Dear All,


I hope this, almost without fail, weekly edition of our newsletter finds you all in extremely good health and sky scraper high spirits.  How many times have you stayed in a pub until the point at which “Last orders” was shouted out?  In my case thousands of time, and then more often than not after the last drink I was able to walk in a straight line to the door of the pub and successfully traverse my way out and onto the waiting pavement; I was then able to point myself in the direction of home.  However, on one or two occasions I remember not being that successful and I needed help from either the landlord, landlady or one of the bar staff to get me out of the pub and put me on the straight and narrow, well at least try, and after hearing but not being quite able to respond to “Good night and be careful” from whomever was holding me up straight, tit was then up to me to navigate my way home, which surprisingly I did, and I always managed to find my way into my own bed; it may have taken me 3 hours longer than it would have done sober, and I may have collected quite a lot of unwanted things along the way: such as dog excrement on the bottom of my shoes and occasionally on the bottom of my pants, if I’d fallen over on a grass verge somewhere, but as a homing pigeon does, I also did.


It wasn’t just shoes and clothes stained with dog poo on that I occasionally turned up on my parent’s doorstep wearing, but I also had various contents of someone’s stomach mixed in with it, such as peas, carrots, meat, fish, bits of a donner kebab or a hamburger.  I understand that it sounds absolutely disgusting, and it is/was, but what with dog owners from my hometown seemingly being able to get away with allowing their dogs to empty the contents of their bowels liberally onto the pavement and on grass verges, as well as people honking up their 18:30 dinners mixed in with supper meals consumed in an inebriated state after 23:00 on pavements and on grass verges on their way home you were very lucky if you got home smelling like you had when you left your home earlier on in the evening – that’s if you’d had too many yourself of course.   Even sober, where I come from, you always had to keep an eye on the floor to watch where you placed your feet, otherwise you would inevitably pick the things already mentioned up on the bottom of your shoe(s) and that would be very unwelcomed when you got home.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t always standing in dog’s doings or alcohol induced vomit, but whenever I did I always seemed to do it in style, and it quite literally caused a right stink in my home.  As we all know, dog poop is dangerous, if you get it in your eyes you can go blind.


Probably not that many of you living in Japan have experienced getting home, sober or otherwise, and being covered in dog excrement: for one, even if you do have one too many in a Japanese drinking establishment  you most probably won’t end up with the contents of a dog’s bowels on the bottom of your shoes or anywhere else on your person for that matter because Japanese people generally pick up the doings that their dogs do and pop them into a bag.  Also, a pub culture doesn’t really exist here, over here it’s an Izakaya culture, and although people still get steaming drunk, they also manage to put food into their bellies, which tends to absorb the alcohol that gets copiously consumed, which in my opinion reduces the amount of honking up that occurs, certainly in comparison to the UK, where people tend to limit the amount of food they eat, much preferring to get as much alcohol into their stomachs as physically possible in order to get drunk and have a good time.


From where I come from, if you didn’t get drunk on a Friday or Saturday night as a young man in his late teens early twenties, in some cases early forties depending on the company you kept, then there was something not quite right with you.  I can always remember going out with my mates on a Friday night with the sole objective of having some good conversations, perhaps also playing one or two pub games such as pool or darts, as well as trying to pick up a local girl if you were not already courting: for some of us though, being in boyfriend/girlfriend relationships only intensified the challenge .  The evening would usually get finished off by either going to the local night spot/club for a drunken or semi drunken boogie or a trip to the local Chinese take-away, Indian restaurant or Pepe’s Pizza place for a bit of late supper: the eating places stayed open until the wee hours of the morning so you could do both if you wanted to.   Well, so much for reminiscing about the good and bad old days, my original intention was to try to write a poem about such days, so I’d better try to get on with it; until next week, play the game aggressively and play to win, but most of all play it according to the rules.


The smell of an utterance to tell someone to be quiet followed by a particular pronoun

When I first woke up this morning I couldn’t remember much about last night.
I vaguely remember arriving home in the dog wee hours of the morning tighter than tight.
I can somewhat remember trying to let myself in but I dropped my key on the floor.
I attempted to try to find it using light provided from the kitchen next door, until it was switched off.
The knocking I did went unheard so I finally had no choice but to ring the bell.
My half-a-sleep mum opened the door and she inquired as to why I hadn’t let myself in.
In the same breath, until it was replaced by a cough, she complained that I smelled like an utterance to tell someone to be quiet
followed by a particular pronoun, she then went back to bed.
I definitely managed to make contact with my pillow because here I am lying in bed with a head aching from
drinking too much alcohol and sore from falling down.
The strong sunlight entering into my room bothering my eyes, heating it up and allowing a certain smell,
one I know only too well, to drift up my nose.
It was the smell of an utterance to tell someone to be quiet followed by a particular pronoun.
In other words something a 4 legged domesticated animal would commonly pinch off on a grass verge when the urge arises.
There was actually dog excrement on my pillow and on my sheets that had clearly rubbed off my clothes as I got undressed.
I lifted my head off my putrid smelling pillow and looked around my bedroom, it was a right mess,
there was even a pile of poop on the floor near my bedroom door.
After thinking a while about the perfectly formed pile, a thought entered into my mind and a smile slowly appeared on my face.
It was not a pile of feces from a member of the canine species, but it looked like a plastic turd put there by the hand of a member of the human race.
How absurd, how did a human turd happen to get into my room?
Most possibly my father, a known prankster, had crept into my bedroom in the early hours of the morning and placed it there.
I thought I should get out of bed to investigate and that’s when I noticed I wasn’t wearing any underwear.
I didn’t have a stich of clothing on and all my clothes were strewn all over the room.
I lay there in bed thinking about some of the things I’ve done in an inebriated state over the years.
I thought of the time I vomited in my girlfriend’s fishpond and also of the time I relieved myself on the next door neighbour’s entrance gate.
But to think I’d squeezed out that perfectly formed piece of poo onto my own bedroom floor was impossible to believe.
However, when I finally got out of bed and made my way to my bedroom door I discovered to my horror that it was not part of a practical joke.
I gave it a poke and it didn’t react like plastic does when it gets prodded by a pencil.
Had I actually done what I’ve never done before and evacuated near my door?
In my drunken stupor had I preferred to crouch down on the floor and poop rather than park my bottom down on a toilet seat, was that it?
I took another look around my room, tilted my head backwards slightly, pointed my nostrils into the air and I could see and smell
an utterance to tell someone to be quiet followed by a particular pronoun.
A poem (of sorts) by Stephen Austwick