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Saturday, 21 March 2009

Guardian All Ears 21st March

Funnily enough I'd just spent a small fortune on Deet & Mosquito nets for my upcoming trip to Africa when I got the copy for this week's article - very prescient! My wallet is now smarting from paying for 4 week's worth of Malarone anti-malarial tablets so the little f***ers better leave me the hell alone -
I swear I've actually seen mosquitos donning napkins & holding knives & forks when they see me coming - nice to be popular with someone I suppose (even if it's pesky insect filth)
This will probably be my last post for a few weeks due to my aforementioned trip to Africa (never sure if anyone reads / looks at these things anyway so might just be talking to myself!)

(article by Michael Holden)

Perhaps it’s a sign of the times but I’m hearing a lot of conversations lately where people are trying to outdo one another by some abstract measure. I sat on the bus the other day and found two teenagers at the back debating who had the least hospitable ancestral connections.

Teen 1 (emphatic) “The mosquitoes back home are out of hand.

Teen 2 (quietly confident) “They’re big where we’re from.”

Teen 1 (after some consideration) “I’ve been bitten enough times. I think I’ve had malaria.”

Teen 2 “You’d know if you had malaria. It kills folk.”

Teen 1 (unhindered by fact) “Where I’m from the mosquitoes come out in the day.”

Teen 2 (like this was a good thing) “It’s worse at home because of the sewage.”

Teen 1 “When did you last go home?”

Teen 2 “When I was four.”

Teen 1 (emboldened by his friends lack of recent first hand information) “I tell you, where I’m from you can’t walk anywhere without water. You’ll dry up. You will die.

Teen 2 (sagacious, dismissive) “I’d never go home at this time of year. I’m not kidding it is literally like walking on fire.”

There was silence for while then, no comeback proved forthcoming. Teen one then got up to leave.

Teen 2 “Did you do that maths homework?”

Teen 1 “No.”

You could see from his face that he understood that no amount of competitive nostalgia was going to change the fact that he was going home with a sports bag full of problems still unsolved.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Guardian All Ears 14th March


(article by Michael Holden)

Steam baths are an odd arena for conversation at the best of times but lately a malfunction at my local facility has forced everyone to make use of an area half the size of what’s normally available and people seem to have begun talking to one another now simply because they are in such close proximity to one another it seems rude not to. I was sulking in the mist at one end of the chamber when a bloke at the other end started chatting away to the man nearest him as a couple in the opposite corner looked on.

Man 1 (unprompted) “Good weekend? Feeling it yeah?”

Man 2 (surprisingly forthcoming)“I went to a party”

Man 1 “Yeah?”

Man 2 “It was a bit weird. There was a bar but you could only buy bottles of vodka, seven quid, that was all you could drink.”

Man 1 “Sounds like my kind of party. Bottle of vodka, straw, bit of lemon. Away you go.”

Man 2 (unconvinced) “Maybe.”

Man 1 (undeterred) “Vodka’s my drink, I drink quite a bit of it. I used to drink southern comfort but they made it weaker. I stick with my vodka now.”

The man he had been talking to smiled and left, the other man then coughed loudly.

Man 3 “Sorry. Just given up.”

Man 1 (immediately) “Me an ‘all. My girlfriend asked me to give up, I said why? She said you smoke too much and I couldn’t argue with that. So I packed it in but I get fat. That’s why I’m here.”

He patted his stomach for emphasis.

Woman “You don’t look too bad.”

Man 1 “Cheers.”

Man 3 “You smoke 20 a day, the chemicals, it all adds up.”

Man 1 (instantly) ”I’d smoke 60, no problem. Though you give some away.”

I left then, before he could start overstating his consumption of whatever came up next. Air probably.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


(see below)

Gay ducks & Santino the stone throwing chimp

In a odd post dream state was alerted to a news story on Radio 4 concerning Santino the stone throwing chimp & later noticed another article about a pair of rare gay ducks called Ben & feverishly working on an apocalyptic end of the world conspiracy theory with a dash of Planet of the Apes in the mix. Am wondering how I can possibly implicate Charlton Heston, ice cream & Fred Goodwin hmmmm....

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Guardian All Ears 7th March

MDMA & good looking girls? Not when I was 15!

(article by Michael Holden)

Partaking in the spasm of outdoor activity afforded by the first sunny weekend of the year I was sitting outside a café when I saw two women stop a man they recognised and prize forth the following nugget of modern woe.

Woman: (having discussed the weather and other matters) “How’s your sister’s kid?”

Man: (face falling slightly) “Oh that’s all got a bit on top, he’s moved out.”

Woman: “Moved out? How old is he?”

Man: (laughing) “Fifteen.”

Woman: (less amused)“Is that even legal.”

Man: “Well, moved out in the sense that he’s gone to his dad’s. Not like moved out and got his own place.”

Woman: “Right.”

Man: “He has gone off the rails a bit though, but I keep an eye on him, via Facebook.”

Woman 2: (with disdain) “Oh, Facebook!”

Woman: (ignoring her) “What’s he up to on there?”

Man: “Him and his mates have got a page, they talk to each other in like a secret code, but I’ve cracked it. From what I can tell they do a fair bit of MDMA and they go to a lot of parties and they take pictures of a lot of good looking girls.”

Woman: “What do you make of that then?”

Man: (looking into the middle distance-doubtless at a vision of his own youth receding) “Well, I’m envious really, as much as anything else. I wish I was 15.”

Woman: “I meant what are you gonna do about it?”

Man: “I dunno. I haven’t figured that out yet.”

Monday, 2 March 2009

Guardian All Ears 28th February

I too have never seen Top Gun but I ain't getting too angsty about it...

(article by Michael Holden)

I was in a decent restaurant waiting for someone to arrive and when the waiter handed me a menu I hid my face inside it as though this might make my listening less conspicuous to the men on the next table.

Man 1(sniffing some freshly poured wine but mentally elsewhere) “Have you seen Top Gun?”

Man 2 “Of course.”

Man1 “I never saw it when it was out, it was sort of everything I hated at the time. Anyway the kids were watching it the other night so I thought might as well see what all the fuss was about.”

Man 2 “What did you reckon?”

Man 1 “Well it’s balls, isn’t it? I have to try and keep quiet when the kids are watching a movie I hate, not that they care what I think particularly, but you can get wound up when they’re enjoying something that you think is awful.”

Man 2 “So what did you think?”

Man1 “Well I could cope with all the flying around…”

Man 2 “The aeronautics…”

Man 1 “Yeah, I could live with the fact they were flying upside down at Mach whatever taking Polaroid photos, and I could cope with the fact that he’s having an affair with Kelly Mcgillis who’s supposed to be an authority figure, I mean it’s all ridiculous, but then Tom Cruise is playing volleyball, he keeps leaping up and slamming the ball down, and he’s a midget, isn’t he? That wound me up, I had to say something.”

Man 2 “What did you say?”

Man 1 “I said to the kids I said either he’s on a trampoline or that’s not a real Volleyball net. They didn’t even react but, you know, I’m right.”

Man 2 “Why did it annoy you so much?”

Man 1 (starring into his soul) “I…don’t know.”

Man 2 (trying to help) “Because you’re tall?”

Man 1 (having exploredl the possibilities and formed a conclusion) “No, because it’s bullshit!”