Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A fat person in a steam room

4.16am Sunday February 5th 2005. An old man gets onto a night bus after his arduously long wait is finally over. Although drunk as usual at this hour he somehow spots the plastic sign on the bus driver door as his gaze floats up from the floor. “One twenty” he thought “Those fucking bastards have done it again. I’m fucking lucky I found that twenty pee just now I suppose”. He handed over the money grudgingly as he snatched the shitty paper ticket. “Not much to look at for £1.20” he mumbled as he got his lighter out and made the heat sensitive paper draw itself a little happy face. The man next to him was trying not to look at him by staring as some discarded chicken bones as if he was starving before getting off at the next stop. Some more skull eyed passengers climbed on board looking for a place to rest. The last was an old mum without the baby and she glimpsed at him as she passed before sitting down nearby.

“I suppose you know who I am?” the man said, taking out a bottle of gourmet bourbon and offering it to the lady. After her smallest gestured indicated no chance of acceptance he swigged on the bottle viciously, then fell back with the bus as it turned, almost as if he was falling down in triumph. The man moved in front of his chosen companion and once more implied that she must recognise him due to his notoriety but the lady, now wishing she’d stayed at home with her baby just stared blankly out the window. The old man desisted for a minute and joined her gaze at the real life TV scenes flowing by.

“Just look at me” he thought “please just look at me. Just for a bit. Come on”. However no matter what the old man said his words could not attract her attention, full or otherwise, and she got off the bus with her eyes firmly avoiding his. The bottle of bourbon half empty now, the drinking became slower but the talking was faster. It was always going to be one of those nights. The remaining passengers looked like they might not want attention or at least like they might fight anyone who gave it to them, so the man just swung with the rhythm of the bus. After they got off the man, who for arguments sake we’ll call James O’Drunken-Nobucks or Hobo Jim for short thought he would have easy pickings for conversation. But none came.

“Just look at me” he thought so began loudly claiming to be every celebrity under the sun his drunken stupor would allow him to remember. The stupor also allowed him to remember briefly that by saying more than one name to the same people he was making his whole case less credible. “Both the fucking Attenborough’s” he said finally as he reached for at least a chuckle from these night monkeys who were all doing their own bus routines, which didn’t involve looking at him.

“So celebrity curiosity won’t get ya? Well then maybe more of a train crash approach might work” he thought. Or at least he thought emotions and mumbles which closely represented that sentence. So Hobo Jim in desperation decided to start with the racist jokes he heard from an unfortunate element he was forced to socialise with. He didn’t feel it, but holding a bottle of bourbon to your lips can make you say these things like someone who does feel it if they were in your state.

“Blacks…I hate em….i mean they’re just not white are they…they fucking black. And jews…stupid bastaaards…I knew a jew once….niss fellow but I fucking tol him, I said to him once…..thas no fucking yours! Asianns…who do they think they’re foolind….they want to kill us….kill you…..the poor babies. And those other asianssss…..they kill their own babies….why…fucking foreigners…..fucking glasses wearing freaks fucking ginger glass wearing looking down your nose at me pricks who come from other fucking cities. Not English cities. Not English. I’m English. ENGLISH. I wanna keep England clean. I mean pure…fucking pure…b…n…p. B fucking NP. BNP BNP BNP!”.

Still no reaction came from Hobo Jim’s chosen audience. “Got to make it worse. You bastards why are you making me do this” his thoughts indicated but his words were “Hitler, Hitler Hitler was fuckin…” he hesitated before he could actually say it “….right. He was a clever man. Not a little fucking arsehole no. He thought of some things which should have been thought of. Fucking lazy bastard killing himself. Fucking cunts. Fucking KKK. I love the klan. I would have my own outfit if I could keep it clean”. At this Hobo Jim fell down in apparent pain but was actually a fit of drunken laughter trying to fight through his cough reflex whilst not disturbing his agitated puke reflex. Sitting on the floor he stared up at his companions on the bus and cursed their names silently, as he didn’t know what they were.

He got slowly to his feet with the same repetitive beat in his head “Look at me. Look at me you pricks. You fucking pricks. If I was you and I was hearing all this shit I would look at me. I would beat the life out of me for being such an arsehole. So look at me. LOOK AT ME. FUCKING LOOK AT ME, THEN YOU’LL SEE….” But his thoughts were stopped as he saw the restrained look of terror on the faces of the white late nighters as a young black kid got on the bus, said a friendly “hi” to him. The other passengers were looking at him now, but in the reflection in the windows or out of the corners of their eyes, their unwillingness to be involved in an ugly scene stopping their direct attention being given. The kid put on his headphones and stood right next to Hobo Jim swaying side by side with him to the rhythms of the night bus. “You might look at me” he thought as the bus ambled along through seemingly ridiculous side streets “that was the nicest hi I have heard since I was last sober…and who knows when that was. But I can almost feel all of those people’s attention right on me. And then they’ll all see. I’m too far along to stop now. I’m really sorry…..”. Once more his actual thought was more like that of a terrifying wordless flashback in a rubbish movie, but the ideas were always there.

“Oompa loompas” Hobo Jim said to the headphone noise next to him “ummm…I mean umbongo loompas”. He tried once more to say something racist but without the dumb feelings behind it he was unsure how to show his apparent disgust. Dancing around him might help in a kind of tribal mocking way, but as luck would have it the kid got off the bus. Whether he knew what Hobo Jim was doing or not, the whole scene smelled more disgusting than Hobo Jim himself.

“I’m special” Jim thought as he got off the bus. He had already shouted abuse at the passengers for being too pathetic to intervene, but they just ignored his abuse just like the rest of his words. You see hobo Jim was special and he knew that he had something amazing within him that he could never just show people. After a long hobo type life he had drunk enough to flood an apartment complex so his memories were thin on the ground. He could clearly remember more than once in his life looking up at someone and them telling him he was special. They were just random glimpses of his life though, many of which were clearly when he was young as they would add the word “boy” to their declaration of his specialness.

It was definitely more than one person who had told him this. That’s why he wanted people to look at him. Maybe if they just looked at him as those in his past had, they would see his specialness too. Then they wouldn’t ignore him. Then they would at least look and give that little nod that they seem to afford each other but not him. Hobo Jim fell into the gutter and stared up at the stars and for the first time in years he remembered why he was special just like everyone else.

When he was 14, he was in the upper classes for Science and Maths so he was taught Upper Level Gravity Abuse at a young age. The teacher had the largest mouth that he had ever seen. He began the very first lesson by opening up his gigantic gob and pointing with a very satisfied look to a glob of spit of above average size and telling the students that it was the most amazing thing they’d ever seen. Ever since mouth gravity had been realised, everything had ultimately been about spit.

See a science guy whilst taking pills once realised that within his mouth he could control the position of everything in it without using seemingly sufficient muscle movement to cause it. It was on this day that the idea of mouth gravity was created. Further study into the mouth showed that in fact millions of particles were kept floating within peoples mouths due to subconscious control of what was named the super eating gland. Whilst eating you see, the subconscious uses your control of gravity within your mouth to stop you from choking. However as there are very few people in the world who could claim that their subconscious is not without its hiccups, the subconscious also seemingly accidentally collects and stores particles in a random order within your mouth. It was discovered, after the craziest set of experiments took place, that with a little bit of mental discipline the matter stored in ones mouth could be manipulated. These are tiny little bitch particles and the manipulation is barely noticeable even under intense magnification, but it was still crazy shit.

Hobo Jim knew all this at 14, and this class was to take him into a weird elite which had sprung up since these discoveries. “This spit is amazing” the giant jawed freak barked “not because I can move it, but because of what that movement means”. The dull expression on Hobo Jim’s face would have been comparable to any of those at church, and he sat there waiting for a penny anywhere to drop. “You see the particles in our mouths it seems according to eminent astrologers are generally arranged like a miniature universe. By moving different parts astrophysicists can study our own universe in amazing ways. By simply opening and closing our mouths we move the whole thing except for the centre, but it is the centre which is the most amazing. By making it spin, we can bring the whole universe in our mouths alive as the smallest amount of energy to us provides abundant heat and light on their microcosmic scale. My spit is alive. Isn’t that the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen?” The teachers previously monsterific face somehow seemed softer and less repugnant after he made this last statement. It was that statement that made Hobo Jim special. Not because he spun the middle of his own universe, as he had given up long ago and there was life inside him no-more. It was because he had a whole universe inside him. And one day he would bring it to life again. But probably not today. “If only someone would look at me” he thought “then they’d see. Just look at me…”


Monday, April 24, 2006

Don't miss out

The beautiful thing about London is that there is always a million things to do. I know that this can be said of many capital cities, but London is my Capital, so I’m saying it.

Anytime of day or night, you can basically do whatever you want, if you just know how to find it. This is great for visitors, as they can come with their travel guides, find out where their preferential fun spots are and go. While they are here they can be entertained endlessly.

For people who come stay live here for a portion of a greater travelling experience however it seems to be a different matter. Even for people who just move here for a job, London becomes too much. It’s addictive, or so I hear. Every night that you stay at home for a quiet evening, it preys on your mind that you could (or even should) be doing a whole variety of unique events. Every night that you go out, you could be doing a whole load of other, possibly more exciting, things. And even if you do have a gap in your calendar and you stay in through choice, surely the number of friends you have made in London mean that you will be inundated with stress about who to see and who to ditch. I’ve been told that it’s just too much to take, but that’s it’s also too much too leave.

It’s different for Londoners though. I once went to a random house party whilst I was at university with my flatmates. All of my flatmates happened to be from London, but none of us knew each other before we went to Uni, so I found it very strange when a girl at this party asked us as soon as we sat down “Are you guys from London?” Now as I said, we all were, but all from different parts. When I asked her how she knew, she said “It’s just something in the way you move and present yourselves”. Now this was doubly strange, as apart from coming from different areas of London, my flatmates and I were all incredibly different types of people.

I think I understand now though. As much as all the events to attend in London freak out non locals, it builds a certain sense of fatalism into Londoners. We all know that there is a million things we could be doing each night, so we’re not worried about missing them. Because there will be a million more tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A plea to a hero

There is a man. A man of danger and intrigue. A man of chalk. And he’s terrorising Richmond as we speak.

The man, who for arguments sake we’ll call Sir Chalkalot, has been waging a war of amusing chalky terror against the citizens of Richmond for about a week now, and I say God bless him. Although God himself probably won’t because one of Sir Chalkalot’s writing clearly designates a local church as a pub.

You see this man, well to be honest I assume it’s just a boy, has been labelling all sorts of minor landmarks throughout Richmond, as well as occasionally simply leaving his own point of view around. This point of view is generally about penguins or smurfs or somesuch frivolous matter, but I like it.

By a paper recycling bin it says “We like bikes. We cycle.” Genius.

He appears to have avoided any attention from local authorities, or anyone, so far as none of his scrawlings have been wiped off except by the scuffling of feet. Not even the one of his illustrated writings which proscribes the proprieter of a shop as a ‘nob’. He has not however avoided the evils of alcohol (or perhaps drugs) it seems as everyday his writings make less and less sense.

So my plea is this, Sir Chalkalot if you are reading this, please don’t give up. Sure some of the stuff you write is drivel, and sure a lot of it doesn’t make sense, but the people of Richmond need fucking with and I just can’t be bothered to go buy some chalk. Also, it seems fairly unlikely what you are doing is illegal due to the removable nature of chalk, so you may as well keep going until that packet of chalk I assume you found runs out.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Terrible Lizards

I had the most terrifying nightmare of my life last night. No giant or metal spiders this time though. No Freddy Krueger.

It was set in the future. We were doing some sort of experiment in my house, nothing major, just an experiment. When it suddenly blew up. Everyone else was wearing protective gear but me, so I had to run and wash off the stuff we were working on, but it was such dangerous stuff that I flushed the toilet and used that to wash my head instead of the sink.

Pretty scary huh. But wait, there’s more.

All the little bits of goop which had been flung around from the explosion were gone when I left the bathroom. No-one else had noticed but I started looking around for an explanation. After awhile I saw this little lizard. So I squished it. Then I saw some other little lizards. Except they weren’t so little. They grew pretty fucking quickly to small dog size. And they had razor fucking sharp teeth. And the clincher was that they could go through walls and whatnot (in a kinda osmosis kinda way), and they only ate human food. Also, when they got big enough they split into two tiny ones and then grew again.

I spent all night running around my house in hysterics trying to avoid these beasts. Also because they only ate human food, they were constantly after me, as for some reason I was serving up delicacies to everyone from our futuristic oven. No-one else was afraid of them. I think they only hated me because I squished one of them. It was fucking terrifying.

When I woke up this morning, it took me a good ten minutes to get out of bed. I was paralysed by fear, and only part of that fear was that I must have wet the bed after such a nightmare. Luckily I hadn’t, but I’m still feeling a bit on edge about those terrible lizards.

Friday, April 07, 2006

I hate bigots

What is the female version of misogynist? If you type misogynist into google the first answer is that exact question. And the answer is The equivalent is misandrist (a person who hates persons of the male sex), a rare word but seemingly much sought-after.

A rare word but much sought-after. That just demonstrates the whole point I’m about to make. Sexism is a two way street.

Now before I start complaining, don’t get me wrong, I know that men are sexist. In fact I think it would shock most women how sexist most men are, even the nice ones. But the thing is, the men who aren’t dickheads keep it to themselves. The thing about women is, they are proud. Hating men is like a higher calling for them. Feminism is like sainthood. I can’t be bothered to look up the male equivalent, but I’m sure it will be an equally rare word as misandrist.

And men, we’re afraid to stick up for ourselves. Women get badly treated in lots of places by lots of people, and that’s a bad thing. But I don’t do it personally, and neither does anyone (well pretty much anyone) who I choose to call my friend. So why then do we have to put up with women having a free reign in advertising and on television to slag us off as much as they want without anyone batting an eye-lid. In this day and age, if men on TV made such wide sweeping and frankly stupid comments about women, as women do about men in Sex and the City and other shit, then the shows would be banned. Women feel it is fine to call any man who stands up for themselves a misogynist whereas men don’t even know the retaliatory word.

Ann Summers is my case and point. I often say to my girlfriend that if I could be bothered I’d picket that place. Not because I think it’s wrong or dirty or whatnot, but just because it is porn. It sells dildos. A comparative shop for men would have to be behind closed doors and all hidden away, but Ann Summers just motherfucking flaunts it. And the desperate argument I have heard against this often is, “you love it really”. I fucking hate that. It’s the same as a women thinking that you will give her special treatment just because she’s pretty. I know that statistically men do do that, but still, pretty women should at least try to develop personalities. My girlfriend has.

Anyway to sum up, I want to say again that I realise that men are generally more sexist than women, and that men give women a lot more shit than women in a sexist way. I just am sick of the double standard which is in effect which makes nice guys have to apologise for dickheads, whereas bitches are publicly celebrated by women.


Monday, April 03, 2006

Pepe le peu

I would like to talk to you today about something which has annoyed me for a long time. Something which would have annoyed me for a much longer time, had I been older, as it happened long before I was born. Well I say happened, but it wasn’t an event really, just some stuff. I’m starting to annoy me with all this digression now.

I want to complain about Samuel Pepys. Now if you don’t know who I’m talking about then I’m not surprised, as I barely know. He was some guy who wrote a diary which survived the great fire of London. I think. I am no historian and know almost nothing about this man, except that in some circles his name has lasted through history. And it’s his name that annoys me.

Pepys. To start with it’s a plural, which is just stupid. But again I digress, as I really care not about that. Pepys. Should be pronounced pep – ees right? Would make sense. But no, it’s pronounced peeps. PEEPS! Who the fuck did this man think he was?

I can just imagine him now, swaggering through ye olde London with the plague, pulling a cart or persecuting someone for religious reasons when he see’s ye olde tavern and thinks “I’ll stop for ye olde ale”. He walks through the door and before you know it he’s like “PEEPS IS IN THE HOUSE” and everyone gives off a yanky “woo woo”. That damn bastard, who did he think he was? The father of hip hop? He had a pathetic girly name, and he tried to act all cool about it. And somehow it worked as his name lives on and on.

Some people have all the luck. History lesson over.