Monday, June 30, 2003

Wedded bliss

It all started one night about five years ago, Melissa and her stable long term boyfriend were safely ensconced in their new home. The road was a straight one, the weather was clear; they would build careers, get married, and have babies. Upon watching a programme about the lives of a group of thirty somethings, the boyfriend got the heebie-jeebies and ended the relationship on the spot.

Storm clouds gathered, the road narrowed and Melissa began to climb towards a meandering mountain pass where the drops were stomach turning and the cliff faces sheer. This took her on an adventure which included a year shaking out the cobwebs partying, a year travelling around Australia, a year having itchy feet and learning to teach English as a foreign language, and eighteen months teaching in Ecuador.

There were other complications along the way, but out of the fug came Carlos, and on Saturday they were married. The fat free wedding was arranged in six weeks with no clingers on, no complicated political family table plans, just a small band of thirty family and friends touring the Kent coastline from registry office to reception to evening party. The evening saw Carlos salsaring with the ladies, and all the other men doing the traditional English step to the side dance (with occasional air guitar for variation).

The day had a sense of lilting clarity that you rarely get with the hullabaloo of a big wedding. I hope it’s the theme of the marriage, and that the oncoming niggles, including Carlos’ visa application is as easy and straight forward for as the day itself.

During the break between the reception in Sandwich and the party, we went for a walk and saw a sign for the Sandwich Centre for Retired People. Now, was that the where they can get sandwiches, or was it the location?

Thursday, June 26, 2003

British comedy saves the day

In Episode 2 of Star Wars – Attack of the Clones we learn the formidable Stormtrooper army is made up of clones recreated from the perfect genes of Jango Fett. Once constructed, the army goes on to become the most powerful force in the entire universe.

In Episode 6 - Return of the Jedi, Han, Laya et al are tasked with capturing a heavily guarded power generator on the planet Endor. The guards, the formidable cloned Stormtroopers are caught out by tricks which include; an Ewok stealing a speederbike and flying off upside down, to which all but one of the guards sets off on foot in pursuit shouting “GET HIM!”, the remaining guard is caught out by Han who runs up, taps him on one shoulder before around the other.

Schoolboy error.

So flustered is the Stormtrooper he runs straight into a bank of cutthroat rebels.

These are rather rudimentary errors by the Stormtroopers, can this really be the same spawn of Jango Fett? what happened at the cloning factory that caused a whole batch of clones fall foul to such playground japes. Can it really be that somewhere in the lab somebody switched the genes of a Jango with the genes of someone capable of falling for this kind of trick.

Step up Paul and Barry Chuckle. These giants of comedy have made a career from doing this kind of thing to each other. I can only think that the Empire was planning a giant celebration party once the rebel alliance is crushed, wanting the most perfect of entertainment for the most perfect of clone army’s, not wanting to risk the domination of the universe being dampened by poor entertainment from, say, Jim Davidson, they turned to create the perfect comedy duo. Having scoured the universe with probe droids they kidnapped the Brothers to be taken back to be cloned. Credence is given to this argument, when watching Chuckle Brothers, every show is identical, they are clearly just re-runs with the Brothers on a different blue screen.

Somewhere along the line the genes were switched and a massive batch of clones were recreated in the image of the Chuckle Brothers. Dressed in their white suits that could tell of the mistake until after the battle of Endor.

Let their names be added to the roster of heroes: - Skywalker, Solo, Calarisian, and now Chuckle.

Monday, June 23, 2003

The longest wait

Christmas is an exciting time when you’re a child, you wait and wait, preying that the day will come but the more you yearn the slower time passes. That day promises presents and food and excitement, it promises that you will be furnished with things beyond your wildest dreams.

When you buy a car, you step through the looking glass into a parallel universe where Christmas day becomes Car service day.

A car service is an excruciating time when you’re an adult, you wait and wait, preying that the phone will ring but the more you yearn the slower time passes. That day promises torture and torment and vast expenditure, it promises that you will debagged of all you financial wealth in a slow and systematic way.

When you have a service you drive your car to the garage and everything will be fine in exactly the same way it has been for ages; you’re getting from A to B without too much fuss or hassle. But despite this you know that you’re about to find out you’re driving a death trap. At least if you have to take it in with the bonnet on fire, you are already preparing for the worst.

So you hand your car in and hand the keys over, the clock has started at usually around £100. This is for your 400-point check, checks that usually include counting the number of front windscreens.

You don’t watch the patient go through its operation, you walk away from the garage. But don’t look back because you will see a greasy monkey jumping into your car, and driving it into the garage on two wheels in reverse without taking the handbrake off.

And then the agony begins. The call they promised in an hour doesn’t come. After two hours you call in and they seem incredulous that you didn’t find out through telepathy that they’ve found a small problem, and they’re waiting for a quote for a part. They’ll call as soon as they get the price

You ring off and pace the floor for the next three hours and call in again. The part cost £2.50, you tell them to fit it, and they tell you they already have. Great, you’ll pick the car up in ten minutes.

“But we’ve found another problem, your mywifeneedsanewtumbledrier is down to 6.33042 on the q axis, 0.443 on the middle row”
“Is that serious?”
“If it goes it will kill you, then hunt down your family and torture and murder them, it will delete you identity and you will be erased from history for the rest of time”
“On the other hand it might be fine”
“No you’d better do it”
“If you do it now, it won’t need doing again for another million miles”
“Or your next service, whichever comes first”
“How much will it be”
“Well Dixons are doing them for £250”
“Er, yes, Dixons, the car part supplier, for another £100 they’ll throw in a fridge, er, complete set of tyres”
“Are my tyres dangerous?”
“If they go they will kill you, then hunt down your fam…”
“OK, do them too, what’s the total cost likely to be”

At this point he mumbles a lot of numbers, the only audible ones are under £5.

“Oh Christ”
“Your spark plugs may be OK, I’ll knock those off”
“(grasping for air) Great, thanks, how much will it be”
“(losing consciousness) OK, just do it, do it all, let’s get it over and done with”
“We’ve done it already, you can come and pick it up whenever you’re ready”
“OK, I’ll be over as soon as I can sell the cats”

And you pick the car up and drive it off and it’s no different to how it was when you drove in. Don’t believe me? my service included £17 to tell me that my exhaust was a bit noisy.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Shock news: Beckham not dead

It is hard to believe but David Beckham did just change jobs last week. News at Ten ran what was, to all intent and purpose, an obituary, but he is almost certainly, alive.

The obituary writers had better not pack their pens just yet because the assassination of Beckham begins here. Not least in Saturday’s Daily Mail, I confess we did have it in the house, and yes, I did read it. The story ‘Goldenballs Vs Goldenboots’ was a systematic dismantling of Beckham in a comparative assessment of the golden boy of English rugby Johnny Wilkinson, I quote: -

“One is arguably the greatest English rugby player of all time and pays £8.50 for his haircut. The other’s a multi millionaire who captains a lacklustre England side and wears an Alice band. How do they compare?”
It doesn’t sound like it’ll be a balanced assessment does it? The premise upon which the story is built is pretty sinister. We learn that Wilkinson has A levels and achieved a place at Durham University whilst Beckham has no qualifications and reportedly couldn’t spell the word ‘Professional’ or ‘Footballer’. Also, Wilkinson’s dad is a financial advisor, and that his mum still washes his kit. Beckham’s dad is a Gas Engineer, his mum a hairdresser. Wilkinson lives in a modest house, Beckham is lives in a mansion, Beckham drives ‘anything flash’, Wilkinson a Mercedes.

Most telling is their ‘philosophy’. Wikinson’s is a quote, “You’ve got to go out and chase your dreams. You have all your life afterwards to think about your reputation.” Sniff, that’s beautiful.

Now deadlines must have been tight, because it seems journalist Paul Harris was unable to unearth a single quote from Beckham about his dedication to his game, or his family – including how he rages a one man war against an entire culture of laddism, nothing about his ambitions and dreams, about playing for Manchester United and captaining England. Instead Harris is left to summarise Beckham’s philosophy without the benefit of a quote, his summary? Beckham’s Philosophy is “I fink (sic) therefore I am.”

In short Wilkinson is middle class and therefore good, and Beckham is working class and therefore crass and gauche. The more paranoid amongst us could take this further, could the Mail be saying that the unconventional, non-educational, Beckham route to success is bad, and that the only good success is the classic middle class route? Could they be giving out a message to talented non-academic kids, or kids from working class backgrounds that regardless of what success they achieve it will never be as good as their more fortunate counterparts?

Sadly they had to edit out the section on “Sport Played” so let me recreate it here for you now: -

Beckham: Football, interwoven into fabric of global society, crossing every continent, every religion, every sex, race, colour and creed. A sport that can dictate political success or failure, economic stability or crisis, war and peace. A sport capable of dictating the fortunes and progression of society and mankind itself.

Wilkinson: Rugby, a sport of significance amongst certain socio-economic groups in Britain and some, though not all, old commonwealth countries.

If you don’t believe me, look at the world’s obsession with the World Cup (we don’t even need to tag on which world cup we’re talking about), and compare that to this autumn’s rugby World Cup.

What do you mean you didn’t know there was a rugby world cup this autumn?

Thursday, June 19, 2003

The shocking truth

“Nothing shocks me”, said I, during a discussion about just how outrageous hen and stag dos can be. And it’s true, I’ve seen people taking drugs, drink until they’re unconscious and take their eyes out at the dinner table, but when it comes down to it, it’s never effected me. Partly because I haven’t partaken, and because as a spectator I’ve survived these escapades wholly intact, I’ve never found this sort of thing shocking.

So unshakeable me buys Mixmag this month and turns to the story about the couple from Bolton hooked on the legal drug GHB. Too much GHB sends you into a deep psychotic madness, this couple having become reliant on the drug entered into what is known as a stupidité au deux – a stupidity of two – a shared hallucinogenic experience. Now pay attention, this bit’s complicated. The woman started to believe that her body was missing, stolen by a witch and a clown. The man, having ‘seen’ the witch and the clown running around upstairs began to panic that his girlfriend’s body had been stolen. Paramedics were called, apparently they asked whether the two were on drugs, they left shortly after having not reached a conclusion either way. The bloke then went to see his kids leaving the woman alone. She panicked that a witch had stolen her body aided and abetted by a clown, and started to assume that her body was trapped, what for it, inside her body.

So her miniature body was trapped inside her normal body that wasn’t her body. The only answer was to get it out, and this she did by pulling out 13 teeth with a set of pliers. She nearly died from blood poisoning, he was up in court on a charge of torture, but having put these troubles behind them are now living happily together (apparently only taking a bit of wiz now and then, so that’s OK).

This story was supported by the story of the man who worked in a gym equipment factory. One night he decided to masturbate by pulling his willy on the running machine belt. Unfortunately his scrotum got caught and tore. That short sentence alone sends me into apoplexy. Embarrassed by his accident, his solution was to staple his scrotum back together again. It was only when it reached the size of a grapefruit did he think to go to the doctors to get it checked out.

These are the things that shock me.

My final true story is of a bloke decided to commit suicide. His rig involved a guillotine above his bed made from metal sheet fashioned into a blade and a paving slab. He took enough sleeping pills to ensure that he would lie down and stay in the same position whilst his decapitating machine did its business. He set a timer that would turn on an electric knife, which would begin to cut away at the rope that held up the blade. The thoughtful suicidee realised that once the knife went through the rope, it would continue going, potentially fusing, burning out or damaging the floor. So he shortened the cable of the knife so that when it went through the rope and onto the floor it would automatically pull the cable from the wall and turn off. Added to this, in order that his dad didn’t disturb him he set all this up with the door wedged closed. The blade was attached by a piece of rope to the wedge. When it dropped, the wedge was pulled away allowing his dad easy access to come in and clean up.

Punchline number 1: - The jury’s verdict: Genius

Punchline number 2: - If only he’d been able to make a career as world Mousetrap champion.

Monday, June 16, 2003

American dream

I’m heavily tuned into the sentiment of Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine. It’s not exactly your average Romcom Saturday night in with a tub of Haagen Daz but it’s well worth a couple of hours of your life.

Marylyn Manson and Trey Parker were both implicated in the Columbine massacre because they played loud rock music and made adult cartoons. They were also most informed in their assessment of the situation. Manson describes America as a country built on fear and consumption. Where success and consumption are one and the same. Be perfect, drink Pepsi like Brittany, eat McDonalds, like N’Sync. Ate too much Pepsi and McDonalds? You’ll get fat and nobody likes fat people, so take these pills, or buy this exercise regime. If you become fat and unpopular you won’t get a job and there’s nobody to look after you. And where do failures go? To the ghetto, an evil lawless world like the one portrayed on TV every night, like the Bronx or South Central i.e. where black people live. Parker wisely assesses that America is so prescriptive in its approach to success that kids could easily believe that their failures at school are permanently scarring. It’s one messed up country.

America is so fearful that its empire will fall apart that it’s taking its paranoia onto the world stage. Fear of Iran? Fund Iraq. Fear of Iraq? Fund Iran. Fear of Russia? Fund Afghanistan. Fear of Iraq and Iran and Afghanistan? Threaten to tear them to pieces. Suddenly they’re threatening to kill you if you do, and kill you if you don’t. So you do, right into the World Trade Center, hell why not, there’s nothing to lose.

Stoking the flames is, of course, George Bush announcing that the Justice Department had announced “a blanket alert of a general nature”. Like that statement informs you of nothing more than you should be scared of something or other. Still, there’s always an upside; sales of gas masks, duct tape and bottled water rose again. Is it any wonder that with this constant picking away at your fear, crime falls but the fear of crime rises?

At the pointy end a couple of kids in Columbine began to believe they were already failures by the age of 16. Having cashed their chips in so painfully early, with their bleak destiny laid out in front of them I guess it didn’t really matter what they did next, so they went and got famous.

And the blame? Well that was placed firmly at the feet of ‘mixed ethnicity’ (said Charlton Heston) which is no greater than in Canada, the break up of the family unit, which is no greater than the UK, and the old favourite, rock music promoting death and destruction, which is no greater than in Germany.

What was left was fear. Without healthcare or welfare, failure leaves you working in the Orc mines eating mud for a living. A welfare system is the one thing that all the above countries have that America doesn’t. It relieves the tension by giving people an alternative and a second chance. People are too damn mean to look after others without supervision, so freedom is a dangerous game, is pure freedom not anarchy? Is America not the land of the free? Do not Mr Heston and his chums at the National Rifle Association not exercise their free rights by having guns that can kill people?

Of course wherever America goes we follow, blindly down the same path. Richard and Judy testing the latest in inflatable panic rooms telling us that terrorist attacks are imminent (ignoring the fact that this country has lived with imminent terrorist attacks for thirty years), even this morning Fiona Phillips telling us the ‘terrifying’ side effects of hay fever tablets. It all drives another wedge into your calm and your sanity. Before you know it you’re on the same roller coaster.

I, for one, am not convinced about it.

Saturday, June 14, 2003


I wasn’t going to bother with the Ruffles Big Brother table this week. After all things are a little flat in there, but for want of something better to write, here it is: -

1. (1) Gos – Holding onto top spot by default
2. (3) Cameron – Anyone who says ‘Fiddle’ when he messes things up deserves to stay
3. (2) Nush – Becoming a touch sour faced
4. (6) Tania – Is what she is
5. (7) Scott – Is what he is
6. (11) Ray – seems an OK kind of person
7. (5) Steph – wouldn’t irritate me at a party, wouldn’t like to spend more than a day with her though.
8. (4) Jon – Yeah yeah, uber geek, blah blah whatever
9. (8) Federico - Split between keeping him in to and watching him stir things up
10. (10) Sissy – Petulant urchin thug girl – burn burn burn

Sea Ka-YAK-ing, jeepers, monk and other stories

The formula of a good stag weekend is simple, it sucks you in, something happens, it spits you out. The bit in the middle is impossible to predict. Talk of drinking games, nudity and shaving rarely materialise. For Russ’ I didn’t expect to spend Saturday night having a quiet drink discussing Marcus’ childhood in the paramilitary wing of the Cub Scouts, for example.

The weekend was in jeopardy almost before it started. Fog meant Russ and his two pals couldn’t land at Jersey airport. The best man’s flight from Manchester was cancelled, so was ours although we heroically got up at 4am on Saturday to fly over.

These shenanigans had a profound effect on proceedings. No best man, and for Russ, five and a half hours spent shuttling between Gatwick and Jersey drinking neat vodka. When they eventually landed at 10.30 they celebrated with gusto, helped by the ominous welcoming party of Jerseymen Mike, Marcus and above all JC.

We arrived on Saturday morning and Russ’ hotel room was carnage. He couldn’t get out of bed, complaining his eyes weren’t working. Surfacing eventually, the first activity of the day was sea kayaking. The sky was blue, the sun was hot, the sea was calm. We paddled gently around the coves and caves making weak jokes about the shags and splashing each other.

Then Russ drifted out to sea and began retching over the side of his kayak. We came to a beach and he disappeared, returning to lie comatose on the pebbles. Eventually he gave up the ghost completely and fell in. He was hauled back into his kayak and towed home.

He slept through lunch, but still declined the clay pigeon shooting so he could sleep some more in Marcus’ fiercely hot Land Rover. We had no best man, and now, no stag, Mike’s mates were filling in the gaps left by the absentees making it a re-run of Mike’s own Stag do nearly two years ago. Afterwards, at the pub, Russ had a pint of water, declining ice and lemon because his stomach couldn’t handle it. He had a pork scratching which fuelled the cracking of a joke before plummeting again and racing to the toilet to drain whatever moisture was left in his body.

General stag brouhaha was the plan for Saturday ‘though the fragile Russ wanted to go to the pub for a quiet chat. He was coaxed into the curry house where he slumped on the table raising his head only to berate Mike for ordering a Korma, and announcing that there were only two things he loved – curry and beer – before correcting himself and adding “Sam”. That’s what lead to the quiet portside bar for a few drinks.

Russ did manage a pint which perked him up (everyone said he should have done it at 11am), we ended up in a club until 2am which gave the night an air of respectability. On Sunday, with clear heads, we went to the beach and got burnt to a cinder. At 5.30pm we boarded the plane home that took us away from a weekend that was as normal as it was surreal.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Head music

Buying a new Radiohead album is rather like meeting the band on the side of a field. They hand over the new record and start walking across to the other side. On the other side of the field is their next album. You follow for a while, but then you think you can get to the other side on your own. Having plotted your own course when you get to the other side you wait for the next record to be handed over, but the band are on a different corner entirely. It’s only at that point you realise that’s where you’re supposed to be. Each new album is a readjustment of your musical belief system, Indie pop, to stadium rock to DJ Shadow, to Warp Records to well, have no idea what side of the field we’re on at the moment, but I like it.

I have great affinity to Radiohead, for one, they’re from Oxford so we have the greatest brains, music and football team in the world. There was a time when it wasn’t wholly unusual to see Thom Yorke slouching around the city in enormous neon orange combat trousers, or Johnny Greenwood looking like a student, unless of course, it was a student who looked like Johnny Greenwood, who could tell? We also saw them the week they released Creep at Kingston University. They were very noisy, I wasn’t sure whether Greenwood could actually play, Yorke, the same sniffy urchin he is today, hung to the ceiling like a chimpanzee. In a ropey case of six degrees of separation, Choggaz was in a band who supported a band whose drummer was Radiohead’s soundman in the early days. Via a range of festivals, medium sized venues, through to stadiums we also saw them playing in front a majestic backdrop of the dreaming spires mottled by teaming rain in South Parks, Oxford. All that and, of course, they’re innovative and popular. What nirvana.

I am, however, currently loving King of the Boots, a triple CD-ROM of bootlegs I bought from Rough Trade last year, but hadn’t trawled through properly until very recently. Currently soundtracking my early summer are two fantastic Freelance Hellraiser mixes which cuts up D12, Depeche Mode, Brittany Spears, The Beastie Boys, Christina Aguilera, The Strokes and Shirley Bassey and some absolutely bitchin’ party hip hop.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Does your girlfriend smoke? Well she was yesterday

Andrew's best mate is Jez. Jez is as close as anyone I know to being a playboy; he drives a Porsche (which matches Andrew's), he drinks like a fish, smokes like a chimney, charms ladies, and is constantly telling crap jokes and stories of debauched adventures.

'Why are men like tights? They either run, cling, or don't fit round the crotch'

He lost an eye a few years ago falling on a bottle, this is regularly used to his advantage as without a second thought he pops out his glass one to show people, or drop to it in their drink. On Friday he went to get it out, to which Australia Jo berated 'No Jeremy, these people don't know you well enough yet?. He was once heard talking to a girl who had spurned him for another bloke asking, 'What's he got that I haven't? How many eyes has he got?'

David Beckham retires from football and becomes a manager, on his first day he stands in front of the players and gives his first speech. 'Well their small, round and minty, and come in a plastic box I like them, my wife likes them and my son likes them.? And then sits down. The coach walked over to him and whispers 'David, you're supposed to be talking about Tactics.'

He recently went on a bender after running the Paris marathon; the alcohol numbed the pain of the race for a number of hours keeping the muscles loose enough to frequent many of Paris' finest bars. In the early hours of the morning lost deep in the city he and a friend made for their hotel. As the cold night deepened and the effects of the alcohol released its grip his muscles tightened and cramps set in. They spent hours walking like a couple of drunk, English cripples trying to find their hotel. On the flight home he managed to hold the entire plane up because he couldn't get his legs to walk him down the steps. The steward was advising one step at a time, to which he'd reply 'I fucking can't!'

A bloke from Lancashire wants to take his mate out on the town for his birthday, but he's only got £10 to spend. On the night he says to his friend (adopt thick northern accent) 'Dave I've only got '10 to spend, but I've found a place which does a pie, as much drink as you want, naked dancing girls, and the finest cigars for a fiver a head, what do you think?' to which Dave replies 'One question, what kind of pie?'

On Friday we went to the Mole and Chicken, which is where we always go when everyone is home. Afterwards, as always we went back to Andrew's parents. Andrew's mum has the demure fragrance of Mary Archer, a quintessentially English lady, and one of the nicest, and most tolerant women you could hope to meet.

Jo got the hiccups and was using every old wives tale to try and cure them. Jez walked in and told Jo she needed a fright. He turned to Andrew's mum, who he has in the past urinated on whilst she slept, and said 'Mary* get naked.' During the evening he also described her as the biggest e dealer in the village and accused her of growing heroin in the back garden.

Last summer mother told me to go into the garden and dig a grave for the dog, I said 'he's not dead', to which she replied, yes but he may die this winter and if there?s a heavy frost the ground will be too hard

Andrew and Jez had recently hooned their way across France in their matching Porsches to a wedding anniversary party. They went via the Channel Tunnel. During the break Andrew went to the toilet, he shut himself in his cubicle and started taking care of business. A few moments later Jez came in and in front of a bunch of toileting truck drivers started shouting 'Butt Lord, where are you, Butt Lord!' after a couple of moments of silence, a Andrew's voice sailed over the cubicle. "Will you not call me butt lord in public".

To which Jez stood in the middle of the loo and berated him "Fucking hell Andrew did you have to tack 'in public' on the end of that sentence."

He's a bridesmaid at a gay wedding in Amsterdam next month.

Hacked off

Although uncorroborated and until yesterday not brought to my attention, it seems this site could have recently been hacked. Apparently, my recent posting regarding our trip to Brighton, and particularly the references to cocktails had become links to, well, let’s say slightly unseemly adult sites.

Firstly, this was clearly not of my doing, it is a matter of editorial policy that although the language and content on the site is largely uncensored, any links included will not lead you to anything that will get you into trouble at work (unless you have particularly draconian web controls, in which case you probably shouldn’t be here in the first place). If it does become necessary to provide a risqué illustrative link, you will be properly forewarned as to its content.

If anything like this happens again, please email me.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Ruffles' guide to life

Life is rather like the earth; starting with nothingness, over time you acquire layers; family, friends, and experiences. As you make another friend or have another experience, the layers become compacted down under the weight and become as hard as rock.

Upon this foundation is money, money is rather like sand, if don’t you have enough no matter how hard you try to keep hold of it, it always slips through your fingers, and no matter how thinly you spread it you can’t make a beach. If you have a beach it’s so ubiquitous and expansive you sit on it not fully appreciating its there, or the fact that it’s being constantly eroded away by the sea. If you have a beach there’s always more sand to build castles.

The beach is your launch pad; this is where you catch your thermals of luck, opportunity and situation. If you’re climbing, the exhilaration is breathtaking, so much so it’s difficult to imagine what a fall will be like, you may even reach heights where it’s best not to know how far you could drop, because it’ll hurt so much. If you’re up there, you might as well get on and enjoy it. You can, if you like, cruise at a comfortable altitude, the risk of falling isn’t as great, but neither are the rewards. It’s not always your choice as to which you end up doing.

And falls do come, from whatever height, the thermal gives way and you begin to return back to the ground. Sometime it’s faster than others, sometimes it’s just an air pocket and you drop for a short period of time, catching another thermal to return to where you were. Sometimes you’re shot down, and you wonder why it’s you, and not others who have hit the ground so hard.

Back at the beach, you talk to the sand for advice, move it around and pile it up to build a platform you can take off from, but it’s too flimsy and you can never get a good footing, you become super conscious that it is being eroded away by the sea and there’s nothing you can do about it. In short the sand is useless. The wind is still and launching back into the sky seems too distant and improbable, rather like going to the toilet in a rowdy pub, you sit there wondering how you do it normally, but no matter how much you think about it, nothing happens. It becomes necessary to dig in the sand and you realise that in fact there isn’t an endless supply it just seems that way. You begin to dig, and dig, and you don’t get far before your hitting rocks of your family, friends and experiences.

The rock is always there, it hardly ever changes, whether your high in the sky, digging in the sand, or cruising at low altitude, it’s always there, the opinions of you don’t change, the support doesn’t waiver. When you hit the ground and begin to dig, you think you’ve hit the bottom and there’s nothing left. When hit the rock, you realise there’s still along way to go until nothingness.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Big Brother

I present to you week 2 of the Ruffles Big Brother standings with last week's standings in brackets, and to make it in the slightest bit interesting, if they were a musician they’d be….

1. (2) Gos – P Diddly plays it like a playa, but as hip hop as your mum
2. (1) Nush – Brittany Spears, attractive, nice to the point of distraction, most unlikely person ever to have become a rap stars beeatch and Kylie – has a default setting of likeable.
3. (3) Cameron – Daniel O’Donnell, you might want to smack him in the mouth, but you know your it would break your granny’s heart if you did
4. (9) Jon – Simple Minds – Jon said “Look I get paid a shit load to do this (negotiate with people)”, Jim Kerr once said “It’s good to be playing small clubs again” the day before playing Wembley Arena. Well you need a good hate figure
5. (4) Steph – Dannii Minogue, you keep forgetting she exists but she’s been there throughout, and you know for sure she’s going to hang around like a bad smell
6. (10) Tania – Jennifer Lopez, oozes class and glamour in a cheap shop worker style.
7. (7) Scott – Jonathan Wilkes, not quite Robbie Williams, which makes him both very very right and very very wrong
8. (8) Federico – Peter Andre, it’s good to see a fine swordsman fail.
9. (11) Justine – The Lighthouse Family, bland, but nothing a crossbow wouldn’t fix
10. (6) Sissy – Scooter, screeching noise pollution dressed up as populist fun, wears Acupuncture trainers like the mid nineties never happened
11. (12) Ray – Blue, good looking tedious sod with no talent but an unfathomable bulletproof popularity

And Anouska is obviously S Club; annoying at first, then you liked her and now she’s gone, you kind of miss her.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Boy toy

I delude myself that I’m many things; resting professional footballer, trans-county DJ, international playboy, but I’ve never previously viewed myself as a gayboy dreamboat. I have apparently been the target of some lust homo-style in the past, which until yesterday, I thought it was a one off.

The wedding season is upon us and I needed a new suit, the variety of men’s suits is woeful – blue, grey, black, pinstripe or country casual fawn. My plan was to go with black, which would be good for work. Staring at the selection I was under whelmed by the tedium. Instead, driven on by the sweltering hot day, I was drawn to the light summery linen suits.

Within seconds Mr Humphrey’s from Are You Being Served pounced on me. He began to help me find the right jacket, and to ponder the colour, oh, and to chat me up.

“Are you a fireman?” he asked, I can’t underplay how camp he was.

I said no.

“Ooh you’re tall like a fireman”

“I’m not brave enough” I said

Before he could say ‘would you like to be a fireman, for me.’ I was making for the changing rooms.

“Go on sir, slip your pants off” he said as I did.

Once inside I could hear him talking to Emma

“Ooh, he’s ever so tall isn’t he?”

Their conversation veered through our holidays, our cats, how long we’ve been together, my evolving body shape. I sent Emma a text message.

“Will you shut up!”

I was looking sharp in the suit, and thoughts turned to shirts. Mr Humphries was off into the shirt section, he returned with several options, each one of which he slipped inside the jacket, inadvertently brushing his hand against my nipple. I began to feel invaded.

After we’d bought it, he shook my hand and rubbed my arm. “God bless you” he said with a smile and a twinkle. I’m not kidding, the man turned to jelly at the sight of me.

Later we bought some Ben and Jerry’s and a couple of big bottles of Leffe beer for a bar-b-que at the Nobscrubs. The woman on the till looked at me with a twinkle.

“That’s an intriguing selection of shopping, wine (it was beer) and ice cream”

See, now I’m a gay icon women have started wanting to turn me straight, they’re even making saucy suggestive comments about my private life from till 7 at Tesco.

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