he won't bring it up again.

2. Communicating
Texting: one of the few technological advances Irish people embraced with open arms in the nineties. Contacting someone without actually having to face them? Yes, please! Ladies, we all know how well versed we are in the texts from our native males.

Him: Wel.
You: Hi :)
Him: Ne news?
You: Nah, you?
Him: Nah. 

We like our strong, semi-silent men who are economical with their vowels. Foreign men vary in certain ways. There is one major difference, beside actually making conversation, that is:

Him: Ok well, I'll talk to ya later?
You: Sure, cya then :)
Him: Ttul :) XXX

^Gaaaaaaaaasp?! There must me some massive archeological error which has missed the huge connection between Irish people and pirates. Pirates are the only other race of people whom actively react to an 'X' in a way similar to us. You've heard of horror stories of cultures where petting someone's turkey means your married to them, or something like that. This is kind of the case with Irish people. Leaving an 'x' means you must be morbidly serious with each other. We don't throw them in willy nilly like the Brits. This was a cause of massive confusion for me in my earlier days when I sat and stressed about how I had unwittingly entered myself into a recognised relationship, and how was I going to tell my parents. Turns out they send them to each other all the time, even the men. I know! I KNOW!


So perhaps it might be simpler to communicate in person! Perhaps indeed. Be prepared to keep a glossary of phrases with you at all times to avoid extremely awkward social situations. More awkward, than changing your relationship status just cos someone sent you an 'x'. A 'shift' to them is a period of work done in exchange for wages. All you sluts better be prepared for people to cast aspersions about you Irish being absolutely mad for a bit of work, and is the economic situation really that bad over here?
Also, be careful with how you address a group of people. To them, walking into a room of girls and saying ''well lads?'' is roughly the same as saying ''HELLO ALL YOU BIG UGLY MEN!''.
And don't even get me started on how long you'll be waiting for him to 'grab something out of the press there, will ya?' Try to have patience if he comes back with newspaper clippings.




3. Socialising
A 'date' is not only a dried fruit which your nan used to sometimes put in Christmas cakes. It's a social occasion when a man takes you out of the house, to a place, where you both talk for a while and get to know each other. This has been known to happen even before you shift. Mad!!! If he asks you to go on one, do not be alarmed. Simply proceed with caution and just take notes of all the madness you can regale Ciara with when you finally get the time to Skype each other.

Out and about: This is not Ireland anymore. If you meet some talent out, you will both not eventually run into each other in the post office. You do not already know everyone in the town. Therefore, when he asks you for your phone number, don't respond with a suspicious '...why?' This wins you zero points in the 'Ideal Date!' category. He is not going to report you to immigration.

4. Clothing
You know what, there aren't enough hours in the day or adjectives in the world for me to even begin to truly scratch the surface here. One tip: Do not empathise with the fact that his clothes dryer seems to have shrunk all his jeans to drainpipes, or accuse him of stealing your skinnies. Also, don't be jealous that they look better on him. You get used to it.

5. Don't laugh when he tells you he has a GHD
He's not actually joking.

6. They're going to try and talk to you.
I saved this one for the end because I didn't want to alarm you too much, or put you off going. I know you're used to the tried and tested method of getting really drunk and staring at each other until you shift at home. Things are different now. The boys over here try to build a foundation, talk to you, get to know you, often even sober. In nightclubs, they use chat up lines and other such arrangements of words.
At first, of course, I assumed they were all psychopathic Welsh killers, examples of which my mother had presented in a collection of newspaper clippings in the 6 months prior to my departure as a warning. Turns out they're just normal people. Go figure.


The Saucy Cow
xxx

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What I Did On My Holidays - Part Three

I was lying on a sun lounger, boobs and body lazily covered in a bikini which I had drunkenly thrown on with reckless abandon. We’re talking head thrown back, mouth hanging open, limbs akimbo gesturing heavenwards, beseeching some gracious God to just kill me now and save me from my desperate misery. Last night had been a very good night. In a gesture of herculean proportions I managed to drag my pulsating head up under the weight of my very large ‘don’t look at me’ sunglasses and squinted over my shoulder to look at my friends lying beside me. I was delighted to see that in an intimation of solidarity, we had all decided to look extra shit today. It was a scorching beach in Mallorca, but looking at the state of the six of us, you would have believed you were on Omaha Beach at the start of Saving Private Ryan.

 I felt the sun lounger beside me vibrating. Blondie was flapping her arms as hard and fast as she could in an attempt to drag herself into a sitting position. There was some grunting. We all politely, but very slowly and painfully, looked away. We had all been vomiting at random all morning. I believed I was all vomited out but the sight of what was about to come from Blondie’s face may have inspired a fresh bout.
 ‘Pffaffle mmmboat!!!’
None of us moved. Blondie had the tone of someone requesting something and I didn't particularly feel like sitting there holding her hair back, so I chose instead to believe it was just some extremely unusual vomiting noises.
‘Guys. Pfaaaddle Boat!’
 I turned to look at her. She was vomit free and....smiling? She found her voice.
‘GUYS! THE PADDLE BOAT!’
Oh no. Blondie had been raving all week about how we absolutely had to rent out one of the hilarious novel paddle boats on the beach and go for a spin. Blondie had also requested we rent things like rollerblades and quad bikes so when faced with this relatively normal activity, we’d all enthusiastically agreed yesterday. But today, suffering from my drink affliction, the prospect was right between ‘scratching my eyes out with a spoon’ and ‘eating horse shit’ on my Things I Want To Do Today list. It was now our second last day and pretty much our last chance. Unable to protest, the 5 of us shot Blondie a variety of looks which varied from ‘Please Die’ to ‘Are you clinically insane?’. Undeterred, Blondie launched into her Tourism Spain mode and used the Guilt Offensive on us. Did we want to just spend our whole holiday just lying on the beach and drinking? Didn’t we want to do anything else fun? Wouldn’t it make some great pictures? Exhaling sharply through my nostrils I raised my head and glared venimously at the Swan shaped paddle boat bobbing innocously on the shore line. ‘It’ll be fun!’ Blondie beamed, sensing my defences being lowered. Somehow, I doubted it.

Suddenly, there I was. Four of us bobbing in a paddle boat; three of us frowning sourly, one of us in euphoric excitement at the prospect of the miscellanious adventures we were about to have on the high seas.
 ‘ARE WE READY TO GO GUYS?!’
She took our silent, glaring faces as an ‘ABSOLUTELY!’ and so we set off. Most of us were not doing our fair share of the paddling, I’ll say that much. I had no intention of spending today laboriously breaking my heart paddling around the beach like a Viking slave. Most of the rest of the girls were on the same page as me, with the obvious exception of Blondie, who appeared to be paddling so hard, she ran the risk of sailing us back to Ireland herself. And what harm, I thought? Why not let her have her fun. She appears to be enjoying herself. For a moment, in my emotionally vulnerable condition, I actually leant back and smiled admirably at my best friend, doting at her childlike excitement of the basic physics of a paddle boat.... Until a large formidable object caught my eye. I followed Blondie’s hysteric paddling direction and eyeline and saw The Island. How could I have been so stupid? By the expression on their faces, the penny had finally dropped with Blondie’s other two victims, aswell. We were quickly speeding towards an ‘island’, if you’d call it that, about two miles off the beach in Magaluf.
‘Blondie...’
She turned to grin at us, a psychopathic mix of guilt and delight.

 I’m sure most of you have heard about that women on the news who fell creepily in love with the Eiffel Tower and kept a picture of it beside her bed? I’m sure most of you scoffed and thought such a disturbing fixation with an inanimate object was extremely improbable to happen again. As did I, my friends, as did I. That is, until of course, Blondie became completely infatuated with this ‘Island’ off the beach.
She’d seen it in the pictures on holiday websites....
 ‘Ooh, look how pretty that island looks...’
On the plane, as we lowered over Mallorca she’d smashed me into the side of the plane in an attempt to get closer to the window ‘TO SEE THE ISLAND, SAUCY!’
 In our taxi she’d commandeered the window seat herself, and provided us with chirped updates every minute or so on weather or not she ‘thinks she could see the island!’
When we arrived to our beautiful, amazing apartment, she’d frogmarched straight through all the rooms and onto the balcony, to confirm that ‘yes, it’s ok guys, we can see the island from here.’
The term ‘island’ is extremely generous for this miserable floating mound of earth.

 Back on the boat, we’d realised our fate:
‘Blondie, ARE YOU FOR REAL?’
 ‘I’m not getting onto that thing...’
‘CANNOT BELIEVE YOU DRAGGED ME OFF MY SUN LOUNGER FOR THIS....’
But she wasn’t listening. She had taken control of the boat like a Somalian Pirate and wasn’t turning back for anyone. The rest of us were weak and impoverished from our binge drinking and simply didn’t have the strength to paddle against her. I glared at our captor and weighed up weather or not the strength of nearly 5 years of friendship was enough to gain forgiveness for pushing her off the boat.... We were still close-ish to the beach though, I looked into the water and weighed up my chances of survival if I made a break for it, rather than accompany Blondie on her quest for The Island.... I looked at the water again, and again. Then looked around me. More water. Then looked back at the rapidly shrinking coast line. Oh my god. Oh my god.
 ‘I’m afraid of water.....I’m afraid of water? GUYS, I AM AFRAID OF WATER!’
 In my hungover stupor I had unwittingly crawled onto the boat, completely forgetting how petrified I am of the sea and all it's inhabitants. Taken over completely by blind panic and desperation, I began to shuffle awkwardly around the boat, trying vainly to find some sort of water free escape route. ‘WOULD YOU STOP ROCKING THE BOAT, PLEASE?’
‘WOULD YOU RECOGNISE THE FACT THAT I AM GOING TO DROWN AND DIE, PLEASE?’ 
WOULD YOU ALL CO-OPERATE AND PADDLE US TO THE ISLAND, PLEASE?’
I hovered awkwardly on the boat as we all glared at each other, extra vicious glares reserved for Blondie in particular. Tempers were flaring and I could see this happy-go-lucky boat trip quickly turning into an episode of Lost.
 ‘Look Saucy, just sit down. You’ll be fine. You’ll be staying in the boat the whole time!’ Po tried to reassure me.
‘Well, and you’ll be on the Island...’ Captain Crazy interjected. It was official, we’d lost Blondie. She was turning way too Tom Cruise in Castaway. I sat down, sulking. We were all starving and dehydrated at this point too.
 ‘Guys, you all agreed to come with me. You could at least help me paddle? The sooner we get to the Island, the sooner we get home...’
‘I agreed to go for a lovely spin around the beach, I never agreed to come with you on your fucking famine ship...’
Mini-spats broke out. We were developing cabin fever. Other holiday goers who were having an absolute whale of a time on their paddle boats began to stare as we started acting out our own version of the Lord of The Flies.

 We finally arrived at the Island. Ecstatic, we began to turn the boat... Blondie was having absolutely none of it.
‘Aw come on! We’ve come this far... we should just get onto the island for a second :D’
‘Blondie, the island is quite clearly surrounded by a deadly slope of lethal jagged rocks...’
‘Nooo it’s fine, if we just paddle up onto the rocks, we could...’ At this very moment a paddle boat of boys who clearly had a Coxman as deranged as our own were also trying to mount the rocks. One boy naively stepped off the boat onto the rocks to try and drag onto the island, took one step, slipped underneath the boat and cracked his skull on the rocks. All you could hear on our boat was the sound of waves lapping and silent fury. Even Blondie’s faith in the Island started to wane. Just at that moment, the group of boys who had just dragged their semi-concussed friend up out of the water turned to us and offered us some clearly much needed assistance. We stopped attacking each other for a moment, faced with the higher priority of cute boys in shorts. There was much shameless hair flicking and giggling as they dragged us onto the island. Giving us her smuggest grin, Blondie hopped off the boat. We were greeted by desolate landscape, creepy black lizards and a mysterious electrical buzzing noise. After an argument - the brevity of which was determined by our sheer exhaustion to argue with Blondie - it was decided we would scale the stupid island and stand at the top to ‘see the view’. I’m not even going to credit getting to the top of the island with a description. Let’s just call it anti-climax of the millennium and skip to the getting back down bit. This took 15 minutes for everyone, 30 for me because I never got the memo to ‘bring shoes’ as I had innocently believed we were just going for a boat trip. As the others ran ahead I was left lagging behind and sobbing silently to myself and gingerly tiptoeing through brambles and high grass as I imagined the cheap tabloid headlines back home after my imminent death: ‘HOLIDAY GIRL KILLED BY ROGUE LIZARD WHO HID IN BIKINI.’ When I finally got back to where we parked our boat, which I now hated more than any boat in the world, I found my three so called friends sitting there bobbing two metres out from the island. What’s this about? Are they leaving without me or something? Had the three of them been voted off the island? Am I the only survivor left?
‘Come on Saucy!’ they yelled joyously, ‘Hop in!!’
 Hop in? Hop in?! I stared at them incredulously. ‘Guys, you need to paddle back here and collect me.’ ‘Saucy don’t be ridiculous, just swim out to us and we’ll pull you in.’
 ‘....I can’t’
 ‘What do you mean, you can’t?’
 ‘...I’m scared of water.’
They all stared bemused at the four feet of water which they’d asked me to cross.
 ‘Saucy, it’s like a kiddies pool....’ This, on top of the hangover, on top of the lizards and the rocks and the sea, well. It was too much.
 ‘IT IS NOT LIKE A KIDDIES POOL! IT IS NOT! IT’S PART OF THE BIG BAD OCEAN, OK? I TOLD YOU I WAS SCARED OF THE SEA, I TOLD YOU, BUT WOULD YOU LISTEN, NO! NO! DO YOU SEE NOW, WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE LISTENED, DO YOU SEE? IT'S A PHOBIA, A GENUINE PHOBIA, SO DON'T TALK TO ME LIKE YOU KNOW! YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT, BITCH!’
I was creating quite the scene. Many many paddle boats which were bobbing nearby started to stare. The people on these paddle boats were 80% male, of course, and of that 80%, they were 100% gorgeous. And now I had their complete and undivided attention. The girls sensed this too and decided not to provoke The Crazy further and began to paddle back to the island. Problem. There were no longer any beautiful young men to drag to boat up onto the razor sharp rocks, and without them our beloved S.S Useless simply couldn’t do it by itself. We all realised this at the same time. The girls looked at me with dread. I was slowly crumbling into an emotional wreck. Maybe I could just get the girls to drop me out a friendly volleyball and some crackers later and I would just stay on this island forever. Maybe Blondie wasn’t wrong, this island wasn’t so bad...
‘Saucy, you’ve got to step onto the rocks.’
‘I CAAAAAAAAN’T!’
‘Saucy, we can’t get any closer...’
‘I CAAAAAAAAN’T!’
 This went on for many minutes, culminating in me crawling pathetically onto the killer rocks and sitting there hunched, like Gollum in a bikini. I sat there and prayed that if I did slip, I’d kill myself on the rocks before the water got me. Drowning really would have made this the worst hangover in history. I glanced back at the hunky men in boats. What were the odds they would all appreciate this as some sort of art installation piece? What followed was a hilarious kind of sea saw. The tide would drag the boat close to the rocks, where I’d have only a few seconds to get my self together and jump onto the boat. The pressure would inevitably prove too much and the girls would be swept back again by the tide. Every time the girls were swept back out they would start screaming encouragement in anticipation of the moment the tide would sweep them back to me again. It quickly transpired then, to my audience, what exactly was going on. This peaked their interest in goings on. The girls were swept out again.
 ‘COME ON SAUCY, JUST JUMP JUST JUMP, READY READY....’ The tide swept them in again. The sight of all of them floating towards me, arms outstretched proved too much, and probably more from mental exertion than anything else, I exploded into giggles. I’d have just recovered when they’d be brought towards me again, and I’d explode into laughter once more. The performance anxiety was getting too much. Soon surely someone would get the coast guard. Suddenly from behind me, I saw something wiggle. One of those sinister bastard lizards was creeping down the rocks towards me. Motivation, my dear friends, like no other. It's amazing how quickly a fear of the ocean can vanish when faced with such a slimy beast. I sat there hunched staring at him, in the most awkward and for me, terrifying mexican stand off in history. Alright, he may have been 5 centimetres long but it was the sinister stare in his eyes. He stared at me, deadpan, and took one bold almost taunting step towards me. With a glorious leap I threw myself onto the paddle boat, and there I lay on the floor for the entire journey, refusing to look up until we were safely, finally, on dry land.

 You’d be surprised just how much a hungover person can dislike water.

The Saucy Cow
 xxx

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What I Did On My Holidays - Part Two


Night one. After a three hour flight delay, *shakes fist at Aer Lingus* we were pretty low spirited and fed up. That is, until we walked onto the strip and ONE average looking British guy said ''Awwrite,  You Oirish guurls cumin inta our bawr?''
From that moment on we behaved like nymphomaniac alcoholics on day release. 
The following few hours were a blur of sand, sambuca and vomit which was documented only by some extremely questionable photographs, from some even more questionable angles. 
Inevitably, the six of us got split into two groups. One group had the only two sets of keys, the rest of us, had me and an insatiable urge to go home and vomit before curling up in the fetal position for the rest of the foreseeable holiday. 
With the mix of alcohol and my alien surroundings, I was extremely irked. 
I demanded that one of my unfortunate friends place some aggressive calls under my squinting, but watchful gaze to one of the girls who had a key. The girl in question I have nicknamed Snape for the purpose of the blog. It's a nickname she earned in Magaluf when she let her hair dry naturally one day, in the fashion of Severus Snape himself. It's a nickname I believe she's extremely fond of.
''Hey...am, yeah Snape...Yeah you should probably come back to the flat. Saucy's quite angry now...yeah, yeah she's looking at me right now....''
This was not to my taste. I WANTED MY BED. No one was going to enjoy themselves until I had been provided with it. 
I snatched the phone. 
''HELLO, SNAPE? SNAPE?? SO YOU THINK YOU CAN HEAD OUT AND HAVE FUN, HUH? THINK YOU'RE 'ON HOLIDAYS' DO YA? DO YA???.....''
I started to do my angry phone walk. It's when I place one hand firmly on my hip put my head down and pace in an extremely animated fashion.

I frog marched forward, frowning with the phone glued to my ear. 
*POW*



I energetically walked/ran into what had to be the cleanest and thickest glass door in Spain. I feel three feet backwards from the sheer force and proceeded to stumble around in circles like an electrocuted lamb.
This above sentence is brought to you with the benefit of hindsight. To me, I had been walking along when I was suddenly three feet back from where I started with a wet face. It wasn't until the stars I'd been seeing cleared that I could focus on what looked like a splotch of blood seemingly floating in mid air in front of me, illuminated by my phone which had fallen on the floor...
Yes indeed, that really was the cleanest glass door in all of Spain until I burst my nasal cavities all over it.  I put my hand to my mouth in shock. It came away scarlet red. Oh dear. I stared and stared.
'Hello? Hello, Saucy? Are you still there.....?'
Snape's voice floated up from my phone on the pavement, dragging my clumsy drunken brain back to reality. Shit, I just walked into a door....
Anyone else's first thoughts may have included: 'let me go and find some medical attention, or a tissue at the very least', or perhaps 'maybe I should now walk into the glass door NEXT to the one I just walked into, which is and was being held open for me'. But my first, and solitary thought:
'THIS IS SO EMBARRASSING. QUICK, DON'T LET ANYONE NOTICE.'
Oh alcohol, how you continue to manipulate my thoughts. 
Subtlety is not my forte, let me tell you that much. I tried to, as inconspicuously as I could, scoop the torrents of blood which were now flowing rapidly from my chin and nonchalantly place it back on my face.
I picked up the phone.
'Hello, Snape? Yeah....I'm still here.'
 To the shocked passers-by, I stood there with a very fixed blasé expression on my face, continuing my phone conversation while casually smearing blood on my own face. Cheeks, forehead, chin, everywhere and anywhere that wasn't already flowing blood. Just scooping up the fresh blood....and putting it back on my face. Picking up the blood....and putting it on my face. Kind of like when you're a kid in school and you sneeze and the most humungus snot you've ever seen in your life comes out, and you decide to conceal this by casually wiping it the length of the arm of your school jumper. My method was both as unsuccessful and obvious, but about tenfold more disturbing. Not to me though. To me it was a stroke of genius. In my head, if ALL of my face was red, the blood in contrast would be practically invisible. Thus to the naked eye, no one would know I had walked into a door. 
At that moment, Snape returned. I'd done such a 'good job' of hiding my injury, I'd actually forgotten about it myself. I stood up to greet Snape, with the big Christian-Bale-in-'American-Psycho' head on me.
'Saucy...oh my g-'
'Snape! I don't wanna hear it. In future, just make sure someone with a key is around to leave us in.'
'But Saucy....your face...'
'I know, Snape. You can probably tell by my expression how truly angry I am, but I'd like us to put this behind us now....'
Snape stared open mouthed at me.
I misread this to be shock on her part at how very forgiving I could be. And with that I walked without another word, to bed, where I lay like an extra from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 

This, combined with the Home & Away incident made for an extremely exciting holiday. Developing a cold made the whole thing very exhilirating. I literally could have been anywhere, at anytime, with any one and at a mere moments notice, I would sneeze; ejecting blood and all manner of unwelcome junk on my person and all unfortunate surroundings. Charming. The scottish men were absolutely flocking to me. 



Part three en route!
The Saucy Cow
xxx

Friday, July 29, 2011

What I Did On My Holidays

I triumphantly zipped my suitcase shut and gazed adoringly at the positively shite Irish sky outside my window.
'Yessss'
In one week I would return to my grey homeland, bronzed, sizzling, gorgeous and giggling coquettishly at all my mischievous & marvellous stories from my holiday in Magaluf.
One week later, and here I lie. Sniffing, coughing, and unable to talk properly and as fake tanned as ever before. I have three stories for you to explain this. Here's the first:



What I Did On My Holidays

1. On my second night, a handsome-ish boy had the severe misfortune of crossing my path. He was carrying a rose, and he was Scottish. There really was no hope of escape for the lad as soon as I had discovered this. My eyes widened to the size of saucers in sheer delight and anticipation of our whirlwind holiday romance which was sure to follow. I could already picture myself walking through Arrivals in Cork airport, sheepishly holding his hand and smiling shyly. As all my parents and friends who had randomly assembled with 'WELCOME HOME SAUCY' banners would give me a quizzical look, I would shrug in a 'what can I do! we fell in love!' kind of way and gaze into my highland lovers eyes. I imagined all our hilarious hi-jinx when we both tried to understand each others worlds: the two of us laughing and laughing as I tried on a kilt, me giving him a disapproving, but loving look as he tried to make Irish stew. Oh the fun we would have had. 
''Sow uhh, do yew wannew hcead down to da beach fur a wee while?''
With that accent, he could have asked me to neuter his cat and I would have snapped on a pair of rubber gloves before you could say haggis.
We plonked awkwardly along the sand and I tried to ignore the blundering telltale grunts and moans coming from the darkness around us on the beach. Such is Magaluf, I'm afraid. But not me and my little Scottie. We wouldn't be doing any meaningless one-night-standing of the sort. Oh how right I was. But not in the way I had anticipated. 
We reached the edge of the water and he lead me awkwardly in. Romantic and hygienic. He's a keeper. I must remember to write and extremely unimpressed letter to Magaluf's local council. There is an absolutely ridiculously unexpected dip in the sand as you wade into the sea, and suddenly find yourself five foot deeper. Don't worry though, I like to think I managed to cover up the fact that I tripped up by leaping immediately into what I imagine to be a very graceless and amateurish breast stroke. For several excruciating minutes he stood there, waist deep, as I swam around in circles. I was conscious of the fact that once I had committed to swimming I had to keep going. Who know, after all, maybe he liked the athletic type? 
Eventually I pulled myself up into a standing position and he enthusiastically engaged me into a kiss. Bit of an eager beaver, I thought. But then I remembered that he had had to stand there for several minutes watching his Irish beauty float around in circles. I can only guess that the passionate frustration was driving him mad. In the dodgy fluorescent lighting coming from the strip, I could see that he was a LOT younger than I had originally thought. Hmm. Ah well. We could have the kind of relationship society frowned upon, which would make our love all the more intense. I'd be like Kate Winslet in 'The Reader', and I'd make him read me the phonebook every night, to keep our affair burning by reminding me of the sexiness of his accent.
I think that the ferociousness of our chemistry was getting a little bit to much for him, several times I had to forcibly remove his tongue from the furthest cavity of my throat. I decided it was time for a break, anyway. We had to control ourselves.
When you're standing in the sea with someone, there's not much to talk about. I splashed mildly every now and then to break the silence. I should probably mention that I was a little bit tipsy at this point in time. That's why, when I finally thought of something worthwhile to say, it turned into a bit of a disaster...
Your thought process operates a lot differently when you're drunk. Sometimes, it's just too difficult to say something, and the sentence has to go through a filtration process before your drunken mouth can wrap itself around your semi-sober thoughts. Tommy Tiernan describes what I'm trying to explain perfectly here.
So, what I thought would be the perfect conversation starter, would be to point out our exotic surroundings. I was TRYING to say:
''This is so lovely. I would never be able to do this at home, as it would be too cold. We're like the people on Home & Away right now, aren't we?''
I sent that message to my drunken brain, which got as far as ''This is so lovely. I would nev-'', and then went ''BLAAAAAAAA NO. TOO LONG'' and proceeded to condense it to a message which I assumed Scottish boy would understand, when I relayed it to him.
It was at that moment I turned to my Scottish lover, and said through the medium of song:
'You know we belong togetheeeer, you and I forever and everrrr,
No matter where we are! You're my guiding star!'
It really is something when the moment is so awkward, you're aware of it over the crashing sound of the waves around you. Did it stop me? Did it what.
It wasn't until I got to the 'HOLD ME IN YOUR ARMS! DON'T LET ME GO! I want to staaaay forever...' that I could finally see, through the pitch dark his face had scrunched up and he started to walk away. You've never felt the dejection of someone walking away from you, in its truest, most humiliating form until they've done it with each step accompanied by a hilarious slosh....
It is with that that I ended up standing at the door of my apartment absolutely dripping wet and sandy, telling my curious friends that I didn't end up sleeping with him because 'I just didn't want to be that kind of girl'. As they nodded solemly I slunk off to my bed, not even bothering to change out of my dripping clothes.


Hold tight for part two!
The Saucy Cow
xxx

Friday, July 15, 2011

Why I Will Never Watch DreamGirls Again.





SCREAAAMING! SCREEEAMING! EVERYONE IS SCREAAAAMIIIIING!


*JOINK*
^That's the way I would describe the jolt of me being yanked back into my seat by my seat belt as the car screeched to a halt. I sheepishly looked around at my very, very unimpressed passengers. I doubted anyone wanted to discuss the high quality breaking system of my Mini.
'Saucy....'
'I know guys.'
'For fucks sake like.'
'Lads, I'm sorry, I...'
'Are you really going to kill yourself for a bird??'
I went to answer, but there was no reply to that really. Firstly, because I knew I was clearly wrong to swerve to avoid a bird. And secondly because of the tremendous fear that I might laugh in my friends faces. As angry as they were, it couldn't distract from how hilarious they all looked: hair askew, red faced and flecked in rogue milkshake which had escaped to seemingly everywhere except on me. I looked back onto the road where the Blue Tit was nonchalantly strolling across the road. Happy as a clam. Great name for a winged animal who decides to risk life and limb walking across a busy primary road, if you ask me. But that was besides the point. Shamefaced, I reversed out of the ditch.
'Saucy like, you really, really need to get over this bird thing......'

*****



I really enjoy driving. For one reason in particular. I'm a bit of a frustrated singer. I like to think I have the stage presence to fill an arena (and we all know I have the charm! Right? Right?) but.... I kind of lack the voice. I'm a bit of an Amanda Brunker, for all the world. Thanks to the popularity of hands free phones, I can now belt out the soundtrack of 'DreamGirls' in the comfort of my own vehicle without fear of ridicule, while pretending I'm passionately yelling at someone on the phone to other drivers. It's very soothing. 
It was a very sunny day, and I was driving to work. I'm a much more efficient worker if I can knock out a power ballad or two on the commute. This day was particularly great because it was early and there was hardly anyone on the road. 'Marvellous,' I thought, with a dramatic whisper: 'the stage is yours.....'
My iPod was on shuffle and it wasn't long until I heard my home girl warbling through my car:
'♫ 'Liiiissteeeeen.....'' 
This is unsurprising. It's a scientific fact that you can flick through my iPod for 5 songs, max, before you come across a Beyonce song. I'm one of those freaks who thinks that if Beyonce and I met, yeah, we'd probably be BBFL. 
My eyes widened in delight. I assumed my diva posture and bore my best 'I have been love-scorned' facial expression and launched into what was the most powerful, heartfelt and beautiful version you've all never heard. I was growling in the deep bits, I was flicking my hair, punching the air, hitting all the notes and THEN some baby.
''WoooAAAAAH LIIIIIIISTEN! I AM ALONE! AT A CROSSROADS!'' 
Oh to have driven to an actual crossroads at that point.



Then things took an extremely unprecedented turn for the disastrous. 
I was at the deepest level of singing, we're talking head wiggling, even dare I say it, a finger wiggle, one hand on the wheel, totally working it....
''IF YOU DOOOOOOOOON'T..........'' 
I spotted a big, white THING coming towards me at great speed from the left hand side of the road. I swerved slightly to the right subconsciously, and, probably for the same reason, continued to sing...
''IF YOU WOOOOOOOOOOoooOOoOOoOOooooooN'T....''
Disaster! I warbled on the 'wooon't' much too long and ended up on the right hand side of the road. Startled by this new revelation, I swerved back into the left lane, trying to do so efficiently enough that I was adequately holding enough breath in preparation for the next....
''LIIIIISTEEEEEEEEE-------'' S M A C K
Something hit the car - hard. With such force, that the car actually skidded to the right a bit. As soon as I heard the thump I realised forever too late, that I had forgotten about the mysterious big white thing in my rush to make the high note. I skidded into the hard shoulder and stopped hard. For a second, I was oblivious to everything. Kind of like when you wake up after that night out, and think it's just a normal day.... then a moment later you remember exactly what you did last night, and that Head-lice Harry is  lying beside you. That happened to me. Only a moment passed and I realise what definitely just happened....
I suddenly became aware that what looked like hundreds, and hundreds of feathers had exploded around the car, and were falling all around me softly. Oh no. Oh no no no no no.
Something in the corner of my windshield caught my eye and my stomach dropped. I stared in horror at a silhouette which had formed in my dusty windshield. It was quite obviously the shape of a very large bird....and beneath it, an ominous trail of bird poop. Well, I just exploded. 

'YOU FUCKING MONSTER!!!! THE BIRD! IT'S DEAD! DEAAAAAD! YOU KILLED IT! YOU KILLED IT, YOU MALICIOUS BEAST! IT WAS SO SCARED!....''
♫ ''YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M FEELIN!''' 
 IT POOPED ITSELF! IN TERROR! TERROR OF YOU, AND YOUR TERROR-MACHINE! DRIVING AROUND, BEING TERRIBLE!''.....

^A brief extract, ladies and gentlemen of the soliloquy in my head as I screamed out tears in what was easily the most cinematic/creepiest moment of my life. You can imagine the baffled commuters who were travelling to work on this notoriously busy road, slowing down to see the red faced girl crying her eyes out and screaming inconsolably with hundreds of feathers falling around her car as the bass line from 'Listen' still thumps out proudly from her car. Every now and then I'd become aware of their awkward stares and in an attempt to assure them everything was fine, through my tears I'd give them what was surely the most disturbing thumbs up they had ever received in their lives. 


As I blubbed and gasped and sobbed and choked, punctuated by the occassional 'oh my god, OH MY GOD!' & 'whyAmISuchAMonsteeeerrrrr!',  I could see a hazy image in my rear view mirror through the 3 litres of tears clouding my eyeballs. It silenced my tears for three seconds before I screamed out like a Tyrannosaurus once more and cried for several more minutes. 
I could see a seagull lying a few hundred yards behind my car, flapping in agony. Next time you go to the seaside just have a look around. Seagulls are a very sizeable bird. They could take a turkey for sure. Objectively speaking, my car came off surprisingly well from the collision. But that was not my main concern. Now I was in the predicament that every time I sat there wailing, I was either looking forward and the forboding silhouette on my windshield, or the horrific image in my rear view mirror. Every time I closed my eyes I imagined 3 baby seagulls sitting in a nest, blinking hopefully and half heartedly assuring each other that ''daddy would be home soon....''
I was beyond late for work by the time I had stopped convulsing with tears. I decided I needed to see to this animal. Do not ask me what I thought I could do to rectify the situation, but sitting in the car certainly wasn't working. I staggered out of the car like Cillian Murphey in a hospital gown in 28 Days Later. I got about 10 metres from the bird. Cried again. The bird -I won't put this delicately- was absolutely fecked. The realization dawned on me. I sighed and nodded to myself between my glugs of tears and slumped pathetically back to my car. I got back in. Beyonce was still beseeching me to LISSTEEEEEN! I had naively put the song on repeat expecting a jovial singsong session to work. 
♫ 'I AIN'T AT HOME, IN MY OWN HOOOOOME' 
I started the car. The thought crossed me that I shouldn't be driving in this condition. But then the crazy bitch in me decided ''WHY NOT! IT'S NOT LIKE I'M GOING TO KILL ANYTHING ELSE...'' (que more crying.)
'AND I TRIED AND TRIED! TO SAY WHAT'S ON MY MIND....' 
I took a deep breath and sniffed heavily. In a gangster kind of way, so I like to think.
'YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOOOOOOWN....''
I then put the car into reverse, and floored it.






Well, what would you have suggested I do???
The animal was clearly brain damaged from my cruel bludgeoning. 
And that's pretty much why I swerve for birds.
Don't really wanna talk about it.
The Saucy Cow
xxx

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Perfect Bikini Diet Plan

It's JUNE! That means most of us are now sweating bullets about our Bikini Diets. Fear not, I present you with The Saucy Cow's (tried and tested) Guide to Bikini Diets.




Day #1: Book a holiday. Accept that unless you end up in a convent-style resort, males are going to see you in a bikini. Many males. Some may even be scottish men. (mmm) Realise that for Braveheart fantasy to realise, must start diet and lay sizzling in the sun like package holiday location goddess.

Day #3: Widely publicise diet. Decide to put yourself under the pressures that celebrities in the spotlight are and attract everyone's attention to the pounds which will soon be dropping off you like flies. Announce it with much aplomb. (''I mean it girls! It is SERIOUSLY going to be just a blade of grass and ice cubes each day from now on!) Take a moment to fantasize about the moment you're so waif like, jealous friends organise intervention, convinced you must have an eating disorder. 

Day #4: Go to the supermarket and spend approximately €4,563,987 on foodstuffs which you have never heard of and aren't really that confident about pronouncing the name of out loud. Be reassured by the fact that most are dull brown in colour and flakey in consistency. This is surely a sign of wholesomeness. Ponder theory that if you eat poo coloured things maybe you can trick your body into thinking they are actual poo and thus bypass middle bit of digestive system and straight out, aka no calories. Stop pondering disgusting things. Skip around supermarket confident that you are intimidating other shoppers with your trendy trolley full of obscure hipster food. Have confidence crushed when you arrive at till and feel checkout girl scrutinising your purchases and appearance and become paranoid that she is thinking ''fat cow is clearly starting a diet to combat her massive arse''. Leave supermarket dejected and practically bankrupt. 

Day #6: Barely started diet but expecting immediate results. Start to view current weight objectively. Sob and wonder how you're so called friends let you waddle around at this horrific weight for so long without mentioning anything. Decide best revenge is to be the new skinny one in the group. Stand in front of mirror naked for awkward amounts of time poking at midriff and imagining horror on scottish men's faces as you emerge from the pool like the Loch Ness Monster. Decide to go for a walk. Feel extremely awkward as you're more than aware you are walking very purposefully but you and everyone knows there really is no purpose to this journey. Return for dog so that you have an excuse. End you & the dog's short-lived but glorious stretch of walks together after a conflict of interests - aka you are interested in going for a walk, dog is interested in rebelling against lead.

Day #7: Start period. Slightly annoyed as this means definitely 100% not pregnant so cannot explain away belly by claiming there is a human being in there. Turn into calorie psychopath due to menstrual turmoil and scream at shelf stacking boy in Dunnes Stores for only stocking ridiculously big apples, and 'does he not know how many extra calories that is?' Cry into muesli (dry, no milk) and accept fact that you can't even embrace your obvious imminent obesity as not jolly enough to pull of being fat person. 

Day #10: Morph back into human girl after your monthly ware-wolf like transformation. Bump into 'friend' who announces with nothing short of fanfares that she's lost 5 pounds. Resist urge to shove her stupid face in your stomach and smother her with your fat. Decide there is now an uneven playing field as there was no need for her to try and loose weight in first place. Make mental note to send her anonymous box of chocolates as sabotage. Decide to go out with the girls. Stumble out of nightclub and raid chipper inhaling carbohydrates like they're going out of fashion. Decide that this is fine, and calories do not count when you're drunk.

Day #11: Feel awful about weeks worth of calories you tore through like starving Ugandan child last night. Wonder if you can profit from your drinking habit and turn into a vodka-skinny girl like Kate Moss circa when she was going out with Pete Doherty, consuming only alcohol units for sustenance. Reconsider when you realise alcohol clouded lifestyle may result in you going out with Pete Doherty type character and this would be devastating, not to mention extremely counter-productive to the whole finding-your-scottish-dreamboat plan so may as well go out an eat bun as pursue that idea. 

Day #14: Get very bored of this 'cooking meals' all the time craic. Decide once this whole sorry affair is over and you're never going to look at a piece of broccoli again. While grilling chicken for the 11th time this week, become very tempted to eat it on the dangerous side of undercooked, remember the girl who got food poisoning 2 weeks before your Debs and arrived looking infuriatingly skinny. Wonder for the 25th time since you left school if she did it on purpose. Facebook stalk her. Notice she is now plump and also going out with creepy Darren who worked in Supermac's in TY. Feel better. 

Day #15: Confidence in the creation of your new beach physique starting to wane slightly as still no sign of life altering results. The only pounds you're loosing lately are on River Island bikinis in insane shapes and colours which you're buying for 'motivation'. Push thought to the back of your mind that you will not succeed in your diet and will look like a stick of pepporoni with miniature bits of cloth stuck to it. Bump into friend who makes the misfortunate move of asking you how your diet is going. Forget that she was there on the epic launch day (Day 3) and spiral immediately into vortex of self-destructive and paranoid thoughts, deducing that the only way this loathsome bitch would say such a thing is to drop hints about your imminent holiday and lack of weight gain, or as a underhanded sneer about the bikini you just purchased. Rush home and listen to Prince and try to dance away the fear. Decide cannot try on newly purchased bikini out of sheer terror and try to supress thoughts of ''itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polkadot bikini'' type situation on the beach when you finally put it on.

Day #17: Going holiday shopping. Slightly panicking. Aware girls are all expecting new skinny you to be unveiled in Mallorca. Wonder how convincing it would be to tell them all you've changed religion and simply cannot be seen without your Berka for the duration of the holiday. Only feel confident to try on sunglasses. 

Day #19: Desperately start spending a lot more time with the dog in the vain attempt to catch ringworm after reading crazy french women used to eat them to loose weight. Decide to consult pictures of celebrities on holiday for inspiration. Flick through a copy of 'Heat' in sheer horror. Decide will never download a Saturdays song ever again for the rest of your days. 

Day #20: Panic as you now have 5 days until holiday. Stress about being the token unattractive girl in the group and try to develop some sort of dazzling personality to make up for your appearance. Panic panic panic panic for the rest of the day.

Day #21: Acceptance. Yet another diet has failed.

Day #21: (later) Start the Special K diet and buy a wrap. 

The Saucy Cow

xxx


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The War Of The Buttons






'And then we broke up.'

--------------------


I like being the centre of attention, alright. I'm woman enough to admit it. And when there's trauma in my life, I sometimes like to imagine the worst. Like, yesterday say, when the elevator halted itself a wee bit. Who are you to judge me if for that split moment, I imagined myself several hours later being dragged from the smoke filled elevator by Fireman Hunk, somehow covered in blood and to rapturous applause from the surrounding crowd of spectators and the assembled media? Yes, I like to milk my moments of drama. So as selfish as it sounds, I was quite relishing the melodramatic silence that followed my SHOCKING statement when Bee, my flatmate said:

'Soooo......have you changed your relationship status yet?'

Had I changed my relationship status yet? The more sensible among you might argue I changed my relationship status when I broke up with him. The rest of you are quivering as you realise I had yet to inform Facebook, a social institution even George Orwell would have struggled to imagine. I gulped hard. Everyone's eyes were on me now.

'I..uh...I?' I could feel Bee's laptop blinking at me pointedly.
'Is it not a bit too soon?'
'Babes, it's been like ten minutes' Marcy replied, without a trace of irony.
(Marcy and Bee are the kind of girls who say 'babes' and get away with it. I try to do it too, but every time I say 'babe' a voice in my head goes '....PIG IN THE CITY!!!')
'And, you need to let everyone know it was YOUR decision. You don't want people walking around thinking it was a mutual thing...'
Yes, perish the thought people should think we'd split amicably. To be honest though, I can be as cynical as I like here on my cosy retrospective perch but at the time I was hyperventilating from the scenarios which were quickly playing out in my head. I could envision everyone I'd ever met all being online simultaneously and watching my mini-drama play out on their newsfeeds as they tisked and said things like, 'well, she is ridiculously unattractive' and 'at least he's free from her now to pursue a relationship with that model who's been relentlessly poking him'. My eyes shot around Bee's bedroom for guidance from my assembled friends.
'DO IT SAUCY!'
I launched myself towards the laptop. I don't know if you've ever tried to do something in a hurry, but if you do in the future, I do not recommend a swivel chair as your seating of choice. I hold the inelegant shuffling on that blundering chair and some very hectic typing responsible for the valuable time wasting which ensued. And there, when I logged in, it was. He'd beaten me. That ominous little heart beside a changed relationship status at the tippity top of my screen, as if to say, ''THIS JUST IN: CONFIRMATION THAT SAUCY WILL, IN FACT, AS WIDELY SPECULATED, BE ALONE FOR LIFE''.
I swivelled (unsmoothly) back to the girls in horrified despair. They all managed to wipe the alarm off their faces just a second too late before assuring me that:
'It's fine! In fact, it's better this way. Now people will think that you're the mature and confident one who didn't immediately resort to telling the whole world over Facebook'
We were now going to pretend that clearly this was never the plan. As much as I liked to hang on to the idea of my ex-boyfriend sitting in the dark, face lit gravely by the screen, holding back his right arm as his finger hovered over the button to click 'single', barely able to see the keyboard through his tears, (before releasing pigeons to the vatican and a hand written letter to the Queen to confirm the split) I doubted very much that this was the case. As I looked back at the screen again, I had the foreboding feeling that my social network break-up was going to be a lot more stressful than my boring old real-life one.


My love of romantic comedies was not only responsible for my extremely destructive and unrealistic expectations of relationships, it also provided me with a benchmark for what break-ups should be like. I was then very upset with my newfound obsession with monitoring my facebook for post-relationship damage control, instead of doing other very important things; Like eating EVERYTHING. There was a bag of hula hoops lying seductively on the kitchen counter with my name on them. I knew this. Yet here I was quivering in front of a screen, and jumping every time I got a notification. Bit anti-climactic when I realised it wasn't the ex posting meaningful lyrics on my wall. Nor, I noticed, had he 'liked' any ambiguous links alluding to his inner turmoil. (E.g 'Smiling on the outside but wishing you were dead on the inside', or 'Knowin u will neva get ova dat 1 special person....') Eventually I shook off my conceited thoughts and tried to reassure myself that surely I would never go out with the kind of person who would do that kind of thing. Or that to the best of my knowledge, there did not exist on this earth a man who would be driven to such heartbreak over me. Unfortunately...
Bridget Jones-esque thoughts aside, what the christ had happened to me? I was obsessed with my kind of on-screen character. Why was it so crucial how I project myself in this fabricated society? Disgusted with myself, I leant back from the screen and digested fully the complete impact on my life this social media tool had taken. All the pictures I'd strategically tagged, all the statuses I had worded so carefully, all the people I despised but whose relentless drivel I trawled through day after day. And why? Seriously, why? And with that, before I could rethink what I was doing, I took a deep breath, and clicked ''Delete Account''.



LOL JK!!!!!!!


Yeah, as if. If you fell for that then regular reader you are not. My character doesn't have enough substance for such a bold statement. I'll only delete facebook when it's trendy to do it. (aka when everyone else does) Until then, back to Bee's room where I was in the middle of my 'I'maddictedtofacebook' epiphany. 
In walked Bee.
'So babes, have you deleted him yet?'
Deleted him? I hadn't even thought of that yet. Frantic, I checked his profile to see if that quick-witted bastard had beaten me to yet another punch. Slightly sedated, I realised I still had full access to his profile. Dare I delete him? In my head I could imagine him evaporating into a million cyber milli-pieces. 
'Better yet,' interjected Marcy, 'BLOCK him.'
For a moment I conjured up the image of me standing over my concussed ex, brick-on-a-string in my hand. Then I realised what she really meant. I bit my lip. If I'm honest, did I really want to sacrifice the one precious medium where I was guaranteed to be able to keep unrestricted tabs on him at all times? Alright, I realise at the proof reading stage that that last sentence sounds a little Glenn-Close-in-Fatal-Attraction. Anyone who can't admit to having the odd stalk of an ex on facebook, you're only kidding yourselves. Why not tamper with your weighing scales, and buy a treadmill as other additions to your farcical lifestyle? Hmm? Yeah, thought so.
Besides, he'd know I blocked him. Then what would he think? Well, I know what I would think. My self-obsessed reality proof cocoon would try to convince me that images of me having a whale of a time as a new glamourous singleton would have driven him so demented he'd have to purge them from his newsfeed and go drown himself romantically in a remote but picturesque lake. But is he as egocentic as I am???
'Oh Saucy,' I thought to myself with a proud smile, 'no-one is as egocentric as you are'
True, brain, true. But nonetheless, I wasn't taking that risk.


Anyway, if I can't see him, then he can't see me. Then how on earth, dear reader, am I supposed to subject him to my passive aggressive post-relationship propaganda? We had been broken up all of 32 minutes at this point and it had clearly, he'll be delighted to know, taken its toll on me. Frazzled and demented I was now re-examining my profile from the point of view of a stranger and meticulously editing my tagged pictures. I was like my own PR company. Every now and then I would click across one which was not to my taste and experience what I imagine cardiac arrest feels like. (''HOW DID THIS ONE SLIP THROUGH THE NET??! HOW??? HOW!? DAMN YOU AUNT IMELDA, YOU CALLOUS BITCH, AND YOUR 'FAMILY BBQ '08' PICTURES!!!!! DAMN YOU TO HELL!! *untag untag untag*'') I could imagine him sitting back on some bond villian type chair cackling madly as he zoomed in on the offending image and smugly made it his screensaver. I made a mental note to loose the best part of 2 stone before the weekend, buy something ridiculously fabulous which I would never wear, and make plans to go someplace chic and pretentious armed with around seven cameras and some seriously hardcore spanx. Must also download photoshop.
I was going above and beyond the call of crazy.
Manic, I reviewed my profile once more and scanned it for errors. Since the much-anguished "Saucy is now single <3" post, I had received 12 likes. Gushing, I checked them. 10 were from very close girlfriends. Fantastic. Unless I soon announced my transformation into a very much sought after lesbian, he is going to assume I text them all feverishly and made them like it. One was from an extremely random girl whom I haven't spoken to in years (such is facebook). Toyed with fantasy that she was in fact a lesbian and dangerously infatuated with me. I took a moment to prepare my ''alas, we cannot be....'' speech before noticing the final like was from a MAN. Yes, a male specie. Who had, as far as I knew, a fully functioning penis. Unfortunately for him, he liked it in a statement of solidarity as he is a lovely lovely friend. Now he was in the unfortunate position of either looking like my bitchy GBF or some kind of creep who had been long anticipating my return to the market. Sigh. As I was sulking about my lack of offers from suitors (it had been nearly 40 minutes now, people!) I noticed something else very, very wrong with my profile. Where was my little heart! That little heart which had caused me so much trouble in the first place had now vanished completely from my profile. Where is it??? Had I deleted it by mistake?  I double, triple and quadruple checked my settings. No. It seems you can post all the pictures you like of you vomiting onto your bosses lap at the christmas party, or as many statuses as you like about your disturbing obsession with your imaginary farm, but as soon as you announce 'Oh FACEBOOOOOOK! I'm singlleeeeee!', Facebook says: 'Hmm....we might just hide that little titbit of information, shall we?' I silently cursed Zuckerberg, the Big Brother I never wanted for enhancing my already festering Single Woman Syndrome. I sank into the chair, emotionally exhausted. I just broke up with someone, and I hadn't even been able to focus on it because I was spending so much time making sure it was subtly obvious that I just broke up with someone. I still had not eaten any chocolate, for Christs sake. Holy moley.
'You know what,' I thought, 'feck this.'
His profile was glaring straight at me, defiantly, I thought. It was time to do what I do best: self-indulgence.
'You know what Saucy!' I said to myself.
'What?' I replied, to myself.
'He is totally doing the same thing to your profile right now.'
'TOTALLY!' I thought.
And with that, I grabbed 'Love Actually' even though it could not be further from Christmas, a duvet, a bag of buttons and my least attractive pyjamas and clicked LOG OUT.

The Saucy Cow
xxx