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"

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.

“Dogs are people too”


 

"Mummy, do I look pretty?"

Lisa bought matching rain coats for Devo and Goldie. One is red, the other yellow. Both have detachable hoods. Today they swapped the hoods over, and took them proudly on their walk.

Halfway down the road, they kept getting very odd looks, especially by men. They looked at each other and then down at the colour coded dogs. Suddenly they realised what they must look like to other people: two 30 something women who have dressed up their dogs to look like children. Two crazy spinsters living a fucked up fantasy world of anthropomorphic perversity.
Quickly before more people noticed, they took the coats off and hurried on their way.

The dogs got soaking wet, but at least their owners reclaimed their dignity.

"Nudes are so this season"

Money Making Scheme no. 14: I want to open a trendy clothes shop called ‘The Emperor’s New Boutique’, and all the mocha sipping, Clogg wearing, utility chic-ing, Honda driving, wallet overflowing neo-yuppies that these ridiculous hair salons and ugly clothes shops full of ugly clothes keep popping up to cater for will pile in and throw their AMEX plastic at my laughing greedy face. And I will sell them NOTHING! Hahahahahahahaha!

I am getting very pissed off with birds. Every time I walk past a tree or bush, I can hear hundreds of them whistling, tweeting and blogging all over the shop. But can I see a single feathery fucker? Can I Bo Diddley! I demand to see your cute fluffy faces now!

The worse thing is that some fuckers know when you’re looking for them- woodpeckers and treecreepers walk around the other side of the trunk when you try to catch them. How infuriating!

Everything else has been tamed and commercialised, why can’t they do that with wild birds? I want instant gratification with tits, thrushes and blackbirds. (All of which sound like euphemisms and innuendos.)

There should be a law against things looking cute if you can’t touch them. Only ugly, featherless and slimy things should be allowed to be wild.

“Naff off you ugly little fucker”

Mutual Masturbation starring Shaun Ryder and Kenneth Williams


Last Monday was apparently the “happiest day of the year”. It was Happy Monday, that celebrated day of old when Shaun Ryder woke up in his own vomit and decided to form a band. What a crock.

IMAO ‘the happiest day of the year’ only happens once a decade, when the Summer forgets to be so darn British and goes all out.

However illogically, most years just don’t have a best day, only lots of worst days.

Esther: "I'm out of here"

Me and Esther are moving house soon. This means downsizing, which means that Esther is going to get mean on my ass.

We start at the top of the house.

“We don’t need any stupid books!” she yells as I try to slip some into the ‘Keep’ box. “You can get books online now”
“But you can’t write on them or change them at all” I say falteringly. Why the hell do I want books?
“You can print them off” she retorts
“You might as well buy them if you’re going to do that!” Ha! I try to fault her logic
“Print it off then throw it away when you’ve read it. It’s so old fashioned to have books” She says scornfully.
I must work out more surreptitious ways to save my precious paper antiques.

“Old fashioned” really cuts me to the quick. My hip self image, with it’s jacket over the shoulder and ‘jazzy’ socks, starts to cry. Damn it.

I feel like Marty McFly being given a dressing down for his fashion sense:

Anyway why should I be taking advice from someone who only reads picture books?

I’ve got the girl of my dreams- and just like a dream, she’s pure illusion.

Our rules of interaction are:

  1. No caresses
  2. No kisses that last more than 1 second, with absolutely no trace of saliva.
  3. No groping or foreplay
  4. No sleeping naked
  5. No sex or it’s euphemisms: hanky panky, slap and tickle, how’s your father, rumpy pumpy etc

Plato would be proud of us. And Jesus. Shame they’re dead and I hate them.

We have a tea break from packing. In bed. Quietly, Esther gets under the duvet. I turn round, and before I can criticize she shouts

“No! No! No! No! Nothing is happening!” and buries her head under 3 pillows.

"Let's not bother moving house, let's just snooze"

Instead I watch the news. “Closing libraries will kill communities!” is the Liberal crusade of the week. Bullshit. Libraries are just full of mentally ill people who have nowhere else to go. Sheffield City Library has its own regulars: a man who sets up shop next to the Frank Zappa books and conducts a tea party with his multiple personalities, several people who pretend to read comics while they blatantly stare at normals over their glasses, people who try and have a shower in the toilet wash basin (one limb at a time). Oh and people who like to complain about the absence of porn in the video collection.

And then there’s the zero emission neo-hippies who come in with their fold up bikes and faint whiff of hemp, who hover like angry flies around the ‘Environment’ section and sneer at the materialists ogling the chick lit.
Where would these lost souls go instead? The public toilets? Charity shops probably, to get naked in the changing room or to repeatedly ask if any of the clothes are made with organic cotton.

Whenever I start to rant, I want a write a Manifesto. So far, all I can think of is:

  1. Bring back beatings for freaks. My dad used to be chased down the road for being a longhair. Now, anything goes and no-one gives a shit what you wear. I just wished people cared enough to want to hit me.
  2. Bring back Trevor and Simon: the gay Vic and Bob?

The thing that always pissed me off about accounts of the free-lovin’ 60s is that it was always so hetero. Gayness isn’t even considered; radical politics went with ultra-conservative sexuality. Boring. If you are really interested in deconstructing the personality and experiementing with non-normative ways of living, surely trying out same sex relationships is a no brainer? But no, it remained a taboo, and this is what makes me mad! Get over yourselves, you’re just a horny square trying to get unlimited booty calls!

Thinking like this made me wonder if I would enjoy gay sex.

I was discussing foursomes with my good friends Demi and George, and I realised that I am willing to have a penis up my bum, if at the same time I have my penis in a vagina.

And vice versa. Or some spit roasting; I do like KFC.

“Yes” George said, reminiscing, “I do quite like it with a finger up me”.

Whatever feels nice goes, I say.

Mutual masturbation might also be of interest (“Like this? Have you tried our other sexual favours?”). Apparently when Kenneth Williams first went to a gay bar, he was so excited that he ran down the street shouting “mutual masturbation” until the police were called.

Comeback no. 64: “Do you sit on someone’s face with that bum?” I’m not sure yet what context this will suit, but I’m convinced there is one.

I am Iron Man


This is my song of the day, “I AM IRON MAN…HEAR ME DITHER”

Esther and Lisa are babysitting their nieces and nephew tonight.

In order to last the night, I bought:

  1. For tea: Ham and Pineapple Stuffed Crust Pizza, Mr Kipling’s Rhubarb and Custard Tarts
  2. For general snacks: midget gems and apple doughnuts,
  3. For tomorrow’s elevensies: Danish pastries

Tonight is a perfect night to prove my worth as a human being. I can feed the pets, feed myself, watch TV and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Simple.

Everything runs smoothly until I get to Lisa’s house to pick up Goldie. I can’t decide whether to feed Devo or not. I just can’t decide. Indecision is me. After much thought, I ring Esther and ask her advice.

She says “Do what you think” and abdicates responsibility.

The trouble is I don’t think anything. I can’t procrastinate until Esther does it for me. I can’t pretend to concentrate on the conversation, knowing full well that Lisa and Esther will chatter on without my input. It’s down to me.

So I ring up Esther again. And again. Until she inadvertently makes the decision for me.

Job done.

Now I’m watching Being Human with a cat on my bloated pizza-stuffed belly, and a dog’s chin on my shins. Just right.

What would I rather be: a ghost, a vampire or a werewolf? No brainer- vampires get hot action and get to be history.

"Who are you calling history?"

I used to be obsessed with Coppola’s Dracula film- for a start it had my all time perfect woman Winona Ryder, who dumps uptight Keanu Reeves for sexy Gary Oldman as Dracula. I wanted to be him so much. I bought some blue sunglasses like his and I used to stalk around Sainsburys looking for victims. Once I mouthed his line “See me! See me now” at some winsome teenage girl and she looked straight at me as if spellbound.

"Yes! The rohypnol seems to be working"

Of course as soon as she saw me, she turned away in revulsion, but the moment had briefly been mine. It never worked again though.

Dennis Pennis is in this episode of Being Human. Best sleb name ever? It is for a fifteen year old; the age my humour stopped growing. Here he is winding up Jean Claude Van Damme…

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?"

 

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.