Rail Fail Soundtrack

I just finished varnishing the new stair rails. This was the third and by far the most treacherous coat of varnish so far.

There will not be a fourth.

There cannot be a fourth.


But the problem is I think I’ve bollocksed it all up.


Send help.

Somebody please.


(No not you!)


I never said I was the varnish guy.

I’ve never varnished a damn thing in my life. Well apart from that crappy key fob they forced me to make for my dad at school when I was like twelve. Pretty sure I screwed that up too.

I just got dumped with it as usual.

What next I ask myself? Bonsai tree pruning? Ice sculpture? Ships in bottles? Castrating rottweilers? Open heart sodding surgery?

It’s like Satan’s bob-a-job week round here. Always some shitty impossible labour of Hercules with my name on it waiting around the corner.


The problem I conclude with varnishing, is that it needs several coats, but after the first coat, you really cannot see what you’ve varnished and what you haven’t. Which would be a tricksy proposition anyway, but add a little dodgy OCD short term memory into the mix and it throws a Spaniard in the works. Because sometimes you genuinely don’t know if you just did something or not. You go looking for that information up in the old headbone and it’s simply not there. This is why people with OCD are prone to checking and rechecking cooker hobs and door bolts. They’re not being mischievous. It genuinely feels to them like they weren’t even there for the last check.

So I found that I was heaping on mountains of varnish onto some areas, resulting in dodgy droops and folds. Not being a clever man, my solution was to panic and go back and add yet more varnish on top – you know to even it out – IT DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE YOU MUPPET SODOMISER !”£&!”(“%*”&%


Sorry, I’m angry with myself.


So now I have mutant stair rails to contend with.


The only two redeeming aspects of this FIASCO are:


(i)  I think I got high from inhaling the varnish and white spirits


(ii) while I was doing it, I listened to some good songs on my portable gramophone(MP3 player to you hepcats)


Since I know how much you all crave my world famous song recommendations, I’m going to treat you all by sharing those songs with you right now.






I’m in no mood for negotiating with terrorists so I suggest you listen to my songs and bloody well enjoy them.


It’s the least you can do for me after this latest varnish treachery.


OK, so first I was off to an ominous start with Under Pressure by Queen/Bowie:


Next it was The Doors with The Soft Parade. I can confirm that you indeed cannot petition the lord with prayer. Thanks for the warning Jim:


Then Talking Heads with the aptly named Road to Nowhere:


And a damning indictment on my varnishing skills from Soul to Soul with Get a Life – thanks a lot for the moral support Jazzy Jeff:


This brought me to Leonard Cohen with The Future, summoning the spectres of Mickey and Mallory Knox who dared me to murder the stair rails to death – the best advice I had all night:


Then the Police with Can’t Stand Losing You – a song seemingly advising me to take my own life because Sting was so disgusted with my varnishing idiocy. Stroll on Bernard. More household DIY fuck-ups await my special attention a lil’ further on down life’s annoying road. Who knows how well someone else might do them if I’m not around. I can’t allow that:


Onto Dire Straits with Why Worry. Hmmm, mixed messages here – I was indeed in dire varnishing straits, but the song calmed me down to the point where I didn’t even care any more and just kept applying fresh coats of varnish for the hell of it. Unhelpful Mark! I don’t care what your intention was:


And finally The Rolling Stones with Out of Time – this would’ve been more germane to my varnishing nightmare if it was called Out of Varnish. Still the song cheered me up as I pictured Jon Voight in a wheelchair, Jane Fonda’s marvellous boobs, and a crazed Bruce Dern whizzing around in his lovely little sports car on the war path:


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to saddle up my trusty steed Penelope to ride into town to locate the local stair whisperer. If he can’t sort this mess out then my only hope is the soothsayer but experience has taught me that all he has to say are sooths.


8 thoughts on “Rail Fail Soundtrack

    1. Thanks a lot Irina. I knew you’d understand the memory thing.

      You’re right- I think they should put something on the tin about it for folk with OCD.

      I may enter the stair rails for this year’s Turner Prize. I could call it “Just One More Coat”

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Aw God bless you for saying that Irina.
          I don’t seem to do too well in contests so I’m reluctant to risk it if you know what I mean.
          I wrote some haikus for the European haiku contest last year. I got stupidly over excited cos I thought one or two of them were good, but surprise surprise I didn’t win anything. In the cold light of day it seemed obvious I wouldn’t win cos I was new to haikus and they have to pick three out of God only knows how many. Then some son of a BITCH sent me the list of the hundred runners-up, and none of mine were on it.

          That day I declared war on Europe. I’m still saving for an aircraft carrier though so please don’t tell anyone yet. It wouldn’t go well for me at this point.

          But no, I don’t think my stuff is quite of contest calibre.
          I love that you said that though, thank you 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I just wanted to know your opinion, I think contests are a bit stupid and for a different kind of people (than me). However, better not have expectations if you want to try again. This is the ugly side of it all- competition. It gives negative emotions and it should’ve been about beauty.


            1. I see the truth in that. Then you are a true artist if you think this way.

              The substantial money prize was the incentive to enter this contest. It’s not been a good time for me financially lately so I figured I had nothing to lose. But I agree about competition in art. I was on a poetry site and they expect you to hold contests and judge them. I tried one and vowed never to do it again because it made me ill judging other people’s work like that. It assumes a kind of authority I will never have. And it becomes about all the wrong things – points and trophies and likes and favour. It’s the same here to a lesser degree. Luckily no contests though.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I wish I had a good suggestion how to make some money but I don’t.
                Indeed, to judge is for critics and they can earn that position with a lot of work.
                I enjoy your creativity and will continue to read you whenever I find time.


                1. Ahhhh time, my nemesis!

                  So many things I would do if I had the time. We are prisoners of time and money and obligation. That combination burns up too much of this life.

                  Thank you. I dig your stuff too Irina. See you around Blog Town.

                  Liked by 1 person

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