Crap Comedy Chapter 6: Scrubber

Crap Comedy Chapter 6: Scrubber

On the run from Andi Peters following a misunderstanding about cruises, Melissa begrudgingly agrees to follow her friend Joanne (and Joanne’s 17th century throwback ‘life partner’ Fax) to the Edinburgh Fringe. While leafleting for Fax’s dreadful stand up show about faith healing and vegans, Melissa endures the highs and lows of pretentious student plays, ‘street typing’, and the knowledge that her shop has been left in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand tills…

Crap Comedy is the follow up to the 2018 novel Crap Holiday. Read it here.

I am absolutely going to clean my whole flat. I’m determined. I’ve managed to get myself the weekend off without feeling too guilty by promising Kay that Saif is not mental, and is great to work with. I’m hoping that when I go back on Monday, she’s somehow not seen through my brilliant ruse.

Yesterday he wouldn’t let this poor woman buy cigarettes.

‘Sorry we’ve only got that one packet.’

She looked a bit confused, as you would. ‘OK I’ll have those then.’

Saif shook his head. ‘I’m sorry, but that’s the display packet, and if I sell these we won’t have any of them, so how will people know to buy them?’

I managed to stop the woman murdering Saif by shooing him away to check the dates on the milk.

‘I’m sorry, he’s got a syndrome,’ I whispered to the woman. It was all I could think of.

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 6: Scrubber”

Crap Comedy Chapter 5: Forex

Crap Comedy Chapter 5: Forex

On the run from Andi Peters following a misunderstanding about cruises, Melissa begrudgingly agrees to follow her friend Joanne (and Joanne’s 17th century throwback ‘life partner’ Fax) to the Edinburgh Fringe. While leafleting for Fax’s dreadful stand up show about faith healing and vegans, Melissa endures the highs and lows of pretentious student plays, ‘street typing’, and the knowledge that her shop has been left in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand tills…

Crap Comedy is the follow up to the 2018 novel Crap Holiday. Read it here.

Oh god I’m so hungover. Fax’s plum gin wine is actually pretty good if you have a dozen glasses of it.

He tried to do some of his stand-up comedy at me before I left last night. Something about rowan trees ‘always leading to intercourse with ladies.’ I’m not sure I’m his target audience. Joanne was in hysterics of course, but that might have been because she was stoned off her tits. I keep trying, and failing, to imagine Fax doing his comedy at a load of Scottish people.

I don’t know why they’re always trying to include me in their mad plans. I think they feel sorry for me. What they don’t realise is that usually my problems are caused by being involved in their mad plans.

Saif arrives just as I’m swallowing some sick.

‘Do you want to come to a Forex seminar with me?’

Oh fuck not this again.

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 5: Forex”

Crap Comedy Chapter 4: Quetzalcoatl

Crap Comedy Chapter 4: Quetzalcoatl

On the run from Andi Peters following a misunderstanding about cruises, Melissa begrudgingly agrees to follow her friend Joanne (and Joanne’s 17th century throwback ‘life partner’ Fax) to the Edinburgh Fringe. While leafleting for Fax’s dreadful stand up show about faith healing and vegans, Melissa endures the highs and lows of pretentious student plays, ‘street typing’, and the knowledge that her shop has been left in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand tills…

Crap Comedy is the follow up to the 2018 novel Crap Holiday. Read it here.

An hour later I’ve managed to keep the following down:

  • one kale and facon savoury orb (hand rolled)
  • a packet of super noodles, only made strange by the inclusion of a lot of parsley
  • six glasses of Fax’s wine gin

I consider this an achievement, and am feeling more chipper. Joanne has rolled a joint and we’re all playing I Spy. I’m at a considerable disadvantage, since half the stuff they think of is bullshit and doesn’t exist. Oh well.

After I fail to guess ‘Bamileke log drum’, which I’m pretty sure they don’t even own so this has turned into a game of ‘guess what I’m thinking’, I remember that Joanne said she had a surprise for me.

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 4: Quetzalcoatl”

Crap Comedy Chapter 3: Frigg

Crap Comedy Chapter 3: Frigg

On the run from Andi Peters following a misunderstanding about cruises, Melissa begrudgingly agrees to follow her friend Joanne (and Joanne’s 17th century throwback ‘life partner’ Fax) to the Edinburgh Fringe. While leafleting for Fax’s dreadful stand up show about faith healing and vegans, Melissa endures the highs and lows of pretentious student plays, ‘street typing’, and the knowledge that her shop has been left in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand tills…

Crap Comedy is the follow up to the 2018 novel Crap Holiday. Read it here.

3: Frigg

Somehow I’ve managed to get to Friday without cancelling Joanne’s dinner or killing myself. As I approach my old house, I’m surprised to see they haven’t painted runes all over it or some other nonsense. The numbers are still missing off the front door. I never did figure out why someone would steal the numbers off our house.

Fax answers the door. To my horror he’s wearing one of those aprons designed to look like he’s a naked woman. All this does is remind me that I once saw his knob when he was having a nudist phase, and now I don’t know how I’m going to manage to eat anything, even if they’ve made anything edible.

“Namaste!”

“Yes hello.”

“I’ve made whores de vurs!”

Jesus, I’m not even through the door and already I’m having to stop myself laughing. I clutch the YoNanas in front of my face (I didn’t want to turn up empty handed) and follow Fax into the living room.

The living room is still painted in Dulux ‘Highlighter Pen Holocaust’. In fact, it looks much the same as I remember it, except…

“Fax, where’s the settee gone? Did you move it?”

Joanne comes prancing out of the kitchen. “We got rid of the settee because it was giving Fax spiritual migraines. Don’t worry, we’ve replaced it – look!”

Bean bags. They’ve replaced the entire settee with bean bags.

“Don’t worry, they’re vegan beans.”

“Oh good, I was worried.”

I try to remember last time I attempted to sit on a bean bag. I think I was about 10. It belonged to my friend and it was a giant cheeseburger. Didn’t end well.

Joanne comes over and hugs me, oblivious to the fact that I am clutching a YoNanas.

For once Joanne smells nice instead of like weed and patchouli.

“I like your perfume.”

“Oh thanks, my dealer does Avon as well, and he got me this. It’s called ‘Rowan Musk’.”

Of course it fucking is. I’m still holding the YoNanas.

“This is for you.”

She takes the box. “Oh mega! I’ve always wanted one of these!”

I’m trying to decide if she actually knows what it is.

“Fax! It’s the banana ice cream thing!”

Oh right. Well… good?

“But I thought you couldn’t get these in real life! I thought they were just on TV! How did you manage to get one?”

In lieu of telling her about the QVC/Andi Peters saga, and subsequently having to explain the existence of shopping channels to her, I just say “I know a man.” It’s technically not a lie – Andi Peters is a man, and I’ve seen him on TV so I sort of know him. Although I’m not sure he has much to do with YoNanas.

I’m ordered to sit/squat on a bean bag of my choice, while Joanne fucks around with the YoNanas. Fax hands me a glass of… something. I sniff it.

“You must give your honest opinion of the beverage Melissa, it’s infused with my own energy. And plums.”

Joanne looks up from the YoNanas. “Isn’t he clever? He’s been making his own wine!”

Fax beams. “I squashed the plums with my own two hands, while singing ‘Sumer is icumen in’, which is a traditional song from Wessex. Then I meditated on it for three days. And then I added some gin to it so it would be alcoholic.”

That’s not wine, that’s plums and gin. Could be worse. I take a sip – it tastes of plums and gin.

“Mmmm, it’s lovely, thank you.”

Joanne disappears into the kitchen; Fax picks up his acoustic guitar and sits on a bean bag opposite me. This is a bad sign. I think it means he’s going to sing ‘Sumer is icumen in’ at me. I steel myself.

“Ooohhhhhhhh… the bullock is prancing, the billy-goat farting…”

What.

“Loudly sing, cuckoo! The seed is growing…”

I down my gin, which doesn’t seem to have been enhanced by Fax singing about farting goats.

When I first met Fax, I realised I’d need a foolproof method of stopping myself laughing in his face until I died. Thinking about my life generally does the trick. I employ this tactic now, to great effect.

Fax finishes his performance just as I’m getting to ‘I wonder if I’ll ever have sex again’. I applaud enthusiastically, as this is the best way to make him pour me another ‘plum wine’. Suddenly I’m aware of a familiar smell that I can’t quite place. It smells kind of… burnt, like burnt grass. I’ve definitely smelled it before. What is it?

Right on cue, Joanne comes back into the living room. She is now wearing the naked man equivalent of Fax’s apron. I don’t know where to put my eyes.

“Dinner won’t be long!”

The penny drops. I know what that smell is. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.

“… What are we having?”

“I’ve made my speciality,” says Fax. “Hand rolled kale and facon savoury orbs!”

“With chicken super noodles” adds Joanne.

If there’s such a thing as a ‘disappointment hernia’, I’ve just got one.

Hang on, chicken super noodles? Aren’t these two super vegans? I decide not to question it, because I do quite like super noodles.

Joanne sits on the bean bag next to Fax, and they begin a mysterious game of I Spy. I can’t see anything in the room that begins with ‘Q’, so I assume it’s one of their bits of made up hippy crap. I try desperately to think of a way to get rid of my dinner without putting it anywhere near my mouth. I wonder if they’d believe me if I claimed it clashed with my food chakra.

I don’t mind super noodles, but I don’t trust Joanne. I’ve seen her attempting to make food. She once tried to cook spaghetti in the toaster.

“Ha ha OK I give up, what is it?”

“It was Qadshu, the Syrian goddess of fertility!”

Of course it fucking was. Where is she, behind the TV?

I hope Fax has made a lot of his rubbish plum gin wine.

Crap Comedy Chapter 2: Andi Peters

Crap Comedy Chapter 2: Andi Peters

On the run from Andi Peters following a misunderstanding about cruises, Melissa begrudgingly agrees to follow her friend Joanne (and Joanne’s 17th century throwback ‘life partner’ Fax) to the Edinburgh Fringe. While leafleting for Fax’s dreadful stand up show about faith healing and vegans, Melissa endures the highs and lows of pretentious student plays, ‘street typing’, and the knowledge that her shop has been left in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand tills…

Crap Comedy is the follow up to the 2018 novel Crap Holiday. Read it here.

2: Andi Peters

I only manage to get up the stairs by the power of self-pity. I am very tired.

There’s a box waiting for me when I get home. This is strange, I haven’t ordered anything. Nope, it’s definitely addressed to me, and there’s a note from Tony downstairs to say he signed for it. I never said he could do that. Oh God, I’m going to have to go acknowledge him now or something aren’t I? I’m going to have to go downstairs with a bunch of flowers and say ‘Thank you for taking my package Tony!’ and then Tony will probably say ‘That’s OK, you can take my package any time! Har har!’

I don’t know why I have Tony pegged as a sex pest now, just because he signed for a parcel. I only see him when he’s getting his ramblers’ club magazine out of his postbox. Let’s put it down to being tired and dealing with Saif, who has the intellect of a Rolo.

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 2: Andi Peters”

Crap Comedy Chapter 1: Alans

Crap Comedy Chapter 1: Alans

On the run from Andi Peters following a misunderstanding about cruises, Melissa begrudgingly agrees to follow her friend Joanne (and Joanne’s 17th century throwback ‘life partner’ Fax) to the Edinburgh Fringe. While leafleting for Fax’s dreadful stand up show about faith healing and vegans, Melissa endures the highs and lows of pretentious student plays, ‘street typing’, and the knowledge that her shop has been left in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand tills…

Crap Comedy is the follow up to the 2018 novel Crap Holiday. Read it here.

Continue reading “Crap Comedy Chapter 1: Alans”

Ranking the BBC Video idents

Ranking the BBC Video idents

Before it became a bit shit, the BBC was responsible for some of the most memorable home video idents, some hallucinogenic, some terrifying, all playing before Only Fools and Horses, Brum, or ‘The Best of Mr Blobby’. I’ve decided to rank them, since there are only four and I had a spare half an hour that could have been used to do the washing up, but wasn’t.

Disclaimer: My views are not the views of the BBC. I don’t think the BBC will die on the hill of ‘Jaffa Cakes are biscuits’.

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We need to talk about George

We need to talk about George

Lads, I’ve found the worst thing in the world. If they were trying to create an apocalyptic 2020 version of Rainbow, they’ve succeeded.

Turns out some company has acquired the rights to Rainbow despite having never seen Rainbow, seen an actual Rainbow, or heard the word ‘rainbow’ before. This company is using those rights to produce books like ‘Uncle George will break your knees tonight if you don’t pay up’. I only discovered this while innocently browsing the Rainbow Wikipedia page, as you do when you’re 37 and depressed.

Let’s just take a minute to go over this glorious cover, point by point.

The book itself is supposed to be an interactive puppet book: Mum and/or Dad put their hand in George, creating a whimsical live action story adventure for their child.

Reality: Child is so traumatised by ‘threatening bailiff George’ that they will never sleep again. And they’ll certainly never get into debt.

Here is the Amazon synopsis:

“Feelings of nostalgia for parents.” I get that. I too would like to go back to a time before this fucker was made. Ideally when Terry’s Neapolitans were still a thing.

Meanwhile, the plot centres around George playing hide and seek with people. I fucking wonder why.

You know this is bad because it manages to be worse than anything Bungle has ever done.

I am not an artist, but even I have a sense of – to use the technical expression – things looking fucking wrong. Those cold, staring eyes. Those wrong nostrils. Those synthetic plastic lips. The way they combine to make George say “U WOT M8”. The menacing way he’s brandishing his rattle at you. And what is his other arm doing.

I’ve watched a lot of Rainbow, but I don’t remember ever seeing George off his chuff on Stella, threatening to glass the viewers. Let’s be honest – the only thing George wants to play in this universe is fucking Russian Roulette.

If you think I’m overreacting because you’re 12 and you’ve never watched Rainbow, imagine this reboot in 30 years:

There isn’t really a point to this post, except that I needed to express my anger/fear at this unholy abomination. If you’re curious, it’s on Amazon. Godspeed.