The Stockport Shenanigan


Finally, Lady Gaga has released a new single. I play ‘Born this Way’ and am chronically underwhelmed. I can feel the wool being lifted, the spell being broken- from  this moment I have ceased to be a Lady Gaga fan. I no longer know what I ever saw in her.

Her lustre has fallen away like clothes off dyspraxic stripper.

My dream started this defection- I picked a side and joined the Madonna Army. It’s like the Jesus Army, but with a better God. Born This Way is a Tesco Value Express Yourself.

"Oh fuck, the gods are gonna kick off!"

This weekend, I had a reunion with the only 2 friends I had at school: Harvey (because he looks like JFK’s assassin) and Dave (because he’s an everyman, a cipher).

As we sat round a pub table in Heaton Moor, a suburb’s suburb, I got to thinking: we each represent a different lifestyle, and each of us is a sloppy mixture of failure and achievement. I am drifting through life, chasing pleasure and numbing myself to pain. Harvey took the genius-savant route, wearing wolf masks to Cambridge and flying high in Hong Kong. Dave took perhaps the most stable route, finding a career and starting a family. Next to Dave, we both look like fuckups. He has brothers and sisters- we are only children. Fantasy is always preferable to reality for us.

"sweet and sour?"

Harvey went to Cambridge and had Stephen Hawking as his personal tutor. His method of teaching often involved ordering in Chinese Takeaway for the class. Then he got addicted to online gambling and rogue physics and was kicked out. He went to work for a major banking firm on the nth floor of a Honk Kong Skyscraper. He is a FILTH (Failed in London Try Honk Kong), a dirty capitalist, a purveyer of CEO’s wet dreams and sticky pauper’s nightmares. He always carries around a book on theoretical physics. This time he also has with him ‘Traders Guns & Money‘, about

“the mega-trillion-dollar derivatives market, the one economists say might be next to collapse on our heads”

Harvey may be sticking his celery in the next double dip. He tells us how he has had to run for his life from a ‘beast’ in the outskirts of Hong Kong. “I was out walking at dusk and I heard something in the bushes. It sounded like a growling monster, and was shit scared so I ran and ran and tripped over and ran. I called a cab and as I waited on the road, I could hear more of them out there in the bushes. Logic would say it was a wild boar, but I think it was a man-eating beast.”

"Please get bigger, I promise I wont look"

We rounded the night off with a little boundary bashing. Dave had gone to bed and I was sat drunkenly with Harvey. I decided I wanted to show him my penis. I warned him beforehand, and tried to get a sychronised pants-down on the count of 3. However, on the first attempt, I was alone in my nakedness. My penis had been replaced by a cocktail sausage lying in a bed of straw.

“I can do better than that”, Harvey said with relish. He unearthed a beached brown whale, languishing on tanned thighs.

“I’m a 7.5 incher” he said matter of factly. My cocktail sausage shrivelled in agreement.

We watched some porn on his Ipad, marvelling at the high definition and sleek finish. An asian girl was being impaled. As my sausage stirred, I said “Quick, look, this is more like it”

As both our pairs of eyes fell on my crotch, the growth reversed and it hid amongst the straw like a spooked mini guinea pig. Speaking of which, Dave had a guinea called Alfie. He thought he was a dog. What’s it all about, Alfie?

Well there was no getting away from it. Harvey had a big cock.

“May I?” I said politely, reaching across, and lifting it. It was a thing of, if not beauty, then wonder. It felt heavy and warm, substantial and soft. I laid it back down.

It was a bit of a non-sequitur so we went to pass out in the guest bedroom.

Another box ticked? One can go through life without ever touching a same-sex sexypart. We see them, thanks to Channel 4 and YouPorn, but they are mythical, massive, virtual. It was a moment that made sense, holding Harvey’s helmet.

We went to sleep in a bunk bed. The next day it drizzled and my head hurt. Dave was monosyllabic; I was morose, and Harvey marvelled at the weather.

“This is amazing!” He said, eyeing the sky. “You just don’t get this kind of weather anywhere else. Let’s go for a hike!”

This chipper celebration of our mundane Northernness was irritating. “No thanks” we replied. Holidaying in misery is the only way to enjoy it.

Instead, I turn my attention to Alfie.

“Make him make that noise that guineapigs make” I say.

Dave goes over to a draw and pulls out a carrot. Alfie sniffs the air. Dave starts to peel the carrot, and Alfie starts

“Weet weet weet weet”

Simple pleasures.

Lady Gaga Ate My Madonna


"Where you wanna go, fanboy?"

Last night, Madonna gave me a lift from banner Cross Post Office to Psalter Lane art college. She had a sexy red chevrolet, and beeped me as she pulled up.

She knew the depths of my feelings for her, and could see I was no threat, so she invited me to hop in.

"This is Gaga, bitch!"

We make a sharp left off Ecclesall Road South, and head up Psalter lane. At the peak of the hill, the road is taken over by 5 women with Madonna’s True Blue-era hair, tight blonde corkscrew’s bouncing as they pounded the road.

But these clones all had a vermilion cape flowing behind them, with the pink emblem of a lobster’s claw on the back, raised like a Black Power salute. I instantly knew this was Lady Gaga’s gang symbol; and she was ruling this town with a fake lobster fist.

Embarrassing! I turned to Madge with red cheeks. Gaga was a style gyppo: nicking Madonna’s style then flaunting it as her own.

As we overtook the Gagas, I wanted to show my loyalty to Madge, and pictured flipping them the bird- too vulgar, I thought. The moment was gone. Arse.

We parked in front of the campus, and ducked down away from a nosy security guard. Madonna leaned in so close, I could smell the fruity tones of her posh hairspray. She passed over the most self-indulgent scrapbook I’ve ever seen: an orgasm of Pop Queen Propaganda. My hand shook as I turned the pages.

"Fruits of the Forest"

Then it was morning and it was all a fucking dream!!!!!!!!! I was so angry that I beat the pillow with my obsessive-fan hands. Until Esther told me to stop it.

I got up and made breakfast in bed and got on with my so-called life.

“BUGLY” (Boring and UGLY)


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

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

“Waaah!”

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

“Waa-” Abrupt silence.

2 minutes later.

“WAAAAAAAH!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This reminds me of John Cooper Clarke

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