Friday, 31 December 2010

New Year's Revolution.

As I was leaving the park in the pitch dark on Wednesday evening I saw a woman enter. She walked down the hill from the entrance right up to the river where she stood staring for a while. I didn’t see a dog with her but she must have one. I mean, no one walks into a park and stands by a riverbank in the pitch dark. There’s nothing to see. She must have a dog. The dog has run to the river to drink and she’s standing there waiting for him. This was confirmed by Jerk bolting over to her. Jerk has no interest in strangers but can’t wait to rush over to a dog to show it who’s boss. She’s a horrible bully when she wants to be. I saw Jerk bolt and immediately called her back. After all, this woman has just come out for a quiet night time stroll with her pup. The last thing she wants is some dog bullying hers. “They love to run, don’t they? My favourite sort of dog, they are”, she said.

“I think she just wanted to run over to your dog”, I replied.

“I haven’t got a dog”.


“No. I see what you’re saying and you’re not fucking funny. You’re a fucking wanker”.

I left the park thinking that’s it. Nothing has changed. 2010 was just the same as all the other years. I vowed at the beginning of the year to be nicer, friendlier and more tolerant but where does it get me? Nowhere, mate. That’s where. I try to be tolerant and my reward is sitting in a noisy train breathing in other people’s stench. I try to be nice and Barclays refuse to understand what nice is. I try to be friendly and it’s misconstrued as an insult to a woman’s face. Well, fuck it. 2010 is nearly over and I have a resolution that I will NEVER break in 2011.

I am not going to shut up in 2011.

That’s my resolution. I’ve spent the last year tolerating other people’s rudeness and I’ve hated it. It’s just not how I’m built. Noise on trains needs me to tell it to shut up. That’s just how our relationship is.

Yesterday morning I wanted to scan my passport and email it. My computer had other plans. It wanted to sit there for ages doing nothing then surprise me with a sign saying “An error occurred” but with no explanation. Fine. I’ll go to the internet
café round the corner.

The internet café round the corner was closed. I’m glad I went, though, otherwise I would never have known that someone had upturned three wheelie bins and stacked all the shitty, wet rubbish up against the door of the internet café. Great. I’ll go to the one in the High Street.

The one in the High Street had a sign that said “Open” next to another one saying that the establishment opened at 10am every day. It was about 11.15 and the blank zombie that worked there just kept repeating the word “Closed” to me. I asked him when it was opening. Nothing. I asked again. Nothing. I asked him if he could explain why the sign says “Open” but he’s saying “Closed”? The man sat there for ages doing nothing then surprised me with a sign saying “An error occurred” but with no explanation. Sigh.

Not to worry. There’s the internet café by the bank. I’ll go there. It was open and everything.

I wanted to scan my passport and email it. The man behind the counter was delighted to tell me that this was impossible. Why? Because it’s impossible. That was the only reason given. I asked if he had any blank discs that I could put the photo on, then go to a PC and send it. He didn’t know what a disc was. You try explaining a disc to someone who has no clue what one is. THAT’S impossible. I now know how Lisa Goddard felt when Arthur Mullard was on her team in Give Us A Clue. I, like Lisa, wanted to punch the thick cunt.

But he wasn’t totally stupid. He told me that there WAS a way that this impossible task could be completed. He could scan the passport, put the scan on to a USB stick and then plug it into the PC. BRILLIANT! Let’s do that then!!! Do I have a USB stick? No.

Of course I fucking don’t. You might as well ask if I’ve got a jam filled spider bus. Of course I don’t have a fucking USB stick. We came up with a solution but the solution was dung because I didn’t have a fucking USB stick. God Almighty, how did Lisa not strangle that prick? I asked him if he had a USB stick.

He hadn’t.

But I can see one just behind him.

No. They don’t have a USB stick.

But I can see one right there. On the shelf. Right behind him.


Yes. It’s just right fucking there. I can almost touch it. I can almost kill him.

Oh, yes. They DO have one.


But I’m not allowed to use it.

This went on for AGES. I mean a really stupidly long time until he just had to give it to me to shut me up. It was totally straightforward, easy to use and it got the job done. WHAT THE FUCK WAS THE DELAY FOR?

I left the internet café all furious. I then went into a shop and set an alarm off therefore waiting for a sloth dressed as a security guard to confirm that I wasn’t stealing anything from the shop. And, for some reason, bringing it back to the shop. I queued up to buy envelopes and when it FINALLY got to my turn the man at the till just walked away. I bought a child a birthday card that ended up costing £5.50. I was not in the best of moods but I never complained. And it started to hurt.

I had another long queue at the post office. 15 minutes at least. When I got to the end I was greeted by a really lovely, helpful and friendly person who apologised for the delay, gave me what I wanted, thanked me and gave me a cheery New Year’s wish. I
walked away completely cheered up.


No more rudeness, no more bad customer service, no more shit, no more tipping up bins outside shop doors. I’m up for a solid year of complaining straight to people’s faces. If they don’t know what they’re doing is wrong or rude, don’t worry. I’ll tell them. 2011 is the year it all changes, people.

Please note: I might get killed sometime in early January.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Brown Christmas.

Snow on the ground, the air filled with magic and wonder and yet Lewisham never changes. Magic and wonder wouldn't set foot in Lewisham. Awe inspiring beauty really gets ruined by the constant sounds of sirens and shouting. The snow may cover up most of the scratch cards, cigarette butts and corpses but Lewisham is still very much there and it won't let you forget it. You bastard.

Yesterday, I walked in the park with Jerk and soon realised I'd come out with any poo bags. This is a massive no-no if you're a dog owner. In fact, if you think that you're going to be responsible for any excrement being on the ground at any time, you should never leave the house without a poo bag. You don't need to be a dog owner. So, I decided to cheat. I'm not proud of myself but I really didn't want the £500 fine that I deserve for not picking up poo even though I know fully well that I could take a shit in the middle of Lewisham Shopping Centre and no one would mind. The thing is, I mind. So I felt guilty calling Jerk away from the main area of the park and closer to trees to poo. It wasn't ideal but it's better than poo everywhere where an innocent child could walk on it, eat it and become deaf (I think that's what it says on the poster). But my plan got foiled.

There was a man sitting on a bench. He saw my dog shit. Now he would see me walk past the shit without picking it up. He would see me shrug and not give a fuck where my dog shits. He would see me be like everyone else and just not care about a fucking thing.

Then I found two bags in my back pocket. Phew! My honour is saved. Now he would see me for the person I am. The thoughtful, respectful, caring sort of chap that picks up animal faeces with a bag and puts it in a bin. I'm not like everyone else.

Oh, but hang on. He is. He's a Lewisham resident. That's right. While I was picking up poo he got up from his bench and pissed against a wall. If that hasn't made you disgusted enough, how would you feel if I told you it was against the wall of a public toilet? What a fucking cunt.

I stood there and watched the man urinate (Sometimes I have to endure a lot to make a point). When he turned round he saw me staring and he looked embarrassed. "That's just disgusting", I said. "Was the door of the toilet just too far away for you?" He gave a bizarre answer. "Is that a lurcher or a greyhound?", he said. "You're changing the subject a bit", I replied.

I walked off in a huff. My spirits lifted though when I saw a kid playing in the snow. This weather might be a pain in the arse for us but children love it. Well, this child loves it. Hmmmm...there aren't any kids in the park. School's finished, this is a park full of snow, where are the kids? Is snow boring now? Has X-Factor and Xbox ruined the magic of snow even for them? Well, good on this one kid who's enjoying being a kid, loving the snow and building a snowman.

I got closer. It wasn't a child. It was a fully grown man. On his own. Building a snowman. And then dressing it in his clothes.

This would have been the most embarrassing thing that I'd seen that day if it wasn't for him beating that by running up to me and asking me to take a photo of him and his snowman. He wanted to prove to other people that he was once alone in a park building a snowman then dressed it in his jumper, coat and hat while he stood shivering in a t-shirt. Personally, I'd have kept that to myself. Nice to know that some man out there has a picture of himself, a snowman and Jerk, though. Oh, yeah. I got her in.

30 minutes later and I'm in Lewisham High Street where a "salesman" walked right up to me and wondered if I was interested in any watches, jewellery or sandwiches. I've never met anyone who sells counterfeit sandwiches before.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

The Big Thing.

Newcastle hasn’t stopped being odd since I got here. I got off the train and saw a woman get her purse stolen. She screamed so loudly then turned to her adversary and started hitting him. He defended himself by shielding his face with his hands and shouting “OK, Sorry. Sorry. I’m sorry, Mum”. They hugged while relief and tears took up the woman’s face.

Then I went to the Hyena Comedy Club to pick up the keys to the flat that Nick Doody and I would be staying in for three nights. It turned out that people there hadn’t heard of Nick and I. Or the flat. Or keys. What I’m saying is it took a while to actually get to the flat where a collection of meats and cheeses left by comedians from weeks, maybe months previously, awaited us in the fridge.

Then there was the gig. It was a Christmas gig and, for any normal gig, it went fine. For a Christmas gig, it was the greatest piece of art ever performed in front of the most entranced audience. I got away with it.

On Friday I decided to go to see Tron: Legacy. I was looking forward to seeing this as I’m a huge fan of Tron despite the fact that Tron is absolutely terrible. It’s rubbish and doesn’t make sense and I totally relate to that. But of course if I go to see Tron: Legacy I will have to sit in a room with other people and listen to their talking. That’s the fear, isn’t it? That’s what every sane person dreads days before going to the cinema. People and their fucking mouths spouting fucking shit. You’re trying to watch a magic motorbike spew a wall out of it’s arsehole when some prize dick decides he wants to tell his friend that magic motorbikes aren’t real. It’s annoying and hurtful. But the noise that these awful people make isn’t the worst thing about the cinema. What we forget about so easily is the smell of other people. I was already furious that I had to pay for 3D glasses (What? I have to pay to see the film and then pay to see it properly?) but when I walked into the actual screening room I thought I was going to be sick. It smelled like a fucking butcher’s shop. How is that the piece of common courtesy that has been overlooked completely? Just the assumption that no-one will mind the stench of your cooked dead animal flesh? When will the age of enlightenment start really kicking in? It’s just horrible and the whole room STANK. At least there was one civil person there who reeked so much of cigarettes that I could barely smell the Odeon Abattoir. Thanks, mate. Mind you, I had to tell him off for burping and when I did the 50+ year old said “You can’t help burping”. When you’re a small child, yes. You’re nearly dead and you haven’t learned to control wind yet. Awful cunt. Plus the film was a bit dull. It’s a lot to take from a trip to the cinema.

Then the big thing happened. In fact, I think the big thing always happens to me when I feel like this. Sitting in a room full of smelly, disgusting cunts and then walking the streets avoiding evil charity workers, tedious carollers and moronically rude people gets me so wound up with anger that somehow a big thing has to happen. Either I start killing or something important happens. I was in the bank putting a cheque in when a man in his mid-thirties came up to me. He was crying and he said “Where do I go?”

I don’t know if that’s ever happened to you but it’s completely terrifying. My only response was “Sorry, mate?” and again he said “Where do I go?”

I asked if he needed me to help him and he walked away and out of the bank. I was right behind him and my head was full of right-I-have-to-find-a-hospital-and-take-this-man-to-the-hospital-where-the-fuck-is-the-hospital but when I got outside he was met by a group of women who all asked where he’d been. One said she was worried about him and he hugged her and kept crying.

“Where do I go?” is the saddest thing a complete stranger has ever said to me and I couldn’t stop thinking about him for hours. With all the billion complaints that I have I really don’t know how lucky I am. Then it really hit me. Something completely profound. Something that made me realise what my life has in store for me. There I was, so moved by this man and his predicament that I was immediately thinking of nothing but his care and welfare. I mean, for fuck’s sake. If only I’d pointed at him, laughed and called him a cunt I’d have my own Channel 4 show. I will NEVER make it in this business.

It genuinely did shake me up a lot seeing that guy. I hope he’s OK. It took me a long time to get over that 5 second meeting.

I say it took me a long time, half an hour later I held a door open for some girls at a Starbucks but they just stared at me. I gave up and walked through the doorway myself. As I passed, one girl said very sarcastically “Oh, charming. After you”. My response was a simple “I HELD THE FUCKING DOOR OPEN BUT YOU JUST STARED AT IT, YOU MORONIC CUNT”.

I need to stop doing that.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

48 Hours Nicer.

I've had a nice time. I totally understand that that's not allowed but maybe the spirit of Christmas has actually decided to let me have a couple of nice days of joy amongst the constant downpour of shit. Not that it was all good. A delivery man woke me up at 7 to ask if I would look after a package for my next door neighbour that could easily slip through their letterbox, a woman with vomit on her coat shouted some dog-care advice at me and I saw Tramadol Nights again. But the last two days have been just lovely.

On Tuesday I went to the BBC Radio Light Entertainment Party. Of course, I shouldn't have been there. I've not written anything for Radio 4 or been on Loose Ends or listened to The Now Show without screaming my guts out. The great thing was though that everyone who should have been there was there. The room was full of the very cream of radio comedy and I knew they were important because I didn't recognise any of them. These were the very people who could really make changes to my career. They're inventive professionals who make great things happen. So I stayed in a corner with Andrew Collins. The last thing I need right now is success. At one point Chris Addison almost introduced me to someone but she turned her back just in time thus avoiding a professional or friendly relationship ending in shouting, punching and violent sex. If only more people were as nice as she was. Just think about that next time you're introduced to someone. Do they look nice? They do? Then why not just turn your back and walk away. Why would you give a nice person even a chance of horror? I don't know who she was but I thank her for being as thoughtful as she was. Our relationship is as good today as it was 20 years ago and If she hadn't turned her back all of that could have changed.

My favourite thing about going to a party that by rights I shouldn't have been invited to was that I totally shook the system from the inside. Bennett Arron wanted to come but he didn't have an invitation. I remembered I'd seen Dave Gorman's name on the list at the door but hadn't seen Dave at the party. Problem solved. Bennett could just show up and say he was Dave Gorman. Bennett, being Bennett, had a problem being Dave. "I don't look anything like Dave Gorman", he whined in his campy little voice. There's more than one Dave Gorman, you know. I think he made a big deal of that himself once.

Bennett got in. Then we went to the pub. So full of nice people and festive cheer. Then I remembered I had a dog and went home to watch Tramadol Nights. WHY IS THAT ALWAYS HAPPENING TO ME?

Yesterday was great too. I'd never been to one of Robin Ince's Godless shows before and was very excited to be going. Once again I'd be in the company of lovely people being funny. Mr & Mrs Jim Bob were there as was Liz Buckley. My favourites. Jim performed The Impossible Dream which was all lovely. Plus among the comedians and musicians on stage were scientists and mathematicians who can wow, educate and baffle an audience brilliantly. Matt Parker certainly can. He showed a photograph of his wife as a child at Disneyland and in the background the young Matt himself was standing with his Dad. Through maths and rational thinking Matt proved that it was just a coincidence that these two people who are now married and have spent years together passed each other for two seconds as kids and were captured in a photograph. The room was silent. You need to put maths to one side sometimes, Matt. That is NOT JUST a coincidence. That is fucking amazing.

I also met Robyn Hitchcock at the gig. I have a history with Robyn so I tend to avoid him in case I accidentally set fire to him. But HE came up to me "You're the infamous Michael Legge", he said with a big smile. We shook hands, had a quick chat and off he went. I waited for the door to close behind him before breathing again. Phew. I didn't kill him.

See? Isn't that all lovely? It is. It's all lovely. A couple of days with all my favourite people having a nice time. It was perfect.

It was almost perfect.

Of course it wasn't fucking perfect. Throughout the Godless show Liz and I sat next to fucking Abie fucking Philbin-Bowman, a solid gold 100% wanker. He fake laughed so loudly through the whole thing it was impossible to fully enjoy it. Even the man in front of us had to turn to Abie and say "Really?" Sigh. It was so close to being perfectly lovely. Oh, that Abie!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Reversed, Not Reserved.

Friday was opposite day. Up was down, right was left, Tramadol Nights was clever. Things that I expected just reversed themselves. Plus it ended with the greatest insult I have ever received. Friday was fun.

I went for a beer at Tortilla just off Oxford Street. It's a nice little cheap n' cheerful Mexican fastish food place. I was looking forward to my beer. It would have lime in it and I could pretend I was on holiday somewhere warm and not just walked in from a street where the air is made of broken glass and punches. That beer was going to transport me from the cold street to the hot beach. Sadly, two girls sat near me. They sat near me and they talked. The very two things I thoroughly despise: people and their voices.

They spoke so loudly and so constantly and so X-Factorly. They actually spoke in X-Factor language. For fucking ages. "Seriously, I just fink, right, that this is my moment to shine, you get me?" "You have such a gift inside you. You need to show everyone that". "I really do. Deep down, I know I'm so special".

This genuinely went on for half a fucking hour. The subject of their conversation was how she dumped her boyfriend because he couldn't lose weight. "I have so much to give, you get me? This is my life and I have to live it or I'm just not being true to myself. My wings shouldn't be clipped because everyone should be free to fly and reach their dreams. Plus he was fat".

HALF A FUCKING HOUR. Listening to that shit. You dumped him because every time you spoke he screwed his face up and just stared at you, there is NOTHING deep within you except for the chips you're shoving down you oh-so-snappable neck and you can't shine. People cannot shine. No one has ever shined. It is impossible to shine. You're not a Knight. Fuck off saying shine. I hated these two girls. They were loud, pretentious and fucking horrible.

Then they offered me some margarita.

Turned out they were lovely. I left really disappointed. The fucking lovely, generous slags.

Then it was off to my gig where I was immediately warned of a table of women at the front who were sitting at the front, being loud and they kept getting up on to the stage to talk into the mic. Even though the mic wasn't switched on yet, they kept on doing it. Before the show started we must have seen them get up on the stage and use the dead mic 10 times, each time thinking it was hilarious. It was a Christmas party gig in a room full of work outings and it was going to be bedlam. The rest of the audience looked really nice and even somewhat sophisticated, there was even a group in the room from a company called Fine & Rare Wines, but these ladies were going to be trouble. You could just smell it.

And there was bedlam in the room indeed. One table refused to shut up, some of them even refused to sit down when we started the show. The loud and scary women at the front quietly and respectfully asked them to keep the noise down. That's right. They may as well have offered me a margarita. Soon, the rest of the room was calling on this table to keep quiet and, a little while before they were thrown out, I asked them what company they worked for. One spikey haired little cunt among them shouted "Fine & Rare Wines" and started cheering.


Their boss came up to me and said that being repeatedly asked to be quiet and then being told to leave was a bit strong, after all they'd only been talking amongst themselves. I told him that you don't go to the theatre and talk amongst yourselves, do you? His mind just drifted away for two minutes while he thought about this. "I see your point", he said. WHY DO PEOPLE NEED TO BE TOLD TO SHUT UP IN COMEDY CLUBS? What is it about a comedy club that people don't feel it's important or respectful to not talk constantly and just enjoy the show? If you have the answer, please tell me. It's baffled me for years.

Then the "annoying" women who turned out to be nice bought me a drink. That's twice I've been wrong in one night. Let's make it three times. A man came up to me after the gig saying nice things about me and not so nice things about Fine & Rare Wine. He seemed very knowledgeable about comedy, professing to be a fan of Stewart Lee, Daniel Kitson and even Mr. Show, an American sketch show that I love. He seemed a clever man and was certainly very complimentary and polite. He liked my spontaneity on stage and said that was what he found most interesting about any comedian. I felt proud. Then he said "I mean I know that spontaneity is the lowest form of wit but I like it"


By the way, I lied about Tramadol Nights.

Monday, 6 December 2010

People Of The World, Join Hands.

At the beginning of this year I decided I had to change my ways. Every train journey I went on infuriated me and I ended up going up to complete strangers to tell them to switch off their music or to switch off the videos they were blasting out of their iPhones or to stop breathing. Last New Year's Eve I even went so far as to basically threaten a child by insinuating I was going to throw his shoe out a window. I felt embarrassed and pathetic. I'm just not going to get involved any more.

That sort of worked for a while but it's just so hard keeping quiet when everywhere you go there's an almighty cunt behaving like he or she is the only person in the fucking world. Despite it being so incredibly hard not to throttle practically every single person who comes within a half mile radius of me, I think I've done a fairly good job in 2010. I'm a lot less active in the train shushing department but it was just this weekend that I realised how I can be a lot calmer on trains no matter what is going on around me.

My view this year has been "If it's not annoying anyone else, then it's not annoying me" because previously I had ALWAYS been the one on the train that had to go up to the wanker and tell them to keep the noise down while all other passengers sit there pretending the carriage was perfectly tranquil. Of course, "If it's not annoying anyone else, then it's not annoying me" doesn't work because it certainly is annoying me and I'm pretty confident that it definitely is annoying everyone else too. And that's sometimes the only thing that gets me through these train journeys. Watching some businessman tut and sigh and give dirty looks to some complete arse playing Mumford and Sons can really entertain me on a long trip. And right there is my new found solution to my stress: Don't travel alone, bring an equally short-tempered git with you.

On Friday night, I travelled back from Cambridge with Liam Mullone. Liam is a very funny comedian and his perfect blogs mean that I am relegated to third greatest blogger of all time. Liam and I decided to spoil ourselves and go First Class. In a way. I mean, in as much as it was the last train back to London so we were confident that there would be no ticket inspector and, anyway, First Class was covered in ripped up Metro's, food wrappers and manure. NO ONE should pay extra to sit in there. A few stops into the journey and we were joined in the carriage by a big arse who sat behind Liam playing a very loud game on his iPad. He was the very advert of why NO ONE should have an iPad. Admit it. Think of all the things an iPad can do. Admit it. It's not very much at all, is it? Liam said that you'd have more to do with a rock and a chisel. Liam's great.

We tried to figure out what game the iArse was playing and we came to the conclusion that it was a game where you had to bring elderly gentleman to orgasm with a drill while a cuckoo watched. And it wasn't just noise that was upsetting. Oh, no. The iArse had choreography to go with his game. His arms flapped constantly and his body jerked frantically like his life actually depended on making old men cum in front of a bird. But just watching Liam's face get more and more serious, seeing the energy sap from his very frame, was all I needed to lift my spirits and actually embrace the noise. That's what I need. I need to see someone in pain and frustration so that I can somehow carry on. Does that sound cruel?Well, why do you read my blog then?

I'm telling you. Watching Liam's face and the flapping goon behind him really made me relaxed and happy. Life as camomile. If only someone had filmed it.

DON'T watch that loudly in public, please.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Bing Bing Bing Bong.

This is my first blog written on my brand new laptop. I've written nearly 500 blogs and almost all of them were written on my very knackered laptop with an Ood sticker on it. I know absolutely nothing about computers at all but I was recommended, by geek friends, that I should get one with Windows 7, an Intel Core processor (dual, preferably), at least 320GB of memory on it's hard drive and at least 3 GB of RAM. With this in mind, I picked one that was red. I like red. Red is like a big fire engine. NER-NER! NER-NER!

So off I went to PC World to buy my new laptop. Buying an electrical item from places like PC World is an almighty pain in the arse. Sure, picking the laptop takes 10 seconds (red tends to stand out) but actually trying to just pay for the thing and leave takes hours. What a shitty admittance to failure the whole "Would you like insurance with that?" begging plea is. You know I don't want fucking insurance because I didn't ask for insurance. Every fucking shop you go into now is McDonalds. Would you like fries with that? Would you like a large bar of chocolate for only £1? Any sandwiches or muffins to go with your drink? That's £2.99 for the hat, would you like to buy a fucking wardrobe to put it in? JUST LEAVE US ALONE! If we want it, we'll ask. Even fucking Holland & Barrett have tried pushing men's fitness magazines on me which means I have to buy twice the amount of camomile tea because my stress levels have gone right up. Oh, they know what they're doing, the health concious hippy bastards.

So I went up to one pale-faced dick who worked there and said I'd like to buy a laptop. He looked like I'd just told him his parents had died. I really thought he was going to cry. There he was, innocently skiving behind the Norton PC Protection boxes when an evil cunt (me) found him and asked for help. What a bastard I am. Why didn't I just shoot him in the face and then fuck the bullet hole (pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaassssseeee give me a TV series, Channel 4)? He told me that going into a warehouse, picking up a box and bringing it to me wasn't his department. Fine, he's in charge of hiding behind software, so I went off to find someone else. A shop assistant came right up to me and asked if he could help. I said yes but I was wrong. Again, going to get that box about 20 feet away was not in his job description. He's simply employed to ask if you want any help but nowhere in his contract does it say he actually has to do anything after that. Finally I found the guy in charge. He seemed nice. He also looked crestfallen that I didn't want any insurance. Then he looked melancholy when I refused a PC protection kit. And speakers. And a mouse. And a laptop bag. And insurance again. But at least he got me my red laptop. All I had to do was take it to the counter and pay for it.


Laptops are very special. You can't just pay for it like a tin of beans or an orphan. There's paperwork to be filled in. They need to know my date of birth and my postcode and my top three favourite Sugababes members. They needed this information for their computer. Their big, evil, PC World computer that must not be questioned or lied to. Their big, evil, PC World computer that can lazer-beam you into it's components and make you compete in the Light Cycle races against the Master Computer. Their big, evil, PC World computer that...doesn't work.

PC World's computer crashed right in front of me. The guy in charge took me to another big, evil, PC World computer. It didn't work either. I looked at him and said "Would you like insurance with that?"

It felt good.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Utterly Youthless.

Was I hard on Morgana? Maybe. It's tough watching something that just lazily throws its dung at you in the hope that you'll be happy enough that it didn't get in your hair, especially when you know there is great talent out there. Did you go to All Day Edinburgh? You should have done. There wasn't a single person on that bill (except me) that doesn't deserve to have a TV show with time, money and care in it offered to them. Thanks to everyone who came and to all the performers who gave their time for a good cause. Speaking of which, I should probably give Shelter that money because at the moment I feel like Father Ted. "It's just resting in my account". Thanks, everyone.

But Morgana is young. If I was offered my own TV show where I would "have" to point and laugh at people with special needs, would I turn it down? Well, yes I would. But the point is that she might just be naive (although THAT naive? Is anyone?) and could easily be pressured into making the show she made. A lot of TV producers/commissioners/broadcasters want their shows to appeal to everyone and therefore they pretty much always appeal to no-one. EVERYONE loves the Fern Cotton impression though so she'll do well. She's young. She's only about 23. So what's Frankie Boyle's excuse for the women-love-getting-raped sketch? He should know better what with being 40 (presumably).

But acting your age isn't always easy. I find it very difficult. I'm a professional writer (in a way) and want to be taken seriously, yet here I am blogging to you, dear reader, in my Star Wars pants while watching Wallace & Gromit.

And why is acting your age nearly always meant in a behaving older way? In Lewisham, the snow has forced kids who are shit at being kids outside to play. They're pathetic. Yesterday I saw kids building a snowman. Or kicking one to death, it was hard to tell from looking at their creation. It looked like they were using snow to bury a goat. Fucking useless crap children. Then there was the kid on the sledge. Good God! Do you know what skill goes into riding a sledge? The same skill that goes into sitting down. That's it. You sit down, Daddy pushes you, you slide to the bottom of the hill. I watched this 7 year old dick fall off about 18 times in a row. It wasn't even a big hill. All he needed to do was sit still for 5 seconds and he'd be at the bottom. But the little cunt couldn't even do that. He should be aborted (plllllleeeeeeeassssse, give me a TV series, Channel 4).

The worst kids I saw were the teenagers. There were about eight 14/15 year olds hanging around the train station, throwing snowballs at people who walked under the bridge or down the steps. They are young and have every right to do that. They are acting their age perfectly. Or I thought they were. I saw them and as I passed I just knew I'd get pelted. Of course I'm going to get pelted. I have a big, stupid Russian hat with puppy-dog ear flaps on. If they miss out on pelting the cunt with the hat then I have no respect for them. I prepared myself and even smiled while waiting to be hit. Snow doesn't hurt. It'll be funny. Here goes. The first snowball came.

And flew right by me. I looked round and saw loads of snowballs coming my way.

Well, not directly my way. They all missed. For fuck sake, really? Have you seen the size of my hat? It's like I have a fucking St. Bernard on my head. You can't miss my hat. For fuck's sake, children. Act your age.

The train station was closed so I had to come back up the steps. This was their chance to finally get me. I was face to face with them and POW!!! All the snowballs flew right by me and hit the ground. I have never been so disappointed by the youth of Britain in my life.

As I walked past them I put on my best teacher voice and said "Pathetic. Must try harder". The kids laughed as I walked past, obviously ready to get me when I was a safe distance away from them. One snowball flew past. That was their THIRD CHANCE. I looked round and laughed. They all looked a bit embarrassed, decided to not chance throwing at me again and went back to throwing snow at people under the bridge. One day those young men could be in the military. We'll be invaded by 2015, I reckon.

But the snow has made me happy. I like this snow. It's spongy but firm. Not sloppy or slippy. Plus I saw something today that lifted my spirits right up. I saw a man in a wheelchair, not struggling, but getting through the snow with ease.

If that isn't the biggest FUCK YOU to our train companies then I don't know what is.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


I was going to blog about yet another insult to comedy that happened just last night but I've decided against it. I haven't blogged for weeks (I wanted a break) and I now think that coming back and just moaning won't do. This needs to be more dynamic. A bit of action and adventure. Something that will draw the reader in and, eventually, let them know a bit about me and the kind of man I am.

Last week I stabbed my own fridge to death.

It's true. I was angry, I lifted a big knife and I stabbed the fucker. Oh, yes. I could have defrosted it. I could have easily defrosted it. But I'm not a woman, am I? I'm not Michelle Legge. I'm MICHAEL Legge. A real man with a real man's name. And don't bring up Michael Learned or Princess Michael of Kent because they were obviously once men who simply accidentally defrosted a fridge instead of stabbing it. I wanted something from the freezer. The fridge wouldn't give it to me so I threatened it. I WASN'T GOING TO HURT IT. I just threatened it with a knife, just knocking off bits of it's ice from around the edges of one of it's drawers. But it kept refusing me. So I lunged at it. The red mist in my eyes, the steel blade in my hand. How dare this frigid bitch not let me in to get what I want? I went mad. Uncontrollable. And plunged the knife right in.

I didn't mean to cut her freezer line. Oh, God. There was so much cold air pouring out. I tried to heal it but I couldn't. It just...died.

See, that was me writing about a simple and stupid situation where I thought I could chip away some ice from my fridge with a knife and then I ended up breaking it. But what I did was end up writing it like I was threatening it and wanting to rape it. That's the kind of thing that gets you on at Channel 4 these days. Plus I also implied that men are better/different than women which will get you talked about if you are on Channel 4 these days. Last night's TV was fucking awful.

Balls. I'm writing about it, aren't I?

I really like Frankie Boyle's stand up and was delighted that he had his own series. But...well. I don't know. Is calling everyone a cunt in the first 10 seconds then following it up with a rape sketch what either Channel 4 or Frankie Boyle would or should approve of? I wouldn't have thought so. I'm pretty sure their back catalogue's are better than that. Some of the stand up stuff was good but...well...a rape sketch is hard to shake off especially when the woman starts off being scared of the rape but then ends up loving it. It just seemed more than dated. It seemed uncomfortably dated. Like Jim Davidson had come out of the grave to haunt TV again. I can only imagine Frankie has reached the age of 40 a few years early.

Then there was The Morgana Show. I'm not going to lie to you, I was really looking forward to watching this. I saw Morgana Robinson on TNT months ago and wanted to die of shame right there and then. Her sole character in TNT was a special needs kid who interviews nearly-famous people while trying to make them feel uncomfortable by doing that mong acting we all used to do on the school bus when we were 12. The sketch never worked because her "victims" never embarrassed themselves, they just reacted in a sensitive way to someone they assumed had special needs and not just some fucking cunt being a fucking cunt. If only she'd revealed herself before the sketch ended and we got to see the celebrities violent and bloody reactions. That would have made good telly.

She went on to do impressions of Cheryl Cole and Fern Cotton that were a bit like them but had no jokes whatsoever. Even if they had you still couldn't help but scream DID SHE JUST DO A SPECIAL NEEDS CHARACTER? One sketch consisted of Lady Ga-Ga ironing. Yep. That was it. My fatal mistake was going on Twitter and seeing the amount of support this show was getting plus the amount of people pointing out that Morgana is female like they were totally shocked that a woman should be on TV.

Is it good to see female performers on TV? No. Not if they're this awful. Equally if Morgana was male is would be just as bad and therefore NO-ONE SHOULD BE ON TV. I'm happy with that. Because you can't play the sex card if the sex card has shit all over it. No-one will accept it. Where's the Hour of Telly Live TV series? Cunts.

I shouldn't have watched it so it's all my fault. Plus I have enough faith in Frankie Boyle to think that it might be me not him. At least there's The Trip. Seen The Trip? Let me tell you about it. Two very funny people have a camera pointed at them while they are funny. It's a bit pretentious but it's so utterly naturally funny without even caring about how other comedies on TV are and sticking to that formula, instead they ride on their natural abilities and fuck cutting edge.

The Morgana Show was described as cutting by a moron who writes a Guardian blog. The only thing that's cutting are the wrists of her suicidal viewers.

Nice to be back. See you soon.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

No Punchline.

Perhaps I should just stay away from Lewisham Shopping Centre. Perhaps you should too. No good happens there. In fact, it's the very home of insanity. Monday to Friday is bad enough. The weird walking dead of the daytime people with fuck all to do brings a lovely depression to the massively strong floodlights and the Level 42 background music. Plus seeing people walk out of Ann Summers with their secret bags of secret underwear and going straight next door into Greggs for a pie is a lovely image that no amount of booze can destroy. But it's the weekend that Lewisham Shopping Centre's madness comes into it's own because during the weekend it's not just all about Argos or British Home Stores or that shop that only ever sells one thing and always closes down then re-opens the next week selling a different one thing (quite often Peter Andre's Insania cologne). At the weekend it's all about the community.

On Saturdays and Sundays I'm used to seeing face painting for kids, creepy men making balloon animals and the painful choking of community choirs. But recently it's changed. Lewisham Shopping Centre has totally gone 21st century on our asses. It's wicked there now. Boss. Aces. Fucking awful. Now they have things like X-Factah! or Lewisham's Got Talent and I am mesmerised every time I see them. Not that I'm a fan of children singing "Poker Face" but there really is nothing more enjoyable than watching a 9 year old burst into tears after being told by a grown adult that he or she is shit. I could watch that all day. But this weekend has been different. There is crime in Lewisham and the community wants to sort that out. The community want the youths of Lewisham to put down their knives. They want the youths of Lewisham to say no to violence. Hmmmm...but how do we get them to do that? Well, apparently the best way to stop young people getting into violence is by teaching them how to box. Lewisham Shopping Centre had a fucking boxing ring right in between the Sony shop and Adams'. Leaflets were being handed out and young people were all encouraged to start punching each other and to stamp out violence. I looked at the leaflet and it genuinely said that this was a "Punchathon" as part of the "Jab Don't Stab" campaign. It was then that I wondered if Graham Linehan is writing Lewisham Shopping Centre.

It's a fucking surreal place.

Don't forget, it's All Day Edinburgh on Sunday 21st December at The Phoenix. Great comedians in a great venue all day. No word on Ticketweb selling tickets yet (sigh...) but as soon as I know, you'll know. Even better if you follow All Day Edinburgh on Twitter. Acts are being added all the time and it's going to be a fantastic gig all in aid of Shelter. We will also be encouraging the youth of Lewisham to give up knife crime with out "Gags Not Stabs" campaign.

In the meantime, try to figure out how this happened:


Saturday, 13 November 2010


What's the fucking point in helping anyone ever? Not only are you almost certainly rushing to the aid of a prick but every prick on this planet will get in your way of doing it. If you have any intention of ever helping anyone, do what everyone else does. You know, nothing. Being nice and thoughtful is one of the most stressful things you'll ever go through and I don't recommend it. I was going to write about this anyway today but now I'm fired up by what happened to my adorable friend Liz today. A man was getting off a train, she saw a wallet lying there, ran after him and gave it to him. SHE HELPED HIM. THE FUCKING IDIOT. He took the wallet, took the money from it, gave it back to her and ran off the train. Of course he did. Liz is a helper and helper's are shat on. I'm begging you, don't even think of lending a hand or sparing a thought or gooding a Samaritan. There should be a fucking government warning on helping. We had safe sex and stop smoking shoved down our throats and I don't think either of them will kill me. The stress of helping? That'll see me to the grave.

Last week I was walking into Lewisham Shopping Centre, where they film all of George A. Romero's films every single day, and I saw a wallet lying on the ground. My immediate reaction was BRILLIANT! FREE MONEY! but within a half second the guilt hit me. There is no way I can keep this. I must find the person and give it to them because I suffer from being nice. Like a dick. Even though I'm fully aware that the owner of this wallet will be a prick who will never appreciate what I've done, I'm going to get it to them anyway. Did Li Ping teach me nothing? It's not like I want to be thanked. I don't. I did William Orbit a big favour a couple of months ago by pointing him out to his driver at the airport thus stopping poor William from wandering around looking all lost. Did he thank me? NO. Did he even know I'd done it? NO. It was the good deed itself that was my reward. Mind you, that good deed was piss easy, this one was going to be a lot harder.

I looked in the wallet and saw that whoever had dropped it was now down over £200 cash. This had to get back to him. He had several Barclays bank cards so I reasoned that the best thing to do was to phone Barclays, let them know I've found the guy's wallet, they could phone him and he could come get his wallet. No cards would have to be cancelled and no money would be lost. I'm a fucking hero.

Barclays had other plans.

I was told by Arsebot 3000 on the other end of the phone that she couldn't phone him. It was against Barclays policy. All she could do was cancel his cards.

"But you don't need to cancel his cards. I'm at Lewisham Shopping Centre. He probably is too. Give him my number and he can call me and pick up the wallet".

"Yeah. We can't do that".

"Why not?"

"We just can't. All we can do is cancel his cards".

"You can't just phone one of your own customers? You'd rather cancel cards then produce new ones?"

"That's all we can do. Do you have an account with Barclays?"

"No. What's that got to do with anything?"

"You haven't got an account so I can't phone him".

"WHAT? How? What?....SO. You COULD call him if I DID have an account?"


Let's just think about this for a second. Don't you think that we're all better off without this person? It doesn't matter if it's Barclays policy. That's irrelevant. She could still just call him and give him my number but she just couldn't get her head round the idea of helping. This is a person too many. Admit it, if you could just press a button and she would disappear forever that button would be worn out on seconds.

Fuck the woman from Barclays. I'm keeping this wallet. I tried to help and that bastard wanted none of it. That money is mine. I looked in the wallet and right in amongst his money and his cards was a photo. A photo of a woman. A really disapproving, disappointed woman. She knew what I was doing and she hated me for it. FINE. I'll hand it in. Handing it in is a good thing. Mummy always told me to hand things in if I found something and now I'm taking Mummy's advice. The Barclays phone call had exhausted me anyway. I was giving up the will to help. But that photograph gave me such a telling off that I knew I had to do this one more thing. I went to the information desk and handed the wallet to a security idiot.

He looked at the wallet like he couldn't quite work out what it was. He then gave the same look to me. "I found it just outside". He looked even more confused. "It was just lying on the ground". He looked even more confused. "I thought I'd hand it in". His face almost swallowed itself.

"Maybe you could make an announcement over the tannoy?" His face now looked like he vaguely remembered this from his training. He even started to smile. Like he remembered that helping was good. "I'll do it right away", he said and off he went.

That was nice. It took him a while but he finally got it. If he helped someone then they would feel better and he would feel good about himself. Off he went to the tannoy to save the day. I had done the best I could and now he was going to do the same. Good for him.

I was in Lewisham Shopping Centre for a further half hour. No tannoy announcement was made.

So that's it. If I find anything belonging to you, IT'S MINE. I'm not putting myself through that again. Never ever help anyone.

Except Shelter. Always help Shelter. I'll even make it easy for you. I'm organising a little gig on the 21st November at The Phoenix, Cavendish Square, London and it is full of the very best comedy shows from this year's Edinburgh Fringe. The line up includes Tony Law, Paul Sinha, The Penny Dreadfuls, Pappys, Robin Ince & me, Sara Pascoe, Nick Helm, Mat Ricardo, Storytellers, Alex Zane, An Hour of Telly Live, The Trap (even though they haven't done Edinburgh for years) and a lot more. Some we have to keep ssshh about. It's called All Day Edinburgh, starts 2pm and I'll let you know how to get tickets as soon I know. It's very exciting. You'll be helping Shelter but I won't tell anyone.


Friday, 5 November 2010

Scream Test.

Is this supposed to be a fucking joke? How am I supposed to react? What am I supposed to do with this news and how does anyone expect me to carry on? Two weeks ago I had a blood test. I'm 42 years old and I've never had a blood test. I drink too much, I eat bad food and I rarely if ever exercise. I have managed to convince myself that using the Wii is exercise. Not Wii Fit but Wii Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? I have not looked after myself and I have psoriasis, asthma, a foot lump, arthritis, a beer belly and funny eyes. I am fucked, basically. So this blood test has had me scared. My big foot is still uncomfortable and the blood test will no doubt reveal that I have gangrene. My cholesterol will be sky high and I will be forced to give up booze. I will be one of those people that find out if they have one more drink they'll be dead. I've heard that story a lot over the years and think it's a blessed miracle that these people discover what will kill them just before that one last final drink. It's a blessed miracle and not a big fat lie. No. And I will be one of them. I will have the dirtiest blood that any medical professional has ever seen. It will be full of cancer and AIDS and bile and faeces flakes that are swimming around my body clogging up my heart. I will have an ulcer the size of a bean bag and an aneurysm that is actually fucking my brain. My liver will be fictional and my spleen will be cursing me on it's deathbed. Everything else I will tick off on my donor card quickly because the warm, loving, gentle grave awaits. But I will have a few blogs still to go and people will comment on my bravery. They will write and tell me that I'm an inspiration. Children with terminal illnesses will wipe a tear while admiring my good humour in spite of the painful inevitable.

I will find this out today because I will go into Dr. Finch's office and he will tell me the results of my blood test. The very results that he HAD to tell me face to face. I go into his office knowing my fate. My bravery, a reminder to the world that strength in times of despair must be illustrated.

And the thing they HAD to tell me face to face? I'M TOO HEALTHY. I'm in perfect condition. I can only imagine that I'm so much the THE ULTIMATE human being that they had to worry me for a week just so I could somehow come close to understanding what it must be like to be one of you pathetic, filthy blooded dweebs.

I mean, they wrote me a letter in cold, you're-going-to-die, black ink (not even a fun font) and they said I must speak to my doctor about an abnormality they found. The abnormality was that I have slightly aggressive blood cells in my stomach that love B12 but my B12 levels are normal so they are passive. COULDN'T THEY HAVE SENT ME A CARD? A lovely card with a smiley face on it saying "RESULT!" and you open it and it says "Your results are A OK, Blood!!" Why a fucking ice cold invitation to dine with The Grim Reaper if I'm fine? And my cholesterol? Do you want to know what he said about my cholesterol? He said "You could cut out the results and frame them". My Cholesterol is perfect. Like the rest of me, apparently.

So that's my tear-jerking, heroic, slip into the next world blog gone. Thanks, Dr. Twat.

My foot is getting better too. What's the fucking point?

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Pricks, Trains and Automobiles.

Not blogging is shit. Real life has got directly in the way of me complaining and it's a shame. It's not like the normal stupid things that happen to me have suddenly stopped happening to me. They definitely haven't. And thanks to real life not giving me any time to blog, I've had to keep this in since Saturday. I shouldn't ever keep these things in. Blogging is what keeps me from the High Street rifle massacre that's not that deep within me.

It goes without saying that Saturday's stupidity started on a train. Of course it fucking did. I was on my way to Manchester and was very much enjoying the quiet train journey. There were quite a few people on the train and they were all talking but not loudly or horribly. They were chatting happily to one another and, maybe this says a lot about most other train journeys I've taken, the atmosphere was cheery. I was even reading. A BOOK! I know, I wasn't watching some TV thing about spacemen, I was actually reading a book. This was a lovely relaxing train journey. Up until Stoke-On-Trent.

At Stoke-On-Trent, Fuck Face got on. Fuck Face is a very tired looking business man who has obviously had a bad day. He also looks like every day has been a bad day. Dishevelled, sweaty and red-faced; and that was just his hair. He put his bag down on the seat next to him which just happened to be the seat in front of me and then he collapsed into his own seat. He looked somehow incredibly spiteful of the world and happy to have a seat all at the same time. He phoned his friend and spoke about how many train delays and unexpected changes he'd had to make that day. He had to sit on the platform at Birmingham for over an hour. I could have almost felt sorry for him if it wasn't for him hating the other people near us chatting. He just hated the sound of them chatting. I should say that all the people near us were Chinese.

Oh now we're uncomfortable.

"I'm on China Airways", he said to his friend. "China Airways. I'm on China Airways. I'm on China Airways". He repeated this a billion times more than was necessary but his friend on the other end of the phone either didn't quite get what he was saying or he couldn't bare the fact that his friend is a stupid fucking racist. "I'm on China Airways", he continued while I stared at him. "Can't you hear them?"

It was then that he outstretched his arm and pointed his phone right at the chatting people. I tried to make my staring louder but he didn't notice and went back to his lovely phone call. "It's been like that since I got on. Ching chang chong ching". I slammed my hand on the table and we finally made eye contact. It took him about a half a nano second to completely understand my glare. He went quiet and wrapped up his call. Right after he hung up, I stepped in. "Really?", I said. "Do you think that was appropriate?"

"What?", he lied.

"Your racist conversation".

He sighed like he gets this all the flipping time.

"I'm not a racist", he claimed. "Why were you eavesdropping?"

EAVESDROPPING? You can't fucking eavesdrop on a phone being pointed at people who aren't speaking English and then a chorus of Ching Chang Chong. That's not eavesdropping. That's having awful shoved down your throat.

That's when I reminded him that he was being racist and pointed to the people who he was being racist about while saying "You were being racist about them" very loudly. He moved carriage.

I felt very smug and happy before the inevitable wave of you-really-are-going-to-get-your-teeth-kicked-in-one-day hit me.

But that was just a racist. I'd need a sexist as well to really make my day. I'm not saying that Fuck Face wasn't a sexist, I have every reason to think he most definitely is, but I have no proof. Luckily, a cab in Manchester provided me with one.

Right after the gig in Manchester, I decided to take a cab to the Frog & Bucket to catch The Boy With Tape On His Face. There was a lot of talk about him in Edinburgh but going to see shows in Edinburgh is boring and should never be encouraged. This was my chance to see him. As soon as I got in the cab, the conversation between the driver and me began. Here it is in it's entirety:

"Can you take me to the Frog & Bucket, please?"

"No problem, mate".

"Thank you".

"Lot of good looking women in town tonight".

"Yes. But you know how it is when you get to our age. It goes from fancying them to worrying about them".


"I mean, like a few years ago you'd see young girls wearing next to nothing and you'd go PHWOAR and now you just look at them and you think 'They'll be freezing later'".

"Don't you like women?"

" I do. I just mean that it's easy to worry about these girls. You'd like to think they'll be OK".

The cab pulls over to the side of the road. "Right. Get out. You sound queer, mate".

And that was it. I was thrown out of the cab. Thrown out of the cab for not ogling women. I say that was it. It wasn't quite. It was just so funny and shocking to be asked to leave a cab so soon into the journey that I got the giggles. Knowing fully well what I was doing, I said "Fair enough. How much do I owe you?"

"Nothing. Just get out".

My day was complete. You never really actually meet racists or sexists, unless you are racist or sexist, so to meet two in one day was really refreshingly depressing. I got another cab about 30 seconds later and told the cab driver what had just happened. He said "That could be one of a million cab drivers in Manchester. But I think I know who he is".

I think it's time to get back to blogging now. Two a week isn't enough. There will certainly be one tomorrow because today I go back to my doctor to discuss my blood test. My blood test that has come up with abnormalities. Abnormalities that he has to talk to me about face to face.


Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Witch Side Are You On?

There are several people that I know that consider Hallowe'en to be their favourite time of year. They celebrate it more lavishly than they do Christmas, New Year or even Tom Baker's birthday. These people are from America, a big bit of fat just off the coast of Ireland. Hallowe'en under these people's guidance is full of dressing up as a really sexy zombie and drinking cocktails called Dracula's Haemorrhage and thinking the last 27 Saw films were totally awesome. They have parties and laugh while dancing to the Time Warp and send their children out to Trick or Treat. THAT IS NOT FUCKING HALLOWE'EN, OK? Hallowe'en is way shitter than that.

I grew up in 70's Northern Ireland where it could be argued Hallowe'en came every day. Wearing masks and terrifying people door to door was pretty much a constant occurrence and the only difference being that on one of those days we got toffee apples instead of kneecapping. We didn't have Trick or Treat. We had something else. It was called Hallowe'en Rhyming. What happened was, a bunch of kids put on masks, NOT FUCKING COSTUMES, masks and went door to door singing while their parents stayed at home getting pissed and celebrating that the kids were away. We wore Dracula masks and ghost masks and werewolf masks and the song we sang was "FUCK THE POPE FOR HALLOWE'EN, GIVE US YOUR MONEY, PAPIST SHITE...." Only joking. The song was "Hallowe'en is coming and the goose is getting fat, will you please put a penny in the old man's hat". Oh, sure. These days with your The Saturdays and your Justin Beiber that probably sounds great but in our day that music was thought of as, as we would say, "balls". But people would give us money that we would put in a bag and at the end of the night we would play the game of Who Can Beat Everyone Up And Keep The Money? I wasn't that good at that game but, as my father would say, it's not the winning it's the getting your head kicked in that counts.

Of course nowadays kids don't even leave their bedrooms to Trick or Treat. They all have apps that do that for them. Oh, and they realise that Trick or Treat is shit and would rather be sold into the sex slave industry than ever do it. But in my day we had nothing during Hallowe'en and we were happy. Well, we were on the edge of suicide but that's as happy as you can expect for that time. We didn't have fancy costumes back in the 70's, we made a mask from the back of a Corn Flakes packet and superglued it to our face. We didn't have fancy sparklers, we had to strike two rocks together really near our faces. We didn't have fancy apples, we used to bob for frog spawn. And we certainly didn't have pumpkins. And that's what brings me to my point.

What happened to turnips? Have we become so clean? So sugar-coated? So AMERICAN??? Have we forgotten the humble turnip? Wasn't the turnip our friend in the 70's? Wasn't the turnip enough? Why have we sold our soul to the bigger, and admittedly far superior, pumpkin when it comes to pointlessly hollowing something out and sticking a candle in it as our biggest vegetable-based FUCK YOU to electricity? Hallowe'en is so squeaky clean now but in my day it was what it was supposed to be. Hallowe'en is a time for ghouls and monsters and what could be more horrific than encouraging a small child to cut himself to bits carving a fidgety little turnip, sticking a big 70's candle in it and burning down the house. When did Hallowe'en become

I encourage you, dear reader, to remember the joys of the past. This Hallowe'en bring your dog to a firework display and remain oblivious to it's fear, buy indoor fireworks so that all you can taste is sulphur for a month, stay up late and try to finger your partner during Friday the 13th and, for God's sake (after all, it is his day), buy a turnip and stay British.

I'm proud of you.

Reserve Judgement.

I have taken some bad train journeys in the course of my glittering career, a couple of good ones, but mainly bad ones. If you've read this blog before you may have noticed me getting all grumpy about train stories from arguing with noisy girls in wheelchairs to having a breakdown and demanding that a child give me their shoe. But this past weekend, keeping in mind all the fucking shitty, noisy, horrible, incompetent train journeys I've been on, was the worst trip I have ever taken.

I booked my ticket to Edinburgh on, the online thief. When I bought the ticket, despite clicking the "Do you want to reserve a seat?" option, it told me that it couldn't reserve a seat at this time. Fair enough, there's a glitch on the system, they can't reserve seats but surely they wouldn't sell me a ticket if there weren't any seats available. I mean, if there weren't any seats available it would say something like "There are no seats available" not "We cannot reserve a seat at this time". You can probably figure out where this is going.

Have you ever been on a train from London to Edinburgh? It takes a long time. Over 4 and a half hours. If there is one thing that you need on a 4 and a half hour train journey it's a seat. I got on the train and sure enough every single seat was reserved. Even the ones in First Class. That's OK, not everyone turns up. I'll still get a seat. Just need to be a bit patient. It was just a few minutes from the train moving and the build up started. Dozens of people crowding around the vestibule area (such a lovely name for a place that is essentially dark, filthy and has a broken toilet in it) of every carriage. Then they filled the aisles of every carriage. There were people without seat reservations everywhere. There was one seat free in the carriage I was in and several of us with no reservation hovered around it waiting to pounce. Well, I did for a bit. Then I saw a woman who was trying to settle her three kids in to two seats and felt she probably needed it more. Sadly, the idiot who blocked the aisle with his DJ decks didn't feel the same and took the seat. Dick.

And that was it. I tried to find the least crowded part of the floor and unsettled in for 4 and a half hours of being treated like a cunt. To say the least, I was fucking furious. Still, at least the ticket inspector will reassure me that all is well, eh?

I asked him "Hello. I bought this ticket online and..."

He immediately interrupted me with "It has nothing to do with me". Fucking brilliant. Right. One more time I tried to explain that I bought the ticket online and it never told me that the train was heavily over subscribed. He kept sighing and eventually told me that he wasn't in charge of East Coast Rail, a ticket does not guarantee me a seat and that he doesn't have to explain why I don't have a seat. This is what this monkey is trained to do: fuck all.

I understand that people have the choice to get on a train that has no seats but surely the train company should tell you that that's what you're doing. Plus if you don't have a seat should you really pay £112 to sit on the floor? Isn't £112 just a bit steep to sit on the floor for 4 and a half hours? I mean, it's a train not a Travelodge. I mean if all the seats are taken then that means the train is sold out, right? It's made it's money, right? Any more money it makes is just a lovely little bonus for East Coast Rail, right? Surely, when the train is full, £20 to sit on the floor would be a lot better, right? But it wanted to make even more money because the worst part of the journey was when the prick with the trolley came round. THE TRAIN IS RAMMED FULL, YOU CUNT. YOU CAN'T EXPECT US TO MOVE. THERE IS NOWHERE TO MOVE BUT OUTSIDE. WE WANT A SEAT NOT A KIT-KAT.

The way home was a lot better. I had a seat.

A seat next to a child.


Yeah, that's the gamble that I can understand with trains. I MIGHT have to sit next to a child, I get that. Not I MIGHT have to sit on the floor next to a teenager who is drinking canned cider and has all his belonging with him in a bag that has been urinated on in every country in Europe. The child was noisy but it was a child, a very young not-yet-talking child, so I didn't mind too much. What I did mind was how it kept reaching for my cup of tea while it's parents did nothing to stop it. It was annoying. I'd had a bad journey on the way up and the return was turning out to be not much better. I decided I was fed up.

That's when the child grabbed my tea with both hands and poured it all over itself.

I laughed for an hour.

It's really the only way to travel.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Don't Give Me a 'Break.

Well, the Tories certainly seem to have settled in now, haven't they? I have to say, I think they're very brave. It must be so difficult to decide that the only way forward financially is to cut benefits for people who are either sick or disabled. Then to actually go through with that must need real resolve. They either have the goodwill of the country in mind with the iron stomach to match or, and I'm just throwing this out there, they are pure undiluted evil. But fuck the disabled, me and all my friends are much more worried about the BBC. 16% of the licence fee that we must pay by law is now going to be taken from the BBC and given to "other" Government supported projects. So much for an independent BBC. Now, if this meant that the BBC had to sever most of BBC4 and Graham Norton's head, that would be fine but it'll probably mean more cheap shit like Hammers Under The House, Ash In The Attic and Bargain Cunt which are all exactly the same anyway or even worse the next series of Coast will have to be studio based.

I don't really worry about the BBC. That 16% could easily be made up for by not making all those exactly the same daytime TV programmes. Yes, they're cheap to make but they're even cheaper to not make. The BBC doesn't need Daytime TV. No-one needs daytime TV. Which brings me on to my real worry: ITV.

If you watch ITV then you must try your very, very best to understand that you are a massive fucking tool. You won't fully get it, of course, but you must try. There is nothing of any value that that broadcaster has to offer and it is so incredibly proud of it. I fucked up royally yesterday and watched Daybreak, a car crash where the two deceased victims, Chiles & Bleakley, look at their watches and speed through the swamps of banality until cheque time. I would urge you to watch it but that's what gets ITV through a lot of their output. "Ha ha! That looks shit. I must watch it" still gets a rating and ITV done does fink it did done good. Luckily, I'm a hypocrite and I really do need you to watch Daybreak. It is just so vast and empty and you try to stay with it but by concentrating on it you're cutting off anything getting to the brain. It's the closest thing you can get to drowning on your own sofa. And what underlines the banality even more is their Friday round up of the week from 4 Poofs and a Piano. Is there anything more cryingly dull and embarrassing than these ghosts of The King's Singers? See if you can get through any of this:

And it's not just Daybreak. ITV fills it's entire schedule with duffery. Lorraine, Daybreak's Torchwood, was full of "soap goss" (the most poisonous two words in the English language) and a fat man dressed as dirty ice-cream giving us important fashion advice such as hats are nice and shoes go on feet. Do I really need to mention The Jeremy Kyle Show, This Morning, Loose Cunting Women, Dickinson's Real Deal, The Alan Titchmarsh Show? ITV really is a mix of light chat and the end of days.

Plus if you can't see the emptiness of The X-Factor for yourself then your soul has packed up and left you. Either that or you and your soul are a pair of bastards that get off laughing at the mentally ill.

And ITV itself knows it. Go to the "Classic TV Shows" section of their website. Is The Prisoner on there? Fuck no. It's Jack Osbourne: Adrenaline Junkie, Vinnie Jones' Toughest Cops and Piers Morgan on Sandbanks. That's what the channel itself considers classic. Trinity is on there!

ITV have done maybe the odd period drama that was OK. Plus Cracker was good. Rising Damp, I suppose. Tiswas, I loved. But that's a long time ago. I won't mention Coronation Street because I just can't fathom it. I know it has it's moments but you have to understand: I watched Daybreak. I watched fucking DAYBREAK and I might never feel human again. Oh, ITV, when did you last have the pleasure of smelling a flower, watching a sunset, eating a well-prepared meal?

That's a quote from a BBC TV programme. Go on, Mitch Benn, stop fucking about and write a song for the channel that needs our support most. The BBC will make it through. ITV has lost it's way. Pity poor ITV.

Mind you, if it wasn't for all these shit programmes we would never have the excellent TV Burp. Which is on ITV.

Hmmm. Might need to rethink a few things.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Health & Footness.

So how is my big foot? Well, it's still big. Not as big as it was but definitely still bigger than the other one. The great thing is that it has opened so many doors for me while socialising. My big foot is a positive ice-breaker. Over the last week I've barely met anyone who hasn't asked "How's your big foot?" while smiling broadly at my pain. I'm fine with that (I'm not) but do they always have to follow it up with "It's gout"? Every time my big foot is mentioned someone will always say "gout". EVERY TIME. "You have a big foot? That'll be gout". "Your foot is sore? Gout". "Fancy a drink? GOUT". "Tickets, please. YOU ARE A MAN WHO HAS GOUT". "I now pronounce you man and GOUT". "Have you seen The Social Network yet? GOUT". "Do you have a Nectar card? GOUT" "Gout". "Gout". "GOUT".

Stop saying gout. Gout is a horrible condition that happens to really old people who eat meat, not cool teenage vegans like me. Plus the three medical professionals that have looked at my big foot have said it's not gout. Ah, shit. That means I have gout, doesn't it? The fact that it seems to target psoriasis sufferers who like drinking beer might have been a good clue. Ah, balls. I've got gout. That's your fucking fault, that is.

But the doctor doesn't think it's gout. Gout wouldn't be scary enough for him. He had other ways of terrifying the shit out of me and he did it in the good old fashioned Vincent Price kind of way. He appeared welcoming and cheery and then BITCH-SLAP! As soon as I walked into his room he said that he was looking forward to seeing me. That's nice, isn't it? Lewisham Hospital have been reading my blog so maybe all medical people in SE London think it's the coolest thing on the internet just like you do. Yeah, I felt pretty good about myself although I played it down due to modesty. "Really?", I said.

"Yes. According to my records, you're 1.8 centimetres tall".

Ah, the competence of Woodlands Health Centre kicks my ego in the gut once again. But we're not here to fix my ego. It's my big foot that's afoot. I took my shoe and sock off and he looked at my big foot. Actually, he stared at my big foot. I don't blame him. It's a very hypnotic foot. But he stared at it for ages. I mean a long time. Too long. My foot started to blush and avoid eye contact. Then eventually the doctor spoke.

"Is there a history of prostate cancer in your family?"

I said no while a massive nuclear bomb exploded in my anus. WHAT THE FUCK? It's a foot. Why would he mention prostate cancer while looking at my foot? Is that where the prostate is? I'm fairly sure it isn't but I don't know how wasps fuck so could I be sure that the prostate isn't in the right foot? WHY DID HE SAY PROSTATE CANCER? I'm too sexy to have prostate cancer. I have to die in a car crash or a drug suicide with Megan Fox. I can't go out via a long drawn out cancer. Why did he say CANCER?

He kept looking at my foot to the point where I thought he was falling in love with it. Great, I thought, I'm going to die and this git is going to run off with my foot. The silence was too long and loud, I had to break it. "Why?"

"No reason. No reason at all".

He smiled, shrugged and suggested a blood test. I would need to go to another health centre and make an appointment and I should stop doing the exercises they've given me because if we don't know what it is then there's no point aggravating it any more, plus I should keep taking the painkillers for now. Of course, I didn't hear this. All I heard was CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER. From the thin layer of sweat on my brow and the amount that I was crying the doctor realised that the cancer thing needed to be explained. He just wanted me to have a Wellman check and sometimes it comes up positive on prostate cancer even when it's not a concern. "Most men over 80 die with prostate cancer but not from it". He smiled again while I did some of my best staring. "It's not gout though", he said.

GIVE ME GOUT, YOU BASTARD! I want gout. I've really thought about gout and I've decided that that's the one for me. My foot will swell, I'll be in pain, I'll complain all the time. That is classic Legge. Give me gout. I don't like this prostate cancer. Even mentioning it in passing has made me taste my grave. No. I'm going for gout. You were right, everyone. I have gout. My gout. Michael Legge's lovely non-cancerous gout.

I went for my blood test two days later after my cancer scare. Admittedly, it wasn't a real cancer scare. In fact, it was just a cancer word. But I didn't expect it. Everyone was scaring me already by saying gout constantly. I wasn't expecting even the mere mention of anything scarier. Admittedly, the doctor could have maybe given me advice on a Wellman check a little easier than he did. He may as well have looked at my foot for two minutes and then said "Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?" It just wasn't what I expected. I wasn't taking any chances with the blood test. I knew that they would take 5 pints (well, vials) of my blood and I'd have to sit there and just let them do it. When I sat in the chair, I said to the nurse "I'm going to close my eyes. When you've finished will you tell me that I was brave?". She did just that. I like her the most.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Hellth Centre.

May I start by saying Hello to Lewisham Hospital? Hello! They're nice people who tweeted me recently and they read the blog. Good timing too because my big foot has been painful again. I thought, I can do one of two things: I can sit here all day watching PhoneShop (turns out I couldn't. I saw the first 10 minutes and it started to give me brain cancer) or I can go to my GP. Even if there was nothing wrong with me the choice was obvious. I made the appointment with Woodlands Health Centre and like a fucking idiot I actually thought I would get seen.

I've complained about Woodlands Health Centre before. Anyone who has ever had any contact with Woodlands Health Centre has complained about it before. Nothing wrong with the medical staff there but the badly stuffed, depressed scarecrows that work there are beyond useless. The answer to every question is "I don't know" and their facial expression for every occasion is "I don't care". It's like the awful woman in Charing Cross Station last week. I could argue with them but I'm fighting a losing battle. Well, I'm a loser, baby.

Woodlands Health Centre is a mile away from my house. A mile away and up hill. An uphill mile is a lot to drag a big foot through but in the interest of getting better, I did it. I took each agonising step with incredible dignity and poise. The pain shooting through my muscular frame went unnoticed by passers-by, such was my reluctance to complain or fuss. No human being has ever suffered as much and looked so fucking awesome in the history of everything ever. Thank you. It was a frigging pain walking all the way there, especially considering what happened.

"Hello. My name is Michael Legge. I have an appointment for 10.20".

The melted lump at reception stared right through me like she did to everyone at every time every day. I had to repeat myself a few times before any of the information got through to her boneless, brainless head. "It's running late", she said.

No "I'm sorry but we're badly behind schedule. Would you mind waiting?" No, none of that. Just a fat bored face mumbling "It's running late". I asked how late and she either shrugged or her shoulders swallowed her neck and vomited it up again. I can't be sure. "Dunno", she coughed. "45 minutes?"

I have never ever been to Woodlands and got what I came for first time. EVER. I always, always have to phone them, go there, get told it's not ready/it's running late/I done broked it, go home and then come back the next day. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I shouldn't have been so surprised that they had fucked it all up again as they always do. I dunno, I think I just gave them the benefit of the doubt which, of course, makes me King Cunt in this story. I didn't snap. Not yet. I just grumped.

"Couldn't you have called me to tell me it was running late?"

She went back to staring right through me. I stared back but not straight through her. I stared into her face. Just to see if she could emotionally connect with a human. Time passed and all I got was "I don't know".

I expected as much. Time to snap. "OK. So I have to wait 45 minutes?"


"Well, I can't wait that long. Any chance I can see the doctor before that?"

LONG PAUSE. "I don't know. He's not in yet".

Fucking brilliant. She's asking me to wait on someone who hasn't got in yet. I'm not blaming the delayed doctor, anything could have happened, but couldn't she have told me this at the beginning? Well?

"I don't know".


"Right. Can I make another appointment?"

This upset her greatly because it meant that she had to look at her computer again. She'd already looked at it once when I first walked in, just to confirm my name, address and appointment. Now she had to look at it AGAIN. Her computer was right beside her but she had to exhaust herself by moving her boneless head a little to look at it. "Tomorrow at 8?"

I didn't really fancy getting up even earlier to walk up a fucking hill for no fucking reason. In the end, we started haggling for time. After this she did her equivalent of a smile (like a skin bubble on custard bursting) and said all was confirmed. I turned to leave and she called after me.

"What was your name?"

MY FUCKING NAME IS THE ONE THAT WAS ON YOUR FUCKING COMPUTER SCREEN WHEN YOU LOOKED ME UP IN THE FIRST PLACE! If she spent half as much time and effort actually doing her job as she does painting ridiculous pictures on her fingernails there wouldn't be these problems. I left angry.

Is there a happy ending? Yes. 20 minutes later I walked through the park and watched a mum run after her 2 year old child saying "Leave that down. Leave it alone. It's dirty". The little boy had found a used condom and was running around waving it in the air.

If a sight like that doesn't lift your spirits...well, you probably work at the reception at Woodlands Health Centre.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Approach With Caution.

What do earphones do? Do they keep unwanted noise from people so that you can listen to music and not disturb others? Maybe. I think what they really do is block out the outside world. That is certainly why I use them. But some people don't get that. I'm always amazed at how some people don't see the obvious FUCK OFF's that I put out there. I'm reading a book on a train? People will start asking me questions like "Does this train stop at London Bridge?" or "Does this train not stop at London Bridge?" while completely ignoring the people around me who are just sitting there doing nothing but waiting for death. I'm walking down the street talking on my phone? People will come up to me and ask ridiculous questions like "Do you have the time?" or "Does this train stop at London Bridge?" I'M ON THE PHONE, DICKHEAD. ASK SOMEONE ELSE.

So let me ask that question again. What do earphones do? They tell you to FUCK OFF, that's what earphones do. If you see anyone wearing earphones then that is a shut shop. Go elsewhere. We're closed.

A young lady in Charing Cross station last night did not understand that simple rule. She didn't understand a lot of things.

I may have got pointlessly angry at the girl from 1992 last weekend because she had the audacity to be young but she was never rude. She was incredibly polite. But this fuckhead was obviously born before 1992 (like 1988. Same year as The Travelling Wilbury's album. Well done, dick) and she was just rude, rude, rude. She stood toooooooo close, that's already wrong, and said "Where's the Piccadilly Line?" I had earphones in my head. I did what anyone in my position would do. I ignored her. If she can't see that she's being told to FUCK OFF by two bits of plastic then that's her problem. Then she said it a bit louder. "Where's the Piccadilly Line?"

What the fuck has happened to excuse me and please? Is that just not hip?

I took my earphones out and said "Pardon me?" I genuinely, and stupidly, thought that if I showed some manners then she might display some too. What a big eejit I am, eh? "Where's the Piccadilly Line?"

I just sighed and said "There is no Piccadilly Line at this station". She then asked what I meant.

Yep. It was a tricky concept and I certainly didn't expect her to grasp it. Then I told her she needed to go up one stop on the Northern Line to Leicester Square and change there. She walked away.

What? She just walks away? No "Thank you"? Not even an "Right" or an "Oh"? She just walks away? My earphones were in. Earphones mean FUCK OFF. You can't just break into my world and then be rude. So, I went after her.

I tapped her on the shoulder and said "You're not even going to say thank you?" and she did it. She fucking did it. The rudest, most annoying thing you can do. She rolled her eyes and sucked her teeth. I fucking hate that noise. Who the hell came up with that? She walked away and I, a man in his 40's, shouted "You fucking cunt". The look on her face was emotionless. Totally blank. Like she hadn't registered someone shouting "you fucking cunt" at her because it happens every single day of her life. She walked on and away while I had to remain standing there and continue being The Man Who Just Shouted Cunt on the concourse of Charing Cross Station.

People often wonder why I get angry at rude people and my answer is always the same: there's no need to be rude and I'm just pointing out that rudeness shouldn't be tolerated. But when I meet someone like that I can see their point. There is no point in getting angry with someone like her because no matter what you do, no matter what you say, she just won't get it. She is the most important person in the world and has no idea how trivial she is. You could kick her in the face every day for a year but she still wouldn't get that being rude is wrong. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't kick her in the face every day for a year. But the result for her will always be the same: someone has got angry for no reason and she can just walk away and forget about it while they stay fuming.

I stayed fuming.

Luckily, I had Roundtable at 6 Music to do that night. I turned up to the studio all tense from a 10 second encounter with a bastard but it would soon all go. Roundtable is a brilliant fun radio show to do. Andrew Collins hosted and his guests were Midge Ure, Sean Rowley and me. The three of us listened to new records and Andrew asked our opinions. I'm so happy to say that I have something in common with the ex-lead singer of Ultravox and the founder of Guilty Pleasures: we all hate everything. The records just got panned. Even when we were being positive we were saying they were shit. You can listen to it here:

Midge seemed like a nice man and Sean was just fantastic company. He is a great talker. Someone who obviously soaks up information and then can't wait to share it with you. Even when he's talking about constellation therapy, where you are coaxed to go deep within your mind and have conversations with long dead relatives, you didn't feel like "Oh no! He's a nutter". It was more "Brilliant! He's a nutter!" A really fun, lovely man. I wonder if I'll ever see him again?

Andrew and I went out and got drunk. Not just drunk, putting-the-world-to-rights drunk. We solved the world's problems with religion, atheism, war and Mums over too much beer. Well too much beer for us. We even had a chat with Dave Rotheray. Later we were joined by Liz Buckley (would have been earlier but I gave her the wrong address) and, as she's a woman, we pretended to be sober for a while. Didn't work.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Are You Smarter Than An 18 Year Old?

What have I been doing since 1992? Have I done anything? I'm not sure. I went to America once but does that count as actually doing anything?

I've been thinking about this since Saturday night. During the interval at a gig, a completely thoughtless bastard came up to me and said how much she was enjoying the show. Dick. She then went on to say that she loved Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire in Edinburgh. Dick. I turned to the unfeeling, inconsiderate idiot and said "Thanks. Why would someone as young as you want to go to watch a pair of old men grumping around?" She replied with "I know. I was 17 in Edinburgh. I'm 18 now". There are few things that hit you harder than the realisation that punched me right in the face.

I am talking to someone who is younger than The Drowners.

For fuck's sake. How can anyone be younger than The Drowners? How can you stand up without help, form sentences and make potty all by yourself if you're younger than The Drowners? Fuck it, she's younger than Your Arsenal and It's A Shame About Ray. SHE'S YOUNGER THAN RESERVOIR DOGS. It's fucking disgusting.

I quickly wrapped up the chat because my head hurt with all this thinking. I seem to be thinking about time a lot recently. In August I overheard someone in a cafe say "Don't worry about it. It's all in the past" and I came up with the world's most pointless and boring theory. It really IS all in the past. Everything. Absolutely everything is in the past. EVEN THE FUTURE! Because we don't know what will happen in the future, or if the future will even ever come, it is all in the past. We only assume tomorrow is Thursday because of all the other Thursdays in the past. In a way, we're travelling backwards in time. And, because everything we can fathom comes from things we all already know IT'S ALL IN THE PAST. My friend, Barney, said "What you're about to say next isn't in the past". "It is", I replied. And it was. IT'S ALL IN THE PAST.

This tedious thought and my insistence on going on about it upset at least two people during the Edinburgh Festival. I can see why.

Then I met this girl who was born in 1992. A grown adult born in 1992. A grown adult who completely missed The Stone Roses. And, instead of doing the usual I'm-smarter-than-a-young-person thing that we oldies often do I realised that she has to be smarter and more knowledgeable than me. She has to. The years 1968-1992 are pretty well documented. Big stuff happened. Man landed on the moon, The Beatles split up, the three-day week, Harold Wilson, Star Wars, Thatcher, Reagan, the Falklands War, the miner's strike, Haysi Fantayzee flick the v's on Top Of The Pops, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela's release, The Drowners. The important things in that list are all well known. Everything else that happened to me during that time was just me pissing about. What isn't that well documented, or at least it isn't ever pointed out to me, are things that have happened in the last few years. Things that the girl from 1992 will know very well, because she is young, as well as everything that has happened since I was born. I only just found out who Justin Beiber is and up until a few months ago I was blissfully unaware of the £2 coin, something that went into circulation when she was 4. That's right, I'm 42 and starting to forget things already. There was a time when I could have told you the drummer or bass player from every awful heavy metal band in 1980's Britain but the other day one of them told me to fuck off and I couldn't quite place him (it's a long story). But this CHILD, this thoughtless uncaring bastard of a child, who timed her existence on Earth brilliantly to avoid Sylverster McCoy's era, with her compliments and warmth, will know more about the world than I do.

I'm all in the past.

BUT....the future is Los Quattros Cvnts! Come and see the return of Los Quattros Cvnts tonight at The Phoenix, Cavendish Square at 8pm. Our excellent guests are Colin Hoult and Caroline Mabey. Get there early, seats go very quickly.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

She Sells Sanctimony.

There are only two things that really get on my nerves (there aren't, there are billions) and those things are religion and shit documentaries. Imagine my luck then last night when I realised that no one would go out drinking with me and I had NO CHOICE but to stay in and watch The Secrets Of Scientology. It really pulled the lid off this strange, weird religion. Did you know that some people who are members of a religion are insane? Well, I never!

The Secrets of Scientology is a follow up to John Sweeney's 2007 documentary, Scientology and Me, which I haven't seen but there is enough clips of it here that got me right up to speed. The Church of Scientology is full of nutters. There, now you're up to speed too.

I lost faith in the documentary pretty much immediately. It started with the usual, incredibly dull reference point that everything to do with Scientology starts with: "The religion of the stars" and then cut to a picture of Tom Cruise. Surely there are thousands more Christian celebrities than there are famous Scientologists? Some Jewish people own chimpanzees. Is Judaism the faith of monkey owners? Of course not. Chimpanzees are apes, not monkeys. Everyone knows that, dick. John Sweeney even goes on to interview three of the 25 million celebrities on Earth and, for reasons I can't figure out, doesn't show the interviews. He just assures us that what they said was zany. When Sweeney finds out that Scientologists believe in an intergalactic warlord who is still living on Earth he confronts the celebrities and asks them what they think about that. They all deny it. Well, Sweeney says they denied it. Although the documentary clearly shows him asking the question it never once shows the celebrities response. That's like the news on 9/11 just showing a loop of the opening titles to Sex And The City and saying "Trust me. They're gone now".

The documentary is full of stuff like this. Five minutes in and Sweeney is complaining about being filmed by the Church. All the documentary proved at that point is that some people in central London have video cameras.

And that was the one interesting thing about the documentary. Every single thing we hear is a second hand story. Bad things happen to some people in this religion but we don't see it. Bad things happen to people when they leave this religion but we don't see it. But the Church of Scientology wouldn't let you see it, would they? They are evil and will destroy anyone who speaks out against their faith. So why did they openly follow and film John Sweeney wherever he went in California? I mean, the documentary clearly showed cars following him, people following him and if he stopped to interview anyone a film crew appeared and shoved cameras right in his face. If the Church of Scientology is so protective and secretive, why would they openly reveal this kind of harassment? Does the documentary answer that one? Nah.

So what secrets have been revealed in The Secrets of Scientology? That it's a closed off cult catering to the weak and a force that uses fear against anyone who decries what it claims it stands for. In other words, it's a religion. In fact, at one point Kirsty Alley gets upset with Sweeney for using the word "cult". "Would you turn around to a jewish person and say that they are in a cult?" she says pointing her big finger in his face. "No", he whimpers.

WHY NOT? It's a cult. Catholicism is a cult. Islam is a cult. Loud Atheism is a cult. Twitter is a cult. What a ridiculous point to make and an even more ridiculous point to shy away from. Stupid bloody religious people and stupid bloody documentary makers. They deserve each other.

But I understand why he whimpered no. Kirsty Alley is proud and protective about her connections to the Church of Scientology and you must respect people's beliefs. And that's my major problem. That phrase. "You must respect people's beliefs". Why? People's beliefs are fucking insane. There isn't a single religion that isn't an affront to humanity. Islam hates women. Catholic Priests fuck children. The Church of England is boring. I don't see a single reason to respect people's beliefs. People are dicks.

And here's my new person-that-I-hate. Yes, yesterday it was George Lucas but yesterday was months ago. Today it's Ching Hai, or to giver her her full name Supreme Master Ching Hai. Ching Hai is a boring bastard who funds her tedious religion by writing books about her dogs and selling jewellery. She has a following of over 20,000 people. She is vegan and loves dogs! I should love her! I dunno though...there's just something about someone who starts up their own religion and calls herself Supreme Master that doesn't sit comfortably with me. I discovered Ching Hai while in a vegan restaurant in Vienna. Her books and poetry were everywhere (Poetry sample: "That afternoon, I too wanted to be a statue") as was her biography. Christ, she's a big headed bitch. I think once you know that her website is surely that should be enough to put you off her. My favourite part of her story is when she met a Buddhist monk, learnt from him but was rejected acceptance into his monastery. Buddhism is all about being open, peaceful and connecting to all living things. If you're not accepted by them you know you're a right cunt. But some people love her. She even owns a TV station that attracts the big time celebrities that the Church of Scientology could only dream of. Eric Roberts thinks we should thank her for everything, including her poetry. That's right, Doctor Who fans, The Master follows the Supreme Master. Depressing: