Insomnia, Indecent Exposure & A Bad Reception

Let us start at the beginning – whatever the faults of such a strategy, there is tradition upon its side…

Once upon a time there was a boy called Christian Jensen Romer, and he almost deserved it. It was late on Wednesday night, and he was terribly excited. A book he much admired (despite reservations given Gray Barker who was heavily involved known propensity for hoaxing), The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel, had been made in to a movie. Christian was very excited; three times that day he had been reminded of the book, which in some ways is the closest thing he has ever read to his own rather bizarre ideas on ‘the paranormal’.  He was now thinking of buying the DVD, but whilst flipping through channels on TV, he found that BBC 1 was screening it at 10.45pm!

Oh joyous day! Calous, Calay! He galumphed down to his basement chortling, and posted a Facebook posting tipping people off, and settled down to watch the film. Lisa was in the house, asleep upstairs with the cats, and I watched alone. Every someone commented on my Facebook status, and I replied via my mobile, texting a comment reply.

And then it all got very weird. Suddenly a whole string of random numbers appeared on his status as a comment supposedly from him, and he pondered on what was happening. A cat on the keyboard? Stephen Atty’s suggestion was reasonable, but no cat and how did it hot the post button? That would require a mouse. It happened twice more. As far as I can make out my Facebook account is un-hacked – it’s hard to imagine any change to my details that would be funnier than the truth anyway. A long discussion develops between Parasoc Bruce and Stephen, with myself making passing comments – the film sadly bears almost no resemblance to the book, and I had by this time lost interest. I was talking to Becky about how disappointed i was by text message.Everyone agreed it must be something to do with my phone…

And it was. When Becky Smith goes quiet one knows the world has ended or the phone is not working. Furthermore this morning I was due to see Postman Ben, the man with the bleakest attitude I have ever encountered, someone who makes Marvin the Android look like an exponent of the power of positive thinking. He had asked me over for breakfast today, but when he failed to text or call to confirm I suspected something must be wrong…

The insomnia did not become apparent until 3am. Try as I could, I could not sleep. I have a few tiny revisions left to make on a manuscript I’m working on, and email to reply to, and an event I’m organising to finish arrangements for. Somehow, I could not concentrate. I was too tired to work, too awake to sleep. I watched TV till 6am – still no calls, no texts.  At 7am I decided I may as well just give up on sleep and try to work – and I then wake at half ten, confused to find I still had no calls, and no texts. What was going on? Clearly my phone reception had failed? A few ‘phone calls to Becky confirmed all calls to me where going straight to answerphone. Oh well, I was already late for my breakfast time discussion of misery with Postman Ben, so I threw some clothes on, and in that state of mild anxiety being left incommunicado usually provokes in me  hurried to catch the college bus.

I’m not sure exactly when my trousers gave up the ghost…

Now of course anyone who knows me knows that “builders bum” is a curse I inherited from my father, a very talented and clever man who for many years had a small firm of builders. I assume it’s genetic – why else would my arse so steadfastly refuse to remain properly ensconced in fabric. It is something of a joke among my friends, and a source of constant horror and shame to my girlfriends, that my trousers sometimes slip a bit, revealing not the whole of the moon but more than is generally considered fashionable if you are not an 18 year old girl prowling a nightclub like a wolf on the pull. (I like that actually – “The Assyrians came down like a wolf on the pull”). Anyhows…

SO I enjoyed my breakfast with Ben, who seemed in someways positively chirpy – misery is still his favourite word, and when I asked why he was off work he assured me it was through anal warts contracted cottaging – the truth was a chest infection, but it gives you a good idea of his general demeanour and personality. I stepped outside his house, directly opposite the uni campus, to make a call – no reception in there even if my phone was working, and I noticed a white van driver who came in giving me really funny looks. Sure I’m unshaven and scruffy – but this seemed rather direct even for that. Then I realised. My jeans had torn from almost waist to knee, and were flapping open, revealing my underwear, buttocks, and shapely legs. Now I’m not Kylie Minogue I admit – I don’t think my arse is that horrific though. Sadly the world disagrees with me.

So I panicked, ran back in, showed Ben who fell about laughing – his misery lifted as my acute embarrassment and discomfort became obvious – and in the best traditions of tabloid journalism I made my excuses and left. Now Ben’s flat is directly opposite the Park Campus, which seems to be filled with plump identikit 18 years olds with the same peroxide blonde hairdo.  I’m sure they are all lovely, and have very distinct personalities, but they are far too young and impressionable to be faced with my bare buttock – and here I was facing the Hiroshima of trouser malfunctions. Luckily I was wearing my coat…

So hurrying off my bus home, which happens to be the Uni campus bus as well, I wrapped my coat round my waist as a sort of makeshift skirt. Now I’m unshaven, unkempt and feeling rough – and after I asked some students where the bus stop was these days, I am horrified to notice there reaction. Yes I look like a stereotypical flasher! At any moment people probably assumed I was going to throw open my caot/skirt, revealing my shortcomings to the world… Luckily in a few seconds a bus arrived, and clutching desperately at my coat I jumped on, showed my ticket and sat down. Students were now joined by a young mother with children who eyed me warily, and a host of little old ladies all of whom appeared to be looking at me oddly and giggling. Still, the bus stops just a minutes walk from home – almost safe!


I had caught the number 10, which dropped me straight in the middle of town, a town it seemed populated entirely by pretty female office workers enjoying their lunch who looked at my strange shambling figure desperately clutching a coat around me with obvious suspicion. I made it down a couple of streets, and then thought “I know! I’ll call someone on my mobile, and seem to be  normal and unconcerened!” So I phoned Becky, who seemed thoroughly unimpressed as I had phoned her not long before. So I remembered Lisa was on lunch-break, and called her, but she was having a bad day, 15 minutes late for lunch and in a foul mood – I ended that call just as quickly.

I have rarely been so relieved to pass through the arch in to Normal Terrace. I bumped in to Chris as I came in, and I think she is still recovering from laughing at me after I showed her why I was holding my coat like that.

Oh well, at least my other phone works now I have transferred the sim. I have had better days though.

cj x


About Chris Jensen Romer

I am a profoundly dull, tedious and irritable individual. I have no friends apart from two equally ill mannered cats, and a lunatic kitten. I am a ghosthunter by profession, and professional cat herder. I write stuff and do TV things and play games. It's better than being real I find.
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8 Responses to Insomnia, Indecent Exposure & A Bad Reception

  1. Donna says:

    Oh CJ! Thanks for the laughs. I thought I was having a bad day until I read that. I can just imagine you getting done for flashing at unsuspecting teenage girls with peroxide hair. PMSL x

  2. Baldeo Hurkoo says:

    A truly exciting blog, of great interest to the world, and well worth the time it took to read it. You are a most interesting fellow, though perhaps underfunded in the wardrobe department. I might venture to say however that you seem underemployed.

    • Chris Jensen Romer says:

      Underemployed? Yes rather! Will work for food! In fact will work for the sheer advantage of something to put on my CV. 🙂 I am actually employed in a number of part time roles, but none of them is very lucrative, and I certainly seem to have some spare time on my hands. I’m not sure I’m at all interesting though, or my blog is more than utterly inane whittering from someone with more time than style or substance. 🙂 Thanks for the kind words though!

  3. WendyC says:

    You are a noble soul CJ and you bear affliction bravely, but Pictures…there should have been pictures!!

  4. Miss Tracy F. Paint says:

    RIP CJ’s amazing gravity-defying trousers.

  5. Vicky says:

    That has had Paul and I in stitches one of the funniest things I have read in ages, made me smile whilst lousy with a cold xxx

  6. David says:

    I haven’t looked at your blog for a few days CJ, so I’ve only just read this. I’m in bed suffering from the after-effects of a flu jab and feeling a bit crap, but reading this has made me howl with laughter and I feel tons better. You really are a national treasure.

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