A neurotic and a socialphobe go on holiday…Boom Boom!


A neurotic and a socialphobe go on holiday. Sounds like a joke doesn’t it? Well, that’s my life. Last week we went on a boating holiday to the Norfolk Broads. Seven days in Merlin, a boat six paces long and three wide.

My fear of boredom has led me to pack 2 novels, a puzzle book and a trashy magazine. In the first book I’m reading, the neurotic young protagonist has a mantra that he repeats every night before he goes to sleep:

Who are you? I am Jean-Baptiste Baratte
Where are you from? From Belleme in Normandy.
What are you? An engineer, trained at the Ecole des Ponts.

These simple questions seem to define our holiday. But as we chug along in our old boat I find that every time I ask the first question, the answer keeps changing.

Who are you? I am not a parent.

We are both at that age where we’re no longer young and not yet middle aged. Things haven’t happened the way they do for other people. If I was my dad, I’d have a 4 year old child by now.

As we sit eating our pub meal at some godforsaken hamlet, we muse about our barren lives.

Esther: I can’t stop thinking that everyone who passes us on the river says to themselves “why haven’t they got kids?”
We watch a group of children running around the beer garden.
Esther: They look innocent, but I can see some bullying already.
A little longhaired boy has had his little longhaired doll confiscated by a bigger girl. She runs past shrieking like a banshee. When she sees that I am watching, she gives me a knowing grin and shrieks even louder.
It’s as if she is acting the role of child…

“The child is father to the man”

Who are you? I am a big kid.

While waiting for the boatman on our first day, I balance a pinecone on the mooring post.

“Stop it!” hisses Esther, “He’ll know you’ve been messing around!”
Just then, the old chap comes round the corner. He drones on about the rules & regs and then leans forward to unhitch us.
Esther looks round at me with wide eyes and a twitching mouth.
The pinecone topples to the floor and I have to force down a guffaw.
He looks round, catches my Cheshire grin and says,
“You thought I’d knock that off didn’t you!” with the gleaming eyes of a teacher deciding whether to bollock you.

Busted! And like a little boy I go on grinning as he asks Esther if she’s sailed boats before.
“Yeah, lots of times,” she lies, glancing conspiratorially in my direction.
“Ok then, take us out!” he says.
Her taut face tells me all I need to know. Miraculously, she squeezes us out into the river and chugs along nicely.
“Very good,” says the man, “we’ve had some terrible sailors before. One guy went pale as a sheet and froze, driving it headlong into the bank…”
He gets her to turn around and head back to the jetty.

“Now do a stern mooring”
Her face says ‘eh?’ and her mouth says “Erm…Is stern the back or the front?”
“The back”
“Oh”, she says, recovering composure, “I’ve always moored at the front before”.

Like the novice before her, her knuckles show up white against the quaint wooden wheel.

“I know how to do a vertical mooring”

Who are you? Mentally unstable?

Dispensing with the usual boardgames, Esther & I decide to play Mental Illness Oneupmanship. It’ll end in tears.

Me: Maybe you should stop catastrophizing?
Her: Only if you stop negatively reviewing
Checkmate.

Her (coming back into the cabin): Where are my sunglasses? I’ve had to wear yours.
Me: On your head.
Her: (Lowers her voice) What? You mean I’ve just been outside with two pairs of sunglasses on? Oh no! (In a sudden loud voice) Don’t be silly, I don’t need yours as well!

A little later:
Her: Argh! (as boat zigzags wildy across the river)
Me: What’s the matter?!
Her: H-h-heron! (points with a shaky finger at a big bird on the bank).

Esther’s catchphrase of the holiday: ‘Is that a police boat behind us?’

Me: You’re the only female captain I’ve seen all week. I think you’re a feminist icon for all the teenage girls we see with their families.

Her: No, they just think ‘I’m glad I don’t look like an old woman in a crappy old boat’.

Teenage Girl: “Is she saying summat about Jodie Marsh?”

Top 5 Boat names:

  1. Special Lady II (when one special lady just isn’t enough).
  2. Sailbad the Sinner (Best pun on the Broads)
  3. Swan Raider (Esther ‘I just don’t understand it’)
  4. Strip Too (Really?)
  5. Alibi IV 2 (The Krays’ old boat)

Who are you? I am a man

Like the world over, the men at the Norfolk bar we have moored at for the night are deep in conversation about birds.

Man 1: I hear you’ve had some problems down your end.
Man 2: Eh?
Man 1: Them pink-footed geese have been at it again?
Man 2: Nah, you’ve got it wrong, it’s the greylags that do it…

We take Goldie for a walk to Somerleyton Hall. After a 30 minute trek, we find out they have a strict no dog policy. As we walk away, I have a benny.

Me (stomping my feet): I want to be part of the landed gentry!
Esther walks on.
Me (loudly): When I’m rich, I’m going to buy this fucking–
Esther interjects: Oh no, don’t start!
Me (reassuring): Don’t worry I’m not testosteroned up, I’m only joking…
A few seconds later
Me (loudly): I’ll find out where you live and I’ll—
Esther: Err, NO!
A few seconds later.
Me: When I’m an international bestseller I’ll buy this place and use it as…as…as a potty!!
Esther: Please be quiet! What’s wrong with you?
Me (calming down and quoting Michael Palin): Oh no, my problem! I must have fruit!

Who are you? I am a dreamer

Reality is never enough no. 1:
Every person on every boat we pass insists on waving. It’s most disarming. Then a big guy with grizzled beard and tied back hair goes past, staring at us and not waving.

Psycho, Esther says.
He’s not waving because he’s got hooks for hands, I say.

Esther visibly shudders and tells me off.

Reality is never enough no. 2:
I stare out of the window at the other boats going past.

Me: What if you saw a face in the window of a boat that was so strange you just had to discount it had ever existed?
Esther: Please don’t, I don’t want to.

Reality is never enough no. 3:

Me: OMG is that building a weird shrine? Look at all those big pictures of people’s heads.
Esther: It’s a hairdressers (*facepalm*)

This was actually a real shrine we found, seemingly for abandoned toys. They were strung up like infidels. We didn’t stop here.

Who are you? A boatman

It hasn’t taken us long to fall into a routine. Each time we reach a jetty, Esther will bark orders like:

Front rope first!
Stop me from hitting that boat!
Quick, we’re floating away!

Usually we’ll clunk the side of some pleasureboat, so Esther will lock herself in the cabin and push me out to apologize…Luckily for me, boatmen are calm folk so after an obligatory chat about the river I was allowed to return and coax Esther onto dry land.

So, to recap, a neurotic and a social phobe went on holiday…and all they got was this lousy blog.

‘If I have one complaint,’ I say as we hand the boat back at the end of the week, ‘I’d say it’s not tall enough.’
‘That’s coz I built it in 1974,’ he says, standing up to full height, all 4 feet 10 of it.

Zombies v Real Anger


Tues 17th April

 Lisa: “I couldn’t sleep coz I had a migraine, hurty boobs and real anger”

“Real anger?”

“Yes.”

No further explanation was offered. But a can of worms was offered round.

“I told Dom I had to be bathed in warm milk, fed chocolate and put to bed. He fetched me a fat free yogurt and left me to go upstairs to bed.”

The real anger became evident as the day wore on. Lisa’s world had drained of all fun, and she was in danger of being sent home to bed with no tea, if only we could find a lion tamer. Even the inanimate internet was to blame, as she shouted at the laptop screen;

“I’ll kill you unless you show me some dancing dogs.”

This has the same impotent power as my granddad shouting “I’ll set the dogs on you” down the microscopic phoneline to nuisance callers.

 Wed 18th

I may have scared the newsagent. There are many times when a dry sense of humour can get you in trouble.

“I thnk I have won a bit on this lottery ticket”

He takes it off me, scans it in. His eyebrows raise

“A little?! You’ve won nine hundred and sixty…”

The seconds stretch on interminably. My legs start to wobble.

“…pence” he finishes off, looking up and flashing me a cheeky smile.

“You bastard!” I say.

Next day, I see him on the street on my way to work. I had not planned for this, so my words are unprepared;

“I’ll get you back for that, by the way!” I stutter as he passes.

“For what?” he says with apprehension

“The lottery ticket”

“Oh” he replies, walking past hastily and trying to laugh.

Oh no, what have I started? My dry delivery and social awk. have made it sound like a cold blooded threat. I better avoid him for a while.

Ah well, as long as I act naturally next time, it’ll all be forgotten.

The next time I see him, he is safe behind his counter. As I make my exit, he calls me back.

“I’m pretty hard to get back, you know” he warns. Finally, the ball is in his court. I can stop now and he won’t be scared of me.

“That sounds like a challenge..” I reply.

Me and my big mouth!

Wed 18th

Went to a nutrition fair in the university union today, ostensibly to support one of my students who was involved, but really to get a free lunch.

There really is no such thing though, because as I approached each morsel-laden stall, I realized that I would have to feign interest as I talk to the student stall-holders for a minimum of 5 minutes before asking to sample their goods.

Damn social etiquette, I want my lunch!

One stall was manned (literally) by two Greek gods, whose treacle skin burst steroidally out of their skinnyfit tshirts. Of course, when they talked it became clear that they were plebs, but for a while, these twin pillars of genetic perfection stood, arms crossed, surveyjng a world that was theirs for the taking.

My first impulse was to run to the  flawed prettiness of next stall’s two girls. Herein lies the essential difference between viewing beautiful boys and beautiful girls: pain.  In the case of boys, my narcissism is reflected back painfully into my face, but with girls the experience of objectifying is a warm and fuzzy (like wielding a mauve lightsabre, or a soft focus semi-erection). The key here is power: better looking boys confiscate it; pretty girls seem to offer it on a plate.

Anyway, my retreat to the next stall meant that for 5 minutes I listened attentively about the miracle that is pomegranate smoothies, during which I waited for an inch of purple sludge to make its way along the complementary cup to my mouth.

The next stall along had made high fibre cakes into the shape of poo and heaped them in a potty. While this would have put most people off, my love of cake had me shovelling the dense turd in and complimenting the chefs as dark matter cascaded from my mouth.

This appetiser was followed by a taster of kangaroo meat and a catch up with the student, whose autism means that life is essentially a re-enactment of slapstick films.

As we shook hands, he went

“BZZZZZ”

and cackled to himself.

His other favourite is

“MNMNMNMNMNMNMN”

in the vicinity of computers like Buck Rogers’ robot:

Oh to have such simple, retro pleasures.

Sat 21st

Esther’s grumpiness has reached an all time high. My silent prayers are no longer enough: It’s time to defer to a power higher than god- the maxillofacial doctor at the Royal Hallamshire.

We take the lift to floor I, where the doctor promised we would be at the front of the queue, only to find a bench full of casualties each twisted in their own form of agony. One guy is doubled over, cradling his head on a bloody tracksuit top; another is wheelchair-bound with lips so fat they droop under their own weight, and an accusatory leg he can’t bend at the knee. Next to us is a girl with pink hair whose unreadable expression leads me to the conclusion that she’s had a stroke. She should take up poker.

Esther’s painkillers are about to run out.

“Better not take anymore” I reason, “He needs to know how much pain your in. Plus I’m sure he’ll give you some kickass new ones that you can have straight away.”

Her lip wobbles as she agrees. At the dim distant end of the corridor, a figure with long dark hair and blue dressing gown is zigzagging aimlessly this way. Esther peeks past me at her, then flattens herself against the wall in terror. The Ring has a lot to answer for.

From the other side ambles an old man with deep gouges across one side of his face.

“He must have stroked his cat the wrong way” I say.

This is not entirely far-fetched: Linda’s dopey countenance will transform into a wildcat’s snarl if you stroke her in the wrong place. “Back and not the sides” is Esther’s smug motto whenever  I stroke her and Linda’s tail starts ominously to lash from side to side.

In the ward opposite our bench there’s a twenty-something guy whose scalp has been stitched back on with huge Frankenstein zigzags. His friends keep rushing out to tell the nurse that “his head is leaking.”

As the pain takes hold, Esther’s legs shudder and her sharp intakes of breath get more frequent. I bury my head in World War Z.

Finally, after 4 hours, the 12 year old doctor calls Esther and I in. Esther’s social phobia tends to make her get a bit tongue tied and understate how bad she’s feeling, so I keep adding the things she’s been moaning in my ear about.

“Stop it!” she says when he leaves the room.

“What?”

“You’re embarrassing me! Stop talking for me!”

“Fine!”

You can bet that we’ll get home and once we’re alone she will let rip about how much it hurts. I haven’t seen Grizzly Man but I can guess how that guy felt. After all this time, he just gives her some antibiotics and puts a dressing on her tooth-hole.

“This is going to hurt a bit, and it looks like horse-hair” the doctor says cheerily.

“That’s good, you like horses” I say, equally cheerily.

Esther just glares.

As we wait for her prescription, I dare to ask for a pain update.

“Imagine if this room was full of mints and they were left to rot for a hundred years into a nugget the size of a pea. That’s what this dressing tastes like” she says.

Yummy.

My social IQ is 50; what’s your excuse?


"All my multiple personalities are idiots"

As luck would have it, my greatest skill in life is in making life less skillful.

Yesterday I had a phonecall, which reverted to NATO’s phonetic alphabet (beloved of bobbies and geeks) with foolish consequences. Why she couldn’t make sense of my usual phone slurring I’ll never know, but we started to speak in letters and then words-for-letters. I don’t know the phonetic alphabet, so I made up my own. “Bezelbub, Electric” I said with trepidation. “Bravo, Echo?” she corrected hesitantly. “Figaro?” I added. “No, not Figaro” she said with confusion, “send me an email”.

I also had to call Amazon that day, because I have ordered 15 books to go to my old house. By mistake of course, I’m not that perverse.

It seems I will have to wait for them to be sent back before being refunded and re-ordering them to be re-delivered the correct address. All except one book, which is out of print. She won’t tell me which one.

“Which one is out of print?” I ask

“Err, the Chris Kraus book” she says after some hesitation.

I scan down the list of orders, and see “I LOVE DICK” by Miss Kraus. Why did it have to be that one? I think about possibly coming up with a story about why I am not like that. Truth be told, I can’t remember why I ordered it. I think it looked ‘interesting’.

Thinking back, I wish I’d probed a little more;

“What’s the book called? I can’t quite recall it…”

“Erm, I Love…Richard”

“Oh, I don’t remember that title…” followed by a Sid James guffaw…

"Wycliffe can't speak Spanish"- Hips

In other news, I’m just like Shakira. My hips don’t lie; I just can’t pretend to be skinny anymore.

But, neither do my hips say sorry. I just went to the shop to get some stodge. On the way out, I was bottlenecked with 2 young women coming into the shop.

“Sorry” I said automatically, and backed up. Really, I was being chivalrous and should have barged through in the name of equality.

As the front one walked past me I found myself pushing past, and somehow managed to flip her into the magazine shelf with my hip.

“Oh!” she yelped in shock. I had crossed the boundary into her personal space and not only that but touched her. I mean, ugh!

I seem to have that reaction. On the first day of high school I sat down for the first time in my form class, to be met by “Ewww!” as the girl nearest me pushed herself away in revulsion. Ah, school days. Truly the best time of my life-if best has reversed its meaning and now means abject shitiness.

“Sorry” I said again, only this time it was my moral duty. I daren’t look behind me because no doubt both the girl and the viewing shopkeeper were giving me the evils.

As I left the shop, I think I even added another “sorry” under my breathe; this final one was for generally being alive. I affected the rolling gait of a generic cripple just in case, to make it seem that it was my body that was impolite, not my mind. Regular readers will know this is not true.

I have just returned again from a shop- this time however, things went relatively smoothly. I am catching my breathe and looking down on the 2 comatose, puffy faced girls in MY bed- the sisters and their snoozing takes priority. There must be something in this genetics lark, because they are both facing the same way with the same arm draped across their fronts. I imagine the same daft puppies are lolloping around in their dreams too. So bitter and jaded on the outside; so pathetically girly within.

Earlier, we were talking about holidays this summer. Correction: I am remaining mute and listening, having used all my chitchat ability up for the day keeping up with the nattering of the two sisters in the first half hour of their getting together.

“I want to go to Berlin” says Lisa, with a voice and expression that would make Guardian readers reach for their credit cards with one hand while continuing to whip themselves over Third World poverty with the other.
“It’s rubbish” says Esther. “It’s just like Sheffield except everywhere smells of cowpats and everyone speaks German”.
“Oh” says Lisa. “Isn’t it beautiful?”
“No”
“Isn’t it full of amazing cool people?” asks Lisa
“No, they’re all old and ugly”
“Oh”

I have left Esther in  charge of sorting out our holiday this year. So far, she has found a weekend on a barge on Sheffield canal for £1000.

Kill me now.

"WISH YOU WERE HERE...AND I WASN'T"

What’s Polish for Devo?


Devo has become obsessed with an Alsatian called Pogo that he meets in the park. Their friendship dynamic involves Devo annoying the hell out of Pogo, and then Pogo knocking him to the ground and making him cower.

Pogo’s owner is a para-military-looking Polish man.
Yesterday, Devo headbutted the man in the balls so hard that he fell to his knees.
“It’s ok, he is too small to make me hard” he reassured Lisa and Esther in broken English.
They presumed this was a bad translation.
The girls were on their own, and the Polish man asked to meet them at 12 the next day. Presuming it was for the dog’s sake, they agreed.
The next day, Lisa has forgotten and at 1pm she sets off to the park with Dom. As they near the entrance, she seems the fed up Polish man looking up and down the road. As he spots her, and them Dom, he quickly turns and disappears up the road.

How can you tell between being friendly and consenting to marriage, Lisa thinks.

Yesterday, we met up again with the Pole. He seems to have accepted that he cannot take any of us. He called Goldie “the queen mother” because she is old and slow and dignified. If you could see her you would know this is a stroke of genius.

"Biscuit please"

He suddenly goes marching off into the woods “You smell that? That is wild garlic”. He marches to a bunch of leaves, pulls one up, and sniffs. “Not this” he says and marches off again. Finally he has found the garlic. He offers me some to smell.

Why do we not learn this stuff at school? We are like urban foxes who only know how to hang out by the Subway bins. We are rubbish at being wild.

It is both scary and exciting the way that Europeans do everything you wish you could but are trained not to as a good, upstanding Englishperson. Balls to that. I want to act like a big kid, sniffing plants and forcing poetry into mundanity. I am on the bus and a boy next to me has his right leg resting on his left knee (I’m sure there’s a word for this).

His foot is pointed towards me, inches from my knee. His shoe looks fucking massive. Dammit, my size 11s are feeling inadequate for once. I want to mirror his position and press my sole to his and compare sizes. I almost do it, but chicken out.

Is it normal to want to strike up a conversation with bigfoot? Is it normal to feel drawn to giants and want to ask exactly how high?

At some stage Esther and Lisa are going to have to find a new park, because they can no longer scurry past anonymously if there is someone who expects them to chat like normal functional adults. The stuttering snippets of convo so far are the outer limit of their capabilities, not the precursor to casual friendship that mr Polish man expects.

Such is the life of a social phobe.

Esther and me walk Devo and Goldie today. We always keep Devo on a lead until we are safely on the big field where he can harass other dogs and chase sticks rather than eating small children and biting bottoms.

As we unleash him, he gallops across the field and stops in his tracks. He’s smelled something nice. He throws himself on the grass and begins to furiously rub himself again and again.

Oh God, he’s found some duck shit, we think.

Dogs seem to love having greasy, stinky duck faeces on their necks. Eau de toilette indeed.

I start to walk over to stop him, and he ignores my shouts and claps and writhes in ecstasy on this patch of ground.

As I come up to him, I see a lump of flesh. It is round and pink with bits of fur stuck in it. It is the top half of a rat. And it stinks of rancid cheese, quite like my bottom does.

“Get away from it” I shout “you filthy fucker”

I chase him off it and the stench worsens. Esther and me gag, and throw sticks in all directions to make him forget about it.

On the way back, Esther runs ahead and makes Dom run a bath for the little filth hound. His coat is put straight in the bin. Meat and cheese are off the menu for today.

Why can’t animals ever finish off their dinners? It’s rude to leave stuff on your plate. It’s like if you sacrifice your child to God, and when you climb up the temple steps you realise that only the arms and head have been bitten off. “My baby was not a gingerbread man” you shout. It’s just not right.

"Go ahead, make my day!"

 

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.

BORING ‘N’ UGLY 8


OMG is that a clitoris?

Dec 7th

Esther brought up the small cock debate on the dog walk with Lisa today. “I was just being an evil bitch” says Lisa, “But Dom’s still got a big ‘un”.
Before I new that there were showers and growers (about 6 months ago to be precise) I had kind of resigned my self to having a smaller than average willy. 3 inches soft, 6 inches hard. A very mediocre improvement. Still it seemed to do the job (but it’s mostly unemployed).
As a virgin, I had avidly read the problem pages of FHM while I waited at the barbers.

“I was the only bloke in a college of 300 women” the hairdresser would boast as he chopped the hideouls marine cut I wanted at the time. He never said what that meant- so he learned how to apply fake tan like a pro?

‘Look at you now, the only manicured metrosexual in the village’ I should have said. Is 15 years too long for a comeback?

The French call it L’esprit d’escalier (the inspiration on the stairs, it comes to you after you’ve left like). With me it’s usually ‘the spirit of halfway along the trans-siberian express’.
“My boyfriend’s penis is so small that I can’t feel it inside me” one reader said. “He just sits at home and cries about it all the time” she concluded. Oh God, I thought, what if that’s my fate? A sad man growing old with his light permanently obscured by his bush(el)?
It reminds me of that joke “My wife’s so fat…she killed herself last week”.
My party trick, around 6am usually, is to strip off and walk around showing everyone who’s still awake everything I’ve got to show. (Not much according to Lisa). So whether they like it or not, pretty much all of my friends have seen my willy. So whether I am small or not should be a moot point by now.

Maybe it’s ok to have a small cock so long as you’re not afraid to show it?
In my head, that last line was spoken in the voice of Carrie from Sex and the City:
This is what I always heard when she spoke: “After all, aren’t we all just a bunch of privileged cunts wearing couture angst?” [meaningful silence]. Cut to credits.

Dec 9th
No lecture today- my tutor is protesting in London. The big kid. The only reason anyone goes to these protests is to take their anger out on Tescos and get their photo in the Independent. Did your dad cut your allowance? Go and join the demo. Did your girlf/boyf go off with a sexy activist? Go and smash a policeman’s face in and win them back. Don’t like politics or fashion? Join the Young Socialists. That’s the only reason I went to the Stop the War demo in 2003- for a party and something to do. Boredom not ideology drives our generation. Nothing better to do? Pretend to give a damn.

Who gives a shit- so what if the fees go up, it’s not like anyone will ever be earning £21K any time soon so it’ll never get paid back. You aren’t really expecting a good job as a result of your shitty paper certificate? Don’t be an idiot- it justs means you can afford a chip on your shoulder in the inevitable call centre where you end up, and have a higher class of daydream than the other school-leavers. “I could have been someone” moans Shane McGowan in Fairytale of New York, “Well so could anyone” comes Kirsty MacColl’s withering reply.

What’s in my head today: The Power by Snap: The Jim Carrey version: 


Just read this week’s Heat, my favourite magazine like ever. Thoughts: So Cheryl Cole is ‘torn’ between an ugly white man and an ugly black one. Maybe she only goes out with people who make her look better. And who won’t cheat. Why does Audrina Partridge look like her face is undergoing a landslide? In fact her whole body does too. Why are the best outfits always on the ‘What Were They Thinking‘ page?

Watching News 24. I wish the students would stop throwing things at police horses. It’s the people on top that they’re out to get. Imagine having a doughnut-filled bully boy on top of you, tensing his thigh muscles in anger as scrawny middle class dropouts get all hot headed and try to knock you over.
One student is interviewed “I paid £44 to get here today [have you never heard of a Student Railcard?], don’t get me wrong” he shouts at the top of his voice, “Clegg, you need to man up. You have 3 options, grow some balls and oppose it, abstain and you’re no man, or support it and be a dick” he bellows.
“YES!” shouts a neighbouring chav. Like he is ever going into Higher Education.

So Nick, did you get that; you can either have balls, or a dick or nothing; what do you choose?

"I want my balls back"

 

Dec 13th

“If I had turned out the way I should have, I would be making little cakes by now” says Lisa wistfully. “Instead I’m sleeping in and chain smoking”.
What did I want to be? What should I have become? I’m just glad I’m still here, what with my predisposition for falling over, indecision, and sudden fits of recklessness, I could have been a quadraplegic by now. The spine is so fragile I think, what a stupid design. Sometimes when I sit with my arm round Esther, I think ‘a quick twist and she’s dead’, and I have to sit on my hands for a while.

My mother once revisited her youthland and found an old woman staring at her like she’d seen a ghost. She approached her quizzically. “I’m sorry dear”, said the crone, “but I remember you, and I never thought you’d survive into adulthood”. No further explanation was offered, and the woman drifted back to her shopping.

The benefits of a healthcare system are that evolution is frozen- the weak and the frail get to live out their lives in an artificially safe environment. Instead of the old dying and making way for the young, they hang around- it’s not unusual to have the choice of grandparents or great-grandparents for babysitters.

It must come as a shock when you suddenly stop being young and realise that you’re ONE OF THEM- a fogey, a biddy, a dirty old man. I can feel it, coming in the air tonight…

I have the sudden desire for an enema in time for Christmas.

Back Once Again with the Ill Behaviour


"Eat me before I eat you, boyz"

When bored, some people like to add up their ages to find a collective amount (“OMG, we’re 103!”). I like to imagine our social circle is one person, and after a visit to the psychiatrist, this is our combined diagnosis:

Man in the Mirror

This bipolar patient has acute Obsessive-Compulsive urges, coupled with megalomaniacal narcissism, which is barely tempered by lurid self-loathing and body dysmorphia. Patient X cannot perform the simplest social functions without experiencing severe panic attacks: stuttering, ruddy cheeks, panting, startled faun eyes. However, under the heavy influence of illicit drugs and alcohol they become a social epicentre, until that is, they physically and mentally abuse all those around them, and are either sent to bed or more usually pass out. The kindest outcome would be to put X down, but until they can afford a flight to Switzerland, we will continue their steady diet of industrial strength anti-depressants indefinitely.
Signed: Nurse Ratchet

 

i'm only coming out when everybody's gone

Esther demands that I clear up the context of her cheating, so she doesn’t get painted with the Evil Bitch brush.
Imagine yourself a kind of prisoner. You are too scared to go out during the day, because people will judge you and your agoraphobic scuttles into dark corners and visible panic attacks will make you a laughing stock (or so you think).
So, the only escape you have is getting so drunk you can’t feel the fear. Now imagine that lifestyle- and how you would feel month after month of the same routine: sleeping in out of boredom, then hours spent preparing yourself for some hasty trip to the shop and then chain smoking and napping to kill the time until it’s dark and you have a valid excuse for getting drunk. Now imagine drugs get added to the mix and you find that you can make this nowhere time, when all bad stuff is suspended, last all night and into the next day. You would wouldn’t you?


This is how social phobics live. The less you do in your life, the lower you feel. Functional people who commute to work and earn money feel like they deserve to go shopping or have an after dinner drink with mates. They are buoyant on a stockpile of social capital. Even if work is shit, you get to moan about it with like minded jobsworths. And at least you dare to go in the first place. A treat isn’t a treat unless it rewards something difficult. Thus drinking becomes the reward for the treacherous act of merely living.
Oh boo-hoo you’re thinking.
Imagine what you’re most scared of. And imagine seeing it crowding past your window every day. Most phobias can be controlled- don’t like poor people? Move in to that gated community. Don’t like pesky kids? Stay in during the school run. But if you’re scared of THE REST OF THE WORLD, then there’s really no escape.
It’s life or death for the social phobic. Fight or fly. Time to face your demons and say “Can I have small packet of Cutter’s Choice, blue rizlas, and extra slim filter tips please?”
The words pass out of your fear-stiffened lips like a mantra, one that you’ve rehearsed many times before the saying of it, just so you don’t make a mistake and get eaten by the smiling demon behind the till.
It’s like an episode of Buffy where you realise Sarah Michelle Gellar has disappeared to Hollywood to make her fortune in dull romcoms, taking with her the acidic one-liners and immortality that made the world safe, leaving you face to face with a whole heap of trouble.

brain off bum on