Stupid and Guilty as Sin. Nice clothes though.


I had this conversation with a fellow stalker in my dream last night:

Him “Who are you stalking?”
Me “My ex. Who are you stalking?”
Him “My mum”

"my level of humour"

My mum has just posted me Trev and Simon’s Stupid Book. Someone on BBC2’s poncey Late Review show might say they are the dada to vic and bob’s surrealism. One day they’ll reply to my letters.

The scariest thing is what someone has scrawled on the inside back cover…set 4 years in the future, it claims that Eric Cantona is a serial killer, and is written in the scrawly blue biro of a psychopath:

Hello, this is Crimewatch UK on the 25th January 1999. Now, do you remember a footballer called Eric Cantona? Yes, that’s right. He’s the one who murdered 11 people after being sent off in a match. Today is the 4th anniversary of that incident which took place when Crystal Palace played Manchester United at Selhurst park. We have made a reconstruction of what happened from the radio commentators Trevor Brooking and Mark Bright , who were two of Cantona’s victims. Listen to this and judge for yourself.

If you wrote it, get in touch.

Trev and Simon offer some timely tips too:

How to solve the problem of deforestation:

  1. Write to an MP
  2. Become an MP
  3. Become a tree

You know what, I’m fed up of feeling bad about the world’s problems.

Global Warming= my fault. If only I wasn’t vain enough to need hairspray, and if only I wasn’t too lazy to turn everything off at night.

Insects trapped on the bus= my fault. But recently I have become so apathetic that all I can do is watch the fly or bee hammer itself numbly against the glass, while feeling a dull sense of responsibility. It’s my fault coz I have noticed them and the only way they will get out alive is if I do something. I almost want to squash them to put them out of the hell of being trapped forever on a Stagecoach bus. But then I would have blood on my hands and would feel like a dirty killer.

Poverty= my fault. What else explains the guilt I feel when I see a Big Issue seller? It still doesn’t make me buy a magazine though. If they put more fashion in it and made it glossier, then I might consider it.

"I did actually buy this one. I was in my Gaga phase"

There are so many Big Issue sellers in Manchester that my grandad always gives me a copy he bought as a “a free pass” through the city- without it you will be asked over and over again to buy one. Once I get on the train, it goes straight in the bin.

I’ve written a song about this weird sense of middle-class guilt I feel all the time (having some upward mobility and the ability to read and write means I ought to really help out the ‘less fortunate’):

I bought me a big issue
Coz I feel so guilty
I smiled at the security guard
Coz I know his life is hard

Middle class guilt
It drives me wild
Middle class guilt
Coz im so mild

Third world poverty
Makes me come over all wobberly
Corruption and controversy
Oh lord I feel so bad
For all the Hot Wings ive had
Buddhist or eco warrior
That’s how to stop it botherin’ ya
The guilt is the gift that keeps on giving
It’s the delicious pain of western living

Middle class guilt
It drives me wild
Middle class guilt
Coz im so mild

I got bored halfway through and couldn’t be arsed to carry the lame joke any further. Still, I’ll settle for Top 20 in a faraway galaxy (where bad jokes are good ones). Just need Jedward’s home number to make it happen.

Lisa “it’s really annoying how you go for a partner because you want your kids to look nice. Dom’s got much better lips than me. But what use is that to me?”

Me “Esther, you didn’t choose me for that reason did you?”

Esther “yes I did actually. You were nice enough looking and you had good clothes”

I am mortified for some reason. So, I play devils advocate: “So I spose you go along looking at what’s available, thinking “I want THAT face bearing down on me in bed, and looking up at me from the a cot””

“That’s disgusting” says Esther. “But true”.

But we have decided we are not going to have children until we are mentally healthy enough to hack it (like that’s going to happen). For now, picking up Goldie’s poo and sick is enough. At least she won’t grow up and swear at us, or bring stray dogs back for orgies.

"I hate you shitface"

Those Pesky Time Flies


"A late 20th Century torture device"

Esther found out that the Japanese earthquake has made our days a few micro seconds shorter FOREVER because it made us spin faster on our axis. Now she can’t stop thinking about this lost time.

“What if the next earthquake knocks us completely off our axis and we go spinning out into space?” she quivers.

“Well then, I guess we’re all fucked” I reply. No, I don’t actually because she’s the boss and such a quip would be considered insolent. Instead I comfort her with logic.

“That will never happen, I’m sure they would tell us etc”. At this point you conspiracy theorists will be sniggering at my naivety. As I have already told you, I think the man is misunderstood, and I enjoy the feeling of his/her big overprotective/oppressive arm round me. Oh how I wish I’d had a big brother to wrestle some sense into me. And to compare penis size with/ experiment with mutual masturbation. You know, the usual time-honoured family escapades.

“How many micro seconds are there in a second?” she asks

Google tells me there are 1 million.

“Oh, that’s rubbish” she mutters. “I don’t give a shit anymore”.

Real life always disappoints. Nobody discovers their junk is worth millions on Antique Roadshow. You don’t get model scouted on your way to Tesco. Getting high only leads to plummeting lower. Weird stuff that does happen is never the amazing things, always the mundane or sinister or depressing.

Thus, Lisa has become too scared to walk Devo in the cemetary in case the Polish man proposes. She has been forced to take affirmative action to point out to the overfriendly Pole that she is a taken woman.

He found her on facebook, and last week she agonised over a message that would put him straight. “I have a boyfriend” was all she could think of saying.

Unfortunately it only made him defensive. “I have a girlfriend too, of course” he wrote back. “Why should that stop us from meeting and talking?”

Lisa and Esther decided instead to avoid the park around the time he usually bumps into them.

"Goddammit, why isn't he looking at your beaver?"

I got really jealous the other week that he fancied Lisa and not Esther. “Why doesn’t he want you too?” I asked. “Maybe you’re not attractive enough” I thought. Fucked up as it sounds, I keep needing to know my girl is pretty to other people in order to have proof of my own attractiveness.

“You’re weird” says Lisa when she overhears me.

“Fuck off and get counselling” is Esther’s understandable reply.

A few days passed, and the girls managed to miss the Polack, thinking that maybe he had got the message and has backed off. Nipped his European openness in the bud so to speak, slapped a restraining order on his free spirit.

Today though, he finally caught up with them. He went aggro, singing raucous Polish songs to himself and throwing sticks at their heads, yelling “You should have safety helmets, hahaha”. He had replaced the behaviour of a lech with that of a sociopath.

“At least he had to stand further away to ‘accidentally’ throw sticks at us” Esther reasoned.

Is it better to be murdered than raped? Better to offend strangers than to have to pretend to be their friend? Better to throw sticks than to invite ridicule?

Adam Ant once went to his local for a quick pint, only to be bullied by chants of “ridicule is nothing to be scared of.”

When he could take no more, he slunk off home and returned with a gun in his hand and a righteous glint in his eyes.

Poor Adam. He’s just like me, but famous. He likes to rant and get naked, and he can’t take any flak.

He’s welcome round mine any time. I really want to ask him how to apply eye shadow convincingly.

Today I dared myself to walk round Topman with a pair of purple glasses with flip-up shades, flipped up proudly. I managed a quick circuit of the men’s bit, then fled down the stairs, pretending to multitask on my fone so I didn’t meet anyone in the eye.

This is phase one of operation ‘pompous, public and proud’. More to follow. Ridicule is nothing to be scared of. No pain no gain. Or, as Rihanna sang, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me”.

"I meant it metaphorically"

 

Don’t look at me with that tone of voice


"Look mummy, she's having tarantula cunnilingus! Doesn't she know that spiders don't have tongues?"

I was just in Spar. A family came in, and huddled round the newspaper stand.

“She’s been in Playboy” says the precocious 14 year old daughter.
Ok, I’m dealing with Liberal parents. I leaf through Heat and try to ignore them.
The girl takes her tweeny sister over to the lad’s mags.
“Oh my god look at Nuts!” she lisps, “I can’t believe she’s on the cover!”
I start to feel a bit sick in my feminist/prudish parts, and I have to walk down to the freezer section to cool off.

"Oh God! I haven't tried this flavour. Who am I??"

While I zone out with the Viennettas, I think ‘Should they know this stuff?‘ They know more than an (admittedly late flowering) 30 year old man about the Glamour Industry. Maybe their parents are porn stars, or refuse to have a lock on their bedroom door.

I often dismiss things as ‘just wrong’ because I wouldn’t want to do it. But who the fuck am I? Some kind of taste-maker?

"Another box ticked"

Is it right to cut yourself off from certain experiences?

Is it right to say ‘I will never try this’ and have done with it?
Fair enough, you may say, if we’re talking something BIG like heroin, or murder?

But where do you draw the line? If it’s legal? If it’s moral? If it’s mentioned in the Guardian?
“OMG, if you haven’t eaten Basking Shark buttocks, you’ve never tasted food”
Part of the middle class world-view is that everything is there for the taking: foreign countries provide interesting food promotions in Waitrose, and other cultures provide amusing anecdotes at dinner parties (“We were captured and raped by the janjaweed. It’s simply divine!”). Keeping up with the Smyth-Headingley’s requires single minded dedication to seeking out new experiences. A pathological need for MORE.

“1001 movies you must see before you die” “The Bucket List” “Must Haves”:
We’re constantly being told that we’re missing out.

Fuck off and leave me alone. If I go to my deathbed without having watched Citizen Kane, have I wasted my life? If I die before I try the Backwards Cowboy position, am I losing out?
Am I fuck. I refuse to believe your hype. I refuse to bully myself into trying stuff for the sake of ticking a box. If I’m not careful, I could lose faith in my own judgement- “I like this because NME gave it 10/10”.

I would quite like to be happy more than 50% of the time, and find a way to go bald gracefully, but that’s where my ambition for the future ends.

Getting older is a shift of perspective- you go from instant gratification (now!), to a 5/10/50 Year Plan (then!) where life becomes about Big Stuff: how to get to where you’re going, and whether it’ll be worth it when you get there.

"I'm a clean living motherfucker"

Also as you get old, your face becomes weathered. Your life is written in crow’s feet and saggy jowls. Your face betrays you, the fucker.

Apparently, Esther can instantly tell when I try to suppress my emotions. Apparently I have whenever I am mad, I get an “anger chin” and whenever I’ve done something naughty I get “guilty lips”. I wonder if each of my features is associated with a feeling: a horny nose? a peevish eyebrow? a cringing cheek?

Damnit, this means that she can read me like a (picture) book.

George Michael had the same problem. Poor bloke, his transparency made him the object of ridicule at discotheques.

Kung Fu Fighting


Kung Fu (father of Esther, Lisa, Carmen and Bella) popped by to take the girls to visit their granny. She lives in Rotherham, a most dreadful affliction.

"'Waldo's New World Order' the radical feminist-lesbian alternative to Jim'll Fix It, never passed the pilot"

With each daughter he conceived, Kung Fu hoped the next would be a son- by the fourth girl, his ambition shifted to having a lesbian daughter. Unfortunately, he is still waiting for some closet-exiting. Had any or all of then been a boy, they would have been called Waldo.

Spare a thought for the schooldays of the phantom sons: the hope of his generation was never enough to change the basic meanness of human nature. Waldo is not a name that would ever be tolerated by school children.

Waldo is also frighteningly close to the surname of the tallest man in the world EVER: Robert Wadlow. When I started to grow past everyone else age 10, I used to obsess over his growth chart “this is something I can excel at!”. Unfortunately I stopped at his 8 year old height of 6’2.

"That's how to get girls: gravitational pull"

Kung Fu lived through the last great twin cultural traumas of free love and imminent Third World War. It was enough to drive anyone crazy (along with the dragons that he hallucinated in the fields nearby), and duly he began stock piling tinned food in the cellar of their Hebden Bridge home, along with his weapon of choice for protecting the stash; a mail order crossbow. After all he had to protect a pack of erstwhile Waldos from nuclear holocaust.

"Hippies only work as a Second Life avatar" Discuss.

His anti-Russian defence was only rumbled when Weasel broke the ‘only’ tin opener, and Kung Fu gleefully nipped to the cellar to fetch a brand spanking new one. Weasel took a look at what else he had down there, and found everything. Out went the crossbow and ‘slap’ went his cheek. At least they ate like UHT kings for a while.

Kung Fu is the biggest Captain Beefheart fan I have ever met; although in the wake of his death, everyone seems to have been into him, like, forever. Apparently Esther thought he was a genius poet, coming up with ridiculous and fantastic word combinations at mealtimes. It was only later that she realised these were all Beefheart lyrics.

I think it takes a genius to remember his songs, and also to oversee the viper-pit of free thinking daughters for so long.

As for Captain Beefheart, even Sly Stallone has come out as a fan. Such is the bonding power of peer pressure:

BUGLY, SMELLY AND SICK OF SOCIETY


"Dear Tracy, try harder next time. The sheets are still white for God's sake"

“I can smell dog poo” said Esther this morning as we sat in bed. She sniffs the air. “Oh no, I think it’s my breath”.

Me and Esther are rubbish at personal hygiene. Our bedclothes haven’t been changed in weeks. They’re full of biscuit and cake crumbs from months of elevensies and afternoon teas. We have had 2 duvets since it started to turn cold last September. The top duvet is covered in mud stains and hair from goldie.

We have been cultivating a comforting aroma of bums and feet. When I get a waft, it feels like home.

Every morning, Esther wakes up drenched in sweat. It must be the side-effect of her anti-depressants. She wakes up in a pool of cooling body fluid and has to reach out to the drawers next to the bed to grab one of my t shirts to replace hers with.

She always chooses my clothes, but I secretly love it. It’s kind of like a teenage fantasy: not only to have a girlfriend, but to have one who validates your existence by wearing your clothes. This fact separates her from the purely imaginary partners I desperately conjured into existence. Wearing my t shirt proves that she’s real.

Normally we sleep with at least one body part touching. Usually it’s a foot or hand or side of belly. However at some point Goldie climbs aboard and drives a big wedge between us, pushing our legs sideways off the bed.

Around the bed radiates a crumpled pile of clothes from nights out and workdays mixed with fresh washing that hasn’t been put away. The stink and stains gradually travels across to the clean stuff as we trample on it to and from the bed.

I‘ve always been astounded that people can be bothered to have a shower or bath EVERY day. I just wait until my smell stops being comforting and starts to smell like death.

"Esther, I can feel a poo coming out"

I have a problem at the moment: my bumhole stinks of rancid cheese. Every time I go to the toilet (and I ALWAYS sit down), I leave a cloud of off-milk aroma which I sadistically can’t wait for Esther to walk into unawares. I went to the doctors but I had showered the night before, and she couldn’t smell anything. She even inserted her gloved finger up my bumhole and sniffed it. After the initial shock, I quite enjoyed the feeling.

It is there, I’m sure. I think it is either Thrush or the fact that I was veggi for 15 years and now I’m a rampant carnivore. I might have to bottle the stench and make my doctor sniff it.

But what really stinks is the idea of COMMUNITY.

"Love and mutual understanding bring us together"

We were watching DIY SOS yesterday. We turned on halfway through, and it was about a boy who had been badly injured and his parents wanted to do up the house for him. It was meant to be a heartwarming tale of how a community pulls together in a time of crisis.

It made me seethe with rage and tremble with nausea.

The boy’s school friends had organised some faux-American school prom which raised 8 grand. Everyone had rallied together and done the Christian thing, thereby dispelling the pessimism of Thatcher: “there is no such thing as society”. What a rosy picture this is, like some Socialist Realism poster set in suburban Rotherham.

Reasons why I can’t stand this BS:

1. If it had been me in hospital during my school days, the only motivation to help me would have been when the bullies got bored of having no-one to harass and wanted their victim back. Freaks, geeks abd assorted weirdos do not become instantly popular in these situations. My parents used to say that come the revolution, our neighbours would trudge to our house first and hound us with pitchforks. On a similar note- “He was an angel” parents always blub when some shitty bully-boy dies prematurely. Like hell he was, he was a nasty little oik, and although he didn’t deserve to die, you make me sick with your retrospective beatification of a local cunt.

2. This vision of community did not include any non-white non-working class non-chavs. It seemed to say “Britain is still Great if you’re white in a blue collar”. This is the future dreamed up by Nick Griffin.  (It’s also the inverse of that imagined by Islamic fundamentalists). This steaming pile of semen is the so-called “Big Society” Cameron/Clegg want us to join.

3. What was more is that if you missed the start of the programme, they refused to explain what had happened to the boy for the rest of the show. I refuse to invest my emotions until I can get vicarious pleasure from knowing all the gory details. I’ve heard so many sob stories (reality TV is obsessed with rags to riches stories) that it takes some “cruel and unusual” affliction to make me feel anything. My heartstrings have snapped and can no longer be yanked. Like an adrenaline junkie, we seem to need more and more horror to feel the upset we should. Why else would Saw be onto it’s 45th film?

We are all sick fucks.

Dayglo bunnies, misfits and male whores.


"United Bunnies of Bennetton"

Govinda calls me and Esther naughty rabbits. I think it’s because our usual facial expression is ‘hunted and manhandled’ and I have a fluffy white tail.

Apparently there’s a new trend for dyeing your rabbits different colours. I have often wanted to do this to Linda and Goldie but haven’t dared. It’s always better to wait and watch someone with less morals doing it first. This is what I did with sex and black pudding.

We spend a lot of time watching other people doing stuff we wish we could but don’t want to get caught. It’s called living vicariously. Or living bicuriously. Apparently, God created us so he could get his thrills from afar and feel and see what we did. He liked the whole procreating bit, but he was allergic to apples and nearly died when Adam and Eve gobbled them all, which really pissed him off. The rest is his-story (as told on Jacko’s album of the same name).

If I was going to tell my story, it would probably be a montage of clips from Me Myself and Irene, MTV and Misfits.

The climax would be the Misfits Manifesto, which sums up my ethical principles:

Best speech ever?

It’s the Howl of our generation. If I still count, being 30 n all…

"Generation Y Wear A Belt?"

 

Militant in Meadowhall


"I just don't know who I am anymore"

Just got back from Meadowhall. I wanted to buy some self esteem at any price. But all I got was half price narcissism and 33% extra free self loathing. And some socks n that.

I saw lots of people who I can only describe as consistent. Chavs, Emos, wannabe WAGs, Goth-Lite, Emo-Chav. They all knew who they were (on the outside at least): they had the uniform sorted out, no mistakes.
In comparison I feel like a style Frankenstein, with odd bits from different eras stuck together, with no conception of a whole. I want a fucking uniform.


"I'm a vewy angwy young man"

I have tried being militant but it always goes awry. I’m really jealous of Christians and Young Socialists and Goths who can turn off their brains and follow a code regardless of how ridiculous and/or anachronistic it is.
First I had a rule that everything I bought that wasn’t food had to come from a charity shop. This meant that I became obsessed with Help the Aged’s special book and record shop. I used to go nearly every day and finger through the vinyl in the hope of spotting a record from the infinite ‘must have’ list in my head. This was compiled from overhearing middle-aged men talking in the pub, and from middle aged men writing in The Guardian.
I would buy a record, let’s say ‘The Clash’ and take it home, my hands shaking in trepidation. Here was a cultural relic; a touchstone, and I could feel the angst of a generation fizzing under my fingertips. I’d put it on and brace myself- I’m enjoying this, I’d tell myself. This is a GOOD album. Other people say so. There are more of them than me. I can picture them all, rocking in agreement.
So here’s my shock confession. I hate the Clash. I don’t like reggae so why would I want a shitty white boy version of it. Plus they have no style. The Sex Pistols win hands down, for their ugliness, ambition and also their pop. Write a proper song Strummer! Oh wait, you’re dead.

"I is a WASTA"

Sheffield seems to be populated by Men Who Like The Clash. Everywhere you go there’s someone who’s personality was hard wired by White Riot or London Calling. It’s like some fucking Masonic society- get over it! Like Scroobius Pip eloquently said “ The Clash? just a band”


You wouldn’t have caught Paul Simenon, Strummer or the other one advertising I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (it would have to be the bitter rival of Anchor, for old time’s sake). Some people say Johnny Rotten is a sell out- but that only means something if you’re still clinging onto the idea that punk can change the world- but after ‘I Wish I was A Punk Rocker with Flowers in my Hair’ how can you think the message is still getting through?

That’s like singing I Wish I Wore My Klan Outfit to the Notting Hill Carnival. How can someone get it so wrong?

“In ’77 and ’69 revolution was in the air
I was born to late to a world that doesn’t care
I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair”

What we lack as a generation is context. You know, that crucial bit of extra knowledge that makes everything make sense. The past has been reduced to a pick ‘n’ mix, a jumble of possible styles and causes you can choose to dress in. So it makes sense that old Sandi could lump hippies and punks together because Topshop does too. Who cares if one advocated nothingness and destruction (no future), while the other wanted a universal conscientiousness (a utopian future)? History has become a Sale Rail of symbols. Why believe in anything any more?

I’m basically a trash whore, a music pansy, a soft lad.

I made myself buy the so-called classic albums because I have no taste of my own you see. I am a vessel, filled by other people’s likes and dislikes. If I am asked about something I should know about, let’s say The Godfather I-III, I have to apologise profusely and take my red cheeks elsewhere. Or else pretend. But that gets me into trouble. To escape the tedium of shaking my head at the many things I don’t know about, I have taken to throwing a few “yeah’s” and nods in. But then comes the more detailed interrogation, sorry, conversation, where you have to say what bits you enjoyed the most and give an opinion about its worth. This is where I am left stuttering.