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Dreadful Nonsense

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

31 July 2006
Can't speak.

Playing with http://www.pandora.com/

I freaking love it.

Sxx

22 July 2006
Thank God we rent and didn't buy. That's all I can say. Because this way we get to blame everything that goes wrong with our flat - and recently, that does seem to be just about everything - we can blame on our landlords, whether or not it's their fault.

Frinstance: Last night, myself and He Who Only... were, like any normal couple in their late 20s, spending our Friday night sitting in our front room, feet up, down a few spanish beers and watching a DVD of a 1970s BBC drama that we rented off Amazon. It's only natural. Can you picture it? Good.

Now, add to that picture, during one of the crucial moments in the programme, a programme that is famed for it's tense drama and sudden changes of direction, a programme that occasionally has me sitting at the edge of my seat, my feet quite literally on the floor in front of me, add to that picture of us sitting in the semi-dark (in order to increase the experience of said tension), add to that picture...

A MOTHER FUCKING MOUSE.

A mother fucking mouse that came, I might add, not from the kitchen where we know they still live because they're chowing down on the blue poison we've put down as if it's so much yummy tasty takeaway food provided by a benevalent keeper and not showing a single fucking sign of dying and leaving me the fuck alone. No, this mouse did not come from the kitchen, which is now officially the domain of the mouse. This mouse came from the fucking HALLWAY. This mouse had NOT crossed said flat from kitchen to hallway and then back in again. No. This fucking mouse had come in FROM THE FLAT NEXT DOOR.

Mother fucking mouse.

I therefore called the landlords this morning and had a right 5 minute long go at them, because they had the audacity to tell me once again that it can take "a couple of weeks" for the poison to take effect and kill all the mice. I pointed out, using numbers, that it's now been FIVE WEEKS since we reported the mice and put down the poison that they continue to slurp up in highly suspiciously unusual amounts and STILL COME A-CALLING ON A FRIDAY NIGHT FROM NEXT FUCKING DOOR who also have poison, traps, beepy mouse buttons and all sorts down because of all the mice having a party in their flat.

Once I'd had my little rant, I felt a great deal better about the whole thing, because it's good to shout at someone else and make them fix your problems.

And then. The mother fucking ELECTRICITY cut out.

I'm currently typing this sitting cross legged on my bed, laptop on lap, plugged into an unprotected wireless network in the FUCKING DARK without mouse beepers, electric light or any kind of sound OTHER THAN MY OWN TERRIFIED SOBBING because the mother fucking mice come out to play once the mother fucking electricity goes out. They could be all around me, waiting to pounce at any moment.

Oh god help me.

In short: Nest'O'Love is currently seriously letting me down.

17 July 2006
One of my two favourite sisters was over for the weekend, and we had a delightful time. Seriously, peeps, I had a blast just hanging out with my new BEST FRIENDS FOR LIFE, most of whose names I have already forgotten. Such is the cheapness of my affection.

We did a number of things, and those numbers of things were:
(1) Walked about
(2) Went up Ally Pally
(3) Sat in the grass

(4) Read some newspapers
(5) Went to a pub
(6) Went out for dinner
(7) Came home and went to sleep
(8) Got up and went to the shops
(9) Went to a photography exhibition
(10) Had lunch in a gay cafe
(11) Looked at hard core gay porn

Some of my new friends


(12) Went shopping
(13) Went to a wine bar

One of my new best friends forever introduced me to the best way to walk up and down Oxford Street on a sunny day on a summer weekend. The key is to walk with your head up, looking about 5cm above everybody's head, and walk with a sense of purpose and unwavering belief that you won't crash into everyone. It is absolutely astonishing, and it works an absolute treat. For the first few paces you need to get into your stride and that's the most dangerous moment - if you let your eyes drift down even for a second and catch someone's eye, you'll end up swerving about and wrapping yourself in knots around some Japanese tourists. But if you keep your head high and adopt a stride I can only describe as the walk of a 24 year old gay man who knows he is as pretty as he feels.

I loved it. I love hanging about with someone who doesn't live in London, because you end up looking around at everything in a new light. Little Sister Louise has the same fascination/fear relationship with the Tube, and with travelling around London in general, as I always used to, and I had forgotten how much I loved/loathed the whole transport network. I love having these reminders about how strange and wonderful this city can be, and I love having a guest around to entertain. More visitors, please.

14 July 2006
The latest reason why I would like to own a dog:

13 July 2006
One day a few weeks ago, I did a good thing that means that I am going to go to heaven, and I did it out of the good of my own heart and with the tiniest of chances that I might meet a famous that I love but that's not the point, because I did it for someone else, and I'm a great person who might even become a guardian angel or something like that, so you'd better be nice to me because I'm going to be BFF with Jesus in a bit.

The story goes:

I won a ticket to see David Gray at the O2 Festival in London Town. I won this because Little Sister Edel pointed me in the direction of a website giving away free tickets, and for that reason she too will be in heaven, although in the second class heaven, rather than the first class section I'll be in, but I'll be able to visit her sometimes and bring her food parcels.

On the morning I was going to see David Gray, I got a phone call from my Daddy, who asked me if I still knew David Gray. Without going in to too much detail, my Dad seems to think that I'm on at least speaking terms with everyone that was ever famous because (a) I used to write reviews for a newspaper and (b) I'm a friend of a friend of Ricky Gervais. So, instead of saying no, and explaining how these things work, I just asked him what he wanted.



He explained to me that one of the patients from the hospital he works in has recorded a music album, and he had said to Dad in the past that he was a huge fan of David Gray. My dad wanted me to get an album signed for this guy, with a good luck message about his album. I said sure.



Long story shorter: I spent the day on email and google, trying to track down a contact name for someone who could help me out. I considered just running at Mr Gray during the gig, but remembered how high up the stage is at O2, and how I'm not allowed do that kind of thing any more, what with the barring order.

I even took to emailing the astonishingly gorgeous Shaun Keaveny at Xfm and promised him all sorts of sexual favours in return to getting me closer to Mr Gray. Lovely Shaun did a lot to help out, but in the end I managed to corner Mr Gray's manager, who incredibly kindly gave me this:



After sending the album to Dublin, Paddy was kind enough to send me back a signed copy of his album Stand and Deliver. It's fantastic, it really is, and everyone should buy a copy. I might even play it for Jesus, when we're sitting relaxing in heaven on his dad's right hand.

Rock on.

12 July 2006
It’s the Wednesday Link-O-Rama!

In direct competition with the current give away of learn-a-language CDs that the lesser British papers are currently giving away (interestingly, one of the selling points of the Daily Mail campaign is that “you don’t even have to read a book (exclamation mark, exclamation mark, exclamation mark)”, said in a tone that implies that the printed word is the most tiresome thing in the world - an interesting angle for a newspaper to take): The Guardian teaches you how to swear in a variety of languages! This article even teaches you how to say the “c-word” in Spanish. How useful.

And also: Finally, an answer for all your goose clothing worries: It’s Goose Clothes Dot Com! Bear in mind that a goose, like a swan, can kill you with it’s eyes, and then wonder upon these creations. My favourite outfits are the Doctor and Nurse ones, although it’s a close call between them and EVERYTHING ELSE ON THIS PAGE. I’m tempted to buy a pair of gooses* just so I can dress them up. I don’t quite understand this pairing though.








*yes, I said “gooses”. Learn to live with it.

11 July 2006
I was sitting in the Nest ‘O’ Love at the weekend, happily bashing out a quite frankly disturbingly rubbish essay on how social psychological knowledge can be misused. Taking one of my incredibly frequent breaks from the computer, I wandered out, letter box key in hand, to see if there was anything of interest in the letter box which is handily located outside our building on the main street.

As I opened the door, the strongest smell of gas hit me smack between the nostrils. “Hello,” I thought to myself, “I wonder what’s going on here.”

Congratulating myself on not wandering about with a naked flame all willy nilly, I went downstairs only to find that the smell was getting stronger. Since gas rises, I thought this was a bit suspicious and all. “Hmmm,” I pondered away, “I wonder if I’ll be killed in a massive explosion.”

I went to the letter box - there was nothing there - and then came back up the stairs, pausing only to prop the door to the building open, and to stand outside Flat 5, where I thought the main whiff was coming from. I was getting a headache.

Back in the flat, I declined to switch on any lights, having been exposed (though clip shows, rather than the real thing - I’m far too young) to those public service films that used to stop at the moment the man switched on the light, implying that the entire place KABOOOMED around him moments later. My first thought was to ring the landlords.

“Hello,” I started, “I live in [name of building in which Nest ‘O’ Love is situated].”

This was greeted by the clearly audible sound of a man rolling his eyes.

I’ve been forced to call them a few times over the last month, but I think I’ve been hugely justified, thanks to the MOUSE INFESTATION I may have already mentioned once or twice.

Undeterred by the man’s disinterest, I continued.

“There is a strong smell of gas in the hallway of the building.”

“Right,” he said, not giving one tiny jot, “I’ll send someone over in a bit.”

“Yes,” I said, carrying on as if I couldn’t hear him flicking Vs at the phone, “it really is an incredibly strong smell.”

“Right,” he said again, with what I think was his tongue in his bottom lip, as he made a spakker face at me.

“Thanks!” I said, all up beat, so that when I met my death in a flaming fire ball he would feel guilty.

I hung up, and pondered my next move.

I phoned the gas emergency number.

“There is a strong smell of gas in the hallway of my building.”

“Right,” said the lady on the other end, “I’ll just take down some details.”

We had what was about a five minute conversation in which I said my name, my address, my phone number and the details of the leak about seven times - I’m not exaggerating - because she kept getting everything wrong. Then she reeled off a long list of things I should definitely not do, such as staying in the building or putting a match to some hay. After all of that, she asked me breezily if I would be in the flat all afternoon.

“Well,” I said, “I’m not sure now after hearing all of that!”

She gave me a reassuring chuckle and said that they have to say that to everyone, and it’s all perfectly safe. Probably.

I hoped my dental records were up to date so that they could identify my body well enough to have me shipped back home.

The gas man came about 20 minutes later and started to tell me, as he checked all the pipes at the ground floor, that in a lot of these types of buildings, whenever they are called out for a suspected gas leak, it usually tends to be someone painting or redecorating. No one, he explained, talks to their neighbours any more.

I started to feel like a bit of a fool, and went back upstairs.

30 minutes later he knocked on the door.

“You must have known something I didn’t,” he said. “There was a huge leak in the flat below you. Huge. Your landlords had fixed it about two months ago, but it seems the problem came back again. The gas is switched off now. You were right to call us out.”

I thanked him, and then turned back into what now looked like the Deathtrap ‘O’ Love.

My favourite part of that story is the fact that, when I called the landlords and identified Flat 5 as being the one from which I thought the gas was escaping, they Didn’t. Do. A. Thing. When my tragic death is reported in the national and international press, please point the investigators in the direction of this post.

A quick HELLO! to everyone who searched for themselves, and found my website:

HELLO CHARLIE BROOKER!
HELLO JOHN MOYNES!
HELLO PAUL NOONAN!
HELLO RICHARD HERRING!

And to that person who searched for "Enid Blyton + Homoeroticism":

HELLO!

(Also? Shame on you.)

10 July 2006
Sitting in the Nest ‘O’ Love last night, uploading a multitude of podcasts to my gloriously efficient MP3 player and reflecting on the vagaries of life, we were interrupted in our communal naval gazing by a knock on the door.

I looked up from the computer. He Who Only… looked over from the sofa. We stared at each other. We stared at the door. I said, “Someone’s knocking on the door”. He said, “Was that our door?” I said, “I think that was our door.”

We could have gone on like that for hours.

We carried on. “I bet,” I betted, “that it’s the neighbours asking if we have mice.” “Mmm,” He Who Only… mmmed, “could be.”

We sat and thought about the implications of that for a while.

Somebody knocked on the door again.

We stared at each other.

In the end, He Who Only… strode to the door and pulled it open without a care in the world, ready to face whatever might lie on the other side. It was our new next door neighbours, those who moved in about two weeks ago (the lady one of which I’ve met on the stairs about three times in the morning but have been completely unable to say hello to, because my brain does not exist in the morning - it arrives at my office about an hour after I get there, making excuses for its tardiness and promising it won’t happen again). Our building consists of identical couples in every flat - one boy, one girl, all white, all middle class, all in their mid to late twenties. I even think that every single one of us buys the Guardian on a Saturday, and we all seem to have mild alcoholic tendencies, judging by the recycling box.

The two neighbours who were at that moment standing outside our door even had incredibly similar names to ours; so similar in fact that we all laughed when we introduced ourselves. It was like bad writing in a sitcom, or a terrible ad for car insurance.

The neighbours had called round to enquire, with the best of intentions, whether or not we had mice in our flat. We laughed. Again. I think they might think we’re mentally ill.

We shot the breeze over the ant infestation, the mouse infestation, the fact that there is a serious gas leak in the flat below us, the fact that our old furniture is blocking off the stairwell, the terrible noise of the traffic outside the flat, and the fact that if a bus cut the corner too sharply, these flats would probably collapse like a house of cards.

Again. I think they might think we’re mentally ill.

We left it that they would call the landlords, mention that our mice had been driven into their flat, and ask that they please remove all of these mice as soon as possible, since the lady half of each of the flats in the building is getting tired of pulling up our socks, jumping on to chairs and yelling “THOOOOOOMMAAAAAAAAAS!” in what is probably a quite racist manner.

But the important thing to remember right now is that the mice? They are no longer in our flat. Our Nest ‘O’ Love is no longer infested. Hoorah.

07 July 2006
Today, two years ago, I was lying in hospital. I had just gone through my second epidural procedure in six months, and I could see this pattern stretching ahead of me forever more, once every six months going through the dread, the screaming agony of the injection, the weird feeling like you’ve been beaten up for days afterwards, the worrying that the injection won’t take and that the painkilling effect will be minimal, the nagging anxiety that my body will start to get used to the drugs, the thought that without the injections I can no longer walk for any meaningful amount of time, the misery and depression at having to face full on my worst nightmares of being housebound in my twenties and never fully recovering…

There were some of the things I was lying in the hospital thinking about, today two years ago. It was a date that I would have never forgotten anyway, since every day following on from that my life got better and better. The injection took. My physio continued. My recovery increased. My fitness levels improved. My life changed completely. I got a job, I moved to London, I got another job. On the one-year anniversary of my epidural injection, I walked from the city of London to North London, a distance of about five miles. Doesn’t sound like much, but a year before that I couldn’t have walked five yards.

It’s the one thing I can still get tearful thinking about, the one aspect of my life I will never forget about, the one thing I’m so incredibly grateful for. I’m back in physio now, having had a minor hiccup, but one minor hiccup in two years is so dramatically brilliant I would like to write an opera about it. There’s so much ick in the world, and there’s a certain amount of ick in my life (as there is in everyone’s life - mine at the moment is shaped like a mouse), but I do try to be eternally aware that, compared to so many, my life is freakishly brilliant.

06 July 2006
I’m sick of writing to London, since London refuses to respond to my entirely reasonable demands. Since I’m at work today, and it is still intolerably hot and nobody seems to be doing anything about it, I have composed a pithy letter of complaint to EVERYONE in order that someone, somewhere will do something about it. It goes like this:

“Dear EVERYONE,

You're being bold!

Don't be bold.

Lots of love

Me"


Please print it out and pass it around. I feel I’ve just found the secret to World Peace.

I’ve just received an email from He Who Only…, with the following important question. Again, please ponder upon the importance of this question - maybe even take the day off work just to think it through properly - and then print it off and flyposter it around the city of your choice. I think again that this could change the course of the history of the world.

“Is it nearly home time yet? I want to take my trousers off!”

The heat is making me giddy.

05 July 2006
The mice came back, after the landlords came and put beepy things in the wall. The beepy things emit a high pitched screaming noise, that translates in to mouse language as FUCK OFF AND DIE OR WE’LL COME AND GET YOU! over and over again. He Who Only… refers to them as his “shazzle button”, because by pressing the button you lower the pitch to human hearing levels, and it emits an irritating, whining noise. I take it as a compliment.

I was falling asleep on the sofa last Friday night, having watched Big Brother and changing my mind once again about who I like and who I hate. I was all curled up and comfortable, dozing off while uploaded music on to my MP3 player and everything in the world was cosey and loved when out of the corner of my eye something made a mad dash for the front door. I sat up. It was obviously a trick of the light. I’m imagining things.

I’m also imagining the scratching noise that’s coming from the corner where the lamp is, where He Who Only…’s bag lies crumpled underneath his coat. I’m also imagining the MOUSE THERE’S A MOUSE I CAN SEE A MOUSE OH MY GOD.

Three mice decided that, since I wasn’t moving I mustn’t be a threat, and having stood watching me for HOURS I DON’T DOUBT, THE EVIL MICE, they decided that now was as good as any time to see if I would do that cartoon trick of standing on top of a chair and screaming as they ran across the floor.

They got their wish.

Midnight in North London, and I’m hurling on a pair of jeans - shaking them out before hand to make sure that none of the EVIL MOUSE OVERLORDS had crawled up the legs - and running out the door of the flat to the nearest pub to await He Who Only…’s return from a gig. DEAREST LORD IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH, what did I do to deserve this mouse plague?

Laughing with nerves on the way back to the flat about an hour later, when He Who Only… came back to rescue me in that manly fashion that he has, I started to babble about the fact that mouse infestations are a sign of bad karma - I’ve done something wrong, and karma is punishing me by inflicting A PLAGUE UPON MY HOUSEHOLD. I’d prefer if the walls started bleeding, truth be told.

04 July 2006
Dear London,

Okay. I get your point. It has been made loud and clear. Stop it now, I beg of you.

At the start of last month, I was sitting in a beer garden with my beloved, and we were the only fools in the beer garden. This is because at the start of last month it was FREEZE MY ASS OFF cold (and it takes a lot of cold to freeze my specific ass, let me assure you) but we were determined to enjoy the Great Outdoors, as technically it was summer and we wanted to be like in that Bulmers (NOT MAGNERS) ad with the man with the unbearably Oirish accent ("Toime dadikayshed tou youou").

And I complained that it was cold, and that it should be warm, and now, London, you are taking the proverbial PISS.

Because I doubt it's any hotter in hell. In fact, I'd like a quick visit down there just to clarify, because to be honest the tube in the morning rush hour is currently EXACTLY like the nuns told me eternal damnation would be BUT WITH MORE SWEATING.

Jesus H-ing Fuck Christ, it's getting hott in herre. As Nelly might have sung.

Seriously, though. Yesterday on the tube on the way home I drank an entire litre bottle of water between Chancery Lane and Liverpool Street, and that journey was one of the rare ones where we didn't even stop in the tunnel for any significant amount of time. And there was some obnoxious dude sitting down behind where I was standing who was not only leaning over and sweating on his own shoes (my stomach has never been so turned) but also letting out the most almighty rrrripping farts. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezus.

So, my final thoughts, dear London: Thank you for the heat that I asked for. Thank you so very much. Now take it away, please. I want the winter back.

Sxx

03 July 2006
While I was shoe shopping on Saturday...

About a minute after this, Rooney was sent off.