There is a place, not a land nor a planet, most definitely a place where staircases hold sway over tarmac and country lanes. It is there that our closet dereistic thinker feels most at home for concept and reason are inconsequential to this resplendent narcissist in his most private of organised domains. Indeed, within this safe haven paradise this blessed one has no difficulty applying his idiosyncratic logic. He went by his chosen name ‘Mr 23.3 Recurring’ rather than that he had been born with. His reasoning? Nothing more complicated than an all-consuming obsession to divide everything that could be divided by three.  Well that coupled with the compulsion to apply said need to the unfathomably remarkable phrase that had caught his eye in some text he had once read at around the same time he had tired of the handle gifted to him at birth without his knowledge or consent, namely, ‘Three score and ten.’ The immortal infinitely-repeated portion afforded him comfort.

“Wasn’t it strange when we were strangers, Now I catch you when you fall, Why keep us informed of oddments dangers? Leave us alone once and for all,” an eerie, devoid of accompaniment little made up contradictory ditty about stairs and an imaginary bolts and braces lover named Petunia spinning around in the head of ‘Mr 23.3 Recurring’ the day he journeyed to the seaside with the others of his kind.

Still, lost in thought yet now scoffing a Mr Whippy ice cream he satisfied himself that the symmetry of the break-waters had more appeal than the somewhat threatening randomness of the multiplicity of rocks and pebbles housed within the sand.

A little later, mid-afternoon at a guess (he had no use for timepieces) ‘Mr 23.3 Recurring’ hypothesized that the older fellow sat in a deck chair donning a fedora and wearing regular trousers yet without shoes or socks, clearly engrossed in his writings looked a decent sort, sensed a friendly disposition.

“What are you writing?”

Fedora Man looked up to assess who was looking down asking him a question…took off his tinted reading glasses for the sake of good manners, “Me? I’m writing a piece about this terrible place…well not so much this place if the truth be told, more the throng of hollow people ruining it, although I’ll exclude you from the rotten horde.” 

“What is it called?” ‘Mr 23.3 Recurring’ was nothing if not direct. 

“Beam Me Up” 

“Can you read it to me? Your handwriting looks appalling by the way” 

“My handwriting is indeed appalling…you are in luck though for I have just finished writing, topped and tailed the wretched thing…it’s not that good mind…some might say it’s twaddle!” 

“I don’t care.” 

“Do bear in mind that it’s a tad ‘wordy’ you see for my sins I am a compère of re-enactments of olde music hall theatre at the Chiswick Empire where elaborate spoken rubbish is expected of me by the paying public, and the punters must get what the punters want!” 

“Again, I don’t care.” 

It was thus that Fedora Man rose to full height, readied himself and commenced his recital with just a modicum of gusto for fear that if too loud, too keen even, passers-by would likely take him to be a vagrant and lob small change at him.

“Glabrous the scalp of the masculine lump in Union flag Speedo cheapalikes
his beer belly inducing a worthy eclipse twixt a seething sun and viscous tarmac
unwittingly conserving a large small child mumbling profanities aplenty
from over-exposure to whatever it is ultraviolet radiation does to inflated skin
vulgar wife, markedly chubby cheeks chewing a thong; laid bare, expert bingo wings
Icarus could have put to good use upon that awful day of deranged expectation
the whole bevy with own kind lined up affront The Seaside Mad Cow Burger Van
taking time out for selfies, wishy-washy ‘whose got talent’ soap opera of no avail chat
August is a dive and unwell in this olde England once more; that social media will be awash
with puerile snaps, drivel and shot-swigging before bedtime a lamentable inane certainty
Marooned in my puzzle I succumb to the proletariat that spawned me, ‘Beam me up Scottie’”

“What do you think?” 

“It makes me want to go back home…I don’t think these people understand harmony” 

“You’ve got it in one Sir…you have the gift of instant reflection and analysis, not many do, indeed I’d say you were a good thinker by the cut of your jib”

“Most just think me to be deluded”

With that ‘Mr 23.3 Recurring’ took of his leave, made for the coach in the car park, notwithstanding that it would be an age before the others of his kind were gathered together for the homeward bound trip and promptly fell asleep stretched out upon the back seat. He dreamed dreams of staircases and of an imaginary bolts and braces lover named Petunia.




33 thoughts on “‘MR 23.3 RECURRING’ & A DAY AT THE SEASIDE

    1. Pity the poor diver harpoon in hand…oh the mistakes the poor chap could make on a British beach…of course you claim to have witnessed a warm day on a British beach I’d dispute! Never seen such a thing myself

      1. -23C is just a cold snap. -37C is when it gets cold. -45C is pretty common where we do our ice fishing. A few years ago, we had to go back to town to get an extension for our four foot auger shaft to get through the ice.

      1. Ah yes, Arsenal. Last time I saw them play Ian Ure played a blinder and defender Peter Storey got their goal in the 1-1 draw. I don’t imagine they are still playing for them are they? Just a thought like. TTFN

      2. Ah those days of baggy shorts and pipe smoking! I once saw Johnny Byrne (once the England centre forward) in his latter, fatter days playing for Fulham. I recall very well him leaving the changing rooms and exiting the cottage to arrive upon the pitch whereupon he dogged out a fag on the playing surface…those were the days Sir

      3. BY gum they wor too! No perms or perfume fer then lads. Mind you, they couldn’t afford em like. Hehe!
        I was at Woolwhich Arsenal in the forces yer now, that was before I was made to Field Marshal of course. Ahem! TTFN

      1. You know a decade or so back, working long hours, no exercise and scoffing too much, got fat and ended up diabetic so when I look at these Brits I just think you’ll end up ill like I did. Thankfully I got myself a treadmill, went on a US diet I discovered (veggie high complex carb) lost 7 stone in 5 months and got back to my previous self. No longer in the diabetic zone at all these days. Weight is one of my ’causes’ and the banning of fast food something I’d like to see!

      2. Sounds like we had similar lifestyles at one time, Mike.. and diets… I have left all of that fast food behind too.. I only eat whole foods now, nothing processed or full of sugar and starch. I’ve lost a good deal of weight and diabetes is better controlled now too. Like you, I would LOVE to see all fast food places tanked and processed crap pulled off the shelves. Good luck with your continued health!

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