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  • I took lunch today at a community group called “The Cheap as Chips Club”, which serves meals heavily subsidised by The Letchworth Heritage Foundation. A staff member asked me to sign a sympathy card for a regular customer who had since died. I wondered why they wanted me to sign the card, when I had never met the deceased. I had absolutely no idea who the man was who had passed away, but they insisted that I sign away. I simply scribbled, “Paul”.

    The customer, who had sat at the next table, stirred his cup of tea with a fork, even though tea spoons were readily available. He browsed a newspaper and grumbled under his breath at the news headlines. He read the column inches as if he was a disgruntled dictator who ruled the world. I would highly recommend that everyone reads the newspaper in the exact same way.

    Loud rock ‘n’ roll music bounced off the walls from a portable stereo in the premises. At Christmas, during my last visit, the fork stirring, disgruntled dictator had complained about the barrage of Christmas carols they were playing in the hall. “Fucking Christmas, I hate it!” He uprooted from his dinning chair and carried his plate of food to the public toilets to eat. A waitress had to coax him out of his toilet cubical lair, after it was decided to switch off the music for the complainant’s sake.

    If you’re a David Lynch fan, this unusual dinning experience would tickle your fancy. I’d rather be mystified by the real world, which is cheaper than the cinema. It’s as cheap as chips to be precise.

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