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

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Glitter For Brains at the Movies: Alien Vs Predator

We went so you don't have to!

What an enjoyable film! The Wife and I had an absolute ball watching this pile of nonsense, as it becomes so preposterous that we laughed throughout the whole thing. Go and see! Or, if you can't be fagged, ladies and gentlemen, we present:

Alien Vs Predator: THE ABRIDGED SCRIPT
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS



THE MOVIE opens with a shot of what appears to be the ALIEN QUEEN in SILHOUETTE. As it rotates, it turns out to be a SATELLITE IN SPACE.

THE AUDIENCE:
Cool! Maybe this film will be clever and imaginative and all sorts!

On EARTH, a WHOLE WALL of MONITORS start to FLASH RED.

WAYLAND STAFF #1:
Oh my god. Look at that!

Other MEMBERS OF STAFF wander around in puzzlement as to what. Despite a WHOLE WALL of MONITORS FLASHING RED.

The Audience:
(sighs) Oh. Wait. There goes that credibility.

Meanwhile, Ripley-clone WOODS is climbing a solid ice-face miles, away from anywhere. This is to establish her as a STRONG, RESOURCEFUL WOMAN. Right on cue, her FOOT SLIPS.

Then her MOBILE PHONE goes.

THE AUDIENCE:
Cor. What network is she with?

It is COLIN SALMON on the line. Offering her AN ABSOLUTE CLOPPER-FULL OF MONEY if she takes people to an ANCIENT PYRAMID they have just discovered under the ice.

WOODS:
You're going to destroy them, not to study them?

COLIN:
Excuse me?

WOODS:
How do I get out of this chicken-shit operation?

COLIN:
What have you got there? Let me see. Oh, it's the script for 'Aliens' with your name written over everyone elses! Give me that!

Enter RAOUL BOVA, somewhere in the DESERT. All the GAYS in THE AUDIENCE sit forward a little.

RAOUL:
Ah, look at this. Our leetle expedition is almost at an end. We are almost out of cash.

He is scrabbling around in an ANCIENT DRAIN somewhere, trying to find a LOST ARTEFACT. We expect, after the cliché of the last scene, for him to dig up a MOBILE PHONE with COLIN SALMON on the end. He doesn't. It's a BOTTLECAP. How we LAUGHED.

Meanwhile, on the way to the PYRAMID, EWEN BREMNER is playing with a CAMERA.

EWEN:
Och, aye. I'm taking pictures of everything. For my children, y'ken?

He is now MARKED FOR DEATH.

Nobody else gets an introduction. They are also all MARKED FOR DEATH.

WOODS:
Right! Listen up marines - I mean, crew. If something goes wrong - which it will - don't be a hero. We are miles away from anywhere. No-one can help us. No-one.

WOODS turns to THE AUDIENCE.

WOODS: (cont)
You get that? NO-ONE.

THE AUDIENCE:
Yeah yeah. You're alone. We get it.
(pause)
We bet you still get a mobile phone signal though.

They land at AN OLD WHALING STATION. They EXPLORE. In that tired old method of tension, EWEN goes EXPLORING on his own in the DARK. By law, something rattles some pots behind EWEN, so slowly walks backwards... right into WOODS! Ho, no-one was expecting that! AT ALL!

EWEN:
(overly-jittery) Oh, it's you! So, what's making the noise?

THE AUDIENCE:
Well, it can't be a cat. That would be silly.

It's not. It's a PENGUIN.

How we LAUGHED.

Meanwhile, they explore the pyramid. On the surface, THE PREDATORS arrive. They SLICE through the EXTRAS and PEOPLE ONLY CALLED BY THEIR SURNAME, so it is neither involving, spectacular nor cool. Inside the PYRAMID, half the team have found the ALIEN EGGS and now have FACE-HUGGERS on them. Below them:

RAOUL:
Look at this! It's a calendar! A big battle takes place here every century! They came back 100 years ago! And 100 years before that!

THE AUDIENCE:
Hmm. We bet it was absolutely teeming with life around here two centuries ago.

UPSTAIRS, the OTHER TEAM now have ALIENS BURSTING out of them.

THE AUDIENCE:
Hangonaminute. In Alien, it took days for the creature to gestate. In Aliens, they went into hypersleep and went half-way across the galaxy, and there were still bursting out days after the marines got there! What are these people here? Toasters?!

Of course, seconds later, there's full-sized ALIENS walking around. The PREDATORS ATTACK. The ALIENS ATTACK. The PREDATORS and ALIENS ATTACK each other. There is much CGI. The DIRECTOR, PAUL W ANDERSON, has clearly WHIPPED HIMSELF into such a FANBOY FROTH that a TARPAULIN has to be LAID DOWN.

RAOUL:
Look at this! Are we the only one's left?

WOODS:
Seems like it. Come on - let's move. Assholes and elbows!

RAOUL:
Wait! Look at this! It's a back-story!

RAOUL then regales us with the WHOLE HISTORY OF THE PYRAMID thanks to some HANDY HIEROGLYPHICS. THE FLASHBACK looks WAY MORE INTERESTING than THIS FILM. His JOB DONE, he then gets CAPTURED by the ALIENS. But drops his BOTTLETOP.

WOODS:
(Picking it up) This doesn't mean we're married or anything.

PAUL W ANDERSON:
Look! See how I have made the woman the strong and smart one!

THE AUDIENCE:
(coughs) Like Ripley.

PAUL W ANDERSON:
She is really the only one who figured out the whole thing!

THE AUDIENCE:
Like Ripley.

PAUL W ANDERSON:
This whole thing is an allegory for how strong women really are!

WOODS battles an ALIEN, accidentally killing it with the PREDATOR'S STAFF. She has now gained the respect of the PREDATORS, and they make her a shield from an ALIEN HEAD and they become best pals. Now, cue lots of hilarious SLOW MOTION RUNNING through SMOKE together. BEING BUDDIES. It stops just short of WOODS opening a CAN OF PEDIGREE CHUM and SCRATCHING HIS STOMACH.

THE AUDIENCE:
Hang on. As the predators represent the pinnacle of macho, this still shows that she is subservient to the male symbolism. She's carrying a huge phallic symbol as a shield!

PAUL W ANDERSON:
Er, you lost me.

THE AUDIENCE:
You know. We are not surprised.

Anyway! The bit you've all been waiting for! WOODS finally gets to face up to her NEMESIS - who she's never seen before, but lets not let that stop this car-crash of a movie - THE ALIEN QUEEN! And she's not in a POWER LOADER, but a T-SHIRT AND JEANS. Yes, kids, in the middle of the ANTARCTIC!

THE AUDIENCE:
Right, Woods. You're about to meet the Queen. You've got one shot to impress us with a line that will go down in film history. Think 'Get away from her, you bitch!' but for the new millennium!

WOODS:
Ok. Er - Move aside from her, you cow!

THE AUDIENCE:
No...

WOODS:
Stand away, you pregnant female dog?

THE AUDIENCE hangs its collective head.

WOODS:
You ugly mother-!

THE AUDIENCE:
That'll have to do. Move on. If we wrap this up quickly, we can be out before they announce the sequel.

WOODS and her PREDATOR CHUM fight the ALIEN QUEEN. It is not as exciting as the director obviously thinks it is. The QUEEN ends up UNDER THE ICE, and PREDATOR CHUM is KILLED. Hilariously, WOODS is left in the MIDDLE OF THE ICE in ANTARCTICA in just a T-SHIRT and JEANS.

And meanwhile, somewhere, a PREDATOR/ALIEN HYBRID bursts from PREDATOR CHUM'S STOMACH.

THE AUDIENCE:
You're telling us, that in all the years that these lot have been battling, this has never happened before? Give us a break! Paul W Anderson, you're hoping for a sequel, aren't you? How much has the box office made?

PAUL W ANDERSON:
(Checks till) Er. Well, it is a Sunday. And not many people like coming out in, er, weather...

THE AUDIENCE:
How much?

PAUL W ANDERSON:
Two pound fifty.

THE AUDIENCE:
And that's what we paid for the pop corn! Shame on you, Paul W Anderson! Shame!


THE END. We hope.


(with apologies to Rod Hilton, who does these far better.)

The Birthday Invite

Yesterday afternoon:
(phone rings)

Me: Hello?
The Wife: It's me. We've been invited to a party tonight. Champagne, fabulous fabulous people.
Me: Aww, I can't. I promised I'd do something else.
The Wife: The invite is printed on Perspex.
(a pause)
The Wife: (cont) Just like something out of Blake's 7.
Me: What time's it start?
The Wife: Around nine.
Me: Say 'Nine O'Space-Clock'.
The Wife: 'Nine O'Space-Clock'.
Me: I'll be there.

(click)

Yesterday evening:
The Opium Rooms. A place where they couldn't play Girls Aloud as it would have been a far too knowing comment on the clientele. The birthday girl - who I had no idea who she was - had decided that she was coming as Alison Goldfrapp and had done her hair by dropping her toaster in the bath with her. She was the perfect example of what works on the styled printed pages of a magazine does not work in real life, especially when surrounded by every other woman dancing in the High Street's 'finest'.

Apparently we couldn't take pictures. The official reason was 'there is an official photographer', but I feared that setting off a camera flash near all that prime New Look polyester... It may ignite the static and start a stadium fire.

And - get this - she'd only hired the club so she could do a live PA! It was like a sheep being raped! So while she warbled her way through some tunes which obviously meant something to her and her three trollish mates thanks to last year's holiday to Ibiza, The Wife and I sat up the back and tried to nick as much champagne as possible. Oh, it wasn't free, but the Wife's very light-fingered when he wants to be, as you can imagine. Anyway, she finished her set and the audience gave her that polite 'clap... clap-clap... clap...' - and one cry of 'Make the bad noise stop!' - and we were so pissed by that point that we went dancing. And ended up between three women, one of who apparently had fake breasts and we had to keep having to guess which one of the trio it was. Which involved a lot of breast squeezing in front of some straight lads, which is always fun. Anyway, the one with the fakes, she was fab - she spends her days as a topless, painted human statue at weddings.

Which was nice.

I am now thoroughly broken, so you can entertain yourself for a couple of hours. Go on. Be off with you.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Hangman For Dummies

Now, I don't normally play the games on my mobile phone, but lately I've found that I need something to pass the time. On trains, or while people are talking to me - you know, that sort of thing.

So I downloaded one called Hangman, but the problem is, I can't seem to change the settings. Currently its set to 'Sharon, Befuddled Secretary' to appease the various Neanderthal Croydonites who play the games when they're not planning their next night out. Loudly. Five letter word in 'Geography'? 'SHOPS', apparently. Five letter word in 'Plants'? 'LARGE'! Oh! How could I have been so blind!

Bluntly I don't stand a chance.

And more disconcerting is that we have a gingerbread man instead of a hangman. So rather than the normal gallows being built and a man being hanged, you are given a gingerbread man being slowly eaten. Which sounds good on paper, but you're often left with limbless, semi-merry quadriplegic, grateful to be saved from the maws of death. Or just a sinister smiling head. Now, is that quality of life?

Well, I'd ask Christopher Reeve, but I'm a week or so too late.

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Name's Bonds. Bonds T-Shirts.

The Wife picked up an absolute bargain a couple of weeks back. A poison-tipped umbrella.

From where, he never said. He has been a bit secretive of late, and I've caught him talking into his watch a couple of times, too. Mostly to order pizzas, but there you go.

For those of you new to this, the Wife is a lovely Karmic fluff, so he's taken the poison out and put some sort of sleeping drug in ("God Bless Nytol," apparently...) Though it proved easy to remove the poison, it transpired that the sleeping drug was a lot harder to get in its place. So for a full two hours I could hear '"Ow! Fuckit!" (thump!)' from upstairs, only to be resumed with a groggy air ten minutes later. It was kind of hilarious to start. And then, well - there's only so loud you can make 'Time Team', you know.

Since road testing it on his bizzaro cat ("MeOW!", evil glare, thump!) he's been using it to stun people with pashminas, his latest hate-crime. Just a quick jab and they fall to the floor like they've had their strings cut. It's best in Starbucks, apparently. Especially when they have a little cardboard tray of four coffees. The mess is spectacular.

"It's brilliant in banks, too," he said yesterday, twirling it dangerously close to some screaming child as we walked along the South Bank. "You just have to hit the one in front of you, and the whole bank erupts into chaos thinking there's a sniper."

Thing is, I found a bra in his room yesterday. I kinda hope that it came as part of the set, else we're going to have to have a looooong chat.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The Other Me

You know that advert for perfume with Beyoncé Knowles writhing around on a beach? You know, she's looking all sultry and singing 'I'm Wishing On A Star'? Yes, well - I was up for that.

No, I was. We'd got to contracts and everything, but then came the creative differences. I would only do it if I could sing Britney Spears' 'Toxic' but they felt that it "didn't key in with the advertising touchstone" And that the song had already been taken by an upcoming tampon advert, apparently.

Besides, do you know how painful it is to writhe with your undercrackers full of sand? Poor Beyoncé - oh, if she wasn't a Christian, the next man up her would be grated like a carrot.

SPACE APPLAUSE!

Ooh, it'll go straight to your hips! Well. Glitter For Brains has just had its 10,000 visitor. I think that calls for Gay Cake, don't you? Hurrah! Help yourself to a slice!

(PS - just who the dickens ARE you people?!)






Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Design 101: Colour

Handy Tips for You Fabulous Things!

Picture the scene: you're kicking back in your office, eating donuts and looking through eBay, wondering whether you should bid for a fabulous antique fish-kettle, when your boss comes in. What? Oh yes, you're allowed to change the details - the type of donut, what you're wearing - but not the fish-kettle. Anyway, he says that you have to do a movie poster! In under ten minutes!

As this is always happening to me, allow me to ease the process. First off, you're already limited in your pallet, as years of conditioning tell us what we're about to see. Witness -

White: Romantic Comedy (cf. Bridget Jones, Wimbledon)
Pink: Peppy teenage comedy (cf. Mean Girls, 13 Going on 30)
Black: Space! Anything with yer sci-fi elements, unless it's sci-fi comedy, where it has to be Yellow.
Blue: Psychological horror. Usually has smashed glass on it too.
Orange: Denzil Washington has pretty much cornered orange, oddly.

And never the twain shall meet. Oh, but it has! Imagine my horror when I saw the poster for Aliens Vs Predator - the white monstrosity assaults the eye! See?

What nonsense

But, as you can see from the above list, comedies have cornered the market on white backgrounds. Or more specifically, the romantic comedies that spew forth from our own tiny movie industry every year. The gosh-darn thing looks like a romantic comedy, with the Alien leaning in to whisper acidic nothings in it's tin-hatted comrade's ears! Should the tag-line not be 'Whoever Wins, We Lose... The Fashion Show!'

Although, hilariously, it is possible to then cross-breed said scary film with some white-backgrounded comedies. Observe the new Bridget Jones...


'Skulls cleaned today: 6. V. Bad'

...and the far more interesting About A Boy!




I do hope you've all learned your lesson. Class dismissed.

Monday, October 18, 2004

In Which I Move House

'Edwardo - Move Me!' - Part I

Now. As I am the Ruler of the Known Universe, it is fair to demand a little glamour in my life. Hence when I moved house this weekend - well, candidly one expects being carried across London on a sedan chair by Messers Pitt and Clooney, trumpet fanfares sounding as I take my new residence as seventeen oiled and fabulous men toil behind me, carrying all my splendorous possessions in ermine-lined boxes. So you can imagine my surprise when I open the door to find two odorous men, half-heartedly mumbling that they're here to "move me".

"Not without you taking a bath and me lowering my standards," was something I almost said. As was, "But I ordered attractive!" A quick spy left-and-right confirmed that there was no Hollywood stars around, and this Would Have To Do, so I let them in and offered them tea as I believe this is what one does to the underclasses.

Moving A Gay, as it turns out, is a hilarious event. Mostly due to my two removals men slowly cottoning on as to which side of the church I sat on. Dale, the lumbering one who used his finger to read, quietly commented "'Ere, mate, you got a lot of clothes, ain't ya?" as we filled my fabulous wardrobe. Alan, the short Irish one, held up a box labelled 'Skincare - Bathroom' and observed it was "Rather heavy for a man."

"Heh, you carting it for your girlfriend?" asked Dale, jamming a pencil behind his ear. I was never sure what the pencil was for - he'd shown an astonishing level of illiteracy by writing my name so slowly and with one of the 'e's backwards.

With somewhat perfect timing, my flouncy new housemate Jay arrived and dispelled any allusions of heterosexuality. Where I had two burly workmen, he'd just emptied the local gay bar and grabbed a load of marys in various states of inebriation to help him. They then proceeded to open boxes and squeal at the things they found.

Hilariously, Dale and Alan doubled their efforts and were out of there in under half an hour. They didn't even stop for the glass of Babycham I offered.

Heh. Naughty Lee.


'Edwardo - Move Me!' - Part II
Oh, that reminds me. Tea bags...

Typical gays - we went to IKEA before we went to the supermarket.


'Edwardo - Move Me!' - Part III
World-renowned fashion designer Zandra Rhodes lives in a building half-way down her street. I do hope I don't accidentally spy her getting into the shower when I'm idly watching the neighbourhood. With my high-definition army-issue sniper sights.


'Edwardo - Move Me!' - Part IV
Never, ever go to IKEA with people who have seen through its shiny Swedish exterior. For once the scales fall from your eyes, the whole business just becomes an (IKEA) catalogue of disasters. Oh, and the people! Oh, the screaming children!

What used to be the shiny yellow entrance to affordable yet stylish furniture now looks like the River Styx to me.

Friday, October 15, 2004

The Palace of Pain

Gyms are not for fun, no matter how you look at it. While there are some indoctrinated into the idea that 'I can't get by without twenty reps"* here's actually nothing more satisfying than sitting around with a bottle of wine and a bloody big pizza. This is A Fact. The only way that gyms are fun is that it gives you a legitimate excuse to stare at boys in their pants while you're in a committed relationship.

My gym had balloons around the door today.

This is wrong.

That says, to me, 'Come in! Come in! It's one big party in here!' when clearly it's not. Parties have jelly and alcohol and stuff. If I so much as jumped on that little trampoline with an ounce of joy, they would have given me a stern look and told me to lift heavy things. And the only thing close to jelly is that brave man who is several stone overweight, but insists on going on the running machine in lycra. It's hypnotic to watch, I tell you.

By the way, on the way out, I burst a balloon with my house key. I know the only way I would be losing weight would to tie said balloon to my arms, but I felt so much better. But according to the tutting receptionist, I was the fourth to do it in the last hour.

Cool.



* Whatever that means! Look, I heard it once while I was looking at some boy warming up. He could get his leg riiiiight up my his ear, you know...

Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Top Ten Internet Facts

Several bits and pieces about the playground we all love a little too much.

* The Internet is actually run by a man called Bob out of a trailer in Oregon. Microsoft tried to buy it off him, but he turned the hose on them and called the sheriff. But not before stealing their rather lovely pens.

* Professors at Stamford University running the 'Skynet' Project did try and give the internet sentience in 1998. The experiment used the web's enormous processing power like a big brain, but they were horrified to discover that the result had personality that was obsessed with pornography, and simply couldn't decide who was the better Star Trek captain between Kirk and Picard.

* The result currently works at Blockbuster video in Margate, and spends weekends modifying its car.

* By 2014, search engines will be so powerful it will be able to rifle through your pockets. And then maybe under your bed. And then tut.

* The word 'internet' is actually a misnomer. Rather than created from the words 'International' and 'network', the word comes from the type of sheer stockings favoured by the internet's inventor, Al Gore.

* All Russian brides advertised on the web actually come from Norwich. Before they are sent out in their special boxes, they are forced to watch Welsh soap 'Pobol y Cwm' while given a sharp electric shock so they forget their native language.

* It is possible to connect your cat to Google.

* Internet shopping is also a misnomer, as you can't actually buy 'an internet'. You can only buy some internet , and that currently costs 32p per pound, and has a very high sugar content. This is why most internet users are several pounds over weight and wash themselves with a rag on a stick. That is my dream.

* It is actually possible to substitute a Bodum for a modem when using the web. The result will be the same: you will be up all night, and be slightly irritated by the whole affair.

* Pop-up adverts, the bane of most user's lives, are usually created by The Women's Association in Stockport in needlepoint, and then scanned in. They receive exactly 1p per each of the ads that they create, which usually goes towards their biscuit fund. They like chocolate Hob-Nobs. The WA have to use a very special Microsoft wool for flashing ads, and member Ervie recalls her favourite one as being 'Teenage Dorm Sluts strip for you' because she managed to get a rather fine counted cross-stitch on the lady's clopper.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Midnight Hour

So I sat there, determined not to learn anything. My brain was already too full, and I was scared that something important was going to fall out if something tried to take its place.

But dinner with Suze is always an entertaining affair. She was one of The Wife's gorgeous friends from Oz, and we were here to say goodbye to her before she hauled herself and her extra suitcase of "fabulous London fashions" back Down Under. She is one of my favourite people in the world, ever. In real life, she's a teacher - a damn fine one at that, simply because you learned things from her when you least expected it. She'd coat it in innuendo, or as a comic aside, and before you knew it you were an expert on the French Revolution thanks to some filthy comments about bustles. Fortunately, the conversation had been steered around onto Cinderella, which I did consider a safe subject. After all, I knew the story backwards - literally, thanks to a rather harsh primary school with a teacher who was left-handed and loved mirrors like a budgie.

Suze picked at her Thai food, and looked at the assembled table with her deep eyes. Fabulous lashes - you'd wonder if they got a millimetre longer whether she'd have to tip her head back to open her eyes. "Fairy tales are really quite filthy, when you think about it."

I kinda knew about this. I think. I may have been to an exhibition on the subject way back, putting me to think that maybe my brain isn't like a box with a finite space after all, but more like an old VHS tape. Bits and pieces of programmes laid over each other, and every now and again, the end of something bizarre from BBC2 breaks through the static. I think I had been to an exhibition on it, but it may have actually been a trip to the Science Museum when I was five. The quality wasn't that good, but I did recall the distinctive marzipan smell of Play-doh definitely being present. Which didn't help. Suze had carried on, talking about the symbolism of pumpkins.

"You know, there may have been a mix-up with the translations," she said. "The glass slipper - pantoufle de verre - may mistranslation of pantoufle de vair" Her French, I think, was perfect. If not, it was enthusiastically throaty, almost needlessly erotic. I crossed my legs.

"Vair, basically means fur. How rude is that? The Prince is searching for a girl's 'fur slipper'. And he only chooses one of the right size. My kids really start to look deeper into the literature when you put that spin on it."

She leaned in closer, with a conspiratorial air. "I just like the idea that Cinderella was wearing Ug boots."

Damn it. She'd done it again. I'd gone and learned something.

And with dismay, realised I could no longer remember how to juggle.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

More Utter Tat I Have Found While Packing

Exhibit B: The Lament Configuration Puzzle Box

A joy of pure loveliness!My, what have we here! Why, it's a replica of that dastardly Puzzle Box from the Hellraiser films! For those of you a little unsure, it turns out that this is the very Gateway to Hell itself, and not dear Vanessa Feltz's undercrackers after all. Phew!*

Lovingly mass-produced in plastic, no self-disrespecting goth should be without this flimsy box! Just think, with a little imagination, you could slide back the top and find the ultimate in pain! Or, alternatively, a couple of pencil sharpeners, some plastic jewellery and a badge saying 'Bumsex - 50p'. Larks!

Lets hope that the actual Gateway to Hell is a little sturdier than this highly-generic copy - as it would be a lot simpler to quell Pinhead and his devilish army of Cenobites if darling Kirsty simply sat on the thing by accident, popping the sides out and shooting a purple bangle right into some Will & Grace DVDs. Just as I did when trying to find a space for it in a crate! If anything, it would have given a much needed comic moment during the film, ideally lightening the moment where her Uncle Frank is torn to shreds by fish-hooks during the climax, and turning it into a Terry-and-June-style farce! Oh, the hilarity!


* So, it transpires those stains aren't the slaverings of demonic Hell Dogs, but where Vanessa failed to 'dab the lettuce' properly on her last trip to the loo.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Such a shame I'm leaving. Next weekend, Peckham's own Black Empowerment Community will be hosting a Beauty Contest.

Hoo. The wallpaper in my house is already starting to peel thanks to the relaxer fumes.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Utter Tat I Have Found While Packing

Exhibit A: The Star Trek Voyager Alarm Clock

What cock!Why on earth was this little gem hidden atop my gorgeous wardrobe?* Why, it's a totem to the days when everyone hoped that Voyager was going to be the Next Best Thing, and not Some Scripts We Never Bothered Doing For Picard's Lot! The Voyager clock comprises a half-moon of off-white plastic, with a delightfully forced-perspective ship leering out at you. It just yells excitement! Look at it. Yelling! And best of all? It has Kate Mulgrew's voice stored as the alarm!

Why not wake in your loved one's arms to the barking voice of Mz Mulgrew, yelling "The USS Voyager is 70,000 light years from home and we are desperate to get back!"

And then, with a wry edge to her hacksaw voice, she adds:

"Are you going to lie there all day?"

Why no! Not with you yapping on like a Great Dane on helium we're not! For then, she repeats it, again and again. Why, it's just that that seminal** Voyager episode, Coda! Until you hit the snooze button, cunningly disguised (?!) as a bright blue rocky outcrop. Ho, the designer of this must have gone home that Friday, smiling at a week's work well done!

But lo, even with the snooze, you're not free of our very own Poundstretcher Kate Hepburn. For now, she's telling us:

"Attention all those in sleeping quarters! Move now or be left behind!"

Oh, our collective ears! I can't, for the life of me, think why I stopped using it as an alarm clock!



* I don't have a closet, natch. It was destroyed in the explosion of my not-so-much-coming-out-as-shooting-out.

** 'seminal' as in 'a load of old wank'.

Away Day

Apologies for not being around for a couple of days. I've been remarkably absent-minded - even for me. Forgetting to pay bills, forgetting I had a blog, that sort of thing. I also appear to have come to work with a lightbulb in my pocket - and I can't think why. I have, however, been using it to great effect during a brainstorming meeting. Every time I speak, I hold it above my head.

Anyway. For those of you who are interested, one of the things I did in my brief sabbatical was finally create a website. Check it out, if you want, here. It's not even remotely funny, alas.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Cher Around

Honestly, you leave her alone for two minutes...

The Moving Moment

Apparently, moving house is up there in the Most Traumatic Experiences, right next to giving birth and death. Presumably 'fat girls in ponchos' came in fourth, but I don't make all the rules, clearly. Well, a move for me may very well be on the cards for your fabulous Ruler, although there are no real details as yet, other than it looks like I may hilariously have the word 'cottage' in the address.

Goodness, there's an awful lot of nonsense in my current place.

This fact painfully came to light last night when I was estimating how many burly men I would be needing - plus the two to do the actual moving, I yielded. Piles and piles of things I never knew I had! Damn that eBay. For one, it turns out that I'd been using the lost Ark of the Covenant as a washing basket - which go some way to explain why one of the former housemates disappeared after one day offering to do my washing - though it does get whites whiter than white. Almost pure, you may say. You know up until that point, I thought I'd been allergic to the washing powder, what with the pain and the smoke every time I'd put on a jumper, but it just turned out that the cloth couldn't stand my unholy, sinning skin. Larks!

It was just after I'd found one of Cher's spare heads did I find the bottle. Hmm, I do hope that the sixties songstrell hasn't been listening in to any, uh, 'night-time shenanigans', though I believe she hasn't been fitted Bluetooth yet. Anyway, the bottle had rolled under the wardrobe and was labelled 'Rachel Stevens' Talent', on which the post-mark was dated two months back, in the gap between 'Some Girls' and 'More More More'. I don't think I need to labour that point, do I? You're a clever bunch.

I also found an awful lot of t-shirts from ex's. I have no idea why just t-shirts, or indeed why there was so many. Although a dust-covered book going by the name 'NO! - The Word, Its Meaning And Usage In Modern Conversation' next to it may have been a clue to the latter half of that question.

I still can't understand anything that book has to say, you know. Three pages in, I can remember why I threw it across the room in the first place.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Best Laid Plans

I'm a big fan of style over substance. Huge fan.

Though my love of Girls Aloud actually comes from the love of the substance over the style. Particularly as that substance is pure, unrefined Croydon. Which is on the Periodic Table as 'Cr', with an Atomic weight of 'Kitten', and is positioned between Ratners ('Ra') and Cider ('Cn').

Anyhow. I saw Hellboy movie a hugely long time ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it, right up to the climax where it is suddenly held in an ancient castle full of booby-traps. What put me off is this: the film is actually quite good (substance over style) but then you get an ending which is a perfect example of style over substance. Why this castle is never really explained, other than it being The End Of The Movie and thus must have A Spectacular Place for The Climax to play out. The bad guys actually needed Hellboy alive for some nefarious purpose, so pitting him against several death-traps seems a little at odds. Now, had the whole film been an exercise of style over substance, this would have fitted perfectly (c.f. The Awful Chronicles of Riddick). But it wasn't - it was a good and thoughtful movie up until that point, and that's why it jarred.

Maybe I can explain it better. Picture a lost scene: we have the two baddies, Rasputin and, er, some Nazi girl who's name I forget. They are preparing The Big Finale to their plans...


RASPUTIN: Right then. They'll come down here, and we'll just swing a big, fuck-off hammer at them!

NAZI GIRL: What?

RASPUTIN: And that'll destroy the bridge! Yes! And that will trap two people! Four left!

NAZI GIRL: Why don't we just put guards on the door?

RASPUTIN: ...and lets not forget the room that splits people up having walls shoot up through the floor! I! Am! Brilliant!

NAZI GIRL: You're not listening, are you? You've spent twenty years of your life booby-trapping this castle when you can just grab Hellboy when he comes to the door.

RASPUTIN: ...and then they'll get to the room with the robot Nazi assassin! Oh, it's all too much!

NAZI GIRL: Just grab him, take him down here, and do whatever you're going to do. Simple.

RASPUTIN: And then the devil dogs!

NAZI GIRL: You've never been one for yer simple plans, have you?

RASPUTIN: No. I'm evil.

NAZI GIRL: Fuck it. I'm going to stand over the door with a big net. Lets see who gets him first, eh?

(exeunt NAZI GIRL)


RASPUTIN (calls off-stage): Is it a big, evil net? Powered by the Twelve Ancients and winched up by a three-story pulley?

NAZI GIRL (off stage): Fuck. Off.


This is why you never see Nazi Girl speak in the film, you know. She had all the sane ideas, and they just edited them out.

But, other than that one niggle, it's a good film. Go see.

Oh, and as a side point, the impossibly hard substance Diamond White is commonly mistaken for an element, but is actually an alloy, formed when you mix Croydon with Cider. There. Just so you know.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Ah, Peckus Interuptus

Said Kimberly Lesbian as I leaned in close to kiss her goodbye - "You come any closer and I'll put gum in your beard."

Friday, October 01, 2004

Great Mysteries of the World Solved: Part XIII

It was Jean Michel Jarre who brought up the subject: "So, how does ze Earth stay where it iz, and iz not flung into ze... howdusay... out into ze galaxy?"

I leant away from the Frenchman. I couldn't believe that, despite several best selling albums and many world tours, someone somewhere hadn't told him his breath smelt like a flatulent sewer rat has died in his throat. I have to say without guilt, it was at that point I decided at that point that the French were not a breed to be trusted. And it was not a baseless assumption, particularly after that gruesome stay Stockard Channing and I had in 'La Maison Merde' last year. All I shall say is we thought the name was ironic when we booked.

Dame Angela Lansbury moved her attention from her knitting, taking the thought in. Knitting was a new hobby she'd taken up to stop herself smoking, theorising that it would give her hands something to do. I actively encouraged it, especially after the last week when her 'idle hands' had lifted several bottles of champagne from Fortnum and Masons. That handbag of hers is surprisingly roomy.

"Ooh, that's a good one," she said, rolling a boiled sweet around her mouth. I had no idea Nicorette came in Imperial Mint flavour. "If you think about it, we're spinning around at, ooh, lots-per-hour. Why aren't we flung out to the edge of the solar system with the momentum?"

"67,000," said Cher, with some slight feedback in her voice. It just meant that someone nearby was using a mobile phone.

"Excuse me, dearie?" asked Dame Aggie, pulling herself a little higher with indignation.

"We're travelling at 67,000 miles per hour," said Cher simply.

"Oh. Oh, right then," said Dame Aggie, backing down. "I thought you were casting nespersions, or something." I raised my finger to correct her, but she'd already moved on, and dropped several stitches. "So even more point to ask the question."

I scratched at my head, half in thought, half due to the paper hat made my head itchy. It seemed odd that we were meeting again for a birthday, but then they did have a tendency to fall whenever I was at my poorest. Though it was very sweet of Cher to think that the home-made cake was an extra-special gesture, even if both of us knew that she wasn't going to touch a crumb. I had already decided that I'd make it up to her on her 'unofficial' birthday in a couple of months time; she had two - the second one we now only refer to as 'The Taussauds Incident' - that glorious night when we all almost got arrested and blacked out the whole of Central London.

Dame Aggie had started the party several glasses back with the ritualistic "So, how old will you be?" We'd all cried "37!" along with the slender songstress - the age she'd been for what seemed forever. Almost certainly all the years I'd known her. Her real age was apparently lost in the mists of time (or The Great Fire of London, she'd joked once. We all giggled that odd, strangled laugh of people who weren?t sure whether someone was making a comic aside or not).

"Do you know, when ze toast, she has cooled, ze crumbs stick to ze plate with ze same adhesive power as glue? It is true, yes?" I nodded, trying not to breathe. "Well, per'aps ze Earth, she iz stuck in place with some sort of super-crumb. Like ze superstring, yes?"

"It's a good theory," said Dame Aggie. "Supertoast. I like that."

"Yes," said Cher, with an odd tone. "Shame we can't ring up Stephen Hawkin to ask him."

Aggie and I winced slightly at that. We'd been drunk one night and phoned him up, using a Speak & Spell to talk. He'd thought it was his long, lost brother on the line - until Dame Aggie couldn't take it any more and burst out laughing, that is. Now he wouldn't talk to us.

"More cake, anyone?" I asked, trying to change the subject.

"Oh, I'm as full as a fat lady's shoe, dearie" proclaimed Dame Aggie. I eyed her suspiciously; she'd been hanging around with that foul-mouthed northerner Judi Dench again, you could just tell.

"I will 'ave un morceau - uh, a piece," said Jean Michel, sticking his 'Lilo and Stitch' paper plate right in my face. A scowl clouded my features momentarily. "Would you like a breath mint, too?" I enquired before I could stop myself. The party froze. Jean Michel shook his head, but from everyone else's reactions, he could tell something was wrong.

I flustered with the crisps while he picked at his cake for a second in discomfited silence before announcing he was off to turn the monkey bars into a laser harp for later. As he retreated, I gave an apologetic smile and a shrug to Cher, and whispered I was sorry. She shrugged back, saying she'd only bumped into him in Maplins and felt obliged to invite him along. Apparently they met when Cher was first experimenting with lasers - for sound, as well as for shooting them from her eyes at Sonny Bono when their TV show started to flop - and they'd had a begrudging respect for each other since. Well, that explained that great mystery.

"Are we really travelling at 67,000 miles per hour, dear?" asked Aggie, flicking her wrist so a tangle of wool came free of her handbag. I couldn't tell at all what she was knitting.

"Yes," said Cher. "Amazing, isn't it? You'd think we'd at least feel some effect, wouldn't you?"

"Well, it just puts more into my theory that drink is not only a good friend, but it helps you see the universe as it really is, dear."

I had no idea what she was on about, and told her such. She sighed a happy sigh and raised her glass.

"I tells you, dearie, another seven of these, you close your eyes and you're really going to be able to feel every single one of those miles spinning around." She drained it. "Well, six. Judi Dench and I tried it once, and - well, it took her another five on top of that, but then she's carrying so much extra weight, ain't she?"

"I think it's something to do with gravity," said Cher after a pause.

"No, she's definitely big boned," said Aggie. "Honestly. I saw her give a cow a fireman's lift once."

"Probably straight to a barbecue," I chipped in with cheer, hiding my dark thoughts.

"I mean, gravity is why the Earth doesn't fly off. The Sun is generating such a gravitational field, it's holding everything in place. The Sun holds Mercury, and that helps hold Venus. All three keep us in orbit, and so on."

"Blimey," said Aggie. I echoed the sentiment. We really couldn't believe that everything was so well balanced. I sat back to marvel at this, about the infinite complexity and wonder the universe slowly reveals to us. All running like clockwork, and has been for millions and millions of years.

"You know," said Aggie with a sigh, "I hope my niece is born a spastic - I've really fucked up the arms on this."

"Aggie!" I hissed.

There was a blast of a c-sharp, a child's cry and the smell of pork crackling on the breeze. Followed by some swearing in French.

And sometimes, I mused, the universe just enjoys showing how unbalanced it is.

Ah. Happy days.