Friday, 26 February 2010

You want what?

I don’t really like weddings.

Hardly a controversial opening gambit.

Nobody likes weddings. And why would they? They’re boring and a bit smug.

But my least favourite part of a wedding has to be its capacity for bankrupting you.

For example. The stag do can’t just be held down the pub anymore.

No, nowadays it has to be a weekend in the Galapagos Islands or a month on the International Space Station.

And then there’s the gift list.

The vulgar, presumptuous gift list.

Which is what this blog is about.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

A couple invited me to their wedding dinner recently. Note, only the dinner. Not the wedding.

...Hmm, I wonder if they’ll read this blog and get annoyed....

Screw it.

So inside the invitation was a piece of card saying “Help us to have our dream honeymoon” with a website address underneath.

I clicked through and this is what greeted me:

(Click on the pictures to maximise)

In addition to being slightly miffed that, whilst I’m not invited to the ceremony, I’m still expected to provide them with a massage, I also found it a bit crass to say the least. The avarice!

There was a bit at the bottom of the website (I couldn’t do a screen grab of that, as it would give away the name of their child. Poor bastard – literally) where you have the chance to nominate a gift of your choice.

It says “Or, your own suggestion...” above a free text box.

Now that was tempting! – “Yeah, I’ve got a suggestion. Why don’t you f....”


The worst part?

The website promises that the happy couple will send you a photo of themselves enjoying your gift.

Brilliant, I get a snapshot of them blowing a day’s worth of my pay on a limo ride.

Can I take it that in said photo they’ll be giving me the finger and wiping their backsides with a fifty?

Before you all write in calling me a miserable cow, (a) that’s not news to me, and (b) allow me to give you some context first.

This is not a poor couple who have never been on holiday. This is a filthy rich couple, who frequently boast about their net worth, and go on luxury holidays all the time.

You may well say, “But just because they’re rich, it doesn’t mean they should be penalised and not get presents”

Well yes, you’re right.

It’s not their wealth that should preclude them from demanding presents, although it doesn’t help their case.

Pretty much nobody deserves presents. Not just for getting married.

I hate the grasping entitlement of wedding lists. Be they normal wedding lists with household items on them, or weird lists which demand hotel room upgrades.

People used to get married just as they were starting out together, so the whole point of wedding presents was a way of getting them going. Their first dinner service, toaster, food processor...

Nowadays people usually get married after living together for years.

They’ve got ‘stuff’ already – loads of stuff. They’re set!

Why do I have to buy people with stuff, yet more stuff?

Extraneous stuff at that. I've seen scuba gear on a wedding list before.

I’m not getting married, so I won't ever get the chance to demand scuba gear for no good reason.

Which seems unfair, as my relationship is just the same as that of all my married friends, except me and my fella don’t feel the need to get the Government involved, to quote Doug Stanhope:

Although on the flipside, whilst we might have missed out on a massive haul of presents, we’ll save thousands in divorce lawyer fees.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Best Daily Express Headline Ever, Ever?

I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong. So here goes.

In yesterday’s blog I was wrong.

This is actually the best Daily Express headline ever:

Until their next weird outburst...

Friday, 19 February 2010

世界は続く 何もなかったように

Anyone who’s watched the Derek Acorah show on Sky Real Lives (i.e. not many people) will know that, in addition to being able to chat to ghosts, Derek can also talk to the animals.

He can.

Stop being so cynical.

And as if that wasn’t enough, he sometimes combines these skills and talks to ghost animals. Observe:


The last time I watched the show he was having a conversation with a cat.

(Not a ghost cat, that would be ridiculous, but a real cat, live in the studio)

...actually ’conversation’ perhaps isn’t the correct description...

He was talking at a cat.

And then leaving a pause, before telling the cat’s owner what the cat was ‘saying’.

All of which explains why this week he got hired to exorcise a fat rabbit:

Click on the picture to maximise

I want his job...

Or the job of photo psychic at Pick Me Up magazine:

Click on the picture to maximise

Anyway, changing the subject completely. I’ve had me a bit of a new year shake up.

The other day I deleted both my MySpace and my Facebook account.

I deleted my MySpace for the simple reason that MySpace is now defunct.

(I imagine it won’t be long before MySpace deletes MySpace for the same reason)

I would log in each day and have no messages, no comments, no blog comments, and a friend request from a spammer.

The only thing that MySpace has going for it is that Rupert Murdoch wasted $580 million of his ill gotten gains buying it, just before everyone started leaving.

But you don’t need a MySpace account to enjoy that fact. In fact, deleting your account just makes it funnier.

And I deleted my Facebook account because I was procrastinating on there too much. Like most of the world's population.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a little procrastination now and again, but Facebook procrastination is pretty dull.

At least when I procrastinate on Twitter I get to see a photo taken from the space station, or learn a bit of Japanese.

Now, at this point you might be thinking; “Your new year shake up is pretty lame. Deleting social networking profiles? What else did you do? Re-order your cutlery drawer?”

Well you can stop scoffing, because there’s more.

You may remember that last year James and I quit Viz?

Well, I have now quit writing and stand-up altogether.

(Oh and I re-ordered my cutlery drawer)

I say ‘quit’ but that’s maybe not the right word. Quit implies a sudden dramatic exit, when actually it’s been about a year in the making.

During that time I’ve been gradually winding the comedy down, only gigging when it suited me.

And it started to suit me less and less until it just naturally ebbed away to nothing.

I did my last ever gig in early January; Josie Long’s Lost Treasures of the Black Heart, a night where the acts all talk about their unsung heroes.

I talked about Paul Ross and Peter Simon. Obviously. And accompanied my talk with various pictures printed off from previous blogs.

Paul Ross crying during a séance:

Peter Simon’s shoe selling face:

I finished up with some Peter Simon quotes that I had collected in a notebook. As well as some from ‘PeterSimonSays’, a brilliant Twitter site that transcribes, well, what Peter Simon says.

He has a weird way with words you see. For example:

"You can't go wrong at 9.99 for a designer French clock. There'll be many a person coming in to your room and going 'That's French'."

"Because I'm going to take you to my garden. At the end of my garden there's gnomes, gnomes that are solar panelled..."

"This is very Tiffany. It's very very Tiffany. It's elegant, it's exquisite, it's feminist."

"History is especially fascinating if you're someone like me and is fascinated by it."

"This is a lot of coat."

See what I mean?

There are even fan songs which mix his sayings over dance music.

Anyway, when I was writing my set I realised that I could end my comedy career with the words that Peter Simon signs off with on Bid TV every night.

So the last thing I ever said on stage was:

“No matter who you are, or where you are, you might not know it, but somebody loves you”

Life and art eh?

So that as they say, is that.

And now my blog title should make sense. If you speak Japanese...

Monday, 15 February 2010

His *actual* tracksuit?

Today I had a facial.

Not because I have a particularly glamorous lifestyle, but because it was free.

See? I am the opposite of glamorous. I am cheap.

The reason it was free was because I had won it.

(As is right and proper. I enter an average of 40 competitions a day. I expect some sort of return for my efforts)

I won it from Smooth Radio. A station that I don't even listen to. Ha ha, take that Smooth Radio, I owned you!

And it was a very nice facial it has to be said.

Why am I telling you this? Well, it's not to brag about my glorious winnings, honestly. No, it's by way of a lead in to the following.

You see, when I was dutifully entering my competitions this evening, I came across this one. Possibly the lamest prize ever?...

(Click on the picture to maximise)

...even if it is his *actual* tracksuit.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


In addition to watching a lot of Bid TV, my household also likes a bit of Challenge TV.

Challenge, for those of you who are not familiar with their ‘work’, are basically a cable channel that repeats old episodes of Family Fortunes on a permanent loop.

Which brings me to my point.

It was during one of our recent marathon Family Fortunes viewing sessions that we saw this:

Possibly the most extreme Family Fortunes ‘huddle’ of all time? I think so.

When they’re not repeating old episodes of Family Fortunes, they will sometimes repeat old episodes of Catchphrase.

Like, really old.

You can tell just how old from the hair stylings of this contestant:

And that brings us to the end of another fascinating blog entry.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Richard and Judy

I'd like to share with you all a clipping I took from The Daily Express.

I don't need to editorialise, except to say; What wonderful juxtaposition:

That is all.