The Sums of Necessity – Choosing Between Intellectual and Nutritional Succour, Sucker

My mechanic read my mind last week.

I imagine there is a complicated ‘rubbish driver’ specification that must be fulfilled before the God of Grease Monkeys bequeaths this gift to a psychically soliciting repairman. Such precursors to this opening of the ‘fiscal third eye’ include:

– ‘Parking’ the car with a flourish upon the kerb, wheels akimbo twixt pavement and road.

– Refusing to remove ‘P’ plates more than a year after purchasing the car.

– Driving to the garage the wrong way down a one way street.

In such cases of utter un-roadworthiness, the God of Grease must necessarily punish the offending driver. My MOT man looked deep into my eyes, mentally bypassed my HSBC security questions and charged me the exact amount left in my bank account to pass Hilda the Nissan Micra as fit to stagger the streets.

As such, Erasmus is much echoing the halls of my brain, with a quote well exploited by Blackwell’s stationary range: “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes”.

And thus the question of the week in judging various nearly free events boils down to this: “Was partaking in this event better than spending my time trying to scrounge food?”

Daisy Daisy Does at The Red House

Loss of Earnings

Obligatory Drink to Thank The Red House for Hosting the Event:  Around £3.00 a pint

Donation to Sheffield Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Service (SRASACS): £3.00

Zine: £2.00 (discounted by 50p, thanks Chella!)

Better than spending time scrounging food?

For sure.  The turnout wasn’t massive, but it was a case of quality over quantity.  I’d choose a bunch of happy go lucky feminists happily bouncing off the pub walls over a Marks & Spencer’s meal deal any day of the week, which would be about the equivalent price.  I also chose Guinness as my obligatory drink, which arguably counts as dinner.

The ‘Adventures in Menstruating’ zine that I picked up is a once in a lifetime acquisition that I consider a delight to own.

It’s full of hilarious sexist 1940’s advertisements that nevertheless provided an education on the origins of menstrophobia that I would never have fully appreciated otherwise.  Hats off to the ever eloquent Chella Quint, and thanks for the period stain badges.

Stains TM massive:  represent!

Brap brap.


Book Swap at The Winter Gardens 

Loss of Earnings:

Through Giving Away a Perfectly Sellable Book: Alfred Tennyson’s In Memoriam probably weighs in at about £3.00, possibly £3.50 with the addition of my insightful annotations.   

Better than spending time scrounging food?

I picked up an absolute winner in exchange Lord T’s dismal tome, in the form of a piece of 80’s magic called Starlust – The Secret Fantasies of Fans.  The following extracts were my favourites, and were recited with gusto down the length of Eccy Road:

Oh God, didn’t he look beautiful! – And I just couldn’t get to sleep because I was aching so much for him.  God, Corrinne, my love is getting deeper and deeper for him, and I just don’t know how to cope with it!

Lots and Lots of Barryhugs, Manilove, and as always Manilust.


Last Tuesday I was curled up in bed just thinking about Bowie and all of a sudden I felt this tingly thing inside me and I heard a quick squirting noise.


If a nuclear war did happen I’d be thinking, is Boy George safe?

The above anecdotes put Pete in such a good mood that he made mushroom risotto and shared it with me.  Covert grub grab achieved!

Fungal Foray at Cemetery Park

Loss of Earnings

Sacking off a Shift at Work: £20.00, though frankly it’s unholy to ask someone to work on a Sunday.

Better than spending time scrounging food?

I was hoping to be honest that this would be a two for one educational/yummy exploit.  Alas, one must ‘never eat an urban mushroom’.  We did, however, learn some cracking common names for the abundant species in the park, such as  ‘Death Cap’, ‘Driad’s Saddle’, ‘Jew’s Ears’ and ‘Stump Puffball’, which frankly made us feel a bit like we were in Lord of the Rings.  And let’s face it, Frodo must have got hungry once in a while in the course of his adventures and he didn’t moan, so neither should we.

The Future of the Book – A Debate

Loss of Earnings

Necessarily Needing to Go to the Pub Afterwards:  In sum total, about £4.00.  Thank goodness for The Brown Bear and their ridiculously cheap pints.

Better than spending time scrounging food?

No, not really.  The debate consisted mostly of middle of the road panellists offering tepid discussion about whether the Kindle would kill the book, and a few stalwarts of the paperback raving about the ‘screenagers’ of the next generation with their shortened attention spans and extra opposable thumbs.

In summary:

– Feminist entertainment kills hunger

– Adopting the hobbit sustenance stance develops a stoical mindset towards an empty stomach

– Sit near the back at literary debates in case you need to sneak out, or you’ll have to spend cash on recovery drinks.

– Soft porn can be used to wrangle meals from friends




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