Monday, November 30, 2009

Sorry, must dash

It's the 30th of November today, not ordinarily a particularly auspicious date. But for me it marks the end of a journey.

In many ways it was not unlike taking the A46 from Lincoln to Cleethropes. It started out in very familiar territory, the early stages were not uncommon either, but quite soon the landscape changed, there were twists and turns, and unexpected (usually unpleasant) surprises along the way. Ultimately, it arrived at a destination that, while I knew roughly what I'd be getting at the outset, was nevertheless something of a disappointment.

I've been growing a moustache readers. Not because I've turned homosexual. No. I've been growing a moustache for Movember!

Movember is a charity event. I believe its roots are down under. I'm talking about Australia readers where men are men and the sheep are scared. The whole idea is that men grow a moustache during the month of November in order to raise money for and awareness of prostate cancer. That, in a nutshell, is bum cancer to you and me.

Bum cancer is the biggest unnecessary killer of men over 50. It's not that difficult to treat if caught early on, but it doesn't tend to get caught early on because men are almost always too embarrassed by the symptoms which generally seem to revolve around cock malfunctional issues and detection involves what in the trade is known as a digital rectal inspection - that's a finger up nature's pocket to you and me!

Apart from the 10 per cent of us who are gay, the other 90 per cent of us categorically do not like dabbling with the chocolate starfish. As such the vast majority to men who get prostate cancer are not practitioners of uphill gardening. So, it's highly appropriate that the emblem of this terrible affliction is the moustache.

I suppose it tells us all, not just the lucky 10 per centers, but the slightly perturbed and analophobic 90 per centers, that having a good old root around the sheriff's rusty badge is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it is actually something to be proud of.

That said, you might to make sure the bathroom door is locked if you're examining yourself and your gay flatmate walks in on you naked wanting to take a shower. It could lead to an uncomfortable silence over the cornflakes. And that, perhaps unbelievably, is not a euphemism.

I'm glad that I grew the moustache readers, even if it does make me look like a pervert. Not that there is anything perverse about buggery between two consenting adults. But there's something about a moustache these days that looks all wrong.

I don't know when the 'tache passed from being perfectly acceptable manly face furniture to being the preserve of the completely weird. I think it might have been the mid-80s. Probably around about the same time that the entire world woke up and realised that Freddie Mercury (your God RIP) was not just in Queen, but he was the Queen. I certainly remember the moustache being popular with Scousers for a lot longer than the rest of us, much in the same way that it is still very popular with Turks.

Glad I may be that I took part in this campaign, but I shall be gladder still tomorrow when the whiskers are removed. Mum wasn't particularly impressed with the moustache, I suggested to her that it made me look like Clark Gable, but she said it made me look like Dad. Although, Roger's got a little grey moustache too, and he doesn't look anything like Dad. Actually, on reflection, he does look a bit like Clark Gable.

I would have told you about the moustache earlier in the month, so that you could sponsor me. But as no one bothered sponsoring the 150 mile charity bike ride I did not to long ago, I didn't see the point, especially as growing a moustache is a lot easier than cycling 150 miles.

Right, well, I'm off to spend just one more night with a furry upper lip.

Yours, no longer in pursuit of the hirsute,

Barry 'I am the walrus' Newsdesk

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lest we forget

The next phase of Operation Sword of Truth (OST) kicked into gear last night when I met up with Mum and Roger, before they went to see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof featuring Darth Vader's James Earl Jones. Roger had got us a theatre meal deal at Cafe des Amis in Hanover Square.

I tell you what readers, they might not wash much and have a penchant for inter-marital liasons, but they can't half cook. My mouth was running faster than Usain Bolt on a promise. The smells and the sounds of Cuisine du Francais c'est magnifique.

Ha! I bet you didn't know I could speak French did you? I've got an O'level. Of course when I was at school we did O'levels, not like these GCSEs, where apparently you just need to turn up and tie your own shoe laces to get an A star. An A star, I mean, seriously whatever next? Kids today have got it so easy. There were no Pro Evo back in Lincoln when I was growing up. I used to have to use my imagination! I'd pretend that I was Luke Skywalker flying his X-Wing, running around Mum's garden re-enacting Star Wars, while Steve spoke into an empty pint glass imitating James Earl Jones! "I have you now!" he'd say, then he'd shoot at me with a spud gun. If I made it twice around the rotary clothes line without getting a piece of spud in my face or falling over I won and we'd swap over.

We didn't have A stars readers, we had Death Stars!

That's the power of imagination. I guess that's why I'm such an amazing writer. It's not as though I went to Citizen Journalism school. Back in my day there was no such thing, I went to the School of Hard Knocks and graduated from the University of Life. And Trent Poly. When it was a bloody Poly too and not some jumped up pretend University.

I took Gill to France back in the early days. I'm an old romantic like that. Curiously I also went through a period of being a New Romantic too. I had a proper Flock of Seagulls fringe and a big frilly fronted shirt. It was one of Mum's old blouses. I didn't really have the money to buy a proper one.

I remember the first time Gill let me take her up the Eiffal Tower. Happy days. She didn't know I had the French O'level either, until I showed her my French letters, I could tell she was impressed with my cunning linguistics, she let me lick her front bum. I'm many things readers, but I'm no braggart. I think language just comes naturally, much like Gill did, in the end.

Back in the Cafe des Amis, I ordered chicken and chips. I said chips too, not frites. "Don't slaver them in garlic either monsieur," I told the waiter nice and loud. I was trying like mad to maintain my right wing facade. When the food came, I looked on in envy as bloody Roger was tucking into his moules mariniers.

Apologies for this Mess, but I had to keep our relationship a secret. I really want Mum to be proud of me, if she knew that I wrote this blog and had made friends from all around the world, and Reading, I reckon she might lend me the money to get it published as a book for her at Christmas. But I have to keep it from her. It's for her own good.

We didn't really have much time to talk to be honest, they needed to get to the theatre, so we just mumbled through the usual pleasantries and platitudes. Did they have a nice trip down? Yes. Was I still enjoying my new job? Yes (I lied, it's fucking shit readers, and I can't tell Mum about the take-over - she'd only worry herself sick, chalk up another white lie to Barry!). Was I seeing anyone new? (Fucking Roger asked this the spiteful bastard.) I told him that I was playing the field, I'm a young buck who needs to sow his wild oats - the cheeky twat actually laughed "you're not so young any more my lad" he said "MY fucking LAD" - I told him that I wasn't "his lad" and that I was "Mum's lad and always would be," then Mum said she wished I'd been able to patch it up with Gill, then Roger said she was probably better of in Canada anyway!!!

A weaker man might have crumbled or lashed out, but I saw this as an opening, I said, "well Canada's all right, they've got Her Majesty's face on the money. If they kicked out the frogs, it'd been even better!" Roger then informed me and the surrounding tables that he had a great deal of sympathy for the Québécois. I said they were no better than the bloody IRA. Then I pulled up my jumper's sleeves and revealed my trump card.

Mum's face was aghast. "Barry, what have you done?" she implored. "I'm just patriotic Mum, there's nothing wrong with being patriotic if you're from Quebec or Ireland, and there's nothing wrong with being proud to be English! - isn't that right Roger?" I asked. I had him, he couldn't back out of that one. "Actually Barry, I was born in Edinburgh, my mother was from County Tyrone and my father was Bargoed in the Valleys of South Wales. He was minor and contracted bronchitis so had moved to Scotland for the cleaner air. Technically, I'm a Celt. You're right though, there's nothing wrong with patriotism, I'm just not so sure about the way you're choosing to demonstrate it."

"Celt?" I said "I think you're a couple of letters out." It was a moment of weakness readers, I couldn't help myself. Luckily for me, I don't think he heard it.

I looked down at my new tattoo, it's three lions in a crest, with the date October 25th 1514 inscribed below. "Lest we forget," I said patting my arm, "Agincourt." I had to fight back a tear, I think it looked like I was welling up with patriotic pride, actually it was the tattoo, which stung like absolute fuck.

Mum was shaking her head and Roger had started to smile. 'I've got him,' I thought 'hook, line and stinker.' Roger and I split the bill down the middle, which I thought was a bit bloody rich, but I figured the gold digging old Nazi was in the palm of my hand, I was about to quibble of a few quid.

Before we went our separate ways, Roger took me to one side, 'here we go, Baz you fucking genius,' I flicked on the recording switch of my trusty dictaphone, "I think you might need to do a bit more research," he said. And that was it. How cryptic?

It's a start though isn't it? I went home and got stuck into a few celebratory cans of Cobra. Which, granted, was a bit of a mistake, 'cos I overslept and missed the chance to meet up with Mum and Roger this afternoon. They're off to see Othello tonight. I thought I'd get some culture in myself, rather than veging in front of the X-Factor, I've downloaded a copy of Kenneth Branagh's Henry V - thought I'd get doing that research that Roger was on about!

It takes a thief to catch a thief! (Although, surely if that were the case, we should start hiring ex-cons into the Force?)

Use the force!!!!!!!!!!!

Barry Skywalker

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hang the DJ

When I was a nipper growing up in Lincoln, Mum took me to get Trevor Francis’s autograph. He was doing a Gillette Razor promo in ASDA. I thought I was king of the first years when I got into school.

It didn’t last, of course; Steve told everyone it was a fake that I’d done at home. He said the proof was the fact that the autograph was signed: “love, Trevor” and that Trevor would never have signed an autograph that way. But Trevor Francis was a nice guy and he just did what I asked, although he checked with Mum first.

I tried to explain to all the kids at school that it was real and that I’d asked him to write “love, Trevor” but that just made things worse. Everyone called me Trevorlover for the whole next term, even Fat Alice. I didn’t really mind though; getting the same signature that adorned the contract of football’s first million pound player was the nearest I got to living the high life and maybe it was that simple autograph which spurred me on to seek out the world of the glitterrati down here in London.

It seems like living the celebrity lifestyle is an almost daily occurrence for yours truly. I dunno, maybe it’s me or something. Maybe it’s simply the fact that I’m a Citizen Journalist, which means I’m more tuned into The News, but I’ve done more star spotting this year than Patrick Moore.

Like the time I bumped into Barry McGuigan acting suspiciously in the gents of The Imperial, or the time former Mr Jordan, Pete Andre, and myself chewed the fat about his latest fragrance while in Vegas.

This latest meeting was totally out of the blue and totally rock ‘n’ roll. The other night I’d agreed to meet up with Dan after another one of his mammoth gym sessions. He said he wanted to “talk strategy” following the merger announcement, and that “the cream always rises to the top.” He said he needed “someone close, someone he could trust”.

We’d planned to meet in the Yorkshire Grey, a pub quite near the BBC at Portland Place which is a famed hangout of some of the UK’s top-line celebrities. I think that’s why Dan likes it so much. He claims he once saw Anna Wing, Eastenders’ Lou Beale, in there. He thought it was a ghost and got a racing heart, apparently, but it turns out she was still up and about. Also, he says he saw none other than Les Dennis and Phil Jupitus arguing over a burger order during one lunch hour!

My money would be on Jupitus coming out on top, unless it was when Dennis was going through that rough patch. For a while there he was a man on the edge!

For me, Les Dennis never really recovered after the unfortunate passing of his comic soulmate Dustin Gee. That was when Russ Abott lost his mojo, as well. Everyone remembers “See you Jimmy”, but no one remembers anything after. It was, in many respects, both Dennis and Abott’s ‘Jumping the shark’ moment. Perhaps Gee was the glue that held it all together? I guess we’ll never know.

You know how they say that everyone who was old enough remembers where they were when they heard that President Kennedy had died? I don’t know if it’s true, but I know this: I remember where I was when I heard that Dustin Gee had died, no word of a lie. I was in a hardware store in Lincoln, buying some string for Mum. Clear as a bell, I can see it now. There I was in the store, and the radio was playing… “The actor and comedian Dustin Gee has died of a heart attack…”

…I’d already lost two grandparents by this stage, in 1986, but I think Gee’s passing was the first time I really contemplated the reality of mortality. When Gee went I knew that, one day, long into the future, I’d have to go too. It was quite a lot to take in.

Dustin Gee, I think anyone would agree, was the Barker to Dennis’s Corbett. He was the real comic talent; his Vera Duckworth was faultless, whereas Dennis’s Mavis Riley was just a catchphrase. Sure, that always got the biggest laugh, but that’s testament to Gee’s class as a performer, his generosity.

It’s sad, isn’t it, that we often lose first the more treasured one of any celebrity pair. There’s Gee and Dennis, Morecambe and Wise, Barker and Corbett, Lennon and McCartney, Charles and Diana, Rod Hull and Emu (actually, I’m not sure about that last one) – this list goes on and on.

Wikipedia offers scant insight into Gee’s personal life, although it makes no mention of him leaving behind a wife and kids. It does say that a lifelong heart condition was fatally aggravated by his use of poppers, though. Now, far be it from me to start drawing any conclusions from that but it does need to be borne in mind that poppers are used by the gay community to help in their lovemaking.

If you were the Daily Mail’s Jan Moir, you might want to draw some comparisons between Gee’s untimely departure as a result of his irregular habits and the passing of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately in a Bulgarian three-way. She’s a nasty piece of work, that woman.

Anyway, there I was sitting by the faux log fire in the Yorkshire Grey, supping my pint of Man-in-a-Box when there was a sudden commotion at the door. Looking up I saw a couple of chaps in pin-stripped suits and, wait for it, legendary former Radio One disc jockey Bruno Brookes!

He still had star quality, I could see that, even though he was carrying a fair bit of surplus timber. Bruno was always the cool kid on the BBC Radio One block. So much cooler than David ‘the kid’ Jensen, and on a different planet altogether from the furry cornflake. When I was a kid, I used to think Kid Jensen had never actually been a kid himself. I think he was born middle aged, wasn’t he? Maybe they called him ‘the kid’ as an ironic joke, like Curly Watts in Coronation Street or Little John in Sherwood Forest. Apparently he was Canadian, not American. Hoe aboat that?

I remember Dad taking us to the Radio 1 Road Show at Cleethorpes in the 80s to see Bruno Brookes. Little did I know then that they had a caravan there together. Not Bruno and Dad, JESUS! Although, maybe that would have been better, I probably would have got backstage passes and stuff. But then, in those days, Radio 1 DJs weren’t gay. And neither, I suppose, was Dad.

Back in the boozer, Bruno and his mates were talking in a manner that suggested they’d spent a good portion of the afternoon sampling a substantial wine menu. He was well and truly refreshed when he walked into the pub, readers; pissed up good and proper.

I always wondered what happened to Bruno Brookes, he’d been a hero when he played Killing in the Name of, even though some people said he’d never even heard of Rage Against The Machine and had no idea the song had those words in it. I preferred to think he knew just what he was doing, and that he was sticking it to the authorities. Here was s man, much like myself, who wouldn’t kowtow to the men in grey!!!

He was sacked, of course, and then pretty much disappeared into obscurity. But now here he was, in the Yorkshire Grey, fucked out of his mind. He came over and sat in the snug nearby, joined by one of his cronies, while the other stood at the bar. He started shouting “…and if I see Powell again, I’ll fucking kill him.” Bruno was in a rage. He wasn’t raging against the machine though, from what I could make out he was raging about fellow former BBC Radio 1 Jock Peter Powell and his ex, Anthea Turner.

“We had something, me and Anthea. Something special! Something most people can only ever dream about. She was my everything; my world boys, my fucking world. The mountains and the oceans. My whole fucking universe, infinite and expanding!!! Her earlobes were beautiful fucking galaxies. You looked in to her eyes and it was like gas giants going super-fucking-nova!! Supernova, I’m not kidding, boys. Her thighs went forever, like the milky fucking way!!! Her arse was like the twin moons of planet fucking ecstasy!! Her cunt… Her cunt was like dark fucking matter, shit… It just sucked you in!! It could absorb time, I’m telling you, boys. It could bend you out of shape and back again. It wasn’t a part of her body, it was a journey, a lifetime. Her tits!! She had these really, really nice tits. So squeezy. I just used to fucking squeeze them and squeeze them, you know? Squeezy, squeezy, squeezy, hour after hour. Squeezy, squeezy, squeezy. Jesus!! When we were at it, it was like I was in another dimension, everywhere and nowhere. When I spunked up in Anthea, it was like the dawn of fucking TIME!! I’ve seen God, let me tell you boys, I’ve seen God and it’s in Anthea’s fucking knickers!!”

I’d never had him down as a poet. It was very beautiful in its way. “Fucking Powell. I’ll fucking kill him,” he said.

At this point, the third member of their party staggered over spilling beer from the three pints he was holding together. “Mind out, mind how she goes,” shouted Brookes, “Here mate, sorry about all this,” he said again, addressing none other than yours truly. It took a while to sink in but Bruno Brookes was apologizing to me, for interrupting my early evening drink. “No worries,” I said, “not at all.” I was unfazed. Cool as a cucumber. Don’t forget, I’ve met Trevor Francis.

Then he came over (Bruno, not Trevor – Trevor wasn’t there) and sat down next to me, putting his arm around my shoulders, he stank like an Irish navvy. “Can you keep a secret?” he asked. I nodded solemnly, and then he stood bolt upright and whipped down his trousers, pointing to a chubby thigh.

It took me a moment to deal with it all but I soon made out the unmistakable shape of a pirate tattoo. “Matching tattoos,” he slurred, “only she’s got a lady pirate on the opposite leg, so when we were,” and here he put his hands on his hips and started thrusting his crotch in my face, “at it,” he said “they were at it too!”

Then all three of them started capering about doing pirate impressions shouting “shiver me timbers,” and “arrrrgh Jim lad”. I looked up just in time to see the back of Dan’s head leaving the pub. I stood up to follow him but Brookes planted his hand on my shoulder and said: “We got ‘em together while we were doing the Road Show down in Plymouth,” he said. “Me and Anth. Oh Anth, why did you do it to me? WHY. WHYYYYYYY?”

He sobbed for a moment or two, then stood motionless for a second. He didn’t say anything else, just kind of stood there staring at me, his eyes filling up with tears. He snorted loudly, wiping his sleeve across his face, bent down to pull up his trousers and fell into the table, wiping out the assembled drinks. “Oh, fuck mate, really fucking sorry about that,” he said. “Let me get you a replacement. One for the Pope and his assistant,” he shouted at the barmaid.

He sent his mate to the bar and sat me down. I introduced myself and then he started telling me about his latest business venture. It turns out that Bruno is getting back into radio readers! There you go, a scoop. You heard it hear first, on the pages of Newsdesk. Spread the word: It won’t be BBC, and it won’t be Capital, Virgin or even Magic. Because the rebel without a job has gone corporate!!!!!

Bruno’s latest venture is in-bank radio. I have to say it’s a bold move. I congratulated him on his nerve: “Most businesses are working hard to strategically improve their customer experience and determine a strong differentiator in the market place,” I said. “I think you might be onto something.”

“Cheers Barry old son,” he said “The thing is, the internet has fucked things up for everyone; the high street’s dying on its arse. As a consequence any business with a presence on the high street needs to pull its fucking finger out to win customers and drive sales away from the web.”

Bruno’s got a point readers; think about it: Banks aren’t exactly a destination of choice; people visit them out of pure necessity. Consumers are naturally feeling wary as a result of the economic turmoil, and therefore need guidance and reassurance about financial products and services currently on offer, and what’s best for them.

Unfortunately, my inquisitive nature got the better of me. “But Bruno,” I said, “Surely these days everyone does their banking on the internet too. Having in-bank radio won’t make people want to come into the banks. Except possibly the homeless.”

He didn’t like this line of questioning, he didn’t like it one bit. The first swing narrowly missed my chin, the second caught me square on the nose, sending me flying back into my chair. Thankfully, my judo training kicked in and I was able to fall like a cat, unharmed, except for the bloodied nose.

I tell you what, it’s a bloody good job Brookes’ mates scuttled him out of the boozer, quick sharp. I was ready to mete out some retribution Newsdesk stylee. Instead I ran to the door and shouted: “No wonder she fucking left you, Brookes, you fat prick.” I shouldn’t have done it, but my blood was up.

Woe betide Bruno Brookes if our paths ever cross again.

Anyway, the next day I had a go at Dan for leaving me there. I thought I’d gone a bit far, but I was angry and my nose hurt. To my surprise, instead of bollocking me, he welled up and briefly fought back some tears. He put his hand on my arm and said:

“I’m sorry Barry, I just couldn’t face talking to Bruno. It was such a shock to see him... It's been so long, I didn't think he went there any more. And, when he’s like that, he’s just… well, he scares me. He hurts the people that care the most.” And then he scarpered to the toilets.


Peace (except for Bruno Brookes)


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Erotic Fiction

I’d like to make a welcome to my new friends.

But in particular, I’d like to say hello to Ellie.

Hello, Ellie.

I don’t know if the rest of you have been to Ellie’s blog, but it’s quite, um, candid. She appears to be a woman of considerable appetites and, while I’m not one to judge, I do feel a little sorry for her husband. Presumably he doesn’t know what she’s getting up to behind his back with a string of men, women and portable equipment.

I was uplifted by the frankness of her writing. Indeed, I hadn’t been reading Ellie’s blog for more than a couple of minutes before I felt a post coming on.

So here we go: I was reminded, as I so often am by these sorts of things, of the few years that Dave the Roofer spent supplementing his income by writing erotic fiction for a publishing house called Fantasy Towers. Sadly FT has gone bust now (they even sold their web domain to the Financial Times in a bid to stay afloat) and that was, in part, Dave’s fault.

To be fair to Dave, he’s always striven for new territory and, after a while, he began to find the constraints of the FT style guide a little tight. He wanted to really stretch the genre as wide as it would go and so he managed to persuade FT’s owner and chief editor to take a gamble on what turned out to be his final book, Nun Buggers.

Sadly it proved too extreme for FT’s readership and the firm effectively choked to death, not unlike Sister Gloria, the auto-erotic asphyxiation-inclined Mother Superior in the book, who was found hanging by her rosary from the door handle of her office in the Convent, with a tennis ball in her mouth and an extra large love egg up her whotsit.In a poignant twist, the love egg was still jiggling. It was, Dave wrote, the only life left in her.

But it was the chief editor’s call to publish the book, ultimately, so he’s to blame. Dave told me that when he first went to see the chief editor, he was staggered by the amount of books in the office, with many classic British novels among the bongo. He asked the editor if he’d read them all, and the editor said he had, indeed.

“Oh yes,” he said, “all of them, and more than once. Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Sense and Sensibility, Brideshead Revisited, Bleak House, Wuthering Heights, Pamela, they’re all terribly dog-eared, I’m afraid. But none is so well thumbed as Howard’s End.”

“That’s good, is it?” said Dave.

“It’s wonderful,” said the editor, smiling wistfully. “Time after time I lose myself in it for hours.”

It was three months before Dave realised that Howard was the office junior.

For a couple of years Dave was their biggest selling author. Of course he didn’t publish under his real name, Dave the Roofer. He had a nom de plume, which he actually took from a distant ancestor: The Contessa Alexia von Lichtenstein (the Roofer – lol!!).

Dave started out writing erotic twists on established stories or genres. The saucy horror short story The Camel’s Paw gave him his first big break, and he followed this up with Charles Dickings’ Great Expectorations, a skit in which pathological liar Pip feeds Estella an absolute whopper and she finds it hard to swallow. Then there was the Life and Times of Miss Hand-Shandy, a story about a girl who works in an eighteenth century massage parlour, which had a very happy ending. Of all of Dave’s books from this early period, I liked the semi-autobiographical Wankenstein the least; it was too self indulgent. Dave did admit to me once that, by this stage in his historic erotica writing, he had begun to run a little dry.

The fixation with illicit rumpo within the confines of religious buildings that was eventually to prove his downfall was evident in the only gay erotic novel he wrote, charting the nightly trysts between two extremely flexible and open minded residents of a Silent Trappist Monastery.

Called The Love That Dare Not Speak It’s Name, it’s pretty much like Brokeback Mountain, but with monks, and less dialogue (it’s all about body language, the book’s jacket says). Dave hasn’t spoken to Annie Proulx since her short story came out. He’s tetchy about the details, but he thinks she ripped him off. It’s a shame, they were really good friends, and he did her roof for mates’ rates.

Probably his most challenging period was when he got into hyper-realism. Fantasy Towers tried to dissuade him from following this route, knowing, I suppose, that what their readers really wanted was fantasy. But Dave is an obstinate man and, when the creative urge is upon him, cannot be knocked off his path. So I thought I might give you a sample of writing from this, his most difficult erotic book: The Married Sex Life of Robert and Claire.

To set the scene, Robert and Claire, have just got home after a meal out for their fifteenth wedding anniversary.

“Well the food was nice, at least,” said Claire with a sigh, stepping out of her high heels and massaging her feet. She made a mental note to buy a new pumice stone.

“One hundred and twenty fucking quid,” said Robert, hiccupping. “And that dessert was only a chocolate fucking pudding. It was a piece of piss; even you could have made it. Just because that twat’s on the telly. He wasn’t even doing the cooking, the fuckwit.”

Robert walked to the downstairs toilet, knocking their wedding photo askew as he bumped into the wall. With a sigh he began to empty his bladder.

“Christ, I’ve been dying for this since we got in that cab,” he shouted. “Hey, pretty lucky to find an unlicensed one, eh love? Saved us a tenner at least.”

“Do you think you could please shut the door when you’re using the toilet,” said Claire. “And don’t go all over the seat,” she shouted, adding “for fuck’s sake” under her breath.

“I never go over the seat,” Robert replied, wiping the seat with some toilet roll.

Robert flushed the cistern and swayed out of the toilet and back into the hallway. Claire sighed to herself. He was drunk again. The meal wouldn’t even have been so expensive if he hadn’t ordered that second bottle, not to mention the dessert wine. Still, at least the kids didn’t have to see him like this. She’d packed them off to her mum’s.

“Bloody hell, fifteen years,” said Robert putting his hands on Claire’s tits. “Where’s it all gone, eh?”

“I don’t know,” said Claire wondering whether Robert thought she was enjoying his attentions.

“Right, then,” he said, “I suppose we should, you know, nip upstairs, given the kids are away. Make like it’s fifteen years ago, eh love?”

Claire couldn’t remember if she’d even enjoyed it fifteen years ago. Nonetheless, she took the stairs ahead of him.

In the bedroom Robert struggled out of his trousers and stood before her, in his shirt, underpants and socks. She let her dress slide to the floor, took off her tights and bra, and slipped between the sheets. Robert pulled the bedclothes back, naked now, and clambered on to the bed as she parted her legs in tired resignation, shut her eyes and waited.

Nothing happened.

“Oh,” said Robert.

Claire opened her eyes. Robert was looking ruefully down at his cock, which was flaccid.

“I don’t know…” he started to make an excuse…

“Just forget it, don’t worry,” said Claire.

“I’m so tired and stuff, and work’s really stressful,” Robert said.

“You’re drunk,” said Claire, flatly.

“I could, er, I could use my mouth, I mean I could go…”

“Please, Robert, shut up,” said Claire, “you’re embarrassing me.”

“Or maybe you could, y’know, kiss it. That might wake it up a bit…”

“Get off!” said Claire.

Robert rolled to the side of Claire, and she turned her back to him.

“I don’t know why, for once, we couldn’t just have a romantic night together,” She began. “Dan takes Juliette away for a weekend once a month. I’m not asking for that, I’m just asking, for once, that we have dinner out and some kind of attempt at romance. But no, not even on our fucking anniversary. Don’t you care, Robert? Don’t you care? Robert…”

But Robert was asleep.

In the early hours of the morning he awoke with an erection so powerful it almost hurt. His head was full of hot, scattered images, fragments of dreams he’d been having. He was horny as hell, that was all he could think about. He rolled over and whispered to his wife:

“Claire, are you awake love?” he gave her shoulder a shake. “Claire, are you awake? I’m really bloody horny. Can we have sex now?”

Claire was awake, but she pretended to be asleep. There was no way, there was just no way. When another shake got no response, Robert sighed and turned over. Suddenly he remembered one of the dreams he’d been having, about the young girl who worked in his office. God she was so gorgeous. So young, so... so unspoiled. Without him willing it, his hand found its way down to his cock.

It didn’t take long. He let out an almost inaudible moan. Breathing in it felt as if he inhaled no oxygen; only despair.

Claire shuddered.

Well, there you go, readers, I told you it was challenging. I for one struggled to see the titillation in it. But Dave was convinced that he’d started a new movement in erotic fiction and was not to be dissuaded. Then, as soon as it had come, it was gone, and he was back to more familiar output, with some utter filth based on the Swiss Family Robinson.

The thing that always used to make me smile about Dave’s books, the ones that had the actual fantasy stuff in them, was that they were all read by people who thought they were written by an aristocratic woman. In fact, of course, they were written by a 16 stone roofer from West London. Dave told me that this was more or less the norm, and that most female writers of erotic fiction are, in fact, men.

Now I’m not suggesting Ellie is a sixteen stone man, I don’t doubt her femininity for a moment. No, no. But it does get you thinking, doesn’t it.

Anyways, once again, welcome to all my friends and Ellie: Keep it up!



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

M&A Activity

Hello readers,

There’s been a few things happening at work which have stimulated my panic gland. It looks like my company is about to be aggressively acquired by another company that works in a similar sphere. You don’t work in the cut and thrust of media sales for as long as I have without sensing when there’s likely to be a lot more cut than thrust.

What happens when there’s a merger? I’ll tell you what: people lose their jobs. And which people tend to go first? I’ll tell you which: the last ones in. And that’s me. Nobody has joined the company since me, apart from a Kiwi classified sales guy called Larson who’s two favourite things in the world are downhill mountain biking and MDMA. And I don’t think he’s going to get made redundant, because I expect he’ll get the sack before any merger takes place. The other day he was found sleeping off a night on the pills under someone’s desk.

Anyway, as you know, I’ve been through the redundancy wringer and I don’t much fancy going through it again just yet. Not least because I haven’t worked here long enough to qualify for a payout. Anyway, we’ve got a meeting about it on Thursday, when we’re going to be given more details. Dan’s shitting himself because he reckons it’s always the middle management that gets it. He’s been doing double-length workouts at the gym and having extra body building shakes because he says appearance is important for first impressions.

He's been doing press ups like mad and the other day I came home and he was doing press ups with a pair of my boxer shorts under his face. I asked what the hell he was doing and he asked me if I'd seen Police Academy. Of course I've seen it, I said, it's one of the seminal films of my generation. Anyway, he said did I remember the bit where Mahoney was being made to do press ups and the two bad guys put their sweaty socks under his nose to help him do the press ups because he didn't want to have his face in their socks. I said I thought I did. He said that's what he was doing - that he couldn't think of anything more unpleasant than my pants and they were helping him do press ups. He's weird.

Anyway, while we’re on the topic of unwanted mergers, Mum and Roger are coming down to London at the end of next week, which means its time for me to kick Operation Sword of Truth up a gear. I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve (literally!). But you’ll have to wait to hear about those.

Apparently they’re coming down to London to go to two theatre plays. I think Roger will be doing some research for his local branch of the BNP because he has chosen racially themed stuff. The first one is an all-black production of something called Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I think it’s a musical. Anyway, when I say all-black, I don’t of course mean that the cast is the New Zealand rugby team!! Lol!! No, what I mean is that all of the actors are black. Most exciting of all about this brilliantly diverse bit of arts is that it’s got Darth Vader in it!!

Now I’m not talking about the Green Cross Code man Dave Prowse, who was the man in the actual Darth Vader costume in the three Star Wars films (needless to say I do not even recognise the three prequels). After all, he was white. No, I mean James Earl Jones, the guy who provided the voice. It’s an interesting question about the nature of performance, I suppose. While Prowse did all the striding about, pointing and hurting people – which, I concede, contributed menace to the character – it was Jones who really made Vader so iconic, with that voice.

I for one think it’s sad that someone who created so memorable a character has fallen on such hard times that he’s got to do theatre; and a musical to boot! And he was in Coming to America. It’s a tragedy.

The other play is Shakespeare’s Othello, starring Mr Delbert Wilkins himself: Lenny Henry. Mum said that Roger told her Henry had recently won a theatre prize as best newcomer for his role in Othello, which strikes me as a bit rich given he’s 50-odd and he’s been famous for years, and married to Dawn French. I’ve got nothing against Dawn French but, shitting Christ, the Vicar of Dibley is a load of old monkey spunk, isn’t it?

Obviously I’m going to use this visit to London to try and get underneath Roger’s veneer of respectability. Which means I may have to say things that aren’t all that politically correct. But I just want to say here and now that I think it’s great that they’ve rewritten a Shakespeare play – one of the classics – to accommodate a black actor like Lenny. It’s about time!

I wonder if he goes off-piste and chucks a bit of Theophilus P Wildebeest into the mix – guaranteed crowd pleaser that one. Or perhaps that African chap he used to do. As I understand it, Othello isn’t one of the comedies, so it could probably use a bit of lightening up.

Katanga my friends!

ND Out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thierry-ble decision

Thierry Henry, once again getting confused about the rules.....

I love the way that Thierry Henry has graciously said that he was cheating and that the Ireland v France game should be replayed. A true gentleman, a football sophisticate, "I am not a cheat and never have been,” he lied, I mean, said, knowing full well the game would never be replayed.

The game won’t be replayed because it would set a president that football can’t afford, namely the replaying of a match in which a poor referee decision or cheating player has turned or decided a game. If the game were replayed we could take the president to its natural conclusion and demand the replaying of matches from the past in which poor decisions have been made and blatant cheating has taken place.

Although maybe replaying matches from the past is the only fair solution. Perhaps if Maradona’s own hand of god goal in ’86 could be overturned, England would win the World Cup in Mexico that year making it two little gold stars on the shirt instead of one. That said, if we went back through time replaying matches where bad decisions have altered the course of the game, maybe West Germany would win the ’66 World Cup.

I say, in the le spirit du football, it’s time to pop on your Thierry Henry replica shirt and nip down the road for a pint of the black stuff, isn’t it? It’s time to heal the wounds over a drink or two.

The Irish love a drink and they love a bit of injustice, don’t they. Would you believe they're still banging on about 800 years of oppression from the Brits... and that was 800 years ago.

I can’t believe the Irish justice minister’s getting stuck in. I think Dermot Ahern has slightly misread his 'minister of justice' job description confusing constitutional law with a football phone-in for idiots.

Still, I think it would be quite amusing to get a Terry Henry replica shirt and one of those oversized foam hand things so popular in ice hockey and go down to O’Neils this evening.

They’re a bit chippy the Irish, and they love a fight. Like the English really. They’re very like the English in fact. I should tell them that as they’re pasting seven bells out of me. Or I could suggest that, as part of the British Isles, they lend their support to England’s campaign next summer. It would make an excellent first step in an end to all of this silly independence nonsense.

Or better still suggest we join forces and invade France! There's nothing like uniting over the common foe. It will be just like Shakespeare, except with extra Irishness - O'Shakespeare if you like. I really hope there’s a massive backlash, and the Oirish rename everything with French in the title.

What we really need is an article speculating on how Stephen Gately would have reacted to this, with plenty of comment from Ronan Keating. And then one from Jan Moir sticking up for the Frenchies.

What do you think Mess?

Au revoir

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I was reading Mr London Street’s excellent blog yesterday, and I’ve been thinking about the perilous social journey he has embarked upon.

He’s started internet dating for the purpose of friendship. He has recently been out for dinner with three fellow bloggers (all ladies, I notice) and written about what they were like. Each dinner constituted Mr LS’s first meeting with the lady in question. He has provided an eloquent portrait of the three ladies in question, which you can read here.

Out of respect for their brains, as I noted yesterday, he has neglected to let us know whether or not they were fit, like the three big-haired babes pictured on this post. But that’s the genius of the man’s craft, because now all I can think about is whether or not they were fit. I would speculate that Mr LS understands literary suspense so well that he could probably get a job writing the last ninety seconds of every episode of Neighbours.

I have to say, readers, I have very mixed feelings about all of this. I thought internet dating was supposed to be about sex, not friendship. I’ll be honest with you, I did go through a spell of the old internet dating some years back and it had its moments. Gill and I were having a trial separation and, well, I had a few cans of cobra one night and fired up the old laptop and, before I could say GSOH, I was present on a dozen different sites. And whenever I was looking through the other ads and I saw the words “looking for friendship and maybe more” I wrote them off. Likewise “Bubbly f, young 45, 4’10”, likes cats and cuddles”.

I didn’t take it seriously all the time. I put one ad in the Guardian Soulmates that just said: “Sick Sikh seeks sick Sikh for sick sex”. You may or may not be surprised to know that this ad received more than 170 responses. I was taken aback, but then I realised I’d put it in the ‘Women seeking men’ section by mistake. Lol!!

Anyway, the top line results of this research (that’s a phrase I learned at work, recently) were that there are plenty of women out there who are dying for a bit of the old rumpo, just like us chaps. Who’d have thunk it? Well, it was rich pickings for a time and, once you’ve accepted that they’re lying about themselves as much as you’re lying about yourself, you realise there’s only one important question when you settle down on the squeaky vinyl of a booth seat at Jimmi’s Wine Bar with a glass of off dry Chateau Desperateau: “Shall we cut to the chase?”

That was a period in my life during which I spent a lot of time on night buses (I’m a rolling stone, and don’t sleep well in strange beds), asking myself some really tough questions about man’s needs, both emotional and physical, and how to reconcile the two. Are we a beast burdened with intellect, or an intellect burdened with a bestial legacy? A night bus is a sobering place for these kind of exploratory sessions, especially when you’re panicking about going bareback with a rather grubby looking lass you only met a few hours ago! (Just to let you know, ladies, I got the all-clear and have been belt and braces careful ever since!)

I did hit something of a low at one point, when I thought I’d found a lady that might be just right for me. For a start she was from Lincoln, and at the time I was feeling a little bit homesick. Second, she said in her ad she liked cooking and long walks and third, and most importantly, the last line of her ad ran: “I’m an open minded woman of the world and I’m looking for a man to treat me right – and a little bit wrong!”

As you can imagine I was pretty excited. I let her have my number – which was a prepay mobile I’d purchased specifically for the negotiations of these trysts and when it rang at the appointed time my heart was beating pretty fast. I answered in my deepest voice and when she said hello I felt a thousand kinds of disgusting. It was Mum!

I put the phone down and spent 45 seconds waiting to see if I was going to be sick. I wasn’t sick in the end but I nearly was and, happily, this proved to me that I was no Oedipus. Oedipus had the hots for his mum, and decided to fly away with homemade wings, which melted, and he died. Very Freudian; the sun was his Mum, basically, and he died because of his messed up desires.

I shoved it all to the back of my mind and I didn’t speak to Mum for a month. Thinking about that ad now, and thinking about Roger, well… I just try not to.

I suppose in the spirit of laying it all bare under the harsh fluorescent glare of this blog, which in the being-honest-with-yourself sense is something of a virtual night bus, I should own that part of my hesitance in endorsing Mr London Street’s attempts to widen his face to face social circle stems from envy.

I’ve always thought of myself as quite a popular guy but, lately, I’ve been forced to reassess this view. Technically Dave the Roofer is my best mate. But he’s married to my ex and they’re starting a family. I’ve got a flatmate, but he’s my boss and everyone knows you can never be friends with your boss. Steve and I, well we don’t see a lot of each other since he got me barred from the Harvester, and there’s not too many more. There's Peter Andre, of course, but our schedules always seem to clash.

I would dearly love to meet some fellow residents of the blogosphere. It would be grand to go out on the tiles with Mr London Street, and drink some Cobra, or perhaps a lager of his choice. I’d love to meet Mr Coleman, and Mess, Tennyson ee Hemmingway and all the rest of you. The idea of a blogger party sounds wonderful to me; like I’m finally a part of something – or I would be if I was going to the party.

The problem is that I need my anonymity. I’m not like Belle Du Jour, in the sense that I can’t out myself (it won’t surprise you to learn that Newsdesk is not my actual surname), and also in the sense that I’m not a £300 an hour tart and because I’m not good at science. (In another life, perhaps, I'd be both those things!).

No, it’s just not possible. But I do have an idea. If anyone’s interested, I could name a pub in town and tell you what time I was planning to be there. Then you could come and have a drink in that pub at the same time and in a way it would be like we were there together. If anyone’s interested, let me know and I’ll give you the details. Hell, you can choose the pub yourself if you like, I don’t mind.

Yours in friendship


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Follow me and tell your friends to follow me too, I am desperate for adulation

This is just going to be a short post readers, soz. Not everything I write turns into epic flowing prose. I know that's probably difficult for a lot of you to imagine. But I am only just barely human after all.

Really, I just wanted to say a big Newsdesk "HELLO" to all the new followers and commenters. I also wanted to say a big Newsdesk "THANK YOU" to Mr London Street.

He gave me a well deservered plug on his excellent regular blogosphere spotlight The Was The Week That Blogged.

As a result of this plug my followership jumped up by four people and rests at the big three-oh. 30 followers!!!! It's brilliant. Not as brilliant as Mr London Street though, he's currently got 215 followers. Still, I cannot begrudge him his fame, he's a top writer and seems like a genuinely nice bloke. His most recent post provides details of three dates with some bloggerettes, he's such a gent that he didn't even mention whether they were lookers.

I reckon MLS must be one of the most followed people on Blogger.

Since I'm the inquisative type I did a quite check on Technorati - and this blog has an authority of 417 out of 1000. I don't know whether that's good or not. It's less than 50 per cent authoratative.

For all you new to Newsdesk, I also have a group on Facebook called The Friends of Barry Newsdesk. Like a lot of groups on Facebook, it is almost 100 per cent pointless. That hasn't stopped 34 people (inc me) joining though.

OK - so, I guess that's me signing off, like I said this post was really to just say "hello" and "thanks".



Monday, November 16, 2009

Undercover Newsdesk

Well, readers, what an interesting weekend I had. Operation Sword of Truth began in earnest and – I tell you what – I should have been a bloody spook. I’m a natural.

Operation Sword of Truth is the codename I have given to my plan to open my dear Mother’s eyes to the reality that Roger is a fascist maniac, like that bloke from the motor racing who goes with all the prozzies. His dad was the leader of the British Nazis and the apple never falls far from the tree, does it. Well, it did in my case because I’d never leave my wife and child and run off with the lollipop lady – who was nearly twice his age anyway – leaving my child at the mercy of all the other kids who take the piss out of him for his dad running of with the lollipop lady.

Most people look at lollipop ladies and think: "Ah, that's nice, a lollipop lady". It even sounds nice when you say it. Not me, though. I look at lollipop ladies and it's all I can do to stop myself screaming at them for being bow-legged, home-wrecking c*nts. I don't mind lollipop men, though, because I don't think many wives or mothers would run off with a lollipop man. I guess that makes me unusual because most people, if they're honest, look at lollipop men and think: "nonce".

By a bitter twist of fate, Mum ended up being the lollipop lady for a while – we had to make ends meet somehow, and she remains for me the only lollipop lady I've looked on with fondness – and the kids were so cruel to her about dad. That’s why I learned judo, at which I am a black belt, as you know, and not – as my mate Steve maintains – because watching Brian Jacks on Superstars gave me a stiffy. That’s just the kind of stupid shit Steve likes to say. And, as he well knows, I had been thinking about Jane Jarvis from school (she was the first girl to get boobs) while I was watching Superstars and Steve just happened to notice that I had a stiffy and that’s where that silly rumour began. Anyway, he told everyone at school, as if it wasn’t bad enough already, and I made it worse by saying it had nothing to do with Brian Jacks; I’d been thinking about Jane Jarvis’s new boobs. At which point her brother Ian beat me up. The humiliation continued, because Jane Jarvis let all the boys feel her boobs apart from me, and I asked really nicely. Even Ian Jarvis felt them – there was something wrong about that family. Like the Carpenters.

Sometimes I don’t know why I’m still friends with Steve. He did a lot of nasty things to me. Once when I was round his house for Sunday lunch he did a fart that smelled so bad that his Grandma threw up. He then blamed this on me and his mum took me home and told my mum that I was never going round there again with my filthy habits and no wonder my dad ran off with the lollipop lady if that was the kind of thing he had to put up with at home. Steve told everyone at school and nobody would sit near me for a whole term. Apart from Fat Alice, who was in pretty much the same boat as me; although she deserved it and I didn’t. Jesus Christ she fucking stank. Rancid. She did let me feel her boobs, though. They didn’t feel much different from the rest of her to be honest. But, when you’re that age, you take what you can get.

Anyway, I digress. Operation Sword of Truth, to bring any stragglers up to speed, involves me pretending to be a BNP/Fascist sympathiser in order to con Roger – my mother’s Nazi beau – into revealing his true colours so I can get my mum to leave him. He’s pretty sharp at keeping it hidden, I have to say. I guess you get good at keeping things hidden when you’ve got such dark secrets.

When I arrived in Lincoln, Mum said she thought we could all go for a curry in the evening. Here was my chance! “Can’t we have something British?” I said. “Why do we have to have foreign muck?” Here I smiled at Roger. Mum said: “But you love curry, dear.” And Roger said: “Actually Barry, it’s not muck, it’s got an AA Rosette and it’s listed in the top 100 restaurants of Lincoln. The city of Lincoln has become quite cosmopolitan,” he added, “which can only be a good thing.”

Christ, I thought. You’re good.

I could see that I was going to have to play a fairly long game here. Roger wasn’t about to let his gravy train be derailed that easily. So we went for a curry, although I had an omelette, which was bloody awful. I absolutely love curry, so you can see the kind of sacrifices I’m prepared to make so that Mum can be happy. Roger wolfed down his prawn dansak. He had mushroom pilau, and a peshwari nan. It looked magnificent.

I could tell that here was a match for me in every way. I even began to feel a grudging respect for him. He must detest curry, given his Griffinesque politics. It’s interesting that the word “Griffin” has two meanings, according to the Collins English Dictionary. The first is a beast with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion – ie an animal of mixed race – and the second is a person from Western Europe who moves to the Orient – ie an immigrant.

Alanis Morissette would have a field day with that. It’s way more ironic than ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife, which isn’t really ironic, it’s just a cutlery fuck-up.

As Roger and I left the restaurant (mum was inside, settling up. What kind of man is Roger, just letting the woman pay? Unbelievable) there was a woman begging, with a baby. She was clearly foreign. Roger, slick as you like, gave her a pound fifty.

There were two options open to me here. Option one was to lead with the: “There weren’t any homeless in Berlin in 1939. Whatever you think about Hitler, you can’t argue with that” line. This a bona fide racist opener, a fact I can vouch for because it was said to me by a black cab driver in London once. (I should point out for my overseas readers that the driver was white; it was the cab that was black. You don’t get a lot of black people musing on the impressive social achievements of Adolf Hitler. You don’t get a lot of black black cab drivers, either. Institutional racism is alive and well and it gets round town in a taxi.).

Option two would see me raise the problem of British homelessness. We’ve got a lot of homeless people here, and Griffin likes to say that we should look after our own, before we start giving handouts to bloody foreigners. I went with option two. Roger said: “She’s a young mother with a baby, Barry. It’s our duty to help her. How can you be so callous.”

I tried to change the subject. I said: “There’s never a bloody bin when you need one, is there. And you know why? Because of the Irish; that’s why. The litter on our streets is down to the Irish. No surrender, eh Roger?”

“There’s a bin right there, Barry.” Said Roger, pointing to a bin that I hadn’t seen. “What do you need to throw away?”

He had me here, and I had nothing to throw away. Out of desperation and in a moment of panic I said: “This watch. I’m sick of it.” And then I took off my watch and threw it in the bin. It was a lovely watch, Gill gave it to me for my birthday a few years back. But I couldn’t risk blowing my cover.

"That looked like a very expensive watch, Barry," said Roger. "Why did you throw it away?"

I said the only thing I could say:

"Bloody foreign, that's why." Roger looked me in the eye for a long time, while neither of us said anything. I thought we were about to get a breakthrough, but then Mum came out of the restaurant and we went home.

So now I’ve got to buy a new watch. Maybe when all this is over and the scales have fallen from Mum's eyes she'll be so grateful she'll buy me a really expensive one.



Friday, November 13, 2009

Roger, over and out

It was Winston Churchill who famously said, "keep your friends close, but your enemies closer". Wise words indeed, and something of an irony that I will be using them to fight my own personal war on terror.

As regular readers will recall, I discovered that Mum has been hoodwinked into a relationship with a bone fide nazi, Roger Leache. Since discovering the truth about Roger, I have been trying to think of a way that I could use the information to my benefit.

When Mum, whom my love for is beyond compare, first fell for the elusive charms of Roger, I was aghast. In my haste to get Roger out of our lives, I told Mum that Roger had actually made advances in my direction.

Amazingly, Mum took his word over mine. Unbelievable really, but there you go, they say that love is blind. And, although it sickens me to the pit of my stomach, Dad did leave us both an awful long time ago, so I suppose when someone came along and bombarded her with amorous desire, it is little wonder that she was blinded by the truth, and chose his word over mine.

That said, he never actually did make any movements in my direction, but even if he had, she still would have believed him over me, and I think that's the point. It's a matter of principle. Anyway, when I discovered that Roger is a nazi using the the BNP nazi finder website. I thought to myself, "hold up Bazza boy, you're going to have to be a bit canny here." After all Mum's political views are stuck in the 1950s at best.

Indeed, much to my eternal shame, but I feel I can admit the truth here on the blog, my middle name is actually Enoch. There, I've said it, Barrington Enoch Newsdesk. I'm not proud readers, but then again, he did have a point in his infamous Rivers of Blood Speech. Immigration has been something of a headache. Not that I for one am a nazi.

In the comments section of the post where I announced that Roger is a nazi, my excellent follower (who refuses to add the follower widget) The Vegetable Assasin said: "I think whenever you're next forced to acknowledge him, instead of a terse "Hello." or "Good night" you should greet him with a spirited "ACHTUNG!" and see how he reacts. If he goose steps around the living room like Basil Fawlty on Ritalin, you've truly sussed him. If he doesn't react at all you've still sussed him because that means he's familiar with the greeting. Maybe instead of "Achtung!" you could yell "HEIL ROGER!" but then he might take it as a compliment..."

Clearly, something of a jokey suggestion readers, but you know what, sometimes playing a little curveball is the best move.

I'm off up to Lincoln this weekend and instead of being openly anti-Roger, I have decided to win his confidence by pretending to be a nazi! It's fucking genius isn't it? I'll be like a double-agent in a John Le Carre novel.

It's a long game readers, I'll win his confidence and then using one of the dictafones that I 'borrowed' off the editorial desk, I'll get him to reveal his true colours!

When Mum hears with her own ears how evil and twisted Roger is, she'll surely (jack)boot him out for good!

auf weidersen

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Barry Newsdesk is not a paedophile

When I spotted the squad car sitting in the car park I thought to myself, "oh, here we go, some local ne-er do well's been caught trying to half inch a packet of plugs." But when I walked in through the front door of PC World, I knew, almost instinctively, that something was up.

Standing behind the counter was my Blockbusters nemesis, Richard, alongside another barely human looking sales assistant, and two of her majesty's finest boys in blue. I almost turned tail and fled, just through instinct alone, it doesn't matter how innocent someone is, they always feel guilty when they see a copper. It's just a fact of life.

I think the news that the authorities will be able to keep the DNA of innocent people on file for up to six years is yet another example of the creeping state of fear. It's an infringement of our civil liberties, like CCTV cameras everywhere, and Google's ability to actually read your mind according to your web activities.

Still, I thought to myself, "c'mon Barry old son, you've nothing to hide," and so I walked up the counter.

"That's him," said Richard, his face remained expressionless. The two officers came out from behind the counter and before I could protest my innocence, they'd cuffed my hands behind my back and were frog-marching me out of the shop!!!

As they did, I heard Richard saying "I always knew he was a wrong 'un."

Well readers, the next 24 hours were my own personal Guantanamo Bay. The police officers didn't say a word as we drove away from PC World. "What the fuck is going on?" I asked, "where are you taking me?"
The one in the passenger seat span around and spat "Shut your fucking mouth you nonce."

I did as I was told, I can tell you that for nothing, I've seen the videos on YouTube about police brutality. When we got to the station, after having all my belongings taken away, including my belt and shoe laces, I was bundled into a cell. A cell, I might hasten to add that I had to share with a common criminal.

After what seemed like hours, I was removed from the cell and taken to a room, where the arresting officers were sitting. I was being charged with possession of indecent material! Me, Barry Newdesk, was being charged with possession of over 1000 images and nearly 24 hours of footage of illegal child and animal porn.

"We know you can't help it Barry," said the one who hadn't called me a nonce earlier, "we know what it must be like, on your own, spending hours in front of the computer. You have needs." he said. Well, y'know, I do have needs, but usually they extend as far as a four pack of Cobra and Fray Bentos pie. This line of questioning went on for a while, with the savage looking officer just staring at me.

Then he spaketh. "I've got an eight year old daughter, Barry. How does that make you feel?"
"I love kids," I said.

Well, he practically cleared the desk in a single bound. The other, kindly looking officer, only just stepped in, even then, my attacker managed to land a couple of blows. I couldn't believe what was happening to me readers, an innocent blogger. "It's Richard," I protested, "he must have uploading all that filth, he's planted it on me."

But they wouldn't listen. They wouldn't listen at all, instead they just kept asking me over and over a list of endless, seemingly unrelated questions: had I ever been to Belgium? Did I know anything about Romanian orphans? Did I know a man called Dalston Keith? Did I ever call phone sex numbers? Was I a practicing homosexual? Did I know about a place called The Biscuit Club?

Honestly, the questions went on and on, relentless they were. They brought out my trusty old laptop and fired it up and then made me watch some of the videos that they said had been stored on the hard drive. I was sick on my trousers. I don't think it really helped my cause.

They carried on questioning me, they even carried out a cavity search, nature's pocket thoroughly rummaged, I'm not sure what they were expecting to find up there. Eventually, they threw me back in with Trevor the car thief from Thornton Heath. "Alright bruv," he said, "you look how I feel."

I couldn't bring myself to ask how he felt.

I had no idea what time it was, I think I must have passed out asleep at some point or other, because the next thing I knew, there was a rattling at the door, it opened briefly and a copper came in with two cardboard plates of food. It was breakfast time. Not bad either, a sausage, some rubberized scrambled eggs and baked beans.

I'm not ashamed to admit it, I wolfed down the grub, I felt like Tom Hanks in the Shawshank Redemption, then that line came back to me, "I believe in two things: discipline and the Bible. Here you'll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord; your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank."

I didn't want my ass belonging to anyone.

I jumped to my feet and started banging on the door, "I'm innocent, INNOCENT!" I was screaming now.

Then, miraculously, the door of the cell swung open and I came face to face with the hard-faced arresting officer from the previous night's interrogation: "You're free to go Mr Newsdesk," he said very matter of fact, well, they were the sweetest words I think I've ever heard. I nearly kissed him. Then I remembered the cavity search and I thought better of it.

"Your friend from PC World called in," he said, "seems you've been the victim of a computer virus." he said.

Then there he was, sitting in the waiting room, bold as brass, bloody Richard! The cheeky fuckin cunt, I charged over just about knocked his block off, there and then, even though I'm a pacifist, I just let him have it with both barrels.

Which, in retrospect, was somewhat foolhardy. The coppers grabbed hold of me and threw me back in with Trevor!

Richard had come to the station to explain to the officers that he had discovered a computer virus on some other computers in his care. Apparently people unwittingly download the virus from certain sites. These sites themselves are perfectly legal sites targeted at consenting adults. But the virus, once downloaded, sends out requests to other more sinister websites, automatically downloading as much hardcore illegal porn as possible, before crashing the machine's operating system.

After an hour to calm down, the officers let me go. Richard didn't even press charges. I have to say, I think I might have misjudged the man.

I went down to PC World this afternoon and bought a new laptop, I thought it was the decent thing to do under the circumstances. I tell you one thing for sure, I'm going to get myself some decent IT security from now on!

Yours, in freedom, Barry

Monday, November 9, 2009

iphones are brilliaint

Hiya blogland. As anyone who bothered to read yesterdays post will nkow (thanks Mess and Mr C - excellent comments as ever - by the wat Mess, I was indeed thinking of you the other day, I was thinking 'what do the french call french toast?, do you call it toast? If so, what do you call toast? English toast!!! lol that would be mental), my trusty Mac ibook is at PC world.
I thougth I would have to wait until I got it back before I blogged on. But no!
I've borrowed Dan's iphone.
I don't know if you know about iphones readers? They're absolutely the bomb. They are literally mind bowingly awesome. It's like having a phone in your pocket that is also like having a mini-computer in your pocket, albeit one with a fiddly keyboard that makes it quite hard to type.
Dan got his iphone ages ago, he said he queued up outside the Regent St shop to get it when it first came out. He's a trend setting early adoptor readers. I'm usually quite skeptical when it comes to new technology, but this thing is amazing. I can access the internet wherever and whenever I want, anytime, anyplace, it's like that advert for martini.
I'm finding it quite difficult to type though, I told Dan and he told me that I probably suffer from fat-fingering!! lol, I thought that's what went on behind the bikesheds ;-)
I did call up PC world, but some bloke answered the phone, honestly, I don't know where they find these people. Sheldon his name was. Sheldon! I had to ask him three times whether it was actually PC world I was calling up, up the outpatients dept of the Maudsley mental hospital. I was about to give up, I doubt whether Sheldon knows how to even spell COMPUTER! But then someone else interupted him, I recognised the voice. It was none other than my old nemeisis frmo Blockbusters - Richard.
Unless, you're a proper old time Newsdesk reader, you'll not know about Richard. I would tag in the backstory here, but this iphone is well fidly, anyway, after I was first made redundant, I got myself a job at Blockbusters, just to make ensd meet, it didn't really work out, it's a long story readers, but the upshot is, the next time Richard and I crossed swords it was in the job interview for my job here on the magazine. Look at me now Richard! Whos laughing now??????
I'm a senior sales executive on the world's premiere HR magazine and you're a shop worker!
Not that there's anything wrong with being a shop worker - my Mum works in the shop and I love her to pieces, but Richard had an HNC or City & Guilds or something, he was proper jumped up, thought he was better than the rest of us, NOT ANYmore.
I could tel lhe was none too chuffed to be hearing frmo yours truly, and I have to admit, even thought I tried to hide it, i was a little bit smug, although, Richard's so dence he probably didnt notice.
I can't wait to go in to PC world now, I really can't it's going to be hilarious!
Oh how the mightty have fallen.
YOurs Barry

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I have a nasty virus

Apologies blogosphere, I have been AWOL for a week now. The truth of the matter is, I think I must have picked up a nasty bug at some point last weekend.

Dan reckons I probably picked up the infection because I've been operating all this time without using the right sort of protection.

I went to see a specialist regarding what I think is quite an embarrassing complaint during the week, and he told me that he'd really need to take a closer look at my equipment.

I had to leave the flat today to get myself down to the Internet cafe on the high street so that I could blog-on. I'd often walked past this cafe and just figured it must be some sort of money laundering operation, much like the Somali mini-cab firm and the massage parlour.

Internet cafes don't come cheap, this one is charging me £1 for 10 mins. I saw a report in the paper the other day that posed the question, 'Is access to the Internet a basic human right?' I thought to myself, well yes, I think everyone should be able to access the Internet.' But then on reflection, it shouldn't necessarily be free.

I think Cobra is a basic human right, but I'm more than happy to pay my way. £1 per can seems fair, even though I could easily neck a Cobra in under 10. I dunno, maybe £1 for 10 minutes Internet access is good value. I'd be lucky to get 10 minute massage for a quid. Especially if it had a happy ending. And £1 wouldn't get me back home in a cab (assuming that any of the cabbies were were working today, which by the look of things they aren't) - the walk home is no more than 10 mins, but the cab firm sticks a pick up fare of a fiver anyway.

I could get a six for the price of five Cobras if I walk home. Or I can double that fee and nip into the massage parlour. OR - I could sit writing the blog for an hour.

Hopefully, PC World will fix the problem with my laptop and I'll be able to blog from the comfort of my home by this time next week. Then all these financial conundrums will be a thing of the past.

Once again, sorry about my absence blogfans, and sorry about this terribly short post. But time's money and all of a sudden I do fancy a quick rub down.



Sunday, November 1, 2009

It's a funny old game

Apologies in advance Tennyson, I'm going to spend a fair bit of today's post talking about a soccerball match. I do feel a tad guilty, I know you don't much care for Association Rules Football, and you left such an AWESOME comment after last night's last post. But hey, you can't please all of the people all of the time, so I might as well please myself. As it were.

I was planning to give you a write up about last night's adventure, but my memory of the actual events is a little bit hazy, and one or two things happened that I'd rather not go into directly. Fortunately, I've just watched a footy match on TV that could easily serve as an analogy for my experience at last night's Halloween party with Dan, which in turn could end up serving as an analogy for my life.

I woke up this morning feeling dreadful. I had a stinking hangover and my body ached all over. I felt like curling up into a ball and crying. The only thing that I had to look forward to all day was watching my beloved Notts Forest on the box. I know all you non-footy lovers out there will think that there's too much soccer on TV. And, in a way, you'd be right. But it is a rare day indeed that I get to see Forest from the comfort of my sofa. It usually happens just about twice a year, much like something else highly pleasurable that seems to happen to me with the frequency of an equinox.

Forest were playing away from home and had travelled to play the much fancied Cardiff City. A team going through some sort of renaissance at the moment, after years feeling sorry for its self, out in the winderness, they could once again become a force to be reckoned with, a good deal of investment has been made in the club and it seems to be going from strength to strength.

All the talk before the game was about how impressive Cardiff are, leaving Forest as an admired but unfancied underdog whose past glories are but a distant memory. The game started at quite a pace, the wet conditions adding to the zip of the ball. For all the pre-game chatter, Forest were holding the ball up well, they seemed to command the lion's share of possession. It was, however, Cardiff who looked the more likely to score. They looked powerful up front, they knew where the goal was. Forest were tight at the back, but lacked any kind of penetration.

At the midway stage, it was honours even. Neither side had scored. The pundits' view was that Forest had played the better game. They were unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty kick, sometimes when you're playing away from home, you don't get those close decisions.

The second half continued in much the same vein. The visitors were clearly on top. For some reason though, the Forest management decided that they needed to up the ante. They were on top and now it was time to go for the kill. Up until this point they'd been playing with an additional man in the middle, bossing the centre of the park. The manager withdrew the tricky attacking midfielder and brought on menacing target man.

With more space created in the middle of the park, it was Cardiff and not Forest who seized the advantage. Sweeping up field majestically the forwards combined to score a classic goal on the counter attack.

Cardiff were full of pomp, the home crowd in lusty voice were singing them on. They were ahead by a goal and threatening to score more with heir tails well and truly up. But Forest did not capitulate, true there were a couple of shaky moments, but the man in charge altered the tactics accordingly. They got back to doing what they do well. They were knocking it about, tidy little interchanges. It was impressive stuff, but they could well have been just flattering to deceive.

Then it happened. All good things come to he who waits. A fresh pair of legs came on up front, the ball bounced in front of the home team's goal, there was a fortunate bobble and handy deflection, and the visitors struck. That's all it took. It was half a chance really, in the dying seconds of the game. We'd already player over the allotted time and were running on pure fumes. GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Newsdesk, you beauty, I didn't need asking twice I can tell you that for nothing. There were a tense few moments before the final whistle, but I hung on, like Forest, and secured the result. I went home happy. I would have taken that result before the game. But in the cold light of day, when we look at the league table, Dan is still riding high, heading for automatic promotion. All I can realistically hope for is a place in the play-offs.

I have no idea what her name was, but I do remember her telling me that, anatomically, a woman's mouth is identical to a man's.

It's a funny old game.

Right, I've got to go now and watch the X-Factor results. Now my sweepstake band Miss Frank have left the competition. I have decided to support John & Edward. I feel they're the only act that I can empathize with.

Laters potaters!

Barry (the fox in the box) Newsdesk