After a lot of consideration, and at the grand old age of 31, I have decided that it is about time I learned how to drive. This will be a guaranteed shambles. The reason I am confident that this will be a disaster is because I have tried to learn how to drive before (when I was 19) and the following things happened to me:
1. At the end of an hour’s lesson with my elderly driving instructor, ‘Old Bill’, I stepped out of his car and noticed quite a lot of dark stains all over the driver’s seat. This confused me as I did not remember seeing them when I got in the car. The mystery was soon solved when I got home and realised that, as a result of my period arriving a week early, I had in fact menstruated all over his car. Great. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, I knew the person who was getting the driving lesson directly after me – so if you’re reading this, Mark Lumsden, I am truly sorry for any permanent damage done to your jeans.
2. Whilst driving along a quiet country road one day, Old Bill pointed out a farm which was obscured by some trees. He explained in a secretive and disapproving tone that one of his other students had told him how this farm was sometimes used by homosexual men to meet up and have “relations”. I pretended to be equally shocked and humoured him with a Carry-On-Cottaging-style giggle before driving on.
A good couple of months later we returned to this area and as I drove along the single track road, Old Bill asked:
“So Jillian, can you remember what I told you about this place last time we were here?”
I hesitated slightly before saying “Uhhmm…..this is where gay guys come to shag?”
After what seemed like quite a long pause he replied “Uh, no. There’s a blind summit up ahead.”
We pretty much drove in silence for the rest of the lesson which, considering he was the one who told me the story in the first place, seemed a little bit out of order to me. Maybe it was my choice of vocabulary that offended him or maybe it was because I prioritised farm-bumming over road safety. Whatever it was, I was highly mortified.
Eventually I felt confident enough to book my theory test. Being the young, carefree, fun-loving alcoholics we were, Billy and I thought it would be a great idea to attend a birthday party the night before said test (which I had stupidly booked for a Saturday morning). As was the case with all celebrations in late-nineties Aberdeen, the party soon moved to Amadeus; an unnecessarily large meat-market/nightclub famed for its foam-parties and chlamydia-coated bar stools.
Back then, I used to get a bit annoyed when I saw Billy flirting with other women (nowadays I hold them down so they can’t run away from him) so when I saw him dancing with another girl, I gave him a bit of hassle. This hassle soon turned into a full-blown screaming argument outside the club which did not resolve itself until 6am. At 10am I was still half-drunk and, with no sleep, headed to the test centre. Needless to say I failed and decided there and then that driving was not something that I wished to pursue in the near future.
Almost twelve years later and I have pretty much had enough of being a bus wanker. Here are just some of the experiences I have had on this increasingly disturbing form of public transport.
-Sat next to an old man who proceeded to shit himself.
-Had a little bit of my hair cut off by a pair of Bucksburn slags who were sitting behind me.
-Been slapped by a mentally unstable man in drag.
-Been dive-bombed by numerous wasps.
-Been asked by a Nigerian man if I would like to “go for coffee…..and then maybe sex?”
-Witnessed a drunk guy pissing into the heating fan.
-Overheard this conversation:
Girl: “Hey, excuse me, do you remember me?”
Guy: “No, sorry. Should I?”
Girl: “Kind of. About 6 months ago? Met you in town?”
Guy: “Sorry, still nothing.”
Girl: “Fuck you! We fucked in Union Terrace Gardens after the clubs closed you fucking arsehole! I had to take the morning after pill and everything! What the fuck kind of dick-head doesn’t even phone? I hope you get a fucking STD and die you piece of shit man-whore.”
Guy: *Presses bell* “Well…*awkward stretch*…this is my stop”.
And I haven’t even started on the bloody night buses.
So anyway, last month, whilst fantasising about never having to get on a bus again, I re-took my theory test (sober) and passed (hero) and with next month’s pay will book a one-week crash course to get it all over and done with. The reason I have to wait until I get paid is because it is going to cost me 1000 fucking pounds. To drive around for a week! Looks like I will have to retract my bid for that clump of Justin Bieber’s pubes I saw on eBay and think of something a bit more affordable to get my mum for Christmas. I do feel it will be worth it in the end though, surely there is only so much I can embarrass myself in one week?
Obviously this is a not-in-any-way-funny news story about those God damn paedos who, like the contents of Frankie Cocozza’s scrotum, seem to get everywhere nowadays. But can I just say how much I love that the back-drop to this breaking news story looks like an old James Bond super-villain map, usually found on the wall of an underground hideout with satellite links to news stations around the world and a countdown to our imminent death. If the BBC’s coverage is anything to go by, it appears that this paedophile ring had a real-life evil lair in a New Mexican desert-cave…and this is exactly what it looked like:
N.B. As a result of making the above picture myself (with a couple of cheeky Google Image thefts), my browsing history now looks dodgy as fuck. Let’s just hope that my hard drive is never seized, I’m not sure I could explain having ‘catholic rapist priests’ in my search bar without using the term “research” – and we all know no one falls for that old chestnut.
I’m not even going to pretend that this isn’t going to be a rant. Abbreviations need to fuck off. It’s not that I hate all abbreviations, some definitely serve a purpose. Take ‘RSVP’ for example – only a total dick would write “Répondez s’il vous plaît” in full on their invitations, so I am grateful that there is an abbreviation for this ridiculous and unnecessarily foreign sentence. However, this linguistical craze has gotten way out of control recently. I especially cannot cope with the popular phenomenon that I have entitled: Abbreviation Lies or ‘using an abbreviation to tell people you are doing something when, in fact, you are a lying bastard.’
This facebook conversation that I read a few weeks ago is a prime example of the Abbreviation Lie:
What the hell was that?? Imagine if you will, that all those abbreviations were factually accurate. You would walk into that room to find two girls basically having a seizure; they are rolling around on the floor covered in piss, their arses have fallen off and they are laughing like maniacs whilst drinking Lambrini. I would be phoning the authorities to have them restrained and sectioned but instead, because they have used abbreviations, people already assume they are lying and that’s apparently okay.
It wouldn’t be so bad if the abbreviations were actually decent. I still don’t know how to pronounce ‘LOL’ (is it ‘lole’ or ‘lawl’?), and as for ROFL, it clearly needs at least one more vowel to make even realistically usable in a sentence. Until then, it will just continue to sound like someone from The Scheme talking about raising money for their local community centre.
-“Haw Tracy, did ye manage tae sell ony rofl tickets doon the presinct yisterday?”
-“Naw Boab, I couldna fun onythin tae use as a rofl prize except fur a rangers toap covered in pish and a £10 bug a’ smack that I fun unner my wean’s bed. It’s no real Boaby.”
I suppose the problem I have is that laughing out loud as a result of something you have read is a rare and beautiful occurrence – an occurrence which people are becoming increasingly desensitised to because of this anti-semantic lolocaust. In my whole life I have only genuinely pissed myself laughing twice (one of them was a little bit because I had a bladder infection) and I don’t think I have ever got down on the floor and actually rolled around laughing – but if it ever does happen, the moment will be ruined because no one will bloody believe me. They will simply add it to the steaming pile of lies that sits festering in the corner of our social networks.
So the next time you are texting/facebooking/tweeting, spare a thought for the people who are genuinely covered in piss. Take a step back and ask yourself: “Am I really laughing out loud? Am I actually rolling on the floor laughing my ass off?” If the answer to either of these questions is ‘no’, then, for the love of God, just put a smiley face.
In light of the recent “Gamer Dies of Xbox/DVT” news story, I have had a lot of questions from people (one person) asking me for tips on how to construct a Gaming Nest™ that is both comfortable and architecturally sound. As the creator, inventor, creative inventive director and all round Gaming Nest™ building genius, I have decided to share my knowledge so that you too can create a comfortable environment matched only by the amniotic fluid of your mother’s uterus. By following this guide your nest is sure to make the Beijing National Stadium look like a piece of shit and you’ll never get DVT no matter how long you play for. Guaranteed.
You will need:
1 x Pair of loose fitting trousers/shorts (no jeans)
1 x Loose fitting t-shirt
1 x Blanket
1 x Slanket (buy it here: www.theslanket.com)
All the pillows from your bed
2 x Console controllers
1 x TV Remote Control
1 x Sky Remote Control
1 x iPad (a laptop will do if you’re a peasant and don’t yet own an iPad)
1 x Mobile phone
1 x Landline phone
1 x Pint of juice
A variety of munchies
1 x Dog (preferably one that is a bit tired)
Begin by equipping your nesting outfit. Elasticity is key here – sweatpants, leggings, even Lycra if that’s your thing – for the love of God, just make sure it is flexible. I wore jeans once and after a solid eight hours of gaming I took them off to discover that I looked like a burns victim – and I’m pretty sure denim imprints hurt more than third degree burns so be warned.
Once you are appropriately attired, grab your blanket and slanket and bring them through to the living room. Place the blanket directly on to the couch, this will form the foundation of your nest and provide you with a smooth surface to lie on. It also prevents chafage from the sofa cushions or, if you have a leather sofa, that moment when you have to peel your sweaty ass off the cushions post gaming session. Put the slanket to the side for now, we will return to this later. Next, go to your bedroom and remove all the pillows from your bed. These will function as a kind of scaffolding to keep you upright, so the more the merrier here. Return to the couch and place the cushions in whichever fashion you feel will be comfiest for you. Remember, every nest is as unique and individual as its owner so feel free to experiment with quantities, positioning and fabrics!
Now that we have the soft furnishings in place, it is time for the equipment. I usually begin by placing both console controllers within easy reach of the nest. You will need both just in case one runs out of battery – it is way easier to pick up a pre-charged controller than it is to get out of your nest and rake through the man-drawer trying to find a pair of batteries. Once that is sorted it is time to move on to remote controls. First you will need the TV remote to switch inputs on those rare occasions you need a break (if you’re a pussy, for example) and then you will need your Sky remote to change channels/volume etc. I usually keep them at my side in case something crazy happens, like Amy Winehouse dying, and I want to watch the repetitive, mental-illness inducing coverage on BBC News 24 whilst saying things like “Yeah, I’m shocked………but I’m not really surprised, you know?”
Next on the list is communication. Place all your communication devices in a row, again within reaching distance of the nest. You will need your iPad/laptop within viewing distance and permanently open on the BBC News website or Facebook for maximum gossip exposure. You will also need your mobile in case someone phones you or you want to phone your sister and say “Oh my God, did you hear Amy Winehouse died? Totally fucked up! Yeah, I know…shocked….but not really surprised…..totally…..yeah, inevitable…..such a good voice though…..yeah I agree….wasted talent. No way, we got our periods at the same time AGAIN?? Freaky! Okay, bye!” Next you will need your house phone in case your mum – literally the only person to call your landline since the late nineties – phones and says “Amy Winehouse? Yeah, that bitch could never hold her drugs.” With all these links to friends, family and current events at your fingertips, no one can ever accuse you of ignorance as a result of prolonged gaming.
Probably one of the more important elements of the Gaming Nest™ is the inclusion of sustenance in its design. It is essential that you are kept hydrated and energised when completing the challenging tasks that video games tend to throw at you – defeating dragons, shooting Nazis in the face, blowing up spaceships and having gay sex with Anders from DragonAge II are all physically demanding activities that require both focus and stamina. I recommend you fill a pint glass with your favourite juice (no alcohol, it will only distract you from the task at hand) – I tend to go for some sort of orange cordial because it is high in water and flavour. I would avoid fizzy shit like Coke or Irn Bru because it’s fattening and we don’t want to get fat. We are athletes. We all know that gaming is hungry work though so make sure you have some munchies next to your juice. A good tip would be to choose things that only require one hand to eat – I usually go for popcorn or grapes but you can choose whatever you like, use your imagination!
N.B. At this stage it is essential that you go for a piss. I don’t care if you don’t need one, you must stand in that bathroom until you feel something stirring and don’t come out until you are completely empty.
Finally, it is time. Switch on your console, grab that slanket we put aside earlier and climb into your brand new Gaming Nest™. The slanket comes with sleeves (hence the name) so it is possible to cover yourself right up to your chin whilst still having your hands free to hold that all-important controller. Get hold of your sleepy dog and place him firmly in the space between your knees – not only will he provide you with a permanent heat source but he will also be someone to pet and talk to, a therapeutic friend during those times when that alien-boss just won’t fucking die.
So what are we waiting for friends? Let’s get gaming!
This month, Billy and I began the fun process of selling our flat. Whilst packing up some of our stuff, I came across a pile of old travel journals that I had written over the past ten years. I decided (to Billy’s annoyance) that a constructive use of my time would be to read them all, starting with my memoirs of a three week backpacking holiday we took in 2004. How we managed to come back from that trip alive still amazes me – we were like a pair of lumbering oafs with literally no concept of budgeting and the survival instinct of a suicidal suicide-bomber lemming kamikaze pilot.
We went to the Czech Republic, Croatia and Italy with nothing but a pair of open train tickets, the backpacks on our backs and a wide-eyed sense of adventure that was soon to be crushed by bouts of crippling diarrhoea, a constant stream of women that were a million times hotter than me and sweat……lots and lots of sweat. I have decided that it is in the public interest to share some excerpts and experiences from my diary to demonstrate what not to do when travelling around Europe.
Czech Republic 4th Aug – 7th Aug 2004
We had big plans for this place. We were thinking museums, boat trips, tours and local restaurants. In reality we got speaking to a bunch of Irish people on our first night and so spent most of our time here either drunk or asleep. On our last day we were so hungover that we slept in for our hotel check-out and after discovering we had 11 hours to wait until our train, slept in a park like a pair of alcoholic stinkers for most of the afternoon.
When we woke up, we decided to at least try to do something cultural by heading to a museum but since we had almost exceeded our Prague ‘budget’, we couldn’t actually afford culture so we went for pizza instead. It was here that my stomach started playing up, something I communicated to Billy with this beautiful sentence: “Whoever goes into that disabled toilet after me is going to come out more disabled than they went in.” I think I could safely cross off the word ‘romantic’ as an adjective to describe this trip and we were only on day three.
Czech Republic to Croatia 7th Aug – 8th Aug 2004
It took us 24 eventful hours on a train to get to Split from Prague. Our first connection was in Budapest where we were squashed into a roasting-hot carriage like sardines. After about an hour the conductor squeezed past and informed us that only the front five carriages went to Zagreb and the trains were separating in ten minutes. Since we were in the very last carriage, there was no way we could have pushed through the entire length of the train in time so our only option was to get off the train at the next stop, run like maniacs towards the front and hope we could make it back onto the right carriage in time.
Well, we got off at the next stop and I was fucking useless. It was sooo hot and my bag was really bloody heavy, I was trying to run but there were people next to me who were actually walking faster (and staring). I tried to drag my bag behind me instead of carrying it on my back, but that didn’t really work either so I was just pathetically stumbling along occasionally shouting “Billlyyyyyyyyyyy……..waiiiiiiittttt for meeeeee”. Billy got so annoyed, it was pretty funny. He had to come back and get my bag and run with both of them – and he was still faster than me! Despite my terrible effort, we made it onto the carriage just in time and, after Billy calmed down, he did not stop laughing at me (for about a week): “Apparently my face was bright red with half of my hair stuck to my face and the other half flapping in the breeze”. I think I could safely cross off the word ‘sexy’ as an adjective to describe this trip and we were only on day four.
Our next connection was in Zagreb where we boarded our sleeper train to Split. I was excited about this, the idea of sleeping in a bed on a moving train blows my tiny mind. As soon as we got into our cabin I got straight into bed (I was seriously fucked from all the athletic prowess I had demonstrated earlier) but Billy needed a pee so off he went in search of a toilet. Because the train was still stopped at the station, all the toilets were locked so he returned to the cabin too worried to leave the train in case it left without him but also too bursting to hold in his pee. There was a sink in the corner of our cabin so I suggested that he just pee down the plug hole and clean it like a bastard afterwards. He didn’t want to do that but at this point it was either piss in the sink or piss all over himself so he had no option really. He got on his tippy-toes and started peeing – except he forgot to lock the door and the conductor walked in. Billy couldn’t put his cock away because he was in mid-flow so he just kind of pretended to clean the sink (he even whistled for added effect), even though the crack of his arse was hanging out the top of his half-pulled-down boxers and you could hear the distinct sound of pee trickling down the plug hole. Needless to say, the conductor knew exactly what Billy was doing and, although he never said anything at the time, he looked at us with utter disgust and was a dick to us for the whole journey. I think I could safely cross off the word ‘classy’ as an adjective to describe this trip and we were still only on day four.
Croatia 8th Aug – 12th Aug 2004
“We arrived in Split at 6.30am and walked to the ferry port in silence (we were not talking to each other because we had left our train tickets in our cabin and were blaming each other – even though we managed to get them back)” but we got on the ferry to Korcula and soon became friends again once we saw how amazing it was.
One of the first things we did was try to find somewhere where we could hire a scooter. We eventually found a place and the guy told us that we would have to do a quick test to make sure we could drive the thing before we could take it away so Billy started the engine and drove on the wrong side of the road with the indicator on the whole time. Upon his return, the scooter guy seemed delighted with Billy’s performance and gave us the keys.
We spent the next day generally swimming and scootering around and that night, after Billy made us dinner, we got engaged (awwwww!). The next day I was hungover to fuck from celebrating but had to hand-wash some of our seriously stinky clothes: “I washed our clothes while Billy watched naked girls feeling themselves up on TV – he assured me that this wasn’t a sign of things to come and I told him he was fucking right it wasn’t.” And so, after a couple of days of literally doing nothing (it was amazing), we had to pack up again for our ferry ride over to Italy.
I say ferry ride, but it was more like a yacht trip for Europe’s Next Top Model. The girls in this part of the world are ridiculously stunning and I literally had to step over the hoards of smoking hot, bikini clad bints who had draped themselves over all the soft furnishings on the boat. We managed to find a seat and I was just settling down to a magazine when one of the girls came and stood near us. She was bent over one of her bags rummaging around with her ass in Billy’s face, so he obviously had to have a little perve. When he realised that I had caught him he rolled his eyes and said: “*tsk* well she’s wearing a g-string”. I responded by glaring at him through my pale, freckly, chubby, sweat-soaked eyes. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, the automatic doors of the lounge opened and in walked the hottest thing I had ever seen. She was wearing a leopard-print bikini and the doors had created a kind of wind-machine effect. I’m pretty sure the slow-motion was just my imagination but it is possible that she lived her entire life in slow-motion, that’s how hot she was. After picking his jaw up from the floor, Billy whispered: “I think my cock just twitched”, to which I replied “so did mine Billy, so did mine”. Eventually, after five long hours, we arrived in Italy and I swore never to get on a boat again, unless it was for a mingers-only/British cruise.
To be continued…….
Join me next time when I convince myself that I am about to be stabbed and possibly raped to death in Naples, Billy unintentionally smokes drugs with a Jew and I smell a homeless man’s feet on yet another train.
We arrived in Termoli on the east coast of Italy and immediately upon getting off the ferry got pulled into the customs office by the police. After seeing the high standard of men and women coming off the ferry, he was probably wondering how a pair of cave-trolls managed to stowaway on board. Despite showing him our tickets, he still wanted to search our bags but within seconds of opening them, wisely decided he would rather risk the possibility that we were smuggling kilos of heroin into the country than come into contact with my dirty underwear.
We boarded the train to Sicily and, yet again, it was heaving. Turns out the month of August is when every single Italian in the universe goes to Sicily on holiday, so not only did we have to compete with people for space but we also had to make room for all the Invicta backpacks so favoured by the travelling Italian. When I got on the train I instantly recognised the distinct musk of poverty. It was coming from a hairy old man with claw-toenails who was asleep on a folded-out cardboard box in the walkway. At first I found this amusing but after three and a half hours of standing, it wasn’t long before I was spooning him – top to tail – with his feet in my face. I highly recommend spooning a homeless person, it was the kind of confidence boost I needed after my time on the ferry.
I was woken up an hour later by the homeless guy’s morning-wood which, after changing positions mid-snooze, was now poking me in the back. It wasn’t ideal and Billy was nowhere to be seen so I decided to relinquish my cardboard bed and go find him. I discovered him a few carriages down where – oh God – he had made a new friend. He had got speaking to a shouty man with milk-bottle glasses who was on his way back from a Jewish “Jangler’s Convention” – a festival which consists of people dancing around with bells on their hands and feet (I have since Googled this and it doesn’t exist which makes me think that he probably never left the train and had actually hallucinated this entire festival). He offered Billy a roll-up cigarette which, since he had run out of cigarettes a while earlier, he accepted. Except it wasn’t an innocent roll-up and within 5 minutes Billy was tripping out of his nut. To this day we don’t know what the hell was in that cigarette but it definitely wasn’t weed.
Sicily 13th Aug – 16th Aug 2004
The Jew-crack that Billy had smoked thankfully wore off by the time we arrived in Taormina but it had left him pretty munchied, so we headed to the nearest restaurant where a fat lady with a see-through top and no bra forced me to eat a lump of mozzarella cheese that looked like one of those white dog turds from my childhood. I had literally no energy left to fight her so, after eating half of it, we just paid the incredibly expensive bill and headed to our hostel.
We spent our few days in Sicily almost exclusively on the beach where we took the long-awaited opportunity to do fuck-all and had a pretty enjoyable time doing just that. On the last day we got a little brave and decided to get a bus to the train station. This was a serious challenge as, when I’m abroad, I find that catching a bus is literally the hardest thing to do; you don’t know where the buses go or if you’re even standing on the right side of the road, there never seems to be anyone else at the bus stops, the timetable is dated 1987 and it is barely legible due to the severe sun-fading. I have been known in the past to stand in a foreign bus shelter for over an hour before realising that it was actually a hut for goats. So we stood at what we thought was a bus stop and waited…and waited…and waited in the sweltering heat until, after what seemed like hours, a bus finally turned up. I was so excited, I thought we had made it. The doors opened and I enthusiastically asked the bus driver if he went to the station. He didn’t understand me. So I said “um…uh…el stazioni??” Bizarrely, he didn’t understand this word that I had just made up either. We were so close to success and I didn’t want to let this one go so in desperation I decided to do an impression of a train. I did a kind of locomotion-type dance move with my arms before pulling a pretend horn whilst simultaneously shouting “choo-choo!” The driver just stared at me, slowly closed the doors and drove away.
Billy was initially not impressed with these developments:
“Uh Jillian…what the fuck was that? Choo-choo? Seriously? Fucking CHOO-CHOO?? Well, you can stand here and do impressions of as many forms of transportation as you want but I’m flagging a taxi……………fucking choo-choo.”
Once we were safely on the train, however, he spent the entire journey to Naples laughing pretty uncontrollably. To this day he will still sometimes pull a pretend horn and go “choo-choo” just to remind me of how much of a dick I truly am.
Naples 16th Aug – 18th Aug 2004
We arrived in Naples without any accommodation because we thought we could handle it. We thought “that’s what us backpackers do, we are free spirits who don’t need to plan ahead, we just take every day as it comes.”
We couldn’t handle it.
We got off the train and pulled out a guide-book to try to figure out where the hell we were going to stay when a woman appeared asking us if we were looking for accommodation. She was pretty young and looked harmless enough so, after asking her a few questions, agreed to go with her to her ‘guest house’. It was pitch dark at this point and she started leading us off the main road and down some un-lit alleyways full of bins and the red, glowing eyes of rapists. I started to get nervous but we were well and truly lost at this point so we kept going. I looked over at Billy – who was trying to construct a makeshift knuckle-duster out of one of our backpack hooks – and had this sudden horrible feeling that she was leading us to an abandoned house where some big, hairy Italians were waiting to club us to death with sticks of salami before taking all our stuff. I started to panic but just as I was trying to figure out how to get ourselves out of this situation, we arrived at the front door of her building. She opened the door into yet more darkness where we could just make out a creepy courtyard that looked like something straight out of a Jack the Ripper documentary. Even in the face of potential death, our British manners completely overtook our survival instincts and (so as not to offend) we still went inside. She took us into an apartment and switched the light on where, to my relief, there were no scary men with meat-weapons waiting for us. Just a cat and some modest furniture.
After going to the bathroom to change our pants, we got speaking to her and she explained that she was actually the cleaner for the apartment, the owners were away on holiday (probably to Sicily) and she had decided to make a bit of extra cash by renting out one of the rooms. This whole situation turned out okay but it could so easily have ended in disaster and I have never been so scared in all my life. We deserved to be stabbed to death and sodomised after blindly following her like a pair of amateurs but, luckily for us, Billy’s ass virginity lived to fight another day. Never do that. You are not a free spirit, you do need to plan ahead and I would not recommend taking each day as it comes.
We spent our last day in Naples doing all the touristy stuff. We started in Pompeii and Herculanium where we saw casts of dead people then went up Mount Vesuvius, had an ice-cream and came back down again. We finished up nicely by going to Da Michele for dinner where we had the best pizza actually ever.
Rome 18th Aug – 21st Aug 2004
After two hours on the train we arrived in Rome. We limbered up for the serious sightseeing action that was ahead of us – beginning with the Colosseum, ending with the Vatican and with a lot of fountains in between. I was nervous about going to the Vatican. As we know, I am uncomfortable when inside any religious establishment so being inside an entire principality dedicated to Jesus was some seriously fucked up shit.
My aversion to churches started when I was a very small child. I was friends with an American girl and one Sunday I was invited round to her house to play. Some sort of logistical issue meant that my parents were unable to drop me off at her house so the only way to get there was for her parents to pick me up on their way to church in the morning. My mum was told that I would need to wear something presentable so she put me in a skirt and top and sent me on my way. The only problem was, no one remembered to put my underwear on. So there I was, sitting in church for the first time ever, no clue what the fuck was going on with a draught blowing right up my ass. I thought it would be a good idea to tell my friend’s parents in the middle of the service that my “fluff” was cold because “mummy didn’t give me any pants to wear.” Their reaction was one of horror mixed with slight amusement. Just at that moment a nun came out of nowhere, grabbed my hand and started pulling me to the front of the church. I could see the girl’s parents trying to protest, explaining that I was not a regular, but it was too late. She dragged me down the aisle and stood me in front of everyone. I was freaking out, I thought I was going to get in trouble from God for putting my bare minge on his pews. I remember bawling my eyes out and everyone laughing at me but, as it turns out, all I had to do was eat one of those cracker things and then hold a candle. All the kids had to do it every week, it just so happened that I was the first one to be taken up there that day.
I have never been the same since that traumatic experience and as soon as I step into a church I instantly start sweating. I just feel like everyone in there knows how generally inappropriate I am as a human being. Despite all this, I wanted to at least give the Vatican a try and I’m glad I did, it was mental. Everything is made of gold and every man in every painting has a beard – amazing! The only slightly unnerving thing was that everyone in the place was crying. You just walk around looking at stuff and there are old ladies, men, children, teenagers – all crying. At first I thought maybe they had all forgotten to wear underwear but I quickly realised that it was Jesus’s presence that was making them all so emotional. I couldn’t see him anywhere though, we must have just missed him.
So that concluded the final adventure of our backpacking holiday. The next day we got our flight back to Aberdeen, surprisingly still in one piece but seriously exhausted. Reading this over, it actually sounds like I had a shit time but it was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely times when I thought “What the fuck am I doing here? Why did I pay all this money to spend my time being sweaty, stinky and tired?” but looking back, it was a million times better than any crappy beach holiday I’ve been on. When you successfully arrive at a destination after a slightly traumatic journey, you feel such a massive sense of achievement that a couple of days on the beach feels like it is deserved rather than a redundant use of your free time. So much happened in such a short space of time and we met so many different people that it was like having three holidays for the price of one. I would highly recommend it to anyone, but heed these words: Go with someone who loves you for what’s on the inside because, within days, your outsides will reach a level of repulsiveness you never thought possible.
A couple of months ago I made the rare and dangerous journey into town for a night on the piss to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Everything was going swimmingly – I was on my fourth jegermeister, there was a dance-off between two very white men in their forties on the dance floor and I had just witnessed a retard in a neon-pink lycra dress walk into a glass door. Inevitably, and despite my best attempts to dehydrate my body beyond all repair, I needed a pee.
I am very much a lone pee-er. I know girls tend to piss in packs but I prefer to just spend five solitary minutes urinating, thinking, facebooking and taking photos of myself to see if it is possible to look sexy whilst sitting on the toilet (it totally is) – so off I went in search of some water closetry. Giddy at the thought of the impending relief, I found the toilets, headed through the door and…..there she fucking was – a fucking toilet attendant. FUCK’S SAKE!!!
I have a history of problems with toilet attendants, most of which are a direct result of a mystery birth defect that has left me with the inability to burp. Because I can’t burp and yet continue to drink shots and fizzy booze when I’m out, I will usually throw up at least once on a night out. It’s not a gross food spew, it is more just me simply un-drinking what I just drank because there is no room in my stomach for any more air. Having dealt with this ridiculous disability since the age of 15, I have become a seasoned pro and my drink spews are usually very simple exercises that pass with such speed, I have actually spewed up a complete ice-cube before. Combine this with the fact that I tend to fart when I spew (N.B. Billy Connelly does this too, so it’s okay) and things begin to get a bit awkward. One of my first dates with Billy, for example, ended with me throwing up in his parent’s back garden. He tried to be nice by rubbing my back but as soon as I started ripping one out, he retired rapidly to the back door where he proceeded to point and laugh. I was MORTIFIED. I had absolutely no control over any of my bodily functions and my new boyfriend was just standing there witnessing all this. So, as you can imagine, the last thing I want when I get to a toilet is some bint listening in to all that pandemonium.
On this occasion, however, it was purely a pee visit and I entered the toilets to find the attendant leaning against the sink, chewing gum and looking me up and down whilst humming that charming Khia classic “My neck, my back, lick my p***y and my crack”. There was no one else there, just me and her, so I stood there for a moment getting awkwardly hummed at before disappearing into the nearest cubicle. Turns out the nearest cubicle had no toilet roll and a bit of spew on the seat so I had to come back out and try the next one. Was she wondering why I changed cubicles? Does she think I’m a snob because I’m not prepared to sit on spew? Does she think I’m annoyed that there is no toilet paper? Is toilet paper replenishment even her responsibility? If not, why not? It probably should be, she does sit in there all night after all…..
And just like that, my relaxing piss-time was ruined.
The silence in the room was deafening so I perched myself on the edge of the seat and tried to keep the noise to a minimum. See, girls don’t like people listening when they make pee pee or poopy – as opposed to guys who don’t seem to mind at all (something I discovered to my horror when I was having ‘relations’ in the cubicle of the men’s toilets in a Torry pub. Nothing like an alcoholic taking a shit to put you off your stride). I then began searching for some money, only to realise that I had left my purse on the table. Fuck. I have to figure out a way to wash my hands, dry them, sort out my eyeliner (which at this point in the evening is inevitably half-way down my face) and fix my hair without accidentally making eye-contact with her or brushing against any of the myriad of products she had taking up the sink space. Bear in mind that I am pretty drunk at this point so this is literally blowing my mind.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, in comes The Banterless Brigade – a generic group of about five girls who, I imagine, are in the same Media Studies class at the University of UggBoot, who get moist over pictures of floral scarves, are a bit too posh to give blow-jobs and spend 48 hours a week in the make-up section of Debenhams. The story one of them is telling promises to be the funniest story ever told by a human. It’s not. It’s about an Ann Summers party and a bottle of Lambrini. Or something. At least their inane screeching is drowning out the sound of my colossal piss.
I decided to exit the safety of my cubicle to see if these girls could handle the awkward toilet-attendant-moment better than I could. Two of them completely ignored her and made weird sex-face pouts at themselves in the mirror whilst the rest of them tried way too hard to look as if they cared by asking the attendant cringey questions like “So how did you get into this line of work?” and “Do you enjoy it?” etc. She responded by saying that her five children are starving to death in the basement flat of a tenement building in Logie so she really had no choice but to start up her own ‘business’. Since when did poaching all the free perfume samples from Boots and hanging around in the shitter of Revolution constitute running a business? Her response did not generate much sympathy from these girls, with one of them saying something along the lines of “Yeah, that’s a sad story. Here’s 50p, now straighten my fringe with your fake ghds.”
And that is why I don’t like toilet attendants. First of all, they deny me the right to fart-spew in peace and then charge me for the privilege and secondly, they are put in a position where utter bastards can treat them like shit and get away with it. It’s demeaning and I don’t think anyone should spend their Saturday night sitting in a toilet being spoken to like that, whether they are doing it willingly or not. I don’t believe for a minute that Cheryl Cole punched a toilet attendant because she was black, she punched her because she wanted to take a massive shit for free and I don’t blame her. In fact, I’m taking this to Parliament – fuck the Alternative Vote, I want a referendum to ban the poop-perving bastards.
Last week Billy and I went to the Tyrebagger Sculpture Forest to take the dog for a walk. It was misty, rainy and the car park was empty so we knew we had the whole forest to ourselves. About half way into the walk and, by now, pretty deep into the forest, we stumbled upon the single most random thing I have ever seen in my entire life:
A single loafer sitting next to a turd on a rock.
So what happened here exactly? Let’s reason this out.
Okay, we can see that the turd is on top of a rock, quite a distance off the ground and surrounded by plenty of foliage. This leads me to believe that it was not laid by a dog. In fact, out of everywhere in the entire forest, this rock would be the most awkward place for a dog to lay a cable. Using my awesome powers of deduction, I am therefore going to assume that this bum-cigar came from a human.
Did Scott Disick pinch one off in the Tyrebagger Sculpture Forest?
Now for the shoe. Because both the loafer and the brown-trout are visibly fresh I am going to deduce that they belong to the same, clearly fucked-up person. The type of shoe suggests that this person is either male, or a lesbian. For the sake of argument, and because I’m hesitant to offend lesbians for fear of being raped by one, let’s presume it is a man. We know for sure that this man is an arsehole because only arseholes wear leather loafers. It is also possible that he owns a yacht, has a vast collection of pastel sweaters and uses mental abuse to ensure that his wife never develops a mind of her own. So what about the purpose of the shoe? What the hell happened that justified the abandonment of just one of his shoes? Did he use it to wipe his arse? What kind of maniac wipes his arse with a loafer?
Finally, let’s examine the crime-scene itself. If you were in a forest, bursting for a jobby, you would find the most secluded place possible, wouldn’t you? Behind a bush maybe, or in a ditch perhaps. Not this guy. This sick bastard wants people to see his meaty gorilla-finger. I would even go so far as to say that it is reminiscent of a sacrificial offering – placed at the altar of some sort of shitty-shoe God.
The evidence proves almost conclusively that this can only be the work of a demented lunatic whose mother made him eat shoes whenever he shat himself as a child. However, there is an alternative explanation that can’t be ruled out just yet. Tyrebagger is a sculpture forest, right? There are sculptures in it. Is it possible that Tracey Emin scurried into the forest in the dead of night, in her little lesbian loafers and released a chocolate hostage in the name of art? If this is the case then it’s about fucking time. I went to the Tate Modern once and her ‘art’ was so terrible I actually vomited into my own eyes.
In less than two weeks time I will be in London, hopefully drunk, possibly pissing behind some foliage and definitely watching Prince William and Kate Middleton getting married on a big screen – because, my friends, I am going to Camp Royale in Clapham Common. For three magnificent days, this park will be turned into a campsite with the sole purpose of Royal Wedding perving. You are provided with a free cup of Yorkshire Tea every morning, hot showers, “attractive fencing”, phone charging points and 24 hour security against those stabby London-types you hear about in the news. It’s like T in the Park for losers and I, for one, cannot wait for the utter restrained madness.
I love the Royal Family. As a Scottish person this may seem like a bit of a controversial statement but I shit all over that controversy. I am also one to sell out my patriotic ideals for free tea and a toilet that doesn’t have used sanitary towels stuck precariously to the ceiling causing my bowels to retreat into my throat and stay there trembling in fear for the whole bloody weekend (yes V Festival ’99, I am talking to you – not cool). I also doubt that I will witness a drunk, generic teenage girl taking a dump up against a wall whilst clinging desperately to a glass of champagne, or a young gentleman falling on someone’s tent, breaking it, spewing on it, standing up, pissing on it, falling back onto it and instantly going to sleep in his own lumpy juices (to be fair, those last two examples were from T in the Park ’07 so all in all, pretty impressed with the high standard of behaviour).
Probably the main reason I love the Royal Family is because they are so mental they make my family look like the Waltons. Prince Philip – my favourite by a mile – is a racist, sexist, homophobic liability who never fails to say the wrong thing at the right time. It’s nice to see that, no matter how much money you have, literally no one can escape that embarrassingly inappropriate grandparent. If anyone else said the things he said I would get seriously violent but when he says them I just want to give him a Werther’s Original and a pat on the head. Here are some examples of some real things that he really said:
To two Aborigine tribes in Australia – “Djabugay, Yirrganydji, what’s it all about? Do you still throw spears at each other?”
When asked if he would like to visit The Soviet Union -“The bastards murdered half my family.”
To a driving instructor in Scotland – “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?”
To a Mr Patel at a reception for 400 British Indian businessmen at Buckingham Palace – “There’s a lot of your family in tonight.”
To a group of British students in China – “If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.”
After accepting a gift from a Kenyan woman – “You are a woman, aren’t you?”
To a group of deaf children standing next to a Jamaican steel drum band – “Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf.”
To a 13-year-old aspiring astronaut – “Well, you’ll never fly in it, you’re too fat to be an astronaut.”
Talking about his daughter, Princess Anne – “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.”
The Queen, on the other hand, is so devoid of personality it’s almost admirable. She spends her entire life walking around like someone just took a massive turd on her face. If it wasn’t for her amazingly coordinated old-lady outfits and exquisitely well-crafted false teeth I would probably forget she even existed. I did applaud her restraint, however, when she met Lady Gaga at the Royal Variety Show wearing that monstrosity of an outfit. She was wearing a fucking ruff!! Does she think Blackadder is a documentary and that ruffs are mandatory attire for royal engagements? Or was she trying to be clever? In which case, don’t take the piss out of the Queen, Lady Gaga – because you won’t win. If I was the Queen I would have cut her balls off and threw her in the Tower of London.
Prince Harry is also a favourite of mine, partly because I think he is going to be our generation’s Prince Philip and partly because I want to do him. Even so, what the hell was he thinking wearing a Nazi costume to a fancy dress party? No matter what angle you look at it, that was a bad decision. I feel a bit sorry for him though, I think he just wants to be a normal boy but he’s not allowed. I’ve seen interviews with him and he actually has banter, it’s a shame he’ll spend the rest of his life trying, and probably failing, to restrain that part of his personality.
Now for the other two, Edward and Andrew – I’m not going to lie, I have no idea which one is which. They both look the same, talk the same and dress the same, however one is fairly innocuous and the other one likes to hang around with paedos and has a ginger mess of an ex-wife who looks like an alcoholic shoe – Yet another example of bad judgment from this undoubtedly affected family. Everyone fucks up, I agree, but when you are a member of one of the most scrutinised families in the entire world, the sheer volume of fuck-ups they have been responsible for can only be attributed to clinical insanity. That is why I love the Royal Family – they prove to us civilians on a near daily basis that no matter if you’re well-bred and rolling in money or one of those dirty minks who puts their living-room furniture in the front garden when the sun comes out – people are all fundamentally selfish skanks incapable of controlling their urges. If the Royal Family were as ‘perfect’ as everyone wanted them to be, they would be nowhere near as fun and they wouldn’t make me feel so good about my relatively low-level dysfunction.
The only exception to this is Prince William. He seems to be the only one with any sense in that family. The poor guy must wake up every day, take a look at Charles, Philip, the Queen and the chemically-preserved horse’s ball-sack that took the place of his mother and wonder which disabled child he drop-kicked in a past life to deserve this. That’s why I’m so glad he’s marrying Kate Middleton. She seems pretty sane and is possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. She looks like she’s good with kids and smells of daffodils. She makes a refreshing change from all the tacky, materialistic, overdone cock-gobblers with the dead eyes and obvious self-esteem issues and proves to little girls that you don’t have to look like the month old corpse of a gypsy-prostitute-clown to be beautiful.
The other reason that I’m a fan is because, without a monarchy, I think British culture would be pretty weak. Yes Scotland has kilts and bagpipes, Ireland has Guinness and shamrocks, Wales has……..leek hats (?) and England has……..stuff, but when other countries think of Britain as a whole, I sometimes wonder what characteristics they associate with the UK. Morris dancing? Beefeaters? Tea & scones? I’m fucking zoning out here! When I think of Britain as a colour, I think of a dull medieval puddle brown. Our food is so bland that our national dish – Chicken Tikka Masala – is a rip off of Indian food and even our weather is meh. Over the centuries the Royal Family has added some much needed colour to British culture. It has provided the world with a bit of historical authority, humour, scandal, mental illness, excess, hereditary disease, war, wealth – a bit of fucking excitement! When all this Royal Wedding stuff first came about, Prince William and Kate Middleton said they didn’t want it to be a flash affair because they don’t want to rub in the fact they have loads of money in today’s ‘economic climate’. That’s really nice of them and everything but for fuck’s sake!! All I hear about nowadays is how no one has any money, the cost of living is going up, the property market is plummeting, Libya is falling apart, Japan is getting nailed by tsunamis every 5 minutes – it’s making me want to kill myself! I want something to cheer me up. I want an over the top, shiny, happy Royal Wedding. I want unicorn on a spit, baby panda slow-roasted in a swan sauce, naked virgins dancing on rugs made from polar bear. Self-indulgence is about the only thing this lot are good at, so come on, make it happen!
Admit it, our Royal Family kicks ass. It is one of the most celebrated institutions in the world – everyone knows about the British Royal Family but not a lot of people know that Morocco or even Spain has a monarchy. They’ve been through (and achieved) a lot since their establishment and without them all we’d have to show for ourselves would be old men with bad teeth dancing with sticks in a beige puddle eating stolen curry. We should be glad that the Windsor’s and their ancestors are here to take the focus off all the shit things we have to offer the world – and before anyone gets all up in my grill about the fabulous, ground-breaking inventions that Britain has given the world, you only need to watch an episode of Dragon’s Den to see that that ship has sailed. Reggae Reggae Sauce is the best thing we’ve come up with since penicillin and it tastes like baboon gouch.
I’m not entirely convinced that many people are interested in how my weekend at the Royal Wedding went but, because I don’t really give a shit, I will be providing an in-depth analysis of my short time in the big city anyway. It is a moderately-paced story filled with crime, bad language, sexual deviance, alcohol, drugs and adult baby-grows. It begins on a Thursday….
Thursday 28th April
I arrived at Lisa’s flat in Putney after the epic journey from Luton airport. The Royal Wedding wank-fest is tomorrow and we had no supplies therefore the first stop was ASDA for chairs and booze. After purchasing the essentials we decided we couldn’t be arsed to get the train home and so managed to find what was possibly the dodgiest taxi company in the entire kingdom.
We entered the taxi office and found ourselves in a tiny, nicotine-stained room lit by a bare light-bulb. Sitting in the corner at a table behind a cage was a man who clearly hated life. He eventually asked us what we wanted and seemed surprised when I said: ‘a taxi’. He pressed a buzzer and a short Nigerian man appeared through the door of a room which smelled a little bit like human sex trafficking. He looked like he had just woken up (next to a bruised, naked eastern-european teenager) but whatever, the train station was at least a five minute walk away and I had mega-sore tootsies, so into his car we got.
He didn’t have a meter – an excellent sign – but we learned our bartering skills from a Tunisian ninja so he wasn’t gonna come out of this taxi-ride a winner. When we finally pulled up outside the flat, we got ourselves in a bit of a state trying to get out of the car with all our bags. Normally, Billy and Dan would have a field day with this, likening us to a pair of disabled people or the fat slags from Viz magazine before high-fiving each other, but typically – when they weren’t fucking there to witness it – our snail pace paid off. Half way through her journey across the back seat, Lisa found a bag of weed lodged between the cushions – which she swiftly jammed into her pocket. We paid the guy and did a run for it before taking it out in the lift for a good look. It STANK, honestly, it was proper good quality shit bro! Then we remembered that I work offshore and Lisa doesn’t smoke pot so………..yeah…….the end. Maybe we will keep it for guests or use it as a trophy to demonstrate how gangsta we are.
Friday 29th April
Ooh, the big day. We decided against camping in the end because the garden party turned out to be free so we reasoned that there was no point paying £150 to get covered in someone else’s shit and spew when we can just as easily do that at home (which we did). We set up shop in Clapham Common near the big screens and I casually headed to the beer-tent. Because I am technically on holiday and today was classed as a day of celebration, it completely slipped my mind that it was 10am, so I was pretty embarrassed when I asked the barman for a pint of cider and he told me that it was too early to legally sell alcohol. Why the fuck are you open then? Just to make me look like some sort of desperate alcoholic? I’m on holiday you know! It’s okay to have beer for breakfast on holiday. I hate you. “Can I have a cup of tea then?”
On returning to my seat Lisa informed me that the group of girls which had now congregated near our area were in fact from Vogue Magazine and were interviewing/taking photos of people who they believed looked “cutting-edge” enough to feature in their magazine. Now, obviously all I had to do was get in their eyeshot and the rest would take care of itself. Not true. Apparently dressing like a human being is not good enough for Vogue and yet it seems that if I looked like a special needs retard who had dressed themselves in the dark, I would have got a two-page spread. The girl they chose was wearing denim dungaree shorts, goggles and socks with sandals. She also had very untidy hair and a face that only Matthew Broderick could love.
After the wedding started, however, all was forgotten. It was cheesy, over-dramatic, occasionally tacky but mostly eye-meltingly beautiful with an abundance of crazy traditions that I didn’t even know this country had. The park was totally silent for almost the whole ceremony (although there were intermittent periods of unanimous laughter whenever Prince Philip or Prince Harry’s faces appeared on the big screens). The hats did not let me down either, they were completely ridiculous. Victoria Beckham looked like she had woken up in a navy tent with a wine gum stuck to her face and Princess Beatrice should have been snipered by roof-top security instantly upon stepping out of the car for choosing to wear a uterus on her face. She looked like such a dick-head, her own father couldn’t even make eye-contact with her. But, out of all these hats trying to make all these ‘artistic’ statements- disguising themselves as flowers or birds etc- my favourite of them all had to be the Queen’s hat. If the Queen’s hat could talk it would say “I am a hat”. It was the most hattiest of hats that I’ve ever seen. If you asked a hat to draw a picture of a hat, it would draw the Queen’s hat. Beautiful. It was a wonderful day but after the tonguing on the balcony and the fly-over (and exhausting all attempts at getting Vogue to take my god-damn picture) we decided to head home.
We were still a bit steamboats from the wedding and so decided to get changed and hit Putney with a couple of Lisa’s friends. I had about five jegermeisters and started a drunken conversation with a guy who, with hindsight, was probably a lot more sober than I was. I was trying to be friendly by asking him what he did for a living, to which he replied “Oil & Gas *sigh* rocks and stuff” in a pretentious ‘far-too-complicated-for-you-to-understand’ kind of way. I took great pleasure in telling him that coincidently that was exactly what I did too. He wasn’t as excited about this coincidence as I was and told me rather rudely that he didn’t want to speak about work. This pissed me off so I called him a cunt. Neither he, nor his friends, were very impressed with my choice of vocabulary and promptly excused themselves from our company. That is pretty much the last thing I remember………..that and trying to belly-dance in a Lebanese takeaway.
Saturday 30th April
Hungover. Sweaty. Mess.
Today I did not leave the couch, did not get dressed and did not eat anything that wasn’t delivered directly to my door by someone foreign. Lisa and I spent the day in the recovery position watching the whole wedding again from start to finish followed by four back-to-back royal family documentaries. It was a good day.
Well, it was a good day apart from the horrendous flashbacks of my very un-ladylike behaviour in the club the night before. See, I love the ‘C’ word and use it frequently in the company of my friends and family but only ever in a light-hearted, jovial context. I do not like the ‘C’ word if it is used in an aggressive manner (unless it’s in an Irish accent). Last night, I used it in an aggressive manner and although that guy was a patronising bell-end who thought he was some sort of corporate hero, he did not deserve to be called a cunt. I should have called him a fat cunt – far more amusing. So kids, if you’re going to say it, say it with a smile on your face and no one can accuse you of being offensive.
Sunday 1st May
Lisa’s boyfriend Dan arrived home from Australia at 5am today and surprisingly turned down the offer to come shopping with us for six hours in Camden Market. Last time I checked, jet-lagged shopping trips with the Dingwall sisters was a highly sought after commodity, but exhaustion must have been clouding his judgment.
When we got there we discovered, slightly predictably, that Razorlight were playing on the street so we had some nice (if a little cliché) live music as the soundtrack to our market experience. We bought many a garment, all clearly created by an array of nimble-fingered slave children, including a ‘onesie’ for Dan. He didn’t ask for an adult baby-grow but we decided that he very much needed one.
There were a few homeless people scattered around too, and it was nice to see that they were using talent to fund their drug habits. They were selling their own paintings, playing guitar or letting people pet their very well-behaved dogs. It made a refreshing change from Aberdonian homeless people who just hang around the Castlegate drunkenly shouting at unsuspecting shoppers whilst masturbating with discarded rubbish.
After I ran out of money we called it a day and organised to meet Dan for dinner in Putney before going to Blockbuster to buy a DVD to watch that night. Dan wanted to watch ‘Machete’ – a Tarantino spin-off about a Mexican revolutionary. We wanted to watch ‘William & Kate – The Movie’. We were always going to win. From what I can remember it was one of the worst films I’ve ever seen, but I couldn’t really hear most of it over the sound of Dan trying to saw through his wrists.
I think I fell asleep around 9.30pm. What a gay.
Monday 2nd May
Sightseeing day, yay! After getting my medieval boner on at the Museum of London, the three of us decided to see what all the fuss was about outside Westminster Abbey. Turns out it was the hour-long, blue-rinsed queue to pay £16 to get into the Royal Wedding venue…………sounded like a bargain to me!
Now, there are three things in life that I try my hardest to avoid at all times: Roman ruins (boring), religious establishments (creepy) and people with AIDS (risky). Westminster Abbey is a heavyweight in terms of religious establishments so it was unusual to find me in there, however it is amazing how a society wedding can block out all evidence of a haemorrhaging Jesus. I don’t think I even thought about him once the whole time I was in there. Now if all churches were like that, I think more people would go.
I was surprised to find that nothing had been moved since the wedding. The chairs were still in the exact same places, the trees were there, all the flower arrangements and even her bouquet was still sitting on a cushion on the grave where she left it. It was kind of weird. You were strictly not allowed to take any photos so I took about six and stole a flower from one of the arrangements near the front door. Yeah, pretty rebellious.
Once we were satisfied that we had destroyed any dignity left in that place, we headed to Soho for some dinner to celebrate my last night. With all this time whoring around London, I had expected to see some sort of celebrity creature and although Soho is usually crawling with them, the best I got as I walked out of the tube station was Jenni fucking Falconer. What a let down. I barely know who she is, but I made sure she was down-wind of my 48-hour hangover fart as punishment for not being famous enough. Think about that the next time you watch her present the Lottery. Think about that.
So there we have it. In the short time I was in London I managed to watch the wedding, get drunk, offend a fat guy, spend an entire day beneath a duvet, shop, go to a museum, go to an Abbey, steal foliage and fart on a celebrity. Pretty productive, I think you’ll agree. I spent my final day trying to get from Putney to Luton airport using every form of transport known to man before joining the freak-show that is an Easyjet check-in queue. There’s nothing I love more than an airport WH Smith’s so I ended my little holiday by spending the dregs of my money on the OK! Magazine Royal Wedding Souvenir Issue and a family sized packet of hula-hoops. A very satisfying end to an offensively self-indulgent weekend.
I have noticed that my posts have been a bit negative recently (I had a particularly bad period this month. You’re welcome). I have decided to balance this out by focussing on things that I actually find enjoyable and I’m going to start with my thoughts on being 30. Despite my occasional moans, I love being 30 and hope that this article will instil a little less dread in those who are nearing my age and a new, more positive perspective for those who are already there. For the 21 year olds who may be reading this, you can take your snug-fitting vaginas and pert tits and fuck off. No one is interested in anything you have to say.
The decision to accept my age as a positive thing occurred the other month after buying my first ever anti-wrinkle cream. I currently have three wrinkles and since it took me 30 years to gain three wrinkles I thought that by the time I am 60 I will have six wrinkles. That is how it works right? Well, I don’t want six wrinkles so I went to Boots and bought some wrinkle-prevention cream. As I was smearing it onto my face, the Bryan Adams classic ‘Summer of ’69’ came on PlanetRock Radio (Sky channel 0110 – get involved) and it made me come over all reflective.
There are many down sides to being in your thirties and my teenage years were without a doubt the best days of my life – almost too much fun – but then I think, ‘would I go back there if I could?’ – No fucking chance. Being young involves far too much giving-a-shit for very little reward. High School for me was the Care capital of the Universe. Literally everything had to be a drama and it usually involved copious amounts of tears, alcohol, cigarettes or boys.
Take my first attempt at losing my virginity, for instance. I was living in Malta at the time and it happened at my then boyfriend’s house when his parents were out for the afternoon. We were in the bedroom clumsily trying to figure out what the hell we were supposed to do to get rid of the terrible burden that is a teenager’s virginity when, about an hour in (and nowhere near actually having sex), his Grandad decided to come round for a visit. ‘Sweet of him’, I hear you say – yes well his Grandad was in the circus; he could inflate hot water bottles with his lungs, rip the Yellow Pages in half with his bare hands and there were pictures hanging above the fireplace of him pulling an Air Malta plane using only his 3 foot high, hairy body and a chest-harness. He also didn’t speak any English, which for some reason made him seem more scary to me.
Needless to say I was pretty naked and very unprepared for this impromptu visit. We instantly panicked and, as I heard his Grandad coming towards the bedroom, my boyfriend tried to shove me into the 3cm-wide space under his bed. This was clearly not working so he picked me up, threw my clothes at me (a pair of denim dungarees, a la TLC, no less – I miss dungarees, when are they gonna come back in fashion?) and, literally the second before his grandad came in the room, jammed me into his wardrobe. The wardrobe door was slatted so I could see his muscly little circus feet wandering around the bedroom and for a few minutes it was touch and go as to whether or not I would successfully prevent myself from involuntarily shitting the pants I was not wearing. Malta is a Roman Catholic country so you don’t often find naked teenagers in wardrobes and when you do, it is not considered the high-five moment it is in this country.
He eventually left the room and, after quickly getting dressed, I spent the next 15 minutes trying to get out of the house without him seeing me. It was very James Bond and involved climbing extremely high walls in my socks, hiding behind plants and a lot of SAS hand signals. I eventually emerged out into the street victorious, only for his grandad to drive past in his van beeping his novelty horn and waving at me. He knew I was in there the whole time, the little bearded bastard.
That is just one scenario out of a similar hundred that happened to me in my youth. I spent these years permanently exhausted from either school work, numerous attempts at losing my virginity (I would like to stress that they were all with the same guy – I was generous with my time but I was by no means a slut), boarding school drama, acne/frizzy hair worries, clubbing or generally trying to fight the system. Most of it seemed enjoyable at the time, but looking back now – absolute arsed!
Being in my thirties could not be further from all that hassle. These days it is very rare that I will care about anything and when I do, I don’t really care that much. I suppose I’ve learned that no amount of stressing changes the fact that sometimes in life you just have to do things that you don’t want to do. I used to be a bit of a free-loving, tree-hugging, animal-bumming hippy until I got a mortgage. I now work on an oil rig raping mother earth to within an inch of her life every day so I don’t starve to death. It’s not ideal but it’s also not as simple to save the world as you think it is when you’re young, so I just close my eyes and get on with it. Anyway, when you hurry up and get the shit stuff out of the way, it means that there is more time for the fun stuff, see?
I say ‘fun stuff’ but I’m not entirely sure that as you get older the things you consider fun are technically ‘fun’. Take spending money for example. Being young meant being skint and yet there were so many awesome things I could have bought if my pockets had contained more than the bus fare home and a broken cigarette. Now that I do have the disposable income, what do I do with it? I spend it all on scented fucking candles and bottles of Febreeze. I have become obsessed. A Yankee Candle shop opened in town recently and I instantly touched myself inappropriately.
Another change I have noticed is the conversations I have with taxi drivers. I used to only ever talk to them about two things: Why I was hungover or how much he would charge if I was to hypothetically throw up all over the back seat. Since turning 30, I still only ever talk to them about two things but now it is either about the bypass and how ridiculous it is that we still don’t have one, or it is to discuss my feelings about the plans for Donald Trump’s golf course and the effect it will have on the local community – I was against it until I found out Tiger Woods was a dirty slut, now I say “build the fucking golf course and get his hot little black ass as close to my house as possible”. There are plenty of places for badgers to live, but how often will I get the chance to exploit the personality flaws of Tiger Woods in Aberdeen? Exactly.
The concept of mail has also started to morph into an entirely new creature in our household. I received a letter the other day asking if I wanted to be on the Aberdeen Citizens Panel, and I THOUGHT ABOUT IT. I actually, seriously considered it. They said I could voice my concerns. I have concerns!! I also contemplated joining the postcode lottery and almost filled up those plastic bags for donating your old clothes to charity. This morning I received one of those letters from Cancer Research with a pen enclosed asking me for some money. Normally I would throw the letter in the bin and think “Boost! Free pen!” but not today. Today I thought “That reminds me, I must start thinking about donating to some sort of charity”. I then threw the pen away because when I tried to use it I couldn’t get the image of bald children out of my head. Get a grip!
It’s not just the receiving of mail that is becoming an issue, I have also started sending more. In the past three months I have written four complaint letters, one to a magazine, one to iTunes, one to my neighbour and one to my postman asking him to stop being such a cunt and actually put my mail through my letter box as opposed to leaving it outside on the fucking pavement.
Hmm, maybe I do care about things after all. I take it all back – I think when you reach 30 it’s not that you stop caring, it’s just that you stop caring about yourself. I would go so far as to say that when it comes to me, this is pretty much it, so as time goes on I worry less about what I say, what I look like or what people might think of me. Instead it is other people I worry about: my friends and family, Steve Jobs (he has pancreatic cancer and cannot, I repeat, cannot die before my upgrade is due in August. I don’t like the iphone 4 so he needs to get designing), the postman, the Middle East, my neighbour and the shambles that is today’s society. I’ve found that it is much easier (and way more fun) to judge other people rather than yourself so, as much as I loved them, you can poke your twenties. Anyway, I’m only at the very beginning of my thirties so if you squint really hard whilst dangerously drunk you could argue that, on the scale of things, I am still just a baby.
I will leave you now with a few things I have said recently which have placed me firmly in the bony, arthritic grip of old age.
-“You know, I don’t know enough about birds.”
-“I’m not keen on those new-builds. I’d rather have a house with a bit more character.”
-“Well Billy, I’m gonna need new hiking boots if we are going to start climbing Munros.”
-“Oh, but if we go to Sainsbury’s now it’ll mean that I’ll miss Escape to the Country! It’s my all-time favourite programme you fascist!”
-“Okay then, sign me up for the Baker Hughes 10k run.”
-“Granted those shoes are nice, but would you class them as comfortable? Because I’m not really sure I would.”
-“I really want to see The King’s Speech.”
Things I hate and why:
Disease-ridden, sausage-smuggling fucktard – Lady Gaga.
-She looks (and I’m pretty sure smells) like she’s been dead for over a week. Someone needs to spray her with Febreeze. The advert says that it is for awkward objects that are difficult to wash, and I don’t think I’ve seen anything more awkward than Lady Gaga – she dances like a drunk, Downs Syndrome baby giraffe.
-She is so emaciated that her teeth are constantly exposed because she doesn’t have enough skin to stretch over them. There is literally nothing that annoys me more than people whose faces are so malformed that they are physically incapable of closing their mouths so they just walk around all day with a stupid tooth face.
-She uses the word ‘paw’ instead of ‘hand’ (e.g. “Put your paws in the air”, a real sentence that she really said). She clearly does not know the difference between paws and hands so I propose that we put her in that little meat dress she wore to highlight gay rights (still don’t see the connection) and kick her into the lion enclosure of the nearest zoo. I’m pretty sure she will die knowing exactly what a paw is and that can only be progress.
-Her boyfriend is the most smoking hot thing I’ve ever seen. If I ever got my hands on him he’d wish he was never born. I’d ruin him.
But there is no need for me to bore you with written explanations as to why she is such a mong-chote when she does such a wonderful job of demonstrating it herself in this ear-bleeding, eye-melting, fan-made tribute video:
You know who was also ‘just being himself’? Hitler.
Things I love and why:
Hilarious children’s programme and recipient of the British Comedy Award for Best Sketch Show – Horrible Histories.
Here’s the problem though. If Lady Gaga’s new video is anything to go by, turns out that she is actually the Grim Reaper from Stupid Deaths, one of my favourite sketches in Horrible Histories, and I am not happy about it.
Is nothing mine, Lady Gaga? Could you not just let me have that? It’s CBBC for fuck’s sake, if I can’t get away from your Hepatitis spores there then where can I go? There really is only one place pure and fragrant enough to protect me from the Gaga’s omnipresent sticky residue – Kate Middleton’s bosom. I wonder if she will let me nestle in there when I go to her wedding/get drunk in a London park next month…….Hold me Kate, hold me!
Do you ever get the feeling that your journey to work just isn’t quite testicley enough? Lisa doesn’t.
– This guy knows exactly what he is doing. He has even moved his tie ever so slightly to the side to ensure that Lisa gets a clear, uninterrupted view of his glory globes*.
– The rapist glasses are not helping him. I wouldn’t say that they are particularly harming him either but I could take them or leave them to be honest.
– He appears to be sitting in a seat in which pregnant and disabled people get priority. No one who is capable of opening their legs that wide qualifies as disabled therefore he must be pregnant. Maybe that isn’t his scrote-sack after all and it is actually the elbow of a baby he is in the middle of giving birth to. Not sure I would be capable of doing a Sudoku while birthing though. I think this one is going to have to remain a mystery.
N.B. That is NOT Lisa’s shoe in the corner of the photo, anyone in my family that chose to wear that shoe would be instantly disowned. That is the shoe of either an Italian tourist or a very shit British person with an even shitter hobby: Rambling, climbing (not the super-sexy, shirtless kind), orienteering, rowing, archery, drinking ale and laughing far too loudly whilst discussing the latest rugby scores and the heart-wrenching human deprivation they witnessed out of the window of their uncle’s chauffeur driven Mercedes on their “gap-year” to “one of our third world countries”. I am not a fan of that shoe.
*I’m pretty sure I just invented the term ‘Glory Globes’ and, although not ground-breakingly amusing, I would appreciate credit when and if you choose to use it. Thanks.
Also – I’ve made a facebook page for this blog, all you need to do is click the link under my picture and we will be friends for life. I would love that! We could maybe go fishing together sometime? I’ll make sandwiches? 🙂
The Eighties were generally good to the Dingwalls. Our days were filled with Eurythmics, Garbage Pail Kids sticker collections, meals made entirely in the deep-fat fryer, beanbags, ‘Going Live’ on a Saturday morning and chasing the neighbour’s kid around the park with some dog shit on the end of a stick (or ‘shitty-stick’ to give it its official title – a rewarding game that I still sometimes play with Billy in Seaton Park if I’m feeling particularly nostalgic). This constant flow of contentment was only ever broken by three things:
1. My mum revealing her latest home-made, pink, satin Roman curtain/blind abomination.
2. Tupperware parties.
3. The writing out of Christmas cards.
Today I will be focussing on the latter. My mum really hated writing out Christmas cards. I remember she had one of those plastic keyboard address books where you press the letter you need and it opens unnecessarily violently to the relevant page. She would just sit and angrily press the keys until she got the addresses she needed, a task made harder by the fact that she filed people like Mr & Mrs Baxter under ‘F’ because Mr Baxter was a farmer. As my sister and I got older, she would try to enlist our help as ‘Envelope Writers’ – enticing us with such rewards as corned-beef hash or a glass of Raspberry Cremola Foam. Despite the E-number heavy incentive, I didn’t like being the Envelope Writer and as I headed toward adulthood this developed into a full-blown aversion to greeting cards in general.
Nowadays, when the thought crosses my mind to maybe write out some Christmas cards, I am instantly put off by the sheer scale of the project:
– I don’t have anyone’s address, so the first task would be to email/text everyone I know and try to obtain their address.
– I don’t have an address book to put these addresses into, so before I start contacting people I should really go into town and buy an address book from WH Smith.
– I don’t want a boring black leather address book. I want an address book that says “Look at me! I’m fun! But not irresponsible”. I also wouldn’t mind one that has all the international time zones, a world map and some first aid pointers. WH Smith simply does not have an address book that caters to all my needs.
– I need to go and buy some cards now. I don’t really like any of the ones I’m seeing. Do I go for the scenic snow-covered churchyard ones, the ones with a picture of Santa doing a shit down someone’s chimney or the ice-skating penguin ones? This is hard.
– I need to buy some stamps. How much are you for stamps nowadays? Turns out I would have to re-mortgage my flat to buy enough stamps to cover the amount of Christmas cards I would like to send. I’m going to have to cut people out.
– Who do I cut out? The people I don’t really like? But then they will know I don’t really like them. People who aren’t related to me? But I like people who aren’t related to me. Well, I can’t send one to Person A and not Person B because they are neighbours and they might start talking about Christmas cards and realise that I deliberately cut out Person B. Oh God…….what the hell am I going to do?
– I know what I’m going to do, I’m not going to send any Christmas cards.
And that is what I do. There have been a couple of times at family parties when Billy’s aunt has – in my favourite form of humour: Drunken sarcasm – said “Oh, thanks for my Christmas card Jillian, I sent you one but it’s okay, I’m not offended that you didn’t send me one back”. She is BILLY’S aunt, not my aunt. Why is it my responsibility to send her a Christmas card? If she wants one then she needs to get all up in Billy’s face with her threatening greeting card hostility. People are sometimes shocked that I don’t even send them to my immediate family but they know the script, they know. If I sent a Christmas card to my sister she would instantly pick up the phone and say, “Um, why the fuck have you sent me a Christmas card? Do you have terminal cancer? Don’t tell me I’m going to have to buy an address book, put your address in it and buy a Christmas card and a stamp. You better have terminal cancer”.
Birthday cards are an entirely different matter, I am in favour of them – mostly because you just have to buy one at a time and you usually give it to them in person instead of posting it. Depending on my mood I can sometimes make a very big effort, like this card that I sent to my sister last year:
Or completely forget about it until the last minute and improvise with whatever I can find in the man-drawer, like this one that I gave to my friend and all-round La Lombarda hero, Michael, the other week:
The problem I have with birthday cards is therefore not that I don’t like them, it’s that I am completely incapable of remembering anyone’s birthday. I now rely entirely on facebook to inform me of my friend’s birthdays, by which time it is far too late to do anything about it. So instead I write “Happy Birthday” on their wall, something I hate doing because, let’s be honest, it is a shit effort and I’m sure the last thing someone wants on their special day is to read a list consisting of three hundred variations of the words “Happy Birthday”.
As a direct result of my inability to get my act together and participate in the thoughtful tradition of greeting card sending, I now only ever receive cards consistently from two people: Billy’s parents and another all-round hero of mine, my friend Alison. No matter how rarely I remember to return the gesture, they still never fail to send me a card every birthday and Christmas and for this I am truly grateful. It does actually feel nice to get a card through your door and I salute them for having the motivation to keep doing it despite the fact that – in true Dingwall fashion – they might never get one back.
My neighbour is a total bastard and I have written this letter to him detailing exactly why I feel this way. I’m going to Sellotape it to the front door this afternoon and hope it brings an end to his total bastardness.
Last night you rang my buzzer at half past midnight. Since my boyfriend has a job that involves getting up at 6.00am, we were in our bed. Asleep. You woke us up and caused our dog to go crazy which in turn probably woke up the people sleeping above us. All because you needed into the building and you don’t give a shit who you disturb to achieve this.
This highly irritating use of MY buzzer has been going on for a year now. That is one year of me throwing on some clothes / jumping out the shower / being woken up / pausing my movie at a really significant point in the plot / rushing my pee / calming my dog down – only to hear you merrily skipping up the stairs to your flat a few seconds later.
Despite being politely asked TWICE to refrain from ringing my buzzer whenever you feel like it you still don’t seem to understand exactly how much it pisses me off. This flat is my home, I bought it, and I have a right to live in it without being constantly disturbed by you and your selfish friends.
I have been trying to think of ways to make you stop and I thought that maybe next time you ring the buzzer I will not stop what I’m doing, I will just answer the door in whatever state you have interrupted me. This could be naked and in mid-pee. I don’t think you would like to see that. Or maybe I will forget to put my dog on his lead. But then again, I love my dog, and I would hate to see him come to any harm by potentially choking on your genitals.
No, instead (because I know who you are), I have contacted your estate agent and acquired your landlord’s telephone number. If you ring my buzzer once more, I WILL phone and lodge an official complaint and, like your repeated buzzer use, I will not stop until someone does something about it. Have a wonderful day now!
Oh God, it’s happening. I’m turning into a grumpy old lady. I better go and practice bursting footballs with a meatcleaver. Pesky kids.
(N.B. I don’t care if you don’t want to hear about my latest smear test. Shut up.)
I think I may have had the second most embarrassing moment of my entire life this afternoon.* Today was smear day. To give you an idea of my level of dislike for smear tests, when I get that letter through saying I am due for a smear, I find myself disappointed that it wasn’t a letter saying that I have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
So, after waiting in reception for what seemed like hours, I entered the nurse’s room and removed my jeans in shameful silence. Not that there’s anything shameful about smears, you understand, but I defy anyone to get their flange out in front of a complete stranger and not feel a little bit reluctant to just “let your knees flop naturally down to the side”.
And so I lay there with nothing but a tiny toilet-paper square covering my shmoo and watched her put the steel car-jack of death into a special microwave (which I bet she used for her micronoodles at lunch the dirty bitch). After hearing the familiar ‘ping’ it was time for the obligatory pre-violation conversation to commence:
“Hope it’s not too cold for you!”
“Hehe, no it’ll be fine don’t worry” – Stop talking to me, stop talking to me.
“Okay, just relax, it won’t be as bad if you relax”
“Hehe, okay I’ll try” – Get your dirty great big fucking elephant hands away from my chonch.
“Can you relax a bit more?”
“Hehe, yeah sorry” – Wait a minute…is that a bit of fucking pot noodle on the end of that car-jack? Oh God, please be Chicken & Mushroom, Bombay Badboy really fucking stings.
Now normally, this next paragraph would contain a harrowing account of what can only be described as a depraved act of mental and physical torture. On this occasion, however, it was relatively painless. I mean, not like Disneyland or anything, but pretty okay!
As I was putting my jeans back on I felt the need to tell the nurse how pleased I was with her handiwork. I believe that people should be told when they do a good job as, especially in the NHS, I don’t think it happens nearly enough. Unfortunately for both of us though, this is what I chose to say:
“Well, thanks! That was…….you were….the best I’ve had. I mean, that was really good um……….smearing.”
That is what I said to her. What a dick. She just kind of stopped de-lubing her equipment and looked at me, said thanks in the form of a question and did a little laugh, the kind of laugh I imagine a person would make if Ian Huntly told them a joke about dead children.
I ran out of the room and into the street as fast as I could. Why the hell did I have to ruin a perfectly satisfactory experience? She didn’t want my thanks, she just wanted me to get my minge out of her face so she could finish her lunch. I now have three years until my next one and I hope it hurts like a bitch so I don’t feel the uncontrollable urge to buy the nurse a thank you card entitled “It’s a Dirty Job, but I’m Glad You’re the Someone Who Had to Do It”.
*The single most embarrassing experience of my life involved menstruation and my driving instructor’s car. I don’t want to talk about it.
Back in 2002 I had my first encounter with Halo and I knew instantly that the extra-marital affair I had been having with my Xbox behind Nintendo’s back would not be short-lived. I loved it a lot, right down to the grass – I sometimes still think about that grass, it was more realistic than real grass. Anyway, the point is that this is not going to be a rant about disliking the entire franchise because of its masculine, science-fiction storyline or gratuitous violence. I find games such as ‘Kinectimals’ or ‘High School Princess – An Introduction to Statutory Rape’ far more offensive. This is more of a superfluous, knee-deep piece of writing discussing, amongst other things, the parts of Halo Reach that I found a little bit annoying.
As with all of the Halo games, I played this offline and in co-op campaign mode with Billy. I don’t like playing Halo online because everyone else seems to be freakishly better than me at everything. I tend to get nailed within about 10 seconds of appearing on the screen, usually by herds of angst-ridden teenagers with dehydration headaches from the sheer volume of semen they have excreted into their bedsheets during their short lives. I much prefer to play in co-op mode because, well, Billy is way better at Halo than I am and, crucially, he’s on my side. I find it a more enjoyable experience if he is involved, even if he is always Player 1 and therefore chooses the standard green-coloured Master Chief outfit, leaving me with the slightly gayer pink one. Not very intimidating unless The Covenant think I’m going to bum them to death or force them to listen to Kylie on a loop until they voluntarily throw themselves in front of a turret.
Of course it is a good game, Bungie would be hard pushed to make it shit with the success of the previous instalments having done most of the work for them. The graphics are ridiculously impressive as always, the story line is decent – if a tiny bit boring at times – and the cut scenes aren’t too long. The weapons, vehicles and enemies haven’t really changed which means that you can just pick up the controller and get on with it from the beginning. There is no start-of-game fannying around trying to figure out what the hell is going on or what buttons to press. This is handy if, like me, you’re about as patient as Christian Bale in a Marks & Spencer supermarket on Christmas eve.
Enough of the good points though, I much prefer to focus on the insignificant negative details and I’m going to start with the female character, Kat. Why is she a Polish one-armed lesbian? I’ve had a good think about this and I’m not really sure it’s essential to the plot. I reckon some muff-diving, Eastern European and limb-challenged gamers wrote in complaining that the characters were not representative of their audience so they just kind of threw Kat in there to make it look like they give a shit about minorities. Well, I’m not buying it Bungie – you forgot about ginger, Asian burn-victims. What a bunch of irresponsible bastards you are.
The dialogue is also a bit cringey. I know that we have come to expect cheesy one-liners when playing these types of games but it doesn’t get any easier for me to listen to. One particular line that ruined my day was this attempt at stopping two guys from arguing:
“Lock it down, both of ya!”.
Lock it down? Who even says that? Why not just say “Can you two stop arguing please?” or “Shut the fuck up”? They did slightly redeem themselves later on in the game by using the term “slag heap” but it is an American game so it was probably more of a mining term than a reference to heaving mounds of sexually promiscuous women. Whatever though, I’ll take it.
The biggest problem I had with Halo Reach is not entirely the fault of the game but a total pain in the arse nonetheless. Having avoided the internet like the plague for fear of stumbling upon any spoilers, Billy and I began The Pillar of Autumn completely unaware that it was the final level. Instantly upon completing it, Billy went for a pee and I went to source a packet of pickled onion Monster Munch that I had forgotten about at the bottom of one of my handbags. We missed the credits and returned to the living room to see ‘Lone Wolf’ which, to us, was the next level but in reality was a bonus level that is specifically designed to be unbeatable. I think we tried to complete it for over four hours before we eventually caved and had to google it. We still didn’t get it. Wait, that was the final level? The final level is unbeatable? It’s a bonus level? There were credits? What the fuck? This transformed what was supposed to be an epic, original and emotional conclusion into a seriously deflating, confusing and utter shit ending.
Although this was highly disappointing for me, I do see where they were coming from. This ending was clearly aimed at the social outcasts who wear Master Chief pyjamas, use Cortana as wank-fodder and know the storyline inside out, and that is how it should be. I wasn’t die-hard enough to deserve a satisfying conclusion – I sometimes even feel guilty for killing Grunts when they run around all cute with their arms flapping in the air. On reflection, I probably shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near Halo. Ignore everything I have said about this game.
I remember when Sex & the City first arrived on our screens way back in 1998. I recall seeing a strange tutu-clad pink-wafer with disproportionately massive tits and a face like a stunt man’s knee getting deservedly splashed by a passing bus to the random sound of South-American piano music. It looked terrible before it even started but the hype was so huge that I completely and utterly fell for it. It wasn’t until about the fourth or fifth episode that I thought “Wait a fucking minute here, this banter is horrendous, what the hell am I doing? South Park is on and I’m watching this pile of mince?” Little did I know that this pretentious nonsense would go on to single-handedly destroy the entire female race within a couple of years.
Now, I’m from Aberdeen and if ever there was anywhere in the world that is the complete polar opposite of upper-class Manhattan, it is working-class Aberdeen. There is literally nothing in SATC that I can relate to and I am fine with this, delighted even. Unfortunately, a growing number of our female population have bought in to this delusion and literally nothing will get in the way of them appearing to be Kincorth’s answer to Carrie Bradshaw. It is so painful to watch. They are skint and yet they spend what little money they have on designer crap to give the impression that they are some sort of high-flying, independent success story. I once spoke to a girl in a club who came out with this peach “Yeah, you know, I work for Dior so it’s really important that I look my best at all times, you could say that it’s part of the Public Relations aspect of my job, hnarf, hnarf”. Would you like to know in what capacity she worked for Dior? She worked on the fucking Boots counter. I’m not even kidding, that is a true story. I instantly disliked the girl, not because she worked at a Boots counter but because she spoke to me like she was some sort of fashion-industry heavyweight. I wasn’t inspired, I wasn’t impressed and I wasn’t envious – I was disappointed. Sadly it’s everywhere now, young women don’t seem to want to enjoy each other’s company anymore, all they are interested in is trying to out-do each other and it makes me sad.
Then there’s the fag-hag storylines. I am not easily offended and I’m not gay but sometimes I think the gay characters in SATC are portrayed a little too stereotypically. They are immensely camp, they always talk about sex and they generally come across as superficial fairies incapable of any intelligent thought. It’s so boring and has been done a hundred times in the 70’s (i.e. Are You Being Served) but again, girls in the real world pick up on this and run with it. A woman I know once asked me if I had any gay friends and at the time I didn’t so I replied ‘No’. She proceeded to look at me as if I had just pissed on her kids and screeched “Oh my god, you dont have any gay friends?? I have like three! You have got to get yourself a gay friend, they’re fab!!”. Since when are gay people an accessory? Surely you make a friend first and if they are gay then it’s a big gay bonus. You don’t make friends with a guy solely because he loves cock. Do you? It seems that this is indeed what a lot of these irritating females do and, again, I’m sad about it.
SATC has also ruined cocktails for me. I used to really like a cocktail, not because they are fancy and expensive and make you look like a sophisticated über bitch but because they get you completely fuckoed and taste all fruity and nice. These days I get nervous even saying the word ‘cocktail’ because when I hear other people say it they make it sound like some sort of achievement – “Me and the girlies are going for some cocktails! Honestly, soooo busy at work just now, I think we deserve to just chillax with a Cosmo or two, tee hee”. When all of this silliness first started I went along on one of these after-work-cocktail sessions and I left wondering just how upset my parents would be if I hung myself with their shower curtain. The conversation consisted of what I like to call ‘The 4 H’s’: Handbags, how busy & hard-done by everyone was, husbands & how annoying it is when they leave wet towels on the floor (although that is really fucking annoying) and how amazingly expensive & luxurious their last holiday was. It was terrible! I know these girls had more to give but they could not bring themselves to steer the conversation onto a subject that may have made them look a little less than perfect. All this because four fictional STD-encrusted whore-robots have decided that this is what women should talk about.
Most of it I can deal with but the day that SATC interfered with my food was the day it irreversibly crossed a line. Billy and I were round at an acquaintance’s house some time ago when one of the girls there asked if we would like any “nibbles and dips”, an offer we enthusiastically accepted. She returned with hummus & celery sticks. Now, I don’t know about you, but when someone says ‘nibbles and dips’ I think Doritos & super-chunky salsa not plants dipped in liquidised Middle-Eastern lentils. And why did she do this? To make us feel shit and to make her look all Charlotte York, healthy and ethnic. She was slightly fat, so I know for a fact she would have preferred pizza and probably phoned Pizza Hut after we left to gorge herself on an extra large meat feast and a 2 litre bottle of Pepsi Max. After exchanging a few horrified glances, Billy and I swiftly bolted, swearing never to return before nipping into KFC for a quick Boneless Banquet. See, if she had just worried less about what other people thought of her and more about having a good time then we all could have had pizza and a much more enjoyable evening.
You know when you look out of a car window and the repetitive scenery eventually becomes invisible? That’s what I see sometimes when I go into town on a Saturday night: A vast landscape of self-importance with very little in the way of good, uninhibited fun. I was working as a waitress in a restaurant across the road from a cinema when the SATC movie came out. The entire place was jam-packed full of clunge. One table that stood out (all be it barely) consisted of 4 women in their late 30’s discussing which one of the SATC characters they most resembled. The strain on their laughing faces as they shamefully slid their Primark shopping bags under their seats and sipped on their apple martinis was verging on nervous breakdown material. Unfortunately they held it together, but it left me wondering:
Would the world be a better place if all the Sex & the City girls died in a horrific house-fire or would the masses find someone even more basic to idolise?
A collection of my personal favourite SATC quotes for you to enjoy:
– “Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free til they find someone just as wild to run with them.” –GAY.
– “It’s really hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes — that’s why you sometimes need really special shoes!” –Oh, hahaha! Shoes!
– “Are we simply romantically challenged, or are we sluts?” –You’re sluts.
– “I have a date with a dildo.” –Gross.
– “Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.” –Fit?
– “Life is pain, life is only pain. We’re all taught to believe in happy fairytale endings, but there is only blackness; dark depressing loneliness that eats away at your soul.” –That’s better, more of this please.
I hate swans. Really, really hate swans. I got attacked by a swan on a golf course in Florida in 1993. Had to kick it in the face.
Another incident occured at a beach party one night in the Bridge of Don a couple of years ago. A swan decided to start flying around in the pitch dark right next to me but I couldn’t see anything so when I heard the sound of its freakishly large wings hitting the water I thought we were being attacked by terrorists with sawn-off shotguns. I tried to throw bits of bonfire at it but it didn’t care, they aren’t scared of anything.
It is with some disgust, therefore, that I am posting the latest of Lisa’s pictures sent to me on purpose from a park of some description:
I can see Lisa’s boyfriend Dan’s foot in the corner! He’s far too close. They don’t want your bread Dan, they want your soul. Kick them in the face!!
If you still think that you like swans, here are some swany facts that may make you change your mind:
-They can fly as fast as 50 to 60 miles per hour.
-Some have a wing span of 10 feet.
-Adult males have been known to use a blow from the “knucklebone” of their wing to defend their family.
-This blow is said to be strong enough to break a man’s arm.
-The adult male is the only known bird to have a penis.
So, not only are they fast, large and violent beasts capable of breaking bones with their feathery knucklebone-uppercuts, they are also potential rapists. I fucking knew it!