Monday, October 30, 2006

Trying to get laid

This isn't going well. It's Monday. The clocks have gone back and it's got darker earlier. Plus I have a cold and I look like shit.

I didn't cycle in so I put on some decent clothes and got the tube. The tube is quite nice when you don't take it regularly. I looked the least miserable this morning despite feeling rubbish. I read the free Metro and checked out the women. I must say it's most liberating becoming a Gad About Town, plus my semi-smart jacket and jeans combo makes me look less like a useless slob and more smart casual.

I fell apart at work though. I took my entire lempsip allocation in the morning, my eyes kept tearing over and I swore at a cuntstomer and she heard.

But on the tube on the way home I checked out a cute girl in best not-staring-menacingly mode, and she stared back. Not only did I not fluster, but I didn't go red.

I wasn't able to smile though. I can never do that in public to a stranger.

Oh Christ on a BMX, I'm going to die alone.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

This is now a sex blog

I'm single. I'm relatively young. Well, 32. I'm in good shape. -Ish. And when I wear decent clothes, women stare a bit longer and don't have that look of pure horror as if they're staring at Satan's emissary on Earth (anymore, finally.)
And of course sex is fun. Plus sudden, random, vaguely anonymous sex is brilliant.

So I've decided to become a rampant slutmeister, starting right now. Never dawned on me before, that.

I've discovered Girl With A One Track Mind, about a young lady from my neck of the woods who unashamedly shags a lot from a thoroughly post-modern Feminist perspective, natch, and now has a book of her blog out. (See also Belle De Jour for a similar story, except this lady charged for her services. Oh, and could also be fictional.)

So. Here comes lots of sex for me, brilliant. And the de rigeur book deal. I guess ever since Greek potters realised their tankards of voluptuous maidens getting spit-roasted by bearded men outsold vases with zig-zaggy designs, sex has always been a great selling point. 'I Hate The Earth' is now a repository of anger, loads of shagging, and general livin'-the-high-life. I'm sure I'll eventually tire of all the London glitterati after-whatever parties and mountains of pure Colombian snuff doing the rounds, and the cocktails, the models, the orgies and five-somes and swingers' parties, and more gak, and DP and BDSM and AA (?) but as long as I document everything in full detail with my own wry cynicism, I'll be laughing.

And here we go.



Lots of sex.



Now.




Oh fuck this. I'm going to Tescos to get a pizza. It's shit being male with strawberry blond hair.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Africa

Or how to slag off 60 places in one post. Since uncovering the following list, I am frankly appalled that I know so little about this vast swathe of humanity, a mere fifth of the entire land surface of the Earth. So let's Benin.
I mean begin.

Eastern Africa:
Burundi, (capital:Bujumbura) Heard of it, sounds like fun.
Comoros, (cap:Moroni) An island, no?
Djibouti, (cap:Djibouti) They lack imagination in naming places.
Eritrea, (cap:Asmara) Something very bad happened here maybe.
Ethiopia, (cap:Addis Ababa) Famous for famines. Populated by very dark thin people who tend to lead the crowds running in the London marathon. A tribe of nomads called Falashas once appeared around 1984 looking for food. They were carrying ancient scrolls and saying "Oh don't mind us, we're these odd people called 'Jews' and we're desperate for food." Israel then heard about them and covertly airlifted them into Israel where the Falashas discovered that their co-religionists were largely white. And gesticulate a lot and run Hollywood, but won't let me in.


Kenyanging out.

Kenya, (cap:Nairobi) More very dark people. They have a pretty flag and lots of reservations - in the safari sense, not in the cautious sense.
Madagascar, (cap:Antananarivo) A very large island off the coast of Africa with a hitherto unknown capital (to me anyway). Is also a CGI animation flick with Ali G.
Malawi, (cap:Lilongwe) Strong weed grows there.
Mauritius, (cap:Port Louis) Another island, my Muslim lady friend's family hails from there, so I'm fond of it. They do very nice curries apparently, and it's lovely and tropical.
Mayotte, (cap:Mamoudzou) Nope, no idea.
Mozambique (cap:Maputo) Now this I do know. But know nothing of.
Réunion (cap:Saint-Denis) French, and another island. Their capital would appear to be named after a dodgy part of Paris - or more likely the inspiration for said Parisienne area's name, also honoured by French rap group NTM in their jolly romp, Seine Saint-Denis Style. (NTM stands for Nique Ta Mère, or Fuck Your Mum, and one of the rappers has managed to turn one of the world's most beautiful languages into something akin to someone vomiting loudly. Download it. It's cracking.)
Rwanda, (cap:Kigali) Very very bad things happened here.
Seychelles, (cap:Victoria) Very nice, I've heard.
Somalia, (cap:Mogadishu) In a constant state of war, with no government in large parts. Probably not a good place for a holiday. They chew Qat and go nuts too, apparently.
Tanzania, (cap:Dodoma) Sounds familiar.
Uganda, (cap:Kampala) Idi Amin's manor. I recall a story where one of his wives pissed him off, so he had her arms removed, swapped with her legs, and stitched back together. He then took his son to see what he did to the lad's mother, so by all intents he was a bit of a shit. In trying to find some evidence of that story (I couldn't), I did discover that Idi declared himself King of Scotland. How sweet.
Zambia, (cap:Lusaka) Probably has crocodiles.
Zimbabwe, (cap:Harare) Ruled over by a cunt. Used to be Rhodesia, named after Cecil Rhodes who nicked the country and all its wealth for the glory of Britain. Current dictator Robert Mugabe is a fervent Anglophobe and frequently makes pronouncements alluding to the homosexual tendancies of my goverment. In other words, he frequently calls them queer. Fair enough. Oh, and he destroys entire towns that voted against him following a rigged election. But on a plus side, Zimbabwean Makosi was good enough to frequently go naked (Damn that anonymous foot) on British Big Brother 36 or whatever one she was on.


Africa: Who stole What. Note independant Ethiopia, although Mussolini tried to nick it when it was Abyssinia.

Middle Africa:
Angola, (cap:Luanda) Sounds South American, or is that just me?
Cameroon, (cap:Yaoundé) Ageing footballer Roger Miller came from here, and was quite good despite being 80.
Central African Republic, (cap:Bangui) Its initials are CAR. He he he.
Chad, (cap:N'Djamena) Sounds like someone's nickname.
Congo, (cap:Brazzaville) I think the Belgians used to run this with stupefying brutality.
Democratic Republic of the Congo, (cap:Kinshasa) Or was that here? Kinshasa makes me think something very bad happened here too. Ironically not very democratic.
Equatorial Guinea, (cap:Malabo) Probably very hot.
Gabon, (cap:Libreville) French?
São Tomé and Príncipe, (cap:São Tomé) Portuguese?


Photo courtesy Goldberg & Stein Construction Corp.

Northern Africa:
Algeria, (cap:Algiers) Formely French, some kind of independance tussle in the Sixties sounds familiar. Zinedine Zidane's family hail from there. The headbutting World Cup loser may have even been born there. I'm sure I could find it on the Internet, but I can't be bothered.
Egypt, (cap:Cairo) Pyramids, Pharoahs, asps, lots of gods, and more recently, a base for Islamic extremism. Yasser Arafat was born there and his strong Egypitian accent was apparently a source of much mirth for Palestinians, when they weren't bemoaning their lack of a proper home. Which I do have issues with - I'm most certainly not gloating.
Libya, (cap:Tripoli) Colonel Gadaffi and camels. Apparently, word has it that they had nothing to do with the downing of a plane over Lockerbie. This case to me is certainly not 'closed'. Many say it was always Iranian-led. I will not jump on the current Iran-bashing bandwagon, but lets just say that that's what the rumour-mongers have always been saying, and I for one want to know more.
Morocco, (cap:Rabat) And I thought the capital was Casablanca, but perhaps 'Rabat' was too blunt a name for a Bogie/ Bergman 'vehicle'. Souks, slippers, young boys, and hash, Morocco for me also screams VINDICTIVE EX-GIRLFRIEND. (She's French/ Moroccan)
Sudan, (cap:Khartoum) Hot.
Tunisia, (cap:Tunis) Just as hot. Filmed the Tatooine Star Wars scenes there.
Western Sahara, (cap:El Aaiún) Boiling.

Southern Europe dependencies in Northern Africa:
Canary Islands (cap:Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife) Aha! Now I do know that canary birds are named after the island, and not vice versa. The island is in fact named after the Latin for dog. Geeeeek.
Ceuta, no capital. Tiny chunk of North Africa nicked by the Spanish. I could see its hazy coastline from the south coast of Spain when I went there a decade ago and I was called El Blanco by a cheeky local.
Madeira Islands (cap:Funchal) Went here as a kid. I recall the airport had 'Funchal' spelled out in flowers near the runway, and you could be pushed down a cobbled alleyway in a wicker basket by men in striped shirts. Holy cock, here's a picture, except the stripes have gone. Maybe I imagined it. And perhaps the cobbles too.
Melilla, So small it doesn't have a capital. It's a city next to Morocco and having just discovered it a few seconds ago, I'm quite keen to visit.

Southern Africa:
Botswana, (cap:Gaborone) Have heard of it.
Lesotho, (cap:Maseru) See above.
Namibia, (cap:Windhoek) Keep going.
South Africa, (cap:Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Pretoria) Oh, it's a beaut this one. I'll save this for another day. Sorry Anon from Fix My Taps, You Bastard comments.
Swaziland, (cap:Mbabane) Neighbours of the above. I once worked with a guy from Swazi who told me a story about his hippy parents. Apparently they were lovely people who befriended the local Swazis. One such man they helped out gave them something one day, saying "I know you white people like these. I found them on the ground. Please have them." They were uncut diamonds. His parents gave them all to a friend of theirs to find out how much they were worth. The guy subsequently vanished.

Western Africa:
Benin, (cap:Porto-Novo) Sorry, don't know much about this place.
Burkina Faso, (cap:Ouagadougou) Heard of this, that's it.
Cape Verde, (cap:Praia) Again, I'm aware of its existence.
Côte d'Ivoire, (cap:Abidjan, Yamoussoukro) Ah, the Ivory Coast.
That's the extent of my knowledge.
Gambia, (cap:Banjul) Aware. That's about the sum of it.
Ghana , (cap:Accra) Oh dear.
Guinea, (cap:Conakry) Isn't this where the old English coins come from?
Guinea-Bissau, (cap:Bissau) More English coins?
Liberia, (cap:Monrovia) Ah, Michael Jackson sung about a girl from here. Who was probably 13. And male.


Dogon-it.

Mali, (cap:Bamako) All I know about Mali is that it's home to the Dogon tribe, a remarkable people who have in their culture a story of visitations by aliens from outer space. The Dogon have centuries old etchings of the star system these aliens came from. And guess what? When superior Europeans discovered the Dogon, they found their primitive beliefs actually tallied with known theories of the universe. What this means in the grander scheme of things, I haven't a Scooby.
Mauritania, (cap:Nouakchott) Erm, sounds familiar.
Niger, (cap:Niamey) Isn't this a river?
Nigeria, (cap:Abuja) Ah, now this is where all those dodgy emails requesting money in return for more money come from.
Saint Helena, (cap:Jamestown) Now this I know. British, or at least it was. I believe Napoleon, the Hitler of his day in the expansionist Dictator sense, was exiled here when we caught the fucker.
Senegal, (cap:Dakar) I believe a lot of great music comes from here, least of all MC Solaar.
Sierra Leone, (cap:Freetown) I know this one - a refuge for freed slaves from the Americas, hence the capital's name. Actually, I've just discovered that the capital was founded by Black Britons who'd fought for the British during the American Revolution. So, we Brits are more than amiable towards our black brethren providing they're on our side when trying to kill an American rabble. And I heartily agree.
Togo, (cap:Lomé) Big colourful dresses?

Africa ~
Pros: Cradle of fucking everything.
Cons: Poor. And hot.

Hungary

A terribly funny country much loved by English-speaking schoolchildren everywhere.
"My wife's gone to Eastern Europe."
"Hungary?"
"Yeah, let's get some shit from McDonalds."

I have been to Hungary, specifically Budapest, twice, and a charming place it is. Besides being invaded over the years by Romans, Turks, Germans and latterly, Tescos, it is also home to some of the world's most beautiful modelesque women and fat, shaven-headed men. This should make it a place for well-groomed Western men such as I to Clean Up in the sexual sense but alas, I am too dull even for the women here.


Goulash. Note the resemblance to dog food. This resemblance extends beyond mere looks.

When I went back in 2003, it was my first visit to Eastern Europe. I had expected bad food, miserable people, and snowstorms. I was surprised to discover that it was actually extremely hot, probably because we went mid-summer. In fact, it was stifling, and as such there was no snow. However, the food was actually atrocious and the people really were miserable. So too was my Grandmother, a Hungarian by birth who fled to London as a baby (ok, she would have been carried by a flee-er, one of my great-Grandparents rather keen to avoid the angry mob of Jew-baiters with sticks.) I spent a great deal of time in Hungary (or several brief conversations in bars) tracking down the whereabouts of my grandmaternal home, a town called Nagyvarad, pronounced Noj-varoj, to no avail. It wasn't until I returned home that I discovered that Nagyvarad is now called Oradea and is in Romania - which made me think of that Eddie Izzard skit where he said maps of Europe should feature elastic bands for borders so that you can move them when treaties, wars and occasional riots necessitate it.

So Bubba was Hungarian because she was born in Nagyvarad in 1906 (We think - they didn't bother with birth certificates back then.) After the Ottoman invasion of Hungary in the 1500s, the city bounced on to the Principality of Transylvania to the Ottoman Empire and on again to the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1918, Oradea and the rest of Transylvania was given to Romania. During WWII but perhaps not because of it (I can't be bothered to check), this northern part of Transylvania was awarded back to Hungary. By 1945 it went back to being Romanian and I have a headache.


Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany: A LIAR!

This, to me at any rate, is fairly interesting. And I can't help thinking of the human angle; the constant switch of currency, the change of laws, the language changing overnight, the fact that in a generation, children wouldn't be able to understand their parents. And all without anyone leaving their homes.

This sounds far-fetched as you'd think that European languages would share some similarities with its direct neighbours, but Hungarian is totally dissimilar to the languages surrounding them. I recall that it is more related to Finnish for some reason, with Finland being some 900 miles away with seven or so countries and languages sandwiched in between. But don't ask me why. This is just a blog after all.

But I love Hungary even if - ahaha - I go hungry because the food's so bad. As are their politicians for lying to voters. Not that that's uniquely Hungarian.

Hungary~
Pros: The astonishing women. The history. Cheap fags.
Cons: Goulash. Paprika. Forcing grandma out. Or maybe that's a pro.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Celery can be fried

... and that's not as bad as it sounds.




Please, kill me.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fix my taps, you bastard

The taps* have gone in our kitchen. Not the mains or something more technical, just the water from the taps.

It's been over a week and still nothing has been done. We're having to drink bathroom water. Yesterday I washed my mushrooms in the shower, which sounds like a dodgy euphamism but is actually an accurate account of my current food preparation.

The delay has been caused because our ruthlessly greedy cunt of a landlord uses only the cheapest odd-jobbers, who happen to be lazy and inept and don't turn up. The original complaint was that the taps were dripping constantly, so Cheap Landlord initially summoned Errand Boy round to attempt to fix it for free. Errand Boy then duly broke the fucker and ran.

We're soooo gonna lose our deposits on spurious Wear and Tear technicalities, it's not even funny.

(*Faucet, Americans.)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Work stress

What a fucking ARSE of a week, and it's only Tuesday.

I don't actually think I'm capable of job satisfaction. I gain employment, enjoy it briefly, then concentrate with a ruthless passion on all the annoying aspects, almost relishing the anger and self-righteous indignation that boils up inside me when something happens.



Such as the phones ringing. Those fucking fucking phones.

I work in a small wholesalers, selling goods to the general public, or 'Cunts', as I like to call them. They walk in from time to time, unannounced and often anonymous, approaching our desks saying things like

"Hello."

And they expect us to drop everything, as if we've been doing nothing but wait for their joyous arrival. God help you if they're miserable or believe that 'Customer is always right' bullshit. No, you're not always right. You're always turning up when it's least convenient.

Some of them are physically incapable of saying Please or Thank You too. Many have strong, indecipherable accents (mainly the ones who are physically incapable of saying Please or Thank You, oddly enough). Some can't even speak English and expect us to be fluent Them speakers.
That's who comes into our shop.

Meanwhile, all day, the phones ring. We have one telephone number and four phones. My boss's phone rings first, 3 or 4 times. If he's busy, the call will divert to my phone. If I can't answer it, it diverts to my oft absent colleague's desk. The fourth and final phone ring is the Devil's ringtone. It is not like the others. It is a shrill alarm that screams 'Ignoring me, eh? Well FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU IN THE EAR!!!!!!!!'
That one's particularly annoying, especially if you're on another call when it rings. Or if a customer's walked in to waste your time on something they're ultimately not going to buy.

Sometimes, strange things happen. Like silence for ten minutes. Then three calls at once. That's really annoying. Then there are the other trivialities such as not having a lunchbreak in a year and a half..

We sell and deliver all sorts of goods to many people. Don't phone me and say 'I'd like my items.' I don't know what your fucking items are, you dribbling retard. Yes, I can look them up but there's a two-fold problem here. Firstly, I am not currently in your customer records eagerly anticipating your call. I am always in the MIDDLE OF SOMETHING ELSE, using the same computerised sys... oh fuck it, I'll just drop what I'm doing, shall I?
And secondly, typing 'IRRITATING CUNTSTOMER' into the computer does not magically throw up the item you're after. For that I will have to go invoice by invoice through everything you've ever had 'til we establish what it is.

It is the number one complete waste of my time. Once, I'll allow, but every fucking time with the 'Tell me what it is I order off you again?' Just KNOW WHAT THE FUCK IT IS YOU WANT, YOU UTTER ABORTION.

I think I may be clinically unemployable.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dating websites are rubbish

The same women, all the time, on Copulate-With-Me-Before-We-Die dot com.
I've even tried different sites and I just see the same desperate people.

And yes, I'm aware that that includes me.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Meeting Geeks and new girlfriends

Holy Moly have got a new book out, Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway.

This follows on from the success (i.e. getting published) of their first book, Holy Moly's Rules of Modern Life, which I noticed didn't contain any submissions from me, just like Disappointment.com's Law of the Playground, and quite unlike Beer In The Evening's excellent Beer In The Evening book, which does.
(And I am not revealing my BITE username, but I am revealing that I've reviewed 212 bars and pubs there, because I'm an alcohol-sodden lost cause.)

Getting your nickname published in books is disturbingly gratifying, and is an upside to my pathetic addiction of leaving comments on websites. I'm not sure why I do it. It makes me laugh anyway.

A few years ago, I used to waste time submitting to a forum that did have some interesting discussions. I found myself sucked in like a drug-addled singer's penis to Kate Moss's engorged mimsy. Over time, 21st century Internet friendships were formed, based on our propensity to making each other laugh through the medium of witty on-line bon mots and barely educated put downs. I couldn't take it any more. I was eager to meet these people. Get togethers were arranged in pubs, so I went.

I have never drunk so much in my life, and that's saying something. I was sinking 10+ pints on these occasions, at first, I thought, to keep up with everyone else and live up to my newfound reputation as a thoroughly normal bloke and all-round good cove. It was only later I realised that I was drinking heavily because I found myself embedded with alcoholic nerds and the booze dulled the pain.

The nerds were quite amiable if mad, but much more fun when we were apart and replying to each other in cyberspace. That's how I felt we got on best. The reality of being stuck in a dull London pub with one in particular, a loud, boorish, slightly insane drunk who seemed desperate to re-invent himself in front of new folk, was a lesson in how not to meet new and exciting people. It's not as if I'd joined these forums to make friends. It just happened.

I do actually have a fine circle of chums who I met through normal channels of work or university, in the flesh first, predating the nonsense of the Internet. This is also a fundamental reason why dating sites, although very good in principal, are also fucking odd.
"Hello, I've never met you, and you've never met me, but we've both established ourselves as single and you seem like a fairly normal homosapien so lets mate."

Be honest, it's strange. You simply can't beat the time-honoured tradition of meeting someone who isn't an icon or a log-in name.

So the lesson is Get Out More. Put the keyboard down, go to a nice bar, and interact with human beings. If you can do that, you won't be needing a dating site or even 'Submit Your Comments' websites for cheap thrills.

And I bet I'm still not in Holy Moly's new fucking book again.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The CareerLoveSuccess Fulfillers

Well that was nice. I've just come back from an event that will allow me to realise my full potential, be happier than I've ever been in my life, succeed in all areas, become a better person, and probably grow an extra couple of inches to boot.

And all in just three-and-a-half days and for the bargain price of £295 (includes a £50 non-refundable deposit).



I met up with Quentin, the chap I haven't seen for five or so years, and attended this forum he'd been banging on about. Quentin still looked exactly the same, except his hairline receeded further and his cheeks were slightly sallow, as if he was dying of hunger or perhaps AIDS.

The forum was interesting. The age range seemed to be late twenties to thirties and above. Some European Hare Krishna devotees sat next to me which did make me wonder how desperate for answers must they be to shave their heads, don robes, AND attend a glorified self-help group. But I did spy several Quite Attractive Women™. To be honest, I was utterly, ruthlessly skeptical from the outset. An hour in and I was just ruthlessly skeptical. By the time they were summarising the evening's talk however, my simple skepticism had almost evaporated into a big puddle of Betterment until they mentioned signing-up, happytalk for 'Give Us Money'.

And that is the cold, hard ligne de derriere. If they all really dug people as they seemed to suggest they did, if all the toothy, disturbingly smiley people running the event really did just want to spread happiness to everyone, if this entire corporation in its 20 year history was all about Humanity, and Empowerment, and Life, then make the fucking thing free.

Or to put it another way, I don't like having to find happiness in a corporate self-help group.

There. That's it.

But I do feel bad at dismissing this out of hand. They made perfect sense, as much as I resented being made sense to. My perfectly well-developed cynicism knew that I could forget my past and my embarrassing moments and perhaps live a potentially blissful future unencumbered by negativity and vicious circles and blah, blah, blah, etcetera.

But then again, you don't solve arse by chucking money at something. And certainly not all of my issues (which by the way can be summed up in four words and a desire: Career, Love, Success, Happiness, Spawning devilchildren to carry on my lineage.)

After announcing that I wasn't going to pay to change my life for the better and be rid of all my personality defects, I bade farewell to Quentin, but not before he insisted we meet up for drinks soon - us and the friend he brought along tonight.
And then he turned to his friend and asked him if perhaps he and I would like to exchange phone numbers now that we'd met briefly.

Good old Quentin. Still woefully incapable of adhering to the simplest of society's rules.

So on the tube home later, my mind full of all sorts of existential stuff, I skimmed through a newspaper. There, in the midst of stories about murder, celebrity, and new gadgets, was MAKING POSITIVE CHANGES TO YOUR LIFE, a series of common-sense tips by a Life Coach.

I noticed this was essentially an advert.

For a credit card company.


Fucking planet.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Embarrassing Memory #4: Glass-hole

Ah, the Grand-Daddy of Embarrassing Memories ~ The night I got blind drunk and scarred myself for life.

It had been a typical day at work; bland and uneventful with a barely perceptible gnawing at my soul that left me in a constant state of apathy, so when I’d learned of the complimentary drinks in the staff canteen that evening, I was in there like a French rat up a brothel drainpipe.

More people turned up. Some managers appeared to offer hackneyed platitudes; lots of “Well done”s and “Keep up the good work”s that didn't apply to me. The place was soon full of staff chatting happily among themselves while I was now blasted and chainsmoking outside, a couple of stolen bottles by my side.
More time passed and everyone went home, barring a hardcore of us drinking nicked plonk in the sun.

I first sensed trouble when I found myself carrying a round of drinks to our table. To this day I have no recollection buying them, let alone leaving to go to the pub in the first place. Nevertheless, I had a cold beer on a hot summer’s day. It was great to be alive!

I sat the beers onto the table and walked to my seat, releasing all tension in my legs as gravity propelled my alcohol-sodden corpse backwards and into the chair;
- the chair with the rear legs dangling over a ridge.
- the chair with the open, exposed back.
- the chair that unbeknownst to anyone had a broken, jagged bottle below it.

Suddenly, I was fully seated and staring up at a gorgeous azure sky, a look of confusion and pain etched across my face as, in layman’s terms, I’d tilted backwards 90º and landed on glass thanks to my new invention of the anus impaler.

I heard gasps, then laughs, while I thought it best to go cold and limp.
Monkey Dave ran over. I croaked at him that something bad had happened as I’d landed on something hurty, and help.
Monkey escorted me to the toilets, where I fumbled into the back of my shorts and felt a flap of skin as thick as a local phone directory. I brought my hand to my face and saw it saturated from fingertips to wrist with blood.

I did yell this at the security guard who’d been telling me to shut up and wait my turn in his empty hospital. I was, after all, just another drunk who was destroying this country’s health service with his substance abuse. But the longer I waited for nothing to happen, the more stressed I got, something I demonstrated to the guard as the drips hit the floor between my feet with more frequency as my blood pressure rose, but he’d seen it all before. It didn’t seem to matter to him that I‘d spent an hour numbing each buttock as I juggled from one to the other and bled onto their plastic chair. And neither did their receptionist care that I’d accidentally torn myself a new arsehole, even when I screamed that at her.

I’d sobered up several hours later having been x-rayed and wheeled into theatre, where a beautiful nurse with big round eyes rubbed my shoulder and looked down at me with sweet, tender pity. When I came to, I was shivering and confused, having been drugged, stripped, sewn up, and deposited into a nappy. I was then wheeled into a room where a young man with malaria spent the rest of the evening vomiting into a bucket.

The following day, some work colleagues visited me to laugh, and I called my Mum to tell her I was in hospital, and not to worry.

She didn't.

The chap with malaria’s mother arrived later that day with his girlfriend, leaving me free to play Ignore The Display Of Affection and Concern. When his mother left for the night, his quite attractive girlfriend drew the curtains for privacy and I spent that night hospitalised, listening to him get smothered by his girlfriend’s soft kisses.

Unable to bear the sound of love and attention a moment longer, I waddled gingerly over to the Nurses’ desk to ring my absent family and scream abuse at them down the fucking phone. I know I had told them not to worry, but in retrospect that was largely a suggestion, not a demand. Furthermore, staffing the desk was the beautiful nurse who had been so kind before my operation, but when she looked up at me, she sniggered and looked away, unable to make eye contact. Wincing in confusion I stood my ground, willing her to look back. She did. She snorted with laughter, and had to leave the desk.

To this day and in my darkest moments, I’ll often wonder what it is about my naked prone body that’s so bloody funny.

The horror… the horror....

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A really strange call

My mobile just rang. The screen said Withheld number. Normally I don't answer those calls but this afternoon my Mum had called me and that was withheld, so I assumed it was her again.

But it was Quentin* (*Not his real name. Obviously.)
I haven't heard from Quentin for about five years, discounting three brief bumping-into-him moments that only seem to happen randomly in a city of six million and with people you'd rather not have bumped into.

"Hello Fwengebola", he said - although obviously using my real name and not the blog nom-de-plume I chose a month ago.
"QUENTIN!" I yelled in abject panic, loud enough for my large flatmate to overhear and cringe. (He remembers him.)

We quickly exchanged pleasantries. Then I asked him what the hell he wanted, more or less. After all... five years, bolt from the blue, What?

Q: "I'm at the ********"
F: "Right, ok."
Q: "And I kind of wanted to say something."
F: "Go on."
Q: "I respect you and I want you to go out and acheive all your goals and aspirations."
F: "Are you on drugs?"
Q: "No."

Quentin said 'No' in a very cheerful, matter-of-fact way, as if I'd asked him if he was Assyrian. This annoyed me as he never fucking got me, and people who don't get each other tend not to stay in touch. Clearly they do now.

F: "Well that is a very nice if completely odd thing to tell me for absolutely no reason, and I too genuinely wish you all the happiness and goal getting you deserve."

I did mean this. But I was hoping he'd say "Thanks" followed by "Well 'bye then", and perhaps 'click'. But he continued.

Q: "There's something else."
F: "Go on."
Q: "This place I'm at, they've got an event next week and I was wondering if you'd like to come."
F: "Is it a cult?"
Q: [Cheerfully] "No."
F: "Is it to do with God?"
Q: [Cheerfully] "No."
F: "Brainwashing?"
Q: [Cheerfully] "No."
F: "Scam?"
Q: [Cheerfully] "No."
F: "Free sex?"
Q: [Cheerfully] "No."

This last one I was hoping to hear a "Yes" for, but I just got yet another cheerful No delivered with excessive sincerity. Chuffnuts.

I couldn't make head nor tail of this. A few years ago, in the dying years of the previous millennium, I worked for the same company as Quentin until I left. When I last saw him, and I swear I'm not making this up, he was wearing a snorkel, goggles and flippers and handing out leaflets to commuters at Euston station. I was one of them. About a year before that, he was bestowing yoghurt pots upon pedestrians in Farringdon. Again, I was a bestowee.

Every time I see these people (cheerfully) doling out free crap, I often think 'Out-of-work fucking actors' as I try to avoid them. I guess it was only a matter of time before I bumped into Quentin who, apart from a stint at our previous employer, has always been pretty much an out-of-work fucking actor.

So he's invited me to this seminar next week. I'm going. I took a look at their website and obstensibly they want your money, but the induction's free so fuck it. I'm always complaining that I want to do more stuff and there must be more to life, so I may as well catch up with The Planet's Hairiest Unemployed Thespian and see what the women are like there.

Christ, I'm pathetic.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Religious veils

Veils "suck", according to stunning-wife-despite-looks-of-bearded-halibut author Salman Rushdie.

And suck they do. I'm in total agreement with Deaththreat Fishman. I don't actually mind face-framing jilbabs as they can be rather pleasant in a colour & makeup co-ordination/ respectful dress kinda way. Like here...


See?

It's nice. She's clearly a Muslim, and she's happy. I like that. Just look at her lovely visible demi-smile.

Now, working in a famously Arab/ Muslim part of London as I do, I also see a lot of


Now I'm sorry, but this is a shroud. She's clearly a Muslim but that is all I know. I don't know if she's deliriously happy or if she's contemplating suicide. I can't tell if she's pondering to herself, if she needs help about something, or if she'd like to strike up a casual conversation about spiralling tube prices. My guess, my ill-educated and mis-informed guess, is that she's the unhappily owned property of some bloke.

Is that wrong?

I guess the whole veil shtick can be boiled down to the dichotomy between the Sanctity of Religion vs. the Freedom of Expression. But is a full-on burqua a freedom of expression, or symbol of repression? 'Cos I see "Shut up and make me dinner, woman."

And is all this ranting showing me up as a racist and a sexist, because I really want to see what the person looks like? Although I am a little annoyed that I'm considered such a base animal that I'm likely to be consumed by lust if I see so much as an ankle.

One of my closest friends is a lady Muslim gentlewoman. She is happy and loud and attractive and boistrous and fun. I'd hate to think of her completely covered up from head to toe. It would hide all of her attributes and people would avoid her, preventing her huge personality from coming to the fore. How could it not? And I think that is the point of all this ranting.

Jewish women - this tickles me so much - are also compelled to cover their heads (because all these religions that divide us are essentially exactly the same), yet frum women have got round this potential beauty obstacle by covering their hair...

...with better hair.

Here is a frankly voluminous wig that a) apparently keeps God happy and b) makes the wearer more sexy anyway. Please visit www.savvysheitels.com for more observant lady headgear needs.

So why the covering up in Islamic tradition? Apparently, the Koran asks for heads to be covered, just like Judaism. But in a fascinating evolutionary manner, this one seed of duty, this minor covering of one's source of knowledge and wisdom in the sight of the Big Hombre has become an absurd, chattal-like control of women, something perhaps more cultural and societal than religious.
Either way, it's just another man-made creation, like wars and bombs and income tax.

So blame men. We are all utter cunts, except for me.
Please have sex with me.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Contacting American Radio DJs Who Probably Like Musicals

Last week at work, with the boss gone, I asked my young colleague Roy what radio station he wanted me to find on the Internet.

"92.7' said Roy. He normally knows some decent pirate stations and I wanted to hear something funky and new.

Instead, we got Fernando and Greg.



Fernando and Greg are the breakfast DJs for Energy Fm in San Fransisco. Not quite an illegal London pirate, yet the music was actually quite good so we stuck with it.

There is something about them I just can't work out though. One of them - I haven't worked out who's who yet - sounds very excitable, particularly when discussing men's fashion. Perhaps he's an amateur designer. And as for Greg the Gay Sportscaster (catchphrase: "If they're playing with balls, I'm all over it"), he makes some very unbecoming comments now and again.
I can only imagine it's because these homosexuals are American.

So there I am at work, listening to gay DJs on a gay radio station playing hi-energy and housey tunes and rather enjoying it all. Until they MISPRONUNCIATED. I became so enraged that I had to email them to set the record straight:

"Borat" is pronounced "Bore -At", not "Bow-rart".
The Indian city of Pune is pronounced "Pooner" (They found this terribly amusing), and not "Poon" or "Poony".

For a brief second at work today, as I sat there feeling my eyes and soul rot as I stared into that fucking monitor, I suddenly heard Fernando (?) mispronounce Pune again, only to be corrected by Greg (?) as "some guy from London had written in."
"Oh, is that the guy who wrote in about Bow-rart?"
"Yeah, I think so."

As my interest was suddenly piqued, they began laughing at something I didn't quite catch - I think it must have been their joy at my helping them speak properly.

So I am finally famous.
In the San Francisco bay area.
To Fernando and Greg's listeners.

Sort of.

The Greatest YouTube Clip EVER

Nothing else on Earth will seem quite as funny once you watch this.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Football, Liking

Turns out the footie wasn't so bad. The day before I scoured London for a pair of ridiculous clowns' feet boots (I'm a size UK13, not easy to find), and they were absurdly cheap. My first football boots since I was at school 16 years ago, and they were less than the price of a round.

As for the game, I wasn't terrific seeing as I never learnt to play as a kid and this was only my second proper game ever (both in the last few months), but I did try my best. Sadly, with a minute remaining, their winger shimmied past me with the ball - I couldn't keep up - and could only watch as he raced off with it, collided with our goalkeeper, and put him in hospital.

For some reason, our goalie Jimmy wanted me to accompany him to Northampton General (mainly because I asked), so we spent our Saturday night with other injured people and some particularly angry-looking Poles.

I would've resented spending my weekend in a sterile waiting room as opposed to lots of bars in a different town among a variety of women, but age and experience has taught me that all I'd do is spend lots of cash getting very drunk and not doing a great deal else. At least this way I saved some money and avoided the inevitable disappointment of being told to fuck off by a chain-smoking blonde in a leotard.

Oh, and we lost 7-3.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Football

I can't play and I never liked it.

Therefore it is quite odd that I am about to travel up to Northampton in a moment to get to a sports centre - I have heard of these places once before - to don a kit and participate in Kicking More Balls Into Netted Structure Than The Other Lot.

I am out of shape and prepared myself for today by getting accidentally pissed last night and smoking far too much. I now feel fucking terrible. I am about to become part of a team. I am also about to become its weakest link.

I wish I was sporty. My tar-clad lungs are making breathing difficult. I can't imagine myself running right now. The eleven strangers I'm about to play against will be under the false assumption that I know what I'm doing. At least my teammates know I'm just there to make up numbers and NOT TO PASS TO ME UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, even if we're 18-nil down and I'm standing next to the opposing goal jumping up and down and waving.

Oh god.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Life

Born.

Develop bad habits.

Spend a lifetime trying to break bad habits, whilst getting occasionally introspective and exercising periods of faint happiness at the wonder of it all.

Die.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Embarrassing Memory #3: Swiss Misses

It was my thirtieth birthday, and I’d travelled to Berlin with my friends. It was a fairly pleasant weekend until the arrival of Andy, an acquaintance who’d latched on to the trip eager to meet women and have sex with them, so at least we shared some common ground. My other friends weren’t keen to follow suit, as they all had girlfriends.
Furthermore, they were with us.

So anyway, it was Saturday night. Andy had chatted up a cute blonde girl and an infinitely cuter brunette from Zürich, both of whom spoke some conversational English. I joined them, and we were somehow able to convey that we wanted to explore the city as one. This hadn’t been a problem for the rest of the group, as they’d all gone to bed in disgust.

So Andy, the girls and I moved on to a funky bar in East Berlin, where we proceeded to get drunk. Despite the alcohol, the deafening music and the colossal linguistic barrier, we somehow understood each other perfectly. I was even getting on rather well with the cute brunette, who seemed blind to my vast collection of inadequacies. In fact, she even smiled a few times. And then the bar closed and the sun was rising as we staggered to an empty café. It was 6am and Andy was still full of beans, while I gave up all pretence and slumped onto the table to sleep.

And then we went our separate ways.
‘Don’t worry,’ Andy said as I bade him farewell from his taxi, ‘I’ve arranged to meet them tomorrow, same time, same place.’
‘Excellent!’ I’d grinned. This was after all in the days before my optimism had been extinguished like a bonfire in a flash flood.
‘So show them a good time!’ he continued. ‘I’m off home.’
‘Eh?’
Having not strictly speaking invited Andy, I’d forgotten that he’d booked himself just the one day.
And so, as I watched that sole vehicle drive off down an empty Berlin boulevard through a head that throbbed like a hammered thumb, I was left with a solemn sense of duty that I absolutely had to meet those girls. After all, Andy had arranged it, and I’d be a toad not to turn up.

Later that evening, as my friends spent their last night in Berlin together, I went back to the bar where Andy had met the cute blonde girl and an infinitely cuter brunette from Zürich, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

A fidgety hour passed. I’d been so nervous that I’d become strangely relieved to them not turning up. Without Andy, I was just a spare part anyway.
‘At least I made the effort’, I thought as a colossal weight lifted off my shoulders and I paid and left the bar.
And then I walked straight into them.

‘Hey, you made it!’ I squawked, my hand still on the door handle.
‘Lucky you caught me,’ I explained as I escorted them back to the table I’d just left. ‘I was just leaving!’
Neither of them looked as if they’d lucked out. They just looked like what they were: Swiss, and disappointed. What I needed was Andy and his casual enthusiasm, except Andy wasn’t there. Andy was in Bury St Edmonds, scratching his arse in front of the TV.

On the upside, I learnt a very valuable lesson that night; If something’s not obligatory and your heart’s not in it, you shouldn’t feel compelled to do it. On the downside, I spent the most painful, torturous hour of my life coming to that conclusion as I attempted to eek out a conversation from two women who would rather be at their parents’ funerals.

I asked about their day, and got a generic reply about sightseeing. I tried talking about Zürich and got brief, indifferent answers. The linguistic chasm had widened overnight so I pulled out my trump card: a pocket dictionary we’d all laughed about needing the night before.
I looked up a word as the girls watched in silence.
‘Aha!’ I yelled with more eagerness than the situation warranted as I trilled out the requisite translation.
‘Oh. Ja. Okay. “Teppich”,’ they’d reply, but there was no frenzy of excitement, no communicative bonding, just aloofness, and indifference, and pain; awkward, shifty pain, mostly from me.

The awkwardness began to make me sweat, and I’d started mopping my forehead as I continued to talk. After all, if I didn’t talk, they wouldn’t bother, and the ensuing silence equalled death. Instead, all they did was either look at me deadpan and nod, or else mutter in one another in German, and giggle.

I waved over a waiter for more drinks and attempted to relate a humorous story, which fell on bored ears. I looked around for inspiration and found none. And then, eventually, I ran out of chat. I had nothing to say, and looked at my beer. The damn thing was virtually full. I squirmed, then I shrugged – actually shrugged - as the two girls stared back at me waiting to see what I was going to do next.
And then, in the silence, I heard behind me two English guys. I’d been reassuring myself that any patrons listening in may not be able to understand me. How wrong that now was.

My nerves got the better of me as I gibbered about anything, my London accent becoming thick and decipherable only to the men behind me. The girls meanwhile were no longer bothering to show interest as they looked around the bar for someone more interesting.
And then, when I paused, I realised the guys behind me were listening, and were now whispering to one another.

Fuck that.

‘Anyway’, I said as the bleeding obvious suddenly dawned on me. ‘Great to see you again,’ I yelled as I jumped off my stool. The girls looked somewhat weary, as if I were about to jitterbug for an encore, but they slowly began to understand the international language of Leaving.

The feeling of freedom as I ran through those doors was overwhelming. The guilt from remembering that in Europe, you pay the tab at the end and I'd landed them with the bill, less so.

But I've learnt to move on.