Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Unlikely Places To Be Sad

I guess you must have swam here
Watched me leave on the ferry
Wagging your heavy tail
Slobbering your Komodo drool on the quay.

Then,

As I got out of sight

In you splashed.
Fighting and panting.
Your front legs doggedly pushing the icy Atlantic away
Head: resolutely South West.

2 days it took you.
While I soaked up Tresco and St Agnes
You reached the shore of St Martin
As I sat there on the beach.

A beach the best in the UK
A beach the edge of paradise
Glittering granite sand gilding
A mountain peak lazing
Idly amidst oyster catchers and terns.

Out of the tidal mass you lumbered
Clambering onto my lap.
Dripping cold sea into my lungs
Shaking out your fur
Blocking the view
Distracting my voice from jolly conversations nearby
Laying your sodden bulk on my hope
Leaning your dead weight into our future.

Not telling me of your adventure.
Just reminding me you'll find me.
Blank. Cool eyes looking calmly into mine.
Without fierceness. You're composure.
Ever present. Deafening weight.

Following from a distance and dropping in, and on and all over.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

8 Ways My Thighs Could Ruin Your Life

Never Write Angry.

I know that. I honestly do know that, so please don't think I don't know that as I absolutely do that right now...

I just stepped out of my front door to go to the post office. Not that it matters but I was in a knee length summer dress with bare legs and a pair of Birkenstocks. Oh thanks babe, yeah, they're new.

As I walked away from my house a man walked in the other direction and said:

"Your thighs just ruined my day."

I was too shocked to say anything back, I briefly turned round to sort of check if he was talking to me and he made a horrid face and walked away.

I wish I'd been able to get my mouth in gear quick enough to speak to him but I didn't. So, I will now...

I wish I'd been quicker to apologise to him on behalf of my thighs. Thighs so brilliant they can ruin a day just by having their outline glimpsed through a summer dress. Oh thanks babe, yeah, it's from Summerhill Boutique a few years ago. Thighs so brilliant that they have never, ever broken or needed plugging in to recharge in the 29.5 years they've worked every day of.

If I'd known my thighs were this powerful I'd have been more careful about exposing them to weaker members of the human race who are so vulnerable to thigh decimation.

I suspect what you meant, oh stranger in the street, was that my thighs didn't look how you'd prefer a lady thigh to look as it decorates your world. Well, for that I am not sorry in the slightest. I will use this opportunity to help educate you.

If your day was ruined by the look of my thighs, I'd like you to have a look at this list of other dangers that my thighs could pose to you that might be a higher threat level than them just not being the sort of thing you'd like to put your dick between.

1. A thigh held tightly across your airways for a sustained period of time until you are no longer breathing. The fleshier the thigh the easier to make an airtight cover. Run for your life because I've been training my entire life for this eventuality.

2. My thigh accidentally winning an election because it was the only thing running that didn't blame any of societies issues on people of a different race to it. My thigh would then immediately draw up legislation on not giving unsolicited opinions on how people look in the street.

3. My two thighs slapping happily together as I walk down the street and accidentally causing the death of a nearby butterfly, a tsunami in Asia and the collapse of the housing market wherever you happen to own property.

4. Weapons of Mass Destruction being found in my cellulite. Well, it's more plausible than some of the places they've been claimed.

5. My thigh being so repugnantly fascinating that you accidentally forget to keep walking and get mowed down in traffic by a driver seemingly also unable to go about his day while two thighs as distracting as mine are in the vicinity.

6. Your book of poetry about how your parents never supported your dreams as a child getting rejected because you've gone home today and written yet another miserable one on account of how much my thighs brought you down.

7. My thighs being disinclined to help you and walk to a pay phone should the rest of me ever see you in need of the emergency services.

8. My thighs being the thing I use to walk me on stage tonight where you will just be material to me, helping me earn money while you are still a sad, angry man who doesn't understand a world that's not entirely for his pleasure.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Breakfast with Cameron

I’ve stopped looking at the internet before breakfast. I know it doesn’t sound like much of a revolution but you’d be amazed at how much happier I am.

I found my morning routine began with me waking up and drowsily grab my iPad to wake up a bit by scrolling through stuff. I didn’t realise at first, but I began to feel inundated by all this terrifying news I couldn’t do anything about… Fukushima is leaking, bedroom tax is looming, Indonesia is burning.

So many petitions so little time! My signature can only change the world so many times.

An iPad is amazing because you can access anything… instantly. Right there in bed. But they’re awful because you access everything… instantly… all the time. Right there in bed. An incessant stream of everything that’s wrong with the world and out of your control. Like having a 20 minute voicemail from your mum… as your alarm clock.

I don’t blame technology. Blaming technology is wrong. The wheel wasn’t bad technology just because we used it to move cannons around.

Information at your fingertip is great; brilliant idea. Much better than a town cryer!

But you have to give it limits… After the invention of the town cryer, no one was inviting the guy in to shout bad news at them while they tried to wake up.

“GOOD MORNING! YOU HAVE TO PAY MORE TAX!”

“What, now? I’m still trying to get the sharp bits of yesterday’s mascara out of my eyes.”

“DAVID CAMERON FUCKED A PIG!”

“Already? I haven’t even pee’d yet. I may not agree with his politics but I’ll give him this, he is efficient.”

“THERE ARE REFUGEES EVERYWHERE.”

“Can one of them bring me some coffee?”

There’s a reason paper boys leave the thing in the garden.
You should have to have trousers on to be able to see a politician’s face… and so should they. Even their spouses. It’d stop them breeding.

Social media is always one of two things: terrible world news or someone else’s great personal news. No one wants to see either of those things before caffeine. You need a buffer to look at your real world first.

Facebook in particular just filled me with insecurity about my own life. I don’t think it’s healthy to be able to compare the reality of your life with the published version of someone else’s. Looking at someone else having a pub lunch with their smiling two year old while you wipe your kid’s shit off the back of it’s neck is not an accurate comparison.

I get to the gym for the first time in a month and feel awesome*, then log on to Facebook and see some dickhead I went to school with has just finished his 8th marathon. Suddenly I wonder what the point of ever attending the gym is… I may as well just burn it down.

Thank god it’s a relatively new invention or we’d never have got anywhere… Imagine being one of those lunatics dragging rocks from Wales to Salisbury to make Stonehenge. Everyone’s feeling brilliant about it…

“Oh mate, it is going to be the best henge anyone’s ever made.”

“Are you sure, Dan? ‘Cos, it’s a lot of effort.”

“Yes, mate - no one’s ever done anything like this before. Promise.”

“Well, yes, why would they? It’s baffling and weird.”

“Shut up, it’s going to be mega when the gift shop is finished.”

“Oh bloody hell, have we got to bring more rock for that too?”

“Look, stop worrying. We’re doing an amazing thing here. We’re on top of the bloody world.”

“It’s a circle of stones, Dan.”

“Yeah, but it’s massive… and mysterious, and everyone forever is going to say we were incredible engineers.”

“What’s an engineer?”

“We are, I’ve just invented it.”

“Are you sure they’re not going to think we’re mental?”

“No, we’re pioneers.”

“What’s a pioneer?”

“Oh for God’s sake…”

“Well, alright then… I guess it all seems worth it if we’ll be the first ones…”

“Alright guys!”

“Who’s this?”

“This is Llewellyn. It’s the guy we bought the rock off.”

“Have you seen Facebook today? Some guy in Egypt’s got about 1 million likes for this giant rock pyramid he’s built. It’s amazing. Best thing I’ve ever seen.”

“I’m going home.”

“What about the gift shop?!”


I’m never going to not need or marvel at the internet… but I do feel happier to have been able to step back a bit and put my priorities back in order. My world first, then the wider one. Without that overwhelming sense of powerlessness caused by a never ending stream of issues, I feel like I have the control to pick one and really make a difference. I might sign a petition and donate a fiver.




*by awesome I obviously mean horrific, nauseas and ripped in various muscles.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Batman's First Marketing Meeting

LARGE MEETING ROOM. INT. EVENING.

BRUCE WAYNE and several marketing executives from the Bruce Wayne Corporation are sitting around a huge meeting table. BRUCE seems very excited about his new proposal and begins to set out the details for ALFRED and the team.


BATMAN
I've called you all here today to start proceedings on a brand new project I want to start working on immediately.

The executives lean in excitedly.

BATMAN
(cont'd)
I want to fight criminals for the people, and stand up for justice and the integrity of the city… but on a theme.

The executives nod eagerly between themselves and start scribbling notes and getting more excited.

ALFRED
Like… like, a justice theme, Mr Wayne? Like Captain America or something along those lines?

The executives wait with baited breath.

BRUCE WAYNE
Not quite... no. I was thinking more along the lines of bats.

There is stunned silence in the room. Nobody moves.

ALFRED
I'm sorry Mr Wayne, you'll have to elaborate?

BRUCE WAYNE
(extremely enthusiastic)
A bat theme! Everything bat themed…!

ALFRED
Um, ok. I guess it worked for Spiderman. Do you have any bat-like powers, Sir?

BRUCE WAYNE
Um. No. But do you remember I fell in that hole once and there were some bats there. So I’ve been near bats.

ALFRED
I thought you didn't like bats?

BRUCE WAYNE
No I don't. They're very frightening. That's why I want to be bat themed so I am more frightening too!

ALFRED
(carefully)
I'm not sure everyone is as frightened of bats as you Mr Wayne...

BRUCE WAYNE
(menacingly)
What are you saying, Alfred? Are you saying bats aren't scary? Are you saying I shouldn't be scared of bats?

ALFRED
No no. Not at all Mr Wayne. I'm just making sure I've got all the details so I can do the best I can. Now, when you fell in that hole... Did any of those bats bite you by any chance?

BRUCE WAYNE
Um, no.

ALFRED
Not to worry Mr Wayne, I think I can get marketing to work with this… bat theme could be great - flying, nocturnal, bit creepy…

BRUCE WAYNE
And a fun mask! With little ears!

ALFRED
Ok… sure. That can be your job. We can have bat shaped guns - that will be very impressive.

BRUCE WAYNE
(standing up and shouting)
No! No. No guns.

ALFRED
No guns?

BRUCE WAYNE
I won’t use guns.

ALFRED
Oh, right… because your parents got shot to death and so now you’re staunchly anti-guns because of that?

BRUCE WAYNE
(exasperated)
No! Because bats! Because bats don’t use guns! Come on guys…

BRUCE looks around despairingly at the table of executives.

ALFRED
Right. No guns. Ok, so you can go out at night and fight bad guys and clean up the streets. All very physical and upper body strength… yep, yep - exactly, like bats. Settle down Bruce. Cool. Yes I think we can work with this.

BRUCE WAYNE
Yeah, and after I beat up all the bad guys I can use up all the over ripe fruit in the area.

ALFRED
(trying to follow his train of thought)
Because…

BRUCE WAYNE
(encouragingly)
Yeah?

ALFRED
Because… of air miles and to highlight food wastage in society?

BRUCE WAYNE

No! Because BATS!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Won't Someone Please Think of the Grown Ups!

Kids TV is mind numbing... we all know this.

Especially those of us who have reproduced. I mean, obviously I haven't reproduced... yet. But my sister has, and so I spend an inordinate amount of time stifling nose bleeds while Sofia the First does something awful and the man in the yellow hat manages not to strangle Awful/Curious George.

On Thursday 7th January I'm putting on a whole night of comedy dedicated to letting off steam about the worst of our children's passions. 6 ace comics will be talking us through what really boils them up about Nickleodeon, CBeebies and RedTube. Actually, not that last one.



It's a totally free night of comedy in Camden, at the Camden Head (100 Camden High Street) and features 6 comics drinking wine and telling Fireman Sam to roundly fuck off whenever he's ready.

The show starts at 8 and will be finished by 10 so that should you have to be up at 6am to see what fresh Lola is putting Charlie through this week, then you won't be too late to bed.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Joe

Joe

I felt like I ought to sit there and stare at the hand set for a while as though I could hardly believe what I’d done. To give the moment a second to breathe and become what it was… to become the moment I would later loosely entitle “The Moment I Must Have Entirely Lost My Fucking Mind”. Everything should linger for a minute and then some sort of music circa David Gray’s Babylon should start to play and I’d look all moody sitting there. Later we’d cut back and I’d still be sitting there in the greying, blue light. The flat would look all sparse around me and people would look at me and think “Poor bloke - flats always look crap when there’s no woman around to turn them into homes. Look at the poor sod sitting there. He looks cold. Whatever happened to David Gray?” Then I’d finally break a bit and start a few sobs and everyone’d feel a release because I’d cried finally which must mean I understood and was ready to heal.

I wouldn’t have sat there for very long, but I might have sat there longer if I hadn’t needed a piss. Really badly. I actually just hung up and put my mobile back on the coffee table and did that funny little hop skip step you do when you’re trying to shake the piss back up your dick on your way to the toilet. Maybe if I’d used the land line, and hadn’t needed to evacuate a big mug of finished tea, I might have been more inclined to sit there for a few hours. Land lines just look better for that sort of pivotal moment in a life. They’re clunky and purposeful and you can put the receiver back on the holder and then look at it all reunited and reminisce about phone calls and shit. Hanging up on my iPhone is just rubbing my thumb gently on a big red rectangle and then putting the phone anywhere at all. Sitting staring at an iPhone could mean loads of things; you could be waiting for a timer to go off or waiting for an email. Mobiles do too much to be poignant when you stare at them. Be fucking weird if David Gray kicks off and everyone’s getting sad and then some notification for Clash of Clans pings up.

Sorry to interrupt your moment, mate, but your troops are ready for battle.

I pissed for quite a while and felt better after that.

I suppose, really, I didn’t think I’d done anything that weird.

All I’d done, was agree to a viewing of a wedding venue for a wedding that was no longer happening, because my fiancee was now dead. It sounds weird now I’ve put it out there like that, but, in my head I was sort of thinking I wouldn’t go.

The phone had rang and I’d answered it.

“Hello?”

“Hello, is that Mr Hadland?”

“It is, yeah.”

“Hello, this is Sophie from Kites Barn at Hayes Hill. I just wanted to confirm the details for your viewing of the Great Barn tomorrow at 11am?”

“Oh, great.”

“Does 11 still work for you?”

Technically, I was not busy at 11, so…

“Yeah, yeah 11 is fine.”

“Great. I won’t actually be there tomorrow as it’s my day off, but my colleague Elaine will meet you at the front car park to show you round and give you all the details. She’ll be able to answer any questions you may have about the venue and the services we can offer on the day. Will it be just yourself and your fiancee attending?”

“My fiancee can’t actually make it, unfortunately, so it’ll just be me.”

Not a lie. Not actually a lie. She could have made it, I suppose, but it would have been fucking awkward to explain why she looked so disappointed in what, up until yesterday, was her top choice wedding venue.

“Oh, that’s a shame. Well, if you like it you can always organise for another time to come and show her round.”

“Sounds good.”

The opportunity to show her another time did sound good, so again, not a lie. The chance to do absolutely anything with her, ever again, sounded pretty perfect to be honest.

“Brilliant. Well, I hope you like the place; if you need anything in the meantime just give us a call and if you think of anything tomorrow after you’ve left just call the office and someone will be able to help.”

“Great, thanks then. Bye.”

“Good bye.”

I rubbed my thumb over the red rectangle and then got up and went for a piss.

I haven’t really thought about it much, but, I suppose I must have assumed that maybe there was a holding pen for the newly bereaved where you went so that you could not have to do every day things. Like, if you get ill or something you go to hospital until you’re better… or, if someone is ill you can sit in a waiting room and worry about them. Or, if you broke the law you’d go to the police station or jail maybe. It turns out when someone dies you just find out that they’re dead and then you can go home. There isn’t really anything I need to do. I suppose if she’d died on a Wednesday or something I could have been phoning up and cancelling things, but she died on a Friday so there was no point really ringing anyone or starting to sort out her stuff until Monday.

Is all her stuff called an estate now? Does your stuff become an estate if you’re dead? Or is that just rich or old people? I dunno. I guess I’ll have to help with that. Her sisters and mum’ll get quite involved though. Legally I suppose I’ve got nothing to do with her. Oh, that hurts. That’s weird. Legally and officially we were nothing, I suppose. Didn’t even live together yet. Oh fuck. No, I don’t like that.

Since she died, thinking my thoughts  is a bit like eating a bag of Revels. Every now and again one’ll come up that is properly fucking horrible. Really, inhumanly horrible. And you think, how did a human invent that? Then you carry on with them trying to remember which ones you couldn’t stand having again and avoiding letting them into your head.

I was dead keen to get married. None of that ball and chain bull shit worrying nonsense. I couldn’t fucking wait. Get us done, mate. Get it on paper - make it a full on thing that’s chunky and massive and real. Tangible - that’s the word. Weird word for it though, cos ‘tangible’ sounds so light and delicate and I want a word that sounds more like “really fucking there”. Whopping. I fucking loved her. I loved how small and mine she was. I wanted to hold on to her all the time, I wanted to grip her. Really grip her. I use to dream about holding the tops of her arms on that fleshy bit that she hated. Really holding it and looking at my fingers burying into her arm like the flesh was play doh. She wasn’t very muscly. Tiny little thing. I know why I’d dream about it: I think I wanted other ways to be in her. Not in a dirty way; not anal or nothing. But like, I wanted to have her more, you know? So holding her arms and the fat bits popping back up through my fingers meant I was in-between her flesh and I sort of wanted that. I wanted all the ways I could to get in and on and have her. To fucking know her.

I never once did hold on to her arms though. No. She’d have gone loopy. She fucking hated the top of her arms - thought they were fat. They weren’t, but they were fatty, if you get what I mean? She wasn’t a fat bird at all. But she didn’t have any muscle or tone. She was gorgeous. I’d’ve been too scared to bruise her anyway - she bruised like a peach. I hated it. She’d just knock in to the drawers at my place or something and next day there’d be a bruise there. She was so little and delicate. Them bruises just looked horrible on her; nothing should have been allowed to hurt her. If I could have got in her skin somehow and helped her body be stronger then I could have helped. That’s a fucking weird sentence actually, ignore that.

I wish I was numb or something. Sometimes in films when big tragic things happen the main character sort of goes into shock and just wanders round mumbling at people and things. I feel quite normal, in terms of thinking, and then I just feel sad. Obviously ‘sad’ isn’t the best word because it’s some sort of phenomenal, mega sadness rather than ‘sad’. But it’s pretty easy to explain how I feel - I wish I was numb and uncomprehending or something so the time would pass a bit quicker.

“How do you feel Mr Hadland?”

And then I’d just stare at them blankly, and maybe break down a bit like Liam Neeson in Love Actually before he watches Titanic with the pale kid. At the moment I know how I feel.

“How do you feel Mr Hadland?”

“Fucking broken, mate. Horrible. That’s how I feel. Like I want to ban cars until people stop driving them in to people. Like I want to go and stand in the road, yesterday on Market Street at 8:17pm and let the number plate smash into me and then I’ll just lie there on the tarmac and watch that fucking smashing woman walk away and get on with what was going to be a fucking terrific life. And if I can’t do that i want to go and scrape all of her back together. All her tiny little limbs and her shattered, perfect little face and I want them in my arms.”

I guess at that point they’ll look at me and think, “Well that’s a bit graphic and weird.” and I’ll think “Yeah it is but let me explain.”

‘If she absolutely has to die, like, absolutely has to. And if it has to be like that… then when she’s lying there on the ground she’s going to be dying and getting cold and if I can hold on to her then her heat will transfer into me and I can have the last bits of her. The last energy she gives out can go into me and I’ll use it for something, like, next time I do something really good and I’m proud of myself I’ll say the energy I used to do that was her energy, or something. I can’t bottle the blood that went on the road or suck the last breath out of her mouth cos that is fucking creepy. But I could have that heat off her skin. She’d laugh and say something like, ‘I’m just giving it back, babe, that’s all the heat I had off you when I was cold in bed!’ Cos she’s always got cold feet and hands and I’m always warming her up. She was just looking after that heat and now I’ll take it back and put it to good use.”

Now you see why I want to be numb? Because if I was numb, or thick, I wouldn’t be sitting here contemplating how much I want to physically hold her and help her and love her some more. Or, if I was failing to comprehend she was dead or something then my mum would have stuck around to cook me dinner and she and my sister’d be huddled in the kitchen whispering about how I’m “not taking it in” and maybe I “need to speak to someone to come to terms”.

I’m a coper though, me. I’ve got it. Got it down. I know what’s happened.


What I don’t know, is what the absolute chuffing hell I’m meant to do now?

Monday, November 30, 2015

Please Like My Breakdown

I think I hate Facebook.

I love the concept of Facebook but I do always seem to hate my newsfeed.

I hate that I continue to look at my newsfeed even though I hate it.

So, I think it might actually be me I dislike, rather than Facebook.

But, even if I don't look at it... I still won't like Facebook.

But, Facebook doesn't control what goes on my newsfeed... it's people that post these things. People I chose to add.

So, I think I hate myself and the people I know.

I guess if I stop looking at myself and the people I know, I might feel better?

But, even if I don't look at us, I'll still know that I hate us.

But I didn't know I hated us until we all existed on Facebook.

So it is Facebook's fault!

Ha! Fuck you Zuckerberg.

I'm going to post this on Facebook and see what people think.