Archive for February, 2006

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Post-it links
The official history.
Damon’s New Office [we like].
Twenty years of post its.

Barking

Monday, February 27th, 2006

Has anyone else noticed the uncanny likeness of the recent e-fit, issued by police hunting the Big Robbers, to a spaniel? Seriously, if a policeman looking like this walked up to you wouldn’t you suspect that he wasn’t a real policeman just a teensy weensy bit?

Constable Woofwoof Sergeant Cocker

Holey
As the days begin to lengthen, thoughts inevitably turn to long lazy summer days and an escape from the winter gloom. Surfing for attractive holiday destinations is a sure sign that either a. I’ve had enough of the sun going off at 5pm or b. I should really be doing something far more urgent only I can’t be arsed. The combination of procrastinational guilt and holidays used to lead only to one destination: A two week Mortification of The Flesh package at Croagh Patrick [ as much gravel as you can eat ]. Happily, with the availability of low cost flights, more exotic locations now come within reach of the collection money. For example, why not ‘Visit Jerusalem in Orlando’? There isn’t actually a town called Jerusalem in Orlando. No, this is far more sophisticated. Jerusalem has actually been simulated in Orlando. Or rather, ancient Jerusalem has been simulated in fibreglass and MDF and reinvented with on-site shopping facilities n burger bars. The Holy Land Experience is a ‘Bible-believing’ theme park featuring the garden of gethsemane [as seen on TVs Groundforce], goliath burgers, Prodigal Son figurines and masses of other delusional schlock. [ Halter-tops, short shorts, or bathing suits may not be worn, cash refunds will not be made]. I think I’d rather stay in Bignjuicyville and do a bit of idolatory down at Idol World [ 'worship mammon here - 10% discount on gold sheep Wednesdays ].

Bored?
Why not make your own cardboard nuclear shelter.

Rats
Bansky goes to LaLaLand

Verruca news

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

Can verrucae spontaneously combust?
A couple of months back I discovered a small wart had developed on one of my fingers. I only knew it was a wart because Dr Toothbrush-Tache told me when I was consulting him about my ingrowing personality. He offered to vapourise my wee wart with some liquid nitrogen. He appeared to enjoy vapourising my flesh as I could see a little smile play about his thin lips beneath his toothbrush whilst he prodded me with his frozen cotton bud. Liquid nitrogen vapour rolled menacingly down the side of his thermos flask [£1.99 at Matalan] onto his desk. I was trying to be all manly and nonchalant as the minor burning sensation turned into a searing pain ratcheting down my finger and filling my heart with fear. [OK I'm exaggerrating, but blokes don't do pain - we're sensitive you know]. After the cryotorture had finished, he snapped off his latex gloves with a barely concealed frisson of perviness and washed his hands. I decided to play my trump card and casually mentioned a hideous scaly noggin I’d noticed on my foot. I swear he almost purred as he turned to look at my upturned sole. ‘Ah yes, a verucccccaaaaaaa’, he breathed. ‘I can treat that for you too’, as he began to reach for a fresh pair of pervogloves. With my finger still pulsating painfully, I quickly declined the offer of a matching tootsie; visions of days spent painfully hobbling playing out in my mind. ‘Isn’t there an ointment I could use to remove it?’ I asked.

So, some time later, after a single application of the prescription, I lost interest. The instructions were clear: ‘apply three times a day for four weeks’. Aside from the prospect of finding somewhere to take my shoes and socks off in the middle of the day when I’m out and about, the sheer tedium of applying caustic chemicals to my flesh for four weeks just didn’t engage my sense of joi de vivre. I’ve been conscious that, like Les Dennis, veruccas can hang about seemingly forever – just being there, occasionally visible from the corner of your eye, an appendage to one’s precincts with no particular function other than to remind you of their presence via the occasional twinge of pain or an ironic reprisal of Family Fortunes. It was with great surprise, then, that I noticed yesterday that the little bugger had buggered off. [Les is on Hotel Babylon next week]. I scanned my sole feverishly for the black spot. I prodded my pad which had formerly housed the alien growth – nowt to be seen or felt. It appears, Oh Lord, I am healed. A further miniwart has also come and gone, meanwhile, on my little finger. Could it be that these are phantom fungi? An empathetic encrustation engendered by my natural tendency to pick up on the energies of others? My evil twisted cousin is a warthog of a woman and I’m now wondering if a recent life-sapping encounter with her noxious personage may have fomented my little visitors. Either this or I have some inherent genetic ability to destroy warty things without really trying. [ I know where Michael Portillo lives...donations via Paypal ] If this is so then I am truly talented after all [depite what Mrs Madteacher said in 1973]. I hope you’re reading this Dr Pervo Toothbrush-Tache MD – you’re never coming near me with that thing again. Go and zap your bumfluff with it.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

When chickens mutate
they grow teeth...

Monkeys: brass
Who turned off the global warming?
My boiler’s steaming it’s little gasket off in an effort to maintain a decent interior temperature. Meanwhile cutecat shivers on the patio pining to get inside and there are icicles on my bicycle.

Ear ear
“He is a most enjoyable person to talk to — perhaps partly due to his being younger than me,” Charles writes. “He also gives the impression of listening to what one says, which I find astonishing”
Crown Prince Tamponis on Mr Tony

Muscle magic

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

One of the most useful things I’ve discovered in a while is how to cure your own stiff neck when you don’t have a handy onsite neck unstiffener available owing to a previous engagement. Simply prod around your neck to find a sore point. Then prod a bit more to find the centre of the soreness – ie the bit that hurts the most. [This is not very nice but the end result is worth it, trust me]. Now apply firm, unrelenting pressure to the sore point. [This might hurt like hell but the end result is worth it, trust me]. After a short time you will feel something change in your neck. This is the knotted muscle relaxing. Because the neck is a complex structure you may find that there are a number of sore spots that need this treatment. You may also find corresponding sore spots along the shoulders [in the trapezius muscles]. Although it takes a bit of time and is a bit awkward, the end result is truly marvellous and relieves that locked up feeling you can get after a hard day’s blogging. Headaches may disappear and the world somehow seems a better place.
The application of pressure to muscles in spasm, thus forcing them to relax, is a technique practiced by many professional therapists at great profit. Although it’s far nicer if you can find someone else to torture you, a little bit of autotherapy can make all the difference and maybe save you some pennies.
[NB: The advice offered here is based on the personal experience of the author and does not constitute official medical advice. IE - if you do try this at home it's at your own risk. Avoid the windpipe and you should be OK.]

Archival rootings

Monday, February 20th, 2006

The Tate have an archive of online events. This is a remarkable collection of talks from notable artistic figures which can be replayed via real audio. Jacques Herzog, Anthony Minghella, Ken Loach, Alain de Botton, Olafur Eliasson [he of the giant sun], Martin Parr, Anish Kapoor, Jeanette Winterson, Gilbert and George – just a few of the highlights. It’s pretty in depth stuff but if you want to get the lowdown on some of the less superficial aspects of contemporary culture then it’s an amazing free resource. Appealing for me was the fact that you can pause the recordings and return so if two hours of, Dialogues between ‘Art and Anthropology’ clashes with Footballers Wives you can always go back later.

Talking of Archives, I found a brilliant free PDF of photographs of the Dessau Bauhaus on their website the other day. [ See where Franz Ferdinand nicked their entire image from ]. Lovely atmospheric shots of the modernist masterpiece which has now been largely restored.

Feel a hankering to do a quiz. It’s been a while. Any suggestions for topics?

It's a gas

Friday, February 17th, 2006


As the first glimmer of Spring has arrived, good old British Gas have announced a 22% price increase on top of the previous mammoth price increases in recent months. It’s now necessary to seek clearance from your bank before boiling an egg. The new national identity card will have a built in Gas Use Function [GUF] to facilitate up front clearance to ignite. Don’t even think about lighting up a fag from the cooker. A. It’s illegal to smoke, or even think about smoking [ "Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death" ] and B. It’ll affect your credit rating. [ Your home is at risk if you do not pay your gas bill, go directly to jail, do not pass wind, do not swear, you are live on Channel Four ]. Gas is becoming more valuable than gold.
So, radical action is needed. Creative thinking is required. I’m looking for a strong team effort on this one readers. We need to push the envelope, think outside the clingfilm and sneer at the bulldog clip of stultifying fuel tyranny.
How do we cut our gas bills?
Here’s my starter for 5:
1. Spend as much time as possible naked to desensitise yourself to the cold = less use of heating required.
2. Brick up all your windows and doors with recycled polystyrene for insulation against draughts = major risk of A. Fire and B. Seasonal Affective Disorder due to lack of light. However, C. facilitates 1 above due to greater privacy.
3. Give up work in November each year, stuff your cheeks with acorns or other high calorie nut type things and take drugs to sleep through the winter thus avoiding exposure to cold.
4. Remove all gas appliances from house and rely solely on driftwood scavenged from nearby beaches as fuel source. Problem 1: only works for coastal dwellers. Solution: Increase CO2 output massively to bring coast nearer. Problem 2: May cause sooty deposits on carefully constructed minimalist interior and nostrils.
5. Increase consumption of potatoes and channel karmic energies to one’s extremities to ensure vasodilation and bodily heat dispersal fuelled by high carbohydrate diet.
OK, the last one is a bit flaky but I was struggling. I need your input here – I’ve been working on this for several kilowatt hours and I’ve got no clothes on.

Friday, February 17th, 2006

“The mega pixels are rising” Sounds worrying – I wonder if it can be treated?

Pollish
Diamond geezers, lies, damned lies and sleepwalking. It’s the poll of polls.

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

Chavbegone
Imagine being able to rid yourself of troublesome individuals at the flick of a switch. Now, there are hidden advantages to going a bit mutton as you sink into decrepitude. Apparently, once you reach the age of 25 you’re unable to hear certain frequencies of sound. [ Suddenly, acid house is making sense at last ] Cunning boffins have exploited this fact in developing a kind of electronic wall mounted teenage repellant device which works a bit like those blue light things in chip shops only it’s illegal to lure teenagers to certain electrocution [ unless.. no I won't go there ] – so this thing drives them away from your locale by making them ‘feel uncomfortable’ [ would it not be simpler to move amongst them offering free samples of George Formby MP3s and signing them up for wholesome activities at the local Scouts and Guides? ]. Anyway, I think this is a very clever device which should be available in key ring size for use by all sorts of people that sometimes might tire of the company of charming young people. Imagine how quickly I could get served on Saturday nights down at the Bignjuicy Arms. Dogs, you’ll be glad to know, are unaffected. So many pop idols, so few recording contracts [think Grills Aloud].

Drugs
Another ruthlessly efficient idea emerges from the teeming brain of Lord Birt of Liverpool. [Once memorably described by Dennis Potter as a 'croak voiced Dalek'. People used to run scared when he entered the building]. Having done exceedingly detailed investigations some time back. The Lord advised TB to supply heroin, crack and other hard drugs to addicts via the NHS. Estimated savings from crime reduction: £14 billion. I wonder why it didn’t become government policy?

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

Sacks
It’s been go go go all day. A ratatatat first thing this morning on my knocker. I open the door and there is a 60 foot truck outside with the engine running. The driver offers me his clipboard to sign. Then the onslaught. Sack after sack is deposited on my doorstep and I begin to fear I’ll never be able to accommodate them all. By lunchtime I’ve managed to open every last one. So this year it’s a record 850000 valentine cards for yours truly. What with these and the naked models cluttering up the drive I’m at a loss to explain it all. Call it animal magnetism if you must. Embarrassing really.