I know what you’re both thinking and, no, it’s not another one of my much-loved, imitated and lauded best-selling novels. Calm down my precious fans, you haven’t missed a pre-order for another first edition that you can keep your families warm with over those long winter months. This is something completely different.
Prior to being hoisted back into clothes and into the general population by work, I was having yet another sort out in order to try and fit a large amount of THINGS into the same space they’ve been living in for six months now. This requires a meticulous amount of opening boxes, sighing loudly and then trying to squish something else into it in the hope that the top will still stay on once I’ve pushed a large rectangle into a tiny triangular slot. Most of the time it works. Soon I may have to invest in some more shelves and possibly some hammocks for the corners.
I unearthed yet another pile of gibberish, which is what I refer to anything I was scribbling in prior to this post. I have a lot of it, notebooks and notebooks of word guff hastily wangled around early attempts by post-modern hedonistic oober artist, Reuben. Sandwiched in-between my original lyrics for ’10 out of 10 out of 10 (out of 10 out of 10)’ and Reuben’s sketches for something called ‘Pirate Chicken and Son’ (spoiler: you don’t need pants to be cool), there was a couple of pages you may recognise:
It’s important for a number of reasons:
It features Chris’s disgusting scrodsack of change (or was it Kev’s?);
There are a number of facts including Marshall can sense mums with his crotch, that mushrooms come last and that I am an eager-maniac;
The original appearance of cult favourite Wexford and his cheese-polishing adventures;
The height chart to explain how tall Kevin is.
I would donate the entire thing to Chris’ archives but there some boring old Christmas lists and some other questionable songs I wrote that take up the majority of the book so it would be a fool’s errand. I may carefully rip the pages out and send them via special courier so that they reach you in one piece now that Steve “Steady on, now” Steveingtons has finally given up on his restraining order and let you back in your flat.
Childhood, ah, such a bewildering time to be alive. For one, you have no responsibility and so much potential. You have no money but everything you actually need is provided to you for free. If you want to spend the entire weekend sat with your face in the television with a mouth full of marshmallows then you can, or at least until one or more of your parents objects to this. The point is that, as everyone is aware, life is so very different as a child.
I could bore you to tears with stories of my time as a tiny Ian. You may or may not have heard them already and the ones you haven’t heard are just as tedious. Believe me, I am doing you a favour by keeping my mouth shut. I haven’t quite reached the age of telling every single person I meet in the street (not that they would given how bovona has given everyone carte blanche to ignore you even if you have a leg hanging off or knife at your throat) of the time I found £1.10 in the front garden in the snow and became so excited you would have thought I had discovered the Turin Shroud hanging off the bin.
Do you remember those… things that you used to make? I want to remember the name and I don’t want to have to Google it like everything else. The power of words (Words!) don’t fail me now. You folded it up and asked someone to say a number. Then you would use your hands to move it the appropriate number of times and ask for another number, repeat, and then open one of the panels to reveal some mystifying piece of knowledge. It looked a little like this:
No, I haven’t lost my mind and made one I did something much more reasonable; I found one on the floor and brought it home. A scruff I may be and nothing more because there is no other way of finishing that sentence. I wanted to remember a time that was much more innocent, of whistle pops and candy whistles, running around the park until your lungs bled with Tizer (you know, before they changed the formula and made it taste like a shark’s coldsore). I am not clever enough to make a fully functioning version of this, nor an interactive snazzy one on a computer. I do want you to know this though:
If you pick 0 or 1: You are a banana If you pick 2 or 3: I am in love with you If you pick 4 or 5: You are in love with me If you pick 6 or 7:
It’s hard to know what to say, these days, when you talk to people, because nobody has any news. What do you talk about when nobody has anything to talk about? How do you fill a blog post when you haven’t done anything worth remembering?
Luckily for me, I am now quite old, so what I’ve decided to do is go back and see what past Chris was doing on this day years ago.
Way back, many moons ago, there was a suggestion from myself that Chis and I had written to the RSPB to complain about the lack of dinosaurs. The conversation can be found in the comments below the post An Admission of Sorts, a summary is included here:
“It is a letter that needs to be sent. I imagine that much like the one me and Chris wrote to the RSPB about the lack of dinosaurs at Fairburn Inngs, it will be ignored, but it must be sent nonetheless….”
“Two things are needed here… The second is more information about the letter to Fairburn Ings, which I have no memory of.”
“Is the letter mentioned on here, Kev?”
“I’ll have a chumble[sic], it feels like it should be.”
It wasnt. There was no mention of it which led to comments such as…
“Maybe the right thing to do now is ask whether it happened at all, or whether it’s some sort of weird dream.”
Well today, I have BIG NEWS. I found it. Just the letter mind, sadly the enclosed drawing must have been a one off and is lost to the mists of time. It’s a doozy let me tell you.
Sadly Mr. Steven James never received a reply to the RSPB, it’s almost as if they didn’t take us seriously.
In a side note, the little bit in the comments below the throw away bit about a letter that might not exist, is an excellent little ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ riff from Chris and Ian. Well done chaps, it made me lols all over again.
Look at you. How old are you? You’re very old. You have done lots of things in your life and more often than not someone will have been there to make a note of it or possibly take a photo.
Nostalgia is what sells lots of old crap in that you remember how it was “back in the day” and then you want to get that feeling back by, I don’t know, buying your first car again, playing that Atari you had up in your uncle’s loft or investing in Microsoft shares. When I was looking for a photo for my brother I found a few photo albums, most of which were filled with sentimental (i.e. pointless) photos of my bedroom when I was 9 and other guff. I did, however, stumble upon several re-discovered gems of what used to happen when Kev and I, and sometimes Tom, would get whammed.
Now don’t get your hopes up, dear people. If you’re looking for sordid, filthy accounts of unscrupulous behaviour then you’re really on the wrong website (you took a wrong turn at boobpedia.com). What I’m talking are polaroids (easy now) of us all looking young surrounded by drinks bottles and cans. If you ever wanted to know what Kevin looked like with a bog roll on his head, holding one of those plastic separators you get with cans of lager, then you’ve come to the right place. If you were “desperate” to see a photo of me fake passed out on the floor then go no further.
I don’t remember ever looking that young but I know it happened. Here’s the proof:
We’re all trapped indoors these days, since the prime minister lost everybody’s house keys and we all found that the front door wouldn’t open any more. I’m sure that’ll all be sorted out soon, of course, and I’ll be able to take the bins out, but for the time being I’m not getting around much and neither is anyone else.
While I’m being kept inside, like a neglected dog, I find myself missing the north. I usually go north regularly and now I can’t, and it’s only when I can’t go that I suddenly find how important it is to me to immerse myself, on a regular basis, in its rich culture and its even richer gravies.
So, as a consolation in these difficult times, I’ve created this moving ode to the north. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and that your cockles are warmed.
If you’re like me, and you sometimes remember things, and you find that remembering things is fun, then you might remember that about five years ago I took a crab mug in to work and announced this tremendous news with the blog post crab in control, which to this day is often quoted by students of the language as one of the greatest works of literature composed so far this century.
Last month I brought the crab home for a deep clean, because the kitchen at work is minging. Its annual overhaul revealed the crab mug to be in a dreadful state. Its current situation is illustrated in these three damning pictures.
Around the brim, repeated cleaning with a scouring pad has worn away the glaze, leaving the top half of the mug, both outside and inside, duller and with a matte texture.
A severe chip to the base or “arse” of the mug.
Further scouring of the inside, particularly around the circular corner that surrounds the base and connects it to the mug wall, where the rougher surface has indelibly absorbed brownness from tea and coffee.
Given this irreversible damage, the crab has now regrettably been retired from active service and is now at the back of the mug cupboard here in Royksopp.
In its place, I have procured four new yellow mugs that I can use interchangeably and bring home more often to clean, on the basis that this is more hygienic, scouring pads will be unnecessary and I like yellow things.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the crab for five years of diligent and faithful service, and wish it well in its retirement, by which I mean an extended period in the cupboard where it doesnt get used much because it’s gone all brown inside. Thank you.
Normally when we take a look at pointless purchases, it’s Ian who’s been pointlessly purchasing things, and I’m one of the smug onlookers who gets to decide whether to just feel superior or whether to mix the feeling of superiority with a bit of heckling. Today’s different. Today it’s me that’s spent my hard-earned London pounds on something useless.
Here we are, then. Thanks to the fan club mailing list, I offloaded some cash to pre-order this highly collectible limited edition picture disc vinyl of Flood, They Might Be Giants’ biggest album, which has been released to mark its 30th anniversary. It turned up in the post this week.
The B-side has frames from the music video for “Birdhouse in Your Soul” on it, so when you play the record it animates.
This purchase is particularly pointless because I do not have a record player. I cannot play this record. Nor do I need to; I’ve got Flood in my iTunes library and have had it for years. This is just for me to look at. I might even frame it.