Monday, 14 April 2014

The Lost Blogs: The Sound of The Underdog.

"Dear reader, welcome...

 Some Blogs just didn't get written at the time but they still make noises in my head. Here's one of them. From  flipping ages ago".

Is there anything more powerful than music? Yes. The Hulk. But music definitely comes a close second. Music has the power to change the world and to unite us all, although it never has. In fact, generally music only divides us further and most bands want to make the world exactly the same as it was in 1974. I love my friends so dearly but I would rather murder them with my two bare knives than listen to their shitty taste in music. I have a friend who is funny, intelligent and sweet and every time I'm with her I think I'm lucky to have someone like her in my life and when we part I sincerely hope that a motorcycle courier ploughs her into the tarmac before she gets home and puts Ocean Colour Scene on. I mean, why would anyone do that to themselves? In 2014? They were a 90's mistake. YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT. Anyway, she'd be equally appalled if I put my beloved Metallica on in front of her. In fact, most music I like is designed to make everyone but me sick. I love heavy metal. It's the single most perfect form of music. It's fun, exciting and it will never ever make you feel sad. Heavy metal is basically better than any person you've ever met. And heavy metal fans are happy, friendly, warm people. They're good people who have great music.

But that doesn't mean they should force it on us.

When I walk around listening to Megadeth, I have my earphones in and my iphone turned up full. I love it. But if I get on a train or a bus or an ambulance or go anywhere in public, that music gets turned way down. I've yet to get on a train carriage and have everyone all agree they'd love to hear some heavy metal right now so I keep it all to myself. And that is how it should be. Music should be shared, it shouldn't be mandatory. But how to deal with those who break that rule? How to deal with heavy metal fans insisting on playing the loudest music on the planet in a place it's not been invited to? Well...

A few months ago after a gig in Nottingham, myself and fellow music fan Bennett Arron (well, he has a Best Of Driving Anthems tape in his car) went out for a drink. It was late but I knew a bar that would still be open. I knew it because it's a heavy metal bar. I knew the heavy metal bar because I'm a heavy metal fan. I like it loud, loud and louder. Bennett?...not so much. But that's OK because this is a heavy metal bar and heavy metal people are the nicest people in the world. The bar has three rooms. One pretty loud room, one deafeningly loud room pretty quiet room. See? They're thoughtful. I mean, you can still hear the music but it's definitely background music. You can easily have a relaxing conversation. I was happy. Bennett was happy. And the quiet room was empty except for us. Us and three heavy metal fans. Three heavy metal fans who got their phones out and started playing THEIR music loudly. Very 'eavy, not very 'umble.

This is completely alien territory for me. Rude heavy metal fans? I've never ever met any. In the '80's in my hometown of Newtownards, there was a heavy metal bar. It was dark and terrifying. NEVER EVER GO IN THERE was generally the plan for me and everyone I knew. Of course, now I look back and think that's nuts. Every other bar in town was run by paramilitaries and we decided that drinking with terrorists was safer than drinking with people who quite liked Dumpy's Rusty Nuts. When I finally went into that bar for the first time it was like I'd found home. Everyone was long haired, smelly and just lovely. I was welcomed with open, unwashed arms. I was bought a pint. And if I wanted to headbang to Judas Priest...well, no one here was going to stop me. How could anyone not like heavy metal fans. They're just adorable. So what the hell went wrong with these three?

Bennett and I ignored them. We hadn't been out together for quite a while and it was great to see him and just chat. Then they played another loud song on their phone. Bennett and I quietly laughed and rolled our eyes. These three dicks aren't going to spoil our night. Then they played another loud song on their phone. But we cared not. It was annoying but Bennett and I rose above it. Then they played another loud song on their phone.

"You know I'm going to have to deal with this, don't you?", I said to my friend.

Bennett closed his eyes, sighed and said "I know".

Thoughtlessly playing loud music in a bar is unforgivable and I was glad Bennett agreed. We'd heard four loud songs from a shitty, tinny phone speaker and, to quote Twisted Sister, we're not gonna take it anymore. They're loud people playing the loudest of music but I must defeat them. Somehow.

I got my phone out and scrolled through my music. Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax...all great loud bands. But I'm not just a heavy metal fan. I'm a MUSIC fan. On my phone I have Iron Maiden, The Smiths, The Clash, Faith No More, The Sex Pistols...and I have Girls Aloud.

I also have a better, louder phone. I pressed play on Sexy No No No and sat back to enjoy the disgust on the faces of the only three rude heavy metal fans in history. They turned their phone up. I turned mine louder. I can vaguely hear a guitar solo but it's hard to register it over the sound of Cheryl Cole's vocoder. They turned their phone up again. So I turned Britain's girl band pop sensations up to 11. AND we sang along.

The three heavy metal "fans" switched their phone off. They got up. They left. Such is the power of music.

I switched Girls Aloud off and Bennett and I continued our night in happiness. Just us in a heavy metal snug in Nottingham. And it made me has the power to change the world and divide us all. Sometimes, that's not always a bad thing.

ps I will never come round to your house and shove a Metallica or Girls Aloud song into your ears. But, if you're interested, I'd go for Master of Puppets by Metallica and Miss You Bow Wow by Girls Aloud. Sharing music is a brilliant thing and I recommend you do that right now. Tell everyone what you're listening to right now on Twitter, recommend an album on Facebook for your friends to see. Just keep it down in public, please. Thanks.


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Sunday In The Park With Jerk.

I come home in the morning light, my mother says "when you gonna live your life right?". Oh, mother dear, we're not the fortunate ones and Legges, they want to have fun. Oh, Legges just want to have fun.

Believe it or not, sometimes I just want to have a laugh and kick my hair off and let my heels down. I get so wrapped up in my lair all day, working out my revenge on everyone, that I forget there's a whole world of fun out there. Life isn't all work, work, work. Well, my life is nothing like that. I'm a very lazy man. But even I know, that while I'm waiting here for my moment to destroy mankind, I could be out there doing literally ANYTHING. Instead of going online anonymously to slag off Steven Moffat, I could be out there anonymously having the time of my life. That's why I liked Sunday. Sunday was just one of those days that reminded me to have fun. It reminded me to let loose. It reminded me that, on Sundays, men play football.

Men love football and to see them playing the beautiful game in the local park on a Sunday afternoon is nothing short of a thing. They shout at one another, get angry at one another and they physically try to take each other down. It's how men relax. 

I'm not a man. I'm just some guy. Being a man looks really hard. You have to fix the motor and respect Alan Sugar and switch over when the scores come on. It just seems really hard work. There's no watching Doctor Who and listening to The Smiths when you're a man. They don't have time for that shit. That's what guys do, not men. Men only need three things in life: Football, sport and football. Anything else is pathetic. Anything else is for guys. Men hate guys. Guys aren't normal. They're disgusting. Guys parade around really rubbing their love of Marvel Comics in men's faces. They have pets instead of guard dogs, they sometimes drink things that are neither alcoholic or isotonic and they play games instead of matches. I know a guy that borrows comic books from WOMEN! (That guy is me) For God's sake, guys can even get married these days. It's broken Britain, everyone. Quite frankly, I think there should be a fence built between men and guys and I for one agree with me. And luckily, on Sunday, there was a fence. A fence between Men and Guys. Score so far: Men 10 - Guys 2.

Jerk (she's a guy) and I were walking through part of the park that has a fenced off sports club in it. It has a running track and in the middle of the running track there's a football pitch. As we passed we heard shouting and screaming like a building was on fire and people were trapped inside with a murderer who had a bomb made of 9/11 but actually it was just men playing football. It was a Sunday morning 5-a-side football match that sounded like nothing else was important except this. Jerk and I were the only other two in this part of the park. It was a nice day and even the matter-of-life-and-death shouting couldn't spoil it. Then the ball came flying over the fence.

"Throw it over", said a huge man. 

Right. Here's the thing. I'm not saying guys are better than men. In many ways, we're not. We aren't as strong as men or as good at fixing things. We don't have great cars or the names of both people we give a flying fuck about tattooed on our pecs. We don't have pecs. But we do have one thing: manners.

I looked at the ball THAT WAS NOWHERE NEAR ME and then I looked back at the huge man. "Excuse me?", I said.

"Throw it over", he said again.

Well, I gave him a chance. "Righto", I said cheerily and half-ran over to get the ball THAT WAS NOWHERE NEAR ME. I didn't want to do a proper run over to get the ball because it was a nice day. A lovely day. A great day to have fun. And I wanted to drag this out for as long as possible.

I lamely kicked the ball closer to the fence of the sports club. Jerk saw me kicking a ball and immediately got excited. Jerk LOVES football. And I forgive her this sin because she's very pretty and she's the opposite of nearly every person who loves football. She never talks about it, she only likes actually playing it. As I got to the fence, I kicked the ball really hard. Jerk's tail wagged at the speed of light and she bounded over to play. The ball hit the fence and bounced back to me. Gosh, I must have missed getting it over the fence. Still, I'll give it another go. I kicked the ball, THUD, and it hit the wire fence once again, SHING SHING. 

The men were just staring at me now but the ball bounced back to give me yet another chance of returning this much needed ball to these big, mannerless men. Jerk followed the ball, too. She ran to the fence as I kicked the ball, THUD, then followed it back after it hit the fence unbelievably for a third time, SHING SHING.

Hey, fourth time's the charm, they say. Let's give this another go. After all, Jerk's having fun, I'm having fun and it's a lovely day. I could THUD do this SHING SHING all day.

"Just chuck it, mate". 

It was kind of him to offer advice but, despite our weak bodies and fun t-shirts, us guys are determined. And quite frankly, I was not giving up while my darling little Jerk was skipping around like a deer. I mean if those men THUD actually thought about it SHING SHING for a minute THUD they'd completely agree SHING SHING. Who is actually THUD enjoying this football? SHING SHING Them shouting furiously at one another THUD or this dog with the waggily tail? SHING SHING.

"Just throw it".

I assured him that this time I'd definitely get it over the fence. THUD. SHING SHING. "Just throw it over". Don't worry, I can do this. THUD. SHING SHING. "No. Just THROW it". Oh, so close. I nearly got it then. Another go. THUD. SHING SHING. "Throw it". THUD. SHING SHING. "Just throw the ball". THUD. SHING SHING. "Throw the ball over".

He must have said "Throw it" at least 10 times. 10 FUCKING TIMES. But that was nothing. Because I kicked that ball THUD and hit that fence SHING SHING easily 20 times in front of these huge men and that very happy dog. The more I kicked the ball THUD and the more it hit the fence SHING SHING the more the men stared at me. It was almost as if I was doing it on purpose. He said "Throw it" again and now that I was sure I had their full attention, I kicked the ball THUD, it hit the fence SHING SHING and when the ball came back I put my foot on it and said "What's the magic word?".

There was a pause.

"Please", said the huge man.

I picked up the ball, walked over to the fence and threw it over. They didn't thank me but as I walked away I clearly heard one of them say "Prick". Yes, I am a prick. But I'm the prick that they made and I'm a prick with manners, a prick with a happy dog who slept like a log when she got home and I'm a prick who won a small victory thanks to his determination to do what's right and having a huge fence between him and people who could easily kick his head in. Sunday was a good day. Final score: Men 0 - Guys 20. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Down and In.

"And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up".

The words of Thomas Wayne to his young son. It's a very inspiring notion too. Life hits us with so many problems and, in dealing with them, we become stronger, wiser, better people as a result. We get fired from our job so we work harder to get an even better job. We lose a loved one so we grieve and let time teach us to keep the memory of that person precious and to love the ones we still have even more. We see the new trailer for Derek so we drag a key down the side of our neighbour's new car. Basically, we cope. We rise up in the face of adversity. But why?

I'm very interested in falling because I've recently become a faller. In a way, it's very nostalgic. In the 70's, I used to fall all the time. That's what it was like back then. Bay City Rollers, Zoom lollies and falling. That was all we did, every day. I'd fall on my way to school, I'd fall going into Mass, I'd fall playing Mouse Trap somehow. Mum would give me a shilling to get a pound of television from Radio Rentals and I'd fall all the way there and all the way back. And do you know what would happen when I fell? Nothing. I wouldn't even notice. I'd be straight back up, buying flares and reading the latest copy of I.R.A. Comic, before I'd even properly hit the ground. That's what my youth was like in the 70's. Long summers, Star Wars and constantly falling over. That and almost permanently being fucked by Jimmy Savile.

But as I grew less attractive to the television presenters of the time, the falling just seemed to gradually phase itself out. Of course, I still enjoy watching other people fall. It's hilarious. Especially when it's someone I know and care for. I genuinely can't remember the last time I fell (probably because I was drunk) but I know it wasn't recently. So, you can imagine how I felt when I fell just a few days ago.

I woke up that morning to the sound of my next door neighbour learning to play the hammer. When I went downstairs, I saw that I hadn't closed the door of my freezer properly and there was water all over the kitchen floor. Water that Jerk clearly spent the night playing in and tip-toed it all over the living room. I had a cold shower (not by choice) and made myself a tea that I somehow lost for two days. I spent 10 minutes looking for it and shouting threats at it. Anyway, it was on the mantelpiece.  The postman arrived with some bills that were furious with me and, while buying some soy milk in Tesco, a fight broke out right in front of me. Two men, inches away from me, punching the shit out of each other. In Tesco. How far we've come from wild west saloons...

THAT was the morning. Then I got on the train to Kettering. 

Getting to Kettering costs £67 and your sanity. Getting the ticket from a machine that argued with me took 15 fucking minutes, so that meant I missed my train and had to take a later one. The good thing about that was it was now slap bang in the middle of rush hour. I took a deep breath, got on the tube with every single person in London and, for the next 20 minutes, just let my face get baptised in the sweaty armpit of a 50 year old man playing Candy Crush. I got off the tube at St. Pancras and had to guess what platform my train was on and where they were hiding it. Once on the train, I was joined by a man who shouted on his phone and gave a series of women a series of terrible reviews. 

Backstage at the gig, I had a moment to think about my day. It wasn't great. How can anyone hit someone like that? Especially in Tesco. Why does such a short train journey cost so much? How do commuters get on the tube every day like that? Doesn't it make them want to walk? Why do people still not realise their loud, obnoxious phonecalls are aggressive and disgusting? It was then that I tripped on a low platform lying on the ground. I didn't fall though. I just stepped onto the low platform and kept walking. It was very dark backstage but I had every confidence that this low platform was long and I could walk confidently on it for quite a few steps.

I was wrong.

It was short.

I fell.

You'd think falling would instantly transport me back to the good old days of the 70's. Spacehoppers! Evel Knieval! Peter Sutcliffe! But, no. This wasn't like the 70's at all. Falling now takes ages. It's slow and insanely drawn out, like life or a conversation with a comedian. My arms flailed, my body twisted, my balance retired. I hit the ground with a corpse's thud and...I just lay there.

The fall didn't hurt but it definitely was a shock. Luckily the shock of actually falling had passed on that long, long journey to the ground. I had already come to terms with hitting the floor even though I tried valiantly not to. But why did I try? Why would I want to stop this wonderful moment happening? I lay there, far away from angry bills and urinating freezers, in the pitch dark on a dirty floor and I was finally free. When you hit the ground, there is nowhere to go. It's only in the walking around world where the options of pain, frustration and failure will find us. But in the dark, on the is where I belong. No hate, no anger and no one to break my heart. It is liberty.

" And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up".

Yeah. And what a well-rounded guy he turned out to be.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

That's Ideal.

The thing about catching a mouse (after 10 days of hunting it) in a humane trap and then releasing it in a luscious green field where it can frolic forever is that it makes you feel so good. Not only have you cared for a tiny, fragile animal and rehomed it back to nature but you also showed all those negative, unloving people who say humane traps don't work that they can suck your fat balls. Catching mice is clearly a topic that practically everyone has an opinion on and now I'm one of those people. Humane traps work. Peanut butter didn't lure Stripe (that's the mouse's name. I called him that because he had a mohican) as many people said it would. Nor did chocolate or cheese. Love lured him into my trap. Simple, heartfelt love. And dog food. And as soon as Stripe fell for the bait he realised he'd been tricked into entering...liberation. He understood, for the first time ever, that everywhere else had been the trap and now he was free. Free of running, free of hiding. He walked into my love and it was that love that carried him to his field of dreams. And all those people who said "When you release a mouse, they just come back" should know that he hasn't returned because he has freedom. Those people should know that he hasn't returned because he's found his way in the world. And, perhaps most importantly, those people should know that they can suck my fat balls.

Being right, and therefore better than everyone else, comes with a feeling of such smug elation that you just want to share it with the world. After giving Stripe a new home, Jerk and I were walking in a different park and I could feel that smug happiness rising within me. It was a nice day, I'd just done a good deed and I wanted the world to feel as good as I did.

I saw a woman sitting on a bench. She was about 30 and had a can of beer hidden away in a black plastic bag. Standing beside her was a smartly dressed middle aged man with a briefcase. He was trying to show the woman some paperwork but Jerk had distracted her. She asked me what type of dog Jerk was and when I told her Jerk was a lurcher she said "Well, she's very lovely". I was delighted. I could feel my heart swell with joy. Could today get any better? Sunshine, mouse freedom and now someone has said Jerk is very lovely. "And so are you", I replied.

She laughed and said "Tell him that. I'm in court tomorrow for stabbing my boyfriend".

Right. Well. I won't be put off. It's a beautiful day, I've rescued a mouse and I'm not letting this feeling of joy and love go. Today is a great day. I will spread my feeling of goodwill and, within no time, everyone will be as loving, kind and great as I am. I looked across the park at the trees, the river and a man taking a shit into a bag and decided to go home.

But that's Lewisham. It's a tense, aggressive but often wonderful place. In no time, I'd be off to Central London where a classier type of person is found. Ah, the glamour and excitement of London! It still gets to me. Even the train journey there is exciting. A carriage full of people with exciting lives. A businessman sending emails on his Blackberry, an art student looking over his portfolio, theatre-goers checking they've remembered their tickets fifty times. Within minutes my feeling of warmth and happiness had returned. Just one tiny good deed at the start of the day and I'm ready to hug strangers on a train that night. And that's when my opportunity to spread my feeling of goodwill arrives right in front of me. 

A blind man gets on the train and bumps into a handrail. There is only one seat free in the carriage and it's the one next to me. I stand up and offer to help him. He thanks me and I walk with him to his seat. I can see people around me watching and...they smile. They've just seen a nice man being nice. Even jaded old London can still have it's heart melted by the sight of a humble, selfless hero using his powers to defend the needy. I sit down first but keep hold of the man's arm until he sits too. As he does, he stumbles slightly and his hand lands flat on my groin. And stays there until the man finally sits down. It must have been 4 incredibly long seconds of this man's hand firmly and securely on my groin. He sat down, smiled and said "Thank you".

THAT WAS TOO LONG. I don't know how long a hand should be on the groin of a stranger so that it's still OK but that was WAY TOO LONG. He stumbled. His hand touched my cock and balls. And then it still touched my cock and balls. And then it still touched them and still touched them and still touched them. THAT IS WAY TOO LONG. I looked around at passengers sitting in front of me. They had horror on their faces. "Are you OK?", one woman's face screamed. "Holy shit", shouted a man's face. And I sat there. Alone. For the rest of the journey. And the normal hate for everything returned. I tried to do a nice thing and something horrible happened to me as a result. AS IT ALWAYS DOES. And now I'm on a stinking, piss soaked train with some business cunt, an art prick, theatre wankers and a blind paedophile (he doesn't know I'm 45) and I think why bother with anything nice when life is always this shit? It was then that I noticed the blind man had a newspaper.

That was supposed to be my happy day. My day of sunshine and spreading the warmth of my wellbeing to everyone I met. The one fucking day where I'd done something good and thought it was OK to feel good about myself. Is it so wrong to be happy? Is it so wrong to hope for joy in a joyless world?


Because hoping for joy is the human trap. And human traps don't work.

Los Quattros Cvnts return on 13th March!! Tickets here:

Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire with Robin Ince and Michael Legge, next show 4th March with NICK HELM! Tickets here:

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Lost Blogs: The Grey Feather of Peace.

"Dear reader, welcome...

 Some Blogs just didn't get written at the time but they still make noises in my head. Here's one of them. From  flipping ages ago".

Over the last few years I've been lucky enough to have been involved in some of the most exciting arguments in the country. The venues where I have displayed my vocal talents have been some of the most prestigious that any provocateur has ever performed pettifoggery: First Class train carriages, The Barbican Theatre, the Houses of Parliament! My ability to disagree with anyone has open doors for me to cross swords everywhere. Although those doors have closed pretty quickly. But what are my favourite arguments in my life of justice and high blood pressure? That's a good question...

Demanding that a 15 year old gives me his shoe so I could throw it from a window? Making Brendan O'Carroll so angry he threatened to take the whole cast of his TV show to see me perform? Wooing all ladies present by pointing out to a very small child that their dresses weren't for looking up? Oh, I just don't know! But I can tell you my very favourite argument that I was blessed with in 2013...

It was a lovely summer's day in Lewisham. I brought Jerk to the park and it was ball day. Not every day is ball day. Jerk's not as young as she used to be so ball day now comes as a fun treat. Flinging the ball across the grass and watching her lose her shit. Running, jumping, smiling with eyes constantly full of excitement like she was Chris Ramsey and the ball was anything at all. She was adorable.

Then a man and a dog came along. They were still quite far away and that gave me ample time to put Jerk on her lead. You see, that's page one of dog owning etiquette. If you come across a dog you don't know, put your dog on a lead so that both dogs can introduce themselves without any danger of territory or spacial awareness issues. The problem with page one of dog owning etiquette is that it's all the way on page one. Not all dog owners have got that far. Why did they have to put that photo of a chocolate labrador puppy peeking out of a wellington boot on the cover? Few made it past that cuntload of adorability.

Sure enough, the man didn't put his dog on a lead so the dog clocked Jerk and decided to bolt right towards her. Balls.

They say that dogs resemble their owners and, sure enough, Jerk pretty much hates her own species. She thinks they're too loud and annoying. The dog ran fast, straight to Jerk, and started sniffing her all over. Her bum, her belly, her face. Jerk started shaking. It's too scary for her. It was a male dog clearly checking her out and Jerk hated it. She growled at him. Half the time dogs understand that and back off. This wasn't one of those times. The dog started barking at Jerk. Jerk shook more. The dog owner was getting closer now so I politely asked him to put his dog on a lead. He said that his dog was fine. His dog might be fine, I explained, but mine isn't. She's scared. Again he said that his dog was fine. Clearly he thinks shouting at someone while you're trying to fuck them against their will is fine. I asked again if he would put his dog on a lead and he flatly just said no. "They" were only playing. "He's harmless", said the man while his dog tried to put it's erect penis everywhere in my dog. 

"Look", I said. "Your dog is scaring my dog. Just put him on a lead and they can sniff each other and she won't be so scared".

His reply was....."Don't tell me what to do".

Ah. He was a psycopath. Silly of me. I should have realised. The big boots, the leather gloves, the One Direction t-shirt covered in blood. It made sense now. Sadly, psycopaths think that they are always powerful and always right but what psycopaths always forget is that I'm really, really, REALLY argumentative and if it's a fight they want then it's a fight they'll get. "Then fuck off", I suggested.

"Go fuck yourself", he shouted back. "Don't you fucking tell me how to fucking look after my fucking dog".

"Well, someone fucking clearly has to, you prick".

"Why? Let the dogs fucking play, you fucking arsehole".

"He's not playing, is he? He's trying to fuck her and she doesn't want him to. Can't you see that, cunt?"

"Fuck off".

Just then, a heron swooped down. Quietly, calmly, majestically. It's huge wings spread right out as it flew over our heads. It landed by the river, just 10 feet away from us, and stood there. So straight, so noble and so regal. Beautiful. How lucky I am to live round here. What a truly incredible thing to see.

"Everyone fucking knows that you put your dog on a lead to introduce it to another dog. Are you the only person that fucking doesn't know that, cunt?"

"He's never attacked a dog ever so shut your mouth now".

"No. You're a rude cunt. Why would you want your dog scaring my dog?"

"He's PLAYING, you arsehole".

"He's fucking not, you cunt. Did you see that heron?"

"You don't know about dogs, do you? Wanker. Yes, I did".

"Lovely, isn't it? Do you even fucking have a lead?"

"The lead's in my fucking pocket. I know. It's fucking rare you see them round here".

"Yeah, I think one or two come here once a fucking year. There are fucking signs up, you know?"

"A fucking friend of mine photographs them. What signs?"

"Fucking put your dog on a fucking lead signs. That's why they're fucking there. Fucking amazing that they land here in Lewisham. I wonder where they're going?"

"Not sure. Have you ever seen the canadian geese here?"

"Yes, I have! Amazing, aren't they? Dozens of them all over the park for just one day".

"I know. And the parakeets are beautiful".

"It's amazing for just one park, isn't it?"

"Yeah. Yeah, it is. Anyway. Fuck off".

He called his dog and they left. I stayed there looking at this beautiful heron and thinking that that is how all conflicts could be resolved. With beauty. If Israel and Palestine sat down with a heron, I know they'd come to a compromise. We can't have a river bird having more dignity than the rest of us. Riots at a football match? Only until they see the heron. Then it stops and those fighting turn to embrace one another. Dear reader, I only hope that one day you will meet someone, fall in love, then get depressed as the relationship breaks down so that you and your partner go to Relate and are ushered into an hour long session in a tiny room with a heron. 

Come on. Can't all the shit we clean up from now on be physical? I love you, guys. xoxo

Hey! Do The Right Thing is BACK! You can start downloading series 4 right now here: and it's also on iTunes.

Robin Ince and I are BACK! In Pointless Anger, Righteous Anger every first Tuesday of the month at the Comedy Cafe in London. Tickets here:

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Boxcar Leggy.

So the train fares in London went up this week.

I didn't know this because I get all my bad news from Twitter. Richard Briers is dead, another ageing celebrity arrested under Operation Yewtree, more people killed in Syria. Twitter never fails to show me only the most upsetting and sickening things imaginable.

Yet I saw no rage over the train fares increase. Not a word. So when I went to the ticket machine at the train station yesterday and saw that my regular daily travelcard (Zones 1-4) had gone up from £8 to £8.90 I was shocked. Actually, it's more bizarre than that. It's actually a Zones 1-6 travelcard that now costs £8.90 because Zones 1-4 travelcards no longer exist, except they do and they cost £11.70.

So, not only have the fares gone up but I'm now forced to buy an Oyster Card, the biggest rip off in London. Yeah, it's like having Rock Circus in your wallet. Oyster Cards cost £5 to just own one, that's before you pay for a single journey. Then you'll lose it and not get your "refundable" £5 back or it'll become faulty and you won't get your "refundable" £5 back and if you're a tourist then welcome to London, give Boris £5 and you won't have time to get your money back because you'll miss your train back to Gatwick. I don't think that the Oyster Card is monitoring me, I'm not that special, but I do think that if you're paying to go on a train, does it really matter HOW you pay? It's money, isn't it? You know, to go on the upkeep of the rail network.

A few nights ago I sat on a train and it stopped for no reason. A woman started shouting. "WHY ISN'T THIS FUCKING TRAIN MOVING?" She had a point. She didn't quite need to make it so loudly and so frequently but she did have a point. Why isn't the train moving? And why is no one telling us why the train isn't moving? Phew, imagine how awful things were before the expensive upkeep of the rail network, I thought, as the same woman dropped her pants and urinated in the aisle.

But why hadn't Twitter warned me? This is completely the sort of thing Twitter loves complaining about yet I saw nothing. Did Twitter think they would give Transport For London a chance to improve this year? Did Twitter think that they'd use this increase in fares as a great excuse to start walking? Did Caitlin say the fares increase was "wicked" and therefore no one was allowed to say anything? No...Twitter didn't say anything because Twitter can afford to pay for more expensive train tickets so Twitter doesn't give a fuck. Twitter has money. Well, I don't. And I don't have an Oyster Card. But I do have dignity...

So, I got on the train without paying.

Yep. I'm 45 and I got on the train without paying. I even had my excuse ready if anyone asked why I didn't have a ticket. My excuse was "FUCK OFF". I think it would have worked. But there I was, on a train without a ticket and LIVING. I was on my way to the West End to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a film about a very ordinary man who has been forced into becoming a thief, and I was going all the way there FOR FREE. I genuinely didn't care what happened to me when I got to the station at the other end. I'm making a point. I'm telling Boris to shove his Oyster Cards and his price increase up his blonde, insane arse. I'm a fucking hero. A fucking hero that got to his destination, left the train and jumped the turnstile.

Well, it was camper than that really. I sat on the turnstile and swung my legs round. That's the new, cheaper way to travel in London. Touch in-touch out? NO! Sit down-swing legs. That's the way to go.

And no one said anything. No one shouted, no security chasing me, no 40 foot Boris breathing fire. Nothing. I fare dodged and went to the pictures.

It was after 11pm when I got back and the turnstiles were open. Easy. I'd done it. I'd said no to this ridiculous increase that shows us no improvement or security. I sat down in my train seat, on my way back home, and felt smug.

A homeless man came up the aisle looking for money but was stopped by a passenger. "No", said the passenger. "I'm not giving you money for a hostel because you won't spend it on a hostel. You'll spend it on beer and drugs, won't you?" The homeless man apologised quietly but the passenger shouted "WON'T YOU?" at him again. The homeless man said sorry again and walked away.

I turned to the passenger and said "Wow. That was incredible".

"I know", he said in a Northern Irish accent he didn't deserve. "You have to tell them or they won't fuck off".

"Well", I replied. "Good job you're so fucking sanctimonious".

His friend then joined in and said to me "Yeah. He helped us dodge a bullet there, eh?".

There was a long pause before the friend said "Hang on. What does sanctimonious mean?"

Insanely, the passenger replied to his friend "It means holy".

"I think you'll find it's closer to prick", I said.

Can we not go on a single train journey without having to witness the very worst people on this planet? Are we never to be safe travelling in London. Something needs to be done about this. Put the fares up, I say.

Hey! Do The Right Thing is BACK! You can start downloading series 4 right now here: and it's also on iTunes.

Robin Ince and I are BACK! In Pointless Anger, Righteous Anger every first Tuesday of the month at the Comedy Cafe in London. Tickets here:

Monday, 16 December 2013

Ho Ho Hobo.

You'll find it hard to believe but I really do love Christmas. Of course, in amongst all the fighting, disappointment and feeling sick it's easy to forget those less fortunate than ourselves. By that, I mean comedians who have to perform in front of huge rooms full of work do's all more interested in staring loudly or throwing food at the stage while our poor comedian is trying to dribble mirth at them. ONLY JOKING! Of course I don't mean them. Comedians are cunts who deserve everything they get. No, I mean the homeless.

A friend of mine once laughed when I gave some change to a homeless man. "Why do you give money to the homeless?", he asked. That is a bizarre question. A bit like "Why have you stopped kicking that child?". The answer is the same: I think they've had enough. Some people, my friend included, seem to think that the homeless are all really multi-millionaires all taking part in this massive scam, fleecing money from people with stupid kind hearts and at the end of a working day thay stop pretending to be cold, take their massive bag of cash back to their mansion and get the butler to wash all the piss and shit off them. If the homeless are faking it then they've earned every penny. They're VERY convincing. Sleeping in cold rain, getting abuse off people in the street, bloodless faces due to lack of warmth, sleep and food. The actors that make up our homeless clearly show what a tedious amateur Daniel Day Lewis really is. So when my friend said "Why do you give money to the homeless?", I said "Because no one loves them" and his eyes filled up with tears. It was actually a beautiful moment because he seemed to finally understand that being homeless can sometimes mean being broke in a lot of ways but mainly because I'd wanted to make him cry like a girl for years, so that bit was the best.

On Friday, my career finally brought me to Newport. I was gigging there with the lovely man, comedian and Dr Who expert Joel Dommett who very kindly offered me a lift all the way there. All I had to do was meet him in Nunhead. 

At Nunhead station I was approached by a homeless man who asked if I had any change. I didn't so I apologised and said no. He thanked me anyway just to make me feel even worse. Maybe that's the scam? The homeless are actually well off people hired by the government to make the rest of us feel like shit all the time. Well, if that's the case then the joke is on them. I feel shit all the time anyway! Ha! I WIN!

I stood about 10 feet away from the homeless man and waited for Joel. A traffic warden walked past. Then he walked past again. And again and again and again. I got slightly obsessed watching this traffic warden. He just wandered around doing nothing. I know drivers don't like traffic wardens who go around fastidiously finding flaw with every but of parking they can see but I hated this traffic warden for just...well, skiving. He was just doing NOTHING. In my face! Then a man walked out of a nearby off licence and called out to the traffic warden. He looked terrified. Ha! The traffic warden will have to do work now, laughed I, a man with no concept of work.

The man wanted to complain about the homeless man outside the train station. "It's a bloody disgrace", he said to the traffic warden. "We don't want people like that here".

The thing is, the man being morally outraged by the dirty person that existed in the same post code as him had just bought two cans of very strong lager. I know this because one or other of the two cans would fall out of his pockets every three seconds while he was being morally outraged. "Someone should move (CLANG) him on because it's not (CLANG) right having people like that (CLANG) near children. You don't want (CLANG) people like that (CLANG) on your street (CLANG)". This went on for about two minutes. A closet alcoholic mortified by a human being with problems. The traffic warden just stared at him. What did he want the traffic warden to do? He couldn't give the homeless man a ticket. Clamping him would only keep him here longer. "You (CLANG) need to speak to him. I'm an old man (he wasn't. He was about 50) and I don't want (CLANG) to be too scared to walk down the street". The traffic warden sighed and agreed to speak to the homeless man.

What a fucking cunt. The homeless man was shivering, he barely had clothes. Stop kicking him. He's had enough. How could anyone treat another person like that? I felt bad enough that I had nothing to give him but to see someone wanting to take more from the man disgusted me. Is it that big a deal to have a homeless man standing outside a train station? He's a human being in need of help and therefore easy to ignore. Just walk past him. It'll take a half second of your entire life to ignore him and you have the rest of all eternity to forget he even existed. God forbid you'd actually want to support what little he has or hope that he gets a little more. God forbid that you'd ever defend your fellow man.

"Everything OK?", said the traffic warden to me.

"Er...yes", I said.

"A man over there said you were asking people for money".

FUCK. YOU. Have you seen the state of this heap of bones beside me? His shoes are more hole than shoe, his clothes are stinking and unfashionably distressed, his beard has grey sick in it. But, NO, you just naturally thought of the two of us it was ME who was the homeless man? LOOK AT HIM! He's a smelly tramp man. Look at his mad hair and nails. Look at HIM! He's disgusting! 

I wouldn't mind so much but this is the second time this has happened THIS YEAR. In July I was lying on the grass in Leicester Square enjoying the sun when a woman walked up to me and said "Would you like this sandwich?" WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN TO ME? Looking like Dave Gorman has plagued me enough but why would anyone just assume I was homeless? I was furious with that woman. Insulted and hurt. And the sandwich didn't even taste nice. What a fucking insult. "You look homeless". What a horrible, nasty and cruel thing to say.

Luckily, I'm not that horrible, nasty or cruel. "A man over there said you were asking people for money", said the traffic warden and I took a step closer to the homeless man and said "We're just waiting for a lift. There was someone here asking for money but they've gone". 

The traffic warden apologised (AS WELL HE FUCKING SHOULD) and went on his way clearly believing my massive lie. And with that, I became a proud member of the homeless scam.