Monday, 29 October 2012
“That’s unusual” I say, as I look up at the sun that has a plaster on it’s face and singing “It’s getting hot in here” whilst removing various items of clothing. Then I remember I’m in Spain, and not in England, so a stripping sun singing Nelly songs isn’t that unusual. I am currently accompanying my mum on a post-dinner walk. It is a pleasant yet uncomfortable walk, partly due to these flip-flops that are flipping and flopping in all the wrong directions. But mainly because every other shop we pass has a caboodle of T-shirts on show, with non-family friendly gags such as a picture of sheep with the word ‘SILF’ underneath it.....or towels with heavily chested topless women, in uniforms no police force or fire brigade would ever approve. I haven’t felt this embarrassed since I texted a girl at work ‘LOL’ forgetting she could see me and I wasn’t even close to laughing out loud. A mosquito is having a picnic on my neck, nibbling away. I make a mental note to pass this off as a love bite to my friends back home. My mum seems equally as uncomfortable as we pass a t-shirt displaying several sex positions I’m not sure lizards would actually be able to perform. She quickly detours and slips into a shop labelled ‘Supermarket’ but what British supermarkets would laugh at and pick on in the playground. It is clearly a Newsagents. The newsagent greets my mum with an ‘Olla’. My mum looks at the lady’s hands then walks on, clearly thinking that she had said ‘Voila’ and was just a terrible magician. I follow my mum as she dances down the isle looking at the various items begging to be bought. She stops and considers a range of peanuts, giving them great thought as though trying to pick an Instagram filter. I keep a safe distance, well aware of the dangers nuts pose to my well being. I’ve had that battle before. As I give the peanuts a dirty look something catches my eye. On the shelf below is a collection of ornaments. Wooden ornaments.Wooden ornaments, delicately hand crafted into undeniable PENISES!! THAT’S RIGHT MY FRIENDS!!….and you, random stranger who Googled ‘ridiculously handsome and talented young man’ and found your way here. A WHOLE HERD OF THEM!! PENISES!! WITH THEIR HEADS HELD HIGH!! PROUDLY INSCRIBED WITH ‘MALLORCA’ ACROSS THEIR CHESTS!! BOASTING VERY GENEROUS PRICES!! My imaginary military training kicks in and I quickly dive in front of them, pushing my mother back. “LOOK MUM!! LOOK AT THAT AMAZING TIN OF BAKED BEANS OVER THERE!!!” I say, pointing at the opposite direction. “IT’S….IT’S AMAZING!!' I continue, probably using the word ‘amazing’ a little too fast and loose, overselling what is actually the same tin of Heinz beans my mum currently has in her kitchen cupboard. I hurry her away and we turn the corner and proceed down the second isle.
We stare at the most unappealing bars of chocolate known to man, they look as old as Spain itself!! We catch each others eye and share a hearty laugh…an expression I don’t really understand…..I mean, do you laugh so much your heart pops up to say hi? Or does it have a chuckle while your other organs sit there like “what’s up with Fred?” …..either way, if ever we have had a hearty laugh, it is now, as it lasts longer than the debate about whether Tomato Ketchup should be stored in the fridge or the cupboard. We continue down the isle and I hear a noise….the very same haunting noise you hear in a horror film when something dark and evil is approaching. I look ahead, half expecting an angry vampire who is appalled at the way Twilight has portrayed his people. But what do I see? AN ENTIRE COLUMN OF SHELVES WITH PENISES!! IT LOOKS LIKE A GIANT LASAGNE MADE OF SPAGHETTI RUGS!! CRUDE, LUCID, INEPT, PENISES!!! SOME BIG LIKE PANINI'S!! SOME SMALL, LIKE TIM BURTONS CASTING LIST!! SOME WITH DECORATIVE PATTERNS!! SOME WITH JAMAICAN RASTA HATS SMOKING WEED!! PENIS KEY CHAINS!! PENIS MAGNETS!! SOME LIKE FLUTES!!….OH GOD, THAT ONE ACTUALLY IS A FLUTE!!! DID ONE JUST LOOK AT ME!!? IM PETRIFIED!!! THERE ARE SO MANY OF THEM!!! SO OFFENDING!! SO INSULTING!! even more so than watching porn on your phone at a strip club. How will I get my mum past them without her spotting them!!? AND WHAT IS SPAIN’S OBSESSION WITH PENISES!!!
Mum is fast approaching behind me. I need a distraction!! THINK!! I break into a dance……it’s not perfect but it’s a start. I soon realise this isn’t working, she knows me too well, she’s not affected by my strange moves. She knows I do silly things all the time. Like when I wiped my fingerprints from that crime scene and left my touchscreen phone. I have to try something else. “MUM!! LOOK AT THIS MILKSHAKE!! IT HAS A SMILING PARROT ON IT!!! It’s working, she’s gliding towards me. “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS!!? HAH….PARROTS DON’T DRINK MILKSHAKES!!” I exclaim, forcing out the most disbelief my face can muster. She continues to follow me as though I was a master Tweeter. Can’t say I blame her…It’s a milkshake WITH A SMILING PARROT ON IT!! As far as milkshakes go this is pretty fascinating!! We move in unison as I guide her past the castle of genitalia. I can’t believe I done it!! YOU LOSE MINI PENIS LAND!!! YOU WONT TAINT MY MOTHERS EYES WITH YOUR DIRTY INDECENT EXPOSURE!! AWAY WITH YOU!! YOU WILL NEVER GET THE PLEASURE OF CATCHING HER ATTENTION!! YOU SHALL NOT PLUNDER HER INNOCENCE!! GO TAKE A COLD SHOWER EVIL PHALLUSES!!! Taking no chances I continue to navigate her towards the door. “At the roundabout, take the first exit”…..Mum gives me a look then stops me in front of the newsagent, slash magician. “Hey Dan, do you need a lighter?”. I look at her, concerned. She knows I don't smoke. Did she eat one of those old chocolate bars!? “I don’t smoke, why would I need a lighter?” I ask before looking in the direction she is pointing to, only to find an assortment of lighters shaped like penises with smiley faces on them.
Sunday, 5 August 2012
So I'm in my kitchen as a repair man works on our washing machine. Despite my begging and pleading it refused to wash my clothes, but I guess that’s repair men for ya. The man, James, is explaining intricate details of the cause of the machine’s failure. I nod along, pretending I know exactly what he was saying, but for all I know he could have been revealing his distaste for his wife's sexual abilities, in Japanese!! I continue to nod along anyway because, in any case, as any house designer will tell you, there's always room for improvement in the bedroom. The man stops and takes a moment to make a delightful comment on the repair man who was here last week. "What a effin moron!!" he says with a look of disbelief. I stand there startled because I actually understood what he said and there is a slim chance I can now speak Japanese. "He ordered the completely wrong parts the bloody idiot!! He could have really damaged your washing machine if he had put those in". I cast my mind back to last week where I exchanged pleasant conversation with the repair man about tennis, and he complimented the extravaganza that was my morning hair. He seemed ok to me, he had a splendid neon watch.... but I have no allegiance to that repair man. I have a new repair man now who seems to know what he's doing, and if he wants to bitch about the last man, that's what will happen. And so, I offer my best insult in concurrence with his views. "oh.... yea, big douche!!" I say, shaking a flimsily clenched fist.
He scrutinises his computer screen as though he was watching cctv footage of last week's repair man torturing his daughter. "Says here he was working on it for two and a half hours!? What was he doing all that time?". I open my mouth and let out words, "He was tapping away on his computer for the most part..... probably on Facebook" I say, proud of my momentary wit. "Yea, or some online dating site" the man fires back. We both chuckle. I like this guy. We continue the banter. He says the man’s match.com membership is free now because he's been on there more than 5 years. I say it's probably because he has the wrong parts. We chuckle. I have somehow joined forces with this guy and inherited a common enemy. There is no faster way to bond than a good old fashioned bitching over a mutual target. I think back again to last week. That repair man probably didn't know what he was doing, probably hiding it by complimenting my hair. I was naive to think just because he wore a Hotpoint sweatshirt that he knew my washing machine. Sure, he had walked up to it like they were old crochet partners at the local lodge, but who's to say he was an 'expert'. Names are just given to people willy nilly. Like the girl with the dragon tattoo, why is she defined by that, for all you know she has a tattoo of a bunny under her left armpit!! "Blooming repair men eh" I say before remembering who I was speaking to and realising it was probably as inconsiderate as bringing a 'Get Well' card to a funeral. He looks at me like I would if I was in his shoes... with a face that says 'Did he just say what I think he did’..... and also...’these shoes are a bit big'. I quickly spit out a compliment to counter, ‘Well I’m glad I got you today, someone who actually knows what he’s doing’. He smiles, instantly lit up like he was a last minute floor tile replacement and Michael Jackson had just stepped on him. I stand there smug like a guy who knows he’s walking into his own surprise party. “I could do this with my eyes closed” he announces boldly, which seemed more about the last guys incompetence than his own skills. “There’s no washing machine I’ve not been able to tame” he continues. “There are some people who can and some people who can’t”. I look at him admiring the specimen of a real man’s man. The type of guy who needs no man to fix his leaky tap, or install laminated flooring. The type of guy who will screw in a light bulb whilst mounting a coat rack to the wall. Need a new timing belt placed in your car? James is your guy!! He’s the one you want to fix your washing machine. Last weeks repair man was apparently en route to blowing up the thing!! Clearly clueless, like when I wore a purple t-shirt and auditioned to be a Ribena berry...I’m not sure what the job included but they were very insistent on team players...kept saying they needed people who ‘mixed well’ with others *shrug*.
I put my apparent man crush to the side and we continue to bond over the uselessness of last weeks repair man and conclude that his skills would be better utilized licking peal & seal envelopes. James works his magic, unscrewing more screws than bugs under a wet rock. Beating a part into its place like a slave driver. Programming the machine’s control panel with the flair of a windows IT specialist. Some parts he actually DID do with his eyes closed. I watch as he plugs back in the plug and starts it up. “Here we go” he says. The machine makes the appropriate starting sounds. “Piece of cake” James says, which I hope was not a request because we had none. Then the machine does its routine pause that tells us in moments it will pump water into the drum. I stand there exchanging a face of satisfaction with James who is crouched by the machine. I can finally wash my clothes!! A moment passes..............We remain static, poised in our success................Another moment passes..................“This is normal” I say, “It always takes a few seconds to prepare itself”............yet another moment goes by. The look of satisfaction has eroded from our faces. James lets out an awkward “C’ohhh c’mon” partnered with a smile. I return a smile that communicates a common knowledge of washing machines being infamously slow starters.................A few more moments go by. This is getting really uncomfortable now. Here I have proclaimed this man as the best thing since Bob The Builder......he had boasted he didn’t need the trivial ability of sight to fix a machine......we have blasted the previous repair man into oblivion for not being able to do the job......It simply HAS TO WORK!! ………I have picked a spot on the floor to stare at as we stand there. I sneak a glance at James, he has done the same. The look of worry in his eyes is undeniable. I stare back at my spot as a few more moments elude us............FOR THE LOVE OF MARY, WORK!!! WE HAVE REACHED A POINT WHERE NONE OF US KNOW WHAT TO SAY. NOT ONLY THAT, WE CAN’T SEEM TO MOVE!!! WE ARE FROZEN STATUES, AVOIDING EYE CONTACT, EVERY SECOND PASSING NOW SEEMING LIKE HOURS!! ‘PIECE OF CAKE’ HE HAD SAID!!! WHY DID HE HAVE TO GO AND SAY THAT!!!?? WHY DID I JOIN IN WITH HIS ASSAILMENT OF LAST WEEKS REPAIR MAN!!! OH GOD, ‘I COULD DO THIS WITH MY EYES CLOSED!!’ THAT’S WHAT HE HAD SAID!!! WHY WOULD YOU PUT THAT KINDA PRESSURE ON YOURSELF JAMES!!! NOW LOOK WHERE WE ARE!!! THERE’S A HUGE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM!! ….’THERE’S NO WASHING MACHINE I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO TAME!!!’ HE MUST BE HUMILIATED!!! AND I’M THERE. JUST THERE, STANDING!! IN DIRTY CLOTHES!! STARING AT A SPOT ON THE FLOOR!!! WITH NO CAKE TO OFFER HIM!!! IT CLEARLY ISN’T WORKING!! NOW WE HAVE TO STAY HERE LIKE THIS!!! FOR WHO KNOWS HOW LONG!!! I WANT TO JUST RUN AWAY!! ONE MINUTE I’D BE THERE, AND THE NEXT, MY ASS IS GONE, LIKE NICKI MINAJ HAD SAT ON A PIN CUSHION!!! But then, a sound......water!! HAZAAAAA!!! We both stifle a sigh of relief. Oh James, how could I have ever doubted you!! You’re the man! A man’s man!! He packs up his tools and heads for the door. He seems a little less chipper, as if his confidence had been shaken. Still unable to say anything. I try a desperate last minute re-ice breaker. “Please excuse my morning hair, you came sooner than I expected.” He turns to me 'It is rather horrid isn't it'. Hmm, I want the rubbish guy from last week back.
Thursday, 17 May 2012
As a superhero who was showered with super powers on the lower end of the spectrum, I gotta say, I really wanted this film to be AN ABOMINATION!! I mean, while Stan Lee was handing out technologically enhanced flying Iron suits and emotionally activated gamma ray strength, all I was given was super human abilities, which sounds fancy, but really is just a fancy way of saying I am extremely human!! ... Oh, I was however also given the power to change my nose.... That's right! CHANGE MY BLOODY NOSE!! Like I can ever save the world with that!!!
I enter the cinema and use my severely normal, if not, below average 'seeing' powers, along with my 'ticket reading' power to locate my seat.... laugh now but I bet there are blind illiterate people still wanderings the isles of the cinema trying to find their seats! As soon as the film started, it was clear to me this was anything but AN ABOMINATION!! The screen was filled with more delights than a Turkish wrapper could contain. Seeing the selection of household name superheroes get together.....y'know, to fight crime... not in any sort of orgy way... was more exciting than a headline that reads ‘Leaked Nude Scarlett Johansson Pictures’. When they fought each other, I loved it... when they cooperated with each other, I loved it. Purely seeing them interact on any level was a joy.....It could have literally been a green veiny hand and a shiny iron hand having a thumb war on screen and I probably would have accidentally slapped a child in excitement. There was true chemistry between the characters...not to say they were separated by Bunsen burners and Glass Flasks...but they’re combined personalities proved very entertaining. This worked well because each character was established, and familiar.. and more importantly interesting!! So when Iron Man and Captain America are on the brink of an old fashioned back alley brawl that would settle a lot of unresolved school kid, playground debates, we sit there wide eyed, clench fisted, screaming out “KICK HIM IN THE IRON BALLS!!!”.
As I sat there, using my astoundingly unaltered human strength to lift my drink to my mouth, and back to the cup holder, I revelled in mindless, relentless action. Action that slapped me with a wet fish every time I blinked. Action that dressed like Lady Gaga and craved attention. I didn't feel worthy of seeing such action!! How did I get the privilege of seeing a spectacle of this scale!? Yes my wallet is a little lighter, but surely the average human being shouldn't be allowed to see such awesomeness. So I sit there thinking 'I shouldn't be here!' like someone had switched the gender signs on the toilet doors, or like a trolley outside the boundaries of the supermarket car park. But I grin, because I AM here, and I just saw the Hulk ragdoll someone like a baby with a rattle!!
I was so hyped up after seeing this film that whilst shuffling in the stream of people leaving the auditorium, doing my best hulk impression, I randomly head butted a guy built like a house, in the back of his head!! He turned round angrily, nose flaring, veins pumping!! I quickly changed my nose.. IT COULDN'T POSSIBLY BE ME!! LOOK AT MY NOSE!!!!