“BUGLY” (Boring and UGLY)


I am handing in my Lady Gaga essay. I’m on the train. Everything is going smoothly so far- I caught an 85 bus which took me right down to the station, and there was no queue so I got a ticket in time for the train…

Now I’m sat on the train. A woman has parked her buggy outside the toilet and is screaming at her kids.

“Waaah!”

“Do that again and I’ll hit you on the hand very hard!”

“Waa-” Abrupt silence.

2 minutes later.

“WAAAAAAAH!”

“I mean it! SHUT UP!!!!” her shout echoes down the carriage.

As middle-aged women turn round in motherly concern, I decide it’s time to drown her out with some Kanye.

I had a dream last night that me and Esther had a baby. More of a nightmare really. I aged a lot that night.

“Was it nice?” Esther asks when I tell her in the morning.

“It was difficult” I say diplomatically. This banshee on the train settles it. No kids till I can stand to be near them in public. No kids till I have a personality transplant.

Why would anyone choose to be tested to the brink of sanity by screaming, puking, shitting sacks of stress? In my dream, Linda sat on our baby’s head like she does to me in the morning, and we had to rush it to the hospital.

Who in their right mind would choose kids over pets? You can’t legally pet your kids. You can kid your pets though (“cheese! cheese!” Esther promises Devo when he runs away. He comes sprinting back expectantly. “Like fuck” she mutters as he is shoved back on the lead).

"Erm, excuse me, I am a mouse. I am entitled to cheese"

I look out of the train window and think ‘If someone was sat here who cared about beautiful scenery, they’d think it was awesome’ As it was, I turned away in apathy.

The boy opposite me is tapping his foot at the same time as me. What are the chances that we are listening to the same song? Would it be weird to ask him? My inappropriate interest in strangers is going to get me in trouble. Curiosity maimed the human, as the saying goes.

"Excuse me sir, where did you get your hair dreaded?"

I’ve glanced around buses before and seen 9 out of 10 people with their faces buried in the same page of the Metro. Synchronise page turning- Go.

Then again it’s usually the Guilty Pleasures double spread because that’s the most likely place to catch sight of some rude bits.

This reminds me of John Cooper Clarke

I guess that’s what the Sun, Mirror and Sunday Sport are for.

Public Transport is a Breeding Ground for Undesirables


Jan 6th: Bussing it in Bedlam

Went to Manchester today and met up with my trash-culture partner in crime, Josephine. She is climbing up the Starbucks corporate ladder, knife in mouth, to take the world of hot beverages by its vajazzled balls.

She is a coffee connoisseur, a filter flaneur (perhaps even a frotteur), a mocha rocker.

She risks the glare of a jobsworth to ask for The Most Difficult Drink Ever, with the cocksure unblinkingness of a pro barista: a “One Shot-Soya-Mocha-with Amaretto Syrup” from NEROS. Interesting choice of name that, seeing as he let Rome burn to a crisp- a bit like calling your shop ‘Berlusconi’s’ and expecting people to stomach your ‘fish finger surprise’…

But the main rant of today is reserved for BUS DRIVERS. The lamb-chopped ferrymen of Hades.

"DOYOUHAVEANYHOTWATERORDOIHAVETOKILLYOU?"

Today’s driver looks like Catweazel (which in case I am the only person who gets this reference, is a TV character Medieval monk transported to 70s rural Britain. You got a mental image now?).

I think, ‘oh it’s ok, he’ll be nice to another member of the long hair club‘. Then, ‘oh shit, I’ve been thrown out haven’t I, I’m in the camp tintin club now’.

But ‘Oh he’s got a beard, he’ll give me the secret signal coz of that’.

But no. He is the grumpiest hippie I have ever met. I get on with my student card.

“50p”

I give him a pound.

A grunting, constipated moan comes out “doyouavthefefeepee?”

“Pardon?”

Again, the noise comes, and I can just about pick out these words:”doyouHAVEthefiftypee?”

“No.” As he slams the change down, I think ‘He’s no hair compadre, he’s a pre-postal serial killer’.

As I walk to my seat, I hear his gritted-teeth mantra echoing down the bus every few seconds as the queue jumps aboard. It’s like the guttural groan of Newspaper Vendors , for whom ‘The Manchester Evening News’ becomes a chinese poo-strain ‘Maaannneeeeezzzze”

As I sit and reflect on the emotional rollercoaster of having hair, I think back at the motley crew I’ve met on buses.

One time I got on and the busdriver said “You shouldn’t be allowed on here”. “Me personally or something I represent?” (bloody students, queers, men over 5 feet 9?) I ask, genuinely intrigued. Someone pulls the string in his back and he parrots “You shouldn’t be allowed”. I take my apparently undeserved seat.

Another classic was when I was really late for work, and I asked the big skinhead in front of me for the time.

“Time is irrelevant” he intoned, and turned back round. I should have said that to my boss.

One time, Aldo was waiting at the busstop, and a woman stopped and asked for the way to Mecca.

“Hmm, let me see, the sun is pointing that direction so East is over there…” he mused

Impatient, she butted in “No, Mecca Bingo I meant!”

“Dunno” he replied, suddenly deeply depressed.

“What would sir recommend?” “A little of everything?”

My new favourite phrase is “What would you recommend?” said with a disarming smile. You can cover up your complete ignorance of anything with this.

“What gear ya looking for?”

“What would sir recommend?”

“What stop do you want?”

“Hmm, where would you recommend?”

“To be or not to be?”

“Whatevs, I’m not fussy”

I think most of the recommendations would be a good kicking followed by A&E.

Delete as appropriate: Boring and/or Ugly 11


Dec 22nd

Another nookie-less night. In the morning, Esther says, “I was horny last night from watching The Walking Dead. But then you showed me your bum boil.”
I ignored the necrophiliac overtones, and just thought ‘Goddammit’. It’s really sore you see, and I wanted a second opinion ‘Does it look normal? Is it cancer?’ The window for sex was slammed shut in my face. Can we play doctors and nurses?

We trudge down to Lisa’s. She is flustered. Just before we arrived, Dom was in the bath and Lisa had just picked her spots in the formation of

(1) a unibrow,

(2) a beard, and

(3) a moustache.

Quite fetching, don't you think?

Then Dom’s manager, Barry, knocked on the door. Lisa had to answer with her bright pink facial hair, let him in and make a cuppa. Then she scurried back upstairs.

Xmas shopping for the insane: Lisa and Esther’s grandma wants them to buy her some ‘Round-to-its’. Apparently they are plates that you buy when someone says ‘I just haven’t got around to it’. So far, the search has come up blank. Whoever gets this prezzie is going to be thrilled.

Esther cut my hair last night. Now I look like a gay US marine. Every time I take my hat off, it’s to the internal soundtrack of ‘he’s in the army now’, serenaded by Muscle Marys descending from helicopters into the arms of winking Naval officers with pert salutes.

Devo has started to demand Lisa to vacate his favourite chair next to the radiator. He goes up to her, and walks in a circle and sits down. First of all, she got up to let him out. No, he was still there. He had climbed on her chair and made himself comfy. She pushed him off and he did his dance again. She stood up to get him some food and he hopped up again, curling into a tight ball. “He wants my bloody chair!” she realized. It’s the best, warmest seat in the house, and if you get up from it, it’s gone.

We popped into NatWest today to ask why I’m not a millionaire yet. Esther had a rare glimpse of belongingness in the bank while she waited for me with Goldie. A downs syndrome woman came over and grinned ‘it’s a doggy’ ‘She’s a bit shy’ replied Esther. ‘She’s a bit shy’ echoed the woman, and giggled. If only all conversations were this easy, then I’d be able to socialize properly.

Dec 24th


It just said on the news that to combat snow, trains will be fitted with skirts, which they can blow warm air underneath. This sounds like some middle-aged CEO’s dirty dream to me. How kitsch. It’s the last remnant of a faded masculinity that was happy with a flash of knickers. Today’s bloke demands hi-def tits n ass as the *bare* minimum.

Risque circa 1962

The girls go to collect the turkey for Roney’s butchers. It’s massive. It won’t fit in the freezer, so they try to put it out in the garden in a big plastic box. You don’t need a freezer in this weather. “But what if someone nicks it?” says Esther. “Let’s put it in the shed!” Weasel and Kung Fu (their names in babyspeak) are Esther and Lisa’s parents. They stride purposefully into the garden, parent mode turned up to 11.
“No!” shouts Lisa, “There’s dogshit everywhere out there, watch your step!”
The main problem with dogs you see is that every morning without fail, they need to be let out into the garden to empty their bowels. 365 days a year. That’s a lot of shit, and the longer you leave it to pick up, the more daunting it becomes. Surely something will eat it all? Nope. It sits there forever. Nature is wank.
“Well I can tell Devo is getting all the right minerals,” says Weasel, studying the rancid piles.
Esther’s family are natural physical comedians. I would pay to watch them. The simplest things take on Kafkaesque complexity.

“The door’s frozen shut” says Esther, “Let’s prize it open.” She puts her boot on the wall and pulls. Only after a second pair of hands join in does it finally jar open.

“Right, now we need some bricks to put on the box” shouts Esther.
“Ok”, then the frustrated sound of straining muscles happens. “Gnnnnng!” Weasel groans, her teeth clenched in effort.

The best example of anyone ever making this noise is Arnie in Total Recall when he get’s sucked out onto the surface of Mars and his eyes pop out…

The teeth-clenched straining echoes down the terrace. “The bricks are frozen to the ground” she shouts and laughs in an out-of-control way. They are starting to get hysterical.

“Is there anything I can do for you?” says Weasel, once the turkey has been defeated. “Yes. Commit me” answers Lisa.
Her mum heads upstairs to go to the toilet “Don’t let Devo up your bottom” yells Lisa after her.

How to use your kitchen to help you choose a retro slang phrase for the day:


"Actually, you look more like cauliflower"

1. Lay like broccoli (Pretty Woman)

2. Make like a banana and split (©Vienna Famous 2010)

3. Like butter wouldn’t melt

4. You say potato, I say potato. This one only makes sense when spoken in different accents

5. You got any dough?

6. Peachy

7. You’re the apple of my eye. No darling, that’s a cataract.

8. Apples and pears. Does anyone actually speak cockney, or is it a myth made up for tourists?

9. Now we’re cookin’ on gas. A personal favourite, obviously predating the microwave.

10. My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard (Kelis). Sorry I don’t speak innuendo…

11. I should coco(a)

12. Honey pie

13. Something’s fishy around here

14. The milk of human kindness. Semi-skimmed? (See no.10)

15. Sweet like chocolate (Shanks and Bigfoot)/Sweet Like Tropicana (Dizzee Rascal)

Just you try it!

16. Let’s play hide the sausage! No, I have never used this one.

17. I’m gonna make mincemeat out of you!

18. Egg on your face, big disgrace (Queen)

19. Hey honey! Yes, sugar…?

20. Chocolate Rain

Unsent letter #2:


Dear Marina Diamandis,
Should my girlf ever leave me, I would like to forewarn you that I will be calling at your house, and begging you to leave that suave singer from Hurts for an unintentionally funny life of mediocrity with me.
Yours in anticipation,
Vienna x

Note to self: Hmm, perhaps too many kisses? She’s bound to turn me down if I act over-eager.

Boring and Ugly 10


Dec 17th

Esther spies the letter to Marina over my shoulder. “That’s shit” she scowls. She’s just jealous. At least my letter isn’t to Bob Mortimer like hers would be. She used to think she’d bump into him on the street when she lived in London, and they would fall instantly in love.

"Ooh look, there's a big issue in there"

We get to Lisa’a and find a Big Issue on the table. “You two can’t afford to buy the Big Issue can you?” I say incredulously. However, the latest issue of Look or ID often finds its way here. Priorities you see.
“It’s not ours, we don’t know where it came from”. Says Lisa with confusion. “It’s like god thinks we need it or something”.

Esther and Lisa were shopping in Rotherham Tesco for their grandma.

Esther has to go to the loo, and as she sits down in the cubicle, she hears two women talking rapidly in Urdu (or something).
Suddenly an angry Rotherham woman’s voice came from the other cubicle “Speak English for God’s sake!”

The women outside fall silent.
“I’m just talking to my sister, I can speak in any language I want, thank you!” The braver sister replies.
“Come on, let’s go…” says her sister diplomatically.
“No. I want to see who said that” she snaps, settling down for a wait.
Esther started to panic. They’re gonna think it was me! Shit, I’m going to get it when I step out, shit shit!. Her cheeks got redder and redder as she braces herself to face their wrath. She opens the door, and peeked out.
“It wasn’t me…” she quivers at the two equally red (with anger) faces.
“I know love, just go” says the angry sister.
Outside, Lisa was waiting. “Let’s just get the hell out of here” Esther said and they scurry away.

"Can I come out yet?"

Dec 20th

“Isn’t it nice to be sat in from the cold, with a cup of tea and a biscuit” says Lisa wistfully.

“So, life’s alright then?” queries Esther.

“No, I wouldn’t got that far”.

“Life’s shitty shit” shouts Dom.

“At least no-one’s watching” says Lisa. “We can relax. For now at least.”

Apparently, last night Dom returned home from a gig at 5am. “I’ve got a present for you” he slurs at Lisa. “What?” she says excited. Lisa loves gifts.
“A prostitute’s lipstick” he says, brandishing a tarty pink tube. “I picked it up just before I got in the cab”.
“Isn’t that what every girl wants?” he adds “to look like a prozzy?”
Lisa acts disgusted, but the next day she comes downstairs: “Do you like my lips” she asks coyly “I’ve put that lipstick on”. I swallow some bile.
“Can you catch AIDS from lipstick?” she asks, realizing what might have come free with the present. Let’s see; Herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, crabs…a whole menagerie of alien bodies.

Coming Soon: Boring and Ugly- The Xmas Special