Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Indy fucks up again

Atrocious bog-rag The Independent scores a hat trick of errors with its reporting of George Michael's arrest. It renames his boyfriend Kenny Gloss, invents a new word, de-arrested, and claims GHB is 'liquid cannabis'. It's bad enough that the coterie of cranks, oddballs and lobotomees who make up its staff can't get their basic facts about science and politics in order, but this is a trivial story about a has-been pop star.

I don't know how this sorry excuse for a newspaper is managing to turn a profit. Oh, hang on, it isn't.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


By the skin of his teeth

Kim Ayres is an innocent man. It was a close-run thing, with a mere 26 out of 34 of you (76.5%) deciding that the evidence against him wasn't enough to dispel all reasonable doubt. I voted 'no' myself. A couple of weeks ago I had strong suspicions that Kim and El Barbudo were the same person, but as I looked into it I soon realised that it didn't stack up. If on the other hand Kim does one day reveal himself to be El B, then I told you so.

It intrigues me that despite a tissue-thin case for the prosecution, eight sick fucks among you voted to have Kim beheaded. There's a medical term for people like you, and it's antisocial personality disorder. God help us all if you're ever called to jury duty. In fact, I'm thinking of letting some friends of mine know about this disgraceful matter.

(I was going to write a post about bloggers who overuse links in their text, but I can't be arsed.)

In other news, something that really, really bothers me is the way that in films, whenever two people are speaking on the phone and one hangs up abruptly, the person on the other end always, always looks at his or her receiver. Nobody does this in real life, so why maintain this fiction on celluloid? Another thing that really, really bothers me is the use of 555 in phone numbers in American films and TV shows. I know this is because no genuine 555 numbers exist and so it's to stop actual numbers being used which, as sure as night follows fucking day, would lead to litigation, but it still destroys the credibility of the programme or film. Even the otherwise excellent '24' does this.

These might not seem like big things to you but they cause me hours of needless stress. I have enough grief during the week at work and I don't settle down in front of the telly in order to be taken the piss out of.

Oh, and another thing: why's it so cold today?

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Down in the groove

The story so far: Kim Ayres has been left reeling by the rapier-like arguments of the reanimated corpse of Dag Hammerskjold. Can his counsel, Binty McShae, save him from certain doom? Read on…

Coughing after an unpleasant lunch of gravel and mouse droppings, Kim was led back into the dock. The courtroom was full already but Judge Anti-Barney took a few minutes to appear. His lunch had taken a more liquid form and he stumbled to his bench and was helped into it by his assistant, Miss Andraste, who responded to his goosing of her by sticking the tip of her little finger in her mouth, giggling and flouncing off on stiletto heels.

Binty sat in silence for a full minute, marshalling his thoughts, then rose. With his lantern jaw, steely gaze and brawny physique he cut an impressive figure. As a strict teetotaller he could barely disguise his contempt for the judge’s condition.

“Hoots mon, Ah dinnae ken why ma client is even heer, Jimmeh,” he said.

Judge Anti-Barney stared at him. “You fucking what?”

“Ah cannae understan’ why tha puir wee shite has been arrested, och aye the noo.”

“Are you calling me a cunt?”

With panther-like speed and grace, two members of the jury saved the day: Jokemail told Binty a gag whereupon Dr Evil popped one of his new patented Translation Capsules(TM) in his laughing mouth.

“Can you understand me now?” asked Binty. The judge motioned for him to go ahead.

“My client,” Binty resumed, “has instructed me to rebut in turn the points made by the learned prosecutor. [These are in fact some of Kim’s own responses which he sent to me – FE.]

“First, The Bearded One is hardly an uncommon moniker. A quick Google reveals over 34,000 references. In fact there's even a reference to comedian Bill Bailey. Mr Ayres's blog comes up number 5 and there's no sign of El Barbudo.

“Second, can you blame a man for being ‘The Bearded One’ instead of ‘The Beard’?

“Third, my client points out that he displays his Tugged Beard Award with pride, and has been reticent about linking to any of the more vulgar-mouthed blogs in case he alienates his core audience, as he stated in his post about Blunt Cogs.

“Fourth, El Barbudo was indeed the creator of Blunt Cogs, although almost immediately he ran into technical difficulties and realised he needed help.” Binty broke off and looked at the jury box where an extremely ugly man was sniggering. “What was that?”

“Heh saied, ‘fukcin sycihatric hlep,’” piped up the stenographer.

Binty continued. “Fifth, if he wanted to take on an anonymous blogging persona unlike his own, my client could have adopted that of any one of us and not necessarily El Barbudo’s.”

“Yes,” cut in the judge, “but the El Barbudo persona appears most diametrically opposed to Ayres’s own and is therefore a bit fucking suspicious.”

“Objection, your Lordship,” thundered Binty, “you’re supposed to remain impartial.”

The judge gave a sharp whistle and a few seconds later a large wolf crouched growling with its drooling maw inches from Binty’s groin. “At ease, Glark,” the judge grinned evilly. “Fucking continue, McShae.”

“Sixth,” whispered Binty, “in regard to the posts by both my client and El Barbudo on global warming, it's not unknown for someone to use a comment or thought that they've picked up from something they've read elsewhere. Plus, my client and El Barbudo have known each other from university and share several outlooks on the world.

“Seventh, there are no comments on Dr Maroon's post of 23rd October 2005, as they all disappeared when he switched over to Haloscan, and thus the proximity in time between comments by Mr Ayres and Mr Barbudo cannot be proven.”

“Aha!” snarled the judge. “A Google search will reveal the lost comments even if they’ve disappeared from Dr Maroon’s site. Got you there, ye dorty fecker.”

“Eighth,” Binty said, ignoring him, “the mystery of ‘who posted the Sordid Truth post’ is solved by reference to the fact that Blunt Cogs is registered by El Barbudo as his site on Technorati, so any link coming from Blunt Cogs will say it's from El Barbudo.”

Binty drew himself up, held the moment and then delivered the coup de grace. “Finally – and this is my own observation – Kim always refers to Foot Eater correctly, with two words. El Barbudo invariably uses one word, Footeater, largely I suspect because he knows this irritates Mr Eater who has objected to it on the El Barbudo site before. Such consistency would, I submit, be devilishly difficult to maintain over so long a period.”

He waited for a response from the judge but the latter personage, the worse for drink, had succumbed and sprawled across his bench, a puddle spreading from his trouser leg across the courtroom floor.

Things happened very quickly then. The rear wall of the courtroom erupted in a shower of masonry and dust as the front end of a Churchill tank rammed through it. An angry rabble stormed into the room and Kim felt himself borne up and over the heads of the crowd. He was dropped on the ground in the square outside and hauled to a kneeling position with his neck over a groove in a stone block. Poised over the block, an enormous axe in his hands, was the turncoat SafeTinspector, still bitter at the reception his 27 Inches character had received. A figure appeared on the periphery of Kim’s vision and he twisted to look at it. Humanoid it was, but covered in fur of a dazzling blue. It spoke in a high-pitched cackle.

“Me am Monstee! Me have launched military coup and am in command now! Me am starting new Respect Agenda. Me am only one allowed to be hairy! If you am really El Barbudo, you place loyalty to your own beard over respect for me’s all-over beard, and you must die!”

It spread its arms and smiled up at the sky beatifically. “But me am fair! Me am willing to give you benefit of doubt. Me put the verdict to democratic vote. If majority say you innocent, me let you go (though you must lose beard). If majority say you guilty, you get glarked.”

Kim closed his eyes, praying that the good sense of his peers would prevail and trying to ignore the steady chant of “Glark him! Glark him!” that was rising about his ears.

Kim's fate is in your hands. On the left is a poll where you can cast your vote. You get only one each (or one per computer, anyway). Voting closes 12 noon GMT on Saturday 25 February. If no-one votes then the default verdict is that Kim’s guilty, and he gets the chop.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


In The Hall Of The Drinking King

The story so far: Kim Ayres has been arrested by truncheon-wielding gravatars under the command of the rodentophagic Christopher Walken, and stands accused of the diabolical crime of being El Barbudo. Read on…

“Court is in session! All rise for the Honourable Justice Lord Anti-Barney!”

Kim sucked in hard. Judge Anti-Barney was notorious, a hanger-and-flogger who was known to have sentenced members of his own family to the birch. Rumours abounded as to the events that had shaped his character, the most prominent of which postulated that the forced shipping of relatives of his ancestors to Australia had sown the seed of a genetic embitteredness which he had inherited wholly. The judge took his seat, his eyes invisible behind his shades, and stubbed the remains of a Lambert & Butler out on the bench before him.

“Fucking proceed.”

Kim stood when instructed, glancing across at the jury. There might have been 12 of them, more, or fewer; it was difficult to tell. To a man (and woman, and ape) they stared back at him, their foreman, Dr Maroon, looking dismayed and crazed.

The judge barked: “Kim Ayres, you face the charge that since September 2005, you have been blogging under the guise of El Barbudo. How do you fucking plead?”

“Not guilty, your lordship.”

He sat again and Binty gave his shoulder a reassuring squeeze. He couldn’t have asked for a better defence counsel. Binty was unusual among lawyers in that before coming to the Bar he had had a distinguished military career, serving in Gulf War One and Iraq under the command of the legendary General ‘Blood and Balls’ Challinor.

The counsel for the prosecution rose, collapsed again and was helped to his feet once more by court attendants. It had been generally agreed that in a trial of such import, only the best mind could be relied upon to put the prosecution’s case, and consequently the late United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammerskjold had been brought back from the dead using the latest in reanimation technology. Hammerskjold gripped the table in front of him and his staccato delivery confirmed the beliefs of those in the courtroom sceptical of reanimation science, namely that robotics had been heavily employed in the process.

“Item! Kim Ayres, your weblog is titled ‘Ramblings of the Bearded One’. ‘El Barbudo’ is Spanish for ‘The Bearded One’.

“Item! In September 2005 someone made enquiries on the weblog of Gorilla Bananas about what to call his new weblog as ‘The Bearded One’ was already taken. He was advised to use the title ‘El Barba’, meaning The Beard, but he forsook this advice.

“Item! You do not link to ‘El Barbudo’s’ site on your weblog despite linking to almost all others in the Blunt Cogs community. You have never posted a comment on the ‘El Barbudo’ site.”

There was a muttering amongst the prosecution team at this, and Kim wondered if the last fact had been checked properly.

“Item! In -”

“Hang on a sec,” muttered the judge; then, to the stenographer: “You fucking getting all this?”

Hynes looked up brightly. “Yeha you’re hounor, im doin fian! No nede ta wory bout a hting, yuo cna raly on me!”

“Item!” resumed Hammerskjold. “In a post on his site dated 15 January 2006, ‘El Barbudo’ says ‘I’ve decided to create Blunt Cogs, an online comic strip.’ There is no mention of any collaboration.

“Item! In a post on your site dated 5 February 2006, you set out in detail why you were ‘a part of’ the creation of the Blunt Cogs concept. Among the reasons you give is that you like the freedom of being able to swear freely at times as if with friends down the pub. What better way to do this than to assume the anonymous persona of an angry, foul-mouthed enigma?

“Item! Both you and ‘El Barbudo’ have posted on your respective weblogs sarcastic remarks about the benefits of global warming, suggesting that it would at least warm up the colder parts of Europe.

“Item! Your comments on various weblogs and those of ‘El Barbudo’ often appear suspiciously soon after one another. An example can be found on Dr Maroon’s weblog on 23 October 2005, in response to his bestowing of Maroon Awards, when you and ‘El Barbudo’ comment in quick succession.

"Item! On 31 January 2006 a cartoon appears on the Blunt Cogs site with the title 'The Sordid Truth...?' At the foot of the cartoon appear the words 'posted by Kim Ayres'. However, a Technorati search of links to Foot Eater's site reveals that this post is by 'El Barbudo'."

Kim felt a chill in his gut. With such overwhelming evidence it wasn’t looking good. There was more from Hammerskjold – the fact that Kim Ayres and El Barbudo are anagrams of each other when translated into Elvish, for instance – but he barely heard it. Hammerskjold’s voice became progressively deeper and slower until his power ran out and he collapsed.

Binty stood to present his case but proceedings were interrupted by a disturbance in the jury box: Gorilla Bananas and LindyK, two of the more potty-mouthed bloggers among Kim’s peers, had started a drunken brawl and had to be removed by the rather prim but heavily-armed bailiffs, Sarah and FatMammyCat. Judge Anti-Barney announced a recess for lunch and Kim was led away to his cell, the heavy weight of dread dragging him down at each step.

Next: the case for the defence.

Sunday, February 19, 2006



Disclaimer: what follows is the first of three episodes of a drama involving some of you, my fellow bloggers. In no way is it intended to rip off or jump on the bandwagon of Dr Maroon’s far superior Gothic tale. Here, the story is a mere vehicle for an idea that’s been growing in my mind for some time.

Once he had brushed the last of the crisp crumbs from his beard, Kim climbed into his Aston Martin and gunned the engine. The meeting had gone well, and the good Doctor had proven a most affable companion. Already Kim was composing in his head the next post.

He decided to take the scenic route home from the hotel, and swung the car effortlessly through the suburban streets and onto the country lanes beyond the town’s reach. It had started raining and he flicked on the wipers. The road rose before him and he slowed as he approached the summit in preparation for the plunge down through the forest on the other side. As he crested the hill, his thoughts elsewhere, the reflexive organism in him jammed his foot down on the brakes as shapes loomed in the road ahead. He held the Aston against the slewing of its wheels on the wet tarmac and brought it to a stop only a few feet from one of the figures.

There were about ten of them, creatures such as he’d never seen before in his life. Humanoid in shape, and naked, but their faces without features and their skin a dull blue. Each one carried a truncheon.

He pulled the gear lever to the reverse position and turned the key, but now there were more of the figures behind him. He reeled back as a truncheon smashed into the windscreen, the glass starring. Blue hands wrenched open his door and grabbed at him, and he lashed out instinctively but a sharp blow to his head rendered him senseless.

He came to painfully, nausea writhing in his throat. He was aware of movement, and that he was seated with his arms bound behind him. He was in the back of some sort of van, but the absence of windows meant he had no external point of reference. Seated on either side of him were several of the blue, silent beings. Across from him, watching him, sat a man dressed in black, with a face that was instantly familiar to Kim although he could not put a name to it. An actor, perhaps? The man held a bowl in one hand and, as Kim made groggy eye contact, he smiled and dipped his free hand into the bowl and withdrew a tiny mouse, wriggling feebly, which he put into his mouth and chewed.

Kim looked away, fighting down the gorge. The man sucked the lashing tail between his lips and dabbed at them with a napkin. His voice was like the meshing of gears.

“Kim Ayres,” he said, “you’re under arrest.”

“On what charge?”

“You are accused of being El Barbudo.”

Next: the case for the prosecution.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Two things

First, something that never fails to get on my nerves: confusion about white South Africans. Since I mentioned a while back on this site and in comments on other blogs that I grew up in South Africa, I’ve had a couple of people call me a Boer. Leaving aside that I wasn’t born in the country, and my parents are both European, white South Africans come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, as do black South Africans (which is also often forgotten). The two biggest groups among whites are the English-speaking South Africans and the Afrikaners. The latter outnumber the former by approximately four to three. Afrikaners are descended mainly from Dutch, Flemish and Huguenot settlers and speak Afrikaans. They formed the backbone of the apartheid government between 1948 and its demise in 1994. English-speaking South Africans come mainly from British settlers who arrived later than the Dutch.

Afrikaners are sometimes called Boers because the word means ‘farmer’ and most of the agricultural land is owned by them. The term Boer is nowadays considered an insult, except by a hard-core of right-wing Afrikaners who proudly hold on to the name. The English speakers on the other hand historically ran most business in the country, including the all-important gold and diamond mines. Abusive terms for this group include ‘rooinek’ meaning redneck (because of their tendency to get sunburnt easily), and my favourite, ‘soutie’ which is short for ‘soutpiel’ or ‘salty prick’, a reference to their perceived divided loyalty between Africa and Europe, such that they have one foot in each continent with their penises dangling into the ocean.

As are black people, Afrikaners are subject to racist stereotyping, and there are plenty of liberal Boers just as there are fascist reactionary souties.

Second: I’m thinking of posting some naked pictures of myself on this site in order to make some extra cash. This would of course entail a subscription fee to access this site, but I’m sure that won’t be a problem. Please give me some idea if there’s a demand for this. As a taster, I include a photo of one of my nude feet at the top of this post.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


I can't get it up

I've downloaded a moving gif to illustrate a forthcoming killer short story I'm going to post, but I can't load it up onto the site and get it to move. I had a similar problem with the guillotine image from a few posts back - that was supposed to drop and decapitate someone. Can anyone help? I have a vague idea that I need Flash or something to do this. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006



He started it.

Enters Lady Boys’ Arseholes Regularly But Usually Doesn’t Orgasm

Entertains Lewd Beliefs About Raw Buttfucking Under Drenching Ordure

Escapes Lacerated Butt Agony Resourcefully By Ululating During Orgasm

Embarrassingly, Loses Beard As Rectum Bursts Under Deranged Onslaught

Expects Labia, But As Ravishing Blonde Undresses, Discovers Organ

Enlists Learned Bananas’ Assistance (Reasonably), Because Unmanageable Debts Outstanding

Eschews Learned Bananas’ Advice (Regrettably); Buys Unwieldy Dildo Object

and the original:

Enjoys Licking Balls And Ramming Bone Up Dogs' Orifices

Saturday, February 11, 2006



We all know that on this day in history, Hitler, Mussolini and Emperor Hirohito signed the Yalta agreement (1945), Spain launched its first satellite (1970) and Nelson Mandela was jailed (1990). But future generations will remember an event that overshadows all of these, namely the death of actor Leslie Nielsen.

Nielsen was best known for Frank Drebin, the inept detective he played in the TV series Police Squad and later the three Naked Gun films. Who could forget immortal lines like “Nice beaver,” and the following exchange:

Drebin: “Why would the mayor be in a sleazy part of town like this at three a.m.?”
Sidekick (played by George Kennedy): “Sex, Frank?”
Drebin: “That’s very tempting, but we’ve got work to do.”

Also great were the two Airplane films, in which he was wont to deliver the rapier-like comeback “Don’t call me Shirley.” A neglected gem of a movie was Spy Hard, a Bond spoof in which Nielsen played Dick Steele and which featured an awesome credits sequence ending with Weird Al Yankovic’s head exploding.

Rest in peace, Leslie. We’ll never see your like again.


It seems February 11 marks the anniversary of his birth (in 1926), not the date of his death. Apologies for any embarrassment caused to Mr Nielsen and his family. Happy birthday, Les!



Check out the new rotating Blunt Cogs icon on the left, courtesy of Monstee.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


You thought I was joking

By popular request, here is my post in which I make educated (or otherwise) guesses about people's ages. Please note that I haven't made much of an effort with this, apart from clicking desultorily on the odd archive, so don't blame me if the results are inaccurate.

From the top (of my link list):

Noreen: 33 (she said so)

Ball Bag: no real idea, but probably in his 30s given how his posts sound like those of a rugger-bugger past his glory days.

Doc Maroon: difficult, this one. He provides such conflicting information it's easy to get lost. Given that he's a qualified engineer in a responsible position I'd put him at mid-30s at least. Let's say 38 to be on the safe side.

El Barbudo: really tough. He's careful to hide his real self from us to such a degree that he's alone in that I have absolutely no idea what he even does for a living. Probably something gaye like journalism or IT or something. I do know that he likes Secret Seven novels, doesn't vote Conservative and has a fetish about women's snot. I'll make a stab in the dark at 35 but I could be out 15 years either way.

Brewski: a responsible job as a teacher in the Far East, so past 30. Let's say 33.

Arlington Hynes: I've no idea if this being is animal, vegetable or mineral, so I'll take a pass.

Gorilla Bananas: I seem to remember that Guy the Gorilla in London Zoo lived till he was about 100, and I'll place five to one odds that GB is older than that since he's infinitely wiser than Guy ever was. One hundred and four (gorilla years, that is, which don't count).

Binty McShae: like Brewski, has a stable job abroad so is probably older than a student. Too intelligent to be under 25, so I'll take a shot at 28.

Harry Hutton: I seem to remember that he mentioned his age once and it was about 32. Can't be arsed to look it up. Plus, he never comments on any of our sites, so fuck him.

Dr E. Scientist: I'm sure he's revealed his age in an earlier post and I've seen a photo of him somewhere on his blog. He's always going on about hair loss so he must be male at the very least. Forty.

Jokemail: like El Barbudo, an enigma. His jokes are so childish I'd put him at about nine. But I love them, and I'm 35, so that doesn't really work. As he can string a few accurately-punctuated sentences together I assume he was educated before the 1970s and so I'll guess his age at 57.

LindyK: an open goal, this one. Born in 1982, therefore impossibly young.

Andraste: forty, because she said so; and she sounds totally hot. (I'd have linked this reference but FatMammyCat doesn't seem to stretch to permalinks on her blog.)

The Anti-Barney: I would have said late 20s - he has the kind of late-adolescent rage I remember when I was that age - but he revealed yesterday on Kim's site that he has three daughters in their 20s, so he must be at least 35 (assuming the eldest is 22 and he first produced viable semen at 13).

Hungbunny: the piss-easiest one of all, born as he was on 17 January 1970.

SafeTinspector: he was created 33 years ago, though I don't know at what point exactly a robot is 'born'.

Sarah: she revealed yesterday that she was born in 1977 which makes her 28 or 29, I forget which. I'd have guessed younger, which she can take as a compliment or an insult.

Eggagog: I really have nothing to say here and I'm thinking of de-linking it.

Philip Challinor: yet another enigmatic fucker. Too clever to be young - too clever by half, sometimes, though he sticks an erudite skewer up the collective Emerald Bile arse from time to time which is always good for a laugh - and a dangerous leftist, he's probably about 30.

Getting there...

FatMammyCat: a total liar who's not fat, not a mother and not a cat, she recently talked about 'her twenties' on her site, which makes me think she's around 34.

Kim Ayres: his profile says he's 39 and he's too much of a nice guy to be a liar.

And the winner is....

Joke Mail!

You decrepit old fart, you randy old dog, you. I bet you're just hanging around on these blogs to try and pick up some young flesh.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


By Hook Or By Crook

From our cartoon correspondent

Wacky metallic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri was celebrating tonight after being cleared on several counts of incitement to murder and inciting religious and racial hatred. I caught up with him at his Islington pad where he was relaxing after his acquittal and before, one assumes, the mother of all piss-ups.

“Yeah,” he laughs, flicking the ash off an artfully-speared Marlboro, “you could say I might be off my tits later.” Hamza has become something of a cult figure to cartoon-lovers, but I have to say Finsbury Park's favourite lounge lizard is not big on taste. He sprawls on a leopard-print sofa while I am forced to take up a position on a cream shagpile rug near his feet. Coffee, tins of Stella and shots of Jim Beam are served by two pneumatic members of his household, who I later find out are named Mandy and Chantelle. The Chemical Brothers are pounding from the Bang & Olufsen speakers on the walls and I have to ask him to turn it down a bit.

I ask him about the charges, specifically that he urged his followers to ‘strike down the infidel dog wherever he may be found’, and that fifty kilogrammes of weapons-grade plutonium were uncovered in his lock-up. He sighs.

“The prosecution confronted me with all that shit and I’m like, ‘yeah, like, whatever, dude. Get over it.’” Another rasping laugh. “Actually, they might have had a case if it hadn’t been for you-know-what.”

You-know-what is of course the now notorious discrediting of the main investigating officer’s testimony, after he was exposed by an undercover Al-Jazeera hack as having had bestial congress with his gay horse. Surprisingly, perhaps, Hamza is not without sympathy. He leans forward and reveals a bit of scandal about a British cabinet minister, a Saudi prince and a dugong, which obviously I can’t disclose here but which certainly puts animal-buggery into a wider context for me.

I try to steer the conversation round to the subject of the offensive cartoons, but he never heard of them while in prison. “More of a Viz man myself, anyway,” he shrugs.

So what now for Abu Hamza? He looks thoughtful.

“First off, I’m going to get me some new hands. It’s an absolute cunt putting these contact lenses in and I haven’t had a proper wank for years.” Back to preaching and agitating? Again, that laugh, which seems to send women’s knees aquiver. “As a matter of fact, I’m thinking of writing a couple of Blunt Cogs scripts.”

Any last words for the readers? He considers this, then winks.

“It’s good to be off the hook at last.”

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Words of wisdom

As I slide down the banister of life, I will always remember 1985 as a splinter up my arse.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Whatever happened to Friday night?

This is what happened on Friday 3 February.

22h45: got in from rehearsal with the CunTS.

22h49: bottle of Pinotage already open so had two glasses with the better half (let's call her Vampirella).

23h25: opened second bottle of red and watched some shite on telly.


This is what happened on Saturday 4 February.

08h51: woke up; had porridge from that box with the picture of the gay-looking Scotsman on it, plus four Anadin Extra and a litre of coffee. Felt like dead shit.

11h15: set off in car to Heathrow. Asked Vampirella how much we had to drink last night. Received unlikely answer "a bottle and a half." Snorted disdainfully. Felt vaguely queasy.

12h35: stood in queue for BA desk. Felt a bit light-headed.

13h01: got to desk. Vampirella went through passport control on way to five-day conference in Sweden. Waved goodbye, blew kisses etc. Felt lonely.

13h11: bought pint of coffee from Costa Coffee in Terminal Four. Proper man's coffee, filter and without sugar, none of your gaye cappuccino or latte or whatever the fuck. Felt sick and sprinted to loo. Stomach okay but explosive bowel movement. Felt better, relaxed and confident.

14h27: got back to home town. Dropped off books at library. Bought pullover at Burton's (fawn colour, wool and cashmere mix - beautiful, warm and snug). Went to Sainsbury's for bread, milk and baked beans. Felt chipper.

14h41: reeled in Sainsbury's near the canned vegetables, overcome by nausea. Sweated. Lady cringed away like I was an alky. Considered visit to bogs but decided against it. Felt as though Death had nudged me with the tip of his scythe.

14h56: got home. Checked emails. Visited blogs. Two comments from me on Blunt Cogs site. Felt scared.

I don't remember posting either of them.

16h00: watched a DVD, the remake of Dawn Of The Dead. Ace, the canine's bollocks. Still felt scared.

21h27: met my friend Chris and his girlfriend Rachel in the pub. Couple of pints of London Pride. Told him about the blog comment unawareness business. He laughed and said I was a silly cunt and not to worry. Felt mollified but distantly uneasy.

I've been rat-arsed before once or twice, and I've emailed, blogged and commented drunk, but this is the first time I've posted perfectly spelled and punctuated missives and had no recollection afterwards of doing so. I'm fairly certain I'm not an alcoholic - I rarely drink on weekdays and have never experienced withdrawal symptoms of a Sunday morning - so I'm a bit confused about this. It seems to me that I've experienced a blackout. Should I be worried?

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Twenty-one Toady

Pop a cork or two, for today my site has 21 links. I've just added Kim Ayres, whom I ought to have linked ages ago, and yesterday I did it to FatMammyCat, whom again I should have done it to before as she often comments here. Strictly speaking Eggagog shouldn't even be linked as I don't visit its site very often and the last time I posted a comment there, tagging it with the Seven Meme, it deleted the comment within about five minutes, which is quite impressive and a little fucking scary when you think about it. Eggagog is a dangerous organism, my friends, and it should be approached with caution and if possible a flamethrower.

Anyway, in case you're wondering about the title of this post, it's a reference to the excellent strip Harry Twenty On The High Rock in the even more excellent comic 2000 AD, which ran from 1982 to 1983 (the strip, not the comic, which is still going strong and has confounded the miserable doom-mongers who predicted its demise as early as the early 1980s and as recently as the late 1990s when they said oh-so-smugly that any comic called 2000 AD could never survive beyond the year 2000; not only is the publication thriving but it has proudly retained its title). Harry Twenty On The High Rock was about a futuristic prison on an asteroid, The High Rock, to which the worst criminals in the world were banished. Their surnames were replaced by the years they were condemned to serve; hence the hero, Harry something-or-other, who was framed for murder, was sentenced to 20 years and thus became known as Harry Twenty. This conceit gave the scriptwriters a lot of leeway to come up with funny punning names, some examples of which were: Legz Eleven, The Big Red One (he was a psychopathic killer who'd got 100 years), and Twenty-One Toady, who sucked up to the screws. The funniest thing about this story is that in South Africa, where I was living as a boy at the time, the authorities were upset about the frequently-used catchphrase 'Holy weasel!' in this strip and actually cut off the supply of the comic from Britain for a few weeks as a result.

If there are any fellow HTOTHR enthusiasts reading this I'd be glad to hear from you. Wasn't that revelation about Ben Ninety the most horrifying fucking thing you'd ever seen?


Blucking Fogger

Posts are disappearing and comments are being chewed up. Something's afoot.

In case this is some virus and all our blogs are going to end up destroyed, it was nice knowing you all.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Don't Lose Your Heads, Urge World Leaders

From our cartoon correspondent

The world was in turmoil this afternoon as the furore over the offensive cartoons took a new and violent turn. Descendants of executed criminals demanded the banning of the website Blunt Cogs over what they termed its 'crass insensitivity'. The site portrays frequent violence including graphic decapitation. At approximately 12 noon GMT an angry rabble numbering several thousand stormed the Internet and set fire to a portion of it, before being dispersed or killed by truncheon-wielding gravatars. International leaders appealed for calm and a special session of the UN Security Council was convened to address the problem.

Blunt Cogs co-creator, philosopher Kim Ayres, said: "We see ourselves as revolutionary. The French Revolution took place so that people would have the right to be guillotined in their thousands. We are fighting for the freedom to capture decapitation in pictorial form. Our project also allows people to vent aggressive feelings cathartically, and it gives a lot of people a bloody good laugh as well."

His colleague, El Barbudo, said: "**** *** * ***** ***, you *******, and ***** **** in **** the *** **** bicycle pump."

Trey Parker, co-creator of the hit US television series South Park, said: "We've shown some gross-out stuff over the years but nothing like the sick **** these ***holes are coming up with. Plus, we're pissed off that they're funnier than us. We're going to sue for breach of copyright."

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Lowlife (part two)

Everyone and his mother’s dog who has had anything to do with the Amway company seems to have posted a horror story about it online, so I might as well throw in my ha’p’orth.

I was sucked into the grinning maw of this monstrous pyramid scheme in 1998, and although I escaped after about four months, I’m still bitter and twisted about it nearly eight years on. For those lucky enough never to have heard of Amway, it’s a US-based Multi-Level Marketing racket in which people on the lowest rung of the ladder, the distributors, sell shitty things like dishrags, bog cleaner and panty-liners at outrageous prices, then give a cut of the profits to their so-called ‘upline’, the person who recruited them in the first place, who then gives a cut to his or her upline and so on. The idea is that by recruiting successive layers of people downline from you, you end up a multi-billionaire one day and don’t have to work any more once the flow of royalties reaches a critical level. Thousands of these schemes exist, apparently, but Amway is the biggest and the best at what it does, and I don’t mean that as a compliment.

An old friend of mine, someone with his head screwed on pretty tightly, approached me to ask if I’d be interested in this one day in the spring of 1998. He’d been recruited himself a few months earlier. It sounded good, and I was looking for a get-rich-quick idea at the time. I read some of the literature he lent me as well as listening to a few cassette tapes. I heard and read stories of people retiring in their early thirties with enough wealth to pay for, and float, a cruise ship. I listened to the impassioned bellowings of evangelical converts to the cause, who convinced me that this was the best thing that had ever happened in my life. I signed up.

It started with the cassettes. You’re expected to buy at least two of the fucking things a week. They’re cheap individually, but the cost mounts up. Each one of them consists of two ranting pep talks by someone high up in the company, telling you or his live audience that you can do anything, anything in the world, if you set your mind to it. They started getting a bit samey after the first few, and vaguely I wondered why I was having to fork over for two new ones each week; like a stupid fucker, I didn’t realise that the profits were going to the head honchos and keeping them in that position.

Then there were the meetings. I went to a couple of these a month, driving sixty miles or more after a hard day at work to listen to some local hero who’d started to make good in the company explaining why the scheme was infallible. The first time I got crapped on because I was wearing a grey suit and not a dark one. I was dimly aware that this was a bit fucking weird, but the enthusiasm at these gatherings was infectious.

I ordered some of the products which I was then supposed to sell. They seemed okay, if a little unnecessary, especially the breath freshener and multivitamins. I never got up the bottle actually to try and sell any of this shit, and I’m glad I didn’t. I never used any of it either. Recruiting new people was also something I got nowhere with. I got as far as phoning two acquaintances and telling them about a ‘wonderful business opportunity’; they laughed and asked if I was taking the piss, and I was too embarrassed to go on.

I was then 28, and all the people I met from the company insisted that I absolutely was going to retire at 30, I just had to be patient. The penny dropped when I went with the friend who had recruited me and his wife to a ‘rally’, as they’re called, in Doncaster, a festering shithole of a town if ever there was one. The jamboree featured clapped out sixties singers The New Searchers for entertainment, and there must have been a couple of thousand eager young and not-so-young distributors there. On the stage, a procession of bigwigs from the US strutted, roared, wept and spat. One of the cunts, who had diamond studs in his suit jacket, for fuck’s sake, kept referring to himself in the third person: “And now the mortgage is paid off twenty years early because FRANK HAD A DREAM!!!” A second cunt was up there with his wife, who was quite fanciable if a little Stepfordesque, and he had mirror shades on all the time. Later I saw him up close and his eyes were little and beady like a snake’s.

What swung it for my friend and me was the cars in the parking lot. With all this wealth, all this success, the car park should have been full of limousines, Jaguars, top-end BMWs and Mercs, sports cars. Instead there were clapped out little VWs and Peugeots. At the end of one of the rants, my friend and I looked at each other, said “fuck this for a game of soldiers”, and left, never to look back. I was lucky in that I ended up only about £200 out of pocket, but he lost out on a few grand, and there are tales on the internet of people bankrupting themselves.

The freakiest thing about the whole scam is the way the company tries to impose uniformity on the lower castes. There’s the business with the suits, as I mentioned earlier. Then, you’re strongly discouraged from having facial hair, although one of the top men in the company has a luxuriant beard, which he presumably flaunts to show that he’s above the rules, a veritable Godhead. The top people are almost invariably devout Christians and Republicans, and the serfs are expected to follow suit. I’ve read transcripts on the Web of speeches given at some rallies in which senior Amway people rail against abortion and homosexuality. I think this need to impose conformity stems from the company’s awareness that most of the people they recruit are gullible dupes and need to be shielded from malign influences that could plant the seed of doubt in their minds.

I’m not pissed off with my friend because he was, like me, a dupe, and we remain good friends. I am pissed off with myself for being such a fucking sucker. Most of all, I’m pissed off with the utter cunts who run Scamway and tease people with the dream of a better life, when they know, they fucking know, that it’s all a scam designed to enrich a handful of the top brass. I’m sounding like a Commie here, which I’m not, but these sort of people, with their sliminess, their shiftiness, their bigoted and hypocritical religious bullshit, give decent business a bad name. Fuck Amway and all who work for it who know exactly what it’s about. Hanging’s too good for ’em.

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