Saturday, 18 February 2017

Alternative Career: Sandwich Van Operative...

Pros: Back in the days when I worked in an office, there were often times when the general malaise could only be broken by the jolly toot-toot of the sandwich van's horn as it pulled up outside - a sound not unlike that of a nuclear fallout alarm and one which had a similar effect: upon hearing said sound, someone (usually a chubby knacker such as self) would inevitably shout, ‘SAAAAANDWICH VAN!’ as though their lives had been saved at the eleventh hour or they’ve just won a tenner at bingo. Or something. Whatever.

Everyone would then abandon the good ship work and hot-foot it to the van, exclaiming, ‘last one there gets the warm black cherry yoghurt,’ or, ‘bagsy I get the last tuna and onion baguette,’ or in my case, ‘get the fuck out of my fucking way you fucking fat fucker.’ A commotion would then occur as people scrambled for their favourite tasty treat. Think Black Friday sales where people stab each other and stamp on pensioners in Asda over a cheap telly or a sweaty bag of onions. Double it. Even then, you're nowhere the chaos that the Sandwich Van's wares inspire.

That jolly toot-toot brings out the very best and the very worst in people, trust me.

There’s also been many a time when I’ve felt envious of said Sarnie Van Driver. Rather than return to the coal face with my warm can of Diet Coke and my tepid black cherry yoghurt, I’ve wanted to hop into the van and pootle around office car parks myself, bringing a wealth of smiles, calorific treats and an unspoken nur nur ne nur nur because I haven’t got to go back into an office and listen to people eat crisps and suck their fingers like the rotten heathens that they probably are. Just think: all those sweaty cheese rolls at my disposal. More Kit Kat Chunkies than you can shake a stick at. The open road. As much Magic FM as I can handle. Helping the nation get their five a day and a soggy biscuit on the side that I would serve with a knowing wink. I’d be giving back. Making a difference. I’d be my own boss. My own comestible-related empire. And I’d call it something childlishly suggestive like Baps Out.

Cons: I’m not great at mental maths, so I’d probably charge one person four pounds and six shillings for a packet of ready salted crisps and another person three new pence for a veritable schmorgasboard that could satisfy the appetites of a family called Porky-Drawers. Oh well. Also, where do I get a special van from? Or could I just chuck everything in a cool bag and serve people out of the back of my lovely little car? Of course I could. Hmmm, but what about my arteries? Surely they’re gonna take a hammering, as will my profit margin. Putting me in charge of food is a bit like giving cherries to pigs.

Chances: When can I start? Oink!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

10 Signs That I am Getting Older...

1. Youth-speak. Ridiculous, amusing and terrifying in equal measure. This week a ten year old sucked his teeth and said to me, ‘Innit that Big Sean is sick?’
'Is Sean your friend?' I asked. 'Sorry to hear that he's poorly. Has he got this cough that's been doing the rounds? Tell him to get his mum to buy him some Benylin.'

My concern was met with a face full of sneering guffaws as my obvious ancientness was cruelly exposed: it turns out that this Big Sean chap is a rapper. And he's not ill either: sick means cool apparently. How distasteful. How wrong. How SICK. Proper sick! Ill-sick! Get them all to boot camp and teach them slang that doesn’t give me rectal itching, if you please.

2. Youth attire. Pull your fucking trousers up or at least wear some nicer underpants. Why would you wear your britches around your ankles? Surely it must be like running the three legged race by yourself? And that’s just STUPID. And if they're not wearing their jeans halfway down their legs, they're wearing 'skinny fit' jeans, which is also an abomination if they're a bloke. IT DOES NOT LOOK GOOD. I'm all up for equal everything, but I draw the line at leggings, which is what they look like.

3. I have just reviewed the Top 40. I can hum ONE song. And that’s the Little Mix song, which I know because I am a rubbish gay. The rest is just noise. NOISE, I tell you. So much shouting over a tune-free backing. What on earth has happened to the HIT PARADE? And this Drake fellow that everyone goes on about? I'm not sure I get it? He sounds like a Darlek after a few tequilas.

4. Technology has left me behind. My touch screen phone is that complicated that answering the phone is stressful enough to induce a minor stroke. It does things that I don’t want it to. Eg. It tells me the weather when all I want to do is text someone. Or I’ll be on the phone (to Help the Aged, most probably) and it will decide to put me on hold and then dial someone else. The only way I can remedy the problem is by turning everything off, removing the battery (whilst sweating profusely and swearing like a navvy) and then turning it all back on several hours later when I’ve got my breath back… I yearn for simpler times. Yoghurt pots connected with cotton. Carrier pigeons. Ice pops. Rationing. Crisp sandwiches. My Aunty Eileen’s jam tarts that taste of sawdust and induce an asthma attack even if you don’t have asthma. A Ten pence mix that now seems dangerously unhygienic on reflection… Hmmm.

5. I make the old man sound when I sit down. You know the one: one part death rattle, one part mediocre orgasm, one part wet fart, two parts creaking yelp.

6. The realisation that I’ve been alive in five decades… 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s. Fuck and bugger. I bought my first record (There Must Be An Angel Playing With My Heart) thirty two years ago… I can feel the buzzards circling above, I swear…

7. I MUCH prefer Radio 2 and LBC to Radio One and Capital, which just broadcast SHOUTY NOISE. And I secretly love a bit of Magic FM.

8. The idea of going clubbing makes me itch. And not in a good way… All that DUFF-DUFF-DUFF rubbish (by Big Sean or Drake, most probably.) You can’t hear what people are saying to you. And I quite like being in bed at a reasonable hour.

9. My middle age spread has come early. Nothing to do with being greedy. Nothing at all. Uh uh. No way, etc. My thyroid is perhaps shagged. Or is my prostate? Or is due to damp weather?

10. Incontinence. Oh.

Does anyone have the telephone number for Dr. Euthanasia?

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Some Thoroughly Fascinating Facts...

Celebrity Crush: Honestly, I can’t believe that you’re asking me such a trivial question, given the RUINATION that surrounds us: a terracotta fuckwit has just been elected as the 45th President of America while Britain has gone rogue from the rest of Europe. China and Russia can’t be trusted; Africa remains peckish after all these years and the Middle East continues to burn - as do my loins for TOM HARDY, so there you go. Tom Hardy all the way. Are you watching that Taboo programme that he’s in? I am. I think it’s good, although a) I’m not sure I fully understand what’s going off and b) I wish Tom would get his tits out. For the lads, like.

Height: According to science (ie. the tape measure) I’m 5 feet 11 inches. According to my Dad: 6ft. He cannot bare the fact that I am the only male offspring that has failed to hit the magic 6ft, even with a back-combed bouffant. The fact that I also developed a penchant for all things poofery didn’t really go in my favour either. Either way, I blame the parents.   

Favourite food: I try and eat my five a day and drink two litres of water, but it’s hard. It’s just a shame that the five a day pertains to fruit and veg and not slices of stuffed crust pizza - which is my artery-threatening weapon of choice. I love pizza, but once upon a time I ordered a family sized affair from Dominoes and wolfed it down in a time that could’ve got me into the Guinness Book of Records for the Recently Type 2 Diabetic. Then I thought it would be a good idea to look up the amount of calories I’d just consumed. Turns out it was 2,400 - ie. more than my daily recommended limit. The thing is, I’d already been particularly gutsy that day: I’d had a big breakfast, a solid lunch and had various snacks in between. So, full of shame and self loathing, I turned to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for solace. And then I looked up the calories in that and it turns out that I’d just inhaled a further 1000. At this point, I became consumed by despair, so I opened a bottle of wine and chugged an additional 600 calories. I mean, the damage was done by that point, no?

Favourite song: According to my iTunes statistics - and this will come as a HUGE SURPRISE to you, I know - but the song Rebel Heart by Madge (peace be upon her) sits at the pinnacle of my most played songs and deservedly so. It was like I wrote it myself. In terms of non-Madge songs, George Michael’s You Have Been Loved moves me to tears when I’m feeling especially melodramatic. A regular occurrence, if you're wondering. I also love Kalinka (look it up, bitches) by the Red Army Choir because it reminds me of being a kid and watching my Dad sing the lead tenor's part.

Favourite singer: Again, I am going to simply refer to my iTunes Top 25 most played. Madge occupies 24 of those slots. I might make her an award out of Kit Kat foil or something. Or just give her a Kit Kat. I'm sure you're all shocked to your very foundations (a bit like Kylie, eh?)

3 facts about me:
  1. I’m pretty easy going and chilled out apart from when people add sound effects to their food. Then I’ll happily cut a bitch.
  2. I don’t like touching public door handles. Dirty! The same goes for petrol pumps and debit card key pads. Hurrah for contactless payment and hand sanitizer. It’s always heart-breaking when the machine insists I insert my card. And a bit rude; like it thinks I might be a thief or summat.
  3. I once got mistaken for a rent boy outside of Leicester Square tube station. Not only was the punter RANCID but I ended up apologising to HIM for turning his business down. That probably sums me up in a nutshell.
  4. Okay, I know it says three facts and here I am, giving you a fourth, but I think my house might be haunted. The calendar has just thrown itself off the wall right before my very eyes. Mother? Is that you?!

What song did you last listen to? Erm, Let It Go by Idina Menzel, if you must know. The cold never bothered me anyway! Actually, that’s a lie: the cold really pissed me off this morning when I had to scrape the ice off my car at 7am. And why is it that cans of de-icer are impossibly cold to the extent where holding them gives you frostbite? Answer me that.

Monday, 6 February 2017

The Pickles We Find Ourselves In...

There’s no easy way to say it: I am a clumsy bastard. And when I say clumsy, I’m talking about an all-encompassing awkwardness that rules both body and mind; one that pre-disposes me to bad decisions and accidents aplenty. My clumsiness has got me into all manner of pickles over the years. As my Grandma (who, strangely, bore an uncanny resemblance to Bungle of Rainbow infamy - may she rest in peace, etc) used to say, while offering a particularly withering look, ‘You’re all thumbs, you. Fetch me the dustpan and brush…’

I have scars, broken bones and a permanent ache in my right shoulder thanks to years of relentless blundering. I’m talented at spilling stuff and dropping food down my top, especially when I’m in posh surroundings and wearing white. I’ve lost count of the number of canteen medals that I’ve acquired. I can crash cars really easily. I am able to fall over at the drop of a hat. I once accidentally threw myself down not one, but two, flights of concrete stairs in a single attempt. I even cleared the landing that connected the two. Oh, and then I tried to get up using my arm that was broken and dislocated as a result of aforementioned fall, which meant that I performed a perfect face-plant, knocking myself out and ripping my chin open in the process. And yes, of course I was drunk. Good job, really. It would’ve been mortifying to have done it sober.

Not many years pass where I don’t encounter stitches, bandages, whiplash or cracked ribs. To be honest, I think I’m ready for my post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis. Please send the appropriate drugs and funding when you have a minute. Thanks.

I’m also top notch at making clumsy choices that seem a good idea at the time, but ultimately propel me into strange situations. It doesn’t help that I’m a magnet for social freaks and misfits. If there’s a nutter in the house, you can bet your last biscuit that he or she will seek me out. I should wear a t-shirt that says: Are you weird or of disputatious character? Are you a pervert or just plain odd? Does your hair grow in inconvenient places? And do you carry with you a faint whiff of TCP and desperation? If so, call me. I’ll probably fucking marry you. And I’ll end up paying for the ‘pleasure’ too.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve got myself into inexplicable situations. A while back I went out into Soho and ended up missing the last train. I didn’t have the money to get a cab home so I went to a late bar where I bumped into some old friends who were on their way to a nightclub and invited me along. Everything was fine until we got there and the club turned out to be a gay sauna. I freaked out a tad, but my mate reassured me that I didn’t have to have any random rumpo and that there were places you could go and sleep until the trains started again. I shouldn’t have worried about feeling obliged to shag strange strangers: no one showed an iota of interest, but this might have had something to do with the fact that I refused to take my comedy pants off and I wore my towel under my armpits like I was Victoria Beckham in her Spice Girls days - only because it wouldn’t go around my waist. It was roughly the size of a tea towel and at the time, I was roughly the size of a house. Anyway, I found what I thought was the sleeping quarters, pulled my pants up to my man boobs, wrapped the towel around my head like an Eastern European Big Issue seller and got my head down.

The next thing you know, I was being shaken awake by a man who was complaining about my farm yard machinery-esque snoring. My apparent sleep apnoea was putting him off his cheeky blow job. It also transpired that my olympic snoring was providing the sonic backdrop to what can only be described as a fifty man orgy. All I could see was a plethora of knobs and knackers flying every which way as people merrily did each other. I, meanwhile, clutched my pearls and let out a semi-manly yelp as I scuttled away from the fuck-fest and straight into a dark room where I slipped on a spent condom and flew, feet first, into a heaving mass of humping homos. I got myself to my feet, apologised and fled while wailing like a wronged banshee. When I finally got home, hours later - reeking of stale booze and shame - I wept.

On other nights out, I’ve been mistaken for being a rent boy; I’ve been befriended by gangster dwarves called KitKat and I’ve ended up in illegal clubs, just because it seemed like a good idea at the time. I once found myself in the middle of a Sri Lankan gang fight and ‘ooooh’ and ‘aaaah’d’ as one bloke swatted at his enemy with a machete. I’ve had my drink spiked and hallucinated all the way home. I’ve thrown up over lots of people at the same time. My best chum and I have have driven to France twice. The first time saw us cast asunder when the car (and all our belongings) blew up after less than twenty four hours. The second time was for a booze cruise. Except that it turned out that France was shut that weekend due to a religious festival, so all we came home with was a bad mood, a Toblerone and mild food poisoning. Speaking of which, I have managed to shit myself while wearing a onesie in Prague and have had to sit in my own swill from Czechoslovakia to Nottingham. I have been chased through foreign restaurants by angry cleaners for reasons unknown. As a student, I thought it would be a good idea to dye my hair purple (with a wash in, wash out thingy) and then go out. At first, my head simply resembled the glans of a huge penis, but then it rained and as the dye ran down my head, it looked as though someone had taken an axe to my bonce. People actually screamed when they saw me. Rude!

Anyone fancy a night out?
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