Debbie S
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Fur Balls, Garden Gnomes, and Rum

A modern day glance into most of our lives

You know that moment when you lose your complete grip on reality and panic that you and only you, in the whole entire universe, will be the only person left who hasn't found their soulmate? That everyone else will somehow magically ensconce themselves in ultimate wedded bliss, walking around staring longingly into their partner's eyes and busying themselves with living happily after... like totes forevski ... and even people that are really mean, so mean that even their mother doesn't really love them anymore (although she'll swear down that she does, each and every single time), will incredibly find someone that loves them, as much as they love in return.

Whilst you, back at the ranch, are dressed head to toe in purple, with 17 cats running about your feet, even though you never even liked cats in the first place, wading knee-deep in cat litter, chunks of Sheba, and balls of string. And the house smells like a medley of cat shit, fur, and inconsolable, unobtainable dreams. And in the middle of it all, you're sitting on the floor, with your head in your hands, crying, because you've just realised that you don't know the correct term used to describe the empty spaces between the teeth on a comb and how could I possibly have gotten this far in life without learning such an important thing?!... because now that your grip on reality is gone, every little thing tears you to pieces and blossoms into a mountain of impossible obstacles. A mountain so big that there's a Sherpa in the garden, hopping from one foot to another, between your collection of garden gnomes, continually knocking on your door and urging you to pass some of your ridiculous baggage in his direction.

But you're so busy worrying about the spaces between the comb teeth, and other important matters, such as "what IS another word for thesaurus, anyway?" that you don't even hear the Sherpa, or even notice quite how obnoxiously unnecessarily large your collection of garden gnomes have become. And you've given names to all but one of them, and the fact that only one out of the four hundred and twenty nine gnomes doesn't have a name keeps you awake at night for fear of Gnome Maltreatment, and you are afraid for its mental health and overall welfare. Even though your mental health and overall welfare slipped down the drain long ago, after the 11th cat joined the household. So you call him, quite simply, "Gnome 429" and hope that he'll be satisfied with his new identity.

And your identity is also long gone, busy swimming in the sewer with your mental health, welfare, your grip on reality, and sanity, which all found the Party Down The Drain to be much more exciting than hanging around with you. That one by one, they upped and left, melting off and out of your persona like an ever-growing sea of lost hope, vision, and overall positivity. And now, you and your empty shell are a shipwreck in this sea, sinking deeper and deeper, kinda hoping on the back burner that Jack Sparrow might just show up and save the day at the last minute.

But in reality, Jack's elsewhere, consuming copious amounts of rum and flirting with big-bosomed Spanish harlots off the coast of Venezuela, and you're in your living room, still trying to figure out the comb situation, and pondering whether 17 cats really is sufficient and surely another 5 or 6 wouldn't hurt, and omg have you SEEN that purple waistcoat?! I must buy it immediately. And all the while, not understanding why you're single, when the world and his dog are so happy in love, and the 17 cats, 429 gnomes, and obsession over hair styling product terminology surely wouldn't deter that many folk, right?

So eventually, you make a cup of tea, safe in the knowledge that a cup of tea solves everything, and fuck it, why not throw a biscuit into the mix too, because when it's a real emergency, you have to get biscuits involved as well. Until your eyes wander to a bottle of rum, and you decide that drinking rum, Jack Sparrow style, will be an even bigger saviour to life's problems than a cup of tea and a biscuit could ever hope to be. And it's a surefire bet that the word used to describe the spaces between the teeth of a comb will be found, and found only, at the bottom of that bottle. And once you're adequately tipsy, having quaffed a substantial amount of said rum, you can begin to softly sing seafaring songs under your breath, imagining that you're a mermaid or a siren, sitting on your rock of cat scratching posts, broken dreams, and other paraphernalia, ready to shipwreck whatever comes your way. Eat your heart out, Ariel.

And as you finish the last drop, you hear one of your 17 beloveds coughing up an extra large fur ball, and sigh in the realisation that you still don't know what that comb teeth space, whatever the fuck it was in the first place word is, and probably never will.

And ultimately, the cold, black stone that has become your heart is so closed off to anyone now, that even Jack Sparrow, dressed in full Pirate Regalia, with a truckload of Bacardi, and a parrot on his shoulder, still wouldn't be enough to drag you and your sorry arse away from the clusterfuck of a home that you now reside within. And yet, all the while, the only really important thing in life is ordering more purple shit from the internet, and deciding which breed of cat would complement your current assortment of feline friends.

Do you ever have that moment? Or is it just me?

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Fur Balls, Garden Gnomes, and Rum
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