Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Year's Eve's Tomorrow?

Fucking hell, I've been in limbo for a while and have lost track of time. And days. And I can no longer go to bed before 4am. Plus I am physically sick of Ferrero Rochers and television and I've now eaten myself into a fine pair of tits. Suffice to say, although I'm not looking forward to going back to work, I'm not going to begrudge the diet and exercise I'll be forcing myself through during January.

I've just realised that NYE's tomorrow and I don't have anything planned. None of my friends do. Plus, Steve, my old mate from when I was 5 and who got back in touch with me recently, is planning to leave his wife and kids (for the evening) and head down to London to meet up. Oh, and my ex-girlfriend is in the pit of despair and awkwardness as she's right this minute being escorted around London with her current English-But-Works-In-New-York boyfriend. She called me earlier to say she'd like to book a later flight home so she can spend the New Year with me, but she can't leave her guy and I didn't know what to tell her.

Bloody hell. Someone's going to get awfully hurt here. (More guilt please, waiter.)

So apropros of nothing, in order of do-ability and wantingness and likelihood combined, here's my

Lucky Seven Resolutions for 2007

1) ~ Quit smoking once and for all.
2) ~ Get back to cycling, swimming and boxing, and get on a proper diet (that doesn't include Pringles and chocolate) and shed those last few pounds to become leaner, muscular and blah blah blah. Consider joining a gym that I can feel guilty about not visiting that often.
3) ~ Quit my job for something that a) pays better and b) Is more creative and perhaps includes writing stuff n' that.
4) ~ Finish those creative endeavours I'd started a few years ago, and try selling them. Or at least putting them about and soliciting opinions, and not giving up when Hippy Dave tells me it's rubbish. (Or just don't fucking show them to Dave.)
5) ~ Either have lots and lots of random anonymous sex, or else settle down with a nice ladyperson for lots of knowing sex, until we both get used to each other and stop doing it as much and it all becomes routine. If that turns out to be my American ladyfriend and we can solve the problem that is the yawning chasm of the Atlantic Ocean, then great. If not, then try not to hurt her.
Again.
6) ~ Try getting work in New York, thus fulfilling resolutions 3 and 5 at a stroke.
7) ~ Be a less regretful and guilty whinging bastard, and become a more happy and positive whinging bastard.

Amen.

So what are yours????

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Calm Before The Storm

The twilight zone between Christmas and New Year. Large Northern Flatmate is still up north til Sunday and I have an empty flat to myself.

This morning I woke up hungry, a sensation I haven't felt for about three days, so I had a celebratory omlette at my local cafe where a blonde Russian woman may or may not have been eyeing me up, I'm not sure. I had gone to bed at 6am as I had spent the previous evening in a lovely little pub with Phil, Natalie, and a real fire. When I got home, I accidentally drank a godawful bottle of Hungarian red.

The Hungarians aren't known for their good reds.
Or good whites.
Or good rosé wine, for that matter.

And half way through downing that while trying to find something vaguely interesting among 15 billion webpages, I may have accidentally walked to my local newsagents at 4am and somehow bought some hardcore European pornography.

This morning, my lovely ex-girlfriend from New York called to say she was now standing in Kensington and should we meet up? I said yes. She came round. I forgot how pretty and cute and intelligent she is. I cuddled her while she cried. I apologized for dumping her as the whole 'Long Distance' thing was proving to be hard work and it seemed sensible to end it. We cuddled some more. Cuddles turned to kisses. Then we paused to chat. Then we were overcome with something or other and went back to kissing and ended up on the floor. Then she started crying again and we went back to cuddling. Throughout she declined the opportunity to thumb through some hardcore European pornography.
Then she left, saying 'Remember I still love you', so I mumbled that I like her and coughed a bit.

And with that, she left to go back to her boyfriend.

Oh, I left that bit out. She's flown over with her current boyfriend and told him she wanted some time to go shopping by herself, then came over to see me instead. The guilt I've got is considerably larger than the wasted hard-on I had trying to unzip itself from within my jeans a few hours ago.

My Mum phoned before my ex arrived and I told the scenario. Her half-hearted advice? "Make hay while the sun shines." Honestly. That woman's indifference to my love life is remarkable. A quite unique situation, I thought, and her advice is for me to help someone to cheat, told via a fucking farming analogy.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas, hooray!!!

I'm at my Mums and doing all the cooking. I made the stuffing last night and whacked it up the Turkey's arse. I then promptly forgot about it this afternoon (while we were watching Oliver!) and it's now very very burnt.

Plus I cut my finger open on a very sharp cooking bowl thing, and I'm a bit lightheaded and accidentally smashed a full glass of champagne onto the floor.

Prepared small mountain of brussell sprouts and peeled the potatoes.

Oh bollocks, the guests are coming...

Update: I can't move. I wish I was a cow. They have four stomachs. Two starters before the turkey was probably unnecessary. I am now sweating heavily, but then that's mainly because my Mum's at that age where she's got the heating on maximum, even in July. My stepdad's at that age where he doesn't feel like he has to make conversation, or indeed speak at all. Mum keeps dozing off. It is only 4pm and they don't even drink. Some Like It Hot is on. Great film. But I'm in hiding in case the guests ask how my job is again, or why I'm not dating. I would like a cigarette, or some crack at this point.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Locked out

Midnight. I send a text: 'I have lost my keys and am now eating fish and chips on the stairs with my fingers.'

I hadn't eaten anything substancial yesterday (unless you count pub crisps), and I was looking forward to my takeaway until I got to my front door and realised I was locked out. Large Northern Flatmate was inexplicably absent having a social life, so I had to ring the intercom to Moody Female Girls' abode ("Hello, I'm the guy who lives downstairs with the Large Miserable Git and I've lost my keys and was won-bzzzz-, Oh, thanks.)

The day had started with some degree of what was in store. I had awoken sans alarm, regaining consciousness naturally only to notice broad daylight streaming through the thin curtains and lighting up the room. Shit, this isn't 7am. I turned to look at my alarm clock ~ 10.30am. Shitshitshitshitshit. I leaped out of bed and switch my mobile phone on. It buzzes with the frenetic alerts of a series of missed calls.

Nutsacks.

I phone my boss and apologise profusely. My last day of work this year and I was looking forward to it. I race in and plough through all that has to be done. It approaches 1pm. Our delivery guys arrive so we all head off to the pub next door. Salubrious drinks are drunk (Carling). We chat. I text friends who are beginning to converge in various parts of London. I wish my colleagues a very happy Christmas and head for the tube.

This is becoming tremendously exciting. I am so happy (i.e. bouyed by a couple of drinks), that when I see an old orthodox Jewish guy at Marble Arch, I slap him on the back and wish him a Good Shabbos, it being Friday n' all (Merry Christmas not being applicable in this instance.) He then stops me to ask if I live in London.
'Why yes I do, Sir!'
'And are you Jewish?'
'Indeed I am! Well, my parents are, allegedly.'
'Can I stay at your house?'
'Erm...'

I suddenly feel tremendously guilty. No of course you can't stay at mine. Well, technically you can, but a) I'm about to celebrate myself into the gutter and b) Large Northern Flatmate may be a little surprised to find a bearded religious stranger sleeping on the sofa. I felt bad because he was clearly from out of town, and was hoping that by putting his fate in the hands of a fellow co-religionist, he'd be assured that I as a complete stranger wouldn't rob him or take him to a crack den, while for my part I could be pretty confident I wouldn't return home to find him blind drunk on the carpet having soiled himself. That's my job, after all.

So instead I gave him directions to the nearest synagogue I could think of while I got my tube and realised I'd sent him the wrong way. Now feeling less cheerful and really guilty, I met Ali and Luke, who admonished me for taking up smoking again.

In my defence, it's Christmas, ok? An overindulgence of booze, fags, porn, crack cocaine and mass-produced cheap pork sausages are all part of the Season of Goodwill - not that I actually seem to have any goodwill.

We get a black cab to the Blue Posts where the pub clientele have morphed from twats in expensive suits to twats in expensive t-shirts, and meet up with Rob and Hippy Dave, who admonishes me for taking up smoking again. The women are gorgeous and trendy and ignore me more than normal, almost giving themselves whiplash such was the vehemence of their head-turning to face the opposite way when eye-contact was made.

We leave. Some faffing as to what to do next. We go to the Old Coffee House which is rammed and smokey. A cute girl seems to keep looking over, but she's at a table of blokes with tinybeards. Quiz machine. I order 5 lagers, and 5 schnapps. The barman says 'Six Schnapps?' and I reply, 'No, five.' He then repeats 'Six?' and points to himself. 'It is Christmas!' he adds before offering a gap-toothed grin. Oh christ, go on then.

I return to our party. Ali and Rob are having a heated argument about the environment. We all leave.

I get home, buy cod, realise I'm an absent-minded idiot.

I call Large Northern Flatmate to tell him I'm locked out. He's in a crowded bar back in town, and will return to let me in. Not wanting to ruin his evening, I tell him to 'take your time'.

He does, for three hours.

I have to go somewhere and do something. I try no less than five local pubs but despite the new extended hours laws and the fact that it's Christmas weekend, all of them are open enough for me to walk in, yet closed enough for them to tell me they've stopped serving, and 'Get Out'.

I am told to go to The Gallery. I do. It is shit. Obstensibly one large square room that plays music and serves alcohol, upstairs is a tiny balcony with seats that overlooks said room so, despite being tired and wanting to go home, I sit and wait. And then it occurs to me, this is just the kind of scenario when Something might Happen. A girl approaches me and ask for a cigarette. I nod mutely and offer her one. She sits down.
'Are you from around here?'
'Yeah'
'What secondary school did you go to?'
'Secondary school? Uh, I don't know. One in Barnet. No-one's asked me that for years. How old are you?' I ask.
'22', she says. Too young for me, to be honest. So when she says 'I'll be back in a minute' and I never see her again, I'm not that bothered.

When I go downstairs for my final drink to pass the time, a man taps me on the shoulder. It is French Ben, a guy who used to live with Large Northern Flatmate a couple of years ago. I notice he is drinking beer which surprises me as I know he's a recovering alcoholic and was in AA. He tells me that his girlfriend has gone back to her husband, so he's hit the bottle.

He seems to be doing ok, all things considered, even if he keeps referring to 'Ze bitch' more often than I liked and bragging that he's slept with 116 women. And then Pete calls. He's at home.

And so begins the Christmas break. No wonder The Samaritans are inundated this time of year.

You meet a girl, and she lets something slip

We've all been there.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Unnecessary Introspection Part 2: Nemesis

I have a problem. Ok, I had a problem. I don't like wankers. I still don't, but I've learnt to ignore them.

It was the late Nineties, at the BBC. I had worked my way up from a runner and was now working in post-production, helping maintain several edit suites to make the finest prime-time dross for people to ignore their families to.

There was a guy who worked in despatch called Bryan who thought himself God's Gift to women. He thought this because he was rather tall. Taller than me, and I'm six foot. He was darker than me too, but then so's Dangermouse. And he was good-looking, with a cheeky smile and a naughty wink. Now I see myself as a pretty decent guy, but I won't win any modelling contracts. Having said that, neither am I the Elephant Man, especially since I had all that reconstructive surgery. Some close personal ladyfriends have even used incredibly flattering adjectives about me that I'm not repeating here.

But Bryan was unpleasant. Women to him were commodities to fuck and disgard. And contrary to what a lot of women believe, most men aren't really like this. A lot pretend to be, but most guys just want to be loved like any other human being. Most just want to be loved by lots and lots of women. But Bryan, as far as I was concerned, went beyond the usual male banter. It disturbed me. And it grated me further because he had women flocking towards him in droves and he didn't even have the decency to be a nice guy about it.

Fine, ok, I felt more than a twinge of envy. I'm that transparent. Here was a guy telling me about the women he's fucked and currently fucking, and letting it be known how many he's got dangling. Conversely, it was taking me months, if not years, to meet just one woman to share some quality time together.

Hang on, it still is.

So here's this guy. A bit of a cunt.
In the meantime, I'd accrued a month of leave which I had to use or lose, so I booked a solo trip bumming around the Middle East when it was marginally less dangerous than it is now.
My replacement was to be Bryan. Despite being aquaintances, I was very unsettled by management's decision to choose him. I didn't like the guy, although I thought I was being a bit pathetic in worrying about him.

But then there was Sophie. I really liked Sophie. She worked on my programme as a researcher and was as cute as hell. Friendly, soppy, and often frequently indifferent towards me, but still as cute as hell. I tried getting to know her a bit better while she'd relish her ability to make me go bright red in several seconds flat.

A few days before I left for my trip, I was escorting Bryan around the edit suites to get him acclimatised. Sophie was nearby. After leaving an edit suite alone, she frantically beckoned me over to her desk.

'Who's that guy, Fwengy?'
'Oh, that's Bryan,' I said casually, feeling a little twinge in my chest as I did so. 'He's taking over from me while I'm gone.'
'God, he's gorgeous.'
'Hmm. Right. Ok.'

She didn't look at me once. She was too busy trying to get a view of his shoulder from beyond the window of the closed door. I also remember thinking 'Why couldn't she keep her thoughts to herself?'

So I go to Jordan and Israel and get third degree burns. I walked around the rose red city of Petra. I had a shave then went for a swim in the Dead Sea - Big Fucking Mistake. I met a Danish guy called Mads and watched in amazement as two girls literally pulled him out of a bar in Tel Aviv, only to hear about this threesome he suddenly found himself having, when I next saw him. And every day during the trip, I'd wake up miserable wondering if Bryan had actually managed to fuck Sophie yet.

I couldn't wait to get back. But things had changed. A year earlier, when I first took the job, I'd replaced two people and was doing their work by myself. I'd been angling for a pay-rise. Management now had a new offer. They had this Bryan eager to leave despatch and work in editing with me. I didn't like it one bit. I discussed it with lots of people as I had a chance to turn them down and carry on alone. I even talked with Bryan who suddenly looked different. He looked scared, as if, I know now, I held his future in my hands. It made me feel guilty. I started to cave in. Plus he wasn't so bad. He was actually quite chummy. Perhaps this would be ok.

Alright, this is all written in hindsight, but at this point, everything I disliked about him was in my head and I thought myself a tad irrational. Ok. Sod it. Bring him on board. I actually like making people happy, and this would do it.

We fell out almost immediately. Bryan palmed all the tough jobs onto me, while he did next to nothing. All he was good at was schmoozing the women in the production office, an office largely made up of women. And they loved him. I'd been there a year and we'd all got on pleasantly. But he would flirt with them outrageously and they'd giggle and laugh and flirt back. The main editor hated him and told me that Bryan was taking credit for things I'd done. Failings were attributed to me. Looking back, they were strangely exciting times. While they were happening to me that moment, it felt as if my entire career was falling to pieces.

One evening, Bryan refused to run one suite because he wanted the one I was in, the one that Sophie was in too. Her name never came up, but I knew he'd put his foot down as soon as I discovered she'd be in there. Bryan and I had it out. Things got heated. Production had to intervene and a 'meeting' was arranged the next day. When I got there, Bryan was already in the room reclining in a chair and chatting lightheartedly with two female production members. I walked in and sat down to face all three of them. It felt like I was being re-interviewed for my job, with Bryan in charge. I was starting to lose the plot. I remember I was shaking, partly through fear, partly through anger.

'So Fweng, what's the problem here?' asked Caroline.
'It's that cunt' I yelled unashamedly, pointing at Bryan.
'Oh Fweng, it's really not the done thing to use language like that', said Bryan grinning from ear to ear. I may as well have asked them for my P45.
'I can't do this job any more. I want him out. I've struggled to do this myself for this long, but I can't do it with him here.'
It was a gamble that paid off. Bryan was slung back to despatch after a few weeks but by then the damage was done. The women in the office resented me for removing that fine man from their sight, my reputation had gone for a burton, and I discovered that Sophie and Bryan had that fuck. Actually, Fucks plural. Repeatedly.

Time passed. My job was reassigned and I managed to get a new job on a new programme in a different part of London. It was minus a wanker, but worse on many different levels. These new people didn't like me from the beginning and I was starting to passionately hate television folk; the bitchiness, the backstabbing, the fact that I was starting to think it normal to be told I was 'fucking useless' on a weekly basis.

I chose not to go to the wrap party when the programme ended. So too had my media career. I went home. I stayed there. I went on the dole while I fruitlessly looked for another job. Weeks turned into months. I gained a lot of weight. My self-confidence plummetted. I took to wearing tracksuit bottoms to disguise my expanding waistline from myself. When I had nearly spent all my savings, I snapped myself out of all this nonsense. I was only 25, dammit! I had a life to lead! I was going to get every aspect of my life back on track. I made some charts. I planned a diet. I found a gym and was due to start my regime the next day. I went to bed that Sunday ready to take the world on and win!

Monday, the first day of the rest of my life. I went to the kitchen and had a fruit breakfast and plenty of water. I got a gym bag together. I freshened up and headed into my room where the TV was belching out a godawful DIY programme. I smiled to myself. My life would've been dedicated to churning out exactly this kind of dross.

And then my smile dropped.

There was Bryan, on my television. He was fixing a lightswitch and flirting with the camera as he cockily advised how best to secure it to the wall. He had a cheeky smile and a naughty wink. Once the switch was fixed, he turned to face the camera and said, 'Hello fuckhead.'

True story. Apart from the Hello fuckhead bit.

Re-joining That Dating Website

Is 'You look normal, do you want to pair bond?' an acceptable email to send to women?

Should go to bed - It's 1am

I've just got back from a night out and I'm drunk and typing gingerly. (Except I'm strawberry blond. Win/ Win.)

On the tube after work, heading to a bar. I check out a gorgeous girl and she stares back hard, forcing me to go bright red and necessitate the need for me to pretend-fish something from my wallet ~ as if the thought of me needing to check for something from my inner pocket was something to go red by.

We head off to the hellhole that is the Walkabout on Embankment to meet Garry and Nick for a pre-Crimbo beer. As long as I don't get drunk, this'll be a walkover.

We drink. Then we head off to the Queen Mary boat on the Thames which completely disorientates me with its wobbling. This is fine. I'm NOT going to get drunk. A blonde girl with large breasts half-smiles at me. I make a mental to say 'Hello', then remember that I can't do that kind of faux-innocent thing unless all the scenarios fall into place, whatever that means. The opportunity doesn't arise.

We move on to the Princess of Wales. A girl with phenomenal breasts is nearby. I'm still not going to get drunk. Nick then announces that he wants £5 from us all to announce something. He and Charlotte are either A) about to have a baby or B) get married. Winner gets the kitty.

We go for A. It's B. The fucker's going to get married. Oh bugger it, let's get drunk!

Beers are consumed. Apparently, I'm Jewish.

Yet I'm phenomenally happy. After all, I have always been astounded by the majesty of life. I have no idea as to the why, how or because of it all, but a union of beautiful spirits seems to make some kind of sense.

I am now hammered.

I go home alone for some celebratory fish and chips at Turnham Green but they're out of cod and the fucker in front of me gets the last saveloy. I have to regale myself with a stale ham and cucumber sandwich from my local crack den of a newsagent.

Home.

Eat.

I leave my usual comments on Girl With A One Track Mind as she's got a new post up and I have a thing for her. I check in to the kosher dating website I subscribe to. Really quite attractive girl I wrote to yesterday has read the devastatingly witty and clearly interesting email I sent her, and she's checked my profile out again. She has all the things I look for in a woman ~ breasts, a nice smile, a pulse.

I pause to take stock of my life.




Time for a comawank.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Unnecessary Introspection Part 1: Careers Advice

I wonder how different my life would have been if I actually took that journalism degree?

Sixteen years ago, the Careers Advisor came to our school and passed out xeroxed pages of job suggestions listing everything from Accountant to Zoologist. (Pornstar, Juggler, and Hitman were all omitted, although they're just as valid, dammit.)

I scanned the document. The previous thirteen years of schooling were now largely irrelevant. Everything in my life was going to hinge on these next ten minutes.
What should I do for the rest of my life then?

'Ah! Media!' I thought, ‘Films and telly. Brilliant’.

So that was my future sorted out. When's breaktime?

I had a vague image in my head back then ~ Me, older and fitter, with a square jaw and a camera on my shoulder. I would be in a cream-coloured safari suit for some reason, looking handsome as I filmed intrepidly whilst being shot at. Primarily, I would get thin as I would not be working behind a desk. (I was a fat schoolboy back then, and gained a lot of weight following that profile picture. Perhaps the photo triggered the binge eating?)

I did, however, also have a vague notion that perhaps I should maybe consider the possibility of the idea that perchance I could tinker with the concept of getting a career in Journalism. I always liked English and deep, deep down, I wanted to persue something vaguely journalistic but thought it a lot of terribly hard work.

Why not then get involved in the glamorous and exciting world of THE MEDIA, where I could work with vacuous celebrities and wear jeans all day! THE MEDIA, where my friends would all be famous and I would earn loads doing something I'd not yet thought about. THE MEDIA, where I could say to people, 'Yeah, I work in THE MEDIA', and they'd all go 'Ooooh.'
Plus I'd found out that I could do a BTEC in Media Studies, and that meant NO EXAMS ever again. That is what I believe our American cousins call a 'No Brainer'.

In any case, if all else failed, I prided myself in not being that stupid. I could always do that generic job, Business, as I reckoned I could sell snow to people who have lots of free snow, like Canadians. And then there was my other passion, although I've never felt so passionate as to actually do anything about it: Acting.

Yes, at 16, I really did have a world of options at my feet. There were several things I could try my hand at, although I never really felt that strongly about any one thing over another, so my course of action was to take the path of least resistance, or to be more accurate, to study something that required the least effort.

That'll be Media then.

So that was my Master Plan. Don't try too hard, bumble along with my destiny in the hands of Fate, and Everything Should Work Itself Out In The End because after all, Life should be aaaaalright for those with half a brain.

Sixteen-year-olds are idiots.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Dammit x 2

1) I've just nipped in to the kosher dating website I'm affiliated with and there's a really quite stunningly astronomical girl who's just checked out my profile. And what's more, her profile is fantastic; she's well read, intelligent, liberal.

Oh, and American and living in Philadelphia. Why are all the good ones 4,000 miles away?

2) Well there goes my weekend. Yet another Overdoing it on a Friday Night only to necessitate two days recuperation (which included watching Family Guy and Peep Show on dvd - I love doing something constructive in my downtime), so I'm heading off for an early night.

Too bad the fluffy-chinned South American downstairs has chosen right now to blast out Wham! hits and - what's that? - Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive?

Oh, spiffing.

My problems are all behind me

I don't know what I've done to my back, but now I can't fucking move.

Waking up this morning, I couldn't turn 90° onto my side without taking a deep breath and summoning up the kind of willpower required to jump from a burning building. It feels as if my ribcage is going to collapse in on itself. Arses.

Where did I get this from? Certainly not strenuous sex. Could it be blogging? I don't have a chair, but I do have a tiny room in a poxy little flat in fashionable West London, so I have to do all my typing hunched over from the side of my bed, making Quasimodo look like... erm... he has a straight back.

Tschh. I'm not even trying any more.

Cycling's out tomorrow. Dammit, so's karate. My first ever lesson missed. Ah, screw this. I'm going to lie on the ground.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Reunited with my bad back

Christ, my back hurts. I think I must've tried self-fellation last night only to fall asleep in that position. Combined with my still sore neck, I am walking as if I have a rod inserted up my rectum.

Another late night. I got home at 5am and phoned the Girl-Who-Would-Be-My-Girlfriend-If-She-Actually-Lived-In-London ladyfriend in New York. The call lasted 30 seconds. She wasn't in bed yet, but just said 'I'm having a bad day' and refused to talk any further, so we both said goodbye and hung up.

I think the words 'Bridges' and 'Destroyed in an inferno' are quite apt. I really don't see how our meeting up for a curry in two weeks will help either of us. I think she's in the final 'Hating Me for Ending It' stage.

More lack of sex last night. I got to the assigned pub for my inept-exam-board-reunion pissup. I had emailed around 30 people but in the event, a hardcore of eight came and went, mostly people who no longer work there, eager to catch up on old times.

And it was lovely. I insulted Stephen by suggesting his finding an attractive girlfriend was a miracle of such huge proportions the Vatican should be notified. Gus and I hadn't seen each other in so long we celebrated by chainsmoking despite having both quit. Sally stayed the longest and managed to avoid drinking any alcohol at all, which I found superbly impressive. Gay Rog (The homosexual version of me) was being, well, cynical and shagless. Elliot flapped a lot. Jon I hadn't seen for almost two years, and it lifted me to see his rosy, youthful face. He is probably the nicest, most sincere person I know. (Flipping cheerful Christians.) I would gladly* die single and alone for him to find happiness. He deserves it.

(*Alright, it's unlikely to be done gladly but that man needs to find a wonderful Ms Right.)

Everyone left. The evening then went queer as I went for another drink with Elliot and Gay Rog. I seemed oddly keener than them to go gay clubbing (Elliot wanted to get the last train home, and Gay Rog is pretty much fed up with The Scene.) I was just eager to meet women in gay bars who are there to avoid annoying straight guys like me (Women in gay bars are so much more receptive to men walking over and saying "Hello".)

Perhaps it's Gay Roger's aversion to the shallowness of some gay men, but he ran off when I spotted a cluster of them standing on Greek Street. Granted, I walked over there with the intention of saying 'Hello Deviants, do you like the look of those guys over there? Because they'd like some cock.' Maybe Gay Rog found this somehow humiliating. But then so did I, when they all ran off on seeing my approach, actually ran away, the most promiscuous people on the face of the Earth, despite my wearing the Smart-Casual Jacket™. I mean if I'm not even appealing to gay men who (I am reliably informed) will fuck anything full of testosterone, then what is the point of my continued existence?

Elliot and Gay Rog went home. I remembered The Hobo would be at Roxys, but he was actually near Camden. I was now quite drunk. I withdrew more money than I could afford, and tracked him and his work colleagues down. One was quite cute and looked like an Indian version of Halle Berry. I told her this and she seemed quite happy. We went on to another bar where the bald bloke from 80s group The The was allegedly having a drink. The doorman had initially turned us away for all having beards in one form or another (including a couple of the women in our party), but this turned out to be a joviality.

We danced to Herbie Hancock and left. It was raining slightly. Everyone disappeared and Hobo walked off to find a cab, leaving Halle Berry-ji and me to wait at a bus-stop. We indulged in some small talk. I was flirtatious. I cracked a few jokes. She was really keen on me too, and reciprocated by showing very little interest. And then a bus came and sorted things out by only going her way. I waited for a further half hour as it got chillier. Thank god I only had a mild cold and a very thin jacket and t-shirt.

Everyone clapped when the 27 turned up. I took the rear seat on the top deck of the bus. That way, if any scum get on, they're in front of me and not up to no good where I can't see what's going on behind me. And last night's scum were two teenage chav couples who began yelling, starting arguments and smoking dope. I honestly thought I'd end up in either a physical or verbal fight with these kids but for some miraculous reason, nothing they said or did was directed at me. Furthermore, they just about managed to do nothing overtly offensive to anyone else that would've forced me - albeit reluctantly - to intervene.

So that was last night. In summary, I caught up with old friends, I was rejected by gay men, I may have had some interest from a girl but I'm not sure, and I didn't get into a fight with a pair of obnoxious little yobs on the back of the nightbus.

In a parallel life, I'd be a happily married father of four with a wonderful, responsible job and a beautiful intelligent wife and living in my huge bastard house in Hampstead.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Skive

11am on a Friday morning and I am at home. I often fantasize about being at home when stuck at my desk at work, but now I'm here, I'm bored and can't be bothered to do anything. My room's a tip, and last night Large Northern Flatmate and I ate all the chocolate meant as stocking fillers for my neices.

We are subhuman scum.

I woke up at 7.30am all bunged up, so I text'd my boss - the coward's way out - to say I wasn't coming in today. I suddenly felt wide awake. There goes my lie-in.

Last night, after a lovely anonymous tip-off that this blog was reviewed in yesterday's London Lite and failing to find a copy, I had to call my mate Jimmy, who was waiting in the wind for a train and trying to stay vertical in his crutches. I had to tell him that I have a blog (I'd been keeping it private as I didn't want to be encumbered by what friends may think - plus I wanted to slag the fuckers off), and could he see this paper lying around anywhere? We hung up.

A few minutes later and my mobile rang.
'Hello Fwengebola,' said Jimmy with the smug satisfaction gained from being privy to a secret. Had I managed to track down my own copy, I would not have felt it necessary to enlist a friend to find one.

But I felt better when he told me that I put him in a very socially awkward position. The only copy of London Lite he could find was on the stomach of a sleeping commuter, forcing Jimmy to smack the man's leg with his crutch and cough loudly, then casually asking the now alert man if he could borrow his paper.

I ran into the living room to tell Large Northern Flatmate, an unemployed yet aspiring scriptwriter, that my blog (which he has always sniffed derisively at and refused to go near) has been suddenly and inexplicably mentioned in one of London's evening papers.

'Congwatulations', he muttered half-heartedly. Yet there was a pause. A slight, almost imperceptible silence, and a grimace of the eyes, showing just the right amount of pain, discomfort, nausea and agony I wanted to see, the perfect end to what was becoming a very enjoyable day.

Victory is mine.



Tonight is a get-together I'd arranged about two months ago and didn't plan on being ill for. I used to work for a ruthlessly inept exams board and quite fancied meeting up with everyone for Christmas. So I will dose up on Lemsips and head down. Plus much later tonight, The Hobo will be ending his work's Christmas party at the hell that is Roxys. I refused to go to when Hobo mentioned it but I'll probably end up there anyway.

HAPPY CHANNUKAH ~ CHEERS!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Six Random Things

1 ~ My Mum has managed to pick up the MRSA superbug. Not content with being wheelchair-bound with MS, she is now full of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and has received completely the wrong treatment by being told to stick her leg in a bowl of potassium permanganate solution for twenty minutes rather than having her ankles gently dabbed with it by a friendly if slightly camp male nurse with a swollen leg fetish.
Now she has chemically induced burns.

Next week, Mum will be trying to contract bubonic plague and herpes in the space of an hour.

2 ~ One of our regular delivery guys popped into work yesterday. He asked me what my Christmas plans were. I said 'Sitting in front of the TV ignoring my relatives and eating my own body weight in Pringles'. He said he's a part time Soul DJ and has a few gigs lined up. Damn his more interesting life.
I told him I like soul but I love House. He casually mentioned that he had a Top Ten house hit back in the early '90s - as you do - with a track called 'Move your body'.
'Do you remember that?' he asked me.
'Erm, yeah mate. You were called Xpansions. The video featured lots of moving shapes and a cute wiggling blonde from Basildon. I've got you on my iPod. Sign and date this Despatch Note, and have a great Christmas.'

3 ~ This morning I woke up with a severe pain in the neck, and it wasn't Jay-K from Jamiroquai. Plus I've been double sneezing all day, a sure sign that I have a cold about to erupt. This is TYPICAL as I've had arranged for months a large pissup tomorrow with old work colleagues. I am now considering taking the day off work so I can have a lie-in (guilt will probably prevent me from sleeping though, despite offering to forgo a sickie by taking it as part of my remaining annual leave.)
I now don't know what to do. If I go to the pissup, I will be violently ill and unattractive in front of the two people who bother turning up. If I don't go, fifteen billion people will attend and it will officially be THE MOST AMAZING PARTY ON EARTH, EVER.

4 ~ Sore necks and general apathy meant I didn't cycle today, so I got to pay through the nose for London Underground's whodunnit of a service. The thrills included waiting at a nameless station staring at their huge LCD display for the whereabouts of the next train. Unfortunately, the display doesn't actually do anything useful like pronounce 'Your tube's here', or 'Your tube's about to leave' or 'Oh, it's gone.' It merely displays 'Please Wait Here' forever. Then you hear a rumble and run downstairs to find out what could possibly be making that train-like noise only to find your unannounced train pull in, then bugger off as you're nowhere near able to catch it. Trudging back to the LCD display, your mind befuddled with 'Why didn't that fucking display tell me that my train was coming?', you get to see the LCD equivalent of Stevie Wonder with earplugs telling you that absolutely nothing's on its way, and please keep waiting like a gathering of angry British twats.

5 ~ But moments later I was snapped from my reverie of anger when stood waiting for the lottery that is the next fucking train. A London Transport official was gentlemanly escorting an attractive young blind lady along the platform and out of the station. It's moments like this that snap you out of yourself, when you crack a little and thank the Gods that you have nothing to complain about. Then my tube arrived, so I got on and I read the paper. Three stops later, I happen to look up to see another London Transport official gentlemanly escorting another attractive young blind lady along the platform and out of the station.

What the bloody hell does that mean? I could've dated them.

6 ~ Somebody out there has nominated me for The Insignificant (Blog) Awards 2007. And for that I thank you. This blog is a number of things, largely shit and words pertaining to shit, plus it is also tremendously insignificant. I am quite profoundly moved (non-sarcastically, too) by this nomination. Oh, and I've just been notified by Anonymous from 'Embarrassing Memory #6' comments that tonight's London Lite newspaper has I Hate The Earth as its 'Blog Du Nuit'. Well I'll casually* believe that when I see it.

(* And by Casually, that means running off to my local tube just now, scouring their platforms, interrogating the staff, running off to my local boozer and rifling through their papers, visiting the newsagents, enquiring with my neighbouring gun-toting Poles, and finally banging on the door of the fluffy chinned South American downstairs to see if they have a copy lying around. They didn't.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Embarrassing Memory #6: Return of the Blind Date

1997, two years after graduating from University. Tony Blair is elected Prime Minister. The Tories have gone and there is a palpable sense of excitement in the air. I had just gained employment at the BBC, and anything seems possible. We will never be going to war with anyone!

Plus Leonardo DiCaprio drowns.

I am still living at my Mums at the time, and fannying about on her new 'multimedia' computer. Solitare was beginning to get dull, so I decide to investigate this Interweb thing.

I connect a lead into the phone line. I double click. Some strange hissing noises emanate from the speakers. Then some man called Bill wants my credit card details.

Oh go on then.

taptaptap.

I order my own Electropost address. Then a globe in the top right hand corner starts to turn. Jesus H Christ on a bike! I'm in! This is like the bloody Matrix! (which isn't released for another two years, but bear with me.)

Everything and anything is mine at the touch of a button. Information, communication, entertainment, knowledge.

So I trawl for porn.

I begin to get addicted (to the whole web, not the porn. Well, not just the porn.) Hours become Days become Month... you get the picture. I find rooms in which to chat. There are other people there, and from other countries! And many Americans. Many of them say 'Yo', and spell funny. Many more think my teeth are bad and remind me that my bottom got smacked about 221 years ago, which is strange because they've never met me and must know I'm not that old.

And then a girl says hello. She doesn't spell funny. In fact, she spells the same. She is also a million miles away except she isn't because she tells me it's more like four.
Right now.
Up the road.

We chat more, for several days. Then we send mail to each other.

Then I give her my phone number because she seems like a lot of fun, and we chat with our voices and she sounds very sexy too and makes it hard for me to stand up when my Mum's in the room. Her name is Jenny, and she says she looks like a cross between Drew Barrymore and Dawn French. Cor! Drew Barrymore! Brilliant!!!

So we agree to meet. I order a pint and sit down to wait. In my pocket is a little tape of house music I've made for her. It then occurs to me that this was the first proper blind date I'd ever been on, and it had all happened by accident. I normally met ladypeople through just being alive and doing work or Uni stuff, but now, here I was in a public house doing the things grown ups do. I felt awkward and shifted a lot. I was convinced that everyone was staring at me and they all knew I had a blind date.

Never mind. It'll be ok when she eventuFUCK ME, IT'S DAWN FRENCH.

Jenny stared at me and cocked her head to one side, as if guaging if the nervous fidgeter on the table in front was indeed this secret admirer. I waved at her almost imperceptibly, and she began to walk over slowly, and shyly.

I started sweating.

It's not that I'm a bigot, or even fattist - I hope I'm neither - but I reserve the right to be physically attracted to someone first. Granted, I have fallen for women I didn't initially fancy so there are exceptions, but I do believe in love, and certainly lust, at first sight. But that wasn't happening here. So I stood up, kissed her on the cheek, and proceeded to drink heavily. Jenny was driving, so I had to drink for two. There was no ulterior motive here, no drinking her attractive so something could happen. I do, after all, make Jesus look like a crack dealer.

I had merely decided to make the most of being 23 and in a pub with a new person to talk to.

And talk we did. I recall it being really rather pleasant. And when she remarked that she wanted to drive into Central London to meet her sister in a bar, I was well into the idea. I have a snapshot in my head of her driving while I sat there making her laugh. I recall her climbing stairs in front of me and thinking, 'Those huge jeans look awfully tight', but most of all, I remember her face once we'd got to the bar and she'd found her sister - She was waiting for me to do something. She had a coy smile. There was now silence. Her hands were behind her back.

She was actually quite pretty.

But I couldn't do it. I already felt guilty. I kissed her on the cheek and left the bar.

We spoke now and again, but we didn't meet up. She did ask, but I declined. I felt like a bastard but I rationalised that I could've slept with her, then ignored her, and been a bona-fide bastard.

But that really isn't me. So perhaps you can see the conflict I get in my head when, from time to time, I regret the huge amount of sex I haven't had.

But anyway... Fast forward a couple of years. It is 1999, and I am still at my Mums. (Here comes the embarrassing bit. Thanks for your patience.)

One morning, I decide to take a different tube station to work, one that takes five minutes longer to get to, but varied the day-to-day commute. I get on the train and sit down, my head buried in Loot as I was by now looking for a place to rent. Then I hear a voice on a phone. A loud voice. A girly voice. I look over casually, look back at my paper, then double back in shock.

Fucketyfucketyfuckety. I know her. She looks exactly like Dawn French.

It is Jenny. She hasn't seen me. Good. Head in paper... Really really deep in paper.
I concentrate in earnest. A few stops pass. I have to change at Wembley to get another line, so as we pull in to the station and the doors begin to open, I swiftly, neatly, deftly rise, turn, and exit.

Deciding to create some space, I jog to the far end of the other platform as the next train arrives.

I'm having a rather pleasant time on the next train. I'm scouring all manner of flats in places I'd like to live in; Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Soho, then I note the price and look up less salubrious haunts - Ealing, Hendon, Hammersmith. (South London is not an option.)

The train slows. I look out of the window. Marvellous. We're pulling in to Baker Street. With a sexycasual glow, I lower my paper and reach for my bag in preparFUCKING HELL IT'S JENNY SITTING RIGHT OPPOSITE ME. She must have seen me leave the last tube and followed me down. Thank Buddha I hadn't spotted her earlier. And even now, she hadn't clocked me. She was too busy looking up at the ceiling pretending to look nonchalant. But I was about to leave.

I got up and headed to the exit without making eye contact with anyone. And when the doors opened, I unashamedly RAN. I ran like the wind. I ran like Forrest Gump. I barged into commuters and elbowed old women out the way with delirious fervour. I ran into the tube concourse and sprinted down the escalator to rejoin the Jubilee line. I heard a train, FUCK - It's my train! I turned into the thronged platform and realised it was GOING THE WRONG WAY, so I ran out and over to the opposite platform, which was empty. There, on the wall in front, was a map of the next few stops. No, THIS was the wrong fucking platform, shitshitshit....

I ran back. The platform was no longer thronged. Everyone was now on the tube as the little pingpingping signified the doors were about to close. I barely got my fingers to the window as the tube doors shut and the whole damn thing took off without me. I dropped to my knees and I screamed. I tugged at my hair and pulled my head into my lap. I stood up, and still panting, began trudging over to the far corner when I heard a 'Fweng?' break the eerie silence of the now empty platform.

'Jenny? Wow! What are you doing here?!!!'

Awkward, sweaty, blustering conversations are bad at the best of times without having to do it in a packed carriage full of bored nosey commuters.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Je Ne Regrette Rien?

I try not to have too many regrets in life, if I can help it. I guess it's one of those things nobody wants to stockpile; missed opportunities, Freudian slips, misjudged endeavours, dating The French.

A few days ago, I visited a bar where a former work colleague was having a send off. Her and her new husband were about to embark on a year-long trip of a lifetime around the world, the bastards. I was tired and had no money on me, so I used my debit card to get drinks and had to leave the card behind the bar as it was below their minimum £10 charge. Moments later, I bumped into Cas. Cas is a very nice chap and generally very deserving of a drink, plus buying him one would get my plastic back when it was time for me to leave. Win/ Win.

I handed him my tab slip and told him to go downstairs and help himself. He got himself a drink and returned to chat to the other guests. About half an hour later, he shouts from nearby if he could use it again. Sure. I give my tab slip back to him. I watch with unease as he hands it on to a middle aged man with male pattern baldness who I've never met before. Man then walks off to the bar.

Er.....

Socially awkward.

Man returns with a round of drinks. I grimace. I wait for a bit, then take Cas to one side to take the tab slip off him and threaten him with violence. He thought it was some kind of work tab I had access to and was spreading the love.
No. It was all my own overdraft and I still haven't bought my nieces their Christmas presents yet.

I regret this - not hugely in the great scheme of things - because when he asked me for the card, I had a feeling it was going to be used to buy a whole bunch of drinks, obviously, but I didn't want to embarrass him by saying 'No, you can't have it'.
I am, as I have no shame in reiterating, an idiot.

I was mulling this event over the following day as I took the tube to work. Suddenly, I was reminded of a dark memory, from a time long, long ago when I tried to be nice and ended up full of regret. I had kept this painful memory buried for years in the quietest, loneliest recesses of my mind, not far from where I keep my thoughtporn.

It still stings. It is horrible. It actually hurts to dredge it all up and even now, at 32, I feel a little bit sick at it all. It is my Behemoth of All Regrets.

1992 was a wonderful year, and a coming of age for me. I am 18 (*sniff*), and had secured a place at Bournemouth University by the skin of my teeth. Those halcyon days where the music was phenomenal and fresh and exciting, when raves were just beginning to make the switch into clubs and superclubs. I discover booze, and dope, and shed all my teenage flab and discover my abs too.
I become attractive to the opposite sex for the first time in my life and I had never, ever been that happy before.

Back in London one weekend, I am going through my room, the room of my childhood with cartoons on the walls and the toys in the cupboards and it dawns on me that I want to have a huge clean-out.

(Oh god, here it comes.)

My Star Wars collection was my childhood. It grew up with me. I would save up my pocket money and it would all go on Star Wars. And after years of collecting them, it was huge. I had hundreds of figures. I had the Millenium Falcon, an X-Wing, Slave One, an AT-AT, the Dagobah System, books, magazines, and a beautiful Darth Vader head that opened up to store figures in. It was a present from my Mum when she visited the States one year.

I didn't throw it away though. I couldn't throw it away. That was never going to happen. Instead, I wanted to bequeath it all to my step-nephew Alex. It made perfect, sublime sense. I have an older sister I've never been that close to, and my step-siblings, cousins and assorted relatives are all older than me. I felt generation-wise like there was no-one on my side. When Alex was born, I felt like I had a partner-in-crime waiting to grow up. I babysat for him on a couple of occasions. He was a lovely little kid and a cheeky little toddler. When I decided he'd get all my precious Star Wars toys, I thought of the sheer thrill daubed all over his little 10-year-old's mug, and the poetic gesture in passing them down to him.

I gathered all the toys together and told my Mum to pass them on to my step-sister, his Mum, which she duly did. I then went back to Uni and continued to enjoy myself (occasionally having to do some work now and again).

A year or so later, I saw Alex and my step-sister. I had been grinning pretty much solidly for the last twelve months.
'Hey, how are you getting on with my Star Wars toys?' I asked Alex.
'Oh them', he said with the casual disdain of a now 12-year old. 'We threw them away.'

Pause.

'What?'

My heart sank. I felt as if I'd just jumped out of a plane without a parachute. I became giddy and lightheaded. I looked at my step-sister in a state of complete confusion. She had her hands over her mouth from the shock of my finding out.
'Oh god, I'm so embarrassed!'
'You threw them away?' I was starting to feel quite sick.
'He's got so many toys. We had to clear things out.'
'Then why didn't you give them back to me? HAVE YOU ANY IDEA HOW MUCH THEY WERE WORTH??'
'I'm so embarrassed.'

Every so often, I am haunted by this event. I once caught a children's special of the Antique's Roadshow. One child had a Boba Fett figure with a little red backpack, just like the one I had.
It was worth £200.

In total, I'd estimate that my step-sister threw away about £1,000 in highly collectable original Star Wars merchandise from the Seventies and Eighties.

But it's not the money.
Ok, it is the money to a degree. But mainly, it's the fact that they didn't want them, so they simply threw the lot in the bin. That collection meant the world to me. I was passing on not just the physical toys but a legacy. A legacy that was basically never wanted, so it was slung out.

It was around this time that I was beginning to realise that Charity, paradoxically, is a selfish act as it serves to make you feel better about yourself. If the recipient of your charitable deeds is staggeringly underwhelmed and unimpressed, then your actions count for very little except in your own head.

As a postscript to this story, Alex and I have never been particularly close, and not because of this event. We just aren't, that's all. I am told that at this moment he is somewhere very hot and shagging his current girlfriend, and probably not thinking about Star Wars toys at all right now.

The Xmas Party

It's 8am and I've yet to go to bed. Plus I work with 0 women, so there's nothing to report here.

Additionally, I'm very drunk and typing phenomenally carefully, plus I'm smoking again, and I'm not sure how that happened.

After work, we went for a meal, and I drank a shedload. On leaving our final bar, we were down to me, another dedicated colleague, and his girlfriend. We decided to head out to find a club to go dancing in and find some drugs. Except London is shit and we were without contacts.

The others left almost immediately, leaving me to find something interesting on my own. I traversed Soho, but was disgusted to find everywhere closed, barring coffee bars. Even the gay clubs were empty. I eventually found a semi-legal bar round the back of Tottenham Court Road. It was 3am.

I was surprised at how clued up I was, for once. Maybe it was the bouncer I spoke to earlier, pronouncing this place to be on the mere fringes of legality, but when I entered Bar Shithole, I knew something was different. Perhaps it was the £3.50/ $7 bottled beer. Maybe it was the dodgy Latino playlist I'd last heard in an aggresive club in Spain. Perchance it was the wall-to-wall hookers, but I wasn't entirely convinced by this venue. I found a corner to stand in. A girl was thrusting her chest into a dreadlocked man next to me. When I got my second beer here, she was suddenly next to me, introducing herself as 'Barbara' and somehow finding herself with an opened beer for me to buy her (I didn't).

When I walked back to the outskirts of the dancefloor, I found myself being stared at by a stunning girl wiggling seductively in the middle of three average guys. This went on for about half an hour. I wanted to tell the other blokes we were in a glorified brothel, but I didn't bother.

Despite feeling incredibly Righteous, I played Who's On The Game and Who Isn't. I smoked a packet of fags I suddenly found on me. I allowed the collective sweat from the ceiling above drip onto my hair.

Life had suddenly become very obvious. As soon as the lights went up at 5am, the flirtatious girl with the astonishing body vanished from the gang of men in front of me. They looked confused, and I caught the nightbus home.

I don't know what any of this means and I am about to throw this packet of cigarettes out of my bedroom window. It is my Christmas present to Chiswick High Street.

Xmas work parties are rubbish.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dissed!

Some angry kiddie-winkies have given me a SERIOUS blog-whooping here.

Don't know why, don't really care, to be honest. Was going to leave a comment along the lines of 'Hey, play nicely!', but then I decided I couldn't be bothered.

Apparently, my template is a basic green ("What a motherfucker you are, limey dude.") It's green and thus some of them refuse to read any further. I've also used too many long words in my heading, thus rendering me a bit of a cunt.

Also, some guy thinks I'm a liberal Brit, and he hates liberal Brits!

I'm afraid that told me. I don't know what I was thinking daring to write something for the sheer pleasure of it all. Ugh, I feel so dirty. So green, and dirty. There's a lesson here, of course... Content is NOTHING. Image is EVERYTHING.
WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING NOT BEING FOURTEEN ENOUGH TO DESIGN SOMETHING COOL???

Consequently, this will be my last post. I am sorry, but they're all on the button. I have NO RIGHT - in fact, I've never had ANY RIGHT - to be airing my views on anything.

I apologise. I apologise profoundly.

Goodbye.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Norway

Fjords.

Fjords.

Fjords, fjords, fjords.

Fjords, fjords, fjords, fjords, fjords.



And Vidkun Quisling. Although nobody's called anyone a Quisling since 1964.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Poland

Snow. Bleak housing. Blondes. Chainsmoking construction workers. Lots of anti-semitism. Being the 104th European country the Nazis thought they'd holiday in permanently, causing Britain and France to go to war with them. (Americans were preoccupied hiding in barnyards fearing a Martian invasion.)

Poland is the happy home of the above, except most Poles are now in Britain apparently leeching off our benefits system and drunkenly attacking the Queen's Swans, according to the Daily Mail.



Today, Poles are everywhere (particularly Poland). Why, even outside my delightful rented flat in classy London, my nearest bus stop features an advert for a money exchange in Polish. On the road to my left that heads into town, there's about four Polish cafes and delis, a Polish Social Centre, and a fucking huge queue of chainsmoking construction workers lined up like male prostitutes waiting for English construction workers to drive up to them and yell 'Oi, Ivan, wanna make a few quid sawing wood?'

The direct paternal line of my family, the Ebolavitches, emigrated to London from Warsaw around 1874. Apparently, they were firmly asked to leave their country of residence for centuries through the medium of being thrown through their windows.

It's hard to avoid the Polish now. My neighbours are Poles (shorts in December, surly nods, etc), my gym receptionist is a Pole (perpetual grimace, quite attractive, clearly dislikes me), two Self-defence classmates are Poles (One always insists on pairing up with me. He then proceeds to beat me senseless), half my customers at work are Poles, as is my really quite cute buxom hairdresser from Gdansk with the blonde hair and piercing ice blue eyes with the cold detached stare of a serial killer.

In fact, my hairdresser's a bit of an enigma. She went quite red and flustery when I first visited. Normally this is a sign of panic, but there were lots of shy smiles too. When I go back frequently, she's quite bashful but there's definite flirtage going on. I'd act on it if I didn't feel she may be after an English husband. (I like to give myself logical reasons as to why women find me attractive.)

I nearly burnt her a cd last week when she mentioned that she learns a lot of English from music (I thought it best not to include Snoop Doggy Dogg or NWA), but decided against it when I felt odd about the whole enterprise (Hello, no I don't want a haircut today, I'm just coming in to give you this cd apropros of nothing. Oh look, you've gone bright red and fidgety. Bye.)

Ania, my Polish chum, told me they sell a peculiar Polish vaseline for lubricating faces during the severest winters. Apparently it contains zero water as regular vaseline has a tendency to freeze your head shut. Despite this, I'd quite like to visit Poland. I've been a bit of a genealogist for several years and would be keen to track down what I can about my family - so that should be suitably depressing.

Poland ~
Pros: Hard workers. Attractive Blondes. Beetroot.
Cons: Massive Anti-Semitism. Death Camps. Beetroot.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Weird Google Searches

I like Sitemeter. They give me lots of lovely stats about my site, and I get to feel fleetingly proud.

Although some of these stats are odd. For example, the following list is what people out there in the ether have typed in only to find this here blog. It is a disturbing indicator of the crap I write~

Google Search: Why you shouldn't touch people
Google Search: Fucking girls
Google Search: Comfortable in your skin
Google Search: Bloody marvellous
Google Search: Steve Irwin floating death
Google Search: Who else thinks Eastenders is pathetic
Google Search: Brick Lane Esctacy
Google Search: I hate Krauts
Google Search: What aftershave does Daniel Craig wear
Google Search: Brighton dog blog Monkey Dave
Google Search: Western Sahara Porn
Google Search: Ginger-haired men are ugly

Don't worry Fucking Girls, as I don't know who you are and I'm sure you probably didn't stick around. But Brighton dog blog Monkey Dave's gotta be Ali.

UPDATE 14th Dec 2006 ~ Google Search: "I think couples should settle down and mate forever... you know, like pidgeons or catholics..."

You, sir, are a Legend.

Maturity

Which, let's face it, is indelibly linked to Immaturity.

So it's Friday. I leave work. My mate Bomber is up for our thrice yearly Him-And-Me drink in my neck of the woods, which suits me fine.

We go to the new-ish bar below my flat. Fairly empty. We move on the The Raven. Fairly trendy. On a whim, Bomber and I investigate our theory that underneath the large chain pizzeria almost opposite my flat is something happening below street level. We descend. Sure enough, there's a trendy bar, a dj, and lots of sofas. Perfect. We get some Gin and Slims and settle in. It's like discovering a little-known secret. A large crowd are drinking away. We lean in and 'background' their private photographs like a pair of, well, twats. Two guys are next to us sandwiching a grinning girl over a small table - this sounds more filthy than it actually is. Opposite us sit three pretty girls in little black dresses.

Bomber and I shoot the shit. When we meet up, we like to shit-shoot, and it is quite remarkably life-affirming. Tonight, however, Bomber becomes melancholy. He points at his volumous head of hair (ginger - or deep red, if you're American) and complains that it is the third most repulsive thing after death and disease.

I disagree. After all (and remember my kiddie photo), I am not exactly Sans Rouge myself plus, first and foremost, the colour of your hair is as intrinsically meaningless as the colour of your skin when deciphering how decent a human being you are. Hitler, let's not forget, wasn't ginger, and he was pretty much a bit of a shit.

So.
We drink.
Bomber has ginger issues.
I'm determined to disprove him.
Two of the three little black dress wearing girls opposite us are at the bar as Bomber remarks that he's as comfortable with Ginger Hatred as he is in a nice warm dressing gown. Seeing a (rather poor) In, I race over to the lone girl opposite us to solicit her opinion.

'So what's your take on Ginger-haired men?'

Surprisingly, it's not good. Ginger, to her, is Chris Evans. Oh, and Mick Hucknall. Sure, they're ginger. But they're both pretty much regarded as evil and hideous the world over. One of the cute girls returns from the bar to this table while her friend I'd been talking to asks her about Gingers.

"I like Black Men", she snaps at me, before retreating back to the bar.

Oh. Ok. I'm about as far removed from black as you can get. I feel her FUCK YOU.

Feeling awkward, I make my excuses to remaining nice lady and go back to Bomber. Drunkenness compels me to tell him that his paranoia is thoroughly well-founded ~ Ginger folk are apparently scum, and you can include me in that. Sorry, mate.

On a nearby table, a large young dark man who'd been watching my pretty awful progress runs over to the girl I'd just been talking to, to whisper in her ear.

Girl cackles. He returns proudly to his chair.

Well done. A thousand brownie points. Very brave.

A few minutes later and all three girls are back at their table. Large young dark man leaves his group of smaller young dark men to chat to girls. Ms. "I Like Black Men" leaps up to avoid him in such a manner that I feel compelled to remind her that he's surely her type (I am drunk after all.)

'Don't touch me', she barks at me as soon as I get there.
'Erm...'
'How old are you?', she demands of me.
'I'm 32', I state proudly. I had my first full shave only the day before and I look about twelve.
'You're way too fucking old. Get the fuck away from me.'
'Well how old are you then?' I ask.
'I'm Nineteen.'

Jesus, of course she is. Her skin is virtually ceramic. Despite her lovely figure squeezed into her little black dress, close up I realise she's still a child, with the attitude to boot. I look at her friends. Oh crap. I thought they were all late-twenties. They're not.
When I first started smoking my skinning-up cigarettes when I ran out of dope, these girls were about three.

'There's no need to be so hostile,' I venture.
'Yes there is, just get the fuck away from me.'

This was a bit of a shock. This was way too aggressive.

'Look, you've clearly only been drinking for a year or two and you obviously can't deal with people socially, but you shouldn't talk to people like this.'
'Don't fucking patronise me, I've been drinking since I was fourteen, alright?'
'Woah! Sorry! I didn't realise how classy you were.'

I walked off in disgust. I never normally have to walk off anywhere in disgust, unless I've been to see Jim Davidson.

Large young dark man is now gesticulating wildly doing impressions of 'Guy With Tail Between His Legs'. Girls laugh, including 'Don't-Patronise Me' Girl, who seconds before was insulting large young dark man by running away from him. They wave and point and generally make me want to leave immediately.
I am vaguely humiliated.

We drink up and walk out seconds later. Girls and their new male friend point and cackle and wave in victory. They're clearly all reached the peak of their maturity. I know I'm still way off.

And perhaps that's the point. As you get older, you get overwhelmed with the amount there is to learn. Some people think they know it all at nineteen. And if they can make someone older feel stupid, then that's vindication of their own intelligence.

I just wish I could spot teenage idiots in their first dark bar so I know to steer clear.