Esther meets Bjork. Bjork melts Esther


"Before performing, Bjork will only eat 80s cassette tapes"

Last night, my parents treated us to tickets to see Bjork play in Manchester. Esther had jumped at the chance when it was offered a couple of weeks ago, but now it was the actual day and she was starting to panic.

“Maybe your parents won’t mind if I don’t come” she says hopefully while we get ready.

I refuse to even grunt my disapproval. She isn’t getting out of it that easy.

I realise I must be getting anxious too, because nothing I try on looks normal. How could I not have noticed that I am a pot-bellied pinhead with a whole wardrobe specially designed to accentuate these flaws?

I finally have to put on the least wrong outfit, and we set off; only for Esther to fall flat on her arse at the bottom of the road.

“Ow” she moans, holding her ankle, “maybe I can’t go now?”

After a brief moment of sympathy, I realise it’s a trap.

“You’ll be fine” I say.

The rest of the journey passes without too much moaning. Apart from me panicking about spending an hour on the train with nothing to read. Esther goes for a fag and re-appears with a Heat magazine.

‘The new one’s out tomorrow’ I thought, ‘this is old news’. But I just smiled and said thankyou.  A treat from Esther is a not to be sneered at.

We waited for half an hour in the sticky gloom of some warehouse in the backstreets of Manchester. The bar ran out of lager twice while I was waiting in the queue. Then came a big ‘oooh’ and 20 or so people took to the stage. Which one was she?

“Lots of Bjorks” someone muttered behind me. I pointed out a funny one with a giant ginger afro. After some shuffling about, it turned out that was her. She had a drawn on chinstrap too, and a glittery a-line dress that made her look like a space mermaid.

"Bjork's bro in a 'fro"

“I love you B”

said an overfamiliar bloke, and the crowd guffawed. She ignored it.

Bjork’s first song was called Thunderbolt. A big Faraday cage came down from the ceiling and massive lightning bolts shot across it to add hellish percussion to the music.

Esther clung onto my arm in fear.

“My dad would shit himself if he was here” she said.

Well my dad’s tougher than your dad- he was here and loving it! Bjork’s throng turned out to be a choir of Aryan beauties who wailed like it was the end of the world, and shuffled like an apocalyptic chaingang.

"Frying tonight!"

Up above, there was a circle of projection screens showing squids filling each other’s multiple orifices with multiple tentacles, mushrooms growing, dnas dangling and moons waxing and waning. The main theme seemed to be sex: things going in holes and things fusing and growing.It was like all the mating bits from nature documentaries segued together and set to volcano-pop.

After about 30 mins of this, I felt a feeble hand plucking at my t shirt.

“I’m too hot” moaned Esther looking like her petite frame had melted into a 2-dimensional placard of herself, “I have to go outside”.

Well, she had done well so far.

The rest of the concert (do people still say that anymore?) was good, but I couldn’t shake the worry that Esther had passed out in the heat or was quivering in the shadows as her social phobia took the reigns. Luckily, I found her outside, smiling and having blown herself back up again to 3D.

A fun day out was had by all.

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!"

 

Genesis. And the Boomtown Rats.


"Down with Mondays"

Allegedly, on Monday God created light. What a crock. Mondays are days for getting by, not starting the task of all tasks. Today is after all the sick man of weekdays, the rude oik nephew at a family gathering.

Luckily, there are some people who grab a pad and paper instead of curling into the foetal position when pain come a calling.

Hence “I don’t like Mondays” and “Manic Monday” and “Blue Monday” to name but a few.

I think God actually created pain today. And the police.

Me and Govinda were sat outside Spar on Saturday night, watching two bored policemen frisk a homeless man. We started questioning their motives (excuses to touch skinny men), and they came and loomed over us threateningly.

“Are you laughing at someone trying to do their job” said bad cop

“Yes” I replied.

He stomped away to think of a comeback. After the cogs turn for a while, he comes back over.

“That man is a burglar and a junkie. He belongs in prison”

“Oh yes” I say like a flash, “That will sort him out. He’ll be much better off after that!” I can feel a rant coming on. And then some cell time.

But luckily his one working synapse is taken over by hunger for red meat and he heads into Spar for some cat food. 2 for a pound at the moment.

I used to like the police. I used to believe that they had to be intelligent and sensitive and calm. Some of them are, but they end up at tribunals after being called names by the rest of them.

I suffered a similar disappointment when I found out that Waitrose and Marks and Spencers cashiers weren’t posh. I really thought they would be like the packaging: stylish, articulate and well put together. But oh no. I want to go somewhere where upper middle class types man the customer service desk, and go “hawhee hawhee haw” into the tannoy.

The best part of the day was eaten up ravenously by an afternoon nap from 4-7pm. Lovely.

"On the First Day God created naked napping. And it was goood"

 

 

Boring and Ugly: Slaves, Sweatshops and Stupid Comments


Still working on the bloody essay. Mid-thought, Esther texts me. “Ring me x” she says. What terrible thing has happened that means she can’t ring me? Is she face to face with a rapist?
I ring her. “Hello, I’m walking home with the wheelabout shopper and it’s really heavy, can you pull it up the hill for me?” she says, like butter wouldn’t melt.
Jesus wept. So, she texted me to ring her to get me to be her slave. That’s some convoluted colonial shit. The worse thing is, I did it, no questions asked…

"Thanks for the jeans, they must be really cool because people always call me 'cheeky' when I wear them"

Today I have been mostly wearing Primark skinny jeans, H&M socks and hoody, dad’s cast-off Irvine Welsh ‘FILTH’ t shirt, and T.J. Hughes undies. Only the best for me. Oh, and a clenched jaw thanks to Lady Gaga. That blind, one-armed child in the Primark sweatshop never knew I’d be wearing his creation. I should send him a Thankyou card with a picture of me wearing them. If he could see the fruits of his labour, he wouldn’t feel the pain so much.

It’s finally too warm to wear my leopard-print hat which has been my winter staple. I realised that I feel completely naked without it, and I will have to wean myself off it using smaller and smaller hats. In a month, I should be down to the level of a Jewish skull cap.

"Don't you wish your boyfriend was hot like me?"

Found a great Cary Grant quote before about being famous: “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.”

Imagine being a supermodel or famous actor, and yet you know that you never match up to the suave, articulate ideals you play on screen. How gutting would it be to be jealous of your own persona- “that bastard, he’s too flash for my liking”. That would never happen with me- I’m just not my type. I’d diss the me on screen so bad, he’d never want to leave the house again. Ha, that’d teach him. Me.

I love YouTube comments:

“she is a bitch FREEMASON hey rihanna i gota message for u u can hav the world to ur self but u are going to HELL!!!!!!!!!!! BRA BRA BRA” Not so much a threat, more a “So there” wimp out. And what’s with the lingerie?

and

“FUKIN FAT BITCH IM JAKIN OFF”. Someone needs the concept of flattery explained. And oversharing.

and

“her ass,pussy and tits are all i want! and i’m 13!” Hmm, what a man you’ll grow up to be…Or maybe he’s asking for her donkey, kitten and small garden bird??

Bye Bye Ronnie, Hello Kristen!


Jan 7th
Lisa is bedridden with tonsillitis. This means that rather than sitting downstairs and chain-smoking, she is reclining in bed doing it.

"I'm outta here Jack"

In other news, Ronnie is leaving Eastenders because she’s fed up of weeping every episode. Her face has begun to set in the form of a melting alien

“Oh no my prodigal daughter’s dead”

“Oh no my rapist dad’s dead”

“Oh no my replacement baby’s dead”

“Oh no my career based purely on my looks is dead”

She shouldn’t have changed her name to Womack then should she? A recipe for blubbing-

8,400 complaints for her sustained ugliness. Wow, harsh.

Just noticed that the BBC bigwig says”The DNA of EastEnders has always been to take big strong social issues and wrap them in a traumatic wrapper.” This shows a basic ignorance on capitalism- no-one’s going to buy sweets that are covered in pics of tooth decay are they? People only put up with corpses on their Golden Virginia because they’re addicted.

Excuse me while I go and sit by the phone- Kristen Stewart has finally seen sense…

Reports suggest R-Pattz has decided to ‘end things’ with his Twilght co-star…

Hope my grandad doesn’t call because I shall have to be abrupt: “naff off old man, Kristen wants me”

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.

Don’t Dys My Body


Jan 5th


"Where did I put my slinky?"

My therapist (how American) issued me an ultimatum this morning: Either I do the homework and commit or I take a break. Story of my life. Why can’t I just float along like a fat baby in a basket?

I have Body Dysmorphia you see- this means I hate my neck and think that I am generally a freak. I’ve developed lots of ways to deal with this, such as:
1. asking for reassurance from Esther 50 times a day (does this coat look alright? What about if I have to undo it? What about with the hood up?)
2. getting drunk,
3. lying to myself that I need a wee so I can stare into the bathroom mirror at work.
4. Wearing clothes that cover up the parts I hate: shirts and scarves for my neck, hats for the 365 Bad Hair Days I have.

I’m having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which is all about making you do the stuff you’ve spent years working out intricate rituals in order to avoid.

So, we wrote down all the unhealthy stuff I do to feel better, and we are going to do the opposite for each bad habit, one at a time.

First up is to walk to work 5 days a week without distracting myself (no ipod) and without doing anything that makes me feel comfortable (hiding my neck with a scarf, checking myself out in windows). It sounds easy to anyone who doesn’t do those things, but it’s really hard if you do them without thinking, and when you don’t do them, you feel hideously ugly.

So, I walk to work exposing my lanky giraffe neck and grimacing against the onslaught of buses and cars all rubbernecking at my rubber neck (or so it seems). By the time I get to work, I’m sweaty and knackered, and want to go home.

I was meant to be doing this for 5 days in a row, but I just can’t make myself. I want an easy life goddammit.

She my therapist is leaving me for another neurotic.

Altogether Now, sing these new lyrics to the chorus:

“Neurotic, Neurotic

Don’t put your hands anywhere near my body”