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Out go two more... talking and the king.

Like a fool I totally forgot to put up the Monday dog up again, on monday. Ruined. Here's The Monday Dog on a Wednesday... it's a real gudden this one... it's Jake the dog who belong's to Robin* from The Bay.

Jake is a reasonably mature dog who, when he's there, guards The Bay with his life.
When he gets in the building he's very busy sorting everything out. Here he is helping get things ready for the OB we were set to do in Yorkshire Street, Morecambe.
As you can see he's got no time for photos.


What's particularly interesting though is that when Jake gets into the back of Robin's car he suddenly changes and starts getting really agressive and barking and snarling. He's always keen to get into the car and his tail wags like mad before he clambers in but as soon as he's in there that's it, he's a changed doggy. Up go the lips out come the teeth and it's snarling time. Here's a picture of him, ready to rock!

Three cheers for Jake!

I've become addicted to a stupid website. It's like YouTube but considerably more brutal. It's called funnyordie.com. Here's how it works: you watch a load of videos and you decide if they're funny or if they should die. Once you've decided you click a button and then they get a rating. There's five different ratings: Immortal, Walking Tall, Kinda Cute, Uh-oh and The Crypt. Once you're in the Crypt you're offline. If you stay at immortal for long enough it stays on there forever.

I've uploaded two old YouTube videos. The Amazing Shrinking Man and my old Fire and Ice video. The Amazing Shrinking Man video is floundering considerably at the moment as its rating flickers between "Uh-oh" and "Kinda cute". The other one though, Fire And Ice, that's doing quite well at the moment with a rating of "Walking Tall". Odd, because I prefer the Shrinking Man one personally.

Here's the Amazing Shrinking Man. This one really needs your votes. It's going to be in the bin soon:

The Amazing Shrinking Man

Here's the Fire and Ice one, it also needs your votes because last time I looked it stood a chance of winning something. I'm not sure what.

Fire 2 Ice

Please vote. It'll only take you a second and it'd make your favourite blogger very happy!

NM

*Robin does all the important tech stuff at The Bay. He's also a jolly friendly all round nice bloke.

If you ain't too cool for School then maybe School is too cool for you.

The gradual and yet in many ways inevitable rise of "How Are We?" as the nation's favourite catchphrase took yet another huge step forward today when I recieved this fantastic video:



My God, that's awesome!

Email me at captainhowarewe@hotmail.co.uk. You and your mates, bit drunk, doing a "How Are We". Nothing better than that. Nothing. Get to it!

NM

And you're covered in stress rash as well?

Jesus Christ - ! This guy means business, look how he's slamming that van of his round the sharp corners of The Snake Pass. Now he's right up my ar#e. Why do people do that? It only ever makes me slow down. Oh my f#cking god! He's overtaken me and he's on course for a head on collision with that Rover Estate. Sh#t. I'm going to see someone actually die!

I'm not a fan of A roads. I've mentioned this before here. The main reason I hate them is because of idiots like the guy who was in this van. At some point he'll be in a fatal car crash. That I don't have a problem with. It's the person who had nothing to do with it who is coming the other way that I'd feel sorry for. There'd be nothing you could do as the last thing you saw was a total f#ckwit driving like an idiot. Human stupidity would be your final experience. Human stupidity mixed with greed. Then the worst bit...

Christ that was close. He almost killed that old man. God. Thank God the old man was quick thinking enough to hit the breaks and swerve like that... phew.

Two minutes later, who am I behind?F#cking matey of course.

He's gained nothing from his death defying feat of stupidity. He spends the rest of the journey, about 30 minutes or so, stuck behind the usual big haul of traffic that you get on this road. What the f#ck was the point? We're doing aboutr 40mph all the way. I can even photo the daft b#stard at one point because (as usual on this road) the traffic comes to a stop more than a few times.

Amazing.

NM

(Sunday) Squeeze out the brown down

Razorlike... The Artificial Monkeys... Faking Stevens... The Almost Saints... Pink Fraud...

I spent some time in a pub in Manchester with this chap today. We were playing the tribute bands game that geeks often indulge in. Think of a band and come up with a great name for a tribute act that'd do them.

It's actually quite a tricky game.

It also dominates... the conversation... because you keep pausing... to try and think of one... like I am now...

Fake That!*

Then you watch the expressions of your peers as they either all laugh and high five you or go "what? That's stupid!".

It's a tough game. You're really throwing yourself out there. Obviously I've now spent a little time online and found various great tribute band names such as:

Led Zepagain...

The Rolling Clones...

Nearvana...

I once saw a Beatles tribute act which was very good. I also once saw some bloke pretending to be George Micheal. His kit wasn't working properly though, so he went from being an odd looking half cousin of George Micheal to being an angry builder with a thick Bolton accent.

"F##kin-- --cropho-- --n't wo-- -- prope-- --No cun-- -- hear -- --ollock-- --this, -- --ff. Fu-- --e lot -- --u you --- ---".

He shouted as he slammed the microphone on the floor and stormed off. People were booing him as he impotently swore at an audience that could hear a word. I think, on balance, he was more fun to watch than The Beatles act.

In other news I've set up a podcast website. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. I'll aim to put some audio up there once a month. It'll be about 20 minutes long each time. The current episode is a test. It's got nothing interesting on there. Feel free to listen to the nothing which isn't intersting and subscribe and stuff. Click here.

NM

*Actually, that's a real one I remembered from our discussion.

Oh lordy the choices...

It's generally seen as good form for celebrities to have a charity that they support. It helps with the image thing. On today's show on The Bay I mentioned P!nk's misjudged, ignorant and ill informed comments about the Australian sheep farming industry. I also mentioned that it was tricky to elaborate too much but if you added the words "PINK PETA APOLOGY" into a google search you'd soon hit your mark. If you did that you'd uncover a very embarrassing story concerning children's entertainer P!nk and an animal rights group called PETA who seem to me to be some of the worst sort of "holier than thou" smugwits I've ever bumped into.

P!nk* launched into a characteristically controversial attack upon the australian sheep industry calling for all her millions of fans to not buy wool, specifically from Australia. If you're sick in the head you can find the video of her appeal on YouTube. It's not pleasant viewing.

The same can't be said for the various websites which carry her apology. They're highly amusing. The only problem is, it's difficult to find her exact quote when she issues her humble retraction. I've searched and searched and finally found it. It's a beauty. On the eve of her Australian tour she had this to say when challenged:

"I probably could have been a lot more researched, on my own. That's the lesson I'm taking from this,"

"My message was, in my mind, boycott animal cruelty - not an entire industry, not Australia, obviously, because it's my favourite country.

"Then going back, I was speaking without thinking and I actually did say ban Australia. It's not something that I can agree with.

"I have nothing against farmers. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania. I don't want to hurt anyone, I just want the animals to hurt less."
source BBC.

Brilliant.

Don't misunderstand me, if you're someone who hates animal cruelty that's cool. If you're someone who speaks out on it, that's also cool. But if you're a girl with Pink hair who sings songs about w#nking, perhaps you should know your limits.

NM

*Yes, it's actually written like that. With a wacky "!" instead of an "i" like everybody else uses. Why do you think that is? Because she's an individual or because she didn't do enough research into how her name would be spelt?

(Friday) So you think you can be a chalk star with a geetar?

I was in a toilet washing my hands yesterday at Monkey World when I heard the following exchange from the cubicle next to me. It was a Mother and her obnoxious daughter, being had at quite a loud volume. I'd guess the kid was about four or five:

KID: Owww! Mummy, that's cold. Waah!

MOTHER: Ooops. Sorry darling.

KID (tears): Arrgghh!

MOTHER: Ouch, don't do that to Mummy.

KID: Why not? (teary voice) You hurt me.

MOTHER: Sorry darling.

KID: I hate you... (tone of voice now now switches from venom to happy) Can I have some ice cream?

Brilliant. I remember being a horrible little kid like that. It's amazing really that parents put up with so much grief and although I didn't hear if she was given ice cream or not, I'll bet she was. I remember knowing as a kid that I had life pretty easy. Riding round on my Grifter, making mud pies and having a go on the rope swing off the tree at the bottom of the road. I remember very clearly going to secondary school and thinking "damn, I'm a grown up". Something I seem to have spent the rest of my life thinking to myself at four year intervals. GCSE's? A-levels? Degree? Leaving Uni? Getting a job? Learning to drive? Etc.

Damn, I'm a grown up.

NM

(Thursday) Chegwin on old used fag ends... in the night... dreaming of truth...

This is quite an arty Monday dog picture. The reason for that is it's a fair few days late as on Monday I was busy getting all excited about my stand up comedy performance on and ended up making a fool of myself by forgetting this holy & sacred feature...

I hope this picture makes up for it. The dog here lives in a bookshop on Morecambe seafront. It was very friendly but reasonably disinterested in people.

I found a very odd website linking to me recently, as a consequence of this feature. It's very odd, I can't work out if it's the real deal or not. Some of those posts read like pay per post* hits. Quite an odd read I'm sure you'll agree.

Today me and my mate Matt Mackay made a pilgrimage to Monkey World. It was Matt's birthday recently and as a present I decided to take him in my little car. We set off at 6am for the 5 hour drive to Dorset. We arrived around 12 o'clock and spent 5 hours loving every single second. It was amazing. I bought souvenirs for my girlfriend and my sister and, of course, myself.

I took loads of video of it on my camera phone and we even had a slightly spicy incident with a rock throwing alpha male! I'm going to hold off telling the story until I've cut together the proper video of it. I don't want to spoil it. If you're a keen fan of monkeys though, feel free to look at the stuff I've posted on The Myspace here.

READER'S VOICE: "The Myspace? I thought you hated The Myspace?"

MY REPLY: "Yes, yes I do. That's, ironically why I've posted the video there. It's a crap video. It's too long and is like watching a home video. The final stuff I'm going to put together of the event will be worth watching and will go on The YouTube."

Actually, I've just entered some sort of competition on The YouTube. I've submitted my most popular video The Gandhi Video as a comedy sketch. I've no idea what that means just yet but I may need your help in voting for it and stuff. So, sign up with The YouTube and post a video or two on there so you can vote when the time comes. If, the time comes. I'm not entirely clear on how it'll all work.

NM

*I think it's called that. I got an email asking me to do them once ages ago. For money! Being, at the time, rash young fool, I told them where to go. Shame. Perhaps they'll email back one day and I can put that mistake right. We live in hope eh?

He Really replies. Shame it's not a yes.

In all the years this blog has been going I don't think I've ever touched upon the "How Are We" phenomenon. Just before I started writing this entry I had a quick search through, a little stunned that I'd not even mentioned it, not even in passing. There's not even little hints. I've never actually used the phrase here before now! That's genuinely amazing. Let me explain...

Back at my old workplace me and some friends discovered the phrase "How Are We". It was an instant hit amongst us but, like all good catchphrases, it needed to be said in quite a specific fashion: "Mmm... How Are We?".

For years the phrase was confined to just a small group of people but, like all great catchphrases, it started to spread as people moved out of our immediate social circle and on to other parts of the UK. The migration of the phrase seemed to take on a life of its own as other people who we'd never met appropriated it for themselves.

Initially me and my friends didn't know how to take this. It was a bit annoying at first because we felt like it was our catchphrase. However, over time, the following possibility started to dawn on us: wouldn't it be great to live in a world where everone has heard our catchphrase? How great would that be? People up and down the globe greeting each other with a nice friendly "How Are We?". Trust me, it'd be amazing.

After that we all went into overdrive, we rang up radio stations and TV shows just to say "How Are We" at the beginning. We convinced one of our Dads to put it into a headline in a newspaper, which he did. We wrote a song called "The How Are We Song" and we sang it down the phone to the radio station "The Big L". Despite the fact we were all of us p#ssed as farts they still played it out to all their listener.

Now the next stage of the "How Are We" revolution must begin. I've created a "How Are We" YouTube video and an email address: captainhowarewe@hotmail.co.uk. I need people to film themselves on their camera phones doing a nice high quality "How Are We". Best case scenario is you're in the pub with a load of people and they're all saying it in unison. Or whatever. Actually, best case scenario is I get more than one video sent over to me. I'm sure there'll be some people who have camera phones and drink in pubs with their mates.

The more "How Are We"'s I can get, the better.

Also, make sure you tell us whereabouts the "How Are We" is being performed. We're aiming for world domination!

Here's how it's done:



DIRECT LINK.

NM

Chew on that one piece of sunshine...

I'm not really keen on 4x4 drivers. However, 4x4 drivers who claim to be eco-friendly, they're embarrassing. Deeply embarrassing. I've just finished watching Wife Swap on the 4OD service* and it was the one where the police were called in. There was a nice clip in there of Real Radio's news service telling Yorkshire about it. The story the documentary told was of a bloke and his family who thought of themselves as eco-friendly and then a crass millionaire and his wife who lived in Doncaster.

All in all, a usual Wife Swap. However, the eco-bloke had a big 4x4 car. So, crass woman challenges him on it and all hell breaks loose. He invents various excuses for pulling out of the swap and ends the whole thing. Then, his wife invents a sexual molestation charge against one of the crass family's friends. The charges are fiction and soon dropped. The eco people look like utter twonks and the crass millionaires come out smelling of roses.

All because (in my opinion) matey couldn't stand the fact that the big t#tted crass wife made him look like the hypocrite he was. Search it out if you can, it was a great piece of telly.

NM

*About which I have various reservations. Cheifly the high price of watching a show. Wife Swap was free but a quid to watch a re-run of Peep Show. Too much. 20p something like that, but a quid. Too high a price.

(Monday) The main man thinks that...

Me at Beat The Frog.

I did another Beat The Frog tonight. All in all it was pretty much the same as the last one. Ever so slightly different but not enough to warrant me posting this one up on The YouTube. I was really nervous beforehand but managed to keep the nerves safely inside unlike previous occasions. My memory served me well but I kept having a sneeky look at the back of my hand just to make sure I knew what I was doing.

Oddly enough the joke that I got gonged off at was the 3 kinds of laughter joke which proved to be something of a favourite when I posted my previous set here. From the comments section of that post:

Lloyd: I like it when you talked about types of laugh you are gonna get. People could not help by laugh, and you didn't tell a joke. You made them laugh on command.

Neil: Funniest bit... the bit that actually made me smile sitting here alone with my computer? ".... no laughter."

Unfortunately that was the bit that let me down on the night. It's never not got a laugh before but on this occassion it fell totally flat and I made the schoolboy error of commenting on that with "uh... usually, get a laugh that". I think I need to move it back to an earlier part of the set. Perhaps even use it as an opener. Other than that the new Tesco material I tried didn't really work and needs a bit of work.

Total time 4.10secs.

I was 50 seconds away from Beating The Frog! Ruined.

Still, it's progress and I felt like a more capable comedian this time round than I did prior to going onstage. My next one is on June the 18th just before the lady and I go away to Glastonbury. I'm looking into the idea of booking a few other gigs which aren't in Manchester but haven't found any just yet. If I do I'll obviously post them up here.

While I'm at it my mate Ivan Brackenbury is doing a warm up gig in Sheffield on June the 6th. Keep an eye out for it. It should be a gudden.

NM

(sunday) Over there in the careworn field

I've yet to notice a large number of Bay listeners reading this blog, the majority of readers are from London and Yorkshire. I suspect this will change over time so I've been updating the links in my sidebar. I've removed the link to my old station and put up one to The Bay. I did a jolly good show today so if you are one of the people who heard it, and were treated to my Dad's prediction for the Shrimps's big football game, hello.

As part of the clean up operation I've been checking out some of my favourite sites and, as you'd expect, they're all of them busy hives of activity. Here's what I've found:

Go over to the website Fat-Pie.com and get into the new single by Devvo. If you're over 18. If not don't go there. It's got rude words and stuff and you'll get into trouble. Although I'm not active in the area anymore it's been nothing but exciting watching the Fat-Pie website grow over the years and Devvo's rise is gratifying. I was dissapointed with the Channel 4 stuff, or E4 stuff. They sanitised it too much. Devvo's funny when he's taking horrible drugs and swearing too much. It's an internet thing. TV should chase it, not the other way round. Anyway, go there and get into it. If you're over 18.

Or if you're not feeling the Devvo vibe why not check out Phlegmcomics, there's a new issue out now and the website has been updated as well.

Or, if you're one of the people who read this blog during my 'conspiracy theory era' it might amuse you to hear that there's a mainstream cinema wide release of Loose Change planned for this year. There's a trailer here. It'll be a massive film and I think it'll cause a big storm of controversey. Loose Change III The Final Cut.

While I'm at it, if you want a link from my blog to your website, as long as it's not porn, I'll get one up for you if you leave a note in the comments section.

NM

(Saturday) "Someone's leaving peanuts on the curtain for a white elephant who escaped from the zoo with love"

After a night of nonsense today was a bit of a write off. I fell into the trick of trying to get a little midday nap after the show and pretty much slept the day away after doing my show.

I think the hitcounter has stalled. It was only a 14 day trial. Ruined. I was having fun looking at all the different countries that people were logging on from. And it was quite nice to prove to myself that this thing really does get readers. Sitemeter, my regular hitcounter, confirms that for me already but a second opinion is always nice.

Here's the frozen hitcounter. I've removed it from the siderbar now. It has served its purpose.








   



Just in case the counter stops working entirely here are the stats it recorded...

Of 941 visitors we got 22 different countries.

UK 797
USA 88
Germany 17
France 5
Australia 5
Canada 4
Ireland 3
Italy 3
Mexico 3
China 2
India 2
Portugal 2
Singapore 1
Ukraine 1
Dominican Republic 1
Uruguay 1
Hong Kong 1
Israel 1
Norway 1
New Zealand 1
Poland 1
Sweden 1

As I'm on the slightly geeky stat based subject of hitcounters I thought I'd have a quick scan and see which search terms are bringing readers over to this blog. Here are some of the more interesting ones:

"revolution beatles's evolution jew" - Someone in America landed here recently using these terms. Whatever they were looking for they didn't find it as the counter says they only spent a second here then they were off again.

"internet becomes self aware" - Another wacky American lands here thanks to an obscure title I once wrote in reference to Terrence McKenna. Again they didn't find what they were looking for.

"nick margerrison blog" - The most popular search term for this blog. Seven people landed here over the last few days with these words.

"lost my virginity" - A Californian using the excellent 'Blogsearch' facility. Unfortunately dissapointment struck again and they were off in under a few seconds. I imagine finding this blog will have felled their timber a bit.

"derren brown liverpool" - Whoever used these terms found me describing their hero as a "smug mind control expert" here.

That's one of the odd things about this blog. I always forget that these words are going to stick into the web and remain hanging here for years and years as I write them at my desk. A little like that kick off with matey off Big Brother which happened a while ago. Or should I say matey's fans?

Actually I'd best not say anthing at all and just move swiftly onwards.

NM

A snail is a slug with dignity!

Ever since my mate James Piekos came up on Wednesday I've had The Captain banging round the caverns of my mind. Wednesday night was a good night with lots of beer consumed and it ended, like all good nights, with his squalling voice cutting up reality for us and serving it back in less than bitesized chunks.

READER's VOICE: Who is The Captain Nick?

This is the Captain dear reader...



...now turn up the volume and listen to his amazing voice as The Magic Band lay down some spicy beats and funky grooves around it!

Direct link.


I've been reading a biography of him recently thanks to my girlfriend's Mum. She bought me it as a 30th birthday present. Reading a book about him obviously made me want to listen to his music and that urge became all too powerful on Wednesday. I then listened to Trout Mask Replica, one of his finest albums, on the way up the motorway to Lancaster. Brilliant news.

I'm concerned that my new "neocounter" will soon be vanishing from the sidebar of this blog. That's a shame as I've enjoyed watching different people from different countries landing here but I got an email telling me my free 14 day trial was at an end soon. Ruined. I didn't even know it was a trial thing. There's no way I'm paying money for it though.

Right, I'm off to practice my comedy for Monday's Beat The Frog.

NM

So I'm chewing on a break beat spitting out a snake...

Mopping the hallway and the bathroom. Plastering carpet cleaner on my bedroom floor*. Fitting a new lightbulb in the hallway. Ringing the electricity board. Cancelling my phone line. All these little niggly tasks are the sorts of thing's I'm dealing with at the moment as I make the move from my old 'lad pad' to newer and cheaper accomodation**.

It was a staff night out for The Bay presenters tonight and I was more than excited about going along, even though I'm only doing a weekend show they made sure I was welcome. Lots of banter was had. Particularly between me and one of the breakfast show hosts Darren Milby regarding how great Jeremy Kyle is. He's as bad as me (well, not quite) for watching TV trash. It's a relief to discover that other people watch it who are normal. I worry that everyone else who is tuned in must be of the same f#ckwitted level that his guests are.

One odd thing about the night was the fact that some of the presenters there had actually read this blog. The legend that is Clive Lee said, enigmatically, that it "wasn't quite what [he] expected". I wonder what he expected? He did however say that I should have a look at his fantastic site here. Which I did and it is, fantastic.

NM

*Damaged on my 30th by this chap with his curry antics! Good man. Doesn't update his blog much though does he? Annoying! I really like regular blogs. This one's good here by Lloyd. I'm of the opinion that his erotic dream sounds quite good.

**A cardboard box near Ponds Forge.

Woker into worker

As I'm working out in the gym I'm surprised to see a feature on This Morning about VAGINO-PLASTY! Madness. Apparently it's a type of platic surgery carried out on a woman's most private area. I didn't actually watch the feature but I was genuinely shocked to see it plastered up on such a happy go lucky programme with good ol' Philip Schofield grinning away as Fern delved deep into the story with a woman who'd had her's "plastyed", or whatever. She was doing some powerful squat thrusts in the promo for it!

Yesterday I was shocked to watch Trisha interviewing a woman who had given birth to the child of Ian Huntley and then go on to carry out some pretty harrowing interviews with other victims of, lets be frank, f#cking looneys.

If there's one thing I'm learning about daytime television it's that it's pretty hardcore. I'm also learning that it's a totally pointless waste of time. It gives the impression of being "worthy" but it's pure sludge. I really need to stop gobbling it up entirely.

Today though I'm goal focused. I'm practicing my comedy and room tidying. And having my mate James round for a few beers and a bit of nonsense talk*.

NM

*As explained in yesterday's post.

(Tuesday) Tuesway

I've downloaded the latest fantastic installment of Howard Hughes's "The Unexplained" today. Click here to go to his website and listen to it yourself. It's a great little show with loads of fun esoteric nonsense in there. I mean that in the sincerest possible way. I believe nonsense talk is the highest calling of all. You know the sort of thing; "have they build pyramids on mars?", "is the world controlled by shape changing lizards from the lower fourth dimension?" and "will the world end in 2012?". Great stuff, all of it.

What I miss is the fact that less and less people are prepared to engage in it these days. When I was younger it didn't take much to get people going on such subjects but now, as people get older and become more committed to the idea that they're sane, it's becoming a rarity. That can't be a good thing. The world is crazy, you'll never know reality, why not have a bit of fun with thoughts?

Also, I've downloaded the latest Adam And Joe Coke New Music Podcast. Bit trickier to find this one, but worth it. I enjoy the freedom in their stuff. It's inspiring. And, oddly enough, the new music isn't too bad as well.

All this re-newed interest in podcasting has inspired me to take back my broken MATSUI MP3 player and get a new one. I wasn't surprised to hear that it's been a common problem with this model and found the staff at Currys to be very friendly.

Here's a new video of the old phone in show:



Direct link.

Despite the fact I've only just posted it it's already had 7 views!

NM

(Monday) Trying to work that out.

I once interviewed a Scientologist on my phone in show. It was in the early days when we were still sort of finding our feet with it. In fact it might even have been way back when I used to stand in for Diana Luke, so that'd be really early on, pre-Lucio or Tom Binns*. Anyway, I remember talking to this person about Scientology and I'm afraid to say that he didn't annoy me.

I knew nothing about Scientology and had done no research at all. He came on and told me they were a nice charitable organisation and that I should come down and have a look sometime. I just let him chat for a bit and then moved on to the next call. Like I say, we were finding our feet a bit at the time.

However, it's interesting to note that I came to the whole thing with no pre-concieved notions and therefore did a normal interview. This is unlike the bloke who featured in tonight's documentary by John Sweeney about Scientology... who looked like a bit of a dick in this YouTube video:



Direct link.

Now, the only reason I tuned in to watch the documentary is because I saw the YouTube clip a few days ago. It was posted up by Scientologists who filmed Mr Sweeney as he was making his film "Scientology and Me" which was brodacast as part of the BBC's Panorama. It wasn't a great film and it was a little embarrasing to see the reporter lose it so obviously at the end. What fascinates me here though is that this is yet another instance of the internet's power to bite back when confronting the mainstream media. They had to include the clip in the Panorama episode, even though it looked and felt tacked on. They had no choice but to make their own reporter look like a tw#t because a large portion of the audneice would have felt short changed had the clip that most of them came to watch been left out.

It's like the Kramer Kontroversey in that the internet has set the agenda and the mainstream media is chasing behind it. I think this is a trend which will eventually become the norm. It'll be interesting to see how the mainstream copes as it becomes more and more fractured like this.

NM

*Only a real radio anorack would understand this sentence. Diana Luke, Tom Binns and Lucio were all previous presenters on the late night slot on Hallam FM. I would occasionally stand in for both Diana Luke and Lucio when they were away on holiday. When I stood in though I would refuse to play any records and do a full speech show. Something they didn't do. Probably why I ended up getting Scientologists on air.

(Sunday) Beat free bacon.

The odd thing about doing a breakfast show is that you forget how much getting up at 4am can tire you out.

On air at 6am this morning so I woke up at 4am. Unfortunately though, this time I couldn't be f#cking ars#d with Tony Robbins and the Hour Of Power cr#p. I just had a little lie in. No power walk. No jogging. Nothing. Just a bit of extra sleep.

As a consequence I was all out of kilter today and I didn't really wake up until about 7.30ish. That's really annoying when you're on air. It means you keep falling foul of the halfway through a sentence stammer. Your brain just freezes up like a computer running Windows XP. It just can't be bothered to process the words your sending out through your mouth. Infuriating.

I remember when I started out in radio listening to "proper" radio presenters and being amazed that even they suffered from it. The spluttering, stop-start, halfwitted I-can't-talk syndrome. Arrgh. I'm getting annoyed just thinking about it.

I'm also exaggerating it a bit. That's the problem with this blog. It's a vent for my neurotic side. I witter on here about things that are annoying me and then later realise I've given people the impression I'm a total c#nt who f#cks up everything he touches. Notice some of the sheer surprise in the comments left after I posted my stand up comedy routine. Half the people there had been indoctrinated for the past few months by this blog to think that I was irredeemably sh#t at stand up. The fact I get any laughs at all is a total shock to them.

Such is the nature of blogs and blogging.

I've often wondered what it would be like if I used this blog to just promote the f#ck out of myself. Say how great I am, over and over again. I think it would become a tedious read but any future employers would be impressed rather than confused by it. On the flip side I've noticed that I get more readers when I pump out despair and gloom.

Later in the day I start to feel really tired. "It doesn't make any sense," I think to myself, "it's not late". But it is, I've been up since 4am. Ruined.

NM

So you slip inside the eye of the needle and then sit on my mind...

I'm loving my international hit-counter. So far I've had visits from Ukraine, Singapore, Portagul, New Zealand. It's also quite funny in that it bears out my bumblings as regards some of the different areas which make up the people that read this blog. Notice there's a reasonable chunk of hits from America. These readers came in mostly during the wake of the rather odd "meaning of scaramooch" thing that happened a while ago. For some reason I got a load of people landing here on my blog looking for the meaning of "scaramooch". I wrote about it here but I've never sussed out why it suddenly featured so prominently as a search term across the USA. The practical upshot of it was a couple of readers who live in the colonies. Excellent.

Today's show was great fun. The first proper Saturday show* and in many ways the biggest of the two shows I now regularly present on The Bay. Long term I really do have big plans for both of these weekend shows but for the moment I'm just bedding in and letting the audience get to know me a bit. Overall though I think I'm going to enjoy the Saturday one. There was a nice volume of callers today, just people ringing in and saying hello. That's always nice. I'm not quite sure how to record calls yet on The Bay but it's not going to be long until I've sussed it. Then we'll have a load of people on air talking about stuff. It should be good. Like a slightly better version of the old (largely forgotten) Hallam FM show I used to do in the afternoons, pre-talkshow era.

I even had my Dad on, introducing a song for me. Excellent!

NM

*Last week I was doing a live outside broadcast from a Jewelry shop. Jangle Jewelry. It was fun but it didn't feel like a normal show.

Wow - ! Look at all those people in the hitcounter. Lloyd's a legend. I think they're all his doing. He knows everyone in the world!

I think I'm going to w#nk myself to death - Kylie in Doctor Who??? That's the most amazing news ever. I think I must be gay. I love Kylie, but not in a sexy time way. I love Dr Who, which according to the sci-fi forums is "too gay" these days. The two of them together, in one room. Ye Gods. I'll be living a lie in no time.

And I like Oscar Wilde. I've even read A Picture Of Dorien Grey, without being asked to by a teacher.

Also, I hate football. I mean I really hate it*.

I was talking recently to a mate of mine about how I used to try and pretend to like it occasionally at school, in order to fit in. In the wake of the Eric Cantona controversey I once stole an opinion which I heard a radio commentator putting forward: "Well, he's not very good at actual football when you look at how he plays". I remember trying to pass this thought off as my own and getting really roundly shouted down as "a f#cking idiot," who "don't know anything about football anyway, when was the last time you watched a match?". It was oddly like this sketch here by Simon Pegg.



Direct link.

I didn't know anything beyond the initial statement and was totally unable to substantiate what I was saying. They were talking about Eric Cantona's various footballing achievements and I was sat there looking like a total tw#t.

NM

*Ahem. I'm not gay. Really. Seriously. I know NLP would suggest that saying I'm not means I am but actually I am, not. Gay. So there. Don't have anything against gay people. Just not one myself. I don't think. Not that I think about it. No need to, because I'm not. So why would I even think about it. Even if I did I'm sure I'd discover I wasn't. Gay. Err...

So you ate a load of scrumschkins

Originally I wasn't going to be working today. As a consequence when I signed up to get involved in Jett Loe's Project X I didn't envisage making a big old drive from Lancaster to Birmingham to perform some of my (frankly quite odd) Modern Art Material. In my imagination it's along the same lines as my Gandhi video, which now has the single highest viewing count of all my YouTube videos. Un-aided by cheeky tags like "Paris Hilton", "Britney Spears Sucking" or "Glastonbury" it has gradually triumphed on its own. Brilliant. It went down like a f#cking flying fish as a piece of stand-up but as a YouTube video it's cooking on extra strong methane gas.

So... I drove down to Birmingham to spend an hour with Jett filming myself infront of a curtain reciting my odd material. My faith in it has been bolstered by a documentary about Gilbert and George that I watched this week. Previously I'd been unaware of their work but I think they've drawn some of the same conclusions as me towards the art world. They're just more eloquent. Me and my mate James saw one of their pieces at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which I'll reproduce here via a YouTube video:



Brilliant. Seriously, brilliant.

I think I could have been an artist you know. If I'd have had the right training, good fortune, self belief and of course ability. And talent.

NM

Go to school, go to work, have kids, die.

I had a lot of fun doing the midmorning show on The Bay today. It's a great station and I'm a big fan of some of the music they play. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones; everybody's happy. One of the odd things about it is they use a different playout system to the one I spent years on back at the old station. Initially I hated it but now I'm starting to prefer it. It's a slicker listen and allows for less mistakes.

Partly as a consequence of my stumbling around from place to place at the moment I can't remember if I've posted this video up or not yet. I recently had a worrying conversation with my girlfriend where she claimed I repeat Monday Dog photos on a regular basis. This worried me. I like to think the people who read this blog wouldn't hesitate to pick me up on a mistake like that. Anyway, here's the video. It shows a comedian being punched at The Comedy Store in Manchester. It blows my mind that an idiot like that would even be at a comedy club. Still there we are. It's making Jim Jeffries famous so, enjoy the clip:



Direct link.

NM

Scubba mubba

Today I got a call from the boss at The Bay asking me to do a week of cover work. Drive today and then mid-mornings for the rest of the week. Obviously I jumped at the chance. I'm really enjoying the music there and the vibe of the station is great. Everyone is really friendly and I'm excited to be part of it.

The only thing is, I'm going to do this video thing on Thursday for some odd comedy project I heard about via The Frog and bucket. I'm intending to recite my modern art material for it. I think it'll end up on the internet at some point and if it does I'll be sure to post a link from here to it. It'll be good to find a use for the modern art stuff though as it's not really stand up material.

I had a chat to my mate Tom today, about my stand up work, here are some of his words:

"You might think your modern art stuff is clever, Nick, but is it comedy? After all, it's 'comedy club' isn't it? Not 'clever club'."

He's right of course. It's a cast off bit that I'll never use in a Northern Comedy Club, certainly not at a Gong Show. Talking of which, my next Beat The Frog performance looms large. Almost like an exam. It's suddenly started to seem like something I've got very little time to prepare for, despite the fact that I already know most of my set and have a good two weeks until it's upon me.

Looking through my new set I really think I've got a good chance of "Beating The Frog". Really, seriously. Fingers crossed eh?

NM

Cubba bubba

Today's Monday dog is Dennis



Today's Monday dog is Dennis from the fantastic new breakfast show on The Bay. I'm such an old radio hack that I initially wasn't convinced that Dennis was real, let alone that he actually does sit in the studio while Darren and Lorna do the show. I'm happy to say that I was wrong and met him recently. He's a legend! Really, really, really, cute. Very deserving of The Bank Holiday Monday dog slot.

Unfortunately, today I went and watched Spiderman 3. I honestly can't tell you how bad it was. But I'm going to try...

...10 Reasons why Spiderman 3 is f#cking sh#t.

1, Why does he spend most of his time fighting crime without his mask on? The first action sequence doesn't involve his costume at all and most of the major set pieces involve him swinging about without a mask.

2, It's full of plot holes. For example: why does Mary Jane dump Peter Parker? It makes no sense at all. She's threatened a bit and ends the relationship.

3, The English newsreader.

4, What the f#ck is that dancing scene about?

5, Too much reliance on co-incidence in the plot. Magic meteorites landing near Peter Parker, Peter and Eddie using the same church, at the same time. Urrgh. The list goes on.

6, Too many villains.

7, They've ruined the point of Venom, he used to be a big muscle bound loony, now he's just as slight as Spidey.

8, Stupid f#cking director's kid gets a pointless cameo scene and speaking part.

9, Jonah J Jameson's role collapses into parody.

10, The simple fact that I could easily add another ten reasons without even thinking about it.


One good bit:

1, Stan Lee's cameo. The only thing I wouldn't have put on the editing floor.

NM

Sugar goes well with cheese (Sunday)

I'm starting to find my feet a bit now at The Bay. Today I was asking for people to send in sympathy for Paris Hilton after she was sentenced to jail on Friday. What I love is that some people took me seriously but most people got the joke and played along. I think with anything like that you always need at least one person to think you're serious. Which of course I was.

To mark the occasion I've made a YouTube video which in my mind is like a little TV advert for the new show. As a consequence, if you like it, try and circulate it to people. The more people see my little advert the better. I'm hoping to make both my weekend shows on The Bay good solid look-forward-to-listening-to-them shows. For the moment all I need to think about is what's going in them each week so long term I hope to make them really content driven.



Direct link.


The only odd thing about doing my Sunday show is that currently I'm committed to going jogging every morning. I'm on air on Sunday at 6am! This means I'm out jogging at around 4am. And of course, that's f#cking mental.

When I say jogging what I really mean is walking along gasping for air and sweating like a madman. It's much harder than plodding along on a treadmill in a nice warm gym.

NM

"So he just flipped it over and it drove away first time" (Saturday)

Today I did an outside broadcast from Jangle Jewelry in Yorkshire Street in Morecambe. It was to launch the new Saturday show I'm doing on The Bay between 10am and 2pm. It was interesting to be in the thick of it while trying to do a radio show and odd to see people laughing at my little bizzare links. I'm sort of in my own little world when I do a radio show and I forget that I'm occasionally amusing on it, so it was nice to be reminded of that.

Before we went on air I went round all the shops in the area saying hello, giving them a car sticker and telling them to tune in. It was nice to see that all the shops in the area had The Bay locked onto their radios as well. It's never much fun going into a shop and trying to convince them the station you work at is the one they should listen to.

Overall I think the whole thing went well and I enjoyed the experience. In the past I've refused to do things like OB's* but this one seemed like a good idea. The sun was nice all day and everyone who was there was really friendly. I think my experiences as an aspiring stand up comedian are working well in terms of meeting people and adapting to situations. I'm more confident in my own skin now than I used to be.

I had a conversation with someone at a wedding recently about stand up comedy. He was thinking of giving it a go and my advice was "f#cking do it man!". If you're even thinking about it, try it. It's good fun.

There's nothing more character building than getting soundly booed off stage. Does you good.

NM

*That's what us radio people call outside broadcasts. I think. That must be what it stands for. You never think to ask though. "Hey, you doing an OB Nick?". You can't go "what's an OB?". You just go along with it.

(Friday) Wheatgrass and cr#p.

Today was Flash Gordon Friday. The greatest film ever made, on DVD, in widescreen. Awesome. Watched the whole thing with my Dad who didn't seem quite as impressed as I was.

"Pathetic earthlings! Hurling your bodies out into the void, without the slightest inkling of who or what is out here. If you had known anything about the true nature of the universe, anything at all, you would've hidden from it in terror."

I've got this awful compulsion to not only memorise but recite my favourite things when they're on the telly. I know almost all of Flash Gordon off by heart, certainly all of Star Wars and most of BlackAdder, Alan Partridge and The Office. And of course Brasseye.

I believe recognising obscure quotes from great films or TV programmes is a sign of good character. I remember once with a mate dropping in the following odd quote:

"Yeah, I'm just wondering about some of these, ah, fit ups".

It's from a segment of The Day Today where they do "Speak Your Brains". The quote in question is given by one of the people who they ask questions of in the street. It's incredibly obscure as a quote. I couldn't believe it when my mate managed to cite it without my prompting.

Such conversations are the domain of the man I think. Women aren't as excited by another person's ability to remember irrelevant information. They like you to remember things like their birthday and exactly how long you've been going out with them. Us men know that remembering such things is their job. We're here to memorise Bill Hicks routines and episodes ofthe second series of The Young Ones.

NM

Great Flash Gordon site:

This one's ace.

Ungry at midday, for all the wrong reasons.

Today the lady and I saw Mark Thomas doing stand-up in Manchester. I spoke to someone recently who knows him and the following quote sums it up quite well, "he's a nice bloke but some of his stuff is a bit worthy". There's a good short description of the gig.

He bounded onstage, looking a lot younger and healthier than I'd expected*. His delivery was very enthusiastic and you could see that he had underlined skills as a comedian. Part of me wondered what it would be like to see him doing some bog standard relationship material. Just cracking a few jokes about, you know, the hilarious situations life put us all in. Or whatever. It'd just be interesting to see if he was any good at it.

The main reason I say this is that I felt with quite a few of the "laughs" there was a strong sense that the audience just wanted it to be funny. It was interesting, above everything else. I would have preferred less "laughs" though. That's not to say that the funny bits weren't funny, it's just that there's a natural rhythm to a stand up set which requires laugh points every so often and I'd rather he neglected that. The pattern of DOT-DOT-DOT-LAUGH needn't be there, so to speak.

Re-reading all this it looks like I hated the gig. I didn't I enjoyed it. It was a good gig. It's just lefties. I get irritated by lefties. I like them but, you know, from a distance. He mentioned Brian Haw during the show, he's a classic example of a leftie. I like Brian Haw in that I support what he's doing, his right to do it and I admire his courage and conviction. However, I wouldn't like to hang out with the bloke. He'd annoy me. Lefties are a bit too smug. That's all.

I also became mildly irritated by the audience who all looked like trendy lefties. I can't stand being in a room of political or ideological consensus. It irritates the sophist in me. I've got this awful drive to disagree with the majority that I've never managed to control. As a consequence the following conversation took place between me and my girlfriend:

Me, in a loud voice that I hope other people can hear: "I think I'm going to vote Tory at the next election".

My girlfriend: "Eh? Where's this come from?"

Me, even louder: "I just think the Tory party are the ones who really care about this country!"

My girlfriend: "I thought you didn't vote?"

I couldn't resist. I could see the long haired bearded bloke in front of me twitching as I shouted out my casual conversation. Why do I do things like that? I've never worked it out.

Oddly though it did get me thinking of a book my Mother is trying to get me to read called "What is Left" by Nick Cohen. It's a great book about how "the left" have lost their way. What I've read of it was brutally true and sums up the politically disenfranchised generation I belong to. I voted for Blair, once, and I want my vote back. I'll never vote again, ever.

NM

Website: http://www.markthomasinfo.com/

*What with him being a lefty I'd imagined he'd smoke pot like a chimney and have all the physical characteristics of someone like that. See, I really am a prejudiced Tory.

Skoopa that up.

The strange thing about this blog is that entries often catch up with you months or even years later. Tonight I was sat on exactly the same table as a bloke who I once wrote a review of here. It was an honest but not entirely flattering review of his double act; The Toothpaste Expedition. They were trying something surreal and new as a support act for the genuinely brilliant Simon Munnery* but it didn't really work out. The main thing I remember from it is a good honest heckle that still makes me smile when I think about it.

The bloke in question was Richard Swan, I know he read my review because if you look in the comments section** you'll notice he's replied to it. So, there I was, sat at the table of a bloke who I recognised but who didn't recognise me. I'd even interacted with him in a way. I was a little worried that he'd get up with his mate and do The Toothpaste thing, badly. Would I mention it in my blog? "No," I thought, "I'll just omit it entirely and talk about that bloke David who I was talking to about this online comedy TV show thing instead".

As it turns out Richard Swan was on his own, The Toothpast Expedition have split up and my review marks one of their final gigs together. On his own, Richard Swan is a really good stand up comedian. He's got some great gags in there, a brilliant delivery and a cleverly constructed set. He cranks up his voice at the start of each sentence like an old gramaphone record, or a town crier. It's got a hypnotic effect. He's works the room like he's talking to one person. He draws you in to his little fictional world and then hops off out of it at the end leaving you no wiser as to who he is. Brilliant. Much better on his own. Here's his myspace profile. Go see him if you get the chance.

NM

*I was chatting to a bloke at the wedding I went to last weekend about my favourite comedians after he approached me and said nice things about my best man speech. "I really like a bloke called Simon Munnery," I told him and he chimed back with "oh, that's odd, I work with his brother". He'd been to see him a few times and agreed with me that he was very good. I was a little shell shocked to be talking to someone who knew one of my comedy heroes personally. If you ever get the chance to see Simon Munnery you should go. I've never seen a better stand up.

**About 10% of this blog's readership bothers with the comments section. I don't know how to take that. Is it a good thing? People are here to read my words, not those of others. Or a bad thing, people can't be bothered to respond to my drivel. They land here by accident or just to briefly check if I'll be doing a talkshow again soon. I don't know.

(Tuesday) Skunthope City Council are off their mash.

Ye Gods. I've spent a day doing absolutely f#ck all. Really, seriously, f#ck all. Not good. I've been round at my lady's house and she doesn't have an internet access going on so partly I had an excuse but largely, if I'm honest with myself, I spent most of the day wallowing. I watched cr#p on the telly, Jeremy Kyle, Riki Lake, Jenny Jones. That kind of nonsense. I've always loved crass American style talk shows and never tire of seeing DNA results or lie detector tests where people confront their loved ones. Great stuff.

I have a reoccurring vision that one day I'll end up presenting one of these sorts of shows. A sort of credible Jerry Springer, if you can imagine such a thing. I think I'd be pretty good at it but it's really only an odd inclination I have at the back of my mind.

One thing I really do miss from the daytime schedules is Kilroy. That was ace. They had a lot more flexibility with that format but I believe they didn't really use it enough. It got lazy towards the end and as a result I don't think people realised what they'd lost until it had long gone. Also, Kilroy wasn't the greatest presenter in the world. He had an irritatingly condescending style which didn't always work as well as it should have done. On paper he was a great host. Just in actuality he was a little annoying.

Kyle is superb though. He started off quite badly but now he's a tour de force. You can really see his radio background in what he does, there's loads of classic technique in his style but it works really well. His voice is nice and cutting and he's not afraid to ham it up just to the point where it's almost self parody. Brilliant.

Still, it's an empty meal and at the end of the day I feel like I've wasted my time. Tony Robbins would not be impressed. I vow never to repeat a day like this at the end of it. All my days will be productive from now on.

Right after I've watched Trisha. Lovely Trisha.

NM

Skip out fright, into the night. you don't scare me said The Bear.

The Monday Dog.

Today's Monday Dog is my old dog Mr Fred. He died a few years ago. We had to put him down as he had a million and one things wrong with him. Not least the fact that his eye was about to burst! Poor thing. Still he had a good long life, 15 years of it, and his death was better than the one most humans I know have to go through. He was given the needle, in his garden on what he would have thought was just another normal day.

Prior to us getting him I was terrified of dogs. I'd freeze up in fear if one was so much as 200 yards from me. It was a genuine phobia. The best possible cure was to buy one and face up to it. I remember realising he was just as scared as I was of the world on the first day we got him, as a puppy. We became good friends over the years and it's one of my regrets that I had to leave home and therefore stop walking him so regularly*.

I posted Fred The Dog today because I read this awful story recently about a brave little family dog which took on a couple of pit bulls in order to save it's owner. The full story is here but in summary there was a little dog called George who tried to fight off some marauding pit bulls in New Zealand. It was playing with some kids when the two dogs appeared. It apparently bravely jumped at them barking, despite the fact it was smaller than them and outnumbered. The poor thing lost its life but if there's a doggy heaven it'll be there now.

This is what I love about dogs and what I hate about people. Firstly, those two pit bulls should have been looked after better and the owners of them are directly responsible for their behaviour. Therefore people are bad. Secondly, George The Dog did the right thing and if you read the full story it was thanks to him that the kids, his friends, escaped with their lives.

I remember my dog Fred doing a similar thing once. He wasn't a violent creature but once, oddly, a sheepdog ran out of a house on my street and came straight for me. Initially I thought he was going for Fred but no, he jumped right at me. Without a thought Fred clamped his jaws on the other dog's neck as it tried to bite my hands.

I was f#cking terrified as the two dogs bit each other and the sheepdog's owner came running out of his house shouting at us. "Snoopy! Snoopy! Come back here!" he cried, in the surreal manner that only real life can throw up. I'd been almost bitten by a dog called "Snoopy". Madness.

I loved my dog Fred and I always will. If I ever get another, which I want to but don't have the room space, it'll always lie in Fred's shadow. He was in the mould of George from New Zealand whose death I mourn but life I celebrate.

Dogs are f#cking great!

NM

*It reminded me of that awful last chapter of the original Winnie The Pooh stories where Christoper Robin grows up and leaves Pooh forever.

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