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Oh dear, I smell.

Andy Warhol once predicted that in the future everyone would have their 15 minutes of fame. He was of course wrong. He didn't bank on the likes of "Chico" who in my opinion arrived blinking into the collective spotlight with "has been" already written on his wrinkly forehead. I estimate he's had around 8 minutes of fame and frankly that's his lot. I sincerely hope he's enjoyed himself and won't be too dissapointed to find out that actually no one gives a fu#k.

Reality TV is an angry bi#ch on a mission to bite the fools that play with it, there's no doubt about that. I've just never quite made up my mind who is more to blame for it. Do we blame the hapless halfwits who've been attacked by it, the people who own it or the people who watch it with ready glee? There's no doubt it degrades everyone by association.

Many years ago the writer Desmond Morris argued that over population causes organisms like ourselves to turn inward and conflict with each other. He imagined civil unrest and physical violence but couldn't have predicted the Reality TV phenomena which I believe is an offshoot of human cruelty.

The thought that each person I see in life holds their own story, one as infinitely fascinating and complex as my own is lost when I'm in a crowded city centre. Instead these people become trivialised in my mind. Objectified idiots who are simply in the way of me buying the latest DVD I'm after. That's why I laugh at f#cknuts like Chico. He's not my mate, he's nothing to do with me. He's one of the sea of faces making an ar#e of himself.

Although come to think of it my mate Becky has met him and she says he's slightly creepy close up. "Oh my God he was horrible" - is a direct quote. So there we are.

I've lost my thread, wouldn't it be nice if you could push your car sideways a couple of inches if you wanted to? You know if you'd parked a few inches away from the kerb. Rather than f#cking about trying to reverse it and roll it into place. It'd save you loads of time.

Anyway.

NM

It's getting a little more itchy again. It doesn't look like it normally does. More like the skin of Yoda.

Aye aye, back on the old CANI!?

So, there's been exciting developments as regards my parking meter campaign. I started a string on the Sheffield Forum website[external link] about it only to be soundly smacked down by some bloke who's an expert on the Sheffield City Council's parking bylaws. His superior knowledge made him in this instance 'a winner'*.

Anyway, turns out that my additional 10p actually bought me an (albeit unwanted) four EXTRA minutes of parking time. The prices are a guide only.

This makes me partly pleased I'm such a lazy disorganised** moron that I never actually got round to writing the letter and also concerns me because I still feel I've got a legitimate complaint. I think these parking meters should give change. It annoys me that they do not. If I've only got a two pound coin it seems unfair that I have to buy a few hours of parking when I only need, for example, ten minutes.

One bloke on Sheffield Forum seemed to know what I was talking about. I've got one friend on there!

In summary, there's no doubt my political campaign has taken a bit of a well deserved*** smackdown but I'm still under the impression that it's a knock from which it will recover. My laziness permitting, of course. Actually if you take into account my laziness this campaign has been screwed from the start hasn't it? Bo#locks.

I'd be interested to know what the readers of this 'blog who live outside of Sheffield think about this controversey? Do they pull your pi#ser like this in Portsmouth? Do they simmilarly yank your yahoo in Yarmouth? Do bleed your bowels like this in Bournemouth? Do they equally massage your mamaries in Manchester? Do they? Eh? Do they? Nick@hallamfm.co.uk

NM

The skin on the top of my foot has gone strangely calm. It doesn't really itch at the moment and is quite smooth though pallid and pink. I feel sorry for it sometimes you know.

Got a good email today:

Hello Nick
You don't know me and to be honest nor I you, but I have been listening to your radio show from [...sic...]
Now onto business. Ever since you started your blog - I remember you giving the address out, presumably when you thought you were out the Hallam FM door - I have been reading it too. It's a funny replacement for your [...talk...] radio show, and it's a confort to read a like-minded man's thoughts. The only reason I'm emailing you now is to send you a link to a debunk of the 9/11 conspiracy. I thought you might be interested to read it:-
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/defense/1227842.html?page=2&c=y
Best wishes for the future, [...]
Neil
---

Nick's note - go see the video I got sent about the 911 conspiracy, it's getting quite a big following on the net now and regularly appears in the google video top 10. It's one of this blog's most popular links. CLICK HERE.

* I'd argue this is one of the reasons why the internet's so fantastic and is something to do with the fact I spend so much time on it. It rewards geeks like you and I for our knowledge and intelligence. In the real world people would have laughed at us both for having the conversation in the first place. They'd think we were missing the point of life. Here the laughter is something we're unaware of and therefore unaffected by. I can be as geeky as I like here and I'll never need to bump into the frowning faces of my peers.

**My blog is littered with examples of this, going right back to this one: last year.

***I say well deserved because it was recently proved by top scientists that all politicians are c#nts. By even dabbling in local politics like this I'm sullying my good name. I've dabbled in the dirt and been caught with it all over the seat of my pants afterwards. It serves me right in many ways for being a pompous ar#e.

So the previous one certainly put up the hit rate, shame that entry is littered with videos that don't seem to work!

I've totally overloaded myself with comic books today. I've written around 4,000 words for reviews which will feature in a magazine called REDEYE. I've mentioned it here in the past*. What I'm worried about is, the comics I am reviewing are all very niche market and made on a shoestring largely for the sheer love of it. I've just read one which although technically reasonable is, to be frank, utter wa#k. I'm trying to look for the positive but there really isn't one. It's a dull unstimulating read. I've written out my review and just re-read it before doing this blog entry and in it's present state I can't possibly allow it to be published. It's too harsh. My dillema is clear: should I tell the editor I can't review it because it's so bad or do I do the honest thing and deliver the truth?

Is honesty really the best policy?

"Hey man, what did you think of my stand-up?"

"You're not very funny, you didn't get any laughs and you look nervous."

"Um. Right. Yeh. Thanks. Honesty's the best policy."

How about this, picture the scene, you're relaxing with your lover after a particularly furious session of physical fun. You look over at each other lovingly and then honestly compliment each other:

"That was great, easily the fourth best sexual experience of my life.."**

- not a good thing for her or you to say.

The reason I raise all these points is because I'm worried I'll upset this person if I review his little comic book and put into print my thoughts about how bad it is. Print seems harsher and more final than a bit of nonsense on a website.

NM

A dab of the steroid creme and the skin heals up. Amazing. What am I going to do with this cheeky flaky foot of mine.

This is a great, very amusing website: www.mailorderchickens.com. Don't let the charity angle put you off, there's some genuinely funny stuff in there. Listening to the various people waffling on about chickens is the highlight for me. Nice and odd. Thanks to Phil Tarry for the link.

* My history of reviewing comic books is documented here, here and [external link to actual review of a comic]here.

**This is of course a fictional example. All my best experiences have been with my current partner and happened the last time we were together. The same I'm sure is true of her. In fact we didn't have sex with other people before this relationship started. We kept ourself pure for each other. We have a solid honest relationship! And she's got a blog. Which she won't give me the address of. Ruined.

Paris Hilton on American Idol with the creators of South Park? (Monday)

Today I spent the day re-reading old 2000AD comics in preparation for a possible interview with the "the god father of British comics" Pat Mills. I'm a big long time fan of his work and was very excited to hear that the interview is getting closer to becoming a reality.

Over the weekend my boss told me I was going to be standing in on the afternoon show between the dates 17th April - 21st April.

I get an email today saying that Pat Mills is up for chatting to us on either the 18th or the 20th in London.

Bo#locks! The only week I can't make it. I'm getting the feeling that he's about to join the big long list of famous people I never met.

We're going to ask for a different date but I'm of the opinion that this interview (which was my idea) is going to go the way they all seem to.

I hope not.

NM

Here's some videos I've found on the internet which have amused, entertained or shocked me over the past few days:

If not here's the direct link

This chap makes a snap decision and takes the obvious consequences of sticking your head in a crocodile's mouth:

Here's the link.

Perhaps people shouldn't stick bits of their body in the mouths of crocodiles...

Here's the link.

On a more interesting note this is a huge long documentary about whether or not the Americans went to the moon. A lot of my mates are utterly convinced we didn't, I'm still undecided. This bloke knocks his credibility a bit as the documentary pans out but Buzz Aldrin doesn't do himself any favours by planting him one. You'll need an hour or so to watch it:

Here's the link.

ET phones Holmes (Sunday)

It was my birthday today so I had the night off. During the day I farted about with my girlfriend watching the Dr Who boxed set her and my housemates had bought me. She'd agreed to stay an extra night so later on we went to watch and do some stand-up comedy. It was a gong show so the plan was to get up, get some stage time and do a bit of stuff. However given that I've been locked in sticky (now resolved) contract negotiations with Hallam FM for the past month I've not really had the time to focus on this new exciting form of expression.

That and the fact I'm lazy.

A gong show works like this: new act gets up and does his stuff, during this period a few of the members of the audience have been given cards. If they get bored they hold them up and then the act gets "gonged" off the stage. It's an ingenius device because it stops you from really dying on your a#se.

Me and my flatmate hadn't really practiced much at all in fact and the plan was to go up and get gonged really early. You can imagine our surprise/horror/dissapointment when we were told "as it's mother's day and there's not many in tonight we're not gonna do the gong, just get up and do ten minutes or so.."

Oh s#it. Both our faces went white. 10 minutes? We don't even have 10 minutes between us let alone seperately. This has gone wrong. My flatmate wanted to pull out but with only a few acts there that wasn't an option. Now last time my mate stormed it. This time he was just as funny but it didn't work quite as well in terms of audience response. To be honest I thought he was even funnier this time round.

The general consensus is that I’m improving. If you'd asked me when I came off stage I’d have agreed with that assesment. I really felt it went reasonably well and I appeared to be getting laughs. 'It wasn't quite as good as Middlesborough'* I thought 'but certainly I'm getting better'. Even the compare said so. I knew it could have been better but when I was up there I could see people's cheeky little faces lighting up with laughter at all the right times.

Monday morning and I'm watching the playback on my mate's mobile phone. All my old performing habits are back and frankly it's a really bad effort. The laughs sound miniscule compared to those I had in my memory. My presence on stage has gone right back to square one. Shocking.

The only good bit of comedy related news is that this weekend the boss gave me a call and told me he wanted me to stand in on the afternoon show for a week later in April. Not only is this fantastic career news but it's also a chance for me to make more of my freetime. It gives me a whole week in which to cram in a f#ckload of gigs. So that’s now the plan. I’m going to push for as many bookings as possible. By the end of April I'll be approaching the next level of my comedy career. I'm currently on level "POOR" but if all goes to plan I could be looking at "A BIT POOR" instead. A promotion in anyone's books.

NM

*This is still an experience that annoys me. It was a good performance. Seriously. What's worse is I deleted it last night in my excitement to make room for the newer performance.

Stolen by Owen Ryan

I’m reviewing shitloads of new comics at the moment and I can honestly say none I’ve read are better than the one I’m known for raving about that is published here in Sheffield and called Phlegm. I’ve obviously embarrassed the bloke who writes it more than once with my none stop flow of praise for it but f#ck it, I think he’s a genius! The comic reads really well and unlike some small press stuff I’ve read it’s a million miles away from ending up it’s own arse. The new issue has hit the shops this week and I seriously reccomend you go get a copy, each one is a genuine art event. The beauty of it being smallpress is that in years from now these things really will be worth a fortune unlike the mass produced comics people still try to flog on eBay.

This issue is particularly exciting as I’ve convinced him to use one of my scripts which I was going to send off to Viz magazine. It’s called “that bloke off big brother”. As it's been a lifelong ambition of mine to write a comic seeing the finished article in there was pretty satisfying. Even though the story is only short (3 pictures) it's nice to make my debut in a comic that I sincerely believe to be one of the most exciting publications out at the moment. I've no doubt that Phlegm will grow to be big news over the next few years and it's exciting to help it in any way I can.

If you look on the sidebar of this blog there's a link over to Phlegm comics. Follow it if you want to read more. I also hear that the local papers (I wonder who tipped them off) in South Yorkshire are picking up on the story now as well so if you live round here make sure you keep an eye on them to see who breaks the news first.

NM

Oh boy is my athlete's foot back in style. It's giving me a better more satisfying longer lasting super dooper mega funbags itch! I've been in itchy heaven, when my girlfriend's back has been turned. I really must sort it out but at the moment I don't actually want to.

Real men have no respect for the rules of good hygiene (Friday)

Sat on my bookshelf is a present for my auntie. It’s been there since Christmas. I’m so disorganised it’s awe inspiring. Or is that perhaps, pathetic? Yes I think that’d be more honest. Pathetic. Anyway, when I say I’m going to use this blog to start a political campaign I don’t think it’s likely to become the sort of thing which will make the evil rulers of this world quake in their boots. However, I am, so there we are. Time for me to mutter the Eltonesque phrase: "bit o' politics" and tap my glasses.

As anyone who's been reading this blog for a decent length of time will know I’ve had an on/off relationship with parking meters for years*. Something which has started to tick me off more and more, recently, is the fact that Sheffield Council parking meters do not give change. You’ve got to use exact money. Right, so today, I had to use £1.40 to pay for a ticket which was £1.30. That’s 10p pure profit made because they can’t be ar#ed to make a machine that gives change. Today** I’m planning to write a letter to Sheffield Council asking for my 10p back. If you encounter the same problem I implore you to do the same. I’m quite honestly sick of the Government draining money off me at every corner I turn.

We pay road tax and the roads look like they’d be better suited to a third world country. We pay income tax and they go spunking it on wars for big oil corporations. Then there's VAT. How the fu#k does that one work? It's a flat rate tax which applies just as harshly to the poor as the rich. So anyone able to explain things like VAT on food? How does that work? VAT on food? In fact how does VAT work at all? It’s the worst form of tax going.

Stupid. Just stupid.

NM

PS I will update you on the progress of my letter writing campaign. I may even mention all this on the radio. That'd really pi#s people off.

*This is documented here and here.
**Well, tomorrow. Probably.

Turned this whole thing into a f#cking farce.

I've got to stop looking at my hit counter. I'm becoming obsessed with it. It's not normal. Initially I had moral reservations about putting a hit counter on. I started this 'blog as a bit of fun. An outlet for my ramblings which don't fit on the radio or in my (not very good) stand-up. But soon ego starts to take over a bit and I started noticing that people were really looking at it and reading it. In the end my ego simply couldn't resist and I put one up. Now I'm in a hell of my own devising.

Let me explain. I get in to work. I sit down. I drum my fingers on the table. I glance from side to side. I roll my eyes and then I exclaim - "fu#k it I'll just have a quick check of my hit counter". Once I've looked and either got excited that it's higher than the previous day or a bit dissapointed and defensive because it's gone down a bit I go make a cup of tea.

Then I sit down. I drum my fingers on the table. I glance from side to side. I roll my eyes and then I exclaim - "fu#k it I'll just have a quick check of my hit counter". Once I've looked and either got excited that it's higher than the previous day or a bit dissapointed and defensive because it's gone down a bit I go make a cup of tea.

And so the cycle continues until I start my radio show.

Then there's a short break as I play a few songs and stuff.

Then I finish, come upstairs and sit down. I drum my fingers on the table. I glance from side to side. I roll my eyes and then I exclaim - "fu#k it I'll just have a quick check of my hit counter". Once I've looked and either got excited that it's higher than the previous day or a bit dissapointed and defensive because it's gone down a bit I go make a cup of tea.

Next week here's my plan. I'm not going to look at my hit counter all week. I'm going to leave it. All I'm asking is that as a reader you don't go and leave me writing to myself. There's quite a few people look at this thing now and I'd hate to think everyone was about to f#ck off just because I stopped checking my hit counter.

Listen to my logic? What the hell is wrong with me?

Oh dear.

I need a cup of tea, a sit down and...

Help.

NM

How I've eaten my own story.

I'm reading a book called "Watching The English" which I stole from my girlfriend. I say stole but I do of course mean borrow. It's a good little book which analyses the mannerisms and habits of English people. It's pop anthropology I suppose.

The reason it came to my attention is that my girlfriend, who reads my blog, mentioned a comment I made about saying sorry to people when I bump into them. According to this book I'm here displaying a common very 'English' trait. In fact the book goes on to say that amongst the English it's almost universal for people to do that. I wish it was. I'm lost count of the number of times I've said sorry to someone because they bumped into me and then haven't got a polite "sorry" in return.

In fact I'd like to know how I could go about recalling some of the "sorry"'s I've given out over the years.

"Oops - sorry about that" I mutter although it wasn't actually my fault.

"Ump" returns the fat bloke who just trod on my toe.

"Erm... excuse me mate, I just said sorry... what's the magic word?"

"?" he replies using only his face.

"Right, well if you're going to be like that you fat cu#t I'll have my sorry back thankyou very much. Good Chri#t the path to enlightenment is just riddled with fu#knuts."

"Uh?" he tries to say as I realise I'm harrasing a deaf/dumb/disabled bloke.

Yes, well, perhaps not. Social convention is something I've always been rubbish at and I'm treating this book as a sort of guide to how to behave. It talks about why we talk about the weather, something I've never, until recently, done. In fact talking about the weather is a good way of talking to people. I never understood all that. I've always been a little confused about things like that.

A good example of this is the fact that I never really understood that the "how are you, mate" question was ment to be answered swiftly with the same question. I sussed it out when I was about 16-17 and a very attractive girl at my school asked me how I was. I think I'd been gazing lovingly at her as she got on the bus and this was probably one of the only times she talked to me. As a result I thought - "great here's my chance!" and then embarked on a half hour lecture entitled: How is Nick Margerrison?.

She interrupted me just as I'd really started to get going with the following phrase: "okay mate, I was only asking".

It's hard to continue a potential wooing when you're as bright red as I went in the next few seconds.

NM

Sign on the line...

I've always liked having a little rant on forums. I've been holding off writing on one of my favourites (Sheffield Forum) recently as I didn't want to get dragged into a conversation about why I've recently stopped presenting a phone in show on Hallam FM. It'd get messy and that story is for another time.

However, last night, I'm ashamed to admit, I simply couldn't resist. There was an ongoing conversation about banning smoking in Morrisons cafe. I've long opposed banning smoking in public places. I'm not a smoker but I don't see why that should cut me out of a debate which is really about pushing people around and telling them what to do.

I've always thought laws should be the sort of thing that, if broken, your conscience will taunt you about it. Sorry but no one's going to feel guilty about smoking in a pub*. This alone is a reason why this law is f#ckwitted.

Further to that it's about the many oppressing the few. This of course is one of the ideological problems with facism which history has shown can have terrible consequences for humanity.

It amused me that one of the posters couldn't see why it was relevant that Adolf Hitler was in fact the first to bring in anti-smoking laws**.

So I let rip. In the old fashioned way. And it was fun. But I need to be careful. Forums can take over my life when I'm not careful. In the end I get about four or five of my favourites and cycle through them waiting for the arguments to develop further and the discussions to require another response from me.

This can go on for hours.

Meanwhile my life flickers by and I achieve nothing other than the vague feeling of pride that can come from destroying the ill conceived arguments of strangers.

NM

*Furthermore no one will feel guilty about taking drugs/speeding in a car/copying an album off the net. All these laws are ropey to say the least.

**His backers were also the first to progenate the idea of the European Union alongside various other policies which are now taken for granted. Do some research, it'll make you giggle for a bit as you realise what nonsense the world is.

The post is replicated below and I've tried to put up another video which is lighthearted and short. The idea is to balance out the other one further down.

If the video doesn't work the video is hosted at Google.video follow this link.




Nicholarse
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 252
Status: Online


Quote:
Originally Posted by onewheeldave
As previously pointed out, smoking is not a choice, it's an addiction.


What? You don't seriously buy all this nonsense about addicts not having choice do you? What patronising nonsense! We're talking about people here. Real people. Of course they have a choice: sort your life out or whinge on about it until you die.

It sickens me to see people bumbling on about how they're just an innocent victim in all this. You buy the fags. You smoke them. You enjoy them. See you in hospital. Where's the problem?

Right - to the issue at hand:

Quote:
Originally Posted by onewheeldave
Also mentioned was the fact that, for fans of personal choice like your yourself, public smoking bans are an expression of the choice of the majority to protect the rights of non-smokers.

These bans are all about real choice.


You're position here is morally indefensible but there's a reason you've been programmed to defend it. What this bill is actually about is the opression of the few by the many. They're getting you up and dancing along to that particular tune so you're less inclined to kick up a fuss when they start using it to control you in other ways.

Let me put it to you like this: If 51% of our democracy vote that the other 49% should live in slavery does that make it morally correct?*

Quote:
Originally Posted by onewheeldave
As for car exhaust fumes and ID cards, everyone is still at liberty to protest aganist them- allowing public smoking is hardly going to help prevent them, is it?


You've totally misunderstood the point I was making here. This smoking debate is a "smokescreen" behind which all manner of other civil rights are gradually being stolen erroded and/or destroyed forever.

You try protesting, you'll be moved along, it's not legal anymore, particularly if you want to do it where it counts, anywhere near the houses of parliament.

Protest? Don't make me laugh. What nonsense. It's almost impossible these days.

The reason they want people like you lot to go defending the idea of the oppressing minorities like smokers is so you get into the herd mentality which is needed for when they come round your house scanning your retina and logging your DNA.*

NM

*Couple of years ago this would have got me and my friends described as conspiracy theorists. Not so nowadays. Go read the papers.
__________________
My blog gets over 1000 readers, why not make it 1000 and 1? www.margerrisons.blogspot.com

... for whom the smell rolls

I've sat for about half an hour trimming my substantial beard into a sort of goatee type thing with graded stubble surrounding it (oh yeah! Who's the daddy?). It looks not much different to how it did before, just a bit trimmed. The thing is I started out by doing it so it was really obvious. Sure I left the stubble bit to soften the effect but I had a real goatee growth hanging off my face. I did this using my beard trimmer which has 4 settings on it!

Then I decided I did look, literally, a like a c#nt. "That's no good" I thought. "I was going for 'the bit of a c#nt' look", I mused. So I started trimming the goatee down a bit and now I vage the ghost of what once was but it looks a lot better and less potentially embarrasing.

There's nothing worse than getting all excited about a new look and seeing the first real person's face react to it in horror. I remember in the early 90's I quite liked the 'cardigan' look that some people (notably Kurt Cobain) managed to pull off in that era. Fantastic I thought. I'll go but a cardigan. From a second hand shop, 'coz I'm grunge! Off I went and got a granny's cardigan which I now understand looked really bad*. At the time I thought it made me look like a proper dude.

Stumbling towards a room full of all my peers I had no idea of the eye watering carnage and sheer embarrasment that awaited me...

NM

*Not even worth trying to explain why or how. Imagine the worst and that's what you've got. An unglamourous transvestitve type look from some 80's documentary about a bloke about to have a sex change.

Here's a video about 9/11. Warning! It's 1hour 20minutes long. I watched it all and it has seriously wrecked my head. I dig all the conspiracy theory stuff surrounding both that and the Kennedy assasination. This world is a deeply scary place. Just lift the page and look what's there. Nasty eh? Why do you think I muse on fashion faux pas these days?



If the video doesn't work here's a link to the film on Google.video.

Going to the toilet is not a leisure activity.

Why do people not wear seatbelts? Your car can fail its MOT if it doesn't have a working seatbelt. Why would you not use it? It amazes me the number of times I've got into a taxi and the people with me act like I'm being all uber-dull and square just because I think everyone should wear one.

Yes! That's right. Everyone, not just me, but you as well. 'Coz if you're in a taxi with me and we smack into a solid object I'm not too keen on the idea of pulling your teeth out of my face. "Oh, we're not going to crash we're just going round the corner". Oh. Oh right. Well that's okay then. Yes, we'll just wear one when we PLAN TO CRASH shall we? Brilliant. "Oh God you always get so paranoid about things". Yup, that's right, I'm being paranoid because I don't like the idea of dealing with a potential 30mph collision without a seatbelt. Or to be more precise with your body flying round in the back of a cab that I'm also in.

Ridiculous.

Clearly, it's a conversation I've had with people many times. My girlfriend knows not to argue on this one. She even warns her friends nowadays that "it's easier just to wear it". F#ck social convention, I'm happy to tell even people I've only just met that they should strap themselves in. Usually I'll hammer the point home more than in the above rant. 30mph? Screw that, you hit another 30mph vehicle and it's a combined impact speed of 60mph. You're in trouble in that situation without a seatbelt. Sorry. I'm not always right but on this one I am. Always. Right.

You can imagine the annoyance I suffered on the replacement bus service as I watched all the Yahoos sat there, not one of them wearing their seatbelt. Amazing. The one thing that makes this journey so much more dangerous is that it is now being done via the roads. The one thing that slightly limits that danger is a seatbelt. Why not wear it? Stupid. I really was tempted to start telling people. Fortunately I didn't. It seems that replacement bus services are what we have to look forward to in Blair's Britain these days. I'd best get used to them.

Don't, after reading this, not use your seat belt. You'd be really annoyed with yourself in your final moments to know that I was right about something so obvious.

NM

Wootey is your leader, go find him and follow him!

I've got a dilemma: The "V for Vendetta" films is on, should I go and see it? It's a film based on a comic book by a bona fide genius writer called Alan Moore. He's one of the greatest writers to have ever existed. When the film was being made they LIED and said that it had his backing which catagorically it does not. It's a great comic book and it looks like a good film but Alan Moore has gone to such great lengths to dissasosciate himself from it that I feel morraly bound not to go and see it. It will NEVER be as good as the comic. That's a given. I draw the attention of my reader to one "Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" film.

I'm sat with my girlfriend in front of the telly and Stephen Fry is doing an interview to promote it. Stephen Fry is in it. Oh dear. Stephen Fry was in the Hitch Hiker's guide travesty. I've just seen a clip of it. It looks s-it. Really sh-t.

Oh and Tony fu-knut Blair's son was in the film crew. The son of a t-at is involved. How utterly nasty this world can be.

If you know nothing about Alan Moore you should make haste and find out about him. He's a genius, a true genius. Largely solely responsible for invigorating the comic book industry in the mid to late 80's. There's a good fan site here: www.alanmoorefansite.com. They seem to be rather keen on the whole business of this film. I've seen loads of interviews with Alan Moore where he slags it though.

I really do not know if I should see it. If I'd never gone to see the Hitchhiker's film I think I'd still want to see it now.

It's a teaser.

NM

Jabba wangar (Friday)

Me and my girlfriend went to watch some live comedy in a place called Zumeba in Manchester. It started off, there was about eight people in the room. The performers were naturally unnerved by this and it got off to an odd, very intimate start. All it took is for one person to ignore the act, or talk on their mobile and -shlunk- the atmosphere was screwed*.

"Do you mind not talking on your phone when we're doing some stand-up fella**?" said the compare, showing remarkable restraint. I'd have attacked him.

As the gig rolled on it became obvious that all of the acts were talented and funny. Slowly more people started trickling into the room as they realised that actually they weren't really of irish descent and that St Patrick's Day celebrations are not unlike any other normal friday night***.

Now it may have been the beer and the added crowd and the increasing standard of the acts but the night really started to swim. It reminded me that, when it's done well, there really is nothing better than watching some good live comedy.

The last act was called Eddie Brimstone, or something like that. He had a bald head and told some great stories. Made me laugh like a moron. Keep an eye out for him. He stormed it in a room that was only half full. Genius.

NM

*Yes, that's right, talking on your mobile when you're out watching comedy. What the hell is wrong with some of these f-cknuts? How does that thought process work? Chatting away when everyone's here to see some comedy. Actual physical pain deserves to come to these people.

**I've got an odd love/hate relationship with this word "fella". I used to really hate it. It was a word that (in my opinion) t-ats used. Then as time went by, people who I liked and didn't consider to be tw-ts started using it. Then, on occasion, possibly by accident, I started using it? Does that make me a twa-? Well, yes, yes it does. But the whole process has made me reconsider the word's status.

***Spare a thought for all the people who're having big liquorice tu-ds sliding out of their a-ses today.

Stack chak tak... not doing a phone in anymore?

I've got to stop eating Atkins friendly snacks. Low carb bars. They cost a fortune and are not tummy friendly. The last two days I've eaten loads of them. I'm binging at the moment but trying to stick to my diet. On the atkins you can, in theory eat as much as you like. I haven't put any weight on so far so...

Anyway, they're really not too nice, but ... well they're something to chew on.

I also had a chocolate milkshake which was low carb. It was brown, sort of warm and tasted nothing like chocolate. I only had a bit. Brown liquids which don't taste of chocolate aren't very nice*. It tasted a little like fluid cleaner. Very artificial. Yuk - !

The reason I'm eating loads is because I'm stressed out about stuff. It's not a good response to the world but there we are. Part of the theory behind smoking for me was that it'd cut down on binge eating. Unfortunately it didn't and it made little difference to my weight. Rubbish.

I feel a bit let down by smoking actually. It promises so much yet delivers so little...

Promises implicitly made by smoking:

1, Keeps your weight down. --- Not true.

2, Keeps you relaxed. --- Not true, actually stresses you more.

3, Looks cool. --- True. Sorry, but it's true. If you say it doesn't you're just being a tw#t. It looks cool. F#ck you. Them's the breaks. "Eeew... how can it look cool? It just looks mankey etc etc". No you're wrong. It looks cool, and sexy. Yeh! Deal with that piece of news. Women who smoke look sexy. What do you think to that?

This is why I'm no longer a smoker. It promises much and delivers nothing. Nothing because there's no point being cool if people like you can't see how cool I am.

NM

*Unless they're gravy. Gravy is nice. I can't think of any other brown substances that are nice though.

That low carb chocolate drink was disgusting!

I keep getting nasty little electric shocks off things. It's really disturbing. Doing my radio show, bzzt - desk gives me a static. Unlocking my car door? Bzzt - there's another. Getting on an escelator? Bzzt! Arm's rigid with static.

The problem with this is it means you really tense up before making contact with something. This intensifies the unpleasant nature of getting a little shock.

I told the bloke who works here at Hallam FM and he suggested that it might be my shoes? It might be. But these are really old shoes. I can't go buying new ones just yet. It doesn't really explain it, but it worked last night when I did my radio show barefoot. I didn't get any shocks on air.

The thing that's worrying me is that the last time I had this problem was years ago when I worked at a radio station called Oak FM. I was forever getting nasty nips in the tip of my finger or on my hand etc. Oak FM was an unpleasant place to work at the time and I can easily say it was one of the toughest times in my radio career. I was often tense and worried.

I've long thought that life goes in cycles. Events often seem to recur in different forms as we go along. There's a lot about existence that we do not understand.

I'm not suggesting history is coming round again.

I'm just -bzzt- for f#ck's sake! How can you get one off a table?

NM

The new issue of "Phlegm" looks fantastic!

So I've got a Tesco clubcard. I'm trying to use the bloody thing but I only ever seem to have it when I do not need it. Like when I'm about to pay for a round of drinks. My hand slides into my pocket* pulls out my card and bingo we've got a situation. Tesco clubcards don't buy you drinks.

This weekend just gone I went out with my mates unwittingly armed only with a clubcard. Poor old Mackay ended up buying my drinks.

However, when I'm buying things in Tesco I often do not have my clubcard. I've left it at home thinking "fu#king thing! It's not going to catch me out a second time". This is equally annoying as you endure the sort of smirk that accompanies the following exchange:

"Do you have a clubcard?"

"Yes, yes I do... oh, wait a minute... I left it at home... sorry**"

"Oh well, if you keep your receipt you can put your points on at a later date"

It's during the last part that the person serving you smirks. They know you're not going to bother. They know.

I'm sort of ambivalent towards Tesco. It seems to be drifting into the sort of "big corporation therefore I don't like it" syndrome which McDonalds is still trying to shake off. Orwellian databases based on clubcard returns don't do it any favours in this respect.

That said I want free stuff, food and so forth. If they're going to give me free stuff that's nice. I guess.

I often struggle with capitalism. It's a system which ignores morality yet compared to other economic political systems it's quite good. Like communism isn't too good right? They kill people and stuff.

But so do capitalists.

Erm.

I hope they give me nice things on my clubcard.

NM

This is a great website: The Song Tapper

You tap out your favourite tune on it and it tries to guess what you were tapping. You must hold the notes and do the right pauses and stuff but it's been 100% accurate for me. Madness.

*I don't have a wallet. I hate wallets. Great way of loosing everything in one mistake. I feel the same way about my mobile phone but have yet to suss out how to do all the phone call things without it. My mobile has everything, all my organisational stuff, on it. Lose it and I'm fu#ked.

**Why sorry? Why do I apologise so much in life? Someone bumps into me, they're not looking where they're going. My response? "Oops a daisy, sorry about that". Why am I sorry? Why lighten the atmosphere like that? I'm clearly weak.

Squeeze the birds... tuppence a bag.

Never get a metal basket when you're out shopping in the supermarket. It's false economy. You'll always get more than you thought you were going to and it'll be all heavy and cut into your hands. Then it'll be swinging like a basta#d and banging into your leg. Then you'll be limited as to how much stuff you can get and you'll want to go back and get a trolley.

Notice how few people use baskets?

Why do you think that is? Because they're sh#t.

On the other hand I think those little trolleys that they do are fantastic. They present a natural barrier to over-spending and carry loads of stuff. You should use them.

Also never shop on an empty stomach, it means you buy loads more food than you need.

Also, don't drink bleach. It's bad.

And don't write dull weblog entries because you're tired.

If you do, certainly don't admit they're a bit dull.

Try and make out they're interesting.

Bollo#ks.

NM

Here's a good website: TOM BINNS's IVAN BRACKENBURY WEBSITE THING.

It's a podcast that my friend Tom Binns made. He's very talented and funny and he used to do the slot I currently do on Hallam FM. He features heavily in the story of my first stand-up gig which you can see if you visit my profile and click on the other blog I did. If you've got a website you think is worth a look don't be afraid to email me: Nick@hallamfm.co.uk

(Sunday) Four horsemen come in, mumble something vague and then ride off.

My arms feel like worn out bits of string. If you can't imagine what that would feel like try driving down to Essex and back with a mate and then carting a second hand three piece suite up three flights of stairs. It looks fantastic but I honestly think my arms are going to seize up. Then they'll feel like bits of wood.

What struck me about the journey was how easily we covered such huge distances in our hired van. I'm not a big one for travelling but it's impressive how easy it is given the qudos it gets you. Particularly given the added excitement today of it snowing a little in Sheffield and then people in the UK getting stuck in it elsewhere. Big thrills.

For years I was totally against the idea of flying on a plane for example. I stuck to the words of the late John Peel who once summed it up beautifully 'moving at a speed you don't comprehend in a machine you'll never understand that's being driven by a man you've never met'. It never seemed like a good idea to me. How wrong everyone told me I was: "did you know you've more chance of being killed by boring unworkable statistics than you have by a plane crashing. Etc etc a#ses".

In the end I was convinced to take a flight to Amsterdam with some mates to sample the culture of another country. It was my first time in a plane and I have to admit everything was fine. Oh I felt like a fool. What had I been so worried about? Nothing went wrong. People do this all the time. How silly I've been.

On the flight back I was much more relaxed about the whole thing. I was even allowing myself the luxury of getting annoyed at things like the yobs chanting on the plane and the bloke behind me who was making a fuss about some cough he had. It unnerved me a bit to look round and see the guy didn't actually have a nose. Just two holes where it should have been. He looked irritated as well. The controted face sort of seemed to point out he had no nose. The wrinkles all of course leading towards where it would have been.

Stop staring at the poor guy. He's probably had enough of that sort of thing. might be why he looks annoyed. Surely you could get a prosthetic nose? He's not a terrorist is he? Calm down, relax. Look forward. There's nothing kicking off here. People go on planes all the time. You're more likely to die in a lift/kitchen/motorway etc etc.

Now he's thumping the fu#king back of my seat and coughing like his life depended on it. We're thousands of miles up in the sky in a metal thing that doesn't flap its wings* but can fly and some bloke's kicking up a fuss because he can't breathe. What the hell is his problem? Oh sh#t! He can't breathe?

I looked at the woman next to me and she pulled a sort of 'what's his problem?' face moments before the woman sat next to the bloke with no nose screamed "my husband can't breathe"!

Oh shit. This is really kicking off. There are people flapping about. An air steward has come over and is asking what the problem is. "Is there a doctor on the plane" is echoing over the speaker system. This is serious and terrifying. All the people on the plane are sh#tting their pants. The yobs are watching in stunned silence. People are remembering we're in a plane that can crash, and we'd all die.... and oh fu#k this is awful. I'm looking straight ahead pretending it's not happening.

I glance behind and see the blokes face has gone purple. The steward is trying to do the Heimlich manoeuvre. It's not working. I'm going to see someone die. And I was thinking bad things about him. S#it! Sh#t! S#it!

"This plane is making an emergency stop at the nearest port" says the speaker system.

Then an asian bloke comes over and takes firm control of the situation. I can't hear what they're saying but he gets the guy with no nose and f#cking hurls him into the Heimlich manoeuvre. Almost smashing his head on the roof of the plane. Splat! Out pours a brown green, foul smelling sort of mucus from his face. He gasps and breathes again. His eyes are rolling in his head and he doesn't look too healthy but he's alive again. Back in his seat... not looking good. Passing in and out of consciousness.

Then the plane banks onto its side. I look out of the window and see the ground. We're turning back towards Amsterdam. We land and matey is taken off in a stretcher.

The rest of my final plane journey takes place in silence although we're told the man was okay on arrival.

What were the odds of all that going off on the ground I wonder?

NM


*I've always thought it'd be safer if planes flapped their wings like birds. Surely then they could fly better? Big jet engines are just cheating aren't they?

(Saturday) The irony is, if not for all this nonsense, I would have never looked.

So I was in Leeds recently and I saw two male and female couples wandering around the town with each other. Not an unusual sight, unless you count the fact that they were clearly either totally wan#ered or fu#ked up on an unimaginable quantity of drugs or something. They were totally out of tune* with everyone around them. One of the women was sat on a step shouting about her shoe. Everyone in the vicinity was ignoring the commotion including her friends.

It felt like everywhere I went in Leeds they were there. Acting strangely. Shouting at each other. Walking about in a haze. Around 5 degrees out of focus but enough to make them strange to everyone else. They weren't hassling anyone else. They seemed to lack any real self awareness.

The third time I saw them the big bloke with the bald head was shouting at his girlfriend. He kept berrating her for at least a couple of minutes as I walked along towards them amazed that our paths were crossing yet again. Then -WHACK- the woman punched him as hard as she could. He face didn't change its expression and he continued to bait her. She swung again. Really landing a punch on the guy but still he continued apparently unaffected.

He was a stocky chap and his face had a look of a cheeky japester plasted over the visage of a mindless psychotic lunatic. This effect was emphasised when the next of his lady's punches caused a little spurt of blood to spout from his mouth and splatter between his eyes. He carried on grinning and teasing and she whacked him again smearing the small splat of blood. Then she screamed:

"You dirty b#stard you're just trying to get me to knock that tooth out so as you don't have to go to the dentist. Well I'm not gonna. I'm not. F#ck you."

"Ahhh, come on you dirty cow."

"Nahhh. I'm not gunna."

- Like I say, they were only a few degrees out but what a difference it can make.

NM

*I love this metaphor at the moment. The idea that we're all occupying different frequencies makes a lot of sense to me. It takes the idea that all people are good, or intend good and that wrong actions result from people misunderstanding each other and occupying the wrong headspace. You tune into someone when you chat to them or communicate. I'm explaining this more than I need to right? Yep. Shut up Nick.

(Friday) Crikey! It's all happening so quickly...

"Do you want computers for schools vouchers with that?"

It's a simple question but my brain has frozen. Like a computer I've seized up. This happens every now and then. My mind just goes totally blank and I've no idea what's going on. No idea at all. It only lasts a couple of seconds. I blink, switch my mind off and on again, apologise to the confused checkout girl and say the obvious "No" that's been delayed for about a minute.

I've noticed a pattern. My mind often does this when confronted by the utterly inane realities of mundane day to day existence. It'll sometimes happen when I'm talking to a dull person. My eyes glaze over and I start responding whenever the dull rumble of their voice stops with platitudes and non-sequiters.

"Rumble bumble dumble humble plop plop..."

"Well, this is it you see..."

"Humble bumble jumble stumble etc etc etc fart"

"They just need to sort it out don't they?"

And so forth.

I learned this technique off my technology teacher at secondry school who, when confronted with the horrors of my halfwitted classmates and I, used to sort of allow his face to assume an odd, impassive, blank expression. He'd then run the palms of his hands over his face slowly when directly challenged by the reality of the situation and - no matter what - utter the expression "Well... this is it you see". Or, sometimes if it was a particularly bad scenario he'd go with "Mmm... so there we are".

I remember once a bloke stuck a compass in his own head and ran round the room like a maniac only to be greeted by the strangely calming sight of this late middle aged man rubbing his face and sighing "Mmm... so there we are". Or he might have said "Well... this is it you see". I can't accurately remember.

NM

It's back! It's properly back. I clearly do not control its destiny. Boy it's fun to itch!! Whooo! F#cking loving it!!!

The fast laugh cafe calls...

I've just eaten a load of KFC and to be honest I loved every minute of it. I really enjoyed it. I know it's wrong and naughty but --- whooo I loved being naughty! Now I smell of grease and animal fats. Disgusting. But mighty tasty. KFC is surely the food of the Gods? A couple of years ago I became rather obsessed with the stuff. In fact it's fair to say I was eating it every night. I actually had to make a pact with myself which said I'd never eat any again. Like smoking. I was actually addicted. Lovely stuff. I was particularly good as well because I didn't have chips. They're not atkins* friendly. KFC probably isn't either. But I was hungry and feeling naughty.

Talking of which I've had a return to those odd little pangs for fags recently. Haven't smoked for over a year and yet there's no mistaking that familliar tug of "go on, have a fag" at the back of my mind recently. Where it's coming from I'm not really sure. There's a line in Sin City which goes "I guess it's true you never really stop [smoking]". You always want to go back an have a go. Just like the dirty KFC orgy I just had.

And my girlfriend's vegeterian. She won't be impressed when she reads this.

NM

*Yes! Atkins. That's right. Not the most fashionable of diets but f#cking effective. Much more so than that Gi bollo#ks I tried at the start of the year. I've lost half a stone. Read it and weep. Half a stone. Sure, I may put it back on twofold but for the moment I'm happy. So f#ck you, voice in my head. Fu#k you big time!

One million dollars!!!

A mate of mine has got to meet The Mighty Boosh! I'm so jealous. I never get to meet anyone ever. Even when I'm a huge fan of theirs I'm still left out of it. I've never understood why.

Here's a list of people I've failed to meet and the stories behind it:

1, Paul McCartney. I was at one point picked out to do an interview with him as I'm such a massive fan of The Beatles. Right at the last minute things got a little confused as other people started jostling forwards. In the end I was told I could go along and hold the mic if I wanted but by then I'd decided fate clearly didn't want me to meet my hero. Fair enuff.

2, Noel Gallagher. I was told I could go along with Matt Mackay to meet him and do an interview. Then at the last minute I was told I couldn't.

3, Chris Morris. A mate of mine was told he could get some tickets to go see the premier of his new film My Wrongs. After getting really excited about it and wondering if I should really meet someone who is so great at making me laugh on the telly we were told we couldn't go.

4, Kylie Minogue. A radio station I worked at was doing an interview with her so I came in early just so I could see her. I got the wrong day! What a moron!

5, Tony Blair. I was told he was doing a tour of radio stations and that if he came to Hallam FM it'd be me that'd interview him. Much to my relief he didn't come here and I didn't have to meet him.

--- Quite an impressive list of near brushes with famous people right? Well wait until you read the people I really have met:

1, Blue. A boyband who came to the grand opening of The Hallam FM Arena. Genuine f#ckwits. Apart from that Simon Webb bloke. He seemed nice but was sporting an impossible afro which I've never seen on him before or since.

2, Scottie McClue. A 'controversial' talkshow host who was a massive influence on my early talkshows. He was also at the grand opening of The Hallam FM Arena and ultimately became a mate of mine.

3, Rolf Harris. Yes, that's right, I met Rolf Harris. Me and a friend went to interview him for another radio station years ago. We sat in his front room and chatted about all manner of stuff. He was every bit as nice as you'd imagine him to be. He was also clearly quite a deep thinker. It was great to meet him. However I did keep wanting to pull his beard and get him in a headlock and rub his curly har and go: "Whehey! It's Rolf F#cking Harris! Fucking hell!". Sigh, and I wonder why they didn't let me meet Macca and Noel.

4, Spike from 911. They were a boyband who were never really huge but had a few hits. He was a top bloke but looked a lot older than I expected. I guess anyone who gets introduced as being from a boyband who is older than 19-20 is going to get that reaction. He liked a drink and was funny.

5, Matey out of Bros. I'm not sure which one he was but he was still chasing a singing career at the time. He came to Hallam FM in the middle of the night to do an interview for Magic AM, our sister station. I was really pleased to meet him as when I was a kid I thought Bros were cool. This ment everyone in my class thought I was gay. Which I'm not. And neither were Bros. I don't think.

6, That bloke out of Coronation Street. He was having a fag outside Hallam FM, I think he was in to meet someone or something. He presumed I knew who he was in conversation and as a consequence I've never managed to name him anything other than... The Bloke Out Of Coronation Street, or maybe Brookside.

NM

The Manchester escape route looks possible...

So I went to so-called Morrisons today to do some 'atkins diet' shopping. It cost me about £1million pounds and I only got some bits. That really is the most exciting thing I did all day. Slightly pathetic I know. I'm also still managing to get ignored by people who usually hassle members of the public. The bloke who sells windows or car insurance or something actually looked straight at me, rolled his eyes and gave up there and then. He just couldn't be bothered wasting his time.

I sat in the car eating hot chicken legs which should have been described as "Fairly Nice, reasonably flavoured Chicken Legs" but I'm sure had been given a better description.

I've noticed over the past few days there seems to be less people in Sheffield at the moment. I can't suss out why that is. The students are still around aren't they? There's less really bad traffic than usual and there weren't so many in Morrisons.

Perhaps they've all got bird flu or something.

Sh#t! What am I going to wipe my hands on now? They're all greasy from the chicken. Bollo#ks. Aha! Some underpants on the back seat. Wonder why they're there? Must have taken some spare ones for the gym or something. Perfect. They're now a greasy - possibly s#it stained - rag. Must remember to take them back inside and wash them...

Wonder why that bloke who sells insurance/windows/cars always ignores me?

NM

Website of the day - Homestarrunner.com

When they fly, they look really sh#te. Bats! bats! bats!

Well that was odd.

I get up onto the stage and go into my set, the first part of which involves me getting everyone in the audience to shake hands with the person sat next to them. We're in Middlesborough. The crowd are not up for shaking hands with each other. They instead opt for folding their arms and looking flatly at me in such a way as to suggest that they're thinking something along the lines of; "f#ck off nob'ead".

Unsure what to do I nail the punchline to the routine and it gets a good solid laugh. I press on and go into my next bit which gets more, bigger laughs. Then I'm gonged off*. Right in the middle of a laugh. One minute and fifty seconds stage time! The least ammount of stage time I've ever clocked up at one of these gigs. Usually I get three and a half to four minutes.

I wander back to my table, tail between my legs, totally confused as to what went wrong. I heard a definite "ohhh" from the crowd when I was gonged off. An "ohh" of dissapointment I'd venture.

Me and my mate get pissed after and then today I look through the video of it.

This makes me even more confused. I get better laughs than I thought on the tape. I'm nowhere near as rubbish as usual and I'd actually say that was my best performance to date. Shame it was so short. I've still no idea what went wrong. Will just have to carry on and see what happens next time.

NM

*Gong shows are the most common format for new act nights. You go on and do your stuff. Three people in the audience are given cards which if they all put them up spell the end of your set. It's a good way of doing it and stops people dying horribly on their ar#e.

(Sunday) Bats! Bats! Bats! They do not, like the day light.

Sat on the fu#king replacement bus service when I hear the following chat coming from an impossibly good looking bloke at the back of the coach:

"Yeah dude! I'm just enjoying life at the moment... Having a good time all the time, fella!!! Yo!!! You give me a call and we'll sort something out mate. Yeah, V-I-fa#king- Penis mate, V-I-fa#king Penis. Oh mate. You know it... I do just do something crazy every weekend man. I'll let you shoot mate. It's Chico time."*

I'm convinced I could have shot him dead and got a round of applause from the rest of the people on the bus. He was clearly a tw#t. I mulled it over in my mind as the coach rumbled on over the bumpy roads I paid to avoid. People like that confuse me. Have they always been like that or is it something they learn once they're hanging around with other c#nts? I often find my manner is affected by the people I hang around with. Who first started behaving like that, and why? Amazing.

The Chris Morris, Nathan Barley programme was made too early.

NM

Text message off a mate: Can't let you get away with that blog entry re: "petrol caps". You can easily get a petrol pump to fill your car if it's on the wrong side. Particualrly with your little motor.

- I will investigate this next time I fill up but I'm reticent already.

Website of the day: THIS IS CLEARLY GENIUS - www.zoomquilt.org - THANKS TO RICHARD FOR THAT.

*Word for word! I kid you not.

(Saturday) See a bloke in the gym changing rooms, looking in the mirror and blowing kisses to himself. Without irony!

Teachers are ace. They're much funnier than normal people and aren't half as dull. I was chatting to one this weekend and it struck me that, on balance, teachers are probably the coolest bunch of people of any one profession.

Radio DJ's for example, are a dull lot. We talk about the most dull things in the world, - ourselves. This intensifies our dull character. A dull person whose only conversation is their dull life.

Comedians are odd. Most of them come over as being genuinely a little mental.

Actors are a fu*king nightmare. Everything's so bloody serious.

Students are awful. Smelly and either really pessimistic or really optimistic.

And you're a pain in the ar#e as well.

Unless, of course, you're a teacher. I wouldn't want to contradict myself.

When I was younger I wanted to be a teacher myself. It seemed like a really cool job. The reality of course these days is that you end up having to be a bloody social worker. For that reason I'm glad I gave up on the idea.

I remember once back at school in music class watching as our old music teacher sat on a rotten tomato which had been left there on his seat by one of the wacky pranksters in our group. The whole class knew it was there and let him sit on it. No one stepped in to save the man's dignity. His face looked confused as he stood up quite quickly to see what he'd sat on and in his haste he banged his knee on the piano he'd sat down at. As he turned to look at the seat and the cause of his discomfort the rotten tomato slopped off the seat of his pants which of course faced the now hysterical class as he bent down to investigate.

The poor, slightly doddering and obviously frail old man then turned to look at us and with all the dignity he could muster delivered a speech which now resonates in my mind more than it did at the time:

"For 30 years I've been teaching at this school, all those years I've been working to make the world a better place and YOU KIDS HAVE NEVER CHANGED! You're still the same. You're just as rude and insolent as you've always been and I'm sick of it. I'VE REALLY WASTED MY LIFE!"

Obviously this made the class heave with even bigger roars of laughter as he made his way to the door and left the class unattended for the rest of the lesson.

I imagine he had a little cry.

NM

Athlete's foot has made a true return. It rippled all over the top of the skin of my foot almost overnight. It's providing a satisfying itch but I'm really inclined to get rid of it now. I'd like to start using the pool in my gym.

You're being a bit immature (friday)

Far from getting any better, the situation I hinted at yesterday, by the end of today, actually appears to have got worse. I'll explain if I need to. Anything more on here would rush things for no reason.

Instead I'll focus on the fact that today I spent some time stood in front of a mirror with a hairbrush in my hand reciting my hilarious comedy routine to nobody. It feels weird practicing like that, mainly because it is. However if there's one thing my comedy career needs it's f%ck loads of practice. What I find odd is that I'm actually more embarrased by the reality of practicing in front of a mirror, on my own, that I am getting up in front of an audience and utterly dying on my ar&e. The idea of someone coming in mid-practice is a part of that. "Ere he is, Mr Nicholarse, what you doing mate?". It'd be a bit odd to have to explain. Partly because I was also naked. Just had a shower.

I need to stop doing various things when I'm performing my act... here's a list of them so you can understand why I don't promote any of my gigs:

1, Shift from foot to foot while looking at the floor.

2, Scratch the back of my head.

3, Roll my eyes and look at the ceiling.

4, Rest my hand on my hip.

5, Hold the mic to my chin rather than mouth.

As I'm sure you can tell from the above, I'm a rank amature. I also apologise for rubbish jokes and even when doing a decent punchline I'll look a bit embarrased to be there. This is, in theory, all set to change on Sunday. I've been doing something called 'self-talk'* at the moment and I'm starting to think it works. One of the things I'm focusing on is the idea that I'm relaxed on stage and I don't move around much. I'll know on Sunday if this makes a difference.

This is the reason I'm taking the night off on Sunday.

So I can do stand-up comedy.

Not because I've been sacked or told to leave and persue other interests.

That'd only be the case if I'm not there Monday.

Which of course I will be.

NM

*Wanna try? It's simple. Record a load of positive statements about yourself on tape and then play it to yourself at night while you drift off. I'm using this in relation to my stand-up but you can also use it to get ideas like 'I'm a positive person' into your mind. Eye's glaze over I AM of course A POSITIVE PERSON nowadays.See! It works!

We're taking a big risk on you though...

Today was a bit of a bad day. I can't really write why because it might make things worse. I promise I will explain all if I need to, which I hope I don't.

Instead I'll draw breath and focus, as it says in my remit, on one thought or event from today. That I guess would be something related to blokes, getting changed in the gym changing rooms and not doing "the dance of the towel"*. I went to the gym today as I had an important meeting with my boss and it's always a great way to relax into anything like that. I'm getting changed in the gym and I'm surrounded by blokes all of whom are stood round chatting, entirely naked. Now I know it's a changing room, I get that. And perhaps this is more my problem than anthing else** but I've always thought you should use a pinch of decorum in communal changing rooms.

My mate Tom Binns has a great joke he does which ends in him explaining that he's a bit scared of other people's co#ks. I laughed like an owl when I heard him perform it. He's exaggerating of course but as with most of his humour there's a grain of profound truth there. No one likes the look of a c#ck. It's unpleasant. There's actually an evolutionary reason for this***.

All of which contributes to my discomfort when I'm sat on a bench tying my trainer's shoelaces aware of being about two feet away from matey and his little 'orrible todger. But what can you do? Obviously you try not to look. Like I said I feel this is largely my own issue. I've no desire to look at another man's piece, even worse get into a situation where I was seen looking. That'd be confusing to say the least.

I'm not gay.

Erm, you know. Just in case there's any confusion. Which there simply is not. At all. I do have friends who are gay. I like gays. Not in a sexual way. That's their own business. And good luck to 'em. That's what I say.

Bloody hell, where was I?

Yes that's right. I was busy being appalled at the sight of men's bits, which I do not look at, but know are there. Lurking. I used to think this was just me. Today I discovered it is not!

Firstly I heard a stranger comment on it to his mate and secondly I had a conversation with a friend of mine who was there also. It went something like this: "What's the deal with those blokes, wobbling their chaps about?". To say it's a relief to find a few other blokes feel the same way is an understatement.

The human body is dirty and foul, it should remain that way. We should all be deeply ashamed of our nakedness and learn to do "the dance of the towel" effectively as part of our education at school!****

Mmm. Maybe I should have written about the other thing.

NM

*Swift apology, "the dance of the towel" is a line a stand-up comedian once used in a bit about what blokes do in changing rooms. Or what they used to do. It appears to be a dying art. Erm, I've sort of already said that haven't I? Yes, yes I have. The point here is that I don't know his name and I've no way of crediting him but that phrase ain't mine baby! If you're him and you want it back, email me asap.

**Actually, there's no debate there really is there? This is surely my problem alone.

***Blokes who have scary looking genitals mark themselves out as male. This stops other blokes from stealing their women. It also stops blokes mating with each other by accident. Most evolutionists argue that a big winky is largely there for the benefit of other males. There's a great book about all this sort of nonsense by a bloke called Richard Herring, it's called "Talking Co#k" and if you're a bloke I can't recommend it enough.

****Satirising my own silly views. Aren't I clever? Or perhaps not. Perhaps it's just what I really think but I'm not happy expressing it without a little wink at the end. A wink which only suggests that I know I'm absurd. Not a sexual, come on lets have rumpo wink. Those sorts of winks are limited only to situations which involve my girlfriend.

It's 'the big chat' tomorrow.

So I pull up at the petrol station on the way to the gym*. I'm running a little monologue in my mind which goes something like this; "how can I not be sure which side my petrol cap is on? That's silly. I've had this car for years."

Naturally I pull up and realise I've pulled up on the wrong side. Genius. What a moron I am. Tsk. It's a good job no one notices anyone else ever** these days or I'd look a proper muppet. We'll just mosey on back into the car and slide over to this pump over here. Brilliant.

Nope. That one's out of order. I'll have to reverse into the one behind me - what a f#ck about this is turning out to be. Oops - hang on there's someone behind me. Can't reverse. Have to drive up and round here to get to the other one over there - bol#ocks some fuc#er has got there before me! For f#cks sake! I'm going to have to wait for him now.

Look at him. What a numpty. He looks like, hang on. Ha ha ha! Daft c#nt's parked on the wrong side for his petrol cap. Lovely. I'm not the only moron in this world. That's right matey, off you f#ck, go find a pump you can fill up at. This one belongs to The Nickster.

NM

So I've no idea what's going on with my foot. It's looking sort of okay but sort of not. I think I need to go, once again, to the doctors. I'll do it next week. Not itching it so much at the moment. It's not quite as itchy as usual.

Website of the day: oilisdead.blogspot.com
The blog of "Wayne The Conspiracy Theorist" - a regular caller to the old phone in show he believes we've hit a point already where Peak Oil production has passed.

*Yes, that's right, the gym. Read it and weep baby! I'm big and fat and I go to the gym. How does that work? I'll tell you. I also stuff my fat face with pies and chocolate when people aren't looking. That's a bit odd isn't it? Binge eating like a little fat school kid. Well them's the breaks daddio!

**Have you noticed that? No one seems to notice anyone else ever these days. Even in pubs, people are getting better at just ignoring each other. Don't bother smiling at people these days, they'll think you're a f#cking weirdo.

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