Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Oodles of Googles

I think we're all due a little light relief. So how's about some highlights of recent searches for this blog?

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself-well...how did I get here?

1. Victorian armpit hair

As we know, the Victorians loved their armpit hair. In fact, Queen Victoria used to amuse herself by seeing just how long hers would grow. The only time she ever smiled was when she was once mistaken for a yeti on a state visit to Tibet.

2. Bear in the window of a house on the beach in Walmer Deal

There aren't any actual houses on the beach at either Walmer or Deal. I seem to remember there is, however, a little fisherman's shack. Maybe this fisherman has a pet bear who sits in the shack watching Grizzly Adams DVDs, maybe peering out every now and again if the fisherman is late coming home.

3. Keith Allen eating chips

Not hard to find, you would have thought. The co-composer of Vindaloo, World In Motion and other songs produced to attempt to make the English feel good about themselves. If I was searching for this image I might type "Keith Allen stuffing his pug-ugly smug arsehole of a mouth full of lardy shite." But I'm not so I wouldn't.

4. Nick Rhodes erection

So much less common than Keith Allen eating chips. The last time Nick had a hard-on in public was at the 1983 recording session where he produced Kajagoogoo's Too Shy. For a laugh, Limahl and the two Nicks (Beggs and Rhodes) sprayed one of their many cans of hairspray down the front of their trousers. If you listen to the track closely you can hear laughter in the background of the chorus.

5. Man rude to Jeremy Kyle said he had big ears

In the words of Contains Mild Peril (as summarised by Google):-

What is the world coming to when a rude young man thinks he can push people...the people on the Jeremy Kyle Show. "You wait till I see him," said my aunt.

Did I really say that?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Jack's It

If you missed the first programme in Michael Cockerell's series Blair: The Inside Story, I'd recommend catching the rest of this history of our Tone's ten years in office. I'm sorry you missed the quote of the week, the following rubbish from Jack Straw concerning the death of the Princess of Our Hearts:-

People forget, almost ten years down the track, just what a national trauma it was for everybody. You'll remember the astonishing floral tributes: a great symbol of beauty in the future which was the idealised version of Princess Diana who'd been crushed to death in a rather seedy car crash in Paris.

First of all Jack, I don't forget what the reaction was like ten years ago. A lot of ordinary people were in shock. And a lot of ordinary people were like me and my friends: totally unaffected by the woman's death but extremely annoyed by the over the top reaction of the press and the falsity of our fresh faced young arse licking prime minister.

I do remember the floral tributes, though I only ever saw them on the telly. As far as "a great symbol of beauty in the future which was the idealised version of Princess Diana" goes, I'm sorry Jack but I don't understand what the bloody hell you're on about. You'd think a politician of your experience would be able to communicate with the public in a straightforward way but you're just not making sense, man.

And by calling the car crash "seedy" I think you're putting the blame on the evil paparazzi and the press's hunger for the exposure of every little bit of Diana's life, the press that drove her to her death. When in reality if the bloke driving her car hadn't been driving too fast on drink and drugs she may still be alive today living happily ever after at Mansion Al Fayed.

Peace, Jack

Friday, February 23, 2007

Union Jacked Up

Roger Black's Olympic Challenge
28 February 2007

In a landmark new series for BBC Radio 4, Olympic Silver medallist Roger Black takes on one of Britain's most urgent challenges - to get the nation's kids fit for the 2012 London Olympics.

Roger calls in the Army to help him prepare his class for their first ever inter-school sports competition.

So Jamie Oliver's got our kids healthy, now good old Roger Black's on the scene to get them all fit enough to take part in the bloody 2012 Olympics.

Of course it really is a fucking "urgent challenge" to get Britain's kids fit for the Olympics. And where better to monitor their progress but on a Radio 4 programme. Let's face it, all kids listen to Radio 4.

Since retiring from his "job" as an athlete, Roger has worked as a BBC athletics know-it-all and is apparently an accomplished motivational speaker and conference host. In this morning's preview to the programme, Roger said he wants to teach kids to lose as well as how to win.

Do kids really need to learn how to lose? Losing's all a lot of them know. Does losing a fucking stupid race to a naturally talented athlete make you understand what it's like to lose, say, a member of your family? The deaths and rejections of loved-ones are all part of losing, Roger. Can you really say your stupid races are lessons in how to deal with these losses?

You have to be born a certain way to be an athlete. You can't learn how to have the right lungs or physique. Roger has done very well because he's a natural fast runner with the gift of the gab. Well, well done, Roger. Jolly good for you! But just what will you be able to motivate the kids to do? Run and lose? Great, yeah, a great lesson for life, there. They knew they were going to lose anyway!

I wish I was a kid again and you were trying to motivate me with your ridiculous Army back up. Is Prince Harry involved? Great example he is to the kids with his Nazi clothes and his SAS ring of steel around his puny royal body. You couldn't motivate me in a million years. I am one of the unmotivatable. So ner!

Sport is sport. That's it. If you're good at it, good luck to you. If you enjoy watching it, good luck to you. It is an escape from the thing we call life.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be...

The meme of the year so far, created by Tim Footman, this one dedicated to the Snowman himself. See if you can spot the dedication...

Seven Things I Have Wanted To Be:

1. Footballer. The new Bobby Moore. Except my mum sewed my number 6 on upside down.

2. Songwriter. Trouble was I could only write shitty cod reggae. I took a tape of mine to an independent record company. They said the lyrics needed some work. It would have been kinder to be crueller.

3. Writer. I've written since my early 20s, never completed anything except for a shite play.

4. Fitter.

5. Happier.

6. More Productive.

7. Comfortable.

Seven Things I Have Been:

1. Money collector for a football pools company.

2. Supermarket shelf stacker.

3. Drugs tester (greyhound piss).

4. Tote cashier (greyhound stadium).

5. Insurance clerk (bored out of my fucking brain for a month).

6. Auditor.

7. Bookkeeper.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Brucey Bonus (300th Post - Thank you all for reading, I don't deserve you)

I'm listening to Bruce, my hero in my late teens.

I didn't get to see Bruce until The River tour. He was tiny on that stage, up the other end of Wembley Arena. It might as well have been Fozzy Bear & The Sesame Street Band for all I could see and hear.

This was before Bruce pumped up his body and his sound. Before the air-punching Born in the USA. Before the American right saw a chance to muscle in on Bruce's new anthemic rock.

The Bruce songs of my youth are all about the working man. The blue collar worker who works damned hard at a shitty job and can only break free at night or at the weekend.

My life has never lived up to Bruce's songs. I'm definitely white collar and my weekends have never consisted of burning up/sweating it out on the streets or wild partying. I've always taken it as easy as Val Doonican or Perry Como.

In Bruce's song Independence Day, he's leaving his dad, breaking free from the family, making his own way in the world, away from the older man he resembled a little too much.

In my case, it wasn't me but my dad who upped sticks, took permanent leave from the family. I was left with his old responsibilities. I have never lived a Springsteen song. And I'm so grateful because if I had I'd now be divorced with five kids, a knackered old chevy and several broken dreams.

And bollocks to that for a game of soldiers.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Uncle Giles

A shameless promotion for the blog of a friend of the family.

Giles has started writing again after a traumatic few months. I tried to help him upgrade to New Blogger and I totally cocked it up, so here he is at his new address.

He is a very open emotional man who wears his heart on his sleeve so I wouldn't be surprised if he wins Post Of The Week sometime in the near future.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Selling Sausages By The Pound

The smell in Asda today is foul, although the smell in Asda today is not fowl but definitely porcine.

On special offer is the sausage apparently voted the country's best: the Porky White.

The woman speaking over the tannoy doesn't tell us who voted and which other brand of sausages were included in the shortlist of best English sausages. Was Porkinson's there? Or does Prince Charles have a special sausage in his Duchy range of organic good-for-you foods? Or were they just voted above plain old Wall's bangers?

Anyway, Porky Whites are the best. They just don't smell very nice. At Asda they are offering little portions of the PWs on sticks free of charge for Asda's hydrogenated fat saturated customers to sample. The portions look undercooked but they are being gobbled up. Most consumers return the sticks.

Whilst in Asda we buy some bog roll. We like the soft stuff as we have sensitive arses. In fact my arse has been known to weep in front of paticularly moving films.

This is our current bog roll of choice.

The reason I am none too impressed is because the hard looking little bastard on the packaging is apparently the new "MD" of the bog roll company. Apparently he will get back to you if you're in any way dissatisfied with your arse-wiping experience. I don't believe them. I can't see a psychopathic little shit like that manning the phones or dictating an apology to his secretary/mother. He's more likely to send his own shit wrapped in a paper nappy, recorded delivery to the poor sod whose arse was cut open by the shards of glass inserted in the bog roll by the same evil child.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Put On Your Dancin' Shoes

I've just looked at myself in the mirror and I didn't like what I saw. An accountant who dances like a social worker.

Where did that come from earlier today? Saying I was in a dancing mood and asking for emails? Post-Ikea stress disorder probably.

Still, the song I was dancing to is here and if you want to dance like a social worker I suggest you listen to it. It's off an album called The Rough Guide To Highlife which is well recommended although this is the only track including those 80s keyboards that wallys used to play like a guitar.

DJ Jazzy Geoff

So I'm halfway through my week off and what have I done?

1. I've been to Ikea to get a new table and chairs. I've sweated over flat packed wood to put together said table and chairs...

Oh yeah, when is 40mm not 40mm?
When it's 45mm, Ikea you silly meatballs.

2. I've visited the local recycling centre (tip) to dispose of the knackered old cheapo Argos table and chairs. Get away with you, cheap rubbish!

3. I've invited a man into the house and given him a deposit on new windows, door and patio doors.


Yes, I've been an adult. I hate being an adult on my days off. I don't like spending money on tables, chairs, windows and doors. I like spending money on CDs and DVDs. I am 15 and my pocket money doesn't stretch to furnishings, please Mummy surely this is yours and Daddy's responsibility.


At least the rest of the week is to be devoted to more fun pursuits. And first, in response to a very listenable 60s female French singers compilation my friend did for me, I've decided to return the favour: my first ever CD compilation for somebody else.

I'm confident it's going to work. I'm not confident that he'll like it but it's going to work for me and that's the best I can do. I know what he likes and what he doesn't like. But not what he might like. We've got a hell of a lot of music here and I'm going to try to make this as eclectic as I can. A real mish mash of musical styles. A cornucopia of groovy sounds.


I'm kidding myself, aren't I?



To celebrate me finishing the compilation CD for my friend I feel like dancing.

If anybody else wants to dance email me and I'll send you a track that makes me dance every time I put it on. Six minutes of dancing feet!

I'm a crazy guy!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Ballad Of The Boy With A One Track Blog

You turned on the computer
Your eyes and nose full of snot
Your toast strategically placed beside the mouse
Your jam it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror
As you watched yourself toss off
And all the girls dreamed that they'd be your partner
They'd be your partner, and

You're so vain
You probably think this blog is about you
You're so vain
I'll bet you think this blog is about you
Don't you? Don't you?

My writing several years ago
I remember was still naive
Well, you said that I'd make such pretty prose
With a 21st century Jeeves
But readers come and readers go
They don't give a stuff for me
I had some dreams once that they'd leave a comment
They'd leave a comment, and

You're so vain
You probably think this blog is about you
You're so vain
I'll bet you think this blog is about you
Don't you? Don't you?


Well, I hear you were in the Blog Awards
And of course you naturally won
With your blog about having it off non-stop
As if it were really fun
Well, your book's out now and you've got your fame
And your mug is on tv
On some shitty wanky arts show or Richard and Judy,
Richard and Judy, and

You're so vain
You probably think this blog is about you
You're so vain
I'll bet you think this blog is about you
Don't you? Don't you?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Rub a Dub

We are off to the local on Saturday to meet some old friends.

The local used to be a bikers' pub.

Now you're more likely to see golfers.

When we were regulars, a Lloyd Cole lookalike was, too.

Joining him in misery was his girlfriend, a Hazel O'Connor lookalike.

Last time we were there, a topless man was being thrown out just as we made our entrance.

But the pub's in the Good Beer Guide now. So we're expecting a more refined clientele.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Martyn Shivers

Murph's post about serendipity and how it's preferable to WOMAD old Peter Gabriel advising us on what we should be listening to made me think: what if I were looking for a new artist to listen to based on what I am currently listening to? I am currently listening to John Martyn.

I'd never sat down and listened to John Martyn until I saw his fantastic performance on the Old Grey Whistle test programme last month. Someone who I'd previously dismissed as an old folkie suddenly became essential. In the same way that I used to assume Elliott Smith was just another shit Americana bollocks artist when in fact he is not Americana at all, John Martyn is not really folk.

So I'm listeninng to John Martyn. Now what else might I like?

Let's consult bloggers' favourite music site, last.fm. Come on, last, give me something new.

On their similar artists' list (based on overall listening habits) there is a 100% chance I will like Fairport Convention. I don't actually mind them so I'll give them that one. But they're not new to me.

Mmm...Bert Jansch 99%, Roy Harper 94%. Maybe I should be growing a beard after all. Maybe I ought to give these folkies a chance. Let's go down the list a little...

Joni Mitchell 78%, Neil Young 72%. Yes, I love them. But they're not new to me.

Paul Weller 61%, John & Beverley Martyn 57%.

Eh? Come on, people. If you've got some John Martyn albums you've gotta get the classic ones he made with his ex-wife. And stop bloody listening to that prick Weller.

last.fm looks pretty good to me. You can sample songs by any artist you like the look of. You can network with other music fans. I would have loved this 20 years ago. 20 years ago we went on our own, we stood on our own, we left on our own. And our bedrooms were not places to socialise.

But this similar artists section really is a load of old guff. If I were to connect John Martyn with anyone in my record collection it would be Arthur Russell and possibly Massive Attack (since they seem to have got their whole sound from John's album One World). They're nowhere on the list. Maybe I'm just too way out. Maybe I should put Arthur Russell into the similar artists search.

That's better. It's alright, I feel like I'm amongst friends now. They're probably all intellectuals, but at least they're not all middle aged beardies.

Mine's a pint of Old Peculiar.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Asparagus Syndrome

I try to get my five a day. A glass of pineapple juice, muesli with dried fruits, an apple, a large portion of peas or broad beans or soya beans. I think I just about make five portions of fruit & veg a day. I should live to be 90.

(By the way - did you know it doesn't matter how many glasses of fruit juice you drink a day, they only add up to one portion so you can't just gorge yourselves on orange juice, you lazy people).

Sainsbury's are helping us all reach our goal. When you spend £20 there you get a lucky coupon which tells you if you've won some free fruit or veg. So far we've won a carton of apple juice which we don't drink and two packs of fresh asparagus.

I was delighted to find the asparagus at two packs for £3. I took the two packs to the checkout with two bottles of bleach. I managed to pay £3 for the asparagus less £3.98 in asparagus vouchers, making a profit of 98p! 32p for two bottles of bleach and two packs of asparagus! Fantastic!

What I didn't realise is that after eating the asparagus, you need to use the bleach every time you go for a piss. Because fresh asparagus eaten in the quantity suggested by the government makes your piss extremely stinky. I almost passed out from the smell. As I was taking my post-asparagus piss, I wasn't thinking about all the good it was doing me with its vitamin c and its folic acid, I was thinking "how am I going to get through the next 20 seconds when the smell of my own piss is killing me?"

I should have known better. The following is a photo of the actress Sarah Miles, clearly dead after drinking a pint of her own asparagus laced piss. Her suffering is over now.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Soul Britannia (Twinned with Betty's 300th Post, *Yay*)

Count Suckle had all the best records, imported from the States and Jamaica. But where to play them?

The owners of the dance halls wouldn't rent them out to the Caribbean community so the only alternative was house parties.

The trouble with house parties is that they create noise which creates a natural antagonistic reaction from the neighbours who call the police who confiscate the sound systems.

And of course there's the perfectly natural reaction from teddy boys and other stupid white boys who disrupt the house parties by throwing petrol bombs and chanting "Burn the niggers! Kill the niggers!" and "Go back to your own country!"

This was the start of the first of the Notting Hill race riots in 1958.

Later in the programme we get working class white youth culture expert Robert Elms summing up the whole era:-

"I think for me mod is the core idea behind the whole youth culture caper, and between that extraordinary relationship between the music of black America and the lifestyles of working class England. I mean, mods are predated by teddy boys and the teddy boys are great, but the teddy boys wanted to stay in their place, they were very kind of brown ale and down the pub on a Friday night and 'gawd blimey' and they were right wing and they were all of these things..."

Yes, Bob. They were all of these things. They were racist cunts and they were gawd blimey and they were GREAT. They were GREAT because they were a smartly dressed youth culture, weren't they? Part of the youth culture caper, all the japes and fun of flick knives and petrol bombs. Oh what a jolly band of boys!

It's all a bit of fun isn't it, Bob?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Me and The Salesman: A Fantasy

I tell the salesman, "Last time we ordered one we had our old one with a company called A. The salesman said A were in the process of being taken over by a larger company and he himself was in the process of moving to a different company, B, and would we like to buy B's product? I thought that was a bit sneaky so neither A nor B got our business and we used C."

"Was it Harry W?" asks the salesman.

"Yes. Do you know him?"

"We took over A," he says. "Harry did leave for B but he was back with us within a year. He's not on the road any more, he's working in the office now, somewhere more suitable for a man of his experience. Lovely man, Harry. One of the best. Old school."

"No he wasn't," I say. "He was a smarmy creep just like you are, just like most salesmen I've had the displeasure to do business with. In fact, if I was writing Death of a Salesman, the death would involve horrific bollock-crunching torture. I'd like to see the salesman smarm his way out of that one."