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Sting the wild leaves old grey, they don't believe in you anyway.

Sat in polite company in a pub when suddenly the urge to fart came over me quite strongly. It was going to be one of those vicious loud noisy one which you can't really get away with in the company of others. Not unless they're blokes and you can go "ha ha ha, I farted". But they weren't. They were the sort of people who'd look at you dissaprovingly and then be horrified at the smell. Then I'd be embarrased. In the end I stood up and went to the toilet. But almost as soon as I did it had gone. The urge to fart had vanished.

"B#llocks, I'm committed to going to the toilet now. Everyone's looking at me and they've all got full pints" I thought. "Can't go to the bar, can't think what to do. Have to go to the toilet and hope a fart comes out or something" continued my internal monologue. Off I went to the toilet and two other blokes came with me from another party. Stood there at the urinal with one on either side. Nothing's happening. No wee wee. Nothing. Cubicle was locked so couldn't have escaped into it. Just stood here with my winky in my hand not doing anything.

They're taking ages. They're not weeing either. I'm stood there waiting. So are they. This is odd. Perhaps I'm freaking them out. Don't catch their eye. Look ahead. You're not going to pee. Sod it. I'll zip up and f#ck off. Shuffling out of the toilet I can hear one of them saying something to the other. I wish I'd heard what it was. It might have been nothing to do with me, the weird bloke who just stood there and then went off. Might not have.

As I sat down I accidently farted.

Ruined.

No one noticed though.

NM

(Monday) Clicking jaw in the morning, should really og to the dentists

I've bought a great book called "England - The Autobiography". It's a written history of England starting with the first ever recorded written reference to the country in the journal of Julius Cesar. It goes all the way through to people's blog entries about 7/7. I'm enjoying it. It's a good read so far. I'm up to the Magna Carta.

This book follows closely on the heels of the last book I read, "Louis Theroux - Call of The Weird". Another good read, although I'm not sure how someone who came blind to it would feel about it. It's almost a companion to the TV series he did called Weird Weekends. I enjoyed that programme a lot and bought them on DVD so all the references he makes to it were easy for me to grasp.

Prior to that me and the lady bought Simon Munnery's "How to live" book which is a collection of little quotes and witticisms. It's only short but is one of those things which can level out your mood when you read it. My Mum though took a quick glance at it and said "oh, is it one of those vanity publications?". Genius. I can't think of a funnier thing to say when someone shows you their new book that they've bought.

It was signed as well.

NM

Yep, it's fair to say that I've been behind my behind for some time.

Tonight me and my girlfriend went to the club where I did my first ever stand-up show. It's called Beat The Frog. There was a very good turn out of people, all of whom were treated to new up and coming comedians. Expertly hosted by a bloke called Dan Nightingale the night is a 'gong' night where if the comedian on stage is rubbish the audience get the chance to vote them off the stage. This is done by nominating three different people the job of card holder. If three cards go up the act is whisked off stage. What was interesting about tonight was the fact the the card holders didn't seem to want to use their power at all. The acts were allowed to carry on even when they weren't getting any laughs. It was great to watch!

I've always enjoyed watching comedians die on their ar#e. Slowly and inevitably the room realises that no one is laughing. Or is going to laugh. The 'comedian' starts to doubt his title and slowly transforms into a sweating bloke who accidently stumbled onto the stage. Their face crumbles from one of fake confidence to either fear or the realisation that they've been kidding themselves. I particularly enjoy the expression that marks a halfway house between these two emotions, it's one of confusion. Beautiful confusion.

Some people think it's cruel. It's not usually. I've died on my a#se many a time during my irregular adventures in the art of stand-up. It's a drag but it's also a chance to learn. So long as it's not someone ruining for you, like a drunken fool shouting at you there's a good natured element to it. You're not funny. No one liked your jokes.The "be honest with me" message you've asked your friends for has been handed to you on a plate by a bunch of strangers. That's good isn't it?

Oddly I noticed that you can usually tell if an act is going to be any good within the first few minutes. Those who look like they're going to cry aren't often very good. I think I've fitted into that category more often than not.

Would have liked to have performed on this night though. Those cards just weren't coming up!

NM

Do you see what I see? (Sunday)

Sat on the train trundling back into normality was a profoundly depressing experience. Leaving the Edinborough Festival vibe way behind us. The night before had been great fun, we'd watched the winner of the Perrier* award bust out some moves right after he'd won. His name was Phil Nichol and me and my lady saw him last year in Glastonbury where we thought he was awesome. Energy alone drove his performance on Saturday. It was good to see.

Now we sat listening to inane dance music being played out of some dimwit's phone. The new trick at the moment is to take an old 80's tune. Then speed up the voice so it sounds like the singer is on helium and whack a trance beat onto it. Rubbish. This halfwit didn't seem to think so. Why share the music with everyone else? This wasn't a joyful expression of art, like the kind of thing we'd just seen in Edniburger. In this case it was an agressive display. There was nothing to it other than that.

The people looked more and more desperate and sad as we neared our destination: normality.

A compact post holiday blues experience.

One question, why when there are people getting off the train do some d#ckheads think it's possible to board the train? Simple physics, let alone basic etiquette, dictates you wait for everyone to get off. At what point did this rule get superceeded? When will they add a new rule? I think the new rule should be that you can legally t#at anyone in the face who tries to get on the train while people are getting off. That would have cheered me up a bit as I came down from the best holiday I've had in living memory.

NM

*Now called something different. Not sure what.

(Saturday) If you could tell the time what would you tell it?

We stumble out of bed at around 1pm and wander round Edneeburgh. I'm still adjusting to how great this place is. As we're exploring we see a pub with a poster outside it with a picture of my old mate Rob Deb[external link]. He was part of the free fringe festival. We went in to see him do his show. He was great. There was a nice gaggle of people all watching him and loving his stuff. It was great to see as I knew him when he was just starting out and although he had some good material at the time his standard was nowhere near as high. This time he was like a proper comedian. Actually, he was a proper comedian.

We hooked up with him for a drink afterwards and it amazed me to note that in all the years since I saw him he hasn't changed at all! This is quite unusual but at the same time almost life affirming. I often worry that I'm getting old and detatched from the person who I used to be. Change isn't something I'm naturally comfortable with. There's nothing worse than hooking up with an old mate and then realising you have nothing in common with them anymore.

As we left we arranged to meet up later and then headed off to see Simon Munnery [external link, wikipedia]'s "AGM"* show. Of all the things I saw this was by far my favourite. Firstly he did a stand-up show during which he invited people to stick bits of paper with questions into a tub he had on the stage. Once finished he arranged to meet up with anyone in the audience who wanted to follow him off round Edingburugh which me and my girlfriend and about 30 other people did.

Then he sent his mate off to buy some beers and carried on with his show. Reading out the questions and chatting. It was great fun. We even argued with a stupid tramp who was banging on about immigrants. I can clearly picture watching him chatting to people as everyone else looked a little bemused in the sun in a little clearing in Edinburgher.

That's what comedy is all about.

Tripping out and being silly.

This is easily one of the best holidays I've ever had.

Better, even, than Glastobury!

NM

*AGM stands for Annual General Meeting.

Seek meaning and you will get confusion, look into confusion and you will get meaning.

Me and my girlfriend arrived in Edenborough around 3ish. We were looking to hook up with a mate but by the time we'd got to our hotel we realised that with a show starting at 5pm we didn't quite have time. Settled into the theatre we watched Talk Radio[external link], a play about a bloke doing a talkshow on the radio where people phone in. It was one of the most oddly direct and moving experiences I had all weekend. I really felt like it spoke to me directly given the fact that I used to present one for so many years. I was absolutely stunned. I couldn't believe how real it was and for the first time since I took on the role I felt like I wasn't totally alone in what I'd done.

The strange thing about presenting a phone in show is that it sort of isolates you from people. Even your peers, most of whom present music shows, don't quite get where you're at with it. 40 or so voices coming at you in the middle of the night, each of them with a different story to tell, none of them ever fully realised as the human being they truly are. It's a surreal, wholly involving experience and a job which completely takes over your life. Present one for long enough and the world you live in never quite looks the same afterwards.

I'm not sure if the play managed to project all of that to everyone who saw it but certainly for me it did. It's obvious I brought a lot of stuff to the table with me though.

The strange thing about phone in shows is that they are so powerful and so addictive. You can't wait to hear the next voice on the line. You can't wait to find out what will happen next. The play itself certainly conveyed this. It put me in a strange mood afterwards.

After that we saw Richard Herring, whose blog I link to in the sidebar. Because I read his blog regularly I expected him to be rubbish at stand-up. He often mourns his poor performances in a brutal style on it. As it turned out he was great and totally different to how I expected. I've said it before and I may as well again; both he and his mate Stewart Lee are much funnier now they've split up as a duo.

After that we watched something called "The Free Beer Show". This being our third show we were both quite tiddly and tired but the standard of acts was still high. The best bit ironically came when the first act on was heckled by some drunken fool who shouted abuse at both him and the compare. The act started saying things along the lines of "you're rubbish" to which he replied aggressively "come down here and I'll kick you're a#se".

Banter to one side the comedian started his set. A few minutes in and matey was on the stage. For a second it looked like it was going to kick off. Then the bloke shook his hand and said to him in a low apologetic voice "you're not as rubbish as the compare but you're still not funny enough, I'm going to leave". With that he left the venue. The comedian was stunned:

"F#ck. 26 years in comedy. I've never known a security team let the guy you're fighting with up on stage... what were you guys thinking? We'll just see how this little f#cker pans out. This'll be fun.

Man, I was thinking for a moment there.. I've been doin' this s#it for years and now it's finally goin' to happen here. That's how my career ends, gettin' the s#it kicked out of me with a big sign behind me that says 'free beer'!".

This place is great.

NM

Time flys when you're in a coma (Thursday)

Ages ago I remember eating my first wrap. It was really nice. It was introduced to me as a healthy alternative to a sandwich because it wasn't thick bread. 'Great' I thought. I'll have these from now on. They're nice and healthy and tasty.

Fast forward a few months to the present day and I'm hooked on the things. But I've noticed as they get more popular* the quality of them appears to be in decline. The current nadir of which is the one I consumed today, a 'Ginsters Wrap'. Ginsters, if you're not already aware, make pasties. Their pasties are okay. Nothing to write home about** but they do a job. Their wraps however are no different from their pasties. Same thing. Not even less pastry, just it was raw. I felt conned as soon as I bit into it. The filling had hardly any meat in it. It was a pasty. A f#cking pasy. I was a tw#t for buying it. What did I expect? They make pasties, they don't understand what wraps are, someone somewhere has said, "huh, they're just like pasties". So they've made some pasties and called them wraps.

It's fair to say that this annoyed me all day. Anyone who knows me will know that this is exactly the sort of thing which can put me in a bad mood for hours. If you've read my blog for long enough you will know the veracity of this statement. I've a good mind to write in and complain to Ginsters, the only problem is that I'm both lazy and about to do fun things like going to Egidnburgh.

*Are they? Are they more popular or am I just thinking that because I eat them so regularly? Are they more healthy? I've eaten some which were 10 points! 10 point on weight watchers? Madness!
** Be odd if you did write home about them. Dear Mum, I had a Ginsters pasty today. Odd. Hate that expression, must stop using it.

Slip inside this church of the mind... tell your friends... convert the world.... (Wednesday)

The job I do isn't a particularly draining one but I'm really looking forward to my holiday next week*. The hours I work aren't natural and it's going to be nice to be able to wake up and go to sleep at a normal time again. Little things like that are a bonus to a night worker.

However, that normal lifestyle which I'm painting onto the screen of your mind will of course have to wait until the weekend is over as me and my girlfriend are going up to Edniburger where they have a big comedy festival. I've booked tickets to see Richard Herring. I've never seen him live although I have watched his ex-comedy partner Stewart Lee at work twice. He was great. I am also a regular reader of Richard Herring's weblog. You can find a link to it in my sidebar.

I've wanted to go to the Edingborough festival for ages. It's got such a huge profile in the comedy world. I think the fact we're only going for a weekend is a bit of an a#se in retrospect but I see it as us dipping our toes in the water. If its good perhaps we'll do a week next year.

However, like I say, I'm looking forward to a week off. I've got quite a lot of things to think about at the moment. Getting my head clear will be a much needed bonus.

NM

*Holiday in the sense that I will not be at work. I will not be abroad either. I don't do 'holidays' in the traditional sense. I don't leave the country. No need. Best country in the world, why would I want to go anywhere? My ancestors have picked this patch of land for a reason. Not sure what it was but there we are.

What is the atomic size of your thoughts? Do they exist in the physical universe?

Today I corrupted Matt "Phoneboy" Jagger. I took him into the seedy backroom of my local pub. Stuck him in the corner, pushed my hand into my pants, pulled out a coin and shoved it into the slot of my* pinball machine. I think by the end of it he was hooked. I felt very satisfied to know that I'd managed to induct someone into this seedy world of bouncing metal balls and flashing cheeky lights. There's something a little bit sexual about pinball machines. I often fantasise about them late at night.**

I remember when I was a smoker I used to happily dish out fags to people who I knew were not full time fagheads. You'll notice this. Smokers are happy to lend out cigs to bona-fide part timers. Their logic is simple, if I get this poor bugger hooked that can only be a good thing for me as a smoker. I used to see it as an investment. However, when these "non-smokers" genuinely enter the ranks of the smoker, lending fags becomes a real pain in the a#se. "Arrgh, why do you never buy your own" signals a smoker's triumph over a non-smoker. They are putting you in your place. Slaming the iron door shut. You're trapped in their prison.

Very strangely I still have odd cravings for fags. I'd never smoke one again but there's a little gap in my life which has been created by my years of addition. You can never really give up. My flatmate always tells me that if I had one I'd hate it. I wouldn't. I really wouldn't. Therein lies the problem.

NM

*What? It sort of is mine. I hold the highscore and pay more monet than anyone into it.

**This bit is of course lies. Mostly.

Captain of industry will smile on me soon... see the smile, imagine the moon.

Today I recorded more of the as yet unreleased podcast which I'm going to be doing for Hallam FM. It's going to be a "blogcast" and will involve me reading the better entries of the week from this 'ere blog wot u r readin'*. I've recorded three of them now, we're going to put out two of them. They will be on the Hallam FM website at some point. I think they'll be pleasant listening for anyone who enjoys having silly podcasts updated onto their itunes thing. I'm getting a little nervous about it. I don't want there to be too much pressure on it and releasing it through the Hallam FM site initially made me worried. However I think everyone understands that it's a trial thing. If it works out and feels right, cool. If not, no worries. "No one died"**.

It's strange to be recording something which may ultimately only ever be listened to by about 10 people. We're not going to push it much on air just allow people to find it for themselves. In the future it's possible that we'll get bigger ambitions for it and start doing crazy things like interviewing guests and stuff. Time will tell.

I must admit that more than anything else I'm doing this podcast thing because I think they're cool. I've subscribed to almost everything I can find in the world. I'm now narrowing them down as I go. I had some godawful Edgar Allen Poe podcast thing on recently, it was taking up hours of room. Last night I listened to it and deleted the whole thing when I noticed it was rubbish. If you know of any good podcasts to which I should subscribe please pop something in the comments section.

I'll post a note on here when the Hallam site starts hosting the "blogcast".

NM

*Text speak. Fkin awfl innit?

**To be said in the manner of Steve Coogna's pool attendant in the classic Day Today episode.

I guess I should push the button.

This weekend I managed to spend 40 minutes on the phone waiting for Orange to bother to talk to me. 40 minutes. After that length of time you start to wonder if it's stupid to give up. You've invested 40 minutes, should you hang up? I had to. I had other things to do. I couldn't just sit there on hold all day. 40 minutes, I declared it; "40 minutes and I'm hanging up". The music* they were playing down the phone to me didn't respond and all the people in my girlfriend's mate's house agreed that I'd spent too long waiting for an answer. They probably thought I was a bit rude sat in their house ignoring them, but I'd been taken by surprise.

Two months prior to all of this I'd changed my billing arrangement. After being stung with a bill for £140 one month I thought perhaps I needed to know in advance about big sums of cash like that leaving my bank. So I switched from direct debit to good old fashioned billing through the post. Then I forgot all about it.

It never occured to me that I hadn't been billed by them. I'd never had a bill, reminder, or a final reminder. I did get lots of nice letters, texts and phone calls** from Orange though. I got an exciting 'blokey' letter telling me how me and the lads could watch England on my phone (at some extra cost) and how I could follow my favourite teams on it as well (at some extra cost). I got various texts about virus protection*** on my phone (at some considerable extra cost) and about how I could get exciting Big Brother updates on my phone (at some extra cost). But I never got a bill.

Infact rather than any sort of warning about the impending crisis I got a text telling me my services had been updated and that I needed to switch my phone off and on. I switched off my phone and they cut me off. No warning. No explanation. Nothing.

After failing to get through to these c#nts on their helpline number I went into the Orange shop to sort out my cut off phone I got told they didn't have my correct address.

"Erm, how come I get so much annoying junk mail off you then?"

"Yeh, it's two different databases"

"Of course, it would be wouldn't it? Well I want to cancel my contract."

"You can't do that here, you need to do it over the phone."

"But, as I've already explained, I spent 40 minutes on that phone line."

"Would you like to pay your balance now sir? It's £312."

Obviously I'm going to change my mobile company. They're all a#ses. I'm just sick of the stench of this particular one. Once I'd paid my bill and had a little cry I got a text telling me about something or other else which I could spend more money on. I'm a bit annoyed at myself for deleting it without reading it as a bit of extra detail here would perfect this entry.

NM

*Rubbish music. Why only play bits of songs? If you're going to keep people on hold for 40 minutes you may as well have an album on the go. Entertain people a bit. Also I was surprised at the absence of The Corrs. They seem to be stalwarts of the inoffensive "putting you on hold" music scene.

**They've been a feature of my Orange phone for ages now.

***Can I be the first to express a very obvious WHAT THE F#CK on this one. Viruses on your phone. That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. Who would write a mobile phone virus and why? Who would stand to make any money out of such a thing? Erm. Oops. That's a bit too obvious isn't it?

(Saturday) He humoured me but clearly has other plans.

On saturday me and my girlfriend went for a night out with a mate of mine whom I've spoken of before. When we got back to his house, although the offer of a bed was there, we got a taxi back and fell into a deep sleep. I'd drank a weird coffee syle alcoholic drink while round at his house, I'm not sure if that had any effect on what I'm about to relate.

So, I'm sat round a camp fire talking to a mate of mine who I haven't seen for years. I only ever see him when I'm dreaming. He's become a dream indicator for me. This triggers a reality check and I suss I'm dreaming. No, rephrase that. I am now (for the second time in recent memory) Lucid Dreaming. I test this by making the person I'm talking to fall into fits of laughter. Like a puppet they do so. I then imagine they're angry and at once they are. If I stop concentrating on changing my environment it slips back into the routines that it would follow in the real world. I can't explain how amazing it is. You really need to try and do it.

Anyway I decide that this time I'm going to have fun. Probably still a bit drunk from the night's excess I immediately do all of the things you would do if you had unlimited power. Some of these things, in the cold light of day, are a bit embarrasing. Still if you had the chance to have a harem of women and a girlfriend who didn't mind, what would you do? Actually, I can answer that question. You'd make your third leg equal to the trunk of a baby elephant. That's what you'd do. I imagine(d)*.

The whole bizarre experience is hard to structure into a cohesive narrative. I spent (at a guess) around 4 hours flitting round my dream investigating various environments and talking to different people. I managed to get the hang of stopping time. Flying. Mind control. The whole works. It was insane.

I interrogated one of the people in my dream like so:

"You're a character in my dream, this is all an extension of me"

"But I'm real. I have feelings."

"You can't have. I invented you. I can make you angry;"

"F#CK OFF"

"Or make you happy;"

"This is silly (giggles)"

"I can do what I like to you. You're nothing."

Here they started crying. I couldn't take it seriously but now I'm awake it's a bit of a haunting memory. Was I willing them to cry? It didn't seem like it. As I said earlier, the universe I was in ran itself but if I brought my mind to focus on it I could change it. If I then left it it would run as the real world does. This character was crying because it had had its mind bent to my will. I think. Odd.

The whole thing was absolutely weird. It's made me look forward to going to sleep again. It's had me tripping about it all day. Crazy. Crazy. Crazy.

NM

*Ahem. I'm in places a little ashamed of how excited I got once I realised I was The God of this Universe I'd found myself in. I'd just had some fun with my girlfriend and I think that was perhaps what caused me to get carried away.

(Friday) Made me shoot so hard I pulled a muscle in my neck.

My girlfriend lives near a cinema. This weekend we watched two films, here are my reviews of them both.

Firstly we saw "A Scanner Darkly". Based on a book by the writer Philip K Dick this film uses the strange painting over film effect which was used in the classic Waking Life[backlink to blog entry about that film]. This time the druggie element which was tacitly alluded to there is fully tackled. It's a great film. Needs to be seen on the cinema to be fully enjoyed. There's a great cameo by Alex Jones[backlink to recent entry about him] which I enjoyed enormously.

My only vague hang-up about the film would be that I'm just not sure that Keanu Reeves quite nails the role. I'm not a big one for identifying actors as being good or bad but recently I've started to notice what people mean when they talk about wooden acting. Keanu here is a bit wooden in my opinion. I think a more acomplished actor could have taken this film a bit further. Still, it's a gudden. Go see!

On Sunday* watched "Nacho Libre" with Jack Black in it. It's set in Mexico and is about wrestlers. There's big problems with this film but if you watch it as a diversion and nothing more it's not totally awful. Firstly on the positive Jack Black's given free reign to be funny and silly. He jumps about and has loads of engery and his face seems able to pull any expression in the world. Also when he sings he's ace. And, I like the fact he wears his belly with such pride. Being a fatty myself I admire the way he holds his massive bloater stomach. He cuts a cool figure.

On the annoying side, his and most of the rest of the cast's accents slip frequently and there's nothing particularly ball breakingly funny on display in this film. It just survives on the amusing premise of a Friar who lives in Mexico who is a wrestler. And he fancies a Nun. Hilarious**.

NM

*This buggers up the chronology of the blog a bit doesn't it? I spent a while agonising about whether or not I should include this review in with the other one. Then I realised that if I did, no one would really give a f#ck.

**Sarcasm.

Collection of fetid wordplay

My entry today was going to be about the various search words which have directed people to this site. I've done entries like that before. However there has been an odd run on this site recently which has pushed all my search engine data into total confusion. I've had around 100 people who have logged on with searches like these:

"scaramooch+definition"
"scaramooch definition"
"scaramooch, definition"
"What does scaramooch mean?"
"definition of scaramooch"

And so on.

The page which they've all landed on is this one. About 100 in total.

Where's that come from? It started quite suddenly at 2am in the morning, with all of the searchers coming from America. Why the sudden interest in such an obscure lyric? I've looked through the news on the internet and am non-the-wiser. How odd.

In my searching round the internet for news of this odd "scaramooch" rush I've also found a very interesting news story concerning AOL and search engines. This is genius. The company has published the search histories of 650,000 users. Every search word they've ever put into the internet exposed to the world. It's okay though, they didn't publish anyone's names, just user numbers. Unfortunately (and predictably) it wasn't long until people were being identified by their search words - the classic 'googling your own name syndrome' being the ID tag of most. It has ruined many people's lives and made minor celebrities of others. AOL quickly removed the information once they realised the extent of their blunder*. It just goes to show, you ain't alone on the internet. Watch what you type into that search engine when you stumble home p#ssed.

What I love about it though is this was clearly a bad idea from the start yet someone high up must have said it was okay. In accordance with The Principa Discordia** it has been allowed to happen though. All capitalist structures must rise and fall because of this principle; "True communication is only possible between equals,because inferiors are more consistently rewarded for telling their superiors pleasant lies than for telling the truth". No matter where you work you will see this truth at work. Someone somewhere will have thought, "publish people's search histories, that's not a good idea". After thinking that they will have said, "yes boss, right away, what a great idea".

NM

*There is a mirror site here but it involves downloading the information. Some of it makes for very depressing reading.

**I am a religious man, Discordianism is my religion and details of it are posted in the sidebar.

Like a flower wilting for no apparent reason.

I'm spending a lot of time with my mate Daryl Denham at the moment. We're going to weight watchers together, writing this faux documentary and getting drunk and swearing at the world a lot. It's great fun. Both of us a#sed up our diets this week - yet - both of us lost weight. He lost more than me though, something which feels a little unfair as he went to Pizza Hut. However I managed to lose weight one week despite hitting The Hut so it's swings and see saws.

I really need to get on the gym again though. I've started getting into bad Weight Watcher's habits. One of these habits is to fall into the 'Wednesday doesn't count' ethic. The way weight watchers works is you can save points* from one day to the next, and/or if you go over your day's point's total you can make up for it the next day. However at the end of each week there's a cut off point for this. Ours is Wednesday. So theoretically you can stuff your face Wednesday and start over on Thursday.

Now, I've always had very little sympathy for people who did this. "Ha - why do you think you're not losing weight?" my internal monologue would go. Well, me and Daryl were eating like Kings on Wednesday.

"Doesn't count 'til tomorrow does it?" my internal monologue wittered.

I must say I'm a little annoyed that my internal monologue not only contradicts itself a lot but also is never really held to account for any of the bad or innacurate advice and information it provides me with. Various bits of advice which have frankly been stupid such as:

"Why not just pop out for a cheeky half pint, then do your work after..."

"She'll find this really funny..."

"Just be honest, honesty's always the best policy..."

"These aren't really kicking in, lets do a couple more..."

Ruined.

NM

*Calories and saturated fat combined.

Sometimes the title alone tells you it's a humdinger... "Nutty Professor II... Meet The Clumps", "Snakes on a plane?".

Why go for airports? Why not train stations? Why not town centres? I'm not trying to give these people ideas but it doesn't make any sense why they always seem to strike airports. It's almost as if they've got a different agenda from the one we're being told about. We're told they're trying to spread fear and destroy our Western way of life. Okay, nail a big nightclub. People would be terrified. Doesn't happen. Always an airport.

Some people argue that the reason for this is that terrorists are jealous of our planes and hi-tech global transport system. Others argue it's because terrorists haven't thought it through properly. One person once oddly argued to me that it's because airports aren't very well defended? Genius.

The reason this question is pertinent is because the other chief suspect in carrying out these terror attacks, aside from wacky Islamic extremists, is small sections of our own government. Their aim being ID cards, tighter border controls and ultimately a microchipped population. That used to seem really far out to me but nowadays it's just one possible alternative in a multitude of possible scenarios.

Now that agenda is served by focusing attention on our airports. ID cards, extension of your passport. Same goes for microchips. Job done.

I'm not really a conspiracy theorist.

Some people, particularly those who know me, think that's shy of the truth but honestly, when it comes to the crunch I really am not. If something went wrong who would I call? The Police. In a real situation I always fall on the side of the establishment. I just have a morbid fascination with any viewpoint which is contrary to my own. As a consequence I'm well versed in various ideas which are frankly rather silly.

The problem though, is that we're lied to frequently by the media and the politicians who run this world. There's no question about that. The more lies they tell the less weight their truths hold. In the end you don't know what to believe.

Why are terrorists fascinated with airports?

Doesn't make sense.

NM

There's something wrong with this world.

Excitement isn't even the word. I've finally, after many years of hard slog, been published in 2000AD! I've been buying this comic for half of my life. I've wanted to feature in it since before then. Now, at last my dream has come true. This marks a new era in 2000AD's backpage. Where they publish all the reader's letters.

To summarise, my contribution is a neatly written, perceptive letter telling Tharg his comic is going through a creative Golden Age. It was an exciting morning. I think I qualify for a 2000AD action figure now, although I'm not sure. That may be a prize reserved only for The Letter of The Week. Time will tell. I did enclose my address, just in case.

Contact details have been one of the key features of this weekend. I've spent time trying to get hold of my mate for whom I was best man last year. It was his anniversary this Sunday just gone. I can't get hold of him though. His mobile doesn't work. I've rang round everyone who knows him and they all have the same number I do. I've now missed the deadline but still intend to deliver the goods.

So, today I spent the whole day going through my room looking for the phone number of either him or his parents. After searching for about an hour I found the old number for his Mum and Dad. Fortunately it worked and I got both his address and landline number. Now I am in the -sending something by next day delivery- league. It's late but it'll be there. Bottle of champage I think. Either that or flowers. No one wants flowers though do they? Champagne is much better.

What worries me about this revelation of tardyness is that one of my other friends who is a semi-regular reader of this blog has this weekend asked me to be his best man. He'll now be wondering if he made the right decision.

I do a good speech.

Erm.

NM

The beautiful and yet strange snake of fate twists before your eyes in directions you can now easily predict thanks to its tail.

Yesterday I spent a nice weekend round at my friend James Piekos's house. He and his lovely partner Claire were kind enough to let us stay over and enjoy a night of classic wine and chat and then a day of wandering round Bridlington where we went to an old fashioned penny arcade. It had a genius pre-1960's pinball machine. I'm a big fan of pinball machines* and the action on this one was amazing. The ball just glided smoothly along the play surface. 5 balls per coin as well. Much higher than you'd get nowadays. As I left I signed the little guestbook and congratulated them on a fine collection of pinball machines. I also noted to myself that had I been born in a different era I'd still have the same sort of issues I have in this decade, I'd just be hooked on a different kind of machine.

It'd be interesting to have a time machine and go back and look at the old world we've left behind. Finally conclude whether or not it was better or worse than the one we find ourselves in today. Although I'm able to get misty eyed over a golden version of the past it's hard to maintain with any real conviction that things were better back then. Things like the internet and mobile phones are unquestionably useful.

The last time I mused to myself about this I landed on the idea that podcasts are a good new thing. There's little doubt about that. I'm hooked on them. It was through one that I learned about the amazing spectacle that is R. Kelly's Trapped in The Closet. What's that Nick? It's a 12 part R&B opera! Possibly the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Now I'm not a fan of R.Kelly particularly but as of this weekend he's been elevated to the level of genius. Initially I appreciated this seminal work on an ironic level but as of this weekend having watched the full thing (under the influence of a few beers) I've come to realise how genuinely great it is. Spend 40 minutes on You Tube getting up to speed with it. Here's a little taster:

Direct link.

We all watched it round at James's in full. It blew us away. Towards the end I realised I was enjoying it sincerely rather than, "ha ha" ain't that silly.

Despite all this frivolity I think I managed to stick to weight watchers quite well this weekend. Nail the weekend and the week usually takes care of itself.

NM

*Fortunately I've got over my problem thanks to the one in my local being broken.

(Saturday) A slightly tiddly version of chess

Aargh! I hate 'A' roads. What's the f#cking deal with people who overtake on them? It's the single most dangerous thing I can think of that you can do, yet people can't resist. There's always one wa#ker, usually in an SUV* trying to hop their way up the queue of traffic. Now if you screw that up you've got a combined impact speed. Two cars 60mph. That's like flying into a wall at 120mph. You're not going to come out of that well. Not in the slightest. But, it's not that you're going to get injured. That's not what annoys me. It's the fact you're bringing someone else into it. Dragging some poor family in a usually less crash safe** car into your stupid ego games.

I'm pretty sure if I witnessed such a crash I'd pull out the driver of the SUV and make sure that by the time the ambulance arrived he was as damaged as the person he's hit. It's only fair.

Where's this rant come from Nick? I drove to Bridlington this weekend. Sheffield to Bridlington has a good half of the journey taking place on an 'A' road. There he was, Captain C#nt, skipping up the line of traffic in his SUV. There was even a no-overtaking sign on parts of the road. You'd think that might put him off. No, he and his fat family contunued to skip recklessly up the line.

This time though, justice was strangely served. He sat at the front of the queue at the lights and the strangest thing happened. A meteorite smacked into the driver's seat and killed the fat t#at. It's the darndest thing! Amazing how sometimes life can be so neat!***

NM

*Yeah. SU f#cking V's I hate them. If you drive one the chances are you're a complete c#nt. In fact it's almost a dead cert. Pumping out fumes, these things look like tanks and instantly make me dislike the drivers inside. Pampered t#ats. That's what these people are. They should be made illegal simply on the grounds that those who drive them are d#ckheads.

**Another reason to hate these c#nts. They ruin someones life but their post car protects them. Usually their victims come off worse. Arrgh!! In-f#cking-furiating.

***This bit of course, never happened.

Sure enough he was a violent psychopath but in a way his death has made him seem almost friendly.

I'm loving iTunes. It's genius. I can press a button on my computer and whoosh up come a load of radio and TV shows for me to go through. Genius. One of my favourites for some time has been Alex Jones. I've followed his work for some time now. He's a pretty spicy bloke. This morning though he really freaked me out. He ranted about how he thinks the world government is about to initiate its final plans and kick off World War III. He predicts that in the next few monhs there will be a massive terror attack which will predicate the invasion and nuclear destruction of Iran, Syria and then North Korea. Here's a link to the story.

Not the most normal way for me to come round first thing! It usually takes me about an hour to fully wake up in a morning*. During this period I'm at my most vulnrable. Listening to Alex Jones at the time is perhaps not such a good idea. He actually started crying on air as he was going on about it.

Now one of his big claims to fame is the fact he predicted 9/11:



Here's the direct link.

After listening to this morning's two hour show I got a bit depressed and ate four packets of crisps. Fortunately they were French Fries and only equate to 1.5 points each. I've only had 6 points there. Usually it'd be 6 points per packet! French Fries are ace. If the world does end and there is a massive war I'll be fine just so long as we still have French Fries. If we don't have any of them I'll be very annoyed.

I'm trying to save up my points for tonight as it's my friend Tracy's leaving do. She's leaving Hallam FM. It was also my bosses last day yesterday. I had an odd moment where I said goodbye to him, gave him a hug and then oddly almost cried. I've no idea where that came from. Strange.

NM



*12.30pm. That's my morning. What? I'm a night worker. It's. Anyway.

Going to cut my points down from 31 to 30. Perhaps that'll speed things up a bit.

So as I was driving back from the 24-hour Tescos last night munching on some French Fries* and an age old question struck me, is blue really the right colour for crisps that are cheese and onion flavour? The answer is of course no. No it is not. Green should be, and used to be, the correct colour. I think Walkers have always had Blue as their colour for cheese flavour but I'm not sure. I know there was another company which had green as their colour. I seem to think Walkers used to have green as their colour? It's confused me. I'm now confused. I'll have to re-write this whole paragraph I'm so confused. All the colours are wrong as well.

The thing is, there's a sort of logic to the idea of green and cheese. The moon is made of green cheese right? Is that right? Did I imagine that? I seem to remember it off some old story I used to listen to as a kid. Waldorf's big adventure! There was a bloke who went to the moon, because it was made of green cheese. Or actually, no it was a mouse. And stuff. And he went and it wasn't green cheese after all. But my point still remains. Green is the correct colour.

It makes a difference to the taste of the crisps. Cheese and onion out of a blue packet just do not taste as nice. Obviously that's psychological but, f#ck it. So is life. It's like smarties and M&M's, the different colours don't actually taste different but because they look different you think they do**, are***.

I saw that new Smarties adverttoday. They were holding up smarties and going "green doesn't" and "orange doesn't". The point was that none of these smarties had artificial colours in them. Does that mean they used to? Furthermore I was worried by the fact they didn't mention the red ones. As a kid I was told they were the ones that gave you cancer by some of the other kids. I'd just laugh and go "ha ha, how silly, smarties have the answer, they do not give you cancer". Guzzling them down laughing I'd have a tiny part of my brain going "what if those red ones do give you cancer?". Now that advert fails to dispel the myth. Ruined.

NM

*Yeah, French Fries, the rumours are true, they're 1.5 points on weight watchers! How great is that? Very great that's how.

**Surely this should say "I" think they do. Not "you". "You" may never have thought they do. Ahem, there's a good backlink for that here.

***What's happened to my sentence construction? Three "different"s in one sentence. Oh, dear. I need to sort this blog out. I had a meeting today where I finalised the idea of turning it into a "blogcast" on the Hallam FM website. Going to read out a couple of entries every week for people who can't read. Sorry, can't be bothered to read. It's good as I've been wanting to do some sort of web thing for a while.

Just imagine that all those times you thought that someone was joking, they were actually serious. That's got to be true in some instances.

Only yesterday I strolled around town with no clothes on, only a pillow to cover my winky. I remember thinking it was quite funny how no one noticed this sort of thing nowadays. Then again, there's nothing wrong with not having any clothes on. How odd that society used to view it as a bad thing. I'll just pop in this shop and buy some cigarrettes.

"Yeh, a packet of Marlborough lights please".

"Are you alright sir?"

"Oh, I've just realised, ha ha, how silly of me. I don't have any money. I'm not wearing any clothes, so... no pockets! Silly me."

"If you don't leave here right now, I'm calling the police you pervert."

Oh my god! I'm not wearing any clothes! Everyone's outraged. Look at them! I'd best make a run for it. Sh#tbags!

Now I'm running up a hill as an army of people chase me shouting names at me. This is a living nightmare; "I'm not a pervert. I just forgot to put my clothes on!"

How the hell could I not notice this was a dream? My lucid dreaming abilities are at an absolute rock bottom. I'm unable to spot a dream in the usual way. Even when all the obvious dream signs are aronud me I still don't click! It's infuriating. As I ran up the hill I remember thinking, "this must be a dream, let me check my hands... nope, I can see them, it's real!".

It's such a classic scenario. There were obvious other signs, people I always see in dreams and so forth. Yet still I didn't twig.

Later today I will be going to weight watchers. I'm hoping to have lost weight this time as I've been very well behaved this week. If I put on 3 stone again I'll know it's a dream. That's happened twice in the past few weeks and each time I didn't click it was a dream. I will today though. Oh yes! Then my plan will start to come to fruition!

NM

To give someone something you must be prepared to lose out to them. To take from someone is worse.

Driving along back from my mate's house and I see two horrible little kids of about 7 or 8 years old chucking stones at a bloke in his forties. They were shouting abuse at him and being abusive. A little girl and a little boy. It was tragic on so many levels to see such a thing. I wanted to get out of my car and chase after the kids, perhaps give them a good kicking*. The flow of traffic I was in wouldn't really have allowed for this though. What was particularly odd about it is that the bloke was getting involved in an abusive dialogue with them. Saying something along the lines of "yeah, well you're scratters" or something. Like he knew them. Perhaps he did.

Obviously as I drove home I started thinking things like, "this world is getting worse, each day brings a new step in the decline of humanity. The gap between rich and poor is growing. The detritis of our society are reverting back to pesants. Soon society will have degraded to the point that all of us will be living in a society which is ruled by the law of the gun". And so forth. The usual b#llocks.

Then I tried to turn my thoughts round and started thinking about all the good new things in this world of ours. Like Podcasts. That was all I could think of. I'm quite getting into them myself. The Adam And Joe one is great. I've been giving them a listen today and yesterday. Also you can get The Bible, in its entirity! Genius. And some Zen Buddism ones.

I love podcasts and think I should do one. I just don't know what I'd fill it with. Part of me thinks perhaps I should read out a couple of the better entries from this blog each week. Not sure if that'd catch on or not. Maybe. I just feel like I should make myself part of the whole thing.

My friend Tom does one. My mate Toby does one. I've tried to do one before, but in the end it was rubbish.

Hmm. We'll see. The only other good thing I could think of which is a product of the modern world was the fact that my copy of 2000AD flopped through the door yesterday. It's Prog 1500! Quite a landmark. Numerically at least. Not a bad issue. 2000AD really is a great comic. It's got so many different elements to it. Once you subscribe (as I have) it builds up in the corner of your room until eventually you have a little stack of "graphic novels" waiting to be read. Sure, some of the stories are a bit duff but then that's the appeal. They try new stuff! It's a genuinely creative force.

They're not afraid of change! They've just added a new section to their website called 2000AD trailers. There's a new story coming up which is getting a lot of hype at the moment it's called Origins. It's supposed to be an analysis and explanation of how the world in which Judge Dredd lives came into being. Genius! It's could be a genuine classic. It really could.

Here's the link.

NM

*This is a half thought. I've never given anyone a good kicking, let alone a kid. No matter how horrible and obnoxious they were. What I'm saying is I wanted to intervene. But I didn't.

People tell stories, not politicians. Politicians tell tales.

Today I've had a pretty productive day. I spent most of it writing some stuff, me and Daryl Denham are working on a project at the moment which I've been re-writing a bit. It's very exciting and could be really great once it's finished. Aside from that I wrote a letter to my sister. I'm a fan of the idea of letters. They seem so impractical compared to email that it's hard not to like them. Besides there's a level of fun in getting a handwritten letter in your mail. It's sort of exciting. Like a less showbiz version of Xmas. Brilliant.

After this I spent a bit of time watching the hugely embarrasing Ricky Gervais V Grant Bovey boxing match. I honestly can't believe that happened. It's easily the most cringeworthy thing I've ever seen. The people who are training Ricky Gervais are classic "hardmen" who spout a load of tough guy cliches at him. You can actually see written in the lines of his pudgy face: "why the hell did I agree to this?". Insane, deeply awful televison. The fact it was done for charity is no excuse. Want to see it? Here [external link].

After watching it I felt a little like I didn't actually want to go to the gym. The reason being that I hate the idea of me being in any way macho. Contributing to everything bad about men. By going to the gym surely I was becoming part of that culture? Slightly. "You just don't want to go to the gym you lazy git". Erm, well...

As I hammered the treadmill I watched a rather silly programme on Channel 4 called What Muslims Want*, or something. Granted I didn't see the end of it but I did feel a little like it was a bit of a silly programme. Right at the start poor old Jon Snow tried to hype up the fact that most of the young male Muslims he spoke to didn't think that the 9/11 story added up. F#ck me! Join the club. I ain't Muslim, I think the official line is b#llocks as well.

If you baulk at that thought, watch Loose Change, it's in my sidebar and then chew it over a bit.

It's not a perfect film but it's very good.

The whole programme managed to annoy me slightly. I wasn't outraged, just irritated. Not in the way they wanted me to be either. At a guess I'd say the makers of that programme wanted to spark a debate along the lines of: "ooh, isn't it bad how different we all are". What actually happened is I got annoyed at how badly cut the programme was. One thing which rankled was them harping on about how British people believe that there are no limits on free speech and then criticising Muslims for thinking there should be. What nonsense.

Everyone feels there are limits to free speech. If you don't agree, you haven't considered the issue.

Finally, we do not have free speech in this country. We never have.

See, I'm irritated.

Grr!

NM

(Sunday) The tragedy gun takes one down

Today I had that shift on Kerrang Radio to do. As I was in Manchester and they are in Birmingham this ment I had a bit of travelling to do. Not far when you're on the motorway but I thought I'd set off early. Get as used to the equipment as I could. Kerrang is a national station on digital and Sky so there were a few complications with things like split adverts and alternative gig guides. Leaving at around 10am I thought all was going to plan until the traffic ground to a halt on the M6.

There was a gradual realisation that this stoppage was going to be a long one amongst the cars around me. We were slowly sussing out that this had become a massive car park as opposed to a motorway. By a stroke of luck I'd stopped right opposite the turn in to Keele services. I pulled in and got some food*. As I sat in the queue of traffic which was ostensibly leaving the services I noticed that a lot of people had given up and got out of their cars to sunbathe. One bloke got out a portable radio and popped on some happy tunes. Another group of people started organising a game of football. There was a party atmophere as the radio explained that a lorry had capsized and that the motorway wouldn't be clear for a few hours. The air ambulance was coming in. It was possible the motorway would be closed.

I actually heard strangers saying to each other: "Oh well, look on the bright side, at least it's a sunday and no one needs to be anywhere!"

"Ha ha ha, lets all make love!"

"Yes, yes lets. Good god, look at that angry fat stick in the mud over there? What's up grumpy guts? We're all having a great time. What a boring square you are."

And there I was. Hot and sweaty in a car in my least favourite weather very annoyed that I was going to be late for my first ever show on Kerrang Radio. I rang the boss and the DJ on air and explained the situation. I'd clearly dropped them in it as they didn't know who they could get to cover. It was sounding like it might end up being non-stop music on Kerrang Radio. All because I'd f#cked up. This was bad.

Then lady luck took me by the hand and guided me in the form of a posh bloke who said; "hey mate, I've just heard they're opening the back gates of the service station, it leads to an A road. Follow me and we might get out."

I don't know why he helped me but it meant I got there on time. I escaped. It involved some complex 12 point turns as I got out of the queue I was in. It involved my girlfriend doing some extra navigation over the phone as I drove round some odd little A roads. But I got there, with 20 minutes to spare. Fortunately I'd prepped before I got there.

I think the show went quite well, although in places I fluffed a few bits. I also boll#cksed up an ad break. We'll see. It was quite mad the number of friends I had listening to it around the UK.

NM

*I estimated around 8 points on weightwatchers. Sandwiches. Quite nice. Doing alright on weightwatchers at the moment.

The trip hat seems to be working again (Saturday)

I went out with my girlfriend and her new house mate today. We went to a free festival called Depercussion in Manchester. It was good fun. Although the threat of rain hung in the air throughout most of it. The bands were all new and I presume some of them were unsigned. One band who looked a bit like Kula Shaker really amazed me with their first song. It made me think of my favourite film 24 Hour Party People and the occasional fantasy I have of actually managing a band. Then they played their next song and I was amazed again, only this time by how cr#p they were.

"Should I go get some beers in then?"

As I stood in the queue there were two people infront of me. They were clearly on pills. Bumbling away to each other I suddenly felt a bit old and square as I thought things like;

"Yuk! Horrible druggies. Hope they don't try and mug me."

Then I listened in to their conversation and checked myself. It's unlikely someone on pills would mug you. They're too loved up usually*. Anyway I listened and their chat went like this:

"(-sharp intake of breath-) this festival's ace innit"

" band's sh#t."

"(-breathes out and looks around-)"

" i said the band's sh#t"

"Yeah man, they were good when they came on. Now they're sh#t."

"Yeh. They were good. Now they're sh#t."

It amused me that my opinions on something which is supposed to be subjective were confirmed so precisely by two drugged up chuffs. It made me think more closely about my blatant comedic facism. I think perhaps you can descern objectively between that which is good and bad in the extreme. It's just the fine tuning that's quite hard. Then again I think Stewart Lee is p#ss funny and many other people don't. Nah, scrap that, I'm back to square one. I don't understand people.

Talking of Stewart Lee, he never replied to my moronic email about stealing material. That must mean he thinks I'm right and good. Ace. "I win. I always win. Is there nothing on this planet that can challenge me?"**.

NM

*Ha! I contradict myself now, with this story. Went to a club and a bloke comes bouncing up to me, I was about 20 or so and he goes "Arite Nick, you tried pills yet, they're ace. When you do 'em have a fight with someone. It's wicked!!". I was horrified. I'd known the guy at school. Non of us had liked him then either.

**Zod, Superman II. I read with dismay that the new Superman film has been seen as a financial dissapointment. I don't get that. It was genius. What's wrong with people. My review of it is here.

The world slowly folds as we watch fairy lights in the coming darkness. Where has your soul gone? Is it really on the back of a ten pund note?

I'm slipping into a strange creative malaise at the moment. It's annoying. I can feel it. I'm spending far too much time on the internet. Flicking from site to site and gorping at the screen. It's worse than the television. At least with that you occasionally get something which might challenge you. The internet is capable of perpetuating your own stupidity. By only looking at stuff which interests you it's possible to slip into a sort of intellectual isolation. That's where I'm at currently. Comedy shows I've always wanted to watch. The Star Wars Xmas Special which I used to dream of being able to see*. There's almost nothing I can imagine which doesn't exist on here. All you need to do is look. Spend hours looking. Hours.

I now have a nice comfy seat to sit on. It's blue, unlike that horrible white (and brown) one I had before. This means the screen is precisely eye level. With my flatmate away on holiday I've been sat glaring away at it. My soul slowly dribbling out of my mind and into the ether.

I hate the idea that I'm contributing to this collective hypnosis by writing this 'blog although I suspect I might be. When I was a kid I wrote a story about "Heaven". The idea was that in the future "Heaven" would be a giant computer onto which would be stored all the personalities of all the dying people in the world. Once in there they wouldn't understand that their body had died. You could still converse with them, in heaven. The internet makes this story feel less like sci-fi and more like reality. It's what's happening to us.

Soon we'll all be stuck inside these computers which give us so much trivial distraction from the world.

Actually that might be quite fun.

NM

*Disowned by Lucas it features all of the original cast. Thought to be lost in the mists of time it has now surfaced on the internet on google video. Here.

The nut is about to crack?

So me and Ginger Dave spent a few hours in the pub today playing on the pinball machine. Dave managed to nail a good score early on, beating my previous highest score (112,000,000) he nailed a massive total of 119,000,000. Brilliant. I was amazed yet slightly irked. I've spent ages on this bloody machine and yet my scores still get t#atted by newcomers! Still, it was exciting to see someone do well. Then I played an absolute blinder. I got a whopping total of 314,863,560*. I couldn't believe it. I felt a little dizzy. Amazing. At one point during the game I'd had four balls on the go at once! Unprecedented.

We played another couple of games but the left flipper broke so we called it a day. I was pleased, I'd peaked and I didn't want a re-run of the last time I'd played on it. That would have been bad.

Outside the pub me and Dave marveled at what had just gone off. I thought how funny it was that a couple of pints had upped my game so much. Proving my earlier theory about beer being a useful resource in such situations. Then we talked about the last time I'd played it and how I'd got in a bad mood about it. We struck on the common experience we've both had where you tell yourself that an essentially random goal is in some way significant as regards the rest of your life:

"If I make this short my show on Kerrang will go well..."

"If I nail this shot my relationship with my girlfriend will never falter..."

"If I hit this shot I'll always be happy..."

And so forth. It's a dangerous game. If you miss the shot it's hard not to take it badly. I developed the habit at school. Throw a rolled up bunch of paper into a bin. Lands in the bin you'll score with a lady on Friday night. Miss and you won't.

It's in the same league as the salute a magpie thing. Something I also do. Never works.

NM

*The reason I have this number to the exact point is I took a short of my name on the high score board.

Like most local radio disk jockeys he was giddy and had a fascination for trivia.

So, currently I'm gearing up towards Sunday when I will be doing not one but two radio shows. At 3pm I will be covering a show on Kerrang Radio. I'm quite excited about it. It's the first show I've done outside of Hallam FM for literally years. That's quite an odd feeling. Most local radio disk jockeys flit from station to station, year to year. I've actually been at Hallam FM for 6 years now and in that time I've not done any shifts anywhere else. Prior to that I moved at least once every year.

Don't misunderstand what I'm saying. There's absolutely no plans to move full time. It's just exciting to be asked to try something a little different. Kerrang Radio is a rock station. Anyone who has listened to my show for any length of time on Hallam FM will know I'm a fan of rock music and have been for years. It'll be cool to get to play a few tunes on Kerrang which you couldn't really do on Hallam FM.

Above and beyond anything else though, I will be a little nervous. That's the strange thing about my job. You'd probably not really think if you listened to a radio DJ that they might be nervous. I've never had that thought when I listen to someone else on the radio. If they c#ck things up I just presume it's 'coz they're a t#at. Nothing more. Never occurs they might just be nervous.

Even Big John gets the nerves a bit when he's on air. His leg bounces up and down when he's talking. He's one of the best in the business but still the nerves are there! I find that strange.

I remember when I did my trial show for Hallam FM. It was Saturday breakfast. I actually burst into tears I was so worried about it all. The bloke in the studio next door came to sort it out for me. I imagine my boss didn't hear that show. Maybe he did. Perhaps he thought I was being "creative"?

NM

The lowest month of them all... what did you do wrong?

I really need to get a life. I've just spent about £10 on a pinball machine. I started off really well netting my personal best score of 112 million! As I played the game I tried to apply more skill and cunning. Really going for proper targeted shots as opposed to just trying to stop the ball from falling off the board. It was only off my second coin and I was in shock afterwards -

"112,ooo,ooo? bloody hell lads, look at that...?"

"Good goin' mate, 112,000,000".

Etc.

Then things started to go wrong. Sadly it was this initial success which laid the seeds of my downfall. Knowing it was unlikely I attempted to recapture the magic with another coin. I consistently failed to get anything over 50,000,000 points as my stack of nuggets decreased rapidly. My usual score being around 7,000,000. Infuriating. It was a spiral of decline. I kept hammering in those coins, trying different tactics and getting more and more annoyed by the thing. It actually started to make me depressed.

I kept looking at it and thinking things like;

"ha, it's a bit like my life. Start off well and then b#gger everything up. If only I could win here. Then maybe it'll transfer into success in other areas".

The problem with a game like pinball is if you start distracting yourself with irrelevant thoughts like that your game soon suffers. This makes you worse.

"Pah - once again I've proved what an idiot I am. God I'm a fool. Unless, just one more game..."

Thank god I wasn't drinking. Then after a short break a couple of the chaps joined me for a game. This compounded my annoyance. Why? Because they both got higher scores in the rounds we played. 60,000,000 and 59,000,000 respectively. It didn't top my initial successes but they were a distant memory. My game had deteriorated so much that I now looked like an amature. Not the bloke who'd just spunked £10 into the thing!

I'd spent about an hour practicing and then I got ruthlessly f#cked by two people who rarely play the thing! Arrgh!!!

They had an advantage though. They were drinking! It's been proved as a solid fact that 2 beers make you better at pinball. They shut down the self doubt. Calm the voices.

God I'm such a loser.

Well, actually, I'm not. I got 112,000,000. I'm the best.

NM

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