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thecultofnick

"No one understands you? For f#ck's sake kid! Get used to it! No one understands anyone. Ever."

I spent the day watching a TV programme about supposed 'alien' worlds which may/or may not exist - out there!!!

I know it sounds stupid but it was actually really good. So good, once it had finished I watched it again on the +1 feature they have on Sky. The premise was simple, send a load of brainy scientists away and tell them to imagine what life might be like on another planet, or in this instance a moon. Get all the things like gravity and stuff sorted out and then judging by what is possible on this planet, suss out what might happen there.

They came up with all these ideas like floating plants and flying whales and stuff. Only scratching the surface of it really but totally drawing me in.

It amazes me the thought that this universe is so huge it renders our own selves so tiny by comparison as to be inconcieveable. Not tiny like ants are to us. Or even, germs. Or even atoms. Even more tiny than that. That's us. Sat on this little earth flapping around.

Does an Ant worry about its penis size? We're smaller than an ant by comparison to the universe. Our concerns are very serious to us. I'm sure it's the same for an ant. It's just trippy to consider.

It made me think, if you could fly off in a rocket and go visit these alien worlds and you did stumble upon similar carbon based life forms to us. What would it prove? What would you do about it? If they weren't intelligent life, like dinosaurs for example what've you gained?

My head has been scrambled by the telly.

In the middle of the mayhem an advert came on which I'd not seen before where a big fat woman comes along and wobbles around talks about how she's not cool has a rubbish haircut and by the looks of it no friends. She nails the confusion with the line "Try telling me I'm not an athlete". Now I've seen the other ones with the fit women dancing around, they're quite good. But this one is surely a little misjudged?

If she's an athlete so am I! - oh fu#k. I just had a thought, is that what I'm supposed to think? God I hate adverts.

Website of the day: emperorowl.blogspot.com

The above site features some of the unused reviews I wrote for REDEYE magazine. For the reviews that were used you'll have to buy the mag. Or email me and I'll send them you over. I guess.

NM

"Hi... erm, I'm Kim Wilde... you might remember me... I'm off the telly... well... I was off it, now I'm on again..."

At what point do you interrupt the conversation of two total strangers? How ludicrous do you let things get before the sword of logic has to be introduced into their nonsense?

I cite the following TRUE example of an overheard conversation which was being had between two very sincere 40ish blokes in the changing rooms in my gym:

"Well I mean it's political correctness gone mad isn't it?"

"It's after that 9/11 thing mate, they've brought it in because of all that."

"Yeh - but how is dancing a sport?"

"I know mate, I know, it's CRAZY!"

This dribble continued for about 15 minutes as I stood impotently by wondering how that has anything to do with political correctness and 9/11? What's the protocol in these situations? Are you allowed to chip in? "Ah - yes, excuse me mate, you appear to be talking bollo#ks. Now I'm not looking for trouble I'm just trying to point that out for your own sake". No. That's not going to work.

Apart from extreme circumstances you just let people talk b#llocks and then, if you're like me, you whinge about it to your mates.

Website of the day: South Park Cartoon

NM

Athlete's foot is just bubbling away on my foot. One minute it looks bad, next not as bad. It's perhaps on the mend. I'm not sure.

A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go up (sunday)

"Cheeky cheeky monkey, he's made me forget ladies and gentlemen... he's -laughs- made me forget... ladies and gentlemen..."*

So I'm nervous. I've done my f#cking self-talk** thing and I'm genuinely nervous about going on stage. Ruined. Not sure if I'm more or less nervous than normal. Even worse we've got three leary blokes sat right in the middle of the room. They look quite disinterested in events. They're heckling the compare a bit. Lots of the people in this room seem to think live comedy is a bit like watching telly with your mates. Chip in with "witty" comments every now and then. Where's the problem? The problem is that like in say, a cinema, people around you have to put up with your "hilarious" comments. Fuc#. I'm clearly nervous aren't I? Why hasn't my self-talk thing worked? Shi#!

"Made me forget the joke there"*

So, I've got to shoot off as soon as I've done this thing. I've got a radio show to do tonight. Will that make me look like a prick? 'Oh - done his stuff and he fu#ks off after that does he? Not hanging around to see how the others do? Selfish cu#t.' Doesn't matter. I'll have gone by then anyway. Means I'm first on though... is that good or bad? Oh my God! They're heckling some of the other acts. What am I going to do?

"Don't touch it!"*

Talking to a bloke I recognise. He's called Dan, I think. I keep forgetting his name. I'm telling him I'm not too nervous. Play it down. Why would I be nervous? He says he is a bit too. He can see. He knows things. He did a joke about clowns at the last gig I was at. There's another bloke, tall with ginger hair. He was at my first gig. He won it as I remember. I've had a pint and a half of Guinness. Is that too much? Sh#t this thing is late starting. I need to get on stage, I'm on air soon. For f#ck's sake. Why am I doing this? I've got a perfectly good career in radio. But the buzz just isn't the same. They've called my name...

NM

*Quotes from my absolutely favourite bit of the first series of Alan Partridge series 1. Joe Beasley and Cheeky Monkey! Genius.

**Explained this in an earlier update.

Underthehills and far far away (saturday)

So... I'm doing some stand-up comedy tomorrow. I've been printing my diary of last year's foray into the world of stand-up on my other blog and it's interesting to see how the emotions are still the same now I've got a few "gigs" tucked under my belt. I go from blatant denial that it's going to happen to intense excitement and/or fear about it. I've been chopping and changing my material like a little choppy changey person. It's frankly, quite possibly, good/bad depending on how it goes.

I'm trying to keep my stand-up and my radio career separate from each other so in theory I won't mention my "gig" on my show or visa versa.

The gig I'm doing is a "Gong Show", so what happens is if they like you, you get to stay on but if they don't you get booed off. When I say 'they' I mean random audience members. I much prefer these types of shows. If you're a new comedian you're obviously going to be a bit sh#t. If you're a bit s#it you need someone to tell you to f#ck off. Otherwise people have to endure LOADS of #hit. No one wants that. Only farmers, because it's good for their fields. Erm. That wasn't a joke. Honest. Fuc#. I'm fu#ked again aren't I?

NM

So it looked like I'd killed it. It was looking smooth and flat but now once again the bumpy hilly landscape I know (and yes, to some extent even, love) is returning. That's the problem with the steroid creme, it does it for a bit and then it's game over baby. Blood on the bed. Yuk.

I'm just getting fatter and fatter (friday)

It was Katie the newsreader's leaving do today. I am now the second longest serving on-air person at Hallam FM. I had a moment where I looked round all the people who were there to celebrate her new job with her. In that minute I realised only John was here when I arrived all fresh faced and excited about my overnight show.

Hallam FM, like me, has changed and evolved over the years. In some ways for the good and in some ways not. 'Life is in a constant state of flux whether we like it or not. Something is either improving or deteriorating it never stays the same'. I'm paraphrasing a life coach bloke here called Tony Robbins. I think he's right. An infinite universe cannot allow constants. If indeed the universe is infinate. Which is-

Someone's split drink all over my girlfriend! Bloody hell. I hate town. Loads of people milling about like cattle. Right, I'd best go over and do the boyfriend thing. Do I get annoyed at the bloke? Certainly don't smile at him and say, 'oh that's okay mate' - as my instinct wants to. Just look blankly at him as he apologises to me. Saying things like "Bloody hell - what's happened 'ere then?" as he apologises. He's offering to buy another drink. Girlfriend doesn't want one. Problem is dissolving. She's said "that's okay" to him. Off to the toilet she goes.

Right where was I? Infinate universe. Yep. Is it though? It might not be. Erm. If it is it needs no 'God the creator'. If it isn't, it still doesn't. No. Erm. Reality bites.

NM

False start

Yesterday me and James went for a slap up meal at that all you can eat Chinese place, Jumbos I think it's called? Now I'm a bloke who has room to put away food. This stomach of mine is a biggie. James however is a skinny chap who has an awesome reputation for food consumption. I thought I'd try and match him in terms of food. We went up for our first serving (it's self service) and tucked into a plate piled high with meat and so forth.

Afterwards I was full. "Phew - you really can put it away can't you mate?" I sighed. "What? That's just our starters, couple more yet I reckon" piped up the Piekos. So we went for a second round. I went a bit easy this time, but I noticed his plate was piled higher. Half way through my serving I was hitting 'the ceiling'*. I soldiered on but James was up for more. And more. And some soup. And then we went for desert. Twice.

That was 2 o'clock yesterday. I didn't eat until 6pm today.

So, I'm stood in the pub with a few mates. I've eaten my first meal of the day not half an hour before. It's disloged something. It's toilet time. In a big way.

I scamper off to the toilets. In my hurry I almost go in the wrong one. Check, "Gents", yup we're right. Whoo! This is going to do some damage.... what the f#ck? There's no toilet? Just urinals? What the f#ck?**

The drive to work has never been so frantic.

NM

*Experienced eaters know there's a point where your stomach is full and you're from then on eating on borrowed time. This point is called, 'the ceiling'. It's important to put little quote marks around it so everyone can know you're a bit of a t#at.

**Usually I would have gone into an intricate and 'amusing' rant about what sort of a pub has no shi#ter. However lack of time and talent restricted this.

So I shave my beard off and there's this big wobbly double chin in its place.

I've always wondered about the anthropomorphic qualities of parking meter's. My recent encounter with a talking one made this fixation of mine worse. They know. They're alive. Or at least, they're slowly evolving something like human consciousness.

Today I encountered one which had the following instruction - "change is possible" - up on it's display screen. I was about to use a £10 note. What exactly does "possible" mean? I buy a lottery ticket occasionally, on the basis that it's "possible" I'll win loads of money. I write this blog on the assumption that it's "possible" that one day I'll write an entry which will somehow facilitate world peace. I plan what I'm doing tomorrow on the basis that although it's "possible" I'll die in my sleep, it's not too likely. Just yet.

Am I gambling with my tenner here? Is it going to say - "Ha Ha, I only said it's 'possible' I'll give change! Fu#k off fatty!"

Or perhaps I'm reading this all wrong. Perhaps this parking meter is like the other one and it has a sense of humour. That might imply it is trying to make some sort of funny joke. What would that mean? Is it mocking us silly humans? It looks at our world of war suffering and poverty and smugly smiles to itself "change is possible". Perhaps it's trying to help, providing me with a profound truth. I doubt it though. It's such an obvious truth. We all know change is "possible". That's what makes the situation so bad in the first place.

What's wrong with "change is available"? No dual meaning there. Or even better; "this machine gives change".

Or even better, "this car park is free, I love you man!*".

NM

* Hippy love. You know platonic. Not actual sexual love. In my experience sexual intercourse with Parking Meter's is not possible. Heavy petting is also awkward, you'll find that you're the one doing all the work and you'd best be quick because you're in a public place. Always use a condom.

"I was only following orders"

I'm getting interested in something called the 8-circuit model of consciousness. It's really fascinating stuff. The idea is that our mind is built around eight different gears. It's all really interesting stuff. Go on wikipedia's definition for a proper explanation.

How true it all is I'm not sure. You have to be careful reading things like that when, like me, you know f#ck all about it. That said, it sort of makes sense. Our minds work on many different levels. I've enjoyed learning, as I grow older, how to better use what I have.

Something else I've been reading about recently is "epiphonesis", I think. It's a concept in a book that I stumbled over. This idea is that our thoughts are something which come about as a consequence of our physical surroundings rather than the other way round.

You don't first think, I want a drink then go get a drink. You first think "I am thirsty" because of a physical process going on inside your body. The idea of "epiphonesis" is that all thoughts come through a simmilar process.

You're angry because the organism you inhabit is reacting to the situation you're in with all the appropriate angry responses, including angry thoughts. You're happy for the same reason.

The illusion of consciousness is an irrelevant by-product of your existence.

The idea that "they're all robots out to trick you" is only absurd because you yourself are actually a robot as well.

You don't actually exist.

NM

So what do I do now? It's fine, but the skin is thick over the top of it. It still itches and will, I'm sure, continue to do so. The steroid creme I'm using always does this. It makes it look okay, then as soon as I stop using it - boom we're back to square one! Well, this time I'm going to keep using the creme AND go to the Doctor's. I'm better but will get ill again if you don't do something!

Mr Munce is the king pin.

I was on the train yesterday. A Virgin Train mind you. Quite nice them. Got a plug socket on them. I plugged my portable DVD player in. Great! Looking round for my earphones. I'd had them before. Where are they? Bloody things. How can that be possible? "Well things don't just vanish Nick" my Mum would often say to me at moments like this. But they do. Not often but sometimes. They do! They vanish.

You know don't you? You've had it happen to you. Yes you have! But you just ignore it when it happens don't you? Yes. Yes you do. You're worldview just can't accomodate these things. That's all. As for me, I see things, oh yes!!

So by now I've emptied out my bag and my internal monologue is racing along the lines of: 'this simply doesn't make sense at all - I'll write a blog entry about this later, that'll teach my headphones a lesson"! Tsk! Things do not just vanish!

Oh, there they are. They must have fallen out of my bag. Erm. Ruined.

NM

I just trod in some catch it.

Signs you need to get a life -

1, It's 4 in the fu#king morning and you're sat writing out a list of "signs you need to get a life"

2, You've sat waiting for your favourite blog to update for half an hour.

3, You've wasted about 3 hours scanning the internet with no real purpose in mind.

4, You can have conversations on the phone with people that go along the lines of... "yeah I've got one thing to do this week, on Thursday".

5, You get excited about the idea of having a chat with your flatmate when he comes in from work.

6, You like watching the hit counter on your website and seeing it go up every now and then.

7, You're happy to listen to genuinely sh#t comedy files you find on the internet because it took ages to find it.

8, You take ages to write emails to people because you've not got much else to do.

9, You spend ages on Wikipedia looking at different things which aren't particulalry exciting but sort of interest you a bit.

10, You're often thinking "ohh, I should go on a diet, after I've eaten some of these chocolate bars... sod it I'll go on a diet tomorrow".

Any more please feel free to forward them on to the usual address.

NM

the thick of hit

I went to see The Mighty Boosh in Oxford today. It really was good. I would say largely it was carried by the atmosphere in the venue. Boosh fans are an odd eclectic bunch of people. The material they performed was okay though the best bits were culled from their early work. To be honest, that programme is so good they could have had a farting compettition and I'd have been fine with it.

They're coming to Sheffield on Wednesday and I'd be interested in reading a review if any of the readers of this 'blog catch it. The reason for this is I'm unsure if I liked it because I'm a fan or because it was a genuinely good show. A lot of the humour felt rather exclusive and there's a lot of fan-pleasing stuff in there.

I'm having real difficulty pulling together a decent review. I'm going to opt for an 8 out of ten, but I think that'd drop for a non-fan. But why would a non-fan go see it?

NM

Flip flop don't stop. I stopped. (Friday)

I saw a book recently for Live 8. On the cover it proudly stated that £5 of the price of this book went straight to Live 8. Ok. Fine. I thought that gig wasn't about raising money. It's about awareness. So where was that money going? What exactly were they raising awareness about? Big companys? Bob Geldof? Pop music?

It still annoys me that I watched Live 8. This is the power of Pink Floyd. It'd be nice to get them back on tour again. I've heard conflicting reports. The only way I can rationalise Live 8 is by thinking that it did at least raise awareness of Pink Floyd. Not all doom and gloom.

NM

Athlete's foot is looking a lot better. Bit odd how effective that steroid creme can be. For a bit then it buggers up.

Relax! Thoughts are only a by product of the body's physical processes.

Currently I'm trying to treat myself with fruit rather than chocolate. Five portions of fruit and veg a day? Where did that little stat come from? Is it truely a requirement of a healthy diet?

I've never really been in the habit of eating peaches but I fancied a change, so I took a walk on the wild side yesterday and bought four of the blighters. Firstly are you supposed to wash these things before you eat them? I rubbed it in my hands for a bit. A sure fire way of dealing with any pesky germs.

Then I bit it - and here's the surprising moment - I instantly remembered the phrase "a nice juicy peach". The reason I recalled this phrase is because the peach I'd bitten was almost bone dry in my mouth. Like a dry sponge. Utterly tasteless. Is this normal? I binned the offending item but am prepared to press on with the remaining three if peaches are in fact not actually nice and juicy.

Peach based information would be gratefully accepted at the usual email address.

NM

Suck my glove Mr Adams

I'm starting to enjoy my ambient CD that wakes me up in the morning. It's no longer a sinister addition to my mornings, in fact quite the opposite. You know. It's a soothing introduction to the new day. It also seems to help me to remember my dreams more accurately. I'm having some pretty odd ones.

Dreamt my mate got struck by a bolt of lightning because he was talking about anti-UN ideology. He was on a mobile at the time and his conversation had been listened to by a satellite - then he'd been attacked by the same source. The problem was that the consequences of this were tragic and very human. He was left in a vegetative state afterwards and me and my other mates were all trying to pretend that this wasn't the case. We were escorting him to work and making excuses for his behaviour, worried people would realise we were all anti-UN thinkers. The dream concluded with me telling my Mum what had happened and then my mobile made a loud bang and I woke with a start in my bed.

Ha ha ha. What absurd conspiracy theory nonsense!

I see ID cards have been brought in.

Oh and you're not allowed to smoke in public places, the Government is eager to control us even in our free time.

But for the moment, you're still allowed to make jokes about religion. So that's nice. Do you think that issue slightly obscured the ID cards debate? I'm sure that if it did this was just an unfortunate co-incidence.

If there's one thing I love about sleeping it's the clairty of my dreams.

NM

Athlete's foot is sort of clearing up - we've been here before with the steroid creme. This time I'm going to go to the doctors when it's under the sway of the steroids.

Pen pushers of the world un-tie.

My favourite programme in the world has to be Deal Or No Deal. Not in an ironic sense do I enjoy this fantastic and "extraordinary game"*. "In the history of deal or no deal"* I've enjoyed many a different cliffhanger and Noel has been right in saying that he knows "you'll be back"*. However today and yesterday I've started to wonder a bit as to some of the finer points of the game.

When they "randomly select" a contestant do they really or is it in fact pre-arranged who will be playing that day? I ask this becuase today they picked the 'fit bird' that me and Matt Mackay have been drooling over for ages**. Today of course being Valentine's day. What an astonishing co-incidence.

Also, what's the deal with the contestant always having a family member with them? That's lucky isn't it? On the day they get picked they've got the wife and kids with 'em. How fortunate.

Call me a cynical old bas#ard but, well. Just call me a cynical old b#stard.

Actually if you work for Endemol, and it's always possible, I'll shut up with these unfounded accusations if you let me come and watch it.

I, for a long time thought that everyone (outside of the TV audience) watched Deal Or No Deal in the same spirit of unkindness that I do. I.E wanting the contestant to lose as much money as possible and suffer genuinely bad luck. Unless they're particularly nice people, which is rare. Yesterday I was proved wrong about this.

In the gym watching a bloke losing money hand over fist, it's all going wrong for him and I'm chuckling away. Then at the last minute his luck turns "aw!" I cry and am surprised as the rest of the room cheers.

I'm clearly a cynical old bast#rd, you don't need to tell me that.

NM

*The Edmonds has many phrases which he uses during Deal Or No Deal. These are just a few of them.

**Ahem - I haven't been drooling. I'd pluck out my own eyes before I looked at another woman. I've got a girlfriend, and jolly nice she is too. I've no need to drool at other women. I only wrote that I had so that Matt didn't feel alone in his drool, Jodie, if you're reading this. Anyway, you like The Hoff so there's nothing wrong with me drooling. Even though I don't. And didn't.

Duckwad's adventures in space...

My sleep patterns are totally f#cked at the moment. I really need to get a grip. I was chatting to my mate Matt Mackay today about how easy it is to let the whole thing slip when you do a job like ours. Few extra hours here couple of missed hours there and boom you're awake at half seven in the morning drawing a rubbish cartoon strip for fun. Oh dear.

I got an email about my last entry concerning sleeping techniques which it's worth including here:

hiya, the reason it's sheep is because they follow each other. It wouldn't work with monkeys for example, because they could swing off at any angle, but it would with lemmings, or equaly as well with kylie minogue fans when theyv'e just seen her on the other end of the road. magic!!

regards, rachel x x x

--

Makes sense - sheep follow each other so they're easier to count. I bet there's a bigger story behind why we count sheep than that though. Shepherds falling asleep on the job or something? If you know send me an email: Nick@hallamfm.co.uk

NM

Athlete's foot is looking tough and cheeky after I resumed steroid treatment. I'm going to go to the Doctor's again. Soon. Probably. Really smells at the moment.

Secret log.

Mrs Sexy sends me a cheeky before I go on air...

I don't understand people. I really don't. If you're surprised, shocked or horrified at these pictures of "Our Boys" kicking seven shades out of a group of teenagers in Iraq you're not allowed to read this 'blog anymore. Go read Richard Littlejohn's instead.

In fact, I can say that without fear of losing readers because I'm convinced no one is shocked by any of this. The News Of The World can publish these pictures along with mock shock editorials knowing they'll gain readers because conflict and cruelty always sell well*. All the pundits in the mainstream media can chuff about saying how terrible it is.

I'd love to meet a person who firstly, supported the war and secondly was genuinely shocked by this story. It'd be amazing to see how they manage to get by in this world of ours.

"Ooh, I didn't think a war would entail people getting beaten up."

My grandad fought in the war, he never spoke of it until soon before his death. I really don't think we should blame the troops we send in to do the unthinkable when they're caught behaving like maniacs. Even if it does sell newspapers. Sorry.

I also think going to invade another country like Iraq in the first place without the support of the rest of the world was a bad idea. Almost the sort of thing a f#cking maniac would do. Sorry.

If you're looking for a nutcase you should look no further than the f#cknuts that run this show. They're the real terror tale here. Their crimes are a little more than kicking the sh#t out of some kids on camcorder.

NM

*Particularly with women. I've no idea why but women's mags always sell better if they contain terrible "real life" stories.

You're The Baby Machine - do your job!

Oh dear. I'm hooked on Chinese food. Pork balls - sweet and sour. Bloody lovely. Just eaten my second portion in as many days. I'm really thinking I'll have to do the atkins diet again soon, I'm getting very porky nowadays. You are what you eat. I think the atkins diet requires less willpower. It's a sort of all or nothing commitment that you make for a few months, the end result being you've lost about a stone or so.

We citizens of the world are divided into two types, those who think the Golden age is yet to come and those who think it is years past. I'm starting to think that we've passed it. There was a big story on the front page of The Independent today about how gloabal warming is now inevitable, no matter what the major governments do. We're f&cked in many different ways. The point I'm making is that if our civilisation is doomed to collapse, I think I'll do better if I don't look all fat. I'll be a more efficient survival machine.

There's a bloke called Wayne who often emails me about how we're running out of (or already have run out of) oil. I think that'll partly contribute to the collapse. I need to get slim pretty soon or I'll get left behind in the struggle.

Thanks to everyone who sent in nice emails about my moment yesterday.

NM

Yes I shmoke shpit shtrayte from ta row chit

Crying is embarrasing at the best of times. Crying like a big girl because you're not going to meet 'the famous rockstar' is profoundly embarrasing. Even though no one sees you do it, you have a real need to try and laugh it off. So you mention it in your 'blog. But at the time, the embarrasment of it makes you cry some more...

I've been a fan of Oasis ever since I first heard their first single 'Supersonic'. The song was like a revelation to me. It cut through the bulls%it and manufactured nonsense they usually play on the radio and spoke directly to me. There's a reference in there to Yellow Submarine which at the time was a real shock. It wasn't fashionable to like The Beatles back then and hearing that reference to them really surprised me.

I had no idea who'd made that song, as usual the DJ failed to give any information about it but it wasn't long until I watched some deeply pretentious late night discussion show. There were three or four people on there talking to (at a guess someone like Jo Whiley?) the presenter about what a drag fame was and how annoying fans can be etc. Sat in the middle of this crowd of d&ckwads was Noel Gallagher. He was clearly enjoying stirring them up with comments like: "Being famous is ace, there's nothing better than signing an album for someone, you lot don't know you're born". I was amazed at how frank and honest and funny he was. Then they played his latest single - 'Supersonic'. Awesome. I was in shock. Not only was the guy talented he was also not a c&nt. It was all a bit too much. I was a full on Oasis fan from that point onwards.

I went to their gig at Maine Road.

I queued up for What's The Story and Be Here Now.

I was (like everyone else) gutted at how dull most of Be Here Now was.

I'm a fan.

Anyway. Today I was told it wasn't going to be allowed to go help with the interview.

So I cried.

NM

Honourable mention

Oh dear.

Forwarded emails are often rubbish and sometimes genius, this one was enormously time consuming...

Email off: Girlfriend
Subject: FW: Very addictive!

Have a look at this if you get a moment...

http://web.okaygo.co.uk/apps/letters/flashcom/

--

So I did. And I got addicted. I've spent all f#cking day on the daft thing.

It's a picture of a fridge with loads of magnets on it. There's about 20 other people all looking at the same fridge. All dragging the letters around. It's a fascinating little glimpse into human nature.

Seriously.

My game on it is to try and drag the letters into an alphabet. Sometimes people help you and mostly people bugger it up. But when people help you... it's a beautiful moment.

I've therefore spent the whole day, trying to write an alphabet on the above website.

It's bug#ered up my head.

Matt Mackay is going to interview Noel Gallagher tomorrow. I'm going with him. I'll print an account of it up here on Sunday.

NM

Mug a dug.

I lost a day somewhere. It's Wednesday, but I've spent all day thinking it's Tuesday. Even looking back over my 'blog just now I can see where the days went but I'm abso-fu#king-lutely convinced in my own mind that somewhere along the line I've missed a day.

Perhaps I did, perhaps I was taken by aliens into a spacecraft where they did weird sexual experiments on me. Once their evil desire for human exploration had been slaked they probably decided to make me the King of their tribe, because although they're advanced in some ways they still haven't quite managed to simulate one thing - the human spirit!

I probably made a guitar out of rusty old alien instruments at some point and showed them aliens how we earthlings like to party. Yeah! Then I probably got all rock and roll on them and started saying things like "Go Dance to this rockin' beat you crazy green skinned mommas!". They probably loved every f#cking minute of it. Those crazy aliens.

Then once I'd really won their respect with the power of my music, they probably looked up into my sexy cool eyes and said:-

"Master, you have showed us the way and taught us the Power Of Pepper* now we see what it really is to be human, we'd like to help you."

So I probably said "Thanks Thugwat, King of The Skies, there is just one thing I'd like you to do for me. Now I've shown you the secrets of late sixties Britpop** I'd like you to show me something..."

"What's that master?"

"Why, the way home of course Thugwat. There's a little lady back there who'll be missing me and there's quality late night local radio programming to be made!"

"As you wish master, rock on!"

Then I probably woke up in my bed ... unsure if it had all been a dream.

Then I might have looked under my bed and seen the guitar I made on that alien planet far far away. I'd probably then chuckle to myself and look at it fondly. Maybe I'd even see Thugwat and his friends waving in the reflection of its beautifully polished surface.

That'd be ace. Apart from the sex bit at the beginning.

NM

*Sgt Pepper you d#ckwad.

**Major key tonality with occasional low-fi effects like the Wah Wah Peddle or The Moog Machine.

It was only a picture.

I went to Morrisons today and went shopping for bits. They've got these trolleys that you stick a quid into if you want to use one. When you put the trolly back you get your quid back. I've always hated them, they're one of the reasons I've stopped shopping at Morrisons when I do my 'big shop'. Being treated like a kid because there's a small group of people in this world who behave like kids always gets up my nose*.

Anyway I'm flapping about getting my little bag out of the trolley and talking to my girlfriend on the mobile (she's poorly at the moment) when I drop the quid and it rolls away. Under the rest of the shopping trolleys, where surely there's a small fortune of little pound coins waiting to greet it. In-f#cking-furiating. I'm flapping about now, with a bag of shopping, a mobile cradled under my ear and on my shoulder and a small queue of people growing behind me. I'm trying to look under the army of sneering trolleys to retrieve my little pound coin.

Other people are looking a bit bored by me as I block their way to the shopping experience of the day.

Fu#knuts!

I give up and walk off.

Only as I'm driving away in my car do I realise that if I'd asked at the desk I bet they'd have given me a quid from the 'till just to shut me up and move me on...

Now, I'm not suggesting that the (quite large) local readership of this blog do this but... I reckon if you were going to Morrisons in Hillsborough and you were one of the first there, you could tell them you lost a quid under those trolleys. In the event that they call your bluff and get loads of staff to pull them all out - there's loads - you'd be proved right and if not and they just give you a quid it can be a nice little bit of excitement.

Of course, I'm not suggesting you do that. It'd be wrong.

But if you said a mate had dropped it, you wouldn't quite be lying now would you?

It would still be wrong though.

And I'm not suggesting you do it.

NM

* I'm sure I've mentioned it before, Peanut butter jars with, 'MAY CONTAIN NUTS' written on the side, are a classic example. The more fool-proof we make this society of ours the more it becomes a place fit only for fools. To paraphrase George Orwell.

Looped intros baby - they're the future!

Just been told over the phone that the actual price of my car will be £170! This is down by a fair few quid. I'm therefore in a very good mood. It'll be really nice to get my car back as well. Been missing it big time recently. The thing is it's a bit of a bind getting a taxi to and from work, it leads to inevitable conversations about why I've stopped doing the talkshow and if I really believed all the things I said on it.

That said I like taxi drivers. I always have. They know what's going on in a city way ahead of everyone else. If you're looking to get to know a place, ask a taxi driver and they'll know what's what.

Never get into an argument with a taxi driver though. They have a secret technique they use to deal with that sort of thing. They'll speed up and then keep looking and pointing at you as they debate the issue. It's terrifying.

NM

Look at that enhanced audio press kit..!!!

Watched a film called Aviator last night. It featured Leonardo Di Caprio and was utter c#ap. I honestly don't think I've seen as pointless a film since the days of King Ralph. Actually, no it was worse than King Ralph. That's how bad it was.

It's about Howard Hughes, he was some rich reclusive bloke. I get the impression it presumed a lot of knowledge that I didn't have. I've never heard of Howard Hughes before and frankly I'm not interested. If you're making a film about him, draw me in and show me something about it.

Don't just confuse me.

Life confuses me.

I don't need films doing that as well. At least not without a does of wit.

It was odder than the Monkees' film "Head" but odd in a dull way. "Head" is odd in a good way. Go get "Head" watch that.

NM

PS - Blogger seems to be playing up a bit. It's erasing things for no reason!

Badger Badger Burning Bright, Burst Big Bubbles By Being Bite?

My girlfriend now has a computer so I'm able to update this at her house if I like. I really should get a computer but I just don't earn enough money to justify it. It annoys me that people assume that I earn large sums of money when I don't. I think I'd prefer it the other way round. That way people think you've made a real effort when you buy them dinner or a nice present or something.

I think the world would be a nicer place if everyone earned the same ammount of money, regardless of what they did. Then I think why would anyone do the sh%tty jobs like cleaning toilets and stuff if they could get paid exactly the same ammount if they did bar work or something. Then I think that actually cleaning and bar work pay about the same, more even, if you're doing bar work. Then I wonder why the he%l people clean toilets at all?

Then I remember that I used to do that at Morrison's superstore. Clean the f%cking toilets. That really was a s%it job. When you do something like that you get a mean glimpse at the dark underbelly of humanity. Couple of examples of this would include going for a number two and missing! How the hell do you do that? Actually c%ap on top of the loo seat? What's going on there?* If you see a toliet that's blocked what you gonna do? Use the other one right? Not everyone does. Some people carry on regardless.

As a young lad, cleaning toilets was not a healthy experience for my psyche. "Ooh, women's toilets, where real ladies bottoms have been" passed through my mind more than once.

But it has given me as unique look at the world. Just remember, no matter how great and good someone is, they go and use the toilet. And the person who cleans it gets paid less than them.

I'm watching SuperNanny at the moment, she's oddly attractive. I would usually have written about that but this is, as I said earlier, my girlfriend's computer.

NM

*Thanks to Phoneboy for a partial answer to this question. Apparently some people balance above the toilet and could perhaps cr%p on the rim of the toilet. I say partial answer in that I've seen that and also seen the lid, closed and crapp%d upon! Some people are awe inspiringly disgusting.

The call of pubic service

I had enormous difficulty sleeping last night. Inosmnia is something I've suffered with all my life. The thing is you have to suss out exactly when you're going to give up and admit there's no chance of you sleeping. I was "tossing and turning" all night. Four times in total. Still sleep eluded me.

In the end I decided to write more stand-up material. Things often seem funnier to me in the middle of the night. It's the legacy of getting "giddy" when I was a kid after not going to bed on time. I seem to be alone amongst adults in that lack of sleep still makes me "giddy" rather than grumpy.

In fact I remember me and a mate staying up all night once and drinking cups of tea because we'd been told that it was a bit like LSD or something. We were only young and stupid. We ended up feeling tired and getting very "giddy" and going to the toilet a lot. It was a good night. I brought the incident up in my best man's speech at his wedding.

The above is an example of the way in which your mind can wander when you're staring at the ceiling, bored, waiting to go to sleep.

Tried all the tricks in the book*:

- Drink a cup of warm milk.

- Stare at the ceiling for ages then close your eyes and drift away.

- Count sheep**.

- Breathing exercisies.

Ye Gods! Insomnia! It's a bloody nightmare.

Or not.

NM

*Have you any other ideas as to how you can get to sleep?
**Why sheep? I've never understood that. Email me if you know the answer - Nick@hallamfm.co.uk

Jackson Browne "Looking East"

I went to get my car's MOT today. I absolutely hate having that done. I'm totally out of my depth with cars. I drove in to the mechanics where I was booked in and opted to act like I'm an uber-working class, take no nonsense "real man" type who knows all about cars:

"alreet Pal*, there's dee mowtor can ya dee dar rite see the. Me an' mi Fatha have luck'd a it rite an it's fane."**

He didn't seem to notice the hash I'd made of speaking in a convincing tough guy manner, asked for the keys and let me on my way.

Now I've taken my car to this garage before, it passed with no problems, an unusual event in anyone's life. That's why I was using them again. I've no reason to think they're going to rip me off. However I spent a tortuous few hours worrying about my poor little car...

Sure enough, it failed. Various things. Suspension, "wishbone"? and rear seatbelt.

Then the tumbling price situation over the phone made me worry even more:

What? It'll cost £180?

Oh, and how much is VAT?

And the MOT and Labour?

How much in total?

£230? Ye Gods!

What do you mean it might be more?

Arrgh.

I'll fill you in on Monday - it's waiting there over the weekend.

NM

*Yes that's right. I went for "Pal" on this occasion. I think it's got a nice level of threat to it. The first time I ever got called "Pal" was when I did my driving test. A Big Fat Northern Bloke got in the car, called me "pal" and within about 5 minutes failed me.

**Me trying to do a Tough Northern accent. I am northern, I'm not tough. I've spent years trying to cultivate an educated accent. This only backfires when I'm in a situation where I want to look poor, which I am.

Wiki-wiki-wik-wild-wyld-chest

"Oh I've wasted my life" breezes Comic Book Guy in a classic Simpsons episode.

I cried with laughter when I saw this. The comment stuck with me all through the story. I'm not dissimilar to comic book guy. I proved this today by sitting down at my desk with loads of work infront of me only to start whiling away the hours getting stuck into the slowly building argument that seems to be growing on 2000ADReview.co.uk after my latest review.

I've even been called a "fan with a typewriter" as some of the posters start the call for me to be permanently removed as a writer from the illustrious website.

Comic book fans are a scary breed. Most of them are in their thirties and have clearly missed the boat. Beardy, overweight and socially inept.

I fit in really well.

Actually I'm currently on another "sort your life out" trip. I've re-started my plan to use 'selftalk'. Something I allude to in my diary of a stand-up.

'Selftalk' is a self-help technique where you record a load of positive statements about yourself and then listen to them before you go to sleep. It was the subject of light-hearted parody in an episode of Friends when Joey used the wrong tape and ended up thinking of himself as a "strong confident woman". - what a hoot! Those guys are so zany! I mean Joey, as a woman!

Last night I downloaded a CD of ambient music which slowly builds in volume. You put it on a timer in the morning and it slowly and gently wakes you up. Lovely I thought, I'll get that lined up for the morning and tonight I'll start my self-talk CDs that I've made.

What actually happened is I listened to a tape of myself for about an hour. Couldn't really sleep. Then had an awful nightmare. Really bad horror film stuff. Then The soundtrack to this horror film kicked in. An eerie, ambient soundtrack which carried on playing even as I woke.

F*ck! What's going on?

I'll give it one last try tomorrow and if it has the same effect I'll bin it.

NM

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