Tag Archives: fighting

I’m sorry I made you punch me

Stan Collymore is a cunt (allegedly). I say that without a lawyer present. Despite being accused, though not charged, with domestic violence he got on his high horse a few years later asking people not to call him a ‘wife beater’. They could complain to his employers TalkSport instead and get him off the air if they hated him so much. This man, despite having punched a woman in the face, received no reprimand. Nothing.

We recently saw the League Managers Association backtracking on racist and sexist texts they called banter. I personally think that looking through someone’s personal texts is a little underhand and doesn’t take into account the relationship between two people. Imagine Lenny Bruce’s twitter account if he was still about? That would be a whole different use of the terms we shy away from. To brush it off as banter, though, shows that those in staid old football boardrooms really don’t have a clue about decency.

My ire is of course bent out of all proportion at the latest domestic violence story to rock sport; that of Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens. That’s American Football to us limeys. He punched his fiancée in the face. Then dragged her out of a lift, unconscious. What awful things would rain down on him?

No charges were pressed and the team (and NFL) gave him a tap on the wrist. The Ravens even included an apology from the woman for her part in the affair. “I’m sorry I made you punch me.” He apologised to the team and fans (not her) and it seemed to be filed away as meaningless.

Then, some weeks later, the video emerged. What can be seen is fairly shocking; he punches her hard, knocking her clean out. Now all of a sudden he is banned indefinitely and the world is in uproar. Reporters are shocked. Really? He knocked someone out! There’s video!

In other words, bruises and the words of a battered woman (or bystanders) mean very little without the gory imagery. If you can persuade her to deal with it for the greater good, then fine. He can get away with it. “That’s the power of video” one tweet replied to me, after I went on a rampage at anyone that exclaimed “wow” to the NFL response. So I’d better make sure I am recorded everywhere I go then, just in case?

No, Mr Tweeter, no. It shows the power of rich people to make domestic violence seem minor. If you can’t see the damage actually happening, then it was probably nothing. Just persuade her to look loving and make people believe she asked for it.

Meanwhile, other players are banned for smoking a spliff, not because it enhances performance but because it breaches the personal conduct laws of the NFL. Cannabis…bad. Smashing up someone’s face…acceptable. It’s all for the greater glory. Show me the money!

It appals me that we still live in a society where domestic violence can so easily be excused or forgotten, especially in sports people. These are not golden gods, they’re humans who happen to have the ability to run or jump a wee bit faster or higher than the rest of us.

I remember the bruises on Ulrika Johnson’s face after the incident with Collymore. It was as shocking as the video of Ray Rice is now. Both are evidence of nasty spoilt bastards with no control over their anger. The press after the Ulrika attack no doubt gave Stan a kick up the arse and yet the NFL’s original response was almost to reward a star player to do it again, and again. Many fans were complicit in the cover up, preferring to think of their fantasy football teams.

The NFL is no stranger to violence, even murder. Their initial response shows exactly how things can escalate. All I can hope is that his now wife finds the courage to get out of Dodge before she is blamed for his fall from grace.

Domestic violence has spent too long being pushed under the carpet. Injuries and the description of an event should be enough evidence to kick these fuckers up the arse. The sooner sport’s overarching bodies wise up and clean up, the sooner you can really hold up your stars as role models.

You can’t fake a suplex

My understanding of suspending disbelief covers everything from traditional cinema, theatre and even the circus, but one remark that really riles me is “You do realise that wrestling is fake?”

Really? You’re telling me that WWE is marketed at children and isn’t real? The handsome young fellow that has shoulder muscles up to his ears didn’t just slam the naughty man through a plywood table? Of course he did, but it wasn’t a proper table was it? Even IKEA have tables you can fall through. Why is this failed bouncer scared of The Undertaker, yet the scrawny referee is unperturbed?

Wrestling isn’t real life, but I know you can’t fake a suplex. “Yeah but it’s fake isn’t it?” OK, I’ll jump on your head and you tell me that didn’t just happen. Get the fuck out of here.

Sure, it’s predetermined, but if it wasn’t surely all of these self-professed wrestling gods would be tearing it up at the Olympics, trying to win a gold medal rather than a belt that doesn’t even hold up jeans. If I thought wrestling was real then I’d expect Motorhead to be playing on my front lawn every time I left the house.

Of course they aren’t actually hitting each other in the face; bare knuckle boxing is frowned upon before the watershed after all. You may still be reeling from the fact you sat through ITV Sport in the 1970s believing Giant Haystacks genuinely didn’t get on with Mick McManus – grow up and get over it. Hulk Hogan came along and made that shit glamourous. It’s now a huge market for both children and adults, just like Christmas is, and just don’t tell me Santa isn’t real when I mention I like Christmas.

I don’t sit through an episode of Eastenders and question why nobody is swearing, or why people in 2014 still use a fucking launderette. How can these people in low income employment be in the pub every night drinking pints, or eating breakfasts in cafes each morning? It’s no surprise everybody is sleeping with someone that lives three doors down when each resident steps out of Albert Square once every five fucking years – and that’s just to die.

It’s entertainment. I’m not comfortable seeing men in trunks at the local swimming pool let alone making it a regular part of my television schedule, but I somehow get taken away to this land of flashing lights where gladiators do violent choreography with each other, all the while contemplating why I never tried waxing my chest. If I wanted to see two sweaty blokes actually hurting each other, I’d nip down the local on a Saturday night – but their tables don’t seem to break so easily.

The international dick-waving contest

We all know somebody who is comprehensively full of shit. Often they take the form of the alcoholic propping up the bar. We exchange pleasantries with them whilst purchasing our drinks, nod politely at their idiotic delusions then beat a hasty retreat to our table with a wry shake of our heads.

Their diatribes are filled with speculative theories about what they could have been, or what they might still be if only they could be bothered. Every now and again, after passing their eighth pint through themselves, they may become aggressive and start hurling abuse and threats across the bar, threats which they cannot possibly hope to back up.

“I’m gonna fakkin ‘ave you!”

“Say it to my fakkin face you cant!”

“One more word sunshine, one more fakkin word!”

As we all know, when called upon to actually back up their words with meaningful actions they quickly fade away, continuing to mutter oaths beneath their breath before slipping quietly out via the toilet window at the earliest opportunity.

People like this make us feel better about ourselves; we warm ourselves with the comfort that we are not, and never will be, anything like them. The second from last thing we would want is for these people to actually matter and the very, very last thing we would want is for these people to actually be in charge of our fucking government.

I lost my patriotism at around the same time as I lost my faith, and though I yearn to have both back I have long since resigned myself to a permanent separation. Our current government’s pathetic posturing in the wake of the Malaysian plane tragedy has caused me to trace my family tree back through the centuries in the vain hope of finding a twelve-times-great grandmother born in County Cork so I might prove to myself I am not, after all, entirely of this Saxon blood.

“You’re going to regret that you nasty little Cossack oligarch. You won’t be welcome here on your holidays, oh no!”

“You’d better not try and put your money in any of our banks! What’s that? You don’t have any money in our banks? Well that’s just as well. You’d better not try it. Oh no!”

You don’t have to be a political scientist to understand the British government’s plan. Cameron and co are going to make threats and a lot of noise in a pathetic bid to outdo the French in the international dick-waving contest, and then, when it eventually simmers down and the whole sorry affair is forgotten about in favour of the revelation that Zippy and Bungle from Rainbow conducted an international child trafficking ring from a caravan in Clacton in the early 1980s, they’ll quietly claim the credit for helping to bring about a ‘peaceful solution to the crisis’.

Put simply, words aside, the British political classes aren’t going to do shit about Ukraine. The real insult to the victims of this outrage is that Cameron and co keep claiming that they might.

An open letter to Al

Dear Mr. Coholic,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support in our establishment. However, your continued support has, with it, bestowed upon us a number of trifling issues. Call these issues; perhaps even behavioural tics. I am sure they are of little consequence in the short term but as the list of observations grows so too does the list of complaints.

Please find enclosed a list of but a few of these which I feel most important to bring to your attention. I have also categorized these into levels of frequency to help highlight the importance of such behaviour.

Every day:

  • You tell me how dead it is in all the other bars that you have probably spent all day in and now you have come to clear out mine.
  • You buy the same drink even though we have a bountiful range of tasty beverages for you too sup…fucking live a little.


  • You unrelentingly talk/swear at yourself as you sit alone.
  • (Related to the above bullet point) You scare off any other punters with your jibber-jabber who might otherwise be seeking a little bit of privacy on quieter nights.
  • You blame us for losing your “shopping” and repeatedly have to advise not to bring it, or to keep it with you at all times.
  • You mine-sweep other peoples drinks while they are still attending to them.
  • You pick fights with other, more passive members of the clientele.
  • You relay one piece of information I impart about myself in casual conversation back to me constantly over the next 4-5 days.
  • You have two comments about “the match”. These are “what a game” and “what a shit game”.


  • You piss your pants.
  • You fall asleep on the toilet only to be discovered once everyone has left, everything has been cleaned and we are ready to lock up.
  • You take pride in leeching money from your son.
  • You tell me about the vast fortunes you can acquire from selling your house.
  • You ask for loan of tobacco without any intention of repaying that debt.

Once in recent memory:

  • You lost your teeth under your sofa for over a week but still went out drinking every night.
  • You started a fight with me for picking up and disposing of a bottle that you knocked over.
  • You were sat in your “naughty corner” by door-staff after starting a fight with other, more passive members of the clientele.
  • You almost burned down our Christmas tree.
  • You smashed your face in on your own doorstep and continued drinking whilst taking opioid medication.
  • You got your cock out at the bar (albeit at a different bar, but word about cocks travels fast and you are a cock).
  • You tipped, but only because I made a joke about it and other people were at the bar.
  • You got barred for three months for most if not all of the above

I hope you have found this list as enlightening to read as it was to produce and it is with sincere and frank honesty that I advise to you, Mr. Coholic, to sort your fucking life out you mental, mental man.

Kind regards,

You know who, you see me every day (also annoying).

Top-notch moral compass

Society is often really quick to tell you that some shit just isn’t cool.

I’m not talking about wearing the wrong color to a wedding, or asking a war vet how many men he’s murdered with his bare hands. No, I’m talking about feeling good about yourself.

See, if you feel good about yourself, for any reason really, say you are particularly good at cooking a certain dish, or are just a genuinely honest person, you can’t just tell people that. Really, try telling someone that you’re very honest or that your moral compass is top notch. You know what they’ll probably call you? A ‘self-righteous prick’.

Some people will think what the hell – you are a self-righteous prick if you go out of your way to tell someone how awesome you are. But to them it doesn’t matter if the context fits or not. If you’re better than someone in a trait that is considered good or desirable, and you happen to talk about it appropriately, you’re immediately seen as a narcissist whose only desire is to have everyone know how great you are (even if you are really fucking great).

My girlfriend and I are fighting right now about our relationship, which is temporarily long distance (no, I don’t care about your opinion on that, at least I have a girlfriend, dick). The problem doesn’t matter. What matters is that my girlfriend is a standoffish woman. She makes everything a ‘you vs me’ affair.

Conversely, I feel it should be ‘me & you vs problem’. Am I technically the better person for having this point of view? Possibly. The point is, when I explain that to her, I sound like a ‘self-righteous prick’, just because of the more efficient way I deal with things. Fuck me, right?

If you’re a good person, the world (and your girlfriend) wants you to keep it to yourself. But if you’re just a ball of fucking badass morality and goodness and it helps you solve problems in life, don’t feel like a dick for pointing out that you are a good guy or girl. Feel good that you can say such positive things about yourself.

But if you instead rub in the fact that you’re the epitome of human nature, I have bad news – you’re not. You’re an asshole. Get over yourself. And if you think the former is still self-righteous, understand this: just because someone is good at something and they feel good about themselves for it, this does make them a self-absorbed douchebag – so long as they don’t use their good traits as a means to put down others.

Let’s all love each other. We all are good and bad. And if my girlfriend still can’t see that, well shit, what hope do I have of convincing you?

Judean People’s Front

Am I the only one who finds what’s happening in Iraq entertaining?

I’m a horrible man in many ways but I neither condone nor enjoy indiscriminate violence and the maiming and killing of people by the desert-load. I am an unlikely supporter of human rights, and one of those people who will bore everyone sideways with how I probably got kettled in the (pointless, even then) march in London against the Iraq war in 2003.

But now we’re no longer simply dropping munitions absent-mindedly from above on innocent brown people – or rather we are, but that’s not what gets the headlines. The news now blares tales of a selection of people who think their shared religion, SHARED religion, should be run by the descendants of a bloke who lived a millennium and a half ago, and others who think he bequeathed the company assets to his mates for the rest of time.

That, to me, doesn’t sound like something that matters quite as much as clean pants and a view of the sea. They blow each other to smithereens and declare this bit of land or that bit of land to be theirs or ‘His’, as the rest of the world steps slowly backwards and thanks their own imaginary deity that while they’re at each others throats they’re too busy to realise we spend all day finding ever more intriguing ways to insert ourselves into each other, outside of marriage.

I admit I’m biased against Muslims. Not in that I subscribe to some other religion, you understand – I’m against Muslims because their furious god is the one most in my mind today. Last week it was Jehovah, yesterday it was some fucking thing called Waheguru and tomorrow it could be ‘God’, or whatever my simple-minded Christian ancestors called it. I wake up each morning and decide which of these laughable inventions I find funniest that day. Today it’s Allah, peace be upon him.

Sunni versus Shia inevitably reminds people in my part of the world of Protestant versus Catholic. The chief difference here seems to be that one believes the church wine is only symbolically the blood of Christ while the other likes to mix theirs with the cream of some young boy.

Absurd discrepancies from centuries ago, played out in the present day for our amusement. It’s as though they’ve never seen Life of Brian and have never heard of the People’s Front of Judea. They probably haven’t, come to think of it, which only makes it funnier.

Yes it’s fucking horrible, yes people are dying and yes I’m writing about how it makes me laugh. To complainants I say it’s not me fucking doing it though is it? They’re doing it to each other. I am as entitled to laugh at this as I am to laugh at two drunk, red-eared men in a pub beating seven shades of shit out of each other and leaving those of us there for a pint alone. Occasionally a barman will be on the end of a stray haymaker, and that’s a shame, but if you choose to work in a Yates’s you take your bloody chances I’m afraid.

Eventually there’ll be a winner, and the next time he’s in the pub he’ll be looking at all of us for someone else to fight. At that point, I’ll stop laughing and start priming my own version of a suicide vest involving a hot-air balloon filled with syringes of supermarket cider.

Until then, it’s not my fight and I don’t even understand the rules, like a punch-up in an ice hockey match. I glance, chuckle, shake my head and go on about my immoral business unmolested.

White Lightning

I have a secret that leaves people muttering “But…why?” I’m tee-total. I’ve never, ever been drunk. For some reason this makes me a social abnormality, a freak. You are reading this already trying to work out why.

I go to pubs a lot. I even smoke. I’ve tried the odd sip, yet I have survived through my teens and university drinking coke. When the subject arises it’s treated as if I am confessing to paedophilia, such is the shock, confusion and disgust.

It makes me disappointed in the human race every fucking time. If someone doesn’t smoke, it isn’t questioned. If you come out, you either get supported or called very bad words. So why the hell is not drinking treated as a fucking impossibility? So I’ve taken to responding in three ways, depending on how fucking annoyed I am.

Stage one is “I don’t like the taste.” This is true. The number of people who tell me that they got used to beer makes me wonder why I’d want to go through years of getting used to something that vile.

Stage two, I ratchet it up a notch: “I was on a lot of painkillers through university.” Sad to say this is also true. Not that I wouldn’t try it, but I was fucked up enough already for hangovers not to appeal.

Stage three is deployed only when I either think you’re either a total cunt or a possible ally: “My father was a mentally abusive alcoholic who made my life a living hell, and I promised I would never do that to another person.” Yeah, also true.

Feel bad now don’t you? Good. Did you really think the reason had to be because I’m religious or a prissy control freak? Isn’t overreacting over someone not drinking really a sign that you have the problem?

I don’t drink as I’m pretty sure I would become violent. I will never put anyone at risk just for a drink. It is irresponsible and unbelievably selfish. Inside my head I have violent, furious outbursts, but I manage it, usually by calling someone a cunt under my breath and kicking a door frame.

I have nothing against people who drink and understand the rules. My close friends tell me alcohol merely frees their tongue a little, relaxes them, but they essentially are the same. Normally I can see this is true. They’ve helped me not fear everyone who drinks.

Then there are the cunts, and you know who you are. It’s you people who roll out the “I was drunk” excuse. To you, I am going to be blunt; as a child of abuse, you need to fucking stop saying that.

Growing up with an abusive alcoholic teaches you that being drunk is just an excuse to be a terrible piece of scum who gets away with everything. This is complete and utter bullshit. The idea that you can do things you do not approve of or are out of character when drunk is a lie. You are using alcohol to excuse something you wanted to do in the first place, much like people use an imaginary friend as a child.

My father despised me when he was sober and drunk – he simply used the alcohol to tell me his reasons under a veil of White Lightning. These could then be dismissed as ravings when he returned to his normal, gutless self.

Alcohol enhances who you are and what you want. It does not make you a different person. You’ve all heard this excuse, you may have even used it, and I’m telling you as a tee-total herder of drunks – YOU ARE ALL LYING. You can’t walk straight, you may vomit, you’ll probably rant about any random thought, but who you really are and what you want is always there, lurking beneath. It’s rolled out like a tired storyline in a soap opera: “Honest Shelia, I have no idea where all the money went, I was wasted.” “Barry, I was pissed, I didn’t who I was kissing, it meant nothing.”

I guarantee that the time you said something you shouldn’t have, completely unfiltered when drunk, no matter if you use the excuse the other person will remember it and know that is how you feel. You are merely making them feel guilty for being upset. Acknowledge it, apologise if required, try to explain; just don’t use a worthless excuse as though it’s sincere and absolves you. The sooner this “I was drunk” fallacy is destroyed, the sooner abused families might understand it’s totally unacceptable.

And maybe give us non-drinkers less disgust and more respect. Maybe think why, before you recoil in horror. You should cherish me, not fear me. I will remember everything the next day. I will have fun and talk nonsense with the best of you. I will usually guide you home safely.

I’m also stubborn enough not to attempt to train myself to drink vinegar or battery acid, and will tell you to stop being a prick to your face with sober clarity. Who is the real freak here?