It is with heavy heart and light head that I must tell you:
I am still in the care of Nurse Dawkins.
I’m on the sick bed of Cuchulainn; There's a glass of punch below my feet and an angel at my head. There's devils on each side of me, with bottles in their hands, I need one more drop of poison and I'll dream of foreign lands (copyright 1985 Shane MacGowan).
Aside from enjoying the morphine, hospital is a boring place. I want to go back to the museum and get stared at all day. My time will come.
Until then, here is more drivel from a semi-reformed pirate that I can’t avoid for any sustained period of time:
Aarrr, it is I, Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard, c. 1680 – 22 November 1718) again, keeping you up to date with my exciting life as an ex-pirate and laundrette technician. After my brush with death and Bartholomew Roberts (http://blog.chess.com/SometimesReasonable/diary-of-edward-teach-semi-reformed-pirate-amp-laundryologist) I had a restful night and fell asleep as Spike finally told Buffy that he loves her.
The next day it is up early (6.00am) to get into work at Mrs. Vomits Cleaners. Life is sweet. After a breakfast of mature cheddar and bitter disappointment on toast, I buckle up my boots, plait my beard and I’m ready for whatever the world will throw at me. When I was just a cabin boy, my old First Mate told me: “Each new day brings a new adventure, a new opportunity, a new hope.” The next day he was fatally savaged by a marmoset in a bar-room brawl, started by an argument about The Matrix sequels. (The marmoset was right; their very existence ruins the first one.)
When I got to work I was excited about the day ahead. It was a slow start to the day so Mrs. V went into the back office to drink gin and make nuisance telephone calls. Jason passed the time by chasing after me with an old bra he found behind one of the dryers. Just when he had me cornered, a customer arrived, and Jason had to behave.
Bless my under-nourished donkey, it was only Derek Acorah! A gifted medium and exploiter of the gullible, it was truly an honour to have him standing there with a bag full of filthy underclothes. I couldn’t help but stare at Derek’s bright red sack, there for all to see.
“How can I help you?” I asked, in the least pirate and most customer service voice I could muster.
“I knew you were going to say that!” Derek said. I was astounded by his gift. How could he know? He must be getting messages from the dead, it is the only explanation I can think of.
“I need you to clean my underpants.” Said Derek. “Ghost hunting and talking to the spirit world can be frightening and has unpleasant side effects.”
I explained the laundrette’s pricing structure in the most sycophantic way possible, calling him Mr. Acorah, sir and even “my sweet prince”. Unimpressed, Derek replied:
“I will not pay you money, my odious friend, but I will give you the chance to commune with those who have passed.” Derek Acorah put his hand over his eyes and threw back his head. This proves that he was in a trance and communicating with his Native American spirit guide.
Suddenly, Derek shouted “The mists are parting! A figure emerges from the darkness. It is a woman.”
I was very excited. “Is it Imelda, my long lost Latin love?” I cried, remembering a woman I had met back in my pirate days. She was a dark-haired beauty with fire in her eyes and I was a young pirate captain full of the lust of 6 months at sea. I asked her for a kiss but she said no.
“Yes, it is Imelda!” said Derek. Wow. He continued in a far-away voice:
“She says she wants you to be happy. She says don’t mourn for her, she says that she wants you to love again. Imelda says that she is at peace now. You must live on!”
Derek went quiet for a moment.
“That doesn’t sound like her.” I said. I explained that she’s never wanted me to be happy before. I further explained that Imelda is actually still alive and the she works at the carpet shop and has an interesting rash.
This made Derek very angry and he started to push his stinking underwear towards my face and saying “Scrub my stains! Scrub my stains!” It made me feel like crying.
Just as the tears welled in my eyes, another customer arrived. It was neuroscientist, atheist and virile champion of reason, Sam Harris. I like Sam and he is probably right about everything. Sometimes he scares me a bit with his strong views and his AK-47.
“My fatigues are spattered with the blood of failed science. I need to wash them.” He said. Then Sam saw Derek Acorah pushing his stinking pants into my face and demanded: “Why do you taunt this man so?”
Derek said that a voice from the other side was calling Sam a "smelly". Derek said that Sam was ruining everything for everyone and taking all of the magic and mystery out of the world. He said that things like science and evidence were "nasty". The tension was unbearable; I did a small sick in my mouth and Jason became hysterical, rocking back and forth behind the counter and asking for his mother.
Sam was cool when he looked at Derek and said:
“This must be settled with reason and logic. You will face me at the chess board, Acorah.”
After that, Sam Harris got Derek Acorah in a headlock and rubbed his knuckles on his head, saying “Talk to your dead friends now, magic boy.” Derek was crying when he left.
Sam washed and dried his army trousers and then said he had to go and punch a monk.
Nothing happened for the rest of the whole day. It was brilliant!
I fell asleep watching beach volleyball and dreaming of Imelda in the carpet shop.
Sweet dreams Landlubbers!