The barmaid looks at me with a mixture of incomprehension and disgust.
She’s holding what looks like a multipurpose communication/healing/stun device from a shit 80s sci-fi. I’m holding a picture of the Queen on a piece of cotton paper. We seem to have got our genres mixed up.
Continue reading A convenient dystopia
A milestone birthday. Today marks 40 years since I was forcefully extracted from inside a screaming 16-year-old girl, for once not behind the tombola at the local fete while ‘close-knit’ villagers bay for vengeance.
Yes, today is the day I fill out the second half of my dirty old man application form. If anyone tries telling you 40 isn’t old, ask them to imagine how they look through the eyes of someone half that age. Youth is the future, as a confused Jeremy Corbyn will soon find out when they euthanise him in favour of some infant in a suit.
Continue reading Behind the tombola
Welcome to the end of London.
Everyone knows what’s been going on. Knife attacks, vans mowing into pedestrians, panic and fire. There’s terror and there’s terrorism, there’s anger and there’s fear. Right now there’s police tape all over the Seven Sisters Road and a tower block filled with charred corpses gravely peering over Ladbroke Grove.
And now even the weather’s getting in on the act, the fireball searing every inch of exposed flesh and making every commute an exercise in keeping murder at bay. In June. All in all, this city’s done.
Continue reading Happy horrific
I’ve actually quite enjoyed this election campaign.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not lost my fucking mind. I haven’t been glued to leaders’ debates and party election broadcasts, desperate for a fix of election smack to see me through to the next Andrew Neil interview. I’ve quite enjoyed this one because it’s the first time in my adult life I’ve treated it with the same level of interest and respect owed to a hair-pulling girl fight at a Bolton comprehensive.
Continue reading The shifty librarian
The band are on fire.
Not in a Bataclan sense, but they’re tearing through their set like a chainsaw through trifle. The crowd are going batshit and no-one will leave without tinnitus. And you’re in the middle of it all, mainlining life.
From nowhere, a boot is thrust into your eyeline like the Grange Hill sausage. It thrashes about and whips at your eyebrow, ayabastard. By rights you should be furious; there’s no reason for a boot to be up there by your head, nor the ankle poking out of it. You grab it, pull it and drag it over yourself. Sweet Jesus there’s a whole body coming with it, a fat fuck of a man punching the air. He’s shovelled forwards, crushing the pink mohican of the lunatic in front.
It’s brilliant and you’re having the time of your life. But enjoy it while it lasts, because they’re coming for it.
Continue reading The Grange Hill sausage
If you want an interesting, storied and happy life, office jobs might not be for you. I once spent an entire afternoon writing about how hideous mine was and hahaha you’re about to read it you mug.
Nevertheless, occasionally you find one that could charitably be described as tolerable. It pays, you don’t spend your commute increasingly aghast as the stations tick by and you only want to kill every second colleague loudly discussing The Walking Dead. The odd job is bearable for longer than the probation period takes to congeal like the pool of blood you regularly fantasise about spilling in the second hour of an average Tuesday morning.
But every job has its day.
Continue reading And specially designed components
Channel 4, home of Posh Pawn, My Big Fat Diet Show (?) and Three Wives One Husband, where three women shit onto a bloke watching the rugby. The other night I accidentally landed on Channel 4 when whatever I was watching on catch-up ran out, and made the fatal error of not hammering desperately at every button within reach.
It was a programme about the royal family, I think. At any rate there was lots of Diana in it and she died. There were clips of plebs exhibiting mass grief outside a palace they weren’t allowed in. A huge, blatantly hard man shuddered as his beetroot-red face leaked onto the pitbull tattooed on the bingo wing of the ‘woman’ consoling him.
Where is he now, I wonder? How does he remember that day? Nobly, one suspects, with gnarled fists brandished if his manliness is ever questioned. But the TV doesn’t lie, matey. No matter how many fat people it exploits while promising Baked-Off strudels are good for you, Channel 4 doesn’t lie. You bawled like a smacked infant at the death of a rich woman you didn’t know, who’d have treated you like a 17th-century peasant with a large red X on his door had she met you, and we all saw it.
Continue reading A time before E.ON
As a man with nothing to save for and no offspring to syphon it away, money serves three purposes for me.
First, it buys toilet paper. On the one hand, bog roll symbolises mundane bills and unavoidable life expenses, but while clutched in the other it serves to hurriedly wipe away the terrifying results of money’s second purpose, dipsomania.
The third is foreign travel. Much as I love Britain’s glorious combination of comforting bigotry, polite sadism and fields, so many fields, seeing other parts of the world is now my principal route to joy. As I write, I’m in the 40th country I’ve visited, before my fourth decade is up, and I’m proud of that.
And as I write I can see two things. One is a jungle, right next to this hotel, from where a troupe of capuchin monkeys emerged yesterday to steal a fat man’s plantain.
The other is tourists.
Continue reading A B&B in Baku
We all know online petitions are an utter waste of time, but I signed it. Of course I signed it.
I mean, one of the most hideous humans among us has somehow fluked himself into the highest office in western democracy, and he gets offered a state visit to the UK? To glad-hand one of history’s most famous state leaders, one of the most noteworthy women the planet has known, the world’s favourite grandmother?
I’m astounded it’s even a point of debate. Of course he should be given a state visit.
Continue reading Platforming
I’m running through this field, right? Chased by something, I don’t know what it is. Desperate for a piss. There’s this cow then suddenly I’m in my old bedroom at home, Mum’s talking about my diary, I can’t believe she read it, I don’t even have a diary.
Then you, yeah I know, you turned up and want me to go out in the car but there’s no petrol and I’m desperate for a piss, so I go to the toilet but it just won’t come out and you’re on about this car. We get into town and you go off with John and I’m going down this alleyway and there’s a girl, she’s off Silent Witness, pigtails, about 11 probably, looks a bit like Michael Barrymore. She’s got this knife and she’s trying to stab me and I do this roundhouse.
And then I woke up. Mad, no idea what that was about.
Continue reading And then I woke up