Monday, February 23, 2009

Always The Bridesmaid...

... as my Mum put it this afternoon, because I'm going to be a Best Man again; Oh, the honour, aah, the responsibility, hooray! the nervewracking speech in a crowded room as hundreds of critical eyes silently judge me.

I wish I could get over my public speaking anxiety, but it's like getting naked in the gents' changing room; I'm perfectly capable of doing it. I can even pretend that I'm not bothered about it - but I don't particularly enjoy it.

Nonetheless, it is a great honour to be Jimmy's oxymoronic Best Man, particularly as there were at least four other guys in the running ahead of myself. In fact, I'm still perplexed that it's me.

In other very vague 'news':

* I've had a haircut. I now look like a neo-Nazi.

* I have discovered I've regained all the weight I lost in October, plus a few extra pounds for good measure. I am now on another diet, as of this morning.

* I have given up smoking again. It's been 24 hours so far and I'm managing to resist the urge to kill.

* I went swimming for the first time this year. That's it.

* I discovered Google Reader and added an armada of blogs into it. Some of you may have noticed that I had been regularly leaving comments on your sites.
Now I'm not.

* I will be writing every night and finishing my damn book. It is an albatross around my neck.

* And finally, after watching 10 Years Younger last week (I saw their first tragic man on there), I've decided once and for all to cull my clothing and max out my credit card on SMART NEW GARMS. For too many years, I've promised myself a brand new wardrobe only once I lose weight or when I get a girlfriend to demand I do, but as I've proved to be clinically undateable and as weak-willed as a heroin addict backpacking through Afghanistan, I'm taking the plunge regardless.
I've already schlepped a bunch of schmutters to my local charity shop. And today, my £100 handmade leather brogues arrived in the post (75% off).
I've never had a little ejaculation from footwear before. Now I can't wait to tear my ankles to ribbons as women check those beauties out.

That is all.

*UPDATE* I'm now smoking. I'm really, really sorry.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Kierkegaard's Day

I’ve got a suggestion. Bear with me on this; it’s a little odd. I propose that we turn January 21st into Kierkegaard’s Day.

Kierkegaard, for those of you whose knowledge of Danish existentialists is a little rusty, was a hunchback philosopher who fell head over heels in love with a young lady, got engaged, then panicked and broke it off only to pine over her for the rest of his life a blubbering, celibate wreck. He should be the patron saint of all men everywhere, or perhaps just me.
He also wrote a whole bunch of profound stuff, but that’s not important right now.

January 21st, for those of you aware that it’s been designated the most depressing day of the year, is the most depressing day of the year. Xmas and New Year’s are blurry memories, we’re cold and skint, and the wretched realisation of our futile existence burns deep into our empty souls. Ok, just me again.

Now here’s where I bind all this together into a clumsy mess: We should honour this day in memory of the lovelorn Kierkegaard as an antidote to the most annoying day of the year: St Valentine’s.

St Valentine’s Day is a sham; a corporate guilt trip for anyone partnered up, while for the rest of us it’s a scornful reminder of how much sex we’re not getting (*cough*). On Kierkegaard’s Day, single people will rule. Couples shall hide in their rooms while the solos trawl streets overflowing with grinning desperados, celebrating the existentialist tenet that we are all unique in a hostile and indifferent world. We can go to restaurants alone, safe in the knowledge that we’re in some kind of real-life dating website with food. We can approach others with ready-made chat up lines; ‘Did you know that Kierkegaard thought sex was an abomination? Let’s be abominable.’

And if we still find ourselves staggering home alone, hot tears of bitter regret rolling down our fat, ruddy cheeks, at least we can appease ourselves with the thought that it’s the most depressing day of the year anyway, and our hero Kierkegaard, one of the world’s foremost thinkers and theologians, died a virgin.

I’ll take that over St Valentine’s Day.

Erm, maybe.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

How To Not Have Sex

Last Friday, after work, I found myself eating vegan (i.e. fundamentalist vegetarianism) on a fucking bus in London's fashionable East End™. It was my mate's girlfriend's birthday, and I was surrounded by 80% women, mostly single.

The odds were good. Very good. Or they would have been had I not been a) vulgar within the first three seconds, and b) insulting.

My first mistake was to exit the meeting place that was the Vibe Bar, announcing loudly and within lady-ears that it was a "Nest of cunts".

My second was when we were sat on the top deck of the restaurant. A section of the girls were lost in their own bubble, clapping their hands wildly as they shrieked at one another in some kind of high-pitched conversation competition, fighting over the one digital camera as they did so.

Apropos of nothing, I felt the need to mimic their camp clap as I yelled, 'God, I love hanging out with screeching women.'

I silenced the bus.

Truth be told, I had more pressing concerns beyond regretting making women hate me. How the hell was I going to fill up on vegan food, a cuisine that shuns everything of animal origin? Goodbye cheese, auf weidersehen milk, au revoir eggs. And as for plump chicken breast on a bed of slaughtered calf with a coulis of cowsblood, FORGET IT.

Nonetheless, my tofu was fine, if missing a little je ne sais quoi (meat). Eating vegan is like watching the world's shortest film in the world's most expensive cinema. However, I did get to eat next to a charming Italian lady who, dare I say it, seemed keen.
And I didn't seem to repulse her.
In fact she even seemed a little bit flirty.

So I was utterly thrilled to return to the bus having used someone else's toilet, and saw her leaving only midway into the evening.

We kissed goodbye on both cheeks. 'I'll hopefully see you again', I said.
'I hope so', she replied.

Then she walked away and I sighed, because I knew that if I ruled the world, the whole planet would die of apathy because I'm incapable of doing anything.

The bus thinned. The shriekers had gone, and paid their share ruthlessly individually. (FEMALE READERS: I have never eaten out with 18 people who insisted beforehand that the waiter kept a detailed record of who ate what. Please tell me this isn't normal lady behaviour, and if it is, remind me to never buy a couple of bottles of wine for the table because it'll be descended on like vultures dive-bombing a corpse and I won't get so much as a 'cheers'.)

A delightfully intriguing Australian lady chatted to me from across the bus, then came and joined me. An interesting turn of events. Before long, the small group we became headed to a bar on Brick Lane that specialised in £40 cocktails served in a plastic fishbowl with enough ice in it to sink a small trawler.

So we had another. And another. Whilst outside having a little cigarette and a chat with the Polish bouncer, my friend's girlfriend came out to call me an idiot and demanded I make a move on her antipodean ladyfriend.

'Yeah, she's into you.'
'But what about the guy she's with?'
'They're just friends.'

Jesus. An in. A definite, guaranteed, something-may-happen in.

And here's what did happen: We chatted. We flirted. She sat on my hand at one point. I kept it there, and no-one cared.

Apart from the guy she was with.

'Leave it,' he said to me later. 'She's not that keen.'

Now I'm no detective, but her body language, my flattened hand, and the 'Well do something then' instruction made me think she was keen. Furthermore, I'd chatted to this guy earlier, and he was a decent chap. I also spotted him as a fellow member of the Unrequited Club, and I began to feel for him. I imagined what I must have looked like through his eyes; some slobbering, inebriated chancer who'd just bumped into the love of his life while he watched, praying the earth would swallow him as his friend he could never upgrade into his girl cut his soul to shreds. Oh I've been there many times, and there was no way on earth I wanted to be the bloke who fucks people over like that, perhaps because I can't.

So I stopped being horny and didn't do anything. It wasn't difficult. A short while later I was instructed to escort lady to the toilets, which in the event ended up as her dragging me down there in hurried silence. And as we approached the door and she pushed it open, I walked away listening to the telltale sound of violent projectile vomiting.

We all left the bar after that, I took a couple of wrong buses home, and ended up walking for ages and collapsing in bed, alone, at 6:30am.
Total commute across London: 3 hours.
Sense that I did the right thing: Vague to middling.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


I have a new mobile phone. In a bizarre quirk, it was used on a new David Beckham campaign, thus he was my actual phone's previous owner (for about an hour). If he knew I've now got it, I'm sure Dave would be overwhelmed.

And I am now on Twitter. You are all welcome to follow me in real time, where I can be quite pleasant and happy (particularly after work). I aim to beat Stephen Fry's record of 100,000 followers within a week.

Oh, just one thing - I can't actually send or receive 'tweets' from my phone.

Best not to bother, then.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


I went to the physio a few days ago regarding my bad back. It was interesting, for the following two reasons:

# 1 ~ I got to see a professional for Peace of Mind™, as well as some specific exercise tips which I still can’t be bothered to do, although,
# 2 ~ I got humiliated to the extent that I left feeling I should probably stop eating biscuits.

The physio was, of course, attractive; slim and blonde and South African. I would've wagered a substantial amount of money on her being a light-haired southern hemispherian, and I would've been right.
So I’m sat there, and I start whinging; I lifted some boxes and woke up the next day in agony, and I've spent the last two weeks getting out of bed desperately grasping for furniture like Stephen Hawking on his carer's day off (although he’s probably got year-round help.)

Now I have no problem admitting - if this isn't already abundantly clear - that I'm an idiot. I knew I’d be seeing a physio. I knew it would involve hands-on manipulation of some kind. But I didn't really think beyond that.

‘Ok,’ she announced after my bitching had ceased. ‘Did you bring your shorts?’
I winced in precognitive pain. I hadn't brought any shorts, because no-one had told me to. But that wasn't why I had winced. I had winced because I was seconds away from having to wear shorts.

‘Uh… no,’ I grunted. I was paying a lot of money for this.
‘No problem,’ she said cheerfully. ‘You can wear our office pair.’

Hanging up on the back of the door was their ancient Strangers’ shorts. And worse still, they were tiny.
‘Take your clothes off, and pop these on. I'll wait outside.’

I tugged at the waistband as she walked out of the room. The damn things were too tight for anorexic teen models.

I got undressed and forced my legs in. Now if there’s one upside to winter, it’s that we all get to wear lots of lovely clothes that conceal layer upon layer of thick, blubbery flesh. In fact, I’d even begun forming the impression that I was looking pretty damn slim.

In the harsh light of that room though, as I stared into their mirror wearing their small lycra kecks, I began to panic. ‘Muffin-top’ doesn’t quite paint the right picture. Imagine if you will a burlap sack swollen with faeces and pig entrails. Then sling a rope around the middle and get a tug-o’-war team to tighten the fucker with all their might until it bulges in all corners, ready to explode a sickening mess of shit and guts all over the floor.

I looked worse. My stomach roared angrily over the top as my love handles spilled over the elastic like a freshly hung corpse. I turned to one side and craned my head to the mirror; I even had a fat back. Gone was the manly physique I thought I saw each morning in the bathroom, replaced by a whale with tits in a schoolgirl’s slip.

This vision repelled me, more so now that I had to invite a young lady in to witness the abomination. As she stepped back into the room a model of professionalism - remaining pokerfaced while her nervous eyes screamed in terror - it occurred to me that I had never stood semi-naked with a women I wasn't about to penetrate. Under those rare conditions I'm normally pretty confident as by that point, any nagging doubts and constant self-loathing are about to be eradicated with sex.

But this was worse. This was a simple judging by a healthy, slim woman. I tried not to think of her sipping carrot juice with her girlfriends later that evening, regaling them with stories of the fat bastard she had to touch earlier in the day.
She instructed me to lie on a board. This destroyed the remaining shred of dignity I had, trying in vain to suck in my distended gut as gravity pulled the fucker to earth, praying that the hideous sidefolds weren't visible as I struggled to position myself.

‘Why would anyone become a physio?’ I pondered as she grabbed hold of a fat ankle and brought my foot up to her nose.

‘Uh, sorry about the socks,’ I mumbled. She didn't reply.

‘Now turn around, sit on your knees, and stretch your body forward.’ It took me several attempts to work out what she meant as, throughout the debasement, I did my utmost to prevent my nipples from scraping along the floor.

‘How does that feel?’ she asked as I was forced into a vulnerable position of supplication, my vast arse protruding into the air.

Eventually, I lay on my stomach to get violently massaged. This wasn't unduly unpleasant, although I was aware that I was making noises that sounded spookily like the last time I had sex back in 1762. I was also aware that those aforementioned lovehandles were possibly spilling over the side of the board, but as I had my face buried in a hole at the front, I remained contentedly unaware.

Eventually, it was over and I was £45 lighter. I wouldn’t mind nearly as much if any of that had worked, but I’m still in pain.

Oh well.

I'd cycle to work tomorrow, but I've just looked out of the window. SHIT - it's been snowing all day and I hadn't even noticed. I'll have to leave the house at 5am as I fully expect all public transportation in Britain to grind to a halt.



Coming soon: Almost very nearly messing around with a lady only to walk home alone for three hours instead.