Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How To Be Cavalier When You're Forced To Eat Your Own Horse

It doesn’t take Spock’s tricorder to detect a prevailing mood of gloom about the place at the moment. From football to the economy to the rub of UHT cheddar against the flexed pecs of a steelily enthused bodybuilder hoist from some cryogenetic Nirvana. (Or maybe your hobby is beekeeping, and you’ve run out of bees.)

That said, my DVD player is currently up the spongo, and if Spock wandered in here right now, I’d take that ole alien technology over any back-to-base warranty, especially if said spirit level fringe hairdo weirdo offered to stick around till tomorrow and mow my lawn with it.

So I wondered — what is this mood thing?

And how come we’re all beguiled by it from time to time?

Consider the cuttlefish.

(Clarification: consider the cuttlefish if you’re not a budgerigar. If you’re a budgerigar, most likely you’ll have been coaxed into squawking obscenities in preparation for some sonic outrage, so get back to pecking at the cuttlefish and keep your gob shut. I have nothing to say to any of you, you faux birds of paradise.)

I return to the cuttlefish (unpecked at) (by budgerigars) (or any flappy, wingy thing) — with its ripply ripply flipples, Mexican waves of Arabian carpets, peer-to-peer precognition up the kaleidoscopic sponk pipe.

The truth is, everyone can see into the future, but no-one can predict how they’re going to react when they get there.

Not even an as yet unborn time-travelling rapper guru.

(And who else? This is now officially a mid-post competition. You, dear reader, may suggest examples of people unable to predict how they’re going to react to situations unfolding before them, here in the comments trail prior to 23.59 GMT 2/7/10 — not only in order to win this week’s luxury crap crap crap crap crap prize, but also to have your name hallowed in joyous tones the universe over — from the gutteral grunts of the Hoibsi-Poibsi Underflubbules of Zoon Immaculatus IV, to the half dozen grobbule-popped Pustuloiti squealing in perfect harmony as they writhe in their own zit juice.)

So how are you feeling now?

With your fingers aflex in space somehow, that look (of looking/not looking — just that moment, there, gone now) on your face; that ludicrous stick-on moustache you decided might be just the thing in 1979, which has been fixed to your upper lip ever since, and persisted, unnoticed, till it fell off a few seconds ago into your pina colada?

It’s the scrawl of a lunatic upon the hard slate of indifference.

The swing thing in the fixed, capped evertude.

Is mood.

(Wax poetic, wax poetic,
always wax poetic.
Let the tallow
never be callow:
melting wax,
here it ticks.)

Time to cut to Evertude, where an heroic knight battles for mastery over a single 2-for-1 dragon offer at Tesco — the ultimate split multipack challenge...

In the castle courtyard (or the mountain eyrie, or the cloud, or the coffee-stained mouse mat you use every day like toilet paper but not quite so disposable and obviously you don’t use it THAT way — OK let’s go with that...)

Upon the mouse mat

‘Pon the mouse mat

‘Pon the mat of the mouse

‘Pon the platform of rodents, wild and swirling and hewn of mousieness electronique

Aren’t first lines annoying sometimes? When you have an idea you want to run with, but no clue how to get started? Personally, I think this is a harder one to deal with than first lines that arrive fully formed and compel you to run with their evident zestiness. Or a posse of butch Yul Brynner lookalikes. NOTHING is harder to deal with than a posse of butch Yul Brynner lookalikes (as Yul himself confessed in his autobiography, I Am Siam).

So, on with the action, even if it takes place on a giant toilet roll unravelling in the void, complete with phase shifting labrador puppies for stars...

‘Hey, listen, narrator lord, I’m here, and I’m happening, and I’m dragonic.’

I fan my fingers; think, ‘o ladybird thing, please pick one.’

The creature flitters onto my thumb, sneaks its wings between skin and cuticle.

Whoa! Momentary distraction from the emerging fiction! Suddenly, I’ve come over all personally cosmetic! Hot for minuscule dusky dragons that whoosh between my eyelashes in a unified swoop, smearing beauty onto spray of follicle in the flash of an exuberant group wing flip.

The mascara industry needs minuscule dragons thus.

Doubt they’ll invent them, however.

And now I think about it, it’s been weeks since a tickly pickly ladybird did that loopy woopy thing about one of my outstretched fingers. That’s what I like about ladybirds: they can’t be charmed into performing any kind of stunt. I’m sure there are chemicals I could use to attract them — brazen “Come Here You Beautiful Buggoid Beautie” hats I could strap to my head and power up; secret sibilations I could utter while half prone, clad in some bizarre get up that wouldn’t have looked out of place at a Mamas & The Papas recording session — but I don’t want any such bug-charming pharmaceuticals anywhere near that random attraction of ladybird kind of flesh thing I have wrapped around me. It would ruin the fun.

All of which alerts me, as I prepare for the delivery of two wardrobes (and a shave), to the ticking clock that says YOU MUST STOP WRITING NOW — the ticking clock whose clarion...tock...I echo with a jokily ironic whisper of ‘OR YOU DIE’.

A shame, because I still haven’t answered the question, such as it was. The question that began first thing this morning in a shade of sickly mustard and umber (with a hint of purest vile).

Moods adrift in collisions of huge lumps of the obvious, I think it was.

And how to proceed in the fractionflash burst of their bubbles all over the Big Lumpy Stuff de la Cosmos.

Am I beguiled by some horror spectre, that visits its viral feelywarp on one and all? Or am I the agent of all this diffusional mood nonsense? The orchestrator? Director? Rider?


I had to bring it back to horses somehow, to make sense of the title of this post.

The white chargers of vim and gusto, whose hooves kick into living swirls the dust of the dead. Bleh. Ok — it’s 7.00 in the morning and it’s the best I can manage.

So — that lot. Ponies, donkeys even.

All I know at the moment (morning, sneezy, a giant leopard poised to spring from next door’s — no, wait a minute, it’s a rug on the washing line) is that sometimes the temptation to slay such a horse (or pony, or mule, or donkey, or whatever — but don’t go all DOG on me because that would be an analogy too far, especially if it was one of those piddly French dogs whose bones would snap if you hit it with a baguette) arises from the gap between blossoming milliseconds before your sorry senses have time to distinguish the size of the hole.

Especially when you’re waiting for wardrobes, or the door-to-door Free Indian Food Guy of your dreams.

It’s all you can do sometimes to don your floppy hat, twizzle your moustache to mirror your smile, and walk on in a vaguely equine manner till something equally vaguely equine comes along and says, ‘whip your legs either side of my saddle, Big Boy, and let’s charge, let’s leap over some hedges’.

So that’s what I’m doing today.

(Allied to praying that my quadruped requirements aren’t detected on the train into work by some idiot performing pig troupe and accompanying knockabout wombat mascot).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Of Baggy Flesh And Football

One of my fondest childhood memories is of a day out to Twycross Zoo, home of the famous Ty-Phoo chimps and one or two lesser known English actors of the late sixties.

There I espied an ostrich having a wazz.

As it pecked at the grass, its ball-of-feathers body perched on its scrawny legs like a fluffy Scotch egg on a cocktail stick at a dinner party for the damned, a huge bag of wrinkly flesh descended from its undercarriage — an inverted cone of withered purple, speckled with the stray feather scragginess of a half plucked chicken — and let fly the contents of its bladder into the dust.

That, my friends, is how slack I feel now for not posting in over a week: slack as the undercarriage of a fully grown ostrich as it wazzes contentedly in the sun.

And so, to a time-saving re-tread, a regurgitation of previous wonders. For there be no new posts today, ye scurvy swabs.*

* Remind me to post about my selection of writing hats at a later date.

So, since football is in the air — quite literally flying from the feet of Rooney, Lampard and Cole three times each to deliver a record-breaking 9-0 victory over Slovenia later this afternoon (before we all wake up from our mock Flashforward to discover even Rooney was a dream and England have been pounded into the South African veldt by a bunch of hapless Eastern European no-hopers) — I've chosen to run with a couple of old posts that most perfectly highlight my vast knowledge of this truly world-topping game.

Go here for the augury.

And here for what might have been.

naturalmente io muoio i miei capelli, sono un ladyboy

(as they say in the world of online English to Italian translation...)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Scenariologistically Speaking

Glass half full or half empty?

Or is this a loaded question?

As in — is having this option a ‘glass half full’ situation?

And whatever happens, can you use the glass afterwards? Like a Nutella jar? Only in a straight glass-to-glass scenario rather than a jar-to-glass scenario?

Would the whole outlook dilemma scenario seem any different if it was a Nutella jar rather than a glass?

As in — Nutella jar half full or half empty?

Or is this another loaded question?

As in — any amount of Nutella in a jar is a good thing?

And why do I keep talking about scenarios?

Hmmm, must be a Wednesday...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's Puffed Up Pig Bladder Time

Time to shave my head and tattoo GO RONEY GO across my cranium — for I am English, and the World Cup is upon me like a do-or-die wrestler pepped up on steroids and squeezed into a hi-tech lycra mankini.

From now until July 11th, there will be no escape from its drooling advances, no hope of wriggling free from its half time nelsons, no chance of finding some secluded corner of the cosmos from which cries of “get it in the back of the net, you useless woman” do not resound.

It’s a time for the heartiest of lads to suck the beer taps of England so dry, the earth’s core turns to ash; to inflate their stomachs bigger than newly born whale calves with pumps normally reserved for blowing up childrens’ bouncy castles; to rampage, half naked, daubed in paint, through a swirling sea of St George flags and stand-up cardboard Your Royal Highnesses, bawling gaily of Vindaloo, Hurst, and that thing Bobby Charlton did with his hair that you can do with your pubes if your ‘aaaaaard enough.

It’s a time for otherwise downtrodden and ignored old ladies to poke their heads from behind their living room curtains and proclaim, “enough! Enough of your disgraceful misbehaviour, you hordes of shameless young men! Prepare to have your bottoms spanked hard with our arsenal of crooked mementoes!”

It’s a time for the lads to draw to a halt in the streets, buckling the tarmac like turf in the box at the mercy of Didier Drogba’s bizarrely poncy acting talents, every last one of them ready for combat, for action — for England; a time for standing proud, fighting back, showing pluck; a time for communal belching, for stuffing so many doner kebabs down their throats that the meat squirts from their ears like a reconstituted quadruped’s intestines.

It’s a time for false teeth to boomerang from window boxes, outside loos; for zimmer frame chariots of the elderly and raging to clank into the streets, pulled by three-legged dogs and deaf budgies; for cookery books from 1932 to be slapped and thumped and bludgeoned against skull and flab and buttock as if Fanny Craddock had returned from the dead, been forced to sit through a three course meal coiffured by Heston Blumethal, then lost the plot more completely than when she was alive.

It’s a time for the lads to take no ruddy nonsense from these vengeful grannies who know nothing of our manly, football-ly ways, and with ring pulls of lager tugged open, in the spirit of those defiant lads of yore, defending England’s soil with their longbows primed in lines, to drench all assailants, all enemies, with foaming sprays of broadly continental biere, the better to blind and confound the approaching harridans; drown their useless budgies, render inebriated and helpless their scabby, partial pets.

It’s a time for soggy biscuits to be produced from rusty tins and unleashed in tandem with pitiful offers of a nice bit of Granny’s special cheese; for husbands officially declared dead at the close of WWII to crawl from their dingy confines and hurl their malnourished bodies at all whose flagrant disregard for basic good manners they’ve been persuaded at rolling pin point to believe is the work of Satan....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ooh, Look At Me — Mr Guest Blogger Pants (Pants)

Today, for one day only, I’m guest blogger over at one of the funnest blogs on the net, which makes me feel extraordinarily goosebumpy (especially when allied to a desire to leap from my corporeal body √† la Dr Strange and bounce, in my ethereal form, all over said swollen goosebumps like a kid at a bouncy theme park). Whoopy Doop Doop.

Yesterday’s guest blogger, the bleepingly talented Natalie, offered up an illustration. To prove I’m more than just a bloke with a big nose in a pretend kilt, I thought I’d do likewise c/o a two minute pencil sketch of the host blogger herself.

As you can see, it’s no masterpiece. It’s not actually any good. OK, if truth be told, it’s almost insulting, and I suppose I’ve blown my chances with the hip San Diego set for good, possibly all humans.

Anyhow, if you click here, you’ll be whisked away to Anothere Worlde where my guest post will feature from some time around Noon GMT (at a guess).

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Not Even Mother Hubbard Under The Floorboards

The problem with having no secret repository bulging with pre-prepared blog posts is that when new material is needed in order to prevent readers falsely concluding you are dead (or transformed into a horse, and thus unable to type without assistance from a telepathic jockey), sometimes — on days like today, perhaps, when nothing at all interesting has happened, even the stuff you’ve made up* — you are forced to write spurious and inane passages like this; use lots of words but say nothing.

*The astute will realise that I wrote this yesterday and am posting early this morning simply to pull off a kind of H.G. Wells thing...

Fortunately, I do have something cooking in the Guest Blogger Bunker of one of my stalwart followers, so I can hopefully eke out my current post vacuum till the weekend, by which time I may have been slain by a dragon and therefore have more to blog about than hot air.

And folks, if you’ve ever tried to eke out a vacuum, you’ll know it’s on a par with the old joke about “teasing it out with a pencil”.

So — do, please, return on Thursday, when details of my diversion via Guest Blogger Land will be revealed.

In the mean time, ride safely — and if you’re not riding, get the hell up off the road, there are maniacs about.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sylvia's Buns

Always a mistake to opt for this kind of post title...

However, in spite of the swathe of suggestions for this post from the previous comments trail (most of which I missed (thankfully)), I decided right at the start of my bank holiday break that I would take Sylvia up on her oodles of delicious yumminess idea. Having spent the best part of May staring into the abyss of multiple builders’ backsides, I figured it was time to play the Yumminess Card. Kilts, socks, and anti-apocalypse sceptres of wrath will have to wait for another time, I’m afraid.

And so, to the assortment of cakes and other spongey delights throbbing with carbohydrates behind the counter of the Arlington Court tea rooms. How glad I was of their sugary dreaminess, their swollen, abundant nibblitude. For three whole days I’d had neither sight, sound nor sniff of anything remotely cakey, and had begun to wonder whether Sylvia was to be disappointed in her desire to see crumbly flakes of pastry, drizzled in syrup, bulging with sultanas, here, now. After all, hadn’t I let her down last holiday by not following up her request to see a French rat sneaking across to England?

As you can see, on that occasion, I ran out of time cutting and pasting a rat over my unprofessional photographer’s spectre (and the onions and pre-shrug expression of je ne sais quoi on the face of the rat), but as I stood in the scone queue at Arlington Court*, on one leg, heron-style, talking to an old lady (also on one leg — there was some sort of convention, I think, and everyone was at it), I knew I had to take a snapshot of the sumptuous fayre and post it. So here it is.

* I’ve mentioned this twice now so I’d better explain. It’s in Devon, they have bats, and the estate has some connection with Sir Francis Chichester. Don’t ask me, I was only a tourist.

The ladies behind the counter (I love Courts — you get proper ladies) implored me to fill in a customer survey, though I expect they probably binned it the moment I left, dribbling from the midriff as it was with the squeezed cream of OTT effusement.

Other than that, I sat on a beach all weekend and could probably now pass for an Albanian tennis player.