Hogs’ Pudding and Breast of Spring Chicken

The past twenty-four hours have been busy and emotional. I don’t want to go into it, but it hasn’t all been bad. I spent half the evening crying, and the other half trying to figure out what to do about my neighbour who turned up in a state about some hogs’ pudding.

For the information of the uninitiated, hogs’ pudding is a nasty, anaemic looking, giant sausage which – for some unaccountable reason – is popular in this area.

This tale involves me, my daughter Laura, Dave (her fiance), a neighbour who we’ll call Bert, although he’s really called Harold – but that’s not true; it’s just a cunning double cover-up, to protect his identity.

Speaking of cover-ups, this morning, when Laura stepped out of her fiance’s brother’s shower, she had no idea that there was anybody other than her fiance in the flat. Had she been aware of the presence of Bert/Harold – who (in order to cause further confusion) I’ll call Gregory, she might have chosen to shower with her clothes on, so, no cover-up there…

Moving swiftly on to this evening; I was near the completion of some nifty and essential six-way texting with a smattering of phone calls, while trying to eat without dripping tears into a meal which had already gone cold, when someone knocked heavily on my door.

“Oh, deary me, who can that possibly be?” I asked myself – although it came out more as a muttered “Bloody hell, whoever you are, why don’t you just bugger off and leave me alone.”

Had I known the answer to my silent question, I might have been inclined to increase the volume of my under-the-breath mutter so that my visitor would hear me. I opened the door to discover my neighbour – the one I’ve decided to call Gregory, his face displaying an interesting combination of startled, terrified, distraught, apologetic and lustful expressions. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but at least he didn’t have the remains of his dinner on his face, as he usually does.

On second thoughts, perhaps the absence of bolognese sauce should have served as a warning – he’d taken particular pains to make himself respectable before coming to see me.

At this point, perhaps I should describe myself:

I have all my limbs, digits and and organs, both eyes, several teeth, hair on my head – and being only about 14lbs overweight, around here I’m considered to be slim almost to the point of anorexia. In addition, I look as if I was probably reasonably lacking in pig-ugliness about forty years ago.

Yes – at the tender age of 62, I am the babe of the over-the-hill stag’s brigade; a real catch, if it wasn’t for the proven fact that I can run faster than any of them. It’s becoming embarrassing, although I admit there are only four men in this block who are actively chasing me.

Gregory is one of them, but he pretends he just sees me as a friend. I had to invite him in, since he was peering round the door looking longingly at my sofa, all the while telling me that he was terribly sorry for bothering me and he didn’t want to cause any trouble, but he didn’t know what to think about Dave’s hogs’ pudding. Naturally, I thought that in addition to him seeing my daughter naked, he must have witnessed Dave in a state of undress, but he said that the hogs’ pudding was in his freezer, so after a moment’s concern for my future son-in-law’s well-being, I realised it wasn’t a euphemism after all.

While I made coffee, he continued to apologise for bothering me. Eventually he explained that Dave had given him money to buy some revolting piggy sausages, and he’d done so, but he hadn’t been able to find Dave and give him the offensive swill. He seemed terribly upset, so much so, that it took me a while to notice that the more he looked at my pullover, the more agitated he became.

I have two swellings which sort of stick out of my chest. It’s nothing to worry about – lots of women have them; they’re useful for small babies to chew on when they’re teething and it makes them forget their hunger, so you don’t have to give them steak and chips. I keep my bumpy things under my clothes, so he might not have been aware of them before. Having seen my daughter naked, I think he was curious to find out if I had similar things. I strongly suspect he’d have liked to investigate further, but was too polite to ask.

I wondered how I’d missed the atmospheric hint of testosterone, floating around the room like a concrete block wrapped around a stone.

His hogs’ pudding story was just a ruse to get into my flat. He could have quite easily rung Dave’s brother, since they’re close friends. They’re going out for lunch together tomorrow, so, come to that, the hogs discussion could have waited until tomorrow.

Even after I’d told him that I needed to go to the corner shop before it closed, I had trouble getting rid of him. He kept clutching my hand, telling me he loved me… “as a friend”, gazing at me, trying to hug me, putting his hand at the back of my waist, to illustrate how long Jane Ayre’s hair was.

By the time he left, his face was purple, his limp more accentuated.  He looked both physically uncomfortable and disappointed, whilst I felt mentally discomfited and disjointed.

Maybe I should go back to writing in the dark, so he won’t know I’m here.

©Jane Paterson Basil

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40 thoughts on “Hogs’ Pudding and Breast of Spring Chicken

  1. I hope this is just a story, I would be a bit creeped out…..but it did have me chuckling, you have a unique take on telling a tale that can move one from curious, to humor, to suspense, to seeing myself in the situation and turning the light off to write 🙂 good one Jane ❤

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    1. Unfortunately, it really did happen. I live in a housing association flat in a complex of four blocks, designated for over 57s plus a few people with special needs. In all there must be about 160-200 residents. Most folk around here are both rickety and mentally limited. I ended up here not because I was hopeless, but because I was homeless. I’m probably the healthiest and most lively woman on site. That’s enough to make me a great catch.
      It’s becoming a problem 😉

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        1. My experience of homelessness was OK. I sofa-serfed for a while, then I stayed in a semi-derelict house. I knew it was only temporary. It only happened because I wasn’t in a fit mental state to look for somewhere – but you’re right. I’ve been living here for almost two-and -a-half years, and I love it, especially as I live on my own.

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  2. Gregory alias Bert aka Harold sounds well suited to being in a grunt about hog’s pudding. Dear Lord, people actually EAT that stuff?! I think writing in the dark is an eminently suitable idea given the circumstances. You might also want to consider camouflaging those two bumps on your chest so Grogery alias Bret aka Horace does not get further bumfuzzled should he accidentally-on-purpose oink into you in the dark.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t camouflage them! I must be going through a second adolescence; they keep getting bigger. As for Serge (I’ve changed his name again) if he has any more serious accidental-on-purpose incidents,I may just give him a taste of what I did to the boys at school when they tried to grope me 😉

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      1. There are those who would envy the growth spurt! On second thoughts, you shouldn’t hide them at all, that was a silly suggestion. Gregory aka Bert aka Harold aka Serge just has to learn to admire from afar or wear the consequences!

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  3. A very curious tale, and I hope Bruce ?? went home with his tail. between his nappies, and I would’ve used any excuse, but a Hogs’ Pudding, is the worst, especially if Peter ?? was trying for a bite of Hot Chicken Breast without a napkin and fork. Sending Rex ?? home with beetroot all over his face, was surely the most humane passage !!

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    1. Haha 🙂 Unfortunately Henry doesn’t give up easily. He’s had his sights on me for a couple of years. I hope I don’t have to resort to fisticuffs – chunky as he is, Brian wouldn’t stand a chance against me if I got angry.

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  4. Haha! You had me snorting in a most unbecoming way (though maybe you should take up snorting in public, belching, breaking wind, picking your nose in an attempt to put off some of your over ardent admirers!) How did you manage to make a truly creepy sounding experience funny? You and your lady bumps. In addition to my forementioned advice, perhaps you should take to wearing bin liners / a donkey jacket and gum boot combo when you answer the door – that will put these ageing lotharios off their fumbling. Then again, it might just encourage the REALLY weird ones even more. Dave’s hog’s pudding – that image will haunt me for days 🙂

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    1. This guy does all of the above – snorting included! He’d probably think it was part of the mating ritual, but I like the donkey jacket idea. I’ll make sure it’s six sizes too big, and I’ll drag it through a pile of horse manure. I’ll button it up wrong (it’s those little details that make all the difference) and and a pair of stinky old corduroy trousers tied with orange baler twine.
      the hat you promised to trim for Laura’s wedding will finish off the ensemble, but I’d like you to stick in some brambles and nettles, please 🙂

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  5. Any relationship based solely on physical attraction? Is bound to fail. Men are always ready to break vows and good relationships, for a bit of that physical. Go figure? I do not see why? Other than as a method of sustaining the basic instincts of life. I do not see why women find it necessary to titillate? Yet I’m glad they do. Some women just exude sex. No matter the age or the clothes. While others, not so. Same for men. Some men are just eye candy for women, while the rest of us struggle. It’s a complicated world. I am very glad to have my honey, in my life. I would do nothing to jeopardize that. Real love is difficult to find. It does not come around often. I am content. We should wish Jason of the Argonauts? All the luck in the world, with his quest? He probably needs it? Cheers Jamie

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    1. Most of the folk who live around here are lonely. As for me, I’m amazed at how much I enjoy being alone. You speak of women who exude sex; I think I was one of those, but it was unintentional, and even now, the shreds of it cling to me. I don’t know why – it’s not as if I’m even interested in sex. I tend to treat the attention like a joke, but it’s annoying.
      I think the reason women titillate is often because they feel insecure, but other times it’s to gain power of one kind or another.

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  6. Having lived alone since 2002. It is refreshing for me to be in a committed relationship, again. Especially since we really connect with each other.

    I agree that many of the people who exude those pheromones, frequently do not realize it. Notwithstanding, it’s there. Consequently it is in their lives.

    Lonely? Then get a life. Be interesting. Have empathy and before you know it? Belle of the ball. Figuratively speaking. As for the rest? I agree but also could add more yet choose not to. Let me add, though? If you did not get the attention referred to, would it really be that enjoyable? Surely it is better to be in the cat-bird seat, than no seat? Cheers Jamie

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    1. The lonely people I speak of don’t know how to be interesting. Their intelligence and imagination are very limited. Since they don’t have enough understanding, some of them set their sites too high. They don’t know that a writer is unlikely to be interested in someone who is illiterate, can’t retain information, and has no interest in anything except his own imagined illnesses, cars, and breasts. I’m sure some women would find those qualities admirable in a man, but I’m not one of them.
      I’m thinking about the comment you made about attention. I haven’t come to a conclusion yet.

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  7. Ahh … okay. It is hard for me to understand what women find admirable and not. If I ever get reborn as one? I’ll find out. It seems unlikely that I’ll ever be reborn on this planet? I certainly hope not. Actually, I do not dwell on it. That’s not for myself to decide, anyway. Intelligence and imagination? Funny how education discards those qualities. Ohh, I like women’s breasts as much as anything. Yet realistically, every woman has them also some men? Cars are fine too. Just not as much as other things. In general; my interests are quite eclectic.

    You may lead a horse to water yet cannot make it drink. Ignorance abounds in our world. One of the lessons that has served me in good stead, is humility. That is a hard lesson to learn, for many. Because the ego gets in the way.

    It is said, ignorance is bliss? To some extent that may be true? Hypochondriacs abound also, even in Canada. Men & women, the world is full of imagined illness. Some of may even be real. Yet from the moment we are born, we are dying. What is the purpose of life? To know God. As outrageous as that may seem. It’s what I believe to be true. Unfortunately religion gets in the way. We have to pare down to the nub, to find out. God is very elusive which makes the game so much harder. Yet, once we find the eternal. Universal love. We cannot let go. … Cheers Jamie

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  8. Jane, I’ve only just found this post. I can’t help feeling that tea at Harrods with me would leave you reconciled to your beautifully written horror story. I’ve never experienced rejection by a female so I cannot imagine what poor Ostramonius was going through, but I can tell you one thing. A sharp jab in the inner thigh with a pair of compasses really puts men off, but I think I’ve mentioned that before. You know what I shall be doing for you all on Laura’s wedding day, but it is a very understandable thing to cry about. For you they were lovely tears were they not? 🙂 xx Anton

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    1. I’ll keep my compasses handy in future 🙂
      I haven’t yet wept over Laura’s planned nuptials – I’ll save it for the day – but emotions are running high. Two weeks ago, the man who attacked Laura was found dead in his flat, where he’d lain for a fortnight. I didn’t rejoice; I felt confused, and saddened by his errors. Laura and I may have been almost the last people to see him alive. She’d been with me in my home when he walked past and saw her through the window. He shouted “Laura, I love you,” a couple of times, then he spun away. He overdosed.
      But that’s not why I was crying. Five days ago, an addict in recovery who had been training to become a drugs counsellor, died. He was a lovely man, known and loved by almost all of my circle of family and friends. Several of them have taken it badly, and I was overwhelmed by all the death, and by my family’s pain and grief. I’m getting on top of it now.
      Harrods? I thought you were going to take me to the Ritz. 🙂 xxx Jane

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    1. And I thought I was so smart a few years ago, when I bought a recipe book called tea at the Ritz in order to throw a Tea at the Ritz birthday party for Laura – to which she arrived unfashionably late.
      Champagne? Horrid, acid stuff which makes me paint a clown’s mask across my face with whatever lipstick is to hand, dance on tables and sing at the top of my voice. It sounds entertaining, but I think my family would agree that it becomes rather wearing. They rarely offer me alcohol, instead feeding me strong, dark coffee, just in case the fumes from their wine have entered my bloodstream. xx Jane

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