Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pecked By Ymir's Bogeys

The one advantage of a storm boasting hailstones the size of jumbo ice cubes is that you can make yourself a G&T by sticking your glass out of the window instead of having to haul it all the way to the fridge.

But, as I discovered on Thursday, this is the only advantage of such a heavenly lashing.

The storm lasted barely ten minutes, but during that time, more jagged ice fell than was rendered in pixels during all three of the Ice Age films.  Windows rattled and guttering shook, and when the icy assault was over, a miniature flash flood washed leaf, branch and litter down the street and away to a horizon of drains.

The consequence?  Anything metal like car roofs and outdoor barbecues looks like it’s been visited by Keith Moon’s ghost, my greenhouse has a “strafed by the fury of a thousand Uzis” kind of feel, and my garden gnome collection has been robbed of its pointy hats.

As a protest against The Heavens’ cruellest summer since last year, I’m writing this post in my swimming trunks.  Ha!  That’ll teach you.

Note: Fans of fiction featuring festoons of frost should take a look here.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Night I Swapped Underwear With Johnny Rotten

   It’s 1985* and I’m standing at the far end of Moorgate tube station platform on my way to visit an ailing aunt (who turned out later to be completely unrelated to me).

* Not now — this is a diary post, not a time slip.

   It’s late, and drunks gather to lick the tiled walls in the hope of finding small traces of alcohol in the condensed breath smeared between the advertising hoardings.

   “Pray the next train will come soon,” I whisper.  “I have no desire to be turned over and sucked by ruffians whose bizarre booze detection powers might uncover my lunchtime consumption of a modest bottle of Marston’s Thrusting Beaver.”

   That’s when Johnny Rotten appeared, swinging a theatrical cutlass.

   I stood my ground, fearing maybe an outburst of sniggers at most, but Rotten’s blatant swagger was more than enough for the drunks and they shambled away like hyenas fooled by a crimplene antelope.

   In truth, the 70s’ most infamous blaspheming punk icon had done absolutely nothing other than simply exist, yet I knew that if I omitted to thank him in some way, more drunks would descend upon me later in life, swigging from gallon barrels of bad karma.  Problem was, what to say?  It’s hard thanking anyone for something they’re unaware they’ve done, especially when it necessitates making reference to being licked by a bunch of drunks (who  technically never actually licked me anyway).  My only option, it seemed, was to proffer a bland nod in the hope that Rotten would derive some small joy from the sight of a total stranger enjoying his FUCK OFF AND DIE T-shirt.

   Unfortunately, he mistook my nod for a threat — and strode towards me, slashing at the air with his weapon.

   “Are you taking the piss?” 

   With foot in mouth, I shook my head and thought on my feet.  “Do I look like someone who would willingly seek to irritate a man with a cutlass?”

   Rotten’s brow furrowed like custard skin ladled into too small a bowl.  “Yeah.”

   Now I really had to come up with something special.

   “Phew,” I said.  “Then my sex change op  is clearly the success I always dreamed about.”

   “You’’re a woman?” gasped Rotten, rocking back onto his heels.

   “Just been done.”   I ruffled my hair and stuck out my absence of bosom.  “Sorry to have alarmed you.  I hope you no longer feel it necessary to attack me with that weapon of yours.”

   The spiky-haired crooner slipped his cutlass down the leg of his combat trousers and sniffed an apologetic sniff.  “Nah.  The only girls I attack these days are Vivienne Westwood and the Queen.  It’s chivalry, innit?”  He pulled a half-smoked cigar from his trouser pocket and sparked up.  “It ain’t a real sword anyways.  Just been filming a new video.”

   Distracted by his semi-stogie, Rotten was clearly oblivious to the blood spurting from his groin.

    “Are you sure that’s not a real sword?”  I said.

   Rotten laughed.  “Can’t beat a bit of fake blood, can yer?  Christ, we’ve had some fun with this bastard!”

   Now I looked closer, I saw the sword was, indeed, fake.  I made to laugh along with Rotten, but his face grew suddenly dark.  “What’s wrong, Johnny?”

   “Fuckin' fake blood all over my Y fronts!”  He beat wildly at his groin.  “I’ve got a date with Selina Scott in half a fuckin' hour — I can’t fuckin' go like this!”

   “You can wear mine if you like,” I said.  “Let’s swap.”

   Rotten’s head shot back.  “I ain’t wearing no frilly knickers.  I’m a punk, not a flamin' ponce.”

   “Don’t worry,” I said.  “I’m still wearing what I had on before I got the chop.”

   “It’s a deal,” said Rotten, checking his watch.  “You sure you’ll be all right with my bleeders?”

   “Considering I’ve just had my willy hacked off, blood-drenched underwear shouldn’t look too out of place on me.”

   We turned our backs on one another and got undressed, my sex change conceit sparing blushes all round.  When we were done, Rotten pulled up his combat trousers and spun on his heels.  “How do I look?”

   “Exactly as before,” I replied.  “That’s how it works with underwear.  But if it helps, I’m sure if you get to strip down in front of Selina, she’ll be wowzered.”

   “Hope so,” said Rotten, dashing for the train.  “I’ve had the hots for her ever since she interviewed me on Breakfast Time.”

   “When you told her to go and screw herself, along with Mrs Thatcher and ‘the law’?”

   “Yeah.  Great chat up line, that one.  Ta for the underwear, mate."

   And with that, the future pretend butter promoter waved his sword and bounded onto the train.

 Johnny Rotten: Lingerie in the UK

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Whirl's First Ever Review

The very nice people over at The Future Fire have gifted me my first ever review for Broken Vacuum Cleaner & MacKillop Series 2 Episode 4: Yuckahula.

You can find it here, along with a download link.

Monday, June 11, 2012


While most of my friends in the UK were enjoying a four day Jubilee holiday in the rain (complete with Royal flotilla misery and way too much Fearne Cotton, so I’m told), I spent a week straddling the Bruges/Amsterdam the rain.  Only time will tell who had the most fun, whose spontaneously etched SLAY ME NOW tattoos will burn forevermorest into the pallid skin of hapless innocence.

Here are some of my holiday snaps.  Wahey.

First off, here’s one of Maurice’s distant relatives, caught plying his nostrils and fetlocks in the direction of some German tourists.

“Shall we climb aboard?” the tourists said (in German).

“No idea,” I mused (not in German).

Two minutes later, four other tour-o-wagons joined in the fun in a Germany vs Japan vs Canada vs the UK vs Zimbabwe race around the streets of Bruges — the Zimbabwe team winning hands down on a get as far away from Mugabe ticket.

This is me trying to look like Colin Farrell from the hit movie In Bruges.  I have a loaded baguette in my coat pocket, a glass of 8.5% trappist beer at my lips, and eyebrows under strict instruction to roam across my face like cloned Freddie Mercury mustaches at a Pin the Dyed Velcro Fastener on The G-string festival.  Sadly, Son of Whirl grinned in the background like a mocker sublime just as the photo was taken.

One thing I discovered about surfing the internet in Belgium is the number of guardian angels press ganged by the authorities into fluttering from the woodwork every time you Google innuendo-friendly words such as “kok”.  By the time I’d run that one through poisson Babel this rustic internet cafĂ© was awash with shrieking avatars.

Over to Holland now, and a sumptuous brew I declined to sumpt.  I have no desire to urinate courgettes after drinking a tankard full of this stuff, thank you very much.

Barred from touring the Red Light District of Amsterdam thanks to a Ruud Gullit lookalike contest running shamelessly out of control along the banks of the Amstel, I ducked into a Chinese shop selling everything from pig themed incense burners to Bruce Lee playing cards.   From a tiny window a wooden statue of some minor deity gazed out into The Beyond.  For a Euro, he belted out a triple speed rap version of Tulips From Amsterdam in Mandarin, spewing  free vouchers for some Christmas Ken Hom wok cookathon in Utrecht.

Amsterdam’s Suurf Pro Skateboard shop held no surprises: 253 high durometer urethene wheels arranged by signature skater hairdo ridiculousness.

Finally, here’s the miniature cactus display I catapulted face first towards after an altercation with one of the more aggressive would-be Gullits.

“Jusht becoushe wee exhibit diarrhoeea off the vowels doeshn’t mean youuw can make jokes about our hand-knitted dreadlockshes...”

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fecking Bruges

If all goes according to plan, by this time tomorrow I should be hot footing it through the streets of Bruges being pursued by foul-mouthed Irish hit men, rude American dwarves — and Voldemoort.

But, knowing my luck, there’s bound to be a hitch...