I’m not the kind of guy that regularly quotes Chandler Bing (‘Could I be anymore of a Friend’s nerd?’) but the character was rather on-the-nose with the statement:
“The bottom line is smoking is cool and you know it.”
He wasn’t wrong, and you know that too.
Smoking is cool.
This is undeniable.
One can gauge this from the perpetually fag-in-hand look-at-me nonchalance that the greatest heroes of our age have espoused because…they’re cool.
John Wayne (plus denim jeans).
These outstanding instances of masculinity/cool are the benchmark for our performance as a species. If we’re never going to be as cool as these guys were when they were smoking; shall we bother continuing?
Thus, we keep smoking.
Still, there are reasons as to why smoking is so darn cool, and I’ve just taken my dog for a walk and mulled it over aloud to him.
He agreed with me completely; and who are you to deny my dog?
So, to begin, it is chemical – smoking is a drug.
There is a BBC documentary in which the presenter investigates the pleasures of smoking.
He states he in his forties, never once having smoked and is now about to partake; sat in chair with multiple leads connecting him, shirt-off and via those sucky things, to computers that beep as though they’re pretending they know what they’re doing.
He ignites and is immediately coughing and spluttering (the only two things that are ever mentioned whenever smoking is initiated by the uninitiated) as though he’d never smoked before; which he hadn’t.
It cuts away and then back to him a moment later, reclining casually and with the smoke-filled lackadaisical grin common of those realising that this pleasure is relatively cheap, thoroughly enjoyable, completely legal and suddenly making him feel a good deal more-cool than he had ten minutes earlier.
He is converted to the factual pleasure of smoking by sheer experience. Well done him.
The rush of nicotine is one thing, but also consider that when smoking you’re not breathing and the lack of oxygen makes you a tad sleepy till the second second’s blast of nicotine hits again, the heart pumps and the pupils dilate and you take a moment for a breath of fresh and freeing oxygen before plunging back to the depths of the sedate-party that keeps you up all night.
If you hadn’t noticed by my prose, I used to be a smoker.
And now I’m distinctly less cool.
Then there is the pop-culture aspect.
Hemingway and John Wayne (plus denim jeans) – those guys, via TV, film, and the occasional strangely erotic magazine centrefold, emerging out of the mist, accomplished and horny (yikes) and ready to either gun you down like the script says to or write the script that says to gun you down; either way they’re smoking. And utterly cool.
And then one cannot deny the impact of the local popular minority, whom (at the typical teenage age) smoked themselves to blackened pieces in an effort to be an even more popular and more minor minority to such a degree that you wanted to be a part of it.
Their smoking was influenced and an influencer of all of the above and all of the below and if you didn’t start smoking because of other people standing near you then you’re an individual and I tip my hat to you.
There is also the mind’s being influenced by the physicality of smoking.
Don’t forget: sticks, stones and humankind were born perfectly for breaking politician’s bones and they’re wary of this.
One day, like guns and knives, the daily walking stick will be considered (rightfully so) a lethal weapon and shall be controlled by the central powers.
Holding a stick or a stone fills one with a sensation of capacity to affect.
With a stick or stone in hand, things happen as you decide them to, and the ancient feeling born from this is of confidence.
Have you ever held a handgun?
I have, and I felt distinctly un-fucked-with for those few minutes.
Smoking slots into this category, in terms of sensation akin to holding a gun/phallus and in terms of being removed by central powers.
Psychology all comes down to waggling your stick and waggling your phallus, in a smoking area or not. Man and woman, the cigarette is an emblem for the masculine phallus and it’s a pleasure to waggle.
Not only that, but a cigarette is a penis and a nipple.
Like a fish or a fat guy, having something in our mouths creates the illusion that we are safe according to the fact that we’re apparently eating.
The illusion of eating makes us feel better, and a cigarette re-enacts for us eating at our most secure; in our mother’s arms, sucking on her nipple.
In other words: smoking feels like home.
In additional other words: smoking feels like home and you also get to waggle your phallus around.
Cigarettes are one of the only things that you light on fire and then proceed to place in your mouth. And that’s cool.
Not to say that things are improved once aflame, but there’s no denying things become cooler when fire is involved.
It is natural too.
We are the sort of species to find something, plant it, grow it, eat it, wear it, smoke it, inject it, and plant it again. Ancient cigarettes, entirely made of leaf, are something I can create and thus relate to.
I cannot, however, create a vaporizer. And so, accordingly, I want nothing to do with them.
Plus they remove the masculine/slightly acrid flavour of old shag and replace it with the doing-no-good-for-anyone marshmallow-rainbow-blossom flavour whilst you also look like you’re sucking a robot’s dick.
And that’s not my kind of cool.
They’re not our overlord’s just-yet. Let’s hold fire on the robot-dick sucking. Your toaster doesn’t hold such sway at the moment.
Finally, don’t smoke; it’s not cool for people who don’t smoke.
“Oh I simply must have my noxious intake in which I brood; a 48-year old cool kid that’s standing up against THE MAN (who doesn’t want cancer)” is the pro-smoking argument and it can simply either grow-up, fuck-off, or fuck-off in a grown-up way.
It’s not so much the fear of cancer, or even the wimpy argument that comes from a determined smoker…it’s the large smelly stage effect that you’ve just heaved out of your insides floating its way towards me down the street as I exit the building.
And that’s not cool.
Ultimately, despite being distinctly uncool, smoking is perhaps the coolest things a person can do; and that is why it’s still here.
Whaddaya gonna do?
Apparently it’s also bad for you – so perhaps it’s best to avoid.
Either way; LIKE and FOLLOW 🙂
As I write this upon my commute to work, there’s a woman on this train whose whole head looks exactly like a fish.
Not just a fish’s face, but a whole fish.
Now, I’m not classless enough to take a public photograph of this woman to share it over the internet, so I’ll do what I can to tell the tale of her face.
You’ve probably already arrived there already when you read “looks exactly like a fish”; enormous lips.
What can you do? Enormous lips are a mixture of what you think of when you picture a fish-looking-female, add some DNA, a dash of cosmetic surgery and perhaps a whole splodge of poutiness; it’s just a matter of business between your nose and chin that is different for all folk.
I’d love bigger lips, for mine are very mere – thin and the part of me that even the neighbourhood cat wouldn’t start eating if it found me dead (he’d probably start with my cheeks – I’ve got plenty of those).
Although, it’s probably beneficial to have the thin lips I do as I’ve a smile slightly broader than my face and to have lips on a par with this fish-headed woman would result in confused headaches for all who happened to look at me.
Again; what can you do?
Aside from the obvious lip-factor, next come her ears. Her ears are like a fish’s fins and obliques, bejewelled with earrings and make-up like some precious fish’s shining and glittering scales.
Her eyes are bulging and yet fishily-expressionless; shaded with tropical blue and green. I can’t tell what’s nearer to the tip of my nose from ten feet away; her what-can-you-do lips or her ‘are-you-livid/aroused/hungry/bemused/amused//confused/proud/excited-eyes’.
Her hair colour is irrelevant; but the shape was not.
Both blonde and brunette hair, raised in a pony-tail (whilst looking entirely unlike a horse – to her credit…and mine; I’ll take credit for anything) yet dangling out the back and finishing with an upwards jaunty flourish…………………like a tropical fish tail.
Again; her whole head is shaped as though a whole tropical fish. And I’m not finished yet.
The shape of her head.
It was fish shaped.
I’ll leave this description at that point; the point I’ve ran out of things to and enthusiasm with which to describe and am pleased at this.
She looks like a tropical fish, but here’s the rub.
What is she like?
Is she extraordinarily nice, intelligent and funny, self-mocking of her tropical fish shaped head?
Does she hate it, does she laugh at it, does she do both?
It’s a common factor, I feel, that people look a certain way yet are in and of themselves not that certain way but rather another.
Caught her eye just then, shared a moment’s gaze.
Is she delighted at the prospect of an admiring glance, the prospect of someone finding her attractive? Or does she wonder what the fuck this ugly guy is staring at her for, eager to, rather than be stared at, head home to her local pub and grab a handful of the lined-up and dutiful boners awaiting her?
Maybe they think she’s gorgeous and there’s no real sign that she isn’t. Just, also fish-like.
Beauty is in the eye of whomever is going to fuck this fish-headed woman. I’m sure there’s a market for this sort of thing; and if she’s got a clever brain she’ll dip her toes in it.
Perhaps she’s a decade ahead of me in this thinking; she’s been herself for longer than I’ve considered her on this one-hour and 15 minute train journey.
Good for her.
Some folk are born to look a certain way, and we need to deduct that from our perception of their potential personality.
Imagine Brad Pitt growing up, if you weren’t already doing so as you became bored throughout the fish-head description.
Picture Brad trying desperately searching to find self-critical flaws, as is the habit of teenagers’ the world over and through time, yet he encounters a reflection of a chap so handsome he simply realises his life is going to be ok.
Maybe he’ll try acting.
With looks that good, one must presume that at some point you’ll be handed a large sum of money; just on principle. Ever seen a Brad-Pitt-good-looking homeless guy? I’m still looking.
Perhaps that’s because there is no one of Earth that comes close to Brad Pitt good looking.
I considered a young Johnny Depp, and then realised this was folly. The only person who comes close to Brad Pitt as he is now; is Brad Pitt at other points in his life.
He is a standard of good-looking guy that is unattainable for all others.
If you have a baby boy, you might imagine he could become President of the USA, be an astronaut and walk on Mars, maybe even be Bill Gates rich; but you’ll never even for a moment entertain the insane thought that he’ll match Brad Pitt in the face.
If you concentrate on the idea of beautiful women, 10,000 rush into your head, blurring and merging into the basically the same image.
Angelina Jolie looks like Gal Gadot, looks like Natalie Portman, looks like Keira Knightley, looks like Winona Ryder.
The most beautiful woman in the world; and there’s five of them.
When concentrating on a handsome bloke; you think of Brad Pitt. Sometimes you do it just for the enjoyment of it; why not? I do. It’s not gay, it’s human, like watching the Northern Lights.
No one on Earth is better looking than that guy, and he has to live with that.
Face it – there was only ever Brad Pitt.
And here, ‘face-it‘ doesn’t mean confront the situation, it means: do what Brad does.
Insert your extraordinarily-godly-good-looking face into your woes and watch shit get solved.
Brad Pitt got divorced from one of those many most-beautiful-woman-in-the-Hollywood-world, a real high-quality sort of wife that’s worth keeping for the kudos alone. A tricky divorce, kids, money, tabloids, and no-doubt some heartbreak to bitter-sweeten the hurt.
Know how he got over it?
He looked like Brad Pitt, and now all’s well.
It’s much later in the day now, and the fish-headed woman disembarked and went about her London day, and I mine.
I wish her well and hope she looked kindly on my ugly visage.
Here’s to her.
A whole new standard of fish-headedness.
And, honestly, kind of cute.
My beautiful wife has those same lips.
And I’m not Brad Pitt.
But, then again, no one is.
Only Brad Pitt was Brad Pitt and, really, Brad Pitt is all there ever was.
His face; onto the rocket it goes.
See you next time,
I hate the saxophone.
Especially when someone is blowing one, indeed – blowing any wind/brass instrument, whilst maintaining eye-contact with me.
Looking deep into my eyes and blowing (not going to call it ‘playing’) the saxophone is the one thing that creeps me out in the whole orchestra; even the wind-chimes don’t elicit such a response from me.
That aside, I also feel that the saxophone simply sounds terrible and has no place in my ear or on planet Earth. There’s just no need for it and I want it gone.
I hate the saxophone deeply, but not as deeply as the blowers of them looking into my eyes whilst they’re going at it.
It looks like a creepy thing to do, like when my dog holds eye contact whilst farting – not betraying the slightest hint of fart-awareness which I feel is ever-so-slightly what he is going for.
He doesn’t even wag his tail to aid in relocating the whiff.
I hate the saxophone. It tries too hard.
They also look stupid, like an alien willy that some megalomaniac elected to emboss with gold and make glint. Too many valves and too many fiddly-bits. This is not an alien willy I feel I can get behind, whilst also certainly not wanting it behind me.
Then there’s the sound.
Another passion of mine is hatred for a general consensus that I didn’t have a say in.
For example, Olympians being seen as heroes. They’re not doing it for me, are they?
They’re devastating their childhood in the hope of some on-camera human-interest moment that might hopefully lead to presence in a biscuit advertisement and a life-long career as a pundit. Olympians are not heroes; they’re admirable capitalists.
Now I’m grumpy.
My reason for mentioning this is that I also reject the notion that the saxophone is the sound of cool.
It’s not cool. It is the pantomime joke of cool.
It is the overly-archetypal noise that is penciled in as representative of moonlit rendezvous with the limp-via-emotion dame being held firmly in the five firm fingers of the cool guy in his American car that speeds out of town from behind this pool-club and into the next town wanky enough to be represented by the saxophone.
Pass me…the trombone.
Now THAT is an alien penis I can get behind (still don’t want it behind me though – I guess no one wants to be snuck up on by brass and jazz instruments).
The trombone is mighty; comical and hellishly resonating, requiring guts, pomp and proud forearms (essential) to play. It is a sound that represents “Uh-Oh!” and “Oh Dear!” and is quite simply the most hilariously erotic noise an orchestra can summon.
I love the trombone.
It is silly, funny (with a capital F, U, N, N, and Y; making it simply a loud-to-read “FUNNY”), jolly, erotic, proud, strong, bold, awkward and wholly unnatural a noise outside of our heads. It’s like a some surreal cow that knows you’re engaging in intercourse and wants the whole meadow to be aware.
Again, it also looks tremendous, requiring the forearm strength and depth of puff that makes a man a good one. It can be gold and shiny, but also looks tremendous when dulled; like it was carried into battle and has been found in an old veteran’s foot-looker.
Think of all the jolly and noble generic jazz you can conjure in your head. It’s not a saxophone – it’s a trombone that saves the day.
And I’ve been considering publication names; what do you think of this:
I figured it a great name for a publication, in the spirit of the famed ‘bugle’, and would be the daily trombone. Power, purity, dirt and hilarity, it is an instrument that requires meat-pipes and a good arm to commit to; plus it is the key to the classically comedic ear-filler of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GRnNzIvbh8, or simply the good-old https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKdcjJoXeEY .
Whilst I feel ‘The Trombone’ would be a smashing name for a publication, I’ve begun to engage in another activity that sees me through the day.
Fortunately, I’ve begun to slap myself each and every day in the spirit of reality, atonement for unfulfilled ambition and having a palm-full of face.
The Daily Slap, another positive name for a publication, snaps you out of the bitter funk of boredom (the only bad kind – even a funky smell is a positive thing to have in your kitchen, wallet and wife) that will will you down, keep you blue and unsexy, and fuzz your head with as much unoriginality as a saxophone.
However, beware brain cells prior to engaging in The Daily Slap.
There’s always the issue that you may become good at this, and in doing so elevate your palms to the rush-impact standard of deducting yourself the crucial brain cells that enable reading and fucking.
If you can’t read and you can’t fuck; you’d better have a damn fine hairstyle otherwise you’ll never be popular.
Unless mothers and wide-eyed mummy-wannabies will gather you up in their arms and insist you cannot read and fuck to such a hopeless degree that the only real solution to the unpleasant future ahead is a blanket and the instruction to bury one’s head in it and suck whatever you can find to suck within.
And even throughout such a distant and roaming thought process as the above, I still find my hatred of the saxophone to be a prevalent part of my being.
The Daily Slap, I recommend, as it is a real means of engaging with oneself and shudders off the dust of lethargy and is a real kick in the trousers (in the form of a slap in the face).
So, ‘The Trombone’ or ‘The Daily Slap’ – either way; have a good day.
It’s hard to return to writing, for several reasons.
One, you get a new job with unartistically-favourable hours (e.g lots of hours). Two, you’re still dealing with emotional trauma that I’m still not ready to write about yet. Three, the last piece you wrote was about leading a League of Mongrel Messiahs.
A heck of a trinity for a heck of a second testament, but I’m too tired from a long day at work, tear breaks in the bathroom and concern about following an article about Mongrel Messiahs and the fact I’ve not distributed a single leaflet to the (I prefer to presume) common cause, so I’ll just introduce you to my pet boulder instead.
I’ve always wanted a boulder, ever since I came to the age of realisation that a boulder was a dependable bed-fellow that only departed in the most traumatic of quakes.
A boulder is for relying on.
A boulder will do what a boulder does -it got out of bed a million years ago and was immediately successful to the point of being able to lay back and crush its own laurels; which was actually the best method of success for a boulder anyway.
Plus they have character. Though a tad Stoney-faced (…………………………….chuckle); I find them to be quite adorable.
I watched them in the petit-meadows around Niagara Falls, hiding in the long-grass as though they were about to lunge out and give me a devastating tickling.
Swell, that’s what boulders are, all the way from Stonehenge’s royal slabs to the wee-ickle chap I’ve got snoozing on a shoe-box in the corner of my room; snoozing as though a lay-in is its forte, as though horizontality is the future of measurable achievement in bedroom corners, as though there’s not a thing you can do about it because…it’s a boulder and it isn’t responding to emails or sledgehammers today.
My boulder has no name. If I did name it, I’d name it “Boulder”; which make the entire process redundant anyway.
Weight: it’s getting there.
I’m thinking I’ll convince some concrete onto the top of it so that when I take it into the fields to do some lifting, it’ll be more substantial to grip. Like a haircut that can break your back.
I wonder what hairstyle would look best on a boulder.
A Beatlesesque bowl-cut could work, but I don’t have a bowl that broad (plus it’d be suitable for rock music………………………….guffaw). Perhaps an intimidating punk-Mohawk of concrete; which would be especially since it’s also a guard-boulder.
I feel that, should Burglar Bill stroll into through my window, past my particularly wimpy hound and iwakeable wife, then I trust he’ll glance over my boulder, concrete hair-do and all, and realise that fucking off out of my house is a genius plan.
Maybe a nice sensible haircut for; that’d be really disconcerting.
I want forearms like Pop-Eye, minus the speech impediment and more spinach. To get forearms like that guy you need to do more than just eat it, you need to bath in it, drink it, sniff it, listen to it and keep a careful squinty eye on it as your wife pours it into your boots and over your boulder.
Spinach, boulders, and concrete haircuts.
More of these please.
Me and my boulder have a routine. I pick it up, I lay it down, I repeat until one of us is feeling sleepy.
Throughout all of this, everything I have that can clench; I clench. Hands, toes, buttocks, knees, wrists, boulders, eyelids and (still attempting this) my willy.
Have you ever seen a clenched willy?
It looks boiled.
Even my boulder recoils.
Which is fine; it’s ok to have boundaries between your boulder and genitals, no matter how much they may have in common.
For instance, my boulder’s not permitted on the bed. Despite how adorable they are, boulders (to their credit) emirate a natural ‘fuckoffness’ which equates to a truly uncomfortable night.
Is this the sort of wisdom you expected from the founder of The League of Mongrel Messiahs?
I also feel that a boulder is a natural heirloom, something that will stand (sleep through) the tests of time and the bank won’t be bothered enough to take away. I can picture my great grandchildren playing with family boulder, wondering what the heck I was thinking but also understanding that boulders really are a reliable member of the family.
They rarely do something that boulder’s don’t do.
I work in London now, with a 2 hour commute a day, so between staring out the window and committing to elbow-wars for the arm-rest with the chap next to me, I’ll see to writing some of these more often.
Would you like that? Or was that “bump” just then the sound of the last fuck you gave being roughly commuted-over by my 07:29 to London?
I also gave up pork. But I’m not giving up pigs. I’ll explain that next time. A sad story but a good sad story.
There are somethings that are missing from yesteryear (which was apparently at some point in the mid-fifties) that this world is in dire need of.
Sense of community (“sure”).
Being able to fix your own car (“uhuh”).
Children playing in the streets (*yawn*).
And the only food that was bad for you was too much for it (“and who really gives a basket of warm, fluffy fucks?”).
Not to mention that there’s no real music anymore…
Perhaps the problem is that these are issues whined by those who came from those times and are now, regrettably, dying to the tune of some K$sha ballad whilst their grandchildren are too fat to get out the door and play in the streets where they will be preyed upon.
What we need are some new things to miss from the past.
Such as Leagues.
Why aren’t there any Leagues anymore?
There used to be Leagues bombarding your front doorstep with still-warm prints of their latest campaigns to do away with this or to bring forth the that and many other times simply stating their existence as any good League surely has the right to do.
And I refuse to permit any form of online gaming groups to be classes as a League on the grounds that they are useless (thus far), proffer not even a single leaflet and really are simply not the sort of people you’d want to be stranded with in a dark zombie-strewn forest.
Keyboard skills do not translate well to activities that do not require keyboards.
More activities without keyboards; they’re long missing too. I’m now at the stage at which writing with a pen hurts my hand after only a few sentences and I – being cursed with verbiage – am left feeling overly impassioned by the toll and toil of my inky craft in what amounts to the longer nouns on my shopping list. I’ve stopped buying croissants as a matter of…it hurting.
Croissants are the food of the typing-types.
And Messiahs. There used to be tonnes, as though it was raining with Messiahs and we were up to our blessed ears and had our holy hands full with the constant barrage of those who had come elected by their own relative Almighty and were seeking my salvation and bank account details (plus free cool-aid).
I can cure you.
Especially your sciatica.
Just kick my dog in the face, like I do.
Of course, don’t kick my dog in the face as I’ll consider that an invasion of my personal property (as well as an invasion of my best friend’s face with your foot). And when I say ‘kick’ – I mean: nudge him in the face with your foot whilst he nibbles you. And when I say ‘dog’ – I’m referring to my Lurcher/Greyhound of whom it requires a good deal of height so as to foot-nudge properly; the effect might not be the same on your pug. But kick that too; it’s good for the species (ours).
And the species matters to me, just like it should to a Messiah.
I’m not the Messiah to canine-kind, but they’re welcome in the healing process of your sciatic nerve.
Dogs are another thing that used to be done better.
Mongrels were proper mongrels; full of salty beans and with a hint of wolf and whiff of poodle mixed together into something that wanders down the street with as much swagger as any worldly millionaire that knows that one day it’s steak and women as an evening’s entertainment – the next it’s soup for dinner and soup for romance.
The League of Mongrel Messiahs.
I’d take their leaflet.
This might be a little beside the point since you’re not in the room with me but – gosh my typing sounds good today. Although at times it can be a little stalted as I try to remember the spelling of “stalted”, as though it were a pleasing piano melody that contained an unneighbourly and offbeat pause that could ruin the piece altogether.
Perhaps that’s the key to good writing. But how should a scribble sound?
Short sharp dashes aplenty, with many pleasing whooping whirls too; just like a good signature. I’ve always felt that when writing with the passion of really writing, it should be a highly physical and audible thing with just the right amount of shoulder pulse and groove amongst the melody of those nifty little z’s and capital N’s that the young folk and Nazis are so fond of (whilst also including some woo’s for the older pups and owls; for I’ve also always felt that ‘woo’ looks like an owl laying down and imitated).
A tad off topic but somehow more to the point.
How very me.
I imagine the League of Mongrel Messiahs would have their leaflet written only by the most audibly-pleasing of writing techniques.
But which sounds most musical?
The only form of writing that provides a “whooooosh!” throughout; such an essential aspect that emails and texts insert it onto a sent message just in imitation of those fabulous flying machines.
But all I’ve got is a keyboard.
And a croissant.
And a large dog.
And what more would you expect from my League of Mongrel Messiahs?
What could be more hopeful than a chap looking to be your Messiah with croissants and a dog as such vital aspects of his arsenal?
Whilst a good-looking slogan (especially on a sash and even more especially on a slash and keeping the question mark) – I hardly think this is something to be provided by a Messiah. Promised, perhaps, but not provided.
A manner in which to wait until the final finality?
I can do that.
It’ll involve sticks and shouting, large amounts of general things, landing hard, smoking a pipe, a large ego with just cause, meadows, fishing via the stabbing method, boulders and some saintliness.
Or just some occasional blog-articles.
At least we have some new things to reminisce about now.
They’re going on my rocket, with or without a highlander to blast upon them. Or perhaps we can just position them near the rocket’s main window as we leave it open for a breeze.
Wind-chimes, meanwhile, will not be welcomed onto the rocket, as whilst there might be no more magical a sound than metallic wind-chimes doing what they do in the breeze as they introduce a fairy or a spell takes place, there is no greater relief than when the chimes are grabbed and silenced at long last.
Because it stirs us up from beneath the kilt and makes you wilt like the pansy alien you really are.
Plus tartan kilts.
Plus salted porridge.
These’ll need some development…but, yes, I am ultimately putting Scotland as an entity on my rocket.
And very few nations are going to get that good favour.
This is the series of articles in which I detail all the things that I feel deserve a place upon the rocket we send into space so as to impress aliens, for good and bad (below the waste or not). There are items and concepts that I feel represent us well as a species and as hosts of a planet, either by summing us up well or simply being awesome enough that I want aliens to know about it; which is why the Maori Haka and Abba’s Mamma Mia made it onto the rocket in the last article.
Tartan has a place aboard the rocket, in every single format that it could possible take.
The kilt (obviously), trousers, tea pots, tattoos, shoes, lingerie and total-tartan-suits…all are a bewildering exclamation of proud nationalism via a pattern resembling the London Underground map coloured in by Microsoft Paint.
It also looks like a futuristic and complex array of wiring/programming that would hopefully be as incomprehensible to aliens as the distinction of tartan from clan-to-clan is for me.
Perhaps we could have tartan rocket? Just crack open the tartan paint.
So, whilst the tartan might not be the most worthy of things on the rockets, it still fits in with the theme of today.
Look, I’m struggling to continue with this seeing as that although this article has this Scottish theme and its worthiness for a place on the rocket, I simply want to write about something else now.
I prefer to urinate in the countryside.
That’s what I’m writing about now.
I imagine it’s like golf – the main benefit being that it’s outside and one can enjoy the scenery whilst peeing in the sunshine or moonlight.
However, I have an ulterior motive for when I pee in my garden, and the woods, and the meadow and ever-elsewhere with particular focus on being near a fox den.
I believe we must take pride in our species in terms of output, essence and achievements, and promptly rub it in the face of all other life on Earth (before then doing all this again on a space-bound rocket).
So, I pee outside with the hope that a fox, or a deer or a badger might come along, sniff my abandoned puddle and realise in their mind: “Hmm. That guy…”
And whilst I enjoy being natural amongst nature, it’s mostly the fact that I want to be of some effect in the daily life of a fox I’ve never met. Perhaps they’ll pass the knowledge of that Sam-Man-Pee down to their cubs and I’ll become alike to the boogieman; which is fine by me.
I’d consider it a healthy level of respect for local foxes to sniff my pee and move on.
And nobody need nibble the other, I’m not eliminating the food source of discarded pizza boxes and stolen hats, and I don’t write disparaging comments about foxes on Facebook. It’s all rather mature and long may the pee sniffing continue – especially on the rocket (another reason for having the window open).
Wearing a kilt would make peeing outside easier. A pleasure even, though perhaps not a charming one.
The additional benefit of the kilt is the incredibly effective method of lifting it and waggling the highlander’s lowlands at opponents across the valley, causing both sides to become either truly enraged with a willy-inspired bloodlust that can only be satisfied with a nice bowl of cooling porridge to dip oneself in, or suddenly discovering that you have a tremendous amount of genital-respect for one another which can only be satisfied another cooling porridge dip, though this time without salt.
Drizzle would, I once assumed, be a natural soother of highland tempers and a subduer of spikey temperaments, until I realised on a drizzly mountain side one winter that I was going to severely impediment the progression to future birthdays of all those dryer than myself at that point.
Drizzle has a funny way of making the drizzled-upon people redheaded and tartan and the drizzled-upon flowers purple and spikey.
The Thistle will be the official posy of planet Earth, unless somebody can provide a Sunflower prior to blast-off, as I feel still that a Sunflower is the flower of Earth with the best chance representing flora in a fight against fauna (Venus Flytraps excluded owing to being sneaky and dishonourable). A Thistle might be a more honourable flower, but a Sunflower looks like a 3-year-old drew it and it could feed a family of 8.
The salted porridge deserves a place upon the rocket too, more so as a metaphor than as a meal in and of itself.
“Thank you, but does that house provide any salt to top with?”
“If you’d be so kind, as it’s just that I do so adore porridge, but I do too tend to find that it’s just not bloody horrible enough!”
Sometimes, it’s worth doing something hard purely on the basis that it’s hard.
I once carted a pumpkin around for a few days with the sheer hope that doing a tough-to-do thing would benefit me in terms of true-grit, but I forgot about the idea and left the pumpkin on the stairs (unaware that it had been penetrated and the snails I was saving to cook has escaped and had a jolly good go at it).
My forearm power grew and I’ll swear those snails tasted a tad of pumpkin, but on the whole I became (following many other similar contributions) perpetually prepared to have a bad time for no good reason.
Salted porridge is much the same.
Horrible now, not so horrible next time.
And the alien life would see this through our rocket’s open window, as we waggle our tartan erections out into deep space from beneath our kilts, a bowl of salted porridge somewhere near the mouth – making us grimace in drizzly determination; all to the tune of the magnificent bagpipes – making us grimace in ecstasy as we realise that Earth (in particularly Scotland) is better than your pathetic and weedy little excuse for a planet.
And now we’re taking Mars too.
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.
You might be familiar with the entrenched British radio stalwart entitled: “Desert Island Discs” in which prominent folk from various fields are interviewed on the hypothetical pretence that they are going to be marooned on a desert island.
On this island they are permitted 8 songs (usually music), 1 book and a single luxury item; and this is to do them till eternity isn’t eternal anymore on this desert island.
A charming concept and a wonderful way in which to see more into a person as they unveil themselves via the vital songs in of their life.
A tremendous way to sum up a lifetime, but a hard task when summing up the Earth.
What songs could sum up the Earth and all its previous? Are we stuck with 8 songs to detail our planet’s past? Do the dinosaurs get any sway in our say?
It’s probably worth explaining why I’m bringing the planet into this.
I can remember being told that one day all life in the entire universe was going to end, but not before our sun gave up the galactic ghost and Earth went bang.
I was very young and slightly shaken (almost crapped myself) until it was explained to me that the Earth was not due to explode in a whirl of mountains and continents and pets until millions of years after my own comfortable bed-bound death.
Though quelled, I still held the knowledge that all this was temporary and that there was going to be a final day.
And so, from those young days to this, I have pondered at times about which things would be a good way to kick off the final day; activities and playlists, guest lists and buffet items.
And then, as my understanding of probable alien life came into being, I realised the need to broadcast our best and brightest to the cosmos; for a whole host of reasons including but not limited to: scaring the sweet shit out of Johnny Alien and ensuring they heard the lovely melodies of tales about getting-the-girl, being-so-glad and telling-all-the-world.
And I’ve been narrowing it down.
Yes, it’s another series from me, and whilst a new one comes, please don’t assume the others are dead. Perpetually IN is not quite out of vogue, Matters That Matter still matters and Brief…Therefore Witty still has some epigrams to launch before lunch, although it has become increasingly clear as to my answer in that famed personality quiz question: “Do you find it easier to start new projects or finish up the details that’ve been passed on to you?”
Never pass things on to me.
Especially a trumpet (I hate it when a person plays a brass instrument and holds eye-contact with me. Gives me the willies. Woodwind doesn’t seem to bother me though).
Especially when you’ve just blown it at a group of post-conch-blowing Mauri in the 1600’s.
Onto the rocket goes:
Having viewed much of the world with a fairly sturdy stomach, it was not till I watched true Maori of New Zealand perform the Haka, barely a few feet from my face, with as much intensity as a human can muster and hopefully as much as an alien can bare to stand.
The tattooed face isn’t really an important factor in this, because we’re talking about a wielding of the face that is such a tradition that I truly believe that it has become a genetic blessing on the traditional Maori people.
The bulging eyes, the enormity of the limbs of the ilk that might not grace the cover of GQ but would certainly cause a fellow to quiver in recognition that this is a matter of dashing brains upon the beach, and the tongue that whips with every sincerely meant gasping inhalation of the imminence of battle in which you simply can’t wait to take part.
The slapping/clawing of the legs and chest, the slight and delicate motions between in which genuine respect is given to some hairy sun-stealing deity, the waving of weaponry and the warrior’s deep-shrieking vernacular of a people that have no issue with your puny European musket because we’re used to hunting giant 12-foot Moa birds with huge glowing green rock-clubs, so beware me as I blow my conch (put the trumpet down).
There is something so utterly awe-inspiring about the Maori Haka that I truly believe it is amongst the best of what our species has to offer, and we must look at things in terms of an entire species from now on, otherwise the aliens won’t take our rocket seriously.
I can easily believe the Haka can make you fearless. For how can an expression such as that pictured (just look at the picture…) have any concern over so fleeting a complication as a Martian death-ray?
It is, however, crucial that this Haka be performed only by Maori. Even if they’re 1/24th Maori; that’ll do just dandy too, but it’s not going to be a European guy doing it.
I’ve seen the Kiwi rugby team with their Haka, and the Maori contingent is all of what I have expressed above, but the tall blonde guys joining in too – it just doesn’t work for me. I don’t believe their Haka. It seems too ‘awfully-hope-this-isn’t-too-much-of-an-inconvenience-if-score-a-try-awfully-very-much-sorry-thanks-sorry’. I’m sure they could do a marvellous Scandinavian/Viking battle cry, standing all moody whilst the rain runs from the battle-axe, plus I’ve never seen an Asian or African guy do the Haka, but I’m going to have to choose a Maori guy (and girl, sure) for the Haka here.
I’m not saying European guys shouldn’t do it, I’m just saying it’s not getting onto my rocket.
I’m trying to make inter-galactic friends here.
There is also that message of the Haka, which is the indomitable threat of an ultimate victory expressed via the eyes and lashing tongue in the Haka, but written here it is:
“The worst thing you can be is shit. And I’m going to defeat you in battle, kill you hence, I’m going to eat you, and I’m going to turn you into shit. I will turn you into shit. And I’m keeping your boat.”
A powerful message we can all relate to, especially since I’m in favour of eating some people. Not all people, but explicitly people who continue walking towards our planet once having seen the Haka (because we’d better eat them; they must be insane to keep marching after seeing that).
You might now be starting to see how Desert Island Discs and my rocket deviate from one another.
Next up, onto the rocket goes:
‘Mamma Mia’, by Abba.
Perhaps this is the battle cry the Scandinavians could be doing whilst the Haka’s happening next door?
Of course I’m referring to the single song, not the entire musical. Not the musical at all in fact, but undoubtedly that glorious piece of lyricised human condition known as ‘Mamma Mia’.
Crickey it’s a corker.
A tale known by those who have loved, lost, and rekindled, lost, loved some more, and therein having actually done loving properly; it is a shame of our childish species for which we are very happy to indulge in this equal to the many times we like to put that record on and get all excited at that opening piano staccato that is in imitation of a tick-tocking clock that only tick and tocks onwards and past you whilst you’re still standing there – very much so still fallen for that person and very much so still hopeless to do anything about it.
Mamma Mia – here we go again, a mantra for those about to whirl about in a familiar romance once more, as well as those about to put ‘Mamma Mia’ on again.
Here we go again.
Lyrically, it sums up the side of that human condition that the poets try to nail and the scholars try only to avoid, whilst musically it is simply very fucking-on-the-nose as a song everyone likes.
It could always simply be that I’m a tad of a nostalgic romantic at heart and this is sheer indulgence on behalf of myself, but I don’t see how that would matter either way as it’s my rocket and you’re all my species (I’m fairly possessive) and this is the way we’re doing it.
I just adore that moment of hushedness, in which the staccato returns and the humble “Mamma Mia, here I go again, my-my how could I resist ya” – in which the hushedness represents that intimate chat with oneself in which you’re too stupefied by love that you’re unable to answer your own internal monologue. And the culmination, the CULMINATION that …..CULMINATES to the point of saying simply: “I should not have let you go”.
I feel that “Awww” is a splendid way of summing this song up, and in doing so, goes a great length in summing us up also.
The human species: “Awww” and (Haka-induced) “Arrrggghhh!”
That’s what goes onto my rocket.
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.