#16: Well, Fuck This

So this little project of mine is quite clearly a bust, given that I didn’t so much as pick up a video camera at all in 2012. Possibly I’ll keep the blog and attempt to do this next year. Possibly I will lose interest once more. In any case, it seems appropriate to leave the few posts I did manage to shit out, as a lasting emblem of my shame.

-j, I guess

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#14: Further Doggerel

I meant to post this idiotic little parody song a week ago when the Jubilee was happening, but I got hammered and forgot. Well.

The Kings and Queens of Britain (sung to the tune of The Presidents by Jonathan Coulton)

William was a Conquerer (and a Bastard)
William 2 was plagued with ginger fuzz
Henry fixed the Royal Administration
Stephen brought the Anarchy and fought against his cuz

Matilda hardly lasted thirty seconds
Henry 2 had Thomas Becket marked
Henry the Young King did not reach thirty
Richard was the bisexual Lionheart

John was thick, but signed the Magna Carta
Henry 3 gave Parliament a turn
Longshanks fought a silly war in Scotland
Edward 2 got thrashed at Bannockburn

Ed 3 beat the Scots and then the Frenchies
Richard 2 had problems with his speech
Henry 4 fought off a few rebellions
Henry 5 went back into the breach

(instrumental interlude)

Henry 6 fought York and then went mental
Ed 4 had his brother drowned in wine
Edward 5 was murdered in the Tower
Perhaps by Richard 3, who was a nasty little swine

Henry 7 tanned his arse at Bosworth
Henry 8 made monasteries quake
Edward 6 made problems for the Catholics
So Mary burned some Protestants at the stake

Elizabeth the first defied the Spanish
James ruled England, Ireland and the Scots
Charlie had his head cut off by Cromwell
But Charlie 2 gave Parliament the chop

James the second ran from Billy Orange
Bill and Mary had a royal fling
Queen Anne was the last of the house of Stuart
George One was our first United King

(interlude)

George 2 was the last to lead in battle
George the third went very slightly mad
George 4 went and wasted all his money
Bill the fourth loved slavery, god, what an utter cad

Victoria kept the throne for bloody ages
Edward 7 was nice, if a bit soft
George 5 was the first of the house of Windsor
Ed 8 married Wallis and buggered off

George 6 took his place to fight the Nazis
Elizabeth the second we’ve still got
Embodying our his’try and tradition
A shame she married Phil – she was quite hot

So now it seems she’s been around for ages
Congrats to Lizzy on her happy day
You must admit that she’s a damn sight better
Than all those other nutters, anyway

– j

#13: Drunken Tales, with Apologies to Johnny Wander

I wrote all this about a week ago, when I discovered and fully read the abovementioned webcomicafter a successful trip to the pub. The webcomic marks every hundredth or so strip with a small poem in the following format – there are already three poems, so I wondered if I might not continue their explorative tone with a story that will be recognised by anyone who’s ever gone out at night in a British city to get profoundly whiskybrained. Yes, I was drunk when I wrote all this, so don’t be rude. Well, be rude if you want.

IV
We’ll trek toward a distant star,
A lantern of respite

A stately inn that coruscates
For travellers in the night

Alas! It seems we spoke too soon
Turns out it is a Wetherspoon’s
We leave, and sing a mournful tune

For ’tis a load of shite.

V
Our wanderings will lead us then
Toward a distant square,

Our steps shall soon be drownéd out
By cries of great despair

And shouted threats, and tuneless song
And football cantos chanted wrong
And girls who scream, and grasp their thongs

And wave them in the air.

VI
Gone from this place of broken dreams,
We’ll shun the burger van

And seek, and find, a merchant’s hut
Of chips, kebabs and cans

We’ll share our notes of decent pubs
With other friendly, drunken schlubbs
And thank our stars we were not clubbed

Or spewed on by a man.

VII
And so toward the taxi rank
(For it is blesséd near)

We’ll join the queue, we weary few
And smoke our last, and cheer

When gangs of girls, who reek of wine
Sneak in to try a queueing-crime
And then are told “Back of the line,

Or you’ll not get home this year.”

VIII
And thence for home, and milder climes
We’ll tell our friends we’ll miss

Their gentle jokes, these happy times,
And part with hug or kiss

Then home we’ll creep, with serpent’s poise,
Not making e’en a single noise,
Lest you should hear the parent’s voice:

“What time dost thou call this?”

-j

Light Failure, With A Chance Of Inadequacy

Nine.

Five months into this poxy so-called “writing challenge” and already I have missed nine posts, which, for those of you who are as mentally feeble as me, means nine punishments. I really should have started committing something to video before now, but various events have conspired against me (uni work, various medical problems [nothing big or scary, mind you] and my unrelenting terror of having my face on the Internet where any bastard can see it) and I really can’t record anything until I get home next Monday, when my summer officially starts. For those of you salivating in anticipation of my blood and tears and misery, fear not – you may expect punishment videos to be uploaded in the first month of June, and may the universe drop a comically large anvil on my face if it isn’t so. And to fulfil my whistle-whetting duties for this week, here are the tentative names of my planned punishment videos:

The Worst Cake Ever (three punishments in one)

A Toast To Absent Frenemies

Miyagi’s Folly

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Face

Meats of Strength

Speculate pointlessly, my minions. You get to decide what the other two punishments will be, so get to commentin’.

– j

 

#12: Reasons Not To Be Entirely Happy

One of my favourite authors, Bill Bryson, once wrote that there are three reasons never to be truly sad. One stated your extraordinary good fortune in being born, one was about how amazing it is that you continue to live, and the last concerned general prosperity in the first world and also a terrible song that time has blessedly consigned to obscurity (it was Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree, if it’s any interest to the scores of pensioners who read this blog to tap into its striking relevance and popularity). This is all very fine and may help bring a wry smile to your face in times of minor dolour, but if like me you are a hangdog miseryguts as cynical as the day is long, you are probably unconcerned by small miseries and more afraid of the opposite: unreflective happiness.

Let me explain. Have you ever had one of those days where everything just went exactly as planned? You didn’t slip in the shower, the toast came up perfectly brown, you managed to avoid being stabbed on the way home by the tribe of feudal junkies that live in the park – your entire day went as smoothly as it could possibly go, and the sun came out and you sat in your garden with a beer and thought “this is as good as it gets”? You have? Well, that’s the problem. This is as good as it gets. You have just gone through a period of time than can only be described as “not unhelpful”: you didn’t find an attache case full of unmarked bills or a voucher for a dirty weekend with Emma Stone, for God’s sake, you just got to work on time and your boss wasn’t quite as much of a dickhead as usual and (here’s what it boils down to) no truly negative events occurred. That’s what most of us consider a good day: a day on which the universe did not utterly coat us with a big old parcel of misfortune dropped directly from its grand, cosmic arsehole. True happiness is always tempered by minor irritation, and except for isolated milestones of elation – holidays, childbirth, weddings, some of the livelier funerals – your daily existence is going to be marred by frustration and anger and you can count on it.

Now, there are some exalted souls who seem to be cheerful regardless of life’s tortures – I’m talking about the kinds of people, usually middle-aged women called Pauline, who can deal with self-service checkouts, shortages of basic food items, squealing children and overly solicitous Powergen employees all in the same trip to Morrison’s – but they will not ever require the kind of advisement this blog is inclined to give. This post in particular is for the rest of you. At some point after your perfect day, as you sit there in your garden with your beer warming in your hand and chill winds whispering in from the trees, you’ll realise that the good times don’t last. Worse, if you allow yourself to think that they do, the “crash” upon your unavoidable return to imperfection will be even more saddening. The trick is not to think “everything will be awesome forever”, but “life sucks in general, but right now it’s giving me a nice break”. The only reasonable way of avoiding the crushing hopelessness that comes when a potentially perfect moment is ruined by a little stray particle of awful is to keep reminding yourself that, in fact, nothing is perfect and awful is king. Here, therefore, is a list of helpful things you can remind yourself of when the going gets great, so that when the going inevitably becomes tedious and grim, it’s not so much of a blow.

– The bread in your cupboard is probably mouldy by now.
– Your friends say unkind things about you when you’re not there, and you don’t ever really consider this when you’re around them because you know how flawlessly adept humans are at lying to each other because you are one. (You monster.)
– Allowing a child to watch a Disney movie, or indeed any movie or story which ends on the implication that the good guys All Live Happily Ever After, is needlessly cruel, despite what catchy and adorable songs they might learn.
– The prices of all your favourite foods are only going to increase as you get older and more dependent on cakes to dull your misery.
– The work you do every day is not likely to have a resounding effect on the advancement of the human race (you are probably among the ninety-five percent of the population whose basic job is Not Making Things Noticeably Worse), but you might take solace in the fact that your dronelike services may someday be of use to someone who will achieve great things.
– You may never be able to get the spice ratios correct in your chili. Oh, and stop putting dark chocolate in it, you’re not Nigella.
– It is quite astoundingly unlikely that your name, face and personality will be remembered for more than about forty years after your death.
– Remember that gig you were going to go to? The one you saw on the poster at a bar the other week and told yourself you should keep in mind? Yeah, it was on two nights ago. Should have written it down.
– You know the one you wrote down? You got the date wrong.
– The grand feeling you get when you see a movie with an uplifting message will last for about seventeen minutes or until you sit down at home to see that there’s nothing on TV but celebrity talent shows, whichever comes first.
– You will never attain your “perfect” body regardless of how many gym-jaunts and plastic surgeries you undergo, because it exists only in your mind as a Platonic ideal. It is also worth noting that even taking off a few pounds requires effort and discomfort you are probably not willing to go through, since crash diets don’t work and even the much-touted Put Down The Fork method will only help you so much.
– All the great insights have already come to someone else, and the mediocre ones aren’t really worth having, though they are useful for padding out cheery status updates and contrived blog posts.
– The great questions of existence will not be answered in your lifetime, if ever.
– The people you see on TV who all seem so happy are just as miserable and/or naive as you are. While we’re on the subject, money will only cause you headaches in the long run, and when you die none of it will have mattered.
– Let me repeat that, since it applies in general terms to everything: when you die none of it will have mattered.

Those of you who are not currently engaged in swinging a rope over the rafters may be wondering, given the previous thousand or so words, when exactly I will be killing myself. To them I say that, well, this post was mostly a way of cheering myself up by lampooning my own bad mood and shouldn’t be taken entirely seriously, if at all, but I also say this: what would you rather have? A series of spectacular events followed by one iffy moment that causes you to remember the whole thing as “that time I might have been really happy”, or a damn good time experienced in a realistic context that reminds you how truly lucky you are to have these brief moments?

Yes, that’s what I thought. Now if you will excuse me I have to buy some more paracetamol at the local chemist before they realise my last three accents were fake.

– j

#11: On Both Putting Up and Shutting Up, and an Immodest Proposal

How gleefully people jump onto their soapboxes. Rosianna’s last video concerned her dislike of people smoking outside pubs, and while she is entitled to her opinion (which was quite reasonably levelled against large groups of smokers who for some reason ignore the beer garden), the comments are now full of non-smokers primly setting out their whine glasses and having a good old moan at the expense of smokers. One girl went on about how she doesn’t appreciate smokers hanging around outside her university, to say nothing of their inconsiderate habit of walking in front of her on the street. I hear this complaint all the time, and I have to wonder: how is it that you’ve made it into adulthood without learning that strangers have habits you will dislike that they will never change and that the universe is unfair in a trillion little ways and there is absolutely no use complaining about it and, lastly, that if you do complain you will only succeed in making yourself look like a tedious little squit?

It is naive to assume that any person, when given the choice between your comfort and their enjoyment, will choose the former without good reason, and it is even more childish to think that anyone will notice if you yourself choose the former because of general consideration for others. When I moved into halls, I didn’t play music in my room or watch TV too loudly or even close doors too hard, because I didn’t want to irritate the people I lived around. That lasted about a week, some time between the tenant above’s daily clarinet practice and the opposite block’s all-night raves. The one thing I didn’t do was complain, partly because nothing would come of it, but mostly because people have the right to do whatever the hell they like (within reason) without asking permission from the rest of the public.

Here’s an overwrought and ludicrous example of my point: in my glorious regime, there would be a network of long, wide boulevards that lead to all the major sites in a given city, and motorists wouldn’t be allowed anywhere fucking near it. Roads would travel to the mouth of a city and no further – if drivers want to go to the shops, the bastards can get off their arses and walk. In this wondrous place, people with prams would be made to take spatial awareness exams. Bouncers would be fined for making bad jokes about ID photos. Leafleters, missionaries and anyone holding a clipboard in a city centre without a very good reason would be taken to a tranquil rural area outside the city and gently euthanised. Yeah, you’re right. The whole idea is ridiculous. Why? Because people have the right to do anything that falls within the law, from the merely irritating to the genuinely life-threatening (the next time a motorist tells me that smoking is dangerous, I’m going to print out the names of every person injured or killed by careless driving in the last year – it’ll be something of a weighty document – and beat him to death with it). Nobody is grabbing non-smokers by the face and spewing carbon monoxide directly into their lungs, and those commenters who live in cities might also take into account the heavy pollution to be found there (and not to belabour the point, but you can pinpoint the exact cause of most air pollution in metropolitan areas, and it ain’t second-hand smoke).

It seems that Rosianna’s original point, about being intimidated by large groups of people standing outside pubs, has been lost beneath the waves of people calling for universal smoking bans and, for all I know, smoker-only working camps and death marches (I stopped reading the comments after about the third page – I needed to mop up all the blood that had suddenly begun to seep from my eyes). Unlike the people in the comments, however, I am not quite deluded enough to believe that anyone else in the world cares about my crazed whims. There are many infuriating and unchangeable nuisances in the lives of every person on the planet, and I don’t think it’s too old-fashioned a notion that there is great value in simply shutting up and dealing with it.

– j

#10: Reasons

Reasons why it would have never worked out:
#1: You were great, but the fact that you were better than me at manly things (pool, football trivia, time it takes to piss) would have probably degraded the relationship over time. Also I JUST missed having a breakdown on our mini-date due to my terrible adolescent anxiety. Anyway, I’m glad you decided to break off whatever we had with a minimum of fuss and immediately shack up with that dude who had horrendous teeth. Made me feel good.
#2: You were older than me, and I was freaked the fuck out by older girls at that time in my life. Now I wonder what the hell I was thinking. Wait, I was thinking “be charismatic, be nice, be funny, be oh my God my hair is ridiculous and I’m wearing an utterly inappropriate O’Neill t-shirt never mind say something that cannot really be considered a joke and then walking away cringing audibly”. That was it.
#3: Cute, blonde, studying architecture, good sense of humour? Honestly, I don’t really know that it wouldn’t have worked out. It’s a shame we only met that one time. Oh, hold on, there it is.
#4: Unfortunately, we had sex that time and then everybody found out and then we never spoke again and then my mates taunted me about it for years and have not, now that I come to think of it, stopped. I think it’s probably for the best, don’t you?
#5: Well, you were (and are) smart, funny and legitimately, heart-stoppingly beautiful (and rich, if it makes any difference). In the interest of full disclosure, though, you were also completely pissed that night, and we’ve never really spoken since. You know, I think it’s probably for the best. Oh, and thanks for receiving an orgasm and not giving me one back, that was really sweet of you.
#6: Alright. On this one, I will admit fault. The only real reason that it wouldn’t have worked out here is that I have won regional prizes for idiocy, and I won’t lie to you: that career path was more important than what might have become a cosmic, soul-searingly beautiful love affair. What can I say? Some things have to come first.
#7: Honestly? I thought you were the most amazing girl I’d ever met, and in many ways you still are, but I’m afraid we have different views on what constitutes acceptable behaviour towards friends. Thanks for being understanding about my drunken confession, though.
#8: The one major flaw I can find is that you currently live about one and a quarter continents away and there isn’t really a bus.
#9: The strange thing is that when we first met, I really fancied you! Then we started to talk, and everything was suddenly ruined. It’s a shame you didn’t want to give up even the tiniest bit of information about yourself. Given an (admittedly cursory and naive) first analysis, we might have gotten along infamously. By which I mean we might have gotten arrested for public indecency, but now we’ll never know.
#10: Where to begin? The situation was awkward and hysterical to begin with, and now it’s even worse. Not too bad for three or so weeks, though, and it certainly made for an eventful Good Friday. I think us never speaking again would be the most reasonable and considerate outcome for all related parties. It must be said, however, that when it comes to blowjobs you are an absolute trooper, so well done you.
#11: Even given all your rare and magical qualities, I really think that what killed this proto-relationship was the way you inserted bony, spearlike tentacles directly into my spine and attempted to biologically merge our two consciousnesses so that neither of us might ever be lonely or independent again. Some guys are into that, I’m sure.
#11b: You live next door to 11. I think we were done before we started.

– j

#9: What The Fuck Is This, Now

(Sorry, real life is intruding a little bit. Here is a proto-moron-fragments thing that I… well, I’m not actually sure. Sometimes I just open a new document and words happen. It ain’t writing, but it’s something. Expect a proper post next week and a triple-punishment video soon after. And yes, this counts as a post, you dicks.)

initialising…

initialisms…

initially…

Welcome to Bullshit-Matrix 1.0! Here follows stuff.

BEER NAMES (VIDEOGAME-THEMED)

Eagle’s Dive
Headshot
Witness Your Doom
Spindash
Final Atomic Buster
Wabbajack
Reverse Pickpocket
Limit Break
Ganondorf, Fox, Young Link (out loud, fast; you’ll get it)

BEATLES MERCHANDISING EMPIRE

Come Together glue
Across the Universe telescopes
Ask Me Why jokebooks
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window padlocks
Don’t Bother Me electric fencing
Don’t Let Me Down airbeds
Hippy Hippy Shake organic juice bar
Hold Me Tight handcuffs
Honey Don’t insulin
I Feel Fine antidepressants
I Forgot to Remember to Forget vodka
If I Fell safety nets
It Won’t Be Long condoms
For No One safes
From a Window sniper rifles
From Me To You sniper rifles
Get Back riot shields
Help! rape whistles
I’ve Got A Feeling painkillers
Carry That Weight suitcases
Day Tripper LSD
Dig It shovels
The Word printers
I’m Looking Through You binoculars
It’s All Too Much rope

USEFUL PHRASES

Face like a
bucket of smashed crabs
bag of spanners/chisels
dropped meat pie
fur hatchet
dog licking piss off a nettle
stuntman’s knee
rat catcher’s mallet
map of Ireland
welder’s bench
yard of gravy
chewed toffee
melted welly

Mad as a
spoon
balloon
crab
pan of crabs
(bag of) cut snake(s)
wet hen
two bob watch
ship’s cat
box of frogs
march hare
mexican dog

Masturbation
making the bald man cry
having a slap
having a row with the maggot

UNSUCCESSFUL GAME SHOW IDEAS

What’s Behind That Door? (Murderers!)
Who Wants To Be A Milliner
Find the Parasite
Tribbing For Cash
Big Brother: Pointless Torture Edition
See If You Can Avoid The Horrible Tarantula Monsters While Trying Not To Fall Into The Boiling Pit of Acid Filled With Creatures That Can, As Unlikely As It Sounds, Survive And Actually Live Quite Comfortably Inside, As I Mentioned Before, Acid (note: think of better title)

#8: More Moron-Fragments

Here are some further foolishnesses that I’ve written at various points this week, and in various states of mental competence. Read ’em and sigh.

The term ‘jetlag’ is inappropriate for eastbound travel. Let me explain.
When you get on a plane in London and get to New York eight hours later, local time has moved on, and your body clock still thinks that the time in London is correct. Thus, you’re lagging behind New York time; thus ‘jetlag’.
When you get on a flight from New York back to London and lose eight hours, you’re used to the earlier schedule, and London time (the lazy bastard) is lagging behind you. But doesn’t it seem odd that in one direction, you’re lagging, and in the other, the entire timezone is lagging?
Base foolishness, I feel. We have a term that, semantically, means “your body clock is behind local time”, so we need one that means “your body clock is ahead of local time”.
I propose the term jetrush.
Of course, the entire idea is nonsense because no matter what direction you travel in, people are going to understand what you mean when you say you’re jetlagged. As an English Language student, however, I feel that needless specificity is occasionally more important than clarity.
…hey, can I write my dissertation on this?

Just before Halloween, me and my housemates received a letter from our neighbours. The gang of tribal-tattooed Firetrap-wearing party boys who live next to us tend to celebrate each weekend by throwing enormous parties, inviting far more people than can actually fit inside a student house, such that the whole thing generally spills out into the front garden and outside steps that our properties share. In the morning, I have to walk down the steps, avoiding the broken glass, empty cans and half-naked girls that cluster there after one of next door’s ragers, in order to get to university. All this is by way of saying that these boys aren’t particularly au fait with politeness and consideration. Or so we thought until we got the letter, which went like this:

Dear Next Door,
We are writing this letter to inform you that we will be hosting a Halloween party on Saturday night at nine o’clock. You are all welcome to join us, but if you can’t make it, we will try to keep the noise to a minimum and will be sure to clean up any mess from the steps in the morning.
Thanks,
Next Door

Needless to say, we didn’t go to the party, they didn’t keep the noise down and none of the mess was cleaned up, although I too would have been loath to pick up a dustpan and brush if I’d been drinking until five in the morning to the accompaniment of about three ear-melting dubstep songs on infinite repeat. I was so stupefied by this turn of events that I immediately wrote and posted a flippant reply in an attempt to scare them into never throwing another goddamned party again.

Dear Next Door,
Thank you for your note concerning last night’s Halloween party. Please be assured that noise was not an issue, as all the residents of our house who were in last night are either paranoid insomniacs, profoundly deaf, or chained in the basement and thusly divorced from street-level sound and society in general. Unfortunately, though we would have liked to come round for a drink, the four of us who were in last night were unavoidably tied up with, variously, ritual flagellation, hapkido lessons, anger-management support groups and twine. We hope it was a good one and that we won’t find any curious surprises around the premises in the next few days (empty crates that once contained heroin, conspicuous piles of human waste, hastily stowed corpses etc.) and that the party did not attract any illegal activity that might necessitate a visit from our criminally insane Polish landlords, who have a tendency to scalp people who break contracts.

See you the next time you decide to use the bathroom (we’ve drilled a peephole through the connecting wall – see if you can find it!),
Next Door

They haven’t thrown another party since. I’m not taking complete credit, but still.

When you’re afraid, your glands produces adrenaline.
When you produce adrenaline, your mouth produces saliva.
This saliva can build up to an uncomfortable level and must be expelled or ingested.
Is this why, when confrontations happen, people who want to appear tough spit on the ground (because swallowing the excess saliva would look like a gulp, and thus a sign of fear)?
I thought they were all just being impolite

#7: Moron-fragments

Instead of writing a full piece on one subject, I’ve instead decided to write some little pieces on many subjects. All of them are inane and boring, and here they are.

  • Letters from the bank do not burn. I know this because I was forwarded one of the Halifax’s bi-monthly missives that essentially say “what can we, an enormously rich yet thoroughly modern and caring financial corporation, do for you, our itty-bitty young customer?” and summarily folded it at the edges and used it as an ashtray. I have vigorously stubbed out four cigarettes on this damned thing and it is showing no interest whatsoever in taking light, possibly because it seems to be made from an unearthly, glossy plastic-like substance.  I am assuming my bank is so conscious of the environment that they flatly refuse to harm a single tree in the process of all their administrative badgering, so the fifty kabillion pointless letters they send out each day must be recycled from old printers (take that!) and abandoned shop-window mannequins, ensuring that anything you recieve from the bank is near impossible to destroy without the aid of an industrial incinerator. On the other hand, though, I now have a decent ashtray, so we’ll call it a win.
  • Domestic solutions that only make things worse:
    – Attempting to clean a mirror by spraying it with porcelain cleaner (the only cleaning product left in the house), wiping it off with bog paper (the only disposable paper left in the house), realising that the mirror is now covered with tiny dusty flecks and attempting to rub the whole thing down with a sock
    – Throwing the end of a cigarette into a handily-placed polystyrene carton that mere minutes ago had contained fish and chips, only to find that fire and polystyrene do not get on at all well
    – Spraying down the only available t-shirt with Febreze to hide the smell of smoke and whisky, then immediately wearing it and spending the first half of your day smelling alluringly of summer violets
    – Not buying a bin for your room, and storing your garbage in enormous black binbags, chinese takeaway carriers, empty family-pack crisp packets and, at one point, a cardboard box that previously held contact lenses
  • Despite the fact that the majority of people in this country would threaten insurrection if they were forced to recite a loyalty oath to the government, I recently thought: “hell, America has one, and theirs is hilarious. Why shouldn’t we have a funnier one?”
    Here goes:
    I pledge indifference to the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and to the constitutional monarchy which it rather inefficiently represents; several nations under mindless conservatism / godless liberalism (delete whichever is inappropriate), permanently divided, with bickering and lager for all.
    I’m writing the letter to Downing Street as we speak.
  • Why exactly does anyone say, upon discovering that the friend they’re currently speaking to is going on a first date or meeting his girlfriend’s family: “you’ll be fine, just be yourself”?
    Why has nobody ever communicated to anyone else the piece of information that we all have to painstakingly figure out for ourselves in this situation, which is: “all you need to do is fabricate an idealised version of both your own self and the person that the person that you’re trying to impress wants you to be, and amalgamate the two to create a pleasant, non-threatening and generally positive persona into which you will inevitably slip when meeting people whom you must persuade to like you, at extended-family barbecues and job interviews, say, until eventually that artificial, schizophrenic version of yourself merges over the course of years with your own persona and forever hides the fact of your grubby, angry, awful little existence to anyone who might have the misfortune to accidentally discover it”?
    What, not pithy enough?
    (There are definitely more of these – little, difficult pieces of information that are never given as advice because they’re too complicated and cynical, compared to the wishy-washy Hallmark advice people usually spout. There might be a shitty book in this.)
  • Recently, I had a slightly terrifying epiphany concerning my age and maturity level while viewing a porn video.
    I recognised the main actress (performer?) because about eight or so years ago, when I first discovered internet porn, I used to enjoy her… output. Input? You know what I mean. In any case, I used to seek out this woman’s various galleries and such, and then she mysteriously dropped out of the business and was not seen again until later this year, when I clicked on a website of my acquaintance and there she was on the front page, and as I looked at her face, and more specifically her cheekbones, these words actually came out of my mouth:
    “What the — oh, she’s had work done.”
    I don’t think there’s anything more to be said.

– j