Remember that romantic fridge message that Billy left me using the freebie fridge magnets from Classic Rock Magazine? Well *ahem*, I may have sent it in to their letters page and they may have published it in this month’s magazine.
When people ask me what kind of things I’m into, I generally say “What do you mean? Like taking a dump on my boyfriend’s genitals or watching midget porn?” Usually, and disappointingly, they reply “No, I mean like photography or amateur dramatics”. After the awkward silence I will reel off a list of the things I like. Near the top of this list is darts, the mention of which usually results in a reaction of greater disgust than when I mentioned excrement-sex. Why do people have such a problem with darts? It is the most beautiful sport in the world! Yes, I called it a sport, put that in your pipe and shove it up your ass.
The main reason for my love of darts is that, in my opinion, I feel it is the last of the working man’s sports. Even I remember the days back in the 80’s when footballers drank in my dad’s local and were just regular guys, the majority of which had day-jobs. They were young, normal boys who were a bit better at football than everyone else and as a result got to play it a bit more than everyone else. Above all, and much more importantly, a lot of them had handle-bar moustaches and a minor drinking problem. They were all the things that men are supposed to be; untidy, hairy and a bit stinky. Look at them now, they make me physically sick. They use fake tan, they wax their chests, they advertise things, their wives are clinically retarded and their wardrobe is more important to them than consensual sex. They earn far too much money for what they do and, sadly, kids can’t get enough of them.
Darts on the other hand is not ashamed to admit that it is not perfect. Darts doesn’t give a fuck. It eats pies, drinks beer, swears and scratches its balls whilst simultaneously farting. Now I agree that this is an equally unhealthy role model for young children but it is by far the more fun of the two. At least you will develop some sort of banter that will ensure you are an enjoyable person to be around. Dying of a heart attack at 35 is surely a small price to pay for this? Anyway, have you seen the young Dutch guys in the PDC nowadays? They are extremely fit and they rarely drink. In fact most darts players are professional sportsmen and it’s about time they were treated that way. It’s a high pressure sport that few can master and yet they are still viewed as the outcasts of sporting society.
I have been to many a televised darts event and can safely say that they have been the most enjoyable nights I’ve ever had. I usually begin the evening with a pint and a pie (something I would rarely do in my everyday life so it is a pretty special moment for me). I will then sit down at my table, half of which will be full of people I don’t know but am soon to become best friends with, and begin my quest to think of a catchy line to put on my card that might get me on TV. The rest of the night will be spent drinking, laughing, screaming, getting autographs and trying to sneak into the Player’s Lounge. The vast majority of the players are approachable, normal guys and no one in the room gives a shit what you look like or where you’re from. There are often arguments but rarely fights and there is always drama between the players. What more could you possibly want from an evening?
I think when it comes down to it, all the things that dart haters dislike about the sport are the same things that make me love it: It’s fun and unpretentious. ‘Fun’, for those of you who have forgotten, was something that people had before the Food Standards Agency and Health & Safety Executive took it away from us and replaced it with that guilty feeling you get after a day-time wank. Fuck them I say! Find your nearest darts team and go and bloody enjoy yourself. In the words of a poncey, public-school scrote-sack that I was once forced to speak to: “Darts is nothing but 2D, trash TV”……….and long may it continue my friends, long may it continue.
A 1988 darts montage just for you. Back when men were men and moustaches were a way of life……..
Bought George Bush’s book last week. Did a shit on it.
The recently released memoirs of our favourite loveable rogue are sharp and cutting at best but often just grating and irritable. Whiter than white and with not much in the way of cushiony softness, I would recommend steering clear of this product.
Verdict: A controversial choice. Better than the recycled toilet paper favoured by primary schools but nowhere near as good as that Andrex luxury double-quilted one.
My decision point: 1 Fist
Top Tip: Moisten with the tears of Iraqi orphans prior to use to get that super-fresh, wipe-clean feel.
Since it is only a matter of days until the release of Kinect, I thought I would attempt to be useful and share my thoughts on the new addition to the wallet-raping, user-friendly Microsoft family. Back in August, as part of my birthday treat, I got to attend the Xbox Kinect trials in London’s Covent Garden with Billy and my mum for 30 minutes of intimate alone time with what could potentially be my new lover.
We were greeted at the door by a campsite, I had no idea Kinect had such a huge gay following. A beautiful man with perfect hair and trousers so tight I could see what he had for breakfast approached us and introduced himself as Jonathan before grabbing my hand and skipping towards a stage. He was putting on a headset. Oh god, please don’t put on a headset. I don’t like participating in things that involve headsets. Turns out we were a ‘smidge’ early so “Wouldn’t it be great to kill ten minutes by trying out the Kinect on this here stage?”. I grudgingly agreed but it wasn’t until I was up there I realized that the fire exit doors onto Covent Garden were wide open and people were, in fact, paying attention to what was going on inside. Then it happened……..the intro to Poker Face by my nemesis, Lady Gaga, blasted out into the room and I panicked. I asked Jonathan what the hell was going on and he replied “Oh, it’s our new dance game called ‘Dance Central’ and it’s starting right about now…..and left and right, come on, jump and step….”. I wanted to die a little bit but I’m not gonna lie, by half way through you couldn’t get me off the stage. Until, that was, he said these words: “Okay, now here comes the freestyle bit, you just do whatever you want, I think it would look great if you did something a bit sexy, show me sexy girlfriend!”. I just looked at Billy like a rabbit in the headlights. He knows what happens when I try to do sexy. Thankfully right at that moment our private room was ready so I ran away from him. I don’t even think he noticed.
We arrived at our room which was (thankfully) much less eventful, and got stuck into three games: Kinect Joyride
You may notice that the titles of these games sound a bit familiar. Replace the word ‘Kinect’ with ‘Wii’ and you could be looking at a list of avatar games released by Nintendo. I wish that was where the similarities ended. Like the Wii, you are in control of an avatar but instead of using a wand you use your hand. Joyride is a driving game in which you hold an imaginary steering wheel to drive around. Adventures is a duck and jump type game with rapids and obstacle courses and Sports is……well you can guess; the usual bowling, hurdles etc. I was so confused! Surely they knew that we would notice? Could they just not be arsed?
Having only avatar games to choose from at the trials makes it hard for me to form a fair opinion on just how worthwhile a purchase the Kinect will be. Thankfully though there are other games in the Kinect collection that will be more suited to the controller-free selling point, and I think it will come into its own as a fitness aid. The ability to participate without having to hold a sweaty wand in your hand will probably ensure that the Kinect will be preferred by weirdo fitness freaks the world over. There is no need for a board or anything, you just do what the game tells you to and BAM, you’re thin. Unfortunately this also means that there will be a reduction in the amount of articles in The Sun discussing the latest child to get nailed in the face by a flying controller but you’ve got to take the good with the bad I suppose.
One thing that did surprise me was how well the sensors worked. I was prepared for frustration when it didn’t do the things I wanted it to, but there was none of that. The device works well and so allows you to focus entirely on the game instead of worrying about where that fucking Wii hand icon thing has gone. At one point I scratched my nose and my avatar did too! Yes, I am that easily impressed!
I don’t know how they are going to approach any RPG games that they may release. They could be great, and I hope they are, but I have a feeling that they probably won’t be. I really liked Zelda on the Wii so it can be done but I think, at least for the moment, keeping the focus on lifestyle games is probably a clever move. The DanceCentral game was shit-hot and has given me the GREATEST idea. Imagine, everyone buys the Kinect and practices the dance to Bell Biv Devoe’s Poison. You could turn up at a club, get the DJ to stick it on and voilà, the entire club is spontaneously performing the same routine. It would be like a scene from High School Musical except not shit! Let’s do it!
Looking back, I did enjoy the day but was disappointed at how little Microsoft had moved away from the Wii with their signature games. Fitness and dancing games aside, the fact that you don’t have a controller is not an original enough concept to stand on its own. There are quiet mumblings of 3D graphics being incorporated into the Kinect so I am going to view this as a kind of midway point between the Atari and a full on Holodeck. Slowly but surely we are getting there, and at the end of the day I am going buy one anyway, Lady Gaga and I have some unfinished business to attend to.
A respectable but slightly disappointing 3 fists from me:
For your viewing pleasure. A very flattering video of Billy and I participating in the Xbox Kinect trials in London:
At the time of writing there were 34,936 apps for the iPad. I have used about 30 of these. If you are looking for an informative, exhaustive review of the apps currently available for the iPad, this is going to be the biggest disappointment since Raoul Moat’s killing “spree”. If however you are looking for an uninformative, limited review of my own personal favourite apps…………you’re a fucking weirdo, get off my lawn.
VLC – If you don’t have this app, this is what will happen to you:
Whilst trying to transfer a very, very legal download of South Park series 13 onto your iPad, iTunes will basically tell you to go and fist yourself. You will try for days to bypass iTunes and its all encompassing power to destroy your life. You will fail. After admitting defeat you will spend three more days converting your files to a format deemed acceptable by iTunes by means of a ‘free’ software package. Finally, and with a huge sigh of relief, you will click ‘transfer’. You will receive the following message: “Thank you for choosing our software to convert your video files. In order to transfer the files onto your device you will need to upgrade to our full version which will cost £1,000,000. It’s okay though, we use Paypal so it will be convenient and hassle free!”. Hours later you will be spotted skipping naked down the high street wearing a sock puppet on one hand and flinging shit at passing old ladies with the other, occasionally stopping to eat your own hair whilst poking yourself in the eye with your toe.
For the love of God, get this app. No one likes sock puppets.
TV CATCHUP – This app basically turns the iPad into a TV by means of witchcraft. Very handy if you like a moan at your boyfriend for watching Babestation when Snog, Marry, Avoid is on. It shows most of the decent channels including Dave (most important) but the picture quality can be pretty poor at times and because it is shown live, you can’t rewind anything if you’ve missed the beginning. All in all though the good out-weighs the bad and anything that can magically turn something into a TV gets 5 stars from me. Now if they could only apply this TV magic to the back of my head, Billy would die a happy man.
DISCOVER – This is a Wikipedia app presented in the form of a magazine. It has a photo of the day, an article of the day and all the encyclopaedia articles you could ever want. It’s also in HD which makes me feel warm inside. There isn’t much use for it on a daily basis but I think it would be good to have on a train or the Megabus. Although, I wouldn’t recommend waving an iPad around on a Megabus, that would be like waving around a quarterpounder with cheese in a Malawian orphanage.
iPERIOD – This is an app that keeps track of your periods. I have found to my surprise that this app is more popular with men. One of my guy friends whipped it out the other day when trying to organise a golfing trip with his brother saying “Well, the wife will be shedding the tears of a disappointed uterus next weekend so it would be nice to get out of the house for a couple of days”.
GAMES – As you can probably guess there are no real epics for the iPad so don’t expect to devote more than a couple of hours of your life in order to complete a game. There are still a few that are worth a look though, my three favourites are:
SPARKLE HD: One of those blow-up-a-chain-of-coloured-balls type games favoured the world over by lonely housewives with bingo addictions. This one is actually very good, the music sounds like it’s from Beetlejuice and the HD graphics are immense.
HARBOUR MASTER HD: Pretty simple but highly addictive. You have to move boats about so they don’t crash into each other. I wish I had more to add but that is literally it.
VIRTUAL VILLAGERS 3: I am fully aware that this is a shitty sim game but there is something kind of 90’s about it that makes me happy. You land on a deserted island and have to make sure your villagers survive by building stuff, finding food, making babies, etc. Completely pointless, but there was a time when all computer games were pointless and, well, sometimes I just miss those days.
While I am on the subject of games, I’m not really a fan of Angry Birds. Am I the only person in the universe who feels this way?…………….Besides you, Tumbleweed.
PHOTO SLIDESHOW – Not technically an app, just something the iPad can do. You can use your iPad as a kind of picture frame that changes photo every few seconds via an unfolding origami-type display. It’s pretty cool to watch and a nice idea I suppose but I can’t help wonder when we are expected to use it. Can you imagine taking it into your office and setting it up next to your monitor, leaving it to show random photos of your family on their last skiing trip? Seriously, imagine how much of a dick you would look. I tried it out in the privacy of my own home and it didn’t really work out. These are the first four photos that came up: A photo of a naked doll that I found on the side of a mountain in Skye that looked like a dead baby, a picture of my dog trying to hump another dog’s face, a picture of Hitler with a speech bubble saying “I blame the parents” and a photo of a dead bird in a ziplock bag stuck to a wall by a magnet. If I worked in an office I would be eating my lunch alone.
So there you go, a few of the apps that have earned a place on my homescreen. I could honestly keep going, I have another ten apps that I use but for those of you who don’t have an iPad this blog entry is hardly a page-turner so I will spare you the torture of reading about amazing things that you will never have. I feel like the parent of a high-achieving child; so much to say but no one really gives a fuck. I think I’m going to start going to coffee mornings with other iPad owners. Call me.