The Meerkat Muse: 27th December 2023

We’re the other side of Christmas, and it is fair to say I am exhausted, but before we get to that, shall we go back to two weeks ago?

Inclement Weather

Rain was the chief order of the day, two weeks ago. I had to make a couple of journeys, and got soaked as a result. To make matters worse, my shoes developed a split, and thus my feet got very, very damp! Clearly the time had come for new shoes, especially seeing as I do a lot of walking.

Frantic Festive Prep

I do not enjoy wrapping presents. Obviously I do it, because it’s a requirement of the season, but I do not remotely like the process. It’s time-consuming and tedious, and I am not particularly good at wrapping stuff. If possible, I use gift bags. It’s so much easier!

I tend to make a rod for my own back with this sort of stuff. I will procrastinate, a lot, before finally settling down to actually wrap presents and write out Christmas cards. One day, I’ll be organised. In fact, I am seriously considering starting the process a lot earlier next year. I may well be asking my loved ones as early as September as to what they want, and having it wrapped by December, as opposed to a few days before Christmas! Of course, that desire might go completely out the window by then. We’ll see.

Horrifying… um… Horror

Recently, I caved in to my daughter’s request to buy a game. That game is The Greyhill Incident. It’s a survival horror game, set in a remote part of the USA, on a dark and spooky night, and there are aliens afoot, looking to abduct people.

Who’s a pretty alien?

The whole ‘Grey’ alien concept has long been a source of unsettling dreams. Alien abduction films are always creepy to me. Once, after a particularly strange dream, I got up to go to the loo, and every hair on my body was on end. I was completely on edge, absolutely in a deep state of flight or fight, convinced that there was an unearthly presence in my vicinity.

This game does a fair job of creating a nervous atmosphere. It’s dark, and you have only a hand-cranked flashlight to pierce the gloom. You have to search fields of mutilated cattle, contend with cornfields, and sneak into houses to find equipment, not knowing if a Grey might be around the corner.

Whilst playing the game, I squealed when the clock abruptly fell off the wall. I panicked when a Grey came around the corner, and promptly emptied most of the bullets in the gun I’d found, leaving me virtually defenceless. At that point, I decided to play something else, because dammit, the atmosphere of this game is too much for this cowardly meerkat to take!

I will say that the game is great for the ambience, but less great for the clunky dialogue, and half the time the characters talk over each other. Some of the game’s mechanics seem very basic, and your character cannot jump a fence that’s not even knee-high? The notion of the game is good, the execution… that needs some polish.

Alien Invasion!

They’re behind me, aren’t they?

Sure enough, the game inspired a dream! It involved the 13th Doctor and her gang from Doctor Who, as well as my wife, daughter, stepdaughter and granddaughter. I was trying to close a window where a Grey was trying to get in, but I couldn’t move fast enough, and the Grey got hold of my daughter! However, I was able to grab one of the aliens, which was a weird, large, disembodied head at this point, and I told it that if my daughter received so much as a scratch, I’d scratch it twice. I warned that whatever hurt came to her would be repaid double, and the aliens wisely let her go.

Highstreet Hijinks

Well, sort of. At work, we’re currently not allowed to put our signs out, owing to a complaint. Someone has grumbled to the local council, and I can’t help but wonder if this has filtered down via a recently-opened competitor. It could be a legit complaint from someone, though why our signs affect them is anyone’s guess, but there’s a part of me that strongly believes our new rival is to blame.

If they are indeed involved, then I sort of understand; I know of former employers who would park liveried company vehicles outside rival companies, in a bid to lure customers. It’s part of the competitiveness, even if it is somewhat underhanded. Still, hopefully the local authorities will determine we have done no wrong, and allow us to put our signs out.

Pretty Lights

I was grabbing a birthday card the other day, and as I was heading through town, I saw this particularly lovely festive arrangement:

Quite sweet, no? Speaking of sweet…

Email Delights

Every now and then, I check the spam folder of my email. Sometimes, important or relevant emails slip through the cracks and wind up in there. Other times, it’s a good source of entertainment! One such email came to me, asking if I wanted to buy chocolate and sweet-making machinery, for the great-value price of $7,000!

I do like chocolate, and I do like sweets in general, but I am not interested in owning the machinery! Nor, to my knowledge, have I ever expressed an interest in it! This goes to show how spam can be a tremendous source of sweet, gooey, delicious entertainment.

Muddy Boots

We’re in a time of year where the earth is sodden, the paths are wet, and it is very easy to find yourself treading in squelchy, unpleasant mud. That’s fair enough, but since this is a known quantity, is it too much to ask for people to check their shoes and boots, before entering the showroom? I think this is a basic curtesy, yet it seems beyond the capabilities of quite a few people. The fallout is dirty footprints around the showroom, and extra vacuuming for me. Now, I am no perfectionist, and I don’t expect perfection from anyone, so I know there’ll be occasions where people do wind up treading mud into the carpet, but can we please try to keep it to a minimum, by exercising some common sense?

The Convoy!

My wife and I were dimly aware of this event, but it wasn’t until we heard horns in the distance that we came to realise it was happening. The horns grew louder, and that was when we realised the convoy was in town!

Yup, we’re talking tractors, a great many tractors! I don’t recall such a procession ever passing by our house before, so this was different, and greatly entertaining!


I am an idiot. I am an idiot in more ways than one, and I need to face up to some truths about who I am. With that in mind, I am seriously considering a hiatus, at least from the Muse series, whilst I try to figure what makes me such a colossal fool, and how to not be such a colossal fool. The only posts to appear will be the pre-scheduled stuff, as I think it’s wise that I reconsider a fair bit of stuff.

I wish you all a Happy New Year. Take care everyone.

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