The Shoe Leather Express

Writing and Comedy from James Harris

Category: Tea

City snapshots


A friend wants to move to London.
‘Do you like talking about property?’
‘Well – it’s OK, I guess.’
‘No, but I mean – do you like it?’
‘I suppose.’
‘Do you love it though?’
‘I guess –‘
‘Do you love it above all things? Do you dream of it? Do you burn for it? Do you want to wake up in the night crying property, property, property? Do you want it to haunt your every waking move? Well?’
‘You’re scaring me man…’
‘Do you? Do you? Do you?’
‘Leave me alone!’
‘Come back here! You come back!’


Terry Robinson/Creative Commons/Geograph. Click images to access sources.


After the reading us writers were talking. The successful one spoke.
‘So I’ve been watching all the classics of the genre. Texas Chainsaw, Night of the…’
‘Human Centipede.’
‘Haven’t seen it. It’s the one where they sew people’s faces to each other’s bums, right? Sounds awful. What about you?’
They turned to me.
‘What about me?’
‘Well…’ I thought. ‘I guess my favourite horror film is a movie called Suspiria…’
‘Oh, is it? God, really?’
The successful writer literally arched an eyebrow.
‘Yeah – it is. It’s got my favourite scene in any horror film in it, where the heroine is fleeing an assailant and jumps through a window into a room of barbed wire. Heh.’
‘So,’ another writer said, ‘I’m really excited about the new Star Wars film…’


Nicobobinus/Creative Commons/Photoree.

Nicobobinus/Creative Commons/Photoree.

On the way home I tried to think why the successful writer had reacted like that to my favourite horror film. But I couldn’t, except for imagining that the writer had some idea that a writer had to be catty, had to belittle, to denigrate. But I was too old to be anything other than loving, and knew the only way to approach life was with a big smile and my arms wide open, ready to take it all on. My door had always to be open; I had less time.


Kamal Hamid/Creative Commons/Flickr.

Kamal Hamid/Creative Commons/Flickr.

Yeah, she was at the gig.
The girl?
The one I went on a date with.
Who ghosted you afterwards.
Who ghosted me afterwards, right.
And I think that’s what got into me. You know, I was just determined to be really funny, because she was watching. So I just really launched myself into it, you know; I think I might have overdone it a bit actually, I was a bit frenetic.
Anyway, she just won a competition. Well – she came second actually. So now I’m going to have to win a competition.
Because she did?
But you can’t dedicate your whole career to keeping up with her. I mean, just because she turned you down once.
Why not…
… I mean, just because she ghosted you.
Why not?
I mean it’s not as if you want marriage and children is it.
(A pause).
No, I don’t. Not really.
Then what are you making a fuss about? If you don’t want marriage and children, you’re just messing around.
Yeah. You are right.
I know I’m right.
But she’s really pretty –
So, when are you next performing?

Tea rankings 21.01.2015

Updated weekly tea rankings based on their popularity in my flatshare as of 19.01.2015.

In order of popularity:

5. (↑3) The Darjeeling Experience

4. (New!) Ceylon: Live and Uncupped

3. (↑2) Earl ‘Drink Me’ Grey

2. (↓5) The Mighty Assam

1. (-) Normal


Another strong week for normal.
(Photo: Factorylad)