Friday, December 29, 2006

Exquisite Taste

There was a programme on the telly the other night about the Beatles ‘Love’ thing. I hadn’t realised that it was (quite liderally) a tossing circus.

They decided to represent John Lennon's mother being run over and killed (this is the CIRCUS remember).

They did this in spectacular circus fashion by hitting a woman in red with a car and catapulting her into the roof on a trapeze - while pieces of car flew about.

I hope my death will be performed in the CIRCUS someday and in the same exquisite taste.


Entirely predictable from me I know, but why is is that people do nothing but shopping in the run up to Christmas (as if there was anything to run up to by the way) and spend all their money - and then complain about it? Then after Christmas - they go SHOPPING!

Go to a shop when you need something you can't do without, buy the thing you can't do without and GO HOME!!

Shopping is shite, don't do it - it really is shite. All the shite people go shopping for shite in shite shiteing centres full of shite that people think they might want -but its all shite.


Eco Balls 2

Luckily, the leaflet just arrived from Powergen to explain how green they are – they’re ‘generating (great pun guys, I nearly split my sides) a sustainable future’. They produce mounds of this kind of junk mail. The philosophy seems to be that talking about stuff is the same as making it happen, which is of course how the modern world works (or fails to).

This is them on marine power:

“In 2005 we established a marine team to investigate how wave and tidal technology can help reduce carbon emissions and create a sustainable power supply for the future”

So, exactly what percentage of power does that mean you produce from waves then? – 0% by any chance? Still, never mind though eh, you’ve had a meeting.

Lovely glossy paper too, no expense spared. Bastards

Eco Balls 1

As Neil Young once said ‘A man needs a maid’ – helpfully adding ‘just someone to keep my house clean, fix my meals and go away’. Unfortunately, my maid makes me do the washing once in a while (and not Neil's best ever lyric we may agree).

With this in mind I bought some ‘Eco balls’ which wash your clothes without any powder (find out for yourself how they work). They're very clever and you should buy some. So there.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Death, Hell and Holidays

One way of looking at death is to see it simply as a reduction in thinking and feeling to the point where you’re not conscious of anything.

So, it’s really just like Christmas then.

Hell, on the other hand, is where you're constantly reminded of just how awful your situation is.

So, hell is just like Christmas too – but in Cleethorpes.
- note to the North East Lincs tourist people – you can use that one if you like.

Now, back in the mists of Blog I may have mentioned this before, but not only are death and Hell very similar, holidays these days are all the same. Anyone who ever had relatives with a desire to ‘go away for the weekend’ and a Hoseasons brochure will already know this, but if you decide that you want to do ‘something a bit different’ it’s actually not possible.

So, you decide to stay in ‘a log cabin’. What you get is a static caravan with the wheels taken off and the outside walls covered in plastic panels moulded with fake wood grain in 'half log’ shapes.

‘A tepee’ is the same static caravan with the wheels taken off, only with a plastic triangle erected over it (and forget any idea of it being round, or even square inside. It’s static caravan shaped.

A ‘castle’ meanwhile is a standard industrial unit with some plastic castle bits stuck on the front. A castle with a sloping steel roof and girders everywhere.

They’re all just off a major road, next to a golf course. You can always hear the traffic and there's nowhere to walk to.

These are real examples by the way. The ‘castle’ was called ‘Sherwood Castle Holiday Forest’ no less. You might think it’d be Sherwood Forest Holiday Castle but you’d be wrong. Not even Forest Castle Holiday Sherwood or Sharwood's Mild Castle Holiday in a jar.

As Damien Allbran and his mates once said - modern life is rubbish.

Monday, December 25, 2006

My Other Exciting Present

In my list of fab presents I forgot to mention that I'd been bought some blank video tapes. So, here goes....

I got some blank video tapes.

It's great being a top recording artiste.

Here's to the death of organised religion (and a slap for the disorganised ones)

Ho Ho Ho once more.

Ho Ho Ho

Much as it pains me to leave the 4-day party which is my rock and roll / acoustic Christmas (must do a Christmas album incidentally, chunky jumper et al), I thought it my duty to report in from the cutting edge of acoustic singer-songwriterdom to you little people who buy my records making my life so decadent and luxurious. You’re probably wondering what a top star such as myself gets bought for Christmas eh?

Well, here’s a short list of my favourite presents:

10 M&S white cotton hankies
1 drawstring laundry bad
1 purple party joke wig
1 turkey basting brush
2 pairs Matalan socks
1 Matalan sweatshirt
1 Matalan jumper (wool cycle, dry flat, re-shape while damp)

and a fucking partridge in a pear tree eh?

Ho Ho Ho!

Sunday, December 24, 2006


It'll probably kill the Whole Sky Monitor boys but we have decided to to 'a gig'. We do this about once a year if we can be arsed (please note, we might do more if someone paid us). It's at the New Roscoe at the junction of Roseville Road and Regent Street in Leeds on Wednesday 7th February. I'll look terrifically cool and forget some song words. No-one will notice, but some of our new songs are 'awesome'.

Christmas Weak

They were advertising a ‘race night’ at our local pub. I couldn’t decide whether to black up or go as a rabbi. In the event, the sight of a black rabbi betting on horses (which is what ‘race night' turned out to mean) upset some of the locals and I had to escape into Tescos.

A notice at Tescos tells me that a mobile phone is ‘the ideal way to keep in touch at Christmas’. I bought one and moved to a hotel for a week for an ‘ideal’ Christmas.

Well Done Mr Clayton

Well done to the James Clayton School of motoring for blatantly barrelling through the red traffic lights at the junction of Roundhay Road with Easterly Road on Thursday morning. Either they let the learner drivers out on their own or the person teaching you to drive drives like a twat.

So, for the benefit of Mr Clayton the driving instructor:
Red means ‘stop’ (that’s when the car isn’t moving any more).
Funnily enough, amber also means stop (that’s that kind of orangey colour on that metal stick next to the road Mr Clayton).

Another driving instructor (forgot to write down the name, damn) let their pupil turn without signalling while I stood there wondering when the law changed.

Now this one needs a bit more explanation….It’s where the road goes almost straight on from one section of Roundhay Road to the next one. It’s a left turn off the A58 and signalling, if I remember rightly is for when you’re turning or changing lanes or changing direction. And guess what – that junction is all three! Oh yes, there’s also the thing about letting other road users know what you’re doing. THE PEDESTRIANS WAITING AT THE CROSSING WHO AREN’T FUCKING PYCHIC NEED TO KNOW WHICH WAY YOU’RE FUCKING GOING YOU MORON!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

More Triffic Traffic

On Roundhay Road there’s a sign at the pedestrian crossing saying ‘Beware of left turning motorists violating the traffic lights’ - There are some seriously bad drivers around here but they usually just ignore the lights – violating is going a bit far eh boys? Cars (of course) just ignore all the traffic signs and mini-cab drivers are obviously exempt from traffic laws even when not in the Harehills / Chapeltown area anyway, but I've never seen one of them actually shinning up the lights to shag them - they just do it metaphorically. Perhaps the sign should say 'beware of metaphors attempting to kill you'?

I also have to report a failure on the part of the Militant Pedestrians. Last time I took a boot-swing at a car I went and missed. No satisfying thunk, just a swinging leg and another maniac on his way to run another light with no consequence - Damn. It was the third one through the green man too. I told the man next to me that I physically attacked cars steaming through the pedestrian crossing and he looked at me like I might be going a bit far. Sort of person who thought that concentration camps were fine but gas chambers were a bit much I suspect. Steaming through red lights and across pedestrian crossings is a completely justifiable attack reason in my book and I'm going to continue to do it.

More on the gate

The fantastic Jurassic Park gate at the WSM rehearsal room?

Well, when it’s a bit blustery it doesn't work - because the phone line to the operations centre breaks up and you can't get through. So, you stand at the gate in bad weather and you can't get the gate open because a man presses a button in some control room somewhere only when you've been able to get through to him by phone - and it doesn't work! - and the gate doesn't work either! People park their cars outside and just climb over it under the security camera.
Oh, and there's a blank space where the phone number of the company should be written so you can phone form your mobile or somewhere - only its blank.

I should point out that it's the same sort of people who will be designing New Labour's nuclear power plants (for peaceful purposes only of course, completely different to the Iranians) and weapons of mass destruction. Again this is a completely different situation to that in Iraq - they didn't have any weapons of mass destruction.

Let me know if we're getting invaded or doing the invading. I guess it depends who's sponsoring terrorism - that's New Yorkers giving money to the IRA isn't it? Was '9/11' (the 9th November) done by the coalition of the willing?

Fag man

Today I saw a man throw his empty fag packet down in the street about 3 feet from a litter bin....I hope I never have to ask to use his bathroom.

No way, bonobo!

ITV really do have a new programme (or ‘show’) where viewers phone in to help save their favourite endangered species.

I say screw the pandas, vote for the polar bears. Or was it screw the blue whale, vote rattlesnake? Insect you've never heard of anyone? - nah, it's being turned into CO2 mate.

Maybe the NHS could move to this system - vote people out of hospital and such.

What will I have left to say when the whole world moves beyond parody? - Coming very soon it would appear.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Too Much Technology

There used to be a big gate at the WSM rehearsal complex (we hire an industrial estate so we have different buildings for our distribution, design, manufacture and marketing arms - though we actually disagree with marketing arms. They seem to sell themselves apparently, it’s a way governments have of killing children from other people's countries)....

Anyway, it was a bit difficult to open sometimes and a bit of a pain if you left late and the padlock was on. However, if you had the key it was actually possible to open the gate. It kind of works - use key, open gate, get in, use key, close know the way a normal person would work this kind of system rather than a brainless moron.

But now Brainless Moron Security have taken over and we rehearse in Jurassic Park. This comes complete with a huge great gate on rollers - covered in sensors and flashing lights and control boxes, presumably designed to keep the velociraptors in. Unfortunately, there are only the people who pay rent to use the place to keep in.

So now, instead of just opening the gate you have to press a button on a box and ask to go to the toilet (sorry, ask to be let out). The button calls some bloke up in an office belonging to the security company somewhere. You have to ask him to open the gate and let you out. So what if he’s not there? Because someone isn’t around in Dewsbury or wherever they are I can’t get the gate open. And…with it being covered in sensors and lights and boxes as a normal person might guess - IT DOESN’T FUCKING WORK. The man ignores the phone, then he says he has to check something, then he pushes a button to open the gate (though he doesn’t tell me he’s done this of course, he’s a man of few words) and the GATE DOESN’T FUCKING OPEN. He then says he thinks there's a problem and he might have to send someone over. I'm standing next to the gate I used to be able to open with a key and now it won't fucking open and you think you might have to send someone over???? Excuse me, but are we waiting for the satellite to go over or something?

Pardon me for stating what you would think was obvious but why not let me, the bloke standing at the gate actually open the sodding thing? What if there's a fire or a powercut or no-one in the office or any other technical glitch or human error? Does this make me a Luddite or just NOT A FUCKING MORON!!! How could anyone have thought this system was a good idea? Whatever happened to a) the bullshit detector or b) the reality check. What do I do when I want in on a bank holiday or something?

….and I want a starting handle for the car and I don’t want it controlled by microchips. I want it to be repairable by a man who drives a tractor in Rumania. I want to take stuff to be repaired rather than having to buy a new one and I don’t want to leaf through a New Labour PFI brochure to ‘choose’ the best hospital to stop the bleeding after I’ve started climbing the gate to the T-Rex pen to find it moving underneath me.

I find it so tiring to fight useless twattery that I think it would be easier to buy Semtex and just blow the fucking gate to pieces. People would call it an over reaction but I'm not going to take it anymore - so plastic explosive it is.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Supermarkets #3

Kwiksave (Roundhay Road, Leeds) remain the only supermarket where in one visit I’ve been completely ignored by three staff having a conversation across the tills. If they're quiet you also have to go to the 'wineshop' to pay. No clues of course, you have to ask the magazine reader at the till for directions, which they give you with a look that makes it clear they think you're a moron. At the wineshop they're borderline racist and throw the bag at you and push your stuff out of the way, giving you no chance to put it in the bag. Mind you, in Beeston I heard the checkout woman call herself a ‘silly cunt’ for dropping some coins on the floor. Kwiksaves always had empty shelves when I went in them years ago - and they still do!

Still, they keep their milk nice and warm at least.

Supermarkets #2

When I go to pay at the supermarket checkout (hey, I'm talking to YOU Somerfield), do not make the cashier shout ‘do you like muffins?’ at me out of the blue. If you do I’m likely to say ‘yes, I’m a typewriter’ or maybe – ‘shut your mouth!’ – ‘and anyway, these are buns, I’m ENGLISH you twonk’. I might even comment that had I wanted the buns that were on offer in the big display near the door I’d have bought some and brought them to the till. Why not stand something on the counter that you have hidden away that I might not have seen. Don't try to sell me stuff or I'm not coming back.

Supermarkets #1

In Gipton LIDL they have a system of scanning items at the checkout and throwing them at you – almost literally. There’s a section of counter a foot square and they push everything off the edge – you’re expected to have your trolley there ready to catch stuff. They might as well say ‘get the fuck out of our shop, you twat’. They tell you off if you have your trolley in the wrong place. They’ve done it for years and the management do the same thing. No please or thank yous either. You’d think that at least some pretence of not treating customers like dogs with diarrhoea would even have reached Gipton by now – no chance.

Questions, Questions...

A straw focus group poll sample of whoever it was I asked were asked to rank the following in order of rudeness / hot sex action:

1. How’s your father
2. Slap and tickle
3. Rumpy pumpy

The answer to this is of course quite clear. Slap and tickle is of course less serious than how’s your father (which is quite broad I feel but probably means sexual intercourse). In turn rumpy pumpy surely must mean sexual intercourse.

I’m also interested to know the answer to the following questions:

Why a ‘piece of crackling’ but a ‘bit’ of fluff?
How fancy is a fancy man?
When did the nymphomaniac disappear (my guess is with having ones tonsils out and lumbago - but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong).

What is the percentage decline in the wolf whistle since 1950?

Why did ‘shooting brake’ lose out over ‘estate car’?

There are a million questions where that one came from. I'm afraid I shall die without ever finding the answers to any of them.

Working, Being King of the World and New Labour

It struck me today that between the beginning of 2000 and the middle of 2006 I worked full-time! What was I thinking? Full-time? Well, that’s just not right now is it? When I’m King of the World working full-time will be banned and anyone wishing to do so will be locked away indefinitely as having a gross personality disorder.

Luckily, the mechanism for doing this is being put in place today by New Labour (along with all the other ones I’ll need to maintain my iron grip – hey hey!). Locking people up in case they might do something bad is a good one isn’t it? How about locking up some politicians in case they do bad things eh? – perish the thought! No-one seems to realise that political prisoners were never locked up in the Soviet Union as ‘political prisoners’, they were usually locked up for their own protection and the protection of society. Clearly not wanting to belong to the Party demonstrated they were mentally ill and therefore dangerous. But, hey the Home Secretary is elected here so its all OK – mind you, so was Hitler – but at least one or two people noticed him making things oppressive. How long before they start carting off people suspected of ‘bad things’ to be tortured or put away – whoops, they do that already - only by CIA plane instead of cattle trucks. Still, it’s Britain, it’s New Labour and nobody cares. That makes it OK you know.

Never mind, it’s unlikely to be you…unfortunately for you however, when I’m king of the world it WILL be you! Don’t say you weren’t warned WORMS! HA HA HA – I will be Home Secretary so its an ASBO control and behaviour order and detention without trail – oh yes, and I’ll decide your ‘tariff’ depending on what the Sun says – send in the army!

Nurse, fetch the screens!

Greetings Pop Pickers / Goodnight Pop Pickers

Well there are only two words that can be used in answer to the question ‘Is the news that Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman has died very sad?’

They are of course....Nod ‘arf!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

This is my mailout!

If you're reading this and you didn't get it by e-mail you really should sign up for my e-mail 'annoy you via e-mail' e-mail. I contact you once in a while and try to get you to come to gigs and stuff. I also tell you secrets though... You might even find a free plastic glider with one one day. The below is the kind of thing that you get - what an ego idiot eh?

JP Gigs - at a weekend!
Dear All

It's been a while so it's update time if that's OK with you. If its not, let me know and I'll take your name off the list (and transfer it to my 'little black book of doom' which will ensure that bits of your body will turn black and fall off within the fortnight).

Apart from getting made redundant, finding another job with less hours (and a lot less money to give to beggars on the street) and spending my redundancy money on posh guitars (in the street), I've been recording the 'difficult second album' in a cellar in Armley (where the drugs arrive over the wall in dead birds, you know). It'll be ages before its out because 'when you think I've recorded all I can I'm gonna record you a little bit more' - plus I can't stop fiddling with it / I keep coming up with new songs.
But (and it's a medium sized but quite shapely but), I've decided to patronisingly turn out to play a couple of Leeds gigs just for you - you know, its not that far (for me, not you!), I can go on the bus and be home in time for cocoa and buns.

So, I'll be playing the stuff you all know so well (hey, you - send us £7 and I'll post a copy of the album to you - you can even pay by paypal via ) plus some new stuff.

So, kick out the cows and put these 2 dates in your dairy - it's next weekend though. I don't normally do weekend gigs so who knows who'll be there.

Saturday 2nd December 2006 - Breeze Bar, Wellington Street, Leeds, (opposite Mio Modos)
I searched for this place the other day and couldn't find it. It's actually next to where the Post Office sorting office was before the Post Office got bored with doing post officey things and started doing whatever it is they do now. It's set back from Wellington Street under one of those 'urban living' (i.e. slums of the future) blocks of flats with one of those 'metropolitan' small supermarkets (i.e. like Spar with stupid prices) next door. It's all a bit IKEA in there by the looks of it.
Sunday 3rd December 2006 -Santiago's, Grand Arcade, Leeds, (top of Briggate)
As you can see from the above, I was told this was off the top of Briggate (often thought about throwing myself off the top of Briggate). It's actually at the bottom of the Grand Arcade making it much nearer Vicar Lane opposite the Templar but the Arcade (hey, let's call it an alley!) runs from opposite the Templar up to Al Capone's. So, all in all its a bit more street level - though I expect the drinks prices will still be a laugh anyway.
Both of these are sort of pub times I think. They're probablyfree in too though don't quote me...

So, there you go. For those of you not in Leeds I hope you enjoyed the directions, for those who are I hope I'll see you down there (where I can pretend I don't know you, obviously - actually, if I do that it may be because I haven't actually seen you, come up and buy the album).

Mind how you go



Have also been doing Whole Sky Monitor stuff - there's now a myspace page for WSM - You can download free stuff onto your MPods or whatever - it's like a walkman with loads of tapes you know - but don't say that because you'll just embarrass yourself with the kids. They all want to sleep with me obviously but you, well, you'll just sound old y' know.

On-line quiz 2 – How rude is fruit

Which of these is the rudest piece of fruit / vegetable?

Fig (DH Lawrence only)
Peach / peaches

Of course, for myself I’m partial to a nice pear…funny old world though eh?

On-line quiz 1 - Pink Panties

At the swimming pool today I saw a young man in the changing room pull on some very pink ladies ‘panties’*

What was the correct procedure and what did I actually do?

1. Stroll up saying ‘Hi, I notice you’re wearing girls underwear, it looks pretty comfortable, I was thinking of getting some for myself, I’d really value your opinion...’

2. Point while shouting ‘hey everyone, laydees underwear alert, 2 o’clock!’

3. Quietly have a word with reception hoping they’ll send security to have him and his panties removed.

4. Shout ‘Oy you, you weirdo, we don’t want your sort in here!’

5. Wink and nudge him in the ribs while whispering conspiratorially ‘took ‘em off her last night did you? Top job mate’

6. Try to ignore it and tell (a small part of the) world by quietly putting it on your blog
(Note: 6 is the right answer, did you guess? - really?!!)

* while I’m on, this is one of those words that can’t be used free of connotation…which of these do you use?

1. Panties – silly and a bit rude
2. Knickers – too rude
3. Bloomers – too comic
4. Smalls – too old fashioned and too comic
5. Pants – too confusing for Americans
6. Strides - too modern and I don't know where it comes from
7. Trolleys - See 6 above

I could've got the old Thesaurus out and got more panting words, but why would I? You'd begin to think I'm strange - and don’t even get me started on the need for a female equivalent of ‘willy’ children, for the use of.

While sat in Somerfield's Car Park

While sat in Somerfield's car park, I found myself asking the following questions (not necessarily related to supermarkets) -

What happened to knobbly knees competitions?

Should one say threppence or thruppence? (and what would my mother say if I lost sixpence on the way to the slipper baths?)

In the doctor’s waiting room, why have I never seen a small boy with a saucepan stuck on his head – or a small boy with a neatly sawn piece of railing round his neck? I feel cheated to be honest - most of the people in there don't even look ill.

Why are there posters up at my work talking about Dobbin the dealer? Are drugs being sold to young people by a horse? Shouldn’t he be relatively easy to spot? Still, if he’s a hoodie maybe not…even then, surely someone would spot the 4 legs. Isn't 'horse' a slang name for heroin? - Perhaps the hip and happnin' dudes as the Council or somewhere got confused - but then a dude ranch is something to do with horses is it not? Perhaps horses are the connection we've all been looking for?

Lummie, it's a rum un - and no mistake.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Voodoo Attack

The voodoo attack on my house continues.

Strange organic items thrown in the re-cycling wheelie bin and, even madder than that, what appeared to be a thick swatch of grey hair sticking out of the exhaust pipe of the car. It was coming from inside – had to wrench it out. Chucked it in the bin.

Supernatural-ness fully exorcised by rinsing out the wheelie bin with a bucket of water – easy! – And you can shout at poltergeists apparently.

And the Blair Witch Project was the most boring film ever - even the bits of gristle on washing lines. The curse of the ancients will decend, lucky heather anyone?

John's Facts of the Day

I’m currently using a bar of soap that was partially eaten by mice – several years ago.

I bought some ‘festive' mince pies that had a sell-by date of 19th November.

Until recently it never occurred to me that the name Sandie Shaw was a pun.

Poundstretcher (or whatever they call themselves now) sell Advent calendars - for dogs.

My printer directs everything straight into the bin.

This week I was given £785 in cash by the representative of a toilet cubicle manufacturer.

My local swimming baths has a viewing area - but no place for wanking.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

JP Blog Stolen

Someone bought me that book ‘Is it Just me or is Everything Shit?’. It turned out to be very like my blog (in my opinion anyway) except that some of the targets were wrong. They’ve obviously stolen it – and made it into a successful book – bugger!

That Strange Bus Crash

A bus drove into Ainsley’s cake shop in town a few weeks back. I don’t know how it happened but presumably to stop it happening again a concrete lump (a five foot cube!) has been erected in front of the shop and sleeved in steel. That way the next out of control bus will hit an immovable object. Should wreck the front end of the bus….Less expensive and dangerous than wrecking a shop window? Someone must think ‘yes’! They gave away free bus tickets to people buying sandwiches too…Now what about an apology for the fares you bandits?


Well, I know. You know this too - The world of advertising is so tightly up it's own bottom that the sphincters who 'work' in it (I saw some captioned on telly as 'creatives' - ha ha!) are in danger of bursting like over-microwaved fat smug southern sausages. However, someone gets paid (presumably) to write descriptions on shampoo bottles and no-one stops them going completely mental, more mental than you would think it possible to go even for a really big family sized roasting tosser.

I thought I’d done this one years ago but I’ve been at the shampoo (or ‘fake shit’ as I call it) bottles again....

I bought a bottle of ‘cleansing’ shampoo from Tescos recently. Presumably they do a ‘dirtying’ version then? Mind you, they do ‘Chinese meal solutions’. I checked the dictionary definition. As I thought, dissolved in water. They must be for people who can only eat by sucking through a straw. I’ve definitely said this before you know…’Parkes’s Perfectly Reasonable Rant Solutions’ it says on the side of my van.

Talking of shampoo though, there are 2 shampoo bottles in the bathroom that aren’t mine. One is Garnier Fructis ‘FRESH fortifying cream conditioner’ ‘with active fruit concentrate’ ‘for normal hair that gets greasy quickly’ ‘with innovation no heaviness formula’ ‘for hair that shines with all its strength’. Mm. I’m surprised the bottle is strong enough to support the weight of such a truckload of dog turd. It really does say all that (and more) on the one bottle. Presumably people read it. Presumably this is meant to make their product sound good in moron land?

Do I really need to say anything or are you pulling on the combat trousers and ringing your dodgiest mate with the temper as we speak?

Sorry, but these are some of the questions I’ll be asking them when they’re all trussed up and begging to be allowed to visit the toilet…

Well, what if I think the fruit concentrate is not ‘active’ enough – how ‘active’ do they promise it is? – does it jog? and what fruit is it then and why would I want said fruit concentrated?
What if I find it stale and not fresh at all?
What if I find the formula still leads to slight heaviness? – and can I question the level of innovation?
What if I find my hair only shines with part of its strength?

The other shampoo ‘Locks in coloured hair vibrancy’. Do I want vibrancy locking into my hair? NO, I WANT THESE ADVERTISING TWATS BEGGING ON THE STREETS AND BEING PISSED ON BY VAGRANTS.

Extract from my Travelogue of Leeds

Those finding themselves with a half day to spare may wish to consider tracking down a branch of the ‘Post Office’. Once a common sight on the high streets of England, a few doughty individual branches continue to cling on to a precarious existence in some parts of the city. Despite extremely long queues of customers apparently wanting to part with money for the various services offered, they continue to close, the wear and tear on the floor simply too extreme to be funded by the meagre profits available.

However, the experience represents a metaphor for life and if struggle, frustration, boiling anger and resentment bordering on violence are what you’re looking for on an outing then this could be the place for you.

Please note the queue to reach the counter can reach several hours – sandwiches, flask and toilet tent will be essential.

Have to get direct now...there are only 2 post offices in Leeds city centre now and there's a queue of 35 people waiting to get in each of them in the morning. They closed down the main one (presumably because it was too busy for them). The queues stay at about 35 all day so far as I can see. When I'm paying someone money, what right do they have to keep me waiting for 40 minutes? Try getting to the counter and waiting for 40 minutes. What happens if some poor sod keep the directors waiting 40 there's a point.

I get so drained by this combination of shite service and leaflets and websites wanking on about 'our commitment to our customers' that I can't even be bothered to complain anymore.

By the way, when my Dad were a lad he worked with someone who let his wife know if he'd be home for dinner by sending her a postcard.

'All Day Breakfast Ciabatta'

I recently bought (at somebody else’s expense!) an ‘All Day Breakfast Ciabatta’

I expected it to have, well, you know, breakfast type stuff in it. Just to give you the full flavour (ha ha!), this is what it says on the packet –

‘Lincolnshire sausage and hard boiled egg with cheese, sweetcure bacon & sunblush tomato relish in a plain ciabatta'.

OK, let’s break this down…that’s potentially 6 yummy breakfast ingredients…but only potentially…

1. ‘Lincolnshire sausage’ – Hey! Yes! 1 out of 1. I will definitely give you that one. A breakfast ingredient and no mistake.

2. Hard boiled egg’ – So not fried or scrambled or even poached then? However, sure as eggs is eggs I’ll let you have ½ for that one, almost a breakfast ingredient – that’s 1 ½ out of 2.

3. Cheese – Now, you’ve gone way off there I’m afraid – anyone here have cheese for breakfast? Thought not. That’s 1 ½ out of 3 then.

4. ‘Sweetcure bacon’ – Hey, you’re back with us my laughably expensive catering friend. 2 ½ out of 4. I’ve even let you off ‘sweetcure’ (which you didn’t do anything to deserve).

5. ‘Sunblush tomato relish’. Mm, you’re taking the piss again now aren’t you? You lose a point for the fact that ‘sunblush’ is a registered trademark. Rather like registering ‘I am a wanker’ don’t you think? - And certainly no points for putting ‘relish’ in the breakfast thank you. That’s 1 ½ out of 5.

6. ‘Plain ciabatta’ – OK, it’s bread, you can have a point for that – that’s 2 ½ out of 6.

Now then, all you had to do was to PUT BREAKFAST STUFF IN THE BREAKFAST BREAD THING and you could have had 6 out of 6 six no matter what it tasted like. I wouldn’t have thought you were a total waste of tosser. It's a sanDwich - BUT IT'S NOT BREAKFAST YOU SUNBLUSH CHEESE SWEETCURE IDIOTS!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Another Painful Consumer Decision

Mmm, Tescos had 2 kinds of Quorn sausages in the freezer. Both £1.59 (and about £1 over priced I’d say). One sort are ‘surprisingly succulent’. The others are ‘surprisingly tasty’.

So in what way do I want to be surprised when I get them home? This kind of implies that you’re expecting them not to be tasty or succulent in the first place. It also somewhat ruins the surprise if they do turn out to be either 1 - succulent or 2 - tasty. ‘Heaven’s to Betsy’ I’ll exclaim to Morag the cat, ‘these sausages were advertised as surprisingly tasty, now I can taste them and its not really a surprise, what a disappointment, I shall have to take this up with old Mr Tesco or the Quorn brothers when I see them next…unless I bought the ones which were surprisingly succulent; in which case substitute the word succulent for tasty in my last utterance - and would you like some milk?’

One of these kinds of sausages are called ‘bangers’ which is just too matey and old fashioned for words. The other sort are ‘Cumberland’. I’m not sure that Cumberland even exists anymore though for some reason I’m not wound up about the fact. Are these sausages made of hippo or is that the Cumberland herby bed shops?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

What I Did On My Holidays

Recently went on Holiday to Llandudno. Here's the brief diary...


Saw a hedge dolphin
Sea trip on a boat called the ‘Gorgeous Gusset’

I knew it was going to be a good week on discovering that the previous residents (self catering)had left tins. Tins of: tomatoes; potatoes; Bigga Processed Marrowfat peas; washing up liquid. The real prize however was a large tin of Pek Chopped Ham with Pork. Checked for injection marks. No trace. It doesn’t get any better than this. Am definitely on holiday.


And on to a ‘Family Funday’ in Llandudno. Mainly unmarked marquees with people sitting at trestle tables. No hint as to what any of them were doing. Signing people up for the gymkhana was a possibility. Didn't ask, just whistled and moved away. Chain smoking man on bouncy castle. Paid for 5 minutes, discretion better thing of velour at 9 minutes. Ironically the length of time taken off his life for each cigarette - Karma or something.


Feeling rather let down recently by the level of entertainment value of the nutter on the bus. Either that or I’m learning that there are no ‘nutters’ but only those with ‘mental health issues’ or ‘learning difficulties’ (and the King of Africa obviously - will tell you about him sometime).

On the bus a man was making a series of statements:

‘How much have you got left to spend?’
‘You can take a picture of me if you like’
I’ve got to get to Rhyll to send my best friend a postcard’
‘They say it’s £6 to get in York Minster. I wouldn’t pay £6 to buy York Minster’
He also explained that he worked as a military advisor to Colin Powell - ‘ It doesn’t pay much, but its something’

I say hats off to the traditional British nutter – long may he sit next to someone else on the bus (but in earshot of me, obviously)


Professor Codman’s Wooden Headed Follies. I demanded sausages as one clearly would. I got them (and a crocodile) but they weren't fully integrated into the story so a bit disappointed. Why doesn't someone apply for a grant to send Mr Punch to an anger management workshop for those defining themselves a violent pychopath? I live too close to Gipton to be scared.

Later on a shopkeeper was offering advice to an elderly nun - purse securing, that kind of thing. Like nuns don't have training in this sort of thing. Everyone knows that muggers go for nuns. Good on you Ms shopkeeper!


As freedom is taken away by right wing authoritarian governments and corporate rules, I’ve noticed a small niche of comparative freedom being seized by ordinary people. This is in charging for 5 year olds. Never say ‘2 adults and one child please’ because the rules will say everyone gets charged. Say ‘2 adults and a small person please’ The person selling the ticket or whatever will smile and probably not bother charging – hurray. Luckily, there’ll be fingerprinting babies soon and checking them against the database so you won’t be able to get out of it.

Have I mentioned that Birmingham station has a 'revenue protection barrier'. Built by the Israelis to keep rockets out I'll be bound. They check tickets - a bit like at a ticket barrier, though with a ludicrous name obviously.


Spent most of the day avoiding Christians. The tenacity of the needy and deluded eh? The ‘Beach Team’ promise 'games, quizzes, songs, prizes and bible stories' - and an unhealthy dose of irrational medieval belief system I'll bet...Saw them raring to go in red sweatshirts. Was also invited to a ‘Free 20 minute audio visual presentation’ of 'amazing stories from the past' including 'Mary Jones and a long trip to Bala for a Bible' by the 'United Beach Missions'. Sorely tempted obviously. If I became a Christian I’d probably start a mission to lap-dancing clubs where I’d be sorely needed (or sorely kneeded if I found the right club and paid extra).


Given a lift back from a farm by a laughing Czech with a car floor full of bottles swilling round the floor. Close encounter with a gnu.

Have spent the week doing what the Brits do best – reaching for a cardie. This reminds me that in Leeds 6 you can find the Cardigan Centre. Just next door to the Scotch Wool shop I assume.

Went to get my hair cut before coming home. 2 women on. Must be age or something. I make for the older one (as she probably knows how to cut hair) rather than the young pretty one (who is young and pretty). Mind you, the young pretty one turned out to be from Hull so decision well made I guess.


Usually my puns are pretty lame ‘you’re all Toksvig’ (meaning ‘you’re all sandy’ as in 'you've got sand on you' rather than thinking everyone has somehow turned into Sandie Shaw) would be a typical example. However, you could buy a ‘Damsel Costume’ in Conway / ‘Conwy’ castle. This allowed me to pick it up and say to a young female companion: ‘you look like a damsel in dis dress’. Classic.

Here's a Good One! - Parcelforce

I ordered some tapes from Florida recently to keep the old Tascam 688 portastudio going.

Parcelforce are taking care of delivery 'this end' which is why they decided to return them to sender rather than actually delivering them to me or telling me they had them. Or telling me anything in fact. In order to check what's going on you need a 17 figure 'Parcel Reference Number'. This appears on the letter they send you which tells you you have to pay import duty etc. If they don't send you this letter you don't have the number. This means that when you call the depot you can't use the phone system because it asks for the number - that you haven't got.

Next stage is a 'Clearance fee' of £8. Did I mention that I've already paid the postage?

So, so far I've waited since May for the package. They wouldn't give it to me, they wouldn't tell me they'd got it, they wouldn't let me speak to them and now they want £8 to release it.

Following a website search and calls to their call centre I now have a letter (which is how I know about the £8). If I call them today (a Thursday) they can deliver it the next day. I won't be in on Friday. Luckily you can get them to deliver on Saturday.

The charge for this is an extra £12.

I'm not making this up. Anyone want to set fire to the depot? My arson fee is £25.56 + VAT.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Militant Pedestrians in Public Incident - Again!

Your local representative of the Militant Pedestrians (which is me of course) nearly had a fight in the street today. The usual half dozen cars went through the amber / red light at the junction of Harehills Lane andRoundhay Road without apparently noticing that there were cars backing up on the other side and that there was no way through - or probably did but just thought they'd go anyway. I walked out onto the pedestrian crossing after the green man came on - in front of a stationery car. The driver got very cross as one does when one's wanker driving is challenged. I told him not to drive across pedestrian crossings when the green man is on. He didn't like this; he got out of his car - lots of fingers and some nose to nose stuff ensued. I should of course have stayed detached and cool and just taken the piss. Instead I was just MAAAD! Didn't do my stress levels any good but, hey, point made again I think.

Once again I need to know - how many cars is it that are allowed through a light once its changed to red? My guess is that it must technically be 3 or 4.

On a related subject, don't driving instructors teach anyone what a yellow hatched area in the road means? Has this gone the way of hand signals and not using the horn as a rebuke? Militant pedestrians say ban the car! When there were pickets of the oil terminals a few years back the quality of life shot up for a couple of days.

- And long live the Mobile Slasher! Just in case you didn't see this - A vigilante, who slashes the tyres of motorists who talk on their mobile telephones while driving, is being hunted by police. The so-called "mobile slasher" leaves an anonymous note made from letterscut from newspapers on the windscreens of the cars. The note reads: "Warning. You have been seen driving while using your mobile phone."YES! YES! YES! Vote Slasher!

When I'm king of the world and Slasher is my right-hand man, flamethrowers will be installed at all pedestrian crossings (which will be on all roads and timed to actually stop the traffic rather than changing just after the traffic has gone and you've crossed the road). When Psychoboy from today (hey, he leapt out of his car! - I could have stolen it!) or any drivers doing the same drive through they'll simply be instantly cremated in the street. The flames will be of such temperature and ferocity that he won't even block the road because he'll be a small pile of ash. His relatives will be sent a large bill for his cremation.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tesco Bag

In the Tescos Express in Armley (the district, not the jail - or gaol) you get a free Clubcard point if you use your own bag. In the one on Easterly Road the machine won't let you use your own bag. It detects the weight of your Tescos 'bag for life' and asks you to remove it from 'the bagging area' (in the more interesting branches they have a 'de-bagging area' where you get to pour things on the floor or remove the trousers from a local). I harrumphed up to the counter and waited to be served by a person, I also wanted to pay with change, another thing you're not allowed to do by the machines that run the branch. I suppose I'll be unloading the lorries and stocking the shelves for free next, as well as serving myself. The fruit is priced in single items too. Best to stick with the Co-op. Don't forget to ask for your divvy! There's usually one around.

Incidentally, have you noticed how we're losing the word 'shop' in favour (or favor, probably) of the word 'store'. I'm old enough to remember these things you know...which means its time for bed.

Too old to spell Jung

OK, I spelt Jung as Yung - kept me searchin' for a heart of gold, but I'm gettin' old - etc.

While I'm on, I spent the bank holiday in Armley - not the jail, the district of Leeds. If you heard pained shouting it was me fuelling up on Neil the producers ground coffee - and shouting for at least as much as I was worth. New songs, shouty ones...

Neil is old enough to remember when octane was important to motorists - or lawn mower owners (if you had a petrol one of course)....get it wrong and you'd be running in the shooting brake and it'd start pinking on the hills. I got to here from the coffee you see...Cars also had a starting handle and garages had a mechanic as well as actually serving you with petrol. I last saw this a few years back in Holbeck - wondered what the woman was doing grabbing hold, sticking it in and pumping away - then I had to pay her...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Laura Mercier Flawless Skin

It seems grooming products and water are my themes of the moment.

Anyway, this is real…..I saw a display in town for this stuff. I really am not making this up. Laura Mercier Flawless Skin is real, honestly....It says (and I quote)

‘Remarkable skincare based on the anti-ageing properties of Deep Sea Water extracted off the coast of Japan’

Yes that’s right – salty water! I like the word ‘extracted’ too – it all sounds better than dipping a bucket in the sea at Cleethorpes but it’s the same thing. I’m going to market Tracy Pleb's ‘Imperfect Skin’ – based on the salty water properties of a fat bloke with a bucket in Clacton. Could knock it out for a fraction of the price. Same thing but loads cheaper.

While I'm on, have you noticed that loads of shampooey types things have 'aqua' as the first ingredient. They often have 'liquidium parafinium' in too! That'd be water and liquid parafin in cod Latin then would it - faecesium shittinitium then. Soylent Green for these people I think. Oh yes.

I watched the telly - and it was like this...

While on holiday I watched some telly. It went like this….

The programme is an hour long. Firstly, instead of the programme you get ‘coming up next’ which is an advert for the programme that’s supposed to be on already. Next up, adverts. Then the actual programme starts, sort of…It starts with about 10 minutes about what was in the programme last week followed by another 10 on what’s coming up in this week’s programme - then it goes to adverts again. Then it tells you again what is coming up in this week’s programme before giving you a couple of minutes of what it’s actually about. Then it goes to adverts. After every advert break there’s a summary of what’s was in the programme before the adverts and what’s coming up next. The same after each ad break. Towards the end there’s a summary of what’s going to be on next week.

Content free television really is here. Why not make a 5 minute ‘I’m not a moron’ version of the programme? I guess the answer is that if you’re watching you must be a moron. No more experiments in watching TV for me I’m afraid.

Chat Magazine!!!

If you’ve never read Chat magazine you probably know someone who does - really. I mean, WOW! - ‘An alien baby at 18 but now I want a real one’. ‘I turned into a sad, smelly slob – to satisfy my fella’. Bring it on!

The copy I saw included handy hints - one was to make a cardboard ‘loose cover’ for a standard size tissue box - covered with leftover wallpaper. I mean, try to stop me!

One of the problem page letters concerns a woman who suspects her husband is masturbating. A married man masturbating? How could such a thing happen? The woman is clearly delusional.

There was also a story about a woman from Leeds - ‘I was quacking up as an ugly duckling - but now I can swan about’ - fantastic!

At one point this woman says (or a ‘journalist’ paraphrases) ‘When I was 12 my boobs started growing – and growing….Terri two-bras the girls started chanting’. Then she says ‘I started skipping lessons when I was about 14’.

Well, excuse me but if you’re being teased about having a large bosom, I’d suggest that skipping is probably not the ideal sport for you….Some people!

Chat magazine though eh? Like the Sun, you should read it at least once before you die. More than three times and you’ve got a problem.

Incidentally, The 'Thomas Kinkade Faith Mountain - illuminated Masterpiece Edition' advert (only £149.94) was beyond parody.

Yorkshire Water again

Yorkshire Water put up a sign in the street near me next to a big hole in the road, it said ‘find out what we’re doing here by phoning 0845 1202020’. Well, don’t bother. I phoned and what a waste of time it was. Not only do they not appear to know or care what we’re doing here but they have little or no insight into the meaning of life at all. Evolution? God? Alien Life? Jung? Existentialism? Not interesting in discussing any of them, not even interested in the hole in the road as metaphor. The question that beats me is what were they doing offering philosophical insights on a metal sign in the road in the first place? I’ll ask before I pay the next bill.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The time I met Sir George Martin

I recently bought the Alan Partridge radio series CD set off ebay. He does a great non story about George Best. honour of that, here's the story of the time I met Sir George Martin:

It was about 1991 and I was with the Wedding Present staying at the Columbia hotel, England's closest equivalent to the Chelsea hotel (though I never got a blowjob off Janis Joplin or even anything near equivalent to be honest). I went to check the van hadn't been towed away and to put some money in the meter. Who should be there at the meter than (Sir) George Martin. He said 'I don't think this one's working'. Quick as a flash I replied 'No, I don't think this one is working either!'

The time I met Sir George there, great days....

I remembered this story after mentioning putting top rock stars straight in dreams. I don't do this often....I also have to remind myself that a blog reads kind of backwards so it doesn't really work properly.

Godda Gedda Widnes - Part 2

I bought a guitar from a couple at a hair dressers who gave me a beer, showed me their home studio and shared an enthusiasm for the Beatles. Nice people, nice guitar. Left some good feedback on ebay (not enough characters to get into characters or to mention beer).

On the way back I had a nice long time at Widnes railway station (by the way, why does everyone use the phrase 'train station' these days when 'railway station' is much nicer) . There's a plaque there that says that Paul Simon wrote 'Homeward Bound' there in 1965. Well, on the surface all very interesting and rock and roll and all that. However, I have to ask what kind of twonk actually gets out his guitar and starts playing in front of people on the railway platform? I had a guitar with me but if I'd have got it out and started calling myself a 'poet and a one-man band' I'd have been laughed at (by a teenager who hasn't been bummed among others). I reckon that's where he had the IDEA which he wrote about later. Next time I bump into Paul I'll ask him. I've told Paul McCartney a thing or two in dreams but never Paul Simon.

Godda Gedda Widnes - Part 1

I had a day out to Widnes last Tuesday. I spent the morning quietly mumbling ‘godda gedda Widnes’ to myself. Spent the afternoon and evening on trains mainly. Is there a war on? - this is the legitimate question posed by my sister who also doesn’t understand why trains can’t be designed to withstand the rigours of the British weather. Widnes was effectively cut off from the outside as far as trains were concerned, too much sun on the line or something. Warrington was a popular stopping place where trains were cleared of passengers and Scousers were peeved – though not as much as you might’ve thought.

Highlights of the day included:

After dinner mints on the platform
A man drooling over himself – who wasn’t sitting next to me!
A packet of golf tees (and a bottle of White Lightning) in the toilet
A teenager announcing to friends that she had ‘never been bummed’
A man attempting to remove his legs with a train
Jack the baboon and his signalman owner (with false legs)

I can get angry - but I am proud of myself


I just discovered a letter I sent to Yorkshire Water. I think I may have mentioned them before. I was responding to an advert they use to scare old people. I'm quite proud of's what I said.

Dear Sir or Madam

Thank you for your undated and un-addressed letter REF YWDP41K

Thanks for implying that we’re in terrible danger of being flooded and that we can buy ‘protection’ from you. No doubt lots of elderly and other vulnerable people will be giving you their money after you’ve scared them into thinking they’re going to suffer an emergency and that they’ll never get a plumber.

I object to your advertising, and come to that also to the fact that it’s delivered by the post office as if it was real post. I’d normally bin it but I think this despicable shite deserves a reply.

The solution to the plumber shortage is to train more plumbers and not for you to buy them up and extort money out of people for services they’re probably not going to need.

We won’t be taking up your ‘protection’. If you weren’t a monopoly supplier we’d go somewhere else for the water.

We got a plumber within about half an hour recently by the way and it wasn’t that expensive.

So, rip us all off, don’t bother giving us a name, deliver more stuff to us and we’ll bin it – and I guess we’ll have to keep paying whatever bills you send us – hurray for advertising, insurance scams and corporate capitalism!

Yours with the arsey attitude you deserve.

(John Parkes)

Friday, July 21, 2006

The WSM chapter of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (the Osiris Temple)

Please not that ‘the WSM chapter of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (the Osiris Temple)’ is not a branch of top band Whole Sky Monitor. WSM here stands for Weston Super Mare. Seaside towns r'us. FT readers may know what I mean.

Ram On!

Now I’m not that bothered about having a cool record collection. I’m more concerned about defending parts of my record collection from scorn and ridicule. I won’t get very far if I give you a list of records to defend all in one go – you will probably scoff. However, there comes a time is every person’s life when one has to simply assert.

So, my assertion is that Ram by ‘Paul & Linda McCartney’ is a great album. So there. It’s got some slightly embarrassing bits and some slightly twee bits – and its still great. Effectively Paul McCartney’s second solo album (and not credited to Wings – the band the Beatles could have been according to Alan Partridge of course…), it doesn’t set out to change the world but it’s a whole log less self important than John Lennon’s stuff around the same time.

It’s haunting in places, evocative of something I can’t put my finger on and sounds kind of sad and upbeat and playful…it sounds like the sun is out in the late afternoon and has family photos on it. I bought it on CD for £6 though I’ve lived with it since I was about 14 when I went through all the Beatles albums followed by most of their solo albums. I just love it. All music should speak to 14 year olds if possible (none of my own music does as far as I know).

I’ve known loads about the Beatles for years and it only occurred to me a few weeks ago that it’s probably called Ram (featuring the song Ram On) because Paul Ramon was the name he used in the early Beatles as a stage name. Let’s admit that John Lennon made a total arse of himself at times (though I’ll tell you about the John Lennon Plastic Ono band album at some point). Incidentally, for someone who likes puns, I only realised that the name Sandie Shaw was a pun a couple of years back - how stupid is that? Mind you, I live with someone who thought that Gilbert O'Sullivan might be the man's real name - let's not do Gilbert tonight...

Back to being 14. My bible was a book called ‘The Beatles – An Illustrated Record’ by Roy Carr and Tony Tyler. It was LP size and featured full size colour pictures of all the Beatles LP covers (so, so much better than CDs which as far as artwork goes are really a bit rubbish), biographical stuff and comments / reviews of all the singles and LPs including the solo stuff up until1974. Just think, on one day in 1965 you could go into a shop and buy 16(!) brand new Beatles songs – Rubber Soul for 14 and the Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out single. Two minutes silence needed or something.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Keeping up with the Soap and Butter

The other day I accidentally used some ‘Palmolive Ultra Nourishing Liquid Handwash with Shea Butter.’ Mistook it for soap. What a bunch of tossers eh?

Shea butter is of course very difficult to get hold of, being seasonal seat guano drippings from the famous Shea Stadium - harvested by Mexicans. My hands became so well ‘nourished’ they grew several inches and now have big square teeth, an obesity problem and very little knowledge of foreign affairs.

It's getting increasingly difficult to buy soap that's actually called 'soap'. I even washed my face with 'handwash' the other day and I'm getting a bit smelly because no-one seems to make 'willy wash' or 'arse wash' with Shea butter or otherwise. Similarly, it's now impossible to buy margarine - 'Speciality spreads' made with goat kidneys yes, margarine, no. I hate Tescos. Since they have 'Indian meal solutions' I assume they dissolve curry in water and you suck it through a straw. If not they can't speak English and should be sent back where they came from. B*stard marketing Tw*ts all I'm afraid.

Love your junk mail

These are my favourite titles from junk mail from the last couple of days:

1. Chipmunk passport 2. Evergreen convulse 3. Your cash paint drier 4. Flowerpot mumps
5. Your cash muse descended

My favourite ‘senders' were:

Riboflavin G Soddy (long time, no see Ribe!) and Damon Coit (Hi Damon!) - and you thought Disraeli Gears was cool!

Friday, July 14, 2006


This one really hurts....

Dear reader, when I was eighteen years old I ironed something. The Sweeney was probably still on telly (and not a repeat - lets talk about that later....) A shirt, a t-shirt, a pair of gold lame underpants, whatever, I ironed something. It was possibly the worst 10 minutes of my life. I resolved never to iron again. I haven’t. Haven’t wanted to, haven’t needed to, haven’t been asked to, haven’t asked anyone to, just simply haven’t done it because it’s like being dead.

Occasionally someone will assume this is because someone irons for me. This is not true. If I catch anyone ironing for me I will tell them to stop immediately. It’s a filthy waste of time and you shouldn’t do it. Think of the sort of person who irons a shirt – not pretty is it? Think of the sort of person who wears an ironed shirt – disgusting isn’t it?

It’s simple – don’t iron, ever. It’s easier than giving up television because not all television is shit whereas all ironing is shit.

So imagine the humiliation, the sheer pain angst and screaming agony of being forced to iron a shirt – by your own band! Imagine when you’d done the desperate deed the drummer of the band shouting ‘who ironed that shirt? There are creases all up the front’. Well dear reader, the humiliee was me, Whole Sky Monitor were the humiliators. They dressed me up, criticised, made me wear other people’s clothes and generally pushed me about. They didn’t even do this for base sexual reasons apparently. They just have no sense, taste, decency, manners or nous. Set of ****s, I really hate them.

Joining the Circus

The Moscow State Circus was in town recently. Everyone's got a token except me and circus children (short hairy clowns with elastic legs to a child, you know) went to the local school - for two weeks. People thought they were Germans - though the days when the Home Guard would be called out with brooms have long gone you know. Tea's off ration and everything.

I had a wonder up there. It was during a performance, weird how quiet it was from the outside – a sound-proof big top? Anyway, I fondly imagined that the ticket office would be staffed by the Strong Man and the Bearded Lady between shows. I expected it to be closed during the show. It wasn’t. Nor was it staffed by the Bearded Lady or Strong Man understudies. In fact it was a girl from Gipton trained to do a Russian accent (possibly). Might have just been a Russian woman. Whatever.

Bought tickets, saw a man run over by a truck. Well worth £20, you could wait ages on the A58. It’s £32 in at Elland Road and you’re unlikely to see a man in leopard skin being run over by a truck. Unfortunately, he wasn’t actually dressed in leopard skin. He did have sparkly foil trunks though. I think that’s as good. Willy like garlic bread at the end of the show though I imagine - French rather than Italian. Men - don't think about that metaphor for too long.

Oh yes, and the woman doing the splits had the narrowest gusset you’re likely to see. Not that I’d be interested in a thin white gusset on a slim attractive blonde young lady suspended from the ceiling by wires and spinning, doing the splits.

No-one asked me to join. Felt a little affronted. I'm not answering their e-mails.

Somehting to beef about - ha ha!

MacDonalds say their burgers are 'made from 100% beef'.

So how come they taste sort of oniony too – and what holds them together? If they were 100% beef they'd just be beef wouldn't they?

What proportion of a 100% beef burger is beef? I suggest the answer is around 64% - such is the modern world.

Curvy Wooden Minxes

Just wanted to say that after certain ‘special’ people I know (you know, family, partner, ex-colleagues etc. - not necessarily people with special needs - though I love everyone, you know) one of the most beautiful things on earth is the Rickenbacker guitar. Specifically, the 360 12-string (and I quite fancy the 330 and some of the other 300 series too, the tempting little minxes). It just looks (and smells, incidentally) just FANTASTIC. I could just look at one for hours. ‘Fireglow’ is the best (the reddish one) though the maple ones look fab too – and black (‘Jetglow’) is great too. The blue ones and other odd colours are nice too. I just love them all. Some people buy them for investment and hang them on the walls - caged songbirds all, go and steal one to play if it’s hung on a wall or stored away. All the best guitars were designed ages ago which just goes to show. I had one once but had to sell it to pay studio bills before we’d got properly acquainted.

Having said all that, a Ric (as us guitar people call ‘em) for sale on ebay recently was referred to as ‘she’ throughout and it all seemed a bit, well, odd. This is not a sex thing, OK? I would never hit a woman with a plectrum to make her sing. Unless she asked. Nicely! Best to stop there I think.

Curvy Wooden Minxes - They make you want them. Then they're too expensive - Dang! (or drat, or perhaps Bother).

Off the Rails


Yup, I've had 2 1/2 months not blogging but now I'm on again. Thought I'd start off with a good story. Then I though nah, a couple of small rubbish ones.

First - I found a banana. In the street. At a bus stop. On the floor. What did I do? - I ate it, that's what. It was fully skinned (or not skinned at all depending on your definition I guess). I searched for needle marks, found none - just ate it. Willy Nilly! Crazy guy! The pageantry of roll eh?

Second - I'm attemping to spend £3,400 on guitars. I had a job, they got rid of me, they raided the pension fund, they gave me money - I've now broken a legal agreement to only tell 'close members of my family'. If it goes to court I'll explain that you're all close members of my extended family and it's all part of my religion. So there.

Better stories in future I'll bet. For now I got fired by e-mail, got another job, got addicted to ebay and stopped doing gigs because I'm lazy. Ate a banana from a bus stop.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

My New Friends

I have discovered some new friends. They make sandwiches and work for a place called ‘PRET’ in town. They’re lovely, and as I say, they’re my friends. They say all kinds of funny but friendly things on their packaging like ‘sorry about the ghastly plastic wrapper’ on their cake wrapper!!

They know me so well. We just kind of clicked almost instantly. They say ‘When you bake at home, you take it out of the oven and cool it on a wire rack’ – I DO! How did they know? Then they say ‘Then you eat a large slice (as a reward) and keep the rest in a flowery cake tin, like your Grandma used to!’ Amazing, she DID! I DO!

I’m using daffodils in my cake tins at the moment. Those guys just, like KNOW ME SO WELL!

This uncannily accurate information is ‘Passion Fact no. 47’.

The cake provides 2 yummy mouthfuls and represents excellent value at £1.30 – and I HAVE NEW FRIENDS!!!

Incidentally, my passion fact no.13 is to think about Margaret Thatcher to stop myself from coming too soon! – But then there’s those pretty ankles!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

JP Book Nears Publication

My new book, the slim but essential ‘Male Changing Room* Etiquette – How to act normal in a changing room full of odd people – a guide’ will soon be on sale soon in imaginary bookshops across the country, if not the world.

One entry which not so many people will need (though it has to be there to ensure comprehensive coverage) will be ‘Snot – how not to deal with it’. This particular entry doesn’t pretend to be a complete snot guide but it does give examples of what not to do (for stupid people, as usual). The guide doesn’t wish to offend so there’s only so far I’m prepared to go, snot wise. However, in case you need this advice now and really can't wait, here’s a sample:-

Do, not, EVER, press one nostril down with a finger, loudly snort snot onto the fingers of ones other hand and throw it on the floor of the shower - even if you are aiming for the drain. It is offensive in my sight – and that is enough – and yes, I did see this happen – in real life.

I am indeed 'the Brian Sewell of the changing room' (the Manchester Guardian).

*The editors of the US edition will no doubt use the phrase ‘locker room’ liberally – it’ll be good to see Americans being liberal for a change. However, I will not allow anyone to use the phrase ‘snot what you do’….

Militant Pedestrians Turn to Violence

YES! Real physical violence! When you’re next driving through a pedestrian crossing with the green man flashing bleeps in your ears and you hear a satisfying ‘Thunk!’ it could well be a top Leeds based songwriter / singer sticking the ‘Doc Welly’ into your rear nearside. I’ve done it and I LIKE IT!

The bloke stopped his car. Maybe he was going to remonstrate; maybe he thought he’d hit someone and wanted to be sure he hadn’t hurt anyone – the BIG BABY! – If you’re going to drive like a raving maniac (who can’t drive) you’ve got to live with the consequences without regret, you know. If you want to kill, then kill, if you don’t want to kill then DON’T DRIVE THROUGH THE RED LIGHT YOU MORON! Incidentally, if you remonstrate you leave your car open to further attack. If I run away you’ll have to leave your car in the road. I might run in a circle, steal your car and drive it into an insurance company call centre (if there’s enough petrol to get to Jodpur).

So, there you go kids. Attack the lawbreakers physically. The real law won’t touch ‘em. Militant Pedestrians have done it – and it was GOOD!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Come to Leeds Market

Advertising slogan:

"Come to Leeds Market - It's much cheaper than a day out at the zoo"

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Just like you, I know I should be a veggie at least and probably a vegan.

Leaving that aside for a minute, I bought some bacon the other day. The packet proudly announced that it contained '85% bacon'. If I complained, no doubt some twat would explain that this is what the modern consumer wants. Some things really are beyond parody. Of course when you cook it it boils in it's own injected water.

Can I boil the manufacturers in their own injected water and if not, why not? Does this mean they're doing well if I pay with my pounds worth of change which is actually 85p?

I'll have 100% bacon please you 100% twats.

PS, OK I do realise that you probably have to add some preservative or something. I'll give you 2% max.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My 'New' Music Purchases

No reason why you should be interested in this but I’m going to tell you anyway. I actually bought 3 CDs this week. I wish I was £50 a week man but I’m too poor (until the royalty cheque comes through obviously) and too tight. I also avoid ‘new’ music when I’m still filling in gaps in the 60’s and 70’s (not quite that but there is so much stuff I haven’t heard from then).

I bought:

The Band by the Band
Led Zeppelin III
The Very Best of Slade

Once in a while you hear a song that just knocks you over with its sheer brilliance and you just can’t stop playing it. Years ago ‘Down in the Tube Station at Midnight’ by the Jam and ‘Young Savage’ by Ultravox (no, not the Midge Ure version – check out the three albums when John Foxx was the singer) did it for me and ‘Break on Through’ by the Doors – and well, thousands more.

However, this week it’s ‘How Does it Feel?’ by Slade! Sounds like the best song Paul McCartney never wrote for Abbey Road – if he’d been a bit harder. It is that good. It’s in my top 100 songs of all time. I know Noel Gallagher has said something similar. Have to admit I have this on vinyl though I hadn’t heard it for a while. ‘The Very Best of Slade’ turns out to be a COLLOSSAL album!

‘My Oh My’ should have been played by Queen at Live Aid and ‘Far Far Away’ is awesome too - Then there’s ‘Get Down and Get With It’ – and all the other ones you must’ve heard. Worth £7 even if you only love ½ a dozen tracks – and doesn’t the strutting man from Led Zep have a very silly voice?

OK, OK, compilations are evil and I should just track down every album Slade ever made but I remain unapologetic. I'm not completely mad and this will do for me thank you.

The Elasticity of the Rubber Horse

When I were a lad you could certainly get rubber animals – not actually rubber I guess but some sort of man-made rubber substitute (I wonder if they had any real rubber in them at all?) Anyway, they probably came from Hong Kong or were ‘Empire Made’. Now, there are a lot of points potentially up for discussion there but the point I’d like to make now is that they were stretchy – sort of.

Thing is that if you buy a rubber horse (or dinosaur or lizard – it’s quite a long list. I could do this but it’s a research job and it’ll cost, you understand?) these days it’s endlessly and alarmingly stretchy. You can stretch a 2 inch rubber horse to about 2 feet - I'm not joking!

Was this announced in the papers? (Not really the) cure for cancer drugs make the headlines. Well, at sometime in the eighties or nineties (or who knows when?) I missed the ‘Rubber Horse Flexibility Breakthrough’ headline. How come? Why didn’t you let me know? - We all have to cope you know. I'm disappointed in you once again. Ah well, time heals I guess.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

JP Album at Bargain Prices!

What I’d like you to do is buy the JP album. You can do this via the website or by post or from a shop - or whatever. However, I thought I’d tell you how to get a cheap one.

What happens is this. I / we (the AAZ Records marketing sales force) send out review copies to all the ‘proper’ music monthlies (you know, the ones with 8 page dad rock retrospectives – incidentally, I LOVE dad rock!) Then the scum sucker who isn’t going to review it puts it in a bag with a load of other CDs he’s not going to review and takes it down the second hand CD shop. He gets not very much for each one but he gets money for the JP CD (that he hasn’t reviewed) nonetheless.

This is the way the world works. It’s like wondering why Christian countries sell arms to third world dictators; thinking of how it should be just doesn’t get you anywhere. This is an area where for once I’m not that worked up. It’d be nice if they listened to the record (that’s reviewers by the way, I don’t suppose many third world, sorry, ‘developing world’ dictators are listening) or even decide to review it or keep it, but hey, the complete victory of Thatcherism means that in the real world you can get 50p for it down the second hand shop to spend on coke or at IKEA or whatever music journalists spend money on. Luckily, the chances of anyone making more than 50p from the JP album are quite slim (or as Loudon Wainwright III once said, the chances aren’t slim, the chances are fat…’)

Anyway….this all means you can get the JP album ‘second hand’ on Amazon starting at about £3. If you see a picture of one it says ‘promotional copy, not for resale’ which means ‘re-sell immediately’, obviously. You can also pay up to about £17 if you want. I know this because of ‘Google Alerts’ which also tells me that the album is for sale on e-bay too (apparently connected with the Wedding Present, which is another story).

So, here’s an offer for you. I’ll beat the cheapest price. Send me a cheque (made out to John Parkes) for £3 and I’ll send you the album. Oh, because it’s my album and my blog and I can do what the f*ck I want, you also have to send me proof of a donation of at least £5 to the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Amnesty or a similar organisation that sticks in the craw of civilised (i.e. uncivilised) governments. Can’t say fairer than that as ‘they’ apparently say.

Friday, March 10, 2006

More Advice from the Changing / Locker Room

These non-music related entries are so much more satisfying don't you think? - Let me know.

Anyway, that locker room...

First up, an obvious one - what are you going to gain from standing on your towel when you’re still wet? This may seem obvious but you're just going to get your towel wet and dirty - is this your first time at the pool or are you nine years old? If it is, or if you are, apologies. If not, sort yourself out eh?I've previously advised against aggressive scrotal towelling as an aesthetically poor choice of drying technique. I'd also like to add from today's experience that 'legs apart, knees bent forward, thrusting motion' is surely not to be countenanced from a willy drying perspective (or during combined willy and scrotal drying which I believe was the object of the action). The force applied to willy washing should surely also be closely monitored. Now, men are programmed from an early age (at least most of us are) to avoid over aggressive willy washing, at least in public. In private anything goes of course. However, today a man was apparently lovingly stroking a new born kitten. In the shower. Except HE DIDN’T HAVE A KITTEN! (which, come to think of it could actually have been worse but we’ll leave that for now). That’s right, the sharper ones amongst you are already there – washing his bleedin’ willy like it was George Galloway in top acting mode.

So, I took the only course of action available to me - I slapped his hand away, went nose to nose and shouted at the top of my voice – ‘DON’T WASH IT LIKE THAT, IT’S JUST NOT RIGHT!’ Actually, I discovered a second choice of action was available: I sashayed over hissing ‘word in your shell like’ conspiratorially and carefully explained ‘aggressive towelling, no. Stroking new born kitten, no.’ ‘Find a middle way’ I suggested politely but firmly, with a playful smack on the bell end.

Some people eh?

Psychological Victory for Militant Pedestrians

Making my way to the WSM rehearsal 'suite' in Armley, I have to cross the road at the end of Wellington Street – you know the one where just as an experiment the Highway Code has been suspended. Here the red light means ‘next 5 cars at maximum speed through the pedestrian crossing please’. I believe this suspension has been introduced at thousands of locations across the country.

As I approached, I had nearly finished a stolen apple (well, it was offered the day before, I’d said ‘no’ then but I guessed the offer was probably still open and there were 5 on the desk…moral relativism is my bag y’know…)

Anyway, the lights turned red, the green man came out and bleeped his forlorn bleep and 2 cars sped through the crossing (only two I know, must’ve been a quiet day). I launched the apple core at the second car – GOTCHA! – middle of the passenger window. I half hoped the car would skid to a halt and the driver appear for a shouting match (‘possibly more’ as the small ads say). I stole the apple from someone at work. Unbeknownst to her, she is my unwitting accomplice.

Incidentally, when I Googled militant pedestrians I got 666 suggestions! If I have time, will be mine! Apple cores, paint guns, insulting notes and loud voices at the ready people. Got to learn to fight back - and any car on the pavement will be torched by a hired (and well paid) blind (make that 'member of the partially sighted community') person with a buggy and an army surplus WWII flamethrower...'oh, my beautiful wanky car, it's just exploded!' - Learn to park moron!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Popcorn Double Feature

The cheapest popcorn at ‘myvue’ (ex Ster Century, the monopoly cinema people in Leeds) is £3.75 for a portion in a cardboard bucket big enough to get my head in. I want enough to stuff myself. Even at their prices this would cost about a quid. Now you would think that everyone in the world would have them down as rip-off shysters. You would think that all decent right thinking people would band together, hire a bus and tie their chief executive to a windmill in a gale and stuff him with popcorn until his liver could be made into foie gras, make a day of it. (I love the fact that wind farms won’t work when it gets windy by the way but that’s private enterprise for you). Be careful when you do this to make sure that the popcorn isn’t some sort of franchise though eh?

Anyway, I heard a counter argument from someone I know. She explained that when one goes on a night to the cinema one doesn’t want to skimp, one wants to enjoy oneself. After stuffing oneself, one wants to enjoy the luxury of leaving the rest in the cinema. Oddly enough, the person referred to runs out on money before payday.

Unfortunately, I think this is also why the human race always lays waste to its environment and moves on before killing itself off.

It Comes in a Van You Know

Here’s another neat waste of glossy advertising material. Put your Pizza Hut advert offering free delivery through my door (or 5 or 6 in a sheaf for preference). Tempt me with that special offer pizza with free big guzzly pop and garlic bread (that I’ve forgotten isn’t really garlic bread but a pizza with no topping) and give me the address and phone number of my ‘local branch’ a couple of miles up the road. Wait until my companion and I are really hungry. Then get the person on the other end of the phone at my ‘local branch’ to say that ‘you’re out of our area’. Light blue touch paper and prosecute me for arson (again). S’all right though, got off on a technicality.

Actually, I wrote a letter of complaint and they sent me a £5 voucher. Unfortunately, my local Pizza Hut is out of my area….

Incidentally, why is Pizza Hut full when it's twice the price of every other pizza shop and 5 times the cost of other fast food from the freezer?

Quality Advertised Goods - in Grimsby and Elsewhere

This could have been just the Grimsby Evening Telegraph. However the GET definitely used to book space in their ads section to say ‘Buy Advertised Goods’. Good old goods eh? Do you know, since that day I’ve never been able to resist goods – so long as they are advertised you understand.

…oh, and ‘Quality Carpets’ of course. Unfortunately around 50% of the time (according to a survey of whoever was in the office that afternoon at Heat magazine) they mean ‘shit quality’ carpets or ‘poor quality’ carpets. They may even mean 'average quality' or even 'good quality' but there is no such thing as a 'quality carpet', only a moron who can't speak English. If you buy one, they may use ‘logistics’ or ‘logistical solutions’. This is shite for ‘we’ve got a van and we will deliver your carpet in it’. If you're in and if they can find you.

For historical and security reasons, my house isn't on all of the A-Zs. Maybe my house is a deliberate mistake to foil the roaming mobs of swarthy and foreign looking map counterfeiters. However, this does illustrate a point. Have you ever tried giving directions to a delivery van driver (or taxi or pizza delivery firm) before they've got lost? And will they concede, when they have got lost, that actually you do know where your house is at least as well as they do - if not better?

As I constantly and consistently advise, best not to buy anything ever - unless advertised, of course.

You are my true friend Yorkshire Water - Thank you!

Got a free magazine from Yorkshire Water today – fantastic. What a great read, if only there was more of it. They’re a great company it seems and ‘Yorkshire tap water is tops’. They donate free water coolers to schools. Each school then ‘contributes £199 for installation and running costs’. That’s my favourite definition of ‘free’. By the way, please have a free album from me – then you can make an £8 contribution to the recording costs – simple. And generous, I feel. My passion for private industry is profound and deep.

Yorkshire Water won a ‘Utility of the Year’ Award in the ‘2005 Utility Industry Achievement Awards’. Only a cynic would suggest that this is an award awarded by a small group of firms to themselves. Well, what about this Yorkshire ‘can’t be arsed fixing the pipes when we can blame customers for using too much water’ Water. I’ve won the FR Records 'Songwriter of the Year' award for 8 years running and been in the top three in the AAZ Records 'Record Industry Awards' for the last 3.

I say hats off to the 'Vitreous Enamel Development Council'

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

New ‘Green Strategy’ Enforced

They’ve just been re-surfacing the road down my way – gets rid of the potholes so can’t complain about that. They’ve also made the paths wider. Sounds good too – but no, I’m pissed off (again!) They’ve done this by wiping out the grass verges. Another tiny piece of green is gone. The snails that used to like to cross from the hedges to the verge and back again will now just die and be crunched underfoot by the children of idiot parents who think that killing things is OK.

Just a few snails; save a bit of money on grass cutting; just a tiny thing – but that’s how it goes. The Council has a green ‘strategy’; where I work had a green ‘policy’; everyone has f*ckin’ good intentions and tells the kids to take the bottles to the bank in the 4x4. In the real world it’s OK to park on the verges, to churn them up with delivery lorries delivering hardwood kitchens and sweatshop DVD players for £30. It’s OK to dig ‘em up and replace them with tarmac, it makes sense to replace hedges with fences and the cars can park halfway on the pavement and it’s OK - and if I object I’m just a strange idiot person who’s badly adjusted (so if I walk down the middle of the road it’s OK – actually not for some reason) the snails and grass verges can f*ck off. ‘Green’ and ‘biodiversity’ is something for the nasty Brazilian loggers to worry about eh?

A few months back bunch of private tree destroyers with a bad attitude chopped down a row of mature poplars (that’s the proper ones, not the spindly ones – check a book if you need, I haven’t got one, I just know how brilliant they were) at the bottom of our road. Interfered with television reception or something - ‘people’ had complained. Well they didn’t ask me. The Council had power to get someone to chop the trees down but not to plant any new ones because it isn’t their land – because they don’t understand ‘green’ the big ignorant fatheads.

If I win the lottery I’m going to hire a bunch of meatheads with big lorries to block off both ends of the street. Then I’m going to get another bunch of meatheads to dig up the road and throw the bits of tarmac through the windows of those that wanted rid of the trees. Then I’m going to grass over the road and guard it with guns until the grass is a foot high. At each end of the road there’ll be 2 cars for sharing and the severed head of the boss of Firstbus will be displayed on a plate (with an inflatable facsimile at the other end – I have thought this through you know). In his mouth will be a piece of reused (hey, not recycled, reused – don’t get me started on that one) card. This will say ‘I’m sorry I robbed you by putting up fares by a thousand per cent in 2 years because now I’ve been tortured by meatheads (from a private contractor with a bad attitude) and I’m dead and I regret my actions’. Then I’ll start on the next road and the next and the next and I won't stop until they build the tram, enforce car sharing schemes, take pedestrians seriously and cure all the kids of asthma. All the local councillors and MPs will have something very green stuck up their arses by private meathead contractors with a bad attitude.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Sympathy for the Devil - Almost

I found the David Irving story depressing – he’s just been sentenced to three years for Holocaust denial in Austria. I read a book about him recently. He’s a ‘historian’, he’s been around for years. He’s sympathetic to Hitler and apparently anti-Semitic. Despite that he’s not unintelligent and faced with facts tends to backtrack and even change his mind – and then change it back again when addressing some bunch of right-wing loonies. He thoroughly researches - and then distorts the facts to serve an unpleasant right-wing agenda. I oppose everything he stands for. I should just hate him – and yet I see a man who appears trapped by his own prejudices and can’t resist the lure of fame even if it comes from being the darling of the brain-dead right - and at the price of denying his own intelligence.

So, he needs to be challenged by proper historians and by anyone who knows anything about history, by you and me and anyone who knows the status of truth among Nazis (i.e. it doesn’t matter to them). He should be despised and vilified. But is the right way to deal with someone who distorts the truth to send them to jail for something they said 20 years ago? Answers on a postcard...

On a slightly different note, when I was at college, Irving was invited to speak by the Union of Conservative Students (or whatever they were called). I think I joined the 'no platform for Fascists' people (I really loathe Nazis by the way) and he never got to speak (not because of me you understand but because of everyone). Interesting to note though that the lovely YCs raised funds by selling badges among other merchandise.

A good one was the ‘Hang Nelson Mandela’ badge. He was a ‘terrorist’ after all – careful not to glorify him or the British government will put you away for it. That same generation of Conservatives are the new smiley new Labour new liberal types in charge of the party – just thought I'd let you know! More depression.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Family Shoplifter

Have you ever witnessed a member of your family shoplifting? No, me neither, obviously.

New Fangled Soups

Not only does publically consumed soup (in common with coffee, but let’s not even go there) cost a fortune but it’s full of stuff I’ve never heard of – cheese? Well, of course I have heard of cheese – but in soup? Butternut Squash? Fennell? Pepper soup! Pepper soup? Rocket? In soup? On anything but a launch pad?

I say bring back traditional flavours such as Oxtail, Mulligatawny and Mock Turtle.

In the Locker-room – the Secret Life of a Man with Peripheral vision

The only exercise I ever get is about half an hour’s worth of swimming a week. Obviously I go in the men’s changing room (note Americanism in the title, sorry chaps – not folks note – but chappesses can’t be right). Anyway, I can’t work out the conventions of these places and why I’m mildly disturbed by the various ‘behaviours’ that go on there. Leaving aside aggressive scrotal towelling, tell me why this lot seem just wrong somehow....

A naked man standing at the urinal holding a swimming hat in his right hand and a pair of goggles in his left. Why do I feel he should have saved a hand to point or ‘guide’ as it were? Why does having a wee completely naked also seem wrong?

A fully clothed man at the same urinal. No offences of the hand to start with. However this man is overdressed for urination. Now if he was outside then maybe. But no, he’s inside - stood at the urinal in a big puffa jacket with big puffa sleeves nearly covering his big puffa hands. Should I insist he takes his coat off to wee? Mind you, he didn’t wash his hands so its smeggy doorknobs all the way home then?

A man standing weeing in the shower. It goes down the same hole so why don’t I like it? Has anyone written the Etiquette of Weeing? or is there a gap in the market? Can men go to Swiss finishing schools to learn how to walk with books on their head and how to get into a Mini without gusset glimpsing embarrassment? – and how to wee in a manful but respectable way? I suspect not, unfortunately we live in a fallen world. Do women still get to go?

This is an ‘incidentally’ but provides secret information for women and advice for some men: Obviously men really shouldn’t wear shorts, but if one does and one uses one of those big flat stainless steel urinals (as opposed to the individual pot sorts) one gets ones legs sprayed with (primarily) ones own urine. This means that when you don’t wear shorts you’re spraying your trousers! Yewch!

This is of course only a small glimpse into the world of weeing. If only I had more time....I'm wasted here.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

High Strangeness - The Wart of Elvis

Here are a couple (or 3 or 4) facts that I find strange.

  1. The JP album is now orderable from Amazon - OK, not that strange I guess but somehow it seems strange and exotic to me.
  2. 1% of the hits (or visits, they're different somehow, just shut up and listen for a minute) to the JP webiste are from Argentina. Perhaps that explains the Amazon connection? - See, I don't just make this stuff up you know.
  3. OK, this is the strange one - Jon McGill (Chris's brother in law, you must have heard of him) reckons he once visited the Queens Hall in Leeds (which no longer exists) to see 1. the Cadillac Hank Williams died in and 2. Elvis's wart. I mentioned this at work. They'd heard of Elvis's wart. How can I have remained in ignorance for so long? Is Elvis's wart still touring?
  4. Maybe this isn't that strange either but I have to link thoughts together somehow or they'd just run off into the road and get knocked over....I really can't help being a fan of the Moody Blues stuff from the 70s. Despite flutes, pomposity and some unforgivable lyrical dreadfulness they're are so, so good. Loads going on, great tunes and the best advert for the Mellotron and the Gainsborough (early synthy thingies, Strawberry Fields uses the Mellotron - and I may have spelt Gainsborough wrong) you're ever likely to hear - 'and he took to himself an orange and tasted it - and it was good' - see told you! They're playing in Manchester in the autumn - see you there?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Know Your Enema

I was looking for a book as a present for someone today. One possibility was one called ‘The Intimate Enemy: Winning the War with Yourself’. OK, let’s not dwell on why and for whom and all that. The point is that I searched in Amazon (support your local bookshop and all that). They didn’t have the book but gave the closest matches.

First up was ‘Intimate Invasions – The Erotic Ins and Outs of Enema Play’. Do you reckon this would do?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Shower Gel and American Teeth

JP says – Don’t buy shower gel! – it’s just soap with water added. Water is cheap (here in the UK that is for US listeners and that man from the Seychelles). Buy soap and add your own water.

It would appear that Americans have white teeth and the Brits don’t. The Americans think the Brits don’t clean their teeth. Fact is that American toothpaste just has more bleach in. This destroys teeth. Luckily, many Americans can afford to buy new teeth. My teeth have never been fantastic - except as a miracle of 'intelligent design' obviously. Might do a new Blog(or a book?) entitled 'Musings On Teeth'. It's my idea but you can have it if you like. Bye.

Muppets and Chemist Girl - In an Office!

I’d like to pretend that I make loads of money from music. Well, obviously I do, but like a lottery winner who can’t give up work I keep my feet on the ground by working in almost a ‘proper’ job once in a while….OK, that was the background.

So, I was on my way to an otherwise uneventful day at work today (see, you know all about it now, thanks to rigorous explanating) and I had to walk over a broken Muppet mug in the middle of the footpath. So who strolls along a city centre street drinking coffee from a Muppet mug and not one of those sinister cardboard baby cup things Starbucks et al sell? No sign of any spillage mind, just the mug - most of it anyway, sufficient to retrieve, glue and prove a point - the point being that this was (or until quite recently had been) a Muppet mug. But I bet you can’t buy a Muppet mug just anywhere these days can you? And why not kick it into the gutter or something after you’ve dropped it. It was an apport I reckon. You know, falls of fish, vaginal cheescloth, Victorian Houdini trumpets, lifting the veil (hence the V word possibly). All that stuff.

On arriving at work there’s a pink heart shaped post-it note on the entryphone. It says to ring Sara (she’s so much posher than Sarah you know – or should that be ‘more posh?) and adds a list of items to buy from a chemist, ‘drug store’ or other purveyor of face cleaner, razors etc. I though of an acronym or whatever the word is for 'the thing to help remember a list' – SWALK or something. I forgot it. It was a good one, rest assured.

Obviously I called Sara and there was the expected casual relationship and bottom photocopying in the office (careful, that glass isn’t made for that you know). Clearly the post-it was meant for me. Unfortunately, being based on the purchase of miscellaneous personal care items our relationship was doomed to fail when I forgot to resupply the shower gel and didn’t stock rotate the boxes of tooth whitening paste. Que Sara Sara.

This is the first Blog where not every tiny bit is necessarily completely true by the way.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Dr Marten I presume? - Not forgetting Time Travel

Today I did something I rarely do – went into a shop. Not only that, I did something far rarer – I went to buys shoes! Obviously I have a cupboard full of pink kitten heels, sling backs, sturdy matronly brogues and so on but today I went for DMs. As it happens, shoe fetishists everywhere, in real life I have my newish DMs that I wear everyday, my split DMs that I don’t really wear any more but haven’t thrown out yet and the old DMs in the garage (do I have a garage? – ooh yes!) I also own a pair of slippers (where I keep my pipe) and some ‘classic’ Adidas trainers covered in paint (where I keep my paint, obviously - do try to keep up Portia, the squirrels went hours ago). Someone somewhere would pay a fortune for them (classic trainers, not inconvenient squirrels), but then there were no takers on my Wedding Present memorabilia…so perhaps not.

I paid extra for the time travel. I’m miffed that DMs are not made in Northampton anymore but they still sell them in Bradford. Years ago Bradford was were you went to buy DMs – from working men’s boot shops rather than shoe shops before they realised they were fashionable and doubled the price.

Anyway, Mister Boot is a shop on the Leeds Road Bradford. There’s hardly room to get in, there’s a single wooden chair (which takes up most of the standing room) and a calor gas fire (sorry, I guess that’s Calor Gas “TM” or something with a royalty cheque in the post – One Queen Mum, dead but visited East End in Blitz, 10 guineas, no pence). A man in a blue sweatshirt and thick glasses works there. There’s a back room full of clocks. Obviously some kind of portal to the 70’s, stuff hanging from the ceilings, ladders, stuff to stand on, you know.

The idea here is that these DMs were going to be so damned cheap that I’d be laughing all the way to the betting shop to put 50 pee on the day the soles should split on two pairs. Thereby no need to shop for 2 years (did Matalan a few months ago for £3 trousers, underpants, socks – going up! Ba, ba ba ba ba etc.)

Unfortunately they were £55 which is a biggie for a budget shopper – and more expensive that t’internet. So, what do I do? Say “that’s far too much old fashioned man in old fashioned shop that smells of old fashioned hardware shop (with some stress on leather goods and shoes in particular, if not shoes and boots exclusively)”, “I will not pay that much”, “why they’re not even made in Northampton and you are not, repeat not in a fashionable town, nor even the more fashionable part of a non-fashionable town, I’m leaving, good day rapscallion won’t-be-here-for-long retailer man”?

So anyway, I bought these DMs. Bit steep.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Folk Rocks!

Folk Roots (known as Froots these days) magazine told me in a rather snooty way they wouldn’t review the JP album as it was ‘rock’ and I sneered ‘hey nonny nonny yer b*stads’ into my bodrom.

However, Genevieve Tudor played Hippy Dad from the album on her ‘Folk on Sunday’ prog (Jimmy Young!) on BBC Shropshire – goes out in Stoke, Hereford and Worcester too. This is the first ever play I’ve had on a folk show.

If you want to check it out here’s the link: BBC - Shropshire - Music, Gigs and Clubs - Folk Playlist

However, I can’t help noticing the other songs on the show included these titles:

The Arran Boat
The Busker’s Song
The Blacksmith
Hurdy Gurdy Man
Flop Eared Mule
La Belle Jig
Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy

Have I infiltrated? Is this like the Pistols on Radio One? I’ve always said I must write songs about canal tunnel disasters – or maybe I should just drop my prejudices? Wasn’t sure if I would incur the wrath of folk types – seems not.