Strange Little Planet:
So there it was an unremarkable man sitting back against a rock on an unremarkable patch of grass, in the middle of an unremarkable field, at the edge of an unremarkable town, in an entirely too unremarkable part of Scotland. Had George Young known what awaited him, maybe, just maybe he’d have stayed there; then again maybe not. George was never known for doing the clever things in life. Not a negative person by nature definitely, a better word for George would be contrary, any question asked of George his immediate impulse was always to say no. No matter the question no matter the situation, George had found people rarely thought they had something you wanted when all you said was no. George was as you may have guessed a little neurotic. George was thirty two years old and for the most part Scottish, George had went to great pains not to let his innate Scottishness hold him back in life which as it happens is a little harder than you may think; the bright side for George though he wasn’t really aware of it at this exact moment in time was that he would in fact accomplish something no other human had ever managed. Had someone informed George of this he would at the moment be quite perplexed as on the whole George Young of 27c Oak bank Terrace wasn’t really a Go get ‘em kind of man. In fact George Young of 27c Oak bank Terrace had trouble finishing sentences never mind acts of great significance to the history and in fact future of Humanity. The details of said events however were at this moment as blissfully unaware of George Young as George Young was of them. In fact at this very moment in time George had other things on his mind.
He didn’t shout it, exclaim it or even spit it under his breath. There was a matter of factness to Georges cursing that had something of a resigned acceptance to it, which all came down to the innate Scottishness (or as some would say Glasweiganness) of Georges personality. The problem with being Scottish, George had previously theorised. Was that while being filled with the inbred Stiff upper lip your standard Male from the West of Scotland had what was also a built in inability to show weakness, ask for help or generally display any traits that would have him labelled a “ponce” by his mates, friends, work colleagues, mother or indeed stranger in the street. His girlfriend had called it West of Scotland Male Syndrome, during arguments, but then George’s girlfriend said a lot of things mainly about shoes, clothes and makeup and George rarely tuned into radio Oestrogen long enough to catch more than the general gist of her constant talk show style approach to conversation. Perhaps if he had George would not be up on this little mound of earth right now, surmising as to how he had lost his girlfriend, his job and Thirty two thousand six hundred and eighty four pounds and forty seven pence of what was at the end of the day someone else’s money. After a little more thought George had surmised this was in retrospect quite careless of him.
Losing Sheila was the easiest, not to be snobbish but George had always worried about the prospect of having to spend his life with someone named Sheila. Perhaps a strange reason to not want to marry someone but George could quite simply not see himself introducing people to his wife “Sheila” It just seemed such a silly and unnecessary name to George and he doubted very much that Sheila would agree to change her first name as well as her second. A very worrying thought slipped through George’s mind about his last words in this world involving the word Sheila and decided once and for all that in that much at least he had made a lucky sidestep with that one. Mainly because had he not come back home to announce his little error with his job and someone else’s Thirty two thousand six hundred and eighty four pounds and forty seven pence to find Sheila gone and a small note about someone named Harold, which to George felt a little more suited. George and Sheila to his mind just sounded absurd, Harold and Sheila, now there was a couple ashamed enough of their own name not to worry about the others.
The job George had never much liked, computers George had long ago decided were more trouble than they were worth. Of course he liked Computer Games. However when he started playing them no one told him he’d spend half his life fixing the bloody machines. So the job was in fact no big loss and after all the Thirty two thousand six hundred and eighty four pounds and forty seven pence wasn’t his and although there would be trouble (and when there was ever trouble George was usually sure that it’s general direction was straight at him) it wasn’t as though someone could sue George for Thirty two thousand six hundred and eighty four pounds and forty seven pence after all, he didn’t even have a job. Or a Sheila. This was why George had liked this spot all these years, a little peak in a hill, where the horizons met, one side the town, city and all the civilisation beyond and on the other side nothing but grass and fields and hills and of course as if it were part of some obscure joke mother nature were telling a large hill shaped like an elephant, mother nature did have a rather amusing sense of humour George surmised. After all look at Badgers. Nothing ever looked as bad to George from up here, it was he had decided long ago like an audio/visual cup of tea. Which was as it happened the wrong thing to think about as now George wouldn’t be happy till he was back home in front of the Telly with a nice cup of tea.
Now a normal person at this point would have on his little stroll back down into the town, up the street and past the shops, have noticed that there were no cars, no people and no noise. No cats, dogs, pigeons or even small insects on the stroll up to his house. George Young however was a little more self involved than your average normal person and as none of these things were within his direct path or immediate need he paid no mind to the fact that there was absolutely nothing to be seen other than landscape. Not to say that George was particularly stupid (he was only marginally stupid as it happens) if for example the street was a smoking ruin with fire coming from all cars and houses George would have noticed. At the very least when he went to open his front door and found it a burnt out husk. As it happened George went inside, put on the kettle and made himself a mug of milky white tea with three sugars. George had surmised that as Today had been all in a bit of a bother then panic tea was needed to calm things down. Long ago George’s mother had introduced him to Panic tea, when he was seventeen in fact and his then Girlfriend (a rather frightful beast named Pamela, George made a mental note there to never date anyone with a silly name again) had a pregnancy scare, George’s mother had done the only thing you can do in a situation like that. The only sensible and sane thing to do when things go so excitingly bad, she put on the kettle and made George panic tea, too much milk, too much sugar and lots of it. George had never forgotten that and panic tea had gotten him through some really bad moments in life.
So having had his tea and discovered that something was wrong with the TV George gave the strangeness of his day some serious thought.
“Fuck it” He decided and went to bed.
George had strange dreams that night, which for George was nothing really that unusual. The one he really remembered was one where he was a large Badger and had gotten stuck in the revolving door at Sainsbury’s. That one George had thought was rather odder than his usual fare, he never shopped at Sainsbury’s. He’d always found it odd people being snobbish about where they bought their eggs. How can you be snobbish about something that comes out of a chicken’s bottom, which of course had George wondering about exactly which part of the Chicken the egg did come from? Perhaps George surmised it was time to think about something slightly more useful.
He laid there in bed looking at the ceiling, his alarm clock, the ceiling and just for a change his poster of Kate Winslet. 11:36 AM Stared back at him from his alarm clock on another glance over at it.
“Strange.” Thought George, Two days and no one had called. None of his friends to check he was alright (okay maybe that was asking a bit much), no one saying, “Alright George, heard about the job/girlfriend situation want to go for a pint.” Or perhaps most surprisingly “Hey George, where is that Thirty two thousand six hundred and eighty four pounds and forty seven pence?” Running through it all in his mind it had suddenly occurred to George that he hadn’t seen anyone or for that matter Mrs McGonicle’s cat, the latter of course being something of a blessing since the little thing was always pissing on his doorstep. The real worry of course had come when he’d logged onto his computer and found all his Chat and Instant message programs devoid of contact.
“It occurs” Thought George “that something might be up.”