Saturday, December 28, 2013
You know the drill.
The moment the Boxing Day boxes have been returned to their trunk, the true spirit of Christmas departs for another year.
Yes, the tree is still up, and yes, all those images of Santa and his cuddly minions still gaze down from every mantlepiece and window ledge, but gone is the urge to beam and sway to the soft hum of a Canterbury choir — or rampage through the living room to Slade at max volume with a mystery aunt gripped in a half nelson (and your cock out).
The elves, the sleigh, the magic and the anticipation are all gone, and if Christmas TV specials continue to be aired at all, they trumpet bleakly either of has-beens or probably-never-will-bes.
It’s Festive Season R.I.P. for the next couple of days, a ritual gathering of empties and a scrubbling of burst balloons from under armchairs, a time to find dead grandparents behind the sofa and conclude that omitting Hide & Seek from the list of party games was probably not such a good idea after all.
Now, we look ahead to 2014. The fairy lights are our runway, heralding a bright new future like the sliver of light twinkling from behind an ajar door invites maniacs. We toss away our sick bags, prise turkey carcasses from plates, and pluck the fungus from Gramps in good heart: one celebration may be over, but the next is about to begin (only this time, it doesn’t cost zillions of quids in unwanted presents, useless scented candles and excitingly named cheeses so vile not even a rat would touch them).
So, gestate ye all with wonder
as the year draws its final breaths.
Let us gather on the morrow,
like gay bums awash with meths.
Let the future be ours for the taking.
Let the past be remarkably gone.
Let our hopes flick flack as acrobats
before a horizon scorched by the Sun.
Hey — it’s either that or Auld Lang Syne.
Or Jools Holland and some unknown hillbilly playing a cucumber...
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Every year, I watch a Scrooge film.
My favourite is A Muppet Christmas Carol (mainly because it's alive with wit and the jazziest coloured foam ever), closely followed by the recent Jim Carrey offering. If next year ushers in yet another version featuring Justin Bieber and a pony then no doubt I’ll add that to the roster of Scrooge films that bring a warm glow to my heart every Christmas. Better still, if the leccy goes tits up, there’s always the original book
Why do I like this story?
Because it says great things about humankind. Even if puppets are involved. Whenever we’re truly creative and generous, we’re capable of some pretty fantastic stuff. We stop being cunts to one another and demonstrate a profound capacity for positive change.
I like this story because it’s about the future. It bowls us a chance to recreate the seemingly immutable — and to do so for the best of reasons. I’m heartened that we have had the wit to begin abandoning the harsh world Dickens inhabited. Such a place was never an inevitability, some odd quirk of unquashable nature. We made it up, and we took it apart.
I shall therefore be sparing a thought tomorrow for the thousands of families whose Christmas dinners will be made up largely from odd tins and packs of meat garnered from food banks. An alarming change has taken place here in the UK in recent years. Not only have we become sufficiently mean spirited to permit the acceleration of this retrograde Dickensian lurch but all sense of shame about our newfound absence of moral compass appears to have gone out of the window. Indeed, if we are to believe Work and Pensions Secretary & High Priestess of Drudge, Iain Duncan-Smith, joining up the dots between the biggest ever cuts to social security and the rising numbers of people in need of food banks is “scaremongering”.
I don’t know about you, but I’m more than happy to be scared in this way right now.
Maybe this is the year to drop all the Scrooge stuff and go with a horror film. Making the break from A Muppet Christmas Carol isn’t going to be easy so I figure maybe I’ll run with Frankenstein. The monster is no stranger to a little all-body lime green tint, and in his own sweet way he’s still kind of a puppet. Sure, he rips off a few people’s heads in a way that even Miss Piggy never did, but the guy has a heart underneath it all, and those flashes of lightning over Dr Frankenstein’s castle could look quite festive if juxtaposed with the waft of an apple and cinnamon candle.
Or would Psycho be more apt? Ripping a few heads off is no big deal after all. What makes Psycho truly scary is the villain’s lack of apology or remorse.
Monday, December 23, 2013
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Friday, December 20, 2013
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Monday, December 16, 2013
Sunday, December 15, 2013
It’s done the rounds more times than a priapic mathematician in a harem of bootylicious acrobats, but here once again for your Christmas delight is...
Grandad’s Special Festive Android Bonanza
Newsflash: New Whirl fiction coming to Amazon soon. Be ready. Be steady.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Friday, December 13, 2013
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
One question springing like a skimpily-trunked Tom Daley from everyone’s lips right now is when to stick up the Christmas tree?
It’s a tactical move on a par with choices made by football managers in the 75th minute of a critical game: Do I go now with the puppy zest 16 year-old striker, or wait another five minutes? Should I have played him fifteen minutes after half time? Does my new hair clash with this designer tracksuit ‘n’ thigh length pirate boot combo?
Get it wrong, and Juventus romp home to a ten-nil victory. Their fans plunder your home for valuables. Everyone is force fed pasta and Pavarotti for the rest of their lives. And so on.
I’m thinking it’s kind of a tough one this year, the whole tree thing. Last weekend seemed a little to early, yet this coming weekend seems a little too late. In the Christmas tree erection dilemma stakes, truly mankind is as a trio of potentially violent bears testing porridge for optimum heat — only in this case what’s “just right” is probably today, which is clearly ruled out because no-one sticks their tree up on a Tuesday.
Right now, every street in town glows with the half promise of Christmas. Some have gone early while others wait a few more days. Others still may be dead, and only their lack of twinklies come the 28th or 29th will serve to alert oblivious neighbours to their plight and prevent unpleasant scenes later in the Spring involving ambulances, mould and teams of police frogmen.
So, spill the beans, followers all — when are you sticking yours up?
Monday, December 9, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Advent is upon us, like an overweight wrestler body splashing his abdominal excess onto the fragile skull of a Kwissmuss wobin.
In the Christian calendar, Advent is a festival to rival Lent or Easter — or the Butt-crack Spatula Attack of July to September favoured by some Catholics and most deranged Branch Davidians — and this year I plan to celebrate the run up to Christmas by running down the concept of goodwill altogether via a series of festivity-themed toons.
Think of it as the equivalent of those great little calendars you used to open up as a kid, with windows full of pictures and chocolates and joy and love and merriment.
Then forget all of that.
You know the score: there will be knob jokes.
Anyhow, to kick off the countdown to the arrival of the fat man (“he who did have every child’s dream in a half Nelson, and more cellulite than a liposuction clinic waste disposal pipe slushing around his bloodstream”), here’s toon #1...