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This is a question I'm your biggest Fan

Tell us about your heroes. No. Scratch that.

Tell us about the lengths you've gone to in order to show your devotion to your heroes. Just how big a fan are you?

and we've already heard the fan jokes, thankyou

(, Thu 16 Apr 2009, 20:31)
Pages: Latest, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Very short ones..
The town that I live in is fortunate enough to have a Premiership rugby team, and I'm fortunate enough to work there, on the door to the players lounge, on matchdays.

It's really not as much fun as it sounds. Post game, the tiny landing is full to bursting with hundreds of shouting kids after players autographs, and every now and again you have to get them all to take three steps back so's they can breathe. I just treat it like a job, although some of the players are lovely, and will stop and say hello to us, even give us a hug and a kiss if it's been a good day.

Trouble is, although I do like watching rugby, I really have no idea who most of the players are. They're lovely, but they're work colleagues and that's that.

Or it was, until I found myself in the boozer (what a shocker!)to watch some six nations with a few friends. And there's my work colleagues, running out onto the pitch..as players (on all six sides it turned out).. I stretched my mates' patience by saying "I know him" "I know him as well!" "Ahh he's lovely!"

A bit slow, but not as slow as last summer.

I used to quite like Henry Rollins' stuff, music and ranting, but he wasn't the major draw to the festival in my home town. So when an interesting greyish haired man with tattoos hoved towards me on the path I thought he looked familiar, but couldn't place him, so I just said "Hya!" 'cos I thought I knew him from work (see above!)plus he wasn't obviously married or manky, and at my age this is gold dust! He grinned and said "Hi!" back.. then my mates called me over to the beer tent, so I shrugged, and said I'd catch him later..

I did catch him later. When he was doing some spoken word stuff indoors. Stood on the stage, bollocking us for not traveling enough, and throwing more food away than the Americans did. Yes it wasn't just an interesting looking bloke, it was Henry Rollins.

Mind, I did the same thing to Francis Rossi at Donington Festival in 1983,'cos I thought I knew him from the pub...

This is why I'm not a fangirl, I don't have the memory or the concentration..
(, Wed 22 Apr 2009, 9:17, 4 replies)
Having just read the actual question properly.....
About twelve years ago, I decided to write to a hero of mine, the Hallowed and Revered Mr. Gary Larson.

Having been an embryonic cartoonist since I was teensy, I had never really put any effort into actually trying to become one. Hours spent laughing at greetings cards with Larson cartoons on them and poring through Far Side books both influenced and inspired me and set me on the path of a cartoonist career (a path that led nowhere then, but I've recently began to re-tread, in some ways, but I digress.)

I wrote about how he had entertained me, educated me, inspired me and how following his work had focused me into producing my own. I mentioned a few of my favourite cartoons, and even had a crack at some light humour in the hope of raising a grin on the great man's face. All in, it took me a few hours. I read and re-read it to be sure I didn't sound like an awestruck, gurning idiot and posted it off to the address given for fanmail, not really expecting a reply.

A short time later, however, a reply came! I remember the anticipation as I opened it..... what would the great man say? Would there be any pearls of advice for me? Would he have sent an autograph or better, a signed print of one of his cartoons?

I opened the folded piece of paper and saw the logo of the syndicate that sold Larson's cartoons worldwide. Below, hurriedly written were three words.

"Gary says thanks".

I think no reply would have been better, because now I doubt the shit's even forwarded my letter to him.

He's still a great hero of mine though. But it was then that I first realised corporations are dicks.
(, Wed 22 Apr 2009, 3:34, 1 reply)
Ian Wright
185 goals in 288 appearances for Arsenal, 8 goals in 33 appearances for England, 1991/2 golden boot winner, MBE, television presenter, winner of 1 league, 2 FA cups, 1 league cup, 1 cup-winners' cup, nearly 400 professional goals, once told me...

to "fuck off".

That is all.

Also, Bob Hoskins' dad once made me a cup of tea.
(, Wed 22 Apr 2009, 1:34, 10 replies)
The Writer.
Ever since I was a young Miraclefish, just starting to realise that the written world was greater than the televised and computerised world in every manner possible, I came across a writer. A gonzo journalist, in the vein of Hunter S and Kerouac. A man who weaves words like a seamstress.

Long did I read in open-mouthed wonder. Then one day I got a job in the media, a junior position on a title he used to write for, nay, the only one he'd write for in the country.

There came a day, a long-standing member of staff turned was leaving. And he was coming to wish them well. My hero in the same building as me? Words couldn't describe. He turned up. He told a story involving malaria, some tabs of acid and the hospital at the French Embassy in Buenos Aires. This man was everything I'd hoped.

We all got drunk. I stood next to him when I went for a piss. He told me the secret to being a great writer.

He then asked if it was a normal thing to do to ask a complete stranger if he could sleep on their sofa. He then asked if he could sleep on my sofa.

That was a long time ago.

We've been friends ever since. I had a chance to work and write with him, a trip into Europe that was the best and worst experience of my life.

And, because of the advice he gave me, and the inspiration his work gave me in the first place, people are beginning to say I'm better than him. They're completely fucking insane, but it's the greatest compliment I've ever been paid.

So, cheers, Dan, you're a legend.
(, Wed 22 Apr 2009, 0:23, 2 replies)
University Challenge
Ok, this QOTW was made for me, and if this doesn't make the top of the front page I will CRY.

Way back in...2003 I think it was, I was a music student, practising scales and Piatti Caprices for several hours a day, bored out of my nut. One of the few things that made life worth living was the weekly ritual of sitting down with a cup of tea to watch University Challenge.

I've been watching University Challenge since the beginning of its Paxman-era comeback - when I was living at home, my parents used to watch it with calculators, adding up their scores. They were hugely competitive about it. In fact, the only screaming argument I've ever had with my mother happened when she deliberately talked over a question she knew I would otherwise have been able to answer correctly. Anyway, other than that, the main thing that I enjoyed and still enjoy about University Challenge was the totty. Other girls might get their kicks out of movie stars, sportsmen or beefcake centerfolds; I like geeks. For me, University Challenge is, honest to God, the ultimate repository of gorgeous men in the media. You can keep your Brad Pitts and your Tom Cruises - watching a bespectacled nerd answer obscure questions about 12th century monarchs gets me so hot.

This series, one particular gorgeous sexy geek caught my perverted eye. He had a big grin, a beautiful neck and a really nice lower back. And yes, I could tell that he had a nice lower back, even though I only saw him from the front - it was something about the way he leaned forward intently whilst discussing answers with his team. I was smitten. Thoughts of performing complex integration by parts with him dominated many a happy Monday night. As the tournament progressed, the programmes on which he was featured in all his nerdy glory became more frequent. Lustful thoughts about him began creeping into my everyday consciousness. By God, he was sexy. When his team - which, of course, I had been fervently supporting owing to their totty factor - eventually won the tournament, a thought occurred to me: Geeks don't often get told that they're sexy. Perhaps nobody has told him just how goddamn gorgeous he is. Perhaps he'd like to know. And this is why I sent him the following lovingly-handwritten letter:

Dear University Challenge Hottie,

I have been watching University Challenge for many years. I don't have an affiliation with any particular university, so as for supporting teams, I always simply root for the one with the the greatest number of attractive males. Throughout the last series, I have been consistently supporting your team because you are by far the yummiest specimen of gorgeousness ever to have appeared on the programme. I'd like to rip your underpants off with my teeth whilst you talk dirty to me in Ancient Greek.

I'm buggered if I'm telling you who I am - my propensity for embarrassing myself doesn't extend quite that far - but I just thought you might like to know that some random stranger has been wetting her knickers over you for the last few months. Thank you very much for making several of my Monday evenings much more entertaining.

Yours lustfully,
The Proverbial Secret Admirer

A few years later, I was toiling selling advertising space in a classical music magazine (a significant step up the sanity ladder). Bored in the office one day, trawling through the news websites, as you do, I found something that almost made me spit coffee on my monitor. He had actually quoted me in The Times:

If the cameras inspire vanity, the viewers' reaction tries to corrupt even your humblest of thoughts. One of my letters actually contained the phrase: "You are by far the yummiest specimen of gorgeousness ever to have appeared on the programme." I assure you, this is not true, even with my post-trendy Hoxton fin.

Have any other b3tans had their creepy fan mail quoted in a national broadsheet? I think not. You may click now.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 22:52, 18 replies)
Sad sad sad.

One day, I was on my way back from London on the late train and I ended up sitting across the aisle from Geoffrey Perkins. Legendary producer of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy and virtually every quality comedy program of the 1980s.

He looked busy, so I didn't disturb him, even just to say "Thanks for the laughs".

A few weeks later he fainted and fell under a truck, so now I'll never have the chance. And that makes me sad.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 21:59, 1 reply)
Mary Whitehouse Experience on tour early 1990s
Let the record state that Rob Newman was a shy, retiring lovely young chappy. And he was more than happy to chat complete bollocks with the stoned, young Ms Twaddle and her equally mentally challenged mate when they "accidentally" met at the stage door. Which explains why I salute Mr Robert of Newman and call David Baddiel a twat. Because he was, and still is.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 21:38, 7 replies)
Things we have learnt from this qotw:

1) Jimmy Saville is a nutter
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 20:02, 1 reply)
John Noakes dog sex frenzy
John Noakes was coming to our youth club to do some filming for Blue Peter.

John bloody Noakes!

Better still, he was bringing Shep along, and they were going to film the dog training class. The dog training class that my mum went to with Snoopy - the worst-behaved Beagle-cross-Labrador-cross-Maniac on the planet.

For the days leading up to the event, I pleaded and pleaded with her take the evil pup instead of her, for through Noakes - if I got into his good books - lay the road to the real mother lode - Val Singleton.

In the end, and for a quiet life, she caved in and I turned up on the appointed day ready for some red hot Noakes action.

The man himself turned up in his Triumph Stag, donned the holy BP badge, and after a few jocular 'Get down Sheps', the class began.

It didn't last long.

Imagine - if you will - the frenzied cry of a young teen as his dog slipped his collar. Imagine, too, a sound effect that went something like:

"Nnnnnyeeeeeeee-ooooooooooow! FLUPP!"

...being the sound of Beagle-cross-Labrador-cross-Maniac connecting with Britain's top TV presenter and giving his leg the rogering of its life.

There was a stunned silence, before the great man looked me in the eye and said "Don't just stand there - gerrim off me leg".

Words I treasure to this day.

The youth club windows were crowded with local kids and hangers-on watching my downfall, who jeered mercilessly as I was ordered out by the producer and told I'd never work in broadcasting ever again.

But who cares? John Noakes! My dog actually shagged John bloody Noakes!

And hot piss! It's the original long version of this tale I wrote six years ago: Click-u-like
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 19:55, 8 replies)
Tesco is not the place you imagine meeting your hero...
Lurker, first time, etc, etc.

No, really. The man who I wanted to meet more than any other...Mr Stephen King in Tescos, Lakeside. Ever since I badgered my mum to get me his books out of the adult library when I was 13 he has been my favourite authour. I really do think that the man is amazing.

He was promoting 'Lisey's Story' in the UK by doing signings at supermarkets. I arrived early - the signing was at 3ish and I was there by 12. The queue was snaked around the isles and you could smell the fanboy and fangirl sweat. We were told by a man with an earpiece that Mr King would sign one book per person and that you must purchase a copy of the novel in the store. No problem. The man behind me was a Stephen King book dealer and had some super expensive first edition to be signed. We got chatting. I had my camera with me and I asked Mr Earpiece about photos. He informed me that Mr King does not mind having his photo taken but does not pose for photos. Fair enough.
Mr Bookdealer then asked me if I would like him to take a photo of me with my camera whilst I was getting the book signed. I of course said yes and offered to return the favour, then email him the photo. We had a deal.
The time of the signing then came up. There was a couple of hundred people there and there was an hour for the signing. It became pretty apparent that Steve and myself were not going to have the leisurely chat that I had envisioned. This was a few years back and not long after the final book of the Dark Tower series was published, and the internet was ablaze with bitching at the ending of the series. I liked it, and I decided that Mr King should know this. I was not going to queue up for over 3 hours and not have him say anything to me.

The queue was finally snaking round so I could see him. He was taller than I had imagined, and with the smoothest skin of a man near sixty I have ever seen. He was chewing on a toothpick and not really saying much to anyone. I was beginning to doubt my plan of engaging him in conversation, but this was my moment damn it!!! I couldn't not talk to him, could I?

I was getting close to the front now. I handed my camera to Mr Bookdealer and took a deep breath, as I was beginning to hyperventilate. I walked up to him. This was it.

"Hiya!!!!!!" I said. He nodded at me. I was undeterred. The articulate speech I had planned came out in one big rush...



I saw the camera flash behind me.

The king of weird removed the toothpick from his mouth. He looked at me like I was certifiable.

"Gee, thanks"

I then made a noise halfway between a giggle and a sigh. He nodded at Mr Earpiece.

It was Mr Bookdealer's turn. I dutifuly took his photograph and drove home on cloud nine. I got home and emailed the photographs to the bookdealer.

Then I sat down and thought about it. I had freaked out the man who wrote It. The shame.

As a lovely footnote, I checked Ebay a couple of days later to see how much the signed books were going for. Mr Bookdealer was selling my photographs. Bastard.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 18:53, 5 replies)
Only Fools...
Where I work we tend to have 'celebrities' through the doors on a daily basis. Usually they're from the UK small screen & stage but every now and again we get a Hollywood 'A lister'. However I digress. This tale involves a UK TV legend, David Jason of Only Fools and Horses fame.

That day, my ex-colleague (and still a good friend) and I were aware of his imminent arrival. Now said colleague adored the man. She'd grown up watching him on TV, Massive Only Fools fan - had every DVD / Video going etc. etc. She was very nearly on the verge of moistening her trolleys with excitement.

So his car pulls up and in strolls Sir David. He's a very friendly bloke, as you might imagine. He was saying hello to everyone and generally being cheery and chatty even though we were mere dogsbodies at the time. (You've got to love the media industry for that - You need a degree to get a job which involves lots of making tea*).

Then he reached the young lady in question, and his eyes very nearly came out on stalks.

You see, she's an attractive lass. Young (was 18 at the time), slim, got a mane of blonde hair, a penchant for low-cut tops, and is blessed with one of the finest pair of Norks known to all of mankind.

She was totally starstruck. She couldn't even speak.

Now Sir David isn't the tallest of chaps. And what with his eyeline being where it was, he was grinning like a fucking chimp.

Comments like "Blimey!" and "I'm surprised you boys get any work done round here" were forthcoming before he gave her a (tight) hug, a peck on the cheek and disappeared to earn his astronomical fee.

She was so happy just to have met him that she was on the edge of tears. Though later she did mention that it was a little (but not very) disappointing that when she met the celebrity she admired the most, all he could do was stare at her tits.

Both times - He came back for another look on the way out.

*I'm pleased to say that I don't make the tea any more. I've progressed on to coffee.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 18:10, 9 replies)
Ashamed of Surrey
Maladicta's post on page 1 prompted me to post this. I have a confession to make.

I am a Final Fantasy fangirl.

It's all my first boyfriends' fault. I went round his house one day to see him playing FFVII on his PlayStation. I sat there for about half an hour before deciding "bugger this for a game of soldiers" and leaving. Leaving, in order to go down to the nearest Electronics Boutique to buy a PlayStation and copy of VII for myself, since the selfish bastard wouldn't let me have a go.

Since then, I've become Squareenix's bitch, and a lost cause in the process. I've collected the entire catalogue, with the exception of XI which was the online PC one, as my bank manager would no doubt draw the line at another MMORPG. I've completed them all, as well. Many, more than once.

I've raided Forbidden Planet to collect the Square Arts action figures. I'm only missing the Advent Children version of Tifa. This fact drives me nuts.

I imported a rare plushie Gold Chocobo from Japan, which has pride of place in one of my rooms.

I bought the jewellery sets (Tidus' ring, minature sword etc).

I have doujinshi featuring my favourite characters (mainly Vincent from VII as I'm a sucker for the moody bad boy type).

A Christmas or two ago, my boyfriend bought me a cosplay outfit of Lulu from FFX. I've worn it.

The clincher came when XII was released. There was a big launch party at HMV on Oxford Street, the game designers were going to be there, there was a cosplay competition, free goodies, the works. As I work a stone's throw from the store, I was, what can only be termed as "over the moon, Brian". I had my costume, it would be fan-fucking-tastic. Except that my company got me a late deal and booked me on a training course. On the day of the launch. Fucksticks.

I couldn't get out of it, and ended up missing the bash. I was distraught. But cheered up when Mr Kitimariana came over with a signed copy of the game, special release soundtracks and postcards, as well as numerous photographs. In spite of not being int the thing like I am, he braved the crowds to get me as much as he could. Bless.

One last tale of slavish fangirldom. I was sitting on a bus minding my own business, when I suddenly notice that the guy sitting next to me fiddling with his PSP is playing VII on it. He's doing OK - going through the Cosmo Canyon part, coming up to the boss in the Gi caves. I'm watching over his shoulder you see, desperately trying to seem like I'm not. It's hopeless. I lean over and point out that he'd have a much easier time with the boss fight if he used a Megalixir, and has he thought about arranging his Materia in THIS way as opposed to THAT way?

I'm sure he thought I was a bit demented. He may well have been onto something.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 17:15, 12 replies)
Jessicka Fodera and Jimmy Saville!
For anyone that doesn't know, Jessicka was the singer of a band called Jack off Jill (JOJ), and is currently the singer of a band called Scarling.

Since I was about 15 (10 years ago, now), I really got into JOJ and had a bit of a thing for Jessicka; I'm not sure why, probably just the main focus of my teenage hormones!

Now, I never got to see JOJ as they never played the UK, and was a bit disappointed when they split up at the start of this century, but these things happen..

I'd heard in 2002/3 that Jessicka was in another band, Scarling, and that they were going to play in the UK for the first time, needless to say I was a little giddy, and dragged my girlfriend along with me down to the Purple Turtle in London to finally see the woman perform. It wasn't a huge affair, a lot of pretentious scenester types there, as well as internet-fame manwhore Jeffree Star (who it turns out was doing the band's makeup) who it appeared was trying to convince one of the pretentious types to let him vacuum the snake, so to speak.

The gig was good, not great, but we had lots of fun, and the people were nice enough (aside from said pretentious pricks) - on a side note, it was also quite strange having a pee next to Simon Price, the music journalist who was running the club night after the gig.

Anyway, after the gig, I got talking to a few members of the band, and they were all lovely (they gave me and my GF a load of free merch because we were the only people that would bother talking to them), but Jessicka wasn't there, and we inquired if she would be coming out. The response was a little disheartening:

"She doesn't like to talk to people that much, and usually avoids the crowds."


About an hour later my girlfriend was feeling a bit ill so we decided to leave. As we exited the club, outside, on her own, was Jessicka. I felt a sudden wave of excitement, and tried as hard as I could to compose myself and approach her.

ME: "Excuse me, I uh.. er.."

HER: "Yes?"

ME: "I uhm... wow."

MY GF: "Excuse him, he thinks you're great"

Jessicka just smiled and gave me a hug. I mumbled "thanks", and that was that. I was too giddy and bumbling to say anything more. I felt like a bit of an idiot afterwards, but it was nice to get a sympathy hug off of one of your favourite vocalists for being inept at speaking.

4 months later, Scarling played Leeds - yay, no travelling this time! I once again got to meet Jessicka, but I was far more composed (read: drunk) and got to actually say how much I enjoyed her music etc etc. and she planted a kiss on my hand. Sadly, she was wearing some cheap shitty lipstick, and I now have a tiny scarred patch on the back of my right hand where I had an allergic reaction to the lippy... Bugger. I'm not much of a fan now...


Now then, Jimmy Saville..

I've met Jimmy a couple of times in Leeds, and the guy is a complete fruitcake:

The first meeting was at an Indian Restaurant, a few minutes from where Jimmy lives - he stumbled in, smoked a cigar and looked around for anyone who was willing to have a chat.

We were paying our bill at the time, and Jimmy walks up and gives a 'How do?', I respond to the positive, and return the question, he replies with '10 out of 10 lad, 10 out of 10.. but now it is time to don my disguise!'

He proceeds to pull his wooly hat over his head, puts his sunglasses onto his face which is now covered by the hat, exclaims 'ohhh, I can't see lad!', stumbles out of the restaurant, and proceeds to drive his car in reverse (no word of a lie) all the way back to his flat. - I must add that he did remove the hat before getting into the car, but still..


The second time was at a (now closed) Cantonese restaurant . My girlfriend and I were waiting for a table, as was Jimmy, and we were having a bit of a banter he was wearing a green and black Adidas shellsuit, with the jacket opened to reveal a Rab C. Nesbitt-esque string vest, ewww. For some reason, he kept asking my girlfriend to sit on his knee, or that she looked a bit tired and that she can have a nap under his chair (???).

He then gets seen to his table, which is right next to the waiting area, Jimmy then turns round, looks me in the eye and says "Now then, don't you be dipping your hand in my pockets and stealing all my jewels!"

My girlfriend replies with "We wouldn't think of it Jimmy!"

Jimmy shot back with "I know *you* wouldn't because you're lovely, but him (pointing at me), he looks a bit shifty"

Insulted by a geriatric nutter..

Forget Length, It's scarred and covered in jingle-jangle-jewellery
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 16:42, 4 replies)
Comic Books, Children, and Pretend Piss
It was a fucking hot day in North London, the type of hot that makes the grit and general airborne crap stick to your skin and give you a pebbledash complexion. I'd just been dragged round the garden centre off Kentish Town Road by Ms Hanky and wasn't in the best of moods. Unlike her, the sight of a fucking pot plant doesn't make me wet. And those little gnome things aren't "charming", they're simply a load of old bollocks.

On the way back up to our gaff in Tufnell Park Ms. Hanky notices there's a comic book fare on. As a peace offering she suggests we go in and have a look round. Now, unlike pot plants, comic books give me the horn. I pop into the newsagents and get us each a bottle of water, on account of the swealtering heat, and we go inside.

Heaven - on - fucking - Earth...

That's all I can say about this place. They've got pretty much everything on show. Ms Hanky fucks off to the toilets to do what women everywhere seem to do - have a piss whenever they see there's a toilet in the vicinity. Leaving me to wonder about in this wonderland of literary delights, with added nunchucks and blokes in tights (you don't get that in Jane-fucking-Austin).

And then I see it. Maner from fucking heaven...

Its a bog standard copy of V for Vendetta; already got a couple of those at home, but this ones been touched by God. This one bears the signature of Alan Moore...

I very nearly spaffed all over the counter. And it was going for a song. Twenty notes and the fucker would be mine. I grab the book and reach into my pocket and suddenly realise I don't have any money - I've never got any money on me, ever, when I'm about to make an impulse purchase - I'm not allowed to carry lots of cash ever since the day I turned up at the flat having shelled out five-hundred quid on a rather nifty fusball table. The Mrs. went absolutely apoplectic.

"Sorry, mate - I've got no cash on me now. Can you put this to one side for me while I go and find my Mrs and get back to you in a few minutes? She's just gone to the toilets." I say, my knuckles turning white as I clung onto the book.

The bloke behind the counter shakes his head. "No - can't keep anything aside. Got no guarentee you'll come back." And he stood there looking and acting like Comic Book Guy out of The Simpsons. Arggghhh, cunty-bollocks!!!

"That's ok, mate - I'll just stand here and wait for the Mrs..." I say. And I do. And after a few moments I see her spikey blonde head from a distance as she exits the building. Fuck! She hadn't seen me and must've thought I'd gone outside to have a fag.

"Oh, go on, mate - I'll be thirty seconds," I plead. The bloke behind the counter isn't interested, he waves me off while he serves another customer.


With great reluctance I place the graphic novel signed by God back on the table, I hide it behind loads of other shit, and I race outside. I find Ms. Hanky and she smiles at me as I approach.

I reciprocate with an urgent: "Give me some fucking money!" Waving my hands about like a complete and utter cock. When a few people nearby realise she isn't being mugged and is, in point of fact, the unfortunate partner of this twat before them, they go about their business. When I get the cash I sprint back towards the comic book place. "Can't talk! See you in a few minutes!" I scream over my shoulder.

And then I get back inside, hurtle towards the table, and make a b-line for the treasure I would gladly kill for. And it was gone...

"Fuck!" I spit. Then I look over to my left and see my book being despoiled by a fucking child. A little shit had my book under his arm! Grrrr! I overhear some plumy cunt from the otherside of the room shout over:

"Ollie, darling! We're going now! Come on, mummy's waiting!"

Ollie, the little shit, looks up: "Alright, daddy! I just need to pay!"


I approach the kid, my nemisis, the seven year old wanker between me and eternal fucking happiness: "Do you really want that?"

The kid looks up at me: "I saw the film and it was good." He says.

"No, it was not a good film," I say, irritated."- anyway, I would really like to buy that book. I mean REALLY. How about letting me, I mean, I was here first."

"No you wern't."

"Yes I was."

"No you wern't."

"Yes I was-"

And I proceed to have a pointless fucking row with a seven year old.

After thirty seconds of stalemate I considered twatting the little fucker. Hmmm, probably wouldn't go down too well. I looked up across the crowded room and noticed the kids dad was starting to make his way over to us. Shit, gotta move fast.

I decided to try and reason with the bloke who was running the stall - give it all the 'please, mate - I'd really appreciate this book unlike this prepubescent little turd'. But the bloke was busy way over the otherside of his stall.

So I did the only reasonable thing.

All this time I'd been clutching my bottle of water. In my excitement I hadn't had a drop. Fuck it, I thought. In one swift motion I unscrewed the cap and splashed it on the kids crotch.

"Why did you do that?" He screamed.

I ignored him.

Then his dad turned up: "Ollie! We have to go now- oh dear, what happened?"

"I think he's had an accident, mate," I say.

And the kid is whisked off in a whirl of protest.

I pick up the signed copy of V for Vendetta and wave the twenty in the face of the stall owner. "There you go, mate!" I say, and I walk back home on cloud nine, holding the book as if it was the ultimate holy relic, which, in fact, I suppose it was...
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 15:56, 14 replies)
Michael Barrymore
Way back in the day - way, way before the whole pool thing - me and mates who all worked in a busy London pub were going for a night out when one other turns up with his mate... one Mr Barrymore. He was a lovely bloke, bought us all drinks and pinched my arse which made me giggle. Very tall.

I met the blonde one from the Sugababes at my 23rd birthday party. Had no idea who she was, but by then I'd consumed several lines, six stellas, several spliffs and a pill and had reached a kind of plateau of weirdness. I rambled onto her for fucking ages about nothing at all, gabbering and chewing my face off while she politely smiled at me and nodded in all the right places. Lovely girl.

Apparently, I used to get drunk with Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam when at uni. I had no idea who he was. I thought he was just another student.

Oh, and I once met Davros' son.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 15:44, Reply)
Analogue Adulation
Back in the heady days of 2000 i started my own website. Nothing fancy, just a few reviews of films, music some photography of mine. I saw it as a way to practise my html/dreamweaver skills and the thrill of having your website was still quite, thrilling.

anyhoo, without much effort i managed to snag some free vinyl from a few record companies, i return for some reviews etc. nice, easy and potentially rewarding. all good.

In 1996 i had become hooked on the icy stark vibes of Finlands very own Pan Sonic, the band formerly known as Panasonic. I loved them with a subwoofer trembling intensity.

So when i saw an advert in The Wire looking for suggestions and help organising dates for their Round the World Tour, i didn't hesitate in suggesting a few decent quirky venues in and around Glasgow. However the guy gets back, said he had checked my site out, and asks if i could organise their tour diary.

Essentially i would get updates and pics from their tour manager and i would transfer it all to my website.

I could have cracked one out over a ring modulated sine wave right there and then. The downside was that they were only playing London and Dublin, with the Dublin gig being at the very end of the tour.

I decided there and then i would get to Dublin and see the gig, no matter what. So days turn into weeks and the constant updates, first hand experiences and cool photos where ramping up my fanboy vibrations. It was all great fun and i didn't get paid a penny.

However, Blast First said they would put me up in a hotel for the night of the Dublin gig. WAHEY, im in, this is it, i'm part of the entourage, i'm almost IN the band.

Well, as good as.:)

The day arrives and i arrive at the airport without my passport, in my excitement i had forgotten it...as you do. However this was pre 9-11 and as i was only going over to Dublin, she lets me fly without it. My luck is in.

I arrive at the hotel before anybody else. So when the ask if i would like the room with the balcony, i accept. Knowing that the balcony room was probably for someone more important and talented than me. BUT I DON'T CARE, IM LIVING THE DREAM.

I arrive at the venue after a quarter bottle of stupidly expensive Jamesons. Dublin doesn't seem to do cheap off licenses. I meet up with the tour manager and shake the hand of Ilpo, one half of the band. I'm gliding along on a greased rail of excitement and adrenaline...i'm accepted as 'part of the fabric that is involved in bringing this tour together'. I. Have. Arrived.

I meet up with a few locals and enjoy a reefer of hash oil.....it works as a catalyst to my wigged out brain and i end up pretty sparkled. We get to the gig and i am in my element. Now although Pan Sonic's music can be described Industrial Ambient, there are many moments of raw hardcore beats and crackpipe rave. Elements that my chinstroking gig going friends don't seem to appreciate. they want to sit and take it in like a fucking art installation. The place is trembling and pulsing and these cunts want to sit in silence.

Fuck'em, im too far gone to care and i twitch and vibrate along as best i can, interjecting occassionaly with the odd vocal howl as the tones reach painful levels. A great gig all in.

So i'm standing talking to one of the locals about teh boring crowd when up walks Pan Sonic themselves, we exchange a few pleasantaries and Ilpo wants to tag along with me and the locals and go to a club. We agree and set off.

So there i am, walking the back streets of Dublin, engaged in conversation with one half of my favourite band. The other two guys are walking ahead. It's friendly and unforced, but best of all, i don't feel like a tit, i am holding my own. We talk about music, Finland, John Peel, all the good stuff. Can it get any better? Yes, yes it can.

We arrive at the club abd Ilpo offers to the get the first round in. Holy shit, here i am, being bought s pint by one half of Pan Sonic. Quite surreal, but it will be getting even more surreal later on.

Even before we finish the pint, the club is closing and we deicde to head back to one of the guys flats. it is a beautiful old art deco building and we are ushered into his front room/studio set up.

He sets about rolling a joint, at which Ilpo puffs greedily..I have some too, but am a bit pished and still stoned from the hash oil. Minutes later Ilpo is asking where the toilet is, and proceeds to whitey in the toilet. We can all hear him wretching and an extended air of surrealism floats into the room. The guy who owns the flat is in awe that he has a electronic music star vomitting in his toilet. I agree.

He returns and suggests heading back to the hotel. We all walk back, but by now its about 4am. I ring for the nightporter who eventually arrives and Ilpo, staggers over and apologises that he is, "a bit late for checking in".

He had went straight from the hotel to the venue and hadn't checked in. So 4am, and he's just getting the room key, i am doubled over with the gigglies and after a many hand shake we head to our rooms.

I wake in the morning it is about 30 degrees and i have the worst hangover ever and have to get back to Scotland without a passport. I do.

Well worth it though.

...i may roll out my abortive meeting with Aphex Twin next. It's still a bit painful though..
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 15:18, 2 replies)
Bill Oddie
I love the goodies, i have a "Funky Gibbon" Wifebeater from the genuine early 80's which i keep safe. But then i met the sexual nemesis of Kate Humble - namely Bill Oddie.

We had him as an after dinner speaker at our conference. First of all, a 2 hour "Follow that bird" Oddie extravaganza. Then half hour after dinner, but best of all he was then invited to party on down with us lot.

Now my boss had headed home due to family illness, and had missed this whole evening. So, i decided to have it large enough for both of us. Loads of wine with the meal, and then Student Union priced double Voddie and Redbulls - i was flying!!!

I then stopped and listened - i heard the call of the Oddie and went to investigate.

I found him, and i was so pleased i lurched over at high speed - and clinked glasses with him and sort of mumbled "You're a...bloody...good......Bloke" - SMASH. I chipped his glass and scared the poor little fella half to death.

Since then, a mate of mine met him at 5am on Clapham common. They are both birdwatchers. Probably the only 2 on the common at that time. Bill comes over and says "I think you and me are alike, we best stick together". At this point my mate notices everyone else was leather clad (or had been), male, and willing to find any old port in a storm.

I tried to email the oddie to apologise a few months later but to no avail. He probably still has nightmares......
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 15:14, 3 replies)
One for the rubgy fans -
This bloke,


shops in my local supermarket.

My devotion?

I move my trolley the fuck out of his way as he is fucking huge.

(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 14:53, 6 replies)

Or the British Secret Services in general. Seriously, they got away with some fucking amazing scams. My favorite was the Enigma Machine.

These days, we all know that we'd cracked the Enigma machine during the WW2 - we could read anything sent using those ciphers. But the rest of the world (apart from the Yanks), didn't know that the Enigma machine was fallible. They still believed that it was uncrackable. Anything encoded with the Enigma, couldn't be read by anyone else.

So the war ends, the Allies are victorious, and Britain is feeling magnanimous. So what do we do?

We give all of the captured Enigma machines to our Commonwealth allies. Australia. New Zealand, all of our African allies and any other nation that we could scam into accepting our "gift".

From 1945 until about 1972 we had a merry time reading the take on all of these messages. It gave us a *huge* advantage in negotiations.

But I just love the sheer sneakiness of it....

(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 14:49, 8 replies)
My son helped support Sandy Toksvig's Oxford Union election attempt
and was in the group she treated to lunch to thank them.

He told me all about it and I was impressed and went on a bit about how lovely and clever she is.

Sonny went quiet for a minute and then said, 'Did you know Sandy's a Lesbian?'

(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 14:49, 4 replies)
Stephen Malkmus, Ian MacKaye, Deerhoof, Ted Leo, Travis Morrison, Dan Deacon and Andrew Falkous
I generally act / talk like a total dick around people I admire. I get so worked up at making the best impression possible and making the most of a once in a lifetime opportunity, that I often come across as a total weirdo (more-so than usual) much to the derision of anyone I know who was in earshot.

1. Stephen Malkmus.

It was a last minute gig at a small bar in Cardiff on the Pig Lib tour, only a handful of people turned up. After the gig concluded with a rendition of Jenny & The Ess-Dog where the drummer sang, Stephen played drums and the other two performed a literal re-enactment of the lyrics, Stephen got off the stage and headed through the crowd towards the door. I think everyone was a little too star-struck to say anything (OMG Pavement man within metres), but as he was walking past I managed a "Great set Steve" at which point he walked over and said "Hey thanks, glad you enjoyed it", physically positioning himself as though this were the start of a conversation as opposed to a walk-by thank you and goodbye. I froze up. I wasn't expecting to start a conversation with one of the wittiest men I know of whose music I'd admired for years. I ended up blubbing about Pig Lib and its differences to the first album. I ended up sounding like a verbal recital of the press release that came with the album. He was polite, it seemed to be going reasonably well considering. That was until I showed remorse at the lack of Dynamic Calories in the set. The conversation ended shortly after and Steve continued his walk out of the building. My friends, however had all the time in the world to point out what an excruciatingly embarrassing dork I had perfectly emulated just seconds prior. Gushing praise, laughing too hard, barely allowing him to fit a word in between my babble... Conclusion: I am a dork.

2. Ian MacKaye.

I saw The Evens on the day of the second-term-for-Bush American elections in a church in Newport. Afterwards people stuck around and Ian seemed happy to chat. Knowing that this man had experienced more in one year of his life than I have in the entirety of mine and whose genuine morals were an inspiration for thousands, I was determined to think of something interesting to say or ask him whilst others talked ahead of me. I ended up asking how come he was in the UK when the elections were happening in the US. He angrily reminded me of the existence of a postal vote and the conversation kind of ended there. Conclusion: I am stupid.

3. Deerhoof.

After seeing Deerhoof play live at The Garage a few years ago, I went to the merch stand afterwards with the intentions of picking up a t-shirt. The merch guy saw me staring and tried to sell me a copy of Reveille on CD. I explained to him that I already had the album and Holdypaws too but was just trying to find a t-shirt I liked. Evidently impressed that I wasn't one of the majority of the crowd who was just there on the strength of the hype surrounding The Runners Four, he said "Hey, do you want to go meet the band?". Before I knew it, we were in some private function room to the side of the venue, drinking and chatting with Chris Cohen & John Dieterich, but mainly Chris. He was a really friendly, really enthusiastic guy and although my drunken excitement has since forgotten a lot of the exact details of the conversation, we talked long about how he enjoyed the music, had to adapt the songs whilst playing live as Satomi's voice would otherwise be drowned out by his guitar and general conversation about bands we liked. Greg Saunier turned up after a while, but at that point I was so drunk that all I can really remember of him was how tall he was and how high pitched his laugh was. After the evening wrapped up, I caught an unmarked cab home, left a bag with my iPod in it in the cab and through anger at doing so afterwards, ended up breaking my mobile phone too. Conclusion: I have anger management issues.

4. Ted Leo.

I got more than a little overexcited at the idea of my current musical obsession playing in the UK. Embarrassing to look back at now, but seemed so reasonable at the time.

-----Original Message-----
From: ma0sm
Date: 2005/1/6
To: ...
Cc: Ted Leo





(other than these)

Leeds, UK
Joseph Wells

Norwich, UK
Ferry Boat

Manchester, UK
Staring Gather

Glasgow, UK
Nice and Sleazys

Exeter, UK
Cavern Club

London, UK
Silver Rocket Club

Nottingham, UK
The Maze

For all of those too FREAKIN' STUPID to know their guppo from their goodge, this is TED FREAKIN' LEO, playing in a tiny FREAKIN' CLUB in LONDON.

Ted Leo's great, I'm thinking of buying all of the tickets so I can enjoy the night alone. Go TED LEO (and pharmacists)!

Seriously, I'm sending you this email because if you haven't already, then you should own at least one Ted Leo album (Hearts Of Oak my personal favourite) and should be as excited as I am about this absolute FREAKIN' GENIUS playing crazy music to crazy people. It's in a couple of months, so you've got time to find out how fantastic he is in the meantime and then join me on the excitement train (http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&c2coff=1&q=%22excitement+train%22).

All apart from Andrew that is, but he just doesn't like it because I do (probably).



P.S. Ted, I've CCed you on this message so that all of these people will now feel obliged to get an album and will inevitably be there for
at least one of the dates.

-----Reply Message-----
From: teddy
Date: 2005/1/10
To: ma0sm

Thanks ma0sm... um... Guess I'll see you there then?
xo -- TL

5. Travis Morrison

I really need to start proof reading my enthusiasm. Though he I still have never heard "When Have I Ever Been Known To Say No?".

-----Original Message-----
From: ma0sm
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 8:40 AM
To: Travis Morrison
Subject: When Have I Ever Been Known To Say No?


Firstly let me say congratulations on the new album! It's been worth the wait and import costs! I don't mean to clog up your inbox but my
cat-like curiosity has prevailed and I don't know what other avenue to take... I'm fairly certain that over the years I've collected the
entire Dismemberment Plan back catalogue with the exception of one song mentioned in your discography, "When Have I Ever Been Known To
Say No". Since this song was cassette only, I'm guessing that the chances of getting this song or that tape are virtually zero, but I
was wondering if there are any avenues I could take to hear this song. I know it's a bit excessive, but with the archived Plan site
displaying the discography loud and proud, my curiosity got the better of me. Anyway, I hope all is well and would feel no offence if you
don't have time to reply.



-----Reply Message-----
2004/9/30 travis morrison

Hmm. You know, I don't have a copy. But I should search it out. Thanks for putting that bee in my bonnet.


Here's another from Travis Morrison in reply to his request for discovering the music polluting coffee shops and other non-public owned public spaces internationally.

-----Original Message-----
From: ma0sm
Sent: Sunday, April 04, 2004 9:12 AM
To: travis
Subject: My Service Sector Classics


Coming from the British 21 year old perspective, these are my five albums I associate with the bars & restaurants I have worked in over the years:

1. The Stereophonics – Word Gets Around

I know it may appear a strange choice on first glance, but being Welsh, and being brought up near where the Stereophonics come from, the first album created this unity amongst every person and generation in my home town of Bridgend. The mania didn’t even reach England until the next album’s release, but for about one solid year, every bar, restaurant, shop, you name it had this album on rotation. I think it was the patriot coming through with everyone and the distinct inoffensiveness of the album. Needless to say, by the second album when people were actually starting to notice them, the backlash was in full swing in my home town.

2. The Gotan Project - La Revancha del Tango

When I worked in Bar Haha, this album was so overplayed to the extent that I didn’t even hear it when it was on any more, if you know what I mean. It’s a great album, and St Germain’s Tourist seemed to be their other favourite.

3. Zero 7 – Simple Things

4. Any Portishead album

I know you mentioned it already, but coincidentally the discussion came up last night with me and some friends about how one bar we go to has the CD in their three disc changer permanently!

5. Any Ben Harper album



-----Reply Message-----
From: travis morrison
Sent: 06 April 2004 19:22:56
To: ma0sm

Ben Harper? really? I figured he was part of that American pop-hippie tradition that Europe is so immune to. Like Dave Matthews.

Kind of like how we are immune to British Isle hero-arena-folk-rock like the Stereophonics, New Model Army, and (forever mystifying) the Manic Street Preachers. Stuff to pogo to on the pitch of Wembley. Football rock! That's what it should be called.


I've also befriended Travis Morrison & Dan Deacon on Facebook and am tempted to add Andrew Falkous too, though am sure it wouldn't be accepted. I've seen Future Of The Left five times live, but have never said hello as I'm guessing Falco's general level of anger and intolerance of idiocy wouldn't tolerate my dorkiness.

I'm not proud.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 14:43, 3 replies)
Jimmy and the Flying Pizza.
My paternal family exist now in a state of disarray, geographically speaking, basically they're all over the place. I have an Aunt and young cousins in London; Uncle, Aunt and some more cousins in Gloucester and grandparents in Ballantrae - that is a small coastal area in the West of Scotland, (actually where a lot of Gilmours are to be found. I've seen signs for Legal associates and graffiti bare the name in the same area, there's sod all of that elsewhere)- other members of this disporia are great uncles whom also reside in Scotland. But this story is about my segment of the family, from my immediate grandparents to my new cousin Sam. This segment which is now so fragmentated used to reside in Leeds. I've been raised there and seen little of my family aside from odd snippets. From what I did see I saw a quiet somewhat unemotional family. Fortunately enough my father and his actions provided enough trauma to show how repressed they could be. I had barely seen my family for ten years after he was convicted and didn't really expect to see them at all. By that time my mother and I were formed into a strong unit. One so much so that for whatever reason rumours of concern for my confinement were spread around. They wanted me to visit them a lot more than was I was really prepared to move around for. In hindsight if I had been a regular visitor to wherever the hell they wanted to go I probably might have emerged a more confident person, but at the time it wasn't me, I instead felt I didn't want to leave what I felt was my mum and my home. I did visit alone at one point but that went fairly disasterously at one point and a bridge was never truly formed.

Given time, however, they decided to come to me and repair what the damage they felt could have been somewhat avoided more by them. They visited me for my Eighteenth birthday.

When all converge to Leeds, there is one restaurant which is favoured always as a destination by the family, that is "Adriano's Flying Pizza." (the early memory of a visit from the family with me wrapping myself round my grandfather's leg and unsuccessfully bidding for Burger King is seared in my mind). It's an italian restaurant and not a cheap one at that, but one which is elegant and well dressed.

It must have been some kind of race day there were too many people in suits and hattery the kind not seen since Ascot.

I had been driven by my Uncle I think and on the way there it was noticed an expensive car was outside, inevitably it must have been Jimmy Saville. A man whos income now resides on royalties from a Louis Theroux special, to keep that car he had to work his way round the restaurant for dinner. Allegedly.

Through the course of one meal I got on with my family. I sat next to my Uncle and discussed the coming future, the past and how my cousins were doing. It's always uncomfortable to have my mother there though it's never that I prefer one over the other, heaven forbid, it's just that I know even though she's kept the name to avoid reverting to a rather unfortunate maiden name she never truly fits in and that's a fact I truly detest. My patnernal family are hardly a dynasty that rejects the uninvited but they're just seemingly very different to my mum-

Oh God - here comes Jimmy Saville.

Walking through the aisles of diners Jimmy makes a movement towards the table opposite, the group opposite are amused enough and Jimmy starts rousing all in a celebration of one of the troupe's birthday. I'd kiss more alcohol, but young as I am, I feel a cliche isn't quite yet where I'd like to go, but the apprehension does makes itself strong enough to appear in the form of flatulence.

Sure enough

"Hey, its my nephew's birthday would you mind?"

The smell of some sort of fragrance young men aren't to know yet breezes past me. Suddenly I'm being grappled by this titan of yesteryear, he has me in a headlock, long enough for a few slow photographs and good enough for me to fear the arm hair, sharp and aged that they are, striking my chin.

I stopped moving, totally - I was fixed I tells ya.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 13:55, 2 replies)
lad I know bumped into Johnny Marr in a 24 hr garage and amazingly had the presence of mind to say "Eh Johnny, there *points to garage* is a light that never goes out."
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 13:33, 1 reply)
A mate of mine...
...is built like a bear, with facial hair to match, composure of a rhino on rohypnol and the tact of a pedophile in a Malaysian sweatshop.

All this did not stop him from wanting to become the Drag-Queen champion of Iceland in 1998 (it seems unclear to me, though, how you actually "compete" in that).

And his excitement with the project grew exponentially when we found out that Skin and Ace of Skunk Anansie fame were to be on the panel of judges.

So he took two weeks to get in touch with his feminine side -with daily practices, dress-ups, make-ups and a plethora of pink things.

And what he came up with was this:

My mate, dressed in a huge, pink nightgown gyrating down the stage to Aqua's Barbie Girl wearing make-up like a gender confused lumberjack on acid. His finale was standing before the judges (who either were laughing or crying at this point), giving them hip thrusts, like the "schwing" thrust from Wayne's World, and finally ripping his sweaty grannyknickers off (velcro) and tossing them square in Skin's face.

I didn't see her reaction to this due to the fact i had tears in my eyes from laughing, but the abrupt stoppage of Aqua glee and the hushed silence that followed gave me a clue.

My mate is my hero...at least that night.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 13:20, Reply)
well Nik Turner was a fan....
This is a repost and a fairly tenuous one at that, but I think it's hilarious, so there.

At the Stonehenge festival 1984, someone told Nik Turner (vocals/sax/flute: space rock legends Hawkwind) that the chief druid at the solstice ceremony was actor William Roache aka Coronation Street's Ken Barlow. He is indeed a bigwig in Druidic circles.

With this in mind, during Hawkwind's set he began chanting 'Ken Barlow, Ken Barlow' and got the whole crowd to join in. Googling this to see if I'd got this right, i found myself on a Hawkwind fan site and, in the track listing for that show there is indeed one named 'Ken Barlow'.

I'm sorry if this doesn't entertain you as much as it does me. But only a little bit sorry.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 13:01, Reply)
"I don't know why they don't just wall it off and call it Broadmoor."
I don’t know if any of you have ever spent any time in Thurrock, Essex – but if you have, you’ve probably spent that time at that honest-to-goodness cathedral of despair that calls itself ‘Lakeside’. I myself have spent many happy horrible afternoons there, having been dragged there by a combination of girlfriends, parents and morbid curiosity.

And so it was, four weeks ago, that I once again ended up walking around the gleaming floors of one of South-East England’s premier retail establishments. It was a hot day and while my parents (who were shopping for holiday kit) were busy, my fiancée and I decided we’d do our food shop in M&S.

Walking around the aisles, aimlessly picking up produce that I didn’t need and would never use before putting it back down again, I saw her. He golden locks tumbled about her shoulders and her eyes sparkled in the sunlight. She was beautiful.

And stood behind her was Sally Gunnell, former athlete and Barcelona ’92 Gold Medallist.

Not wanting to stare too much, I backed away, and went to find my other half.

“Guess who I just saw!” I cried, with child-like excitement. “I dunno,” she replied, giving me one of her appraising looks – the kind she gives me when she’s working out if I’m about to be an idiot or not – “Ghandi? Jesus?”

“Don’t be absurd. Jesus would shop in Waitrose.”

She sighed. “OK then. Who have you seen?”

“Sally Gunnell, former athlete and Barcelona ’92 Gold Medallist!”


As I rapidly explained to my lady just who Sally Gunnell was, punctuating my points with a packet of spaghetti, the lady herself could only have been an aisle away. I finished my heartfelt missive:

Sally” *prod* “ruddy” *prod* “Gunnell” *prod* “A fine athlete, an excellent runner, and a proud ambassador for this nation. “


“So she’s in bloody Lakeside! What kind of a global star of athletics shops in Lakeside?”

“One that lives nearby.” Said a voice behind me. I turned. Sally Gunnell, former athlete and Barcelona ’92 Gold Medallist was stood behind me, an expression of cold fury etched on to her horse-like face.

“Oh. Er…” I stammered, but she had gone. The moment had passed. I, shame faced, discarded the spaghetti that I has erstwhile been using as a visual aid, and ran out of the shop in a manner which, had the Gunnell seen it, was reminiscent of her fine performance in 1992. When she won a Gold Medal. In Barcelona. Except you couldn’t see my clunge.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 12:02, 8 replies)
Oi! Bergerac!
Several years ago, I worked in one of those idylls which was often invaded by the production crew of Midsomer Murders. They’d park up their big vans and even bigger egos, stealing all of our parking spaces and forcing us to suffer the indignity of parking tickets. We liked them about as much as chlamydia.

So in one episode, I can clearly be seen in my office window making wanking motions while shouting, “Oi! BERGERAC!”

Still, it was the best shot they got all day, since my coworkers had the habit of getting their bums, tits and wangs out every time the cameras started rolling.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 11:53, 8 replies)
Never, ever, bloody anything, ever.
It was early in the summer of '92. The three piece combo of musical impresarios going by the name of ‘Right Said Fred’ were topping the charts with the anthemic Deeply Dippy. Mobile phones were still a brick sized rarity carried by twats in red braces. Prime Minister John Major was the most exciting thing to hit British politics for literally months. But all of this was eclipsed by one man who was at the pinnacle of his immense powers of entertainment, bathing the country in the light of his comic genius, and we few, we lucky few had the opportunity to see him in the flesh. It was just five short years since he had split our sides and ruptured our spleens with the gag fest that was ‘The Comic Strip Presents... Mr Jolly Lives Next Door’ - the half hour show that provided the script for our Uni years. Not Adrian Edmondson, not Rik Mayall, not even the incomparable Peter Cook. No, we had the chance to see, live and in the flesh, the one and only Nicholas Parsons!

It's true. His Aunt's next door neighbour had once walked past the old chemical factory in Grimsby, and this meant he was close enough to being a bona fide engineer for the committee to choose him as the post prandial speaker at the annual dinner of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (Scottish Branch). And as lowly student members of the Institution we were eligible to get tickets at the reduced price of ten pounds!

Now in those days ten pounds was worth much more than today. In today’s money it's probably equivalent to ten thousand pounds, or, for our continental readers, about ten Euros. For us impoverished students it was a lot, but surely worth it for the cultural development of immersing ourselves in the unrestrained verbiage of surely the best after dinner speaker in the world, ever. The fact it included a five course dinner and free bar was irrelevant. Somehow (I have blanked out the depths of degradation we had to sink to) we raised the money, and then at last we had the tickets in our hands.

At last, after what seemed like three lifetimes of waiting the great night arrived.
Dressed to kill, we turned up at the hotel, stomachs fluttering with eager anticipation. Our young knees, exposed to the world beneath our kilts, trembled with excitement. As students, the seating planners had put us in a table at the back, near the toilets. The bastards. On the top table sat the great man himself, tanned and glowing, chatting easily with the fawning committee members. The bastards. The food arrived. Despite being poor starving students, the butterflies in our midriffs prevented us exploiting to the full the sumptuous banquet presented. I myself only managed two second helpings of the main course and three of the desert. The vast quantities of free wine we consumed were purely to constrain the great shudders of excitement which wracked our bodies every time we thought of the great event we were soon to witness.

Then the moment arrived. The coffee was drunk (or, in our case, more free wine), waffer thin mints were distributed, and Nicholas the Great stood. An expectant hush fell over the room. Not a single glass chinked, not a single petite four was crunched. You could have heard a pin drop on a mountain of feathers. Nicholas began to speak. Humorous anecdote after humorous anecdote poured forth in a torrent, washing over us in a tide of bon mots, badinage and persiflage. He lifted us up and brought us down, led us one way, then quick as a flash disarmed us and left us helpless with chuckles. To watch a master a work is a pleasure. But the experience of that night was like no other. Nicholas Parsons is the master of mirth, the baron of banter, the prince of pleasantries, the lord of laughter, the wizard of wit, the sultan of satire, the ace of the anecdote, the raja of ribaldry and the ruddy rudest rip-roaringest rogerer of repartee.

All too soon it came to an end. As the audience sat dazed by the onslaught of mirth they had just experienced, we took our chance to actually meet the great man himself. Pausing only briefly to grab a couple of bottles each of fortification, we steamrollered through he hall and up to our idol. Four of us formed a protective ring around the guru, preventing the peons, who could never fully appreciate his talents like we could, from gaining access. He was ours! Then we actually talked to him. Face to face. Man to man. It was awesome. We displayed our adoring fanishness, such as how we had watched Mr Jolly Lives Next Door like maybe two or three times, and once when I visited a friends house as a boy, Sale of the Century was on the telly. How my parents used to listen to Radio four in the morning, which was the same station as his famous show Just a Minute was on, although I hadn't actually heard it. We unveiled to him our hopes and our dreams. Once he tried to stifle a yawn, no doubt as he thought about the other tedious people he would have to talk to later.

Then, after twenty minutes, disaster struck. The president of the Institute, who had been hovering outside our circle for some minutes, unable to penetrate politely, suddenly burst in, grabbed Mr Parsons elbow and said "Ah Nicholas, there's someone I would like you to meet...". In a flash, he was gone, and we were left with nothing but memories.

After our brush with the bright light of celebrity, the rest of the evening is a blur. I can recall daring escapades. At one point we employed the tablecloths to improvise Ghost costumes and scare the other guests. Such an impromptu display of amateur dramatics must have greatly impressed the professional entertainer in Nicholas. How the wine got spilled down his trousers, no one can remember. And the tragedy of the toupee is best forgotten.

My last memory is later in the evening. We were outside, ejecting copious amounts of Chateau Huey '87 from our insides over a wall in the hotel's rose garden - yes, unfortunately the excitement of the evening had proved just too much for our young constitutions. Nicholas appeared, walking to his car. We saw him pause briefly, and use his handkerchief to wipe a fleck of vomit splatter from the handle, before entering the back seat. The door closed. The engine roared. He was gone. Darkness descended.

Nicholas Parsons. Nicholas Bloody Parsons. Awesome.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 11:29, 5 replies)
A few years ago
I was told by Skin of Skunk Anansie that I was "quite fit for a white man".

To this day, I'm still not entirely sure if she was complimenting me or not.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 11:29, Reply)
This weekend I've got the opportunity to buy Simon Furman a pint
but I'm away in Belgium instead.

I haven't had a holiday in ages but I'm still a bit gutted.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2009, 11:24, 1 reply)

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