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

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Final Words

I had my first Thanksgiving last week.

I think it's very important to give thanks; as you can imagine, the amount of time I've fallen to my knees and praised the Lord above for what's before me is too innumerable to mention. So when marvellous ex-pats Bob and Larry said they were going to throw open their doors and asked us to enjoy an enormous turkey, I thought it would be a fabulous way to spend an evening, although by enormous turkey, I thought they were getting Madonna's 'Swept Away'. What a marvellous film. Personally I can't think why it was a box-office flop, and every light-hearted comedy should have an ugly anal rape scene at the beginning. I can certainly imagine Mary Poppins being improved so.

But it turned out to be a turkey bird, as given to the pilgrims by the native Americans. Oh, if it wasn't for those generous indigenous population, where would we be today? No America! Well, there'd be no Murder, She Wrote for one. Or Cagney and Lacey. And that thought just scares me beyond all reason. So bless you, native Indians - you have improved our quality of life beyond all measure, and for that, I was more than willing to give thanks to you. And your casinos, cheap bracelets, and willingness for your likeness to be captured in wood to stand outside cigar shops throughout the United States.

Now, dear Bob and Larry invited a whole host of fabulous people, and I installed myself on the sofa between the mother of the rather glamorous neighbour. Said neighbour was a beautiful middle-aged Lady Who Lunches, slim as a supermodel and "wasn't eating..." but looked at the turkey with an approving glance as she wandered over to get herself a glass of iced water. Clearly as soon as she came into the room, every single gay put down their forks and flocked over to her to pay homage, where she dutifully told us stories of how he decorated her lounge. God, did she know how to play to her audience.

Her mother, the darling lady sitting next to me, turned out to be the former Mrs Nicholas Parsons (he's a light entertainer, dear Yankee brethren) and also knew how to spin a yarn. On the other side was one of my favourite women in the world, who's currently investigating the recent poisoning of the Russian spy who took the Halloween costume of Homer Simpson a little too far by going completely bald and yellow. He's 'sleeping with Baby Jesus' now, as my charming ex would have said, his passing spawning conspiracy sites across the web. Did you hear what his last words were? "The bastards may have got me, but they'll never get us all"

I thought that was wonderfully dramatic. Or he'd been out to see Casino Royale the week before.

Right there and then I decided I should start working on my final words, spurned on by this poor unfortunate's passing. Well, you only get one shot at them, clearly, and I'm hoping for a big turnout when I go. I mean, if my ex's alone try and congregate around my bed, I'm going to have to hire the V&A and put on a decent buffet. Well, you don't want anyone nipping out for a ham salad sandwich and missing the big event, do you?

Although, I'm not a great public speaker, that has to be said. I have a horrible feeling my last words will be something like 'Did I leave the iron on..?'

Or, indeed, "Why on earth is this handbag ticki-"

Boom.

Friday, November 24, 2006

An Apology

A few weeks back, I went to the Science Museum's exhibition on computer games.

Oh yes. We Gentlemen Who Can't Catch have a natural affinity towards computers. You know that old saying? 'Teach a guy to fish, he'll eat forever. Teach a gay to use the Internet, he'll find porn whatever.'

You probably don't cause I just made it up, but the sentiment still stands. I mean, I have a Bachelor of Science honors degree in Information Technology, although in all fairness I only picked the longest sounding one because I wanted my business cards to be almost a foot long, and you ain't gonna lose that when you're tucking it into your hopeful conquest's dinner jacket at the end of the night. I know - I've experimented.

Anyway, we two homothexuals were wandering around the exhibits, which seem to be a homage to Recent Nostalgia, where you wander up to a section and go 'Oh! Lemmings! I used to play that!' then turn around and go 'Oh! Arcanoid! I used to play that!' and then on to the next. Probably Bubble Bobble. I'd gone with my new friend Jonathan who, to be frank, a fascinating piece of work. He's a joyful fellow who's so into self-hypnosis and mind control he can literally Meg Ryan over a chocolate brownie. 'If you believe what you're doing internally, it can manifest itself outside the body too' he said to me once. Well, wouldn't you want to be able to do that? So I've been slowly dangling a rubberised plug in front of my face each night and trying to believe I'm a confident, clever individual - but it isn't working, so I've settled for trying to be more like the Flying Nun. I liked her style.

He's a marvellous thing. And halfway around I then discovered he's also an ex of one of my ex's. After the brief confusing, icy narrowing of the eyes, we soon broke into '...and did he do that thing with you? You know, the one with the...'

I'm curtailing exactly what it was as the ex reads this. And sales of Smints are doing OK for themselves as they are.

Jonathan had gone off to try his hand at The Prince of Persia (I didn't ask, but he had a gleam in his eye) so I was wandering around and wondering whether it's too late to change the family motto to 'Life's Too Short To Dance With Ugly Men' when I heard a familiar voice. Could it be..? My face darkened. Was it really my old nemesis - here, of all places? I sidled up and bent over, looking directly down at the cause of so much anguish in my childhood.

"Ah. Speak & Spell. We meet again."

It sat there impassive. So I pressed the On switch.

Speak & Spell and I have a long history. It was my dream toy as a child, spurned on by ET (it taught you how to spell and it dialed aliens! What's not to love) and it was a joyous Christmas when I finally got one. But there was one stumbling block: it couldn't spell 'colour'.

It foxed me. For about two years. 'NOW SPELL COLOUR' it would demand, and each time I'd plug in C-O-L-O-U-R and it would say 'THAT IS INCORRECT'. My open-mouthed surprise was soon replaced by lip-quivering anger, then tears, tantrums and resentment. I went to bed crying most nights, taunted by its voice. And I never did get twenty out of twenty in its score.

I circled around it, dutifully answering all its trials. I managed 'dissipate', 'europe' and 'onion'. But then it turned on me.

'NOW SPELL COLOUR'

I did. 'C-O-L-O-U-R'

Wrong.

I tried again. Same letters. The longing to be right was eating at my stomach.

Wrong.

"My mobile phone has more computing power than you," I hissed.

"THAT IS INCORRECT," it bleated. "THE CORRECT WAY TO SPELL COLOUR IS C-O-L-O-R."

"No it's not, you bizarre colonial piece of shite!" But it just beeped and told me I'd got 19 out of 20 so I gave it a sly and quick punch up the bracket and walked on.

And that's why, ladies and gentlemen, if you go to the Gaming Exhibit and Speak & Spell is gone for repairs, that'll be years of childhood anger spilling over to be taken out on a gaily-coloured plastic. And I'm only half sorry.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Federline Core

Let's talk about Dame Britney, shall we? Oh yes. Long overdue.

Now Dame Britney Spears and I have a lot in common, you know. We're both from poor white trash, though I hide it a little better by having learned which one's the soup spoon, and it's not really acceptable to find oneself pissed in an alleyway at 3am, wiping a stranger's congealed love-custard off the back of one's legs with a McDonald's napkin.

No, at times like that, you should use a Pret-A-Manger napkin. Much classier.

Oh, and we've both been in for 'knee operations' too; God bless you Britney for trying to get away with that one! We raise our cups to you (mysteriously now a double-D, but don't let that shock you...) in salute to your brazen attitude to the press and public. Of course I made a right song-and-dance about my operation: just little nip and a tuck. Though the Hungarian nurse asked me whether I wanted 'hospital corners' just as I went under; I assumed she was talking about my bed linen and said yes. To this day I'm loathed to look behind my ears just in case I'll find anything untoward. Like washing instructions, or a mint on the pillow.

And we've both starred in little bedroom antics that 'accidentally' got recorded and - whoops, however did that happen - got on the net somehow. I'd just like to say mine was a little more tastefully shot, had more of a plot, got me through university, and is still available from all good outlets for a remarkably cheap £18.99. Do go and get a copy - I could do with a few things - like a new icing bag, what with Christmas coming around. And I think it would be a delightfully ironic thing; for when I'd finished my scene, I looked like I'd been iced by Romeo Beckham in front of a strobe light.

Anyway. We, the Gentlemen Who Can't Catch, have been praying for this moment for two years. Oh, she fell from our glittering graces when she first shacked up with that Fedaline - especially after spurning Justin. Lets not state that he's our ideal catch, but we wouldn't mind checking him for leaks, lets say. Whereas, this laughing stock, this shambling succubus of air came in, riding on your back (don't picture it, gay brethren! Think of Egyptian cotton bedsheets instead!) and demanded to be taken seriously as a rap artist. K-Fed? Oh please. We're glad he's now Fed-Ex. And she can get back to doing proper things instead of squirting out babies and wandering around McDonalds in Daisy Dukes that make her look like uncooked sausage meat with a denim belt pulled tight. Now she can be forcably slim by the record company! Record some more fabulous pop music! And do videos where she's an air stewardess and plays her boobs like an accordion!

And proof that love's course never run's smooth. And I should know; you see that post below this one? The one about the boy who wasn't going to leave his fella? Thank you all, by the way, for the support and vitriol; he saw all that. Bless him. And then went off and dumped his boyfriend.

Salutations and elation!

So what have we learned, ladies and gentlemen? Never do a constructive argument. Never think about these things rationally. Do what Britney and I do: throw a hissy fit and send a text message. Works every time!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Do What..?

Drinking to forget. What a noble pass time.

I woke up, surrounded by debris. And we're not talking a couple of pizza boxes and a your knickers hanging off the light fitting - pah! Such things are for amateurs!

I thought for a moment that the house's ghost had got a bit uppity in the night. Oh yes, we have one, though we don't hear off it much; it just knocks books off the shelves when there's nothing on telly, and it's easy to placate with a Rosemary and Thyme rerun. I don't really believe in unfriendly spirits. I mean, even in Poltergeist with all those ghosts stacking the chairs upside-down on the table? All they wanted to do was get them out of the way so they could do a little bit of hoovering under there. It's true.

But my head said otherwise. Oh, the pain William, the pain! I recall going out with the Very Paul Vyse and we talking over some problem and him being really sympathetic, and he found a cocktail menu and we'd decided to drink it all alphabetically. It started getting blurry around Cosmopolitan, though I did remember hacking up a bit of Mojito into an ashtray so clearly we'd gone on.

I wonder what I'd wanted to forget?

My memory's fairly appalling at the best of times. I can't even remember whether Madonna's in favour at the moment or not. The best I've been able to do is construct a little swiss-style weather barometer thing - you know, the little chalet with the two doors for when it rains or shines? One door has her in her pink disco leotard for the good days, and a black beret clutching a hand grenade and being 'all controversial' for the other side. Oddly, the grenade has just been swapped for a little coloured baby. One hopes she doesn't pop out start throwing that when the weather takes a turn.

I shifted around in the duvet, head like lead. I could feel something tickling my ear and I hoped that lump in the duvet next to me wasn't a stranger. It turned out to be a bucket of chicken and a feather boa. Oh, that means the mascara on the pillow was mine too, and - yup - there was the karaoke CD. I bet I'd been singing into a hairbrush (currently wedged in a place my old IT teacher was itching to get into during my sixth form final year) that well-known women-who'd-been-dumped hit 'All By Myself'. Which can only mean one thing - boy trouble.

Ah yes, the Boy. The guy who I was half seeing, which had got somewhat more serious than either one of us had expected. Although we'd reached an impasse in where we were going; he couldn't or wouldn't leave his boyfriend, and I couldn't (or wouldn't) wait until he did. I was meant to give him until the lease on his house was up. It was explained to me in appalling detail, but each time he left to go back to his boyfriend, a little more of me resented him for it the closer we got. He told me to wait for three months. 'It's nothing,' he said. 'We can do this for three months.'

Turns out I couldn't. Weak little me.

I've had to take a step back until he leaves his man. It's not fair on any of us. So I'm going to hold, three months, waiting in the wings like the Phantom of the Opera. Keeping my distance, watching him from afar.

And wondering.

And wondering whether I should have forgotten.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Runabout

There's a very, very thin line between sexy and silly.

Lesbians in movies - with the hair like they've been raiding Bonnie Tyler's hairspray collection and the nails like Freddy Krueger - I personally can't see how any man can find that sexy. They look silly. Yet they're the prerequisite in most straight porn films, tupping each other with frightening fake conviction, and even more frightening ferocity. I tell you, if I were a Lady Wot Licks (a nightmare I often have; that and the one where I've just bought that darling ramie cotton-look bedsheets, only to find them remaindered two days later) and I saw any such lezbean coming at my delicate, fleshy ladygarden with those red talons, I'd tell her to sod off back to her own country.

In a Gentleman's Health Club I used to frequent - you know the ones where you get the free white towel and the massages are extra - I noted that they have installed half a car in one of the upstairs rooms since my last pad around the corridors. The idea being that you can fulfill some sort of fantasy of being diddled over the hood of a car while the shuffling spectators cheer on. Oh apparently people do fantasize about such things - although mine will only be addressed if they include a dungeon downstairs with a dip-tank that'll get Lurpak out of cotton trousers. I'm not saying why; while I did enjoy that afternoon immensely, I do miss those trousers a lot.

Now, the problem with the vehicle installed is, well, it's a really gay car. And this is really the crux of my argument:

4x4 with bull-bar to swing off? Sexy.

Renault Clio in pastel? Silly.

I just have to say it's not as much fun being shunted over the bonnet while all the time you're imagining looking up and seeing someone doing the school run through the windshield. Next time I'm there I'm going to leave a bag of M&S shopping on the top of it, just to be really authentic.

And die laughing while watching someone getting done on the hood with a look in their eye that says 'I wonder if there's any low-fat peach melbas in there...'

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Slam

Well, I mused while washing the blood off my hands when I got home, that didn't go as expected.

* * *

There's been a couple of psychic 'markers' in my life that I keep getting bugged by, if you delightful viewers will forgive my airy-fairy manner once more. One is to keep getting tested for diabetes because I just know I am going to be one at some point. Another is to learn some self defence before I'm mid-thirties as it will be needed (no more details, just 'it will be needed'). There's one or two other ones, but I shan't bore you with future fashion mistakes to avoid. It's more fun otherwise.

Well, it turns out there's a group of Gentleman Who Can't Catch who gather together a few days a week to do jujitsu. Who, one supposes, I should really call Gentlemen Who Can Throw. Fair viewers, I thought it'd be a good thing, and possibly a laugh as - lets face it - I've had more than my fair share of tossing gentlemen callers over my shoulder in the past, so it's sort of a busman's holiday for me. And I would learn something about the jujitsu slap! The chinese burn, and the devilish mussing of the hair!

So picture the scene, first time there. Everyone else in their fetching white robes, looking like the clientele outside a Hilton Hotel when the fire alarm had gone off. Me in black trackie bottoms, hands currently around a lesbian's throat.

It may have been all part of the move she was showing me - how to get out of a stranglehold - but I have to say I felt very, very uncomfortable about putting my hands around a woman's windpipe. Dear viewer, one does hope that you've never had to be in this position. Maybe you have, or maybe you will: perhaps you've been trapped in a cable car with Keira Fucking Knightly, or will happen to be at a bake sale where any or all of the Pussycat Dolls had been within arms reach and you and felt like doing humanity a favour. But as I had my nicely manicured digits around that (admittedly quite boyish) lass, one did feel an odd, instinctual pang of self-loathing.

That was until she punched my solar plexus and rammed my jaw upward, twisting my right arm behind my back and forcing me to the mat with a cheery 'hai!' that is. Goodness, one doesn't want to get in your way for the last of the Birkenstocks, I almost said. But thought better of it as I was now in a position that she could clearly break my arm. See? Respect power if you must; but never underestimate a Sturdy Lady who can punch properly. They tend to be very angry.

* * *

I got told off for swearing on the mats.

You have to respect the dojo, I was told. Bow to your sensai, wipe your feet, respect at all time. And no swearing. Which is when I discovered that people were taking it Very Seriously. There was no sissy slaps, and no-one sniggered about the tossing. It wasn't gay at all! So I decided to buckle down and take it seriously.

Then rammed my foot back too far on my forward fall and ripped off my big toe-nail on my left foot.

Blood everywhere. Despite being, what we all agreed, to be the gayest injury ever. And I apologise to my sensai for yelling 'Fuck!' on the mats again. I think he forgave me this time.

* * *

Well, I mused while washing the blood off my hands when I got home, that didn't go as expected.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Consider Sodding Off

Writer's block. It's a terrible thing.

I need to be constantly stimulated. For example, PJ Hammond - scribe of some of the most classic television scripts of our time - he writes under a mirrorball, which I think is lovely. Maybe getting up and throwing some disco shapes in between plotting to what happened to Sapphire and Steel in that garage.

But my stimulation has been a bit lax of late. Of course I blame Iain M Banks. I thought 'well, why not read some proper sci-fi for once!' and then got trapped in this world of charmingly descriptive prose where NOTHING HAPPENS. And this is why my urge to write anything has been weaker than Posh Spice's excuse of not taking pictures of her kid 'because he's got epilepsy'. Like rot. I say let's throw him in a discotheque and watch him foam his way to oblivion to save us from forty coming years of banal headlines.

Anyway. Iain M Banks and his succubus books. Do you know Consider Phlebas takes four chapters to describe a train starting up. And Excession is about... well, it's about 300 pages too long (tatty-boom!) and the plot is about someone who went to a party, someone who may or may not be dead, someone who wants to be an alien then coming together and meeting. So as far as I can tell, it's like Abigail's Party with more outrageously-named Space Cocktails. It's beautifully done, but by the gods, I've been on Pride marches that move faster.

So I'm going to give them all up and do colouring books instead. And if anyone suggests I read anything more 'creatively fulfilling' than a Mills and Boon, I'm going to twat them.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Spooky

Of course, homothexual pubs can be equally as scary.

And we're not just talking the price of a bottle of wine these days (lord, do magical pixies drain it through Brad Pitt's gold-plated jock strap now?) but those certain pubs that are just full of wraiths and pensioners. The Public House of the Lost. That Smells Slightly of Ralgex.

There's one up near Marble Arch which I only ever visit dutifully on Hallow e'en, so I don't know whether the cobwebs there are for decoration or not. It's the kind of place that, if you hear a good laugh from someone, it's usually followed by a 'chink! splash!' as their false teeth fall into their pint. And everyone clusters around the toilets - maybe it's for saucy reasons, maybe their bladders aren't as strong and any slight shock (burst balloon, we've gone to decimal currency, etc) may cause a yellow monsoon about their comfortable brogues.

Of course, in any gay ecosystem, there's the tiny teeth-cleaning bird to the crocodile. And in this place, it's the stick-thin boys who only ever go in there on pension day. They're an artform in themselves, watching them inveigle their way into an elderly man's affections for the night. For some reason, they've also taken the Pet Shop Boy's 'Rent' off the jukebox too.

Now, as I'm sure you all know, I like having the willies put up me, so I was in there on Hallow e'en for a bit of a scare. Girding my loins against the shambling zombies after a pint. After you install yourself in a corner, you can fair get ratted on pre-war price pints, and sing along to some rather marvellous Vera Lynn tunes before kicking out time.

I can't remember much after that. The last I recall is tripping over a kid in a scary Condoliza Rice mask and nicking all his Curly-Whirlies. I must have gone into a mad sugar spiral because I've just had my phone bill and I think I spent the whole night texting Moira Stewart to ask her how she gets her hair like that.