All posts by Chris

Howling by seven

You’re having a great night. I say night: you started at 3pm and you’re well on your way to chattering buffoonery by about half six. But it was always planned to be a get-together where everyone fell over at least once and only the lucky made it home, so things are well on track.

You look around at your friends and think: they’re a great bunch, I’ve done well here. You get a bit misty-eyed for a minute, wondering where your life would be without this rogue’s gallery of berks, widening and wizening with you for as long as your elbows can still be raised.

Then one of them says “I’m going to have to eat something at some point” and the rest nod in agreement.

Wankers, the lot of them.

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A few Poirots

The wailing, oh Jesus the wailing. 

Something grim has happened to somebody in a nearby cell. She’s trying to broadcast its full misery, but the walls are too thick to render her harrowing “It’s spread to my aaaaarrrrrrse!” as anything clearer than the terminal howl of a bombed Palestinian.

Still it’s less annoying than the arsehole who seems to spend most of the day scraping chairs across the floor above, or whoever fills many hours with the sounds of glass being squeegeed, despite the fact the windows don’t open so I can’t push them out.

As you know I aim to provide a public service with the screeching bullshit I write. So here I’d like to tell you about my experience as an NHS inpatient, so you know what to expect when you eventually take your first tentative step on the road to the hospice. So far I’ve been incarcerated in HMP UCLH for 21 days with no imminent prospect of parole. You get less for, oh, something to do with Barnard Castle. What do you want from me, topical?

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Go home like Bukowski

I’ve read a hell of a lot of novels in my time. Every one, even the shit ones, demonstrates to me why I’ll never be able to write a novel myself. From ever-inventive meteorological waffle to hilarious one-liners that have me begging for a nurse with a sewing kit, it’s just not how my brain operates when faced with a blank page.

Some people can create a plot that’d leave Christopher Nolan dribbling with confusion and characters that live in the mind long after Oxfam have burned the book to make space for more Potter. These are talents I’ll never possess and I’m fine with that. As Bill Hicks would opine, I am a reader.

But I’ve started to realise what a conservative reader I’ve become, because of the number of books these days I hurl at the fireplace in disgust after a couple of chapters. And they’re all modern-ish books – not in their setting or era, but written recently, by people who should have been forced to stick to office jobs, or perhaps prostitution.

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Cinema elephant ballroom marathon

Cinema elephant ballroom marathon.

Is it a word game, do you think? Say four nouns that you know with virtual certainty nobody in the history of human speech has ever uttered in that order before. Parsnip crank owl trousers. Finger bassoon withdrawal bingo. Mountain wafer pinball theory. 

It could be some fucked up game of Cluedo, but the ballroom makes that a bit obvious so it must be the word game. However, I have said ‘cinema elephant ballroom marathon’ many times before I’m afraid, so it’s a hands-down triumph for me. I like to call it ‘the full boat’. And bugger me if I’m not a jolly sailor.

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Sunset on the Whittington Riviera

Truly, I feel for you. Your job, family and life in general teeter on the rim of a slop bucket of decisions made by a government so erratic it makes Jair Bolsonaro look like Jacinda Ardern. Old Aunt Doris, may her Covid-riddled cadaver rest in peace, left everything to the bloody cat shelter just as your pot to piss in sprung a mortgage-sized leak. And as if things couldn’t get any worse they’re threatening to make you go back to work, ending the laziest and therefore greatest few months of your adult life.

Still, you’ve got your health. So quit fucking moaning.

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Whatever happened to Wendy Jones

I wonder whatever happened to Wendy Jones.

I’d like to think she’s a success, juggling a high-profile job as a defence barrister with being a mother of two, but that can’t be right. She couldn’t work and keep little Julian and Jemimah home during the pandemic, with the primary schools shut and all. Kids are hardly affected by the virus, I don’t see why they can’t just reopen as normal, and if a few teachers keel over well I’m sorry but these rapists won’t get themselves off. That’s the trouble.

I fear a darker outcome for poor Wendy, and it’s all my fault. When we were six, I said something that made Richard Knightley laugh so hard some hideous bright green fluid started pouring from his nose, and Wendy’s horrified reaction was enough to see her join me in detention while Richard chuckled his way off to the nurse. 

That was likely the start of Wendy’s descent into criminality. I imagine her scarred so deeply she lost trust in men, turning to booze, then opiates, with no way to pay for her fierce addictions other than to go on the game. Maybe even now a 42-year-old, toothless Wendy is on a street corner somewhere like Rotherham, imploring a tramp to let her gobble him off for a half bottle of Aldi brandy with a dribble mixer.

Such are the dangers of primary school.

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The loons in the boondocks

Enough is enough. I’m saying what everyone’s too afraid to say, lily-livered leftie pussies, all of you.

We need to man this country up, now. Fuck this lockdown, let us get back to work, and if a few ‘minorities’ are hit hardest by the second spike, so fucking be it. They shouldn’t be here anyway, this is white man’s land and you bleating faggots whining about civil liberties can go live in Africa if you like it so much.

Wow, sorry. Obviously it wasn’t me saying that.

I’ve been hacked.

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A dip into the bargain bin

Like everybody else, I’m using this period of indefinite detention to have a bit of a clear-out.

It’s incredible the amount of utter shite you find yourself stockpiling in cupboards you’d only ever open if you weren’t allowed out. Among other cherished keepsakes, I’ve found a router from the 1990s, two shit hip flasks – Christ knows where the decent one’s gone – and a length of bright green cloth I had sent to me for a specific purpose that’s since vanished into that part of my mind that resembles a misty tundra with drunken Finns stumbling about on it. I’ve said the words “What the fuck is that for?” so many times I no longer associate them with glancing down in the shower.

So you set about throwing all this crap away. And physical music is a great place to start, because it takes up so much room and can so easily be digitised, if you’re even arsed with that since everything you’d ever want is online anyway. That stack of CDs you’ve had in the corner of the room for years? You could have a lovely pot plant there. Bin them, that’s what I’d do.

If I didn’t have 3,000 of the bloody things.

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Urns and trinkets

It is my considered opinion that Stephen Fry is a disgrace.

Woah there, you can’t say that about a National Treasure oh but I can, I can. I have no issue with most of the things Stephen Fry believes and says. He seems politically sound, he’s just the right type of anti-religious proselytiser that I enjoy, he loves his cricket and he’s provided some splendid comedy over the years, not least a bafflingly underrated nineties adaptation of Jeeves and Wooster.

But he’s on Twitter, see, this fucking guy. And again, normally that’s fine – right now he’s doing a decent job of trying to raise the collective mental health, and doubtless his own, as the walls close in and the Sainsbury’s website shakes its head. But I can’t forgive him, and I can never forgive him, for his disgusting remark in September 2018.

It is my considered opinion that #therepairshop is far and away the best programme on British television at the moment.

You’re cancelled, Fry.

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Shake, rattle and roll

What one day resembles Utopia, the next looks like Uttoxeter. Turns out if you let people do whatever they want at home all day every day, their favourite new hobby is to moan they’re bored.

Certainly the things people are doing to try to fill time feel a lot like barrel-scraping. Take gardening, when it’s not cold as a snowman’s carrot outside, because a week and a half of quarantine has completely reversed global warming and we’re now a fortnight away from woolly mammoths setting up market stalls in Aberystwyth.

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