The Stockport Shenanigan


Finally, Lady Gaga has released a new single. I play ‘Born this Way’ and am chronically underwhelmed. I can feel the wool being lifted, the spell being broken- from  this moment I have ceased to be a Lady Gaga fan. I no longer know what I ever saw in her.

Her lustre has fallen away like clothes off dyspraxic stripper.

My dream started this defection- I picked a side and joined the Madonna Army. It’s like the Jesus Army, but with a better God. Born This Way is a Tesco Value Express Yourself.

"Oh fuck, the gods are gonna kick off!"

This weekend, I had a reunion with the only 2 friends I had at school: Harvey (because he looks like JFK’s assassin) and Dave (because he’s an everyman, a cipher).

As we sat round a pub table in Heaton Moor, a suburb’s suburb, I got to thinking: we each represent a different lifestyle, and each of us is a sloppy mixture of failure and achievement. I am drifting through life, chasing pleasure and numbing myself to pain. Harvey took the genius-savant route, wearing wolf masks to Cambridge and flying high in Hong Kong. Dave took perhaps the most stable route, finding a career and starting a family. Next to Dave, we both look like fuckups. He has brothers and sisters- we are only children. Fantasy is always preferable to reality for us.

"sweet and sour?"

Harvey went to Cambridge and had Stephen Hawking as his personal tutor. His method of teaching often involved ordering in Chinese Takeaway for the class. Then he got addicted to online gambling and rogue physics and was kicked out. He went to work for a major banking firm on the nth floor of a Honk Kong Skyscraper. He is a FILTH (Failed in London Try Honk Kong), a dirty capitalist, a purveyer of CEO’s wet dreams and sticky pauper’s nightmares. He always carries around a book on theoretical physics. This time he also has with him ‘Traders Guns & Money‘, about

“the mega-trillion-dollar derivatives market, the one economists say might be next to collapse on our heads”

Harvey may be sticking his celery in the next double dip. He tells us how he has had to run for his life from a ‘beast’ in the outskirts of Hong Kong. “I was out walking at dusk and I heard something in the bushes. It sounded like a growling monster, and was shit scared so I ran and ran and tripped over and ran. I called a cab and as I waited on the road, I could hear more of them out there in the bushes. Logic would say it was a wild boar, but I think it was a man-eating beast.”

"Please get bigger, I promise I wont look"

We rounded the night off with a little boundary bashing. Dave had gone to bed and I was sat drunkenly with Harvey. I decided I wanted to show him my penis. I warned him beforehand, and tried to get a sychronised pants-down on the count of 3. However, on the first attempt, I was alone in my nakedness. My penis had been replaced by a cocktail sausage lying in a bed of straw.

“I can do better than that”, Harvey said with relish. He unearthed a beached brown whale, languishing on tanned thighs.

“I’m a 7.5 incher” he said matter of factly. My cocktail sausage shrivelled in agreement.

We watched some porn on his Ipad, marvelling at the high definition and sleek finish. An asian girl was being impaled. As my sausage stirred, I said “Quick, look, this is more like it”

As both our pairs of eyes fell on my crotch, the growth reversed and it hid amongst the straw like a spooked mini guinea pig. Speaking of which, Dave had a guinea called Alfie. He thought he was a dog. What’s it all about, Alfie?

Well there was no getting away from it. Harvey had a big cock.

“May I?” I said politely, reaching across, and lifting it. It was a thing of, if not beauty, then wonder. It felt heavy and warm, substantial and soft. I laid it back down.

It was a bit of a non-sequitur so we went to pass out in the guest bedroom.

Another box ticked? One can go through life without ever touching a same-sex sexypart. We see them, thanks to Channel 4 and YouPorn, but they are mythical, massive, virtual. It was a moment that made sense, holding Harvey’s helmet.

We went to sleep in a bunk bed. The next day it drizzled and my head hurt. Dave was monosyllabic; I was morose, and Harvey marvelled at the weather.

“This is amazing!” He said, eyeing the sky. “You just don’t get this kind of weather anywhere else. Let’s go for a hike!”

This chipper celebration of our mundane Northernness was irritating. “No thanks” we replied. Holidaying in misery is the only way to enjoy it.

Instead, I turn my attention to Alfie.

“Make him make that noise that guineapigs make” I say.

Dave goes over to a draw and pulls out a carrot. Alfie sniffs the air. Dave starts to peel the carrot, and Alfie starts

“Weet weet weet weet”

Simple pleasures.

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