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Saturday, 31 January 2009

Guardian All Ears 31st January

Drawing this brought back memories of 'The Tin Drum' by Günther Grass where the mother, traumatised by a fishing incident involving a horses head & numerous eels, gorges herself on fish for two weeks & dies.
As a bit of a fish-phobic this has always struck me as a distinctly unpleasant mode of death - I'm hoping to be crushed & killed instantly by a falling piano (which I have failed to observe because it's 6 in the morning, I'm 90 years old & emerging from a really stunning party...

(Article by Michael Holden)

I was having breakfast in a café next to a couple of men who were eating together but reading quietly from separate newspapers until one of them begun unprompted to assess the pitfalls of cohabitation.

Man 1 (putting down his paper and looking at his food - a kipper) “You can argue about anything if you’re not careful.”

Man 2 (thinking he’d missed something) “Eh?”

Man 1 “At home, it’s a minefield, right?. The other day I saw a programme about the Elizabethans, it said the used to eat more fish than we do. So I said to the wife about this and she says, “Well I eat plenty of fish,” as though it was sort of an accusation, something she had to defend herself from-eating less fish than an Elzabethan.”

Man 2 “Yeah, well. Women can be like that.”

Man 1 (continuing the aquatic theme) “Yeah but I took that bait though. I’ve started having a go.”

Man 2 (confused) “About what?”

Man 1 “About who eats more fish. I said look I’ll have a kipper, like I am now, or I’ll have a roll mop, we might have fish and chips for tea.”

Man 2 “I don’t like a roll mop.”

Man 1 (ignoring him) “The point is I (+I)definitely(-I) eat more fish than her. No question. But then she says, ‘Oh I have a bit of tuna for lunch sometimes, when you’re out.’ I said ‘when am I out? I’m in all fucking day!’ Which to be fair is part of the problem-but anyway, I said, ‘are you telling me you’re putting away tuna on the sly?’ And she’s taken that the wrong way, so then it’s all about her and her weight!”

Man 2 (looking at his empty plate) “Oh dear.”

Man 1 “So then it was a proper issue, and, this I think is what you might say was ironic, I ended up taking her out for dinner.”

Man 2 “Ridiculous innit?”

Man 1 (Unrepentant) Yeah, well. She started it.

Monday, 26 January 2009



Just such a great insult - unfortunately would never work in a English accent : (

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Guardian All Ears 24th January

(Article by Michael Holden)

I was sitting in hospital, early for the earliest appointment of the day, when a couple came in-an elderly looking woman and younger man-who had taken the audacious move of turning up exactly on time and then paused for a moment to take in the queue of sickly swots that had already assembled. I’ve seen people flip out before at this but their credit they did nothing more than frown and check that they were indeed on schedule.

Woman (presumably the patient) “What’s the time?”

Man (possibly her son) “Nine. Bang on.”

He helped the woman to a seat where she sat panting, seemingly exhausted by the act of sitting down.

Man: “You want anything?”

Woman: (staring into space) “No.”

Man: “Want tea?”

Woman: “No.”

Man: (evidently pursuing the protocols of a familiar routine) “Coffee?”

Woman: “No.”

Man: “No hot drink?”

Woman: “No.”

Man: “Want a cold drink?”

Woman: “ No.”

Man: “Orange?”

Woman: “No.”

Man: “Plain water.”

Woman: “Yeah.”

Man: “Want something to eat?”

Woman: “No.”

Man: “A roll?”

Woman: No:

Man: “Crisps?”

Woman: (wildly affirmative) “Crisps! Plain!”

As he walked away she belched louder than anyone I’ve ever heard at which he turned back and smiled at her as if to say, “that’s my girl.”

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Guardian All Ears 17th January

This drawing is based very strongly on sketches I made of a guy who I saw kicked out of the Blue Note club in New York a couple of weeks back which was probably worthy of an All Ears column of it's own!
Amidst a very hushed & reverent audience this one man was making a lot of noise & when (very politely) told to be quiet started repeating very loudly 'why are you talking to me from the next table? Why are you talking to me from the next table?
Don't tell me to shut up; just because you heard some guitar playing!'
When challenged further he began ranting -
'I know what the fucking Blue Note's all about. It's about fucking self expression!'
until they eventually threw him out.

Anyway...not sure if the line background characters work too well in this one but colouring them seemed to overpower the main character - hmmmm...

Article by Michael Holden

Once the world was a stage but, now, demented by technology, we are turning into an office-or possibly the set of The Office-either way it’s not good news. We may be in recession but public transport still echoes to the sound of people fending off the errands that follow them like dogs through the limitless wastes of contemporary tedium. There was a perfect example on the bus the other day, playing solitaire on a laptop while depressing his colleagues via mobile phone.
(as though he loathed having explain himself but enjoyed the sound of doing so) “I am requesting CCTV because our till was left unattended for five minutes and we think a member of the public might have been in there…”
He paused and moved cards about while the other person responded.
“ All the 20 pound notes were gone, there were only two left in there, that’s not right...”
He made affirmative humming sounds for a while before unleashing a new and presumably terrifying possibility.
“Listen, all I’m saying is, Rodney’s not gonna like it…if anybody thinks that’s gonna come out of my wages for the next month, that’s not gonna happen, I can’t let that happen. You can forget that.”
Sounds of consternation followed.
(placatory) “Well I’m telling you so that you know… you know the numbers on the door and the numbers in the till and it doesn’t add up.”
There was more squealing down the phone.
“He’s not gonna be happy…”
Then the voice on phone fell silent at the implied threat of Rodney.
“I’m not passing the blame, I’m just, giving you the head’s up. Anyway, it’s my stop, I gotta go.”
But he stayed where he was and dealt himself a fresh hand.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Land of Leather R.I.P. least kingdom of leather's still here - that's a relief!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Wednesday, 14 January 2009


This was a rough that for a magazine job that I never used which I just rediscovered - I actually think it's funnier than the final piece (maybe they didn't like the extreme bovine cruelty involved?)

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.