Sunday, May 31, 2009

EMBARRASSING MEMORIES CLIP SHOW

You know that feeling of disappointment you get when you tune in to a TV show only to find the lazy bastards have cobbled together old clips to fill up their schedule?
Welcome to the blog version:


One day...

16 ~ ...I'd formed the unsettling thought that I'd exposed myself in public. I let this gnawing feeling fade into insignificance until a year or so later when, apropos of nothing, Hippy Dave casually informed me of the time he'd been sitting in the kitchen whereupon I'd run in, dropped my jeans and waved my genitalia about, yelling 'Waheey, it's my penis!'
I then went into my bedroom and passed out.
His girlfriend may or may not have been in the room at the time. I was too drunk to notice.

15 ~ ... I fell down the stairs, crashed through a pair of doors, and into a crowded nightclub.

14 ~ ...I needed to record some background ambiance for this radio play I had to do as a student. So I found this legal lecture and, not wanting to walk in and interrupt them, I opened the door slightly and stuck the microphone in. Sadly, the whole theatre could see me through the glass door and were kind enough to point me out to the lecturer. She flung the door open and yelled, 'What the hell do you think you're doing?', at which point I realised how suspicious I looked, so I ran off. The lecturer caught up with me and in the struggle, she snapped my necklace. I was told to write a letter of apology to her.

13 ~ ... at University, my family had come down to take me out to lunch. I obliged, even though I'd only just tasted independence and felt conspicuously awkward having to relinquish a bit of it. Back at my flat, and with four surly flatmates trying to watch TV, my Mum departed by yelling 'Goodbye my little Honey-Bunny!'
The mocking I got from one flatmate in particular became downright hostile.

12 ~ ... I took the afternoon off work.
Travelled to South London.
Went to an audition.
Removed most of my clothes.
Stood in the corner of a room and was filmed as I turned 360° on the spot, and said in a loud voice "I am Boris Becker."
Felt very dirty.
Went home.

I didn't get the lookalike's job.

11 ~ ... at a job interview many summers ago. I had gained a tremendous amount of weight and looked like a prize-winning pumpkin with tits. The company specialised in sports programmes, so I thought it would be fine if I turned up in a polo shirt, tracksuit bottoms and a pair of trainers. My twisted logic reasoned that if they saw I hadn't got dressed up for the interview, they'd think I was really good at my job.
I sealed my fate on two dumber counts. One was asking for a fan to be blasted at my fat head throughout the interview. The other was when I was asked, 'It gets very demanding here. How do you cope with difficult people?'
I began my response with, 'Ha! Well I've worked with some real wankers.'
I didn't get that job either.

10 ~ ... I urinated with colossal shame and self-loathing in one of the quieter walkways at Tottenham Court Road tube station. Looking up, I spotted a CCTV camera pointed right at me.

9 ~ ... I met up with an old schoolfriend I hadn't seen in 20 years, and got added to his round-robin emails. A few days later, I received an email from him which prompted a flurry of further emails as people I didn't know 'Replied to All'. For some reason, I wrote back 'If you don't take me off this list immediately, I will bombard you all with hardcore animal pornography.'
This was taken seriously by everyone, including my old friend's Auntie who emailed me privately to call me sick and depraved. Others wrote to tell me I would be reported to the police.
Needless to say, that was the last contact I ever had with that old schoolfriend.

8 ~ ...I woke up one Saturday, grunted 'Fuck' at nothing in particular, and jutted my backside over the edge of the bed to ferociously break wind. Then I coughed the phlegm loose from my throat and scratched my arse.
Closing my eyes to return to sleep, I suddenly remembered that I hadn't gone to bed alone the night before.
I peered over the edge of the midget-sized mattress. Trying to sleep on the floor below lay my then-girlfriend. I'd farted into her face.

7 ~ ... I drunkenly bought cocaine off a street dealer. When I got home, I opened the wrap to discover I'd spent £50 on half a polo mint.
It wasn't even a whole one.

6 ~ ... I was sat outside a pub one gorgeous summer's afternoon, when a passer-by stopped dead in her tracks.
'It's you, isn't it?'
'Erm, yes?'
'What are you doing here?'
'Look, I know who you think I am, but I'm not.'
'Yes you are.'
'No I'm not. Do I sound even remotely German?'
'Can I have your autograph?'
'No.'

5 ~ ... as a teenager, I spotted a fox in our garden. So naturally I called the police.
That copper's voice, a mixture of incredulity and disgust at wasting his time, still makes me cringe with shame even now.

4 ~ ... at a busy production office at the BBC, I was waiting to speak to a middle-aged researcher with her back to me, engrossed in a conversation with someone else. I remembered my Dad's old gag of gently kicking the back of my knee so my leg would give way, causing me to turn around and laugh heartily.
'You got me there, Dad!' I'd giggle in those glorious sunny days of my youth.
And in a moment of madness, I thought I'd do likewise to the lady I was waiting for, a bit of joviality to keep our spirits up during the working slog.
So I kicked her leg.
For no reason.
And quite hard, it transpired.
'WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?' she screamed after her leg had buckled so violently she almost collapsed.
'Erm...?'
'HOW FUCKING DARE YOU!' she spat, silencing three open plan offices.
'But...'
'HE KICKED ME!' she told a sea of aghast faces.
There are some things that cannot be lightheartedly explained away no matter how much you try. This was one of them.

3 ~ ... on a Friday night, I was racing to get the last tube home. Getting to platform level, I spotted a tube with its doors open, and ran for it. I hate to say 'the next thing I know', but the next thing I know, I'm lying on the floor, screaming. My left leg didn't 'mind the gap' and dangled under the train alongside all the rats and flesh-eating mechanics, while my left buttock sat on the platform.
Not only was it the wrong train, but I'd ripped my jeans in the process.

2 ~ ... I was sat in my room having a perfunctory wank to some pornography. As soon as the filthy act of self-abasement was over and I had deposited my issue into a paper receptacle, I switched off the television and sighed. It was then that the dark screen caught the reflection of the window cleaner doing his job directly behind me.

1 ~ ... I was on holiday in Prague. It was extremely pleasant, other than the fact that as a single man abroad, I failed to pull anyone. The nearest I got to female contact was in a bar near the Kafka museum. I sat there feeling slightly sheepish while a cute barmaid chainsmoked, looking all blonde and modelesque while she stole glances.

"Is she keen?" I dared to wonder as she asked faintly probing little questions about myself. Could I possibly, and for the first time in my life, be about to indulge in a brief if physically intense classic Holiday Romance™? I thought it best to smile and play it cool, pop into the bathroom to freshen myself a little more confident, and see where things lead.

It lead to the toilet, where I found myself producing a stool of such immense girth and length that several flushes couldn't budge it. Continued attempts would've flooded the room, so I'd ended up balancing a now shitty brush on the edge of the seat and walking out in shame.

More grotesque memories can be found here:

9 ~ Please Don't Make Me Get Toyah

8 ~ Glass-Hole

7 ~ Wanker's Revenge

6 ~ Unnecessary List of Exes and Fumbles

5 ~ NSFW vs. No Sex

4 ~ Physi-Oh

3 ~ Disgusting Individual

2 ~ How Not To Have Sex

1 ~ How To Remain Single

Friday, May 29, 2009

Embarrassing Memory #12: Embarrassing Memory Compendium III

Warning: Doesn't so much include embarrassing memories than dull things I've never mentioned before. I've admitted to just about everything I can think of already.
Apart from that murder. I'm never talking about that.

1 ~ I was once in a furiously hot bar where the bouncers would, with menaces, slam shut the windows we kept opening. The heat eventually got to me and I demanded to see the manager where I pretended to be from the Health and Safety Executive so I could hurl abuse at him. It took me about 30 seconds to be overwhelmed with guilt as he stuttered and sweated his apologies because he was also under orders from the council to keep the noise down.

Actually, that's a pretty lame story. Sorry.

2 ~ I wear a stud in my left ear. Have done for nearly, uh, 20 years.
Jesus.

3 ~ I once auditioned to be the Milky Bar Kid on my mother's insistence. I was 28 about seven.

4 ~ I am known to apply talcum powder to my crevices post-shower, to speed up the drying process and smell slightly clean and perfumey. There. I said it.

5 ~ I used to collect comics. My oldest one is from 1899 and phenomenally racist. They are now rotting away to a brown mulch somewhere near Watford.

6 ~ I was once many years ago sat in my room having a perfunctory wank to some pornography. As soon as the filthy act of self-abasement was over and I had deposited my issue into a paper receptacle, I switched off the television and sighed. It was then that the dark screen caught the reflection of the window cleaner doing his job directly behind me.

7 ~ My Mother recently wrote an angry letter to the Daily Mail. She wanted to vent her anger over what rotters Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross are.

I am related to this woman.

8 ~ I used to know Matt Lucas in the briefest and most tenuous of ways when I was younger. His Dad and my Dad were acquaintances. I would've talked to him more when we were shoved together, but he was bald and I was 12 and judgemental.

9 ~ I was, a few months back, on holiday in Prague. It was extremely pleasant, other than the fact that as a single man abroad, I failed to pull a lady. Having said that, the nearest I got to female contact was in a bar near the Kafka museum. I sat there feeling slightly sheepish while she chainsmoked, looking all blonde and modelesque and stealing glances.

"Is she keen?" I dared to wonder as she asked faintly probing little questions about myself. Could I possibly, and for the first time in my life, be about to indulge in a brief if physically intense classic Holiday Romance™? I thought it best to smile and play it cool, pop into the bathroom to freshen myself a little more confident, and see where things lead.

It lead to the toilet, where I found myself producing a stool of such immense girth and length that several flushes couldn't budge it. Continued attempts would've flooded the room, so I'd ended up balancing a now shitty brush on the edge of the seat and walking out in shame.

For some reason, I was no longer in the mood to chat.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Deja Blue

Pfft. Bunch of arse.

Life's what you make it, warbled Talk Talk 23 years ago (has it really been that long??)

If that's true, mine's a gleaming castle of shit overlooking a vast land of promise and plenty; a territory of hope that's been pretty much ruined by that fecal fortress on the hill.

I have just had four days off work, my weekend extending into the Monday and Tuesday just gone. My boss initially gave me the Friday off for running his company for two weeks solo, but he changed his mind on Thursday night, raising my morale then shitting on it by telling me at the eleventh hour to come in that last morning.

So I went to work on Friday, reassuring myself that it'll be a fun half day until my boss comes back from his meeting and I get to go home early. But the morning descended into a chaos of ringing phones and aggressive cuntstomers who all gave me new shit to do which added to my pile of much older stuff I didn't get to clear. Then it turned midday, then 1, then finally 4:30pm when my boss eventually arrived and I ended up staying til gone 6pm on my 'day off' anyway.

But then I got my glorious break; four days all to myself to tidy up my shit, grab a coffee and wander around my local park, and write, write, write my novel complete. And what did I do instead?

I watched Annie Hall and Life of Brian and this cunt on Youtube instead, whilst playing Spider fucking Solitaire and chainsmoking. Sometimes, for a change of pace, I would masturbate to pornography at 2pm. And in those 96 hours at home, I managed to write not a single, solitary word.

When I did go out, it was to the supermarket where I avoided the gaze of other patrons lest they saw my basket of shame; one of enormous bags of crisps, yellow junk, and chocolate bourbons next to a supersized box of Kleenex and absolutely no fruit. Then I would return home to dislocate my jaw like a snake and slowly devour pizzas without chewing.

I never thought it would come to this; 35, and living the life of a sad old widower about forty years too soon.

On the plus side, I am back in regular email correspondence with my lovely ex-girlfriend from New York. On the downside, she's in New York, which was why we'd split up in the first place. My only female contact on Earth therefore contains pick-me-ups such as: "You do not have a pathetic existence. You live close to a fun little organic market, and you have light eyebrows."

As for my health, the ringing in my ears is beginning to deafen me. I've always had it, but it's getting ridiculous. Right now it sounds like my own personal fire alarm hissing in my head. I'm also noticing the cirrhosis rash I've had on my elbows and knees since, oh, forever, which has never bothered me or caused me any undue concern, is now getting bored and starting to move up and along my arms and legs.

So that's fun.

All I want is to fulfil the future I can see in my mind's eye. My novel is finished. I don't care if it's a success or even published. I just want it done. I'm also finishing the London Marathon for some reason and, of course, I no longer smoke. I'm fit, healthy, sexy, and I no longer eat food that's shrink-wrapped and takes twenty minutes to 'cook' at 200°C.

Oh, and I have a girlfriend and zero negative vibes running through my brain as if it's a Disneyland for demons.
Plus my own house.
And a well-paid job I enjoy.

And while I think about it, a donkey's schlong, but that's not really achievable.
Speaking of penis related matters, my friends were impressed with the new suit I'd bought for Jim and Lisa's wedding. It's apparently a great improvement on my old beige suit which, I was told, had become so tight around my nether regions, everyone could tell what my religion is.

So this is what it's like to be 35. Sucky. A few days after my birthday, I'd invited a whole bunch of friends to meet me in a pub for Friday birthday beers. I chose a different pub, somewhere vaguely equidistant we could all get to. And after an hour there, well into the merry zone, I was tapped on the shoulder by 'Jon'.

I hadn't seen Jon for 14 years. He had been on my course at University, and the pub I had picked happened to be his local. Jon hadn't changed, apart from some wrinkles around his eyes, but he was the same nerd I remembered from before. He works in movie post-production now, a line I'd still be in had I not kicked that soulless, ego driven industry to the kerb. I sold bags now, I told him - not Prada or Gucci ones mind you, but ones made of paper or plastic. (We do jute, too.) I told Jon this with pride. After all, I remember - indeed, I told him - how studious and bookish he had been way back when, and today, he was reaping the rewards. This admission may have been borne out of guilt too, as we weren't really friends at Uni, possibly because he was such a nerd. I wasn't exactly 'the jock' type, but I was certainly the course joker more interested in raving and misbehaving than revising.

To hell with pride, I thought, Jon deserves this. He still seemed rather shy and withdrawn, so I listened with interest as he told me about his current projects. He told me he was still single, so I boosted his ego by telling him I was too, and furthermore, he had a better job. Then he fidgeted and his phone rang, and he seemed eager to find his friends. So I wound up our meeting, and hugged him. I continued to congratulate him on his single-mindedness over the years, and the sweet fruit it was bearing now. Then his friends arrived, and we all shook hands as I bade Jon a hearty farewell, two strangers who had remembered one another's faces, about to go our separate ways again.

'Take care Jon, and congratulations on everything,' I said as I walked off, feeling a strange warmth for humanity for once.

'Yeah,' he yelled back. 'Keep on selling those bags!'

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Party Political Broadcast

For anyone considering the upcoming European Parliamentary Elections on Thursday June 4th, (as I wasn't), please bear in mind the following...

I was handed a leaflet a few days ago, from a man yelling 'Stop the BNP'. I was intrigued, so I took one.

I would've preferred it if he smiled or said 'thanks', as opposed to staring blankly at me because I look like a stocky, short-haired thug, but then I'm a paranoid conclusion-jumper.

So I read the leaflet and became somewhat worried as I was only vaguely aware of this election and didn't prioritise it as much as I would the General Election. They, on the other hand, are sacrosanct. If you can't be bothered to vote in major parliamentary elections but you call the X-Factor hotline to nominate some middle-aged Scottish singer, then you deserve to die.

Anyhoo, what bothered me about this leaflet, and why I'm writing this, is that the British National Party, our very own fascist scum play-acting as politicians in suits, could win seats with as little as 8.5% of the vote in some regions.

Our apathy could get them in.

Having a BNP Member of the European Parliament won't just make Britain look like an intolerant rabble of racist gutfucks, it'll also give the BNP credibility, not to mention a quarter of a million pounds in public money for each elected official to spend as they see fit.

So do your best to get out and vote on June 4th (unless you intend to vote BNP, in which case, the election's on the 5th). More details can be found here. Hope Not Hate is here.
Ex-Pats (called Haggis); I'm sure you can vote from Brookline.

Apologies for this rare foray into politics. Coming soon: Being humiliated on my birthday, plus all the regular bitter introspection, and the weather.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Jim & Lisa Wed and I Turn 35

So that's Jim and Lisa's wedding in the bag. If I was nervous having to perform Best Man duties and make a speech, then it was just as nerve-wracking for Jimmy, although he had the added benefit of marrying his one true love and having the rest of his life sorted out.

I had a ringside seat during the ceremony, positioned as I was within punching distance of the groom's shoulder. It was a far cry from my last stint as Best Man, where the ring carrying duties were carried out by that groom's nephew. In frantically arranging people into their seats, I soon realised that one wasn't set aside for me so I'd spent it at the back of the hall where I couldn't hear so much as a single vow, and where my mobile phone went off.
Which strangely means it went on.

This time round, I was confronted with a scene that - dare I say it - made my eyes leak a strange, colourless liquid. I'm afraid my cynicism got lost in the shared joy of the Bride and Groom, two people who grinned continuously at each other like lottery winners getting a Happy Finish from a Thai masseuse.

I found myself muttering 'Erk!' as tears appeared in my eyes when Jimmy, a man not known for his Public Displays of Affection, planted a smacker on his new wife's lips. In public. Twice. (The photographer missed the first one.) Such is Jim's general reluctance with romance-based continental peacocking, I half expected him to have altered the wording to "...You may now shake hands with the Bride and pat her on the back."

The only downer came when the Registrar asked me at a pivotal point to run to the back of the room where hired musicians were playing Elgar's solemn Nimrod, so I could tell them to shut up.

I've never had to silence a string quartet before.

Once the meal was over, I found myself as impromptu toastmaster, hushing the room by thumping the table with a spoon and announcing the speakers. Hindsight's a bugger of course, and it is only now as I commit my memory to blog, that I wish I gave my friend the groom a better introduction than three loud smacks with a spoon, followed by pointing at him and saying, 'Jim', before sitting down hastily. An audience, I know now, need some kind of direction, and a glowing build-up that would have ended with rapturous applause would've eased his nerves, as opposed to the few claps that he did get, more out of shock at my lousy work than any general dislike he may provoke.

Jim got his own back with what felt like a twenty-minute introduction that ended with, '...and now for the greatest Best Man's speech ever given in public.'

What followed obviously wasn't. It doesn't help that my friend, the morally upright, clean-living, thoroughly decent bastard that he is, has virtually no classic Best Man speech material in him; no tales of debauchery, no hard boozing, zero loose women, barely any rock and roll. (It's more Indie, really). Ghandi has a more chequered past than he does.

I did have a nice story from the days when we all went clubbing, though. We were moshing about during Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' when Jamie decided to shoulder-barge into Jim. This action propelled him across the length of the dancefloor, past assorted clubbers and glass-collectors, and through the emergency exit, where he dropped like a stone into an oil patch in the street outside.

Several hours later, somehow incapable of being drunk, I found myself in the hotel bar with Large Northern Flatmate and Hippy Dave, being commanded to "buy a drink for the blonde with the massive bangers" in the corner. Sat not that far from us. Within earshot.

So I did.

She said 'No', and immediately went to bed.

Nonetheless, I am left with very happy memories of the wedding; Large Northern Flatmate blubbing as he told Natalie what a brilliant new mother she is, Haggis apologising for the twelfth time for emailing me a list of obvious speech Do's and Don'ts (Do make it funny; Don't call the bride a cunt, etc.), Jamie getting shat on by a bird with good judgement during our Sunday morning walk in the park.

Moreover, there was something Feelgood Movie about that whole wedding; something to do with old friends, a little wrinklier, a little balder, a lot fatter, our arms round each other as we yelled out songs about Chevys and levees and rye.

And now I'm Thirty-fucking-Five, and I have been for precisely two days. I spent my birthday with two work colleagues; one, a shaven-headed Norwegian with a penchant for minimalist techno, the other a new French Senegalese intern I'd met that morning. I found it rather nice that he wanted to stop drinking after just one ale. I therefore spent my birthday plying lager, stout and whiskey to a shy nineteen-year-old lad who didn't want to drink. Said drinks also caused me to stand up and yell at the disinterested pub, "I'M THIRTY-FIVE TODAY!!!"
No-one cared.
On the plus side, Edouard did say I looked 28, which greatly cheered me up.

I do wish he wouldn't start and end every day going up to every office member and shaking hands though. I don't have the heart to tell him that the British aren't that polite. We are however socially retarded, so I guess we'll all be shaking hands consistently for the next two months.