Thursday, 19 April 2012

The embryo position.

Two weeks ago I left my agent and made an offer on a flat in the same day. I've had a twitch in my left eye ever since. This is true. I don't handle stress particularly well. I'm not the sort of person you'd describe as highly strung. When I'm nervous or worried my energy levels tend to deplenish. If I was on the titanic I would not be co-ordinating the lifeboats. I would also not be running around screaming. I would be finding a nice corner to curl into a ball and die.

When I was about 10 I was beaten up for playing the violin. The thing is I didn't play the violin. Have I told this story before? As most of you are crack addicts I doubt you'll remember. I was riding my BMX up and down the back lane behind our house. Two of my (neighbour)hood's bad boys approached. One was the baddest kid in school and the other one was one of those kids who was somehow associated with the school but hadn't bothered going for a couple of years. I found out recently that Cheryl Cole lived in the tower block by where I lived when I was growing up. Perhaps one of them was her smack enthusiast brother.

As I rode towards them they told me to stop. Now, I knew that this couldn't end well. We were from different worlds. At the bottom of my bed were the 10 books the local library would allow me to take out at one time. At the bottom of theirs were glue, used condoms and poorly spelt letters from their prison dads. Yet I still stopped. As a child I was always obedient to authority and I interpreted their menace as authority.

'Do you play violin?' one asked.


'Aye you dee. He plays violin'

'No. Not me. That's Max. He lives at number 16. I play the guitar'

This was true. You might say it was unnecessary for me to give Max's address but remember I was ten and scared. I accept that you might not want me in the trenches along side you though. I intend to send this blog to any military board that tries to draft me.

'He's lying. You do play violin.'

'I don't. Honest.'

'Get off ya bike'



I got off. One of them then pushed me and I knew I was about to be beaten up. I immediately got down on the ground and went into the embryo position while they kicked me on the back a few times. Not particularly hard I think. There were a few bruises but they didn't really go for it. Maybe they were a bit weirded out by my submissiveness.

I suppose it's quite a sad story. Not least because it reveals why the London Philharmonic has so few Geordie violinists. Every boy gets beaten up at least once though. I suspect Bruce Willis gave Haley Joel Osment a kicking or two on the set of 'Sixth Sense' just to teach him a life lesson. 'Haley ain't no name for a girl!'. The question is would Haley curl up into a ball or at least attempt to fight back a bit no matter how futile it was? Fighting spirit is a good thing, right? Even if you are an effeminate child up against the star of the Die Hard movies.

What I face now is not a fight. It's just a bit of stress caused by choices I've made. Choices which I think are good ones but involve risk. There is still that instinct to just get off the bike and lie down on the ground and close my eyes though.

Epilogue: When writing this blog I opened another tab to look for a word that incorporated players of all stringed instruments. I thought it would make the Philharmonic line a bit funnier. I failed. What I did somehow stumble on was a list of "viola jokes". Perhaps the lads who attacked me were just viola players disgruntled at the constant abuse. Look...

Yeah! Viola players are idiots! Seriously guys. This stuff is gold. I think I may have finally found my voice as a stand up. That's only Part One!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Make of this what you will.

I realise I've left you blogless for a while. Did you even notice? Did any of you even think for just one second to check if I was ok? Did anyone ring around the hospitals? No. Fuck you. You're so wrapped up in your own pathetic little lives that you don't even consider how I'm doing. Now let me do this thing in peace. You can leave the room if you like.

To get me back to my worthy-of-more-readers flow I'm going to play an old game... random article. That's right! It's the game I played for a brief period last year which received absolutely no positive responses at all. Then why am I bring it back? They just remade 21 Jump Street didn't they? Boom! In this game I click random article on Wikipedia and tell you about what I find. Why can't you just play this game yourselves? Because you, and I feel awful saying this, don't have the wit that I'm about to bring to the table...

Right. Here goes. Safety goggles on. It's time to click random article...

Ok. So, I've got the Taobei District which is a district of the city of Baicheng which is in Jilin in China. Do we have any anyone in from the Taobei District? No? Ok. I have of course never heard of Baicheng (although I've just discovered it's bigger than Birmingham) or Jilin. I've just looked at a long list of China's biggest cities and Baicheng doesn't even make it in. There are a fuck of a lot of people in China. You know when you get on the tube at rush hour and you're all crammed up together? That is what I imagine leaving the house is like in China. No, getting out of bed. As soon as you are out of bed you are essentially on the Central Line at 8.30am. Of course, being so close together only makes things worse. It leads to a lot of accidental penetration which, in turn, leads to more people.

Right, that's China satirised. I don't think we'll be hearing from them for a while. Selecting new random article... NOW!

What we've got here is William Humble Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley. His name is followed by no less than eight military honours. That kind of makes his middle name, Humble, seem a bit of a stretch. Born in 1867 WIlliam obviously went to Eton and obviously ended up a Conservative politician. If only Billy could see the changes since his death in 1935. Why, if he'd been born just 99 years later then he could have been Prime Minister no less. Boom! Can somebody fetch me the producer of Have I Got News For You please? Because I am on satirical fire. Interestingly in 1920 Humble's wife drowned (suspicious?) and four years later he married an actress named Gertie Millar. Gertie was from Bradford and the daughter of a mill worker. They got to fucking and their great grand daughter is the actress Rachel Ward who was in the the Steve Martin movie Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.

I'll do one more but only because you really really want me to...

Alien autopsy is what's come up. Not the much acclaimed Ant and Dec film but the procedure itself. The whole article is about the hoax alien autopsy done by some bellend called Ray Santilli. Apparently the Ant and Dec film was based on his hoax which was believed by some other bellends for about 15 years until he admitted that it was bollocks. I've never seen the film Alien Autopsy but I'm suspicious as to how accurately the Geordie duo were able to portray the London based entrepreneur. Especially what with there being two of them and only one of him. Hats off to them for giving it a go though.

And hats off to you for reaching the end of this blog post. Tomorrow's will be better. As a reward for sticking with it here is Fred Willard being brilliant...