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Showing posts with label Show all posts
Showing posts with label Show all posts

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Guardian All Ears 19th July

(Article by Michael Holden)
I was early for an appointment on what felt like a busy morning and so I ducked into a pub. A pub that, was selling beer for less than two pounds a pint and had thus become a haven for those more thirsty than employed, in this case two old chaps who were asking the barman what plans he had to avoid spending the rest of his life where they had elected to spend theirs.

Barman “I’m going to Paraguay.”

Man 1 “Paraguay?”

Barman “There’s no beaches or anything. It’s landlocked.”

Man 1 “Jesus.”

Man 2 “Are you coming back?”

Barman “Maybe.”

Man 2 “You’ve to finish your studies?”

Barman “Yeah.”

Man 2 “Good lad.”

The barman walked away, doubtless thrilled with his commendation and the two men talked amongst themselves.

Man 1 “You know I’m on the disability now? Sixty pound a week.”

Man 2 “Is it your feet?”

Man 1 “Aye. They’ve turned against me.”

Man 2 “I woke up with one shoe on and one shoe off the other day. I might give up drinking.”

Man 1 “You’d be missed.”

Man 2 “How?”

Man 1 “Well, you’re the town drunk.”

Man 2 “Am I?”

Man 1 “Yeah. Like Lee Marvin, in that film.”

Man 2 “What film?”

Man 1 “The one where he’s fucking drunk!”

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Guardian All Ears 20th June

Re. tiny dog phenomenon...they seem to have a bit of a thing for tiny dogs in New York but they usually seem to be owned by muscley gay gym bunnies (on Canal Street at least!)

(article by Michael Rosen)
I feel the tiny dog phenomenon to be a puzzling business, but when one of these benighted freaks starts attacking things several times its size I find their mad tenacity a joy to behold. It was precisely such a display of dwarf-dog fury that led to the following exchange between a pair of staggering drunks who had made the mistake of trying to caress one of these hand-held heartbeats and come of second best.

Woman: (getting as angry as you can without spilling your drink) “The fucker bit me!”

Man: (foolishly opting for admonishment over sympathy) “You should never have touched it. They’re not right”

Woman: (detonating) “He said it were alright!”

Man: (voice thick with self-made wisdom) “You can’t trust folk with these dogs. They’ll say ‘owt.”

Woman: “It started off licking me hand. Then it went for me. You heard it.”

Man: “Ask someone what their dog’s like and they’ll tell you it’s great, even while it’s got its jaws on you, they’ll be telling you it’s trying to make friends.”

Woman: (looking for signs of injury to her hand and finding nothing that might merit litigation) “Little bastard.”

Man: (making a huge but somehow valid leap of comparative reason) “It’s like the Krays. Their mum always said they was alright. Different story when they’re breaking your fuckin’ legs with a hammer.”

Woman: “What you on about, hammers?”

Man: “Dogs!”

Woman: (staring at her hand again) “Little bastard.”

Man: “Aye.”

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Guardian All Ears 6th June

Apologies for rather crass scouse stereotype this week - sometimes one is persuaded into slipping into visual cliché (no apologies for HP sauce though - it RULES!)

(article by Michael Holden)
I was having a cup of tea in a café at the end of the football season. Apart from a young couple talking at the table behind me, no one else was there. The young man seemed a bit agitated, the Woman was trying to keep things bright and cheerful, which only seemed to annoy him more.
Man : (reading from the sports section of the Daily Mirror) Here y'are, look at this - Liverpool only lost two games throughout the season and they STILL didn't win the title. That's how tight it is now.

Woman : (sounding like she meant it) Only lost twice? Wow!

Man : (tapping the paper emphatically in indication of something) yeah, but look - draw, draw, draw, draw. That was where it all went tits up.

Woman : Oh right. I see.

Man : (complacent) stats dont lie. Look at this - Gareth Bale, made 23 starts for Spurs - lost everyone of them. Never been on the winning side.

Woman : Why doesn't he join another team?

Man : Well it's not the team, is it? It's not the team that's the problem, is it? It's him, obviously.

Woman : Is he rubbish?

Man : Well, what do you think?

He waited, as though to allow her time to absorb the full magnitude of what he thought he was saying.

Man : It's not as simple as that, anyway.

Woman : Is football finished now then?

Man : Yeah. well, until August.

Woman : And then it all starts again?

Man (annoyed that things were not as esoteric as he might have liked) : It's a simple thing made complicated.

I sneaked a glance as I left - he'd flung the paper onto the table and she'd picked it up. He was staring out of the window, She was looking at the TV pages.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

new aliens...

Just finished this for 'Communicators in Business' magazine - commissioned by the lovely Amelia who always seems to manage to pull out fun jobs - any excuse for monsters!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Guardian All Ears 23rd May

...I know all french teenagers don't have Amelie haircuts but what's a little bit of light racial stereotyping between friends...?

(article by Michael Holden)
I was in the corner seat at the back of the upstairs of a bus that steadily filled with passengers. Initially there had been just me and another man opposite and I watched him bury his head in a free newspaper as the seats around him filled up with teenage French girls. Oblivious to his predicament he read on as the girls talked among themselves and looked through an English/French dictionary before finally presenting the traveler with a question.

French Girl 1“Excuse me?”

Man (dropping his paper and looking out suspiciously at his interrogators) “Yes?”

French Girl 1 (slowly and carefully) “Do you know, which are the good parks, for feeding squirrels?”

French Girl 2 (for added emphasis) “Yes, the squirrels.”

The man looked seriously at them now, as though wondering whether this were some sort of joke, sensing this, one of the girls began to mime eating a nut, in the manner of a squirrel, but with a look of complete sincerity.

Man (unsure) “You can find…I mean, they’re pretty common. They’re, everywhere, you know?”

French Girl 1 (handing him a pen and paper) “List the parks.”
Man (unsettled further by the sustained gravity of the matter Well, like I say they’re all pretty good, for squirrels, I mean, hmmm.”
He made a list of four large parks in the city, good choices I thought, and then handed back the pad. The girls looked at the list approvingly. He went back to his paper, but you could tell things weren’t quite the same.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Guardian All Ears 16th May

Hmmm - men of a certain inclination & demographic... it's a fair cop!
In mitigation I'd like to point out I never wore white gloves, bandanas or bought Vick's Vaporub - as for Smiley t-shirts - wasn't it only undercover cops & Daily Mail journalists uncovering 'this evil Acid cult' that wore them anyway?

'you...think it's cool to wear a Smiley!' © Julian H Cope - well said sir!

(article by Michael Holden)

By inclination and demographic I am drawn to the concerns of men who can’t quite believe that they are now, irrefutably, adults. I was fortunate then to find myself sharing a bus with two such characters, probably in their early 40’s, one of whom had an urgent confession.

Man 1 “I hadn’t heard this tune in 15, 20 years. But I was obsessed with it like, back in the day. So I’m finishing my lunch and this bloke in the bar, setting up for the evening, sticks it on..”

Man 2 “Mental.”

Man 1 “Innit? I tell you mate a fucking chill went down my spine. I thought I was dreaming, then I’ve gone up and I’ve told him how I used to love this song but I never knew what it was and all of that.”

Man 2 “And what’s he said?”

Man 1 “Well he’s loving it. He’s one of us of course, went to all the same do’s. So I got on the fucking Internet, and this is the thing, you can buy it, just like that. Three days later the things come through the door except it hasn’t. The postman’s left it next door, they’ve given it to the wife so when I get in she’s got the envelope and wants to know what’s what.”

Man 2 “What’d you say.”

Man “Well I’ve told her, but there’s no way I’m sticking it on while she’s in ‘cos she’ll say something, start taking the piss. So I’ve waited till she’s gone out and wallop, I’ve cranked it up.”

Man 2 “How was that?

Man 1 “It was fucking awesome mate, like time travel. It made me wanna get right on it.”

Man 2 “So what you gonna do?”

Man 1 “I’m gonna wait till I’m on my own and do it again.”

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Guardian All Ears 22nd November

If I were to renounce the world of illustration & go into catering I'd like to think my emporium would be called Kebabylon - definitely with an interior like 'The Stone Cave' in Dalston

(article by Michael Holden)

I live nearby a kebab shop of such repute that people actually go there and eat at tables on purpose when sober. In was waiting for a takeaway when a man limped in and joined another at a table.

Man 1 “What happened to you?”

Man 2 (slightly ashamed) “I tripped over the cat as I was coming out. Fell down the stairs.”

Man 1 “You alright.”

Man 2 “I will be in a bit. Done some painkillers.”

Man 1 “Similar thing happened to me. Went to my sister’s the other day and they’ve painted all the doors the same colour, so I end up going to the wrong flat. I’ve realised and jumped down the stairs to go next door but before I hit the ground I see this-thing-come into my vision moving the other way. And I realise I’m gonna land on it.”

Man 2 “What?”

Man 1 “A rat. “

Man 2 “What did you do?”

Man 1 “Well, I’m mid-air, so there’s not much I can do. I try and take my weight off the foot, but I hit it anyway. You should have heard it. Horrible sound. I don’t like rats at the best of times, so I’ve screamed too.”

Man 2 “Did you burst it?”

Man 1 “No, it wasn’t that bad. It ran off, but I was scared so I ran too. For a while we were both running in the same direction, side by side. It was mental. It peeled off in the end. But, I tell you, I can hear it screaming still.”

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Guardian All Ears 16th August

Also finished at breakneck speed prior to going to Japan - ha ha! I LOVE GOTHS THEY'RE ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!

I was a shocked on a recent cinema visit to find that the process of buying a ticket had become totally automated and that there was no human being in the lobby who could tell you about anything other than the price of sweets. The queue for these refreshments was thus horrendous, but, thirsty as I was, I had to join up and wait. As I wrestled with the familiar sensation that everything that makes life bearable is being systematically destroyed, I noticed that the couple in front of me were talking about television.

Man “ Did you see Panorama, about how china are funding the Sudan? Brilliant! The trouble is China will never go on the record as saying anything.”

Woman “Well they just do things differently?”

Man “Yeah, but still…”

Woman “It’s just a different mind set, the Chinese mind set.”

Man “I suppose.”

Woman “ I took the boys to Camden, they absolutely loved it, Max bought a sort of a cap.”

Man “They’ll turn into little Goths.”

Woman “They were saying, ‘everyone here is crazy, if you dressed like this at home you’d get slated’. And it’s true”

Man “Do the kids take after you, you think?”

Woman “Well they are very open minded.”

Man “Meaning what?”

Woman “I mean I took them for an Ethiopian meal last night and they thought it was great ”

Man “I can’t stand that place.”

Woman “There you go then.”

Article by Michael Holden

Thursday, 24 July 2008


"Don't be soft...have a fight!"

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Threatening geezers

Having a general muckabout with some nice textures etc. - we call this research not procrastination!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Guardian All Ears 19th July

I like a floral dress me!

Mostly elevators are spaces where conversation ceases. In very tall buildings though where you can be in them for several minutes no such rules apply, as I discovered as I descended slowly from work one Friday night with an elderly couple who's weekend planning had gone awry.

Woman: (coyly)"How would you feel about…"

Man: (sensing danger)"C'mon, I'm holding my breath here."

Woman: "Andy coming to the house on Saturday?"

Man: "Andy who?"

Woman: "Andy, you know Andy. He just turned 65 and I haven't even acknowledged it."

Man: (scowling) "What do you mean' acknowledged it?' Who is this guy?"

Woman: "I mean I didn't even send him a card or call him up. I have to do something."

Man: (looking at the ceiling of the elevator as though it were the sky) "Well the weather doesn't look very congenial."

Woman: "He won't care about the weather. He's a very outdoors person."

Man :"Who is he again?"

Woman: (angry now sensing subterfuge) "Andy! My friend with the horses."

Man : "What horses?"

Woman "He used to run the polo stables in Uruguay, now he lives here."

Man: "Andy! Christ, he drinks, right?"

Woman: "He's an expert on wine."

Man: "He can come."

Woman: "I didn't say he was going to bring wine."

Man: "He can bring what he wants, I'm not going to be around."

Woman: "Where are you going?"

Man "There's a thing at the university."

Woman "Maybe we can all come?"

Man (staring hard at his reflection in the polished door) "Maybe."

Article by Michael Holden

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Guardian All Ears 28th June

The temptation to draw a 'Sting' prophylactic was very strong with this one!

I was having a haircut, feeling quite pleased that fortune had provided me with a barber who wasn’t inclined towards small talk when the customer in the next chair suddenly emerged from a hot towel treatment with all kinds of things he wanted to say.

Customer: (nodding towards the radio) “This is The Police, innit?”

Barber: “It is.”

Customer: “Roxanne?”

Barber: “Yup.”

Customer: “Don’t talk to me about this record!”

Barber: (declining to point out that he hadn’t been) “Oh?”

Customer: (animated by his sense of the imminent anecdote’s hilarity) “Fella at work, right? He’s made this Doris on a park bench, at lunch time, and he’s started going out on like, dates with her!”

Barber: Yeah?

Customer: “She called Roxanne! Or that’s what she told him anyway. So to wind him up we start playing this record-Roxanne-over and over again in the office. I tell you, by the end of it he was going nuts. Almost crying he was.”

Barber “Right”

Customer: (changing subject effortlessly) “You ever been to Muay Thai?”

Barber: “No. What is it?”

Customer: The old Thai boxing innit.”

Barber: “Right.”

Customer: “Blood all over the shop.”

Barber: “I’m gonna put another towel over you, ok?”

And like a caged bird, that proved sufficient to silence him.

Article by Michael Holden

Monday, 14 July 2008

Guardian All Ears 14th July

Whoops! Managed to scoop myself by publishing this weeks article with last week's image last week (if that makes sense!?!?!) - here's the article again with the correct image!

Of the many things to admire about New York City its inhabitant's
uninhibited facility for loud public conversations naturally falls
near the top of my list. The simplest excursion will likely lead you
though the edges of endless dramas. Why anybody watches television
here is beyond me. I was eating breakfast when the people across from
me launched into a complex business/wildlife analogy.
Man 1: "It's a tough organization, there are sharks on the bottom, and
Huck is like a great white-he'll eat a rubber tire, and he'll keep
coming at you- not so smart but he'll do anything."
Man 2: "Edna's like the good shark.
The other man pulled a face that said "What do you mean by 'good shark?'"
Man 2: (Trying to bail out) "I mean, the kind of shark that, you
know…not like a great white, the one that floats around. Helping
Man 1: (Frowning and laughing) "What kind of animal, is this? Where
did you hear about it?"
Man 2: "You know, I mean she's good, Edna."
Waitress (pouring coffee) "You want more coffee?"
Man 2 "What's that, a rhetorical question?"
Waitress: "Ooh, 'rhetorical question.' I'm impressed.'
Man 1: "You should be, he's trying to impress you."
Man 2: (staring into some form of hand held device and considering his
professional existence) "You know I won't even take my blackberry home
with me."
Man 1: "You've drawn a line in the sand."
Man 2 " I'm saying, 'this is where it stops.'"

Man 1 (looking past his friend toward the waitress)"I have so much
admiration for that."

Article by Michael Holden

Thursday, 10 July 2008

'Support Your Local Butcher'

Meat! ...just do it!

I love those pictures of really enthusiastic animals who are about to be eaten - there's something extremely disturbing & wrong about that 'pig butcher' on the pork scratchings packet

Friday, 9 May 2008

Guardian Guide - before & after

New artwork for the Guardian Guide May 10th - thought I'd stick the rough up too for your perusal