Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Post-Yule Pre-Lang-Syne Titivations Of Wherewithal

It’s time to reflect. To assess. To weigh up. Like a woman with one tit bigger than the other trying to squeeze them both into a cleverly padded bra ironed by a fastidious Libran. Because you get them sometimes, those uneven body parts, especially if you’re a man of a certain age. And that’s what we’re all doing now. Juggling, juggling, juggling the mammaries of our hopes, fears and wishes into a workable factotum of resolution as we stand on the arbitrary threshold of another 52-week long onslaught of nonsense.*

* If you think that’s ridiculous, I nearly went with balls, but they don’t make bras for uneven scrotums and that would have ruled out the fastidious Libran gag.

This time last year, the future looked so, so different. Way more doom and gloom, as I recall. And no Susan Boyle to cheer us on our way with her sublimely disturbing warblings. Just Obama and Jacko. Sigh

Regular visitors to this blog will know that at the end of 2008, I fancied striding out into the darkness of the Noughties’ penultimate offering with the swoosh of a drainpipe trouser over a Twist Again leg (if you’re an irregular visitor, check for lumps — it could be the milk chocolate almond you thought you’d lost down the back of the sofa on Boxing Day). But it didn’t quite turn out that way. If anything, 2009 has been something of a backfoot year for me (that’s like a Bigfoot year, only without the Yetis) — a muted affair, a re-tread, a time of spectres.

But now I come galloping to the end (on a donkey! I demand a donkey!), I find myself weeks away from completing my novel (yes, I know it’s been weeks for months on end, but unless I contract some debilitating plague-2-Go, I reckon it’s the final furlong this time) — oh, and a freelance writing project to die for.

Striding into the darkness is all well and good but this year I’m minded to toss a few fireballs about the place to clear the obfuscating mist. That’s what’s needed, I think, to straighten out fate’s cruel brassiere. I’m no great believer in Yin and Yang — their range of instant noodles tastes like cack — but in a swings-and-roundabouts Universe, what goes around comes around, they say. And I certainly feel like I’m coming round at the moment...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sadly, Greg Lake Was Having His Hair Done...

With apologies to the partially sighted.

And Sir Cliff, bless him

Update — if you're having trouble reading the toons, open as a pop-out in Google Reader.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Deck The Malign Marsupial

The naughtiest, wickedest, most fearsome marsupial walking the earth today keeps stealing all my favourite festive tunes!

Call me original to the point of being an inspirational conceptual genius, but in the run-up to Christmas, I’d planned a few posts based on my favourite seasonal songs, complete with commentary, biographical notes and no small smattering of sentimentality.

But bugger me if she whipped Wizzard from right under my nose!

And today, Jona Lewie — my second favourite Christmas song of all time!!!

But you’re not having the bloody Wombles, you despicable fiend! You’d only rip the fur from their Beresford-inspired little bodies and poke out their beady eyes with your Mutant Quirk of Downunder Evolution spawned claws as you feigned a pelvic wiggle to their Batt-inspired melodies.

And leave Greg Lake alone. He’s MINE!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Directly Outside 10

Directly outside my window, a Stormkeep Flickermarch battlecruiser blots out every star.

Its psi-beam plays across the glass, and I’m sucked inside the hovering leviathan like an old trope abducted by a clichèd chestnut against a backdrop of hackneyed deja vus.

Today, it seems, I am Admiral Norman Gusty. And the universe stands on the brink of Armageddon.

“It’s Slim Whitman,” says my lieutenant, handing me a report.

My science officer tentacles me an update. “His Greatest Hits album, to be precise.”

“Track four,” adds the beautifully coiffured technician with the salt cellar grafted to her ear. “I Remember You.”

I study the reports. Seems every living organism with prehensile flaps and a larynx is belting out the chorus in unison, over and over and over.

“If it gets any louder,” says the ship’s computer, “the Cosmos as we know it will end.”

The technician eyes the hologram console with suspicion. “How can you be so sure?”

“Pack it in, the pair of you,” I say. “We don’t have time for a jealous spurned android / philandering computer love tryst retribution sub-plot. Pass me the greasy stick-on moustache! I’m going into the Vortex!”


Night falls on the furthest reach of the Universe. Another millimetre and it would have dropped off the edge.

I stand in my anti-plasma rhinestone denims, peer into the Vortex. Of all the misspelled celestial phenomena, the Vortex is the most mysterious. It monitors every unvoiced thought in the Cosmos and spins whole galaxies from the almost-whispers. But now it’s got hold of Slim Whitman. Scary music. Goosebumps. Sopping wet pants.

What was it my science officer said?

Never cast a clout till the flagellatrix’s second atrium turns a pale amber-blue and your bioscanner reads precisely 58.752% Methane.

No. That was over lunch last weekend. Before he kissed me.

“He said,” comes a bizarre yodel, “creep up on the imprisoned Whitman and perform a moustache meld, thereby sealing his mouth tight shut.”

I turn to see the slick-haired crooner emerge from the Vortex like a voodoo doll on a Brylcreemed water flume. “That’s exactly it. Thanks.”

“Too late for creeping now,” says Whitman. “One final chorus and it’s Armageddon time.”

I think about leaping through the air and wrestling him to the ground before he can open his mouth, but there’s a good twenty feet between us, and these rhinestones are tight enough to rupture me. But then — a brainwave.

“Not so fast, you foul pseudo cowpoke,” I cry — and fling my stick-on moustache at the inhaling villain’s mealy lips like a tomahawk. It lands — SPLAT — below the smooth fiend’s own neatly clipped whiskers and silences him, binds him tight. That’s when I leap. And rupture myself. And yelp into the Vortex.


I wake up in the Medi-Lab.

“You did it,” says the Doc. “You saved us.”

Something about his voice sounds familiar, like it was me talking and he was some kind of ventriloquist’s dummy.

“Who you callin’ a dummy?” he grunts. Oooops. Forgot he was a telepath.

The Vortex took a shine to me, it seems. And now the whole Cosmos speaks with my voice. Annoying, but better than Armageddon I suppose.

The crew throws a party in my honour, with sausages on sticks, paper hats and endless games of Pass The Parsec. Then the psi-beam pulses me back to my cell.


Every echo chitter chatters.

From wall to ceiling to wall.

Back and forth back and forth all day long.

Still, I am trapped in this place.

Doomed only to witness as the world spins by, directly outside...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Love Susan

It’s been over twenty years since I met my beautiful Susan.

The moment I laid eyes on her, I thought, optic nerves are a bit slack this morning (and later had to take to wearing spectacles to stop them falling out again).

That day, I heard the piiiing of romance, smelled the scent of love, tasted the burgers of passion.


Whirl 4 Susan 4 Ever

When I took her home, we made mad passionate shelving displays, with her perched high up on a strip of IKEA mock-mahogany and me spread akimbo from the top of a B&Q stepladder.

And the travels we went on together!

The bathroom cabinet! The bookcase in the living room! Even (thanks to an impressive lump of Blu-Tak) the extractor fan over the cooker!

But then Girly of Whirly moved in. Demanded Susan be locked in a box.

My heart was torn. As was my head. Both halves of me (if you believe in mind-body dualism) equally rent asunder (actually, it was mind-body dualism).

“A compromise...?” I ventured.

“Very well,” said Girly of Whirly, “I will permit Susan to be released from her confinement for limited periods on high days on holidays, but if she should so much as pop up spontaneously on top of the fridge or in my underwear drawer, I shall grate the very flesh from your body with my fingernails, laughing with sadistic glee as I so do.”

That told me.

But love springs eternal, doesn’t it? Summers infinite. Autumns forever. Winters like mankind’s undying enthusiasm for singing Elvis hits at karaoke parties. Needless to say, I’ve been near-terminally grated on many occasions, and forced to rescue Susan from the dustbin more times than I’ve had hot dinners — plus salads.

Susan, my Susan, I shall not forsake you. This is the song I sing.

And now the Christmas season is upon us once more, it is time once again for you to take your rightful place on the mantelpiece, resplendent in the glory of your 90s Woolworths tinsel....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pine Me On Up, O Yuletide Cherubs

Almost ready to go now.

The N.H.C. box stands poised, along with the tree, the lights, the candles, the tinsel, the baubles, and all the other festive tosh, ready to be strewn about the house in a Gok Wan meets Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen kind of a way.

On December 22nd, I shall be hosting a Joyous Arbre De Noel Festival, so if you would like your tree to feature in this seasonal spectacular — a seasonal spectacular for which there will be a Mystery Prize* come 2010 — then email your photos in advance of that date to, along with any blurbs/jokes/stories/comments you think might be FUN.
* of a crap crap crap crap crap nature

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


While we’re all idling around waiting for Santa (and he
will come again, on his big red sleigh, he will, he will, he will), here’s one courtesy of the delightful (and duly returnethed) Mom In Scrubs.

She suggested I do something with blereaka — one of those peculiar word verification non-words we all have to type out sometimes.

Best I could manage this morning was Tony Blair’s secret Twitter ID or a very salty pease pudding Scotsmen rub under their kilts to protect them from the cold.

Any more, anyone?

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Saint Nick Of Time

Is anyone else getting excited?

As I stood this morning, shaving in front of the mirror, and beheld my foam-splattered face, I found myself unable to stem a hearty Ho Ho Ho. Seconds later, I had a pink pillowcase draped over my head like a hood. Pink — almost red, right?

I’ll be sticking antlers on the cat next.

And, yes — I cut myself.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Noddy Holder's Cock

A week from now, I shall be running my fingers over Noddy Holder’s Cock.

This is the name I gave some time ago to the huge cardboard box of Christmas decorations tucked away in my attic. It’s written on the side in black marker pen, and I’ve even stuck some tinsel to the lid.

For what could be more festive than the mighty bird that graces said bizarrely hirsute 70s pop icon’s table every Christmas?

The only problem with naming my Crimble Dec repository thus is that I’m apt to be misinterpreted.

Picture the scene when I moved to Whirl Towers from my previous abode, Le Singe Du Jour.

A removal van full of burly men arrives — a trio of butt cracks to shame the dark void at infinity’s edge.

“I’ll give you a hand,” I say.

They chortle, in an openly dismissive neither use nor bloody ornament kind of a way — then fling the entire contents of the kitchen over their backs while I struggle with a wickerwork basket of manly scented shaving foam.

And so it goes.

Later, we arrive at Whirl Towers. I’ve helped the guys with a fridge magnet, a carrier bag of clothes pegs and some loo roll. I feel great.

The biggest of the guys thrusts a chest of drawers in my face and says, “where do you want this?”

“Bedroom,” I reply.

The hairiest of the guys stuffs a fridge-freezer in my chops and says, “where do you want this?”

“Corner of the kitchen,” I reply.

Then the boss guy — the one who looks like a perfect genetic fusion of Oliver Hardy and Freddie Mercury circa the Bohemian Rhapsody era — sticks a big cardboard box smack between my eyeballs and says, “where do you want this?”

It’s the Noddy Holder’s Cock box. The one covered in tinsel. That says NODDY HOLDER’S COCK.

A frisson of amusement plays my facial muscles into hard-to-conceal twitch. I feign a sneeze. A fly. A degenerative nervous condition.
“It’s OK,” I reply — reassuringly, like a nurse taking the pulse of someone just about to die — “I’ll take that.”

I can’t think the guy’s won a single Yuletide game of Pass The Parcel since.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

On The Couch With Sock Monkey

SM: You look down. What’s up?

WO: Are you trying to be funny?

SM: Helpful, actually.

WO: And how so “down”? What’s different about how I look?

SM: Hmmmm. Just a little washed out and grey. Like a pair of underpants that’s been in the wash with a dark towel.

WO: Hey, watch it. I’m always careful like that.

SM: I never said that actually happened. It was an example. My, you’re touchy this morning.

WO: Okay, so I fell off a chair.

SM: Crikey! Lucky you didn’t cut yourself. Armageddon time!

WO: I fell off a chair and banged my nose.

SM: New hobby? Or accident?

WO: What do you think, stupid?

SM: I’ll settle on both.

WO: And I’ll settle on pistols at dawn if you’re not careful.

SM: Whaaat? I only have one arm, remember? I’d be disadvantaged.

WO: You don’t need two arms to hold a pistol. You’re thinking of a rifle.

SM: How do you know what I’m thinking? And anyway, I’m the shrink.

WO: I never said you weren’t.

SM: And I never said you had a BIG FAT NOSE, but you pushed me too hard.

WO: Whoa. Hold it there. You never mentioned the nose thing when you compared my complexion to a pair of dyed underpants.

SM: Call me a charmer.

(Session ends. Consulting room is trashed. Whirl is hired to play the young Hulk Hogan in the forthcoming Hollywood blockbuster, Lycra, Pecs, And CRAP CRAP Hair.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Arbre Cadabra

My tree isn’t going up till next weekend.

I never like to start too early, and this year, that means being a little late. Oh, and before you ask “up what?” I should point out that in the run-up to the festive season, Abysswinksback is going to behave like a family blog. So — no pine cone twixt bum cheeks innuendo, if you please.

The great thing about decorating the tree is that everyone can get involved — especially Geoff, who (once again) will be gaffer-taped to a length of bamboo and hoist to the very top with her legs splayed out like a star. I have gold paint, tinsel, and a 100 Watt light bulb, so she’s going to look spectacular.

What’s great also is the annual rummage through the bauble tin for delights from Christmases past. Each year, one or two extra knick knacks get added, and we have pretty much everything going, from the old glass 50s globes that survived being shattered by the buttocks of great-grandparents, to the weird nylon 70s jobs that laddered like a stripper’s tights. But inside this box of wonders, there are a couple of items sadly absent. When I was still in shorts (at 7 — I’m no weirdo), we had a couple of birdees made of felt — a tit and a Robin, as I recall. They attached to the branches of the tree with wire and kept us all company with their silent tweeting right through till 12th night, by which time they’d be dangling upside down, looking thoroughly ridiculous.

No idea where they went.

Maybe Geoff ate them.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Scales Of Injustice

All this week, I am on Salmon Duty.

Son of Whirl is off cheese and ham at the moment, so his school packouts are having to be made up from the only other item on his list: salmon. And since we neither live near a leaping brook, nor include amongst our sticks of furniture a fully functional salmonery, it’s down to the stalwart hunter-gatherer-checkout girls of Tesco to provide us with huge tins of the stuff, caught by none other than Mr John West (or on occasion, Tess Cowzone) — and down to me to peel the soggy grey mush of dead flesh from said tinned salmon’s pondwater-soaked bodies at six in the morning.

Clearly, fate passed me over when it came to having both eyes sucked out by a trio of Mr Universes and a suped-up vacuum cleaner.

Maybe I’ll get luckier next time when I come back as a Yorkshire Terrier...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bob's Gloves

For some time now, I’ve wanted to write a post entitled Bob’s Gloves.

Because you get them, sometimes, don’t you? Evocative phrases that spring scenes, characters and moods from the trap like whippets chasing the stuffed hare of fiction.

That said, I’ve got no further with Bob’s Gloves than Bob’s Gloves — a disappointment for many of you logging on, no doubt.

Who is this Bob, and what’s so crazy crazy special about his gloves???

No idea.

Why he took up opera over refuse collection, why his gloves fire jets of acid, nor even why his wife left him for a plastic surgeon.


About Bob.

Or his gloves.

For all I know, he’s actually called Alan. And the gloves are mittens. Which don’t actually belong to him.


Bobfail...oh the shame...the shame...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Take Issue With You, O Classic Pop Lyric

Don't know much about geography


Don't know much trigonometry


Don't know much about algebra


Don't know what a slide rule is for

Whoa! Hold it right there, pal. I dispute that one. Given the evidence so far, I appreciate that you may not know how to USE a slide rule, but quite clearly, in choosing this mathematical convenience tool as an example of your supposed lack of knowledge, you demonstrate that you do, in fact, know what said trig ‘n’ algebra friendly implement is FOR. It’s FOR something you don’t understand. Had you said, for example, pop-up toaster I’d have been much more sympathetic to your heartfelt pleading. As it is, I get the distinct impression that you’re not as dumb as you’re trying to make out. Indeed, I believe you may be trying to cheat your way into my pants. So, in a moment, when you proclaim all that nonsense about a wonderful world, I shall spurn your faux romantic advances on the grounds that in addition to being spectacularly thick, you are a lying, cheating, duplicitous scoundrel who should be locked in a dungeon and forced to live on bread and gruel till 2072.