Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Fifteen Storeys High and Swearing: Both Big and Clever

Now, I'm sure most of you are still reeling from the news that the Crazy Frog beat Coldplay in the already irrelevent contest of the Top 40. This is either the death of serious music, a great victory over self-important music, or a piece of news ranked somewhere in the grand scheme of importance between John Inman's autobiography and a list of the hors d'oeuvres available at Prince Charles' wedding (which is quite a way down the grand scheme of importance).

The Coldplay thing made me laugh a little bit as I read it in the paper, but the thing that made me laugh the most spittle-slutteringly embarassingly recently was when G played me the unbelivably NSFW Explicit Content Only remix of NWA's Straight Outta Compton, where some clever bugger has gone through and in the opposite to a radio-friendly edit where one edits out all the profanities, this guy has edited out everything but the profanities, which goes to show how much swearing there is on the one-time controversial album. It works surprisingly well. If you're as puerile as me and believe that swearing is big and clever, you can click here to go to the homepage.

In more public spririted enterprise, I hereby announce, simply because the BBC haven't done, that the second series of the inestimably fine Fifteen Storeys High is being reshown on BBC3. I'd advise you to catch it at the brainscramblingly infuriating time of 2.35am on Sunday morning, mainly because that's the time they're showing it. Actually, I'm going to change my advice and tell you to set your videos to do it, because that's a stupid time to put something on, isn't it?

I seem to remember they didn't do a brilliant job of promoting it the first time round either, which is the eternal complaint levelled at the BBC's scheduling of comedy programmes (cf The Great Seinfeld Scandal), but if you're just really confused about what I'm talking about (and it's unlikely to be the first time, is it?), then I've ranted about how great it was before. Needless to say, it's one of the funniest things to have been hidden away on digital-only channels at Jesus-Christ-what-time-is-it hours in recent years.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Best Name

Occasionally some things should be presented as simply as possible, so that their beauty can't be sullied by me talking - here's the name of an actor who's in Millions, Danny Boyle's new kids movie:

Pearce Quigley

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Maltesers Ice Cream

I've just bought myself an ice cream in a nod to the nice weather. Actually, I'm wearing sandals, sunglasses and a t-shirt and spent the lunch-hour sunbathing, so I'm doing as much nodding as that dog in the adverts that used to have the voice of Vic Reeves but stopped having his voice when Vic Reeves was found guilty of killing a bulldog and then leaving the scene of the crime. It's a Maltesers-based ice cream, but rather than go for the brave step of a giant spherical lump of honeycomb covered in rapidly melting icecream that you have no means of holding without getting covered in ice cream, instead they've gone for what amounts to a choc-ice on a stick. I'm disappointed, to be frank, but impotent in my rage. I'm not going to complain to Masterfoods, because their name intimidates me, so I'll rage impotently here, thank you very much.

In contrast to me, the man in front of me in Londis was buying ten loaves of white bread and ten packets of sausages. I wanted to ask him whether he was hosting a sausage sandwich party, or whether he was buying his week's ration of food, but then the thought that this man might only ever eat sausage sandwiches made me feel sad, and I didn't. Also I'd just got Axel F stuck in my head thanks to that stupid frog, which was quite distracting.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Quite Interesting

Hey, I'm giving something back to you today. If your appetite for smugitude was whetted by my reference to Just a Minute earlier this week, then prepare for your lucky day, because it's coming up soon. There's tickets to filmings of QI, the Stephen Fry-helmed quiz, at here. Anyone fancies it, I'm giving consideration to the 9th.

[Adopts excited tone] I saw a cyclist crash into the back of a car today! He was embarassed, but ok. And you'll be pleased to know that the BMW escaped without injury.

Business As Usual & Deadpan Conversations With Shop Staff vol 12

Well, the Today programme was back on the air this morning, the only difference being instead of shouting at politicians they were shouting at the bosses and trade union representatives in the BBC dispute.

This morning, Greggs, getting breakfast.

Me: Pain au chocolat, please.
Woman: [Confused look] Pardon?
Me: Pain au chocolat, please.
Woman: Oh, ok.

I was wearing my v-neck jumper back to front, which I hope accounts for the slightly startled look on her face. Not a great start to the day, but it was only fifteen minutes of wandering around idiot-style.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Just a Minute

This morning I woke up, as usual, to my radio alarm. Radio Four though, instead of John Humphreys and co verbally duffing up politicians, was playing an episode of Just a Minute, the oh-so-clever panel-show of smugitude. Several thoughts went through my head: one, that I'd made a mistake and should just stay in bed and see how things pan out (my favourite course of action in such situations); two, that it was actually Sunday again, and should just stay in bed; three, that there was something terribly, terribly wrong. I mean, really wrong. Like a nuclear strike, or the Houses of Parliament being on fire, or David Jason being ill. The more I thought about it, fearfully staring at the ceiling, the more I thought it was this last one. What other possible reason would they be playing such a warm reassuring cardigan of a show as Just a Minute, when really James Naughtie ought to be savaging a spin doctor? If this really is the apocalypse, I thought, well, at least it's going to be quite witty. I've had a good innings. Life's been good to me. And I've got a good excuse for not going to work. Louis Armstrong struck up inside my head with What a Wonderful World - "I see trees of green, red roses too..."

It was all spoiled by the scab continuity announcer badly reading the headlines, and telling us that there was a one day strike by BBC journalists and technicians. Damn. Bugger. I was so looking forward to the end of the world too.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Science, comrades

Finally, conclusive scientific (well, social scienceproof of why Chelsea won the league, Brazil won the World Cup, England won a rugby game, Carlisle beat Stevenage Boro, and why all tennis players and cricket teams down the ages won. I mainly like the name of the quoted academic - he sounds like he's got a never-say-die attitude to his work.

Has anyone bought (or borrowed, or stolen or stood outside a record shop looking at the cover of) the new Ryan Adams album Cold Roses yet? It's brilliant.
That is all. Do some work.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


I drowned my sorrows from Saturday by going out in the evening and drinking lots of cheap vodka and dancing. This compounded my sorrows on Sunday morning. We went to Blow Up at the Metro on Saturday, the rarest of things - a club that actually plays the sort of music listed on the flyers, rather than just treating them as a series of aspirations to be acheived in the fullness of time, parliamentary majority allowing.

And talking of music, Coldplay-disdaining comment-leaver and fellow blogger Trixie DJs at this club with this playlist (my linking arm is hurting and turning blue) which looks just brilliant, as any night that allows me to dance to Annie's Chewing Gum while drinking cut-price vodka must be. The only trouble is the club has a 'gay and lesbian majority door policy', which I like to imagine has Peter Snow, desperate to avoid the post-election depression he normally succumbs to, lurking outside the club with his swingometer, estimating what the queue outside will do to the sexuality configuration inside. Sounds like good fun though.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Oh bollocks. Well, having shafted pretty much all of my friends in order to watch the Conference playoff final on Saturday, we went out to a better team playing more attractive and more skillful football to a much larger fanbase with a better ground and more glorious history. Like I said, oh bollocks.

Friday, May 13, 2005

What You're Doing on 20th May

Using my sinister Derren Brown-like powers, I know in advance that you'll choose to spend your evening of Friday 20th May here watching these, who are Bison, who are so much more enjoyable to watch than Coldplay that it's not possible to convey in words. Actually, it is possible to convey in words, but these words would have to be carved in the finest marble and stand one hundred feet tall with neon edging and fireworks, and I just haven't got the funds at the moment.

Really, go and see them, they're great fun.

And while I'm telling you what you're doing: Don't forget to glue your eyeballs to the box to watch the impudent underdogs Stevenage Boro play the evil cackling ex-league Carlisle to see who gets the second promotion slot for League Football. Carlisle were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, assault the homeless with their silver canes and play in top hats and monocles in front of huge home attendances of fans who consider that it's their blood-right to play in the league, boo.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


I’ve made the mistake recently of having put comedy on my ipod. In a way, this is great, because it’s Sean Lock, and he’s absolutely hilarious. It’s also bad, because I end up sat on the bus, staring into space, guffawing like a halfwit every time anything strikes me as funny. It’s compounded by my attempts to suppress the laughter, because every time I do that something sneaks up behind that joke and catches me unawares, making me do that mad spluttered snort that makes au pairs shield their young charges’ eyes and makes decent people concentrate on the horoscopes in the Metro really intently.

In less amusing fashion, we went to the comedy night at the Camden Head in Islington. All I can say is there’s nothing less conducive to laughter than a sparsely filled well-lit room on a Wednesday evening. Actually, there is, and it’s a sparsely filled well-lit room on a Wednesday evening watching unfunny, underprepared comedians die on their arses. Well, that was the first couple of acts – a nerd doing jokes about batman and sly references to obscure science fiction being among the highlights. I enjoy going to the comedy, but I don’t think there’s an experience comparable to the anguish of seeing a comedian floundering around desperately trying to remember something funny while an all-too-visible audience examines its shoes. I went out to get drinks, and L got the biggest laugh (before the post-interval arrival of the competent comedians) for suggesting that my anguish was down to discovering that there wasn’t a bar upstairs. That was only partially true.

I did hear the best breakfast cereal-based heckler putdown of my life last night, though. I don’t expect to hear a better one any time soon either.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Boro, Freemasons & Bouncers

Well, obviously you sports fans won't need reminding, but for the record:

Come on Boro!

That's 7.30 on Saturday on Sky 1, or for the more intrepid of you, in Stoke. League football and increased ticket prices, here we come!
Yesterday, at the pub (The Ship Tavern, to be precise), the upstairs room was booked for a private function. Eventually, a load of identically dressed dark suited fat blokes, all carrying black leather briefcases marched in. They were sinister Freemasons out on the piss. I wish I was the member of some shadowy back-scratching organisation. I was a member of the Woodcraft Folk, but it doesn't have the same cachet.
On a similar tip, I wondered if there was a Worldwide Bouncers' Convention held, who would work the doors?
Also also, while reading Word Magazine, the following sentence popped out at me during a Stuart Maconie article:
This was what distinguished Cream from more stolid hard rock peers like Vanilla Fudge.
Mmm. This actually makes sense on both levels. Vanilla fudge is more stolid than cream.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Stop Living Like You're In a Coma

Doctor Dictionary today was brought to me by the following message:

In less than 1 hr. I can train you to easily and instantly enter your
own ultimate peak performance state any time you want - just like
Olympic and professional athletes. Stop living like you're in a coma.
Quickly learn to "turn it on" like the champions in life do at will.
F*R*E'E online demo.
Oh that I could.
In unrelated news, as you'll no doubt be more than aware of, what with the blanket media coverage and overwpowering hype, the second leg of the Conference play-off semifinals is tonight. Come on Boro!

The referee for the match is somewhat card-happy, though: in the last match he refereed, he gave nine yellow cards, one red and two penalties... Sounds like a fun game in the offing, esp considering our centreback spent most of the match thwacking people with his elbow.
Oh, and Michael Howard's only gone and quit, hasn't he? The big quitter! How will they shoot themselves in the foot this time? Elect the ghost of Anthony Eden to head the party?
And I know I've nagged you before, but go and join Mil Millington's Mailing List. If you're bored on this Friday afternoon, and the Man won't let you out to frolick, you can just waste his time by reading a large selection of his previous writing. Ha!

Elections & Breadpan Conversations vol 11

Well, another election down. Didn't see much to raise the pulse as was in bed by a reasonable hour. Just the mockery of democracy in Sunderland where they were racing to get the result out in less than forty-three minutes. Whichever Dimbleby it was who was presenting the BBC's coverage didn't look like he'd be able to make it to 11:00, confused by everything that was going on around him. I suspect they keep him in suspended animation, and only unfreeze him when the election is called, which would account for his befuddlement. Dimbleby had a few patronising things to say about Sunderland, implying that it was a different country up there in the North-East, and then a very plummy BBC lady went out on the banks of the Tyne in Gateshead and conducted a demeaning Oiks Speak Their Minds piece. I think she would have patted them on the head if she wasn't fearful of having her hand bitten off.

In other news, again I was in Greggs getting some hard-earned breakfast, and there was a weirdo in front of me, unable to contain his enthusiasm for pastries, who kept shouting to the staff to tell him how much each of the cakes were when they were serving other people, nipping behind the counter and pointing at buns, worrying about getting a ticket, etc. Eventually waiting his turn, he turned to me:

Nutter: Are you a copper?
Me: Why should I be a copper?
N: No, well, are you?
Me: No. Why should I be a copper?
N: No need to take any offence, it's just I thought I recognised you.
Me: [Sighs]

It's almost as good as when a guy turned to me in a club and asked me if I was a bouncer. One look at me would have told him I couldn't even be a bouncer at a nursery for tranquilised children. As the dead, fat, talentless junkie Jim Morrisson put it - people are strange.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Breakfast, Boro and Breaking News

Just been in Greggs getting breakfast, and the mother in front of me was trying to control a cycle-helmeted toddler called Ludwig. Poor kid - he's definitely going to get bullied. Hell, if I wasn't so intent on buying pastries, I'd've taken time out of my day to bully him.

On Monday, stood in glorious sunshine watching Stevenage Boro in the oh-so-exciting-I-might-burst first leg of the Conference play-offs semi, I was reminded what's so great about non-league football. It's the collecting of large numbers of people together for a single purpose. This purpose isn't cheering your team on, or anything so communal. It's all about crotchety individual old men shouting abuse at the players for ninety long, long minutes. Each of these old men should be spread equally round the ground to ensure maximum coverage, and each should have his own particular hobby-horse that he's flogging to death. One wizened old man would repeatedly shout (at not entirely appropriate points) 'GERRINVERBOX! GERRINVERBOX!', while others would comment loudly on the gingerness of certain players, the need to switch it and get it out wide, play it along the ground, for-god's-sake-clear-the-bloody-thing, etc. I was stood next to a pipe-smoker, who kept switching which side of his mouth the pipe was in according to the direction of play.
And while we're on the subject, Sky have chosen the Boro game to be the one they show on Friday evening. That's my Friday evening sorted then. The only chance of getting me to go out would be if Jesus is coming to the pub. And he brings his dad.