Bad Choices


3 Jan 2017

A post Christmas poem:

For the first time in years the Christmas event proved uneventful.

Quark remained at his grandmothers with Charm.

Strangeness mostly slept through, and kept out of harm.

Even Proton, now teetotal, managed to not go mental.

First Monday of the year, late evening, Quark phones, he is back in town ostensibly to get his teeth sorted out. Electron brought back 5 cartons of cheap fags for grandmother and Quark intends to come over tomorrow and take these back to her.

On Tuesday he duly turns up.

“Did you get your teeth sorted out?” asks Electron.

“No, The dentist near Grans is taking on new patient’s so I will get it done there”

So the reason for his return is immediately proven to be a lie. The first of the day.

He sits at the kitchen table, head lolling, says he is tired as the heroin addict with whom he was staying had visitors last night. Quark could not get to sleep. Proton believes this. Electron aware that it was also Quarks free drug money hand out night does not believe this.

Electron does not think Quark can be trusted to deliver the cigarette cartons to his gran, and tries to whisper this to Proton whilst she is in the bedroom fetching them. But Proton will not play the game;

WHAT IS IT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” She says loudly, as if she wants Quark to know.

Proton eventually gets the point, but instead of making a decision herself she consults her mother;

“Do you want Quark to bring all of your fags back with him today? He is a bit tired, you know he tends to fall asleep on trains.” (cf “A Welcome Break)

Her 87 year old mother is supposed to be able to interpret this as , “Quark is totally out of it so say no and we will get Charm to collect them in 2 days time”. But of course she doesn’t do this she says;

“Yes please, all 5 cartons”.

For some reason Quark has turned up with bags full of heavy vegetables for his return journey and it is decided that 5 cartons is too much to carry so he will take only 2 (at a value of £200).With the railway station some 30 minutes away, Quark leaves 25 minutes before his planned train departure saying that he must first drop in to his heroin friends place en route.It is looking highly unlikely that the train will be caught, if indeed that was ever the plan.

Charm telephones 3 hours later saying that Quark has not turned up.

Electron talks to Charm and asks about the recent reports of Quarks sobriety. Yes, he has been helpful but has been sleeping a lot. No, no money has been forthcoming for his upkeep, in fact he owes money to both Charm and her Gran. Electrons talk, turns into a rant….

“It’s the standard behaviour all over again! Getting his money every Monday fortnight, drug binge time, run out of money, lay low and sleep, followed by a quick burst of activity before the money turns up again. He has just replaced his mums place for his grans. There is no way he should have been given those fags, they are worth a lot on the black market. Oh, and I hear from your mum that you accept that it is your fault that the house burnt down because you gave Quark the lamp.”

This is news to Charm. She claims that no such statement was ever made by her.

2 hours later, she calls again to inform them that Quark has called from a telephone box in the street adjacent to the shed to say that he missed all of the trains that evening and will attempt to travel again tomorrow. He claims that the 2 cartons of cigarettes are safe.

Only time will tell if this, for once, is the truth.



The Ungraspable Concept of Giving


It is 5 days before Christmas and Electron has been giving Proton ideas for things he would like. She has done nothing. He already has her presents.
Her response is that she was not brought up to give presents to people once they are grown up. Electron can understand this when talking about children, of course, but he points out that when you are with a partner, spending Christmas together perhaps it would be nice to receive a surprise for once.
Last year he bought his own presents and wrapped them for himself. This year it would be nice for Proton to get him a present without him knowing what it is.
“Well take me to the mall and I will get those dvd’s”she says.
“No. You do not understand. I do not want to know what I am getting, why do you not understand.I have given you ideas for several things I would like, Books, dvd’s, vaping equipment, a new violin bow. Baby boy is doing bugger all, you can get him to get one of the items and I will not know which it is. It’ll be a Surprise!”
“Well he is in town now” she replies, “I will phone him up and get him to stop at the DVD shop.”
“No! A surprise.”
Proton accuses Electron of having a tantrum about presents and thinks that this is all very childish.
“OK. Forget it, I will go into town now and take your presents back.” Says Electron being childish.
Baby boy phones up and Proton starts to ask him if he would be able to go to the DVD shop tomorrow!

Christmas Plans

Wednesday 23rd December

alc drug free

The stench of Protons house is still exuding from the reclining swivel chair which now resides in Electrons living room.

Charm has returned to her Grandmother and there has been no sign of the “boys”.
Both have been invited to stay with grandmother for Xmas and Proton wants to find out if this is what will be happening.
She calls her house but there is no reply. She calls Quarks mobile but there is no reply. She calls Charm.

“Hello mum. No I don’t know if they are coming for Xmas. Strangeness is still away in the country. I can’t get hold of Quark either. I gave him a new sim as he had broken the old one but he doesn’t appear to have used it.”

Ending the phone call Proton states “We must go over there”.
“Something could have happened to him”.
“He is probably high as a kite somewhere”
“Please take me to my house”.

No point in arguing.

They arrive at the house.
There is an upturned coffee table leaning against the outside wall next to the front door, through the lounge window they can see Strangeness playing video games.
They enter the still  reeking house.
“Hello!” shouts Proton.
A very stoned Strangeness comes out of the living room.
“Have you been here long”
“Not long”
“Where is Quark?”
“”Quick, check his room for me”
Strangeness shrugs and ambles upstairs to the black hole that is Quarks room.
“Not here” he reports.

Foolishly Proton enters the kitchen.
“Strangeness! Please can you do something about this mess.”
It is obvious that Quark stopped cleaning as soon as they had left the house a few days earlier.

Proton informs Strangeness that it is no good him and Quark blaming each other for the mess and thus nothing happening.
Strangeness mutters in agreement. She also informs him that there will be no Christmas money for either of them this year.
“I don’t want you spending it on booze and getting drunk and fighting with Quark like last year. And I don’t want Quark spending it on drugs”.
“Ummmm. OK”.

At last a semblance of confronting the facts by Proton.

Strangeness states that he cannot be bothered with christmas so will not be visiting his grandmother. Probably just sleep through it.

It later transpires that Quark was intending to visit his gran. A friend of Charm had arranged to drive him. But first Quark had to visit a “friend” on the outskirts of town near where Strangeness has his unlived in flat. Quark entered the “friends” house. After 45 minutes he had not returned so Charms friend drove off without him.

Christmas came and went uneventfully. Now we just have to hope the same for New Years eve.

The chair in the living room still stinks.


22 – 24 Dec 2014.???????????????????????????????????????

Amazingly Strangeness has embraced the Christmas spirit (these words will come back to haunt Electron on New Years Eve). He has bought his daughter a present. Quite a nice rug which he hopes she will like – he will deliver the present to her tomorrow.

“If she doesn’t like it, bring it back here because we all like it” says Proton.

Makes a change for Strangeness to spend money on rugs rather than Drugs, thinks Electron.

The rug is duly delivered and his daughter is thrilled with it – a minor success.

Without any discussion with the kids, Proton has decamped to Electrons shed for the duration of the holiday period. They will have to fend for themselves.

It is unknown whether Strangeness is invited to stay for Christmas at his ex-partners house.

As for Quark, despite Electron urging Proton not to give him his normal £25 Christmas money and instead let him find something he wants and then buy it for him, Proton has given him his money. This together with the £25 from his grandmother means that he should be able to keep himself entertained in his usual way.

Proton and Electron are looking forward to a peaceful Christmas this year……..

Christmas eve, Charm (safely ensconced at her grandmothers house) calls to say that Strangeness is on his way back home. His daughter Lexi does not want him there for Christmas Day. She does, however want his brother Quark to come.

Talk about a spoilt brat. What Lexi wants, Lexi gets.

Proton calls Strangeness to see how he feels about this, to which he says “fine”.

It is of course not fine, it is F***** Up.

Proton returns to her house to discuss the situation with the brothers. She is of the belief that Quark should not accept the invitation and anyway it would mean a 15mile cycle trip for him, as the buses have now stopped running.

Electron, temporarily alone in his shed is overtaken by a very untypical bout of Christmas kindness, he has the solution:

If Strangeness can get himself invited back, Electron will drive him there on Christmas day. But only Strangeness, he refuses to let Quark in his car as he invariably breaks something, last time it was a door sensor.

The deal is done and on Christmas day Electron and Strangeness set off to the country.

Quark is in the back seat.

Electron is not being purely altruistic. With all of the kids out of the county, there may be some hope of a peaceful Christmas for Proton and himself…

Electron and Proton settle down in Electrons shed for a nice quiet Christmas, a delicious meal and lashings of wine happy each others company. Just two adults together.

The evening draws on and night, not to say early morning draws in, it has been lovely.


“YOU! Get away from me, you’re just like all your family”, drawls Proton.

Uh oh, Electron had forgotten that despite the kids being out of the way he still has their mother in his midst. Is it nature or nurture? We are about to find out.

“What do you mean?”

“You’re gay”

“Okay” thinks Electron, this is an interesting development after 21 years together.

“My other 2 husbands were much better than YOU” she shouts.

“Perhaps, you should stop drinking now”, Electron suggests.

“Don’t you dare tell me what to do.”


And on it goes for 4 hours. Electron desperately trying to stop Proton drinking and chain smoking whilst she hurls tirades of abuse at him.

By the end of the evening, the cigarettes are no longer hitting their target, she has lines of ash down her cheeks.


Finally at 7 o’clock in the morning she is sitting snarling and shaking from side to side at the kitchen table saying;

“There’s something wrong, why am I shaking like this?”

“Time for bed”, suggests a tired Electron.

Eventually she climbs in beside him saying;

“Where are my kisses?”

“Are you kidding”, replies Electron.

So much for the infallible plan.

The Calm after the storm.

Electron awakes before Proton, gets up, makes himself a coffee and sits in the kitchen, reliving last nights madness.

Presently, Proton arrives and wonders why he has a thunderous look on his face.

“You mean you don’t remember?”

“No. What happened?”