Monday, 31 March 2014

The Thrilling Of Claire

Yes, Comrades

Here we find ourselves once again...have you went and gotten yourselves one of those tattoos yet? You know the ones, with the sunrise tattooed above your air biscuit tin. Enjoy it now, for in about twenty years, it'll look more like an octopus chasing a I'm told.

Clearly that massive break in transmission wasn't massive enough - that big bit I would see you in wasn't of adequate bigness. Unfortunately, my time is precious, and yours is not. Not to me, anyway. So I've got a couple of key points to type up and cover in hilarious anecdotal fluff, then I'll go on about something for far too long and that'll be it!

So let's get cracking so I can get wank--er, I mean, prancing about in my Dad's bedroom pretending I'm Batm--er, I mean, doing things. So first up comes the first half of my journey of self-discovery during my training for my new job. It's split into two weeks, both of them were spent in different areas of Manchester where I also had one man slumber parties until the weekend, when I got to go home. The first week was spent by the airport. I'll be referring to everyone by Men In Black codenames, because it would be weird to give practical strangers the elusive reggae names, but they may well make reappearances here at some point in the future, so I have to call them something.

My trainer, S, met me at Manchester train station, having just five minutes ago fallen in a car park onto her wrist. Can you think of a less convenient injury for a man? Which she isn't, the clue to which being in the gender reference. Anyway...straight into her car, straight to the place of work and straight into the office. I am first introduced to D, a smiley 30-something accountant fella with a Mr Tea mug, complete with knuckle duster handle. I liked him immediately. Next to him was G, who was clearly just that: a straight up G. She had double peroxide hair (if that's a thing) crowning a faintly forlorn expression and had a Cheryl Cole twang to her tones, an observation she'd later find hilarious.

"Where are you from?" I answered and asked the asker if he was from the area. "Not with this accent mate la go 'ed lad proper wool ale alehouse devoed nice one". I can take liberties like that with my quotations, I do anything I wanna do, you can't stop me! Yes, R here was a Scouser, and would soon prove to be one of the funniest fuckers I've ever met. He was just so quick, so fucking quick. My complimentary room was fine. I also got my meals free and I was getting paid for being there. Not bad for barely getting my foot in the door.

My evenings were spent being an ethanol challenged disabled person and lying in the bath. Oh, forgot to mention the team's manager W, who sounded exactly like Paul O'Grady when he spoke and had Don't Stop Believin' as his ringtone, so his signature gag was to run away from a conversation towards his office when his phone rang and saying "Just a second, don't stop believing!" Some people. I spent a few evenings in the bar with R too, discussing everything you could think of. Seriously, the conversations were so quickfire and went on for so long I genuinely believe we touched upon every subject under the sun at some point during that week, from art films, to Unfinished Sympathy, to hatred of clubbing, to surreal cinema, to vampire books, to that crusty shit you get in your eyes and why everyone has a different name for it (mine's 'matter') and back again. I'd be lying if I said I didn't grow attached to my cohorts pretty quickly, but I was left with a pleasant memory upon departure:

G: Can you do this for me? Can you do it now?
R: Shut the fuck up, or do you want this ball thrown off your head again?
D: You can't do that, she's just put her makeup on.
R: (Without missing a beat) Aye you're right, probably come back to me orange.

Poor G, aka Polly Fill. So that was week #1. Oh, my trainer, S, she fractured her wrist after her little fall, so I didn't see her at all after that first day, until the start of week #2...again, poor G, she had to tolerate me. This time my soon-to-be colleague, C, followed me off the train to meet S. We only live a town apart, but what a difference in accents we have. Clearly from the same area, but she enunciated far less than I do, not caring a jot whether or not these Manc scallies could understand when she called them cunts or not. We arrived at our new training area and met our new temporary teamfolks. My trainer this week was P...ok I think I can reveal his name was Painter, after his surname. There was another S there, but don't worry, you won't get confused. D, an old Irish lady with the softest voice I've ever heard, she made a mean cuppa too. I was to be introduced to E Tuesday, an experience I was promised I would never forget.

These digs were very different from the last, much of the Lambs. Each corridor had speakers that played very low-key piano concertos, the halls twisted and turned, there seemed to be no method to the madness. There was even a piano you could play, if you so desired. My view was pretty pathetic, I must admit, obscured by dirt and...well, Mancs. They all walked like Shaggy from Scooby Doo and talked like the killer from Scary Movie when he was stoned. My room even had a ghost in it. No word of a lie. I was lying in bed the first night, and I heard it. The faint bangs and moans coming from the corner of my room, towards the wall. It was clearly a very unhappy girly ghost, all it did was moan and yell things like "Oh yes Daddy G-Man! Do it for me!" "Wear my love like Heaven you dirty fucking bastard!" and "Missed again. Game over". God knows what was giving that grumpy ghost the hump.

C was having a great time though, nearly getting run over by trams, getting lost on her way to the carvery to find me surrounded by what seemed like the cast of Last of the Summer Wine begging for her to bail me out, walking into gay bars after mistaking them for baguette shops. I'd wager she found the whole experience more than a bit thrilling, poor girl was terrified of travelling alone. I liked her though, very frank and open person with a warped sense of humour. What's not to like when it comes to such qualities in a colleague? Then Tuesday came, and I met E. She was the most foul mouthed, disgusting, piss-taking, relentless woman I've met in my life, and I absolutely loved her. She was just the fucking funniest person and wouldn't give a fuck about anything even if it suited her needs. Think my favourite from her that I can remember went like so:

P: If you can't laugh at yourself, you shouldn't really be having a go at other people.
Me: Agreed. Fucking hate people who can't take a joke.
P: Yeah. No point. I don't take myself seriously.
E: Good. We don't.

Or the time she was getting up from her desk and P did nothing more than turn and look at her, she looked back at him, "Fuck off!", slapped him across the back of the head, walked away and got on with her business, for absolutely no reason at all. But she did it all with such finesse that you knew she wasn't really that mean, just one of those Manchester things. Yep, it would be fair to say I'll miss that team too.

And now, here I am, working where I'm supposed to be, going through years-old applications with a relief worker called M and having a good laugh, particularly when we find a CV on which someone has scrawled in big pink letters "NEVER AGAIN!!". Still haven't drawn a conclusion as to why the mystery person did that...

And all through those two weeks, G or P were singing this to me.

In a bit.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Born To Run


Before we go through the final day of the trip, it's time for the couple-of-posts overdue 100th post super fantastic party celebration extravaganza - 2014 edition! My plans were massive for this, but then I remembered - I don't even like any of you, why should I make any effort whatsoever to please you? I work my arse off to give you a daily dose of entertainment and laughter, often at my very own expense and you don't give a shit for any of it, you just skim read the fruits of my labour and are too fucking busy to stick a three minute song on to encapsulate the mood I've worked so hard to create, when I spend sometimes considerably longer than is healthy picking a song that's fitting, enjoyable and humorous all at the same time. Yes, well, of course, that is just the sort of blinkered philistine pig ignorance I've come to expect from you spoonfed, infantilised idiots. You sit there on your loathsome, spotty behinds squeezing blackheads, not caring a tinker's cuss about the struggling artist. You excrement! You lousy, hypocritical whining toadies with your Netflix-ready TV sets and your Tony Jacklin golf clubs and your bleeding nonsensical, unfunny acronyms! You wouldn't let me be part of your Facebook group, would you, you blackballing bastards. Well I wouldn't become a member now if you went down on your lousy, stinking, purulent knees and BEGGED ME!!!
(This is just a joke. I'm very grateful for any time any of you put into reading my shit and I hope you've got some enjoyment out of it. Thank you. I say again, I'm not being at all serious with the above)

So, I got some questions from you lot. Here are my answers.

Q: A (wild) bogus gasman appears - what do you say to him?

A: "Begone, sir. There will be no bogusing of my gas today! I would lock you out, but I don't actually have any locks. I am a warrior and I demand to be treated like one. So, you have forced me to this. Bidoof, I choose you!" Bidoof: "Durka dur"

Q: whats with the hating. so much hate.

A: What's with the trying to sound cool, Coolio? I knew someone once who thought speaking in short bursts and abusing the shit out of full stops was the coolest thing anyone has ever, ever done, ever. But it wasn't. Anyway, you want to know why I despair? That fucking Flappy Bird game is popular just because it's popular. What is wrong with you people?!

Q: Who should be thrown on an inferno (preferably made by the white man)?

A: Pharrell Williams, because of that thing he's going about with on his head at the moment. Also, he's black, so it works. If he's busy, stick Melissa McCarthy on there. She gives me the fucking creeps.

Q: yea everyone called me Dixie Cup for years juts cause I asked if it was alright to use a dixie cup as a condom in sex ed. im cool now though

A: Can I call you back?

Q: Whats so great about zias? :)

A: None of their shops fall within my restraining order zone. Sorry but I'm not going to answer this one properly, I think I give them enough free advertising. It's all deserved though, I'll say that much.

Thanks for those. Now, onto something with a bit of substance for a change. Here are.....


Or just (not top) ten albums you must hear before you die, according to my gospel opinion.

1. The Zombies - Odessey And Oracle

The UK's answer to The Beach Boys. The only difference is that The Zombies aren't one of the most overrated bands in musical history. Poppy, sweet, bittersweet, funky, rock and rolly, and a tune that brings the Rainbow theme to mind (Changes). Possibly the best album ever.

2. Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds

This shit is neo classical, which basically means it's classical but with rocky things going on as well. Very moody, very atmospheric, it sounds like how you think a martian invasion would probably sound. I know that cause you described it to me once. Even after all these years it still sounds futuristic!

 3. Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid

Believe the hype. The hype from six years ago now, but the hype nonetheless, believe it. Like all Elbow albums it takes at least two or three listens before it hooks you, but once it does, that's you, dead, sleeping with the fishes. Very inventive music with very clever lyrics. I never thought I'd feel sorry for every tower crane driver in the world, but because of this album, I do.

4. Neil Young - After The Gold Rush

Honestly, there are so many Neil Young albums I could've put here, like Harvest, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Zuma, On The Beach......but this is generally considered his magnum opus. So many artists today owe a debt to this man, and this album is a perfect place to start finding out why.

5. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless

To be fair, shoegaze is a very Marmitey area of music, but if you're a fan of it, this is as good as it gets. MBV are still going and relevant too, they won Uncut's Album of the Year last year. Best line to describe this album comes from some guy from some site I read once: "It sounds like druggy sex, or sexy drugs" Fucking spot on. Only Shallow is one of the best album openers too.

6. Neon Neon - Stainless Style

A concept album that tried to tell the life story of John Delorean through 80s beats and bops...which succeeded. Big time. This is the backup if a party starts going the wrong way - people rarely know what it is but they're always down for some of that shit. Don't think I'll ever tire of I Told Her On Alderaan.

7. Slint - Spiderland

Let me put this into perspective for you: each and every member of the band were at some point committed to an asylum for a period of time during the making of this album. It's pure evil in audio form. The whole thing collapses in on itself at the end and I defy you not to widen your eyes even a bit when that happens.

8. Sly And The Family Stone - There's A Riot Goin' On

The birth of so many genres, all thanks to this album. Without this, no Stylistics, no Beyonce, no Missy Elliot, no R & B as we know it. Wait, why do I like this album again?

9. T. Rex - The Slider

The soundtrack of Britain for the late 70s, early 80s, and rightly so. It's not heavy, it's not preachy, you can dance to it or rock out with your Cocker Spaniel, it's all one with this album. One of the real greats, he was...R.I.P Notice I didn't add the last period so I'm telling him to rest in pee, and that's funny!

10. Massive Attack - Mezzanine

Here's a little story. On the strength of the songs Angel and Teardrop, I got a hold of this album. After two weeks I gave it a listen but only Black Milk really stood out, wasn't really paying attention to the songs. I play this album in America, in Irie Nancy's car. She's in Safeway getting something and the song Group Four comes on. It finishes. She comes back and I insist on playing it again so she can hear it, it was just that good. I've not known the album long but I know it'll stand the test of time. It's dark, paranoid, brooding, menacing, hypnotic and stylish music that ticks all the boxes for me. Listen to it.

And I'm spent. Onwards!



Yes, Comrades

Penultimate wake in me bed. There's a heavy feeling hanging in the air, which in hindsight may have been because Philip Seymour Hoffman had just been found dead. A bloody shame - he wasn't so much an actor than a bleedin' chameleon and the industry won't quite be the same, knowing he'll never star in a stellar role again. No more turning shitstorm movies into Shakespearean masterpieces (see 25th Hour) for ol' Phil. As I say, a real shame.

On a more selfish note, Ralph had made it known to the Shebas that he wanted to see me, maybe to discuss offing Fredo, or the chocolate bar and how good it is and should definitely go back to being 10p. Ruddy inflation, eh? Anyway, we picked up Mama Sheba and arrived at Ralph's. Debbie and Ed had been there a while and were just leaving. Ralph offered me some 'leño' which sounded just too exotic to decline. Turned out to be bog standard reg. I barely touched it - I was preoccupied with using the sun and my watch to create a spot for the dog to chase. We grabbed some ice and headed.

The ice was dropped off at Sheba's, following which we made like trees and got out of there to get some plane-friendly hookah. Back home, we got ready by putting on makeup and gathering bottles of Stella. It's like a really hard game of Guess Who, good luck. Today was the day of the Superbowl, something I had absolutely no experience or knowledge of.

After picking up Sheba and Tree, we made like Tree and got high. We didn't, I just wanted to say that. X's house was the venue for this American event and along with Mrs Nancy and a quick cameo from Alecia's mum Linda, we were the only guests. Our fun was made trying to catch ourselves swearing in front of Noa or Tatumn and judging the adverts. Well, now when people ask me who Bob Dylan is, I can tell them "He's the guy from that Chrysler advert" Good job, Bob.

The game itself confused the shit out of me for the first two quarters, but as the beer and pizza found a friend in me, I overcompensated so much that I actually paid enough attention to know what was going on. The Seattle Shadowhawks were slaying the Denver Broncos. What? Oh, sorry, Seahawks. Half time show. Don't you just want to grab Bruno Mars by his skinny little throat and roar "You are not Michael Jackson!!" into his tone deaf ears? No?

The game continued, finally. The Seahawks were bending the Broncos over and telling them to like what would come next. Everyone said this Superbowl was shit and they promised the next one would be better. Mhmm. I didn't care any road, I understood the game and dare I say, was enjoying it. You know how people grow up hating Gorgonzola cheese, then when they hit a certain age they want to eat nothing but Gorgonzola cheese? Maybe that's me with American football?

I was hugged bye by everyone, which felt a little surreal when you consider that not much more than a year ago, not one person in Phoenix, Arizona knew the name Sergeant Dread. We left X and Alecia's for my last time, this year at least, and everyone was happy to make one final trip to Zias. I had to hide the fact I was treating my comrades to DVDs, so it was an awkward visit. We left with Robin Williams Live On Broadway, The Artist and Life Of Brian and headed to #3.

It's not the hardest thing, guessing what we got up to. I said bye to as many family members as I could of the Shebas, including BK and Rico, the dogs. We agreed that if Sheba and Tree could get up at 4, they'd come along to the airport. Regardless, I said "In a bit" just in case.

Back home, we had some more bomb (hey! I don't touch the stuff at home, this here was the only libation I get!) and settled down to cartoons, as uge. Oh, interestingly enough, on the drive home, whoever the DJ was made a point of emphasising the words "All bad things must come to an end" which we found pretty neat. At midnight, sleepy time, to wake at 4.

A knock on my door. Oh. Fuck. It's 5. Within ten minutes, me, Nancy and her mum were in the car. Hope Sheba and Tree weren't too miffed. "I'm not seeing the connection to your homeland on this ticket". Double fuck. I produced the confirmation and after the lady's tinkered with the computer for about twenty minutes, it's all straightened out. Nearly had a total heart attack, so I did. We said our byes, which is never easy, then I made it on the plane with minutes to spare. Kept drifting in and out of consciousness on the plane, then arrived at Newark. Piece of piss.

And here I am, sat in an empty departure lounge, sucking the charging station dry, puffing on hookah, praying this arctic blast doesn't strand me here. The worst thing for me when flying is wondering if you'll ever see your case again. You always do (so far!) but still, it's fucking nervewracking. If you ever read this, it would be a safe assumption that there's been a happy ending. I hope.

So, we come to the end of another little expedition. It's a shame so many American idiosyncracies have stayed just that, I don't hesitate to say it would do so many places some good to embrace pancake houses, treating customers like more than simply that and $1 blue slurpees. One can dream.

I'll miss each and every one of the colourful characters I've come into contact with of late - I didn't meet a single person I disliked when here and I mean that sincerely. They'll all be missed, but like I said before, this isn't the end. Someone commented to me that I must feel weird, being part of this crazy Mexican group. Like I said to them, it makes no difference whether they're Mexican or not, they're beautiful people, the salt of the Earth. We made it! There now follows a massive break in transmission.

Dudes, I totally miss you.

"The highway's jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive"

In a big bit.

Harvest Moon


Yes, Comrades

Woke up feeling like anything but P Diddy. That's all fine. You'd be amazed how long it can take to fill up one full page of A4 with genius material each day. I've got about fifty minutes from this point, which is pretty ridiculous, all things considered.

I had been presented with a bunch of albums with no cases, including Hendrix, Dylan, Marley and Young, so today's mission was to infiltrate the enemy office superstore, acquire the max security CD sleeves and evacuate undetected. So, we hopped in the Nancymobile and sped along to the colonnade, after our usual argument about how such a thing is pronounced. We get to Staples - $15 for 100 CD sleeves? No, no, bloody no.

So we arrive at the Wal Mart at Christown Spectrum mall, my first time visiting this time. $3 for 25 sleeves? Much better. Nancy grabbed a few shirts and we left via the mall. Surprisingly, Cousin Nico came through for a day out, so we went to get him. He seemed to be collecting pillows, I was nearly forced out his door by them.

Soon, we were all sat at Applebee's eating buffalo chicken wings and weird triangular chicken won ton tacos and drinking beer and mudslides, chatting about naughty things we did in our childhoods. The service was questionable, but the food and company compensated. Apparently Applebee's are big on birthdays, so Cousin Nico told the staff, against my requests, that it was my birthday. That bastard. I got a free sundae, and they sang to me again...

After getting some glowsticks for Cousin Nico's rollerskate derby rave...thing, we popped to a park. It was freezing and dark, but so tranquil, especially with that massive block of cheese hanging in the sky, was something else. We made a quick call and made our way to home #3.

There, All In The Family was on. There's something about sitcoms from the 70s, 80s and 90s that seems lost now but was a universal thing: the innocent humour. The innocent part is all gone and I can't work out why, maybe Gervais ruined it by throwing 'cringeworthy' into the mix, dunno. Tree walked in. "Walk of shame". At 8pm? I'm going to miss her one liners.

We made a quick trip out and came back to watch Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. It sounds like a proper chick flick but it really isn't, I loved it. If anyone needs to take a ride, we've got a car - which we took home. I didn't like I Heart Huckabee's as much, but it was alright. I've been nothing but sleepy recent nights. Still, not like it matters now, sadly.

"Just like children sleeping, we could dream this night away"

In a bit.

The Times They Are A-Changin'


Yes, Comrades

Having gotten a late night and an early rise to ensure the rented car got back to Phoenix in time, us three weren't feeling at our most beautiful. Trying to sleep in a car is murder, I almost feel sorry for people who have to live in their Vauxhall Novas, with their tonic wine and "I am mental" bumper sticker.

When we arrived back, Mr Nancy and X took the rented car back while I dealt with my essentials. Mama Sheba was dropped off and since I smelled like St. Savile's Childrens' Hospital, I spent some time chipping some off the old block. When we got back into one group, our first destination was Fry's Electronics. Snickers ice cream had perked me up by this point, Nancy said "Godzilla! My niggah..." I laughed, we went in, then left for Chandler.

At Zias, she got two movies and a Gin Blossoms album for me, which was sweet. At Chandler Mall, my static shocks were in full swing. At the classiest chocolate shop, See's, Nancy got a bag of stuff, but I'd had a Po' Boy sandwich earlier which was a pound of three meats, so I was cushty.

One final stop at Wal Mart yielded a nice surprise. Before that though, we were hunting for Airheads after my last juicy experience. We found them and when we did, Swedish Fish came along for the journey. On our way out, we spotted something you may or may not remember. Mind when I said America has some of the finest minds of our generation? No? Well, we bought Bacon Bowls. I can hardly wait to eat vanilla ice cream from a bowl made of bacon.

I had uncovered Nancy's terrible secret on the drive home, so we sat down to give her an education. She learned the ways of QI, Fry and Laurie, Izzard, Jupitus impersonating Izzard, Bridges, Dee, retsupurae and by far the most important lesson of all, Laurel and Hardy. She barely knows who they are, but it's being remedied, calm those tits of yours.

At Sheba's, we were without the lady herself, who was with her sister. Tree and Debbie were and are fine company though, as we learned about albino lobsters, squirrels, deer and that. Standard night. Soon enough, the gang was back together again, sat watching Sheba eat a jalapeno burger with fries, despite being sick only the night before. Nothing stops this one, really. The burger tasted like wild Heaven though, so I don't blame her at all. We then went to get our own at Carl's Jr. Expensive, but my God, unbelievable. Back at home weighing double our usual, we tried to watch Chronicles of Riddick, but it didn't happen.

"Admit that the waters around you have grown and accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone"

In a bit.

Friday, 31 January 2014

AKA... Broken Arrow


Yes, Comrades

To compensate for yesterday, today was National Take The Michael Out Of Me Day, I hereby decree. Really, the claws were out and sharpened, fuckers were being proper vicious. But more importantly, we were all off to Sedona today.

The trip was short and relatively uneventful. Kept seeing signs for Broken Arrow and tours of it, all throughout and up to Sedona. Alternate name? We arrived in a very short time, got the hotel sorted and took a stroll down the main area. The environment was very much like the surface of Mars, but with a buncha dem cowpokes struttin' 'round.

Everyone smiled and said hello to you here, it was really quite disconcerting - I had to restrain myself from giving them the old one, two, poke in the eyes. We perused the shops one by one, looking at the weird and wonderful goods. I bought meself a sheriff badge, because I am sheriff Rick. Or Woody, either will do. There's a snake in my pants!

We got bianco, napoli and pepperoni pizzas from a newly-opened pizzeria. I would seriously say they were the best pizzas I've so far been lucky enough to sample. Our waitress was just the sweetest thing. So, I liked the town, and "That man is the nicest gentleman in town" was my feedback. We drove to Oak Creek. The route was stunning, all the trees, mountains, rivers etc. But Oak Creek itself was closed.

Apparently the Nancy family have the worst luck in the world. Well, I mean, yes, here I am, after all. On the way back, we spotted a weird terrace thing. We had a gander and I swear to fuck, you lot, it was exactly like the start of Dead Money, it was horrorshow just how similar the places were! There were toy shops, clay/bronze galleries, music box stores, all so...different.

Back at the hotel, Nancy, Sheba and I strayed from X and the others to get $6 burritos (yep) and some booze from C-Market. The town transformed into a ghost town in the dark - the streets were completely bare, caked in darkness and silence. We had a drink apiece and went to the hotel clubhouse. Here, those two sat in the game room while I paddled around in the pool with kids and Taiwanese folks in my boxers. Yes. Had no choice! Quick wind down in the sauna.

I've probably missed a shitload, but it was a crammed day. On Sedona: it's lovely, a real different place from Phoenix, but it really is a tourist trap. Shit, forgot when I gargled ghost pepper sauce. That wasn't good. Poor Sheba got a bit ill before bed, but we got her through it, somehow. Clock's winding down now.

Seriously Don Bongo, just look at this shit.

"Leave me in peace, I'm on the side of the angels"

In a bit.



Yes, Comrades

You always feel a bit awkward on your birthday, like the guy that everyone knows has weak bowels and can't help it, it's not his fault, but he's just shat in the community pool. All attention is on him, but he'd prefer to just paddle out unnoticed.

But my wee steel ladders were removed, like one of those fucked up days on The Sims. You've done it, don't lie. I was greeted with handshakes, hugs and kisses and in what seemed like no time at all, we were at Red Lobster. X had very kindly came along too. First thing we were asked, "You guys celebrating anything?" Dammit. After very much enjoying Robert the lobster, or the Robster, the staff sang.

After cleaning up the blood, we went home. Every time I left the room, some more paraphernalia would appear, a card, a cupcake, a present, something. Just as I'm settling into the afternoon, the candles are lit and I'm making my wish to be slightly less brilliant, because life's complicated enough. The cake was delicious. Again, only a right twat would list all of their presents, but again, I was one spoiled little fucker. Except, they sang to me again.

We arrived at Mama Sheba's with no real goal in mind, just to hang, as Irie Nancy put it. I was sang to again. Even little Audrina gave me a pretty heartwarming rendition, then got back to what she was doing, impersonating Sylvester the cat. We sat around watching Looney Tunes for a bit, then Debbie made a proposal. At this, Nancy and I popped out. Before we did though, I bumped into Tree, who dropped the happy birthday bombshell. At this, Eddie, little Eddie, Christie, Isabelle, Christine and Tree all launched into song. Argh!

My present from the Sheba family was bomb, or should I say, Even Jamaicans Say 'Don't Smoke This Mon' Super Bomb. I hadn't felt so away with it since the first time I ever smoked the ganja, or 'space chocolate' as my mate Fly Boy called it. They sang to me again.

You get a free Grand Slam from Denny's on your birthday, so we went there. We got wired into it - I got scrambled eggs, sausages, hash browns, bacon and a jumbo pancake drenched in syrup, all for free. I mean, wow, fuck me. Best day of my life. I felt better now, so we stopped at Sheba's for one more. This turned out to be a good idea. They didn't sing.

It's a small mercy that on the day you're one step closer to death, everyone's so nice to you, as if to take your mind off it. Maybe that's why. Cake, ice cream, cartoons, K.O.

I DID get an action figure of this glorious bastard, though.

"Time makes you bolder, even children get older. I'm getting older too"

In a bit.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

We Used To Wait


Yes, Comrades

So, as you may have ascertained after uncovering the pattern, Nancy had the day off again. But Tuesday is Tuesday, movie day is movie day, and that, as they say, is fucking well that. We had to wait until we had a car available though, so it was over to the Kindle to kill some time. Guess The 90s. I was at a cultural disadvantage, being from overseas, but we made a pretty decent team. Has anyone heard of Hit Clips, Dragon Flyz, Muzzy, Sky Dancers or Orbitz? I mean, anywhere.

What? Oh right, the cliffhanger. Ok, so where did I leave off? Kendal, on crack, was sat in the front room with Debbie, Christie and her husband when Nancy and I came in. He said he didn't know how to text, so that was done for him. Turned out someone had shot at his cousin and he needed out of there tout suite. When things had settled, we went back to our usual room, I couldn't neglect Bubble Game With No Real Name any longer. When we left for the night, two copper cabs were blocking the road out. Soon enough we got through, and there Kendal was, sat in the back.

Satisfied? So, we arrived at this very same house and before we've even set foot in the door, I drop an N bomb in jest, only to be heard by a B man. We rushed in and got To Wong Foo stuck on. Patrick Swayze in drag, God help us all. I saw his lookalike in a pub once, I should like it to be known. He looked a bit like Stewart Lee if he let himself go too. Yes, the movie. It was pretty good, let's not lie. John Leguizamo stole it for me though, ok?

We were proper peckish, me ode, so we went home. We ate sopa, salad and some beef, after we'd gone to get it from a barbecue hut. Is that a thing? I think that's a thing. We played some more Guess The 90s and I must say, my greatest contribution was when I fucked off for ten, came back to find them stuck and stylishly solved it instantly: VESPA. Stand aside, Bond.

At Sheba's, it was the whole gang playing the game this time. On TV was something that was simply bound to become a favourite of mine: Bad Girls All Star Battle. This was a whole programme dedicated to self-obsessed bitches screwing each other over for money. "That strap really hurt my vagina. #Ouch." That's a direct quote. I sat there, simply fuming at what the world has become, watching ten ladies vomiting all over each other. So nice to see people doing their performance while still maintaining their dignity. We completed Guess The 90s then the Kindle died. That's how it's done.

Serious fucking business.
"Now our lives are changing fast, hope that something pure can last"

In a bit.

Repeated Offender


Yes, Comrades

So, I'm not scared to go out in the sun anymore. The moon though? Still not a fan. Yeah, I watched that recently. As I stood in the steamy restroom, I heard an Australian accent coming from another room, and it weren't the Pepsi bottle kid. It was Kangaroo Dundee talking about winching wee kangaroos. His license plate is ROORESQ, which cracks me up. Anyway, Nancy had another day off. Is that trouble I can smell brewing? I think so.

Oh! The Grammys! Macca managed to keep his dignity - first time for everything I guess. Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers, Stevie Wonder and Pharrell did good with Get Lucky, but I can't help but feel the performance was a bit...patchy? Under rehearsed maybe? Still, good stuff. I'd make some joke about rescuing the worthy ones then bombing the Staples Center, it would catch so many cunts, but I'm scared Tom Daley will throw another hissy fit and I'll get arrested. And that's all I have to say, about that.

I wrote this, Nancy picked Sheba up from work, we went to get my not-so-secret birthday surprise, then off to Tempe beach park for a change. It's not quite the same without the hustle and bustle of mad Arizonians with ice boxes getting soaked, but that was to be expected. There were more wasps than you could shake a stick at, if you so desired.

A final stop at Fry's was in order, I guess. I got myself lost in the car park for a short while, but somehow we made it home in the end. Some yardbird, as I've been poisoned into calling it, then we had ourselves our fun by winding up poor little Tatumn. Poor little nothing, whatever the female equivalent of Damien, spawn of the fucking devil is, that's her. Bless her.

We had to actually come up with something to do this day, so we wound up at another park. The football pitch looked white under the floodlights, I didn't realise people played on sand when off the beach, was quite a thing to see. Basketball courts filled with players, a haunted-looking American football field, a still lit baseball field, there was a real sense of...I dunno, ambition in the air, would never see anything like it back home. Ever.

We were in a certain house without a certain Sheba. As we sat peacefully, learning about crazy women who stalk and murder Burger King workers and battling it out on Brain Games, there was a knock on the side door. "Who is it?" No answer. A gunshot. Debbie answers the front door. We soon follow through. Not like that. It's Kendal. He's out of prison twenty days. He has a gun. His lips are white. He's clearly on something. He wants a taxi. Now. To be continued.

"Not one of my kind of people, though that's part of our lives"

In a bit.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Free My Name


Yes, Comrades

Once again, there was a little surprise on the couch for me. It was cheap, low quality and I suspect it was found roadside. That's right, Nancy got the day off again. I don't know what the shit's going on with her work, but what can you do? With a mild pain in my head thanks to being a rock star the night before, we settled down to watch Too Cute, a showcase of pug puppies and other things that make you go "Oh, look at that".

By about 3pm, we were all kittened out and headed in our usual direction. Right before this though, I was reintroduced to Brotha Lynch Hung. He spits bars about loving to cut pussies up with razorblades then fuck them since he was six. Cunt should be locked up. Now, apparently I've been to Metro Center before, but I don't remember. After picking Sheba up, that's the route we took, being forced to endure Toto's Hold The Line for about the fiftieth fucking time.

Wasn't a lot worth reporting at the place itself, even me companions would attest to that. I sampled a blue raspberry Airhead, which blew me away. When we realised just how little there was to enjoy, we stood outside, staring at the cinema, none of us willing to make a concrete decision on what to go see, if anything. Women, I'll tell you.

On the way out, we also debated what we were going to eat. Lolo's was closed, so no chicken and waffles with an ice cream scoop-sized of butter on top for us. Instead it was to the Hibachi grill nearby, which turned out to be more or less just a Chinese buffet. I decided tonight was the night - I would eat octopus and oyster. Octopus I didn't like so much, too chewy, but the oyster/mollusk thing was enjoyable. These marshmallows we had too, even our waitress had no idea what it was, even going so far as to guess it was a marshmallow and sour cream dessert. I mean, come on, look at your game, girl. Amazing food.

The rest of our night was generally uneventful. We weren't at home #3 for very long, we had an early bed ahead. The car ride home was just a blast - it consisted of me repeating "Pepsi bottle. A Coca Cola glass. I don't give a damn" and "No no the Canadian government has apologised for Bryan Adams on several occasions" over and over again. That was uneventful.

We watched our usual nonsense at home and it was an early bed indeed. Just to finish up, I don't think I've been called by my real name in weeks. It can be Allan, Leo, Scotty, Mona Lisa, it depends on the day. Just 'Guy' would do me fine.

I guess this is what a warm plate of shut the Hell up would look like.

"Tie my laces and chain me sound below"

In a bit.

Bohemian Rhapsody


Yes, Comrades

You know what I'm sick of? Everyone being my boyfriend and girlfriend. If it's not The Governor from The Walking Dead (though admittedly I just capitalised his name) it's Pan from Dragonball fucking GT, and if it's not her I'm shagging Anthony Hopkins, of course, when he's not available, Emily Browning's getting it. Christ, I wish. But aye, I'm not allowed to like anyone or they're my new partner, apparently. Poor Emily.

Irie Nancy was at work for all of thirty minutes today, business must be quiet. Wait. I already knew that when she told me they fly a remote control shark balloon around the office. We made the most of this golden opportunity by sitting around not really doing a bunch. Then became time to visit Snappy's, which sounded like a right giggle.

Snappy's, as it turned out, is a car wash, doo doo, doo doo. If I had a manager, this is where I'd say "I can't work with this". Oh, that reminds me. I made a joke before about doing stand up...I'm considering doing it for real, based on advice. Yes, that was a joke in itself. Or was it? Even I'm not sure this time, comrades.

Why do people visit libraries to sit on YouTube, what's the fucking point? Pisses me off. So we were there, that happened. At home, we spent a fair whack of time getting dolled up like we were going to meet Emily Browning or somet -- fuck!

Sooner than we knew, we'd been to Sheba's, then to Tree's cousin's, back to Sheba's and we were on our way to Westdale, a very, very American bar. It was Vern, Tree's mum's birthday and we were having a spiffing karaoke night to celebrate. All the old faces were there including California Guy, Tiffany, Sue, Jack Daniels, Santa Claus, the accent-loving couple. Sheba's dad Ed even came along, which is always good.

It was a slow start, but there was always someone singing and soon enough, it was my turn. They really didn't know what I got with my little Deuce Coupe. The beer flowed and Sue gave me a go on her Jack and honey, which is a beautiful thing. You can imagine where this lead, I'm sure. If anyone from there is reading this, I'm so sorry for what I did to Don't Dream It's Over, I should be on the sex offenders register for that. Turns out Ed, Sheba and Tree are all fantastic singers and entertainers. I dueted/ruined Hey Jude with Ed and we left.

And I'm amazed I even made it to bed last night.

"Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me"

In a bit.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Time Of The Season


Yes, Comrades

Having had one too many lager and shandies, it was a bit of a late rise on this day. We had no Alka Seltzer, so this poor soldier was forced to man it out. A bacon roll, a bottle of Lucozade and a spot of Soccer FM wouldn't have went unwelcomed either. That's a lie, my balls have still to drop innit.

With no real agenda or plan, we figured the best idea was to pick a mall at random and see if any shops had just materialised since last time. We ended up at Chandler Mall. The first thing that struck me as off with Barnes & Noble that I hadn't noticed before was that the kid's books had a gardening section bang smack in the middle of them. Slave labour is a hobby of mine, B & N, but keep it on the down low eh?

You could arse about with the dogs in the adoption centre, which also had a particularly diva-esque cat. Trouble was, there was an outing for the special needs group going on, which we felt we were kind of gatecrashing, so we left. We went to the classiest chocolate shop I've ever fucking seen, got a couple, visited Spencer's, Disney, other places, left.

With some time to kill, we were already in Chandler so we stopped by Zias, our old friend. I got Licensed To Ill for Mama Sheba (the reggae names seem to be finally catching on by the way) and since I'd mentioned to Nancy (that one, not so much) in passing that The Zombies' Odessey And Oracle might just be the best album ever, that became an early birthday present. She gave her sister Truck (if you've been paying attention, you can work her name out) a call, who said we should definitely chillax together. Halfway to her house and she bails. Bloody Truck.

After popping home, we were chauffeured to Denny's. This was very similar to Carrow's, except no surf and turf and it had a resident nutter sat near us, sipping his coffee and chatting away to himself, probably about how Uncle Dave stole his Cindys as a kid, and for that he must meet the great red dragon. I had me some Alaskan salmon soaked in garlic and herbs and just about decked it, it was that good.

To top off our night, as ever I'm not sure what we watched at #3, but I'm pretty sure it was Night At The Roxbury, which had a rather sensational ending. At home, it was Saving Silverman that got watched. I mean, it was ok, not my favourite so far. If you get a rainy day and there's nout but Jeremy Kyle on, go for it.

"Where'd you get this, the charity shop? Bleurgh!"


Still my all-time favourite.

"In this time, give it to me easy and let me try with pleasured hands"

In a bit.

Above The Clouds


Yes, Comrades

I smelled the company in the air, I'm like that witch from Hocus Pocus, except with company instead of children. X was in and he had brought a magical little box with him. Within minutes, Pandora's box was opened and all the evils of smart TV were unleashed upon us. Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Instant and even one actually called Pandora, where does one begin? By searching up old cartoons you can't see anymore and Goosebumps, of course.

Today was the day we would tackle that bleedin' hole in the rock the right way. We got 'lost as fuck' according to Google Maps, then a simple little road off the zoo route got us there. Rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks were all over the joint and in about five minutes we were up in the hole. The view was pretty stunning, you could see what seemed like all of Phoenix, all of Camelback, all of the smog, there in all its glory. The cool thing, though, was when other weary hikers came up and told us they could see us, then told us where from. Was fucking miles away.

After dropping Sheba off and having disappointingly few tales of battle royales with rattlesnakes and scorpions, I decided to do Lady Saw and myself the service of spreading the Sherlock virus. I'm pleased to report that the Nancy household can now be counted in the fanbase. That Netflix thing, I think it's time to stop being so luddite and get it. Note to self: get Akira watched.

We popped to Wal Mart with all its cheap as chimps alcohol and stupidly expensive Sherlock box sets, left with two cases of water and a case of Budweiser and headed to good old #3. The entertainment wasn't the uge (is it catching on yet?) basketball, it was this odd show featuring a lot of cheat sheets and words beginning with B called Step By Step. I retreated and hid in the world of the bubble game on my phone. The pressure is always on with that motherfucker, as Debbie clearly knew - "Leave him alone, he's trying to play his bubble game!" and that I was.

When we got back, ready to get Malibu'd and beered up, we stuck on The Expendables. I nearly had a testosterone overdose just watching that pantomime of manliness. Ol' Sylvester is alright in my book, la. Stone Cold too! You can't kill him, that just can't be done. Yabby Bassey, when I get home, we are watching Summerslam 2000 and you will like it, bitch. And that's the bottom line, cause, well, you know.

We finished up by making Nancy cry over John Lewis adverts. Seriously. I also got introduced to the pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-power of Terry Crews ads. That man is my new hero.

"It must be me that's rushing by, time just lingers on the wind"

In a bit.

Son Of A Gun


Yes, Comrades

Let's do things a bit differently today. It is a new year, after all, let's get rid of all this negativity. Away with the nasty cheap shots of yesterday, out with the anecdotes laced with vitriol, let's just think positive. Happy.

So I woke from the best sleep I ever had, which was exactly what I needed and just what I always wanted. It was a relatively quiet afternoon, as uge. That's my new word which I created and is mine, which I'm very proud of. Nancy got out thirty minutes early, nothing short of fabulous, that is.

We got back from pick-up to a warm plate of spaghetti and meatballs with French bread. I love the French, especially the way the girls look like they have Donkey Kong in a headlock, that's very on-turning. I think they should put wee white flags on their army knives. What? What'd I say? Smile, you cunt!

Arizona Mills, because one of you cleverly waited until now before telling me you'd like a crystal cactus, that's pretty gnarly. Through Gameworks, then to the gift store to get that cactus, then into the pet centre to look at the cuddly, delicious puppies. Kelly Clarkson was on the radio, which is so great because she's just so talented. She can do it all from smiling to singing to looking beautiful to...well, I'm sure she has a myriad of skills. The poor ickle puppies, we just wanted to take them all home! Hehehehe!

Seriously though. We checked out the blade shop. That Halo energy sword thing is still there, how about that? The guy on duty came up and guessed my nationality and got it more or less right. We chatted for a while, we saw some of the weaponry including the stunning Scorpion Hunter. This thing was nice, and I mean nice. They had lots of Batman masks and Zelda shields, if that's yer thing. I was surprised they didn't sell cans of actual pussy repellant. The guy was very polite and cool - he was even reading a book about the history of my glorious nation by Robert Lacey.

#3. Basketball was on, which is never a quiet affair. My penchant for pointing out catchphrases made for entertainment. "Son! Of a motherfucking gun, son". When we went home, Limitless got stuck on. Bradley Cooper's alright, but the film itself was phenomenal, the idea. I'd learn every language, seduce every attractive celebrity with an internet connection, become the best at every video game ever, invent light speed travel, name a planet after myself...

Please. Pretty please? Oh please! FUCKING PLEASE!

"If you want I'll sell you a life story"

In a bit.