Thursday, 22 July 2010

It's a town full of losers, I'm pulling out of here to win

Yay! I finally figured out how to do all the stuff on Blogger I could do before but then couldn't do...if you see what I mean. I'm not very computer literate I'm afraid. Thanks to all you kind folks who offered suggestions as to the cause of my problems. All I had to do was click Blogger's new thing-a-me-jig. Hurrah!

Anyway, where were we? Aah yes, turning forty. I'll be celebrating my fortieth birthday in less than six months' time, and I'm dreading it already. I can never understand these people who want to celebrate their fortieths. I hate the fact I'm getting older. I suppose if I had kid I'd treat it differently. But how can you have kids when your a big kid yourself? My greatest dilemma in life is to try and choose between Sugar Puffs and Ricicles. See? I even eat kiddies's cereals. I suppose I should be eating Shredded Wheat, but they're so chuffing boring.
And when does it become unacceptable to wear t-shirts with the names of bands on? I'm writing this in a khaki Metallica t-shirt with the band logo on the front and the legend 'Death Magnetic' on the back. Is this type of garment the preserve of the fourteen year-old and not the forty year-old? Likewise, when do you stop wearing Converse sneakers? It's a bloody minefield. I mean, I want to stay 'down wi' kids' but by the same token I don't want to look like Tommy Saxondale (though I wouldn't mind a bit of his hair).

Staying on the subject of having kids, I'm reading Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern at the minute. It's based on this Justin's Twitter feed, the title's pretty self explanatory. If I was a dad (some chance!) I hope I'd be like Halpern Snr. He doesn't suffer fools gladly and treats his kids like adults. I don't mean like those awful liberal parents who nip down to the shop to buy their kids fags and believe they've got as much to learn from their kids as they have from them. He's the sort of dad who tells it like it is. No bullshit. What particularly struck a chord with me was when Justin took him a Lego model as a child and his dad told him it was crap. You see even as a kid I could never understand parents who put their kids' artwork up on the wall and tell them how great it was. It really used to annoy me on Blue Peter when they'd get the viewers to design the Christmas stamps. The winner of the first class letter stamp would always be a red splodge with a white splodge on top which was supposed to represent Father Christmas. On the display behind the presenters they'd display the other entrants and you wanted them to pick the really detailed thing done by some art A level students. Can you imagine these Christmas cards being delivered from abroad and the kind of message it sent out about Britain? I always wanted to shout at Simon Groom or Lesley Judd to go back and rethink what they think should have won. I always remember some party on a park in London (don't ask me which one, London parks after Hyde, Regent's and St James's all blur into one for me. You go there looking for two things, to get stabbed or jerked off) when I was about eight or nine in honour of the Queen or something. This must have been quite an important party because it was broadcast live during the school holidays. This party boasted the world's longest poster - painted by bloody kids of course - and at the very end of this poster was The Queen. Her Maj was duly escorted to her part of the poster where a youth worker had let the kids paint Our Lovely Queen Gawd Bless Yer Ma'am black. I seem to remember finding this absolutely hysterical and going to find Mum to show her. She turned around and walked straight out as soon as she saw it was Geoffrey off of Rainbow who was guiding The Queen around because she hated both him and everything to do with Rainbow.
Anyway, just thought I'd tell you that...

Right I'm off on my hols for massive chunks of the next month so there'll be no more posting, Faceberk, Twatter or whatever. I need a break from all this intertwat madness every once in awhile. I'm going to do what 70s rock stars used to do and get my head together in the country. In fact I'll be a bit like Yes when they recorded Tales From Topographic Oceans; they couldn't decide whether to record in the country or the city so they bought in straw bales and stuffed sheep to the recording studio in London. So I'll be going to both the country and the city. Best off both worlds, eh? Whichever, I'm jumping on a freedom moped out of this town.
I'll leave you with something nice and summery and one of only two songs I like by Springsteen, who doesn't like to see the girls in their summer clothes? Pip pip, have a good summer and I'll see you around. You'll have to click here to see it as Broooce doesn't want no Limey, Chevvy-hatin', blue-collar-anthem-deridin' dude embedding it.

Thursday, 15 July 2010


Why can't I put pictures and links on blog posts any more?

Friday, 2 July 2010

Charity begins in the street

I've been into town just now, and it's awash with, what I believe are called 'charity muggers'. Now, I'm a fairly generous person, I think. I donate to charity regularly (though like Smashie and Nicie, I don't like to talk about it), what I hate though is being bullied into it.
These charity muggers today were from the British Red Cross, a worthwhile organisation, I'm sure you'll agree. Today though I really didn't want to set up a standing order for £5 a month to go to them. I don't really like entering into contracts, apart from my employment contract, which is the reason why I refuse to have Sky telly, contract mobile phones etc. The thing is, they must have worked out that they could afford to blitz a town centre with these muggers today as the money they pay the muggers they must be able to recoup and then some. I mean, I take it they're getting paid for doing this as they all look like students. I think I must be an easy target - they see me approaching, floral print shirt, nice jeans, Converse All Stars. "Ah" they must think to themselves "This stocky, balding James Mayalike is just the sort of middle class bloke whose conscious will get the better of him - this is as good as in the bag." Think again, Student Grant, I encountered three, and these are the conversations I had:
Lady Charity Mugger: "Good morning, sir!
Me: "Morning!"
LCM: "Can you spare a couple of minutes for a chat?"
Me: "No"
She made a mistake, if she'd said "Morning, sexy!" then yeah, I may have stopped and indulged in some mild flirting before walking off without opening a standing order and she would have though to herself "Saddo thought he was in with a chance" well, that's her loss.
Next one looked like Hair Bear off of The Hair Bear Bunch:
Hair Bear Charity Mugger bellowing from a hundred yards away: "Morning sir!"
*I look over my shoulder in a mock 'are-you-talking-to-me-manner'*
HBCM: "Yes, you sir, the chap who looks very nice! Have you go time to chat, sir?! I'm not asking for money!"
Me: "No"
Next one approaches after I've stepped out of the music shop to drool over the drum kit I want and had a chat with the proprietor, with a copy of Kerrang!* and a practice pad under my arm.
Charity Mugger: "Morning, sir, have you got time for a chat?"
Me: "What, are you going to buy me a pint to go with it?"
CM: "Ho ho, no sir!"
Me: "Then I haven't got time 'for a chat.'"
Ha! That told him.
So what did I do then? I stepped into the Oxfam books and record shop where charity mugging of another kind was going on. What they hell are they doing with the prices? They had a vinyl copy of Dark Side of the Moon. "Oooh" I thought to myself "I wonder if that's still got the stickers and postcards which came with 1970s pressings?" I was disappointed, there was a card attached to the front which read "Late '70s pressing. No stickers or postcards. Plays okay, just slight jump during Brain Damage." Do you know how much they wanted for it? £9.99! That's nearly ten of your English pounds! What a rip off! Hardly a rare album is it, not when they've sold thirty million of them. If it had stickers and postcards? Yes, then they could have had my £9.99 and that would have made it four times that I'd bought the bloody record.
To compound this, in with the records was a Q magazine guitarists' photo supplement. I used to have that and binned it, now they want a tenner for something that was given away for free!
Compare that with the Oxfam in Nottingham a few months back which had every Q mag from issue 1-50 for sale for £90. I bloody wish I'd bought it now. No, scratch that, I wish I'd not thrown out my Qs which I collected religiously from 1988 to 1997.
I'm not being tight-fisted here, but Oxfam would get a lot more of my business if they looked into their pricing policy, so, in the long run, they've lost out. I mean, a vinyl copy of Blondie's Parallel Lines for £7.99 when you can buy it on CD from Sainsbury's for less than a fiver,? Do me a favour...*wonders off, muttering*...
Anyway, have a good weekend. If, like me you're going out for a picnic, with family, then note these wise words. Oh, and apologies for the 'screamers', went a bid mad with them, didn't I?:

*Yeah, I buy Kerrang every now and again. What are you going to do about it? Besides, this week's has got my four thrash metal heroes on the cover - together at last!