Hayjax is in Nottingham

This is what happens when you drop a Canadian into the East Midlands.

Archive for April 2010

How to make Hayjax laugh

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I’m currently working on a project that involves some research on “how-to” ebooks, and the titles currently on offer at Lulu, a self-publishing site, are giving me giggle-fits.  A sampling:

  • How to summon demons
  • How to speak southern
  • How to succeed in murder
  • How to breathe
  • How to be Irish
  • How to get your husband to listen to you
  • How to argue with an economist
  • How to pass a polygraph guaranteed
  • How to make a snake hook
  • How to cheat on your wife
  • How to keep chickens at home
  • How to woo a spinster
  • How to work with a dragon
  • How to appreciate a Vietnam vet
  • How to seduce a Texan

I just want to retreat with all of these titles for a deluxe makeover weekend and emerge on Monday a southern-speaking, chicken-keeping, snake-hooking, demon-summoning murderer.  Now that’s the kind of superhero this crazy, messed-up world needs more of.

Written by Hayden

April 24, 2010 at 4:59 pm

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Easter in Nottingham

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This country does not mess around when it comes to Easter. I have never seen such wanton egg-buying in my life. I guess you mix English people’s two favourite things together—Christianity and milk chocolate—and it’s bound to result in an unseemly frenzy. People in Marks and Spencer were standing in line with five or six Easter eggs in their trolley. I am told that in this country, it’s quite acceptable for grown-ups to buy one another Easter eggs, an exotic cultural fact I passed on to my husband several times. He didn’t take the bait.

For some reason, chocolate Easter bunnies are not such a big thing here, and I missed the iconic sight of all those side-facing rabbits lined up along London Drug shelves, each with its single white icing eye staring out crazily. Chocolate rabbits always look homicidal, which is probably why biting their heads off is such a supreme pleasure. Take that, Hopsy McKill!  So, no bunnies but lots of very inventive riffs on the egg theme, including a Mr. Potatohead version from John Lewis which came with a handful of candy facial features and a tube of chocolate glue to stick them on with.  Which, wow, I can’t say enough things about how brilliant that is.  Other contenders include the rocket ship eggs and dead clown eggs.  Also brilliant.  And puzzling.

Other Easter surprises included the fact that the entire town shuts down for three days. Coming from a godless country where Christmas Day itself barely dents store opening hours, it was an eerie sensation to walk through the empty streets of downtown Nottingham, past shuttered shops and malls in an advanced state of lockdown. The only thing open that day was McDonald’s, probably because there’s only room for one Messiah at McDonald’s, and he wears floppy shoes.

I saw no egg-rolling, or “pace-egging,” which is supposed to be a big part of Easter festivities in this country. But I did find this really amusingly silly pace-egging song on Wikipedia:

Roodle oh my doddle oh
Roodle all the day
Now all you gay bachelors listen oh to me
Never get wed if you want to stay free
Billy cock, Billy cock
For who will boggle me gander
When I am far away?
Roodle oh my doddle oh
Roodle all the day

A message as relevant today as it was in times of yore. Aren’t we all wondering how our gander will get boggled when we’re far away, what with the increasing pressures of globalization and so forth?

The day after Easter is traditionally a time for sugar-dependent cheapskates like me to stock up on some deep-discount chocolatey merchandise. Since stores were still closed on Monday, I wandered into town today with the intention of getting me some cheap-ass eggs.  It’s an Easter ritual.  But lo, just as Jesus disappeared into the heavens three days after he died, so, too, did the chocolate Easter eggs vanished from the store shelves three days after Easter. It was spooky. Entire Easter wonderlands of chocolate had folded up and vanished overnight. Where did all the eggs go? Have they transubstantiated to a better and more ethereal realm? Or are they all being melted down to make next season’s Santas? It’s an Easter mystery.

Written by Hayden

April 6, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Dame Hayjax

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I bought something online from Marks and Spencer, and I hated myself for not having the cojones to select “Dame” or “Lady” from the drop-down menu.  And I guess using the word “cojones” pretty much disqualifies me from consideration for any future ladyship.

Written by Hayden

April 5, 2010 at 9:59 pm

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