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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

30 November 2001
I’ve been wandering about the internet, and found this beautiful site. Best viewed with a sound card, I think.

All Things Must Pass

This morning, just before I left the house to walk in to work, I noticed that the BBC news were showing old stock footage of The Beatles. I automatically thought that Paul had probably said something else stupid about September 11th, or maybe he’d set a date for his wedding. But then I noticed that the pictures were very George heavy, and I suddenly realised that it was tribute footage.

Obviously, his health problems have been well documented in the last couple of years, and particularly in the last six months as he journeyed to America to try out some last-chance “miracle” cure for the cancer that was slowly killing him. But somehow, this still came as something of a surprise to me.

I walked in to work flicking between radio stations, but settled on Virgin radio, as they seemed, surprisingly, to be coping with the breaking news better than the rest of them. As they played three George specific Beatles songs in a row, I realised that I had tears streaming down my face.

Among the many things me and my Mum have always agreed on, George was our favourite Beatle. News reports say he died peacefully and fearlessly, surrounded by his family. I do hope that now, wherever he’s gone to, he’s as happy as his songs have made me feel.

29 November 2001
Last night, my good friend Jayne went to see the new Kevin Smith film, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

I have only very recently discovered the work of Kevin Smith since moving in to my new flat, and finding myself ill and off work with no interest in watching UK Style all day and being forced instead to watch the rather eclectic video collection belonging to my new flat mates.

I decided to watch Chasing Amy first, since there were two copies of it in the collection, and because I had never heard of it. I didn’t like it, but Jayne persuaded me instead to watch the rest of the Kevin Smith back catalogue in the order they were intended. And, like everyone else that has ever watched his films, I was hooked from the first scene of Clerks. Hoorah.

If you’re not a fan of Kevin Smith films, very much like these people, then don’t go and see this film. It will irritate the hell out of you. If you haven’t seen any Kevin Smith films, go and watch them all, back to back, in the right order. If you are a fan, you’ve probably already seen the film.

26 November 2001
I seem to be developing and new and interesting side obsession with all things radio. This has probably got a lot to do with the fact that the television reception in my bedroom is so appalling as to be pointless, and the viewing choices of my flat mates tend not to stretch past re-runs of The Simpsons and MTV.

The weekend in London was quite radio-heavy, as it turned out. We spent the mornings listening to Christian O’Connell’s excellent breakfast show on Xfm, drove around on Saturday and Sunday listening to Jon Holmes’ show on Virgin, and also meeting up with Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant after their Saturday afternoon show on Xfm.

We met up with Steve and Ricky straight after their show this week, which was fantastic for all the wrong reasons – they were both sporting what sounded like fairly sizeable hangovers, and bravely ploughed through their two hours by needlessly slagging each other off.

The interview went fabulously well, mainly I suspect due to the fact that myself and Susan were completely incapable of feeling nervous about anything. We both went as far as to pronounce it the best interview we’ve ever done, but time (and transcription) will tell.

As for meeting Adam and Joe… well. That was quite something. We are still both a bit rubbish about getting nervous before interviews, especially if we really like the people we’re about to talk to, and particularly if we haven’t spoken to them before – which isn’t usually the case, as we tend to nab people after gigs rather than going through management. This was a totally unique situation for us though, and as we sat in the reception of Tiger Aspect in Soho, we couldn’t help but desperately pray that neither of us would fall over in the heat of the moment, and sat instead catching each other’s eye and try not to giggle like the school children we so obviously are. And just as we thought we had control of the situation, all four of the League of Gentlemen walked out of a side room and stood not two feet away from us.

So when Adam and Joe turned up five minutes later, and led us up some stairs we weren’t particularly surprised to meet The League at the top of the stairs, and from what I could see of Susan, we managed to do quite a convincing impression of not being particularly impressed. While our insides went all silly. Fun.

24 November 2001
Hoorah. Last night / this morning, me and Susan's dulcet tones were heard cackling merrily on national radio. Yes, that's right, we managed to fool Jon Holmes into letting us on air, and we did a very good job. We assume. Obviously we've not heard it yet. But joining in the hilarity was a fantastic experience - revealing without a doubt that all the exciting things on radio shows happen while they're on the air.

Except, of course, for the nutters that ring in. I myself had the pleasure of talking to a bloke who called in to say that he had a dead body in his upstairs room. I asked him who the dead body was. He said his name was Jimmy, but it was alright, because I "didn't know him". How fantastic.

And now we're off to meet Ricky Gervais.

Have you seen us? We've very goooood.

22 November 2001
What you need for a fun weekend :

1. Quit your job the week before, and then go ahead with unplanned holiday and spend all the money in your overdraft you are supposed to be reserving for paying your rent in January.

2. Spend a week ringing round people you know trying to find out who can get you an interview with anyone. In desperation, dig up old hope that we could get interview with Adam and Joe. Send off one last ditch email and then get a reply from Adam almost immediately afterwards saying "yeah, is Friday okay?" when Friday almost definitely isn't.

3. Spend the rest of that day in nervous anxiety waiting to see if Susan's boss will give her Friday afternoon off work. He does, eventually. At 7pm.

4. Watch your mobile phone ring, refusing to answer it because the number comes up as "anonymous". Listen to the message, and realise it was someone quite bloody famous ringing from their BBC office. Ring Susan, trying to explain what has just happened while everyone in your open plan office looks at you like you're a complete freak of nature, and you turn a really weird rash shade of red and pale.

5. Ring same person back at their BBC office while trying to sound calm and nonchalant. Pull off calm and nonchalant right up to the point where you hand up the phone, and then feel the need to scream like some mad Beatles fan from the early 1960s.

6. Decide that trying to get on a national radio show would be fun. Ask a DJ if you can go on his national radio show. Said DJ says “yes, that’s fine.” Realise what you’ve just done.

7. Spend the night before you leave over-packing, panicking and trying to dye your hair.

8. Ahahahahahaaaaaaa.

18 November 2001
In what turned out to be a more traumatic experience than I first envisaged it would be, I officially handed in my notice at work last Friday. Susan talked me through the writing of my resignation letter – since then I’ve discovered this site which would have saved us both the bother. It does include some brilliant and real resignation letters, which made me giggle. But then, I’ve found that everything in the world is currently making me giggle, in the light of the fact that in four weeks time I will have no job and no prospects. Like the white trailor trash I secretly yearn to be.

Plans are afoot for my next trip to London – which is to be this weekend, thanks in equal part to GNER’s poor safety record, and Osama Bin Laden’s work, which has made people frightened of travelling to London. The tickets are cheaper, and who are we to turn down a good offer? So I shall be off down to the bright lights of London town, to seek my fortune once more. We’re still putting the finishing touches to our schedule (i.e. waiting for lazy arses to get back to us), but our biggest plans involve going cruising in the Lounge Mobile, fishing for boys.

(Susan’s borrowing her Mum’s car for the weekend)

And today I went to see the Harry Potter film. Much, much, much more about that tomorrow, but for now I will say: It was utterly perfect. I actually cried.

Saturday 15th December sees the first Santacon UK and you are invited to attend. Santacon is an event invented in the US by the Cacophony Society.

Santacon involves 100 Santas on a drunken [if you like] spree through London. Starting in the north and working its way through the shopping centres, bars and plazas of our city. Santacon is a celebration of being Santa and the spirit of Xmas. It is also a social experiment, exploring how people react to 100 Santas moving en-masse. Dirty carols will be sung, Santas will carouse with each other and authorities will be perplexed. Mimes will be mooned, jugglers jiggled and fire eaters fucked with.

Ho, ho, ho

The evening will end with some kind of event somewhere, probably.

His/her name is Santa and he dances on the Strand

YOU are invited to be one of the 100. Santas can be of all ages, sexes and sizes [padding optional]. The only requirement is that you dress as Santa. Details will be forthcoming on where to score the cheapest Santa outfit, or you can make your own. Sexy Santas, hotpant Santas and wrestling masked Santas are all welcome. Please pass this information on to anyone else who you feel may want to be Santa too. All you need is a Santa outfit, a travelcard and a hip flask [optional].

Santa has his own views on globalisation, the war and the like, but he will not be exhibiting those during Santacon. Santacon is not a protest or a demo, it is a works outing for the hardworking wannabe Santas amongst us.

Ho, ho, ho

The Santa hotline is now operational and will be available throughout Santacon UK. Call 07949 753487. The email is santacon@hotmail.com

This number/email address can also be used by members of the press. Please note that ALL those wishing to join Santa's happy band must wear Santa outfits, even if you do own a Microcassette recorder.

For historic materials see:

14 November 2001
This is the most fantastic thing I have ever had the pleasure to hear. You must go immediately from this place and listen to Jon Holmes and Travis the Baby, as played on Virgin Radio last Saturday night at 1 o’clock in the morning. Click on the link that reads ‘Travis the baby’ and spend the next seven minutes giggling. It’s a beautiful moment.

In other Sharon news, I’ve managed to buy another pair of shoes, to equal my sister Edel who, while trying to emulate my life in every way, has also recently purchased two new pairs of shoes. She’s also taken to signing the Lee and Herring guestbook. She wants to be me.

But less about her. Yesterday, on my way home from work, I accidentally bought a pair of eight hole Dr Martens, something I’ve never owned in my life, despite being alive for 25 years. My ones are blue. I’ve only managed to wear them for a total of five minutes so far, but once I’ve got the buggers broken in, there’ll be no stopping me.

Assuming I’ve still got feet left.

13 November 2001
This is one of the nice things people have said about us - this comes from James Bachman, one of Bachman and Evans, who, as you are well aware, we interviewed for November's Comedy Lounge.

Read the nice things here.

12 November 2001
It's a Monday, and that's traditionally when we get the most hits on Comedy Lounge, although we're never entirely sure why. It could just be people checking to see if we've actually managed to get off our lazy arses and do some work. That's most likely it.

We’ve had quite a good turn out, considering it’s the first issue in ages, and also some really positive feedback from some of the people featured this month, which is always nice to hear.

Me and Susan have also started plotting the adventures we’re intending to have while I’m down in London town just before Christmas – some of our plans involve radio and television stations, but more on that if we ever actually manage to pull any of this off.

In the meantime, a short word of advice – to save all of you the time and trouble, don’t bother wasting your money on the new on Private Eye CD, because it’s rubbish. Don’t be fooled by the pretty cast list, like I was.

10 November 2001
Having spent virtually all day (besides the parts of the day where I've been doing other things, like staring into space, or singing very loudly along to my new Damien Rice CD) working on the new issue of Comedy Lounge, I now have to look for something else to do, as Susan has taken me off the Andy Zaltzman detail.

This issue has been particularly hard work for both of us, due to the fact that it's been over three months since we've had to work on an issue (due to the Edinburgh Festival, and then the two months it took for us to be bothered to write anything again).

But I do think that this issue is quite good. I particularly like the new links page, and the sarcasm content is slightly higher than usual too. Over all, fun. Why not email me and Susan and tell us how great we both are.

09 November 2001

Susan Turnbull has requested that it should be pointed out that the only reason I've managed to include any html texting in this at all is because I've stolen it all from Comedy Lounge.

So, let it be known that she is the Web T-Rex, while I am merely a web amoeba.

Good night.

A quick aside on the subject of employment, written at 4.06pm over the work email system while there's nothing else to do on a relatively slow Friday...

I seem to be going out of my way to get sacked right at the moment, and it's occurred to me to wonder why I'd be doing that.

A brief history - I got reprimanded this week by my line manager for being constantly on the email every time he walked past. Fair Cop Guv'ner and all such things, because it was absolutely true - it occurred the day after my birthday, and I was busy conferencing with lots of other people who have personal work email accounts about important things. Like, if I remember correctly, "If you were an animal, what would you be?" (I'd recently taken the 'animal in me' test, and come out as a Penguin, so I'm quite well versed on that topic)

That day was a particularly poor example of my ability to stay focused on the job at hand. Bearing in mind that I’d just stopped being 24 and had just started being 25, the trauma of that occurrence did (in my humble) allow me some slack. However, maybe not quite as slack as I was being. There was everyone, frantically multi-tasking around me, and there was I, busily composing a pithy reply to the accusation that I smell.

The following day, you may already have jumped to the realisation, I started up this blog. And, by carefully looking at the times when things were posted here, you’d be right to think that I carried on posting to this blog during work hours. Not quite what I’m paid to do, you’d be right in assuming.

So here lies my question - do I actually, consciously, want to be sacked? I don’t think I do, when it comes down to it. I mean, I’ll be handing in my notice next Friday, and I’d rather I got the last word, rather than they did. I’m not leaving because I hate the job, but more because I hate having to work, and hold it against anyone I possibly can. And, since I’ve used up all my holiday allowance, I feel it’s time to go.

I may well be a mental. What do you think?

Answers on a postcard, please.

Yesterday, I managed it finally. Having come up with a huge number of ingenious ways to avoid it - including setting up this blog last Wednesday so that my lunch break would pass by without a visit to Schuh - I finally managed to buy a pair of work shoes. Good for me, Go Team etc. I've also managed to persuade myself that I liked the experience so much that I'm going to brave it out again on Saturday - Comedy Lounge permitting - and go buy a pair of shoes I can actually walk in.

My work shoes, because I know you all care, are black with square toes, flat heels and a rubber sole (to match the Beatles album) and come from Clarkes. Consequently, they do look a bit like My Mummy Bought Them For Me, but they're certainly doing the trick.

Unbelievably, I’ve managed to find a picture of them on the internet. Go look at them here and tell me if you think they’re pretty.

07 November 2001
After an hour and a half of mucking about with HTML text, which frankly I have no idea how to use, I've managed to add a guestbook to the bottom of the page.

I'm not entirely sure how I did that. But why don't you sign it? It'll make me all warm and fuzzy inside.


I like my new toy. Here are some things about me, written in the third person to make it sound important:

Sharon was born some time ago, and is now clinging to her early-to-mid twenties for all she is worth. Born under the star sign of Scorpio, she is neither a foul tempered witch, nor a fiery temptress, which is fortunate because she doesn’t believe in all that nonsense anyway.

Sharon originates from the tiny Irish village called "Dublin", but does not have the accent to prove it. She has never appeared in Father Ted, but was once on national television dressed like a toddler.

Sharon was once a Brownie leader.

Having spent four years in higher education (narrowly missing the chance to spend the rest of her life working in banks) Sharon has spent most of her adult life running away from the idea of a steady career / aim in life, and has suffered a good deal of success in this department having held, in the last year, a total of 16 different jobs in the small Scottish town of “Edinburgh”. Almost one of these involved drawing on her degree in Media Studies.

Despite studying the language in school for over six years, Sharon does not speak Spanish.

Her hobbies include making phone calls, receiving phone calls, giving up smoking, developing new and interesting diseases, breeding sea monkeys, changing her hair colour and colouring in with crayon.

Sharon almost never goes over the lines.

Sharon's ambitions in life tend towards impractical fantasy, but she has a secret yearning to work in telly or on the radio. In her spare time, Sharon sleeps.

It took me 40 minutes to work out how to include that link, you know. The last thing I need is a new hobby.

Trying to write the first post (purely to see what it's going to look like and whether it'll work), while trying not to sound too pretentious is an impossible task

And I'm supposed to be buying runners right now. The things I'll do to avoid shoe shops.

Why not read Comedy Lounge instead? It's the same nonsense as here, but written with slightly less haste.