"Do you want a cup of tea?"
My dad looked at me.
"You're not wearing any trousers," he said.
"That didn't answer my question. Do you want a cup of tea?"
"Why aren't you wearing your trousers?"
"You told me to take them off. Do you want a cup of tea?"
"Why didn't you put anything else on?"
"Far too much effort. Do you want a cup of tea?"
I was a high-powered ILB this morning. Insofar as I could be considered high-powered, anyway. I got up at early o'clock to go into town (although I did cheat; I caught a train on the way there - although walked back) to sign for JSA. Got home, via the crippling pain of IBS, and indulged once more in the necessary breakfast of coffee and Snickers before going out for a driving lesson. Even the early bit of my afternoon was pretty productive, sending e-mails, replying to letters and making up excuses.
The final item on my List Of Stuff To Do™ was politically motivated. Or at least it sounds good if I say it was. It was more motivated by me not having a life, but nevertheless... we have a by-election coming up in my small part of London, and this is exciting. Or, at least, I think it is. But practically nobody else is that interested - the exception being Nanna.
I'm a Green Party activist in my spare time, although a lazy one. I did, however, volunteer to deliver some leaflets for our candidate. I quite like him, and I don't do much with my life - why not leaflet? I did a road or two yesterday, which included Nanna's house, whereupon she asked me if I'd deliver some leaflets for a different candidate. I think she's missing the point somewhat. I identified (and actually used a map to mark up) the roads I'd do today, decided I'd do them before dinner, and then settled down to have a read and a rest.
I woke up three hours later.
Threw together an omelette and declared to my dad that I was going out to deliver some leaflets. He persuaded me to wear a coat, and off I went on my mission.
Two-thirds of the way and, although suffering from lack of iPod, I was doing rather well. I hadn't been attacked, or even spoken to, yet - and most of the letterboxes were nice enough (although some did horrible things to my fingers - it's a high-risk activity, leafleting). I was relatively confident... that I'd finish the leafleting. There isn't a chance in Hell that anyone's actually going to vote Green.
A few spots of rain started to fall as I rounded the final corner, but that didn't bother me too much. Nor did the rumble of distant thunder as I shoved another leaflet through a letterbox. What did bother me, slightly, was the fact that about a minute later there was a thunderstorm all around me, and I was getting soaked.
"Go home," said the bad angel on my left shoulder. "You don't need to do this now."
"Keep going," said the good angel on my right. "You said you'd do these streets today, and that's what you should do."
I always agree with my good angel, so I soldiered on. The bad angel scowled, but at that point the good angel beat him up, leaving me free to continue.
I went on shoving leaflets through doors. They were slightly damp, and the puddles on the ground were horrendous, soaking through my fabric Converse. Water was dripping off my head, my jumper was soaked, my coat was taking a battering, and still I kept going.
"You know," the good angel said at one point, "people might see you persevering, and think something along the lines of, 'this guy's dedicated, let's vote for his party.' You might be doing a great service this way." At least, that's what I think he said. I couldn't quite hear him over the DRIVING RAIN.
I got home, soaked to the skin and feeling decidedly foolish, but having delivered all the leaflets I wanted to. My clothes would have served as a badge of honour, were they not dripping wet. And so, after informing my dad that I was back ("You're wet."), I peeled off my trousers and jumper, and chucked them in the laundry basket before heading off to tick the final item off the list.
And that's why I'm typing this entry without any trousers on.