Monday, 25 October 2010
This list is in no way a reflection on my masculinity, and I remain the testosterone filled slab of man meat that all you all know and quietly admire.
Scorpions, like their cousins, the spider, are absolute bastards. Quite a bold statement, I must admit, but look at them. Armour plated, huge pincers waving around at the front of them, bastards, and behind them, a massive arse stinger filled with death, just to complete the whole “Spindly death machine” package.
My fear of scorpions started, as most fears do, from a very early age. I was about seven and watching one of David Attenborough’s amazing wildlife documentaries. If memory serves me correct, it was about when animals invade your home. So you had cameras following spiders, ants, and other assorted nasties mooching around a re-enactment of somebody’s house.
And then they focused on the scorpion.
I have to admit, it wasn’t as scary looking as the ones that I had seen before. It was a tiny little one, all orange coloured but still with a whopping great stinger at the back. The camera followed it as it trundled along someone’s bedroom floor (the whole show had actors moving around the beasties, putting mugs on top of them, and reaching in cupboards with fingertips brushing over cockroaches as they reached for the jam) and then the little shit decided to crawl into a ladies slipper.
This didn’t look good.
And then the lady, who was lying on her bed, then decided to put her slipper on.
You saw her wince in pain, pull her foot out, and then collapse on her bed convulsing.
This was on at seven in the evening while I was eating my dinner. I sat there opened mouthed with a fork full of macaroni cheese wobbling in front of it.
My tiny little mind was now warped beyond repair.
From that moment on, shoes were turned from safe, comfortable things that you wear on the end of your feet, to dark caves of death that were filled with evil bastard creatures, whom that the moment my vulnerable toes went anywhere near, they would sting like mo fo's, causing my head to swell up and I’d actually start shitting out of my ears.
I haven’t worn shoes ever since. I have tried to put it down to my free love, 60’s hippy sensibility. But in reality it’s because I know that there are scorpions living in them.
I have suffered from bad dreams since I was about 16. Now these nightmares aren’t your everyday (or night) terrors, but full blown epic horror spectaculars, complete with state of the art special effects and a plot straight out of a David Lynch film.
Now my mind is not a safe place to be during the day when I am in charge of it, when left alone at night, and with me not being in full control, it then decides to start really messing with me. I have been known to have surreal images of pure terror that wouldn’t be out of place out of one of Dante’s paintings.
And yet if told back in the warm light of day, they don’t sound that scary.
Take this one.
Now this is the scariest dream I have ever had. I was living back at my old house, which had a staircase that curved all the way down to my hallway. In my dream I was slowly creeping down it in the pitch blackness, the only light provided was some strobe lighting that was coming from something in my living room. As I crept down the stairs, I could see that my front door was open. I couldn’t see outside, as the door opened inwards, so all I could see was the back of it. As I got near the door, I knew that I didn’t want to look in the doorway.
Whatever was there was quite possibly the scariest thing I could ever imagine. It was just a presence, something evil. As I got nearer and nearer I just didn’t want to look round the door and see what was causing this feeling of terror, but I couldn’t stop myself from doing so. When I got to the door, I put my head round it to look outside, and was immediately blasted with a gale force wind and something screaming.
I don’t know what this dream means, but I’m pretty sure that it’s something to do with the fact that I might have a few issues.
These night terrors have been so bad that I have been known to wake up screaming sometimes, which always makes it a bit awkward if I ever had anyone round.
“I’m just off to bed now. There’s a chance I might wake up screaming at four in the morning. Night!”
This is probably the reason why I was probably never allowed sleepovers when I was a kid.
3) Nutter (A cat)
When I lived at my old house, for about three months I was attacked by a killer cat. Now I love all animals, but I could have quite happily toe punted this little fucker in front of an articulated lorry.
It started one winters evening, I was walking home one night after a long day at work, when I saw a raggedy looking cat sitting on a wall. Being the soft, animal loving bastard that I am, I did what I normally do whenever I see a cat; I leant over to stroke it. The cat ignored my outstretched hand and immediately leapt for my face, trying to claw out my eyes.
“OW! What the hell!” I cried, batting the cat away.
It landed on the floor, turned, and then hissed at me, and then swaggered off like an original gangsta, while I could only watch it saunter off with thin trickles of blood running down my face.
Every night for three months, this little tosser waited for me. He would hide in bushes, behind walls, under cars, and the moment he saw me, he would attack me. Now I know you think that a cat isn’t really a match for a grown man, but this wasn’t a normal cat. He had developed the taste for human blood. He was a killer. When he attacked, he would leap out, climb up my legs, and then try and claw at my vulnerable bits, which included eyes, cheeks, hands and genitals. There was never any provocation from my side, I never touched him, talked to him, and I eventually would end up avoiding eye contact with him when I saw his luminous eyes glaring at me from whatever attack point he had positioned himself on.
I used to take a different route, change over what side of the road I walked home on, but he soon wised up. I think he could smell fear. He always knew where I was.
My lowest point was actually running down the street with him chasing after me. Yes, that’s right. A man in his late 20’s was being chased down the road by a cat.
Form a queue ladies. Form a queue.
I don’t know what happened to Nutter (for this is what I christened him in the end). I sometimes think that he has followed me to my new home and is out there somewhere. Watching. Waiting.
4) Superman 3
This one scene from Superman 3 messed with my head for years afterwards. If I ever saw it on TV and knew it was coming to this bit, I would always make an excuse and go to the kitchen to make a drink.
You have to admit, for a kid’s film, it is pretty fucked up.
And that another small collection of things that I am a big girlie man about. Be curious to hear some of your fears. Drop ‘em in my comment box and let’s have a look. I bet they are not as screwed up as mine.
Happy Halloween my chumlets!
Saturday, 16 October 2010
We human beanz are ridiculous creations. All we are is just a collection of neurosis and strange habits, all piled up on each other and topped by hair. All of us have these weird things that we do every day, tiny little routines and motions that define us and prove just how crazy we all are.
Here is my list of crazy.
The “Shower Hand” Crazy
When I wake up every morning and stumble to my bathroom half asleep, I have a little test that is the barometer to how my day is going to turn out. As I stand in my freezing cold bathroom, all crazy hair and grumpiness due to another day in my own skin, I reach into my shower area and turn it on. Now my shower comes on like a fire hose, so I have to be quick to get my hand out of the way, otherwise it gets a blast of icy cold water, which first thing in the morning actually makes you want to stab someone.
So the test?
Hand gets wet= I’m going to have a bad day.
Hand doesn’t get wet= My day is going to rock.
Yeah, I’m weird.
The “Toilet Roll Is Comforting” Crazy
There is one thing in my life that pleases me and makes me feel safe no matter what, and that’s having plenty of toilet roll stocked in my apartment. You can forget food, heat, and all the other comforts that life holds, seeing those stacks of white poo roll nestled snugly beside my toilet makes me feel like everything is going to be alright.
Basically Armageddon could occur, but as long as I have something to wipe my arse with then I can face anything.
The “Pepsi Max” Crazy
Pepsi Max is my crack. I’m addicted to it. Every shopping trip I take I have to pick some up. My fridge is constantly packed with as many cans as I can fit in it (cans, never bottles, they lose their fizz once opened). My bins rattle with my empties. If I have run out I start jonesing big time and start mugging old ladies to get the cash to feed my habit.
Pepsi Max- Don’t do it kids.
The “Shopping Nazi” Crazy
Don’t go shopping with me. I’m a horrible human being when I’m food shopping. We are not here to have fun, talk, or muck around. We are here to shop, and if we miss anything, well, then the world will end. That’s right; we will all fall screaming into the abyss because you thought it would be funny to start juggling aubergines in the fruit section.
Kill the laughter. Stop the joy. There will be none of that shit on my watch.
The “I Have All Day To Do Stuff, But Then Decide To Do It All Just Before Bed” Crazy
When I get in from work I have around four and a half hours to do everything that I need to do before its beddy byes time. So why do I find myself running around doing it all just before its time to hit the sack? What do I do for the other four hours? Does time vanish? Do I fall into a black hole? The twenty minutes that I plan on surfing the internet stretches out into an hour and a half. That quick bath I want to take is now an hour (Lavender oils and vanilla candles just relax me, okay?). A reading session that I have on my sofa takes me through most of the night. So right before bed time, I am buzzing around like a fly with the shits trying to get everything done.
The “I can’t Handle Mess” Crazy
Everything has to be neat around me. I can’t just veg out if my flat is a mess. I could be sitting comfortably on my sofa, watching something on the TV, and from the kitchen I will hear my dishes speaking, “Daaaaaan, we are just stacked here, all dirty like. Look at us Dan, we’re disgusting. Clean us,” and will have to get up and load the dishwasher. I will then notice that the floor needs a hoover. And the skirting boards are looking a bit dusty as well, now you mention it. Actually, so does the TV. And before you know it, it is midnight and I’m standing there, all dirty and dusty but with an incredibly clean flat. And then I realise that I am dirty as well, so I need to have a shower. Then I see that have just made the bathroom unclean, so I have to clean that as well. Then I have a nervous breakdown and get collected by the social services, and when they come to take me away, I am trying to wash their dirty faces with a sponge, muttering to myself, “Filthy creatures.”
The “I Have To Pet Every Dog I See” Crazy
It’s been established that I like animals, especially dogs. So every time that I see one, I have to make friends with it, no matter what the breed, size, or temperament of the animal. So you will see me going up to Dobermans and Rottweiler’s with my arms wide open and a big dopey grin plastered on my stupid face, just wanting to be best buddies with the growling monster in front of me.
“Oh look, he’s so cute.”
“Oh look, he’s bitten my limbs off and is drinking my blood. How adorable!”
“Can somebody please get my leg off him?”
The “I’m Not Expecting You So I’m Not Answering The Door” Crazy
I know what I’m doing every minute of every day. I plan things to the letter. So if I hear my intercom buzz to say that there is someone at my door and I’m not expecting you, well, that door is not going to be opened. Don’t surprise visit me, you ain’t getting in without a prior arrangement. And if I’m not expecting you, chances are it won’t be anything good anyway and I probably owe you money, so you definitely ain’t getting in bud.
The “I Get Tourettes And Swear At You If You Get In My Way” Crazy
People annoy me on a level that is sometimes quite dangerous. And one of the ways in which they annoy me is those folk who walk around this earth with seemingly no idea of where they are going. Those brain dead zombies that just stumble around with blank expressions on their faces like they have never been outside before and just dawdle along, gazing with dumb wonderment at all the pretty lights and fast moving cars.
I always know where I am going. That’s because I am an anal OCD mentalist and have everything planned (see above). I never just walk along and “see what happens,” so those idiots that do and get in my way, well, be prepared to be sworn at under my breath. But the problem is that I am a bit deaf and have no idea of the volume of my voice, so that muttered insult actually might as well have been me coming up to you, grabbing you by the shoulders and saying directly into your startled face “Move out of my way, numbnuts before I chuck you under this ice cream van.”
For this I am sorry (I’m not. I hate you)
This is only a small collection of my oddness; I could give you much more. But to be honest, reading all of this back, it seems to me that maybe everyone else is fine and it is me that is slowly losing my grip on reality. But that’s fine, I can handle it.
I’m now off to polish something.
Sunday, 10 October 2010
Every year I get sucked into a netherworld, a vacuous void where all life is distilled into various levels of human liquid shit, each one more noxious and vile than the other. This normally happens around the June/July mark and finishes just before Christmas.
I am of course talking about the return of the TV show, The X Factor.
It’s like some form of unholy prison sentence that I have to serve at the end of each year. In retrospect, I would actually probably prefer to do physical time, being vigorously bummed up the arse by a tattooed skinhead (as long as he held me afterwards) than sit through this festering pile of bat droppings that sums up everything that is wrong about human civilisation in these worrying times.
As I have many non Uk readers, I will sum up what the show is about, so we are all up to speed. Simon Cowell picks 16 mentally unstable people with delusions of fame, gets them to perform in front of a baying crowd like those performing bears in Russia, and then periodicity dispatches them one by one whilst rubbing great fistfuls of cash all over his leathery genitals.
This year I have avoided all the build up, the selection process, and most importantly, the horrendous faux tear inducing back stories that make me want to flay off my own face so I can actually feel something that resembles a form of human emotion, all in the aim of hoping to avoid all aspects of this blight on the form of human culture.
Sadly Kates wasn’t having any of it.
“I’m so excited the X Factor starts tonight,” she told me when she came round yesterday. “Do you mind if we watch it?”
Of course, me naturally being the kind and sacrificing kind of boyfriend that I am, I immediately relented.
“Of course we can my darling; you know I would do anything for you. More canopies?”
“You know I don’t like Wotsits. A whole two and a half hours of The X Factor, how exciting!”
“Two and a half fucking hours? Are you kidding me?? That’s almost as long as Titanic but without the funny bits with the people falling off and hitting the propellers at the end.”
She gave me a look that made me knew I wasn’t going to win.
“Brilliant,” I replied, putting on a fake smile. “I honestly, literally, can’t wait. This is going to be so good. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
The minutes to when it started counted down like the timer on a nuclear device, and in many ways, the complete and utter oblivion that a 16 megaton nuclear blast would have provided was in some ways more preferable to the hell that was coming.
I didn’t even know the line-up of the constants this year, but as the show started in a blaze of pyrotechnics and flashing lights that subliminally spelt out: give us all your money, they flashed across my screen in a parade of head turns and hair spray. And like Pavlov’s Dogs, I was conditioned to bark out every time one appeared.
Skinny hip hop girl.
Perma tanned duo.
Androgynous weird bloke.
This year they the show was going for the subtle, less is more approach. So with “O Fortuna” screaming out with almost ear splitting volume, and the stage suddenly exploding like the birth of a new solar system through 4 bazillion lights, all over the nation, hundreds of kids suddenly pitched to the floor in epileptic shock, legs twitching and faces dribbling like they had just stared into the face of God.
Less is more, remember?
And then the entertainment started.
To be honest, I think I blacked out after the 25 minute mark. If I try and think back to last night, it just remains a swirl of colours, screeching and bongos. Yes, bongos. That does stick in my head for some reason.
I know there was a boy band that looked terminally ill. I know there was a skinny hip hop girl who apparently has a habit of making her own rap sections in the middle of songs (I also know I released a stream of expletives at this point that flew across the room and hit my TV like warm dog shit). I know that the aforementioned camp duo was racing around inside my TV in a blur of day-glo colours that actually seared my retinas. I know there was an awful girl dressed up like a space whore whilst wearing 12 multicoloured sun visors on her head.
But getting back to the bongos.
The one overriding image that I still can’t shake is of the hairy bloke with the prono tash standing on a podium, banging away on a set of bongos screaming “SHE BANGS! SHE BANGS!” while explosions roared beside him and half naked dancers groped and rubbed their breasts. I think if you were going to run a holiday advert for one of Dante’s seventh levels of hell, then this is surely the image that you want running on a continuous loop. I was expecting a pair of horns to burst out of hairy porno tash guys head, and for him to lean back and cackle manically whilst stamping cloven hoofs.
Eventually the two and a half hours was over and I emerged from it shaking and teary eyed. Even Kates looked a bit stunned, like she had just witnessed a bad traffic accident. We both looked like we had just come back from a tour of ‘Nam.
“Same time next week?” I asked meekly.
“I need an aspirin,” she replied, holding her forehead. “Or vodka. Do you have any vodka?”
I keep thinking to how long it is until Christmas and my sentence will be up.
Man’s got a choice.
Either get busy living, or get busy dying.
Friday, 1 October 2010
I’m not very well at the moment (sad face).
It’s common knowledge that men, on a whole, don’t handle illness very well. It’s some kind of genetic makeup that we have which prevents us from just sucking it up and carrying on with our day like you ladies do. Instead we men flop around like fish that have just been yanked out of a lake, loudly proclaiming to anyone in earshot about how shit we feel and how this is no normal illness, but a serious one.
Big girlie men.
Of which I now find myself joining the club.
I started feeling rough at work on Thursday.
“I think I’m coming down with something,” I told my friend Elise, who I share my desk pod with.
“Oh, that’s not good,” she replied absentmindedly from the mound of paperwork that always seems to surround her like an administration Himalayas.
“Do you have any vitamins or aspirin?”
“No, sorry,” she replied as my weak, pathetic ill voice distracted her once more from her work.
“That’s ok, “I told her, vowing to just suffer in silence. But of course, it didn’t last.
“I don’t feel very well,” I would continuously tell anyone who wandered past my desk.
The lack of sympathy I got was heart warming.
When I got home, I was soaking wet from the rain, shivering, and starting to get a sore throat. This didn’t bode well at all.
I gave myself an early night in the hope that when I woke up, I would feel a whole lot better. But when my alarm went off in the morning, I awoke to find my throat on fire, my lungs clogged with nasty shit, and my body alternating between hot and cold.
I could see me not making it in today.
So I now had to do the thing that I hate most in the world, phoning in sick. I always get incredibly paranoid about doing this because I always imagine the manager at the end of the phone just shaking their heads and not believing the fact that I wasn’t very well, when in truth, there was a strong possibility that I was going to die. That’s right, die. Because this naturally wasn’t just any kind of illness I was feeling, but a life threatening serious one.
I always try and prepare myself when I have to phone in sick. No matter how shit I feel, I don’t want to sound too ill, because then I always worry that it sounds too false, like the fake ill voice that you used to put on to get out of school. But if you go too far the other way, you might not sound ill enough, and just sound like you couldn’t be arsed to go in to work. So with this dilemma weighing heavily on you, it causes your flu ravaged body to start feeling even more shit, until that worrying thought that you actually might die suddenly starts looking like it might be a grim reality and you have nobody to moan to about it.
When I rang my manager yesterday though, I got her voicemail. I didn’t know if this was a good or bad thing. I left my message saying that I wouldn’t be in, hopefully sounding as genuinely ill as I felt, and resisting the urge to ask her pass on my goodbyes to my work colleagues as it didn’t look like I was going to make it through this one and could she share out my stationary with them all.
With work informed, I now lay in my bed, making sight moaning noises and proclaiming to the empty flat, “Urrrrgh, I feel ill.” Somehow this felt as if I was justifying everything to myself.
I now had to tell Kates, so I sent her a text.
ME: Feel rough. Not gone in today.
KATES: Go out, stock up on soup, medicine, and sausage rolls.
I have no idea why she wanted me to stock up on sausage rolls. Perhaps it was an age old tradition of her family? As soon as someone gets ill, you crack out the flu capsules and pastry covered sausage meat.
Kates has been with me long enough to know that when I get ill, the best thing to do is leave me alone. When we first got together, if I ever got sick, her first natural reaction was to look after me, mainly because she loves me and because I also live on my own as well. She now knows that if I get sick to just to let me get on with it. This is for two reasons. The first is because I loath to take help from anyone, even my girlfriend. If it sounds ridiculous, well, that’s probably because it is. It’s not even stupid male pride; I just never accept help from anyone unless it’s a dire emergency. I don’t know why I’m like it; I just can’t bring myself to do it. I think maybe it’s an offshoot of having to fend for myself from such a young age. I did all that by myself and now I will never take help from no one. It drives her batshit and I totally understand why. Maybe I will change, or maybe I will always be this annoying?
The second reason is a little bit more understandable, I turn into a grumpy sod when ill. Now normally I am not the sunniest of individuals, but man, when I’m ill, I hate everything. So it’s probably a good thing that I’m probably left alone, otherwise I could end up getting a force fed an overdose of lemsip.
I dozed off in my bed for a bit before being rudely awoken by the sudden sneezing fit that overtook me. I don’t know if any of you have sneezed in your sleep, but it’s disgusting, it goes everywhere. My bed sheets, clothes, and one rather startled cat, were covered in it. I had turned into a 360 degree mucus machine.
“Oh, God, “I moaned, strings of it covering me so I resembled something from the set of Alien. “What’s happening to me?”
After removing myself from my cocoon, I gathered up my bed stuff and stuck it in the washing machine. My cat was winding her way round my legs, the fur on the top of her head stuck up in a crazy Mohican style from the huge wad of mucus I had fired at her.
“Sorry Dotty,” I told her, wiping it off with a wet tissue. She just glared back at me.
So I now had the whole day ahead of me, but to be honest, all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball somewhere and make an occasional “Meh” noise.
So I did.
And that’s what I’ve been doing since. I still feel like shit. This could possibly be my last blog post, because I’m pretty sure that what I am suffering from is actually fatal, not just your everyday common cold, but a life sucking vital bitch that no man will ever escape from.
Overdramatic? Maybe. But if you’re a man, well, you guys know where I’m coming from, right?