Monday, 7 September 2009

The Soldier (and farewell Sass)

I dedicate this post to the fabulous Sass, the girl who taught me to blog. Not for its relevance, it is just my way of saying thanks and goodbye. She said her goodbyes to the Blogosphere last week. If you haven't already, pop over there to say farewell.

The motion of the traffic soothed my soul, a soul in tatters after missing the bus. It was all rather picturesque really, traffic dancing along to the dreary tunes on Starbuck's play-list. I sat there nursing my damaged sensibilities, sipping a coffee and scoffing a so-called “breakfast panini”. A skanky breakfast panini, and it cost me three quid too, which in the grand scheme of things was a kick in the teeth. But I was hungry enough to pay. Besides, I had half an hour to kill.

The door swung open. Not violently, not gently either, but firm, forceful, purposeful. A soldier strolled in. I say soldier, what I mean is some bloke in full camouflage gear who may or may not be a soldier. Army boots, bulky hiking rucksack, one of those army caps that made his head look like a tin can.

Cool, I thought, there are only two of us in the café and one of us is a soldier, a real man. Or was he? It dawned on me that he was a tad old to be a soldier. Home Guard, perhaps, but he was blatantly over 50, probably pushing 60. A colonel, possibly, but he had no stripes, no sign of rank. He did, however, have an incredible moustache, one which would have driven Lord Kitchener mad with jealousy.

He had a swagger abut him, not an aggressive “I could thrash you using only my pinky” sort of a swagger, but rather a careless nonchalance. His age and nonchalance gave me doubts. He was either a nutter or a colonel without his stripes. (I use the term “nutter” lightly, not for one minute forgetting the phenomenal toll taken on our troops.)

He ordered his coffee, and as he stood there James Blunt came on. The tiresome, ubiquitous James Blunt, the man whose dreary whining haunts us everywhere we go. The soldier starts to tap his feet, gently creasing one knee as he croons along, on his face an expression of intense ecstasy.

Tell you what, he can't have been a soldier. No soldier worth his salt would tap feet to James Blunt.

47 comments:

♥ Braja said...

Soldier my arse.
Bloody girl.

Er...who's James Blunt?

:)

Courtney said...

James Blunt makes my ears hurt.

Trinity said...

Are you telling me that when "Beautiful" comes on you don't accidentally start singing along? I just can't believe that.

Comedy Goddess said...

Sounds like "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy rules apply here.

Gwen said...

Clearly a nutter. "Back to Bedlam" with him!

Jeannie said...

I think he was taunting you to start something.

Simon said...

There was no man in uniform. How long have you been having these headaches, Mr Stoneskin?

But I remember Aden. Do you remember meeting in that cafe there, before we got our last orders? A bad day. Enough to drive any man mad.

Kat said...

I just spent 20 min looking at British military rank insignias and I can't figure it out. He must have been a nutter if you couldn't see a rank insignia.

sas said...

there is something utterly transfixing about a good mo. I can never concentrate on what the wearer (grower) is saying as I am too busy marveling at thier facefur.

jadedj said...

I confess I had to look up James Blunt. What I found: He is ex-army, which could explain the "colonel's" ecstasy when Blunt comes on.

In addition, an semi-interesting factoid..."Blunt's primary residence is now on the Spanish island of Ibiza." I am wondering what this is about. Now I have to go Google Ibiza. Your posts always seem to lead me to other places, thereby filling my day with Googling. Good thing I only have to worry about Mondays, otherwise I would never get anything else done.

Captain Dumbass said...

Maybe that's why he doesn't have any insignia anymore.

ellen abbott said...

All sorts of people over here wear army clothes whether they are/have been in the service or not. It's the wannabes that are scary to me. Those are the ones that stockpile weapons and ammo for the end times.

Sass said...

Thanks mo...

Absolutely perfect, as I've come to rely upon from you.

rubbish said...

Cool, I thought, there are only two of us in the café and one of us is a soldier, a real man
What's that saying about you then Mo, not a real man?
Also noticed that you've started leaving comments on days other than a Monday. Real men would stick to their promises!!!!

p-huong said...

Mmmm breakfast panini. I love breakfast foods. I'd eat breakfast sandwiches all day if I didn't care about my heart and arteries.

Soda and Candy said...

Yes, a real man would give him the business end of the bayonet!

Also, three quid for a panini? What the hell was on it, gold-leafed baby panda fillets?

(isn't that like nine dollars?)

Jeanne said...

Every time "You're Beautiful" comes on the radio at work I want to rip the speakers from the ceilings. It wouldn't be so bad if I'd never seen the video, where he walks into the sea at the end because he's never going to be with this chick, but that is such a freaking cliche it makes me want to grit my teeth until they fall from my mouth like so many Chiclets....

blueviolet said...

LOL, dreary whining...I just don't think I've heard anything good about that guy.

blognut said...

I think he wanted you to punch him in the face.

Ananda girl said...

Well... now I have to go have a listen to James Blunt so that I can feel the repulsion and develop an opinion. Until then, I am lost. Though as always, I enjoy the elegance of your posts, Mo. ;-)

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Was he actually a female soldier?

Hit 40 said...

I hope he was not dressed in his camouflage to stalk his ex wife. I would also guess that maybe he has a restraining order against him.

diane said...

Nice story.
Sad that Sass had to go.

bernthis said...

I'm just going to have to take your word on that one

Tennyson ee Hemingway said...

Amen to that. Still, wasn't James Blunt himself a soldier? Maybe comarades in arms?

The Friday Joker said...

Sorry Mo, but this blog post brought out my inner pedant (not a difficult thing to do, I fear).

If the military gentleman in question had been a colonel, he wouldn't have had any stripes at all, since the rank badge for a colonel in the British army is a crown above two four-pointed stars (or "pips" as they are also known).

Unless of course, he was a lieutenant colonel, in which case he would have worn a crown and one star (or "pip").

The highest rank in the British army to wear stripes is the rank of staff sergeant, sporting three stripes below a crown.

Sorry about that, as I said, my inner pedant made me do it.

P.S. I have it on reasonably good authority that James Blunt (despite his offences against the musical taste of much of the UK population) did indeed serve as a captain in the British army.

Eric said...

Hmmm, military without insignia?
It wasn't this guy, was it?

Gaston Studio said...

LOL at Eric's comment!

He was no soldier Mo, and you're most likely more man than he ever thought to be. Tapping at Blunt! Yuk!

g said...

Funny! He surely couldn't have been a real soldier.

The Jules said...

Funny to think that James Blunt was a actual, real soldier, in a tank and everything.

Annoying as well, cos it doesn't exaclty make the girls hate him.

otherworldlyone said...

The first thought I had, rather than something normal like, "James Blunt...what a douche"...was actually, "being thrashed by a pinky would really piss me off."

Harmony said...

Argh! The voice of James Blunt invades the soul in search of minuscule nuggets of ill feelings and immediately blows them out of proportion. Causing sunny days to linger into a dreary gray straight into the land of bleak. Tapping his foot you say? Is that much like laughing in the face of danger? Pissing in the wind, perhaps? Maybe he is a Colonel after all. *shrugs*

Love this post!

Madame DeFarge said...

It's good that we have this means of distinguishing between real people and aliens. Real people would spontaneously combust on hearing JB strangled croon.

Beth said...

Could he have been a girl man who loved the fashion flair of fatigues?

Amy said...

Starbucks and James Blunt. Here and There too. Isn't it wonderful and also terrible how small the world is now?

Diane said...

Awww... I like James Blunt. And he was a soldier. Do you think they kicked him out because of his whining?

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

I feel I'm missing a critical ingredient in the mix, not having a clue who James Blunt is.

Is he guy who has a talkshow on BBC with a fey group of back up singers?

LiLu said...

Mmmmm. I love me some careless nonchalance.

JennyMac said...

James Blunt....ugh.

And I too am sorry to see Sassified hang up her keyboard.

the mama bird diaries said...

Oh poor James Blunt.

Ok, you're right. Not a soldier.

Michel said...

crap! I don't know who James Blunt is!! I also don't know what a nutter is...or, frankly, a quid.

WTF Mo!? translate into American please!

BrightenedBoy said...

Very nice descriptions.

Your analysis of him listening to the James Blunt music was funny.

A Mom on Spin said...

Listen. . .James Blunt is the only man who has told me I'm beautiful in the last 20-something years!

I'm tapping my feet, buddy! Tapping! You hear me????

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

there's one of those damned awards waiting for you on my site - when you get a chance, stop by and grab it!

otherworldlyone said...

Mo! What the hell is that jelly clip at the bottom of your blog? HAHAHAHAHA!

Girl Interrupted said...

AAAAAAAARRRGGHHHH!!!! Now I have James Blunt whining in my head!!

But because of your ever-superb penmanship I shall forgive you this once ... just don't do it again.

Tooj said...

I know I KNEW James Blunt music, but I'm terrible with song names and artists. And then I see that Trinity says "Beautiful"....and I wonder...you really don't like it? I mean, honestly, some sappiness in our lives is what people should strive more for. Don't you think? I love me some sappy. It just makes things look and feel prettier. I know this isn't the expected Tooj response, but there it is. I'm a sap. I dare you, Mo, tap along.

As I have quite a few new readers since I became a "Jelly Biter" I've put this up here again. To understand the context you must read this post!