…gotta get down it’s Friday…

Meet the culprit. But he loves his wife and children so I think we can just about let him off

This picture by me is an etch-a-sketch (or if you want to get technical, Magna-doodle, but to me it’s always going to be etch-a-sketch) of the one and only (thankfully) Ben Forth. And no, for your information, he wasn’t the victim of a bullet through the chin — that’s just my laziness. Who’s Ben Forth, you may ask? (Sorry Ben but they really may.) No, he’s not a celebrity, and no, he’s not a criminal. However, If you reside in or around Cambridge, UK, you may already know Ben as the George Michael lookalike who can often be found in Mill Road Co-op using his devious money-saving tactics to get free stuff, or, if you were at a certain BBQ in a quiet village in Stapleford a few weeks ago, you may remember Ben as the man who put Friday by Rebecca Black on.

But seeing as you probably weren’t at the BBQ, because only about 10 people were, I shall explain further.

Not that I have to explain about Friday

Even if you’ve been held hostage for months and been surviving on only the most meagre bread and water, your captors have likely played Friday at least a dozen times: it’s the most irritating song in the world, and just what you don’t need when you’re already fearing for your life. The most irritating song in the world next to Ben’s stunningly annoying impression of Friday, of course, which is on a whole ‘nother level. If you see him, just ask and I’m sure he’ll give you an impromptu demonstration. Or don’t…just get on with your life and shout “oy, George, let’s go outside!”

Actually, thinking about it, Ben may be a criminal. Because after I had heard that song that was it for me. I was done for. There was no going back from that. I’ve never been the same since.

See, my dreams are no longer safe anymore. And the worst thing about Friday dreams is that I do remember them. Vividly. Except my dreams make the original Friday video even more disturbing — quite some feat considering that for the most of it a group of teens who aren’t even old enough to buy matches in most countries are being pursued by two guys with dark glasses and a sinister arsenal of highly dubious lyrics that would even make The Pope think twice about the effect they might have. If The Pope could stand up, that is.

I’ve had a few of these nightmares. In one of them I’m actually in the car, wearing a backwards cap, with Rebecca Black and her crew and I’m singing along, even though I can’t stop vomiting. This is nothing compared to the recurring dream I have been having recently. In my recurring Rebecca-Black-Friday-nightmare-dream, the only way the people of the world can communicate is by singing thousands, if not millions of different versions of  Friday. For this reason, whenever I end up in a supermarket in my dream (I have no idea why, as I never actually eat or drink anything I buy), I dread going to the till and waiting while the cashiers say “next please” in the voice of Rebecca Black in a number of different ways, about 100 times.

Ouch. And it gets worse before it gets better, as they say.

In my dream I am generally designated (by the Friday overlord, I mean, an entityI never have to meet, thankfully) a particularly irritating high-pitched version that sounds like Rebecca Black has possessed me and has somehow picked up turrets along the way, so she has to keep re-starting the song. The worst moment in this dream is when a tramp asks me if I have any spare change, even though I gave him spare change just the dream before. It’s irritating enough when that happens anyway, in a dream or real life, but when he looks at me all sad and tragic and speaks in that voice, he’s never getting any bloody change ever again, I can tell you.

If Ben hadn’t introduced me to this horrendous song, I doubt I’d have come into contact with it, and subsequently I’d have been able to sleep peacefully without the terrifying threat of a backwards cap or a singing demonic tramp. Not because I live under a rock which also doubles as my computer, but because I don’t often listen to the radio, and don’t drive, so don’t end up listening to crap music in the car.

Then yesterday, something bizarre happened. I was at another BBQ — if you can call it a BBQ…when I arrived with my slab of mince the BBQ had gone out already; no, I wasn’t going to put a slab of mince on the barbie, I was going to make some quality burgers — this time at my brother’s place, when a song started to play. That wasn’t the bizarre part, as with Ben Forth around everyone knew it was just a matter of time until that song came on. No, the bizarre part was that I opened my mouth and started to sing along, smiling, and I only wanted to smash something up for a couple of seconds. And so did other people, too, with Ben turning the small area next to the kitchen island into his own miniature dance-floor of signature Friday moves. This involved Ben throwing his arms up, dressed in his smart black suit reminiscent of Reservoir Dogs circa 1992.

And for at least 5 minutes there, I hate to say it, but it’s the truth: I understood the point of the Friday song.

Thanks Ben for showing me the way.

But seriously, once was enough. I never want to hear that song ever again.

WARNING: I said earlier that Ben was one of a kind. That there is only one of him walking this Earth. While we’re 99% sure of that, I forgot to mention a very important fact: Ben has a brother. This isn’t just important because Ben’s brother might also possess a weird fixation with a 15 year old-girl’s smash-hit annoying song and you ought to know about it — I don’t know if he does, you’ll have to ask him — it’s also important because Ben says he (Ben’s brother) recently rode down a hill on a bike, passed out and smashed his face into a lamp-post, messing himself up quite badly. If you’re reading this Ben’s brother, I hope you’re OK now!

Additional thanks and congratulations from yesterday’s BBQ malarkey (which will mean very little to you if you are one of the billion people who were not there, so don’t say I didn’t warn you): Hugh — if that’s how you spell your name — for your joke about Bee Keepers. I’m sorry it bombed so heavily. Better luck next time. For a sure laugh, I suggest telling it to some really depressed Bee Keepers whose defenses are already down. I have no idea where you’d find them, mind you. It’s hard enough finding Bee Keepers as it is. Holly, for your enlightening and disturbing tale of a succession of men who all ended up at A & E with 40 watt light bulbs in their mouths. I’m not sure what the relevance of 40 watt’s is, but I do know that doing this is a really silly idea. Please don’t try this at home.

Thanks to Hugh and Holly and Dunc K and Dunc T and Maff and everyone else who was sitting ouside at the time — sorry for missing people out — for a great conversation about the girl who played Sabrina The Teenage Witch who was thin, then became fatter, then became thinner again. I have no idea what she looks like now and to be honest I have bigger fish to fry.

Thanks to Lee and Lauren and Abi and others for their dancing around, which caused my brother Maff to be inspired to throw down some impressive drunken moves.

Ah, and thanks to Beth for her marvellous cakes which I didn’t get to eat because I’m not allowed sugar. They were really nice apparently. Ouch, it hurt to write that.

And lastly, congratulations to Dunc T on his new job. He’s going to work at Subway, purveyors of infamous delectable sandwiches don’t you know!

Choir singers always look suprised, don’t they?

I’ve just remembered that my Gumtree ad, which has been directing people to my blog for the past 2 days, begins with “Not about The Royal Wedding…”

As you can see that’s a lie: I’ve already written 2 posts about The Royal Wedding, and this is the third.  Sorry about that, people who came here to seek solace from all-encompassing Royal Wedding mood, but that’s the way it goes. I hope you’ll let me off, this being such a unique event in the history of our country.

I was wrong about choir boys always looking surprised. I was watching closely and I saw one who looked tired from…whatever it is choir boys get up to, one who was looking down like he’d just realized he’d trodden in something nasty, and one who just looked a bit bored.

But the ceremony…William and Kate up there doing their Wedding Thing. It was beautiful, wasn’t it? Kate looked just stunning; her nervous smile, that dress. I enjoyed it, and this is coming from someone who often questions the point of the Royal Family.

Most of all I enjoyed it because they looked like a real couple. Up there, for just a few seconds, there was no status or hierarchy or politics. It was just two people smiling, in love, looking at each other.

Wedding Story

The following conversation takes place inside some royal toilets at Westminster Abbey, London. Actually I’ve already messed up setting the mood, so please allow me to start again: these aren’t just any Royal toilets. These are the Royal toilets. A place where only the most Royal of Royal go to drop their kecks.

William is nervous. Really nervous. For today is the day when history will be made — William and Kate becoming husband and wife. On the TV, presenters are saying things like “the language of flowers” and this? It just makes William even worse. Hence, why he’s now sitting in the toilet. This is his second visit since arriving in his bullet-proof car to the screaming sound of adoring fans.

“And all this get-up just makes it ten times worse! What does it all mean?” William says, looking down at his fancy suit, adorned with medals and red bits and gold bits and stripes and a “gold sash and star”. None of it makes any sense. On the TV they say this is because he is some kind of Duke, and because he has become “qualified”. The problem is…Will was out partying hard and getting jiggy with some private dancers when they did vocabulary. Now it’s all coming back to get him, most of it into the toilet…

“Oh,” he mutters, reaching for the toilet paper, “I feel like an ape from The Planet of The Apes.” And he looks to the gold-plated ceiling thoughtfully, tilting his head in such a way that the draft coming under the door does not dislodge the twenty-siz hairs on his head. “An ape set upon by the other apes. An ape with its hair pulled out.”

The toilet paper isn’t there. It was there, Wills was sure of it, but it isn’t now. “Holy Royal foul-up!” he says, “and inside him, deep within him, Prince Phillip’s burbling, mumbling genes are coming up his throat to haunt him in a series of “ah…ah…ah”.

What’s worse is that Prince William doesn’t know how to vent his frustration in the way that the “common people” do, that way which is really satisfying and made out of sharp four letter words. All his life he has been sheltered from these harsh demonic words, and now, just when he needs them, there are none to be found.

Then he sees a shadow under the door. It’s someone — someone Royal! — entering the WC and walking across the room to the heavily gold-plated sinks.

“Say, Royalest of men,” he says, crouching down as low as he can to direct this under the door. “Fancy being a good chap and being my saviour of sanitary sanity?”

Two foot-steps, then a horrible moment when Wills thinks this man, this saviour, won’t help him after all. Then a rush of foot-steps as the man’s shadow appears under the door. “Run out, have you?”

“I’m afraid I have dear chap. Jolly good you’re here, I say.”

“That’s a shame. I hate it when that happens.”

Wills breathes a sigh of relief. It’s all going to work out!

“So if you wouldn’t mind, old boy, I’m really rather desperate.”

“I wouldn’t mind. For three hundred I wouldn’t mind at all.”

“Three hundred?”

Wills says this not in shock — well, maybe a bit of shock — but in pure raw ignorance mixed and moulded with supreme disgust for his own self and the stupid Royal tradition that has surrounded him since childhood. Three hundred what? Currency had never been something he needed to learn about before. And he hardly needed to learn about it now, with the mess he was in.

Wills pulls a packet of World’s most expensive gold leaf out of his pocket. It’s not a pocket, there’s a special name for it, but screw the special name for now. That’s the least of his worries. He’s got a ceremony to get to!

He pushes it under the door, hoping that the light will catch it right and the man will notice just how expensive and Royal it is, but all that happens is the shadow shakes and a terrible laughter echoes around the room.

“It’s worth more than what you earn in a day, I can assure you,” Wills says. “No offense, of course.”

“That’s not something I’d say to the man that’s holding all the toilet paper, future King of England, no offense or otherwise,” says this evil man, whoever he is. Wills notices now that the man has been disguising his voice from the very beginning in a bid to stay anonymous. Which is working perfectly…

“I do apologize. I sincerely do.”

“So, three hundred, like I said. And that’s three hundred pounds. Not sodding gold leaf.”

Wills is close now, he can almost remember the name for English money…it’s right there, it’s–

“Sterling,” says the man, through his mask of evil. “You know, that stuff that common people use to buy things?”

Wills thinks extremely hard and he remembers. It’s not good though. It just makes him feel sick and the urgency of this terrible situation is all too clear again: in 5 minutes he NEEDS to be attending the biggest ceremony of the last 50 years…

“Now,” says the man, loving all this.

“Indeed, yes sir.” Wills searches in his…big pocket things, whatever the hell it’s called, and locates a wad of this “Sterling” business. He hasn’t touched it since 1992 when there was a special “Commoners novelty party”, and the feel of it on his hands makes him feel disgraceful. He thrusts the notes under the toilet door and there’s the sound of the man leafing through the notes and then:

“That’s only two eighty.”

“Excuse me?”

“Two eighty. I said three hundred.”

Wills was never any good at maths. He knows that two-eighty is somewhat close to three-hundred, but that’s as much as he knows. Does this Royal suit of meaninglessnessness — what is the right word for something that has no meaning?! — have a calculator built into its skin? He bloody hopes so.

As Wills looks up at the ceiling, towards hope, towards the light, the man walks away. He doesn’t even gloat as he walks out of the door. It opens and shuts in one movement with a slight squeak.

Two minutes remain until the biggest service of Will’s life.

And that’s when he makes the decision. It had been there at the back of his mind all the time, he just didn’t want to admit that it had come to this. But now it has, and there’s no getting away from this fact. It’s Ground Zero. Whatever that means. He’d heard those words before but now is not the time to think about that.

So he stands up and takes the yellowy gold hanging material thing — the thing which the Queen had said, just the week before, cost more than most Commoners’ council houses, whatever they were — and…

3 True observations about The Royal Couple, William and Kate (which you definitely won’t read anywhere else, and if you do it’s because some tosser has copied and pasted my post)

What I love about the title of this post is that nobody can argue with it! Had I have said “True facts about The Royal Couple” I’d no doubt have received a major, elitist back-lash of emails pointing out how wrong I am. Sorry elitists, you’ll have to find someone else to…be elitist to. (I wouldn’t know the name for that, not being an elitist myself.)

1) Prince William has literally no choice but to walk with a fiendishly smug smile on his face at all times. If he doesn’t, his scalp moves in such a way as to dislodge what remains of his rapidly diminishing head of hair. God help him if he ever ends up getting a divorce…

2) Kate Middleton really is nice. As much as I am not a royalist, I also can’t find anything bad, gossipy or actually interesting to write about her. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not. You decide.

3) Prince William must walk with his head tilted at 48 degrees at all times, and is banned from going outside during high (or even medium height) winds. This allows the wind to drift easily over his head, leaving his hair just about able to cling onto his scalp.

Revenge of the asshole mouth

In a word: freaky.

This is my brother’s face made out of clay. His name is Matthew, but we’ve always called him Maff.

Of course, once I’d finished I couldn’t leave his face just regular boring clay colour. It had to be painted too (and no, he doesn’t have pink eyes instead of white eyes unlike everyone else. I just haven’t got round to finishing it yet. Could you be arsed after going to all the trouble of sculpting a face like this?)

Throughout my life, like most people, I’ve been struck by the creative urge to do something a bit different. Or not even different…just something I used to do years ago. I like a challenge, and a few weeks ago I decided to buy some clay and make something. To begin with I had no idea what I wanted to make, but quickly I amassed a list of possibles. Right at the top of the list was a Grizzly bear standing on its hind feet, its massive paws raised high, the mouth open looking all ferocious.

Except I soon ran into a problem: i had no idea where to begin. At sixth form I’d made a weird kind of building — model sized, there wasn’t enough clay to go around for me to construct an actual bungalow — but that was different to making a Grizzly bear. I knew that if I was to make a Grizzly bear, I’d want it to look like a Grizzly bear.

So I did some research online. Weirdly, there were no how-to’s on how to make clay Grizzly bears, which baffled me.

But little did I know at this point in time that a visit from my brother would kick-start my inspiration engine. And kick-start it it did, because within minutes I’d got the idea to make a life-sized model of his face!

All he’d have to do was sit perfectly still for an hour and a half. No problem. He was sure he could manage that.

He couldn’t manage that. After about twenty bloody minutes he was starting to blink more and speak more — thwarting my attempts to make his eye-brows, forcing me to use my own initiative and poor memory, which meant his eye-sockets ended up being exaggerated like neanderthal man — and it was becoming clear that I was going to have to play the big-bad-big-brother in order to get this done to my satisfaction.

“Stop moving, Maff,” I told him repeatedly, “otherwise you’ll end up with an asshole mouth.”

That shut him up. Nobody wants an asshole mouth.

Then it started to go better. After tearing some clay off the back of his head and making the back of his head flat and basically just obliterating the back of his head and focussing on the face, it started to sort of…work! I say sort of because there was a moment when he had a dodgy nose, squiffy eyes and the world’s smallest forehead. But it only lasted for a short time. Now filled with confidence that my clay-sculpting skills were coming back to me, Maff began to stop moaning about sitting still and I began to enter the final phase of the operation.

He still ended up with an asshole mouth, but what can I say? I did warn him.

The following day was a stressful one as I wrestled with how to finish it. Obviously I was going to paint it — how could I not? — but if just felt like there was something missing. Maff nailed hit. “Why don’t you stick real hair on my head,” he said, “and make a real human-hair beard?”

Inside, I was thinking Because you and I know that your hair is made out of that kind of wiry stiff difficult curly black hair that is almost exactly like pubic hair, just like mine is. I do not want to touch it. Not ever.

And so it was that the face was left painted.

What will I create next? I’m still stuck on the Grizzly bear thing, but I’d settle for a savage-looking crocodile, I think.

Have a good one!