Sunday, July 12, 2009


In 1899, Charles Pathé set up one of those new-fangled motion picture cameras on a busy London street and filmed passers-by. The resulting featurette lasted only 15 minutes (the camera was hand-cranked, so Pathé’s arm would have fallen off had it lasted much longer). Yet, despite its brevity, minimalist plot, and lack of big-name stars, Victorian audiences apparently queued round the block.

In 1972, Andy Warhole tried much the same thing when he filmed the Empire State Building. Unfortunately, popcorn sales for this one didn’t reach expectations. Probably because the whole thing lasted over 24 hours. Twenty-four hours of just the Empire State Building, without even a guest-appearance by King Kong, is perhaps overdoing it, even by “Children in Need” standards.

Which brings me to webcams. Not the ones people use to broadcast themselves shagging over the Internet, but those giving 24-hour coverage of town centres and other nondescript sights. Given that Warhole couldn’t turn the most famous New York landmark into a blockbuster, what, then, is the point of live coverage of, say, the centre of Bootle?

Nothing against Bootle you understand (apart from the fact that it's a shithole and its population mainly retards), it’s just that these things simply strike me as being another example of Internet silliness, of which we already have an abundance. Pathé had the excuse that, back then, motion pictures were truly innovative. And, besides, during those 15 minutes, there was at least the off-chance of seeing a suffragette chaining herself to something or a young Winston Churchill giving you the finger. But live pictures of Bootle, taken from a camera mounted half a mile away? You may as well be looking at a postcard (assuming they actually do postcards of Bootle).

The only webcams that strike me of being any use whatsoever, if only because they’re mounted sufficiently close to the “action” to make out people and features, are found at, and show Soho street scenes. Here, once you’ve located a suitable camera (I suggest the one opposite the Café Nero), you can successfully moon it. Then again, given the slow refresh rate of 60 seconds between pictures, this does entail standing around for at least a minute with your backside exposed. Which, given the proximity of all those gay bars on Old Compton Street, is perhaps not the best idea in the world.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


It must be terribly difficult for gorgons to get hair appointments. I'll bet whenever they phone up their local salon, they're invariably told that the stylist is fully booked up for the foreseeable future. Even if, by some miracle, they do manage to make a booking, their problems have only just started.

Someone like Michaeljohn of Albermarle Street, London, for example, is unlikely to want to deal with a gorgon personally, however much money she's got to spend. There's too much risk of being turned into stone if he inadvertently looks her in the face while inquiring after her health, her sex life, or whatever. He'd therefore let one of his lesser-qualified, expendable underlings deal with the appointment. This in itself would undoubtedly result in an inferior hairstyle. You can beat experience, after all.

Of course, gorgon hair, being composed of live snakes, is a problem area in itself. They'd probably go for you if you tried to stuff them into heated rollers. They almost certainly would if you attempted to trim them. So I'd imagine it's necessary to stun each one separately before you can start do anything creative with the hair.

But is it really practical to be that creative with gorgon hair? For instance, you might be able to give her what, initially, looks like a perfect perm. But two hours later, all the stunned snakes are going to start waking up and squirming all over the place, thus destroying all those hours of precision styling. Worse, if you've dyed the hair (some of the black mambas might be going a bit grey, and you want to disguise the fact), the snakes aren't going to recognise one another and will start fighting.

I suppose male gorgons, if there are any, have a better time of it. They can at least apply something thick and gooey to their locks, such as Extra Strength Brylcreem, which will stop the snakes wriggling so much. But bald gorgons are the most fortunate. Except during the initial stages of alopecia, when their hair loss runs all over the house and climbs up curtains.

If I were a gorgon, I wouldn't spend too much time in the countryside. If I lay down in a field for a nap, for instance, I might wake up and find a grass snake trying to fuck my head.

Friday, July 03, 2009


As everyone knows, gorgons are so hideously ugly that, if people look at them, they're instantly turned into stone. I, however, have exactly the opposite problem to a gorgon: I am so fucking good-looking that, whenever I pass by, any stones in the immediate area are turned instantly into people.

As you can imagine, this causes no end of hassle. Little pebbles, for example, become little people, about two to three inches high. But, unfortunately, they don't then adopt Irish accents and bury pots of gold at the end of rainbows which I can easily dig up to enrich myself, nor do they sit on toadstools and wear pointy hats with bells on the end. No, instead, the vast majority are usually eaten pretty quickly by cats and dogs, or else chased down rabbits holes by ferrets, and therefore, fortunately, the phenomenon goes largely unnoticed.

Not so stone cottages, though. As I walk past, they literally come apart at the seams (which can be particularly embarrassing if their occupants are having a bath or having sex when it happens), and each newly humanized block goes off and hangs around public lavatories in order to be buggered by homosexuals. Hence the term “cottaging.”

As for large masses of stone, such as boulders and mountains, those are transformed into fearsome giants which then attack major population centres. The reason why you never hear about this happening is that the Government imposes a blanket D Notice while it sends out the armed forces to destroy the creatures.

But this is nothing compared to what happens to human-sized stones. These, as you might expect, turn into pretty regular-looking humans. Sadly, however, because their only previous experience was being a stone, which isn't a particularly challenging existence, they have no knowledge or intelligence. (Indeed, they are barely sentient and are classed as plant life by some scientists.) They therefore buy The Daily Mirror and vote Labour. Consequently, every rock in my immediate area risks a return of Gordon Brown in next year's General Election.

What can I do to prevent this happening? I suppose I could endeavour to make myself less attractive. To this end, perhaps I should travel to Ireland and join aerobics and jujitsu classes. Then, pretty soon, like everyone else over there who does that sort of thing, I'll acquire a flabby, 48 inch chest and a humungous arse, and so, hopefully, will no longer be a danger to rocks.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Turning into a werewolf is regarded by most people as an embarrassing affliction, akin to herpes or BO. Therefore those with lycanthrope tendencies tend to quickly change the subject if mention of their problem comes up in conversation. However, I believe that they're mistaken. If you think about it, turning into a wolf on a regular basis confers quite a few advantages.

For example, your weekly food bill can be reduced dramatically. This is because instead of having to eat expensive, gourmet meals, you can survive quite contentedly on whoever lives nextdoor. Or, failing that, on a few cans of Pedigree Chum and the occasional Bob Martin tablet. You just turn yourself into a wolf each time you feel hungry.

Actually, I'm surprised that restaurants don't employ werewolves as waiters. If they did, they could bite the customers and transform them into wolves, too. Then the management wouldn't have to serve up anything expensive - just a few helpings of dog food would suffice. As a result, profit margins could be increased dramatically.

On the social side, lycanthropy is a positive boon. Conventional, non-metamorphosising humans have to keep themselves entertained in a number of bizarre, expensive ways. Going to the cinema, attending sports events, watching television, and travelling to exotic destinations, for instance. But if you turn into a werewolf, you can keep yourself inexpensively entertained all evening simply by retrieving thrown sticks, chewing on slippers, and chasing postmen.

On the other hand, there are a few downsides to lycanthropy, I suppose. Those who remember the 1939 film, "The Wolfman" may be aware that, because of 1940s' censorship restrictions, certain scenes had to be cut. I refer, of course, to those depicting Lon Chaney pissing against lamp posts, licking his balls, shagging stray dogs in the middle of the street, and being pursued by a council-employed "pooper-scooper". Nor was there any mention of the fact that he had to wear a flea collar almost permanently. Perhaps these omissions will be rectified in the remake, starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, which is due to open in November.

Whatever, all in all, being a werewolf is generally a good thing.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The King's Head

Many of us have drunk in pubs called The King’s Head or The Queen’s Arms. But have we ever given any thought as to why they're so named? This question occurred to me this morning, so I went to Hertford Library’s local history section to do a little research. My results are, I think, quite interesting and reveal that, until just a few centuries ago, all pubs were in fact required by law to call themselves after a monarch or nobleman's bodily part.

This was all well and good for such places as The Duke's Head, The Prince's Knee, and The Queen's Arms. The yeomanry of Olde England drank ale to their hearts' content in these inns, and helped enrich their local economies as a result. Unfortunately, not all pubs were so blessed. In particular, establishments like The King's Cock and The Queen's Tits.

The main problem here was the painted sign outside. Every inn in the land had to have one in order that the illiterates, who then made up the majority of the population, could identify where they were getting pissed, so that their designated postillions would know exactly where to pick them up afterwards. But this caused the sign painters no end of grief. How were they expected to paint an accurate representation of the monarch's member or mamilla? Unless the regent in question had previously moonlighted in the area as a flasher or strippagram, obviously no-one had ever beheld the sight.

At first, therefore, they would request a private audience with the King or Queen. Once they'd been ushered into the royal presence, the monarch would say, “Arise, my good sir. Is there some way we may assist you?” At which point, the sign painter invariably answered, “Yes. Can I see you cock?” Or “Show us your tits, please.”

After the first couple of dozen executions, the remaining sign painters realised that it maybe wasn't a particularly good idea to ask such direct questions. So they settled on what they imagined was an acceptable alternative: They painted pictures of their own cocks, instead, on the assumption that these would be more or less identical to the royal organ. Unfortunately, it was rarely so.

Artists all have small cocks. It's a well-known fact. So pubs throughout the land started displaying signs that were largely blank, except for a little picture of the teensiest, most flaccid looking pink, wiggly thing in one corner. Naturally enough, when word got through to the Palace, the monarch - who usually prided himself on being well-hung - flew into a rage and ordered troops to destroy the offending inns and beat up their regulars. Vast areas of the country were subjected to reigns of terror.

After a while, pissed off landlords came up with another solution: They ordered the sign painters to use shire horses and elephants as their models. Thereupon, hostelries the length and breadth of England sprouted signs with pictures of penises the length and breadth of England. They were really humungous. They made the royalty in neighbouring countries quite jealous.

The reigning monarchs were, of course, delighted. Many a King's Cock played host to the royal family for the weekend. The village in which the pub was located benefited enormously from the royal patronage. All was sweetness and light. But disaster was not far off.

One day, Anne Boleyn was visiting England, on holiday from France. She chanced to stop off at a King's Cock near Dorset. On seeing the sign, she exclaimed, “Fuck me! King Henry's hung like a fucking wildebeest!” Thereupon she resolved to have him for herself.

Well, we all know what happened next. Anne Boleyn went to the royal court, said to Henry VIII, “I want to suck your massive, throbbing cock till it bursts, then I want you to fuck me with it”, and pleaded with him to marry her. Naturally enough, Henry was quite charmed by this and got a raging hard on. So he decided to divorce his Queen, Katharine of Aragon, and marry Anne. This caused the reformation, the dissolution of the monasteries, and the Protestant work ethic.

Sadly, things didn't go too well thereafter. On the wedding night, Henry VIII stripped off and revealed his erect member to his new Queen. She was most unimpressed. Compared to the painted sign she’d seen in Dorset, it was as nothing. “You are fucking tiny!” she exclaimed. "I have seen bigger things chewing holes in a lettuce leaf!" Consummation of the marriage was an embarrassing affair, and the King never forgot this insult. Indeed, soon after his Queen gave birth to the future Elizabeth I, Henry flew into a small cock-induced rage, complained that it had been big beforehand but, because of Anne's witchcraft, it was now much diminished, and so charged her with high treason and had her executed at the Tower of London.

So as this sort of thing could never happen again, Queen Mary decreed that all pubs called The King's Cock should henceforth rename themselves The Red Lion or The Slug and Lettuce, or something equally innocuous. Likewise all the other silly sounding places, like The Queen's Clit, The Duke's Scrotum, and The Prince's Rather Loose Bowel Movement. At a stroke, much of England's heritage disappeared.

Anyhow, after this, never let it be said that you don't learn something of value when you read this Journal.