That Joke Just Isn’t Funny Anymore


Mon 21st

Lisa is embarrassed because she got a bit angry with time and screamed:

“THAT’S IT! JOKE’S OVER! I DON’T WANT TO GET OLD ANY MORE!!”

Then she remembered she had neighbours.

I keep cringing because when I tried to interview one of the artists for my BANK article, I pulled out my toothbrush instead of my pen. And it was covered in fluff from my bag.

The cringes get so bad sometimes that I have to wriggle in my seat to make them go away.

awk-is-my-game.american-apparel-unisex-tank.silver.w760h760

Tues 22nd

Couldn’t sleep last night, kept thinking about buttered toast. Finally got up about 2am and made Tesco Butter Me Upped toast. It was rubbish.

I feel like a meerkat on high alert today. Interestingly, meercats didn’t exist before 1994. David Attenborough made them out of fluff he found in his pocket.

Bullsh” is my newly coined swearword. It’s more expressive than the American “bull!” and allows you more of a frisson with the naughty word on the end.

Wed 23rd

Had a sex dream (a ‘seam’? A ‘drex’?) about my ex girlf. Now I can’t stop thinking about how to express it algebraically.

I’ve got it:

(S)ex

Esther is still asleep as I get ready for work.

“Why does your mouth sound funny?” she slurs as I eat breakfast.
“Alpen,” I say.
“Oh.”

Idea: There should be a rap band called The P’d O’s, with members dressed like Jimmy Savile, Gary Glitter and Justin Bieber.

Thurs 24th

I’m at the busstop. There’s a girl with studs on her Ugg boots (ugh), and studs on her hoody, and studs all over the shoulder of her jacket. It’s like she stood too long under a tree full of metal birds.

Dreamt that all the hipsters were buying East 17 gatefold LPs and I was well jel because now I would be forced to not like them anymore in the face of much cooler people soaking up all their likeability.

Fell asleep flossing while watching Cabaret.

"Dog food totin' SEX cap boastin' proto-hipster-chav"

“Dog food totin’ SEX cap boastin’ proto-hipster-chav”

Fri 25th

Just watched the first episode of Girls. Esther was not impressed: “It’s not a thriller, it’s not funny, and it’s trying hard to be cool.”

Rare Person Sighting: A man walking along with his hands clasped behind his back. Bless.

Sat 26th

Esther: “I was dreaming that the future belonged to Andrex, and they were knocking down all the houses and killing all the people that weren’t pretty enough.”

Esther is very resourceful. At least once a week, I find her buffing her teeth with a filter tip. She also uses it to correct her mascara.
She’s like an urban Ray Mears.

"The future is soft, strong and very long"

“The future is soft, strong and very long”

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad…what was I saying?


"Baybee, let's make love conceptuallee"

“Baybee, let’s make love conceptuallee…”

Dream:
It’s Christmas Day and a black and white TOTP from 1964 is on TV. Jack Duckworth from Corrie is singing “Baby, Baby” and almost crying. Everyone laughs at how shit it is, but I want to cry because behind him on the studio wall there’s a banner that says “Feminist Deconstruction” and I realize with a jolt that he means what he’s crooning.

Wed 8th

It’s important before you do something exciting and important not to make yourself nervous by acting out of the blue. So, just before I get on the train I get Esther to cut all my hair off.

I’m coming down for my ex-housemate’s first solo art show- BLUE PLAGUE (named after the Tory lurgey we’ve all been infected with).  WestLane South gallery is a renovated shop, replete with artists, poets and jolly artisans. Like the only child I am, I expect Lisa to entertain me and pamper me. When she dares to socialise with other people, I stand in the corner, trying not to look anyone in the eye lest they think I have a problem with social interaction.

Godiva, my sister from a different blister, is out tonight. We hug and gabble about stuff and follow the art crowd to the local pub (there’s a curfew on the gallery as there’s an old lady living upstairs). There’s some kind of war of wills going on between the eccentrics- one is staring and batting his eyelashes aggressively at another who’s saying “fuck off, stop it,” which just makes him flirt viciously at him even more.

"You WILL fancy me!"

“You WILL fancy me!”

On our way home, I run into a shopping centre in Stratford in search of a toilet- what I find is an ecosystem of incongruous subcultures, living peacefully side by side. There are gorgeous graceful black kids rollerskating backwards past benches overflowing with alcoholics, and odd conceptual artpieces lurking between them- whole tribes of office chairs lashed together.

In the middle of the night, I steal into Godiva’s kitchen for a glass of water, and terrify her boyf, Joe. He’s sat in his boxers, holding a a glass full of ice cubes and closing his eyes. As he opens his eyes, he sees my nighttime face looming over him and spasms in terror, his ice cubes leaping into the air.

Thurs 9th
I’ve been drinking too much tea because every time I buy a pint I try and blow it to cool it down.
I’m definitely in London. I know this because of the scary man on the next table who’s angry with me for sitting down.

“Fackin’ cahnt! Why can’t he fackin’ cahnt sit over there?”

My neck has gone rigid with fear. At least that means I can’t accidentally turn and catch his eye. Thankfully, his topic of conversation moves on to more abstract victims.

“Fackin’ Claire Balding. What a fackin’ ugly cahnt. Must be a fackin’ dyke, no cahnt that ugly can get a man!”

Fri 10th

Lisa: “Something weird has been happening. Whenever I look at the digibox, the light changes colour. Even if I wake up in the middle of the night, it flashes from green to red. It knows that I’m going mad.”

Sat 11th
I’m reading The Comforters by Muriel Spark. There’s a woman in it who can hear the narrator speaking her thoughts. It’s a man’s voice.
If I could choose, who would I have as the voice in my head?
I wouldn’t go for the obvious ones like David Attenborough or Morgan Freeman. They are too authoritative. I need a ditherer.

I think I’ll choose David Bellamy, the sadly neglected plant pariah.

Mon 14th
Esther is out for drinks with Lisa. This means there is no one to slap my hand and change channels when I put Paranormal Witness on. Within a minute, the flesh on my scalp is starting to crawl with terror. Please god, someone turn over! But no one’s there.
It’s about a family who move into a house where there’s a strange set of doors halfway up the cellar wall. Behind them there’s an unlit room filled with earth.
I want my mummy.
At night, something comes from there and pushes the mother down into her mattress so she can’t scream. I’m petrified.

“PLEASE STOP ME WATCHING PARANORMAL WITNESS” I text Esther.

“DON’T BE SUCH A BIG BABY” she replies.

Finally the adverts come on, and I am released. I ring my mummy and put Golden Globes on in the background. It’s good to hear her voice. Before long though I become fatally distracted by Jodie Foster’s rambling speech. It’s so confusing and sounds so momentous I switch off from my mum’s voice and try and follow it, but I can’t.
I love Jodie Foster, she’s more of a man than I’ll ever be.
I want to cry, even though I don’t get what she’s going on about.
I always want to cry.

I try to go to sleep, but there’s a draught that feels like an icy finger pointing at the peak of my forehead. Every way I turn, it’s still there.

When Esther gets back, I tell her about the ghost that lives in the dark earthy room.
“You mean one like that half room full of rubble in our cellar!?” Esther says.
Christ, I forget that we have one too!

Suddenly there’s phonecall. It’s Lisa.

“I’m really scared because I can smell nail polish really strong,” she says.
“It’s probably just some glue Dom was using to make guitars,” reassures Esther.
“No, it’s overpowering, I can’t stay here!”
“In the olden days, having a really strong smell of nail polish was a sign of madness,” says Esther.
What? Oh God no!” Lisa is panicking. “Please can I come and sleep in the dog bed in your room?”

Within ten minutes, the room is full of me, Esther, and Linda on the bed, and Goldie and Devo flanking Lisa on the dog bed.

It’s an hour till I have to get up for work.

smelly smell

Tues 15th
Through the window at work I keep seeing a van marked “SHEFFIELD MOBILE CCTV UNIT” passing by in hot pursuit of something. Isn’t that just like someone running along with a big camcorder?

Wed 16th
There’s been a helicopter crash in London, but all I notice is the reporter saying;

“Many people dispersed to nearby coffee shops. They were in shock.”

I imagine them all sitting along the window tables, mochas trembling in their hands.

Every 3rd person I see on the street these days is carrying a hot bevvy. Someone should design gloves with a coffee cup already sewn in…

Thurs 17th
First day of snow. The world is a tabula rasa, and yet the only things someone has been brave enough to write are:

“CAR”

and underneath it, as if getting ever more daring;

“YOLO”

on a car windscreen.
Is this the start of the great ideas drought of 2013?

Fri 18th
Lisa has started saying ‘the’ whenever she gets a bad thought. She’s chosen this word as it has no emotional content.
‘the’ she says, while we have a cup of tea, ‘the. the, the.’

Dream:
I’m in a retirement home where all Carry On fans get sent. All the Carry On stars end up here as well, but for them it’s a living hell because every time there’s a birthday they have to act out a scene from their movies.

"Carry On Carrying On...FOR EVER!"

“Carry On Carrying On…FOR EVER!”

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year You Hairy Mofos


Christmas Eve

Just found out The Snowman was on last night. ‘No, no, you’re not going to cry,’ I tell myself and clench my fists till the tears go back in.

Still, The Snowman and the Snowdog is on. But Walking in the Air has been replaced by some utter shite, the wettest, schmaltziest sub-Coldplay crap I’ve ever heard. It’s sick. Sick and twisted and I am not going to cry.

Christmas Day

I have to lie on my hands so they don’t wiggle and give the game away that I’m too excited to sleep any more. It’s taken me 10 years but I’ve realised the trick is to hide my puppy ways (panting, rolling around) until Esther has woken up properly and I am out of slapping distance.

“Do you want to get up?” she asks after an age of pretending to be asleep.

“I spose so,” I say, hiding my grin.

It’s so quiet on the streets that we let Goldie walk around with no lead on. She looks like a wild dingo.

Problem no. 14: Whenever I do something, like eat this delicious, mountainous Christmas dinner, I think, ‘Am I doing this properly? I bet I’m not enjoying this as well as so-and-so is. If only I could go back and do it again, I’d get it right this time’.

Thank Massive Christ then that I don’t own a time machine because I’d never be off the thing.

Time for Christmas Top of the Pops, my watching experience is always marked by the thought, ‘the next song will be a good one, I’ll wait for that’. Esther is putting her makeup on in the kitchen coz she hates being forced to listen to music. So I turn it up so she is forced to listen to it.

Robbie Williams sings like brylcream and looks like God (I’m an atheist). He’s obvs been experimenting with cut-ups again:

“She’s got a hurricane at the back of her throat, she thinks she’s made of candy.”

Other TOTP observations:

  1. I am no longer young.
  2. I wish I had a cute foreign accent like Sam and the Womp, then everything I said would be cool. I think I would choose Icelandic.
  3. I’m hungry.
  4. Shall I shave my beard off?
  5. Oh wait, it’s gone off now.

As we return to the bed from whence we stumbled, I ask Esther if anything fun happened today. If so, I’ll write it in my diary so it can never be forgotten. Ever.

She thinks for a while.

“No.”

Mon 30th Dec

In 2013, I promise to:

  1. Replace any limbs that fall off.
  2. Jump on every bandwagon going.
  3. Wear more accessories.
  4. Sleep in the dog’s bed more often.

Wed 2nd Jan

I have to work this morning. I have not had to get up before 11am for 2 weeks and it’s hell. I have a shower and walk to Starbucks to get the biggest coffee available. ‘At least this will only take an hour,’ I tell myself.

I finally stumble over to Lisa’s for a cup of tea three and a half hours later. As I lower myself into the chair, Lisa says to Esther:

“We were arguing about who’s dream it was in my dream last night. I said it can’t be both our dreams. But you were sure it was yours.”

“It was mine” Esther says.

Lisa thinks so hard it looks painful.

“Keep your dreams out of my head,” she says.

Oh to have the dizzy suggestive power of an older sibling.