Call me Judith

I like to think I do my bit in the fight against climate change. I don’t leave lights on – the dark hasn’t scared me since I saw Johnny Depp sucked into a bed aged about nine. It disturbs people to see me in anything other than fraying black hoodies so I don’t need to order a set of new outfits from Bangladesh every other week. I’ve been cutting back on meat because I heard cows have worse flatulence than my 80-year-old stepfather, though whichever scientist declared that has clearly never heard dear old Merv after he’s been bell-ringing.

I don’t have a car, that’s a big one. And biggest of all: I don’t have kids. Don’t, shouldn’t, probably can’t now anyway. No urgent young voices demanding India cut their emissions but also please put cling film around my vegetables because the supermarket’s full of poor people and God knows where they’ve been.

So I’m saving humanity, one locally grown leek at a time. But I do catch the odd flight. And if you people start trying to stop me getting in planes, I will burn your fucking world.

Continue reading Call me Judith

Liztopia

We’re still a couple of weeks from the result of the most heinous beauty contest since Simon Weston versus that lad from the Goonies. But try as we might to psychokinesis John Major back into the job, Lord have mercy on us all, we know who we’re ending up with.

Yes it’s Liz Truss, the most fatuous leader of a nation since Ukraine elected an actual stand-up comedian, and that went really well as we’ve seen. Liz has been pledging and promising all the things the electorate want to hear, the electorate in this case being a couple of hundred thousand blue rinse racists and red-faced landowners who smile wistfully at the thought of Liz nuking new ‘foe’ France as the best way to stop all these filthy Albanians coming up the beach.

Continue reading Liztopia

Terminal tinnitus

One of the many things I hoard pointlessly like a senile squirrel is ticket stubs. I was going to count them the other day, but life’s too bloody long; there’s hundreds. Sweet Jesus, the amount of booze I must have both drunk and worn in venues across the country could refloat John Darwin’s canoe.

Factor in those stubs I’ve somehow shredded, accidentally set on fire or dropped in piss, plus all the e-tickets that exist only in Sundar Pichai’s brain, and it’s fair to say I’ve done my tour of duty. I know the game.

And the game’s changing. Not for the better.

Continue reading Terminal tinnitus

Death and/or explosions

I’ve lately had to accept that I’m quite limited in my entertainment selections. Much as I like to think of myself as a cultured man, I admit I’m prone to skepticism if something I’m watching doesn’t involve a vast catalogue of death and/or explosions. Or, er, counters being pushed over a ledge by a large machine on ITV, but never mind that.

I don’t often branch out into foreign language historical epics or character-based family sagas so it’s fair to say there will, inevitably, be blood. Right on cue there’s a new detective show on TV, name of DI Ray. I’ve not watched it yet but I anticipate wrapping myself in it like a blanket, familiar and smelling faintly of decay. I’d be confident in the big black chair if my specialist subject was crime thrillers, murder mysteries, police procedurals. It’s not difficult to become an aficionado since they’re all the fucking same.

We’re always told robots will one day write better stories than humans, but we must have crossed that Rubicon with cop shows years ago. The writers dribbling out the latest tales of ambitious constables and grizzled inspectors are so obviously thumbing the same book of predictable dialogue and worn clichés, it might as well have been written by a Gallagher brother.

Continue reading Death and/or explosions

Where laughter goes to die

Withnail and I: bloody wonderful film. It ends with a quote I’ve had on my mind lately:

“I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the Earth, seems to me a sterile promontory.”

Someone told me that’s actually a line from a little-known Shakespeare play but I’d rather hear it from a pissed-up Richard E Grant than some bellend in tights.

It’s been on my mind because I have, of late, lost all my mirth. More clearly, I’ve lost the ability to laugh. And boy, do I love a laugh.

Continue reading Where laughter goes to die

Transmissibility

It’s back in the headlines and the debate is intense: masks.

I’ve held my fire on it up to now. I pick opinions on a case-by-case basis, not led by the nose by people I always agree with, like a cow that goes into that special shed because all his mates did and what’s the worse that can happen?

But it’s time to heal this red-raw split in the populace once and for all. I’ve picked a stance.

You’re all wrong.

Continue reading Transmissibility

Anchovies versus Worcester sauce

If someone had told me in my twenties that it’s possible to eat healthily and enjoy it, I’d have looked at them balefully, slowly shaking my head as I picked a piece of congealed lamb off yesterday’s T-shirt, contemplating microwaving it.

I mean, it’s obviously nonsense isn’t it? Everything I’ve ever had advertised at me suggests vegetables are dangerous and sweets are magnificent. It’s cheaper, easier and better in every way to crack open the Fanta than attempt to make or consume a ‘pineapple and spinach smoothie’. At no point did any of my parents suggest that broccoli is anything more than an obstacle between me and the ice cream that I want right in my face right fucking now please.

Apparently it didn’t cross their minds to teach me how to cook properly. So it’s with mixed feelings I report to you that, believe it or not, I now can.

Continue reading Anchovies versus Worcester sauce

The Golden Age of Chris

The thing everyone likes about skills is they get better over time. Refining and smoothing your talents to become a master of your craft, to put novices and the young to shame and possibly even pick up an award or two. ‘Honing’ they call it, which sounds a bit like an Australian having a wank.

But sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Form is temporary, but even class is fickle. And as I turned over my card to reveal a three of clubs, the realisation dawned.

I’m fucking rubbish. The Golden Age of Chris is over.

Continue reading The Golden Age of Chris