Thursday, May 27, 2010

Whirl Goes Sunbathing Again

Much as I would love to deconstruct the previous post, thereby assisting confused spectral hogs the world over, necessity forces me to pack socks and shirts, waterproofs and bathing trunks, scuba gear and anti-apocalypse sceptres of wrath — for it is holiday time again, albeit only fleetingly. Remind me to tackle DO12 the moment I get back.

I shall check in around 5pm for suggestions of things to look out for on my bon vacances, and hopefully return alive some time next week with a post based on my favourite vista to be.

If you’re new around here, this is how it works. If you’ve been round the block a few times, do please stop smirking and waving that cucumber around.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Directly Outside 12

Retreating stabs at the future mass — a horizon of blades thrust, pommels rolling backwards like clubs, bludgeons.

Let me siphon a troupe of dwarven dancers idiotique from my soul with a handy 1954 clothes mangle.

It’s all I have as I cling to this swirling internexus of stuff: what I fancy goes in vs what I fancy comes out. Get the balance right and you can just about walk straight. Get it wrong and you inflict or genuflect. Blades, pommels, blades, pommels aaaaarrrgggghhh.

‘So,’ says dwarf #1, adjusting his stomach in readiness, ‘what’s the crack?’

Dwarf #2 laughs. ‘The crack is what’s showing out the back of your pants, fatso!’

More dwarves, laughing, taking sides. Uh oh, how there’s a diminutive riot. Size doesn’t matter in a riot, it’s still a riot.

Now, the pommels are close up, like rhinos shorn of horns. Take your eyes off things for a moment and they change. Same with seeing, though we never see it. What was I to do in any case? Grip blades and proffer pommels? here, take this, and do as you will?

Knives existed before we invented them. What they do, what they are, how they hurt us. All here before metal and wit to smelt.

Three dwarves left, so it seems, now they’ve knocked each other unconscious. Two of them I recall from the reduced height melee, the other one is the fatso crack wise guy. Could have done with Fatso himself, in spite of the lurid dungarees.

‘What to do,’ I say, ‘with horizons...’

Fatso crack guy — Bug Eyes Harry, as I now see from his name tag (though why he wears it, I haven’t a clue: just the one eye, unbuggy) — says, ‘this dialogue tag took so long to get going, I’ve run out of fantasy life. So adieu, farewell, auf wiedersehen. And don’t forget to water my pot plants.’

So it’s me and two unknown dwarves wrung from a mangle against the retrograde twist of blades into the future.

I submit!

I submit!

Maybe soon, I’ll no longer be trapped in this place, doomed only to witness as the world spins by, directly outside.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Four Bedrolls And A Free-for-all

If you’ve ever hosted a sleepover for four twelve-year-old boys, you’ll know the answers to the following questions.

How many litres of violently shaken fizzy pop does it take to grace your newly decorated living room with the look, feel and smell of a recently drained dolphinarium?

Why is three in the morning the least apt time for an eruption of tag team duelling airbed action?

We’ve had Da Vinci, Newton, Galileo, Einstein and Hawking — so how come a simple pipe attachment for conveying boys’ wee directly from the ends of their willies into the loo remains uninvented?

What noise does a cat make when chased round a confined space at the mercy of a toy crossbow quartet?

Baked beans from KFC are
1) A tasty accompaniment to the Colonel’s even tastier chicken.
2) Great value for money.
3) Grown organically to help protect the environment.
4) Splattered all over the fucking house.

Where, in the list of instructions for the Wii Fit, does it say, “for maximum enjoyment, plug in and play as the clock strikes midnight”?

When is shamelessly naive and puerile talk about girls ever worth voicing — particularly at 120 decibels by a gang of pre-pubescent puppy fat boys sat round an Xbox in Super Mario pyjamas levelling up Lego Jedi?
Cricket bat, shotgun — or lethal injection?
I could go on, but it looks like the spotty one is about to throw up...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bum In Seat Time: The Breakdown

The First Five Minutes

Lots of wiggling around. No serious writing ever done at this stage. May check email and adjust underpants. Very easy to bail out in favour of Maltesers. And, oh, look — my pint of tea is down to the last two inches. Better go and make another one...

Twenty Minutes In

Ischial tuberosities firmly grounded in seat and all farts dispensed with. Whoops, no. Surprising what gets trapped by the air bubble posse behind those colonic folds. I wonder how long my intestines are. Is it true, all that stuff about football pitches laid out end to end? No, that’s your lungs isn’t it? All this bloody research to do. Drives me crazy.

Notes from previous sessions read. May be well into a new paragraph and impervious to all inner tugs of my blogroll checker. Apart from one or two favourites. Now drinking water instead of tea. To stop myself from dying of tannin poisoning. How many times can you visit the loo in one morning? Looks like I’m about to find out.

The First Hour

This is more like it. Look, look, everyone — I’m like a proper writer now, possibly one with a moustache. It’s England, it’s 1799, and I’m sat in the study of my country home, overlooking the grounds of my estate. Servants wax my moustache as I put pen to paper — and captured enemies to the sword. Hmm, I quite like this. Tomorrow I may try out a female. From 1922.

Usually productive with no breaks for cups of tea. Cellular consistency of all buttockular tissue firm. Everything gluteal is relatively pain-free, especially if I’ve accidentally sat on the cat. She may be small but she’s very padded. Like a beagle, touched for the very first time...

OK, so I’m up and dancing to Madonna. Take a break after an hour. It’s an EU directive. It’s party time. It’s not bad, this purple leotard. But at my age, expect no splits like Margaret Kebab, Merde Honour herself. Ok, maybe a tear in the gusset of my underwear as I try to wrap my legs round my neck. Which reminds me — they sure missed a trick in the cruelty stakes during the filming of Casino Royale, you know, the scene where 00Craig is strapped to a chair frame with his bollocks dangling loose at the mercy of a ferociously whipped leather belt. What they should have done is tied him up with his legs behind his head and then rolled him down that hill in Gloucestershire where they do that cheese thing.

The Second Hour

Very much depends on my review of Hour One. If I’ve not done very well, this next 60 minutes can be agony. Agony to rival the 00Craig cheese thing. As goats watch. And mock. Orchestrated mocking led by Graham Norton and the nine unsuccessful Wild Card Dorothys.

So we’ll assume it’s gone well. What then? Aha! Entrenchment! Which is good for word count, voice and pace — but less good for what’s happening in my pelvic region. Beleaguered muscular tissue may now be pounding at the skin close to my hips, forcing it over the edge of my seat...into oblivion. Which is why I gave up typing in tights very early on. Too much give. Wear only nylons, and before you know it, your flesh is dangling loose to either side of the seat like a cockerel’s throat, or 00Craig’s scrote. Not good. Stout dungarees are where it’s at. Stout dungarees with the straps pulled tight over a corset.

The Third To Fifth Hour

Total bodily degeneration and skeletal reorientation prompts deployment of armoured exoskeleton. It’s a great title and I may use it in a flash fiction piece about a sexually depraved Con-Dem MP who accidentally kills himself during an auto-erotic episode before a carnival mirror.

Tempting to begin editing things here, but I know I mustn’t. That’s for your alter ego. The serious one, the cruel one who torments you and keeps you incarcerated here.

Not had any liquid for a couple of hours and it’s all going fuzzybuzzy.

Week 22

Always, always, always stop after the fifth hour. Bad things happen after the fifth hour, and you need to get up, take a breather, hop in a car, with the girl, the girl from the dream you had the night before, Sandy, blonde hair, 5' 8", telescopic eyes, kinda cute, and she drives you up the side of a mountain in an old Bugatti, scarf trailing in the breeze like a diaphanous speech bubble perfectly and succinctly saying, ‘words cannot describe this moment’, she sighs, opens her wings, lifts you from the Bugatti, apart from your foot which gets stuck on the gear lever, there’s a struggle, a half-kiss, an embarrassing interlude with a chamois leather and a half empty tub of Swarfega, she flies you over the mountain, like in The Snowman, only instead of snow and Santa and men, it’s just you and the girl (or, dear reader, if you’re a girl, make this a man, maybe Daniel Craig or Eric pickles or whoever takes your fancy, and the chamois leather is a lace doily, the Swarfega is melted chocolate, and the Bugatti is a horse, or a donkey if you’re feeling comedic), alone together floating among the stars, each one close enough to touch, so you do, and you burn your fingers, but it isn’t a burn kind of burn as in touching a boiling kettle or a flaming demon lord, it’s more like the heat of passion or a burger that’s been taken off the heat for a few minutes, better still a sausage, because like the girls, I’ve come over all comedic and there’s nothing so comedic as a sausage, or do I mean ‘comical’, oh I don’t care because the warmth of the stars is trickling in through my skin now and there’s a sunset and the girl (or Daniel Craig, still hopefully with bollocks not bloated like a pair of melons from belt/cheese assault, because girls, let’s face it, nothing ruins the look of a pair of skin tight sky blue bathing trunks more completely than severely traumatised genitalia that may require surgery) says, ‘next time stop after the fifth hour or this whole fuzzybuzzy thing will consume you, devour your intellect, your soul, leaving you no more than a husk, a withered husk of buttockular tissue and potential.’

Saturday, May 15, 2010

On Ferrets, Neighbours — And Urine

Some of you may remember the ferret incident from last summer.

Here’s the photo if you don’t want to follow the link — though frankly, if you don’t want to follow the link, what the hell kind of follower are you? And that hair of yours! Quite ridiculous!

Anyhow, the whole incident was clocked by my good neighbour, so it seems, and in the wake of one or two new cats turning up in the ‘hood, she popped round yesterday to ask whether she could borrow the basket.

‘We’ve adopted a stray,’ she said, looking terribly Mumsy in her casual jeans and pinnie. ‘I thought I’d better take him to the vet and see that he’s OK. Get all the jabs and that.’

At this point, I turned behind me to the pile of rubble currently masquerading as my abode. ‘The basket’s in the attic, I’m afraid, but when the builders have cleared the landing, I’ll bring it straight round — though I must warn you, there’s a problem.

The problem, of course, was that last summer, the basket temporarily housed a ferret, and if there’s one creature on this diverse planet that can diverse the heck out of any other animal’s nostrils with the shrieking stink of its piss, it’s yer ferret. My neighbour has a teenage son, but even so, I felt duty bound to prepare her for an even more vicious odour assault.

Cut to later, just after the dust cloud settled on my half a bathtub. I arrive on my neighbour’s doorstep clutching the smelly cat basket.

‘Do you want to see him?’ she says. ‘My son loves him, and all his mates have been round to play with him. He just arrived out of nowhere a couple of weeks ago.’

So we go into the garden. Where there is a cat. On an ornamental mushroom. By the pond.

A cat that looks uncannily like Geoff.

‘I think he’s a kitten,’ my neighbour says.

Mystery of Geoff’s whereabouts during the tumultuous renovations solved.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

En Suite Destruction

It’s not every day you wake with the thought, must do a builders’ bum post, but today is one of them.

Sad thing is, I can get the right combination of camera angle and concealment to snap said slitty orifi — plus, these guys are practically wearing suits.

So — just checking in to note for the record that my lungs are filled with dust, Geoff has spent rather too much time lost under the floorboards, and Girly of Whirly is downstairs complaining that she can’t find any clean work knickers.

On the plus side, our 1976 Carbon Monoxide emitting Killer Boiler is now off the wall and in a skip, albeit following a desperate balancing act at the top of a step ladder in which it nearly fell onto Dave the Plumber and broke both his legs.

As for the answer to the “what is this enormous hole doing in the bathroom wall?” question, don’t ask.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One Final Pancake Makeup Check Before I Stroll Onto The Unforgiving Boards

The great thing about performing a concerted search for the perfect literary agent to represent me (nay, be ready to slay on my behalf in an arena aprowl with yowling wolves), is my discovery that the process I’m going through now, scrutinising website after website, must be very similar to the daily flexing of suture and vim executed by the literary agents themselves as they wade through pile after pile after pile after pile after pile of slush* in search of a rare gem they might actually be able to pass on to a publisher.

* I’m indebted to my high school teacher, Mr Goulding, here, for it was he who counselled me to “avoid repetition unless it’s absolutely necessary”.

It’s amazing how cavalier I have become in such a short space of time. Gone now are the almost academic perusals of submission guidelines, agents’ bios, and client lists; the chewing of fat generously oozing from sidebars and sublinks. In their place is a minor miracle of a database, resplendent with such necessarily curt phrases as ‘looks a bit iffy’, ‘film & celeb’, and (though it shames me to admit how especially pleased I am with this one) ‘WANK WANK WANK’.

Fortunately, as I swing the metaphoric penis of disparagement about my head in a gay circle, this single dead cert NO-NO agent is matched at the far end of a very long scale by a goodly number of prospects at the other, in response to which even the hairs lining my nostrils have begun to erect themselves as if magicked by the very same Follicle Wand used on Billy Idol, Mr T and Dennis the Menace.

Some time within the next few weeks (and continuing over the next few months), I hope formally to engage in a two-prong whittling down of likely suspects with a view to establishing a mutual agreement of like minds.

We’re all bloody Lib Dems now...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Three Way Wrestling In The Mud Pit Of Necessity

As Europe stands on the brink of economic meltdown, Britain can only look on in horror at the no-headed chimera, spawned in the full glare of the TV cameras, that it will soon be forced to drop into the bloodbath of international politics like a crippled chick flung too early from its nest.

Or at least, that’s how it might have gone if I had access to the leader column in The Guardian. Or even the Throbbleton-on-the-Trick Argus.

I did try to post yesterday, honestly I did. Let’s face it, here in the UK, May 6th was a day of spectacular import — and a night of much hurling abuse at the on-screen witless — but sadly, when my trembling fingers greeted the keyboard at a drearilerious 8am, I found them capable of rendering naught but drivel. So instead, I made myself a swift cup of cocoa and tried to sleep through the sound of my house being reduced to rubble by men with drills the size of Renault Meganes.

On reflection, I discover that what I really want to comment on is the trio of BBC pundits, Dimbleby, Robinson, and Vine. Paxo, I’m omitting for necessity — something I urge you not to try at home when you have the family round for Sunday lunch to consume an ASDA chicken.*

* This kind of joke has probably been cracked more times than Humpty Dumpty’s virtual shell, but I’m leaving it in as it allows me to link to this recipe. Apologies for the custard yellow text — the blog had a black background in those days. And yes, Protrudio will be back very, very soon.
Dimbleby wins out every time over any other pundit. He’s incisive without being rude and objectionable like Robin Day, David Frost, or Alan Carr, and I have a sneaky feeling that if you spent the afternoon with him in the snug of some rural pub, he’d take you into his confidence round about pint number three by producing from his pocket some bizarre curio like a hair plucked from Churchill’s ear during the Blitz, the heel tip from one of Thatcher’s stilettoes (prised free with her nail file while he was flattering her with his affable charms), or a bottle containing the gasp that issued from John Major’s lips when Edwina Currie first said, “don’t just stand there, big boy, blast the Salmonella from my eggs with that cricket bat of yours...” The best thing about Dimbleby, of course, is his immaculate taste in socks...

I realise this is probably a copyrighted image, and will take it down if required. In the meantime — go and buy the DVDs.

I have to confess that before Thursday night, Nick Robinson had never struck me as being any different to all the other political correspondents the BBC regularly lines up to deliver its informative yet slightly risque analysis. But when the debate turned to the likely austerity measures any future government would need to implement, I found myself being impressed by his apparent grasp of the facts, and the more I warmed to him, the more I realised that the BBC could have saved itself thousands by doing away with all those expensive computer graphics. A simple sink plunger stuck to Robinson’s head would have worked wonders as a Swingometer, particularly if he’d been able to operate it with his own ears. Maybe next time.

Jeremy Vine, as ever, tossed like a poncy salad.

It’s still too early to say what will happen as a result of the votes cast. We don’t have any idea who will be prime minister a week from now, let alone the composition of any new cabinet — or the wallpaper in Number 10. One thing, however, is certain. Even if I make it to the ripe old age of 153, I’ll never be rid of TV footage, trailed out in every retrospective about 2010, elections, bad hair and shouting, of The Angry Woman From Sheffield Hallam.

Monday, May 3, 2010

On The Couch With Sock Monkey. And A Penguin.

WO: So, does it talk?

SM: Don’t be silly. Cuddly penguins can’t talk.

WO: But cuddly monkeys can? I don’t get it — what’s the logic, the universal law?

SM: Simply that I’m not cuddly. And besides, you don’t always need a universal law for things to work out.

WO: Like what?

SM: Like taste in footwear, evidently.

WO: Hey — I only put these on to impress you.

SM: Then consider me impressed — but only in the same sense as the skull of a baby seal when the culler’s club descends—

WO: You’ve made your point. So, penguins and baby seals aside, can we get on?

SM: Sure. What do you want to talk about today?

WO: Goats.

SM: Goats?

WO: That’s right.

SM: As in ‘furry animals not dissimilar to sheep’, ‘furry animals not dissimilar to sheep’, or ‘furry animals not dissimilar to sheep’?

WO: The middle one.

SM: Okay, so what’s the problem?

WO: Ever since I mentioned goats on my blog, I can’t stop thinking about them. Night and day, day and night. It’s driving me crazy.

SM: So, a disconcerting combination of nightmares and dreams? You want them, but you don’t want them?

WO: If only wanting came into it. That way, I could stop it. Stop them.

SM: So let me get things straight before we go any further. Are these goats imaginary or real?

WO: Real, 100% real. What do you think I’m doing here?

SM: Okay, I hear what you’re saying — but don’t be too dismissive of the potential misery imaginary goats can cause. Look what happened to Peter Gabriel’s face.

WO: Hey — whatever capacity for potential misery imaginary goats possess, it’s nothing compared to the real thing. Especially when you’ve got the builders in.

SM: Explain?

WO: Aside from the gnawing at the furniture thing, the constant defecating, the noise, all that stuff that drives me craaaaaaaaaaaazy? The moment the builders come through the door it’s like some herbivorous Jekyll and Hyde scenario — all tinkling bells, can I get you a tea or coffee? and grinny grin grins all over their chinny chin chins.

SM: Do you want to know what I think?

WO: That is the idea...

SM: I think you ought to be grateful.

WO: Whaaaat?

SM: That’s right. Grateful for all the help during a time of stress. Grateful for the cheery, smiley faces and the relaxing sound of bells. And grateful they stop all that defecating nonsense whenever the builders are there, which I’m guessing is nine till five, right?

WO: More or less.

SM: So, more or less, they do it while you’re asleep, so what’s the problem?

WO: What’s the problem? I’ll tell you what’s the problem—

SM: Okay, but it will have to wait till next time.

WO: Are we done already?

SM: ‘Fraid so. But look, I’ll walk out with you today. I need some stuff from the supermarket. We can chat on the stairs.

WO: Thanks.

Penguin: “Cuddly penguins can’t talk?" What the hell do they know?