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Saturday, 10 January 2009

Guardian All Ears 10th January

Shame we couldn't have put this nearer to Xmas - I'm sure everyody's forgotten about office parties et al by now...

I love the Kiss reference - they're hilarious - & (sshhh!) I know for a fact that they use dummy Marshall stacks on stage ie ones with no speakers inside. In a previous life I once spent an afternoon in Birmingham NEC setting the fake speaker cabinets up. How RAWK is that?

Article by Michael Holden

I was in a hostelry so dense with seasonal drunks it was actually easier to stay inside and put up with it than fight your way out. After a while the two people who had been standing within a centimetre of me were joined by a third who began by apologising for his late arrival.

Man 3: (acting like he’d been running) “Whoah, sorry about that, got held up at work.”

Man 2: (doubtful-not about to let him get off lightly) “Yeah? What happened then? We’ve been here nearly an hour.”

Man 1: (not to be ignored and suspicious of Man 1’s breathlessness) “I actually did run here, to try and be on time, to meet you.”

Man 3: “Well it was the office party, I couldn’t not go. I got away as fast as I could.”

Man 2: (forgiving) “You’ve done well in that case.”

Man 1: “How was it?”

Man 3: “Beyond belief. They cancelled the venue ‘cos of the budget cuts.”

Man 2: “So where was it?”

Man 1: (still amazed) “In the room where the vending machines are. It was just my department, but still. My boss came over and offered me a glass of wine, she’d put make up round her eye-sort of drawn a star-to mark the occasion.”

Man 2: “Like the bloke from Kiss?”

Man 1: “Exactly-the guitarist.”

Man 2: “Jesus.”

Man 1: The wine was bad too. In the end I just stuck some money in the machine and had a coffee.”

Man 3: (feeling comparatively well off enough to ignore the reality of their present surroundings, and the fact that he was standing on my foot) “Well, at least we’re here.”

Friday, 9 January 2009

Guardian All Ears 3rd January

A bit late posting this even though I drew it over 3 weeks ago

...don't librarians always look like this? Probably only in the Beano (a bit like park keepers & teachers with mortar boards)

(Article by Michael Holden)

Always a magnet for unorthodox characters the local library has lately seen an influx of new arrivals drawn in it seems by a combination of terrible weather and economic necessity. One such character was hovering around the computer section with a wild look in his eye, incensed it turned out at his failure to log onto the Internet and desperate for someone to blame.
Man: (waving a piece of paper at a passing librarian) “This doesn’t work. I can’t connect. It won’t allow me. I have to connect!”
Librarian: (calmly) “Have you used it before?”
Man: (irritated) “I use it all the time!”
Librarian: (less calm) “I don’t mean the Internet, I mean the computer.”
Man: (more irate) “I’ve used computers!”
Librarian: (stern) “Can I have that slip?”
Man: (handing it over with implied pessimism) “I’ve tried the key, it won’t work.”
Librarian: (typing it in) “It’s the wrong code. You don’t need the ‘p’”
Man: (ashamed suddenly) “I’ve…got two slips.”
The librarian gestured for the other slip like a border guard and the man gave it up as though he knew he’d been travelling on false papers all along.
Librarian: (after a dramatic pause) “One is for the printer.”
Man:  (broken now, ready to confess to anything) “I don’t need to do any printing.”
Librarian: (almost sinister) “I’ll hang onto that then, shall I?”
The librarian stood up and beckoned the man to sit down which he did.
Librarian: “I’ve logged you on, away you go.”
The man looked bashful and began half heartedly clicking at the mouse, perhaps looking for a site about shameful acts in public buildings, which I know from experience isn’t there.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

All Ears 20th December

(thanks to Anthea for Geology based pun inspiration!)

Article by Michael Holden

Crossing the country again on another train I leant back my head and tried to imagine I was going somewhere new when I fell into earshot of the people behind me who seemed to be newly acquainted by occupation and in the process of discovering what else they might have in common.

Woman: “I was doing geology…”

Man: (interrupting, comically forceful) “Don’t talk to me!”

Woman: (laughing) “I know, one day you’re doing geology and the next thing you’re a physicist!”

Man: “So, you must have done the old ritual drink up when you were there?”

Woman (rueful, experienced): “It’s the second day that gets you…but I’ve had some good times on that pub crawl. You can get away without spending anything.”

Man: (conceding that not paying for drinks can make drinking seem more worthwhile): “Tell me about it! Pure carnage. But it was more geology the geophysics in the end. I was quite surprised.”

Woman: “Where did you end up?”

Man: “Outside Dublin, in a caravan.”

Woman: “You did well, we never went anywhere that far.”

Man: “Does the company fund trips?”

Woman: “ You’ve just missed out actually, we just did the Jurassic coast. At the other company we just used to stay in a hostel, but with the new one…well it wasn’t exactly luxury, but it’s posh, you had your own bathroom. Stuff like that doesn’t worry you at college but once you’re working you think, hang on, I wouldn’t mind my own bathroom. So, that was good.”

Man: “What were the people like?”

Woman: “A good mixture, Geo physics has a bigger spectrum of people than geology.”

Man: (as though affirming one of the great unassailable truths of existence) “Absolutely. Every time.”

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Guardian All Ears 13th December

(article by Michael Holden)

I was queuing to buy a ticket at a railway station for some time when a man appeared and apologised for the extended delay and said that it was due to a systems failure.
Typically, no one in the line confronted him about what that might mean, but as soon as he had gone everyone starting whining about it, especially the two restless business types behind me.
Man 1 “Unbelievable!”
Man 2 “Computers though, innit? We’re at their mercy.”
Man 1 “My old man just got one.”
Man 2 “How old is he?”
Man 1 “He’s 80.”
Man 2 “What’s he want with a computer?”
Man 1 “I hate to think. Whatever he wants it for it’s my problem now. I showed him the basics, he acted like he understood. But he knows literally nothing: windows, update, delete, it’s all brand new.”
Man 2 “Well it can wind you up the best of times, the old IT.”
Man 1 “As soon as he told me he’d got one I knew it would be a nightmare, but what can you do?”
Man 2 “Say you don’t know nothing about ’em!”
Man 1 (aghast) “Whoa, no, you can’t do that! Someone’s taught you how to walk and talk and wiped your arse, you can’t turn round and act like you can’t help ’em figure something out.”
Man 2 “Yeah, but still, come on. It’s not your problem is it?”
Man 1 “Of course it is!”
Man 2 “What, so if your old man bought… a hovercraft…”
Man 1 “I’d be straight round.”
The other man looked at him hard, as if his theoretical availability in a potential hovercraft/father scenario had made him see him in a new light •

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Guardian All Ears 6th December

Don't ask me about the Dalek, I just like them OK?

(Article by Michael Holden)

I left a party, to have a smoke with the assembled lung worriers outside just as one of them was loudly lamenting the mixed blessings of his newfound single status.

Man 1 (holding a beer bottle in much the same as way aggressive preachers deploy their bible) “I had no youth, right? If you think about it I totally missed the whole freedom thing. I was with her for ten years. So this is all new to me. I’m like, what the fuck are you gonna do?”

Man 2 “Well what are you gonna do? You’ve got your own place, just go nuts, really go for it. I would.”

Man 1 (forlorn) “It’s not that clean cut though is it? I just don’t know what to do. You talk to women and then what happens?”

Man 2 “If they like you they sleep with you and if they don’t they won’t. It’s the same as before”

Man 1 “The guy I share the flat with, he’s really handsome, a ridiculous looking bloke, like an advert or something. He’s got these women coming all the time.”

Man 2 “Well you can clean up in his slipstream then. Is he thick?”

Man 1 (sensing a plan) “Yeah, he’s pretty stupid. I think, yeah.”

Man 2 “Well they’ll get tired of him and then you move in, acting clever.”

Man 1 (annoyed at the lack of a more realistic proposal) “There’s more to it though, he doesn’t flush the toilet. And these girls, I know they’re gonna think it’s me.”

Man 2 “Why.”

Man 1 “Because I look like the kind of person who might do that- he looks like he wouldn’t even go in there.”

Man 2 “Well, you’re gonna have to have a word with him.”

Man 1 (face falling as though visualising the issue a little too clearly) “Yeah…I am.”

Thursday, 4 December 2008


Seem to have developed the complexion of a 15 year old overnight which is faintly distressing - must be too much good living or similar

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Bang! Crash! Bah!

Portrait of the artist mid crash-tantrum! Horrible sense of déja vu while one redraws everything from the last half hour...grrr