Hello people. This is my first post from the road in 2012 and I'm in Priego de Cordoba.
What could possibly have happened to me in this year's trip to inspire me to write something so soon? Well, if I'm being honest it happened just before I set off but I think it's a tale worth telling. Y'see, I met a nutter, a genuine, bona fide, McVitie's fruity cake-flavoured loon. If he's reading this, then I'm very sorry. Very sorry you're such a McVitie's fruity cake-flavoured loon.
A few days before I left Nerja I was sat in my favourite internet café, DB'S. I might have mentioned DB'S before. DB'S isn't actually an internet cafe. It's a pub with WiFi, the best kind of internet café there is. The first noteworthy thing about DB'S is that DB stands for Dog's Bollocks. It's classy like that. The second thing is that, from a linguistic point of view, I don't really understand the apostrophe capital-S after DB. That makes it Dog's Bollocks'S, and that's not really English. Still, the people that work and drink there are lovely and, via a possibly illegal satellite system, they show Blackburn Rovers on a regular basis and that's good enough for me. I like Dog's Bollocks'S. And, given what's happened so far on this trip, one day I will probably also eat them.
In DB'S, on the Monday before I left, there appeared a man in a straw hat. He told me he was a writer, a writer of books and screenplays. Cool, I said, what have you written? Oh, I've had nothing published. Now, while I admire the will to write and the desire to be 'a writer', I reckon - and call me picky if you like - that to be a writer you need to have written something that is out there, that people might have paid to read or that someone somewhere might have paid you to publish. I'm not a writer, as you've probably guessed. I used to be a technical writer - I wrote software manuals for five years - which isn't really writing, and I sort of claim to be a comedy writer only because I was once paid £50 for a rude song I wrote about Prince Harry that was performed by NewsRevue, a London-based satirical comedy show. But I'm not a writer writer because no one pays me for this shite. I think you need to be paid before you can claim a title. After all, if I stick a turnip in an eggcupful of water I'm not a florist.
Anyway, in addition to our initial meeting on Monday I bumped into him again on Tuesday (as he desperately explained why he hadn't paid his bill at DB'S on Monday) and then again in DB'S on Wednesday. It was only then that the full joy of his nutterdom became apparent. He talked about crop circles. Oh yes he did. He chewed my ear off and, out of politeness and the opportunity to talk to someone from another planet, I abandoned all plans to access my email.
Before he got to the full fruit of his loopiness he mentioned how he'd written letters to the Queen and how she'd passed them to "the relevant authorities for processing" (i.e., the bin), and how he'd scared politicians with his No Fear approach to letter writing (despite admitting to never getting a reply). Mmm.
Best of all though was his crop circle stuff. I said I thought that a couple of blokes in Wiltshire had admitted to doing them all. No, well, yes, no, that wasn't the point. How was it possible, he asked with intrigue in his voice, that no one had ever witnessed them making the circles? Mmm, because it's dark. Ah, but how could I explain how such intricate patterns could be made in such darkness?
He had a solution. He offered that, yes, humans did make the crop circles - c'mon, he wasn't one of those UFO crop circle-making mentalists! - but that it had only been possible for them to get away with making the circles because "special powers" had been bestowed upon them. Eh? How? Why? Possibly because of - he got vague here - magnetic fields or ley lines...or, or, or homeopathy or tarot cards or, I dunno, beetroot or something...or any one of those other 'spiritual' words that can usually be substituted by 'woo woo' in the gameshow that is otherwise known as Wankety Wank. Anyway, as no one has ever been caught making crop circles (despite what Google tells me), in his view, the best possible explanation is that the circle makers - prepare yourself for this one! - "become invisible". Beautiful!
I asked him if perhaps a more reasonable explanation might not be that the crop circle-makers had bought a couple of pairs of night-vision goggles off Ebay. After all, if you had the power to become invisible, would you really toss around in a wheat field at midnight up to your knees in cowpats? No, surely you'd be sneaking into women's changing rooms, or dripping Domestos into the open mouth of a sleeping David Cameron, or something productive like that. No, he said, there was "absolutely no evidence" that the crop circle-makers used night-vision googles. Mmm, suddenly evidence was important, missing as it had been from the rest of his tale. It was at this point that I left DB'S, slightly annoyed that I hadn't actually managed to check my email, but immensely happy that conversations like this were still legal.
Unfortunately, because of the nature of the internet café and/or for reasons of faulty memory (OK, it was the beer!), I've omitted a lot of his delusional pap. It was powerful stuff. I'd like to assure any of you lot out there that if you've kindly agreed to meet me on this year's trip I won't be exposing your foibles like this. If you've been gorgeous enough to offer to have a coffee with me, then no matter how bonkers you are it will remain our little secret. I don't want to scare anybody away. But if, while I try to download my email, a random space cadet approaches me in the pub and spouts bollocks at me - dog's or otherwise - then I think he's fair game.
You will notice that I'm posting this now, a good couple of days since leaving Nerja. That's because I'm a massive coward and he will never find me or know where I am.
Hello people. This is the first post from the road in 2012 and I'm in Priego de Cordoba. Oh shit, it's time to move on...