More family than I thought

I’d love for ‘family’, in my context, to mean a little more mafia it currently does.

My family are simply my family, of the traditional context – father, mother and a brother.

But I wish it meant people were worked in the concrete shoe shop.

Perhaps it’s in the enunciation: “The Fairmily”. Maybe then people would give up their train seats for me, or when I enter their homes unexpectedly (I’m joking, don’t enter stranger’s homes).

And I’d have a plethora of brothers instead of the embarrassingly singular sibling I’m stuck with, and their names would be ‘Paulie’, and ‘Joey’, ‘Tommy’ and ‘Mikey’. My brother’s name is Ben.

And we’d have nicknames. Like ‘Sam the Nose’ – which would be appropriate because of what I’ve got.

My brother would likely be ‘Big Ben’, because he is enormous. But that wouldn’t make me ‘Little Sammy’, because I’m only really slightly less obese.


Family. I’ve come to realise I’ve more of them than I previously realised.

I have long disliked large crowds, which I presumed was due to coming from a small family. Both my parents were a single-child, whilst both my brother and I are both single-children too according to how we feel about one another.

But at a family dinner yesterday, my father invited his only living blood relatives (aside from me and my brother, which is weird as one tends to picture a ‘closet living blood relative’ as being an appropriately distant and appropriately many-times-removed grandmother of an ancient generation, instead of it being me).

And there was a pile of extra family, all ages, many types of clothes, basically all one colour, and they all had no idea who each other was, least of all me.

“Here’s Sam, the less obese one I was telling you about” says my father, “and his equally less obese wife and two kids – both of whom are also single-children”.

And everyone looks at me and my family, each of them agreeing vaguely and approving the description. There’s some handshaking and pecks on cheeks, and then I left the room because I’ve got a problem with large crowds.

I didn’t feel any kind of interest towards these people and so didn’t engage (nobody’s loss), but my father was keen to get to know them, because he really didn’t know them, nor they him.

As I played with my kids, I saw him leading them in comparing old photos, the black and white ones, followed by the later coloured photos that have now gone a 1970’s shade of nicotine-brown.

And then, my father told his stories to the new lump of distant family we’d discovered, detailing his upbringing (some family remembered his childhood address – which was nice), his family and career.

I was listening and realised something I’d suspected before.

My dad is really, really super-cool.

He’s a cockney-rebel, a cage-shaker, and the next new big thing in the classic style, a rebel with many causes (in fact, he’s a Rotarian), but he’s always been willing to do what he can do get jobs done and to achieve doing so with flair. He’s my hero. And looking through the photos, the variety of hairstyles and scenarios in which he had those hairstyles, were astonishing.

Meanwhile, I have a blog, and literally piles and piles of distant family that I’m about as related to as everyone else is related to the Cheddar Man.

I’d best look to emulate him. My dad I mean, but also the Cheddar Man a bit too.

They’re both fairmily after all.


“If there are any spirits listening…fuck off.”

Fucking spirits, get a grip.

You really have to be a bit of a loser to refuse to die and pass away.

Away‘ being the key word – bugger off please.

I don’t mean this in terms of refusing the next great adventure (most likely returning to dirt), but more so: read the room.

You died, and now frankly you’re bringing down house prices in the vicinity because you keep nudging chairs slightly and turning the lights off, both of which are super-duper inconvenient – both when wanting to sit on your chair and read a book, and when you’re trying to sell your home to someone timid.

I could sell ghost tours of my home, I suppose, but no one wants a spooky walk around a semi-detached on a suburban street in which the neighbours are clearly watching ITV programming, the least spooky of all programming (too much smiling and purple).

Woe betide you if you are one of those spirits that keeps blowing candles out. I’m middle class – I need many, many candles – and frankly each puff you conjure to blow mine out only makes me more tempted to burn the house to the ground in fury.

Maybe that’s you trying to force me to the point of fury via your demonic methods, meaning ultimately that you’re winning, but I prefer to see it post-event. Once I’ve burned down my own house, due to you continually blowing my candles out, I like the idea of you trying to haunt all that remains – my partially charred lawn.

A haunted lawn? Get a life mate.

You’re a ghost, you’re out of vogue, and to be brutally honest this is the era of the zombie apocalypse – something we’re all looking forward to.

I can picture all the people at approximately my age with the same generational intake of horror media, all making our way to the local DIY store and heading to everyone’s favourite bit – the zombie apocalypse aisle, filled with axes and chainsaws and sledgehammers and other heavy sharp things you don’t want to approach your head at speed.

With trolleys and car boots filled, they eagerly head home and start hammering down (with brand new hammer, nails, and wooden boards) the hatches, loading up their bows and slingshots with ammo (because this isn’t the US so we’d actually be doomed), and watching the sun set glinting off their years of tinned food through the window to their bunker.

And then as the apocalypse is about to begin, with the hoards beginning to roam down the street, either casually or sprinting (it doesn’t matter in this example), the final night is about to truly kickoff into a happy and very gory ever after, and then from the attic they hear…..”wwwwwwhhhhhhhoooooooooooooooooo”.

They can’t believe it.

It can’t be…

Ric Flair, is in the attic.

Not really, its just a ghost, but everyone is now really pissed off because whereas zombies offer us the chance to live a new life as a super cool zombie hunter in the post apocalypse in which we’re, for some vague reason, totally fine without having the internet any more, all that’s happening instead is a ghost is reducing the value of our home property.

“But we have a Ric Flair in the attic!!”, you might suggest to realtors.

But they don’t want to know.

Because no one cares about ghosts.

Which makes sense, since ghost are the most attention-seeking of Halloween baddies. They’re the supernatural equivalent of a still-living person standing in a room with a white sheet over their head and presuming everyone thinks they look impressive.

If there was a ghost here right now, I’d play Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl‘, the greatest song to kill a spooky mood and therefore hopefully ruin the ghost’s evening, and vastly improve my own.

That’s enough writing for today.

Next time, maybe, we’ll discuss werewolves and their cuddliness.

Until then, in case there are any spirits listening…fuck off.


Top Ten Fun Things To Do This Summer’s Heatwave

  1. We’re all going to die.
  2. We’re all going to die.
  3. We’re all going to die.
  4. We’re all going to fucking die.
  5. We’re all going to die.
  6. We’re all going to die.
  7. We’re all going to die.
  8. We’re all going to die.
  9. We’re all going to die.
  10. Treat yourself and take a trip down to the ol’ swimming hole (if the ol’ swimming hole is still here and you haven’t died yet).

Picking a fight with the wrong wall.

The ‘right wall’ was one I knew in Australia, a long time ago.

It would have been perfect to lose a fight against, with spikes along the top and obnoxious graffiti of classics such as “fuck” and “fuck off”.


If I were to fight a man, a real human with real knuckles, and he had “fuck” and “fuck off” scrawled on his forehead and eyelids, I’d happily lose a fight to that guy.

However, a wall that says such things, in luminous red, whilst wearing spikes atop it and the kind of rough, granite-like texture which (again similar to the human version) suggests: “don’t lick me. I said DON’T lick me.”

Best of all though, it was wobbly.

It was like someone built a few feet of wall, as a sample for an exhibition; a piece of wall to hand out to curious passers by.

And it had been left, leaning up against another wall for structural, and perhaps emotional, support.

I could have given that big bad Disney-villain of a wall a good smack in wherever its ‘chops’ might be considered to be in the moment, and then, clutching the remnants of my fist, looked up as it wobbled a little more but far more unendearingly, towards me, and finally upon me.

Obviously, I was (and generally am) in no mood to win, as losing is far more romantic, especially if it kills you.

But rather than seizing the moment, and I instead ripped my hand open putting it through a drywall several years later, because of some silly business with which I shan’t bore you (but if you’re really interested in being bored – it was something to do with mathematics).

It didn’t even tell me to “fuck off”, let alone “fuck”. It was pallid-looking, wholly passive, forgettable and yet I wish I really could forget it as I regret the exchange entirely.

It was just the most easily-accessible, convenient wall within striking distance.

Ho hum, never mind. I’ve a lovely little scar on my knuckle now, which really impresses people when they take very, very close examination of that particular knuckle, usually at my insistent invitation.

And I don’t have hugely high standards, as though I’d settle for nothing less that that beast they have only in bits now across Berlin, or that mean old King Kong of a wall in Jerusalem, but it’s good to feel good about the walls you pick a fight with.

Still, I’ll never forget that true blue beauty of solitary architecture, staring at me from across the street in Bondi, winking at me (not really – that’s a lie) and saying sweet somethings of “fuck” and “fuck off”, a classy mess of spikes casually laid on top with an ‘I just woke up like this’ attitude.

One can get by doing very little, so long as the ‘very little’ is done, or attempted, with attitude.

Exhibit A, see above.


Perpetually IN – a solid handshake and lava

It’s been a while since I noticed that some things are invariable and persistently popular.

It’s easy to forget, because it’s all so everyday, but when it comes up in the everyday, it is lovely to remember that it’s happening right now.

Remembering the present?

Makes sense to me, but then again – maybe I ‘get it‘ because I can’t be bothered to dwell on it any more.

And frankly, I’ve other things to be confused about.

Not this though. I do feel like I’ve understood this following topic brilliantly.

Good, solid handshakes.

You’ve got to have good grip strength to have a reliable handshake.

Ballerinas have excellent handshakes, so I’ve come to understand.

It’s probably all the tiptoeing.

Tiptoeing, which is also perpetually IN by the way, take a lot of grip strength.

Try it. Try to tiptoe without holding your hands in a slight pantomime-creep manner, pinching nothing but your lack of dignity between your index finger and thumb.

Impossible. In fact, it is also impossible to tiptoe without thumbs.

Toes aren’t essential for it, however.

And that pains me to say, as I’ve a fondness for toes – they’re harmless and dopey. And I’d hate to take tiptoeing away from anyone, least of all an innocent toe. A promising young toe. A toe with gumption.

Toes are admirable as they’re the silliest body part after genitals, and therefore the second best.

And whilst we know toes aren’t essential to tiptoeing, we should appreciate that a penis or your favourite labia, ‘tween index finger and thumb, is indeed entirely vital to the procedure.

That being said, we should also remember that having a penis can debilitate your grip strength due to adolescence.

Thus, things have gone somewhat full circle with this initial premise, but with a lot of sudden corners.

I guess that’s my writing style, which is a ‘sudden corner’ in and of itself, as I had no clue I had a style.

I haven’t even started talking about handshakes properly yet, let alone lava.

“Let alone lava” – lovely.

A nice phrase, a little like the words ‘tiptoeing’ or ‘after genitals’.

I suppose the handshake could be improved via other means, such as living a long gritty life in a grey gritty part of a flat gritty country, raised by simple gritty parents.

But if you don’t have all that going for you, and you really want to improve your handshake, you’re going to have to start tiptoeing.

And I can understand why you’d want to improve your handshake – because a good sturdy (gritty even) handshake never wanes in popularity.

Even if they don’t shake your hand, folk like to know you’ve got a good handshake. It’s like hearing positive credentials of other people.

“Have you heard about Sam’s quality handshake?”

“Yes, I have, stop going on about it, it’s not news.”

But maybe even more perpetually IN is the dislike of a weak handshake.

I shook a chap’s hand once, though it wasn’t so much a ‘handshake‘ as he put so little effort in I may as well have just grabbed his wrist and waggled the hand so the fingers flapped about in the breeze I was causing.

The shake was so bad, I think other people could overhear the flapping and started to stare.

Fair enough though, as I was starting to stare too.

His hand was so limp, it felt wet.

Flaccid to the point of liquid – that’s a negative and no mistake, especially in the realm of body part functions.

‘Body part functions’ – sounds like there are galas and dinner parties taking place across your body. I might suggest to my wife, “say, darling, I’m having a bit of a shindig in my groin area – fancy bringing a bottle”, and she’d say “no” because even in absolute fiction I have the capacity to revolt my most beloved with utter nonsense.

However, a banquet in the hand – that’d be superb for your grip strength, and if there was music and dancing afterwards, you could even squeeze in some tiptoeing.

So, yes a mighty handshake is what the people want, and they never shan’t.

A bit like volcanoes.

Great for the garden is a volcano, and really super duper if you’re in need of some very new rocks.

That’s a thought, as how often do you encounter a rock that is a matter of a few minutes old, depending on how long it took to cool?

That’d be excellent for the Pet Rock industry.

Visit Hawaii, wait for the regular traffic of lava to make it’s way down your street, don’t touch it (just don’t touch it) and once it has stopped and begun to cool, you can actually witness your Pet Rock being born.

By golly that’d be a tradition I’d heartily invest in. Perpetually, in fact.

All the best,