Thursday, 11 October 2012

It's exhausting avoiding work

I'm in a right tizz as my dear old mum would say. It's thursday and here's my Wednesday blog. Most of yesterday was spent hurtling down a motorway in the company of radio four and when I got home, quite frankly I was too knackered. I'd driven up to Wales to help my mum move house. She had asked me to lend a hand but when I got there I could see there wasn't a lot for me to do. Apart from the removals men, two friends of mum had dropped in. Cynthia buzzed around the kitchen unpacking while Malcolm made sure all the appliances worked and the removals people were doing all of the heavy lifting. As for me, I just swanned around looking busy in a sort of self appointed head managerial role when actually I was doing sod all. I'm good at that. Making a great display of looking like I'm doing stuff, when I'm not. Yes, I've always been great at being actively lazy. When I watch daytime TV I call it research, and I sometimes think that my headstone should read, "Here rests Mike Raffone, no change there then."

It all started with my school boy attempts to avoid PE classes. I must have been a bit of a geek. Most skivers in our school avoided history, I avoided football. This arrangement worked well for me until the head of the PE department became my form tutor. No only did this put an end to me sneaking out of PE to loiter in the library with The Telegraph cryptic crossword (what a sad upbringing, I didn't even attempt The Times), but to make matters worse he decided to make sure that I attended PE classes by putting me in his class. This was very unfortunate because he took the top class which made me look even worst. Forced out onto the soccer field in such a demeaning way I quickly developed a smoke screen that made me look like I was playing the stupid game, when, in fact, I wasn't. This brilliant ruse consisted of running to the opposite end of the pitch to where the ball was, but at the same time madly gesticulating and shouting "to me, to me". Of course if it looked like the ball was going to come near to me I would dart off in another direction repeating the phrase as I went.

This all worked very well until the arrival of Nigel Williams, or Nidge as he was affectionately known. Now Nigel was a sort of North Wales version of the College football hero. He was academically quite thick, but naturally charming and popular with all the girls. There was even talk that he had lost his virginity, the local country park being cited as the venue for this momentous event. He was also brilliant at football, and was rumoured to be trying out professionally for Wrexham FC. One day I ended up on his side, and as usual was doing my usual avoidance trick. I managed to run and place myself half a pitch's length from the ball so I was safe... or so I thought. "Nidge, to me!" I shouted, and he obliged with a perfect pass that landed right at my feet. What the hell was I to do? There was only one thing for it, I had to just get rid of it. I closed my eyes and whacked the ball as hard as I could. I opened my eyes to see the ball curve towards the goal, beat the goalie and slam into the back of the net. I tell you, Nidge scored many memorable goals, but none were talked about as much as that one.

I've just noticed that there is a bulb of garlic next to grisel's workstation. Very strange. What's all that about? Maybe it's there to stop vampires looking over her shoulder when she's working. More likely it's there to stop me looking over her shoulder when she's working. She hates that. Who knows? Is this fascination I have just another way to avoid work?... Probably.

When he actually gets round to doing something Mike Raffone is the co founder of the production company howhow along with his fiancĂ© Grisel Tarifa. They are opening a new performance club The Royal National Theatre of Fools at clf Art Cafe, Peckham on December 4th.  It will be dedicated to the clown, the absurd and the eccentric. For more info Go to

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