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I need your clothes, your boots, and your glowsticks.

(Thu 15th Nov 2012, 12:47, More)

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» Hoarding

Stuff in the dark
Like any right-thinking human, I fucking hate lofts.
Our loft is a terrible place. The house has been in my partner’s family for almost a century, and the loft bears witness to that. It is a black and cluttered affair, full of artefacts, spiders, fear and nonsense.

My latest and worst loft experience happened just two weeks’ ago. I was on paternity leave (we have a son!) and my recovering missus suddenly remembered that British Gas were coming round the following day to lay down loft insulation. This is free, with the proviso that you put down boards first, so that any stuff that’s up there has something to sit on. We’d bought the boards weeks previously, but now they had to be laid.

I was struck equally by nervousness and a crushing sense of duty. I sloped off outside, and returned with the stepladder, lamp and drill. My palms were moist, and my passive-aggressive muttering intense. “Dunno why we can’t just fucking pay someone to do it … fucking loft … full of shit … oh, NOTHING DEAR.”

Up the stairs, ladder unfolded, hatch unlocked and gingerly pushed aside, and in I went.

We live in a terrace – the loft is a shared space with our absent neighbour. He has chronic OCD, so the bits and bobs he stores up there are ruthlessly organised and scant in number.
Our side, however, is a fucking disgrace. Like the British Museum had a wank in a cobweb. Ancient chests jostle for space with stacks of 80s mixtapes and giant wicker seats. Binbags full of awful clothes block every rafter. And the only thing my shit lamp illuminates is what’s directly or imminently underfoot. And of course, there’s that eerie silent draught peculiar to lofts everywhere.

Let’s be clear here – I am a creature of the office. My hands are a running joke amongst my more capable friends, unsullied as they now are by the marks of labour. My fingers have become delicate, typing affairs; my slender wrists unencumbered by veins or gristle. In short, I have no place in a DIY situation, and certainly don’t belong in a pitch-black nostalgia dumping ground with 18 wooden boards and a drill I can’t fucking work.

Up drifted my lady’s voice – “Just be careful up there! And can you have a look for my breast pump?”

Sigh.

Inhaling great black lungfuls of dust and fibreglass, I began feebly disturbing the ageing piles of junk. Carefully, of course. I wouldn’t want to slip on all this shit and …

FUUUUUUUCK

Before the intense pain and shame kicked in, my first thought as I plummeted through the ceiling with the grime from a century of bric-a-brac was – “So this really does happen to some wankers.”

Never found that breast pump, and paid a friend to finish the job. I’m through with lofts.

Pic in replies.
(Thu 3rd May 2012, 15:26, More)

» Biggest Sexual Regret

Pearoast, as it's still definitely this ...
Ooooooooh I was at a sexy lady's house party and liquored up on eight cans of Irish Harp. Seventeen, thrusting, and full of spunky lust. Despite the aggressive boil on my nose and my flaking scalp, I fancied myself as quite a catch. I'd just successfully muttered along to Rapper's Delight (the LONG version bitches), and was working my way through U Can't Touch This. In short, I was on fire.

Idly playing the air drums, my roving eye scanned the party and fell on a dwarfish young woman who had been hounding me for some months. I had, weeks previously, sucked her mouth for sport, and found it to have a curiously pungent taste – like plaque and cigar smoke mixed with dogshit and chips. Mmmmmmm.

She kept casting dewy-eyed glances my way. Those curiously black-ringed eyes on her unfeasibly large freckled head had me all confused. Extending one stumpy finger from her awkward and pale boy-hand, she sexily beckoned me over, running her other hand through her mannish hair. Giddiness swept through me. I stepped outside for some air. Oh, goodness, a bunch of folk with a bottle of vodka. Give us a swig on that.

Gulp gulp gulp

and –––––––––––––––––– morning.

I'm in a bed. I'm still at the party house. I'm alone. But dark thoughts are nipping at the back of my mind, like an Alan Partridge striptease fantasy. And there's a form on the floor, covered in duvets.

Gingerly I leaned out of bed and pulled a corner of the duvet back, revealing a chillingly large vision of wine-stained teeth, distended eye lids and a masculine short back and sides. She was sleeping, and dressed. I was safe. But still … those ominous flashes in my mind. Fleeting, millisecond sensations of a nipple like a tube of Polos being rolled sickeningly between my fingers like a cannibal's spliff. A cow's long black tongue thrashing around in my mouth.

No. It couldn't have happened. I'd remember something like that. Wouldn't I? Yes, I would. And I didn't. So it didn't happen. Fuck it, time for a shit.

I wobbled my way out of the bedroom, across the landing and into the bathroom. Plonking myself down on the throne, I started playing through the events of the evening. It was fine. I got drunk, went to bed and went to sleep. That's it. Nothing dark happened. I'd have remembered. I'm sure I would have remembered.

Then something struck me. Or rather, the absence of something struck me.
The bathroom was completely quiet.
Silent.

I was unleashing a gallon of piss into the toilet bowl, and yet the whole room was fucking SILENT.

Not wanting to, but unable to resist, I slowly looked down between my legs.

Bobbing off the end of my cock was a grossly swollen condom full to bursting with piss and sperm, and covered with red slime and matted pubes.

Have you ever heard a man howl like a dying wolf? I have.
(Thu 8th Dec 2011, 14:58, More)

» Overheard secrets

Phone tap!
My brother and I used to share a fantastically shoddy ghetto-blaster – a big grey square thing with buttons like sharp piano keys and speakers the size of dinner plates. It was seemingly fuelled by tape, for which it had a voracious appetite, but it brought the delights of Ray Parker Jnr into our bedrooms, and for that we forgave it anything.

One bored evening, around 6pm, I was twiddling about with its radio tuner trying to find, I dunno, whatever 12 year olds try to find. Poptastic trilling by long-arsed permed women. As I switched between bands and spun the dial, a single captivating phrase popped out of the garbled static:
“zzswwfutuzuwutufwiiittzzzuzuoouououuoFUCKING BASTARDzzswwfutuzuwutufwiiittzzzuzuoouououuo”

I heard it. My brother heard it. We stared at each other. This was pre-watershed, and someone was saying ‘fucking bastard’ on the radio! I slowly moved the tuner back as precisely as I could until it came to rest on 800 medium wave. Twenty years later and I still remember it. This frequency changed my life.

In our house we had a now-common device that we youngsters at the time considered the height of communications technology – a cordless phone. And it turned out that the handset broadcast to the base station on 800 MW.

We listened to what we slowly realised was a conversation between my mum and her sister. “Why’s mum on the radio?” I gormlessly asked my brother. “She’s not you div, she’s on the phone! This is the phone!”
Silently, guiltily, we listened for ten minutes to their banal chatter. It was inoffensive except for a couple more ‘bloodys’ and a handful of ‘pillocks’. We switched it off, bored but tense. The knowledge was there now. My brother and I eyed one another suspiciously. Both of us were on the cusp of adolescence. He was starting to arrange dates with girls, hang out with people and smoke. I was … well, I wanted to do all that shit too. But the game had changed now, and we knew that we could never again safely use this phone.

There followed five wretched years of stolen moments to organise our burgeoning social lives, our love lives; moments when we knew the other wasn’t around. “Hi, yeah, fancy meeting up tonight, 8’o clock, brilliant, can’t talk, bye.” But the blunders … there were so many blunders. Most significantly, like the time my brother triumphantly steamed down the stairs waving a C-90 cassette tape in in the air, after I’d just hung up on the first ever girl I’d told I loved. He insisted on playing it repeatedly to me and my friends, roaring with laughter, and consolidating the widely-held view that I was a sappy smitten prick and very possibly a bummer.

*play*

“I … er … well … ummm …. y’know I er … i wrote you a poem about flowers growing in the, er, in the sun … it’s like a, er, a metaphor for *gulp* how much I love you. I love you by the way.”

*rewind*

Cunt.
(Thu 25th Aug 2011, 15:00, More)

» Drunk Parents

Pissed-up cardshark WIN
This is one of my favourite anecdotes about my dad.

My father is a big drinker and very sociable. He loves pubs, and on arriving in a new town will immediately seek out an inn and spend eye-watering amounts of money on 'getting to know the locals.'
The price of my dad's beery generosity is allowing him to hold court with his theatrics and grizzled wisdom. The barman hands him a pint and he's off on a typically bellicose and entertaining display of posturing, 70s politics, military anecdotes and magic tricks, usually with a suitably attentive audience. After all, he's buying the drinks.
One particular evening in a bar in Scarborough, a deck of cards had appeared. I'll give my dad his dues, he knows some amazing card tricks. He spent the evening wowing staff and clientele alike with an array of spectaculars that would make Paul Daniels break his own fingers in envy. The drunker he got, the more bold and inventive the tricks became. However, one fractious young man was getting more and more infuriated by my dad's trademark blend of attention-seeking and infallible sleight-of-hand.

After one particularly outstanding trick … in fact, let me sidetrack for a second to explain it, because it's a fucking cracker. He pretends to be Wyatt Earp (twat!) and deals out poker hands to himself and four 'baddies' (i.e. random drinkers). Invariably he gets caught dealing to himself from the bottom of the deck, so gets called out. Admitting his deception, he gets a new pack of cards, and allows someone else to shuffle it and continue the deal. Everyone checks their hands – two have flushes and two have full houses. They play their hands expecting certain victory, then my dad turns over his – four aces. It's fucking great …

Anyway, he'd done this trick, and for the irritable young man this miraculous display was the final straw. He leapt up, strode across to my dad, pulled the deck from his hands and snatched a random card out of it. Holding it up in the air, he shouted:
"RIGHT YOU CLEVER FUCKING BASTARD, WHAT FUCKING CARD IS THIS?"

"Ten of clubs."

There was a mirror behind him.
(Fri 25th Feb 2011, 12:27, More)

» Iffy crushes

Just two calories
Towards the end of secondary school my pubic hairs were getting well established, I’d had several surprise nocturnal incidents, and my voice was dipping humorously across the octaves. The only thing left to do to complete my adolescent bingo card was develop an all consuming obsession with a member of the opposite sex.

My school was large – there were around a thousand pupils in it at any one time, so roughly 500 girls. My friends were a little ahead of me, and would discuss in brilliantly misguided detail how they’d ‘hump’ some pretty girl or other given half the chance. “I bet you could get four fingers in her,” “I bet she’s wicked at tossing off,” etc etc. They largely stuck to the obvious choices – girls none of us had ever spoken to, and who were inevitably hand-in-hand with one of the hard lads. Gobby lasses, the kind who’d tell you to fuck off if you accidentally walked into them, making you spend the rest of the day bright red and nervous with a secret stiffy. Great years, they were.

For some reason though, I was drawn to someone else. Someone I’d never seen with a boy, and who to my knowledge, was unfancied by anyone. I confessed this to my three best mates in our den one night, in my back garden, only to be met with wild hoots of derision. “She’s got a face like a fucking horse!” “Her arse is MASSIVE!” “She’s a stuck-up miserable devil bitch!” The consensus was: what the fuck do you see in her?

Quite simply, she liked Tic Tacs. And I fucking LOVED Tic Tacs. And don’t believe their bollocks about being low calorie, because I lived on those little sugar pills and I was a bonafide fucking blimp.
I learnt of our shared passion for minty obesity when I was stood outside a classroom at break, shaking the fucking things into my jowels like a sow on a bushel of acorns. She broke away from her gaggle of friends and skipped up to me – “Can I have a Tic Tac please?”
I stopped and stared cautiously at her, mouth full of sugar. What did she really want? But there was nothing in her angelic equine face other than a youthful hunger for tooth decay – a look with which I sympathised entirely. I mumbled “Um humf” and shook a few into her open hand. She beamed at me – I’d never been ‘beamed’ at by a girl before – said thank you, and pranced back to her mates. I watched them from a distance, waiting for them to whisper, look over at me and burst out laughing. Nothing.
After the class had finished I was shuffling out and already rooting in my pocket for some sweety goodness. Then there she was, at my side again.
“Thanks for the Tic Tac earlier.”
“Ummm, yeah. Right. No problem.”
“Could I have another please?”

And there it began. If I had Tic Tacs, she spoke to me. If I gave her Tic Tacs, she was grateful. Tic Tacs, it seemed, made me a goddamn diabetes-prone chick magnet. Oo ra.
This went on for the rest of the year. Our relationship barely developed from giving and receiving sweets, but it was all I looked forward to all day. I had a renewed spring in my heavy step. My slouched posture was vaguely more proud. My friends, of course, mocked me without mercy. “Ooh, there’s your fucking horse over there, are you going to go and feed her then, you fucking weirdo? Don’t forget your nose bag.” I didn’t care. To me she was perfect. An angel with a thirst for confectionary that almost rivalled my own.

The school year came to an end. After the last lesson of term I was hanging around the car park waiting for my mates, and up she sprang. I happily reached for my little box of trusty friends.
“Oh, no, I don’t want any thanks.”
This was new.
She passed me a piece of paper.
“I just thought I’d give you this, in case, you know, you wanted to meet up over the summer.”
It had a phone number written on it.
“So, see you soon I hope.”
And off she went onto her bus.

I was completely dumbfounded. That first week of the holidays I could barely think straight. By the second week I was calmer and wondering what to do. The third week I had got to the point of dialling five of the six digits before hanging up, gasping with anxiety. And finally, four weeks into the summer, I called her. It was a painful call, filled with the awkward cack-handedness and evasion of fatness and youth, but somehow we managed to arrange a time to meet in town.
If I thought that call was bad, the walk to meet her was even worse. My body was wracked with tremors and flutters, my face kept going pointlessly hot, and I nearly turned around and went home several times, to the comfort of mum, chips and Spectrums – where there was none of this weird lovely awfulness. But, I didn’t turn around.

We met in a cafe and had a cup of tea. She wittered on about her summer so far, her friends, her family, her horses. It was the most she’d ever said to me. True to form, I sat there silently, desperately trying to think of interesting and funny things that had happened, wishing I was a hard lad so I could at least impress her with a fight I’d won, but other than a few SMASHING goes on International Karate Plus I had nothing.
And then she said it. Two decades hasn’t dulled the impact of the words at all.
“By the way, I’ve got a new boyfriend.”

Nothing she said registered for the next five minutes. My expression didn’t change, but my sight narrowed to the point where only my teacup was visible. A red, roaring noise drowned out everything. There was nothing at that table but me and the world-ending, horrible sickness of your first ever proper rejection.
We carried on for an hour or so, her talking and me seeming to listen, but actually just wondering what the fuck I was doing, where I was, what was going on. Something seemed to register, because at last she said “Are you ok?”
I suppose there wasn’t much point continuing the facade any longer.
“Dunno”
“What’s the matter?”

I looked straight at her for probably the first time that day, and began muttering a load of rubbish about being tired, being late, needing to go, got to meet my friends. Just waffle, something to fill the silence until I could leave without admitting anything, without letting on why I’d turned up. But somewhere, deep within my burgeoning balls, there was an idiotic and brilliant voice that needed to be heard –

“And I’d been wondering what it would be like to kiss you.”

That hung in the air for a moment.

And to this day, I’m happy to report that it tasted like Tic Tacs.

Iffy crushes? It was the best one I’ve ever had.
(Fri 7th Oct 2011, 11:55, More)
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