After four long months – that’s over nineteen weeks, if you’re counting, or more than a third of a year – I have finally returned home. Just temporarily, for now, you understand: Steve Stevingtons has an important three week “Malcolm in the Middle” conference to attend, so the place is empty. But temporarily or not, here I am. And if I am back at my desk again, you know what that means: it’s time to grit my teeth and endure another dreadful album of unknown provenance. Today, we subject ourselves to Bobby Brown’s 1986 debut album, King of Stage, released when he was just 17.
As you almost certainly know, last year I made the fatal error of joking to Ian that what I wanted for Christmas was a bucket of Tunnock’s Teacakes. For Christmas he got me a bucket of Tunnock’s Teacakes.
Despite eating a lot of Tunnock’s Teacakes – including, on more than one occasion, eating three of them as “breakfast dessert” – there were still some sitting in the bucket at the end of March.
At the end of March, of course, I was forced to abandon my usual residence on top of the exploding mattress emporium, and among the many belongings I left behind, I foolishly failed to cram a bucket of teacakes into my suitcase.
A couple of weeks ago my flatmate Steve “Stevey” Stevingtons was kind enough to fly overhead in a sort of psychedelic biplane and airdrop some of my belongings, including several t-shirts, a few bits of post that I would have been happy never to receive, and a bucket containing precisely five Tunnock’s Teacakes.
I ate one and I won’t be eating any more.
The passage of a further four months has caused them to deflate. Inside, the chocolate is now strange with white bits in it, and the marshmallow has turned sort of hard and chewy. The biscuit is virtually inedible.
The last four teacakes from that epic gift are now, as a result, in the bin. A sad end to a brilliant Christmas gift.
It’s been a long day. Would you like a little sit down? Of course you would.
Lucky for you, while walking around at work, I’ve found a wide range of places to sit, offering delightful opportunities to rest in relaxing surroundings.
Where would you like to be seated?
Here’s something I didn’t know was possible until it happened.
Apparently, if you have a can of soup, and some part of the soup had gone off or was rotten when it was canned, it can ferment inside the can and expand. Eventually the pressure will cause the can to open.
When the can opens it will be spectacular, in a horrible sort of way, looking and smelling like someone has projectile-vomited across your kitchen cupboards. It will literally explode.
We emptied the cupboard and cleaned it three times to get rid of the smell, and then found the lid of the can several days later. It had blown off the right side of the can, bounced off the wall of the cupboard, and landed between some other items in the far left corner at the back.
As close friends of mine, you’ll know I have been battling a devastating addiction for many years now. A horrible, destructive dependency on snifters, which has alienated my family, cost me my livelihood and brought me to the very brink of financial insolvency.
The good news is that I’m making progress on kicking this disgusting habit. Unfortunately, as every addict knows, weaning yourself off will only take you so far. Sooner or later you have to go cold turkey. But if I try that, I might just never breathe again. I need some other breathing aid to see me over the difficult transition to snifterlessness. I need snifter methodone.
The recommendation I got from a professional medical person was a saline sinus swasher (possibly not its official name, I can’t remember). I gave it a go yesterday. Let me tell you what it’s like.
- The first thing that happens is you get some warm water in a squeezy bottle, and then you add the sachet of powdery stuff to it and give it a shake. Then you tip your head forward over the sink, plug the bottle up your nose, and give it a squeeze. A steady stream of warm water is shoved up your nosel.
- The next thing that happens is that the sensation of the water heading up your breathing holes gives you the instinctive feeling that you might be drowning and you panic a bit. Then you swallow, which opens up the tubes between your nose and your ears, and all the warm liquid goes into your ears.
- You stop squeezing the bottle and have a small coughing fit. The warm watery stuff is coming out of your nose and your mouth and your ears and probably your eyes. You can’t see. Everything is awful.
- Deciding it can’t be all that bad, you compose yourself, stick the bottle up your other nosel, and have another squirt. The same thing happens, but in the other direction, and this time you resist the urge to swallow. Jets of warm, snotty water ooze from all areas of your face. You feel soiled.
- Having done all of this you wipe yourself down and wait to see if the new treatment has rendered your nose breathable without resorting to the wicked temptation of the snifters.
- You spend the next three hours barely able to breathe.
There are 60 sachets of weird powder stuff so I can use this thing several times a day, but so far, I haven’t yet had a second go. Ditching the snifters is going really well.
This is an appeal by me on behalf of me.
As you are all (?) probably aware of by now, I have moved into my own place and whilst this is the best thing that has happened to me for absolutely ages it has meant a bit of a wake up call. No longer are all the THINGS at my disposal that most people take for granted. Occasionally I go to look for something and remember that I don’t have it, or it’s on the list to be gotten in the near future.
Gradually, I am getting there but there is something quite shocking that I need to bring to your attention. I need spoons.
You may laugh however I am in dire straits. Kev’s wife’s mother (tenuous link at the best of times) only gave me 34 spoons when I first moved in. When I asked for more they looked at me and laughed, like a set of common goons. I pleaded, begged for anything else they could give me. When they told me no I excused myself and snuck through into the kitchen in the hope of pilfering some of theirs. The drawers were locked though; no more spoons for me.
When Emma visited the flat she bought me a couple of items for moving in, one of which was a cutlery set. This very lovely yet very basic package only had 4 teaspoons and 4 tablespoons. I told her it wasn’t enough, that more were needed and she looked at me as though I was a crazed hermit, picking up empty tins in the hope of finding money. When I ordered her to take a taxi to the nearest late-night spoon vendor she pretended to take a phone call and hurried away.
Daily deliveries of spoons are coming in. It’s not enough though, I need more. More than more. If there is a bigger value than more then that is what I need. I went door to door, asking for more, from my new neighbours. Most of them slammed the doors in my face. “No spoons today”, they announced before giving me a face full of wood. Shocking to say the least.
Please, if you have any measure of kindness in your bare bones, give me all the god damn spoons you have right now. In your pockets, in your drawers, at your parents’ house, I don’t care how you get them but hand or send them to me before I run out. Who knows what will happen when I’m left spoonless, a mere shell of a man eating cereal with a fork
It’s been floated around for some time now and there’s been an awful lot of confusion as to what happens. You know what I’m referring to; that urban myth that has been haunting this website for as long as I or anyone else can remember. Legend says that if Chris Marshall watches a film, any movie whether short, black and white, foreign or animated, he will explode.
You may laugh at such a premise but it is true. A genuine medical condition that only affects one in twenty million, ‘Brewster Explodius’ came to light during the middle of the twentieth century. The first recorded case was a Clarice Mucklesniff, a 26 year old waitress from North Dakota. She was going to the movies with her boyfriend and less than five minutes into the opening credits she exploded. Her bits were catapulted across the theatre, landing mostly in the aisles bar her arms which landed in the lap of an elderly couple towards the front. Since then there have been multiple cases all over the world of this unfortunate illness.
So we move to our current case, Christopher “Christopheles” “Sausage and Cheese Isosceles” Jimmy Jam-Jam Marshall. Poor Chris has been living with this for most of his life. It was lucky that a friend of the family, who is au fait with these kinds of medical conditions, was able to diagnose him before the worst could happen. In order for us to understand more, we need a hypothetical situation:
A HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION:
Chris has had a hard day at work. He’s taken off his feather boa and decides to relax on the sofa before making some food. As he picks up the remote to browse some channels, the TV opens on that bit in ‘Cocoon’ where the old people get in the pool with the aliens and have a pool party.
- His eyes witness the film on the screen. The retinal pools record the information and turns it into some weird shapes and colours, possibly resembling cats. This makes it easier to send it up the pipe shaft.
- The information travels up the pipe shaft, past the nosal tubes, towards the front part of the brain, more commonly known as the Gluco-chaffinch. Here it is split into several nixtoglands and sent to the seven corners of the human mind.
- For a normal person this would be fine; the nixtoglands would reach their destination and everyone would feel great. Several people would do backflips. For Chris though this is the beginning of the end. When the seven corners are activated it causes the multo peak in the glorbo cells to light up.
- Now it is only a matter of time. The blood pumps up into his face muscles which only accelerates the process. The glorbo cells chat to the peanuke rittles causing a chain reaction between the two, meaning a complex chemical implosion that reverses around the maypole and turns back into an explosion.
- It goes off. His head catapults to the ceiling. His noses fires off into the kitchen. The eyes don’t make it that far and the ears flop to the floor. The body doesn’t move from the position, it’s still enjoying the film.
I don’t need to tell you that this cannot happen, ever, mainly for my sake because then it’ll mean I’ll be down one friend and will need to hold auditions for a new one to fill the position. Do you know how long that’ll take? Far too long. Please keep my friend safe and never show him any films.
Back in about 2004, when I was at university, I attended a guest lecture by Pete Waterman. The university had given him an honorary doctorate, for reasons that were largely to do with the campus being in Warrington and Pete Waterman being about the only person of any note to come from Warrington who wasn’t Kerry Katona. Perhaps Chris Evans was busy.
He said he was often asked, after the many chart hits of Stock Aitken and Waterman, what was the secret formula for chart success. “There is no formula,” he proudly told us. You have to do what is right for the song and for the artist. Oddly, when discussing what was right for the song and the artist, he chose not to mention an album he’d put together four years previously called Motown Mania.