Friday, November 25, 2005

When the Entire Metropolitan Police Force Interupted My Flossing

At about quarter-to-twelve last night I was disturbed from my flossing (yes. Flossing. Dental hygiene is important people. Be the best you can be.) by a ringing at the door. On answering it, there were four or so policemen standing outside. The confused converstation ran something like (surnames have been changed to protect the clearly innocent):

Massed Policemen: Do you live here?
Me (holding some flossing tape, with a towel slung over my shoulder): Er, yes.
MP: This is 52, yes?
Me: Yes.
MP: Do you live in flat A?
Me: I live on the ground floor; I don't think they're called flat A and B.
MP (more assertively): So that's flat A is it?
Me: Maybe?
MP (shifting tack): So who lives upstairs? Is he a black man?
Me: No. He's a white guy.
MP: What's his name?
Me: Er. Guy.
MP (unconvinced): What's his surname?
Me (names have been changed, but he does have a similarly implausible name): Snow. Dog. Guy Snowdog.
MP: How long has he lived here?
Me: Er, years.
MP: Mind if we ask him?
Me: Er, no.

The police file in up to the upstairs door, revealing that there's now about nine of them; the uglier, larger members of which had been hiding (actually, when they're that large, it's impossible to hide. They can only lurk being that size). When they've established that Guy The Improbably Named is actually caucasian, and has lived here for er, years, they troop off, disappointedly promising to update their computers.

It was very odd.

It is a month till Christmas. Just thought you should know.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Binge, Berlin, Binge

According to a report by the London Assembly, art galleries in the capital should open until 10pm at weekends, in order to provide an alternative form of nightlife to binge drinking. Doesn't prevent binge pretension, with police desperate for new legislation to help them deal with the predicted chaos when hordes of art-lovers spill out onto the streets at 10.15pm, full of loud opinions and looking for fights. Doesn't bear thinking about.

In happier news, I've just got back from Berlin, where I cycled round looking cool and went to a bar where a fire-breathing metal dragon looks down on you, breathing fire, and a Brazillian funk band, featuring at least one Mafia boss (on sax and 2nd percussion), played Brazillian funk. Also it was cold.
Wouldn't it be nice just to get through one day without someone talking about binge drinking? When they stop talking about it, I'll stop doing it.

Friday, November 11, 2005

A Headline What I Seed

The Islington Gazette at the moment has the faintly horrible headline on its boards:

Why I Killed Hooker
on lurid flourescent paper. Mmm. Nice.
The best one of those I've seen (headlines, that is, not dead hookers - I don't keep some kind of all-time mental top ten of murdered prostitutes - what kind of man do you think I am?) was one in Crouch End:
Crouch Enders Oppose Concrete Plans
"Let's go to the King's Head tonight, and we can watch the comedy. Meet you in the pub, table by the door at quarter past seven, no, tell you what, make it eight-ish, or should we meet earlier, perhaps at the clock tower? Tell you what, I'll give you a call, maybe." There's a possibility the headline was about a concrete factory and locals' response to it, but it doesn't seem very likely now, does it?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Surprising TV, Warband and Boxer Shorts

Now, it comes as much as a surprise to me as it does to you that the best comedy series I've seen recently was a) on ITV and b) Mike Bassett: Manager.

However, it was. Great performance from Ricky Tomlinson and supporting cast, very well produced with great attention to detail (Wirral County are a very believable team, their main sponsor being Wirral Rubbish), and a very sharp script (the scary Serbian war-criminal who is the team's goalkeeper being one highlight). All that, and it proved to be the one ITV programme this century not featuring Ant and/or Dec.

If you're in the general area of Brighton (that's the South East, you ignorant nerks) tonight, you may wish to go and see the peerless Warband who playing at the Pressure Point this eve, with a promised start time of 8.30pm. I, sadly, am double-booked to go to a drinks thing at the LSE, where I will cement my future in the upper firmament of Higher Education by sharing jokes and flirtatious banter with Sir Howard Davies, Director of the LSE . Why, Howard, you're looking particularly ravishing tonight...
The other day, I was woken by the barking of my neighbour, followed quickly by a ring at the doorbell. Not having time to dress, I answered in my vest and boxers, to find a postwoman with a parcel for next door. She then had to go back next door to leave them a note, but was chased there by the menacing wheelchair-bound neighbour, angry that she had parked in the sacred zone between the tree and the lamp-post. So, were you down my road at 8.30 on Tuesday morning, you'd have been confronted by the sight of a postwoman being chased by a barking (in both senses) man in a wheelchair, followed closely by a barefooted me in boxers and vest attempting to calm him down and assure him that the van would be gone from the precious, precious realm of no parking. I actually had the Benny Hill chase music going through my head, and were you recording it on a camcorder, you could speed it up and overdub it. I tried to choreograph a segment where we'd all be chasing each other round a big tree, and emerge in the wrong order, but I couldn't get all parties to agree to this. Shame.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

We Value Your Call and Will Answer As Soon As Possible

I write this entry while I am on hold. This in itself is bad enough. However, the song was some horribly icky bit of what we used to call swingbeat. Worse even than this, the song mocked me by having some tight-trousered man straining his vocal chords (and possibly his cords to, although he's more likely to be wearing a pair of leather trousers, isn't he) singing the main lyrical refrain of 'I'm waiting, I'm waiting, I'm wa-ai-ai-ting for YOU. FOR you. For yoo. I'm waiting. (Etc.)'

Oh, they've answered now. Hello? Hello? Oops, I should be speaking now, not writing. Sorry.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Chores of a Domestic God

Hello internet. My main preoccupation at the moment is the Wahsing Mountain which has recently formed following the moving in together of two people who don't do their washing often enough, but still have the dignity to insist on fresh underwear every single day. Going through the various strata, I have found socks I had thought gone forever, which was a teary and emotional moment.

May just have been the smell though, ho ho ho.

Friday, November 04, 2005

A Series of Poor Excuses for My Neglect of You, the Internet

This will come as no surprise to any of you who have ever taken any of the responsibilities thrust on you as an adult, but it really needs stating again: British Telecommunications PLC are exceedingly shit. They excel in the field of being crap. Their heavily paid directors are given bonuses based on the number of fuck-ups in the previous quarter. Bastards all, to a man. And I speak as the son of a (now-retired) BT worker of 30 years.

Attempting to pay the final bill from my previous flat, I was on the phone for half an hour, and my final words to the supervisor (who sounded no more in a position of power than a teeny kitten in a sack weighted with stones plummeting towards the canal-bed) were 'can you note that I will never, as long as I have breath left in my body, use BT again? And can you add swear-words to that as you see fit. I am very angry. Yes, thank you, goodbye.'

I think I'll punch my dad next time I see him.

Woo. I've just moved house. This explains the lack of posts recently. I now live in Brownswood Park, which is an area that exists only in the quasi-reality of the A-Z. It's actually Finsbury Park. There have been many things over the last couple of weeks, involving, in no particular order of precedence:
  • Estate agents. Hundreds of 'em. Each more cockroachesque than the last. There was one who was possibly redeemably human, but she had an unnerving ability to misnavigate any given route by heading, moth-to-a-flame, to the site of whatever traffic jam, roadworks, paperclip factory fire, serious road traffic accident, protest march of militant antidecimalisationalists or any other time-consuming road event happened to be in the vicinity.

  • A landlord who could out-fussy the princess in the story of the princess and the pea, even if the mattress were a thousand feet of lead and the pea were an atom's weedy cousin who can't catch a ball and bleeds too easily. This wouldn't normally be a problem, but we had to clean the house to his exacting standards. I can imagine him dressed in formal eveningwear and a monocle, running his begloved hand along a skirting board and tutting to himself while horribly tiny dogs yap at his ankles.

  • The tenants of the flat we were about to move into not - actually - moving - out. Argh.

  • Getting boxes. This is far more difficult than it sounds, and even now when I catch sight of something even slightly cardboard-coloured, my heartrate quickens and I look round furtively to see if anyone will notice me sneak off with it so that I can fill it with books/clothes/issues 1-724 of 'Build Yourself a Matchstick Galleon in only 725 issues (Issue one comes at a special price and includes a FREE matchbox)'

  • The ceiling in our new flat falling in shortly before we were about to move in.

  • Me almost getting into a fist-fight with a mentally ill man in a wheelchair. Really. Less fun than it sounds. I have a feeling that this is the sort of thing that Ricky Gervais has in mind for every episode of 'Extras'. Or Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'. It doesn't reflect well on me.

  • God himself peeking out from between the clouds to mock me, in a deeply personal way.

  • Reading a lot about Hitler. That puts you in a bad mood. Stupid Hitler.

  • The futon smelling funny in the new house. Now we have nothing to sit on. Additionally, the whole house smelling a bit. Doesn't smell so bad now, I think.

  • British Telecom somehow being responsible for everything bad that has ever happened to me
All this, and I have to worry about the fact that I can no longer really be the angriest man in Crouch End any more. Hence the shamefaced slight change of title. Ah well. Such is life.