Life’s a game of three thirds…


Mon

Lisa smokes like a cooling tower. She’s convinced this wont be a problem in our utopian future. Do as much damage as you want and just replace the parts.

“I want a lung transplant, but I don’t want them to be too big,” she frets, “I’m already bloated enough.”

Tues

Lisa is coming to stay for the night while Dom is away.

“Shall we have a pamper session and get loads of chocolate?” I say with sheer abandon, clasping my sticky palms together in supplication to the God of feminine delights.

Esther looks me up & down, stony faced.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.
“Nothing.”
“Don’t I look normal?”

I was sure I was incognito as a normal bloke today. I was sure I’d got away with it this time.

“Normal. For an 80 year old man playing golf,” she qualifies, surveying my loafers, argyle socks, beige chinos, baby blue Harrington jacket and skipper’s cap.

Oh.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZXI9RJSgok]

Wed

Staggering back on the wrong side of town from a night out, Esther spots a tube of lippy and grabs it.
“That probably belongs to a prozzy,” I caution.
“Nah, it’s too expensive to be a whore’s,” she reasons, smearing it round her mouth.

Thurs

A moth bullied Linda tonight. She was flat out on the bed in front of our giant prehistoric TV and it came hurtling at her, mistaking her glowing white belly for an obese light.

She twitched with annoyance when it impacted, half-heartedly shooing it away with a turgid paw. After a while of relentless buffeting, she took herself downstairs.

“No way am I watching The Mothman Prophesies.”

Fri

I’d quite like to get a tattoo. They seem like a good way of hiding puny white arms under a mask of rebellious alpha masculinity. Better than relying on speech, which I would probably get wrong:

‘I’m a naughty boy, sorry I mean a bad boy’.

Instead, a tattoo would proclaim;

I eat pain for elevenses.

Speaking of elevenses, Esther has formulated a diet for us. It’s called The Thirds Diet and it means that between us we only eat one portion of any given meal; I have two thirds and she has one.

A sample day in our diet:

Breakfast: One mini chocolate brioche for me, a half for her.
Elevenses: Most of a yogurt for me, scrapings for her.
Lunch: Two thirds of a bacon sarnie for me, crust & rind for her.
Afternoon Tea: Three pieces of cherry & chilli choc for me, one for her
Tea: One ready meal unequally divided into two.
Pudding: An almond Magnum: she gets the frozen top first; I get the half melted bottom.

Sat

My exp-pat cockney pal Alfie is accompanying me round the university degree show. We go to see one of my student’s work. Liz is very blonde and has combined wedding photographs with Photoshop unicorns and rainbows.

Alfie is good in these situs, swapping his barrow-boy patois for bourgeois dinnertable talk in a heartbeat.

“I like these. They’re very, dare I say, kitsch,” he says to Liz with a smile.
She’s not going to understand that. I want to nudge him and whisper ‘She doesn’t know anything.’
“Th-Thanks,” she says, trying to gauge if it’s a compliment or not.
“Yes, reminds me of Jeff Koons,” he adds thoughtfully.
Her face goes blank.
“They’re good” he translates.
I steer him away before she overheats.

My parents got me this. They assure me that fans thought Liberace was straight. ikr!

Alfie has got me a ticket to see the fashion degree catwalk show. He says he got it especially for me, but I know he offered it first to a girl and she said no.

As soon as we arrive, he transforms into a full-on diva. The seats are nearly full.
“We’re going to sit at the fucking front,” he decides, “we’re fucking VIPs!”
The front seats all have names on which aren’t ours.
“I’m having a fucking drink!” he strops.
“The drinks are only being served after the show,” an usher explains.
Alfie goes straight up to the bar and yanks two free from under the protective covering.
“We’re fucking VIPs” he explains.

The show is the best student one I’ve seen. A monster comes on at first with ten-foot arms and legs, glaring at the crowd. Then ten-foot tall amazons stride up and down parading their freakishly proportioned bodies. My god, what’s wrong with them? They’re not hunched over or sagging in the middle. Freaks.

At the afterparty, I have one of those moments. I’m introduced to one of the models and I look up at her.
Surely by now I will know how to speak to women? There will be no unattainables any more- adulthood is place of accepting our common humanity etc?

“Wow,” I murmur in an awed child’s voice. I’m not going to say what I think I am am I-
“You’re really tall,” I murmur as I gaze up, stupefied at her (and at me).
She looks over my head and walks away.

A little while later, our friend High Bri comes over. He passes the model and is a good 2 inches shorter.

“Ha, that girl is even taller than you,“ Dom says with Record Breakers glee.

“No she fucking isn’t,” says Bri, going back over and straining to show that he is, in fact, marginally higher.

“I win,” he shouts in a voice unintentionally like golem.

Life would seem to be about small victories played out on the epic battlefield of human activity. There is no ultimate victory, only desperate deeds done in semi darkness, with the vague hope that you’ll have time to eat your pot noodle or have an orgasm before the next blow falls.
Or something.

Sun

“I want hot dogs for lunch today. What’s a portion?” I ask Esther.

She raises her eyebrow. Of course, how could I have been so insubordinate?

“I’ll decide,” she says in a no-messing tone before adding, “Jah will provide. And decide.”

I’ve never realised how must Esther sounds like a rasta…

“I googled ‘sad rasta’ and found NOTHING. I give you this instead: a rasta dictator, aka Esther.”

Don’t Let the Bells End!


Christmas Day

This was mostly uneventful, apart from Esther crying about how shit her life is, and moaning about how crap her presents to me were. The roast was postponed as well because it hadn’t thawed out.

Boxing Day

Esther didn’t moan as much today, and we finally had our Christmas Dinner while watching the Borrowers. I fucking hate the BBC family dramas, and Christopher Eccleston has never been good. He didn’t reject Dr Who because “it wasn’t serious enough”; it dumped him because he has no sense of humour. So, in combination, The Borrowers was enchanting. Then we had trifle with yule log and squirty cream. Then we went to bed and and tossed and turned, racked by heartburn.

Day after Boxing Day

Esther went into town to get a present for Weasel, and I walked the dog and tidied her side of the bed. I think she might have a problem because most of the rubbish was sweet wrappers (Twirl bars, popcorn packets, Lindt truffle wrappers), screwed up tissue smeared in eye-makeup, the plastic filter tips of a million e-cigarettes, and a giant subterranean beast made of entwined tights.

Later, Weasel and Kung Fu took us for a Mogul Room meal. As Esther squeezed past the table to go to the loo, Kung Foo slapped her bottom heartly and said;

“Nice arse; use it wisely”

To which Esther let out a disgusted squeal of indignation.

Lisa insisted on trying a bit of everyone else’s meal before her own, convinced as always that she would have made the wrong decision. This is normally my feeling, but seeing it demonstrated by someone else, I vowed never to be so silly again.

Xmas is Dead; Long Live Xmas

I had a sexy dream last night. I think the sexiness of my dreams is hampered by my limited sexual appeal, ability and experience in real life.
I met some random girl and we were making out while she chatted to her BFF on her mobile. She was going on about all the lame guys that hit on her, and how cute her husband was, all the kind of stuff that makes your willy shrivel up and your decency start to growl. But instead, I soldiered on, unzipping her bustier and kissing her back. As I started to finger her, she put down the phone and said;

“I’m going to slop you out so much you won’t believe it!”

I gathered from this that I was in for some fellatio, and supposed this allowed her to tell her husband that-

“No darling, I would never cheat on you”.

Then my mum walked in the room and I woke up.

You can probably tell from my dream that I have never talked dirty apart from once when me and Esther were both drunk and I was yelling at the top of my voice;

“Touch my thing! And those too!”

I think I sounded more like an angry film director than a dominatrix.

Anyway, going back to the dream, I have to ask what I was thinking to come up with “I’ll slop you out” as a turn on. She sounded like a Prison Warden or a cleaner at the dog kennels. I wonder if some people are born sexting and talking smut, like other artists? I’ve always felt too guilty to watch porn, so maybe I missed a certain kind of education.

The dream effectively ended when Linda got her claw stuck in the end of my nose in an attempt to rouse me. I threw the duvet off in frustration and strapped myself into my tiger-print all-in-one. Yet again, the day began with my immortal words;

“Come on you fuckers”,

and a cat trying to trip me on the stairs, unable to predict that she would never, ever get her biscuits again if she succeeded. I almost want it to work, just to teach her a lesson…

In other news, it’s the Deer Leader’s funeral.

I wonder what the funeral will be like for our Tortoise Leader?

Boring and Ugly Crimbo Special: 1st Anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


22nd December

I’m not sure I’m getting the point of The News. I’m sure it’s meant to be sad and gritty, but all I can think about is clothes and how good people look when they die young.

The Stephen Lawrence enquiry has revealed some great 90s clothes collected as evidence. With a 90s revival nearing the end, I am still in love with the clothes I would have been wearing back then had I been cool.

What an outfit! Jazzy jacket, sparkly cardi, pink polo shirt and high waisted acid-wash jeans. When I look round today and see all these draw-string grey tracky bottoms, v neck t shirts and silly bobble hats, I despair. Think about it people- do you really want to die dressed head-to-toe in Primark?

 

24th December

A relationship is a relay team, and each couple passes on their own make of baton. Ours is misery and irritation. All last night and this morning, Esther has had the full blown grumps.

“What’s the point? Christmas day is just like any other- we’ll get up, eat till we’re sick, walk the dogs, watch TV and go to sleep”

The thing is, when I think about it, that’s true. Coz Esther doesn’t work, this isn’t a holiday or a treat for her. It’s just another day.I cling onto hope when Weasel and Kung Fu, Esther’s parents, ring up and invite us for coffee.

Surely she won’t dare ruin their day too?

Of course she will- that’s her sacred role in the sisterhood.

We go for Eggnog Lattes in Starbucks with them and Lisa. Weasel has promised to buy a winter hat for Esther. She gets out the brochure for her to choose from.

Weasel- “Choose your top 4 from here”

“I don’t want one” she petulates (this should be a word- I’ve written it, so now it is)

A look of weary resignation flits across Weasels face. Lisa rolls her eyes.

“Give it here then” Esther chides, snatching the leaflet from Kung Fu’s hand, and without seeming to look, scrawls numbers next to  pictures.

“You didn’t even look at that!” says Lisa in horror

“Yes I did; white’s the best colour, so I chose the whitest then numbered down from there”.

We are clearly dealing with a genius here, for whom simple tasks like this are odious and best treated with contempt. She is Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon in foreshortened female form.

"Whosoever invented this should be flayed alive!"

Well you know what, now it’s time for my go with the bastard baton. It always changes from red to green in my hand though- from misanthropy to jealousy when passed from a middle to an only child. a week ago we paid £15 for the runtiest tree we could find. It leans over drunkenly like my erection.

Now, on Christmas Eve, the trees that were for sale at the bottom of our road have been abandoned. Lisa and Dom can take their pick, and choose one 3 times the size of ours, for free! In what universe are the poor allowed to triumph over the rich with such smugness? What’s the point of having ostentatious spending, if other people are going to get the same stuff for free??

I know I should be thinking “It warms the cockles of my heart to see the Tiny Tim’s of the world smiling”

But instead it’s “I want a tree that big! Maybe I should have two trees, then I’ll win!” Winning in my mind is a vague concept, something to do with the unhindered accumulation of stuff. I guess it comes from the entitlement of being the golden child backed into a corner by a real world full of grasping hands.

Suffice to say, when we both got home we had snapped the baton in half and carved each others faces with it.

Esther- “I’m not going to wrap your presents…”

Me- “Why not?”

Esther- “Coz I hate wrapping presents. I can’t be bothered”

Me- “Well, we can put them in plastic bags at least…?”

Esther- “I can do what I like. You can do what you like”

She stomps upstairs for a snooze.

“Don’t go to sleep” I call after her plaintively

“Why not?”

“Erm, because we can go and watch Christmas TV…?”

“I’m bored of TV”

“We can…tidy up?”

This isn’t going to work. She grunts and disappears. Why can’t I think of anything to do anymore? My excitement is draining away. What’s the point of anything?

I trudge upstairs to bed.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Are you an N or an F?


I finish my day at work and automatically ring Esther to find out what she’s doing so I can do it too. This reminds of the joke about when spouses Kenneth Brannagh and Emma Thompson were inseperable in the mid 90s:

Emm: “Where are you darling?”

Ken: “I’m in the shed”

Emm: “Oh, can I be in it too?”

Anyway, unusually for them, Lisa and Esther are sat outside Starbucks having a coffee. I jump on an 82 (not an 88 since I was prevented from boarding one for holding a coffee: “Is that a hot drink?” “No, it’s gone cold” “Well you can’t get on” etc) and hop off the stop before Starbucks, sauntering in my most relaxed-looking way up to the cafe.

“Half F, half N” confides Lisa to Esther as I sit down.

“More F than N, I’d say” says Esther, “He has got a clean shirt on”

I tuck my shirt into my trousers, flustered by the attention.

“Oh no, that’s definitely N, tucking it in like that” says Esther with satisfaction.

Finally, they explain that they have been playing a game where they judge whether people are Functional (have a job and relationship, good self esteem) or Non-functional (on benefits, mentally unstable, or intellectuals) from the way they look as they walk past. I notice a funny man sat in Starbucks window behind us- he has a shock of grey hair sticking vertically up, a huge round belly and a spotted handkerchief peering from a pocket in his white tucked-in tshirt.

“So what’s he then” I say with as much subtlety as I can muster (not much).

“Oh, him. He’s a double N” says judge, jury and executioner Esther.

Next, Lisa scurries off up the street mumbling “Do me”, before turning round after about 3 metres and coming back. She is trying her hardest to look normal, which means she is surging forward with a furious look on her face.

Without having to confer, Esther and I proclaim “definitely an N”, to Lisa’s bitter disappointment. Now Esther goes for a wee, and after about 5 minutes reappears behind us, having sneaked out of the side door. She is unsurprised to learn her N status too.

Ecclesall Road is wall to wall with Fs, usually rich students with box fresh clothes, or kept men or women perched like vultures in the window of Nonnas, draining spousal money in the futile pursuit of real happiness. I think rampant materialism is a sign of something missing.

But if this is what it takes to get status in this world, I guess I am a player too, but only on week days. I am a wekend hippie and a fairweather flakey. I’m proud of my N/F mongrel ways.

 

BAD as in BAD


"do you want a cup of tea? can I caress you?"

Arseholes, bastards, fucking cunts and pricks

This is what I was like in my dream. Everyone hated me because all I did was cuss all over the shop. Not like me at all. I was visiting some country mansion with a load of silver haired tourists.
In fact, the only person who liked me was this really cute young cleaner who worked for English Heritage. She followed me when I stormed out and we eloped.

But then as soon as she showed an interest, I stopped being an ice cold bad boy and became my usual room temp. self- needy and demanding: “you’re really beautiful”, “I love you”, and passion killer numero uno “do you really like me?”
I turned from a handsome, upright cactus into a saggy week old lettuce, pathetically dripping on the floor.
Yuck.

"place in a microwavable bowl for 2 mins before turning over. Serve with salad"

At least I’m not The Man with the Cold Meat Hands. Probably an urban myth, but I heard about this guy whose microwave had a hole in the door and for some reason he had to hold his food up through the hole while it was on. After a while, his hands started to feel funny, and he went to the doctors only to be told-
“You’ve cooked your hands. There’s nothing we can do”
Ugh.
Imagine having 2 cold dead lumps of meat where your hands should be. I imagine when you touch your own face it’s like being caressed by a dead man. It is the most disturbing thing I have ever heard, because it makes me realise that yes we are just lumps of flesh like the ones we fry and gobble down and that a simple cooking procedure would turn us from human to animal, from warm body to tepid meat.

Whenever I feel tired in the afternoon, Esther chirrups “you should be horizontal between the hours of 2 and 4 in the afternoon and 1 and 2 in the morning. This triggers the liver’s downtime”. This is the excuse she uses whenever there is a hard task to do after 2pm “I can’t, it’s liver down time”.

Apparently, Esther learned all her wisdom from Carol Kaplan, Cherie Blair’s “style guru”. Thanks Carol.

"Carol, I've stopped eating lemons, but I'm still not Queen"

Last night I couldn’t get to sleep because I was trying to work out a joke.

As Esther is dropping to sleep, I stifle a giggle but end up snorting with laughter.

“What’s so funny?” she demands

“One guy overhears his friend on the phone.

He’s saying “three ohhh…ten, ten, ten…two fifteens…” in a breathy voice.

“What the hell are you doing?” the friend asks.

“Oh, my wife loves it when I talk thirty” he admits”

I can barely get the punchline out because I’m sniggering so much.

As I chortle away, Esther rolls her eyes.

“That’s not even funny” she says and turns over.

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”

 

The Happy Medium. The Marvellous Mediocre.


"Look, there's me in the middle"

Apparently Esther’s experience of my penis is akin to Goldilocks’s breaking and entering experience at the 3 bears’s house.

While her first boyfriend’s cock was “longer and thinner”, her successive boyf’s member was “shorter and fatter” than mine, which apparently lies slap bang in the middle. Goldilocks has found the right pot of porridge.

So, either I have found someone with a miniature vagina, or she’s lying, or I do actually have a normal sized (erect) cock. Either way, it’s a winner.


Is it so bad to be neither brilliant or terrible, to just simply ‘do’? When Esther’s family friends first saw a picture of me, they said, “He’ll do”. For what I wonder? For Christmas dinner if they run our of turkeys? For sucking like a sugar daddy?

I am fit for purpose, reliable, reasonably priced (cakes are my only vice). I’m not Tesco Finest, but neither am I Buy One Get One Free. Or Buy One Get Three Free as I saw the other day. WTF?

We spend our first 40 years looking desperately at the young, rich and beautiful, and turning away from those uglier and poorer than we are. Everything that happens to our bodies after the age of 21 is shit. I missed my chance to be buff. Now I need to get the fuck over it.

"If I buy a Day Saver, can I go back the start again?"

Esther’s cat Emma died last week. She turned from an ADHD ASBO kitten with tourettes into a slow, silent old lady. Her tongue went from pink to white, and her black hair fell out. She died a different person than she had lived.

Her Emma-ness had been eaten away, or had faded, and all that was left was an imposter.

By the time we die, we expect to turn into a pathetic parody of ourselves: a weak, leaking burden who lives somewhere far removed from reality. Alzheimers, Parkinsons or Cancer will be having its way with our organs, and we will unintentionally hurt everyone we love by not being ourselves. This is our collective fate, unless something intervenes earlier.

“The Stupid Club” is a select group of cultural icons who died at the age of 27, preserving their beauty and virility forever. Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Sid Vicious, Janis Joplin, Marc Bolan. Its members are incapable of dealing with the onset of middle age. The latter part of ones twenties brings with it a devastating taster of things to come: first white hairs, buying NME and not knowing anyone in it, being rejected in favour of 21 year olds. These eternally 27 stars couldn’t imagine themselves being old, ugly and unable to function, and so topped themselves or were careless enough to die.

"Join the Bitch Club, it's way cooler"

I finally get Esther to watch The Runaways with me. I am glad that it is not overtly sexual, because then we she would make me turn it off. A turn on is a turn off. The best thing about the movie is their manager Kim Fowley who looks like Eddie Izzard’s big brother and he says exciting, fucked up, high falutin’ things like

Dog shit! Urine-stained dog shit! Rock ‘n’ roll is a blood sport, a sport of men. It’s for the people in the dark, the death cats, the masturbators, the outcasts who have no voice, no way of saying I hate this world, my father’s a faggot, fuck you, fuck authority – I want an orgasm! Now, growl! Moan! This ain’t women’s lib, kiddies – the is women’s libido! I wanna see the scratch marks down their fucking backs! Now, do it again. Again. Like your boyfriend just fucked your sister in your parent’s bed. LIKE YOU WANT A FUCKING ORGASM!

 

I want to dress like a Primark glam rocker, and be all style and no meaning.

As I drop off to sleep, I hear a sniffing sound. Esther’s got a bloody cold.

I turn over “Are you sniffing darling?” I murmur. Then the sniffs turn to sobs. Oh dear. She starts to sob and sniffle in earnest. All I can do is rub her back, in the knowledge that in normal situations my hand would be smacked away and it might now with extra force. “I want to hold Emma. But I can’t” she whispers.

Normally, I would try to find a solution. That’s what boys do apparently; they treat emotion like it’s a problem to be resolved, whereas girls empathise. I can’t solve the problem- we’ll never see Emma again. So I just wait for the emotions to come out and die down.

After a while, Esther says “Dakota Fanning looks like Emma,” she sniffs, “her facial expressions are the same. She’s a little lost girl with too much emotion”.

"FEED ME!"

The other day we tried to imagine what kind of voice Goldie would have if she could speak. It would have to be a frightened old lady, and we both shuddered at the thought.

Threadbare teddy bears get us used to when pets get old. Dead pets get us used to when people die. Dead people get us used to when we die.

If I get bigger and bigger pets, will I be less sad when my relatives die? If I have a bear, or an elk, will I not mind as much?

Whatever happens, I didn’t know Emma for very long, but I loved her. I don’t want to feel sad that’s she’s gone, I want to feel glad that I knew her at all. I just hope she doesn’t come back and get me for giving her an ASBO.