Monday, 31 May 2010

Feels Like Heaven.......

Many thanks to the lovely Cat for giving me the idea of my next post as I was struggling a little bit. But it totally makes natural sense to write about Heaven soon after a post about death.

So here it is.

I am not a religious person by any stretch (cue mass gasps of surprise and the sound of millions of people hitting the floor in what can only be describe as catatonic shock). So the very notion of a heaven and a hell is an amusing one to me.

We silly little human beings are obsessed by ourselves, we really are. Our entire lives revolve around our own being as we feel we are the centre of each of our own universes and nothing in the world will ever change that. So the very idea that when we, the lords of all creation, die, well, that's it folks, shows over chums, turn off the lights, feed the cat for me when I’m gone, etc, etc. Well it totally freaks our minds out because it kinda confirms that we aren’t really that significant and the world will in fact keep on turning after we pop our clogs.

You mean to say that when I die in 60 odd years, that's it? That's not fair! I’m too important!!!! Surely there must be a way round this?

And there is my scared and worried little friend. There is a way in which we can prolong your magnificence and make you feel as if there is an actual point to the massive accident that was all of your atoms colliding and forming the slightly odd looking humanoid with the vacant look plastered all over its stupid face. We will invent religion, and in turn, heaven and hell, and make you believe that your wondrous existence will carry on for the rest of all eternity if it means that we can control you all by brainwashing you into believing in this new thing called “religion.” 

Sounds interesting, I’m listening. What do I have to do?

It’s simple my friendly, all you have to do is follow this list of rules, easy things like don’t make sexy eyes at your neighbours wife, even if she is a hottie, don’t steal…….cows and stuff, don’t suddenly find another God, even if he is offering a free X-Box if you join up, don’t kill anyone, no matter how annoying they are, and there is some other stuff that I will throw in later, but you get the general picture, right? Do all this and we will make it worth your time, you will get in to-quickly Barry, crank up the celestial angels CD-heaven. Fail to do this and you will end up in-Barry, the Mariah Carey CD!-hell. And you don’t want that to happen.

And if I do all this I go to Heaven? What will happen after I die then? Do I become a star in the sky or something? Is that heaven?

What? No. That would be ridiculous. No you will go upstairs into a magical land of unicorns and free ice cream.


Possibly, I’m kinda making this up as I go along. There are a few things that need ironing out but it’s gonna be really good. Seriously, well worth the hundreds of years of slaughter and general heartache that is going to come once your tiny little pea brains fully grasp what crap we are spoon feeding you.

Unicorns? I’m in! What's a unicorn?

It’s a mythical made up being very much like our new God-SNIP! (Better stop there before I get some fundamental Christians hunting me down via my IP address).

So, that's my view on religion and heaven. I thought I would water it down a little. Wouldn’t want to be controversial or anything.

But a part of me does like this idea in a really perverse way though. It’s a bit like an exasperated mother dangling the promise of sweeties to her screaming child as it screams its head off in the local supermarket. Please be good and you will get this yummy treat. I mean, who wouldn't want to live a better life if it meant our shining stars could burn that little bit brighter for that little bit longer. Shame that we have to be tricked in to doing it, it’s not like any of us might actually want to live a good life off our own backs, is it?

The whole idea of the clouds and the harp playing and the general smugness of heaven does kind of depress me a little. The traditional notion of the celestial plane being like an Ikea catalogue, with everyone sitting around in white rooms just laughing their tits off at all the heathens in hell below, just sounds like a dinner party that I really would want to try and avoid.

Here my alternatives:

The “Gemma Arterton” Heaven.
Quite simple this. When I die, every single cloud up in heaven will have Gemma Arterton sitting on it, each one representing the things that I would like to do.
(On one cloud)
Gemma: Hi Dan, I can’t decide what underwear to put on today, can you help?
Me: I can spare a few moments.
(On another cloud)
Gemma: Hi Dan, would you like to play some Call Of Duty?
Me: Do I!
(On another)
Gemma- Hi Dan, would you like to watch me and all the other Gemma’s have a pillow fight?
Me: Yes, yes I would actually.

The “Do What You Want Heaven”
Human existence is one of guilt. Every single day we are told not to do this, not to do that, don't eat this, don't drink that, and don’t smoke this, basically because everything that is pleasurable in this world is in fact bad for you. So wouldn’t it be nice if heaven took away all of these boundaries and you could just live the way you wanted too? As long as you weren’t hurting anyone else what is the problem in shooting up heroin whilst face first in a six foot pizza while a midget shoves vibrating dildos up your bumhole? (This is, of course, just an example, not my own personal heaven. Ahem).

The “Be Surrounded By Everyone You Love” Heaven
This would actually be mine.

And what about hell?

The “Relive Every Single Fucking Mistake You Have Ever Made Until You Are Trapped Within Your Own Personal Hell” Hell
Every single fuck up, embarrassing faux pas and humiliating thing you have done in your life, played out over and over again for the rest of eternity in front of a laughing and pointing crowd until the only option is to flay your own face off so no one will recognise you and your shame, but this being hell, it always grows back the very next day. Try that one on for size, huh?

The “When You Die You Come Back As Me” Hell.
Terrifying, isn’t it? It’s enough to make anyone want to live a pure and simple life. WELL I’M STILL STUCK IN ME!!!!!!

The “Hell On Earth” Hell
There is a popular theory that none of us actually exist at all and that we are in fact just a conscious stream of thought made up by some cosmic being, and in fact we could all be actively living out some alternative version of hell right here in this very little world. It kind of makes sense considering everything that goes on outside of our windows every day. I have often thought, when confronted by the brain dead mouth breathers that often stand before me with barely enough brain power to motor their own life support systems (i.e. breathing), that I must have done something incredibly evil in a past lifetime to warrant being surrounded by the folk that I am lucky enough to call “my fellow humans.” It’s obvious to me now, people aren’t really people, they are in fact demons in human form, I am in hell, and this is my eternal torment.

Let us pray.

Saturday, 15 May 2010


Hello to you all! On this bright and beautiful day I thought that I’d gather you all round and have a little chin wag about death.

Before I start, please don’t panic and think you have suddenly stumbled in to some sort of Emo blog where I will wittering on about the latest angst filled band who sing songs that are, like, totally written about me (and I if I had to listen to that shit on a daily basis, well, it’s no wonder they all end up cutting themselves. I’d have topped myself long before the first chord began playing), or worry that I will spend this entire blog moaning about how no one gets me or understands me because I'm soooooo deep (but seriously, they don’t. And it really bums me out man).

Nope, not gonna do any of that. But I am going to talk about death because it is a bit of a taboo subject. No one likes to talk about their own mortality and yet it’s something that we just can’t really avoid. You’re going to die. That's right, you, reading this right now, you’re going to die. And that person over there, they are going to die as well. All of you, you’re going to die. Even me (and seriously, can you believe it? Me? What a pisser!).

Most of the time we go through life blissfully unaware of our own mortality until it suddenly hits us right in the centre of our mindscapes and blows out our gaskets. Normally this happens about three in the morning when you suddenly sit bolt upright in bed and shout “Holy fuck, I’m going to die one day!” and then hide under the bedcovers whimpering.

As the months get pulled from the pages of our life calendars and the years start rushing by faster than you can hold on to them, you start having a nasty thought running round your head: Need to do more stuff and make it count. So you end up bungee jumping from bridges, leaping out of planes strapped to a stranger called Steve with a fake look of fun smeared all over your screaming facehole, or just simply start getting parts of your body pierced that really shouldn’t be. You start to cram in all this living in to whatever time you think you have left because you feel you have too. Everything must be done right this minute, otherwise you will just end up hurtling towards your own demise and the only thing that you would have really acheived with your life was assembling an Ikea Runtra coffee table.

All that new found life living sloshing round in your life like piss in a bedpan seriously sounds like hard work to be honest. Rock climbing, scuba diving, watching the sunrise in Kenya, nipple piercings, I mean, what's wrong with having a nice cup of tea on your sofa? And if you really want to live on the edge, crack open the McVites chocolate digestive biscuits every now and then, you only live once, right?

How I Would Like To Go Out.

1) Heroic.
Picture the scene. A burning building with a huge crowd outside. A woman screaming that her kid is still inside. Suddenly I stumble out, kid in one arm, Mr Fluffy the kitten in the other. And as I pause heroically with the flaming building burning behind me in a cinematic way, and the kid saying “Oh my god, you rescued me, you are like, such a hero!”, I collapse on the floor dead.  

Cue all the men in the crowd to shake their heads wistfully and mutter “What a guy” whilst fighting back manly tears. Half the women in the crowd fall to their knees in agony and wonder why there wasn’t time to sex me up, and the other half get so turned on by the thought of sexing me up that they start to lesbian up on each other.

So in amidst this maelstrom of suppressed male emotion, free flowing female emotion, and quite frankly, pretty graphic lesbian porn, you would have my crumpled body laid out heroically on the ground with my hands on my hips and a small smile on my lips and Mr Fluffy meowing sorrowfully to the heavens.

Now that my friends is the way to go.   

2) Old Age And In My Sleep.
The way we all want to go. I would shuffle across my warm and cosy bedroom, surrounded by my memories and things, to climb in to my huge comfortable bed for my final sleep. Maybe I would even take a moment to ponder and think: I’ve had a good life. And then I would close my eyes for the final time and sleep forever.

That's my ideal way to shuffle off this mortal coil and what I am aiming to do. Though I would have to make sure I had someone to check in on me every morning otherwise I might not be found for six months and then I would just be a skeleton wearing a nightcap, and that would look ridiculous.

3) Death Bed Scene.

Tradition dictates that on your death bed you have to do something profound. Those that know me well and read this blog realise that I can’t really do profound. I can however do childish and immature, so if I ever end up in this situation, that's how I’m going to play it out.

So as all my loved ones gather round for my final words, I might just say something to mess with their heads: I just want to state for the record that you’re all bastards, or if I disliked the woman that my son married, I would point a shaky finger at her and say: I know about the poison and then snuff it as the rest of my family look at her with evil eyes.

What? They would all laugh about it in the end. Oh Dad, he was such a kidder……

Ways In Which I Wouldn’t Like To Go Out.

1) Hit By A Bus.
When you die you shit yourself. Doesn’t matter what way you leave this world, its a given fact that at some point you will soil your undercrackers. So in the morning when you are running for the number 62 bus and end up getting run over by it, that attractive redhead that you make sexy face at every morning as you sit opposite her, she will see your pathetic body lying on the ground, most probably with pants filled with poo.

That really how you want to be remembered?

2) To Be That Man Who Dies In The Incredibly Stupid Way.
You know the one? You read a report in the paper about someone dying and one half of your brain thinks: Oh no, that's terrible, while the other half goes: What a moron.

Normally it’s a question of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A local man was killed today when was caught between a collision between a lorry carrying oats and a milk tanker. He died under two tonnes of porridge.

Or you could be the idiot who breaks into the lion enclosure at London Zoo, walking over to the pride with arms open wide and saying “I want to hug the pussy cats.” 

No dignity in that. No dignity at all.

I myself had the 3am wakeup call many years ago. It suddenly hit me that I was going to die one day and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. Freaked me out if I'm honest. So I made a vow to myself to grab life with both hands, shake it around a little, and then maybe even give it a little affectionate pinch on the cheek.

My philosophy now is to live life to the full, to maximise every opportunity, carpe diem. In fact I am so pumped up right now just writing about it that I want to storm something with my shirt off.

I am of course lying. 

Chocolate biscuit anyone?

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Here Comes The Fear......

I am a manly man. Hairy, virile and so testosterone filled that I can make things explode just by looking at them with one arched eyebrow. 

But even this perfect specimen of human evolution has phobias and fears. It doesn't make me any less of a man, more like when those sculptors in those olden times used to knick the plaster of their creations because they couldn’t handle all that perfection staring them back in the face. The flaws made them better in their eyes and that's more or less the same with me.

That's what I tell myself anyway.

Here are my fears.

1) Clowns.

This all stemmed from walking through Covent Garden at the age of about six with my parents. Now in Covent Garden you always get street performers doing their, frankly shit, act whilst being surrounded by crowds of tourists at any given opportunity. On this particular time there happened to be a creepy looking clown juggling. So of course, the moment he saw me wandering by, he had to pull me out of the crowd and make me part of his act, the absolute bastard.

So what did he make me do?

He made me dance for the crowd.

That's right, the creepy clown made me dance on the spot for the baying masses. I don’t know what exactly I was dancing too, but dancing away I was. This was my first taste of abject humiliation and has kind of mapped out my entire life since then. Even now I have reoccurring dreams of lots of people clapping their hands and urging me to dance faster and it all stems from that fucking clown. Or I might have got it mixed up in my head from the time I got drunk at Spearmint Rhino strip club and ended up half naked on stage gyrating to Aerosmith's Love In An Elevator.

Either way, clowns freak me out.  

2) Spiders.

Spiders are bastards. There is no clearer way of putting this. The little ones are okay, I can handle them. Some are even quite cute in a spindly “Oh my god I must get away from this giant human” kinda way.

But the big tossers, those with fangs, a million eyes, and long legs that are made for wrapping round your head while you sleep so it can plant its eggs in your brain, I hate them.

I used to love spiders as a kid. I would collect them and make homes for them in shoeboxes. I had a house spider called Dave for about seven months. He was my friend. I made him the coolest condo ever. It had a bottle cap filled with water for when he wanted a drink, a little compartment where he would live, and the rest of his box for his web, which he filled in about three days.

Dave was brilliant.

The he escaped and I never saw him again.

I won’t lie to you. I was very cut up.

But I don’t think my fear of spiders has come from some sort of arachnid abandonment issues. I mean, it’s not like I go into dank garages, peering into dark corners whispering “Dave?”. No, the fear just seemed to spring up overnight. Suddenly spiders freaked me out. I would get the shivers and shakes every time I saw one in real life or on the TV.

Last year I was in Florida, wandering around the Animal Kingdom at Disney, when I saw a nice looking lady with a Perspex box standing idly by and it pricked my curiosity.

“Hello, “ I said, wandering over. “What do you hav- JESUS CHRIST?”  

i suddenly found myself pulling a ninja stance in front of the startled lady due to the fact that she had the biggest fucking tarantula ever sitting in the box that was staring evilly back at me.

“Its….it’s a Goliath tarantula.” she stammered back, more afraid of me than the fact that she had the Devils very own pet in her hands.

“You should warn people what's in there before they come over,” I replied crossly. “Standing there all innocently with a box. Bad woman. BAD WOMAN!”

And still pointing at her, I walked away.

I don’t like spiders.

3) Flying.

The middle bit I am okay with. It’s taking off and landing that do my head in. It’s just not natural. During these moments you can find me whispering to God “Please big man, just make it take off. Just get it in the air safely.” Then I realise that I don’t believe in God and feel a tad foolish as I have just been whispering to a make believe person when I could have been grabbing the person next to me by the lapels and screamed in their face “HUMANS AREN’T MEANT TO FLY!! WE ARE GOING DOWN!!!!!!”  

My one biggest fear is that during the take off, fuelled by adrenaline and fear, I force my way into the cockpit to find a six foot brown recluse spider flying the plane with a pilots hat perched jauntily on its head.

Now that would probably finish me off, truth be told.

4) Claustrophobia and Vertigo.

So that tiny little elevator that takes you all the way to the top of the Eifel Tower? Well, that was like my own personal nightmare and the water was very, very warm. Going up it I almost chewed my way through the walls of my metal prison in fear. By the time we got to the top, I really wasn’t in the mood to see the whole of Paris spread out magnificently below me.

“Ah mate, it looks great, doesn’t it?” my friend Mark said, looking around for me. “Dan? DAN?”

“Yep, its brilliant mate,” I replied from the floor where I was spread-eagled, hugging the metal with my cheek pressed firmly into its cool surface. “Can we go down now?”

I can laugh about it now.

Actually I can’t.

It was fucking horrible.

5) Tidal Waves.

Huge mile high bodies of water, towering over you with no escape.

Are you telling me you wouldn’t be scared of that?

6) Chickens.

We used to visit some friends in Lincolnshire that used to live on a farm. One time (I think I was about nine) I went to feed their chickens in their coop. No lie there must have had about 50 chickens, all running freely in their chicken like way. I went in with a bucket of feed and began to chuck it around like I had been shown.

Chicken frenzy.

Now I don’t know if you have ever been ganged up on by 50 chickens, but at the age of nine, it’s terrifying. They knew I had food. They knew I was venerable. Chickens can sense fear. They began pecking at my ankles, getting in my face and clucking. I panicked and just threw the feed up in the air.

Bad mistake.


The coop exploded in a mass of feathers, clucks, and one screaming boy.

I staggered out of the coop covered in bird shit, feathers and with tiny pin pricks of blood all over my body from their beaks.

Did I mention that my favourite food is chicken?

Yeah, peck me now bitch.

I will stop there with my fears, there are many more, like my fear of older women with gold handbags and matching shoes, sideburns, tuna, ABBA, and the colour beige, but to list all of them would surely make me seem like the world’s biggest wimp.

And I’m definitely not that.