Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Email Trilogy: Abusive Mothers, Snooping Chums, Crap Women

1) I got an email from my Mum today. She chose to send me a homoerotic calendar of extremely buffed and overly Photoshopped Rugby players barely covering their genitalia with towels, hands (their own) or, inexplicably, a turtle.

I'm still not sure why she thought I'd like that.

She was kind enough to comment that I was better looking than all of them.
She then followed this up by saying 'Oops - just tripped over my white stick!'

2) This afternoon, Ali emails me to say he's discovered my blog and can he read it. I thought I was being cunning by refusing to tell people who actually know me my website address. I didn't consider anyone being cunning (or that bored at work) to put in some very specific key words from our Brighton Weekender into Google.


3) Most irritating of all, my ex-girlfriend from NY (Ex because she lives there and I live here and we'd have to travel out to see each other until she became so involved that I felt it best to nip things in the bud this May because the whole thing wasn't practical) is coming to London over Xmas. I was pretty happy about this.

Ok, very very happy about this.

You see, Large Northern Flatmate won't be here, so there's an empty apartment, a larder full of chocolate, Christmas television, and the local bars and restaurants of West London at our disposal.

Plus lots and lots of sex. I've been thinking about that a lot.

I can't lie. Ever since she emailed me her arrival dates and said 'Let's meet up for a curry', I've more or less been walking on air with a perpetual grin. We were a good couple. We had great sex. Everything was brilliant.

Apart from the distance and her keenness - the two seem irreconcilable.

But still, the key word here is brilliant. This Christmas was starting to look brilliant...

Until an hour ago.

An email ~ Her new English boyfriend will be here too. He lives in NY though, so there's actually a future for the pair of them, although there won't be if my sexplans for that weekend were ever carried out. She had conveniently neglected to tell me about his visit. She had told me several weeks ago that she was dating a Brit, but sounded decidedly pessemistic about the whole affair.

But no, apparently she's getting used to the idea of him and thought she'd pop in and say hello to me while they swan about London as a smug fucking couple JUST LIKE WE WERE BEFORE I BECAME A TYPICAL BLOKE AND BAILED OUT.



Monday, November 27, 2006


I am suffering from WMD - Weekend Mend Discrepancy. I had very little sleep over the break and was going to bed around 4am each night. I have now woken up at 7am after a restless, sweaty night where my vindictive bastard brain felt it necessary to keep me More Alert Than Ever.

Needless to say I am now tired and generically furious at the world. And all I have to do is cycle in, swim, do a full Monday's work, go to karate, then cycle home.

What I'd like is to go back to bed and sleep for a year.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Brighton; Or How To Ensure I Never Have Sex Again

Like those whistles only dogs can hear, I must have a tattoo on my forehead only women can see: 'LEPER.'

The weekend held so much promise; my friends (all married or girlfriended, barring me), a trendy city of bars and clubs, lots of women, the heady scent of sexual promise. Now I know men who have rented a room in a hotel somewhere interesting. They go out for a drink, meet a likeminded individual, and sex is on the cards. Sex is then on the hotel bed, hotel floor, bathroom, armchair and all over the sheets.

I have never done this (Weekend Hotel Sex, that is. I have had sex before, and with some lovely women who took pity on me.) All I want, at least ONCE in my single fucking life (that's a non-literal 'fucking'), is to go to a new city, have a whale of a time in a bar with a ladyperson, then have sex with said lady, or at least get into a brief tryst in the corner, lipswise. Then one day, when I've settled down with Someone Special, I can at least feel like I had some sexual adventures in my wild and misspent singledom.

So... back to the real world. I was the first to arrive as I took Friday off work (Cheap Day Single to Brighton from London Victoria: £17.80. Bastards.) An old mate of mine, Monkey Dave, is a teacher there, so I arranged to meet him at his local for a quick drink.

4pm: Monkey Dave arrives. First beer consumed.
5.30pm: Monkey Dave's teacher mates arrive. Shocked to hear them swear. Discussions turn to troublesome child who likes to stand on desks and expose himself in return for a pound.
5.45pm: Attractive lady teacher arrives. Some eye contact. Unable to say hello due to positioning of tables, general bad timing, and slightly obtrusive music.
5.55pm: Have to head to Hotel as friends are soon to arrive. Pass Sainsburys so buy bottles of vodka and coke on semi-drunken whim.
6.30pm: Hippy Dave arrives. Vodka cracked open. Ali & Rob 1 appear. More vodka drunk. Text Monkey Dave to say his teacher friend was cute. He texts back 'Boyfriend.'
Costume change.
7.45pm: In Cubar next door to hotel. Luke & Rob 2 casually saunter in. Whip gathered, £120 which I take care of. I am lightheaded.
8.30pm: The Royal Sovereign. Looks like a cosy old pub from the outside, is more like a trendy bar within. Gorgeous if surly buxom blonde behind the bar, with equally attractive brunette colleague who smiles at me. Things are looking good. I put this down to the fact that I'm wearing shoes and I have my smart-casual jacket™ on.
Rob 1 declares the man near us to be a famous celebrity chef. There is much debate so I ask him if he's a chef and get 'No' snapped at me.
Now unwise to drive.
Decide to tell gorgeous if surly buxom blonde that she's gorgeous. Brunette overhears and says, somewhat enigmatically, that if I'm going to make those kind of comments, I've got to go through her first. I then tell her she's gorgeous too.
Then I apologise.
Friends call me a moron.
9pm-ish: The Pav Tav. Very studenty. Everyone is much younger and I feel overdressed. Definitely unable to operate machinery. Loud. We have to yell. I buy Schnapps using the whip and get complaints that I should've bought whiskey instead. We leave. Actually, the place may have been closing.
Slurring heavily.
The Beer Taxi spirits us to a late bar. I am with Rob 2 and Ali. The others were there, but then they weren't. I talk to a really lovely brunette and seem to get on really well with her. I buy her a drink, then run out of money. She vanishes. I find myself standing directly in front of a man with a trumpet. People all around me are dancing, so I dance too. Rob 2 & Ali are nearby, then they're not, then I think they are and I look for the girl and see 30 lookalikes and am too ashamed to ask them if I was talking her earlier.
I am alone and waiting for a battered sausage in a brightly lit kebab shop, talking to a drunk Scouse policewoman. She's friendly but unwilling to do anything that will comprimise her procurement of chips. Behind us are a further dozen Scouse policewomen stuffing their yapholes full of more chips. None of them seem to know or care of my existence.
I leave.
Hotel. Excited to see small bar in our reception filled to the rafters with enthusiastic dancing people. Race up to room, Luke asleep. Eat saveloy, run back down to bar. Buy drink. Sit on sofa. Accidentally pour entire contents onto my crotch. Leave immediately, walking awkwardly.


Rob 1 bangs on door and demands we get up. I am laughing at everything and am clearly still drunk. Discussion of hotel. Beds far too small, duvets the size of handtowels, floorboards creak, toilet water thrashes in toilet (despite being in windowless room) as it's windy outside.
Walk to seafront for bacon sandwiches. Remainder of whip only just covers coffees. Awkward questions asked about where the money went, and decide not to look after it this time round. Attractive girl with nice eyes makes us purple smoothies that taste like wall.
Head starts to feel like it's in a vice.
Walk up Brighton Pier. Told to stop mentioning that my family supplied the timber for it. Cold.
Aimless wandering. Group split between those that want to look at Brighton's new library for some reason, and those that don't. Arrange to meet Monkey Dave in nearby pub. His girlfriend and their dog with disturbingly human eyes are there (see below). Reluctantly start drinking again.

Fucking hammered. Dog petted to death. Decide to buy a dog when I notice the attention women give them. Rob 1 tracks us down and tells us we're yelling our heads off. Feel hungover and pissed at exactly the same time.
Arrive at pie restaurant. Eat pies. Sober up significantly. New whip gathered. I am not allowed near it.
Another group split. One half in quirky avant garde bar with lots of living-roomy stuff and boho chic, whatever that means. Luke & Rob 1 in soulless chain bar next door. Kooky bar contains a couple in heavy white face paint playing ukeleles and singing songs about gouging out eyes. Female half of band quite cute despite white geisha makeup. A beer has been bought for me in each venue and I'm forced to run between them at regular intervals.
Discover door to roof over bar. Walk outside and see houseparty underway in flat opposite. Yell out to goth and ask if I can come over. Goth says 'Yes'.
Scottish man from ukelele duo comes over to chat to me. Very quickly mentions his girlfriend and points at lady from band. Make mental note not to go near her.
Quirky bar closes. The six of us walk over to houseparty. Shocked looking Goth opens door to find us there. Canadian with dead fish tied round his waist asks if there are any women with us. I reply in the negative. Door slammed in our faces.
Talk to handcuffed man near seafront. His friends had chained him to railings. We free him and he runs off to kill them.
In the Wagon & Horses. Cute barmaid with big brown eyes who smiles a lot. Some low-level flirting. Whip runs out so I buy a round of gins. Ask barmaid where she's going to next and she tells me. I then forget where it was once we're back on the road.
Outside an awful bar that won't let us in. Peter Andre's dreadful hit Mysterious Girl is playing. Two men start yelling at the window so I run over to see back of a Very Attractive Girl in knickers dancing extremely provocatively. I touch the window as if I'm a prison convict tenderly reaching out at the glass that divides me from my loved ones. Girl spots me staring like a deer frozen by headlights and turns to wiggle even more provocatively.

I start crying.

Local idiots then start banging on the window to presumably get more attention from her - god alone knows how much more she could give - which encourages the bouncers to come out and tell us to fuck off.
Strange man appears from within and claims to be DJ twot Pete Tong. Resemblance is close enough for group argument. I still maintain that one of Britain's biggest DJs (annoyingly) is unlikely to be in a small Brighton club that plays bad pop from ten years ago, and hovers handily near the doors to help out the bouncers.
In the Cubar where we started. I'm desperate to prolong the night so buy another round. Small clumps of women. Very eager to talk to them but feel an underlying creepiness about the whole thing. Tell ridiculously huge bouncer from Alaska that he's massive. He thanks me. Joined table of three Spanish women for a chat. Friends go off to bed. Rest of bar clears. Me, three Spanish girls, the barman and the enormous Alaskan bouncer stay to talk in now empty bar. I'm bizarrely nowhere near drunk and have an extremely pleasant chat with one Spanish girl who says they have to leave as they all have to work the next day. I decline to tell her she's attractive (she is), and forget to at least make it clear that I like her as I now have a barman nearby with similar thoughts on his mind listening to our conversation.

They leave, I go up to my room and remove my penis so I can donate it to science. It's barely been used so I may even get a few quid for it.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The name's Ebola. Fweng Ebola.

The new Bond film is ruddy bloody brilliant.
It's that simple.
It's as true to the original Bond as Ian Fleming would've liked.

I've not been to work today, so I went for a cycle and a swim and got my haircut by the cute and intriguing Polish hairdresser with a shy smile (I used to think this was fear but I think I'm wrong. I gave her a two pound tip because she's cute and I'm trying to impress her through excessive service donations. And in the few months that I've been going there, her English has been improving, which I think is really sweet.)

Erm, so anyway, the new Bond.

He's blond.
He's blue-eyed.
He's not the most polished diamond in the mine.
He's fucking me, dammit, minus the really really really buff body.

And he gets into fights and walks away with scars - actual scars! His knuckles are bruised. He makes mistakes. He falls in love. He's the first Bond who can actually act. HIS OPENING 'GUN POINTING AT CAMERA' SHTICK IS DONE IN A TOILET - A BLOODY TOILET FOR GODSSAKES!!!

This is as raw as Bond can get, not that I've ever been a huge fan. The other Bonds were shit. Yes, even Connery.
If you walked up to a coiffured Pierce Brosnan's Bond in a casino and insulted him, he'd furrow his brow and look puffy and confused like a schoolgirl from the bowels of darkest Bristol.
Moore would slowly raise an eyebrow and say 'Good Heavens'.
Dalton would stiffen and slap you round the face with a white glove.
Lazenby - Who?
While Connery would be so egotistical about the whole insult thing that he'd probably try his damndest to ignore you, even if you jumped up and down and called him an ex-milkman no matter what direction he'd try and turn.

But Daniel Craig would break your fucking legs in front of everyone.

See this film immediately. The rule book has been ripped up. Ripped up and eaten, digested, shat out, composted and used to grow some real hard bastard flowers. No gadgets, no one-liners, zero campness, and Dame Judi Dench in such extreme soft focus, you'd never know she was 87.

It's returned to its book roots so much that I forgot I was watching a Bond movie. This still didn't prevent me from running out of the cinema with my hands folded into a gun.

I want to have sex with my hairdresser.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Unpleasant Discovery

I was intending to not write so many random posts, particularly a) First thing in the morning thereby making me late for work and b) After a few drinks last thing at night when I should be getting my Beauty Sleep.

But I'm addicted.

I spent this morning writing Karate, Ladymail, My Mum and Drinking Tonight which unfortunately made me 45 minutes late for work. Fortunately my boss was even later as his daughter had to be rushed to hospital - Result!)

So I did the day job. I met The Hobo after work and had beers, then I caught a tube home. Switching lines at Hammersmith, I boarded another tube and noticed a strange rectangular bag on a seat, so I quickly stuck my head out of the door and yelled at the tourist who had just got off.

'I think you left your bag on the tube!'
He turned to see me waving this thing at him.
'Uh, no. Not me.'


I put it back on the seat where I found it, and sat down opposite the bag, staring at it with some concern.
'Is it ticking?', said the wag who had himself just boarded.
'Hmm. Dunno. I'll check'.

So I opened it up. I could've just handed it in regardless, but it was such a curious bag that I had to know more. It was heavy considering it was only a little handheld thing, and it was perfectly oblong. How queer.

I put it on my lap as it unravelled before us.

'Oh. Bloody hell.'

There, laid out neatly, were over a dozen sharp and very angry looking knives, all lined up and ready for use; Slicers, pairers, choppers, carvers, and the Daddys, a pair of Meatcleavers.

It belonged to an absent-minded chef no doubt, but Thank God I found it instead of someone like my Karate teacher.

I handed it in when I got to my stop. I quite enjoyed approaching the bored loner of a Station Master and watching his jaw drop when I got to the unravelling stage.

So that's my good deed for the day. Plus I cheered up London Underground's finest too. He looked thrilled to be handed them, the glint of the steel enlivening the shells of madness in his eyes.

Karate, Ladymail, My Mum and Drinking Tonight

I feel I have to write a post before I go to work. I'm too tired and achey to cycle and swim this morning, plus The Hobo is rather too keen to go out on the lash tonight for our now regular Tuesday fixture pubcrawling around Soho because we're Bon Viveurs, so tube it is.

I really, really, really hope I don't get drunk and rambling.

I'm having doubts about my self defence classes already. I used to do Shotokan Karate about eight years ago - a delayed reaction to being beaten up a few years prior to that - and forgot what maniacs the teachers are. Body Toning, sure. Suppleness, Stamina, Physical Fitness, brilliant. But these fuckers really do get a kick out of Kicking. And Punching, and Gouging, and swaggering as if they own the place. And I find it all very unsettling. Plus I don't like authority. I've only had three lessons and I've already got a grading in a little over a week. A week! I haven't learnt anything yet!

Last night, I got 'Change Stance!' confused with 'Turn Round!' I had been in the front row performing punches parrot fashion and looking at a Very Wet and Exhausted large man in the mirror. Suddenly our psychopathic Sensei barked out an order so I turned round and saw a sea of confused faces looking at me.

'Change Stance!' I was yelled at.
'Change!' 'Stance!'
For some reason, I looked down at my feet. I then looked back up and realised that if thirty people were all facing me then I'm probably the odd one out, so I turned back round to face the mirror and changed to right foot forward instead of left.

'Well done!' yelled Psycho. 'You Twat!'

I'm paying them for this.

Then I told my Mum about my blog, and she seems to like it. Until it dawned on me that there's an awful lot of admissions here and now I'm hoping she's missed those bits.
Except she'll probably read this and go back and start again. I should probably shut up.

I'm getting ladymail. This is very strange. Normally the mail I get from ladies are restraining orders. These emails are lovely and friendly and telling me not to shave. So now I'm confused. Will someone please tell me how I'm supposed to look? Trinny & Susannah will do. (Yes, I know it's 'Tips for Girls' but I'm about to be late for work.)

On the plus side, my lovely Muslim lady friend and Trotter the tiny pocket Hindu have agreed to help me choose a new wardrobe in the January sales. I am phenomenally excited. I seem to have given up smoking, I'm enjoying my working week more than ever, I'm exercising more, and women with a beard fetish are getting in touch.

This weekend I'm off to Brighton for a Lads' Weekender. Either something huge will happen and we'll all end up arrested, or else we'll get drunk, eat a kebab, and go home crying into our pillows. (Ok, just me.)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Gay Houseparty

I was really looking forward to this one.

I eventually left my flat after a cheery Saturday evening spent watching Hitler's Holocaust. (This was the last episode in the series, entitled 'Liberation'. I had assumed it may be life-affirming and full of hope. It wasn't.)

I got to the tube station and waited an age for my train. A small clump of Australian girls (Collective noun, a Shelia?) were stood nearby being boistrous. This cheered me tremendously. I remembered that Gay Paul's standard issue Australian flatmate™ (The one I'd apparently once asked for a shag) would know other Australians, probably female, and more than likely heavy drinkers willing and eager to sleep with people.

I.e. Me.

Plus there was the other consideration:
Flame = Moth.
Honey = Bears.
Gay Men = Hoardes of doe-eyed and potentially quite attractive gagging Fag Hags.

Sooooo looking forward to this houseparty.

I had to change tubes at Earls Court. I'm looking good. Slightly too casual (How do you spell the one-syllable version of that?), but feeling pretty damn fine nonetheless. Plus I noticed the Sheila of Girls had gathered nearby. Could they be going to the same houseparty, perchance?

(I'll nip this in the bud now: No. They all got off at Fulham.)

I took the next tube all the way to Wimbledon. Two stunning Spanish women had been sitting opposite me where they spent the whole time refusing to make eye contact, and giggling conspiratorially throughout. Things were going downhill. And Wimbledon didn't help. It is a godforsaken HOLE. Menace filled the air like a stormcloud, as random impenetrable football chants were screamed from drunk retards with no necks. I had a 20 minute wait for the train to drag me phenomenally slowly to the sprawling crack-den that is Streatham.

I was now getting text messages along the lines of 'Where are you?' and 'Fuckwit'. (Apparently there is an easier route that avoids the hell of Wimbledon.)

When I did get there, the party was in full swing. Technically, I had to leave almost immediately if I wanted to get home before the trains stopped, so I resigned myself to fate and proceeded to drink copious amounts of vodka. The majority of people there were couples, and the one single female was already being pulled by my friend Russell. (He doesn't do conversations, just a series of one-liners and risqué gags, and it always seems to work.) Gay Paul was considerably off his tits, as was his boyfriend Michael who is convinced - wishful thinking on his part, I believe - that I am but a few Bacardi Breezers from exploding kicking and screaming (showtunes) from The Closet. He tried to facilitate this by dancing behind me in a routine probably illegal in most non-Western countries.

I was befriended by a hideously drunk Irishman called Barry, who seemed keen to shake my hand for hours a la Mr Shake Hands Man from the Bansai television programme until I told him that I knew what he was doing, and he ideally needed a) a timer, b) a film crew and c) someone famous.
So he said 'Feck' and walked off.

My lovely Muslim lady friend, her friend Helen and I did have a discussion about my poor beard (and this is a beard in the facial sense, and not in the Woman Dating A Gay Man To Disguise His Sexuality sense).

My beard was in my opinion only slightly longer than stubble anyway. I'd just got lazy and left it. Russell added that it was more 'Carpet' now. The general consensus was that women hate beards on men. Exceptions were extremly rich, famous and good looking men, and older women may have a different take on it, but in the main, they were an abhorrence and a crime against mankind.

This was particularly annoying as I have a considerable babyface once I've shaved, plus my boyhood heroes (Indiana Jones and my Dad, oddly enough) have tended to have facial growth and I guess I want to emulate that.

Gay Paul's opinion was that he liked it a lot, and said I should keep it. I cheered loudly and yelled 'In Your Face!' to the girls, until they pointed out quite sensibly that if I wanted to pull gay men, then I should probably keep the beard. If I was after women, I should shave.

Time was lost. A lot of spirits were drunk. I refused to dance to Abba, and was called 'Straight' for wearing a white t-shirt under my green t-shirt. (Ironic, as straight men have always called me gay for wearing tight white tops.)

After a fashion, Gay Paul found things rather too much to bear and had to hide in an upstairs room to have a little cry. Apparently, some clumsy oaf had managed to pour a brand new bottle of Coke all over the tablecloth with the nibbles on.
(I'm afraid this may have been me.)
He reached breaking point when he had to throw out a now violently drunk Irishman, then went to the bathroom to find one of the guests using his razor to have an impromptu shave.
(Again, me.)

No-one can remember how late we stayed. Luke, my Muslim ladyfriend's boyfriend and my ex-housemate, had achieved drunk nirvana and was doing what he normally does when he's had too much booze, and that's go around picking people up. Someone hit him. I had given up trying to pull as there wasn't anyone, plus I was now nursing a particularly vicious razor cut on my chin and looked like the Elephant Man.

We got a taxi home and I woke up on a sofa in Carshalton.

We phoned Paul to generically say sorry, so it must have been a good party if you have to call up the next day to apologise. We watched X-Factor, a truly awful talent show I'm proud never to have seen before, and saw the McDonald brothers, the musical equivalent of a nice cup of tea, gurn for the cameras and the old women in the audience. I got the train home. The Circle and District line had collapsed in on itself so I had to improvise a journey back to West London with my chin buried in my scarf lest The Scratch Be Seen.

Then back to mine for Doritos and Hummous.

Happy days.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I come to.
I am lying in The Pit (i.e. my bedroom, avec hangover.) My clothes are strewn around the floor like a Tracey Emin installation. Memories of being up til 5am playing music and lifting weights flash through my mind. I recall leaving dodgy comments on other people's websites, and of wanting to nip out to the 24-hour shop for fags.

I curse myself for smoking, then realise that I didn't in fact smoke at all; I've merely inherited Smokers' Throat just by being in a bar last night. I caught up with a lot of friends I haven't seen for a few months, many of whom smoke. I resisted the urge to join them, but ended up full of smoke anyway. Having been a consistent smoker in bars and pubs, I stupidly had no idea how strong that stuff is when you forgo.
Fifteen years a heavy smoker and suddenly I'm Holier Than Thou after six days off the sticks and I'm eager for the impending smoking ban.

I'll be walking back to work in a moment having left my bike there overnight, and I rather fancy the exercise. Yesterday morning, I'm ashamed to say, I ABSOLUTELY LOST THE PLOT when a motorist nearly killed me.

I had woken up ridiculously early and couldn't get back to sleep so I cycled in just as the sun was rising and turning the dark skies navy. Although the streets were mercifully quiet, any vehicles on the road were taking advantage of this by driving like hellbound banshees.
One car, a large people carrier, cut me up in perhaps the most selfish act I've ever been a part of in my half-dozen years as a cyclist. I had been minding my own business, staying left and progressing pleasantly when, out of nowhere, this vehicle drove past me very close, and pulled in directly in front of me, coming to an immediate halt just as I was about to plough right into it.

Confronted with the rear of this now stationary vehicle, I swerved sharply out of the way. Approaching the driver's window, I lashed out as best I could but managed only a feeble tippytap of admonishment. So, as I past the vehicle, I made sure the driver knew my feelings by turning round to raise two fingers.

I had spent only 20 to 30 seconds absolutely dumbstruck at this supreme idiocy when I suddenly became aware of this fucking car bearing down on me in anger, trying to ram me off the road. Fortunately, there was an incline onto the pavement, which I was forced to swerve onto. I turned to look at the vehicle, now stopped, and its driver, flapping his arms and cursing me.

I am used to bad driving. I am casual about not being seen. I am even au fait with being sworn at and hated. But I will not allow myself to be driven over.

The red mist descended. This guy was going to get it.

I pelted off my bike and ran to the car. I banged the driver's window repeatedly.
Remarkably he lowered his window to tell me where to go but I was fuming with rage and leaned in with my finger pointed at his nose. 'DON'T YOU EVER CUT ME UP LIKE THAT AGAIN, YOU IDIOT!'

Then he flipped, and tried to get out. Now contradicting my earlier statement of four seconds previously, I began to push his door back.

I think I'm in trouble here.

I quickly realised he was determined to get out and I would have to let him and see how this develops. I backed off. He got out.
'And? What you gonna do? Eh? What the fuck you gonna do?'
'Go fuck yourself,' I said, which I thought rather pithy. I also liked the idea of getting on my bike and leaving.
I was full of phlegm and spat on the floor. Except I was now facing his car and my excretion may have landed on his bonnet. This was an honest to goodness accident. I got on my bike and began to peddle away.
'Fuck you!' He then spat on me. 'White Bastard!'
I stopped cycling and turned. He was heading for his car.
'No, a what bastard? What did you call me?'
'Fucking bastard!'

I suddenly felt very calm. I have never been racially abused before and it was quite strange. Rather amusing at first in its complete irrelevance, then crap because I felt sorry for him bringing this down to skin hue insults. I wanted to pat him on the back and tell him very nicely that racism from any angle is not cool; about as uncool as attacking cyclists using your Honda as a weapon. Then I wondered what he'd put up with in the past for him to blurt that out.

Probably other enraged cyclists yelling abuse at him, I should imagine.

How unpleasant. The moral of the story is: I don't know what the moral of the story is. Perhaps it's please drive safely, and don't be racist.

I'm off to get my bike.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Exercise, Sweating, And Scaring Women

There are a dozen words in the Inuit language for Snow. (Except there aren't ~ it's a hoax.) For my part, I have 5 different words for the types of reactions I can instil in women just by entering their peripheral vision.

I have just returned from my second karate class. It was disappointing to discover that I'm not, by now, an expert shitkicker with Bruce Lee's casual talent and a (male) stripper's physique.
It was just as disappointing to remember that I am The World's Greatest Sweater (Verb, not Noun. I am not bad clothing.)

Trust me, it's a pale thing. I'm not massively overweight. I just perspire beyond all possible belief because God hates me. And when I really go nuts exerting myself during something like karate, I'm a veritable breached dam. (For some reason, during sex, I'm not so bad. Perhaps this is due to a combination of rhythm if I may be so bold, periods of exertion Vs near-relaxation, oh, and Hell has normally frozen over.)

So I'm standing there looking like a Giant's picked me up by the ankles and submerged me in a pool. Participants had to change partners from around the Dojo (a room in a gym in West London), and some lucky women find themselves facing me for the very first time.
I look wet.
I look violently anaemic.
I am panting.
I look like I'm about to clutch my chest and collapse.
I am not wearing a Dinner Jacket.

They look:

1. Petrified.
Remember the old black and white Dracula films? The close ups of womens' eyes widening with fear? The look of absolute, all-consuming terror?
I've had that.

2. Shocked.
As above, but more controlled. If you look closely, you can see their eyebrows scrunch together as they try to fathom the vile depths that nature can plumb in belching out such apparitions.

3. Ill.
Nausea almost immediately overcomes them. They look as if they may faint. Cheeks may expand as they struggle to keep their dinner down. Much wooziness.

4. Amused.
Eyes open wide. Shock turns to barely suppressed guffaws. Some attempts at looking away, followed by quick checks back to see if their eyes do indeed deceive them.
They don't. I am a hopeless cunt.

5. Flirtatious.
I'm entranced by twinkling eyes with wide irises. There's perpetual eye contact. And a hint of a smile through gently parted lips.
This is normally a photograph.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I've just woken up and I Can't... Fucking... Move...

Bastard karate.

Didn't get a wink of sleep either.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Coming To Terms With Monday

My time at work today went mercifully quickly, perhaps the biggest plus point of my job in a Wishing-My-Life-Away context.

This evening, I took my first self-defence lesson. There were 18 of us and consequently I didn't learn a lot. There were, however, a couple of cute girls there, although they were probably less than impressed by my freakish sweating.

I say freakish because I am a freak. I have been to some of the hottest places on Earth and scared the living SHIT out of the locals. I looked like I'd been stood under a shower in my clothes. Although it is true that I have gorgeous, golden, strawberry blond hair, some have cruelly pointed out that I also have no eyebrows (I do - they're just delicately invisible, like my eyelashes.)
I do have some colour, but that colour is red. One recent girlfriend used to relish calling me Snowflake after an albino baby gorilla. She said it was apt on a variety of levels, which I didn't quite get. So, 15 minutes warm up and some casual kicking and I looked like I was wearing a t-shirt that had been rescued from a swimming pool with a long stick.

Ch4 once showed a programme called Anatomy of Disgust. The third most disgusting thing, apparently, was sweat. Ergo, I am disgusting, particularly as I am a walking sweat reservoir. Incidentally, the first two Most Disgusting Things Ever were Blood & Faeces.

So, that's marvellous.
The only other thing that could possibly hammer home my perennial undateability would be if I was covered in shit and bleeding.

And then I cycled home.

I'd got to Craven Hill in the Bayswater/ Notting Hill fringes when I heard an almighty localised scream in a little square to my right. I thought it possibly a little fireworks display, albeit minus the fireworks. As I drew opposite the source of the screaming, flashbulbs were going off and my interest was piqued.

"Who's over there?" I enquired at a passer by.
"Michael Jackson."

Dammit. I was hoping it would be someone interesting.

So I cycled over to gawp. I tried to phone Large Northern Flatmate - he'd be hearing about this in 20 minutes anyway but I wanted him to hear the near-hysterical screaming in the background - but my cycle-gloved fingers were mashing the delicate keys and I couldn't be bothered to do it properly.

Plus it was only an extremely famous oddball who, from what I could work out, was offering merely an occasional glimpse of his fingers twitching at a curtain high above our heads. Actually, from where I was stood, I could see bugger all anyway.

So I fucked off home. Not bad for a Monday.

I wish I had no moral objections to prostitution.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Things I Hate

I'm fucked off. It's Sunday.
I've stopped smoking, and right now it feels like I'm having a heart attack. Aaargh.
I go back to work tomorrow to continue a job I never thought I'd end up doing but didn't actually mind until I went on holiday, and when I returned it had become dull.
I got plastered on Friday, and have subsequently spent two days pretty much at home doing fuck-all.

So here's a list of anger...

You utter cuntmunch. I want to succeed in life. I want to right my wrongs, be a better person, realise my talents, and spread infectious love and happiness.

But I can't be bothered.

I know for a fact that if/ when I get to a senile and (even more) introspective age, I will utterly regret not having had enough sex. But not through lack of trying, oh no. It's because I clearly have all the sexual allure of a desk.

Discovering GWAOTM momentarily shook up my life. She reminded me that I could work long hours and still cram in time to socialise, meet people, and perchance get laid.
Except most men don't just go out and get laid, ever. It's simply the same three charming lucky bastards who go out and ruin it for the rest of us.

I've known that for years.
Then I forgot.
And now I remember again.
And remembering that most women are just as shallow as me is really annoying.

One snog, that's all I wanted. Just one. For two minutes. With a nice lady. Just to enjoy being single and meeting a likeminded person. Nothing too much to ask.
As teenagers, full penetrative sex was the Holy Grail. Now I have regressed to just wanting a kiss from someone pretty, like I was 14 again. And even that still totally escapes me, despite trying.

I hate you. You killed my Grandma and took my sister in her thrall. I was always anti you. Then one day I too learnt to love you and forgot the past. Now I can't give you up.

You're like some kind of drug.

Dating Websites.
You're shit.
Shit, shit, shit.
Great in principle: 'Hey, I'm single, you too, let's hook up!!', but shit in practice: 'We're all so desperately lonely and this is our last futile stab at happiness even if it is hopelessly clinical and forced and does nothing for spontaneity or fate.'

Plus all the women I like don't look at my profile in return.
Just like in real fucking life.

I don't phone my Mum or Dad that often.
I fell out with my Sister and have not spoken to her since March.
I've got to 32 and have acheived Fuck All. Large Older Flatmate talked about people with hideous disabilities in a bizarre attempt to cheer me up, but that just depressed me further.
I could be doing little things with my Sunday in preparation for the rest of the week but I can't be bothered.
I'm pining for ex-girlfriends because there's no-one else to think about.
I work with six men, and no women and I miss their company.
I should be buying Xmas presents, but instead I'm spending my cash on cigarettes, alcohol, ecstacy and Pringles.

Jim Davidson.
You racist fat fuck. I hope you get hit by an Eddie Stobart truck.

The News.
Child murder.
Society being split by bigotry, hatred, religious intolerance, homophobia, racism.
Terror plots.
Huw Edwards.

I can't take much more of this.

Sunday Bloody Sunday

I want cigarettes.

I think.

Plus I'm bored. And full of Pringles. Sundays suck. I want to wander aimlessly down the High Street and perchance visit a small public house for a sherry, but that will only make me want to smoke too.

I ducked out of going to my Dad's because I'm now sans car and he lives too far away for me to tube to his. He's also invited me over for dinner one evening but my Stepmum is the officially the Worst Cook in the World and I can't bear the thought of eating her meals sans taste. But not wanting to go also makes me feel guilty.

And after a weekend of zero involvement with women, I've got a week of work in a small office full of just men to look forward to.

I've just visited the kosher dating website I subscribe to, and it's the same faces, the same scary profiles about being 'Smart and Ambitious' and wanting to meet 'Tall, Dark and Handsome men'.

So that's me out.

Ah, fuck this. I'm going to wank myself into a coma then donate my genitals to science.

Fucking cunt of a planet.

Stopping Smoking

That's it, I've had enough. Another weekend bites the dust, and I've smoked my way through it. That, and the last 15 years.

I'm not looking forward to this. After all, former heroin addicts have testified that it's easier to come off smack than fags. Perhaps I should switch drugs.

I used to be a real self-righteous little bastard - no drink or drugs of any kind until I was 17/ 18. Now I've got myself an annoying little addiction I can't shake.

Still. No fags yet today...

Hmm. I think I've got my Sunday head on.

Ugh - And now I've remembered I've got to visit my old man and fix his sodding computer.

I think I'll go to Tescos and self-medicate with Pringles.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Becoming a Monk

I suppose I will have to leave England and shave my head. I will have to enjoy eating gruel. Perhaps I should start formulating some belief in God too.

Last night started well. I told my boss I was leaving early (5.30pm) and raced off to this funky little bar in the City for Russell's birthday.

Despite looking Better than Normal in my smart-casual jacket™ and getting a few Eye-Fucks on the way, I was still pretty much the last option for anyone with two X chromosomes. All the other men looked much better with their decent suits and general air of being richer than me. Plus I was introduced to Gay Paul's flatmate, a charming young lady who informed me that we'd actually met before. Apparently I'd asked her several times for a shag, so that was me utterly horrified.

Monkhood 1, Carrying on shambolically, nil.

I gave Russell his birthday present, a packet of condoms. He said "I don't wear those things" and threw them on the table in disgust so I picked them up and put them back in my pocket. They're Best Before 2010 so they'll be out of date before I get to use them.

But it wasn't all doom and gloom. I was stood in their toilets listening to the African chap at the sink yelling "Get your aftershave here, and get yourself some pussy." He was directing all this at me for some reason, prompting me to improv "Don't tell me, I'm not the fucking audience." This ellicited two laughs from a couple of guys having a piss nearby. At least I will always be able to make random drunk men laugh and alienate my sexist ethnic cousins.

Oop, Monkhood's just scored again.

Two of my friends then suggested we go on to a bar where some others were partying, as the Americans say, so we walked off to Brick Lane and visited Corbetts where I was absolutely enchanted by their Spanish barmaid. I'm afraid I placed my order and told her she was breathtaking. And she was. She had the most adorable large brown eyes, and a smile that could melt even the most cynical hearts (i.e. mine). She did have a strange haircut though. My only saving grace in my "Breathtaking" statement was that I never say anything that cheesy to random women, and I sincerely meant it. Later on, I asked her if she'd like a drink and a chat. She wanted the drink, but wasn't up for chatting. She was single too, dammit. Mental note: Buy drink, then chat. Don't request chat in advance. That's just stupid.

Ah, whatever.

I guess this is what happens when you look less like George Clooney and more like George Formby. (Actually, it has been said that I bear more than a passing resemblance to a former World No.1 professional German tennis player, to the point where I recently auditioned to be his stand in for a European on-line gambling site advert.)

I wonder if I'll become a better monk if I have my testicles lopped off?

After humiliating myself in front of gorgeous Spaniards (I left the bar straining to find her, then spotted her skulking by the door where she'd been watching me hunt her down like a beagle), we went on to the Hoxton twatden that is the Vibe Bar. The mood taking us for some reason, my mate and I ended up buying a few ecstasy pills for the first time in years, from an aggressive dealer with BO.
Honestly, take some pride in your work.

After getting nothing but overheated, we caught the last tube home where I very slowly started to come up. I didn't realise until I nipped in to a 24-hour newsagents for cigarettes and asked the owner if he was Muslim and getting a nod, so I told him I was Jewish and shook his hand. I would've hugged him but the whole till/desk/chocolate arrangement thing was in the way and in retrospect it probably wasn't appropriate.

Why can't they all do that in Israel anyway? It would be a start.

So, Home.


Listened to music.

Visited Expedia and bought a one-way ticket to Rome.

I wonder if they'll let me take jazzmags?

Friday, November 10, 2006

We won the Pub Quiz!!!

Three exclamation marks!!!! I feel like Steve Martin's character in Parenthood when his son's team wins the Little League, or something American. Very sad, but what a rush!!!!!!!!

Oh dear.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bloody marvellous British rap tune

DJ Yoda's Chatterbox, featuring Sway is well worth a listen, for the following 4 reasons:

1 - It samples Alison Moyet's All Cried Out, and I forgot what a great track it is. It also samples, erm, Chas and Dave's Rabbit Rabbit.
2 - It's really well produced.
3 - Sway is a phenomenal, hysterically funny rapper.
4 - It is the only rap tune in history to use the words 'Naff off'.

Paying for abuse

I've joined a self-defence class. My induction teacher Anthony - sorry, Sensei Anthony, had me do a few stretches, then got me in gloves while he stuck pads on.

"Gimme ten punches, left, right, left, right, then a front kick."
"Now hit the deck and gimme 20 press ups!!"
"AAARGH!!! ONETWO... THREE... FOUR!!!...."
"Get up! Ten more punches!!"
"Now get out your credit card and gimme a £50 joining fee."
"Erm, aargh...."

I didn't particularly relish forking out the cash when I'm supposed to be saving money and putting it towards Xmas presents, but I got caught up in the moment.

Once I paid, I asked Sensei Alex, a disturbing Hollyoaks lookalike, if I could join the proper class.

"No. Come back next week."

I didn't expect that.

But I was so ashamed at my fitness - 10 pretty hefty punches and a solid kick, followed by 10 minutes of trying to catch my breath - that I'm pretty convinced this may be a good idea, especially as the days are getting shorter and colder. What a great way to lift my spirits.

Now if I could just give up smoking...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Borat, Britney, Saddam and Sacking Offences

I've just come back from the Borat movie. I had wondered how they could make a film out of a character who, like all of Sacha Baron Cohen's alter-egos, simply makes people look dumb just by pretending to be dumber.

But it works - just. I laughed out loud in a few places, although the biggest laugh for me was an innocuous sound effect. Nevertheless, around Act III, I even found myself everso slightly touched by the films one moment of emotion. (This was incidentally just before the squawk.)

And Jews get hammered. I shifted awkwardly in my seat during some scenes, notably the Running of the Jew festival at the beginning, and more so when Borat and his producer spend a night at an elderly couple's house. Retrospectively, it was a stunning piece that sent up Anti-Semitism as the ignorant nonsense it's always been. At the time, I did what I'd been doing throughout the movie; cringing with my hand over my eyes and wishing it would stop, like my last three dates.

I notice that Britney's just filed for divorce. Not knowing, much less caring, anything about her or what I take to be her complete twatstand of a (fifteenth?) husband, I still feel bad for her. Fame and fortune came early, and all she's found is a baby she can't hold properly, a succession of moneygrabbing men and quite possibly very little happiness.

Like Saddam, although minus the baby and golddiggers. I'm not sure what to think about his death sentence. 'Good Riddance' obviously springs to mind. But my two overriding thoughts on this are:
1 ~ From my anti-capital punishment stance, I believe that killing him won't bring back those he killed. Justice, perhaps. Revenge, certainly. But is revenge something to strive for? If you find out your child has been bullying children at school, do you take him or her to one side and beat them senseless to teach them right from wrong?

2 ~ The war in Iraq was illegal from the word go. We, the British and Americans, invade, take control of the country, and establish a democracy of sorts (Was Saddam's Ba'ath party represented? I honestly have no idea. Or any Fundamental Islamic groups? Perhaps.) We then try the bastard in an Iraqi court, and a death sentence is unsurprisingly imposed. But my point is this - Can any country invade any other, overthrow its government, corrupt and dictatorial or otherwise, try their former leader, and execute him?

If it were George Bush being invaded and tried, he'd probably say 'Erm, no'. It'll all end in tears. Well, more tears. I just hope it eventually ends. I have no idea how Bush can sleep at night with the deaths of his soldiers, our soldiers, the death of the Iraqi people, not to mention those he refused to pardon when he was governor of Texas. Of course, if I were in charge, there'd be no death penalty except in the case of cutting up cyclists or having three ASBOs.

And today, at work, my boss admonished me after slamming the phone down and sighing "I don't know why I fucking bother." I didn't realise there was a customer behind me. I should've done, as seconds earlier I'd been assisting her.
I should probably look for another job.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Today Is The Beginning Of The Rest Of ... etc

I'm not sure if this is yet another phase, or if I've finally got a handle on my damn life. I feel alright, but the real test is if I can stay the course, or at least until the end of the year.

Today - a Monday no less - was good. I got up early despite not much sleep, and felt ok. I cycled to work and went for a swim. I was fairly cheerful all day. I had just one tea with sugar and didn't swear at anyone (at least not to their face). This afternoon, I booked an induction into some nearby Shitkicking event, a mixture of Tai Kwan Do, Kickboxing, and streetfighting apparently which, admittedly, sounds like nonsense. It's £10 a pop so I'll have to stop smoking. That won't be fun.

I'm doing sit-ups and weights in the mornings (ok, so I only started today, but it's a step in the right direction).

Tomorrow I'm half-planning to see Borat. Thursday is quiz night. On Saturday, I'm getting dressed up for Russell's birthday (Maybe I should buy a new shirt?) and then I will attempt a casual conversation and perchance have intercourse with a member of the opposite sex.
Must... Enjoy... Single... Life....


Ok, it's a bit of a leap of faith from summoning up the courage to talk to someone in a bar to having filthy reckless sex with full abandon (although this will probably end up being with my right hand - again) but I have to stay positive.

Yes, I am aware just how sad this all sounds.
If I don't get so much as a snog on Saturday, I'm off to a Monastery to Monk it.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Embarrassing Memory #5: Hang-ups

Not so much a memory, more an event that happened about five hours ago.

I was sitting in the passenger seat of my friends' car being driven back from a weekend in sunny Ipswich. Perhaps if we'd gone to the Dordoigne or somewhere more salubrious than a market town in East Anglia, this might not have happened. Although it probably would've.

My Dad calls my mobile. Can I go and visit him one evening and install his new iPod software onto his computer? Of course I could. It's a little annoying as I now live in West London and he's still a 20-minute walk from the end of the Jubilee line and it's a mammoth trek to and from residences, probably after a very long and very annoying working day.

I put the phone down. My lovely lady Muslim friend in the back seat
asks me if I speak to my Dad a lot as he'd also called me the day before, during our drive up.

"No," I reply forcefully. "He only phones when he wants something and now I've got to sort his computer out. I'm convinced that he only got my Mum pregnant 'cause he knew computers would be the Next Big Thing and he'd want someone to fix his."

I turned to my friend behind the steering wheel, my one-time flatmate. "You've met my Dad haven't you?"

"Yeah, at the front door when he came round to see you. (Adopts a serious gruff voice) 'Is Fwengebola there?'"

"That's right. He's a strange bloke. No chit-chat. (Adopting a more serious, gruffer voice) "This is his Farther."

It was around the farcical-impressions-of-my-Old-Man time that I happened to casually glance at my mobile phone.

Fucking hell.

I hadn't hung up.

I pressed 'end call' - my mobile's still relatively new and I'm an idiot. But I did think that perhaps everything was ok. This feeling of vague contentedness lasted about ten seconds, when my Dad called back immediately. I realised he'd heard everything.

"I heard everything!" merely confirmed this, quite neatly.

He's still not speaking to me.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Thursday Ruminations

I've just got back from a pub quiz in East Sheen. We came joint first. We would've been first were it not for the tie breaker; 'What year was Max Shrek's Nosferatu released?' Jimmy stood with the quizmaster mumbling '1938... 1936... Erm, 1929' while the opposing team's nominee vaguely blurted out '1921' and won.

It was fun though. Going out on a school night has some merits. Plus I had my standard issue Midway Coke™ to level me out.

Since giving up smoking when I went out with The Hobo two days ago, I have managed to avoid all tobacco-based cravings by continuing to smoke, and it's working.

It's suddenly become vindictively cold. Our extended Summer 2006 is officially moribund. Only last week I was cycling in shorts and a t-shirt. Now when waiting for a post-pub quiz bus, my jeans became wind-blasted cool to the point where they stung my naked legs when I moved. I love seasons, but I can't handle any of them. My tippex-like complexion means I sweat horrendously in anything over a 7 degree heat and have to constantly wear white to avoid visible stainage. Such aversion to sweating means I still wear a t-shirt under my coat in the autumn, yet I freeze in the cold as if I'm an Equatorial New Guinean in my first Icelandic snowstorm. I should be made for this weather, but I spent today frequently fretting over my fingernails turning purple for the tenth time. It doesn't help that my bosses are too cheap to switch the heating on. They'll only do that when our snot begins to freeze tissues to our noses.

When I went to the toilet at work, I caught sight of the mirror as I was grinning nonchalantly to myself. I noticed a pair of huge weathered creases under my eyes. I have never really seen any physical signs of me ageing before. I stopped grinning. Then I found myself looking rather sexy when I frowned, and decided that I would have to dedicate the rest of my life to looking constantly moody, like the trailers I've seen of Daniel Craig, the new James Bond.

Work is frantic. Still no sign of a lunchbreak in a year and a half, and no time to read my personal emails let alone reply to them. One woman in our shop continued to ask me questions despite the fact that I looked visibly pissed off at 2pm clutching a french stick she'd disturbed me from moulding into a sandwich. It was to become the first thing I ate today. I haven't had breakfast for two days running, or dinner either now I think about it. My evening meal tonight consisted of 3 alcoholic drinks, a Coca-Cola, and two packets of crisps whilst answering questions on general knowledge. I haven't been as dietarily reckless as this since I was a student.
Or perhaps since last week.

The girl on the opposite table to us at the quiz was really cute. Sadly she's the same girl I told off last week for butting in at the bar. It is the singlemost offensive thing you can do in a pub. To walk up to wait to be served, notice someone walk up next to you much later, and watch in astonishment as the barperson serves them first and they go ahead and give their order is really irritating. No wonder society is crumbling. So I snapped at this girl that I've been waiting. She took it badly and - probably embarrassed - allowed me to get served. Of all ironies, I was only getting a fucking tapwater. I then apologised to her but she wasn't happy. And tonight I realised she is lovely. Shame she recognised me and sneered.

Last night I called my ex-girlfriend. I was weak. I wanted to catch up despite me ending our relationship what with her being an American permanently living in New York and the whole thing not really being viable, and it's clear that she still has strong feelings for me and now I feel like a toad. She's even dating an Englishman over there but told me it's not working because - pause - he's not me. That was strange to hear. She wants to fly over and see me again, putting the transatlantic meetings at Her=4, Me=1. I told her it's best she got a hotel this time, and that we probably shouldn't have sex. She seemed a little taken aback that I stated it. I think it was on her agenda.

Of course, I'd have sex with her in a heartbeat, but it's clear it would mean a whole lot more to her than it would me and I'd rather not do it if she winds up in more pain. The last thing she said to me face-to-face, at the departures lounge at Heathrow, was 'I love you'.
As I recall, my reply was 'Erm...'

The last thing I did tonight, before writing this, was to check out the dating website I belong to. My ex-ex Girlfriend was online. The last thing she said to me face-to-face was 'It's not working.' I honestly never saw that one coming.

This weekend, I'm going to Ipswich.
The best thing to come out of Ipswich is the train back to London.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hallowe'en, bars, women, and deep conversations

I've just come back from an evening of semi-debauchery with The Hobo. I had to do it. After all, I have to knock this ridiculous habit of 'weekly working and straight to bed providing I drink myself unconscious at the weekend' mindset. (The key is to not drink yourself unconscious during the week - half way through tonight I bought an overpriced Coca Cola.)

It was All Hallows' Eve and a few American students were wandering about in daft costumes and good cheer which kinda made me think they were on a hiding to nothing as no-one gives a toss about Hallowe'en here, but I digress.

The Hobo had an Epiphany tonight. I've heard about them before. Those glorious states where everything seems to make sense after a defining moment. Hobo's was to smoke crack* after 11 years off the pipe. I told him not to do it but he seemed determined, citing a belief that it would help him write Crack And Ruin, a sizzling rollercoaster of a novel about a schmuck on drugs. I took a libertine view eventually, after my initial pleas of common sense fell on deaf ears. I helped him toot away, witnessing the madness congeal in his eyes, but stopping when he thrust his money at me to buy more rocks.

'No', I said. 'I cannot stop you as an adult, but I won't assist you as an addict.'
I thought that very profound.

Some time later, as we found ourselves in another bar once the calming effect of class A's left his system, The Hobo took it upon himself to confiscate my cigarettes. I thought this very unfair. After all, I had empathized with his addiction, why couldn't he empathize with mine?

We talked. We debated. We pissed each other off. Just because he had seen the light, that's no reason to force it upon me when still in darkness. Nevertheless, his reasoning was sound. I'm 32. I'd like to be a miserable father one day. A lovely wife and good job would really seal the deal. And in this fantasy world of potential real-life, I wouldn't want to be a hopeless smoker either. And so I must learn to drink with moderation and smoke never again.

If I can couple that with not eating rubbish food plus exercising like a banshee, I'm made for life. Technically.

On the sex side, I remembered why I'm resolutely single. Early on, in a snug bar near Trafalgar Square, two women of indeterminate Eastern European origin sat near us. The Hobo had just been "Eye-Fucked" (his words) by some other ladies in the bar, and my recent conversation of wanting to Put It About was still ringing in my ears. Yet I couldn't put anything about. I was happy talking shit with a hopeless maniac. I didn't want to ruin a beautiful evening by potentially annoying two women and getting into a stilted conversation. After all, two lone men + two lone women sitting next to each other doesn't necessarily = Must-Have Conversation.


If my future love life depends on meeting women in bars, I'll have to stock up on a job lot of Kleenex instead. I honestly don't know how Girl manages it. I think I'll have to evaluate my role models - and give up fags while I'm at it.

Damn and fucking nadulas. Taking control of your adult life sucks.

But on a lighter note, I got the last tube home with a gang of American teenagers still dressed up for Hallowe'en. For some reason, I felt empowered, as if I held fate itself in my hands (but clearly not my own). I overheard one of the girls complain that British guys never buy women drinks, so I knelt down and butted in to beg to differ, charitably pointing out the young Englishman behind me, covered in fake blood.

'I'm sure he'll get you some drinks', I said.
'No I won't', slurred the teenager opening his empty wallet. 'I'm all out'.

Why bother. Always the matchmaker, never the, erm... match.

Christ, I want a cigarette.

(*Could've been crack, may've been fruit machines.)