We travel even further back in time today as I introduce you to my seven-year-old self. I taste cashew nut milk for the very first time. We discover some rather unusual names for ladies genitals, and there’s much merriment over the subject of plumbs.
Today’s audio Dollop comes from my kitchen, where I chat whilst creating a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel, about Jeremy Corbyn, trains, and the media, plus I tell my own train story from a couple of days ago.
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Fancy a bath? Come and join me for a bit of a soak and a bit of a joke, although you’re sitting at the tap end. We chat about Dr Who themed condoms and a variety of other highly erudite topics, plus we meet a couple of new Dollop characters.
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I can’t get the song Daniel Wet Himself Today out of my head. If you didn’t listen to the Dollop from a couple of days ago, then you won’t have heard this epic composition by me at the age of nine. I’ve caught myself singing it under my breath on a number of occasions throughout the day.
We’ve been to Whitby Folk festival today. At one point I was chatting to Becky Unthank and during the conversation she received a text. We momentarily stopped talking As she checked the message. As I waited, I absnt mindedly began to sing Daniel Wet Himself Today under my breath. I didn’t think she heard me, but then a few minutes later I heard her humming something to herself which sounded a bit like Daniel Wet Himself Today. It might not have been Daniel Wet Himself Today. To be honest, I think I’ve got the song so firmly stuck in my head, that all other songs have also started to sound like Daniel Wet Himself Today. If there are any songs about incontinence on the next Unthanks album, then you know who and what inspired it.
I was about to remark that if I travelled back in time to visit my nine-year-old self and tell him that his song would still be being sung by me twenty-two years later, then I would be massively surprised; but actually, I was the kind of child who’d probably find that perfectly understandable and would see no reason why a song of such magnitude shouldn’t stand the test of time. I might also be a bit disappointed in my future self, that I was wasting the ability to time travel on visiting my nine-year-old self to point out the bleeding obvious. Of course “Daniel Wet Himself Today” was still going to be sun twenty-two years in the future. I suppose I might be a tad impressed that I’d discovered how to time travel, but when you’re the kind of kid who’s got the creative genius to think up a masterpiece like “Daniel Wet Himself Today,” then it’s very difficult to be impressed by mere time travel. I think I’d still consider “Daniel Wet Himself Today” to be my most noteworthy achievement.
I’ve just had my first Macdonalds for a very long time. We stopped off at a service station which didn’t really have anything else open. There are certain places that are easily identifiable without the use of sight. The sandwich shop Subway, for instance, is very blind-friendly, because it has a very distinct smell which pervades through the street, making it easy to locate. There have been times when I’ve been in an unfamiliar town, feeling hungry, then smelt the familiar smell of Subway, and was able to literally follow my nose to get me there. Although there was one rather embarrassing time that I smelt the smell, followed my nose, and ended up inadvertently essentially stalking a poor woman all the way home, simply because she was eating a Subway; well, that’s the story I told the police, and I’m sticking to it.
The thing that helps McDonald’s be identifiable to blind people is the sound it makes. McDonald’s is one of the only eateries I’ve been to that has this particular ambient sound. There is constant beeping. Every appliance seems to beep. When you walk into that place, from the sound alone you know that you are either in McDonalds, or an intensive care unit of a hospital. Although I suppose if you are eating in McDonald’s, then chances are it won’t be too long before you actually are in a hospital’s intensive care unit. Perhaps McDonalds has all that beeping so as to help diners get used to where they’re going. Maybe this is also why the food is so appallingly bad; it’s to get you used to the hospital food; only McDonald’s have the generosity to make their food even worse, so that you’ll actually stand a chance of sort of enjoying the food in the hospital. Ronald and his cronies are such lovely philanthropic souls.
Throughout the entirety of ourstay in McDonald’s, there was constant beeping, and not just one solitary kind of beeping, but a whole host of different beeps. Everything beeps: there is beeping when the burger is cooked, beeping when the chips are ready, beeping from the tills, beeping from the card machines, beeping from the tray washer, beeping from the old guy’s heart monitor as his salt and fat intake goes through the roof.
I am at home now, lying in bed, writing this while drifting off to sleep. My brain has seemingly absorbed all that hideous beeping for so long that I can still hear it in my head. It’s driving me insane. I need to think of something else quickly, in order to replace the bloody beeping, otherrwise I’m going to go mad. “Daniel wet himself today, Daniel wet himself today …” Ah, that’s much better. Goodnight.
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I’m currently at my family home in Hartlepool for a few days. I’ve spent most of the day trying to keep three children entertained, who are constantly asking me to look at what they are doing, and pointing at things, wanting me to tell them what they are. Because I only see them a few times a year and because they are so young, they seem to forget that I can’t see properly, meaning that I have to try and explain to them once again that my eyes don’t work very well. This inevitably results in the next question being something like, “have you not got them fixed yet?” I playfully berate myself for being so stupidly forgetful or too lazy to get around to getting my eyes fixed, and promise them that I’ll make sure to write it in my diary and make some phone calls about it tomorrow. They agree that this is a sensible idea.
I start to muse to myself about whether it is right for me to be making statements like this. I’m not sure they appreciate that it is a joke, and I think they are genuinely under the impression that the next time they see me I’ll have got my eyes fixed. I Thought that this little white lie would be easier and more platable than going into detail about why I can’t see properly and that it’ll probably never come back. I should have really learnt my lesson after what happened a few years ago with my older niece Lucy. We’ll come to that soon, but right now my musings are being interrupted by my three younger nieces who have decided to take advantage of the fact that I’ve not yet had my eyes fixed, and have begun to play a game of How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up.
If I get the number right, they cheer and excitedly declare that my eyes are fixed. I try to give them a basic lesson in probability, but this is clearly not as interesting as believing that my sight has miraculously come back. They hold up some more fingers just to be sure that my sight definitely has returned, and are disappointed when I get the number wrong. Fortunately, I am gifted with being a comedy genius, and I manage to lift the mood by getting one of them to hold their fingers up to my face and then telling them that the number of fingers is 432. They whoop and giggle gleefully at my amazing joke; I imagine that you are also doing something similar now. I am truly a comedy genius.
When my oldest niece Lucy was little she used to also ask the same kinds of questions about my eye sight as her, as of then unborn siblings. She seemed a bit down when I told her that my sight wouldn’t improve, and so, not wanting her to be upset, I told a little white lie, and said that one day they would probably make some special glasses that made me see again. I don’t know why I said “special glasses,” but I just sort of panicked, desperate to say something that would make her feel better about my blindness. It worked; well, sort of. She believed me, and it did cheer her up, but it also did something else: it made her determined to help me find these special glasses. She seemed to think that perhaps the glasses were already out there in existence, and that I just hadn’t been proactive enough in trying to find them.
She proceeded to go around the rest of the family and removed the glasses from the glasses-wearing people in the house, trying them on me. I would then have to guess how many fingers she was holding up and go through a variety of other tests in order to establish whether we had managed to find the right kind of glasses to give me sight. Obviously none of the small selection of glasses we tried worked, and Lucy had no choice except to forgo her optimistic endeavour. And I assumed that this was the end of it, so I didn’t see a need to burst her bubble and tell her that I was lying and that my sight wasn’t going to return because of some amazing glasses. She had done all she could to help me and was now involved in a completely different activity, having been forced to abandon her mission.
However, Lucy clearly hadn’t forgotten our conversation. A few weeks later we were in a shop, and I suddenly noticed that Lucy had disappeared. Before I could worry though, she was back by my side. She put something into my hand. It was a pair of glasses. I was about to ask her where she had got them from and what she was doing, when a lady came towards us, sounding a little cross, and asked for her glasses back. I apologised to the lady and went to hand them back, but Lucy was indignant, upset that I wasn’t even going to put the glasses on and give them a try.
“We’re just borrowing them,” Lucy protested, “just for a few seconds, just to try.” The woman sounded more confused than cross now. I began to explain why Lucy had stolen the glasses, and apologised again. But now, the woman was as far from cross as you could get. She was beaming – or at least, I imagine that she was beaming, I can’t be sure because it turned out that these glasses also weren’t the right kind of special glasses, but she certainly sounded like she was beaming. Other people in the checkout queue also made noises of delight and said things like, “aw, that’s adorable.” One man offered up his glasses for Lucy, suggesting that we could try them. Was he saying this just to humour Lucy, thinking he was doing the right thing by joining in with the charade? Or was he actually under the impression that his glasses might genuinely help me? I was getting rather embarrassed by the attention that all of this was gaining me. I felt I had to step in and politely decline his offer, which made Lucy get all stroppy. I tried to quickly explain to Lucy, all the while feeling uncomfortable about the small queue of people who were also listening to this conversation, that I had made up the thing about the special glasses because I didn’t want her to be upset about me not ever being able to see properly. There were no special glasses and so she shouldn’t take other people’s glasses. What else could I do? I had to come clean, lest she should continue to steal glasses from people and get us into more complications, plus we’d never get anywhere if she stole the glasses from every glasses-wearing person she saw.
“You lied?” she said, sounding deflated. I apologised and admitted that, yes, I had lied. There was a pause. I wanted to get out of this shop and away from the people in the queue who were probably thinking I was a terrible person to play with a child’s emotions like this. Fortunately the promise of ice cream seemed to do the trick, and a few minutes later, all was seemingly forgiven.
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I am back at my family home in Hartlepool for a few days, and I’ve uncovered some old cassette tapes in the garage containing some self-composed songs recorded when I was nine. We take a listen to three of these pieces, including the epic song entitled Daniel Wet Himself Today. This is contrasted by some rather erudite observations on the English language, courtesy of Dollop listeners.
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So, tomorrow is the day that I showcase The Young’uns In The Mix for the very first time, and possibly the last time depending on how it goes. I’ve had some of the ideas for the mix kicking around in my head for a few years, and although I’ve not performed it live yet, I’ve frequently gone through it in my head, often visualising doing the mix while in the shower or on the toilet. By this I mean that I often imagine how the mix will work, while I am going about my ablutions. I thought I’d clarify that, just in case you read that sentence and then thought that I intend to do a DJ set while in the shower or on the toilet. That’s not what I meant, but I guess there’s just no way of knowing how this venture might develop at a later stage.
I find that most of my ideas seem to come when I’m on the toilet. “Oh right, well that explains why you’re ideas are shit then. Get It? Shit – like the thing you do on the toilet, haha.” Yes I did get it, and you’re not funny, so shut up. Sorry, I’m doing that thing again where I hear the thoughts of one of my readers; if you’re a Dollop regular then you’ll be aware of this unusual gift/curse. I think that being in the shower or on the toilet is a good period of time for generating ideas, because the mind is allowed to daydream and wonder. After all, what else can you do in the shower, except wash yourself? Yes yes, I hear your disgusting thoughts, but I am not entertaining such base-level humour; you know what I mean. Showering and toileting provide an opportunity of down-time for the brain.
Sometimes I find myself sitting on the toilet for hours. Often I haven’t even had a poo, I’m just sitting there thinking, lost in a daydream. I always sit down to go to the toilet, even just for a wee. Sorry if this is making you feel a bit uncomfortable, or if you have the kind of brain that always has to form images of the things you read, and so you are now imagining me sitting on the toilet, possibly even having a poo. Whatever you do, I urge you, don’t think about me sitting on the toilet having a poo. What are you doing? I said don’t think about it. What do you mean you can’t help it? I mean, to be honest, I expected this kind of thing from Chloe, but the rest of you …
Anyway, for the rest of you who aren’t imagining me pooing, I know what you’re thinking: “Come on David, you can’t tease us with a comment like, “ I always sit down to go to the toilet, even just for a wee,” and then leave us hanging like this, desperate to hear more, while you prevaricate by trying to get us to imagine you having a poo.” I take your point, so enough of the poo-prevarications , let’s get to the heart of the matter and find out my reason for always sitting down for the toilet.
Urinals, incidentally, are the exception to this rule. Urinals are at a good height for weeing, because I can see what I am aiming for, whereas toilet bowls are too low down for my line of vision, therefore I always sit down at home or in other people’s homes when using the toilet.
So now you know that if I come to your home and use the toilet, I will inevitably sit down, perhaps you can use this knowledge to earn you some money. I don’t want to blow my trumpet – something which incidentally I also find a lot easier to do when sitting down rather than standing up, although I don’t want to brag (calm yourself Chloe) – but I think that there are some devoted Young’uns fans who would pay good money for a toilet seat that I have graced with my naked bottom. You could buy a toilet seat and attach it just before my visit, making sure that no one else uses it, and then immediately remove it once I’ve been to the toilet. I could also tell you what I was thinking about while I was on the toilet, which you could include in your Ebay description to give it even more value and boost the price further. “This is the toilet seat on which The Young’uns’ David Eagle sat on while coming up with the idea to mix the Unthanks with Death Metal.” Maybe this is something I should be doing for charity. Let me know if you work for a charity and are interested. Obviously I will need proof of your charitable credentials; I don’t want to just be satiating the appetites of a pervert, when my bottom could be put to more philanthropic purposes.
I think the fact that I sit on the toilet every time I use it means that I am more prone to falling into daydreams, and I will often find myself still sitting there after half an hour, unsure of whether I’ve actually had a wee or not. Sometimes I’ll get up from the toilet after a good half hour on there, flush it, wash my hands and then realise that I probably didn’t have a wee aftter all, and I actually still need to go. So I sit back down on the toilet, only to start daydreaming again, and the cycle repeats itself, until I become too sleepy or hungry. I’ve lost whole days to the toilet. It’s not as bad now that I’m living with other people, but when I was living alone it could get pretty bad.
But it’s not wasted time, because it’s on the toilet where I have my amazing ideas. In the future, when I am posthumously recognised as a creative genius, people will be writing self-help books on creativity and success, inspired by my method, with inspirational titles such as, “Sit On Your Throne And Become A Creativity King,” “Don’t Quit, Take a Shit,” “Working Your Way UP From The Bottom,” “Bums On seats For A Creativity Master-class,” “Living Your Life Backside First,” “Get Your Arse In Gear And Become a creative Genius.” Sadly I don’t have time to go to the toilet and think up some better ones, because I’ve got to be out in half an hour, but rest assured that half an hour on the toilet would yield at least another ten amazing loo-based success slogans.
Anyway, the point I was intending on making, before you distracted me and made me go on a massive sidetrack, was that I’ve run through this mix in my head so many times, generally while in the shower or on the toilet, that I am a bit worried that I might be stood in front of the audience at Folk East tomorrow night, hear the music and have some weird Pavlovian response to it. I might completely forget my actual surroundings and start removing my clothes, assuming that I’m at home and in the shower, or even worse, on the toilet. I am hoping to get the chance to have a practise sometime tomorrow to avoid such an occurrence.
I am looking forward to debuting The Young’uns In The Mix at Folk East. Maybe I’ll see you at the event, or if you can’t make it, or are just very lazy, then it’ll be up on The Young’uns Podcast and David Eagle’s Pick And Mix in a couple of weeks.