My antipathy for insects and arachnids runs deep. Wasps can kill me, probably, i’m not taking any chances; when wasps attack as they do because they we’re bought up poorly, my body feels odd, i start to itch and so I panic, and need antihistamine. Fortunately I’ve only been attacked by a wasp once, took a couple of piriton and everything was fine, but I remember finding I was allergic to aspirin in a different fashion.
When I lived in Chorlton, Manchester for the first time on my own, I had a really shit flat, now condemned, actually years ago, below the flats was an old church of sorts which doubled as a chemical factory, what they made I have no idea, suffice to say there were hundreds of 20 litre barrels stacked one upon another. The guys who had the keys to the chapel only went in at night, it was pretty suspicious. At that time I was what we in England call long term unemployed, i’d tried various courses but cheap cider and amphetamines were more my bag at that time, vegetarianism from Aldi was a £20 a week habit, mental nutrition, in the form of chemical benders lasting for days was all the sustenance I needed. Manchester, early 90’s, clubs and ecstasy, it was great time to be alive.
Waking up one day in the flat, the heating controlled by the chemical alchemists downstairs was sporadic at best, and most of the time I had to heat the place up using the electric cooker, the rings glowing like radioactive cumberland sausages and dispensing the heat to disappear into the damp cold air or=f the flat, through the holes in the window frames, via holes in the blankets covering the windows. Records formed the most part of the flat, and music was my only solace when inside . In fairness in the winter I tried to spend as much time as I could in other peoples houses, or in many layers of jumpers and coats sat on an old bar stool next to the cooker chuffing away on roll ups. That morning my friend who had passed out the night before gave me some Dispirit, dissolvable aspirin which you gargle and then swallow, its meant to fix you, makes you come up smiling on a Monday morning. Not me, I just got itchy, and not realising this itchiness was anything to do with the Disprin, I continued to take the sachets for the next few days until i’d finished them. I was itchy all the time and so once everyone had left my house and I had a quiet moment I asked the chemist what could be wrong with me. I was living in a disgusting flat, little daylight, damp cold air, cigarette smoke and far too much stomach rotting cider, the Chemist looked sorrowfully at my meagre frame, gothic cheekbones and tight sallow skin and diagnosed scabies.
It was the one of the preceding weekends that I met the future Mrs T in a nightclub in Manchester, I was in dungarees and bare foot, she was far better than that. And I think in the following days and weeks that followed as I covered myself in calamine lotion, or anti scabies ointment, she probably wondered what the hell she had got herself into. But unperturbed she invited me over to hers and cooked me a meal the day after a very late night. I wasn’t feeling to sharp and so I took a couple of Nurofen, not realising I was allergic to aspirin.
You know what they say about if a cow sneezes and farts at the same time its eyes will pop out, well the jury is still out but I was doing plenty of that, and it was making my tongue swell up, so we had to make an emergency trip to A&E, rushed through and pumped full of legal drugs to sort me out. I’d like to say i’ve learned form the experiences, but in reality I reckon they’ve probably moulded me. I’ve only had aspirin once since, a drama in its own right, but thats another story for another time.
The good news is Im now running a cult and its free to join, but I do require bank details.