Yes, the moment you have all been waiting for is finally here. I know that I have asked a lot recently but the fact that you’ve all waited patiently means so much to me as a writer and a human being / doing.
Despite what some people have been spreading rumours about on here, as we and all the diehard fans know, ‘Three Shits to the Wind: The Secret Bathroom Attendant Within Me (M-Me)’ was a so-called spin-off book written by my old personal assistant and is not an official book in my ongoing series of self-help books. A hack can come in various different forms and there is nothing more hacky than passing yourself off as a competent author whilst releasing third-rate knock-off nonsense. Why settle for a mouse on toast when you could have the real thing right here, prime rib in your eyes? Disgusting behaviour.
The real deal. El trato real. La vraie affaire.
The name of my new book about to be released within the next week is ‘We: The New You’. Let me explain.
I have received letters from so many fans asking me to write a self-help book for those who have led multiple lives and may have multiple personalities within themselves. They can’t possibly use the assistance from my other multi award-winning volumes so it was only right that they have their time in the sun. Naturally I know that this will not be useful to everyone but as with my other New York Times’ best-selling books, even if you think you can’t learn anything new there’s bound to be something in there that will help you lead a better life. I guarantee it*
As well as that, ‘we’ can be applied to so many things: the royal ‘we’, ‘we’ as in couples, ‘we’ as in dogs and their owners, ‘we’ are in people living together etc. There are so many applications that it’s now my biggest book yet, literally; over one thousand pages of pure gold and at a low, low price of only £24.99 for the hardback and (coming in November) £17.99 for the paperback you can’t possibly go wrong. I’m not giving you this advice, I’m giving it to you for a reasonable price. I want you all to believe in yourselves and work through your problems in a safe and healthy environment, an environment full of hope and love and credenzas and little bowls filled with grapes and waterloo pumpkins.
I think this confirms that my transition to middle age is now complete. A few weeks ago I cleared out the garage, which had become a bit of a dumping ground, and decided it was time to finally put the space to better use. Every time there’s been a bit of DIY on the go, you see, I’ve ended up sawing and sanding and painting things on the garage floor. This is bad for my back, the floor and the end result.
My purchase of a small folding workmate bench a year ago has helped with this, but only so much. So I built myself a workbench, using bits of wood I’d pulled out of the loft when I boarded it out and some cupboard doors that were meant for the new kitchen but which had a paint defect.
I had expected it to be wobbly and uneven and possibly even end up rocking backwards and forwards if you touched it, but to my enormous surprise it is both level and extremely sturdy.
So this is just to say that I built a piece of very solid furniture from scratch, it was the highlight of my week, and I am now a middle aged man. Thank you.
We’ve been so excited to try them that we’ve actually spent quite some time waiting for the perfect opportunity to stage a Tasting Ceremony. You know the kind of thing: a full, formal occasion where the participants ritually dress in the colour of the food they are Ceremonially Tasting, bring similarly coloured gifts and offerings, and solemnly share in the sublime pleasure of sampling new foods. Between courses, a discussion is held about the food that has been enjoyed, and prayers are said.
Anyway, we finally managed to clear a day in our diary, and I’m pleased to present to you the full results of our first ever Corny Big feast.
A spontaneous or random act of nonsense, that’s what this is.
Whatever I say is clearly not aimed at anyone in particular but there are some important factors that need to be considered such as geography, prior criminal activity, geography and that someone was emailing erroneous and bogus claims to me but a few weeks ago which he still hasn’t apologised for.
It seems as though someone else has been embracing the ideals of Office 2: the return of the killer office and carrying them forward into the 21st century. For those that don’t remember, Office 2 was located on the fourth floor of what is now The Core Shopping Centre in Leeds off the Headrow. It was the singular level next to the lifts that only had a very small space, big enough for two idiots and some food from Greggs. We would hang about and mock the onion hags for coming up to the fourth floor when really they wanted the third for the shops. You could argue, however, that it is the principles of Office 3, AKA locker 29, the locker that I kept putting arbitrary objects into which was located in the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. I “bought” it for a pound and repeatedly filled it with whatever I felt like because it was mine and the fact that it was all confiscated still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Mine.
Anyway, it seems as though someone has been keeping a copy of the film ‘Hellraiser’ on VHS perched on the top of a bus stop in South London for almost a decade. I took the following screenshot from Twitter because it spoke to me. This is the kind of ongoing “joke” that people like us have been perpetuating and it should be celebrated in all its glory. I only wish that there was some anonymous PO Box number that I could forward a copy to in case the person or persons carrying this huge task are running low on copies.
Also it’s clearly Chris because he lives in France which is near London.
Before Christmas seems like an age away now. Do you remember what you were doing in December? No? Do you remember what you did yesterday? That’s a worry. You should get that checked out.
It was a fairly relaxed afternoon in the office and I was on my own as the time ticked towards the end of the day. Being chief morale officer in our team, a role I assigned to myself, I decided it would be best for some harmless mischief. I cast my gaze in the direction of the helpful list indicating the correct terms for the phonetic alphabet. Within a few minutes I had come up with my own and replaced it, expecting it to be mostly ignored as nobody ever seemed to use it.
When we returned after Christmas, I had largely forgotten what I had done… that is until my boss turned to me and asked if I was responsible.
“Responsible for what?” I asked, playing dumb. She had, apparently, noticed immediately and because of my reputation for zany behaviour I was clearly the culprit. Luckily due to it being silly, nothing was said about it. Everyone had a laugh. Ha ha!
“You almost threw me because you don’t have a daughter and this one here mentions one,” she said.
This was the sticking point.
This was the focus of most people’s questions and not the fact that I had made up three new words, referenced an album by Steps and a TV programme with Jack Whitehall.
Take a look around you right now and tell me what you can see. Can you see a shelf of shoes? Can you see a cat pawing at your conservatory door? Can you see two sailors quarrelling about figs? I expect that one or more of those things are within the reaches of your eyes (mental note: eye reach is a good thing) and I, for one, am very jealous that I cannot see them.
Jarrow does not have a lot of shops that one can peruse on a lunchtime. I have particular tastes so unless I’m in the mood for frozen food (Iceland) or ladies toiletries, or anyone’s toiletries really (Boots or Superdrug) I’m up a certain creek without a certain paddle. Thanks Jeebus then for Cash Convertors, peddling second-hand goods of a bizarre assortment and variety; it’s like having a carboot sale every day five minutes from work. Bliss.
I was most surprised then when, about to leave the shop, my noticing eyes noticed a peculiar sight. The stack of sad unloved DVDs and Blu-Rays sit on a shelf next to the cash register, close to the box of twelve inch vinyl records which I can guarantee have not been flicked through in years. There, in plain view for everyone to see, were copies of the film ‘The Artist’ on Blu-Ray. Not one, not two, not three but thirteen copies.
At that point I had never seen the film but remembered the Oscar buzz when it was originally released; a silent film about a silent film star struggling to cope with the transition to “talkies” after the advancements in technology and cinema but made in 2011. I left the shop however I returned a few days later. You may question my sanity and you would be right to do so. Why would one person need thirteen copies of the same movie? For 25p each I ask you, how could one person live with themselves knowing that they passed up on an opportunity to own thirteen copies of the same film? Exactly. I can’t justify it, deal with it.
As the member of staff scanned each Blu-Ray I was on the verge of asking how the store had come into possession of such a large quantity of the same film only he looked about as happy as a wet weekend in Bridlington so I came to the conclusion that it was better to not know. The reason would be lost in the sands of time. It was a blessing and I should not question it as such.
I watched the film and enjoyed it, it’s a lot darker than I expected it to be. There’s also a dog in it that’s way more impressive than most of the human cast because he’s clever and well-trained much like Eddie (or Moose if you will) from ‘Frasier’. Do I need thirteen copies of a great film? Of course not, yet I wouldn’t be able to write these words and possibly enrage Kevin by doing so without them. The best part is that eight of them are still sealed.
Not a saga, not really. I tried to think of the right word and all I could come up with was ‘ragu’ and that’s definitely not the right one. Nobody wants a floor ragu.
Here it is in all its sexy glory. My new hallway flooring, floor hall. Look at it as it stretches off into the distance because, yes, it is quite a long hallway. It would take a few strides to get up and down there, even with Kev and his gigantic pair of legs.
The original planning phase begin in November of last year. Me being the ultimate slob I am decided to wait until Christmas was done before commencing any work. Then I temporary lost my hearing in one ear and had to wait until Boots was ready to suck out the various globules of wax hiding in my ear canal. Then some other things happened that stopped me from doing it. Then my installer got covid. It’s been one hell of a ride.
Don’t look too closely at the edges though because Council architecture, like most things, is not infallible and after sixty years there has been a bit of movement. How do I know this? Because when we were laying the floor from the front door down towards the living room the wall seemed to bend slightly to the right meaning the perfect symmetry we had going on at the beginning wasn’t present anymore. The further in we went a thin section remained uncovered along the edge. It wasn’t even a straight line too, the git. This then meant that muggins here had to use all the offcuts to try and wallpaper over the cracks (so to speak) to avoid spoiling the illusion of goodness.
Patience is a virtue. In my post-covid blues state, off work and with not much else to be getting on with, I cut the remaining pieces needed to finish the job. Similar to all great works of art, from a distance the integrity and the beauty remains intact. Get close though, dangerously close, and all its shortcomings will become apparent. I therefore ask that you only inspect the floor using your regular eyes, possibly from six feet away, wearing a pair of sunglasses and being distracted by genies.
I don’t think that’s asking too much?
When is a saga not a saga? When it’s a… ragu. No, it’s still not coming to me.
The scene reveals a man, a woman and a teenage boy in the kitchen of a semi-detached house. A television can be heard coming from the living room. Two or three dogs are roaming the kitchen floor looking for scraps.
S: Go on, tell your dad about the floor pasta. I: The what? R: It’s because I brought home a packet of spaghetti that I found on the floor. It’s still sealed, it’s not minging or anything. I: I see. Dubious but still useful I suppose. R: Oh come on, don’t tell me you wouldn’t because I know you would! It’s free food and it’s perfectly usable. I: Whereabouts did you find this? R: When I was walking home from school. I: A lone packet of spaghetti just lying there on the floor. R: In the street, yeah. I looked around to see if anyone had dropped it but I was the only one there.
Later that evening. Still in the kitchen.
I: We’re a little concerned about the floor pasta. Are you sure you didn’t steal it? Come on now, if you’re going to risk going to jail for a 50p pack of spaghetti then I think we need to get you to a psychologist. R: I knew you would do this. S: If you’re a klepto just own up to it, we won’t judge you. R: This is nonsense. I: You have to admit the story sounds a bit too convenient, a bit too farfetched if you ask me. R: Yes it does but it’s true, well, apart from the bit about finding it on the floor. I: Come again? R: I didn’t find it on the floor I found it in a trolley. I: Here we go. S: So it wasn’t on the floor, you stole it from a trolley in Sainsburys? R: The trolley wasn’t in Sainsburys, it was in an alley. I: This sounds even less believable. Which alley? R: You know the one that’s equidistant between Sainsburys and Dhillons fish shop? I: No, surprisingly not. I’m not out measuring equal distances between two places near where you live. R: It was a trolley there and it was full of pasta. I: Full of pasta, a trolley full of pasta lying in an alley sort of behind a supermarket, just left there for anyone to take. R: Yes. I checked and it’s in date, it’s not as if it was out of date goods or anything. S: So with all that pasta available to take you only took one small packet of spaghetti? R: Yes! I didn’t want to be greedy. S: This is sounding less believable the more he says. I: You’re telling me. R: Look, I know you don’t believe me and that’s fine. This isn’t the first time it’s happened anyway.
The man and the woman look at each other with the same confused look.
S: So how many times has it happened? R: <thinks> about nine or ten. I: So nine or ten times you’ve been walking from school and you’ve come across a shopping trolley filled to the brim with pasta and this is the first time you’ve thought to mention it? R: Like you would have believed me anyway…