I’ve long had a reaction to the claims by your typical racist chap that harps on about how black people look like apes.
The problem is that some black people do look like monkeys and apes, but this is in the same sense as the fact that there are people from all races who look like the FA Cup owing to a prominence of ear in the East and West of their head.
And in another similar sense, you then have those white people that look like chimpanzees; like my Northern Irish American-Film Lecturer: Ken Somethingsomething.
All in all, people look like things; it’s a human tradition.
Some look like dolphins, some look like insects; ultimately the fact that you look like our closest relatives throughout the Animal Kingdom (fellow humans aside) is probably a good thing.
This is just a thought I’ve had throughout the years, since meeting Ken.
And it’s not as though Ken wasn’t a handsome chap.
He had a desk-bound ruggedness, a man filled with poetical passion that let itself loose as he lectured the sweet-protestant-Jesus out of me and gave some rather fabulous ticks as he marked.
He was a ultimately an attractive man, if attractive men are you’re thing, and it was just the sheer shape of his face and the recession of his hair into full-blown male pattern baldness that made him appear more monkey-like than your average American-Film lecturer.
Also, for the record, male pattern baldness (MPB) is not a cause for unattractiveness.
Since we’re talking about it, yes, I do have an example.
Hunter S Thompson.
Thompson is an icon, a man who has transcended the mortal world and become a literal folk-legend; one of those historic men of whom there are countless anecdotes of his presence at scenes and his actions that caused scenes.
His works inspired generations, with 40 crucial years of extraordinary output that forged a new genre of literary journalism, and this is his writing alone. His attitude, the demeanour with which he strode the Earth is legendary.
He is amongst those men, such as his hero Hemingway, who made writing one of those very masculine occupations – not a world in which women were not equally capable – but one in which miners and welders and other such grizzled and anti-intellectual stereotypes wouldn’t be able to call them pussies.
Because Hunter S Thompson was not a pussy.
His into-the-fray technique of gonzo journalism evokes those terms that just feel masculine in this context. Much like my favourite Monty Python sketch in which good ‘woody’ words are discussed (not ‘tinny’ – “sorry old horse”).
Novelist (bit tinny…).
And Hunter changed the world from behind a type-writer and a cattle-prod, dousing the reader in the glory of the righteous crime of ‘not-giving-a-fuck-with-intent’ and wearing long white socks and with male pattern baldness.
And the male pattern baldness is only relevant here by its irrelevance.
Thompson changed the world, and my life, with utter and total freedom and male pattern baldness, and all whilst looking slightly like an aging chimpanzee.
And what I also adore is the fact that he took the helm of his head; echoing the essence of him being Master of his Fate and the Captain of his Soul by shaving his scalp and changing the world.
But still, I catch my Dad eyeing me fondly from the eyebrows-up, missing my hair that was his.
But to his fortune, he doesn’t look like a monkey. Or an ape.
They’re different, you know.
I’ve a nice big nose.
But it’s nice. And big.
It’s quite handy for obscuring either facial cheek from the opposing eye above.
This skill hasn’t really lent itself to the everyday, or even the exceptional life, at this point.
I do use it to turn off light switches when my hands are full.
I’m glad I haven’t seen any of the other apes doing this yet; I guess that what comes from being too stupid to have a big nose. And thumbs.
People can’t tell I’ve a big nose from straight on though; only when I turn, and knock pedestrians over with the nostrils.
My sense of smell is abysmal.
I can only tell if there’s been a gas leak when I hear the sound of the fire-brigade (plus the intense burning sensation that I can’t do much about because my hands are full and I’m not trying to turn on the light with my nose).
My voice isn’t nasal, it’s just a regular, nothing-much-about-me voice.
My nose in profile looks like it should belong to a pickpocketing villain who overhears your plans of escape and warns the dodgy policeman in exchange for some sort of nose-pleasing rub.
My nose looks suspicious, but I can promise you it’s not up to anything at all calculated.
It’s a nice big nose though.
Would I have it removed?
No – unless I could flip it upside down, attach it to my wall and keep two joss sticks in it.
But then I couldn’t smell them…
Could there ever be the chance that an acid attack might genuinely improve my nose?
I can imagine the compliments…
“Well, I can see all his teeth at all times and his eye keep dangling out, but his nose really is much improved in terms of distance to me.”
That’s the thing about my nose – you never quite realise just how close to you it really is.
It’s like rats.
I feel I can’t impress enough upon you how ridiculous the size of my nose is in relation to how bad my sense of smell is.
I have an exceptionally average-sized hanky.
My sneezes are mediocre in volume and spray.
There is nothing large about my nose other than the size of it.
And it is at this point when once comes to realise that some facial components are simply genetic traditions of your family, passed down from large-nosed grandpapa to large-nosed mama, until it lands in your lap and quickly works its way up to the centre of your visage: the bulls-eye of what people look at of you.
My nose looks like an Easter Island head, only – not just the nose – the entire head is the epicentre of my face.
And it inhibits me zero-percent.
I do, however, have the natural benefit of having a big nose, large thick-rimmed glasses and a big moustache; meaning that I can appear perpetually disguised as though I’d just walked out of a joke shop and wished to vanish into the midst of a ‘Generic Disguise Convention’ (filled with burly burglars in delicate dresses and sneaky chaps wearing a particularly suspicious hedge).
Are there any benefits to having a large nose?
Being easily describable in a witness statement.
Were I to commit a crime and the victim get away; you’d find it easy to describe me to the police.
Because I’ve got a nice big nose.
You can even tell when I’m wearing a full face mask because the mask looks like it’s pivoting constantly from a central location.
And it’s not a particularly sturdy nose either. I’ve been cracked upon it multiple times and shriek as nasally as the next chap.
There’s really not much more to it than that.
I’ve a nice big nose.
But then, so does my Mum, and her Dad.
Maybe it’s a gift.
And perhaps it’s a gift because, as I’ve said before, sometimes all you need is something to say.
And with such a large conk as my face possesses, I’ve had something to write about.
I didn’t need to write about it, but I did.
Go figure again.
Apparently the needles of a Christmas (pine) tree are rich in vitamin C and can be boiled down into a new-car-smell flavoured soup, additionally giving your bathroom and the things you do in it a festive whiff.
I’ve been getting into facts.
Facts, when mentionable, are more like jokes or amusing opinions. When facts are unmentionable is when they are so horrifically dull that whoever mentioned it is false on the grounds of public interest (or in this case – disinterest).
I do some talk-work on a hospital radio show with my dad and I brought in the idea of having regular facts garnered from the internet, helping us to link them into the next song or simply chatting about them (ill people simply adore me, as do the injured).
I’ve read a fair few facts over the time it’s been and I’ve developed the nuance of disregarding some and mentioning others according to their ear-worth.
But upon hearing this fact – of Christmas trees being edible – I knew I was onto a keeper for sure.
I’ll eat a tree.
It’s certainly more impressive than broccoli, albeit slightly harder to fit in the saucepan.
When eating a Christmas tree, I feel the only way to go about it is the only way one should go about any activity: by going the ‘whole-hog’ – in other words: don’t strip it and soften it and maybe not even timber it.
Just eat the tree: go Whole Hog.
I’m sure the ‘Whole Hog’ saying comes from those against bacon; real men who don’t stop only a few centimetres into the pig but rather continue on all the way with their fork down to the sty floor.
If you won’t eat a trotter or a snout; you don’t deserve bacon. And if you won’t eat a Christmas tree plucked fresh from atop the pile of presents; then you don’t deserve Christmas.
Quite differentiating diets here, eating a whole pig and eating a whole tree, but the moral here remains the same.
Why stop at a Christmas tree?
I bet if Redwoods were delicious they’d stand a much better chance of survival thanks to the influx of executives eager to ensure the forest-eating consumer market is suitably supplied.
Much like the fact that if tiger bones really did increase the size of men’s’ penises; those tigers would be living across lush acres of privately protected jungle, raised to be big-boned, king of the lush and dense farmyard for several winters before we take poor Tiger out of pasture and grind it’s bones to make our penis-enlarging bread (“Give us this day our daily penis-enlarging bread”).
Take that Tiger Bone Bread, whack a Whole Hog between two slices, gobble it all down and then pick your teeth with the Christmas tree you’ve emasculated by suddenly having an enormous todger.
THAT is a fact, not factually; but certainly in my opinion.
Besides, you need more vitamin C in the winter months; so eat a Christmas tree for Christmas dinner and hopefully we’ll survive till the next one.
I think I’ll keep up the facts, let’s see.
If you could have one attribute from another species, what would you choose?
And nothing smarmy, like the strength of a bear or the power of flight, something that puts you more into the oddity category, rather than smarmy-superhero. It has to be inconsequential in all manners aside from how it effects your humour.
I’d go with a tail – I think that makes a lot of sense for our species.
Balance is one thing, plus climbing, but mainly I think it’s about our mindset. For one thing, there’d be no more campfire stories, and hence no culture, because before we start to weave a subtle narrative from the holding-end of the marshmallow stick – we’d go: “Oh look, a tail – better go get it.”
I think mainly it’s about company. Try and spend the evening with your hair, or a foot; it’s lonely and only worthwhile if it becomes expensive and weird, but with a tail – that’s a very flirtatious and flicky sofa companion.
More tails please.
Swivel-ears? Because it’d be cute. An animalistic attribute is only really worth it if people’ll think you’re adorable – like how my wife adores how I smell like a dog stirred with honey.
I’ve a dog, Freddie, and Freddie is my first dog and that’s of great importance to me.
He’s titled: ‘My Dog’, and he responds when called that – partly because of the importance he knows that term denotes, partly because I keep calling him “My Dog”.
And Freddie does something that I couldn’t agree more with.
I cannot think of a more total show of affection than shoving your face into something with such emotional ferocity that it’s almost technically ‘eating’.
It’s as though Freddie wishes to become one with my knees, my palms, the top of my head, and I can’t blame him since those are all the most smashing parts of me.
And I’ve done this too, for many years, with my love – Jenny (particularly in the back of the neck as the sun rises).
You’ve probably done it too, when you’ve buried your face into the shoulder of a co-cuddler during a more intense an embrace, and you feel like you just want to be as close as possible that you’re quite prepared to enter their shoulder as a means of feeling better.
I can only recommend it – rub your face into the object of your affection and just see if you don’t feel well expressed.
The only issue is that I’m quite fond of dinner and I cram my face into my bowl of – it doesn’t really matter ‘of what’ – and then live with consequences for the rest of the dinner party.
So if not my dinner, and it not nuzzling on my own behalf, I’ll just take My Dog’s nuzzle when I get home from work.
I’ll take my dog’s face, because he gives it to me.
That’s ‘Brief…Therefore Witty’ enough, I feel.
I’d bring that chap back and have him stand in my kitchen.
I don’t know how I’m going to go about that by any means other than confidence (I’ve no time machine…why’s it always a time ‘machine’? Why not a ‘time plant’? It could grow older and younger and so on and so forth…If you’d like to steal this idea that’d be great as long as I don’t have to deal with it anymore.) but I’m going to get that smelly defiler of the ages into my kitchen and have him look out the window.
Whilst I can’t deny that Genghis’ methods were efficient (if altogether too runny) I’d love for him to see the progress that ‘nice-chapping’ can afford.
By being fairly pleasant to one another, with a “Good morning” here and a “That’s a lovely blouse, Mr Smith” there, we’ve got ourselves green lawns, fluffy cats, milk on the doorstep and families playing in the streets whilst soft, warm sunlight lands on all. Such loveliness you can see through my kitchen window.
Genghis might not see my point. It could be that he’d look out my kitchen window, murder it, murder me, make his way through the frightened door and proceed to take out his predisposition for upsetting a picnic all over the family picnic, sunshine and milk bottles.
Follow this up with a quick bit of back and forth about world history, wars, government, sociology, poetry and how to slurp soup without annihilating the fellow sitting next to you, and I think he’d calm down with the conquering.
Really, I expect he was a consequence of his circumstance: “Kill (the Chinese) or be killed”, similar to the rapacious conspiring by the royal/nobles of medieval England; looking to one another only to magpie how to be exemplary in sinister, Machiavellian machinations.
This being so, I’d still berate him, make him sit in special spot to look out the window.
Then maybe he’d use his powers of annihilating for good, such as by…murdering…traffic incidents…Then there wouldn’t be any more traffic incidents because Genghis Khan had kindly murdered them all for us. Just trying to be helpful, eh?
Look, I know he was a genius of strategy and governance, and that’s really another addition to my point; what if he’d used benevolence more widely? A man such as him using this in ancient times; would we be even lovelier today?
I’m not sure who I’d bring back from history and berate next.
Definitely Pol Pot, so that I could really rub it in his face about how crap he was at what he devoted his love to. That’d satisfy me to some level.
Perhaps Thomas Edison for being so bitchy…eurgh. Poor Tesla. Poor elephant.
We’ll find out, me included, next time on ‘Bring Back And Berate’!
I may be a fool (perhaps it’s best to presume this prefix to all my articles), but is there a less inspiring sport than Tennis?
With every ‘POCK’ sound across the court I hear the seconds passing me by, much like the point of this game, as well as any fleeting ambition to discover any.
Perhaps it’s the lack of applicable skills.
In the event of a nuclear holocaust, in a time when we are riddled with zombies in the pantry and climate change up the wazzoo; I’m not going to be pleased to have a Tennis player with me in the bunker, demanding all the canned beans for their metabolic rate to burn through and picking up my cat to see if there’s room to swing it.
Plus, Tennis is hardly transferable in a fight.
Armies of white-shorted men with rather stunning time-pieced wrists, delivering nothing but backhanded slaps to their opponents, most of the blows colliding with one another; resulting in those bird-brittle bones in the back of the hand crunching together and even damaging those marvellous European-made watches.
It’s just uninspiring, even with the grunts and screeches that emit from the battlefield, disturbing the body-clocks of local livestock and making it seem like this is all much more demanding than it really is.
Perhaps the skills could be transferred to the hunting grounds, wherein players could swipe post-nuclear bats from their mid-air flocks before feasting on them with all the grunts and screeches they can muster in an attempt to confuse and pacify the poor radioactive animals. (If a bat hears a screech; does it just presume “WALL!”? Because in that case, being eaten alive by a Tennis player must feel being beaten up by a house.)
Not to mention that male Tennis players fall victim to fashion-aging worse and far faster than most athletes.
Just take Caitlyn Jenner; she worked out how unfashionable manhood could be and got with that hip be-who-thoust-wishes trend. Penises are not ‘in’ at the moment. Ahem.
Golfers from 30 years ago are still terribly in-vogue, whereas the insistent urging of an all-white outfit, with wrist and headbands, and way too much upper-thigh for a hairy fellow like me to get away with without harnessing all sorts of pollen and debris in it…oh my.
Nuclear pollen is not something you want to get tangled up in your body hair; you could become riddled with full-body cacti perms which everyone’d find hilarious and your cat won’t want anything to do with you anymore – even with the Tennis player chasing him about.
And I should know of these worries; I’m a spectacularly furry fellow and have inadvertently captured many things in my body hair but am still yet to discover anything of worth; like a penny.
Most common thing I’ve found in my body hair?
Other people’s hair…normally the long hair of a lady amidst a moulting.
I’ve longed for a more productive offering, alas, no luck.
Which is why I’m even less keen to share an eternal after/half-life with a short shorted Tennis player; thigh hair fluttering in the radioactive breeze.
Bunkers are adorably petit, but what about the hourly appointed strolls down THE corridor for morale? Awfully cramped in that corridor. Barely enough room to squeeze past with two people, and no room in the slightest for a Tennis player in his itty-bitty shorts and yourself wearing even a suit of armour; although somehow you’ll still get tangled pubics. Tragic, but a surprisingly effective method of surviving those chilly nuclear winters; albeit with an uncomfortably tickly throat.
I’d like to state a change of my opinion towards Tennis players in the event of a nuclear holocaust.
Maybe we’ll need more psychos; and that is the definition of Tennis players in a nutty nutshell.
Perhaps we’ll need maniacs with a superb backhand, swiping aside the hordes of green-glowing grizzly birds and bees (who – having become tragically literate following the nuke’s increasing of their intelligences; have read all about the birds and the bees and find it cruel that the Great Green Creator should keep such elusive, vital and baffling info from them) as their whirl themselves towards our bunker as an alternative to the honey bees actually trying to mate with an ostrich and vice versa.
His disturbing affinity with whacking balls whilst grunting and then waiting for you to take your turn doing the same to him whilst he stares you down with furry green and white eyeballs, his very expensive European watch whirring at 100 miles per hour though all the number melted off, his pure white short shorts riding ever higher as the Tennis player grunts and swipes and screeches and then finally lets loose a different sound, one of such placid serenity that it undoes your trousers and shivers your spine:
Perhaps we won’t need a Tennis player in the bunker.
Not to mention the things they’ll do for a goblet (just give them the goblet).