I’m doing the beetroot workout


"surely not?"

After work, I head down to the gym. I avoid the treadmill like the plague because I have had to lather my thighs with vaseline to stop the agony of constant chafing. I am also being very careful about how hot I get- last time I went, I overdid it, and went to meet Esther and Lisa in Tescos afterwards. Along the way, I seemed to be the centre of attention. I felt like a guy from a Lynx advert, who has stumbled across the secret of universal seduction. I get the pansexual eye (girls, boys, dogs), and my ego inflates like a pull string dinghy, floating me along the street an erect penis’s height from the ground.

The problem is that although I think that I crave attention, if I ever get it, my brain melts and I have an ugly panic attack. I am starting to forget how to walk and to breathe when I manage to run into Tescos and find the girls.

I creep up behind Esther. I like creeping up on people. As Esther catches sight of the looming freak behind her, her face spasms in horror.

“Oh my god, you look like a beetroot” she says.

"Having exercised, I must go into hiding"

It turns out I had been waking along looking like a boiled lobster/sore thumb/busta blood-vessel comedy character, and that was the source of my allure. How disappointing.

I get to Lisa’s having escaped the gym in a milder hue of cerise.They must be in a good mood- there’s a cup of tea waiting for me. We all fall silent as we guzzle and read the trashy magazines lying around (Heat, Grazia, Look).

“What’s the point of donkeys?” says Lisa out of the blue.

“Some people just have fields full of them. What do you do with them?”

Nothing comes to mind.

“I spose you can stroke them” she reasons. Yes, that’s right. That makes sense to all of us, and we go back to reading.

“I just had a really strong urge to superglue my lips together” says Esther, again breaking the intellectual silence. I think it was my brain telling me what I wanted to hear, but no, she actually said it.

“I thought the tube of glue was Zovirex. When I realised it wasn’t, I thought ‘what’s the worst thing I could do?’ and I have to stop myself from putting it on my lips”. It’s a traditional bloke joke, to want the woman to shut up. I briefly feel a sense of belonging by wishing it too.

I reach for my special Blog notebook. The girls notice, and figure out what I’m doing.

“Quick, say something funny” thinks Lisa aloud.

After a few moments of tense, brain whirring silence, she blurts out;

“I wish I could transform my body…into a frog’s body! Ha, then everyone would love me.”

She pulled it out of the bag didn’t she? However it all goes downhill from there, so I put my notebook away in disgust. I need an invisible pen and pad really, or to do some serious ethnographic shit to live in this crazy uncivilised world with the natives till they forget I’m there. Oh, wait…

"I was invisible till I got 3rd degree sunburn"

Summertime Grumps


Balls to summer.

Thanks to it, I no longer have a valid reason for not being out and about. I can’t complain about the weather and stay in, I am expected to expose my middle age spread to the neverending stream of pert, hairless and oiled bodies that flock like manicured shitflies down every inch of tarmac.

"100% genuine teenagers"

In the park today I saw 3 girls (as in ‘not legally women’) who were impossibly beautiful and the bastards made my heart and lungs momentarily fuck up. I am allergic to perfection, see.

Once I could breathe again,  I wanted to stamp my feet and shout “it’s not fair!”. I refuse to subscribe to that idea of beauty anymore. I watched the Model Agency and I thought: When I was the same age as those models I was a fucking moron- why should they be my ideal? Grow up, make some stupid mistakes, get some frown wrinkles and then I might respect you enough to want to be you. Down with youth- up with experience! I need to retrain my brain…

Otherwise my remaining 40 years on this earth are going to be crap.

What is the point of not being young? (note to self: I need to work this out before I go mad).

"Here's to the olds"

Having said that there was a sixth-former punk girl on the bus with orange hair, and she spent the whole journey rolling a fag in the most drawn-out, self conscious way possible. I find it heartwarming that young people still smoke- I thought they had died out and been replaced by sensible, gym membership, nice new clothes stepford youths who never put a foot wrong.

For the past 2 clammy days, a flab of students (their collective noun) has taken residence on the decking outside their house. They look like a Gaz, Baz, Daz and Tony to me. It is quite comforting to hear them whittering away inanely, doing what normal people do, while I lie here in bed in the middle of the day analysing them. But another part of me wants to run down and shout at them:

“Don’t you ever wonder who you are?! Don’t you ever doubt the you-ness of you?!”

Tony, Gaz and the boys would look at me with pity and cackle like hyenas as soon as I turned my backl. And so they should. I’m a fucking freak and I should be on a leash.

Yesterday I woke up and grimaced at the blue sky, and dragged my body to the walk-in wardrobe to work out what the hell could cover my elongated frame today. As I tried clothes on, I thought;

“No, that’s too scruffy”

and then a second later

“wait a minute- isn’t looking like a tramp good?”

Not having Esther there to reassure me, I had to eventually resort to exactly the same soiled outfit I had worn the day before. I need someone to spike my coffee with valium, dress me, and march me down to the busstop every morning. Any takers?

Speaking of which, here is my favourite song about busstops:

And I recommend this to anyone considering waiting for a northern bus:

“Avoid alighting on Ecclesall Road if you wear second-hand clothes”