Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, Bonkers, Mr Brown?"

"So, Prime Minister, is it true that you are completely bonkers?" Which,of course, is what the BBC's Andrew Marr didn't ask Gordon Brown in an interview the other day. Although he might as well have. As soon as you start asking anybody in the public eye if they take prescription drugs, then the clear implication is that you think that they are either an addict or mentally ill. Or both. The very fact that Marr asked such a question is highly revealing of attitudes toward mental illness in our society, implying that both the illness itself and the medication both render one unfit to hold any kind of position of responsibility. Both are untrue. Not all forms of mental illness are serious enough to be incapacitating, nor is the medication used to treat most forms of such illness. Indeed, the whole point of the medication is to bring the condition under control. But, as far as the media is concerned, both mental illness and its treatment are both stigmas which can be used to try and discredit politicians.

Bot, of course, Brown isn't mentally ill and isn't on medication. No matter how much Marr tries to defend his line of questioning by claiming a 'public interest' defence, the fact is that there was never any sound grounds for asking such a question. The whole 'Brown on medication' bollocks is an internet rumour originating with right wing arseholes chattering away on their blogs. I don't know about anyone else, but I really don't think that online tittle-tattle is a reliable source of information for political journalists. Still, in the interests of balance, I look forward to Marr asking Tory shadow chancellor how many prostitutes he has shagged, or confronting 'Call me Dave' Cameron with the allegation that he regularly turns into a slavering bestial fiend that rampages through the fleshpots of London, indulging in murder, sexual violence and insider dealing. I have a funny feeling that he won't, though.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Belting Up

When did belts cease to be simply devices designed to hold one's trousers up? I only ask because I've been having a lot of trouble with belts lately. Not because of my girth, I hasten to add (although I don't deny that I could do with losing some weight). A few months ago an old and trusted belt, which had held up many a pair of trousers for me, finally gave up the ghost and broke. Naturally, I replaced it, deciding that, in the interests of longevity, I'd go for a thicker, sturdier looking leather belt this time. It barely lasted a couple of months. Within days of pressing it into action, the areas around the sprocket hoes (is that the right word, or should it be 'eyes'?) were deforming. Within a couple of weeks the veneer was beginning to flake off of the belt's surface. Finally, the buckle broke. It turned out that, instead of being cast in one piece for strength, it had been soldered together from two separate pieces, which had come apart.

Desperate for some means to prevent my trousers from ending up around my ankles (something that should only happen in the privacy of one's own home whilst perusing pornography - or so I'm told), I rushed to Primark (the closest clothes retailer at the time) and obtained a 'belt' for the princely sum of £1.50. Not surprisingly, it lasted barely twenty four hours before the buckle broke. My complaints about both items have been met with bemusement. Apparently, in both cases, I was misusing said items, in that I was trying to hold my trousers up with them. This was not their function. Belts, it seems, are now fashion accessories. The fact that they go around your waist is purely incidental. They are not designed to be bucked up tightly or bear any weight. Jesus! Who the hell wears a belt, an ordinary black leather belt, as a fashion accessory, for God's sake? Actually, I do know - women of a certain age. A young lady of my acquaintance wears such things. But hell, that's a girl thing - I was buying men's belts! Trust me, my friend certainly wouldn't wear one of those as a fashion item. Besides, everybody knows that blokes belts are solely for holding trousers up, (and occasionally holding together the exhaust pipes of 1978 Chevy Camaros, but that's another story). But no, nobody seemed willing to sell me a belt designed for such purposes. I was seriously considering using a piece of string instead, when I finally hit upon the idea of buying a belt that looked like a fashion item, rather than a trouser holder upper, in the hope that it would be better made. Thankfully, the current belt - a fabric item with metal reinforced eyelets (I think that's the right term) and cast one-piece buckle, is proving very durable. As well as, apparently, looking fashionable. Hopefully, my belt troubles are behind me...

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Christmas Watch 2009

Or should that be 'Winterval Watch'? Anyway, here we are, in late September, enjoying an 'Indian Summer', with the delights of Autumn (possibly my favourite season) just around the corner, and what do I find invading local supermarkets? Mince pies, tins of chocolate biscuits and Quality Street, all on special offer. Not, of course, that Christmas is actually mentioned anywhere in relation to these special offers. Nor is there any sign, as yet, of discounted Christmas decoration, puddings or turkeys. Nevertheless, this does seem to be the earliest Christmas retail invasion I can remember. Indeed, the mince pies appeared as soon as we entered September and the kids were back at school.

It really would be nice if, just for once, we were allowed to actually enjoy the Autumn without it being gatecrashed by bloody Christmas! I always thought that the one good thing about the colonisation of our popular culture by the Americanised version of Halloween was that this at least created a buffer between Summer and Christmas, effectively preventing retailers from swinging into full Yuletide mode before November. This year, however, I fear that we'll see blood-soaked 'Psycho Santa' costumes on sale for Halloween, along with hollowed out Christmas puddings in place of the more traditional pumpkins. Perhaps 'trick or treaters' will be encouraged to throw bottles of egg nog at people's houses rather than eggs - especially if the householder has given them 'After Eight' mints instead of proper sweets...

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wrath of Cod (Part Three)

Whilst the 2001 animal uprising was eventually quelled, there are fears that there could be further outbreaks. Conspiracy theorist Bob Dipstick suspects that the recent furore over swine fever could be another ploy to cover up new animal insurgency. "This time it looks to be worldwide, with the United Nations co-ordinating the lies about swine flu," he opines. "It was the same a few years ago when birds started attacking people - they came up with so-called 'avian flu', but that never materialised, did it? No, once the revolt was secretly brought under control, the 'pandemic' vanished from the news!" However, the question of just what triggered the original uprising remains. Farmer Grincombe, victim of the revolt, believes that its all down to radiation, specifically French nuclear testing in the Pacific: “Everyone knows that radiation causes bizarre mutations, such as giant fish and super-intelligent animals - I blame the EU”. If radiation is the culprit, the source could lie much closer to home - the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant is sited in Cumbria, the epicentre of the revolt.

Whatever the cause of the revolt, many zoologists believe that the authorities’ reaction was misguided and disproportionate. “They should have tried to communicate and reason with these creatures, which displayed obvious intelligence”, says one. “Just because animals achieve abnormal size or intelligence, it does not mean that they will become aggressive. I blame King Kong for this misconception, it was highly inaccurate. Gorillas are passive creatures, Kong would probably have spent most of his time on the Empire State Building masturbating or picking his arse - people would have been more at risk from being drowned in his jism as he tossed off than from being eaten by him”. However, Tory MP Harry Johnson believes that the government’s reaction was too little, too late. He maintains that giant mutated animals pose a very real threat: “Let us not forget that airship travel was abandoned in the 1930s as a result of the number of dirigibles being destroyed by the giant Gorillas which infested New York’s skyscrapers during that period!”.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wrath of Cod (Part Two)

“At first we thought the crisis could be contained by the civil authorities in Cumbria”, a Ministry of Agriculture source told us. “But it soon came apparent that the local police couldn’t cope, even after arresting the suspected ring-leaders - two cockerels and a bull mastiff from Penrith - and detaining them at Carlisle police station”. The police station was soon besieged by hordes of farm animals - gangs of poultry and cattle roamed the streets terrorising citizens. “The situation was clearly getting out of hand”, commented our Ministry source. “Moreover, despite restricting the movements of farm animals, we found that the revolt was rapidly spreading to the rest of the country.” Panic set in when an eight foot long halibut was caught off of the Scottish coast. A top secret Cabinet Office paper speculated that it was merely an immature juvenile giant halibut and that its gigantic mother might be lurking in the deeps, plotting revenge on those who had eaten her offspring. According to the paper, at any moment the British Isles could be subject to an attack by a giant, hundred foot long, halibut - coastal towns could be devastated as it rose up on its tail before flopping down on the ground, crushing everything below. “In the face of this terrifying, yet strangely plausible, scenario, it was decided that the animal uprising had to be quelled before they had a chance to ally themselves with any such giant fishes”, says our Ministry source. “Consequently, it was felt that we had no choice but to call in the military.”

However, resistance was far stiffer than expected. In one incident an attempt to encircle a herd of militant cattle in Somerset was foiled when advancing infantry found themselves being shelled by a band of mercenary chickens employed by local pigs. An armoured column had to be dispatched to relieve the ground troops and thereby avert a major military disaster. “We should have known better than to expect instant results from the military”, said our man from the Ministry. “After all, the Royal Navy hardly covered itself in glory when it attempted to protect British fishermen from militant cod during the Cod Wars of the 1970s - several warships were severely damaged after being rammed by cod. We were damned lucky there weren’t any giant halibut about”. Indeed, military incompetence eventually led to Britain losing the Cod War (which had erupted after North Sea cod decided that they were being sold too cheaply by UK fishmongers and refused to be caught by British trawlers), when the Captain of HMS Irrelevant panicked under attack and dropped depth charges, killing a large number of non-combatant haddock. Under UN pressure Britain was forced to withdraw and accept the fishes’ terms, thereby leading to a rise in fish prices which subsequently fuelled the rampant inflation of the late 1970s. In order to prevent another such defeat, the RAF was authorised to carpet bomb large areas of countryside with napalm - the supposed blazing pyres of animal corpses simply being a cover for these tactics.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Wrath of Cod (Part One)

Top conspiracy theorist Bob Dipstick has sensationally claimed that Britain's 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak - which saw troops deployed to the North of England, supposedly to deal with the crisis, was actually a fake. "Just why did it take half the British army to combat a disease which is non-fatal to farm livestock and does not affect human beings?" he demands in the latest issue of My Conspiracy Monthly. "Just why was it necessary to burn thousands of animal carcasses to contain the spread of a disease which can easily be inoculated against? Just why were our coastal cities under threat from giant fish?" According to Dipstick, the astounding truth was that all over Britain animals had been turning on their human masters and viciously attacking them. In order to avoid mass panic, it was decided at the highest level to use the foot and mouth story as a cover. Not all of the attacks were fatal, or even violent. Indeed, the animals involved frequently exhibited an unnatural degree of intelligence, often seeming to desire to degrade and humiliate their masters rather than kill them.

In one incident, two farm workers from Hawkshead claimed that they had been ambushed on a lonely farm track by a group of farm animals, stripped naked and harnessed to a plough. They were then forced to turn the soil of a nearby field by hauling the plough across it (in driving rain) for over seven hours. A few weeks later, Windemere farmer Jake Grincombe arrived back at his farm house after a hard day toiling in the fields, only to find a horse - known locally as Big Dave - in bed with his wife. “The brazen bastard was lying in my bed next to my wife, smoking one of my cigarettes! He even winked at me!”, says Grincombe. “The wife later told me that the arrogant bastard had even tried to use my extra-large condoms, but they’d been too small and had split when he put them on!” At first incidents such as these were not taken seriously by the authorities. However, they soon escalated into a full scale insurrection across the whole of Cumbria - and beyond.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Accident of the Week

The Autumn TV season must be upon us - Casualty returned to the BBC last weekend for a new series. After nearly a quarter of a century on our screens, you'd think that they'd be running out of bizarre medical emergencies to base each episode around. Actually,I have to admit that my favourite part of episode is the elaborate opening set-up, when we meet some group of unfamiliar characters engaged in some kind of situation which you just know will culminate in one or more of them being horribly maimed in an inventive fashion. These scenes always contain clues as to the nature of the forthcoming 'accident of the week' - if the characters are outdoors, thee might be a mechanical hay-baler in the background, or a motorised lawn mower, perhaps. It's no safer indoors. Anything could be dangerous in the kitchen, for instance - gonads caught in a sandwich toaster, or severe scaldings with pans of porridge, let alone the potential threats posed by food mixers and fridges.

Naturally, I have my own ideas as to how the series could be spiced up - not that the BBC are interested, of course. It was the same when I sent them those suggestions as to how they could capitalise on the death of a contestant on Noel's Late, Late Breakfast Show back in the 1980s. Did they thank me when I proposed that the show should be rechristened the Late, Late Viewer Show, and feature contestants receiving deadly challenges from Noel Edmonds via the 'Whirly Wheel of Death'? No, they bloody well didn't. They didn't return that miniature, fully working, mock up of the 'Whirly Wheel of Death' I sent them - it feature challenges such as 'boiled alive', 'eaten by cannibals' and the 'Ted Moult double glazing challenge', in which a contestant stood behind a sheet of Everest double glazing while Mike Smith fired both barrels of a shotgun at them.

However, getting back to my proposals for Casualty, I have suggested to producers that they might like to include a storyline in which a lorry carrying artifacts from the British Museum to an exhibition in Holby is involved in a horrific motorway crash. An Egyptian mummy is thrown clear of the vehicle, and found by paramedics who assume it is a victim of the crash and take it to the casualty department. Once there, finding the body has no pulse, Charlie attempts to restart its heart with the crash trolley. The mummy is revived and proceeds to go on a rampage around the hospital. Romantic complications ensue when it mistakes nurse Jessica for the reincarnation of its lost love, a long dead Princess of the Nile, and tries to whisk her away from her partner, Dr Trueman. Luckily, paramedic Jeff finds the Scroll of Thoth in the back of his ambulance - dropped by an injured and delirious museum curator - and porter Big Mac remembers from a documentary he saw on the Discovery Channel that reading from it can stop living mummys in their tracks. Unfortunately, he can't read hieroglyphics, but the curator whose life Adam has just saved can, and the mummy ends up tearing itself to shreds. All-in-all, I'd say that would be a far more realistic portrayal of the challenges faced by today's NHS than the usual catalogue of cardiac arrests, tropical diseases and amputations they usually deal with every week in Casualty.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Comic Cuts

When I was much younger and an avid reader of comics, we boys would sneer at girls' comics. Not that any of us had actually read any of them, but we just knew that the kind of stories they undoubtedly carried - about riding ponies, japes in exclusive girls' boarding schools and adventures in modelling - couldn't possibly compare to our regular diet of war, crime, occult shenanigans and football. This week I finally got to read a couple of those comics aimed at girls, courtesy of The Guardian which has been giving away free classic British comics all this week. It was an enlightening experience. Whilst, in some ways my long-ago prejudices were confirmed, I was pleasantly surprised by much of what I found. Indeed, I found myself enjoying the 1972 Bunty Summer Special and the 1971 first issue of Tammy far more than the 1981 edition of Roy of the Rovers. I think part of the problem with the latter was that it was a pure football comic. Every story was football-themed, making the whole comic feel a bit samey. I always preferred action-adventure comics like Valiant, which contained a whole range of strips, covering everything from war heroics to science fiction, usually including a single football strip. The two girls' comics, as it turned out, were much more in this latter mold.

Nevertheless, Bunty and Tammy, although contemporaneous, were surprisingly different. Bunty was definitely the more traditional of the two, and clearly aimed at middle-class girls. It was chock full of private school-based stories (usually with a token working class character, as in the 'Four Marys'), and tales of nice girls from good homes setting up agencies to help out people in 'trouble'. 'Trouble', of course. usually involved other middle class girls having their chances of competing in the gymkhana sabotaged by working class stable girls. Indeed, the portrayal of he working classes is summed up by the 'Tina the Tester' story in which the eponymous tester of consumer products, when looking for a dirty oven to test a new oven cleaner on, assumes that someone from the 'lower orders' will have such a thing. Tammy was quite different, with a much greater emphasis on working class heroines, often struggling against overwhelming odds to keep their families together ('Our Janie'), or to achieve their dreams ('Bettina at Ballet School'). When it wasn't presenting its version of 'social realism', the comic exhibits a predilection for the more Gothic romance style of story, with various historical heroines being virtually imprisoned and terribly mistreated. In 'Slaves of War Orphan Farm' it is East End evacuees being exploited by evil rustics, whilst in 'No Tears for Molly' it is a 1920s East End servant girl desperate to earn money to support her poor old mother back in London, falling foul of toffs and nasty butlers in darkest Devon. Most interesting is 'My Father, My Enemy', an early 190s set story of a local mine owner's daughter rebelling against her father's reign of tyranny and siding with his down-trodden employees in an industrial dispute. As I intimated earlier, not at all what I expected. Indeed, with this level of left-wing political discourse in evidence, perhaps I should have been reading girls' comics all those years ago...

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Walk in the Hills

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Another film from my holidays. This one's a bit of an epic at just over six minutes. Like 'A Walk on the Beach', the title is self explanatory. It also has the same crappy sound quality. Unlike the earlier effort, this one isn't a single continuous take. Instead, it condenses nearly an hour of hill walking into just six minutes. Consequently, the film makes extensive use of editing, mainly using a wipe to segue between sequences. Still not very sophisticated, but an advance on the previous film, technique wise. Hopefully, over the course of the next few films (yes, there are more), you'll see a further improvement.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Where's My Bloody Traffic Gone (Again)?

Maybe it is because I went back to work today, but I'm not in the best of moods. Which is probably why the total lack of traffic to The Sleaze today, despite a new story being posted and various other traffic generating efforts on my part, is really pissing me off. Once again, I find myself asking why I bother? Well, this time I really have had enough. I've got better things to do with my time. So fuck the lot of you. Despite what I frequently say about The Sleaze being an 'underground' site and not wanting hordes of visitors who aren't really interested in its content, who have just come because it is 'trendy', or the latest internet 'sensation', I do get very irritated by the fact that, in spite of knowing that I have the superior product content-wise, it is other sites, full of truly crappy, poor quality stories, which seem to get, not only a high volume of traffic, but also greater recognition both on the web and in the wider media.

Before I start sounding too egocentric and arrogant, it isn't just The Sleaze which I see suffering in this respect - there are a whole slew of humour and satire sites out there regularly publishing innovative and high quality material, which barely register on the public's radar. Hell, The Watley Review, Wear Your Cape, Satirium and All Day Coffee, to name but a few, put out some great stuff, but do they get the recognition they deserve? Indeed, you can say the same for just about any of the sites featured on Humorfeed. Why is that? Interestingly, I was reading an article in The Guardian the other day about teenaged bloggers who have become influential, when I came across a quote from a media commentator, who noted that sites often increase their traffic and visibility, regardless of the quality of their content, as a result of being linked to by an established popular site or featured in a newspaper. In either case, they noted, the exposure they get is based on luck. The sad truth is that, still, the popularity of sites is based upon fads, rather than quality. no wonder I get pissed off...

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Friday, September 11, 2009

You Couldn't Make it Up...

Once again, reality is trying its damnedest to prove that it can be even more bizarre than anything I can make up for The Sleaze. I refer, of course, to the story that police in Turkey have released a number of young women from a fake Big Brother house. Apparently they had been duped into believing that they were on a reality TV programme when, in reality, they were being 'exploited for sexual purposes'. You'd have thought that they'd have gotten a bit suspicious when they found that all the tasks they were required to perform involved them taking all their clothes off. Surely the contest to see who could insert the largest vegetable up themselves, alone, would have been a bit of a giveaway? The whole sorry saga reminds me of a story a few years ago about how several women had been duped into publicly baring their breasts by a con artist who phoned them up claiming to be a doctor and told them that they were to be given a mammogram by satellite. Of course, all they had to do was take off their bras, stand at an open window and angle their breasts upwards. There's one born every minute...

Another recent news story which caught my eye was the fatal strangling of a British consul in Jamaica. Mystery surrounds the murder, with the victim being found outside his house, although the property hadn't been burgled and the consul apparently hadn't been robbed. My first reaction was that it was clearly down to SPECTRE or some similarly nefarious secret organisation. As I seem to recall, British officials being murdered in the West Indies was a fairly common occurrence in Ian Fleming's James Bond novels. as the story has now gone rather quiet, I can only assume that 007 has been dispatched to the Caribbean and a D-notice imposed on the whole affair by M. I confidently expect that in a couple of months time we'll hear that a mysterious half-Chinese, half-German scientist with mechanical hands was behind the murder as he tried to cover up his plans to divert American space rockets from their proper trajectories. Shortly after that we'll no doubt hear that, before he could be questioned, said scientist died in a tragic accident when he drowned in a pile of guano on his private island...

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Smack My Holy Bitch Up

It has been announced that Christian crooner Cliff Richard, inspired by the late Johnny Cash's late successes with his versions of numbers by acts as diverse as Nine Inch Nails and Motorhead, is to release an album of Prodigy covers. "This is the perfect way to revitalise his career and get him in touch with a new generation of fans," opines top rock critic Rick Wedge. "Just look at the way Johny Cash is revered by punk and metal fans now - they really appreciated the way he used those covers to reveal his inner anguish." However, many critics doubt that teetotal celibate Cliff Richard has sufficient inner anguish to do full justice to such numbers as 'Firestarter' and 'Smack My Bitch Up'. "There's actually something quite disturbing about the sight of a man of pensionable age with a stud through his nose and sporting a mohican singing 'I'm a firestarter, twisted firestarter'," says Mary Skank of the Basildon Music Digest. "As for his rendition of 'Smack My Bitch Up', I doubt he's ever had a bitch, let alone smacked her up. The video, which features him punching out a nun, misses the point completely and is risible rather than outrageous."

The Prodigy's Keith Flint, meanwhile, is reportedly preparing to retaliate for the desecration of his greatest hits by covering Cliff's 'Summer Holiday'. "The video's going to be a parody of the classic film," claims Wedge. "It will feature Keith and the rest of the band as a bunch of English football hooligans on a pan-European coach trip, getting drunk and trashing various historic cities. The highlight is when Keith pukes off of the op of the Eiffel Tower." In contrast to Cliff's efforts to appear hip and up to date by covering a more modern artist, Motorhead's Lemmy is taking the opposite approach, having just announced his plans to have his veteran heavy metal outfit produce an album of George Formby covers. "Lemmy has long been a Formby fan, and feels that this is the ideal way to bring one of is musical idols to a new, younger, audience," explains Skank, who has reported this development exclusively in the Basildon Musical Digest. "He was inspired to produce the album after the tumultuous response to his head-banging version of George's 'When I'm Cleaning Windows' at last year's Leeds' Festival."

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Good Neighbours

Apparently everybody needs good neighbours, at least, that's what Barry Crocker used to sing at the beginning of every episode of the eponymous Australian soap opera. I've just lost some very good neighbours. After a couple of years they've moved to a bigger house (they have a small child) with a bigger garden. I'm going to miss them - they were genuinely nice people. Unlike some of their predecessors. The trouble is that the house next door to me, (thankfully I'm on the end of a terrace, so I only have neighbours on one side), is rented and over the past ten years or so I've had to suffer a parade of various occupants, some good, some bad and some downright appalling. The lot before my recently departed neighbours were a bunch of weirdos who never spoke to anyone, had delinquent kids and eventually did a runner one Christmas day without giving notice or a forwarding address to the landlord. They also dumped what appeared to be their entire household contents in the back alley for the dustmen to collect (which they didn't, leading to a blocked right of way and complaints to the landlord).

There was another woman before that who never spoke to anyone and had a boyfriend who would turn up drunk at four in the morning , hammering on the door and shouting to be let in. A couple of times the police had to be called to deal with him. The worst though, by a long way, were a bunch of youngish people who were there for about six months. I never quite managed to figure out how many there were as people seemed to be coming and going all the time. Indeed, I harboured the suspicion that it was some kind of up-market knocking shop. They certainly seemed to have a lot of noisy sex. I wouldn't have minded, but they didn't even seem to be very good at it - it was all over pretty quickly and the bloke's groaning when he came was frankly, laughable. Every time I hear Lily Allen singing 'Not Fair' and she gets to the bit about how 'you make that noise and apparently it's all over', I'm reminded of them. But perhaps even worse than all that grunting and groaning was their habit of playing the same bloody Killers single (the one about 'Somebody told me etc') over and over again at full volume into the early hours of the morning. One night I came home from the pub and they were playing it, so i retaliated by putting Deep Purple's 'Machine Head' album on full blast in the living room and going to bed. I had several days of peace and quiet after that incident.

One of the blokes who kept coming and going (literally, judging by the noises he made) drove a BMW roadster. One February night I was so pissed off with him that I wrote exactly what I thought of the size of the manhood of the kind of people who drive such cars in the snow on his vehicle. I figured that as he'd never seen my handwriting he'd never be able to pin it on me. They moved out shortly afterwards. All of which brings me to the latest set of neighbours who, despite having moved in last weekend, still haven't spoken to me. In fact they completely ignored me when I graciously stood aside and allowed them to pass along the terrace whilst they were carrying a freezer to their front door. Not a word of thanks. Ignorant bastards. Mind you, they hadn't got off to a good start with any of us on the terrace when they'd had most of their furniture noisily delivered at three-thirty in the morning. Quite bizarre. Surely they can only improve? I'll keep you posted.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Self Censorship

I can't deny it, the most recent story on The Sleaze was cobbled together at the last minute, using bits and pieces from this blog. Most of those bits, in turn, had originated with a highly unsatisfactory story from the early days of The Sleaze which I'd never bothered to archive, due to its many flaws. Whilst the resulting story is a vast improvement on its predecessor, it isn't the story I'd intended to write. That was going to be a football-themed piece to coincide with the closure of the transfer window, once again drawn from something previously published here. Now, maybe I'm getting old, but when I looked at the material again, I just felt that it crossed a line taste wise. I know that might seem unbelievable, coming from the man who has published such gems of good taste as They Stole Jacko's Brain, Die, Lady Di and Hijab Halloween, to name but a few. But what made those stories different, in my opinion, was that they satirised public figures or groups, all of which had chosen to put themselves in the limelight.

What made me uneasy about the football story was that it referenced the kidnapping of Tottenham midfielder Wilson Palacios' brother. Whilst the whole business of kidnapping relatives to extort money from the rich and famous in South America is a legitimate target for satire, Palacios' brother, I felt, wasn't - he hadn't asked to be kidnapped, or knowingly put himself in a position where he was at risk. Moreover, the fact that he was subsequently murdered by his captors simply was simply horrendous. I just couldn't justify trying to get laughs from such appalling misery. So, will the story ever get written, (bearing in mind that some stories on The Sleaze have spent, literally, years in development)? Well, the central concept is still good, the problem lies in the fact that, as originally conceived, the Palacios business was central to the plot (I hasten to add that the original blog piece was written well before the murder of the footballer's brother). If I can find something to replace it, then the story might yet appear.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

More Artful Todgers

Errol Flynn, Warren Beatty and Sammy Davis Jr - all men allegedly well-endowed in the trouser department, but exactly what is it that gives a celebrity schlong truly legendary status? Is it just the size, or are there other factors involved? After all, John Lennon’s penis is still discussed in hushed tones by former groupies, although secret autopsy photographs show it to be of merely average size (even taking into account post-mortem shrinkage). No, in truth, versatility seems to be the key. Whilst the phenomenal size of matinee idol Errol Flynn’s magnificent member is well-known, its continued fame, nearly fifty years after its owner’s death, is as much due to its antics as its length. It is rumoured that he once rogered Marilyn Monroe whilst she was in the next room at a party - she slapped a bewildered Robert Mitchum, who was standing next to her, across the face, assuming the todger tickling her fancy was his.

Several of Lennon’s contemporaries in the music business could also boast of having talented todgers. There are persistent stories, for instance, of former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore having once played the entire guitar solo from ‘Smoke on the Water’ using his thumb of love as a plectrum, during a 1972 live performance in Hamburg. However, this has never been confirmed. Better documented are the antics of T-Rex’s Marc Bolan, who actually did use his knob, quite literally, as a skin flute. “Music and masturbation were Marc’s twin passions,” says former girlfriend Trixie Tenpin, who became notorious in glam-rock circles when, in 1973, she tossed Bolan off into a bag of chips which were later eaten by Wizzard’s Roy Wood - with catastrophic consequences. “It was only natural that he would seek a way of combining the two.” Bolan achieved this by piercing his penis with a knitting needle to create a column of finger holes, and then blowing down it with the aid of a specially made brass mouthpiece (designed to reach from his lips to the head of his erect penis). Through a careful manipulation of his fingers over the holes, he was, incredibly, able to play tunes on his trouser trumpet, usually working up to a crescendo which climaxed with him ejaculating.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Walk on the Beach

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More from my holidays - the title is self-explanatory. OK, I know it's all a bit shaky, with crap sound quality, but bear with me, this is a first attempt at film-making! Things can only get better!

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