Thursday, 19 October 2006

Hils Barker

Hils Barker headlined my first ever gig. She’s great, and she has her own website, which I have added to my links.

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

An Englishman’s Home Is His Castle

I am sitting here contorted with tension. I want to take a shower, but I can’t because my landlord might come round any time to collect my rent.

I cannot begin to articulate how annoying I find this. I live alone, and part of the deal with that is that you get to set your own routine. I am moments away from picking up the phone to explain that we are going to have to work out a different arrangement, whereby I either post him the rent or have a specific time when he comes over. (He doesn’t want to do a bank transfer.) But I won’t.

Similarly, I absolutely detest people calling on me unannounced. I consider it the height of rudeness. When I paste on a smile and say ‘It’s nice to see you’ what I am really thinking is ‘I am APPALLED to see you.’ You are never welcome chez Greeves without an invitation. Unless it’s a bone fide emergency. What if I’m in the bathroom? Seriously, call first, and see if it is convenient.

However, I am also coming to despise the phone. There is rarely any reason why a phone call should last longer then ten minutes, and the vast majority should be much shorter. As I settle down of an evening to watch a DVD, and some twat calls me, I become consumed with rage, and deeply resentful.

Of course that’s not wholly fair. I wouldn’t want to never be called, and a call is inevitably speculative. What is fair is to be spastic with indignation when you realise that the caller would not sympathise with the response ‘Sorry, I really don’t want to talk at the moment, I want to watch a DVD, or surf the Internet’. The fact that I am doing one of those things doesn’t mean I’m doing nothing.

The piece de resistance is to be told ‘OK, I’ll call you tomorrow’. How I hate that phrase. The knowledge that I could be called at any point the following day hangs over me like an executioner’s axe. At no point can I feel truly settled.

Emails and texts are the way forward people.

Bah humbug and all that.

None of the above applies if you’re a girl I fancy, by the way. Fair? No. True? Yes.


UPDATE: I did call after all. I thought of a place I can leave my rent safely without being disturbed. He came round, and agreed to that. I’ve always said it, I love the phone.

And obviously if a friend is in need - even if it's just advice they want - I'm there.

I'm better now.

Word

You like rap.

You genuinely like it, and listen to it alone as well as with your seventeen year old friends.

You dress in baggy tracksuit bottoms, and wear trainers with enormous tongues. You also wear a baseball cap, at an angle. You employ the word 'safe' as a superlative.

You wept when Tupac was shot, and prefer him to Biggie Smalls. That said, you wish that the East and West Coast gangs would peace out.

You believe that Kanye West should be President of the United States of America, and that the White House should be relocated to Compton, Los Angeles.

On Saturday mornings you work in a Garden Centre.

Back Once Again With The Ill Behaviour

The Ministry of Mirth returns to the Wheatsheaf on Oxford’s High Street this Sunday (22nd October). I’m on the bill, and the rest of the line-up is superb.

Doors open at 7:45pm. I’m really pumped. This is one of my favourite gigs, and I’ve got a lot of new material.

You are welcome to join us.

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

They’d Pay To Watch This One

I received another letter from TV Licensing today, once again taking a robustly threatening tone. I am asked to contact them if I do not have a television (which, as yet, I do not). Otherwise, they warn, I could receive a visit from them. I rather think that it is for them to do the running, not me. I lead a busy executive lifestyle.

In terms of a visit, I have three words: Bring it on.

I’m afraid they really have f-ked with the wrong marine on this one. I so hope that they do visit me. I am tempted to insist upon conducting the conversation in nothing other than my boxer shorts. I say ‘conversation’, but I don’t anticipate the TV Licensing person will get many words in edgeways.

Monday, 16 October 2006

Sir James Barr

Check out the blog 'Setting the Desert on Fire', at http://www.desertonfire.blogspot.com/ and indeed the book of the same name.

Both are the creation of my friend and erstwhile colleague James Barr, who is as civilised and agreeable as he is intelligent (i.e. very).

Welcome aboard, Sir James.

London Society 3

I suppose he has always had a combative side (as that pleb John Major found out), but I never imagined Norman Lamont wrestling. Did you? Yet wrestle Norman now does, with great frequency and intensity.

It was quite a while since I had last seen Norman and Julian Clary (Julian has become even more of a homebody in recent years, and is NEVER on the scene, although Norman still goes to some extraordinary bars) and I was rather missing them. So it was with great excitement that I heard we were all invited to join Roy Keane for dinner.

My heart sank when my man informed me that the invitation extended to sitting in the Directors’ Box at Roy’s new football club that afternoon. I loathe soccer, yet it would be too, too cruel to ever tell Roy that. Little did I think my heart could sink still lower, but when I was told that Roy now resides in SUNDERLAND OF ALL PLACES, it was veritably around my ankles.

What on EARTH persuaded a delicate soul like Roy to move voluntarily to such a Hell hole? I mean he may have been up in Glasgow with the Celtic Rangers, but at least that dive has the odd gallery. Not one native that we encountered in the North East was remotely comprehensible. And I strongly suspect that not one of them can read. I can only assume that they finance their visits to football matches through petty and not so petty crime.

However, it is pleasing to report that Roy seems happy, and by all accounts his unassuming manner makes him quite the leader of men. I must confess I had my doubts – footballers tend to be very rough boys, and they don’t take kindly to bookish types like Roy. But then it is easy to forget that he was, incongruously, blessed with phenomenal athletic talent. I suppose the lads respect him for that.

Most emphatically not an athlete is Norman. But he has lost about a stone in weight – despite living on wine and cheese – and all because of a new exercise regime. This seems to consist entirely of grappling, literally, with his negro personal trainer, a 6’8 inch American called ‘Felix’.

So inspired is Norman by Greco Roman wrestling that he has taken to challenging any man who looks remotely sporting, and any woman over 10 stone in weight, to ‘rumble’ with him. This has already become tiresome, and got Norman into a LOT of trouble at half time with the elephantine women who served hot chocolate, and with several of the Sunderland players in the bar after the game. Roy and Julian had to be at their most diplomatic.


Once again, everything above in this post is fictitious.

Monday, 9 October 2006

Don't Boycott Israel


For the second day running, I visited my local supermarket today, only to be confronted with a leaflet urging me to boycott Israeli products.

No.

Israel has existed for several generations. She is a democracy. She has an absolute right to self-defence. Whatever objections people might have to the actions of her government (and most of those objections are unjustified), there is no case whatsoever for boycotting her exports.

And whilst I do not believe that every Israel basher is an anti Semite (she has, after all, lots of Jewish critics), I do believe that anti Semitism is ceasing once again to be taboo, and that this is one of the avenues that members of the middle class are taking to express their bigotry.

I didn’t say all this when I spoke to the manager today. I did, however, express my displeasure. To his credit he explained that he had spoken to protestors outside the shop a couple of days ago (I wish they had run into me) and advised them that they were behaving in an intimidating manner. He also tore up the leaflet, as one of his staff did yesterday when I complained to her.

It is time for all good men and women to stand up and say ‘Enough’.

Thursday, 5 October 2006

I Hate Gays And Darkies

Read this, and the original email to which it refers (there is a link on the page).

ENOUGH. This is an absurd, overwrought response on the part of those who objected to Cllr Clutterbuck’s email. And we should say so. And NOBODY should undergo equality training, and equality training shouldn’t exist, and the word ‘equality’ is monstrously overused.

People are people are people. Either one accepts this, and is civilised, or one does not, and is an oaf. There are worthwhile campaigns calling for greater equality before the law, and in pay. But the whole identity politics crusade is a load of crap, and the last refuge of the intellectually inadequate. Those Liberal Democrat councillors are bullies. I hate bullies. I think they should be MERCILESSLY taunted.

No-one is entitled to stifle light hearted banter, and anyone who seeks to do so should be told, in no uncertain terms, to F-K OFF*.

Does it never OCCUR to these people that by constantly defining others by their minority status they demean them as human beings?! Does it never occur to them that jocular remarks do not necessarily betray a deeper truth? Does it never occur to them to grow up? This kind of fatuous twaddle is not worthy of a playground. It is an obscenity that it is perpetrated by politicians.

These councillors should come and see me do stand up. That would put hair on their chests.

Thanks to Paul for alerting me to the piece in The Times.


*I’ve only written it ‘f-k’ so that my blog isn’t blocked by filters in the workplace.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Comedy Update

The Birmingham gig went well. I’m back in the game.
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