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» Messing with people's heads

Eating dogshit - yum!
I was crossing the main concourse at Victoria Station, pushing a luggage trolley, when a jar of peanut butter toppled out of my bag and smashed. I picked it up, and only then realised that I had trodden in it and smeared it across the floor. It looked EXACTLY as if I had trodden in dogshit. So, with many onlookers, I removed my shoe and sniffed the sole, recoiling in the way you do. Then, slowly, tentatively, I scooped some from my shoe onto my finger, tasted it with the tip of my tongue, and then licked the whole lot greedily. I looked around - a few people had noticed and were truly horrified. I just shrugged nonchalantly, replaced my shoe and trolleyed onwards...
(Fri 13th Jan 2012, 16:57, More)

» Biggest Sexual Regret

DOwn and out in LA
I don't think I've ever told this to anyone. You'll see why.

I was 26 and very, very desperate. And not especially fussy. I was working in a call-centre in Los Angeles and - God knows how - ended up flirting with the woman on the other end of the line. She was, she informed me breathlessly, "big, black and horny as hell." I was white, weedy and - she informed me - sounded like Prince Charles. (I don't, really I don't, but there you go...)

So not a match made in heaven you'd think. Still, we arranged to meet. She lived in Watts, a part of LA that weedy white boys don't go to, at least not if they've read Bonfire Of The Vanities.

I went. She was waiting outside her condo, smoking. Her description of herself was accurate, although she had omitted to say she'd be wearing curlers. She was big in a way that Americans have made their speciality. The whole, er, package, is not one that has ever appealed to me, before or since. But for some weird reason, I was persuaded to drive to a remote area where - in the words of a tabloid newspaper - she performed a sex act on me. As I looked down at her curlers.

She loved my English accent. She wanted my number! I gave her a fake one and, crawling with shame and self-loathing, dropped her back home and high-tailed it back to the safety of Santa Monica.

I regret every aspect of that evening, and what it says about me. The desperation, the deceit, the misogynistic and racist undertones.

Still, a blow-job's a blow-job, eh?
(Mon 12th Dec 2011, 15:53, More)

» School Assemblies

Gracie Fields turns in her grave
It was 1979, and national treasure, Gracie Fields, had just died. (Look her up if you're too young.) Oop north (where this happened) she was even more revered.

The head of the sixth form thought that the sixth-formers should be allowed to devise their own assemblies, with a "moral message". This particular class's teacher had (unwisely) let them get on with it.

The hall was darkened. The strains of the funeral march began, and four 17-year-olds solemnly marched through the hall to the stage, bearing a cardboard coffin which they placed upright onto a rocking chair.

The music segued into Gracie's greatest hit, "Sally In Our Alley". We're all sitting in the audience thinking, "Shit, this could go very very wrong..." We had no idea.

From the wings leapt a manic Keith Ballard, the sixth form's most, ahem, flamboyant student, dressed in basque and stockings, a la Frank N Furter, and wielding a whip. "You bitch, Gracie!" he screamed at the coffin, and began to flail at it wildly with the whip. "You total bitch!"

It got no further. The sixth form principal leapt on the stage crying , "Stop this at once!" He lined up the miscreants and demanded an explanation. "Exactly what sort of moral message. or thoughtful insight was this supposed to convey?" Even Ballard could not talk his way out of this one, and mumbled "Dunno sir," with the rest of them.

Assembly ended early. Easily the most memorable I ever attended.

Postscript: Keith Ballard went on to the National Youth Theatre, but died tragically young.
(Fri 14th Jun 2013, 15:04, More)

» I should have been arrested

I've never been buggered by a viking
But I came perilously close to being banged up in a Swedish jail once.

Pre-marriage, I was visiting Mrs Huple Pelmet in her home town of Stockholm. It was before the days of airports checking every single bag and - stupidly, I know - I had thrown a small amount of smokeable but illegal material in my bag. (I am shaking my own head now at the cocky twat I was.)

I have subsequently encountered sniffer dogs on several occasions entering Sweden but back then I wasn't aware on how keen the Swedish authorities were on using our four-legged friends to nab dope-smugglers.

They often position the dogs round a corner, so you get no warning. I nearly shat myself when, in a queue of people coming off the plane, I rounded the corner and about five yards away were a couple of spaniels sniffing everyone's case as they trundled by. I looked dead ahead, and as the dog sniffed my bag, and continued sniffing as I strode ahead, I pretended I hadn't noticed.

Then: "Excuse me sir. Sir? Over here please sir. " I was directed to the long benches and a lady officer asked me to open up my square zip-up case. I knew the little wrap of dope would be the first thing she would see. God knows how I got away with the next bit, but I did. As I opened the case with the lid towards her (i.e. so she couldn't see inside). At the same time, I slung the bag that had been over my shoulder onto the desk in front of her, saying, "would you like to look in this one as well?" The second her attention was distracted by the other bag,I smoothly grabbed the packet in my right hand and sort of palmed it, magician-style. I then folded my arms, right palm against my left upper arm, concealing the packet.

She searched my bags. Found nowt. Probably wondered why I was grey and sweating clammily, mind. She smiled at me. "Thank you." (No - thank YOU. The Swedes, unlike many nations, take a very dim view of the ol' cannabis resin and back then - and for all I know, still - a short jail sentence would have been a distinct probability.)

I've not done that since. A small amount of hashish can, I now find, be concealed in one's mouth ready to be simply swallowed in extremis.
(Fri 27th Jan 2012, 14:47, More)

» Racist grandparents

She wasnt really racist but...
My late Gran used to refer to anyone of dusky pigmentation as having " touch of the tar-brush in him". I am orten tempted to use such a useful phrase but seldom actually do.
(Sun 30th Oct 2011, 20:44, More)
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