Friday, February 27, 2009

Pigeon Post

In my opinion, the idea of sending mail by carrier pigeon - the so-called "pigeon post" - is deeply flawed when it comes to the pricing structure.

At the moment, if you send a letter by pigeon, regardless of how much you pay, there is no guarantee as to when, exactly, it will arrive. It could be, for example, that the pigeon will feel a need to migrate as soon it takes off, or fuck another pigeon for a while, or just loll around in someone's bird bath.

This is an iniquitous situation. People would soon have something to say about the matter, I’m sure, if their postman delayed delivering his letters because, first, he wanted to have a two week holiday in Benidorm, or shag some woman in the next street, or spend half a day in a massage parlour. So why should pigeons be given this sort of latitude?

To expedite matters, pigeons ought to be graded according to speed. Obviously, the faster the pigeon, the more expensive the courier charges. I suppose that, for the money-no-object brigade, you could use a broadband digital pigeon whose holographic image would be transmitted down a fibre optic link and then exactly reconstituted at the other end, thus allowing the recipient to read the message attached to its leg in only seconds.

The only problem with a digital pigeon, of course, is distortion caused by line noise. It might start out as a pigeon at the sender's end, but because of said interference, come out as a duck or a chicken at the other side. And who the fuck has ever heard of the chicken post? The whole service could quickly become a laughing stock. (Or a chicken stock, even.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009


This morning one of the knobs on my chest of drawers fell off. I therefore quickly remedied the situation using Superglue. Now, the knob and its attendant drawer are as one again, as if the catastrophe had never occurred. But while waiting for the two to fully bond (the tube recommends 30 minutes), I had time to ponder the nature of my glue and the implications of its adhesion.

From what I’ve read, Superglue was originally developed as a battlefield remedy, first seeing active service in Vietnam in the late 60s. I expect whenever soldiers trod on a “Gook” landmine or were at the wrong end of a Howitzer barrage, the chief medic would instantly radio “Glue! Glue!”, whereupon an Apache helicopter would swoop down and drop a couple of tubes of the stuff. Thus, once the various bits of soldier had been gathered up (and, presumably, separated into individual piles), they could easily be stuck back together again. Then, 30 minutes later, the glue having fully dried, the soldier was restored to near original condition, just like my chest of drawers.

There must have been one major problem, however: alcohol.

According to the instructions that came with my glue, if I accidentally stick my fingers together (or to something else), all I need do is apply an alcohol-based solvent, and they’ll come apart again. This fact probably imposed severe restrictions on the repaired soldiers’ recreational activities. If, during R+R, they went to a bar, they’d have had to confine their boozing to something relatively weak, like beer. Were they to attempt to down whisky or gin, they’d most likely fall apart before Closing Time. At the very least, an arm or head would drop off. If they were too pissed, they might not even notice, and leave it there.

I imagine this happened quite a few times in Saigon bars. The barman therefore had the option of either binning the body part or storing it behind the bar in case the soldier, having sobered up, remembered where he’d left it and came back. But there must have been many instances where they didn’t bother, so the bits and pieces just piled up over time. Doubtless in several instances, the bar owners eventually found that they had enough to glue together a completely new body. And I’ll bet they often did.

Actually, this explains the various Vietnamese you see these days with mixed Negroid, Caucasian, and Asiatic features. The official story, peddled by the Hanoi Government and believed by many, is that they’re simply the offspring of American servicemen and Vietnamese prostitutes. In fact, I believe they’re the result of successfully Supergluing bits and pieces of assorted Vietnamese regular soldiers and US troops.

Anyway, talking of Asiatic features, the man who runs my local fish and chip shop has them. He claims to be Chinese, but could just as likely be ex-Vietcong. They all look alike. If he is, the fact that I’ve used Superglue could, in his eyes, make me some sort of enemy collaborator, so he may well try to come round here later on a bamboo bicycle and snipe at me from the undergrowth. Just to make sure this doesn’t happen, I suppose I’ll have to go across the road to The Golden Plaice and stick an anti-personnel mine on the side of his chip fryer. Better safe than sorry.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Whenever I'm in a supermarket, I usually pay for my groceries using a Switch card. This, however, always prompts the girl at the checkout to ask, "Do you want cash-back?" After cuffing her round the ear, I curtly inform her that, if I wanted cash, I'd have gone to a bank. In the same way that, if I wanted fish, I'd go to a fucking fishmonger, and not, say, an optician or a Building Society. In my opinion, the way in which supermarkets are now trying to muscle in on the financial area - offering, amongst other things, savings, pensions, and even ISAs - is quite unacceptable.

Time, I think, for the banks to retaliate. Henceforth, whenever you go into your branch to withdraw money, the teller should routinely ask, "Do you want some sausages with that?" And if the answer be yes, then you should be issued some, up to a limit of about 2lbs. Indeed, cashpoint machines could be adapted to output strings of sausages, too.

In order for this to work, bank customers would, of course, have to have some sort of pork credit at their local branch. This would be simple enough to set up. Whenever you opened an account, you'd be required to give them, not just a cheque or cash, but a pig as well. This would be then kept in a specially armoured vault, and either starved or fattened according to your credit rating. High Interest Savings Account customers would be given a pair of pigs and allowed to breed from them.

An unfortunate side-effect of all this would be a downgrading of the status of bank manager, though. Instead of being an aloof individual in a pin-stripe suit, he'd be a straw-sucking yokel with an IQ of 77, given to saying "Ooh, arrrr", and fucking his sister and daughter. But this is a small price to pay for financial diversity.

Another idea might be for banks to issue, not sausages, but herbs. In fact, shops could be encouraged to accept herbs in lieu of cash. Then, I suppose, thyme really would be money.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Gay Egg

According to the gay lobby, 10 per cent of all living creatures are homosexually inclined, as are their offspring (assuming they’re not too homosexually inclined to produce offspring in the first place, of course). Which means that, despite the fact that I bought them from a reputable supermarket, at least 1.2 of my dozen “farm fresh” size 1 eggs are FUCKING GAY. Indeed, in any average egg carton, there’s likely to be at least one deviant.

In my opinion, supermarket staff should seek out homosexual eggs and isolate them before they’re passed on to the public, lest people catch homosexuality. Either that, or else they should clearly label them as being bent. I imagine, with a little practice, an averagely intelligent shop assistant could become quickly adept at spotting a pink-oboe-playing Free Range. He or she would just apply a little top spin and study the way the egg turned: To the right, normal, to the left, decidedly dodgy. Then it would be a simple matter of adding a tiny plastic muir cap and a stick-on handlebar moustache to the outed egg for easier identification.

As a result people could, if they wished, make homosexual omelettes. And the true sexuality of quiche-eaters would at last be confirmed.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Peas in a Pod

I've often heard the expression, "They are as alike as two peas in a pod." The analogy is a fair one, because if, as I myself have done on many an occasion, you open up a pea pod and peek inside, you usually find that there's little, if anything, to differentiate one pea from its neighbour. Indeed, peas in general, not just in the one pod, have a boring uniformity, even unto their frozen brethren. This means that people who are employed to shell them probably experience little, if any job satisfaction.

Then again, I suppose, very occasionally, a worm or grub will pop out, too. While, in the grand scheme of things, this isn't really on a par with, say, planting the first flag on Everest's summit of discovering the source of the Nile, a professional pea-sheller can maybe dine out on the experience for a few weeks. But only if he mixes with fellow pea-shellers when he does so. If he bursts into a room full of, for example, CERN physicists on the brink of perfecting nuclear fusion, and blurts out excitedly news of his find, it could well put them off, such that they'll forget what they were talking about. One can only speculate on how many cures for cancer, inexpensive fossil fuel alternatives, and genuinely effective penis extension creams have been lost to the world because of the rash actions of a professional pea-sheller interrupting the proceedings by brandishing a newly discovered maggot.

In my opinion, to make sure this never happens again, pea shellers should be allowed to inscribe their names and the date of shelling on each pea. This would boost their job satisfaction rating markedly, and they then wouldn't go putting the nuclear scientists off their stride. In fact, their lives in general could be enhanced. For instance, they could be eating egg, chips, and peas in a restaurant with their families, when suddenly, amongst all the others, they might catch sight of their own personal pea. With pride, they'd cry out "Look! That's one of mine! Oh joy!"

In fact, over time, some peas would attract a certain cachet. Those shelled by, say, Arnold Griffiths on such and such a date might become prized over others - the Mouton Cadets of the pea world, if you will. People would lay down a packet of Arnold Griffith 2008 frozen peas, for consumption only on special occasions. Thus would the humble pea be ennobled, together with those producing it.

The only disadvantage to all this is that some scientists could be sitting down to dinner, the solution to the problem of world hunger just about to pop into his head, when suddenly he discovers an Arnold Griffith 2008 amongst the other peas on his plate. I'd hope he'd be able to contain his excitement and concentrate on the research in hand but, realistically, I fear that all such thoughts would be doused by the exhilaration provoked by his find.

But it's still a small price to pay for making pea-shelling more interesting.

A typical pea

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Naked in the Changing Room

The changing room at my gym is open plan. People, whatever the condition of their bodies (and some, believe me, are truly pathetic), tend to take their clothes on and off and go into the shower in front of one another. Such public nudity doesn’t bother them. Or me. However, I have noticed that there are private cubicles in which you can dress and undress. Some individuals actually make use of these.


I suppose it’s possible that they’re mindful of the fact that the French playwright, Jean Cocteau, used to drill holes in changing room walls, peep through, and masturbate as he watched men changing and showering. But this doesn’t worry me unduly. Indeed, I often stand on a chair, drop the towel from around my waist, and shout, “Oi, Jean! Cop a look at this!” But not everyone is as comfortable with being “objectified” by gay French surrealist playwrights as I am, which might explain their hiding away as they dress and undress.

Thinking about it, one way to dissuade Jean Cocteau from wanking off over the sight of you would be to wear a swastika armband. This is because Cocteau was severely criticised for his collaboration with the Nazis during the 1940s (even though he only claimed to be doing it to protect Picasso from the Gestapo), so, if he were to be seen having “one off the wrist” over the sight of (apparent) members of the German National Socialist Party in the buff, his critics could plausibly argue that, far from being a Communist, as he claimed, he was, in fact, a fully-blown collaborationist fascist, and therefore deserving of a good dose of guillotine.

Then again, another potential problem with wearing a swastika armband in a gym changing room is that someone like Ernst Roehm, the gay head of the Brownshirts, could drill holes through the walls, instead, and start peeping at you.

Even I might decide to change in a private cubicle if this were to happen, as I don’t like the idea of the sight of my dick inspiring a One Thousand Year Reich, even if it does make for good motorways and ensures the trains run on time.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wiggling My Ears

I have spent much of this morning wiggling my ears. Why? Because I can. Most people can't, and therefore don't have this opportunity. Because I do, it pleases me to exercise it every now and then. But, in the long run, is it wise to go public with the fact, I wonder?

I keep thinking, for example, of characters such as Bruce Banner, aka the Incredible Hulk, and Peter Parker, also known as Spiderman. Like me, they are possessed of powers beyond those of normal men. Banner can turn green at will, while Parker, of course, can stick to the ceiling.

You'll note, however, that, unlike me, neither has the confidence to blog about it. So you'll find no B_Banner ID on Blogger declaring, "This morning I went green again for about half an hour." Nor does P_Parker boast anywhere, "After breakfast I climbed up the wall and then attached myself to the coving." Indeed, they both go out of their way to keep their special powers secret, to the extent of inventing alter-egos for themselves and, in Parker's case, a red and blue Lycra costume, complete with mask.

When you think about it, though, rather than keeping it all quiet, it just tends to attract the wrong sort of attention. When Banner goes green, the army creates a super creature called The Abomination to pursue him, while Parker's dressing up provokes megalomaniacs with robot arms to come after him. And in both instances, entire cities tend to get mashed up while all this is going on.

Similarly, then, if I were to call myself, say, "Ear Wiggler Man" and don some yellow or purple all-body Spandex number, I, too, would probably goad some similarly disguised individual to go on the rampage. The thought of Bumbles Green being devastated by, for instance, a ten foot high madman who pisses pure, liquid plutonium through his extendable, robotic dick isn't a pleasant one.

So I'll just write about my powers here, instead.

The only real worry I have is that a meteorite could crash to earth from which a mad scientist might extract a Kryptonite-like substance which he could use against me to prevent me from wiggling my ears. So it's just as well that I now have a telescope. Henceforth, rather than observing my nextdoor neighbour's tits, I'll use it for watching out for just such a meteorite.

A man who can't wiggle his ears

Friday, February 20, 2009

An Element of Risk

According to the BBC Breakfast Time news, a poisonous South American spider was discovered today, affixed to a bunch of bananas. One bite from its deadly fangs would apparently have resulted in a slow, agonising death some six hours later. Boringly, though, it didn't get a chance to bite anyone, and has since been sent to Liverpool for analysis. Liverpool being, for whatever reason, the spider-analysis capital of the UK.

Actually, there ought to be more of this sort of thing, as it engenders the sort of survivalist and self-reliance instincts which are sadly missing in today's society. In prehistoric times, for example, whenever the head of the household declared, "I'm just popping down the jungle to get a quick mammoth, dear", there was always a 50:50 chance that the quick mammoth would in fact end up getting him. Or something else, equally hazardous, would. So, cogniscent of this fact, prehistoric man lived live to the full, fully aware that the next shopping trip could be his last.

This is what we have to restore to our lives, in order to give them back their meaning.

In my opinion, supermarkets ought to hire tribes of cannibal pygmies to roam their aisles, armed with poison blowpipes. In addition, they should place venomous plants and animals on their shelves, alongside the conventional wares. Man-eating anacondas should be hidden in the delicatessen section, ready to jump out and constrict their victims. Thus the risk element would be re-introduced to the food gathering process, to the ultimate benefit of both the store and the consumer.

Thereafter, rival stores could start advertising their death rates in order to outdo one another in the danger stakes. So, for instance, Tesco would proudly proclaim, “We had 25 fatalities last week, compared to just 10 in wanky Morrisons!” Accordingly, the real hard men would start shopping in Tesco in order to prove their virility. This would force rivals, such as Morrisons, M&S, and Sainsburys to buy in stocks of black mambas and leopards in an attempt to increase the risk factor.

In time, the hostile supermarket environments would weed out those lesser members of the human species, leaving only the strongest, the fittest, and those of keenest intelligence. Thus the human race as a whole would be improved immeasurably.

In the meantime, it's to be hoped that the spider in Liverpool escapes and performs as per its counterpart in that film Arachnophobia. A few hundred dead Scousers would no doubt cheer everyone up considerably and take our minds off the current recession.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ars Gratia Artis

This morning I walked the dogs down by the village pond. While doing so, I noticed an artist just opposite, outside the pub, seated at an easel. She was obviously attempting some sort of acrylic representation of the scene. And why not? It’s very picturesque. I therefore went over in order to have a look and offer a few words of artistic criticism. Not total crap, I said, but it needed a lot of work. Then off I went again, leaving her to absorb my wisdom.

Anyhow, an hour or so later, I sauntered back and took another look at the by now nearly finished painting. And my opinion this time? Unrealistic garbage, I’m afraid.

Don't get me wrong, I told her. As far as being an accurate representation of the ponds and its environs, it was spot on. However, that's all she'd painted, which was the problem. You see, it takes two to three hours to paint one of these things. But what would happen if, to use an obvious analogy, she'd taken a photograph whose exposure time was three hours? The motionless things, like trees and houses, would come out OK. But anything that was moving during the exposure would come out blurred, of course. So, given that it took me some five minutes or more to cross the artist's field of vision, I should have been recorded as a multi-coloured blur going from one end of the painting to the other. Not a sign, though. Not just of me, but of ducks, cars, other pedestrians, and in fact anything else that was moving at the time.

Thinking further on this, perhaps it would have been a better idea if, instead of taking several hours to do the work, she’d taken her thumb out of her arse and painted the scene much more quickly. Ten minutes, for instance, and then the moving objects in the picture would only have been very slightly blurry but nonetheless identifiable. Or, better yet, if there had been a team of artists – a dozen say – each could have contributed a separate element to the picture, the joint effort allowing the whole thing to be painted in just a fraction of a second, thus creating a true “snap shot.” Indeed, had there been a coach party of sixty or so artists, they might have been able to paint ten canvases between themselves in under a second. Then these could have been bound together, allowing the viewer to flick through them with his thumb, thus producing a true moving picture, as in one of those children's "flick books".

You may recall that Leonardo da Vinci and colleagues used this very technique for their famous “Mona Lisa Flashes Her Tits” animated sequence, unfortunately only one frame of which survives today.

Whatever, as I'm on the subject of art, perhaps I should mention that I am, in fact, something of an artist myself. I am currently going through a post impressionist phase. Here is my impression of a post:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Grave Walking

I have often observed people suddenly shivering for no apparent reason, even on the warmest of days. Their usual explanation is, “Someone has just walked over my grave.”

All well and good. But if we analyze this expression logically, it can mean one of only two things: either the person in question has already reserved a plot in a cemetery or churchyard for future use, or, he is, in fact, one of the undead, temporarily risen from his tomb. In both cases, these people obviously exhibit a heightened proprietorial instinct, allowing them to sense trespass onto their property from afar (presumably, if someone walks over their Porche or country pied-à-terre they get similar shivers). So how are we to tell the two shivering groups apart? And, perhaps more to the point, why does it matter that we should?

Because, while most of the people who've reserved plots in advance are generally OK, the other group, the undead (if George A. Romero films and those Hammer horrors from the late 1950s and early 60s are to be believed, anyway), tend at some point to want to chew your arm off, or eat your brains, or suck all your blood out, which is never particularly pleasant. The usual remedy for this is a stake through the heart or destruction of the cranium. However, before you start impaling people or bashing their heads in, it is vitally important that you first try to tell the two groups apart. It would be horribly unfortunate, for example, if the person whose chest you impaled on a tent peg or whose head you skewered with an ice pick subsequently turned out simply to be someone who, like June Whitfield or Michael Parkinson in those AXA Sun Life “Guaranteed Over 50 Plan” television advertisements, had simply been fiscally prudent and paid in advance for his funeral arrangements.

Unfortunately, zombies and vampires rarely tell you beforehand that they’re going to eat you or drain you dry of blood, so it’s often difficult to tell the walking cadavers from the financially responsible. Indeed, if I were a member of the undead, intent on making a meal out of you and your relatives, I would probably point out the fiscal benefits of paying a fixed monthly sum, with the policy redeemable upon death, just in order to lull you into a false sense of security. I might even offer a free radio alarm clock, Parker pen, or DVD player, too. So, basically, what this means is that we can’t know. Indeed, it is quite possible that both June Whitfield and Michael Parkinson are zombies, and the television ads are merely a smokescreen.

Given this, then, I suppose, on consideration, the only safe option is to treat zombies, June Whitfield, and Michael Parkinson equally. And to flush them out, as many of us as possible should walk over as many graves as possible. Thereafter, whoever senses the fact must be decerebrated and eviscerated, his body burnt, and the ashes scattered to the four winds. Particularly if the DVD player he’s offering you is one of those crappy, own-brand Matsui models from Curry’s.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


You know what really fucks me off? When I go to catch a train, but my progress is impeded by all those inconsiderate arseholes who always stand on the platforms, giving each other kisses, and in so doing, generally obstruct me, and other right-thinking people, when we want to get into the carriage. Sometimes they even hold up the departure of the train itself while they exchange long, lingering "Frenchies" through the window.

Fortunately, however, I see that measures are now being taken to overcome the problem. It was reported in yesterday’s Telegraph that the authorities at Warrington Bank Quay Station, in Cheshire, have now effectively implemented a “no kissing” policy. The fact that people who live in Warrington are generally so fucking ugly that no-one in their right mind would actually want to kiss any of them in the first place (except maybe to win a bet) is neither here nor there. At least it’s a step in the right direction. I, however, can see some money-making opportunities here, too.

Suppose you really are put out that you can no longer have one of those Trevor Howard/Celia Johnson moments at the station? So why don’t Virgin Trains, who run this particular line, offer to remedy your dilemma? They could employ professional Osculators whose job it would be to administer smooches to your nearest and dearest on your behalf. However, they'd only do this once the train had left the station and everyone was seated, thus ensuring no other passengers would be delayed by the ardour.

The whole thing could be self-financing and organised through the train company's seat allocation computer. You'd simply inform the machine where your loved one was sitting and the degree of intimacy required, and pay accordingly. Then, come departure, the Virgin Osculator would walk up and down the train and seek out those passengers requiring the service. For, say, 50p, a quick peck on the cheek could be administered. £1 = one on the lips. £5 = tongue insertion. £7.50 = tongue plus massage of breast (left or right, as preferred). £10 = tongue plus sucking of nipple. £15 = blow-job. £20 = simulated intercourse. £50 = "all the way", with optional cigarette at the end. (I'd imagine that the Virgin Osculator would need to be some sort of bi-guy in order to be able to cater to both men and women.)

In fact, here's an idea: For a special fee, you should be able to arrange for the Osculator to accompany your loved one off the train, get into a relationship, marry him or her, raise children together, and generally live "till death us do part" on your behalf while you went away and did something more interesting and fulfilling with your life.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Matching Pair

Men are often very remiss when it comes to planning the interior of their homes. Having taken a great deal of care selecting appropriate wallpaper, furniture, and paintwork, they sometimes spoil the whole effect by choosing a totally inappropriate woman; one that simply does not match the rest of the decor. It's like putting fluffy dice in a Rolls Royce or a sommelier in McDonalds.

In my opinion, there should be advice on paint tins and rolls of wallpaper, saying exactly what sort of woman goes best with the contents. For example, a tin of peach emulsion would say, "Best combined with a late 20s sophisticated brunette." Black matt, on the other hand, would probably advise, "Ideally matched with a teenage slapper wearing scarlet lipstick and a slit skirt."

It might actually be an idea for DIY shops to start marketing matched pairs, in much the same way that Marks & Spencer sell matched shirts and ties. So in other words you'd be able to buy a roll of wallpaper, or a set of kitchen tiles, together with a complementary woman. For those men with no style sense – and there are, unfortunately, many - it would be cheaper and safer than sourcing each separately and finding out, too late, that they clashed.

Of course, a major problem here is that women can often deteriorate faster than furniture or paintwork, and are somewhat more difficult to refurbish when they do. Unless you want to go to the expense and effort of replacing the lot, the only sensible solution is to keep the old one in the shed during the day, and only bring her out at night when the light's too dim for anyone to really notice.

I shall approach the MDs of all the major DIY chains with my idea and, hopefully, make a fortune.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله

Here in the UK, many people (usually non-Muslims) complain about the sound of muezzins calling the faithful to prayer from the minarets of mosques. For their part, the Muslims say that this a bit of a double-standard, because the sound of church bells can be equally off-pissing, too, particularly if you happen to live directly alongside an establishment that boasts an Extreme Campanlogy Unit. A big cathedral giving it large, for example, can really fuck up your morning, whether you’re Christian or Muslim.

For my own part, I’ve never seen the point of either. Declaiming “I assert that there is no god but ‘Allah and Muhammad is ‘Allah’s prophet” is a bit redundant: If that actually isn’t your point of view, you’d presumably be a bit of dick climbing to the top of a mosque in the first place. You’d be better off in a church, synagogue, Quaker meeting, or whatever. By the same token, if you really do need a bell to get you in to prayers, surely that hints at a certain lack of commitment to the religion on your part.

I suppose a compromise could be reached. Maybe priests should be encouraged to go to the top of their steeple or church tower each Sunday morning and shout out the Nicene Creed over a loudspeaker, while minarets could be equipped with bells, with the muezzin himself acting as the clapper. This would probably produce a much duller “Bong!” than the conventional brass or iron clapper but, seeing as he’d have to do it five times a day, you’d at least be certain that the guy really was giving it his all for the faith.

The only disadvantage I can see to having Muslim bell clappers is that the tinkle of something like an ice cream van might then easily outdo a mosque in volume. So people could come to believe that ice cream vans were, in fact, closer to God. But which one? Would adherents of, say, Mr Whippy start wearing suicide vests and self-detonating amongst customers queuing up to buy a 99 from Mr Softee, and vice versa? Could an ice cream wafer accidentally transubstantiate and usurp the place of Our Lord, Jesus Christ?

I fear for our future, I really do.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Licensed to Drool

This morning I had another of my regular appointments with Alessandro, my hair artiste. As well as having my hair cut and styled, I enjoyed a facial massage, collagen treatment, and electronic muscle toning. Needless to say, I emerged looking as gorgeous as ever, and elicited many an admiring glance from passing women.

It occurred to me, though: my body is honed to perfection thanks to daily exercise on my Nordic Track machine and the use of weights at the gym. My well-balanced diet, together with Vitamin C, A, and E supplements, and additional nutrients, means that I radiate glowing health and masculinity. And I am, courtesy of Nature itself, AMAZINGLY HANDSOME.

But all of this perfection and maintenance thereof costs, both in time and money.

Yet women are allowed to enjoy looking at me for free. This is an iniquitous situation. It’s akin, surely, to Remrandt or Leonardo da Vinci spending years producing a masterpiece and then just giving it away. I feel some recompense is in order. In my opinion, therefore, all women in the UK should have to pay a Slavko Licence, costing around £140 per annum. This would allow them to look at me legally. Of course, some women (mostly lesbians, naturally) would claim that they had no intention of looking at me and therefore shouldn’t have to pay for a Slavko Licence at all. But this is a spurious argument, akin to refusing to pay for a television licence on the grounds that you only watch ITV and Channel 4.

Detector vans should roam the land, seeking out Slavko Licence evaders. Any woman catch looking at me without a licence should be subject to a £1,000 fine and/or six months imprisonment.

With the revenue from the licences and the fines, I will be able to subsidise my exercise sessions, my vitamin supplements, and my healthy lifestyle. In this way I will carry on looking good forever, thus benefiting all women.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bald Bastards

If the tyres of your car are found to be bald, you will be fined heavily, and deservedly so. Why, then, isn't similar treatment meted out to people whose heads are bald? After all, they pose similar hazards.

Think on it: A car with bald tyres can't easily keep its grip on the road, especially when there are icy conditions, like today. It will often skid and hit other cars or pedestrians. Similarly, it's usually with great difficulty that the bare dome of a bald bastard keeps its grip on the surrounding air. This is why, particularly when it's raining, you often see bald people swerving all over the pavement, bouncing off shop windows, and falling into the path of oncoming traffic. And, of course, it helps explain why their "stopping distance" is far greater than that of a follicly-respectable individual.

In my opinion, therefore, a special Police Baldness Detection Squad should be set up, its officers empowered to stop people at random and check their hair percentage. Those with noticeable bald patches should be ordered home until the hair grows back. If it doesn't, and they persist in offending, they should be clamped and told to pay a fine in excess of £500. Repeat offenders should have their feet welded to the floor so they can't go out at all.

It might be an idea, as well, to offer a re-treading service to bald people. Here, you'd carve grooves and notches into the top of their heads. This would effectively compensate for their shameful lack of hair by giving them at least some grip on the surrounding air. However, bald people who'd been re-treated at different companies would have to be discouraged from walking together, lest the mix of treads caused accidents. Or, if they insisted on walking in a group of four, the "radials" and the "cross-plies" amongst them should be ordered to walk at opposite corners to one another.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Broken Breakfast

My Rice Krispies are defective. According to the sales literature, whenever milk is added, they are supposed to go “Snap”, “Crackle”, and “Pop”, and then repeat the sequence for the duration of the breakfast.

For the first two days they performed faultlessly in this respect. However, on the third day they responded to the milk with a “Snap”, “Pop”, and a “Snap”, before falling completely silent. Thereafter, despite repeated attempts with different varieties of milk and sugar, I was unable to get them to perform to order.

Fortunately, at the time of purchase I had taken out a service contract with Kellog's. This follows an incident some years ago when I was caught out by a Rhubarb Surprise that turned out to be boringly predictable. Anyhow, I telephoned the Kellog's Service Department who quickly sent a Cereal Engineer round to see me.

To cut a long story short, even this so-called professional was unable to help. True, he did manage to coax a “Pop” and a “Squeak” from the cereal, but only by applying unhealthy full-fat Jersey milk. At the end of the afternoon, he had to admit failure. All he could do was replace my Rice Krispies with Ricicles. They are even worse.

Now when I pour milk on my cereal, it responds with Edith Piaf's Greatest Hits. My breakfast ne regrette rien, no doubt, but I have a lot to be sorry for. From now on it's bagels for me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Baby Change

I suddenly ran out of avocados and coriander this morning. Unfortunately, so, too, had the local Waitrose and so, tragically, I had to go to Tesco's in order to source them. Needs must. However, so as not to demean myself totally, I decided to take a piss while I was in there, as well. While preparing to do so, I caught sight of a sign on the lavatory door: "Baby change facilities." This concept appealed to my curiosity, so I decided to hang around for a while and watch someone do it.

I didn't have to wait long. Within a few minutes, a woman came along with a baby which she duly took into this so-designated lavatory. But - and here's the curious thing - when she came out a short while later, she had with her (as far as I could tell, at least) exactly the same baby that she'd taken in. In other words she hadn't bothered changing it all all.

Thinking about it, I found it odd that anyone would actually want to do this in the first place, especially in a lavatory. What's the point, anyway? In my experience, all babies look the same, so taking one in there, offloading him (maybe you flush the used one away), and getting a replacement seems hardly worth the effort. Unless, I suppose, you're some sort of kiddie fiddler who's got bored with the current whelp and therefore requires a substitute to provide variety. But I don't believe Tesco's should be encouraging this sort of thing. Then again, maybe they're working in league with the authorities to help catch paedophiles. Therefore the sign "Baby change facilities" is in fact a sort of sting operation, in much the same way as, say, a shop on the high-street with the sign "Fence you stolen goods here" might help trap burglars.

There is another possibility, of course. When I purchase items in a shop and don't have the exact amount - let's say I'm buying a replacement Kurt Geiger coat which is priced at £750, but only happen to have £1000 on me - I give the shopkeeper more than label price, then he in turn gives me the difference, aka "change". So it's conceivable that, along similar lines, Tesco's is running some sort of slave trading operation. If you've got, for example, a fully trained house slave whom you want to swap for one you can use on your cotton plantation, it's obvious that there's going to be a certain disparity between the two. Consequently, to remedy this, one of the slave traders makes up the difference in small currency: "Baby change."

With this in mind, I may collect some loose change today - some of those babies that Working Class women are always pushing around in the supermarket, for instance. They have so many that they obviously won't miss a few. I reckon if I get five or six of them, I ought to be able to trade them for a luscious, full-busted 20 year old sex slave.

Monday, February 09, 2009

My Lunch

For lunch I made a highly acceptable moules marinières which I ate in combination with freshly baked French bread. The combination of mussels, white wine, butter, parsley, garlic, and shallots was akin to a thousand naked, nubile angels massaging my each and every taste bud with precious unguents. Only one thing marred my ultimate satisfaction: the premature death of some of my ingredients.

I’d bought about 2lbs of apparently healthy mussels earlier in the day. However, when the time came to clean and “beard” the things, I discovered that the mortality rate was something like 10 per cent. There were at least five bivalve corpses in the bag, and another two or three on the critical list. That's to say, though their shells were open in imitation of death, they remained closed when I then squeezed them shut, apparently recovered. But for how long, exactly? Whatever, it wasn't a good sign.

In my opinion, you ought to be able to dial 999 and summon some sort of Emergency Service dedicated to mussel revival. So if, like me, you've got some that look a bit dodgy, you could summon paramedics to give them oxygen, heart massage, or whatever, to keep them alive just long enough to get them into the pan.

I'd like to know what killed them in the first place, though. I think it might have been suicide. They could have heard me chopping the shallots and smelled the wine and butter mixture bubbling away, and thought, "Fuck! This is it! I'm going to die a horrible death!" Whereupon, rather than let me have the satisfaction of killing and eating them, they took their own lives.

Then again, I suppose I should be thankful that they weren’t Islamic fundamentalist suicide mussels, otherwise they might have tried to take me with them, too, pissed off over the UK’s support (and, by extension, mine) for the invasion of Iraq and the actions of Coalition forces in Afghanistan. Forty or so bivalve jihadists could probably self-detonate in my shopping bag with lethal results, simply by farting in unison while keeping their shells tightly shut.

In future, to minimize the risk of this happening, I’ll be careful to always buy a few rashers of Danish bacon whenever I shop for mussels. That way, if they are members of Al-Quaeda's seafood division, the proximity of the forbidden meat should dissuade them from exploding, lest they turn up at the Gates of Paradise all smoky bacon-flavoured. Allah, Muhammad, and the 72 allotted bivalve virgins would, I’m sure, be less than impressed.

Rhesus Negative

Female rhesus monkeys have pink arses. During ovulation, however, these arses become bright red, signifying that they're receptive to being mated with. All of which bodes ill for the Man of Steel, Superman.


Because Superman wears bright red Y-fronts over his blue trousers. There's a risk, then, that a priapic male rhesus monkey might mistakenly believe that he's a female on heat and bugger him. If this were to happen with any degree of regularity, I imagine that people would start to take Superman less seriously as a superhero. After all, even if you've saved the world from a giant meteorite and vanquished villains such as General Zod and Lex Luthor, spectators are still going to laugh if they see you with a monkey stuck in your arse.

Having a monkey buggering him could also fuck up Superman's attempts to pass himself off as mild-mannered reporter, Clark Kent. This is because if Superman were to be seen being anally abused by an ape, and then Clark Kent were also to be observed with a monkey up him, people might refuse to believe it to be mere coincidence and start putting two and two together. Even Lois Lane would. And I don't imagine she'd find Superman half as attractive with an ape attached. (Unless she happened to be into particularly kinky threesomes.)

There's always the chance, though, that Superman might actually enjoy being buggered by a monkey. Which could explain his cape. It's actually there to conceal the permanent presence of the rhesus monkey. And if anyone remarks on any "bump" round his arse area, I suppose Superman could always pass it off simply as a Kryptonite-induced case of the piles.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hot Cakes

You often hear the expression “They sold like hot cakes.” The clear implication of this, of course, is that hot cakes are somehow superior to cold cakes and therefore more in demand by all right-thinking people. But is this indeed true?

Yesterday, at 3.00 pm, the Vicarage was having one of its regular “Come and have tea and cakes with the Vicar and find God for only £2.50” afternoons, so I decided to go along and put it to the test. Accordingly, I baked some cakes of my own and took them there in a foil container, fresh from the oven, to see how they’d compare to the brumal competition.

You know what? Despite the fact that, aesthetically, nutritionally, and even tastewise, my hot cakes were clearly the best of the bunch, the cold cakes put out by Cate, the Vicar, outsold my hot ones by at least 10 to one. This is an iniquitous situation. And when I demanded to know of those present why they chose her cakes over mine, the majority replied that it was precisely because mine were hot - too hot, many claimed – that they went for the cold ones.

Well fuck you, parishioners of Bumbles Green. And fuck you, too, Cate. Maybe I won’t shag you, after all.

Afterwards, I tried to analyze what had gone wrong. Eventually, a search of the Internet turned up Robert Hendrickson’s "Encyclopaedia of Word and Phrase Origins", published in 1997. “Hot cakes cooked in bear grease were popular from earliest times in America,” he says. “First made of cornmeal, the griddle cakes or pancakes were of course best when served piping hot and were often sold at church benefits, fairs, and other functions. So popular were they that by the beginning of the 19th century 'to sell like hot cakes' was a familiar expression for anything that sold very quickly effortlessly, and in quantity."

Clearly, that’s where I erred. Next time, therefore, I’ll find a greasy bear (one marinaded in olive oil or coated in lard, presumably), fry him, toss the cakes into the mix, and then take the ensemble over to the vicarage. I shouldn’t imagine the bear is going to enjoy this much, and, as a consequence, might even maul people or eat them as they try to reach for the cakes. But at least this should prove a true test of faith for the parishioners: If God is with them, they’ll survive the experience. It’s a better test than, say, Communion, anyway, where there’s no risk whatsoever of being eaten by a bear (except, perhaps, in Alaskan churches where they can sneak up behind you while you’ve got your eyes closed in prayer).

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Will Power

Yesterday afternoon, while queuing up at the W. H. Smith’s in Liverpool Street Station in order to purchase a bag of Glacier Mints, I happened to notice a book on prominent display by the checkout. It was called “Quit Smoking Today”, by Paul McKenna. It had been reduced in price by 50 per cent. Instantly, I realized that it’s a load of crap and doesn’t work. Why?

Because if Paul McKenna and his publishers had any faith at all in their oeuvre, they wouldn’t have cut the cost; they’d have sold the book with a free packet of cigarettes attached, instead. What better way to affirm to the world that the motivational techniques described inside actually work? (The clear implication being. of course, that, having read the instructions, you’d thereafter have no desire whatsoever to smoke those cigarettes.)

It may be recalled that those responsible for weaning the Mahatma Gandhi off sex used a very similar technique to the one I suggest with the cigarettes (and I feel the Attenborough epic was somewhat remiss in steering clear of this area of his life). Basically, Gandhi didn’t go all “cold turkey.” What happened was that he’d go to bed with naked, nubile women on either side of him. The temptation was there, but he showed proper self-restraint by overcoming it. Eventually. The same goes for smokers. What demonstrates better commitment and strength of character: not smoking simply because there aren’t any cigarettes available, or refusing to smoke even if you’re surrounded by hundreds of cartons of the things? Well exactly.

I’m not sure if Gandhi had a 20 or 40 women a day habit, but the aversion techniques obviously worked. At no point did he have to use woman-flavoured chewing gum or a woman-impregnated patch. And at no point in negotiations over Indian independence was he ever recorded as having said to Louis Mountbatten, for example, “Much as I’d like to go into the question of partition and the inadvisability of separate Muslim and Hindu states, I’ve just got to pop outside for a minute for a quick shag.” If he had had to do this every half hour or so, India would, I’m sure, still be British.

Thinking about it, if Gandhi had brought out a self-help book based on his quitting experiences, it would have been a surefire best seller. Who could resist one called “Quit Sex Today” if it came with a free naked woman attached?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Peep Show

I happened to be walking through Soho yesterday evening when, just as I turned past the top of Berwick Street, I heard a voice call out to me from inside one of the doorways: "Gorgeous, busty girls, sir. Come in and have a look. Have some fun." She was a half-dressed young woman, displaying the requisite acres of flesh. Nice legs, as they say, shame about the face.

Anyhow, what she was advertising was, I believe, some sort of peep show where, apparently, you put money in a slot in order to be treated to the sight of a minute or so of a naked woman gyrating about to music. It seems that some people – presumably those who can't get it up - use this sort of service in lieu of actual sex. Whatever, I naturally hurried on and ignored her sales patter. Someone of my social standing can't, of course, be seen hanging around one of these places.

Later, as I dined well on potted shrimp, steak and kidney pie, and a fine bottle of South African Shiraz in Rules, I considered the situation. Paying a pound or so for a few seconds' glimpse of naked bodies isn't a particularly cost-effective method of voyeurism. You could, for example, pay little more than £150 and go to the Canary Islands for two weeks on a cheap deal. There, you'd be able to sit on a beach for hours on end, staring at hundreds of nubile women for nothing. And most probably, with better bodies than the Soho variety, too.

Obviously, then, it isn't the sight of nakedness per se that turns on the people who go to peep-shows. It's the furtiveness, aspect; the inherent sense of seediness that attracts them. Hence the need for the sleazy woman at the entrance. She helps enhance all of this.

Thereupon it occurred to me: Such a method of advertising could be applied to other goods and services, as well, thus attracting the sleazeball audience, a market-sector - a fairly affluent one, too, I should think - that may well have been overlooked by advertisers in the past. If you hit them with the same sort of marketing tactics as used by the peep-shows and the dirty bookshops - tactics they'd be used to and would therefore feel comfortable with - you'd be much more likely to win them over.

To this end, in my opinion, Soho-based banks and building societies should black out their windows and position scantily-clad women in their doorways. They'd call out to passers-by: "Personal loans, sir. Incredibly attractive repayment schemes. Come in and check out our base rate, sir. It's really come down." And so on and so forth, supplying whichever additional innuendo and double entendre was appropriate for the prevailing financial climate

Likewise blacked-out greengrocers: "Come in and see our produce, sir. It's so fresh. We toss our salads on the premises. Have a look at our melons, sir. They're really juicy." Et cetera, et cetera. Upon entering such a greengrocer, the perv would be prevailed upon to drop a £1 coin into a slot. Thereupon, he'd be presented with a brief, tantalising, 30 second glimpse of a carrot. If he wanted to see more, he'd have to put another coin in. Or, for ten quid, the greengrocer could actually come round from inside the booth and give him the carrot, which he'd then be allowed to peel and, within reason, grate.

If he tried to eat it, however, a leather-clad dominatrix would emerge from the back and beat him with a strip of celery.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


“SuperLoos” – automated, self-cleaning pay-lavatories – were first imported to the UK from the Continent in the late 1970s. Today, most towns boast at least one. The idea is that the Working Class, who probably can't afford their own lavatories (or who traditionally just piss in the street), pay a nominal sum of 20 pence to enter one of these things in order to excrete, masturbate over Page 3 of The Sun, or whatever.

I applaud this philanthropic concept, and feel that it should be extended.

In my opinion, therefore, councils should set up similar automatic cubicles, called “SuperLivingRooms”, “SuperKitchens”, “SuperBedrooms”, “SuperUtilityRooms”, “SuperStudies”, and so on. In this way, Working Class people with inadequate domestic facilities would be able to have a brief, 20 minute, Muzak-accompanied experience of the finer things in life, thus giving them something to aspire to.

For example, upon paying your 20p and opening the swing-door of an automatic “SuperStudy”, you’d enter a cubicle furnished like a plush gentleman's library. In one corner there would be an expensive walnut writing desk. In another,shelves stocked with books, including oeuvres from the Classical Greats such as Plutarch, Thucydides, and Virgil, the Complete Works of Shakespeare, together with those of the 18th Century Men of Letters, like Boswell and Johnson. So you’d be able to sit down in a plush Chesterfield armchair and imbibe wisdom. Of course, at the end of your allotted 20 minutes, the Muzak version of “The Girl from Ipamena” would go silent and the door would automatically swing open. At which point it would be necessary to make a swift exit before the automatic wash and disinfect cycle started up.

Likely as not, many people would think to themselves, “Shit! There I was, analysing the strategy of Alcibiades in the disastrous Sicilian campaign, when my fucking money ran out. I shall therefore put another 20 pence in, in order that I might do further research, and possibly learn why the demagogue, Cleon, was able to usurp the position of Pericles and set Athens on a course which, ultimately, led to its defeat by Sparta and the dissolution of its democratic system.” And so they’d insert another coin and continue, thus enhancing both their wisdom and the nation's coffers.

Of course, if you were in there too long, an impatient queue would eventually form outside. People would knock loudly on the door and say, “Haven't you fucking finished in there yet, you cunt? There are people waiting, you know.” Or if it was late at night, just after the pubs had closed, there might actually be fights. For instance, proponents of the Athenian concept of Direct Democracy might take issue with supporters of the Spartan oligarchical system. They might even knife one another if they disagreed too strongly on the significance of, for instance, the pan-Hellenic alliance during the Persian wars.

But that would be a small price to pay for bringing to little more refinement into the lives of the masses.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A Fun Day Out

Unless you live in Mexico, you rarely ever hear people say, “Hey guys, the weather's great! Let's all go down to the cemetery for the day!” Maybe undertakers and their families do, but their interest is more likely to be professional than purely recreational. In general, burial grounds tend to fall some way behind seaside resorts, cinemas, and pleasure parks in the list of places to visit for a fun time out.

One of the main reasons is that most graveyards are so fucking boring. The gravestones are largely to blame here. For example, a man lives three score years and ten, has innumerable love affairs and marriages, performs thousands of heroic exploits or misdeeds, yet what does the inscriptions say? Merely: “Jim Smith. 1910 - 1980. Now With the Angels.” Some aren't even that informative. Indeed, a few effectively say to the reader, “You want to know about this guy? Find out yourself, you mini-dick wanker, I'm not helping you.” The notorious Si monumentum requiris, circumspice in St Paul's Cathedral is a notorious case in point. I'll bet it gets pissed on regularly because of this.

The thing is, with today's technology, gravestones have the facility to be far more informative. They could display the whole story of the deceased's life on a colourful LCD display, together with stereo sound. Thus people would be able to go along, sit in front of the selected grave, and be view a highly entertaining show. They could even eat popcorn and ice cream as they did so. And with so many tombs to choose from, an average graveyard could keep you entertained for years, until you, yourself, featured as part of the programme.

Thinking about it, graves could also be used to generate extra revenue for the churchyard, too, carrying Pearl & Dean style ads. These would range from standard coffee and condom advertisements (though not in Catholic graveyards, obviously) right through to “Coming Shortly: Edna Smith, wife of Charles Smith”. Or “Next week, for four days only, Lazarus!!!”

If my idea were to be implemented, millions of pounds could be raised.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Despite the fact that the weather forecast got it wrong and, last night, there actually wasn't any fresh snowfall, this whole area is nevertheless still covered in a deep layer of the stuff. Using this as an excuse, the more diminutive of the locals are skiving off school and, instead of studying, are otherwise engaged building so-called snow "men". But how pathetic they are and how lacking in accomplishment. Disgustingly globular, devoid of intelligent facial expression, and bereft of genitals, they are merely icy Johny Vegas lookalikes. Whatever happened to true artistry?

When it snowed in Renaissance Florence, Michelangelo, for one, always did a lot better. According to a book I’ve just read, one of his first commissions was for a snow Hercules. I’ll bet it was anatomically perfect, too - he wouldn't have used a carrot for a nose or lumps of coal for the eyes. (Not unless he was trying to make some sort of Turner Prizesque artistic statement, anyway.) I’ve no doubt that he followed up with a snow Pietà and a snow Moses, which probably served as models for the subsequent marble versions. Likewise for his pièce de résistance, his snow David.

Michelangelo was on to a good earner here, actually. Noble families, such as the Medicis, the Lorenzos, and the Borgias would undoubtedly all drop by and offer to purchase, say, a snow Moses or a snow apostle. The crafty bugger was then able to sell the same one many times over. Come the Spring, he'd simply turn up at the buyer's palace with a bucket of water, claiming that this was all that was left of the sculpture after it had melted. And naturally, because it was Michelangelo's bucket of water, not just anyone’s, they'd all fall for the trick.

The only one who didn't, of course, was Pope Julius II, who insisted that his ceiling be painted in recompense. Having seen the Sistine Chapel, however, I'm not exactly sure who got the better deal.

Monday, February 02, 2009

It's Still Snowing

I see that my neighbours are busy clearing the snow from their paths with shovels. What arseholes. It’s still snowing. This means that, by the time they’ve cleared one patch and moved on to the next, the first bit has been covered up again. And there are another six inches predicted for this afternoon and evening. It’s therefore rather a Sisyphean effort. I prefer just to look out of my window, drink a good cup of coffee, and shout “Wankers!” at them.

In any case, you’d have thought that, if snow clearing served any useful purpose, Eskimos would do it, as they tend to have more of the stuff than anyone else. The fact is, however, you never see an Eskimo out with a shovel. And this isn’t because they have 400 words for snow and, consequently, would have to have a two hour debate with themselves beforehand as to exactly what it was they were actually clearing. No, this is an urban myth originated by an anthropologist called Frank Boaz back in 1911. The reality of the matter is, to Eskimos, snow is just snow (or tla, anyway).

The real reason why Eskimos don’t clear snow is because there’d be a major risk of accidentally uncovering their grandmother who, as Eskimo tradition dictates, is customarily chucked out in to a blizzard to fend for herself once she gets too incontinent and toothless and can't tenderize seal skins any more by chewing them. Letting her move back into the igloo and have it start smelling like wee again can't be a happy prospect.

In addition, I suppose there's the risk, as well, that the Eskimos would inadvertently clear too much snow and then drop through the ice sheet. This is the reason why Eskimos don’t put salt down, either (and why Arctic slugs and snails can largely live out their lives without having to fear genocide by Saxa).

Thinking about it, salt must be a major hazard in igloos, too, particularly around meal times. If, for example, an Eskimo husband wants to perk up his seal blubber and says, “Pass the salt, darling” to his wife, but she accidentally drops it, his last words on earth (or on ice, leastways) will be “Oh fuck!” before the entire igloo and its inhabitants fall through the resulting hole, down into the freezing sea below, and get eaten by a killer whale. Presumably, ready-salted crisps and Quavers are a rarity in Arctic regions for much the same reason. You certainly wouldn’t want spill any or “pop” the bag.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Mad Cocaine Drug Fiend Sex Rampage

Last week, in common with fellow members of the intelligentsia, I decided to acquire an expensive cocaine habit. Accordingly, I made the appropriate inquiries as regards source of supply and cost.

For the neophyte, purchasing cocaine (or "scoring", to use the correct parlance) can be a bit problematic. Few of the retailers tend to advertise their services in any meaningful way, so, if one isn't "in the know", one is either dependent upon word of mouth, or one has to put up a "Wanted" ad in a newsagent's window or local free-sheet. Fortunately for me, though, certain colleagues were able to put me in touch directly with a reputable sales outlet, thus bypassing any such difficulties.

In keeping with EU strictures, cocaine is sold in metric measures. One buys by the gram, or multiples thereof. The local wholesaler currently charges £35 per gram, which basically amounts to around half a teaspoon's worth. This looks a paltry quantity, but the salesman nevertheless assured me that, for those of normal nasal capacity, it's sufficient to last a whole evening. Anyhow, yesterday, having acquired the necessary, I shut myself away and prepared to become thoroughly depraved.

First gripe. I had assumed that cocaine would be a fine, free-flowing white powder, as in "Scarface." Unfortunately, it's actually rather lumpy. One would have thought that, following Homepride's success in persuading its bowler-hatted flour graders to physically enter bags of flour and knock out any lumps, cocaine manufacturers would, by now, be operating a similar practise with their product. Especially given the price. (After all, Bolivian peasants can't cost that much to employ and, from what I've seen, lots of them have their own bowler hats, too, or, at least, hats that look bowlerish.) But no. It comes as is, and you have to squash out the lumps yourself. This is done with a razor blade or, if you're feeling flash, a black American Express card. Anyhow, having de-lumped it, one then arranges it on a mirrored surface in lines of approximately two and a half inches in length. Then, inserting a straw into one's nostril (those supplied by McDonalds are recommended, as they have the required diameter), one sucks up, or "snorts", the lines of cocaine, first with the right nostril, then with the left.

Second gripe. Very little of note happened when I did snort my lines. I was unable to produce any "My Cocaine Hell" or "Mad Cocaine Drug Fiend Sex Rampage" style headlines. I certainly didn't make like Al Pacino. Indeed, all that did happen was that my mouth went numb, as if I'd been injected with Novocain at the dentist, and my nose started to bleed very slightly. Having a numb mouth and a nosebleed seems a pretty poor return for £35. I'm sure there are cheaper ways of achieving the same effect. A punch in the face, for example (indeed, a few people might even be prepared to supply this to me gratis). Whatever, it must appeal to some market demographic, otherwise no-one would bother trying to become a "cocaine baron" or go to the trouble of wiping out the opposition in order to control the cocaine market.

On the other hand, I suppose, if you have expended all that effort, blowing up your rivals with car bombs, killing their wives and children, subverting democratic governments in order to preserve your monopolies and supply lines, and so forth, and all you actually do end up controlling at the end of the day is the market for a product that makes people's teeth go numb and noses bleed, you'd tend to feel a bit fucking stupid about the whole business and more than a little embarrassed. So I imagine you'd want to talk the product up. Say how marvellous it is, how it boosts the creative juices, makes women fancy you, and so forth. And if you say it loud enough and often enough, people will start to believe you. (A bit like they did with Sunny Delight in the days before it started turning children orange.) And that's probably what's happened with cocaine.

Anyway, my cocaine habit lasted for six, fattish lines. Next week, I'll spend my money at Rules, instead, confident in the knowledge that their steak and kidney pies aren't responsible for that many crime waves.