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thecultofnick

Eat up all my brain food and grow another mind

There's a car park near The HA HA Bar in Sheffield which has a parking meter that talks. Occasionally I wrestle with my sanity, I wasn't doing on this occasion. Promise.

Now, I've always wanted to have a conversation with a parking meter. This is because years ago, I heard my Dad swear and say that "these things must f**king sh%t gold". As a kid I took this literally and wondered what they ate which caused them to do that.

These sorts of thoughts become a subtle part of your consciousness as you grow older and for some reason Parking Meters have always been, to me, strangely anthropomorphic*.

So there I am these odd memories returning, looking at a parking meter which is saying in an overtly sexual voice: "ooh sir, put it away, you know you want to". It's saying this over and over again. It was a confusing moment. It was sat there little, fat and old saying this cheeky line to me. Everyone else was ignoring it.

I'm totally confused.

Then I remember reading about some "wacky" council thing about making messages that warn you to put away your valuables. One council has used 'comedian' Dave Spikey. In fact I remember reading the story with dread**. Our council has clearly just made their own.

Pah I sneered. How stupid. What trite nonsense. Deeply unfunny. I hate things like this. Actually, it is pretty funny. Bit of the nonsense. It's surreal. Not everyone likes it. That woman actually looked offended. Classic.

So there you go. Bit of wacky nonsense initiated by someone in -at a guess- the council, makes me smile. The world will never fail to surprise me.

NM

*Alongside electric sandwich makers, again because of my foulmouthed Dad whom I once heard saying;"For f#ck's sake, designed by the f#cking devil these things" when he burned his thumb in one.

**Click there to squirm.

"Mushtangy Shally bore yoo gatta ride" whispered Thekles The Elf

"Well have you thought perhaps that stand-up comedy might not be your thing?"

"But I really enjoy it"

"From the sounds of it no one else does"

"No, that's true. But it'll just take time. In the end they'll start to like it..."

"I think you'd be better off doing one of those serious news programmes, I don't think you're a natural performer."

"Well, anyway, I've got to go now Mum."

I'm out on a limb when even my mother thinks I'm wasting my time. She's supported me in everything I've ever done. I spent most of the day today licking my wounds and picking through the rubbish bits of my set. I've removed about three minutes of stuff. I'm left with about a minute of mildly amusing bits. No real theme to any of it.

The thing is I've got the bug. Just like my mate (who stormed it on his first gig this weekend) I'm hooked on the new sense of excitement you get from standing up infront of a group of total strangers and seeing if you can make them laugh.

In fact it's inspired me to see him do so well. I can hopefully learn from him and we can now work at it together. It's good to have a mate who is also having a go at this lark.

Tonight I intened to write as much material as I can then pan for chunks of sweetcorn in the piles of mind muck that I've spunked.

My contribution to 2000AD Review is up. Click here to read it: 2000ADReview.co.uk

NM

Athlete's foot hasn't been sorted today. However I'd like to thank Wayne who sent me a link to a site telling me about ways of treating it. I'm sticking to the creme I've got for the moment. Another doctor's appointment will be made tomorrow.

(Sunday) I don't know anyone who's regretted trying stand-up.

Woo! Chantelle won Celebrity Big Brother! Great. Because she's not a celebrity and she won Celebrity Big Brother! How funny is that?*

I'm glad Celebrity Big Brother is now over. I was one of the many morons who watched it and lapped it up. I can sit here and try to justify this to you but you're either responding in one of two ways, regardless of what I write:

A) You're ashamed to admit that you yourself did the same thing, even though you know it to be wrong. You lay there in your own filthy lack of imagination watching the raw sewage of "reality TV" and drank deep from it's cup. "Feed 'em sh$t 'til they like the taste" never made sense until now did it?

B) You're really embarrased for me and you think this particular 'blog confessional is a step to far.

In the event of either, any attempts to dig myself out of this and explain why I watched it are doomed to fail. They would only increase the horrible uncomfortable feeling that is now filling the room you're in.

All I need to make clear is that Chantelle winning was the final piece of offal that got stuck in my mouth as they fed it to me. As she cried "Live the dream", without any hint of irony**, the terrible spell of Big Brother was broken and I was free. I spat the human dirt out and onto the floor then rushed to get a glass of reality to vainly try and rid myself of the taste.

I know it's s#ite. I can clearly taste that now. But in eating it up I've contributed to a poor young woman's inevitable future confusion and dissapointment. I would like to take this moment to sincerely apologise to the person known as: "Chantelle Houghton"***.

I apologise for watching Big Brother and contributing to your rise and by extension, fall. There's a terrible inevitability about it all as the media waits to pounce. Kiss and tells, 'Chantelle's changed' stories and the hundreds of women who become upset that their 'normal' person for whom they voted, is actually not 'normal'**** at all.

Furthermore I'd just like to marvel at the number of people I know who have voted for her because they've fallen into the "she's just like me, she's one of us" trap. Human beings are so easy to manipulate it's awe inspiring at times. It's also scary that I am not one of those who is immune to this. If I was, I wouldn't know who Chantelle was. Which of course, in actual fact, none of us really do.

NM

Ye Gods! I erased my athlete's footnotes a bit ago under the delusion that this new creme I've got would get rid of it in no time. Fortunately for the five people who've asked me about these little bits at the bottom, I was horribly/happily wrong! The creme has actually made it more satifyingly itchy than ever before. Furious itching all weekend resulted in many a stolen moment of twisted pleasure. My girlfriend is on the warpath again though. She wants her old nemesis delt with tomorrow, or else!

*Ans: Not very.

**Duality of meaning is not something you should ever expect in the Celebrity Big Brother Live final.

***One day she'll put her name into a search engine and this webpage will come up. She'll read these words and this message.

****No one is normal. Everyone is unique and therefore deviates from the 'norm' in some respect.

Ingrid Boorman is your Queen, suckle on her toes. (Saturday)

Recovering from the excitement of doing live comedy I was today faced with a whole day where I had absolutely nothing to do. Nothing at all. Me and my girlfriend just bumbled about.

Direction was eventually found when I noticed my special bread* had gone stale.

"Lets feed the ducks with it!"

So we did. We went down to that park off Eccleshall Road, Endcliffe Park I think it's called, and fed the ducks. Once we found them. We'd debated whether or not ducks migrate and if they live in running water before we actually saw them. Loads of them, swimming around and getting fed. Brilliant.

I know it sounds rubbish but seriously I think I've re-discovered a new version of fun which I'd previously forgotten about. Go get some stale bread, go feed the ducks and I bet you enjoy it as well! I'm a cynical old c*%t at the best of times but throwing little bits of bread at ducks got rid of all that. I giggled away like a girl as I watched them eating the food and clearly loving it.

There was one there which was all green all over. It was a bit shy. There was another one which was really good at cathing the bread in it's beak. And another one that kept flying for no reason. At one point this one caused a mass exodus by flying for no reason and scaring all the others. Whoosh- ! In one go, they were all off.

I didn't mind. I'd run out of bread anyway.

Try it, I bet you like it.

NM

*I'm on the Gi diet so I've got wholegrain stone ground bread instead of the normal stuff. It's quite nice but it goes off really quickly.

(Friday) Pis@ing tea out of my nose.

So, I did two stand-up sets this weekend. It was exciting to do. My performances at both were distinctly average. I'm not very good at it yet. For some time I've been telling myself that this is because I've only done it a few times. This theory took a -slight- knock over the weekend when my mate, who's never done it before in his life, got up on stage at one of these gigs and absolutely f**king stormed it! Really stormed it! He was brilliant.

Hey ho. A life as a mediocre stand-up beckons me.

Still it's an exciting thing to do. I enjoy the buzz of it. The anticipation beforehand coupled with (in my case...) the dissapointment afterwards.

I heard a bloke at one of the gigs comiserating one of his mates - "It just wasn't your audience mate, it's not your fault, blah blah". That made me laugh. The idea of stand-up is you stand up and make people laugh. The 'wrong' audience idea doesn't really wash with me. You're either funny or you're not.

This is why I'm not actually telling on here where these gigs are happening or indeed giving any sort of detail about them that might help you to go and see one. I'm not actually funny. I don't want to waste people's time going to see something that -honestly- you wouldn't find funny.

I've had quite a few emails to my Hallam account asking where I'm playing. I've told no one because, firstly none of them are local gigs and secondly it'd be a dissapointment.

My first year of radio (actually first three years) was rubbish. The same is true of my first few stand up sets.

Go and see live comedy by all means though. It's good. Support local open mic acts. Particularly the local ones as I'm performing at any of them. When I've mastered my first joke I'll post a note on this blog.

If you do wish to email me it's Nick@hallamfm.co.uk

Thanks to the people who've corrected spelling mistakes for me via email.

NM

Ganga ganga goranga!

Tomorrow night I'm doing some stand-up at an open mic night. I'm very nervous about it.

And on the flip side I'm really excited about it.

The two emotions are the same impulse.

Like pleasure and pain, or so I'm told. I've never understood that. Someone beats you up and you get off on it. Madness. I don't think I need to make it clear that's not the sort of thing I'm into. Actually perhaps I do need to make that clear. I'm not. Seriously, I'm not. I know this blog entry started off about comedy and stuff but this bit isn't supposed to be funny. No. This bit is information for you. So, now that's all been cleared up I'll carry on.

Yep. The above nonsense is proof that I'm nervous and excited.

I'm off to the toilet.

NM

"Aves per fail my olsu sce yigr noegxy" sayeth Colin the Cat.

I haven't been asked to do a review of 2000AD for the fantastic website 2000ADReview.co.uk [link to 2000AD Review] for ages. My last one caused a bit of a stir after I called some of the stories "raw sewage". I admit I was a bit harsh, but never did I think for one minute that it'd cause the storm it did. 1000's of internet comic book fans like myself kicked off bigstyle as small parts of the internet lit up with angry messages about my "rubbish in the extreme" review. I was called all manner of names as the controversey slowly built over a period of days, culminating in some of the people whose work I'd written about stepping forward to defend themselves.

Yes, that's right, some of the writers actually posted on the message boards and stuff responding to my attacks! I'd clearly gone a step too far. When I planned it out in my imagination I never thought that the people who write for The Galaxy's Greatest Comic might actually be human like you and me. I certainly never thought they'd read little reviews by yours truely. Certainly none of them were ment to get upset by my -not so humble- opinions of their work.

In retrospect it was very naive of me to think they'd never read my vicious slaggings of their work.

Dissapointed by the fallout I'd accepted that my savage reviews had ruined the relationship I had with 2000ADreview.co.uk (despite them getting me a bit of work on a magazine called REDEYE that's out later this year). Clearly I was wrong, as this email attests:

Hi Nick,

Would you fancy reviewing this week's issue for the site? I'd need it by Saturday if poss?

Ta,

Gavin

Fantastic news! This means I'm reading all my old copies of 2000AD back to back this week as I asses the quality of The Galaxy's Greatest comic.

People often think I'm joking when I say I'm into comic books. I'm not. They're great and for years I've wanted to count "comic book writer" as one of my many jobs. This dream finally comes true in 2006 as comic book genius Danniel Harrison [link to Phlegm Comics.com] has illustrated a short strip I wrote last year called "That Bloke Off Big Brother". When it is published I'll make sure I mention it.

NM

"Kiig my bss jelcy buil eod ynu whore" uttered Throbeth The Miner's Son

I'm not scared of nurses and doctors. I've proved that before. Today was no exception to this. I finally went to see a nurse to get my ears syringed. I kicked the door down and strode in in a heroic manner. I had nothing to fear. This is a common procedure. There really is nothing to fear.

"Okay Mr Margerrison* before we get cracking I must firstly ask you a few questions. Have you ever had an infection, invasive surgery or a hole in your eardrum?"

Sh%t! I hate questions like this. How should I know? I've led a long and varied life. I may, in my wilder days, have done some crazy things. My memory is shot to pieces. I can't remember why. How important is it that I get these sort of questions right? I'm not scared. It's just. Erm.

"No, at least, not that I know of..."

After cautiously smiling she then goes on to tell me: "There are possible dangers associated with a procedure like this. It's possible that you may feel dizzy and naseous. There might be a slight pain. And you may get a small hole in your eardrum."

"What?!"

"Sorry, I'll speak up.."

"No. I mean. Why would? Supposing I don't want a small hole in my ear drum??"

She took a long hard look at me and replied "It's unlikely but we need to warn people about these sorts of things".

I couldn't work out if this was the sort of warning you get on the back of a packet of peanuts; "May contain Nuts". Or if it was the sort of warning you really don't need, like "ooh, I know you're only going to the shops but be careful how you drive. People sometimes die really badly in car crashes". If you were to measure up all the terrible things that 'might' happen to you in one day you'd never leave the house. By now I'd broken a cold sweat. She looked like she was ready to carry on. Sod it. As I never complain about anything ever I shrugged my shoulders and let the invasive medical procedure begin.

As it turned out I'm fine. I think. She said I might feel a bit unbalanced and told me to mention it if I did. All the way through the whole thing I kept wondering if I was balanced or not. I think I am.

NM

*She couldn't pronounce my name correctly. This is good. It means she's probably not a listener or (more importantly) reader of this blog.

Excitement is not really the word.

Over the weekend I was in my local pub with my flatmate and we got chatting to one of the barmaids. She'd voted 18 times for 'Shane' to win X Factor. I was aghast! Surely that's cheating?
What's the point of a game if you're going to cheat? I've never understood. It's a bit like cheats for computer games. What's the point? You type your cheat in, you get infinite lives and then you win the game. So what? You cheated. How is that a victory for anyone other than the game designer, who now knows even the hard levels at the end have been enjoyed by at least someone (a hollow victory though even for him, as they were enjoyed by a cheater). All you're really doing is sitting on your own in a room and telling youself you're a winner. Stupid.

She'd wandered off to get some more glasses from another table by this point,- but it still irked me. Think of all the cash wasted there. Furthermore it makes a rubbish TV show look like it's got more viewers than it actually has. 10 million voted? No, 10 million votes were recieved. Probably about half of that voted, at best.What also bugged me was that the people who've voted in this thing will often give you apparently sensible analysis of their decision, as in this instance: "I think Steve will manage to do more than be just a one hit wonder" - "I think there's a good possibility he'll hit the right demographic" - etc etc. Nonsense. They're often just repeating whatever they've heard Simon Cowell or the other two bleating the night before.

I have a friend who would often rant at large groups of people telling them X - Factor was the reason he thought democracy was wrong. I think he was only half joking.

On a happier note, I would like to congratulate Shane and look forward to him going on to enjoy the success of the last X - Factor winner...

That'd be one Steve Brookstien. Yes, I've heard loads of tunes from him recently. Brilliant. Almost as good as all the other huge talents that reality TV has spunked into our faces.

In fact, I bet you've forgotten who this Shane bloke is haven't you? Only I remember because I'm a local radio disc jockey who has to play his song once a day to women who should know better. To you he's just some bloke who was touched by the fickle finger of fame when you weren't looking*.

Probably for the best.

NM

*I'm a fan of culty stuff. It's nice to have little cool things that no-one else knows about. Like this blog.

(Sunday) Most people think these titles are rubbish.

I've put a hit counter on my website. It's unlike the other one I toyed with in that all the information is confidential. Furthermore it shows no apparent plans of wanting to put ads on this site which is something I'm morally opposed to here. It has a tendancy to ruin things. The point of this site is that it is pointless.

Advertising annoys me. There's an advert for some credit card or other at the moment which 'borrows'* the mantra of a book by Danny Wallace called "Yes Man"**. The idea is that someone has decided to 'say yes more' and has gone and got a credit card. In the book this story is naturally a bit more interesting and more focused on the first bit, in fact I'm not sure the second bit gets much of a look in. It's perhaps a tiny element of the story.

I love the circular arguments that surround advertising. They're pure evil incarnate. It goes like this: adverts affect everyone, those who think otherwise are affected subliminally so are even bigger fools for thinking themselves immune. Besides, look at all the money companys spend on adverts! They must work or people wouldn't bother, these companys are really clever you know.

Lets look at this argument with the sharp edge of logic in our hands shall we?

Firstly it presumes itself to be correct from the word go. Everyone is affected by adverts. People who think they aren't are... wrong. There's no debate or decent explanation just a flat smug, you're wrong.

"But, I can't even remember who did the advert for a credit card that I'm having a pop at!"

"Ha ha, that's because it's subliminal"

"But, it doesn't want to make me get a credit card"

"Yes, but it's subliminal. Besides it might not have been targeted at you"

"Why on earth not? My money is as good as the next man's?"

"Well I'm sorry but look at all the money companies spend on adverts. They're not going to chuck that away for nothing"

This brings me to the next bit that has always annoyed me. Companies are in some way big and clever and they don't spunk money on f#ck all? Firstly their intelligence is presumed on the basis of their wealth. Socrates is reported to have been no rich man - but I'll bet he was a lot more intelligent than your average Chair of The Board. Secondly, I've worked for many big companys and there's nothing they do better than spunk cash on stupid follys. Sorry. The whole argument is bulls#it.

If you want to buy something and an advert tells you about it, i.e where you can buy it, how good it is and so forth, you may well go get it. If you don't, no ammount of adverts will make you, unless you're an idiot. But persuading an idiot to do something does not make advertising companies really clever. It just re-confirms the stupidity of Bovine Britain.

Urrgh! And another thing, it's the smug nature of advertising and the people who perpetuate it that really get me. Like some sort of cancer it rots everything it touches. Including me of course, given that I work for a commercial radio station. Ruined***.

NM

* I presume it's been borrowed rather than bought. If I knew for a fact it hadn't been bought I'd be saying it had been stolen. However I can't say that, so I won't. It may well have been paid for. It's unlikely but possible.

** It's a great book. If you haven't read it go get it now! I mentioned it loads on the old phone in show and still get email from people thanking me for suggesting it.

"Ha Ha, see, that's an advert. I thought you were saying they didn't work".

"F#ck off out of my mind! I'm busy doing the footnotes. You should have mentioned this before."

*** If you're someone who can't understand why someone in my position would slag adverts off here's the bit of the weblog that is solely for your consumption. Everyone else, look away now! "Hello great mates. The above entry is of course a complex double bluff designed to get people to think that adverts don't work on them whereas we know they do, in a subliminal way, right guys? That way I can touch base with the common people, keep in touch with the mainline guys and really help to move things forward with 'Brand Margerrison'. So lets all keep paying each other's wages, carry on cramming sauce into the gravy train and hook up at a celebrity party next week. Even though I don't go to them because I'm too cool for school. Great!" Shiver.

(Saturday) Series 3 of: Curb Your Enthusiasm is Great.

So we went and watched "A Cock and Bull Story" which is a new film featuring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. It's been made by the same sort of team that made the sublime 24 Hour Party People film which was a film that never failed to make me feel profoundly happy.

Unfortunately this new one is not on the same level. There were good bits but there were also dull bits. Overall it's not, in my opinion, a great film. It feels half finished and a little bit 'cooler than thou' in places. I wanted to like it. It reminded me a bit of The Hitch Hiker's Guide film in that respect; here's a film that's average but you really wanted it to be good - does this make it better than average? You know the answer is "no" but you really want it to be "yes". Another factor it shared with that film is that on the one hand it's nice to see people off the telly doing a film but on the other you're largely laughing at it and enjoying it because they've entertained you in the past. A bit like meeting a teacher from school who used to be hilarous but now just seems a bit odd.

Let me put the handbreak on there. I'm slagging it too much. If you've seen it and enjoyed it, why not email me and tell me? I'll post a correction.

The reason I'm giving it a break is that unlike other films (say King Kong) it took risks and was a bit odd* in places. I'll immediately make exceptions for a creative person who is taking any sort of risk. It's the reason why I like Blur and got bored of Oasis. Once they'd got "The Great Escape" out of the way Blur were allowed to become unpredictable again unlike plod plod 4/4 yeah yeah Oasis. Urrgh. That whole Britpop era is filled with waves of embarrasing memories for anyone my age. Getting caught up (however briefly) in 'laddish' antics still makes me feel quite rightly like a c#nt.

NM

*Odd in both contexts here isn't a good or bad thing. I don't think. Actually this is a guilt footnote because I called Mr a bit odd. Actually, it's my blog. I can just delete his name can't I? Brilliant.

(Friday) Judge not, lest ye be juiced.

I'm at work today because me and Phoneboy and Matt Mackay are about to record a -ahem- Podcast. "Excitement" really isn't quite the word as three intellectual behemoths gather together in a studio to trade their wit and wisdom about subjects as wide and varied as... well, you get the idea.

We're playing no music, it'll be about an hour long and you'll probably never hear it.

How's that for a plug?

I'm actually a bit nervous about it. They're both good mates and it'd be really good if we could record something worth listening to. On the other hand it might be really rubbish, if it is I'd be more dissapointed than usual. Generally I like rubbish stuff to be entirely my fault. My career is littered with odd, halfwitted and sometimes plain stupid decisions but I take pride in the fact that any rubbish stuff I've ever done was my doing and mine alone.

We're also being really careful not to let anyone get too excited about the idea. The moment it becomes "a job" or "work" is the moment anything like that is f#cked. If you are a creative person let me warn you now; there is a long road with a sign post at the bottom indicating that it leads to a town known as BurntOut. You're on that road the moment you feel being creative is a 'job' where you've got to hit 'targets' and 'goals' etc etc. I've been on that road. If you're on it too, drive carefully!

NM

My athlete's foot bit of this website was, perhaps, prematurely curtailed after I got the impression that blahdy blah creme would stop it itching and kill it once and for all. I was wrong. It's still fighting the good fight, but it does look a lot less like a raw steak. My little podular friend is not yet dead, but he's not quite alive either.

You just never see a fat Giraffe.

There was a picture of Liam Gallagher in last The Sun on Tuesday of last week with the headline "Wonder Whale Liam". It showed Liam walking along the beach in shorts and a stupid hat. Written in big bold capital letters over the middle of his body was the word "FAT". This can only be because it was not apparent from the picture that he's looking a bit overweight.

You'd think perhaps the fact he doesn't look overweight would have made it difficult to write a story about him looking overweight. If so you'd be wrong. I don't know why I despair at such rubbish, it's inevitable that nonsense will be written in a paper like The Sun. I'm the moron for getting annoyed about it. Did I expect high quality journalism in the showbiz section? If so, more fool me.

In life I sometimes feel like a fly banging against a window, a look of sheer surprise on my little insect face that the same set of actions are producing exactly the same outcome. However in this rare instance I've taken action! I've cancelled my order for The Sun at the papershop*. It was a satisfying moment.

The only tabloids I'll be reading now will be the ones left lying around at work during moments of madness and/or severe boredom.

I feel a lot better for it.

NM

*I had an order placed for all of the day's papers mainly for use on the phone-in show. This has been cut and I now am planning to only read The Independent which I bought a copy of today. I'm a bit worried though as Phoneboy recently accused me of only reading that because it makes me look intelligent. I was actually only reading it because it's quite good. Anyway, he hasn't seen Star Wars! Imagine that! Madness. He's just started a blog actually. Apparently as a "mental exercise". Sounds good eh? Link HERE.

He who controls the past controls the fruit.

I've spent most of today just pottering about. This is the life of a local radio disc jockey. The morning was spent trying to make my stand-up set sound good. I'm going to do some more again soon. I also started tidying up my room a bit. Ate something other than porridge for breakfast*. Watched Deal Or No Deal**. Scratched my arse. Etc.

The thing about being a moderately successful local radio presenter is that it leaves you with loads of time on your hands. The "I'm Alan Partridge" TV series sums it up well. Poor Alan 9 times out of 10 he's simply suffering from total boredom.

My problem is that 9 times out of 10 this is something I really enjoy. Just pottering around.

The biggest event of the day came when I was in the middle of some particularly complicated pottering when suddenly I could hear again. Whoo sh~t! Everything's really loud. My olive oil in the ear thing must have worked. How odd. Oh no, I've lost my earing again...

Carry on pottering.

If I yawn I can hear. Yawn or burp.

NM

*Some Bran and dried fruit combo I got from Tesco's. Quite nice. Think I prefer porridge.

**I'm obsessed with this programme. Terry was up today. He's been a feature in the background for a while and he played the game really well netting around £20,000 with 50p in his box.

You love it you slug!

I finally went to the doctor's today. I've been putting it off for ages. And ages. And ages. I finally went. My poor little gammy ear and zombie foot genuinely need attention.

You see, I always find it a bit embarrasing going to the doctor's. I always want to clarify that I'm only here because my girlfriend wanted me to go. I can easily put up with any of life's physical hardships without any medical attention at all because I'm so hard.

A bit like Rambo.

I'll just sew the bast#rd up with a knife and a bit of thread.

So there.

You basta#d*.

"Okay Mr Margerrison, there's no need to be nervous. What exactly is the problem, what can I do for you?" he said in reply. This unnerved me because he pronounced my name correctly. Is he a listener? Only listeners ever get my name right.

Right, yes, anyway. I sit down, stop pointing at him and explain that it's my ear. It's full of wax.

"Okay" he said "we'll take a look, it's probablyfull of wax, lets look in the healthy one first".

Out comes the big shiney torch thing they stick in your ear. Apparently one ear is full of wax and the other is utterly clogged up with it. Fine. That's fine. Disgusting. Fine. But disgusting.

"We'll get some olive oil in there and have them fizzed next week shall we?"

What? Olive Oil? What?

Clears his throat and shouts: "OLIVE OIL !"

Not very medicinal is it? Next he'll be giving me leeches. Apparently the chemists sell olive oil for people like me (who think putting a cooking ingredient in their ear is silly) so I'll go pick some up. It's no different, they just sell it to you in a little bottle.

God I hate doctors. Apart from The Doctor out of Doctor Who. He's ace. What did he just say? Oh yes, I almost forgot. I tell him about my foot.

"Right, this is in your notes. How did you get on with the steroid cream we gave you?" he asks.

"I bet you didn't really use it did you, you little pervert. I know who you are. I've read your silly little blog where you've, each day, been chronicling your athlete's foot adventures. What a pathetic speciemin you are." his eyes seemed to say.

I explain that it hasn't seemed to work really.

"Steroid creme will usually work on something like that. Lets have a look at it shall we?" he replied.

"Good lord what an idiot you've been, leaving this thing for so long, letting it rot away. What did you think you were doing bragging about it on that website? Unbelievable. I can't understand how scratching something like that can give you pleasure. You've no self-fu#king-respect have you?" said the silence he left, as I took my smelly sock off.

"Oh" he gasped "urgh" he added.

"Yes that's right, it's fuc#ing hardcore isn't it? See I told you I was hard. Can't cure that with olive oil can you?" I thought to myself.

"Rightiho, well, I've seen worse. You need some blahby blah creme** on that. It'll soon clear up." he chirped.

NM

*I add a swearword here because that is what tough guys do. Everyone knows that. You c#nt.

**Yep, that's what it was called. So what? Obviously, I can't actually remember what it was called. Blahdy blah creme probably. Whatever. My poor foot has already stopped itching and I've only applied the creme once.

The final word of the sentence reveals it is about nothing.

I've decided to enter into the long hair lottery again. I had some food with a mate today and he's cut his. I'm not saying it looked rubbish, but he did for me but I am saying that I quite like mine longish. Also, with long hair, at night, I can stand in front of a full length mirror and dress up as a hippy. I like to pretend I've got hippy sympathies. I think the 1960's, like Communism, was a good idea which went a bit wrong*. In essence letting Ringo sing a song is a nice idea, even if it does result in Yellow Submarine.

When I say I'm entering into the long hair lottery I'm stealing my mate little phrase. I think it was a factor in his decision to get it cut. Anyone who has long hair knows that each day you have a new hairstyle. It has a mind of its own. One day your hair looks cool the next it looks like it'd be more suited to your scrot#m.

The reason you enter the lottery is because some days you get to look (in your imagination) like a rockstar.** This to me is a good thing because for years I laboured under the delusion that I'd one day be a rockstar. This sort of delusion leads to many embarrasments the worst of which was having someone at school play a tape of me with my acoustic guitar singing earnestly. Little pric#s saying you look a bit like a girl is like water off a duck's foot after that.

NM

Tomorrow, ten to 11. It's judgement day for my little foot, and ear and everything else.

*This is actually a sentiment I've put over before. Comrades. Only to be swiftly and neatly rebuked by the mighty Wayne who wrote:

"Hi Nick just read your blog and a question and an answer.What went wrong with Woodstock?Communism went wrong because it was never run correctly, all it was was a Ultimate Capitalist system, run simply by the Mafia. Unlike our Capitalist system were anyone can join the Party (which through luck, or chosen partner:0) rather than skill,) you have to be invited to join the Party in the Communist system we know of.Cheers Wayne".

Examples of Woodstock going wrong? Exhibit A: The fact it was declared a disaster area. Exhibit B: Woodstock II. No further questions your honour.

**My stand-up set currently has one funny joke. It goes like this. Hi, my name's Nick. I grew my hair long to look like John Lennon, ended up looking like Meatloaf. It has always got a laugh on stage. My set goes downhill from there. The reason it's funny is because John Lennon looks really cool and Meatloaf is a fat tw#t who used to have long hair. Actually John Lennon used to look cool. He doesn't anymore, he's dead. Well I guess he looks sort of cool. If he was singing in a heavy metal band. Erm.

(Sunday) Captain spack attack

A while ago I bemoaned my pathetic nature on this 'blog and the fact I never complain about anything ever. Ever. Well rarely at least. Two thing happened this weekend that worried me as regards this element of my character. Firstly I watched smug mind control expert Derren Brown on telly. He turned four dorky di#kweeds into opportunistic bank robbers. Actually, check that. I think it was 3 of them that actually cracked and one didn't bother. I was bemused by the programme in places. As usual it wasn't really explained properly. When one of them made the robbery I felt like somewhere along the line like I'd missed a meeting or something.

Anyway, part of it included a reference to the Milgram experiment which was an experiement where people in a cotrolled environment are told to electrocute another human each time they get a question wrong. The end reuslt is this human dies, or appears to. Look it up via the link if that explanation is as clear as dogs#it.

Anyway it represents the level to which silly humans like me are happy to respect authority and compromise our moral instincts. It worries me that I may be one of the flaccid little pric#s who'd go kill a guy just because some geezer in a white coat told me to. I think it's the same instinct that stops me from complaining about things.

In this programme Derren Brown selected dour people like me because we're easy to manipulate. He could get them to rob a bank. And they did. Does this mean I'd be a bank robber type as well?

Me and my little lady are sat in the cinema. There's about 20 or 30 people in there. We're watching the new Woody Allen film "Match Point"*. There's a horrible bass rumble. The sound is clearly bugge#ed. So what do I and my fellow humans do about it? Nothing. We sit there. We've all paid to get in but no one complains. Stupid. They're all potential bank robbers!

Or at least that's how the story would have gone if it wasn't for my plucky girlfriend. She went and sorted it out. One in 20. Madness. She's from Liverpool.

What I'm not sure about is this. I'm a wimp - does that make me a potential bank robber? What about my girlfriend (from Liverpool remember) she's the plucky complaining type. She's happy to challenge authority in the right circumstances. Wouldn't she be more likely to rob a bank?

At Leeds train station recently - got sent from one WHSmiths to another with a book in my hand that I hadn't paid for.

"Go buy it in the one over there" said the assistant; "Take it with you and use their till, mines broken".

So I walked out of that shop. Book in hand. Walked all the way over to the other WHSmith. Book in hand. Could have gone to get the train and not bothered paying. Didn't do that. Queued up and paid for the book. Absurd.

NM

Tonight is my last night with my athlete's foot. I've been told it's either that or my girlfriend gets out the old junior hacksaw!

*Very good. Go see. If I review it too much I'll ruin it. Only thing in there that slightly jars is James Nesbit's (the bloke off the Yellow Pages advert) appearance. I kept expecting him to order something out of Yellow Pages. Actors who do adverts are very hard to take seriously. Another person who I can't stand because of an advert is Adam Hart Davis. "Tax doesn't have to be taxing!" he chirps like an annoying teacher who you never managed to learn anything off. Used to like him, can't now. He's revealed himself as a twonk.

(Saturday) Thank you for giving me a place in your mind

I've noticed something rather annoying recently. The use of the word "we" is starting to seriously p#ss me off. No one is allowed to speak on my behalf unless they have express written permission from me, signed in triplicate, stamped twice and enclosed with the family seal. This includes people who write adverts for AOL and opinion pieces in newspapers and magazines.

There's an advert for AOL that goes something along the lines of Orwell was wrong, they don't control things - 'we' do. Right. Who's this 'we'. Are we talking about AOL the company here? Or we as in me and the bloke who wrote the advert? Or perhaps it's a 'we' which frankly has no place in that advert.

The worst offenders are people who write opinion collumns. There's a bloke who writes one in a magazine called Psychologies magazine who wrote a terrible article about how 'we' project our own lives onto those of the celebrity set. He wrote about how "we" really need to stop it and that the level of attention "we" focus on celebrities is unhealthy.

What this bloke actually means here is you. As in, you lot. You horrible scrotes 'out there'. What he fails to understand is that this is an illusion. The people he's chiding do not exist. Furthermore if I decide not to let him speak on my behalf and re-write the article it becomes quite a tragic confessional as his sentences dissolve into statements like this: 'I' project my own life onto those of the celebrity set. "I" really need to stop it, the level of attention "I" focus on celebrities is unhealthy.*

It's a more interesting article but I think he'd be upset if he realised what a sprout it makes him sound like.

NM

Doctors is closed all weekend. Will sort it monday.

*This is a fun game by the way. Take an opinion piece and re-write it changing the word 'we' to I. If you have any particularly good successes with this please email them over. I like getting good emails to this site. Nick@hallamfm.co.uk - subject 'weblog'.

(Friday) We see the past through rose tinted spectacles so

Urgh. I've got something wrong with my left ear. Because I'm a bloke it's not possible to go to the Doctors and sort this out instead I've got to work things out myself. I go to Boots The Chemist and look for something called "Otex" which has a great advert where the wax in your ears literally gets beaten up! Brilliant. Exactly the sort of thing I've got planned for any wax that might be hanging out and having fun in my ear.

Tsk, there's a big bloody queue of people at the counter. That's no good. I'm a busy man. Deal or No Deal is on in a bit and I am as addicted to it as a Chef is to cocaine*.

There's a security guard, looks a bit fat and stupid and bored. Bet he knows where the Otex is. I'll ask him. "Yeah mate, if you go and ask that the counter" comes his reply. Yeah, right. Like I'm going to join that massive queue. Little ar#e in a suit. He should learn where these products are kept rather than pretend he's doing security work. I'll ask that woman stacking shelves over there. She'll know.

"Otex? Not really my department luv. I think you'll have to ask at the counter for something like that". Wtht huc faek? What is wrong with these people? Do none of them know where something as common as Otex is? It's got a TV advert where it beats up ear wax. It's practically a celebrity. Nse cheeob!

I'm annoyed now. I really am. I used to work in Boots and I was a lot more helpful than these bunch of #uck nuts. Sod it. I'll queue up with these lot and ask the people who work behind the counter where it is. Then I'll go get it and queue up AGAIN!

Oh, there it is. Behind the counter. You have to ask for it. Ruined.

NM

This bit of my website concerns my battle with athlete's foot. It's a bit I will soon no longer write as I'm certainly really actually going to the doctors to sort my ear out. Really honestly. Got to go.

*According to Jamie Oliver's recent exciting claims . About other chef's of course. Jamie was once offered coke but he blew it into the toilet. Shame I'd have like to have seen him as a drug addict, see his nose fall out and watch his loveable cockney nonsense descend into something less sinister. It'd be kind of funny. To me.

watch me go red

I was driving along in town today, going to that nice Chinese place where they let you stuff your face for a fiver. Not part of the diet but my sister's up today so I thought we'd go out for a meal. Actually, she thought that, not me. But I agreed with her. That bit's not important. In fact only the first sentence of this paragraph is relevant to what I'm going to tell you.

In this one. We're going along and some #ickhead bus driver pulls out infront of me. It really was a bad move from a bus driver who was obviously taking the p#ss. I threw my hands in the air and snarled after slamming on the breaks. Looking up at the bloke with my mask of rage I was greeted with a cheeky chappy who continued to take the piss by grinning wildly and sticking his thumb up at me. I was shocked. He winked at me and carried on his way.

I couldn't believe it. He'd clearly just given me a nice big dose of 'the nonsense' and frankly I had to agree he was right to do so. Why I'd been so annoyed was beyond me and both me and my sister had a little giggle and then carried on our way. By getting annoyed about life I'd been in the wrong. The bus driver's sense of humour had made him the boss of the situation. I wasn't too unhappy about handing him the crown.

I think more people should use this technique a bit. The world would be a better place.

NM

I'm not even going to write this bit. I'm just going to get you to read previous entries and guess what I've done with my athlete's foot.

I ate a baked potatoe today which was exactly the same size and weight as my own head...

I was out shopping today in a supermarket and I saw a salesman stood there trying to flog windows or cars or something. He had a big display behind him and was painting on a big smile as his next victim wandered into view. I walked quite a way towards him and saw him repeat the following process about eight times:

1, Big smile on his old haggard face.

2, Outstretched welcoming hand.

3, Starts his patter.

4, Person he's talking to either politely declines his advances or, even worse, ignores him.

5, After giving a polite 'no worries' response his face crumples into a look which tells of broken dreams, bleak dark days and ultimately the rejection of another human being. A little map showing a country we've all been to - The United States of Ruined.

And so the cycle continues.

That is until yours truely walks past. He just ignored me.

Perhaps he'd had enough of trying to flog rubbish no one wanted. I looked over my shoulder as I passed him. No, he's trying to sell to that bloke there. He'd singled me out, and ignored me!

The little s#it.

I didn't want to buy his stuff, whatever it was, but I had felt sorry for him. I'd decided as I walked towards him that I was going to say, "no thankyou, but good luck anyway, have a nice day, man*". As it happened I'd rehersed this line so much I almost approched him, tapped him on the shoulder and said it. That would not have been good.

There's obviously something wrong with my 'look'. Perhaps it's the fact I was wearing my grey coat. I know it's not a good coat. It looks rubbish. Perhaps it's my greasy hair. I'm looking quite fat at the moment as well. And I've got a spot on my hea- Do you see what he's done? The mind works overtime on things like this.

I hope he's proud of himself.

NM

Bad news, my girlfriend thinks this part of the website is taunting her. Did I sort out my athlete's foot today? No. Did I get in touch with the doctors? No. Am I a waste of space? Yes. But it itches real good!!! It's like I'm having an affair. Which, of course, I'm not.

*I'm a hippy. Well not really but I'd have liked to have been. I often add "man" to the end of a sentence just to sort of remind people that the 60's and Woodstock was actually a good idea even if it did go wrong. A bit like communism.

Lost a quarter of a stone, not amazed at that really.

My last update was my 42nd update. Perhaps I should have made a bit more of a thing about that given the fact I'm such a big fan of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and that the number 42 is the punchline to one of the best jokes in there. However I didn't, because I'm too disorganised and don't notice things until they've passed. I don't think this is actually a bad thing though. Good jokes are often ruined by thick people liking them.

I was discussing this with a mate today, the fact that there are some people you don't want to read your weblog, laugh at your jokes or even be allowed to enjoy anything you do creatively. It's a vague thing but you must know the sort. 'Meatheads' is a nice word to describe them with. They ruin things for everyone. There's a great tirade on the fantastic SOTCAA website which sums up my thoughts on this. In fact I'd be interested to hear your thoughts: Nick@hallamfm.co.uk
The reason I mention this in connection with the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy is twofold:

Firstly I've just bought the film version (finally) on DVD. It's awful. No, it's average and therefore awful. An averge film inspired by a truely great: book-TV show-radio series. How can you get it right in so many other media yet balls it up in film form? I'll tell you, 'meatheads'. They're the reason it's been ruined. Pandering to thickos and ruining it for the majority of people who have a brain. In-fu#king-furiating.

Secondly I remember really clearly hearing some people in my local slagging off Hitchhiker's in a pub. Their criticisms were aimed at the more intelligent parts of the (average) film. I realised there and then that some people are too stupid to bother with.

I've debated long and hard if the title of my blog is too tw#tty or not. It's a close call. Me being proud of my ability to think is something that could immediately offend you on a base level until you swallow it down a bit and realise you feel the same.

NM

Getting hassle off the love of my life to sort my foot out. I've run out of excuses, I will call the Doctor tomorrow. Honest.

Richard Dawkins's thumbs

I've eaten loads of food today. That can't be good can it? It was all healthy food and on the Gi diet list and I've not gone over the total calorie intake but I think I've taken the urine* a bit. I can't help myself. I think I'm one of life's wee wee takers**, so to speak.

The reason the ammount of food I've eaten is preying on my mind is because tomorrow is The Big Weigh In! Me and Mr Boy are going to compare our respective sizes and see who has lost the most weight in this, our first week of dieting. It's not the first time we've measured up against each other and after our last encounter I'm quietly confident it will be me who is the bigger of the two. Erm, that in no way is a reference to our respective winky sizes. Did I need to make that clear? I think not. Ruined.

NM

Didn't contact the doctors but should have done. Got told off a bit by my girlfriend. Will do it tomorrow. My foot's a proper war zone at the moment. Like an alcoholic I'm having a moment of clarity within the madness of my scratching addiction.

*I discovered recently that women freeze up if they hear this word. I wonder if it's the same if you read it? Seriously, I was told by a very important radio person that if I use a word like that female listeners will switch off in their thousands or at the very least feel very uneasy. Bonkers eh? You live and learn.

**It's an odd saying, piss taker. Where does it come from? How does one extract urine in a way that benefits you and annoys the others? Does my intional non-usage of the phrase in my above blog double the ammount of yellow liquid that I've managed to take?

511 hits on my profile baby... spread the word (Sunday)

I sat on my replacement bus service today gloomily listening to a horrible little brat crying and screaming like some evil goblin off The Lord of The Rings. Its mother had no idea how to keep it quiet. She seemed to think the best time to tell it off and assert herself over it was when it had stopped bawling. This would immediately set the fuc#ing thing off again. Sure enough it wasn't long until another 'little miracle' at the back of the replacement bus service started bawling away as well.

This is something evolution has bred instinctually into kids. If one hears another crying it will join in and thus alert the rest of the tribe to the danger/problem. In this instance the whole coach was alerted to the problem: the little sprog at the front wasn't allowed its doll to play with. Brilliant. Thanks evolution.

I mention this because over the horrible screeching I was trying to read a new book about a type of monkey called a bonobo. It's brilliant. It compares humans and bonobos to each other with shocking results.

However as I read it I can't pretend I wasn't dissapointed with the discovery that I'm clearly not in any way 'The Alpha Male' I thought I was. I've been reading loads of books about body language and this sort of thing. More and more I'm learning that I'm actually what's called; a submissive easily dominated 'gimp'. I didn't realise this was the case, I thought I was The Alpha Male in all of my relationships. This is clearly not the case. Shame.

Still we live and learn.

NM

Ohh, it's looking cheeky. Nice and cheeky. Booking into the Doctors tomorrow. My Girlfriend will remind me.

Bloody hell... she's sexy! (Saturday)

I know, today's a good day to take the kids out to the cinema so we can have a nice conversation with them. Rather than telling them to "be nice a quiet while people watch the film, Charles" when they chatter away we can actually respond to their inane comments and encourage them to keep chatting. Brilliant! What fun we will have. That way people like Nick can feel like they're watching a cinema sized DVD player with the "stupid kids" commentary switched on.

As Nick never complains about anything ever he can then decide to move him and his girlfriend to another seat. Where he discovers some other incosiderate parents are doing exactly the same thing. So he'll move again. By which time, because he keeps moving seats and walking round the cinema with his long suffering girlfriend, it'll seem like he's the unreasonable one. All in all it'll be a great day out.

Amazing.

Incidently, March of The Penguins is a good film but go to the later showing to avoid stupid middle class parents chatting to their kids called "Charles".

NM

"Stop it! You disgusting boy, I'll have to stop sleeping with you if you keep waking me up like that!". "But baby, I can't help it". "That's the most disgusting noise in the world to wake up to in the morning Nick. You need to get yourself to a Doctors". "Oh, but it feels so good when I itch it".

Bit my long little fingernail off (Friday)

I bought a return train ticket from Sheffield to Manchester today. Only afterwards was I told of the replacement bus service that would take me from Manchester to Sheffield. Was the train ticket's price reduced? No. Only the standard of service given to me. Now I don't know about you but this to me seems like a bit of a rip off. Similar to going out for a meal and being given beans on toast when you asked for grilled steak. The beans on toast would of course only be beans on toast for the return journey. Erm. Not when it came out the other side, I mean. Erm. You know what I mean.

Well I was really annoyed by this. So do you know what I did? I bet you can guess. That's right, I immediately did nothing. I followed this up with a swift and angry series of nothings. Right after which I went straight round there and did nothing. Now I've decided to sit here and write a very firm email, to no one about nothing.

It's an odd but recurring facet of my character. Get annoyed about something. Do nothing about it. Brilliant.

NM

Oh dear, athlete's foot's looking nasty - girlfriend has put her foot down so to speak and it's time to sort it out via a trip to the doctors! It's dark days for my poor pet.

Proud to be a stinker

I'm trying to do the Gi diet at the moment. Actually, I should clarify that, The Gi Jeans diet by Rosemary Conley. I'm reading her book and sort of trying to follow a diet which sticks to her rules, I think. I'm not even sure if this really is 'The Gi Diet' which I'd heard so much about in the papers. It appears to be a normal diet with the letters "Gi" added as an afterthought.

That said I'm only on day three so it's not really right to start criticising it. And of course I haven't finished reading the book. It would be wrong to criticise the book before it's finished and wrong to criticise Rosemary herself, who currently is coming over as quite smug and self satisfied. I'm a bit bored of reading about how great her website, slimming classes and life is. She also explained how great Tesco is, which is a happy co-incidence as I bought it in Tesco*. How lucky!

There's a patronising tone to the book which I'm sure I'll realise I was mistaken about, once I finish it. Like I say, I've not finished it yet. However, today I made big progress and I've finally got to the bit where it appears that we're going to get down to what I can and can't eat. Unfortunately I had to go to work. So I'm still non the wiser. Ruined.

Give it time Nick. Or should I say: fat boy.

Last time I went on a proper diet it was the atkins. I lost a whopping 3 stone. It was dramatic and hugely rewarding. Changed my life. I've never gone back up to my maximum weight, only ever putting on a stone at the most. However, these days the newspapers and the mass media have decided that in fact the atkins diet doesn't work. What a fool I was**.

NM

My mate Paul writes: "your comment about the restaurant toilet key and the hygiene question. Following that thought through, would you help yourself from the bowls of nuts or mints on a bar or by the till? Just imagine how many people may have put their fingers in them after going to the loo and not washing their hands afterwards!"

*I'm sure this was just a co-incidence. I'd like to make that clear. Also, I hope this string on Sheffield Forum isn't true.

**I might get back on it if I don't lose weight reading this Gi Jeans book though. Even though it doesn't work I quite liked really easily losing loads loads of weight.

Jack Frost

Superman's theme tune fills the air and I smile (again) at my (rubbish and therefore ironic) ringtone. It's right in the middle of 'Deal Or No Deal' though. My favourite programme in the world. A recent obsession*. Looking at my phone it's not a number I recognise. Mmmm. I'm busy but it might be 'the call'. Perhaps that comic script I sent to 2000AD has been discovered by the editor and -- I'm getting carried away. Just answer it.

"Hello tis ish Owinch it's yow a cuntract ow pee ash yoo go fone?"

"Sorry?"

"Tut."

"Hello"

[angry]"Rish Tish Orinsh are yoo a cuntra or do yoo pish ash yoo ko?"

"Who's speaking please?"

"Huh!" [click- phone goes down].

I'm puzzled. At a guess that was someone from Orange trying to offer me a phone deal or something. It might not have been. It's almost impossible to say really. If you're selling phones or whatever and you're making the call to someone, trying to get them on your network or whatever surely a vague grasp of how to speak and a bit of manners might be a bonus? I'm so glad I don't have a landline. My mate Richard in Oxford has non-stop calls from halfwits trying to sell him something, or do some poll or other. It's absurd. Once they've got your number they're like a cat with a smurf.

I remember as a kid my mate Jon told me that if you blew a whistle down the phone it could rip someone's ear drums. I assume that's an exaggeration. The last thing I'd want to with this blog is encourage anyone to keep a whistle by the phone and perhaps use it on these people until they stop hassling us with their huge savings and special offers for special people. I wonder what the consequence would be if you blew a whistle down the phone at someone like that? Could you get done for assault? This presumes that my mate Jon, who was 10 at the time, was telling the truth and not slightly mistaken.

I'm sure he wasn't. He was the cleverest kid I knew back in the summer of '87. Furthermore, people in call centres have those headsets like Madonna. I reckon if you blew really hard their head might explode! That would be fuc#ing awful!! So don't go do it now!!!

NM

I can confirm that the cocky bird problem is nationwide! An email from the mighty Hull from Simon. Simon says; "It is indeed a national problem. I was attacked by one in St. Ives for my cornish Pasty and I've been regularly swooped on in Manchester. In France, it's the bas#ard crows you have to worry about!"

*Today's was brilliant. She quit on a banker's offer of £26,000 quite early in the game. The highest offer would have been £76,000 and she had £50,000 in the box. Noel said she was one of the best players and The Banker got annoyed. I think The Banker is a real person and will fight anyone who disagrees, people like them ruin everyone's fun.

Stop Richard Herring from stopping.

I'm walking to Morrisons to get a diary (oh yes, I'm that together I'm the sort of person that has a diary these days) when a pigeon almost bounces off my face. Now I remember as a kid my Mum telling me not to chase pigeons because it wasn't fair on them, "the poor things". All I ever did was almost hit them. I'd run upto them and almost hit them so they flew away. I was a nice boy who simply enjoyed scaring birds, on occasion. Usually during dull shopping trips.

My Mum asked me, how would I like it if I had a big pigeon do that to me? I didn't answer her at the time. I now know how I'd feel: really annoyed that these bloody rats with wings think they own our shopping centres.

It's my considered opinion that pigeons, after enjoying years of protection from the likes of people like my parents, have become a little cocky in the new millenium. The Great British Pigeon* appears to think it is higher up in the food chain than it is, and has taken to terrorising innocent people like me when we're on our way to Morrisons.

What I'm trying to say is; firstly Mum was wrong to stop me scaring pigeons as a kid and secondly if you have kids who, like me, aren't inending to hurt them, but are showing them who's boss, let them go mental! It's nature's way.

NM

One of my new year's resolutions is to go to the doctor and sort out my athlete's foot. It needs doing.

*Actually, this may just be a local problem, if any of our national readers are able to confirm it in their area I'd be interested to hear about it: Nick@hallamfm.co.uk.

One long fingernail on my little finger

I've got an enormous ammount of emails. I'm going to try and wade through them all. It's equally divided into emails from people who are saying the new show (with music and stuff) is good and then there are others saying it's rubbish (even though I've only done one show) and then others just about this 'blog. It appears we have readers! Quite a lot. I didn't expect that. I'll pop some of the emails up here but if yours never gets replied to or published here it'll be for one of three reasons:

1, It was a rubbish email. You knew it was rubbish when you sent it. C'mon it's Nicholarse you're writing to here. Don't send me inane nonsense. Well, actually, do send me inane nonsense if it's amusing or worthwhile, just put a bit of effort into it and engage your brain.

2, I didn't get it. Hallam FM's filter is overzealous. It cuts out even the mildest of porn, swearing, etc etc.

3, I haven't read it yet. We do get quite a few. Sometimes I simply haven't got time to read them all. They're one of my favourite parts of the day but sometimes there's just too many. Ruined.

This 'blog is a hobby, for fun and almost entirely divorced from my day job. I like that people read it. I don't want to know how many though. It's a figure that will go down as well as up and I'm not keen on having that bugger up anything that I may write. As I've been away from work for a bit the main surprise today is actually how many readers (going off emails) this 'blog appears to have got in quite a short period of time.

I hope it inspires other people to do one as well. I like the idea of them.

Right, I'm off to read my favourite 'blogs and then prep my show (with music in it!).

NM

(Sunday) Mother was right about that

So I'm in a nice Cafe, the only one open for miles around as it's New Year's Day. We're getting our last naughty meal before the resolutions kick in and I try to shift my excess weight*. It's a nice Full English Breakfast and I'm enjoying every minute. This Cafe is one of those 'oh so quaint' greasy spoon types which is actually run by people who are doing so with an eye to the 'retro' appeal of such a place. Fair enuff. It's clean and so forth. Food is nice. Girlfriend nips to the toilet. Comes back and announces that - "they give you a key for the toilet, it's locked so people don't go and live in it!". This is a good sign. The toilets are clearly well maintianed. One of my pet hates is rubbish toilets**. I'm off to the toilet.

I ask for the key. I go to the toilet. I unlock the toilet, it's really nice and clean. I have a nice visit. Everything goes well. I forget to wash my hands. I go lock the toilet and go upstairs and hand the key back to the guy who makes the food. As I'm walking back I realise my error and spot how f##king disgusting that system is. It's a good idea ruined by lazy and/or stupid people like myself. Dirty. Yuk.

My fault? Not sure. I'd like to blame them. Surely it's not that big a thing to go check on the toilets every 30 minutes? How does a key help things? I could go in there, soil the atmosphere so to speak, and still lock up afterwards. Silly.

NM

*I've opted to try the Gi diet first, then if it doesn't work I'll use the atkins diet. The latter works for me but it's a bit boring. This Gi thing might be good. Will tell in later updates.

**I used to clean them for a living. It's a horrible job and the fact I no longer do it means I feel in some way that other people should have to. It's hard to explain, but when you do a s#itty job you leave taking a bit of pleasure from the fact that someone else will have to do that in the future.

(Saturday) These haven't kicked in at all, lets have another.

So I was on a train. No scrap that. I was waiting at a train station. For ages. So I went into the cafe and bought some foodstuffs. I was hungry but they only let you get stuff on your debit card if you spent £5 so in order to make up the total I bought one of these celebrity moron magazines*. As I ate my food I flicked through it and spotted a silly diet plan. Some celebrity had put their name to it. It was a detox thing.

I wondered to myself if anyone ever actually put these diet plans into action. It looked so simple and promised so much. After yesterday's debacle on the toilet I'd become a bit paranoid about my weight**. I decided to take the magazine with me onto the train just in case I decided to follow... The Carol Vorderman 14 Day Detox Diet!

It'd worked for Carol. Surely it'd work for me. She'd condensed her secrets into one detox diet all for me. Brilliant. Or not. I had a niggling thought that I was being taken for a fool somehow. I imagined the fat stupid women who followed this sort of diet. I laughed at their pathetic nature and then remembered that particular herd also contained me.

On the train I noticed a woman sitting opposite me. She was clearly bored so I offered her the magazine. It was a close call, as in my embarrasment at owning the thing I almost said; "Want to borrow this magazine? It's not the sort of thing I usually read I was just upping my total on the 'till. I'm not saying it's the sort of thing you read. You look a bit scratty and stupid but I'm not rude enough to assume this is true of your mind. Oh shiv. Sorry. Don't cry, I just. Ruined." Fortunately my filter is improving and I only said the first sentence. To be honest I was so embarrased at owning the magazine I'd probably have been more comfortable with a soft porn mag in my hands. At least I could pass it off as an ironic statement. A celebrity moron mag has no duality of meaning.

When I got where I was going and actually looked practically at doing this diet I realised it was hideously complex and involved lots of cooking and no meat. It was also, in my opinion, a bit #hit.

This means that I'm no longer in the herd of desperate fatties who cling to a Countdown TV presenter's dietry advice. They've left me behind.

I'm not sure this is a good thing.

NM

*Not one published by EMAP magazines. Erm, in fact that's obvious because EMAP magazines don't publish anything other than great magazines. Anyone who says I said any different will have to prove it in court.

**This toilet was tricky for me to use. Perhaps not the toilet's fault but the fault of my fat body? I'd imagine a standard toilet would be a bit tricky to negotiate if you were a sumo wrestler. Am I getting to that point?

(Friday) I'll put this somewhere safe so I don't lose it

I'm at a mate's house. I need to go to the toilet. It's serious business. I follow directions to the toilet. I'm in a hurry. No lock on the door! Hang on a minute. No lock on the door? How can I relax without a lock? There's not many in the house but there's no lock on this door so someone might burst in and see my 'poo' face!

When I was a kid there was a brief period when our toilet didn't have a lock on it. My best mate would always - without fail - burst in and go "ha ha" when I went to the toilet. In the end I would sit there in anticipation with two fingers thrust up in the direction of the door. That way - ahem - I had the last laugh, because I was ready for him. However, the joke was on me because it became a sort of ritual which I'd enact even after the lock was fixed. On difficult days on the toilet I'd enact this ritual with a level of intensity you shouldn't admit to.

These days it occasionally re-emerges in my toilet repertoire. Not -however- in this instance. I decided to make my visit brief. This was fortunately a good decision as the toilet gave you no room to manoeuvre at all. Bending to wipe and my elbows are thumping into the wall. I had to be a gymnast. Infuriating.

NM

Got an amusing email off Claire who is my mate James's better half: I have just read your blog- I had thought of a good adjective to describe it but it escapes me now. The fact that your room is a mess and you have not sorted your athletes foot annoys me, but this probably says a lot more about me than it does about you! See you in the new year Clare (James' missus). --- This email I think sums up the thoughts of the entire female population. My sister, Mum, girlfriend and various other people all think I need to sort my life out. It's what new year's resolutions are for, I guess.

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