Wednesday, July 29, 2009

No God thanks we're British

When I was a nipper up in Lincoln, Mum wanted me to join the Boy's Brigade because she thought it might be nice for me to learn an instrument. She bought me a bugle. Sadly, it turns out, I am completely tone deaf and they threw me out, so then I joined the Scouts. It didn't last long, I'm not massively keen on following orders, all that swearing allegiance to the Queen and singing the national anthem. I deserted in the end.

After the Scouts, I joined the Woodcraft Folk with my best friend Steve, which was bascially like the Scouts for the children of hippies. Steve wasn't the child of a hippy (his dad was a copper for crying out loud!) but the Woodcraft Folk allowed girls to join and they went on camps, so the attraction of such an organisation to young lads from Lincoln was obvious.

The Woodcraft Folk is an unusual organisation really. I think it started in Scandinavia somewhere. They try and teach children discipline by respecting their views and hoping the respect will engender respect for others. Fucking madness really. You can well imagine how that when down with us?! It was bedlam, absolute carnage, we'd spend our time on camps trying to source cheap cider and finger the girls.

I have some very fond memories of my days in the Woodcraft Folk, not least Emily Yates, we all remember our first time don't we readers?! :-)

I saw something today that made me cry tears of saddness for the youth of today. Famed satanist Richard Dawkins and the gang have launched something called Camp Quest. It's a summer camp for the children of atheists!! Ridiculous eh? I thought that atheists were against indoctrination!!!!!

That said, having had a look at the website, if Mum had sent me to the camp it would certainly have made me question the notion of a God. Kids get to study philosophy, science and critical thinking. Yawnsville or wot?! Where's the canoeing? The rock climbing? The team building exercises? The cider? The fingering?

Actually, I bet the last two things still happen. Still, as Michael Jackson so famously sang:

If They Say "Why, Why?"
Tell 'Em, that's Human Nature
"Why? Why? Does He Do Me That Way?"
If They Say "Why, Why?"
Tell 'Em, that's Human Nature
"Why? Why? Does He Do Me That?"
Makes you think what Wacko Jacko would have made of the Camp Quest doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What a load of bowls

A couple of posts ago I wrote a post about football. My musings were lost on Tennyson ee Hemingway, my excellent Australian follower. (NOTE – he’s an Australian who follows me, not a follower of Australians. Although, maybe he’s that too….?).

Anyhoo, I replied to a comment, made by Tennyson, that he felt left cold by the world’s favourite game (not counting bedroom gymnastics ;-) and offered to write a post about his fav sport. He then replied requesting that I write a post about bowels. Not the indoor version, made famous by King Pin, though. He wanted something on the lawn variant made famous by Sir Walter Raleigh (discoverer of the potatoes, inventor of the bicycle and defender of the realm again the Spanish Armada under Queen Elizabeth part 1).

It’s funny you should mention this noble and wonderful old English sport Tennyson, but I have recently been recruited to the company team!!!! What an amazing coincidence eh!? A space has opened up on the team after Dan put his shoulder out of joint during a particularly gruelling game at the weekend.

I have to confess that your raised query and me joining the team are actually quite closely related. So it’s not that much of an amazing coincidence that I joined the team. I never would have considered joining a lawn bowling club before as I assumed it was the preserve of doddering old right wingers like bloody Roger.

When I overheard Dan boasting that he’d “absolutely f*cking nailed it,” recently, I assumed that he was talking about his latest conquest, but he was actually talking about a particularly masterful stroke against the jack ball. (Which, now I’ve written it down, makes Dan look like a practicing homosexual – ha! Lol).

He says it was the concentration and controlled power of pulling off such a great shot that made him relax momentarily causing his finely tuned physique to spasm throwing his shoulder out. As a consequence they needed another player. Naturally, I felt this was the perfect opportunity not only to bond with my co-workers, but also to learn about bowls in order to write a post for Tennyson.

If you want to find out more about bowls but are not lucky enough to have the opportunity to join a club, I suggest you check out this Wikipedia page. If you can’t be arsed to click on the link here are the basics:

There are lots of variations on the theme, but essentially the idea is to roll your bowl as close as possible to a marker ball known as a jack. You take it in turns and score individual points for each bowl of yours that is closer to the jack that you rival.

Sounds somewhat more boring than the indoor version where you get to smash down pins at the end of an alley. But that pretty much sums up the difference between the Americans and the English. They invented Elvis, we invented Cliff Richard, they invented McDonald’s, we invented Wimpy, they invented the Jackson 5, we invented 5 Star…the list goes on...

Not sure how I get on, I've never been great at sports, but it strikes me that bowls isn't really a sport, so I should be all right.

Hope that'll do you Tennyson, there's not much more I can say on the subject.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Size of pleasure

You know what, readers? Sometimes I wonder if I’m really quite as worldly as I think I am. It was someone’s birthday at work today and we all went for a quick snooter at lunch time, even though it’s a Monday. Anyway, Susie was talking to one of the other office girls, who’s called Trudy, about the latest guy that Trudy is seeing.

If different types of people had names like different breeds of animal, then Trudy would without a doubt be a Broad-backed Clapham. Apologies to those of you from other countries who may be unfamiliar with Clapham. And to those of you from this country who may be unfamiliar with Clapham. It’s a place in South London that exerts a powerful gravitational pull on upper middle class young professionals.

The men all have thick hair and jauntily upturned collars. The women all have blonde hair and jauntily upturned noses. These are the Claphams. They are loud and confident and rather well-off and they prefer rugby to football. Among the Claphams there are more VW Golfs per capita than in any part of Germany. There are very few Black Claphams.

The Broad-backed Clapham is a notable sub-breed of Clapham female. She is, as her name attests, more powerfully built than most of the Clapham females, more lustily vocal when there’s a rugby match on, more drunk than the others and more forthright as well.

This was pressed home, so to speak, at lunchtime today when I sat down next to Susie and Trudy with a drink and caught the following fragment of Trudy’s monologue:

“Well I don’t know if I really like him, but he’s got a massive cock. Not so big that it hurts, though.”

I actually spat a mouthful of beer over Trudy’s legs at this point, which was embarrassing, to say the least. But you just don’t expect to hear that kind of thing being said.

I mean, how big does it have to be before it hurts? Presumably Trudy has encountered one that is so big that it hurts… Having a large cock is a point of pride for men, I should have thought. But if it’s too big does it become effectively useless? A clumsy, lumpen appendage? A bringer only of pain?

I’ll be honest with you: The best compliment that I’ve ever been paid about my own cock is that it’s “quite a nice shape”. I was happy enough with that to begin with but after a while I began to worry that I was being patronised. I suppose I shouldn’t have asked the girl in question what she thought of it in comparison to others that she had encountered.

I don’t mind it being a nice shape, assuming she was telling the truth. But you never hear people in porn films saying:

“Oh yeah, that’s right. Oh yeah, baby. Do it to me with your nice-shaped cock.”

Being a nice shape is really only useful for objects whose principal purpose is to be displayed. Since it is unlikely that my cock will ever be displayed, I can only assume that its nice-shapedness is going to go woefully under-appreciated. What I really wanted the girl to say, of course, was: “it’s bloody enormous.”

Or perhaps:

“It’s biblical. It’s like some kind of Old Testament Cock. A wrathful, vengeful cock. The kind of cock that would smite you just as soon as look at you. It’s a priapic colossus, a monster of the genus. A marvel of biology. It revels in its own earth-quaking magnificence. It has a certain, haughty arrogance about it, but deservedly so; like Mr Darcy. It needs its own horsepower rating. It has a reassuring heft to it when weighed in the hand. You can feel the quality. It has the natural authority to silence a room simply with its presence. It’s the non-pareil of cocks. It glowers with menace and dark potential. It’s a rumbling, angry, trumpeting mastodon seized in the grip of prehistoric must. You could use it to prove the theory of displacement in the Amazon Basin. Eureka! Oh, yes! Eureka! It hogs the duvet. It's a fucking privilege. It’s wild and stormy; a howling, havoc-wreaking hurricane of a cock. But it’s not so big that it hurts.”

But I didn’t get that, did I. I got: “It’s quite a nice shape”.

Oh well, you can’t have it all.

Unlike Roger, it seems, who has proposed to my mother. And my mother has accepted. I'm in denial at the moment, so we'll talk about that another time.

ND out.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Roland Rat is a terrorist shocker

Is it just me or does the bloke in the photo on the blog post below bear a striking resemblance to Roland Rat?

"Eeeeeeeeee, Kevin, let's form a terrorist cell and then go and blow up a hotel bar packed with innocent holiday makers, eeeeeeeeeeee."

I probably wouldn't condone the use of children's entertainment glove puppets for the propagation of terror. But maybe they’re perfect for the job. According to his theme tune, King of the glove puppets Sooty was “ever so naughty”. Granted that is a far cry from guerrilla warfare and the worse Matthew Corbett could expect was a squirt in the face with a water pistol. But Sooty could lull you into a false sense of security couldn't he? He had a certain something. A certain innocent charm. I doubt he'd get searched going through Heathrow security. I can well imagine him, Sweep and Soo running amok in the departure lounge of Terminal 5 with sub-machine guns or worse still taking the controls of a Boeing 747 and crashing it into Buckingham Palace. That would put the cat among the pigeons.

I think I’ve been stuck at home alone too long readers! lol.

I'm off up to Lincoln this weekend thank (your) God. The Swine Flu has definitely cleared up and Mum says she's got some news she can only tell me in person. She's asked me to bring the the tie and cufflinks she bought me and the new suit I was supposed to get myself. I haven't actually had a chance to get the suit or sell the gift card either!! I'll just tell her that I didn't have time to get to the shops, she's only asking about the suit out of some pointless politeness. If she wanted to get me a suit, she should have bloody well bought me one instead of taking the easy way out and getting me a voucher. Vouchers are just the lazy way out. Unless they're vouchers for Cobra, which is what I requested in return for my continued online support of that fabulously smooth lager beer.

Still haven't heard anything from the Cobra marketing guys though, I guess they need to get my sponsorship offer signed off by the lawyers of something.

Anyhoo, much love and peace out.


Thursday, July 23, 2009


Now I know how the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay must feel. I've been locked up at home all week with this Swine Flu and still no sign of any Tamiflu. I feel absolutely fine, but Dan is most insistent that I don't go into work. He reckons I might be a carrier but not an incubator.

I called Mum to see if she'd come down and help me out but she said she can't risk catching Swine Flu because bloody Roger's got a 'medical condition' and can't risk picking up infections.

Jesus. A medical condition! I'm the one on death's door. I'm her only son and I could drop down dead at almost any minute from Swine Flu. I had to order up a curry from the Taj Mahal and get Rajindar to nip to the shop and buy me a pint of milk. He was really good about it and when I said I had Swine Flu he even made a joke about not eating bacon.

He's not a muslim though, he's actually a sikh and as far as I'm aware they're allowed to eat bacon. With the exception of Buddhism I've not really covered the eastern religions. I thought the next time I order up a ruby and I've not got Swine Flu, I'll invite Raj in and get the skinny. Mind you he's from Thornton Heath anyway, so he probably doesn't know himself, he doesn't bother with the turban. Which as far as I was aware was pretty much the whole gig.

I've not really been able to get up to much readers, completed a couple more seasons on PES. As a Notts Forest fan I have been much alarmed by developments at Meadow Lane and them landing Sven. What do you make of that Mr Coleman, you're up in Nottingham, I bet the ladies are excited about the arrival of such a famed lover! Mind you, with the legendary ratio of six ladies for every man, even Sven's got his work cut out.

I'm not sure whether he'll be able to take County up to the premiership, really, I'm not just saying this because I'm a Notts Forest fan either. But County are shite. They're so shite that us Notts Forest fans would rather hate Derby County (and Leicester City) before even bothering to hate County.

For anyone out there who doesn't know who Notts County are, shame on you. They're the oldest football club in the league. I wonder who they played when they formed? Maybe they just had inter-club competitions until Forest established themselves a few years later. I guess we'll never know.

I did actually find out something completely amazing as well while surfing on Wikipedia. Shane Meadows is from Uttoxeter and didn't move to Nottingham until he was 20. He's supposedly a Notts County fan, but being from Uttoxeter he'd be much more likely to be a Stoke City or worse still Derby effing County. I reckons he claims to be a Notts County fan because they play at a ground called Meadow Lane in an area of Nottingham called the Meadows. Being an artistic type he's liable to be quite egotistical and simply likes them because they share his name.

I used to feel a strange affinity with Barry from Eastenders for much the same reasons. I won't lie to you, I am a little bit egotistical. You probably can't tell because I'm such a talented wordsmith I can disguise the narcissism quite well.

Anyway, I wonder which (if any) Shane Meadows films Sven has seen and whether he intend to watch any. He might like to start with This Is England. It might bring back some fond memories of the time he steered the nation to three consecutive quarter finals. I should think the site of all the St George cross flags will bring a some lump to he throat.

I'm rambling a bit today, I guess that could be the Swine Flu making me delirious. I might give Raj a call and get him to bring me some Cobra.

Speaking of which, I fired an email off to the marketing manager at my fav beer to see if he'd be interested in sponsoring the blog.

Fingers crossed.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Swine flu

Firstly, I want to apologise for my outburst on Monday. The show of support from everyone was heart-warming and when Mrs Bradley brought Mum’s present round it made me forget about my birthday blues entirely.

The parcel contained some new cuff links and a colourful new tie, plus and £300 gift card for Debenhams and a note to get myself a nice new suit. It is a lovely gesture and so typical of Mum that she’s thinking about my professional attire. Mind, the card was signed from her and bloody Roger. I was thinking of getting a PS3 though, rather than the suit, I’m not sure if you can get electronics at Debenhams so I might see if I can sell the card at a discount. You can’t beat cold hard cash really.

I feel terrible today though, and I don’t mean emotionally, I felt so bad yesterday that I had to call in sick, I thought it was just a case of a little too much Cobra. But Cobra’s so clean and pure, like a virgin (maybe Cobra could use the Madonna song as part of their marketing campaigns, I’ll write a note to their marketing manager later!!), that it doesn’t usually give me hangovers. But I feel rough as a dog today, and I didn’t touch a drop yesterday.

I think I have SWINE FLU. I’ve got achy shoulders and I’m pretty sure I have a fever. I definitely don’t feel too clever. I told Dan and he says he thinks he might have had it the other week, so there’s a good chance I caught it off him, he told me not to bother coming in for the rest of the week. He’s such a great boss.

I spoke to Dave the roofer and he reckons that the whole Swine Flu thing was started by the CIA. He reckons the Americans developed the strain and kick-started things off in Mexico to track how epidemics spread and as a trial to gauge the effectiveness of the country’s epidemiological crisis management plans. He also reckons that the Swiss drug company Roche , the firm that makes Tamiflu, are behind plans to create a global virus for which only it has a vaccine. Dave also told me that Roche was originally funded by the Nazi gold. Which sounds like absolute cobblers to me.

Mind you, Dave also once told me that the vapour trails left by commercial jets were being used by the government to “monitor things”. He was non-specific on the details, but he was absolutely convinced for a while, and whenever he was outside if he saw a vapour trail he’d immediately head for cover and wouldn’t under any circumstances drive under one.

Anyway, what I do know is once you’ve got swine flu you shouldn’t venture outside. Which is a bit of problem because I’m totally out of milk. I think I might have to call Mum and get her to come down.

L&ers team – if you’re near anyone who sneezes, just hold you breath for 30 seconds and walk in the opposite direction!

I'm off to play PES - that always cheers me up.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy birthday to me.....

Well readers, I've had a shit old day today. I remember the good old days back in Lincoln, when Mum's mantlepiece would be adored with cards. There'd be a big one from Mum in the middle, one from my grandparents (on the maternal side, natch), one from Steve, one from the neighbours, one from Rev Smyth and one from Mum's friend aunty Sue, who wasn't my actual aunt. I'd have ice cream for breakfast and Mum would let me come home from school at lunch and then stay at home playing on my Atari, I could stay up and have jam sandwiches for supper.

These days, I just go into work, another anonymous drone, realising there's nothing special about me or my existence. One more day closer to death.

The only thing had to look forward to all day was the thought of the six pack of Cobra I'd get myself on the way home.

Although, I should also say a special thank you to my good friend Mess, who was the only person to send me birthday greetings today.


As for everyone else, and yes that includes you Mum! (Presumably you're too busy fucking Roger to remember you even have a son.) You can all go swing.

Happy birthday my arse.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Never again...

I've got a stonking hangover today. I don't know why I do it to be honest? Gill always said I was a borderline alcoholic, I certainly don't feel like a drink right now, so I guess that means I can't be an alkie, they don't just like a drink, they need a drink. Actually, now I've said that, I reckon a little one just to take the edge off things might help.

Gill's been at the forefront of my mind recently readers, I've not really had the time to be thinking of old friends, not since I started the new job, but she's nearly three months gone! Wow, how time flies eh?

I was really pleased then when my my old friend Dave, the roofer, texted me and asked me I fancied a drink up, "for old times sake", he'll never get the hang of apostrophes. God only knows what kind of father he'll make! I was so glad he got in touch, becasue I wanted to tell him all about how I've totally landed on my feet with the new job.

When I met up with him he wasn't wearing his beloved John Terry Chelsea shirt, he reckons Terry is going to do the off, some bloke he knows who works at Marcos restaurant told him. He called Terry a "fucking Judas", which is Dave's staple insult for an footballer who has moved clubs. Dave was wearing what looked like an American football shirt with Gretzky 99 on the back. Which I thought was weird, because Dave can't stand Americans.

The last time I'd spoken with Gill, just before I started my new job, she'd told me that Dave the roofer had presented her with £10k and promised £1k per month indefinitely for the upkeep of the child that she had decided to selfishly keep. Now, the way I figured it, Dave must have gotten himself into some murky roofing scams to come up with that sort of money, either that or it was an out and out lie by Gill just to belittle me. But it turns out that Dave's rich uncle Dave from Edmonton passed on a few months ago and left him with a bag of cash and one or two properties. It's easy to be generous when you're rich isn't it?

Dave, the roofer, had always talked about his rich uncle Dave from Edmonton. But I never even met him. Seems Dave's father and his brother (Dave - Dave's uncle) had set up a roofing business in the late 70s, then much like Adolf Dassler and Rudolph Dassler founders of the sporting goods giants Adidas and Puma, the two brothers had an almighty argument and went their separate ways.

Dave's father handed down the Chelsea roofing business to Dave, meanwhile Dave's uncle Dave moved to Edmonton and started afresh. Now, I thought that meant he'd moved to Edmonton, Enfield in North London, but actually he'd moved to Edmonton, Alberta in Canada!

That's quite the rift. Anyway, Dave told me all this over a pint or eight in the Imperial on the King's Road. Seems Dave has spent the last few weeks over in Canada. Dave reckons his uncle never married out there, and in his last will and testament he left Dave his entire estate, under the proviso that Dave moves out to Edmonton to run the business!!

Dave wasn't going to do it, out of loyalty to his father, but then when Gill came along and ruined everything, he thought it would make financial sense. Plus, Dave's dad said to him that it'd be all right, he'd take care of things in Chelsea and anyway Dave has had enough of living in London, "cos of all the immigrants". I pointed out that when Dave moves to Canada to take over the Edmonton roofing business, he'll be in immigrant himself. But I don't think he quite understood.

We had quite an emotional night, as you can well imagine, it will be terrible to see the back of Dave. We've had such a journey together. Get this though, he's asked me to be the Godfather of his unborn child! I said I wasn't sure that Gill would be keen, but he just winked at me and said he has certain ways of talking her around to his way of thinking, then he did this thing with his tongue in his cheek and said "she loves it Bazzler." Well, I felt a bit sick to be honest, but we'd had a few sherberts and so I let it wash over me.

The thing is readers, I'm not sure that I should accept Dave's invitation to be his child's Godfather. As regular readers will know, I've been taking in-depth looks at religion and it's made me appreciate the finer points of the need for spirituality, that said what if Gill and Dave decide the back the wrong horse at the font? I'm not sure if I could live with myself if I stood up in an anglican church and promised to God that I'd look after Dave and Gill's child, if God forbid, anything should happen to them, only to then discover at a later date that it's not the anglican God that I should have been making promises to, but the Catholic God or worse still the Jewish God, now I've done some reading around the subject and I can catagorically say that you wouldn't want to fuck with the God of the Old Testament, he'd rain down bad on yo ass.

Imagine, you're dead right, and then you find out that actually you should have paid attention to the Jehovah's Witnesses who knocked on your door the previous weekend and now you're doomed to wander the Earth in limbo like an unseen zombie in that film with Rickey Gervais. The thing is, at least you've made your choice, as it were, I might well have been rude the doorstepping God botherers, but it was my choice, and that's my right as a human being. It's called FREE WILL, duuuuuuuuh! But If I stand up at a font in the wrong type of church and make a load of promises, won't that just anger the correct God?! And then I've pretty much condemed Dave and Gill's child to a lifetime of blasphemy and an eternity in the fiery pit of the hell of whichever God I've gone and inadvertedly pissed off.

It would be hipocrisy, and no one could accuse me of being an hippocrates. Least of all Dave the bloody roofer, who, when all's said and done, decided to bang my recently ex'd girlfriend, bring a bastard child into the world and then bugger off to the other side of the world.

I might suggest that we work on signing Dave junior up to a selection of some of key religions right from the get go, just in case.

Anyway, I'm off to take a dump now.

Peace out


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Well versed

I just can’t stop thinking about this writing competition, readers. I went back and looked over the criteria, worried that—as good as my Marvellous Marvin sporting classic was (and a friend of mine compared the ending to the short story writing of someone called Raymond Carver, whoever he is)—that I was missing a trick. And there it was on the site: Rhyme.

Kids love rhyme because it makes things easier to remember. So I thought I’d try again with a rhyming story. But what should it be about? Well, the website called for it to deal with the “challenges, adventures and wonders of living within an active urban community.” Well, I live in an urban community and I’ve seen what the kids are like. But in among all the filth, the little flower can still grow. So while I’ve dealt with some key children’s issues in my epic poem (alright, it’s twelve verses) I’ve found room for a shaft of happiness among the gritty urban realism. It’s what I’ve always found to be lacking from the work of Mike Leigh, who’s a miserable old sod, as far as I can work out.

Just one word about the rhyming patterns. I’ve kept it deliberately simple, as that’s the way to do it with kids. Anything too unstructured and they lose the rhythm. Anyway, I hope you like it. And if you have kids, feel free to read it to them before they go to bed this evening. Just remember: Newsdesk tells it like it is.


Marcus, Magnus, drug-abuse, the crushing pain of bereavement, alcoholism and sexual discrepancies.

A poem for children, in twelve stanzas

By B. Newsdesk.

It was the rarest of days, in little Seed City,
For once there was sunshine galore.
Bathed in the rays of the sun, all looked pretty;
Even the town’s oldest whore.
A whore, as you’ll know, is a lady who labours
After the sun’s gone to bed.
For various sums, she gives various favours;
A whore, for a score, will give head,
For example.
A whore, for a score, will give head.

But look, one verse in and oh my! We’ve digressed.
I ought to be telling the story,
Of Marcus the Mung Bean, and poor old, depressed
Seedy Magnus – I swear it’s not gory.
That wouldn’t do for you children, no way;
A violent and blood-spattered slasher.
Instead, just a mung bean, some urban decay,
And Magnus, a helpless old flasher.
Oh! Pity
Poor Magnus the helpless old flasher.

The tale I have unfolds on the day
When Marcus arrived at his teens.
All vestige of youth not yet angled away
But the first sheen of fluff on his beans.
The night before, Marcus’s mother had spoke,
Saying “Child, you shall have what you choose.”
But Marcus’s mum was a dreadful old soak
And she’d spent all her money on booze.
What a joke!
Yes, she’d spent all her money on booze.

So with no gift at all and his low-hanging head
Full of lonely and desolate thoughts,
Marcus retrieved his old bike from the shed
And went to the rec’ tennis courts.
The young mung beans all hung out down at the rec’
There was nothing else for them to do.
They’d smoke a few joints, throw cheap hooch down their neck
And some of them even sniffed glue.
Just like the old days!
Some of them even sniffed glue.

(Just as an aside, It’s best I explain
exactly what glue sniffing is.
It’s like 70s crack; it goes straight to the brain.
And it’s certainly cheaper than whizz.
So next time you kids are in search of a high,
Get yourself down to Homebase.
Buy a white bag of glue—in the blink of an eye
You’ll be totally out of your face.
All red-nosed and
Totally out of your face.)

But as he arrived, no friends could he spy.
So he spun on his heel to turn back.
Then out of the corner of Marcus’s eye
He saw an old bean in a mack.
Marcus rode up to the grizzly old goat
To see what the bean was about.
But as he approached, the bean opened his coat,
And showed Marcus his wrinkly old sprout.
Oh, good heavens!
He showed our young bean his old sprout!

With tight-shut eyes, Marcus yelped “Put it away!”
He was ill-used to these kind of shocks.
“Oh please won’t you touch it,” he heard the bean say
“I’m usually quick off the blocks.”
“Touch it?” said Marcus “you’re out of your mind!
That’s something that I’d never do.”
“Oh, please, I implore you, don’t be so unkind,”
Said the old chap “I’ll give you some glue.
To sniff, if you touch it
I’ll give you some glue.”

But then all went quiet until Marcus heard
The elderly bean start to cry
“Please forgive me,” he sobbed “I’m a lonely old bird.
Why did my wife have to die?
It’s been six whole years that I’ve been alone,
Six copulation-free years.
I do it myself, now, while I’m on the phone
To whichever of the volunteers
At Samaritans I can get through to.
They’re good listeners, those volunteers.”

“But that’s not enough to get me through the week
So I’m afraid I’ve developed a taste
for pretty much any old drug I can beak;
Even old wallpaper paste.”
Marcus was downcast to hear of this sorrow
But began to call forth an idea.
“Can you meet me again at the same place tomorrow?
I promise that all will be clear,”
“Yes”, said old Magnus, and gave him the glue
“Tomorrow,” said Marcus, “right here.”

With that he sped off on the tired, creaking frame
And bent wheels of his rusty, old bike.
And after him came the shout “What was your name?
I’m Magnus, or Mags, if you like.”
“I’m Marcus,” called Marcus, over his shoulder.
“And there’s someone I’d like you to meet.
You’ll like her I think, though you’re a bit older
Than her, but she’s terribly sweet.
Pissed off her face, for most of the time
But decent at heart, and quite sweet.

Early next morning Marcus got up
And made a nice meal for his mum
Vodka martini, in a tea cup
With a shot on the side of white rum.
He laid out the nicest of all of her dresses
And brushed both her teeth while she drank
He ran an old broom through her matted brown tresses
And washed her with bleach, as she stank.
He loved her,
But my god, she stank.

He met the old flasher, who’d put on a suit,
And home he led Magnus Bean back.
He showed him his Mum, and Mags said “She’s cute.
Here’s a fifty, go get us some crack.”
And so, with authorial distance we draw
Away from the happy beans’ laughter
Pleased just to know that, so long as they score,
They’ll happily live ever after.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Marvellous Marvin Mung Bean

Hiya, literature lovers.

Yesterday I revealed that the Secret Seed Society in inviting entires for a competition to become a published children's author. A top prize of a massive £700 awaits. Well, I was so excited by the challenge that I literally spent a couple of hours working on my materpiece.

As per the very strict criteria I have split my story into 12 sections, which for 700 words makes chapters of no more than 58.3 words per chapter. Which is harder than it sounds, readers. Brevity is the mother of invention here!

The story had to be about a personified mung bean and I had to give it an alliterative name with Mung as the surname. That's to say, I needed to give my character to have a name that started with the letter M. As a practiced writer of nigh on seven and half months, I have to say I found this part of the challenge quite straightforward. There are literally dozens of names that start with the letter M. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

Next, I needed to set the story in an imaginary place called Seed City. Once again, I found this part of the story writing process very easy. The story was practically writing itself.

Next up, I was instructed to give my chracter some real human issues to resolve with a sprinkle of fantasy. It's a personified mung bean for fuck's sake, that sounds like a fantasy issue enough for me. Still, I know that the sectret of drama is conflict. So I decided to make my character's raison d'etre conflict itself.

I also needed to introduce some other characters. Well, that was pretty easy too, I gave my character a girlfriend and a foe. Love and conflict intertwinned.

It was shaping up to be a timeless classic. Once I started writing the story, I pretty soon ran over the 700 word allowance. All I needed to do now was edit the story down.

Anyay, here's my first draft...

1. Marvin Mung Bean stared forlornly out of the cracked and rain splattered window pane of his tiny grey, rat-infested, bedsit above the betting shop next to the railway station of Seed City’s seedier Lower East Side.
“How did it come to this?” he asked himself, “I could have been someone, I could have been a contender.”

2. Meanwhile, prancing menacingly on the balls of his feet in the boxing ring of his purpose built gym at his out of town millionaire’s mansion, the undisputed world heavyweight champion of the world, Fabulous Frederick Fava Bean, was pummelling yet another sparring legume into the canvas.
“I is the greatest!” he proclaimed.

3. Lesley Lentil was in the backroom of her shop when she heard the ‘tinkle’ of the doorbell that she had installed after she was once robbed by an intruder sneaking into the shop one night while she was cashing up. Lesley reached for her sawn-off shotgun and tip-toed towards the door.
“Lesley, it’s me, Marvin,” came the call.

4. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Marvin excitedly, pointing at the newspaper he held. “Fabulous Frederick Fava Bean is taking on all-comers in a chance to take his crown.”
“But what about your detached retina? You could go blind!” said Lesley.
“I’ve got to give it another shot to buy us a better life.”

5. Meanwhile, lounging on the sumptuous white leather sofa in the spacious living room of his out of town millionaire’s mansion, the undisputed world heavyweight champion of the world, Fabulous Frederick Fava Bean, was idly flicking through a selection of CVs featuring flabby out of shape former boxers. He stopped suddenly.
“This is the sucker I is gonna fight!”

6. Looking at Marvin’s most recent bank statement, Lesley could see that her beloved had been spending freely on such things as bejewelled dog collars, sports cars and jackets featuring big cats, ever since being selected as the contender in the forthcoming world championship fight against Fabulous Frederick Fava Bean. A tear welled up in her eyes.

7. Marvin trained like never before in the gym. He did push-ups, pulls-ups, sit-ups, squat thrusts, skipping, jogging and sparring. He ate raw eggs in the morning and punched raw sides of beef down at the abattoir in the afternoon. He was floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.

8. Meanwhile, the undisputed world heavyweight champion of the world, Fabulous Frederick Fava Bean, was also doing plenty of training. He did push-ups, pulls-ups, sit-ups, squat thrusts, skipping, jogging and sparring. But then he’d spend the rest of the day lounging by the pool at his out of town millionaire’s mansion.

9. Lesley was proud of Marvin. But more than that, she was proud of her needlework creating his fighting cape. With golden tassels taken from her curtains, sequins spelling out the legend “Marvellous Marvin Mung ‘the Merciless’ Lean Mean Fighting Bean” and the bell from her shop door attached as the cape’s clasp, he’d look a proper bobby dazzler.

10. As Marvellous Marvin Mung ‘the Merciless’ Lean Mean Fighting Bean made his way to the red corner of the ring at Seed City’s Sporting Coliseum, the crowd of healthy, organic, personified, home-grown foodstuffs went absolutely nuts and bananas. Marvin removed his cape to reveal the glistening, be-muscled, torso of a fearsome gladiatorial legume. He feared no one.

11. Meanwhile, in the blue corner, Fabulous Frederick Fava Bean was planning to come out fighting like never before. The two combatants came towards one another at the start of round one - the immovable object versus the irresistible force. Frederick’s blows rained down on Marvin like sledgehammers with gloves.

12. Lesley Lentil couldn’t watch Marvin take a battering so she opted to listen to the fight commentary on her radio in the back room of her shop. Round after round went by, and yet Marvin was surviving. The fight was so engrossing that Lesley didn’t even hear the robbers sneak into the shop and steal her takings.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mung the mercyless

I’ve been a Citizen Journalist now since the beginning of the year and I have had zero success financially from this endeavour.

I have submitted news stories to London’s premiere freesheet, the Metro, I have dabbled with the concept of self-publishing a freesheet adult paper for commuters, I dreamt up Braille porn for the blind and also came up with the innovative concept of books that present a transliteration of blockbuster movies that were not themselves originally based on books.


I remain, however, as ever on the look-out for new ideas and recently stumbled across a new and exciting opportunity: Children’s literature. I love kids (although I couldn’t eat a whole one ;-) and I even used to be a child, so I’ve got literally years of experience in the field. So writing children’s literature should be a doddle. After all, they don’t really understand long words and I know the meaning of countless long words. Like transliteration, I mean how many kids know what that means?

Anyway, the reason I thought I might try and pen a kiddy tail is news from the Secret Seed Society that they’re taking entries for a forthcoming book. If you don’t believe me, have a look here:

They’re running a competition to find the best kids story based on the adventures of a personified mung bean. If you ask me the old hippies that run the show have doubtless been on the wackie-baccie a bit too much, but still, the winner gets £700 and so it’s got to be worth a shot, right?

If you too fancy taking up the challenge the website sets out the criteria nicely:

  • Audience: 3-9 year olds and those that read with them.

  • Lead Character: A Mung Bean. Alliterate the name. Mung is the surname. The character should face 'real life' dilemmas, situations or decisions.

  • Seed City: An urban environment where our characters live and hangout: Environments so far the Allotments The City Farm, Leafy Lane Park, The Bandstand. Please feel free to develop your own and include those that already exist.

  • Drama: Challenges, adventures and wonders of living within an active urban community. These should be real human issues with a sprinkle of fantasy.

  • Other Characters: Feel free to create new characters to animate your story, we like to have the relationships of family, friends and community in our books. We can help with casting inline with the Seed City characters once the narrative story is developed.

  • Extra points: Hidden depth to the story. A moral. Use of simple and rhythmic, poetic or idiomatic language.

  • Format: 500 - 700 words, divided in to 12 chunks ('spreads' if you’ve done this before) that will be integrated in to double paged illustrations.

  • Submissions: By email to The story must be in text in the main body of the email, so those of our judges who are out and about in the wilder parts of the UK have a chance to read your story via their phones.

  • Deadline: Latest entry 5pm, 20th July 2009, but the sooner the better, we read them when we get them.

So there you have it readers. I’ve got under a week to come up with a story for Menka at the Secret Seed Society. And so do you if you’re reading this blog and fancy a shot!

Get scribbin’

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Middle Way

I was bowled over today at work. Even though I’ve only been an employee at my new place for a few weeks now I seem to have made quite the impression. Dan and Susie seemed genuinely enthralled when I told them about my week at a Buddhist retreat up in Scotland.

As regular readers (well, probably only Mr C and maybe Mess if we’re being honest) will know, I am a practising Buddhist. I’ve tried to keep certain elements of my private life out of my professional life. Experience has taught me that the less people know about me, the more smoothly things tend to run.

I’m a spiritual man though, indeed, I started my quest to find out whether there really is a God here on this very blog back in February and have subsequently reviewed some of the world’s craziest religions. But did you know, Buddhism is actually considered a religion?

Well, up until today neither Dan nor Susie did. And I’m ashamed to admit it, but up until last week, I was under the impression that Buddhism was not so much a religion per se, but more a kind of way of life that involves a mixture trying to remain calm using deep breathing techniques like yoga or pilates, martial arts and vegetarianism.

I’ve been breathing all my life and have a black belt at Judo, but I’ve had quite a bit of trouble getting to grips with vegetarianism. I did dabble with it for a while when I was dating Amber but it’s just not for me. Mum says I suffer from iron deficiency and that I actually need meat to survive. Like my cats Matthew and Steven, which would die if I didn’t give them their Whiskers. I wonder how that sits with my friends at PETA.

But the thing is, you don’t get many fat vegetarians do you? Which is odd, because fat women are sometimes called fat cows, and they’re usually vegetarians (cows, not fat women). Ironically, of course, those vegetarian cows are usually the root cause of obesity, if indeed all that stuff about fast food is to be believed. And why wouldn’t it? I’ve seen Super Size Me and I’ve read Fast Food Nation. So I’m no slouch when it comes to knowing about balancing my diet. That said, I’m a sucker for a well cooked Fray Bentos.

So you can imagine then how I felt when I arrived after a six hour journey at the start of what was supposed to be a holiday at the Buddhist retreat in Bonny Scotland to be greeted by a camp Glaswegian monk and an invitation to join him in for a cup of green tea and a green salad.

I was told that I would spend the rest of the week studying the life of Siddartha Gautama in order to ‘discover’ the Middle Way.

This bloke was the founder of Buddism and lived 500 years before Jesus! According to the scriptures he was the son of a king (not a God). Upon birth his dad was told by a holy man that he’d either be a king himself or a holy man. Seems the soothsayer in question was hardly sticking his neck out.

Anyway, Gautama’s father shielded his son from the harsh realities of life in the hope that his son would become a king, much like Prince Charles has done with William. But, here’s the rub, Gautama ventured outside the palace one day and saw how bad things were, and so he became a holy man after all.

Gautama abandoned royal life and took up a spiritual quest to free himself from suffering by living the life of a meddicant ascetic. Ascetics practised many forms of self-denial, including severe undereating. One day, after almost starving to death, Gautama accepted a little milk and rice from a village girl. After this experience, he concluded that ascetic practices such as fasting, holding one’s breath, and exposure to pain brought little spiritual benefit. He viewed them as counterproductive due to their reliance on self-hatred and mortification.

He abandoned asceticism, concentrating instead on an awareness of breathing, thereby discovering what Buddhists call the Middle Way, a path of moderation between the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification. He spent the next few years sitting under a fig tree until finally becoming a Buddha.

So there you have it readers, it’s totally fucking mental really. Still, it seems to make about as much sense as any of the other so-called religions, so I might as well keep on practicing it. Mind, I think as Gautama discovered his Middle Way, so too have I discovered my Middle Way. So I’ll be stopping off on the way home to pick up a Fray Bentos and a four pack of Cobra.

The thing is, if you are religious and you die, then you’ve lucked out if there is a God, and if there isn’t a God, you’ve not really lost anything have you?


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hear no evil

Hello readers, Daddy's home. I had a new experience today that I wanted to tell you about: A deaf person was rude to me. That's just not the sort of thing that you can plan for when you get up in the morning, is it.

I was on the tube - the Northern line, as it happens - and I heard somebody talking in a strange way. Turning to see what was going on, I saw it was a deaf person. I could tell, because he was doing sign language. He was talking in that way that deaf people have of talking. You can kind of replicate it by trying to say words and making the sounds, but not using the normal shapes of the mouth for the word you're trying to say. Also it helps if you make your voice a bit more nasal than normal and kind of slur your words a bit.

Anyway, I find sign language absolutely fascinating - I have done ever since four weddings and a funeral came out, so I've been interested in sign language for just as long as I've been completely unable to stand Andie Fucking McDowell, the stuck up, stupid-faced little princess - and I've always wanted to learn how to do it. It's right up there with the saxophone and a photography course in terms of things I've always wanted to do but never really found the time. If I get made redundant again, I'll be sure to do one of those things, and not just sit around doing nothing like last time.

So I was captivated by the sight of the sign language and I was trying to see if I could discern any words or phrases. The only thing I know how to do is sign 888 which I learned from off the telly because that was the ceefax page the deaf subtitles were on. It's a bit like the scissors shape in paper scissors stone, and you do it three times. Or maybe the deaf woman on the telly was just playing paper scissors stone all the time. Who knows? If she was, it would have been easy to beat her. Stone, every time.

Back to the tube, though, and I would class what I was doing as observation. But the deaf bloke thought I was staring.

"What are you bloody staring at?" he said to me. (He said it twice because I didn't understand him the first time. I used the universal sign language of the shrug to convey that his speech was unintelligible to me.)

"I'm just watching your "signing"," I said, taking care to enunciate carefully and slowly, which was pointless when you think about it, because he was deaf. I also mimed those finger quotation marks that people use, as an indication that I was tuned in to the concept. "I've always been interested in learning to understand your language," I explained, thinking that this might start a little, tube-based journey of discovery for both of us. I was quite wrong. Because instead of giving me a brief tutorial, he just stuck his middle finger up at me and said:

"Do you understand this mate? Fuck off!"

I was really shocked. You just don't expect the deaf to do things like that, do you. I mean, where the hell do they pick up language like that anyway? I muttered a few choice words under my breath, which was a mistake because then he said:

"I can lip read too, you stupid prick."

At this point some of the other passengers started laughing at me, which is really unfair. Why should they laugh at me? It's not like I'm the deaf one, after all. I'm normal. So I just put my iPod on. That showed him. What he didn't know, however, was that the battery was flat. So there wasn't any actual sound coming out. I guess that really put me in his shoes. I was disappointed because I had been hoping to ask him whether or not when the deaf get drunk their sign language gets sloppy, like the speech of the hearing does. I've always wanted to know that.

It's funny how people say "I swear blind" but not "I swear deaf".

When I was a kid I had a friend who had been deaf up until the age of five when, out of frustration at his inability to hear, his dad clouted him one round the head. This caused a blockage in his ears that he'd been born with to shift, and all of a sudden he could hear. It was like a little miracle.

Tell that to the anti-smacking lobby, though. And the doctors. After all, if you suggested that kids showing signs of deafness should be given a clout or two, just to see if it helps, like when the telly's not working - which helps, sometimes - you'd be derided as some kind of savage. It's political correctness gone mad.

I wonder where Mr Coleman stands on the issue of capital punishment. This is interesting because Mr C is a teacher and this week a teacher lost his rag and - according to the news - smashed some kid over the head, putting him in hospital. Surely teachers must come close to doing this all the time. It surprises me, to be honest, that it doesn't happen more often. At least one teacher at my school was driven to a nervous breakdown by bullying pupils.

It was two brothers that did it. Paul and Norman Rice. I don't mind naming them because I'm pretty sure they couldn't read when they left school and I doubt they bothered to learn subsequently. They both went to work at the family business, which was a car park. It was just a field, really. And they charged people 50p to park on it. I think they were a bit messed up in the head. I don't want to be crude, but there were a lot more relationships than family members in that family, if local rumour was to be believed. Not so much a gene pool as a gene puddle. Once they chased the tallest boy in school (he was 6'7") and trapped his head in a netball hoop that they'd dragged out of the sports hall on its post. It was like watching some prehistoric hunt. Terrifying. I know it's not nice to think bad things out people, but I really hope they're dead.

Not that I was guilt free. We all of us abused the weaker willed teachers at one point or another. I tended just to lie, rather than bully. But teacher bullying was a problem and I'm not going to judge the guy who's been arrested until all the facts are there. Not that i'm suggesting, either, that the kid was to blame. Looks like he'll pull through, which s good. But it's interesting that other pupils have gone to the court with letters of support for the teacher. Let us not be hasty, readers.

Anyway, regular readers will know that Mr C is soon to have some pretty major surgery. We'll be thinking of you Mr C. Let us know when you go in and when you get out again and we'll have a little welcome back party in the blogosphere. Mos def (gangster speak for most definitely).



Thursday, July 2, 2009

What did I tell you?

I hate to say "I told you so", readers, but my prediction about the death of a third celebrity came true yesterday.



And… Sugden.

The tragic trio. The morgue-bound megastars. The decomposing denizens of planet fame, each one now grotesquely swollen with the gases of putrification. But that’s not how we want to remember them, is it readers.

It’s difficult to say which one shone the brightest, really. Sure, Jackson may have won a few Grammy awards, and Fawcett may have been the poster girl of choice for a generation of adolescent boys (not to mention the fact that Lee Majors immortalised her in the lyrics to the theme tune of The Fall Guy: “I’m not the sort to kiss and tell, but I’ve been seen with Farah”). But we can’t discount Mollie Sugden. She, after all, gave us Mrs Slocombe.

Are You Being Served, the Croft and Lloyd sitcom from the 1970s, was popular around the world. Even among Native Americans – and I know that for a fact because one told me once. He said: “What the hell’s going on with Mr Humphries?” I blurted out that: “I didn’t even know you could get television in a Teepee,” which I realise now was probably the wrong thing to say. This was 1997, after all. He didn’t live in a Teepee, he lived on a ‘Reservation’ a special place created by the US Government for gambling, alcoholism, social deprivation and Native Americans.

Anyway AYBS featured Sugden as the frustrated spinster Mrs Slocombe forever making reference to her own genitals through a series of clever double-meaning jokes where she always seemed to be looking for her pussy (cat). She was often known to ask people whether they had seen her pussy, whereupon all the other cast members would stand stock still, creating a space for the production team to add on the canned laughter afterwards.

Other versions of this gag that appeared in the show included:

“There were three fourteen year-old schoolboys jabbing at my pussy with twigs last night in the street. I was too scared to tell them to stop. They can be so intimidating at that age.”

“This heatwave’s a real trial. My pussy’s shed so much hair on the rug that I’ve filled up the vacuum cleaner three times.”

“It looks like someone had a busy night. When I woke up and saw my pussy this morning it was covered in filth and smelled of motor oil.”

“When I go on holiday, wherever it is I go, there’s a woman called Julie who comes and strokes my pussy for an hour every two days. And it only costs a tenner a visit. She seems very trustworthy, which is what you want.”

“Once my friend Andrew brought his dog round to my house. To start with the dog growled at my pussy but after a while he curled up on the floor and licked my pussy affectionately. It was so cute that Andrew and I took a series of photographs. We sent them to Hallmark thinking it would make a nice poster, or greetings card. But we never heard back.”

“My pussy makes the most dreadful, blood-curdling noise during sex. It screams like it’s being tortured.”

“I used to live with a man who was allergic to my pussy. Whenever my pussy was anywhere near him he’d sneeze repeatedly. I thought this was hilarious, so I’d often stick my pussy right in front of his face while he was watching television. One time he had an asthma attack and we had to go to A&E. The doctors said I'd been acting irresponsibly.”

“When I was a child my pussy needed an operation and it had to be shaved. Unfortunately it got clipper rash, and that became infected. It looked disgusting and I was a bit squeamish about touching it. So my mum had to rub cream into it twice a day for a week until the infection cleared up. She grumbled about having to do this and said I ought to be responsible for my own pussy.”

“My pussy got cystitis so I took it to the vets and the vet said I had to put it on prescription cat food that costs £27 a bag for the rest of its life. £27!! That’s more expensive even than Iams. For the rest of its life!! Bloody thing’s only three and a half. It’s not worth it. Might as well get the self-centred little shit put down. Who ever heard of a cat getting cystitis anyway!”

It was Mrs Slocombe’s long-running misfortune to be sexually obsessed with gap-toothed old queen Mr Humphries. While Pauline Fowler, the actress who played tasty bit of stuff Miss Brahms, whose job it was to reveal her stocking tops once or twice an episode (something that was once a staple of British sitcom but now seems to have disappeared, more’s the pity), once claimed that Mr Humphries was just a nice man who was good to his mother and not gay, I think we all knew that he was gay. I mean, I’m a nice man who is good to his mother, and I’m not gay. But it would be fine if I was. It’s fine if anyone is. It’s downright helpful if you happen to be playing a character like Mr Humphries.

Anyway, readers, I’ve got to be getting along. I’m going up to Scotland for a few days to visit some friends. We’re staying in the middle of nowhere, so I don’t think there’ll be an internet connection. You’ll have to look after yourselves for a short while, ok?

But I’ll be thinking of you.

Och Aye d'Newsdesk

Over and out.