Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Toilet Roll Cult

"I dont need a a toilet roll, I wait until I get to work and have a dump there"

That's when I knew I had to sort myself out. I was 27 years old and still renting rooms in manky houses with malignant failed but still aspirant male careerists. It wasn't that bad a house really; the ever so posh landlady and her husband were just across the street and were clearly early adopters on the road to 'buy-to let' Nirvana.

I think it was because the rest of the residents were accountants and solicitors, Next suited Friday night kebab scoffers who had planned out their lives in accordance with the two thirds final salary scheme that would be theirs by right if they ticked all the right boxes and licked the appropriate arses.

No food other than condiments and dried pulses and pasta were kept in the kitchen. Any fool who left anything instantly edible would find it gone the next morning. It was the antithesis of communal living, where anything left unattended would be instantly snaffled and crowed over.

It was really the toilet rolls that got to me. You had to carry yours to the crapper, and make sure you left with it. I'm not sure if it was Thatcherism or Maoism, but it scarred me for life.

To this day I can't share a bathroom.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Elegy on the Sad Death of Woolies

Farewell then pick 'n mix,
So much nicer than a boring Twix,
Your plastic scoop has dug its last,
The kiddies treat a daytime fast.

No more cherry lips or candy banana,
A loss of tooth decaying manna,
Plastic lids will no longer flick
To reveal a stripy chewy stick.

I salute thee noble Woolies,
Victim of fiscal heebie jeebies,
We shall not see thy like again,
Nor rummage through thy bargain bin.

W B Garfer

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Posh Git

Cor Blimey am I glad to be shot of that mentalist Yankee bint Madge. The loony cow wouldn't let me have me bangers 'n' mash wiv mushy peas coz she said they wozn't marcobotic or somefink. Couldn't even get a shag coz she spent most of 'er time in an oxygen tent or was off giving it the charitable thing in some stinkin' 'ole in Africar.

Ectually, I'm rather pleased that my ill advised marriage to that lower class gel from Michigan is over. Mater and Pater weren't happy with the union at the time, claiming (quite correctly) that blue blood shouldn't mingle with lower class Eyetie blood. She didn't even know what a fish knife was for!

I don't need her money because I'm Guy Rich Richie. You just can't buy class.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Where and Why?

The Grauniad has a very useful section in its Saturday magazine where metrosexual Londoners suggest that we all move to some provincial hell hole where the air is cleaner, a blow job behind the gas works costs a fiver, and there are several local state schools in which your offspring will learn how to do sums and write in short poorly punctuated sentences.

Last weeks Shangri La was Lancaster. I haven't been to Lancaster, and although I'm sure it's very nice I have absolutely no desire to visit the place let alone live there. One of the locals opined that: "Lancaster has a healthy arts scene, lesbian community, cycling fraternity and is a stronghold of the Green party. It's full of artists and musicians, with Freehold its Latin Quarter!

I suppose it would be mildly diverting watching sandal wearing lesbo cycling groups pedalling about telling people off for using plastic carrier bags, but the novelty would probably wear off pretty quickly. Whenever anyone tells you that a town has a thriving arts scene this invariably means that the rest of the place resembles a post apocalyptic wasteland and is patrolled by squads of inebriated morons in search of arty types to kick the shit out of.

Being a sensitive soul I'm sure that Lancaster isn't the place for me. Perhaps I should try somewhere safer like Moss Side, or Toxteth.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Toad Work

Toads Revisited
by Philip Larkin

Walking around in the park
Should feel better than work:
The lake, the sunshine,
The grass to lie on,

Blurred playground noises
Beyond black-stockinged nurses -
Not a bad place to be.
Yet it doesn't suit me.

Being one of the men
You meet of an afternoon:
Palsied old step-takers,
Hare-eyed clerks with the jitters,

Waxed-fleshed out-patients
Still vague from accidents,
And characters in long coats
Deep in the litter-baskets -

All dodging the toad work
By being stupid or weak.
Think of being them!
Hearing the hours chime,

Watching the bread delivered,
The sun by clouds covered,
The children going home;
Think of being them,

Turning over their failures
By some bed of lobelias,
Nowhere to go but indoors,
Nor friends but empty chairs -

No, give me my in-tray,
My loaf-haired secretary,
My shall-I-keep-the-call-in-Sir:
What else can I answer,

When the lights come on at four
At the end of another year?
Give me your arm, old toad;
Help me down Cemetery Road.

Work is a vastly overrated activity, an unpleasant obligation rendered necessary by the need to earn money. Some people make the fatal error of imbuing their chosen 'career' with life defining qualities before promptly dropping dead on a golf course when they retire. Capitalism, with its inevitable recessions, only makes matters worse by causing much existential angst when work evaporates. Not only is the sense of self worth punctured by the loss of a job, the ensuing financial agony means that you can't even afford to be miserable in comfort.

The only solution to this hideous con trick that I can see is either to make enough money never to have to rely on a salary again, or quit the whole sordid business and live on the range of benefits which so many of the terminally bone idle seem to get by on so happily.

Personally I would be quite content to be a jet setting flaneur with a healthy private income. I'm not so keen on the idea of existing on frozen Iceland pizzas and litre bottles of cheap potent cider, but even that beats the prospect of sitting in an office with people I hate for eight hours a day.

Perhaps I need counselling to reanimate the Protestant work ethic which was briefly mine for ten minutes in 1996. I really could do with some motivational tips as I'm seriously toying with the idea of squandering everything on having a very nice time for the next five years and letting the long term future go hang.

Carpe diem and all that.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I'm so bored with the USA

Barack bleedin' Obama. Every newspaper I open has a six page spread on the big eared wunderkind and his impossibly photogenic family. Apprently he's a Frankenstein liberal cobbled together from the best bits of every successful US president from Lincoln to JFK.

OK, so he's black; but not too black. Personally I'm more impressed that the Americans are astute enough to have elected a gangly dude with big sticky out ears. Lincoln's shell likes were quite striking, and Lyndon Johnson's aural appendages virtually swept along the carpet. One wrote the Gettysburg address and the other introduced the 'Great Society'.

I'm expecting great things from bug a lugs.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Apparently we're all due to start sneezing blood and drowning in our own lung fluid any day now. I'm quite excited by this as I've always fancied strolling down the street ringing my bell and shouting 'bring out yer dead'.

I don't see what all the fuss is about. Given that flu pandemics usually effect city dwellers I should be safe if I decide to live in a cave and subsist on tinned sardines and cider. I may have to use my tin opener to fend off any thieving vagrants attempting to steal my stash, but you have to be tough if you want to survive.

Perhaps It'll be like The Day of the Triffids and I'll be able to hole up in a nice old farm house with some other hardy survivors. We'll drink vintage claret and listen avidly to short wave radio. A shotgun or two will come in handy, and thankfully that's just the sort of thing you tend to find in old farm houses.

Surviving appeals as there would be no excuse for not eating all the tinned and processed foods that I could lay my hands on. Booze is particularly rich in nutrients, so all cellars and sideboards would have to be thoroughly searched.

It would all be more Marx Brothers than Mad Max, and it it would certainly be more fun than worrying about the size of my overdraft.