Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What's in a name?

That time has finally arrived - as we all knew it must. The Wallace, that eminently admirable personage formerly referred to as my probation officer, no longer is. Now, that's not as bad as it seems - not a bit. The Wallace should really have dumped me onto someone else some considerable time back. Being a manager, and therefore not mandated to deal with individual cases, she would normally be doing "overviews", whatever that entails. But The Wal1ace kept me as her project, probably to keep herself amused, and she was more than likely interested in how I managed to cope with everything. The point is, she has passed me on to another prob. off., but assures me that she will keep an eye on matters.

Now, all of this made me realise that I have a tendency to give little nicknames to just about everyone and everything. It's the mentality of dealing with the prison estate, I suppose. They are quite terrified that anyone should learn their names or what they do for a living - maybe they are ashamed of it, who knows. However, once a feller gets into that sort of mindset he soon finds himself giving names to everyone and everything. I have even gone so far as to give my pigeons names.

Now, let me see... There is Houdini - you can't keep him in the loft, he escapes out of everything. Then there is Big 'ead and Little 'ead, Gannet - who can't get enough to eat - and Oliver who, no matter how much he gets, always wants more. Titch and Tiny, Patches and  Big Blue and Little Blue - the list goes on. After all I've got twenty-nine of them counting the two squeakers I got yesterday.

There should only be twenty-eight but I've got an interloper who seems to have moved in - The Stranger. I know he is an interloper because I put brightly-coloured rings on all of the birds and this one, The Stranger, hasn't got one. As soon as I can get hold of him he WILL have a ring on his leg - a red one - I've got it all  ready for him. I was counting the birds the other evening as it was getting dark, just to make sure they were all in, and I had one too many. I thought I had miscounted so did it again. Three times I did it, and then I saw this blue checker sitting on a perch with no ring on. Not just sitting on a perch but full of feed and all fluffed up as he settled in for the night.

I had discovered a squatter!

Anyway he is in there now - goes for his daily fly with all of the others and comes back as though he had lived there all of his life. Let him stay, that's my attitude - it does no harm at all and, with winter creeping up on us stealthily, who can blame him for wanting to live somewhere where he is fed and warm, away from the elements.

So he's got a name as well now.

Which brings me neatly back to names and my new probation officer. I know her name, of course, but can't use it - I wouldn't want to upset the apple cart before I've even got the apples in it. But her initials automatically give me her nickname - The SS. I DO hope she's got a sense of humour. She'll need it because, as we all know, there are certain people in this world who take a fairly irreverent view of the rest of it - and I'm one of them.

And so the end of an era arrives and another begins. The SS will be handling my appearance before the Parole Board, whenever THAT may turn out to be - there is bugger-all news about it at the minute, beyond the fact that outside influences are attempting to get a date. Watch this space. Maybe The SS can get some sense out of the system, but, to be quite frank about it, I would be more inclined to put my money on The Stranger or Houdini - one can get in where least expected and the other seems to be able to get out of everything.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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