Sunday, 14 November 2010


So I found a thing that lets you cut up text William Burroughs-style. The results don't quite work, but with a bit of editing (mostly the removing of the odd word, the addition of the occasional comma, full stop or conjunction) it can come out mildly interesting. Obviously, you're only going to get out what you put in, but I thought it was amusing enough to put up here.

Harder than a bus to the face. You, you might actually enjoy yourself. No bug? Then that's fine too. I'm not in your war, I see your death face, that fleshy vessel that is simply exhalation, just as you've squeezed paradise. I can't tell you how much there is you, I love the red meat. I was going to help, they're going to findfuck you, eat you. Try it, I dare you. another human being's flesh, in for the long haul. And if I ever get the voice of god? The last words before you: chase you, hunt you, kill you. I always had boundaries, you know? Now fun. I have pretending. I'm here for greed. I'll be someone else's kill. There's nothing, there's only the exquisite taste. It's like hearing the panic, panic has hit these streets, never thought I'd enjoy tearing. Never a good person, I wasn't meant to be. Will run and hide, but nothing's you. Going to have a ball.

I'll ravage anything, I do it for the penultimate drop of life; out of thrill. I don't do it for the women, gasp. There's that. Finally, for this earth, but before the plague.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Man in a Basement. #2

You're in a room and you don't know how you got here. You don't remember getting here, you just remember being in the park one second, on the swing... then there was darkness. How long have you been here? Do you even know? Do you even remember? Okay, just think this through now.

Or, okay, do that, freak out, scream and thrash for 67 seconds. And that accomplished what, exactly? Okay, now you're hyperventilating. You fucking drama queen, this is only a bit of random imprisonment.


That'll do it. He's convinced now, he'll have to let you go, you GREETED him. Your politeness has made him think, actually, no, I'm not going to chain you up, periodically bugger you and feed you rat, no, I'm going to release you, it's cool, it's fine, my bad, my fucking bad, terribly sorry old chap. You are fucking pathetic. Oh, here come the waterworks. Thank fuck it is pitch black in here, so I can't see your fucking face. Get up.


Sorry, forgot, you're chained down. Hah. There, see, you laughed. You can do it. You're fine. Let's assess the situation. You were outside. Now you're inside. You're not entirely sure where inside is. You're on a wooden floor, it's damp and smells like... you don't know what it smells like. It smells like wood, sawdust, blood, piss, sweat, screaming, pain, hate, lust, fucking, mud, gunpowder, blood, wet, bone.

What the fuck does bone smell like?

Stop it. Wait. Was that you?


Shut up. There was a noise. LISTEN... no, this is not the time for you freaking out and stop breathing. Breathe, but quietly. Okay, no. There's no one-


What was that? Where are you? Okay, look, just chill out. Calm down.

Oh no. You didn't.

You pissed yourself.

Man in a Basement. #1

You're in a room and you don't know how you got here. You don't remember getting here, you just remember being in the park one second, on the swing... then there was darkness. It's dark in here now, it stinks too, it smells like musk and rotting vegetables, sweat and sex, it's a hateful smell. You're sitting down and you hurt, your ankles are sore and you need to pee. You try to get up. You idiot, you're chained to the ground. What the fuck is going on? You can't.. why are you here?


There's nothing. You're stuck here, completely pitch black, with that fucking smell. God, it's thick in your nose, you have to puke. No, you must not puke. You can't move, where the fuck are you going to puke? Just sit down, calm down and wait. Wait.


Shut up. You idiot. There's no one here. Where is here, anyway? Why are you chained down? What the fuck did you do to get here? You need to puke.


I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello.

Well, at least you still have your sense of humour. God, you're sweating, you're absolutely soaked. God, you hope that's sweat. And you're feeling sore again. You're stuck. Think. Think. Think. Think. Think. Think. Okay, so... who did this?


Yeah, that'll work. You cunt. Think harder. Oh no. It's coming. You need to puke. NO. Just wait it out. Swallow. Swallow. Swallowed? Good. Chill the fuck out. Someone will save you. This isn't what happens to men. You're going to be fine. You're going to be okay. You're going to be...

You puked. You idiot.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


This is so clearly a bloke's house. A famous television character once said that men living alone are basically 'bears with furniture'. That's always stuck with me, because that's essentially what my house is like. There's an easy way to illustrate this, really -- my goddamn floor. The landlord didn't install any carpet, presumably because it's easier and cheaper to clean up blood and spunk with a squeegee. You should see the fucking thing. It's like a history of every single meal and incident that's ever occurred in our place. Get on your knees (bitch) and check out the grime that litters our once pristine floor. Toast crumbs, bits of hair and dust, miscellaneous pieces of plastic and glass, rubber bands and, inexplicably, a collection of socks underneath the sofa -- socks that don't belong to any of us. The once, probably tasteful hardwood, is now stained by our filth.

Jesus, we should fucking tidy this place.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

I like it really. This is all a lie. Apart from the procrastinator bit.

I am a life long procrastinator. I'm also too fucking funny to bother putting in one of those cute jokes about procrastination, you don't tell me what to do internet audience. And even if you DID, I wouldn't fucking bother doing it anyway. Where the hell was I?

I am a life long procrastinator. I generally don't like to do a lot of stuff, despite having a lot of ambition and a modicum of talent. Heh, sorry. "Modicum". Where was I?

I am a LIFE LONG procrastinator. I hate moving. I enjoy sitting. Imagine my annoyance then at the social construct of Christmas, and the giving and receiving of gifts. Cliff Richard only had it partly right: Christmas should be about snogging and getting pissed on Tesco Value wine. Don't get me wrong, I love getting people gifts, but for most of you idiots I just can't be arsed. You don't tell me what you want, you don't update your wish lists, you say "oh, I don't want anything" knowing full fucking well that that is a completely unacceptable thing to say in this gloriously capitalistic society of ours. I can't not get you anything, idiot, even if I wanted to. And goddamnit, I'm expecting something from YOU, so shut the fuck up and accept my chocolate Scrabble (Yes, that's a real thing).

Don't even get me started on the wrapping. The world is coming to an end, aren't we supposed to be conserving shit? Why am I wrapping something you won't want in expensive dead trees I don't need to kill? Do have any idea about the gases that are released into the atmosphere in the process of making sticky tape, the annoying shit I have to wrap YOUR annoying shit in? Look, I'm choosing not to take part in Christmas this year as a goddamn green favour to Mother Earth, it's not that I'm poor and can't be arsed to read your fucking mind and get you DVDs you'll hate and chocolate you won't eat.

Where the hell was I?

Basically, I'm lazy, and wish I could buy everything pre-wrapped in environmentally-friendly paper, delivered to your homes, with cards hand-written by blind Togolese children and delivered by a stork. Is that too much to ask from one website?

PS, this Christmas, I want booze and lots of it.

A Restaurant Review I Wrote Ages Ago, Hence The Dated References ENJOY WON'T YOU???????

Food. Food is good. I don't know much about food, nor do I know much about eating out in Birmingham (no, keep reading, I have a point that I will stumble into shortly). What I do know is that there's a really great Japanese restaurant called Woktastic in our fair city. It's just outside the Paradise Forum (which is not great), opposite The Yardbird (which I'm ambivalent toward). It's undoubtedly the campiest restaurant in Birmingham, if not the country. Its bright orange walls, even more intensely orange-uniformed staff, and multicoloured sushi dishes assault your senses and taste of decency all at once. I swear, I almost had an epileptic fit just walking into the place once; the Japanese pop playing over the sound system threatened to give me aural diabetes. Oh, and the food? It's actually rather delicious, with a great all you can eat deal on sushi, and I highly recommend the chicken katsu with a glass of plum wine.

I just have one problem: the manager. Oh, he's not rude or anything; the service in Woktastic is actually second-to-none. Look, this is a bit of an odd situation, but I need to let this out to someone, so it might as well be you. The manager, he... thinks my name is Stan (my name is Hazz). Here's what happened: I once impersonated my friend Stan, as he didn't want to cancel a booking in person, so I did it for him, claiming to be Stan, and now every time I go in there, the guy thinks I'm called Stan. What do I do? Do I just... tell him? No, I can't do it. I can't tell him that I'm not Stan.

“That's not a real problem, Hazz, you goddamn nutcase, chill out.”

Oh, but it is a problem, dearest reader, for you see, I have to book a birthday party (yes, you're invited, bring a gift) there soon, which means I'll have to give him my name. My real name. Did I mention my name isn't Stan? What do I do? I can't just tell the guy I'm not Stan, that'd be hideously embarrassing, I'm too much of a social maladroit to have that conversation; the awkward, ghastly shamespeech where I have to explain I attempted to bamboozle him, I tried to play a ruse upon him. I have committed... uragiri against him and his people.. Actually, I think he's Italian, but it doesn't bloody matter, he's lovely and I've stabbed him in his very friendly back. Let me explain how lovely he is. He's charming, he's welcoming, the guy always comes over to have a chat, he brings me a fork so I can eat my currysauce-sodden rice without looking like a special needs kid, he has a lovely, shiny bald head; he engages in friendly banter, he wears nice shirts, he's generally just bloody ace.

No, I can't break his heart.

I can't correct him next time he calls me Stan. What'd that do to our relationship? He'd lose face, surely? I'd be bringing shame upon his name, his restaurant, his family. No, I can't do that, I can't reveal that I'm an identity thief.

No, I won't let that happen. I know what I must do: I must continue this charade. I must live a double life. I must become Stan. I must live as Stan. Stan's a thin Chinese dude, I'm a not-thin white guy, but that doesn't matter. I will be Stan.

I am Stan.

Try the chicken yakitori, it's delicious.

Santa Claus Is Coming All Over My Face

It's a blisteringly hot August day and I'm regretting wearing a black shirt right now. I'm sweating like a paedophile in Mothercare and I just want to get home. I'm walking past Old Orleans, the most overpriced shit hole to ever disgrace Broad Street with its presence and I'm confronted by something unbelievable -- the visage of St Nick; the brutal image of Kris Kringle; that fat cunt, Father Christmas. The faux-Deep South wankstains are foisting their Christmas meal-deals off on me by using this Coca Cola-drinking motherfucker. It's August, you lizards, fucking AUGUST.

Let's ignore the fact that only the perpetually shitfaced and/or mentally ill would want to spend Christmas in that hole for a second and concentrate on one important detail -- IT'S FUCKING AUGUST. I wanna be drinking cocktails, whining about the heat, enjoying the return of Premier League drivel at Villa Park. I do NOT want to be worrying about where I'm going to be having an awkward, bitter meal with my family, not that I'd take my family for fucking Gumbo, anyway, you stupid cockshafts.

Please explain why it's so acceptable to have the Christmas info-bukkake start so fucking early in the year? And why does it feel like it's getting earlier and earlier? No, horrid catalogue company, I will not be joining up to piss money away on useless (glorious) iPhones or fucking hampers full of disgusting (delicious) turkey. GET THEE BACK TO DECEMBER, BEFORE I THROTTLE YOU.

I get it, really, I know, it's all about people doing Christmas early, whilst they still have the time and money. I understand the economics of it, but please, can we not just wait until winter has officially started? Christmas is miserable, I don't like to be reminded of it in August, on an annoyingly bright day, when I'm trying to stagger to Sainsbury's with a hangover-induced headache that feels like a small Filipino child has been playing hacky-sack with my brain.

Just fucking stop it. Until September, at least.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

DeadPixels #1

“Dude, is he piling up bodies and then lighting them on fire?”

“...yes. Yes, he is.”

“This game is kinda cool.”

For pure, visceral violence, gaming really can't be beat at the moment. I can do things in video games that would get me imprisoned for life in my country, and probably executed in other, more civilised countries. I can travel to the American Old West, hog tie women and leave them for the unforgiving wheels of an oncoming train in Red Dead Redemption. I can load up Fallout 3, enslave a few people, then put a rather large hole in their head, just because I felt like it. Don't get me started on the kind of degrading filth I can accomplish in Mad World. Or Animal Crossing.

“Okay, get on with it, what's your point?” you cry, during your break in slaughtering innocent people in airports in Modern Warfare 2, after furiously masturbating over the wanton carnage of God of War 3.

My point, you derelict, is that I'm psychologically burnt out these days. What little pain I felt when I harvested ADAM in Bioshock, murdered a scientist in Metal Gear Solid 3, or callously pushed a tourist over a cliff in Hitman: Blood Money -- just because I could -- has subsided. I'm drained, emotionally spent. Like Mario equipped with a Starman, I feel absolutely nothing.

How did this happen? Is it the constant barrage of hyper-violent, high definition violence? Have my digital crimes – which, of course, have no real consequences – desensitised me to my polygonal victims? When did it all start to change? I can't really answer that, but I do remember the worst case of video game violence I ever mete out; the event that was mean-spirited, evil and best of all, affected another human being.

The year is 1999, the game is Mario Kart 64.

It's a school night, I have my exams to revise for, so naturally I'm spending my time eating crisps, drinking Coke and playing N64 games with a friend. I'm not blessed with Kart skills, nor am I adept at power sliding, and I can't shoot green shells to save my pointless little life, but there's one trick I've developed that I'm about to unleash on my unwitting friend. It came to me during a particularly intense race (that I lost) and I just knew I had to use it on him as soon as possible.

Wario Stadium. It's the final lap & I get a Lightning power up. Experienced Mario Kart 64 players can probably see where this is going, but for those unfamiliar with the title, let me explain: there's a rather large jump on this track which is fairly hard to screw up and mess up, but if you do you end up having to re-race a rather large portion of the track. The Lightning power up shrinks an opponent, whilst also causing him to lose control of his vehicle for a few seconds. Use the power up just before the jump and your opponent is toast. It's basically the ultimate Fuck You on this track and I feel like Jesus, Einstein & Moriarty all wrapped up in one diabolical, handsome body for coming up with this move.

I get the power up.

“Oh man, I'm never going to catch you up,” I say, the words laced with sarcasm, drool falling from the corner of my mouth.

My friend doesn't reply, he's concentrating too hard on the screen; the shit is about to hit the fan at light speed. The jump is coming up. I'm shaking with excitement, sweat pouring off me, I can barely hold the controller I'm so intensely happy. He's almost at the summit. I'm hard with anticipation. Here it comes. He's there. I hammer at weapon button of the mammoth N64 controller.

There's a flash.

There's a screech of despair from him.

There's a scream of joy from me.

“HAH!” I wail, like a child (I was a child, it's fine).

“You can't do that. That's cheating!” my bitter friend remonstrates.

I ignore his whining and breeze through the rest of the race, cheering perhaps a tad too loudly when I cross the finish line. I whoop, I cry, I even give him the loser sign; the retrospective irony is not lost on me, I assure you.

My friend stops playing, now quite visibly upset. He drops the controller, calls me a wanker, then leaves the room. We don't speak for another week. I realise I was perhaps too over-excited and probably went a bit far in my celebrations. I've hurt his feelings and I feel awful. But also kinda awesome and genius-like.

Could this feeling be an explanation for why I'm not affected by violence anymore? Do I need a human component? Video games are becoming an increasingly online multiplayer-only world now, so the opportunity to humiliate and torture another human being within punching distance is vanishing. I can virtually smash a man's head in with a pipe, harvest a corpse for energy, or cause a pile-up on a busy GTA motorway, but damnit, I don't care, I must see my fellow man suffer. I suspect I'm only desensitised to video games, because graphic film violence can still turn my stomach; senseless deaths in television shows continue to draw out a wince and a whimper. Am I a sociopath? Am I now just going to roam the streets of England, looking for a real life equivalent of the Lightning in Wario Stadium trick? Will I be placing banana skins in front of old ladies, desperate for them to fall over and slip a disc, whilst I stand above them, sarcastically goading them on, mocking them for ever attempting to best me?

Yeah, you're right.

I am a sociopath.

Mario Kart, anyone?

Thursday, 24 June 2010


I am not a particularly healthy person. I drink too much, I have a bad diet, I don't eat enough fruit and vegetables, I have an appalling sleep cycle and I'm generally just a wreck. If I were to have some kind of human MOT (or 'health check'), I'd fail it miserably and have to suck off the human mechanic (or 'doctor') in order to blag my way through. Why am I mentioning this? I'm not entirely sure, which is kinda the point.

I've noticed more and more that my brain isn't quite functioning at the high levels it once did. Just last week, I walked into my bedroom and stood still for about 20 seconds, staring into space, unaware of why I'd walked into my cesspit of a boudoir, or what I was now going to do. I shrugged off this brief mental glitch, then walked into my living room, grunted my tale of brainfail to my house mate, then suddenly remembered why I'd gone into my bedroom in the first place: to get away from my fucking house mate.

I find I'm easily distracted now, to the detriment of my wallet. I was standing at a cashpoint today, then saw an odd sticker on the wall next to the debthole. I heard the beeps of the cash machine, code for 'hey, idiot, your money is here, you might wanna, you know, take it, before some tramp comes and fights you for it', took my card out, but left the money. It took me about 5 seconds to realise what I'd done, which felt like... well, about 5 seconds.

There have been other incidents like this, but I can't remember. See? What's happening to me?! Is it my age? No, it can't be, I'm 24. I think. Oh god, I do sometimes forget how old I am.

Is it the drinking? It's probably the drinking. Drinking doesn't help, especially when so many of your friends drink enough to make Henri Paul blush (yeah, I couldn't think of a more contemporary drunk reference, can you see what's happening to my mind?!). I should work out more, body and mind. Those brain training games are all bollocks, I just end up shouting at that stupid blockheaded Japanese man as he sneers and taunts me, like the arrogant, Japanese floaty-headed bastard that he is.

My concentration levels have taken a bit of a hit, and I thought I'd made a horrific, critical error at work recently. I hadn't, but it took me a while to work out that I hadn't. I seriously think I have some kind of brain cancer. Or I'm just drinking too much. I should probably stop drinking so much, it's not good for my memory.

I am not a particularly healthy person, you see. I drink too much, I have a bad diet...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Abandoned piece about the break in.

It's about 10.30pm and I'm just on the walk back home after dropping a friend off in town. I'm having to walk down the safari park route that is Broad St on a Saturday. I've been scared by a homeless guy, accosted by a man whose car had broken down (that's the third time in a month he's broken down and asked me for money, I politely reminded him) and generally just terrified by all the different shapes and colours one sees at this time of night. I haven't slept for about 34 or so hours because of my dear, loud neighbour, and I'm close to punching someone in the crotch. I just want to get home and veg out in front of the telly.

I get in and I hear Christmas bells. Then I hear a familiar voice. Could it be? Oh, please say it is! Oh yes! John McClane is on my television, it's Die Hard, baby! A great way to end a long, tiring weekend. I get me a drink, I sit down and talk about how awesome Die Hard is with my room mate. Then we hear something. It's people running very quickly upstairs.

“God, even the way those motherfuckers come in the building is loud and annoying.”

However, a nosy peek through the spyhole reveals that it's not the loveable rogues from across the hall, but the charming, attractive couple from upstairs.

“Is it the boys?” one of them enquires, trepidation bubbling through.

“Yeah, it's the boys.”

“Oh, fuck.”

They run upstairs.

“Um, Dale...?” I squeak out, before peering around the door to my uncaring, partially drunk house mate.

“I... think something serious might be going on.”

Dale tries to feign interest, but doesn't do an awfully good job of it. He just wants to watch Die Hard, and who can blame the man?

Then there's a sound of a door being slammed and what sounds like 6 people running upstairs. The women in the apartment below start to scream, a door is kicked in, the panic in the air is palpable. God, what do I do?

I log into Twitter, of course, and post something inane.

Back to the spyhole. The lights in our hall don't won't, so I can't really make anything out. I can hear shouting and screaming from downstairs.


More screaming, more shouting. I leave Dale to view the proceedings and decide to post more rambling on Twitter. At this moment I'm unusually calm. I turn the light off, because... you know, maybe that attracts gang members, like really angry, brutal moths.

The gang run upstairs and break another door, the inconsiderate bastards... I am TRYING to watch Die Hard, here. They've apparently got what they wanted and now they're escaping. Dale and I spot about 6 people running toward the hotel across the road. They're gone.

And I just wanted to watch my goddamn film in peace.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Atlantis - really messy, post-modern crap

It's 10.11am and I am fucking exhausted. Wait, am I allowed to swear in this column? Start again, Vale.

It's 10.12am and I'm quite tired. My neighbour - soon-to-be hate crime victim - was playing extremely loud music from 1am-9am this morning and it took a visit from the plod to get him to turn down his music, which I presume was from a Now! That's What I Call Monotonous Shite CD. The thumping, intense and pointlessly loud bass lines of his music were punctuated every ten seconds by a wild, piercing screech, like a coked up Ric Flair. Every. Ten. Seconds.


I will murder him.

10.16am. Still tired, trying to rack my brainfat to come up with an idea for this column. I'm on the train to London to see my friend Vanessa, so I'll have around 90 minutes there and back to come up with something. The theme this month is birth.


Well, I recently embarked on a new career as a stand up comedian; the gestation of the material I ended up sweatily reciting on the stage, and the reaction I got to it would make vaguely interesting reading, right? Let's do this.

It all started in January. I'm in Starbucks with a friend and I'm boring her with insipid details of my life so far and what I want to do as a career. I've always been a bit--

Oh god. I have to stop. I have a problem. A bloke just asked if he could sit next to me. The seat says 'Reserved' in bright, electronic letters. What do I do? Do I say no, and risk having the seat be empty for the entire journey? How would that look? I'd look like an arsehole; like I'd reserved the seat myself, just so I don't have to sit next to the filthy, feckless plebs in standard class. Do I say yes? But then what do I do when the reservee arrives and demands his seat? This guy's going to have to move, and he's going to blame me; not using words, no, he'll just shoot a disappointed stare at me, as if to say 'I trusted you, man, you let me down'. What on earth do I do? Of course, these thoughts all flash by in about a femtosecond, so I just grunt yes without really thinking about it. Great, now I've got some random guy sitting next to me as I'm scribbling away on this column. Oh Jesus, he's reading something now... It's in Finnish, or some kind of Scandinavian nonsense. It's about the lost island of Atlantis! Oh great, I've got a Finnish nutter next to me. A few uneasy minutes pass.

“Excuse me.”

Oh no. He has engaged me in conversation.


“Does this connect to the metro?”

“The Underground, do you mean?”

Oh, WELL DONE, pedantically correct the lovely foreign tourist, you jackass. Yes, of course he meant the Underground, you pathetic fuck.

“The metro?”

“Yes, the underground, you just have to head down the escalators in the station.”

“Thank you.”

I grunt back in acknowledgement, worry about my emphasis on the word underground, and try not to peer at his book. It's useless, because I can barely handle English, let alone Finnish, but I'm waiting for the pretty pictures I can stare at.

Hold on a second.

I'm reading what he's reading... Has he been reading what I've been writing?

I have to do something here. In order to stop the guy – who I'm now convinced is a Finn spy, sent to check up on the banal scribblings of idiots on trains – from reading my Very Important Work, I'm going to write in an even uglier, unintelligible style of handwriting. My sloppy penmanship, which previously resembled the depraved scrawls of a mentally ill GP, now looks like extraterrestrial hieroglyphics.

This has to stop.

You're being paranoid.

Take a deep breath.

Oh Christ. What if he just read the above? It looks like I'm talking to myself on paper. I know, I realise I am talking to myself on paper, but I don't want him to think I'm doing it because I'm deranged. Oh great, I can't even read this handwriting myself now... BLOCK CAPITALS? NO! NOW IT JUST LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE FURIOUS AND SHOUTING AT YOURSELF.

Fuck me, this is a disaster.

10.36am. Still tired. Stressed. Starving. What do I do? I need something to write about.


Okay, I've got it!

KABOOM! That, dear readers, was the sound of the Cambrian explosion. Around 530 million years ago, most of the major groups of complex animals started to rapidly appear. It's still not known what fully caused this change, so let's take a look at--

SHIT. The ticket man approaches. That's not what they're called, is it? Ticket man? Conductor! That's the one. Crap, where are my tickets? I lost my train tickets last time I left London and had to spend £80 for the privilege of being let back into New Street Station; I can't let this happen again.

Phew, all sorted. We're at our next station, people are starting to file on, I can get back to work-- oh Jesus. An image flashes by – the 'Reserved' sign inches away from my head. This is it. This is where my web of lies traps me; British-Finn relations are going to be irrevocably ruined because I'm an idiot. It's going to happen. Someone's going to get on, ask this guy to move, and I'm going to feel like a moron for the rest of the journey. Here comes someone now. He's dressed in a suit and looks slightly surly, like he might snap at any moment... But in a polite, British way. Does he sit here? Here he comes. Deep breath.

No. It's not him. He walks on. I finally manage to exhale. There's an ever-tightening stress knot in my stomach; I feel sick, and I haven't eaten yet. I want coffee, I want a panini, I have to settle for peppermint chewing gum. Here's a businesswoman. She looks more relaxed, oh joy, she's holding a copy of the Guardian! Oh, this is going to be fine! She's going to understand about the mix up, she'll ease the tension, and she probably has a rudimentary knowledge of Finnish. I can calm down. It's all going to be okay, I can get back to--

oh fuck off

She just walked straight past. Well, this isn't going to work, is it? I can't take this shit at every single stop to London. The stress alone is going to kill me, and I've never going to get this thing finished.

10.46am. Still tired. I have nothing. Birth. What the hell can I write about revolving around the theme of birth?


I entered and won a competition called Film Dash in March. I could talk about the birth of that film, right? That's not at all a horribly laboured interpretation of the brief, is it? No sir! Hahaha! Oh god, I'm grinning and writing 'hahaha' on a notebook. If I didn't look certifiable earlier, I must do now. Okay, so the Film Dash involved writing, shooting and editing a compete film in 48 hours. We had to include the theme of happiness, a bicycle, and at least one line of dialogue: she may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts.

We decided to do a film about a group of amateur film makers entering a film competition and trying to work out what they were going to do. Yeah, I know, horrible. It was all very meta and was going to be about how difficult it was to interpret a theme so vague and produce a film in such a short period of time. It was going to involve zombies, pirates, zombies fighting pirates, action, adventure, comedy... Alas, we didn't really have the time or resources to finish it in time, so we ended up making a Lost in La Mancha-esque documentary about making a film; meta as fuck, yo. I hurriedly wrote a script in about 20 minutes (and boy, doesn't it show?), we shot the remaining scenes, edited it and stared at the PC in terror as we waited for it to render. We had around 45 minutes left to get it done. It was way too big to email, so we hastily whacked it on a DVD and rushed to The Victoria pub, where the organiser was waiting for us. The rest is tedious history, really - we won. The competition was strong, but the judges (the talented, intelligent, sexy and probably alcoholic judges) decided to--


The Finn is staring at me.

“Yes?” I tentatively inquire.

“What are you writing?”

“Oh. Um. Just a column for a magazine.”

“Oh, really, which one?”

“It's called Dirty Bristow.”


I stumble and repeat the name, realising I don't quite know what it means. Well, this is going well; he's interrupting me with his Finnishness and probably thinks I write porn.

“Oh. What are you writing about?”

“You know, I have no idea.”

“Do you know if there's a bus that goes from London to Birmingham?”

Okay, that was an abrupt change of subject.

“Like a coach?”

Oh, here we go again, attacking the poor guy for using a poorly-chosen synonym. My god, you are sub-human scum.

“Yes, a coach.”

“Yes, there should be, on National Express.”

“Is it cheaper?”

Why am I the information point for this guy?

“Yes, if you book online in advance, it should be much cheaper.”



Silence. Uneasy, tense, horrid silence.

10.59am. Still tired. 30 minutes until I get into London and I still don't have a column written down, just a hurriedly assembled collection of thoughts, ideas and neuroses. My hand is killing me, my stomach is crying out for food, and I'm about to chew my arm off from sheer frustration and annoyance. I need a break. Time for some music. Time for some gum.

11.20am. Still tired. Almost into Euston. I've got nothing. Nothing... except an image. It's not a nice image, but in my exhausted delirium it's an image that's keeping me going, keeping me amused. A friend of mine once told me that someone she knew described birth as 'shitting out a watermelon'. Now that's all I can picture.

Dirty Bristow - The act of tonguing a male anus whilst reaching around to wank them off.

I've been trying to write something, but now all I'm left with is the image of an woman squatting over, screaming, trying to push a watermelon out through her arse. It's not a bad image, considering the title of this publication, and I never thought I'd write the words 'tonguing a male anus' in public. We're almost at Euston now. I've admitted defeat in my battle to write something. Just as I'm about to pack my things away, the Finn leans over and gently elbows me; because I'm insane, I take this as an act of war. What the fuck does this sneaky, spying motherfucker think he's doing, invading my personal space, interrupting my writing, physically assaulting me and generally just being annoying?

“Thank you for your help today. Goodbye.”

He has a wide smile on his face.

He gets up and leaves.

God, I'm an asshole.

Saturday, 1 May 2010


I've recently moved into a city centre apartment with a few friends of mine, Stan and Dale. They're easily the best house mates I could think of living with; they don't have any annoying habits, they're quiet, they're funny and we all get on quite well. Our apartment is big, our kitchen gorgeous, the view quite exquisite. We just have a tiny, gnawing little problem - we live next to some coked-up idiots who think it's okay to play intensely loud music from 1am-9am (if we're lucky, that's when they stop).

I've grown used to the situation now, and to be honest, the music isn't the issue any more. I haven't had any sleep since 1pm on Friday. I spent 4am-6am trying to get my brain to shut the fuck up, and when it finally started to wind down, my neighbours blasted the music up to unbearable levels. Don't bother trying to get sleep now, Hazz. Fuck it. I don't care.

I don't care about the godawful dance/trance/whatever bilge they aurally spunk out for all to listen and suffer to.

I don't care about the junkie whores who come banging on the door at 4am, desperate for a fix.

I don't care about the fact that the guy is constantly topless, that he doesn't give a shit about his neighbours, even with repeated visits from the police. I don't give a shit about any of this anymore.

I'm just fucking sick and tired of his woos.

Every hour or so, the insufferable cunt will screech out this intolerable, banshee-like wail. I don't know why he does it. What are you woo-ing, little man? Are you celebrating the fact that you're slowly turning me into a sociopath? Woo indeed, then. It's remarkably annoying.


I'd rather listen to Freddy Kruger scratch a blackboard for hours on end, whilst Joe Pasquale fiddled with polystyrene packaging & sang 'I Know A Song That'll Get On Your Nerves' for eternity.


I can't put up with this sonic terrorism any longer.


The police are useless, I don't want to keep a goddamn diary of my deteriorating sanity for the Environmental Health Officer. I don't want to wear ear plugs, or listen to podcasts about plastic (you would not believe how many the normally fascinating have put out recently). I'm taking a motherfucking stand. I'm gonna be the goddamn man, even if no one else in this godforsaken building will.

He woos again. His pointless groupies join in to complete the semi-retarded, coked-up dawn chorus of cretins. This is it. I take a deep breath:


God, that felt good.

There's a pause.

He turns the music up even louder.

Well played, neighbour. Well played.