Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Lest We Forget

Oh! I almost forgot. I saw Jeremy Sheffield walking down the ghetto last night. Completely blanked me.

Which was odd considering what happened in Sailors Sauna For Men With Nice Nails last June...

The Dating Game

My mother went on a date last night, with the express instructions of finding me a new dad. Well, the old one was slightly defunct and we’d lost the receipt, but thankfully it violated its warranty by running off with a motorway restaurant cook. How very sit-com.

I hope that she’s ready for this dating lark as she’s put up with that oaf of a man for the last thirty years, only shackled to him because of a Lee-shaped bump beneath her wedding dress (I worked this out late in life when I noticed their wedding anniversary was remarkably close to my birthday. Maths has never been a strong point). So my fingers were crossed when she finally accepted this new guy’s offer of dinner.

She claimed that none of those ‘below the bedclothes’ shenanigans would be going on, yet she sent me a text to say that she’d had a perfectly lovely time and he was a gentleman throughout.

How odd: Declan always taught me the mark of a gentleman was someone who didn’t come in your mouth.

In The Dark

As Ruler of the Universe, I take full responsibility for the blackout affecting London last night. My bad: I’d actually talked to my rather corpulent assistant Stacey about making our fair city ‘more cosmopolitan, more New York’ and she’d taken this to mean that she could pull out the main power transformer so she could warm up her pasty mountain.

I only found out about it when I left a bar to get all these text messages from well-wishers out of the city hoping that I was OK on - what was being broadcast as - ‘the war-torn streets of London’. At first I misheard and thought we had to ‘black-up’ and had diligently purchased some shoe polish in a woefully un-PC act of doing an impression of Sherri Palmer from ‘24’ for which I may or may not be going to hell for. She is fab, you see, but thankfully someone took me aside and pointed at the lights for a moment until I got it. Anyway, as I paraded toward Charing Cross, I inadvertently wandered in front of some cameras trying to capture firstly any drama of people trying to get a taxi to no avail for we are British and thus far too used to queuing and tutting. They were also divining for soundbites of anyone going “Shocking, really. It’s the 21st Century and we can’t even get this right!” I believe extra points were on offer for mentioning the buzz words ‘Ken Livingstone’, ‘Under a Conservative Government...’ and ‘It’s not really fair on my pussy, is it?’ as I gather the camera team were fans of ‘Are You Being Served’.

But there I was on film. I dislike the idea that I’m now on stock footage of ‘Londoners in Panic’ where a director can instil a sense of drama on proceedings by saying ‘...and now CUT! to a Disgruntled Gay Trying to Catch A Train... Genius! BAFTAs all round!’ It had previously happened to a writer associate of mine who’s just popped out of his flat to get some ciggies and wandered past the cameras pointing at a Gay Pride march. Whenever they want to show Gays Fighting For Their Rights, there he is looking a little bit aimless and trying to get across in front of a float to the CostCutter. His mother was most surprised.

But fret not: I have since taken Stacey in hand (well not literally, we had to reopen Glasgow Shipyards in order to get her a new bra last month) and this sort of nonsense shouldn’t happen again.

Well, not until next month. Hehhehehh.

Rag Mag Shagged

I’m not sure whether this is meant to be funny or not, but apparently Penthouse has gone bust.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Egg-citement

It’s been an odd old day in my fabulous media job. For one, I had to do some work instead of surfing Edison’s All-Electric Interweb for pornographic material and remixes of Girls Aloud tracks. It’s most unfortunate; I typed so fast that, like Superman in his first movie outing, I travelled back in time forty minutes and had to attend the same meeting twice. Still, I managed to get dibbs on the cream horn. And I also managed to blow Paul’s argument out of the water by having almost three quarters of an hour to hone a well-turned phrase that was both witty and informative.

It seems anyone can be Oscar Wilde with a forty minute run up.

The second oddest thing is that we had a very large Easter egg delivered. As this is neither Easter, nor the weather for large quantities of chocolate, we all wandered whether a large chocolate cuckoo was doing the rounds. Then we had a memo arrive telling us that f-list celebs were trying to get into media headquarters by the most unlikely of means, and we should all be wary of any strange delivery men or women with shades asking for mineral water and a car or where Lulu was.

So the rest of the afternoon was spent hitting the egg to see whether it resonated with Bonnie Langford.

Now say what you like about Bonnie Langford, and you probably will, but I quite like her. Let’s face it, she’s no Su Pollard, can sing and was just fabulously daft in Doctor Who. Su Pollard can’t and wasn’t. End of argument as far as I’m concerned.

Oh the egg. It contained a Nolan sister, it turned out, primed and ready to go off as soon as someone applauded. We managed to call the Spotlight Disposal Squad and it was taken outside and disposed off with no life lost.

Let that be a lesson to you all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Firing the Canon

If you sit in front of the higher numbered, more mary friendly music channels as often as I, you notice an awful lot of disturbing things. Most of them revolve around Christina Aquilibra, but in some cases, other things make me stop looking for boybands with their tops off or Girls Aloud and pay attention - like Liberty X’s two videos Just a Little Bit and Get Into Your Heart, where they actually run together to form a story. But, when you look again, every one of Liberty Ten’s videos go together to form a narrative whole. Unsure? Well, lets look at what we know about these mysterious creatures...

Liberty X are diabolical masterminds with a very secret plan and a fabulous Parisian hideout, and are out to do something drastic in order to change the world. Liberty X have unlimited technology at their disposal, and a whole factory dedicated to manufacturing skimpy outfits for the ladies.
And only by watching these videos may we divine the clever fiendishness of this most dangerous team, and how they intend to subvert us all...

Thinking It Over
Oddly the first video seems to be a very clever subterfuge and doesn’t feature the genius group at all. In a holographic replica of their sworn enemy Mr X’s luxury penthouse apartment, the team have banded together to find how best to infiltrate it and gain access to the curly-headed mastermind’s secret hideout below. While they run the simulation from another room, the facsimile fills with duplicate X men and women trying to jimmy the locks out of shot while they distract the party’s attendants by coquettishly singing. Note that this plan isn’t pursued, so the gang obviously go on to a more successful Plan B.

Doin’ It.
The team cavort on a warm sunny beach. While this recorded evidence seems to add nothing to the over-arching plot of Liberty X continuity, it is impressive to note that Mr Kevin is starting to balloon a little. While all claim to be exercising for their upcoming pilfering master plot, one can only assume that he misheard ‘pilates’ and has been doing ‘pielardies’ instead. The team do, however, groove down in the sand and practice some moves that will later defeat the whole impressive security system with a couple of high-kicks and lowering Mr Kevin down an air duct that puts one in mind of Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Just A Little Bit
Ah, the cream of the cream - and we’re not just referring to the cakes Mr Kevin is hoovering up while the girls jiggle so! Oh, we are wits, aren’t we? Anyway, here’s the climax of their plan, the criminal quintet they take it upon themselves to squeeze into a couple of PVC suits by using a lot of talc and two warm spoons and plan to rob the fabulous Zirconia Diamond! Gasp!
Their plan starts to reveal itself: they will use the fabulous Zirconia Diamond to go back in time and help similar underdogs come out on top, in the way that Hear’Say were trounced in their pop blandness by the wundergroup Liberty X over time. Stopped will be The Beatles and the Stones will rule. Gone will be Sweet, crowned would be Mud. And Bill Hayley would be deposed, and Perry Como would reign supreme. It’s a shocking plan, but it just might work...
Note that the gang are so confident of their criminal brilliance that they even stop mid heist to not only jiggle around in the vault, but take time to smuggle in some backing dancers! The sheer brilliant arrogance of the team - but, oh, they will get their comeuppance, you mark my words. For it’s Mr Kevin who gets his podgy little hands on the diamond as they all realise the time and run for the bus. Alas, he drops it down the sewer. It’s probably the most literal case of ‘butter fingers’ ever recorded.

Get Into Your Heart
While the jewel snatch is a semi-failure, the team use the smaller gems stolen to buy a flight to their exotic beachside hideaway to continue with their temporal experiments on a smaller crystal smuggled out between Michelle’s ample love-pillows. It almost works, but the time distortions are very local and only the island and the island’s wildlife gets affected. After the band have celebrated by splashing around in the pool just a little bit (ha!), they notice that their beach hut is besieged by gigantic moths brought forward from the Cretaceous period by their temporal tamperings, intent on devouring all cloth. The team barely escape with their life, with bravely Jessica sacrificing most of her wardrobe as they escape once again to their Paris headquarters.

Holding On For You
Still wanted by the police, the gang takes all separate planes back to Paris - but woe! They forgot to bring with them their mobile phones! Jessica discovers this after three days in a phone booth, leaving messages on them and waiting for them to call her back. She looks a state, poor love: she’s been sleeping on the floor of the airport, and is still in her giant-moth-eaten clothes. Kelly thought they were all going to meet at the bus station, and is hanging around there with a bag of giant moth killing spray and new clothes for Jessica, while Mr Tony is hanging around one of his old haunts - the subway. But woe upon woe - they can’t find to each other!
Just as Kelly finds Mr Tony in the subway station, have tracked them down! With a rye smile, Tony lets the doors close so Kelly can escape with the moth spray, but to no avail! As the video closes, they are all in police custody and evil gang’s tyranny has come to an end.

Ain’t Nobody
Any of you who have seen this video may have been shocked by the gang’s somewhat rude behaviour to a Mr Richard X. The only other inhabitant of the inner-city factory, the gang studiously ignores him, even forcing him onto a different table in the canteen during tea break. Fret not, there is a reason: Mr. X is their mortal enemy and had sprung the genius quintet from their plastic (pop) prison, but have been put to work in Mr X’s fortress of doom as slaves to work on his invincible army of robot doubles for him to pleasure and let he and he alone take over the world!
Mr Tony has a daring plan, though. While the production line rattles on, he has been secretly rejecting most of his robot doubles in a Raggy Doll stylee, consigning them to the skip. He merely has to wait until Mr X is asleep, sated from the pleasurings of his robot bandmates, and reprogramme the rejected robots to rise up against their curly-headed master and rebel...

Ello, Dave...

Is Dave there?

I gather we’ve all seen that David Boreanaz is in the new Dido vido. Oh, I used to have a major crush on him when he had cheekbones, being a politely starving actor in Season One of Buffy, but now someone’s has pulled the rip cord and he’s ballooned to the size of Michigan. In this semi-bland video, he’s apparently stalking said vocalist, but the idea of him doing so puts one in mind of a Victorian wardrobe playing Grandmother’s Footsteps.

One can only assume that vampires metabolisms slow down after they hit their second centenary, else there’s an awful lot of fat content in pig’s blood. And with Spike joining the cast for Season Five of Angel, James Marsters is already gone on record saying that ‘the shirts will be off for the next season!’ Oh lord. If you’ve ever seen a whippet panting next to a bull dog, you’ll know why I’m cringing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Get Down, Falkor!

Meanwhile on the subject of The NeverEnding Story, my favourite ex Richard once went to see it in his local cinema. After the titles started to roll, he went into the foyer and asked for his money back.

Genius.

28 Years Later

What’s In A Name?
I suppose your birthday is not just a chance to get your own way for 24 hours (this is certainly not the case with me. Heavens, why would you want to think so small scale?) but also a chance to reflect - and not just in a sequinny way, mind. I often ask the question “Why am I here?” and there are vary rare occasions when the answer “To be fabulous!“ just doesn’t cut it. One of these times was while I was blowing the candles out of my wonderful Powerpuff Girls cake handmade by lesbisexual housemates Kim and Sarah, and I recalled the oddest incident that shaped me into what I am today.

I was washing up with my dear mother and talking of my previous love. No, nothing so tawdry as ex-boyfriends - this was the Spice Girls. Oh, I recall a time before Girls Aloud when I’d do anything for those leopard-skinned, not-really-our-real-age fabulous talent vacuums from up north. Of course, times move on, and we just move into different things and we both realized it was going nowhere. I stopped calling, they stopped appearing on Top of the Pops - you know the old story. Every now and again, I’ll pass them on the street or see them in a dingy club smoking too much and trying to laugh too hard; they’ll look dolefully in my direction and I’ll always look the other way and hum The Sound of the Underground. Oh, I’m a cruel mistress when it comes to love.

Mother hates washing up, and it was one of the first things she taught us to do as children so she could get out of it; the second and third being how to change a tire and credit card fraud. Yet while we were on the subject of all things spicy and while my mother’s arms were elbow-deep in Fairy foam, she decides to sprinkle another one of her life-changing factoids about me abound as if it were fabulous Shake’n’Vac. I was chatting on about the Spice Girls and what I’d heard about them on the great vine, and what friends tell you about your ex to get a reaction. Apparently two of the girls were pregnant, and were going to call them Phoenix and Brooklyn. My mother stared through the rim of her favorite shot glass and asked why.

I explained that those where the places that the little bairns were conceived, and they were going to honour the fact that a) Mel B managed to pump some love-snot out of her gay husband in Phoenix, and b) Victoria managed to get her leg over without it snapping in Brooklyn. Mother seemed non-plussed: “Just be thankful me and your father didn’t think of that,” she said. “If we had, you’d be called ‘Ford Cortina’”

I dropped a glass.

At least I could shorten it to ‘Tina’ I suppose…

Touched Inappropriately By A Demon
All of you working in inner-city farms may have noticed a blood-red, blind calf being born on Saturday morning; all of the rest of us may have noticed the water briefly going the wrong way when you flushed the toilet. My best friend Declan was visiting.

It is very difficult to describe Declan without referring to anything out of the works of Poe. People do meet him and after an initial wariness, claim “Oh, he’s alright. I’m sure it’s all an act.” The people who realize that yes, there is an act there but the act is him being nice are the ones who retain their fingers. So, lets not say it was a coincidence that as soon as he’d put his bags down in the lounge did housemate Kim take me aside and tell me the Impossibly Beautiful Housemate Mark sadly split up with his lovely girlfriend.

I had mixed feelings about this: I very much liked Caroline. On the other hand, Mark is so impossibly beautiful, getting him to travel on Our Bus would be A Good Thing, and I hadn’t made a conversion in such a long time that my place of The Gay Council was beginning to be questioned. Why last Tuesday, I even had a visit from The Gay Mafia: they’d come around to break the legs off my vanity unit.

I saved the information of Mark’s split until Declan was bedding down on the sofa for the night, feeling that he wouldn’t be able to make some of his patented home-made Roypnol while he was so drunk and after I’d hidden the rolling pin. Yet I hadn’t calculated on Mark still being out of the house at this point though, meaning that the poor lad would have to pass the ginger coquette in order to get to his bedroom. Declan could see this in my eyes. “Well,” he said, plumping up his pillows with a wild, expectant fervor. “I’m going to be brushing my teeth before I go to bed tonight!”

Nothing In Every Sense
The venue chosen, the apparel selected: we were going to take a birthday turn around the dance floor Southern Pride for the night. In honour of this, Declan had bought a gay bangle so excessive that when he put it on, he looked like he’d been fagged and released back into the wild.

Within the club, they tend to fill the air with smoke - not so you can see the 12-volt lasers they have installed, but so it smoothes out every pore and wrinkle of the clientele there. Declan refers to it as ‘Beauty Mist’. Lets just say it had it’s work cut out this Saturday, and they had to pump in so much that the furthest end of the dance floor looked like it had been consumed by The Nothing from The NeverEnding Story. The Wife only saved us all by naming a princess at the last minute; alas he was a little worse for wear drink-wise and imagination wasn’t exactly forthcoming.

Still. All hail Princess Baccardi Breezer. And long may you reign..

Those Three Simple Words...
We finally saw Declan off the premises on Monday afternoon. Housemate Ian had been trying to cajole a priest out of retirement to come and deal with the problem all weekend to no avail, and we had to settle for three Supersoakers full of holy water instead. A very true word of warning to you all, though: on my travels, I picked up a book that purports to be a spell book. Declan has been coveting it since he found about its existence when he was looking through my prodigious collection of lovely hats many a year ago, and I’ve been trying to keep it out of his reach since. Within the pages are, apparently, the words to summon a demon - three simple words that, if read out, will entice the most unholy to your position to wreak havoc. He managed to find them while I was downstairs while I was ordering a Chinese.

He first plans to text all the people he doesn’t like with the incantation, which unfortunately is most of you. You do have to admire his consistency, really. The idea is you’ll get a mysterious text with three latinesque words on there and get so confused you’ll read them out loud. Bang! Crack! Bye-bye you. Then he’s planning to get it on a t-shirt to go clubbing in and that’s when the real Carrie carnage will begin.

Yes, I am very aware that letting him have accidental access to this tome means I would make a terrible Watcher, and that I may have brought about the end of civilization as we know it. Still, I’ve always thought the service was rubbish, and you just can’t get Sabrina the Teenage Witch on DVD for love nor money.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Top Tip!

Lead singers of Evanescence! If you find other band members playing loudly in the middle of the night two floors above you, do not climb up the outside of the building to tell them to turn it down a little, as this could lead to accidents.

Open House

My mother’s been having one of her adventures again; it seems since she’s thrown the shackles of my father off, she’s getting herself into more and more preposterous situations in a manner similar to Penelope Pitstop, but without the fabulous pink car, unfortunately. This time, she’d gone out for a drinkie with her best friend to a singles club, on the express wish to get drunk with old men because they buy you pints. I like her thinking.

Oh, she’s no stranger to pints, and certainly no lady. She was at a wedding on the weekend, and loudly proclaimed to all and sundry that she could drink a half-pint faster than anyone. I’ve certainly gone up against her, and the speed she gollups it down would put a dialysis machine to shame. Regrettably she’d made this rather rash claim after hovering half the buffet and a couple of voddies down, and a burly 6’4 builder on the grooms side said he was up for it. “Name your drink,” she said in a manner too close to a duelling weapon. He chose Melon Reef.

They faced each other, her with her half-pint of Reef in a glass, him with his in a bottle. People were massaging their shoulders and encouraging them; eyewitnesses say it was more like a prize fight than a drinking contest. And on three, they both downed their drinks...

...with my mother slamming the glass on the table first. The crowd went wild! This builder was most put out. He demanded a re-match, this time with them both in glasses. The Reef bubbled around on top of the buffet, yet still she said yes. Poised, the count from three started - and the builder started a second early! Determined to keep her crown, my dear mother downed it again and the astonished crowd watched as they slammed their glasses down at the same time. Builder was disqualified and went away thoroughly humiliated, Mother was crowned queen of the wedding and probably went to throw up behind the marquee, although she never said this as she does try and retain a manner of decorum in front of her family. We all, of course, know different.

Anyway, back to the story. She’d gone and got pissed with her best friend at a working men’s club singles night, and got home to find that she’d lost her house keys. So she does the sensible thing and goes and to try and find a policeman.

They’re busily swerving down the high street when they see a cop car in front of them travelling, unlike them, at the regular 35 miles per hour and in a straight line. They beep their horn and flash their lights, but the police ignore them and drive off. Mother’s not having this, guns the engine and chases after them, lights flashing and horn going. The police try to evade them, but she holds the corners like a formula one driver, and the end result can only be described as a reverse police chase. They finally screech to a halt in a car park, cornered, and surrender to my mother.

She finally gets home around three after they’d broken down her door; when asked what she was going to do with a swinging front door, she almost persuaded them to keep watch on the house all night. She’s taken quite a shine to one of them, you see.

I hope she’s staying in tonight.

What IS that Smell of Wee and Flowers?

Old Man! Old Man Alert!
Do I like fun? No - No I don’t. I had quite enough of that in 1957 when I got trapped on a bumpy road in a German shot-putter’s Volvo and two-pair of deely-boppers. Thus, against my better judgement, it appears to be my birthday this weekend. I shall be 28 years old - a fact that I’m having to work out with my addled brain with increasing regularity. It was far easier when you were a child; not only was I more lucid, but you could just check your pants to find out you were ‘Age 7 and up’. I never met anyone who was ‘up’ - well, not until that revelatory incident behind the bike sheds in forth form, but you get what I mean.

I’ve never been a fan of birthdays, despite my obvious love of the limelight, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. As a child, my birthdays were slap-bang in the hottest day, and my curious lack of friends normally resulted in myself and my ever more dramatic sister being forced out into the blazing sunshine as my chocolate TARDIS cake melted in the heat, then being let back in to a surprise and losing to my sister at pass the parcel. I mean that’s hardly scarred for life, is it?

Yet still I’m in a completely Eeyore mood about the whole thing, and I’m not celebrating on any great level. Although Jef, Declan and myself my pop along to Southern Pride for a quick flit around the dancefloor to No Good Advice. Jef states he would rather piss on an electric eel than dance to ‘those ugly scrags’. It’s a wonder that we’ve lasted this far, isn’t it, boys and girls?

Celebration
Speaking of which, Jef and I celebrate our own anniversary today. No-one thought it would last (least of all us) but here we are a year down the line with me picking his long hair off my clothes when he’s not around, and he washing t-shirts I casually discard his the bedroom floor with a rye grimace. Jef is a wonder and possibly the most exciting thing in my life now or ever. He’s as daft as I am, imaginative and so damn cool. He can make cartoon noises that I can’t. He does a mean impression of Heidi from the Sugababes when Round, Round is playing. We own a star together, you know - wherever you go in winter, you will be shone upon by ‘The Fabulous Glittering Jef and Lee’.

He is wonderful. Here endeth the lesson.

Lee was having another Space:1999 day…

Dang! Dang! De-dang! Dang! Dang Dang-der-ner-nag!

This Episode! Dr Pepper! Birthdays! Anniversaries! And a man with a droopy moustache sucked out of a window as per every week!

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Back For Good

You’ll be pleased to know I have resumed my throne after the day off from being Ruler of the Universe.

At first we couldn’t find Linda Barker in the throne room until we moved a bunch of sticks covered in a leatherette throw. This actually turned out to be her.

Nothing appears to be broken. She did, however, commission five new solar systems for rollout next week, all in beige. The main stars were made of MDF.

Sigh.

Jackson Pollock's Jazz Mag

Gertie finds my allergy to jazz extremely funny. As he garners the last vestige of his public school self around him on sunny afternoons, he’s often found in his flat playing something akin to a cat wandering up and down a keyboard while he nods appreciatively away. I don’t get jazz; it’s noise with people clicking their fingers along trying to divine a beat. Each instrument is played to its own tune. Then they stop and one of them has a middle eight of aimless nomadic playing so everyone can catch up and off they go again until someone goes “Yeah...”

Jazz is the live performance version of Jackson Pollock’s art. I do worry about him; how can one man gain artistic presidency by locking himself in his shed with a leaky paint can? There he is, about to paint on his enormous laid out canvas when the bulb goes. “Ack, m’boyo!” he cries (for in my brain, he has a very strong Welsh accent) as he crashes about in the dark, leaky paint can splashing all over the canvas. Slipping around in the mess, he accidentally knocks the hamster out of its cage, which proceeds runs this way and that all over the hessian as he tries to hit it on the head with a paint brush in order to stun it. Then the phone goes and he’s trying to find that, catch a hamster and find his way around in the dark, all with a leaky paint can when his wife finally arrives with a torch to find out what’s going on. His wife asks him what’s going on, and he sits back with his fag and says “Well, this is art innit, boyo?

Well no. Not really. You can’t get away with calling a shambling mess ‘art’ - and god knows that bloody awful BBC drama Strange was trying for the past year. So it was with great surprise that the wife invited me to a jazz club last night. I told housemate Ian I was going, and he looked suspiciously down his rifle at me and while I thought it was because of my reluctance to admit jazz as an art, it transpired he thought it was a euphemism for ‘another gay thing’. He’s an odd one, that one, but I really like the sentiment.

Anyway, I’ve never been a huge fan of live music - I like Girls Aloud, for goodness’ sake. I also find it impossible just to sit and listen to music; it should be an accompaniment to something you are doing like writing or drawing, to accent the mood than overpower it. Perhaps I’m just bitter that I don’t live in a movie, full of incidental music and dance numbers. There was a wonderful time when I was in a car with the incidental music for Speed on, and the orchestra delighted us in getting more and more excited every time we overtook someone.

Still, the wife persuaded me to go in another one of his up-hill struggles to educate me, something that really appears to be going the wrong way. He has almost given up trying to show me the wonders of the world, and how beautiful the flower is and the joy of a well-cooked meal, and rather has started to come down to my level and enjoy Sabrina The Teenage Witch a little too much. I said that I’d meet him half-way but it seems daft for me to try and be learned as it looks ridiculous, and just simpler for this Gia-like Earth father to come down to my level of glitter and cakes. And his impression of Salem is really quite startlingly accurate now, love him.

Anyway, we went to see ‘Barb Junger‘, as the tickets politely informed, at Pizza in the Park. I recall Barb from singing backing on several Julian Clary hits of the nineties, and was very pleased to find she was a delicious entertainer in her own right. She was entertaining and worked the audience not just for laughs but on a subtly emotional level and I found I started getting more out of the songs than if I was just half-listening to them, much to everyone’s surprise - and not least my own. My only problem is music aficionados seem to get a whole lot more out of these things than I. In the middle eight, they close their eyes and bob along with the tune, smiling occasionally. What is going on?! What are you doing? Are you getting messages beamed to your brains or something? Is there something going on under the table that the management should be informed about? Yet still, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up more than once for once not under the duress of hair gel, and Barb really could belt out a tune.

Perhaps it was the wine, perhaps it was just the mood but I really quite enjoyed myself. Perhaps there’s hope of turning me into an arty bonne vivant yet.

We’ll just see what the next Girls Aloud single is, shall we?

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Where's my Pig?

A dreadful list of things you shouldn’t have to deal with whilst under the influence of a particularly virulent hangover, after enjoying a night on the sauce with Dame Vera Smirnoff:

- Open a can of cat food and feed a cat, then dispose of half a mouse carcass your loving animal has dumped in your kitchen.
- Iron a shirt.
- Discover there is no hot water. In the world. At all.
- Try and match socks.
- Deal with anything bureaucratic.
- Stand behind an old lady in a queue while she tries to pay for a packet of Tunes and Imperial Mints in coppers, then argue about her change to a bemused yet annoyingly indulgent newsagent.
- Talk to lost French tourists.
- Foil an alien invasion.
- Submit to a search by transport staff.
- Talk about Fight Club.
- Care about ANYTHING apart from where your all-consuming cure-all bacon sandwich is coming from.

Thus, I’m having a day off from being Ruler of the Universe.

I wouldn’t leave you to fend for yourselves, don’t worry, so I’ve got a c-list celeb to take my place. Heavens, you wouldn’t want me to put anyone competent in there for when I get back tomorrow, do you? You may want them to take over for good, and that will never do.

So, Ladies and Germs, I am pleased to announce the Wednesday replacement for my good self as Ruler of the Universe will be none other than down-on-her-luck decorator, Linda Barker. Linda’s tough spirit and knowledge of Dixon’s products will be invaluable with dealing with the slight uprising on the lower colonies, and she’s a dab hand with a rag roll. And I know at least two of you out there who wouldn’t mind her hand in your interior.

Let’s give a big hand to Linda!

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Catalogue Porn

Over at Gertie’s Blog, he’s having difficulty with a certain nonsense gay novel that labels everything with too much detail. He quotes:

“Stefan had a lightweight green-and-brown Jhane Barnes sweater and a Kenneth Cole brown suede shirt, though he never wore them together."

Although this interrupts the prose, it is quite normal in gay fiction to go into certain types of detail so heavily. For example, written gay pornography is the only medium I am aware of that describes the act of physical love making with as much detail as the author goes into for the bedding and the wallpaper.

Lets face it – all us Men With Nice Nails find the unromantic notion of coughing your filthy yoghurt over some stranger's sweaty chest far less preferable to reading about a crisply turned bed and matching curtains from Jasper Conran.

Commencing Transmission

Dearly beloved, we come together in the hallowed halls of pop for our daily Girls Aloud briefing. Please keep your arms and feet inside the vehicle at all times, and don’t raise your voice too high as it’ll bring a swarm of Sheryl Crows down upon your well-quaffeured bouffants, shrieking so. If you do encounter this, feel free to use your Siobhan Fahey Fog-Horn to scare them off, but make sure you can counter the tuneless blasting with your Marcella Detroit Ray, a la their number one hit ‘Stay’. We don’t want to bring the whole place down around us, do we!

Now. Let it be noted that the Girls are somewhat slipping from favour at the moment with their terrible choice for their third single, Life Got Cold. Also, the b-side of Girls on Film is a pointless direct reworking of the sparse Duran Duran single, with no injection of guitar-led uber-pop that the Girls so rightfully could patent. We here at the halls are not saying that you should avoid getting the single to prove them a lesson, but a strong tut next time you see one of the Girls clad in tin-foil whilst shopping in Top Shop should do the trick.

Other business. We hear that Karen Carpenter was on the balcony upstairs again, wittering on. Do not encourage her. That girl really should have shown up for dinner; she presently looks like a microphone stand with a wig on.

Further to popular rumour, Dolly Parton has indeed been categorised as Classical Music over there in that pink annex by the Men With Lovely Nails. While Dolly is indeed excited, please watch for her running through the library in a tube-top chasing what appeared to be a North American forest creature whilst screaming about her ‘critter’. I was left to assume either that she was having vaginal difficulties or her timid forest creature had been frightened by the gunfire.

She apparently was NOT wearing appropriate shoes.

Thank you all; I shall see you tomorrow for exactly what is going on with Robbie Williams.

Monday, August 18, 2003

In-Joke Theatre

David J. Howe arrives at the Pearly Gates after tripping over the original prop of The Myth Makers’s Trojan horse and banging his head on the console. Instantly taken with the Zero Room-like ambience, he raps presently on the gate, and approaches St Peter to announce himself in the manner of Jon Pertwee at a convention. St Peter looks over his glasses at the new arrival.
“Ah, David J. Howe. Welcome to Heaven!�
David J. Howe beams. “W-w-w-wow! I made it!�
“Indeed you did, my friend! Now, we have some special things laid out just for you. Over there, you can chat with Patrick Troughton. Over there, you can watch Evil of The Daleks - vidFIRED, of course - and over there, you can actually act out The Evil of The Daleks with you as the Doctor with all the original sets, props and props.�
“Th-th-this is w-w-wonderful,� he stutters. “B-b-but tell me, A-a-andrew Beech isn’t in he-here, is he?�
“Nonono,� calms St. Peter and leans forward conspiratorially. “Andrew has gone to the… other place.�
David J. Howe rubs his hands and wonders whether his day could get any better. He watches Evil of The Daleks, and then plays the Doctor in Evil of the Daleks, and then sits down to chat to Patrick Troughton about how he played the Doctor in Evil of the Daleks.
The afternoon is going swimmingly until a familiar wheezing, groaning noise comes from the cloud across from him and David turns to see a battered blue Police Box materialise. Out pops a gangly, bleach-blonde figure, with a pair of skin-tight lycra cycling shorts sprayed on his leathery frame. He doffs his bohemian hat in David J. Howe’s general direction.
David splutters his weak lemon drink. “I w-w-w-w-was told that Andrew B-b-b-beach wasn’t here!�
Troughton sighs. “He’s not. That’s God. He just thinks he’s Andrew Beech.�

Taking a Seat of Learning By Force

As mentioned previously, Gertie and I were swapping our alma matas and showing each other where we went to university. So, where I had shown him the arse-end of education with De Montfort Poly in Leicester, he took me to his seminal colleges: Oxford. What a joy. He’ll probably have a version of what happened up at his blog soon, but for the record, here’s my version of events.

MAY WEEK IS IN JUNE
In order to get the whole Oxford ambience, we delighted in buying pipes, walking the streets and within an hour, we were on the river in a little rowing boat. Gertie took out his pipe and lay back, while I stroked away. The odd thing about boats, I have discovered, is you can only row backwards, thus you need a nice man to direct you and while neither of us could decide on which was port and which was starboard or whatever, we settled on naming the oars ‘Ben’ and ‘J-Lo’.

It was strangely apt: we could never control Ben, and whenever we used J-Lo too much, we found we were heading straight to the bank.

CLUBBED TO DEATH
A weird thing about Oxford is that the Gay Scene is even less self-aware than normal. And by normal, most places in London, for example, think ‘irony’ is somewhere where you store the iron. But this place gleefully played the entire output of the Cheeky Girls, plus the Macarena and Las Ketchup in a gloopy europop puddle, and felt like was forever on the verge of playing a good record. It was just one away, you could feel it, leaving you hanging on the edge of the dancefloor, stirring your drinky and listening with your head half-cocked as you tried to decode what the latest intro was. Even when I went to ask for the fabulous Girls Aloud, we got Sound of the Underground, not the sublime No Good Advice. Sigh.

The Cavern in Oxford, I revoke your fabulous Gay Licence. Please hand back all Ikea catalogues and never darken our Gonéta towels again.

PULLED APART
While half-cocked, waiting for Girls Aloud to come on, a tall, lean chap leant around the speaker stack and caught my eye. I politely smiled back, and he leant in to hear what he was saying.
“Whatever you’re thinking, the answer is no,” he said with a smile that seemed powered by coke.
I was very taken aback. “I’m sorry?”
He repeated his statement. Now, this wasn’t how it usually worked: the correct procedure was that a man was meant to come up to me and say that I had a nice smile or something equally generic, and I’d pat them on the arm an tell them all about the wife. And they’d become enraptured with the description of this model-like Australian and the wonders his hairy little head contained that they would perfectly understand why I was turning them down, and I’d buy them a drink and everything would be well. Now, here on a plywood dance floor was an average-looking upstart declaring - not only did he think I’d want to debase myself by getting his love-snot flicked in my hair - but he was already turning me down! Outrageous!
I was so agog that I was still staring at the creature open-mouthed when Gertie came back from his trawl down the back of the club for anything in white trainers and a baseball cap. I explained what had happened with lots of gesticulating.
“Did you tell him about Jef?” he shouted over a high-energy version of T’Pau. “You know the usual about how sorry you are, but you’re going out with a model-like Australian?”
“I didn’t get a chance!”
“Outrageous!”
“That’s what I thought!”

Not even a suck on my pipe could cheer me from that.

NEW FAVOURITE THING!
Laser Quest! Well, in fact this is Old New Favourite Thing as I used to play as a kid but now have a new rekindled passion for running around grubby plywood halls filled with ugly teenagers and dry ice. If we ever went to war for real, it turns out that I’d be a crap grunt soldier running around, but I make an excellent sniper. I’m fully adept to sitting in a corner, sniping at anything that goes past thanks to years of hanging around with Declan. Anyway, Gertie equated it to a trip to the aforementioned Pleasuredrome sauna in Waterloo; he’s very much correct. I came out sweaty and bad-tempered after trying to beat off three boys, only to find the one you were after the whole time had been shooting all over some munter at the back.

GERTIE’S WELL-WORN GUSSETGetie’s gone all feral when it comes to men these days. What used to be a nice, polite boy who delighted in the classics can now be found in the corner of some dingy pub flicking through the pink paper or - more often than not - fingering boyz. The varied anthology of men he stunned and mounted for his collection is ever-more eclectic, although I did decline to watch him in action on Saturday night after the Friday night debacle. It’s a shame, I hear, as I would have loved Oxford’s Saturday gay night held in the local town hall, as it sounds like the Women’s Institute trying to do Trade.

When I left Gertie on the station at Paddington, he’d spied something attractive waving off his mother. Reasoning that a weekend looking after your parent left you no time for sex, he was in with a chance. I get a text message later on: “He roared off on a Harley. I just have a Miss Marple bike with a cheery bell.”

And let that be a life lesson to all of you.


ADDENDUM
“Gertie took out his pipe and lay back, while I stroked”
I’ve just realised how rude that sounds.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Special Editions

Over at the Beeb, they’re asking for alternate endings to films.

I think you should keep all films as is, but add the ‘wha-de-wap-warrr!’ from the Grange Hill theme to the end of everything depressing or remotely cliffhangery. Examples:

The end of Empire Strikes Back: Luke and Leia stare into space as Lando goes in search of Han… John Williams’ music swells, then ‘wha-de-wap-warrr’

The Matrix Reloaded: Neo’s incapacitated… pan across to some guy with a beard… ‘To Be Concluded’… ‘wha-de-wap-warrr’

Can we please do it for The Sixth Sense, too?

Let’s Get Physical

I do try my best to keep this car wreck of a body in the best shape I can, you know - despite what you see before you. For a long time I took a leaf out of Damien Hurst’s book and tried pickling it, but found that vodka is arguably cheaper than formaldehyde. Still a quest for bodily perfection has taken me to some of the oddest places.

MY BODY IS A TEMPLE I

Gertie and I do attend a very glamorous gym at the BBC - a perk he arranged for me getting drunk in his living room while purportedly ‘working’ on a BBC project with him - but tend to do it with such gossipy joy that we may as well be leaning up a fence and looking at boy’s bottoms rather than ‘benching twenty’ (whatever that means). In fact, we were told off by a rather over-tanned gym instructor the other day. She said that we weren’t using the equipment properly and were disruptive. This was fair enough: we’d just discovered if you bash the 7.5kg weights together when hefting them above your head, they go ‘ting!’ like Madonna finger-cymbals. While she tried to tell us off, yet remain chummy and apparently reasonable, Gertie made indifferent noises and looked to me for back up. I was lost in her almost radioactive hue of her skin, wondering if she had to have a florescent fifth colour printed on her photos at Boots. How very expensive.

Anyway, we carried on regardless, and I apparently voiced my “Well, she was very orange...” a little too loud as she moved to terrorise some other people. And the moniker ‘Lady Marmalade’ seems to be sticking to her, even amongst the other instructors. Why yes, we feel it’s our job to bring a little joy into fellow gym-goers lives and shall be performing our necessaries in fabulous tu-tus and doing Fame dance routines in front of the big mirror down by the free weights. The next stop after that – large afro wigs.

MY BODY IS A TEMPLE II

I’m not very good at weightloss, for if there’s a quick fix solution to anything, I’ll take it. I did try the Atkins Diet, yet after a week of no carbs my brain fell out and I had to be lead to Burger King in a daze. My yardstick is if I can’t name all of Girls Aloud, give me battenburg.

I’m now doing one of my own concoction: The Comedy Food Diet. There’s no weightloss - it's just fun. Within this food regime, you are allowed to eat:

Large, flowery baps
Crumpet
A large battered sausage
Muffins
A nice pear
Meat and two veg
Cream horns
Stuffed melons

Bananas are only allowed if accompanied by a swanny whistle. Blancmange is only allowed if there are pink, two of them, each with a cherry on top, and served upon a bed of Zanussi on spin cycle.

MY BODY IS A TEMPLE III

Someone tried to get me to go to a Steps Class the other day.

I said I knew all about them, can do a more than decent dance sequence to Tragedy, and yes, you’d do H but you’d be thinking of Lee.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

I have very lovely hair today.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

You WILL Be Watching

I wonder what has happened to perennial sit-com writing couplet Croft and Perry, responsible for such BBC jesting highlights as Oh, Doctor Beeching, You Rang, M’Lord and Are You Being Served? They seem to have gone very quiet of late, which could mean that they’re dead. Hamsters are very quiet. My first hamster was so quiet, in fact, that he turned out not to be hibernating after three months at all, and was dead. Hence my yardstick.

You can identify a Croft and Perry serial through many ways: they’re normally based on something a little more worthy, more often than not have Su Pollard in it. They also finish with the audience bursting into applause, the line ‘You Have Been Watching’ and a fantastic montage of all major cast members gurning and pissing around with props.

All things should finish like this. Especially the news, The West Wing and porn films.

Another feature of a Croft and Perry is it runs for longer than it should. The first season is always the best, second season less so... it’s the Law of Diminished Laughter. Do you know that ‘Allo ‘Allo actually went on longer than the Second World War? Perhaps they would be more fit to working on lengthy epics, and should have adapted Tolkien for the big screen.

You Would Be Watching:
PAUL SHANE as Frodo Baggins, JEFFREY HOLLAND as Legolas, SU POLLARD as Arwin (“Ooo! If you want ‘im, come and claim ‘im!�), DONALD HEWLETT as Gandalf, Lord of the Manor, MICHAEL KNOWLES as Boromir, and BILL PERTWEE as as Elrond.

It would also be called ‘Your Ring, M’Lord’, of course.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Dealing With Crap

Two initially disparate things: my sick cat Gilbert, and my best friend Declan.

Declan is a wheeze, and possibly the Most Evil Man In The Universe. He likes to poo-poo this (nice link to the latter half of this diatribe) with a wave of his manicured hand, but has in the past divinely weaselled out of a burgeoning relationship by lying about his father having a heart attack, and answers the phone with “Hello, single mother” where appropriate. He has a folder on his computer at work called ‘Souls I Own’ just to freak them all out. It’s working.

Although it is work that is posing him trouble at the moment. His boss is an absolute fool, and Declan was meant to be meeting with the MD to complain about the oaf yesterday, but it appears that the boss may have deliberately gotten the dates wrong to make the poor lamb look foolish. Lets just say the Souls folder had another increment yesterday afternoon.

The delightful Gilbert, whereas, has contracted feline bronchitis, and is currently wheezing and groaning around our Peckham palace like the cast of the questionable porn film ‘Granny Fanny’ (it does exist. I’ve seen it. ‘No Clit Under 60!’ is the proud banner atop the video cover). Each morning he has to be force-fed a pill - a task that has become even more life-threatening with each passing morn as he lacerates the hand that feeds. But it is forced down his throat, by hooks and crooks if need be and off he skulks with a look of evil doing on his face.

He takes such umbrage at this and,whether his little feline brain is calculating at all, we have discovered he’s decided to show his displeasure by leaving a tightly-curled crap where most inconvenient. Exciting lesbisexual housemate Kim fell foul of his defiling the other night to find a monster crap coiled on her duvet; it was of such size that she initially tried to pin the blame on other housemate Ian - yet he hasn’t done that since we got him his own Girl Scout to play with. I found another in the shower last night. And this wasn’t the usual fair - no, this was huge and positively sculpted. Gilbert had taken time over this one, and laid the most glittering cable near the plughole. I was alarmed at its size and beauty before getting an aptly-named dumper truck in to remove the sizable turd.

While I find the whole thing rather repulsive, I can see the merits. Tying the two problems together, perhaps we should take a leaf out of our feline friend’s book as it would improve office politics no end. Surely we would feel a lot better if we could show our displeasure at bureaucratic limitations by simply squatting over you bosses in-tray.

I’m sure it would get me the life-sized cut-out of David Boreanaz and a G4 Macintosh for my corner of the office with a little more expediency.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Lunchtime be Damned...

...I'm eating this banana now.

And I am. I'm munching through one as I type this, abet a little slower than normal as I can't use the banana as an eleventh digit, no matter how hard I try. Bananas are a curious fruit, although not quite as curious as tomatoes. Every pub quiz I have been to (approximately two) has had the question 'Tomato: fruit or vegetable?' in it leading to the enormous revelation that the tomato is indeed a fruit and not a vegetable after all that. Should we feel lied to? After all, the tomato has happily been carousing with other vegetables for years, and never once lumped together with the aforementioned banana in any dish.

I feel the tomato is the transvestite of the whole salady oeuvre.

Anyway, bananas. If ever there was a food that needed the sound effect of a swanny whistle upon it's unveiling, it's a banana. Indeed, there's one of those terribly amusing lists of things going around Edison's All-Electric Interweb that states that 'you never know where to look when eating a banana'.

The answer is simple: Brad Pitt.

Dance With The Devil By The Pale Moonlight

It was with considerable ire and melancholy that I spied a flyer for the fabulous Girls Aloud on the street this morning. Not because it was in the gutter stamped with the bootmarks of hundreds of passing trade (as this is the rightful place of the ‘rival’ band One True Voice) but because they are appearing at the UK’s number one chicken coup, G-A-Y.

I promised that I would never go back to that place, yet the lure of those tinfoil-clad sirens is almost too much to bear. As yet, I have not seen them perform live, and for my shame I still don’t know all the subtle nuances of the tambourine dance from No Good Advice. This is something that would probably be essential if we ever anger the Percussion God and all need to calm it down with the hypnotic wavings of the instrument, lest it destroys the Earth in a fit of cowbells. But I just can’t face going back into that place – with the sticky floor, over-priced drinks and flitty marys swivelling around the place like they’re being worked by magnets underneath. Have you ever walked around the exterior of the Astoria building where the night is held? It is tiny in comparison to the interior, and this is because the bottom two floors actually descend in Hell itself.

I have decided I shall not grace with my presence. Give the Girls my love and tell them I’ll catch up with them next time they’re doing a HMV signing. In the meantime, if the Percussion God turns up, tell him I’m learning the triangle and will be with him shortly.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Well, Now. Are We Surprised?

The hunt for chilled orange juice took me via the Prêt A Manger near Covent Garden yesterday. In the window was the leathery-looking director Joel Schumacher with his shopping. Including one Prowler bag.
I looked at him, he looked at me. He thought I was cruising him. I was in reality cursing him inwardly for Batman and Robin and was just about to go and shout loudly at him for committing such nonsense to celluloid when he looked at me, smiled and left.
Now this annoys me. This campy director now thinks he’s in with a chance, rather than being taken down a peg or two for movie monstrosities. Gah.

Jackass Indeed

This tale answers an age-old question.

As there’s nothing to do in my home town bar break into Kwik-Fit or get pregnant, local kids have been taking to heart the jackass culture and spicing up their local parties with any stunts they can think of. My mother told me of one that my cousin Scott was present at the night before she arrived, where they bet this boy £50 if he could eat six tea bags. He spent a good hour chewing on one while walking up and down the garden, before giving up entirely. He then went on to bet my cousin he couldn’t eat an entire coffee jar – and put up £100. Scott declined, but another boy said he’d do it. Scott said that if he did, he’d put up £100 himself, leaving this boy £200 richer.

The boy jumped at the chance and for the rest of the night, this kid happily sat with a coffee jar and a spoon, munching away while washing it down with Strongbow. I suppose it would become easier the more you ate as the faster you would become, but anyway, he managed it in the early hours and collected the £200 quid with much applause, praise and backslapping. And probably would be up for the rest of the week with a twitching look about him.

This could have been the end of the story, except my mother gets a text message the following day from Scott. The coffee-boy had been rushed into hospital and put on a fibulator because his heart had started to spasm with all the caffeine. He almost died.


Now that’s cool.

A Man With A Limp, A Woman With A Hand Up Her Skirt

I was delighted to have my mother come and visit this weekend, an event of similar magnitude to when Cher turns up in Will & Grace. We had a delightful time, wandering along the South Bank and drinking fabulous cocktails in Site Bar, where she regaled us with some of the more outrageous things she’s been doing since she and my father split up for the sixth and final time. She’s certainly been making up for years of semi-oppression under his yoke by going out and having the most marvellous adventures of which I’m slightly envious. I shall regale you with one:

It starts with my she and Phil returning from a visit to see my sister in Cheltenham. Phil is a 23-year-old work colleague who’s as daft as her, and they are always egging each other to do something silly. Like kidnapping a fellow work colleague in the car at lunch because he never came down the pub with them. This time, they decide to turn off from each and every one of the several junctions along the motorway on the way home, find a pub and have a drink. This seemed a fair idea until after the first pub they went to and my mother remembered she was indeed driving and couldn’t drink, and Phil was already trying to better the idea. So the plan was altered: Phil would have a pint and then they would both steal something.

They start as most small-time crooks do, with the cruet set in a dingy pub just outside Cheltenham. They bolt for the car, giggling like schoolgirls.
The next public house is somewhat classier. Noting that the stakes are higher, my mother makes off with a menu while Phil pops to the loo. They convene in the car park, my mother surreptitiously waving the menu with pride while Phil appears suspiciously empty-handed. When questioned, he reached down into his boot and pulls out the pub’s loo brush. They drive on, swerving and cackling so.
The next pub is even further away in style from a Harvester than the last, and they feel they have to further outdo themselves. Phil already has his eye on a loose radiator shelf close to their seat, although it would be very difficult to get out to the car. Feeling daring and not wishing to be outdone, mother pops into the toilet and spies a poster affixed to the wall. She scrabbles with the plastic covering, looking over her shoulder like Jennifer Garner in Alias, she manages to pry if off and stuff the poster down her top and casually walk to the car with no care in the world. Phil joins her seconds later, bursting though the doors with the most pronounced limp, almost like he has a long piece of wood down his trouser leg. With a screech of Sweeney-like tyres, they’re on to the next pub.
In this one, mother manages to destroy a flower arrangement by grabbing the longest flower in the stack while the bar-minion’s back is turned, and running for the door. She finds Phil outside trying to cajole a local cat into the car. “No livestock!” she cried. “No livestock!” and they ride on to the next.
Almost home, they ride off the next junction and find a pub that’s an old Firkin one – full of bric-a-brac and each item worth stealing. They have found pay dirt, a veritable pub-thief’s nirvana. Phil already has a sizable log from the fire under the table and is egging my mother on to grab a large ceramic hand from the shelf behind her. She’s not having it. Phil is insistent, so she reaches it from the shelf and places it on the table where they muck about with it for ten minutes. Phil is still adamant she should take it, and pushes it along the table towards her. It falls of the top and onto her chair. Inspiration flashes between them. Slowly - wordlessly - Phil reaches for his log. Mother slowly moves the hand out of sight from her lap and slowly sticks it up her skirt, and they shuffle quietly to the exit.

Brilliant. Genius. As the whole tale was told to me over several margaritas, my jaw dropping further with each steal. Needlessly to say I didn’t believe a word of it until she took me out to the car and opened the boot, and there was this plethora of items purloined along the way from Cheltenham to Birmingham, including the offending hand. I couldn’t believe it.

Oh, if only they had got the cat...

Wandering Around In A Gayze

I have to say that I’m not enjoying this heat one iota. I feel if you are in bed awake at two in the morning covered in sweat, you should have more to show for it than a slowly deflating pot plant in the corner of your room.

Apparently I have an Italian heritage somewhere on my mother’s side, but as she’s always slightly vague about the whole affair, I can only assume it means that my great grandmother tried a pizza once in 1932 and was instantly ostracised by the whole street. This may attribute to my slightly swarthy looks and fondness of pasta, but you would think that I would be able to handle temperatures over 25 degrees Centigrade.

But as it stands, temperatures ‘soared’ to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the first time ever. Temperatures always ‘soar’ whenever you have to take your parka off, never ‘rise’ or ‘ascend’ in a similar manner to dinosaurs only ever ‘roaming the Earth’. Never let it be said that dinosaurs ran, jumped, or skipped upon the Earth and this is why they probably died out of boredom.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Suffering the Slingbacks and Arrows

Forgive the non-updating of this fabulous blog of late. My health ails. The royal bed has not seen so much tossing and turning since the last Royal Spitroast, and it has taken its toll somewhat. Send for the court physician to suggest what to do to get me off at night.

Perhaps my insomnia is the reason I used to sleep with so many men... well, there’s fuck all else to do at 3am in the morning 'cept stare at the ceiling. You may as well do the same, but with the side of someone’s head just in shot.

On the whole, this was a very successful illness. I wasn’t too lethargic to do anything, but in such a malaise to successfully lie on the chaise lounge with a hand to my brow and a rose in my hand, moaning that “All I can see is spots before my eyes. It’s the end - I’m sure of it...” Dear old Gertie popped over with soup and yoghurt in hand to entertain, and we had a marvellous time watching The West Wing, of which I am a recent convert in the absence of 24 to fill my fabulous, Hello!-style life. I’m sure CJ is a gay-icon goddess, but I shall confirm this after I’ve seen more than five episodes.

Other things that are speeding my recovery:
The DVD of 24: there’s an interview with the wonderful Kate Warner where she actually confirms she only has one expression. Bless her.
Clarkes shoes using Baccara in their latest ad.
The wife. Far too gorgeous to be true.
Old Blue Peter trying to deal with issues like the poor.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Tiny Amounts of Fun

You know that bit in Fantastic Voyage where Donald Pleasance is completely enveloped by the white blood cell?

I always play that when I'm putting on my duvet cover.

Vision Impared. Can't See Postbox.

Due to an unfortunate incident at the age of five when I inhaled a complete set of Terrance Dicks books, I appear to know far too much about Doctor Who than I should - much to the chagrin of the wife. By no means can I name the story codes for episodes, or what order they came in, but I do know silly little facts like the TARDIS is a Type 40 time capsule and the colour Daleks can’t see is red.

The last silly fact comes from the Terry™ Nation™'s Dalek™ Book™ cash-in guide to the ‘malevolent pepperpots’ published in the 60s. It was full of equally overblown factoids about Dalek abilities stating that a Dalek gun is as powerful as a lightning blast, or if you bent over near a Dalek, it could pleasure you fully for three days before having to return to its saucer. Or somesuch. Anyway, within this book with a nice big friendly letters and a nice big friendly red Dalek on the cover, it insistently states that anything even slightly red is invisible to them. Hum. So was the red Dalek on the cover of the book a special Stealth Dalek? The Daleks did experiment with invisibility once on Spiradon, but it all went a little wrong. So I suppose the remaining Daleks were brought up before the Emperor to explain why they hadn't managed to get all Invisible Man on the Doctor's ass and a bit of quick thinking by Dalek Zog, and a can of red Hammerol later, and they had a Dalek that was capable of sneaking up behind their blessed leader and bellowing 'You will obey me' and goosing him.

The Emperor must have proclaimed the project a success, and never understood why lesser races were always laughing and pointing at them when they arrived in their big red ships that incidentally now looked like flying Smarties. Nor why The Dalek Invasion of Earth: 1975AD was never a success after the whole invasion task force accidentally wandered into a bus depot and were destroyed by busses to Putney.

Monday, August 04, 2003

The Kim and Kate Sho-oo-oow!

Due to scheduling monkeys getting into the BBC and stealing all their ice-cream, I didn’t get to see the final episode of 24 last night on BBC Three. But we did get the penultimate one, which I didn’t like purely because the bad guys weren’t winning, but loved for so, so many other reasons. Everyone was talking about the paring up of the two well-loved characters to conquer the forces of evil - no, not the gorgeously Machiavellian Sheri and Jack ‘pant pant you must believe me... pant... someone..?’ Bauer, but Kim and Kate finally meet up and hit the road! It just screamed ‘spin-off series’!

Oh, most of the action would take place in Kate’s increasingly battered car where she and Kim would be trying to do simple, mundane things like get some groceries or taking some clothes to Oxfam. Of course they are captured along the way. Indeed, there was a moment of potential disaster in last night’s ep: Kate had foolishly taken her eye off the road to talk to Kim for a full 30 seconds. In the rules of 24, this means that the car should have crashed into a truck carrying crooks dressed as clowns who were on the way to assassinate a minor character from Season One who everyone had forgotten about and the head clown Groucho should have taken them both hostage and found the diamonds that were hidden in the back of Kate’s car by Jack that will power the enormous surgical laser that will help save David Palmer’s career and reinstate Jack as the head of CTU. Tsk. They are getting very slack in that script department.

Meanwhile, magnificent news! Whilst trawling the wonderful interweb for Fabulous Things, Dark Horizons states that for Season Three may have the following:

“Jack’s daughter Kim has become the CTU’s computer whiz and the pair both have secrets they’re not disclosing (looks like Jack may be ill, and Kim might be gay).”

Ahahahhaaa! Kim? In charge of an IT department?! You know full well she’s going to wipe the whole interweb by episode three! Even more points if a chatroom box opens with ‘Hello - you look trusting in your profile. Wanna meet?’ Oooh! Oooh! And what if the computer suddenly asks ‘SHALL WE PLAY A GAME? Y/N

Oh gods, we may as well give up now!

"I'm Coming Like A Fountain!"

I don't know whether you noticed the groaning, but July 31st was apparently National Orgasm Day.

I wonder if there was a rally? Probably; but most the women got there late or not at all.

Shania, The Terminatrix

WARNING: Contains spoilers for Terminator 3. Especially the end.

I do adore my wife Jef very much, despite his bizarre fixation with Shania ‘I can’t believe you kiss your cock at night’ Twain. All that leopard skin - it’s not befitting unless it’s worn by a) a Manchester barmaid or b) drag made up to look like a Manchester barmaid.

Shania Twain is one of the richest women in the world, thanks to her startlingly simple pop/rock/country cross-pollination that seems to have taken the world by storm by decree that you much have at least one of her albums in your collection. So far I have escaped, but Jef is more than happy to take up the slack, as it where. Thus, by association I am warming to her - anyone who can get away with writing the lyrics to Ka-Ching when they live in a chateau in Switzerland has to have some cohunes. Even more when they are obviously written in a lunch hour on the back of the fag packet and contain the ludicrous part-chorus of:

“Lots of diamond rings
The happiness it brings
You'll live like a king
With lots of money and things�

Also, is the dried up desert of That Don’t Impress Me Much symbolic? As she’s wandering through this dry landscape, men come along and it still remains as barren. Perhaps she should have gone the whole hog and been bouncing up and down on a hymen-like trampoline for the video, inviting men to come and bounce along beside her with no effect and a disgruntled look on her face. It would have certainly given that daft cloak she’s being strangled by a bit more to do.

But you do have to love the one light hat box she’s trolling along with her.

Which brings us on to Terminator 3 quite nicely. It is actually a very decent film with a shock-twist downbeat ending that leaves our two heroes trapped in a mountain retreat while the world ends nicely around them. This retreat was an old 1950s US government bomb shelter for the president, and our two heroes take up residence after being tricked into it by Arnie’s T101 (oh - watch out for Arnie playing ‘confused’ towards the end of the film as he beats up a car. It’s a laugh riot!) and kick back for a couple of years to come and save the human race. Jef and I didn’t take to the idea much, and would have been banging on the doors shouting ‘Let us out! Let us out! It’s so plain and utilitarian in here! Show some humanity and lock us in an Ikea for God’s sake!�

Shania wouldn’t have had such a dull bunker, you know. It would be stocked with Fabulous Things and have a leopard skin conference table where she would co-ordinate the salvation of the human race via the medium of song:

“Bombs!
You know that they are wrong
So this is why I sing this song
To save us and Hong Kong
Who fires them must be a mong.�

Bless her.




I bet that one light hat box is lead-lined too…

Friday, August 01, 2003

Arg.

My brain’s fallen out – have you seen it? Slightly greyish, smelling of vodka? Likes boys and Doctor Who?

No?

Oh well, I’ll just use this crayon.

I'm a Bad Babysitter

Although my boyfriend is not in your shower - he’s currently in south London working on some packaging for Tweenies, or something. No, I’m a bad babysitter because we do have two luverly cats in our palatial houseshare going by the names of Gilbert and George, with something terrible befalling one of them yesterday - and it’s all my fault. Oh, I feel very guilty.
Of the two, Gilbert’s a noisy little sod who is two coupons short of a pop-up toaster, and perpetually bringing back dead animals to show off - including on one instance, the back end of a pig. How he did this, we just don’t know. Whereas his sister George is the charming girl-cat is so loving and sweet and has no real sense of balance – and thus is a joy to behold in a will-she-won’t-she wobbling walk across the fence. She normally comes and sees me at seven in the morning to stand outside my door and mew for breakfast. Yesterday she did as normal, pottered around the bedroom and followed me out downstairs. I fed her, went back up to get my mobile, and then went to work as carefree and winsome as ever humming Girls Aloud’s No Good Advice.
Post-work fun included meeting up with Gertie in the gym for a gay old time with the weights (I have discovered when you hit the little hand ones together they go 'ting!’ like hand cymbals) and then down Site Bar for a couple of bottles of Dame Vera Smirnoff. I staggered back around midnight, and chatted to lovely lesbisexual housemate Kim for a little while, then went off to bed. Upon opening the door to my palatial boudoir, I find dear little George sitting there on my bed with a pained look on her face and her legs crossed, clearly not being near a litter tray all day. She bolted out with such speed, she left behind a spinning number plate with 'Outatime‘ on it.
I’m a bad man. And dear George thinks I did it deliberately and won’t come near me.

Lorks, they’re ALL at it

No sooner had I greased lovely lesbisexual housemate Kim into coming onto the web in this manner, I discover that the other housemate Ian is the New Kid On the Blog. He’s up here, and a jolly good read it is too – particularly after a huge amount of Sunny Delight.

All we need now is the final member of our quartet, Impossibly Beautiful Housemate Mark, to thrust some emissions our way; ah, such things dreams are made of indeed.

Mother's Ruin

But what I really gathered you for here today is to talk about that well-coiffured saucepot of the Delta Quadrant space lanes - Mz. Kathryn Janeway herself. And argue the point that she is by far the best captain to... er, well, captain a vessel this side of Kate Kestrel (don’t read too much into that). You need proof? What all off you? Even the ones who watched All Good Things... and didn’t raise an eyebrow? Oh, alright then

She has a Drinks Cabinet on the bridge.
We know this to be true. That little console situated between her chair and Chakotay’s isn’t just a pretty readout thang at all. Oh sure she pretends to read data off it, press a few buttons, but have you noticed the background *chink!* of ice in glass as soon as the camera pans off her? She’s keeping her Gordon’s down there! As soon as they’re heading into uncharted territory; a ship is sighted off the starboard bow, or someone trips over below deck; for the smallest, daftest reason, open comes the cabinet and out comes the bottle. This might explain why she’s always slouching in her chair, even when they’re under attack. Captain’s perogative, she calls it. There’s also two Star Bars and a can of Harmony down there in case she sags during away missions. Which brings me nicely to...

Her Ever-Changing Hairstyle
Fab, isn’t it? It’s an option that Picard and Sisko never looked into *snicker*.

Red Alert Hair-do
The very second that those alert lights go red, her bun came apart. The very second. No rocking of the ship, no nothing. Harmony of the 24th Century must be very advanced to respond to light stimulus. Maybe this is why she ordered blue alert in The 37’s. That hardly messed it up at all. But by far the best Red Alert Hairdo ever can be witnessed in Caretaker. Twanged to the other side of the Galaxy, as soon as the (red) lights come on, our beloved captain has locks everywhere. Stardate 48315.6 was a very Bad Hair Day, indeed. But more impressive was the fact that once this hair-don’t had taken over, she was called to Engineering. Striding into the TurboLift, her bouffant quite astray, she emerges on the other side perfectly fine! The Intrepid-class ship obviously has an Emergency Holographic Mr Mot installed in each lift, then. Bandai, those creators of action figures of every occasion, for some reason have missed the ‘Red Alert Janeway’ figure out of their already jump-on-any-ol’-bandwagon range. I mean, please! - these are the people who brought out the Star Trek: Holodeck and Star Fleet: Academy series, and yet the possibility of the curvaceous Kathy with her bedraggled bouffant coming out in plastic form are as small as the Terrahawks Appreciation Society. My only suggestion to you who want the authentic Janeway figure: take a soldering iron to it.

The Bob
From severe bun to extended bun, her hair got a major refit in the top banana episode Year of Hell. The short, manageable bob came in to show that style wasn’t beyond the leggy beauty. Unfortunately, this do wasn’t as easy to mess up as the bun, and red alert road kill cut was soon fixed by raking a hand through it (and a team of five off-screen ensigns armed with Compression Harmony Rifles). There is a problem with the sonic showers of the ship, though: it can’t dissolve of hair spray. Gradually, her hair has got bigger, and more solid as time goes on until she’s got the helmet she’s got at the minute. Rumour has it that it is now capable of producing it’s own warp field - more on this in a moment. Firstly, let’s adore her for her carelessness...

She’s lost more shuttles than NASA
At the end of Season Five, she has lost a grand total of 28 shuttles, and the count is going up. As the Intrepid-class should really have a maximum of four, you really have to wonder where the other 24 have come from. As they’re always finding stuff in storage - including of most of First Contact’s props - perhaps they keep finding them there. The other theory is that they replicate new ones. Fair enough, but the ship is on replicator rations, so that would mean that every time that a shuttle is lost, the energy has to come from somewhere. Ah. Realisation dawns. Dear Kathy is starving herself. She is - look how whippet-thin she is! Poor thing, every time they loose one, she’s back onto starvation diet, save for a sly munch on that rather raddled pot plant in her ready room. This is where the hair-do comes in. Lately, she’s created such a solid bob that she’s got two D-shaped inlets by each ear, enabling her to collect hydrogen as she moves. Our lovely captain is now powered by the internal combustion of hydrogen gas, topped up on gin.

Ah, yes. The gin.
It is well known about the edits from the show’s premiere episode, Caretaker. Refilming certain areas because Paramount execs didn’t like the way that Kathy’s hair caught the light (see? That bun is more trouble than it’s worth), and editing down to length meant that whole scenes had to be dropped, making the whole thing make about as much sense as Geri Halliwell’s continued success. Well, one line from Lt Stadi’s speech that didn’t make it to the screen was the acknowledgement of the fact that Deck 9 of the ship is one large tank containing Gordon’s. Sealed off from the rest of the vessel but for one hatch in Deflector Control, you can normally find our dipsomaniac doyenne sitting down there with a straw after a particularly harrowing Away Mission. As missions got even more nerve-racking with time, her supply got even lower. And this is the reason why she’s gone mad in the sixth season. Cold turkey.
But not just that. She’s died eight times. She claims to do a passable impression of Picard that sounds absolutely nothing like him, and also mothered hyper-evolved Tom Paris’ reptile offspring. She shouted "Get back to Hell!" to an alien pretending to be her father in Coda. She's grand. And with this little display, I hope you can find it in your hearts to raise your glasses – and your hair – to Captain Kathy, Queen of the Delta Quadrant.