The Whimsical World of Vincent Furnier!

Sat in his white towelling robe, Vincent sat at his opulent breakfast table, poured himself a glass of orange juice, a cup of decaffeinated coffee and lightly buttered a couple of slices of wholemeal, granary toast.  He picked up the daily newspaper and chuckled at the cartoons.  “Oh, that Garfield!”, he exclaimed, with a wide smile on his face.  There was a slight creak as the heavy, wooden door from the hall opened and his wife, Ethel, walked in with a face like thunder.  “Good morning, my love!”, smiled Vincent.  “Don’t you ‘Good morning, my love!’ me, you bastard!”, snapped Ethel. Vincent’s face dropped.  “What’s up, love of my life?” he enquired, with a puzzled expression on his face.  “What’s up?” she thundered, “You know what’s up, you son of a bitch!”. Vincent put his toast down and thought hard.  He paused for a few seconds while his red-faced wife stood there tapping her fingers against her arm.  “No, I’m sorry, I really don’t know”, Vincent replied, “I really don’t know what I could have done.  I’m a good Father, I’m teetotal, my only vice is golf and I’m dedicated to clean living and Christianity.  You’re going to have to tell me.”

“What a load of horse shit!” shouted Ethel, making Vincent wince with both the volume and profanity.  “So you don’t remember coming in blind, stumbling drunk last night with two prostitutes on your arm and cocaine around your nose, having soiled your britches, not having been home for three days?!”  A wide smile broke over Vincent’s face.  “Oh, is that what this is about?  Darling, that wasn’t me, that was my stage persona, Alice Cooper!  I’d have thought that, by now, you could tell the difference!”  Ethel looked dumbstruck. “What the hell do you mean, Furnier?” she demanded.  Vincent smiled, “Ethel, darling, I would never do those kind of things.  It was all Alice.  When I put the clothes and make-up on, I’m Alice. When I have them off, I’m Vincent.  It’s perfectly simple.”  Ethel shook her head.  “I’m not buying it!  Are you insane?  You are Alice Cooper, Vince!”  Nodding his head vigorously he retorted, “Well of course I am, my love, but we’re two separate entities! You’re talking to Vincent now, but it was Alice who came home last night!”

Ethel sat down and put her head in her hands.  “Vince, I want a divorce.”  The craggy rocker looked crestfallen.  “But I haven’t done anything!”, he pleaded.  “You have got to be kidding…” she replied, wearily.  “No, it’s all Alice’s fault, divorce him, don’t divorce me!” said Vincent.  “No, Vincent, enough is enough. I forgave you for the three week Jack Daniels binge last month which, apparently was Alice, I forgave you for breaking my vase, a priceless family heirloom, because you said it was Alice, I forgave you for never putting the fucking toilet seat down, because Alice was the last one to use it and even forgave you for putting sugar in my coffee when it makes me sick, because – you guessed it – it wasn’t you, it was Alice.”

Vincent opened his mouth to speak, but then slowly closed it, lowering his eyes to the floor.  “I’m sorry”, he murmured. “Please give me one more chance?”  Ethel shook her head, with conviction.  “No, I’m sorry, that’s it.  I’ve had enough.  I’m getting dressed and I’m going to see my lawyer.  I’m divorcing you, Vincent.”  With that final, decisive sentence, she flounced out of the room, slamming the door.  Vincent sat there for a moment and took a bite out of his toast.  Munching slowly, he removed a tube of black eye make-up from his pocket, carefully applied it round his eyes and on the corners of his mouth and then, with coffee in hand, opened the door gently, and crept quietly upstairs grasping a huge meat cleaver…

…but don’t worry.  Vincent didn’t hurt her.  It was Alice.

20 MORE Amazing Music Facts That Will Absolutely Amaze You!

  1. Now he has announced his retirement from music, James Blunt has decided that he wants to pursue a profession where he receives much less hatred and abuse.  In a statement last night he said that he is deciding between Parking Enforcement Officer or Inland Revenue Tax Collector.
  2. Ozzy Osbourne was banned from the set of “Last Of The Summer Wine” for biting Nora Batty’s head off.
  3. In 2008, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour did a guitar solo so long that he had to urinate in the middle of it, so he carried on playing whilst visiting the gents and just held a very long note whilst he relieved his bladder.  He even managed to get back on stage before the majority of his audience, many of whom were asleep, even noticed.
  4. Paul McCartney recently received a very special telegram from the Queen, congratulating him on reaching his millionth public performance of “Hey Jude”, the momentous occasion coming at Beatrice’s 9th birthday party last year.  The kids wanted some Lady Gaga and were mainly crying instead of joining in with the “Na na na na na na na, Hey Jude!” bit, but Paul was undeterred and claimed that it was a “great gig!” afterwards.  He then put both his thumbs up, tilted his head slightly and went “Dooooooooooo!”
  5. Liam Gallagher’s secret passion is train spotting.  You will often see him on the south end of Platform 6 at London Bridge in his overcoat, grasping a Thermos flask full of Oxtail soup, taking video footage of electric multiple units rolling in and out of the station.  In an interview given to “Rail” magazine, Liam claimed, “It’s really fucking rock ‘n’ roll, especially when you see a Class 73 locomotive come through, usually for engineering works or that kind of shit.”
  6. Dark lord of indie, Nick Cave, has opened a newsagents in his local neighbourhood in Hove.  Called “Cave’s Cavern”, Nick informs us that it is a really good place to buy newspapers, chocolate, cigarettes and hardcore pornography and offers 10% off every purchase of satanic magazines on production of this ‘blog post.  Only two schoolchildren at any one time, please. Paperboy (or girl) wanted, good rates paid.  Adverts can be placed in the window, 50p per week.
  7. Ex-Nirvana and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl cannot go to sleep without his teddy bear, Chuckles, which he has had since childhood.  He once left on tour and forgot him and so hired a private jet to pick up Chuckles at the cost of $250,000. “It was well worth it!” said the nice man of rock, whilst hugging and kissing his plush pal.
  8. Adele once ate her entire body weight in Snickers bars.  Afterwards she passed a stool so big, it became the biggest shit produced by a music artist in recorded history.  The Guinness World Records confirmed that she had beaten Bryan Ferry’s previous record, held for his absolutely massive shits, Otis and Merlin.
  9. The Move and ELO drummer Bev Bevan’s actual first name is Beverage.
  10. Quiz fan Madonna recently applied to appear on BBC obscure knowledge programme, “Pointless”.  Richard Osman, host and producer, wrote back thanking her for her interest but refused her application, saying that she was far too pointless for Pointless and needed to wait for a quiz show called “Irrelevant” to come along.
  11. Rufus Wainwright recently paid $75million for Judy Garland’s toe-nail clippings which now take pride of place in a special display cabinet on the mantelpiece in his Montauk home.  Their previous owner, Mr. David Gest, was sad to see them sold for less than half of the price he paid, but said, “These are difficult times we live in and I’m just pleased they have gone to somebody who will really appreciate them.”
  12. The Prodigy’s Keith Flint likes nothing more than a nice cup of tea and a long, relaxing, mind-clearing session of yoga.  Apart from anal sex.  He loves that shit.
  13. Bjork is happily married to a Powdered Tree Frog called Simon.  This kind of inter-species marriage is perfectly legal in Iceland and they communicate with each other in a series of beeps and chirrups.  They have no plans, at present, to have any tadpoles.
  14. Old “slowhand”, Eric Clapton, recently had a beard transplant after he took too much of his beard off after his personal barber sneezed whilst precision shaving. Distraught Eric, 84, was rushed to a Harley Street Specialist who shaved thirty-seven badgers in order to fashion Eric his brand new beard.  No badgers were harmed during this process.  Apart from the thirty-seven who were shaved.  They died.
  15. Who legend Roger Daltrey was actually born in Sweden.  His real name is Rogg Daltruss and his family were pickled herring magnates.  Daltrey keeps this secret closely guarded and strongly denies it if ever asked.  This is how you know it is true.
  16. Suede frontman Brett Anderson eats nothing apart from Kentucky Fried Chicken and Strawberry milkshakes. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, that’s his entire diet.  “I don’t like those rubbish chicken pieces that are just ribs and skin though”, said Brett, munching through his regular three-piece meal, “They’re rubbish.  I always ask for one drumstick, one thigh and one breast piece.  If the man behind the counter tries to give me anything else, I just throw it back in his face and say “That’s rubbish!” and start crying until he gives me what I want.”
  17. Bob Dylan has announced a musical collaboration with his brother, Woody Allen.  Bob has written two hours of poetry loosely based on the terms and conditions you have to sign up to on iTunes, which he will recite to the sound of Woody’s clarinet.  The album, entitled “User?  Manual.” will be available from August 2014.
  18. Marcus Mumford from Mumford & Sons is so rich that he bought two hundred thousand copies of their début album to make sure they became famous and then then, after they hit number one, returned them all as faulty and asked for his money back. This is, of course, why HMV went into administration.
  19. The secret of why Elvis Costello always wears a hat has now been revealed – it’s where he keep his stash of Fruit Pastilles!  Yes, the bespectacled music legend has a secret passion for the sugared fruit jellies and always makes sure he has several rolls sitting on top of his head for when he needs them.
  20. Bryan Adams is planning a sensational return to the top of the music business by re-launching himself as a woman.  Calling himself Britney Adams, he will be swapping his guitar for a big lollipop which he will suck suggestively between songs, whist wearing skimpy, sexy outfits.  “I’m not going to shave every day though”, explained Adams, “Fuck that!”

A Day In The Life Of Brian May

Brian May Badger

 

Brian woke, bright and early, at 11am, when his self-made alarm clock (constructed from an old food mixer and a small piece of weapons grade plutonium) woke him up with a tinny version of “Everything I Do Is Driven By You” and a shower of gamma rays. “Bloody thing”, Brian said grumpily, “I set it for half past seven!”. The first thing Brian did, like every technophile, was to check his Twitter account whilst still in his Flash Gordon pyjamas, after asking his personal assistant, Henry, to bring him coffee, orange juice, an array of vitamins and, as it was Wednesday, some mackerel on toast, topped with some scrambled eggs. He then spent around two hours answering every Tweet directed at him which was about forty-nine percent Queen-related, forty-nine percent badger-related, one percent calling him a twat and the other one percent asking him his secret for such lustrous hair. He then moved on to his hundreds of e-mails. One was from John Deacon which simply contained the words, “For the last time, no. Now fuck off, Brian”, to which Brian shed the smallest of tears. The rest was simply fan mail (mostly from people who could barely write in English) telling him how much they loved Freddie. The rest were badger-related. Oh, apart from the ones calling him a twat.

As it was already 4pm, Brian decided that he should skip lunch and wash his hair before dinner and so, after two hours applying lots of home-made concoctions to his masterpiece of a barnet, Brian finally came downstairs. “Good afternoon, sir”, smiled Henry. “Good afternoon, Henry”, said Brian, cheerfully, “Any post?” Henry shook his head, sadly. “Not much, just a couple of begging letters, your favourite periodical and half a dozen dead badgers in a box from your friends at the Countryside Alliance, your Brianship”. Brian’s eyes flashed with anger and a feisty guitar riff shot through his mind. “Those bastards, Henry!” exclaimed the ageing Queen maestro. “When are they going to learn that I’m really intelligent, have a degree in Astro-Physics, am the tallest man in Britain, thanks to my hair, am a rock and roll superstar and am, you know, right about everything?!” Brian ranted, sticking his bum right out in petulant rage. “I know, sir, they’re completely ignorant and you’re right.” Brian sat down in his favourite self-made chair (fashioned from railway sleepers and dead sheep) and smiled. “Yes, Henry, thank you. I am right.”

Henry shifted awkwardly from one foot to another. “Mr May, sir?” Brian looked up from his brand new issue of The Beano which had come in the post that day. “Yes?” Henry looked visibly flustered. “Well, I was wondering if I could have a day off. I’ve been working every day, without a break for nearly seventeen years now. It’s my Mother’s birthday on Monday and I’d like to…” “Tie her down?” Brian interrupted – and then roared with laughter. “Yes, yes, of course, have the day off, once you’ve completed all of your other duties and providing that they have called off the badger cull by that day.” “But, but…” Henry stammered. “No need to thank me, old chap, you’re very welcome!” boomed the massive-haired, wrinkly rocker. Just then, the phone rang. A tinny version of “Don’t Stop Me Now” echoed through the halls of May Mansions. “Get that will you, Henry?” Brian asked, wearily, “I’ve had a very difficult day.” Henry nodded and picked up the home-made phone, which was constructed from a calculator, a transistor radio and a pair of chopsticks.

“Mr May, sir, it’s your agent, Mr. Leech, and he has one or two proposals for you.”
“Ah, Lionel Leech, excellent. Well, what are they, Henry?”
“Lady Gaga would like to co-write a song with you and for you to play guitar on it.”
“Sounds great, it’s a fantastic way to introduce Queen’s music to the younger generation. I’m in!”
“OK, the next one – Justin Beiber wants to do a version of Bohemian Rhapsody and wants you to appear in the video, in one of those pairs of trousers that shows half of your underwear.”
“Beiber? What a fantastic way to introduce Queen’s music to the younger generation. I’m in!”
“Your agent wants you to know that Queen fans may object to someone like Beiber covering one of Freddie’s greatest songs and that you may be destroying the legacy of a great band.”
“Nonsense. I’m Brian May, I have a degree in Astro-Physics and I’m always right.”
“Very good, sir. The next one is a bit tricky. Sasha Baron Cohen would like you to appear in his new film in a scene where he appears as a giant badger who is wanking off and… er, spunks all over your face and in your hair… whilst you play ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ on the guitar.”
“That’s absolutely disgusting!”
“I quite agree, sir!”
“Yes, you tell Leech to tell Sasha Baron Cohen that it has to be one of the songs I wrote, not a bloody John Deacon song! The cheek of it. If it’s ‘Save Me’ or ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’, then it’s an excellent way to introduce Queen’s music to a younger generation and I’m in!”
“Very good, sir. Mr. Leech says that he will be in touch soon with arrangements for all these collaborations.”
“Brilliant, thank you, Henry. Freddie would be proud of me, I’m sure.”

Just then, Anita Dobson came home from a hard day’s work of being Angie off of Eastenders. “Hello darling!” said Anita. “Hello, my love” said Brian. They both embraced and their hair styles both embraced each other too. They then sat down to a magnificent dinner of Heinz’s finest baked beans on lavishly buttered slices of Hovis wholemeal bread, washed down with plastic beaker after plastic beaker of Ribena. Brian told Anita all about his very hectic day and Anita pretended to listen to him whilst thinking about having sexual intercourse with Leslie Grantham. “Well!” said Brian, “I need to go and practise the guitar… one day I may make a career out of it!” Anita laughed politely (as he had made that joke ever day for a couple of decades) and enquired (still thinking about Dirty Den), “Brian, it’s Wednesday, our ‘special’ night. Can I expect you in bed at about half-past ten for our weekly lovemaking?” Brian grinned and winked. “Well, sweetheart, it all depends. Can I ask you to., er, well, perhaps you’d consider.. you know?” A look of annoyance spread over Anita’s face. “No Brian, I’m not putting that fucking badger costume on again, not tonight, not ever!” Brian’s face fell. “In that case, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Grasping his sixpence and grabbing his ‘Red Special’, Brian went out to the garage to compose his masterpiece about badgers which, hopefully, he could then perform with some second rate popular artist who could help bring Queen to the younger generation.  I’m in!

Facebook Etiquette – “The Rules”

I’ve been on Facebook for about six years now and have probably checked it most days since I first signed up to the site.  It can be great, but it can be immensely frustrating.  The most frustrating thing to me and, I’m sure, to many people, is not the constant tinkering of the way it works by Facebook itself (even though that’s bloody annoying), but by the behaviour of others.  If you have been on Facebook for more than five minutes, then I’m sure there are people you love in “real life” who have got you to the stage of nearly pulling the hair out of your own scalp by their inability to follow Facebook etiquette.  In the spirit of that, I have compiled a list of “Facebook Rules” which, if everybody follows, the social networking experience will become a whole lot easier for everybody concerned.

facebook_like_button

  • Don’t friend request total strangers.  It’s weird.
  • Don’t “like” your own posts.  Just… don’t.
  • Try not to over-post.  Only post when you actually have something to say or want to communicate something meaningful.  A status update every five minutes will either get you de-friended or get your statuses hidden from many of your friends’ timelines.
  • Never confuse the box to search for people with the box you write your status update in.  Nothing betrays what you were on the site for more than a post simply stating your ex-partner’s name or, perhaps even worse, some kind of sexual content you’re hoping is hiding somewhere on Facebook.
  • Always reply to direct comments, posts and questions on your wall, even if it’s just to say that you don’t want to respond to it.  If you don’t do that, you’re being bloody rude.  It’s the internet equivalent of ignoring somebody in the street.
  • Try to avoid writing a “fishing” status.  You know, “I’m so ugly”, “I’m so fat”, that sort of thing.  Most people will ignore you and, more often than not, you won’t get the response you were hoping for.  If it’s an ego-boost you want, Facebook probably isn’t the best place to go.  In fact, if you have the sort of friends I have, they will most likely agree with you.
  • If you have a problem and want to discuss it with friends on Facebook, then go right ahead, but think carefully about what you may want to make public, especially if it concerns other people.
  • If you have a problem and don’t want to discuss it with friends, then for fuck’s sake, don’t post anything on Facebook!  There are very few things more annoying than somebody saying, “I’m so sad” or “I hate my life” or “I want to die” and then responding to well-meaning friends’ concern with, “I don’t want to talk about it”.  If you don’t want to talk about it, then don’t say anything in the first place!  This is especially important if you do not want to make your friends want to strangle you.
  • Never write or post anything on Facebook that you don’t want on the internet permanently.  Once you hit enter, it’s potentially out there in cyberspace forever. Future employers, future partners, future in-laws, they can all potentially read your drunken thoughts and see your ill-advised photos.
  • Don’t break personal news on Facebook.  If somebody has died, then let family know via phone, not by them randomly logging on to Facebook.  That’s insensitive and cruel.  Breaking up with somebody on Facebook?  Shameful.
  • Sharing a music video you love with friends is great.  You can introduce your friends to fantastic music via Facebook.  However, there is nothing guaranteed to get your friends’ backs up faster than posting several dozen songs one after another.  What will probably happen is that your friends will alter their settings so they don’t see any videos you post in future.
  • In fact, too much of anything is annoying.  Cat pictures, dog pictures, memes, funny photos… if you flood your timeline with lots of anything, you’re going to piss your friends off.
  • Never make the mistake of thinking “It’s only Facebook, it’s not real life”.  Lines have blurred and Facebook is now part of people’s lives.  If you do something to hurt somebody on Facebook, it’s no different to hurting them face to face. However, never end a friendship or relationship because of something said on Facebook.  Make sure you talk to them – don’t let some cross word on Facebook with somebody you care about be the last communication you have with them.
  • Don’t respond to people challenging your views with the arrogant, “It’s my Facebook page, if you don’t like it, leave it!”.  If you post anything, all of your friends can see it on their timeline.  Would you be surprised if your friends had an opinion about something you posted through their letterbox?  Same thing.  You put it out there, expect a response, good or bad.
  • If you play Facebook games, try not to send game requests to every single one of your friends.  Try to think about who may enjoy that type of game and intelligently select who you send invitations and requests to instead of selecting “all friends” as the option.
  • If you don’t play Facebook games, instead of getting annoyed and snippy with people sending you requests or invitations, simply block the application.  If one particular person keeps on sending you junk you don’t like, you can block that person from sending you any requests from applications. It’s as simple as that – you don’t have to be a dick about it.
  • Another thing that makes you look like a bit of a douche is doing pre-emptive statuses threatening to de-friend anybody who voices a certain opinion or support to a certain person, cause or political persuasion.  You’re not exactly being fair by expecting people to censor their thoughts just because you disagree with them.  In fact, it probably will make people more determined to post what they think.
  • Don’t complain about your work or employers.  That is, if you enjoy having a job and regular income.
  • For God’s sake, don’t let your under-age kids (officially, you have to be 13 to register) sign up to Facebook, unless you are completely happy that they are ready for the adult world.  No matter how much you think you can monitor your kids’ internet activity, once you let them join Facebook, you are opening the floodgates.  Facebook is only very loosely regulated and the best way to protect your children from inappropriate content is to not let them loose on a site frequented by adults posting freely.
  • Don’t tag your friends in photos if it’s particularly unflattering of them.  No matter how great you look in the photo, if your friends aren’t looking at their best, let them decide whether to tag themselves or not!
  • You know, it’s probably best not to post a picture of every single meal you eat.  We all know what food looks like.  As human beings, we’re all well acquainted with the concept of eating dinner every day.
  • Don’t post hashtags on Facebook. They’re meaningless there.  Meaningless.  Nobody cares if you have linked your account to Instagram, Twitter or any other site – it’s annoying.
  • Before you share anything you’ve seen on Facebook, check to see if it’s true.  Quite honestly, you look like a complete twat by spreading untruths, especially if it could potentially hurt somebody.  Don’t become part of an online lynch mob because, if the worst happens and something bad happens to an innocent person, blood will be on your hands.  There are some great sites, such as snopes.com, to check out chain statuses and stories which seem often too outlandish to be true.  Remember, just because you agree with the rhetoric of a chain status does not make it true.
  • Believe it or not, there are still some things that should be kept private.  Blazing arguments between couples should probably be kept off Facebook.  It makes people who know you uncomfortable.  It also makes a mockery of your relationship if you’ve called each other all the names under the sun and then next thing you’re whispering sweet cyber-nothings into each other’s virtual ears.  Keep it to yourself.  Nobody’s interested.
  • Oh, and while I’m on the subject, avoid – at all costs – constantly changing your relationship status.  It doesn’t give a very favourable impression of you or your relationship(s).  Don’t rush into anything.
  • Please learn the difference between there, their and they’re, as well as you’re and your.  If you don’t, people will probably shout at you – and rightly so.  Talking of shouting…
  • DON’T POST WITH THE CAPS LOCK ON. Nobody takes more notice of you for doing so.  In fact, everybody thinks you’re being an arrogant wanker and will stop reading what it is you’re actually writing.
  •  If you have a new baby, a few baby photos are a lovely way to share your happy news with the world. Hundreds of photos and endless status updates about how this is the most special, precious baby in the whole wide world will bore your friends rigid.  Trust me.  The same applies to a new cat or dog.  In fact, especially if it’s a new cat or dog.
  • Teenagers: don’t update your relationship status so you’re “married” to your best friend and make all of your other friends sisters and brothers.  It’s really, really fucking tedious.
  • For Christ’s sake don’t share or post ANY status which ends with “97% of people won’t post this, but my real friends will”.  Many people, at that point, will be saying “Oh, fuck off!” at their computer screen.  The rest who are far too polite to do that sort of thing will still be mildly annoyed at your attempt at emotionally blackmailing them.
  • Posting song lyrics as your status? Fine if you’re a teenager.  Otherwise… no.
  • Oh, lastly – don’t “overshare” yourself.  Music you write and perform, writing, your business, whatever it may be, it’s perfectly natural to do a bit of humble self-promotion once in a while, but be wary about how often you share your own work.  Too much and you’re guaranteeing that people will simply never click.  Unless you have an awesome ‘blog like this one, of course.

You’re welcome.

20 Amazing Music Facts That Will Amaze You!

  1. It’s a common myth that Bob Holness played saxophone on Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street”. The original saxophonist was, of course, then session musician Prince. However, the Blockbusters host did play the clarinet on Chas ‘n’ Dave’s “Snooker Loopy”!
  2. Metallica’s Lars Ulrich is an avid collector of all things Chris De Burgh.  He once paid a massive $32.50 on eBay for the original handwritten lyrics of “Don’t Pay The Ferryman” and often wears the white suit Chris De Burgh wore in the video of “Lady In Red” whilst wandering around his castle in Rotherham.
  3. Yoko Ono literally means “farting fish” in Japanese!
  4. Bono and The Edge originally met in a Dublin queue to buy tickets for a Supertramp concert.  Bono said, “I love Supertramp, I do.”  The Edge replied, “Really, you too?”  Bono liked the phrase “You too?” so much, he decided to form a new band right there and then, shortening it to “U2”.  At that point, no member of the band could even play an instrument!
  5. Formed ELO frontman Jeff Lynne is addicted to Pickled Onion Monster Munch.  It’s not available in Los Angeles, so he pays for weekly shipments from the factory in Leicester direct to his California mansion.  His musical pal Tom Petty has to wear a nose peg when he visits Jeff, as he can’t stand the stink of the niffy fried corn snack!
  6. Luther Vandross’ real name was Eric Bristow, but he had to change it because there was a professional darts player of the same name.  They met to decide who had to change their name to Luther Vandross, but after Eric threatened to bottle the soul legend, Luther agreed that it would be him.  The pair never forgot their rivalry and once, when Eric was playing a very important darts match, Luther got very drunk on Diamond White and heckled him all throughout the match.  Eric had the last laugh, however, because he won that match comfortably.
  7. 12-bar legends Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo once joined Bucks Fizz for a gang bang directly after their Eurovision triumph.  When Francis asked Rick which girl he was going to have sexual intercourse with first, he said that he was “Making His Mind Up”. Francis laughed so hard that his nose fell off and then Rick had a heart attack before he could do anything saucy to either of them.  It was after this incident that they both became teetotal, born-again Christians. Bucks Fizz, however, still battle their hard drug addictions.
  8. Most people don’t know that Slade’s Noddy Holder is actually royalty and lies 12th in line to the British throne.  His real title is Duke Noddington of Holder and is The Queen’s first cousin.  He was actually born and bred in Berkshire, but affects a Wolverhampton accent to further his rock and roll career.
  9. Crowded House rock star Neil Finn keeps dozens of fully grown pet crocodiles in his twelve bedroom bungalow near Bath to make him feel like he’s back down under.  He recently had a scrape with the law when one of them escaped and ate the postman.  The antipodean singer got a fine of £100 and was warned not to let his feisty reptiles eat postmen again otherwise the fine would be doubled.
  10. Parents in the 1980s would have been very surprised to learn who was under the Paul Daniels creation “Wizbit”’s costume.  The production staff were sworn to secrecy, but it was none other than grumpy Irish rock and soul sensation, Van Morrison.  He even penned the catchy theme tune to the show – “Ha ha this-away, ha ha that-away, ha ha the other way, my oh my”. The royalties for this song alone earned him more money than all of his other songs put together!
  11. Although blaming ill health, Phil Collins has actually given up his career in music to become a school caretaker.  Although he has asked all his friends in the music business to keep it a secret, he can be regularly found spreading sawdust on lumpy schoolboy vomit in a state-run Primary school in Nuneaton. “Beats playing the drums for a living”, he sniffed, before running off to tell a bunch of kids to get the hell off his lovingly-kept flowerbeds.
  12. Joan Armatrading invented Jeggings.  The once popular “Love & Affection” soul singer was watching her grandchildren run around in jeans and had a brainwave that they would be much more comfortable in trousers that looked like jeans but were softer and more flexible, like leggings. One phone call to her niece, Tasmin Archer, who works as Head Of New Clothes in Primark and her invention was on the shop floor within a week.  She has been able to retire to Bournemouth on the royalties and has vowed never to sing again.
  13. Bob Dylan has actually been dead for years.  His fourteen wives and seventy-three children cannot survive without his income so, every night, they find a tramp on the street and pay him to pretend to be Bob, so he can stand there drunk in front of the microphone mumbling incoherently while his backing band do all the work.  Thankfully, nobody can tell the difference. While he was alive, Bob made an album a week, so there is plenty in the archives to keep the impression of new releases going and his army of fans satisfied.
  14. Suede’s Brett Anderson is the world record holder for the number of Fox’s Glacier Mints held in his mouth at any one time.  In his 2011 world-beating attempt, he managed to cram sixty three of the transparent boiled sweets into his mouth, beating Sir Bob Geldof’s previous record of fifty-four. Bob complained, “It’s not fucking fair, they’re smaller than they used to be.  I’d like to see him do it back in nineteen-eighty-fucking-two like I did.”
  15. Craggy Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger claims that the secret of his youthful appearance yet being an octogenarian is sleeping nineteen hours a day.  Jagger will often snooze away the whole day, either in bed or his favourite rocking chair.  He only wakes to eat, use the bathroom, strut around like a chicken and fornicate.  Apart from that, he sleeps the day away.  “It’s true”, reported Stones drummer, Charlie Watts, “When we’re on tour, he’s a nightmare.  He only gets fifteen hours sleep a day and becomes really cranky.”
  16. Famous vegetarian Morrissey loves prawns.  He eats them all day long and won’t accept that he’s doing anything wrong.  When it is pointed out to him that a prawn is an animal, he pouts and tells them that they’re wrong, it’s a vegetable, and that he’s never seen a prawn in a field.  When they attempt to explain further, he puts his hands of his ears and shouts, “La la la la! I’m not listening, I’m not listening! La la la la la!”.
  17. Elton John’s hair is fashioned from the pubic hair of over a thousand Swedish virgins.  It cost him over three million pounds and is personally transplanted into his scalp by artist Damien Hirst.
  18. Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker suffers from a rare medical affliction which means that whenever he sneezes, he has an orgasm.  The young Cocker, son of Sheffield singer Joe, used to sit in class plucking out his nose hairs to make himself sneeze, until he was sent out of class, squirming with ecstasy.  He wrote most of his best known songs in that school corridor, including the smash hit, “Help The Aged”.
  19. Brian Epstein, the manager of The Beatles, is alive, well and living in Scarborough.  Racked with the guilt of discovering that he was actually heterosexual, he asked The Fab Four to announce his death so that he could marry his sweetheart, rotund Carry On actress Hattie Jacques, and moved to the seaside Yorkshire town to live a quiet life and to father six children.  McCartney sang about Scarborough in his 1979 single, “Old Siam, Sir”.  This was a secret reference to spending a happy week there, every year, in the summer holidays with his old friend and manager and their respective families.
  20. One Direction are the world’s first successful animatronic android band.  Programmed to be irresistible to foolish, impressionable teenage girls but incredibly annoying to everybody else, One Direction have become the perfect pop band for evil mastermind Simon Cowell, because he can get them to do whatever he likes and doesn’t even have to pay them.  Earlier attempts to form a robotic band failed because each member of Sugababes kept on exploding, with hastily assembled replacements losing them fans each time.

How to write a hit American Kids TV series!

Here is a quick guide for all you wannabe writers who want to pen a hit US kids TV series!  It’s simple – all you need to do is follow this easy step-by-step writing process:

Create your characters:

The lead rolethe “ordinary” girl who most kids will want to be.  Someone smart, but not clever enough to make other kids hate her.  The girl next door.  Pretty, but not stunning.  A positive, likeable girl.  Freckles optional, but recommended.

The sidekick – the feisty, quirky friend.  Could be male or female.  Fiercely loyal, but obviously has a lot to learn and gets the lead role into trouble a lot.  The female friend must be slightly boyish.  The male friend slightly feminine. 

The crushdevastatingly handsome and the object of the lead role’s affections.  He never seems to realise it, though, and remains painfully unaware of her feelings.

The admirerthe lead role’s geeky admirer who is treated with a vague tolerance.  Obviously, at the end of the series, the lead character will suddenly realise that the admirer was the right person for her all along.

The nemesisa very good-looking girl who bizarrely has something against the lead character, ultimately showing that beauty is on the inside.  Seems to get what is coming to them in every episode and yet never seems to learn a lesson, because they’re back to their old behaviour the very next week.

Range of ethnic charactersthe rest of the cast should be comprised of lots of different types of people who should all conform to some loose stereotype.  Black = sassy and cool.  Asian = geeky and super-intelligent.  Canadian = a bit slow, but kind-hearted.  British = haughty and posh with bad teeth (usually evil, but not always). French = romantic and just a tiny bit sleazy.  Other ethnicity/nationality = stereotype, but with a slight twist to show that you’re not stereotyping people.

Follow the vitally important US kids show rules:

  • There must be a unique selling point – eg. They can time travel, they have a pet dinosaur, they are incredibly rich, they have a superpower, they are a secret pop star, they can turn into a dog… the possibilities are endless.
  • The plots should be over-the-top, but also should contain elements that kids can relate to in their lives.
  • Their lives must revolve around modern culture, modern gadgets, fast food, the latest pop music and will appear to be fabulously rich (apart from when they want something badly, in which case they will instantly be completely broke and will need to go to desperate measures to earn money) without any explanation of how their amazingly privileged lives and brand new things are funded.
  • Even though the characters are in their early teens, they talk with the intelligence and vocabulary of somebody twice their age.  They are also horribly rude to each other and to the adults but never get chastised by adults for their obnoxious attitudes.
  • A patronising lesson should be learned by at least one of the characters per episode.
  • There will be a constant barrage of canned laughter, piped continuously and loudly throughout the show, even when the jokes aren’t funny (95% of the time).
  • Adults will be portrayed at all times as being either stupid, arrogant or pompous.  They will always have their come-uppance.  There will always be one likeable adult character, however, but they will be at least partially child-like in attitude.

And finally, most importantly of all, you must remember: 

It must be mind-numbingly shit and annoy the hell out of every adult who is forced to watch it.

Follow the above steps and – congratulations!  You’re a US kids show writer and will have yourself a hit show that Nickelodeon or The Disney Channel will pay you literally tens of dollars for.  You will never be hired for any other writing again, but that’s a small price to pay for success!

Money Spending Expert advice column

Every week, our Money Spending Expert, the tubby, ruddy-cheeked, cockney saliva over-producer who exclaimed “Wonga!!!” on the popular adverts for Envirofone (now out of work, but attempting to get a lucrative job with the extortionate internet money lenders by saying “Wonga!!!” a lot) will be here to answer all of your financial problems. wonga_man

Dear Money Spending Expert,

My partner and I are struggling to make ends meet.  We have a six month old baby and, although we planned our child, the rising cost of living means that everything has become so much more expensive these days.  We seem to be forever running out of money towards the end of the week. I’m looking for a part-time job but that will mean additional childcare costs and my partner is stuck in a job he hates, but cannot afford to quit.  We’re already claiming child benefit and tax credits, but it’s just not enough.  It’s getting us both down, what should we do? – Cathy S., Reading.

Dear Cathy,

Blimey!  That’s a pickle, girl, and no mistake!  Still, if you choose to squeeze out kids, it’s your own stupid fault and nobody else’s. You can’t blame anyone other than yourself and you can’t expect us tax-paying mugs to bail you out, neither.  Should have kept your knees together, gal!  We didn’t ask you to bring another sprog into the world, did we?  Your choice!  You’ve made your bed, you can lie in it.  Still, if you’re running out of money at the end of the week and need more dough then you can try those nice people at wonga.com who will be happy to help.  More than happy, in fact.  As soon as you use them once, you’ll find that you’ll use them all the time – because you’ll have no bloody choice, innit!  Wonga!!!

Dear Money Spending Expert,

I’m 16 years old and am lucky enough to have just started a new job which pays around £200 a week.  I’m still living at home and my parents are fairly comfortable, financially, so they don’t want any money from me.  I’m well aware that we’re living in uncertain times and want to start putting some money away for things like a deposit for a house and a car.  How much of my income should I save and where should I save it? – Josh R., Biggleswade.

Dear Josh,

Blimey!  You’re 16 years old and you’re already thinking about that kind of boring bollocks?  I bet you’re about as popular with your friends as chlamydia (which reminds me, I really must make that Doctors appointment)!  Don’t be a mug, you’ve got loads of wonga for a kid your age, go out and spend, spend, spend!  People are impressed by designer label gear and that’s not cheap, boy.  Birds aren’t going to want to know you if you’re a cheapskate and, as for saving for houses and cars, that’s stuff you can think of when you’re old and boring like your old man and old lady.  Besides, saving is a mug’s game.  People in the know always use credit to buy things like cars and, let’s face it, if your parents are minted, they will probably give you a handout to get what you want anyway.  Life is for the living and the economy is screwed, so you need to spend as much cash on the high street and help us out of this bloody recession.  Not too quick, though, because wonga.com does well out of the recession and I don’t want to do myself out of a job, do I?  Wonga!!!

Dear Money Spending Expert,

I’m at the end of my tether.  My husband has a gambling addiction.  He spends all of our money on fruit machines and gambling on the horses.  He often comes home a wreck, promising again and again that he will stop gambling and will change, but he doesn’t.  I’ve threatened to leave him, but I love him and so do our three children.  It’s tearing our home apart and our kids sometimes go hungry because I haven’t the money to feed them.  Please help us, we’re desperate. – Deidre R., Weatherfield.

Dear Deidre,

Blimey!  Wind yer neck in, gal!  If a man wants to go and put a few nuggets in the fruity or have a bit of a gamble on the gee-gees, then that’s all part of being a real man.  Can’t expect a woman to understand that, but you don’t expect her to write to celebrity columns and publicise the fact.  You may as well chop his balls off! Is that what you want?  Silly cow.  Anyway, your husband is being a bit of a prat, definitely, I’ll give you that.  His problem is that he’s obviously thinking way too small!  What he needs to do is go to all of the short-term loan lenders in your town centre and get loads of loans.  Wonga!!!  He should be able to do the rounds and get about two thousand squids.  With that, he needs to make one big bet.  One massive punt, yeah?  All he needs is one 20-1 winner and he’s got enough money to live on for months.  Maybe take you and the kiddies on a nice holiday, yeah?  You know it makes sense, girl!  I know what you’re thinking – what if he loses?  Well, if it does happen, and it probably won’t, but if it does, then he takes the honourable way out and tops himself.  Not before he takes a nice life insurance policy out on himself, though.  He wins, you win.  He loses, you win! Everyone’s a winner!  Luvvly jubbly!  Wonga!!!

Dear Money Spending Expert,

Sadly, I lost my Mother a few weeks ago and she has left me a sizeable amount of money.  Close to £500,000, after inheritance tax. I’m close to retirement age, but still have a few years left before I can stop working.  I’d like your advice in the best way to invest this money, so that I make the most of my tax-free allowances, preferably in high-yield, low risk schemes.  I don’t really want this money, if I’m honest, I just want my Mother back.  Maybe I’ll appreciate it in a few years time, but at the moment, I just want to put it somewhere safe. – Barry G., Lincoln.

Dear Barry,

Blimey!  Half a million squids!  That’s some serious WONGA!!! I mean, I’m sorry you’ve lost your dear old Mum.  They’re the most important people in the world, aren’t they, our Mums?  I love my Mum.  She’s a diamond.  Can’t imagine what I’d do without her.  Putting all that sentimental nonsense aside – half a million big ones!  I’ll tell you exactly what to do, Barry, spunk it all up again the wall!  Wallop!!! It’ll make you feel much better.  Your old Mum will be smiling down on you as you buy you and your mates an executive box at West Ham, plenty of Columbian marching powder and a good looking escort to help you drown your sorrows with case after case of Krug down at some high class strip bar in East London!  I’m telling you, pal, get down Saville Row, buy a half dozen new whistles and some Pierre Cardin shirts, splash out on a classy motor like a souped-up Mondeo, treat yourself to a Nando’s a couple of times a week and make sure you get yourself away to somewhere classy like Ibiza, hit the clubs and get completely wankered.  Then, probably, spend the rest on Lotto scratchcards.  On my life, pal, It’s what I’d do!  It’s not gonna bring back your old lady, but it’ll definitely make you forget her for a while.  Wonga!!!

Dear Money Spending Expert,

Please don’t think I’m blaming you, but I took your advice from a couple of weeks ago, have used payday loans as you suggested and I’m much deeper in debt.  I don’t know what to do.  My outgoings are about twice as much as my income.  I’m crying myself to sleep at night and am seriously worried about losing my home.  What should I do?  I considering a) a low interest debt-consolidation loan b) bankruptcy or c) an IVA. Which would you recommend for my situation, Money Spending Expert?  I can’t face telling my wife about any of this.  I feel like such a failure and I think she may leave me if she learns what a state our finances are in.  Please, help me! – Giles B, Windsor.

Dear Giles,

Blimey! I can’t believe you’re crying!  What are you, some kind of poof or something?  Real men don’t cry.  OK, Ray Winstone, right, he’s a real man and he cried in Nil By Mouth (my favourite film), but that was just showing that he was at the end of his tether, wasn’t it?  He had some flat in Bermondsey and was going mental because of women and too much nose powder.  It wasn’t about some poxy problem with money.  You need to man up, sunshine, and grow a pair!  Your three options, I’ve thought about them seriously, but all of them will leave you with a lot less wonga to live on and you’ll just scrape by for up to five years.  Sounds shit, doesn’t it?  Too right.  My advice is to apply for as many credit cards as you possibly can.  What you then have to do is get loads of cash advances from them every month and pay the bill from one card with the money from another – simple!  Free money!  Wonga!!!  This way, you can live like a king for at least a year or two before you’re “maxed out” and then you can do the honourable thing of topping yourself, like a proper, responsible man would. Quite right that you didn’t tell your missus, either.  Real men don’t discuss matters like money with their wives, we just bring home the bacon!  Buy her a nice, expensive handbag to assure her that everything’s OK.  Women are daft like that.  Buy ’em a nice handbag and they’re happy.  Don’t over-do the gifts though, sunshine, or she’ll know something is up!  Get applying, Giles.  Yeah, and change your name too.  Bloody poncey name, that.  Until next time, people… keep spending that wonga!  Wonga!!!

Send your problems to the Money Spending Expert, PO Box 69, Dagenham, Essex, W0 5GA and he will attempt to provide a solution to all of your fiscal-related problems whilst always responding “Blimey!”, giving you terrible advice and then always signing off with his trademark, jovial “Wonga!!!”. 

Wonga!!!

The latest edition of NME – sneak preview!

Welcome to the latest issue of the NME! The magazine where new music is all that matters and we give you the lowdown about all the hot, new, fresh, new, raw, vital, new bands that you can pretend to like so you can appear cool in front of your hip friends!

***What’s Hot!***

The first of these bands is Monkey See, Monkey Do, a four piece electro-indie-dub-folk-jazz band from Aberdeen.  They have only performed two gigs so far, both at their local youth club, but they’re the talk of London with their uncompromising, fresh, new, fresh, vital, new sound.  Like a cross between Joy Division, Bob Marley, Olly Murs and Simon & Garfunkel, they’re making old, tired acts like Jake Bugg and The Vaccines sound like they need a zimmer frame, a colostomy bag and a state pension!  These guys are going to be fucking huge, mark my words.  Download their essential debut EP, “One Pound Crab” from the NME website and check out those fresh, new, raw, vital, essential beats!

The NME has learned that three toddlers from a playgroup in Swansea have formed a makeshift alliance called Teacher Is A Poopy Head and their raw, fresh, uncompromising, fresh, new, raw beats are currently the talk of the South Wales music scene.  Wayne Spunk, local music journo said, “I haven’t seen such raw, fresh, new talent since I saw the last raw, fresh, talented band I saw a few days ago.  Such raw, fresh, talent!”  I’m sure you’ll agree that they sound raw, fresh and talented, plus, with their Welsh accents, their real, provincial voices will probably be the sound of the repressed, impoverished working classes, howling out for the generations of Welsh people, betrayed by successive governments. They haven’t recorded any music, as they’re still honing their raw, uncompromising, fresh sound of toy xylophone, toy trumpet and toy drum, but when they do, you can be sure to hear it first on NME radio.

***In The News***

Elder pop statesman Dappy is to give new acts the benefit of his wisdom and experience.  Washed up Dappy (real name Nigel Chalfont-Featheringstone) is travelling round the country telling young, upcoming acts the secrets of making it big in the music biz. Tips like wearing stupid hats, pulling stupid faces, appearing on music quizzes despite having the mental capacity of a guinea pig, assaulting people in petrol stations and avoiding working with badger-crazed, herbal-tea addicted ex-Beatle Brian May will all be on the agenda for Dappy’s entertaining five hour lectures, set to a contemporary beat.  Tickets are available exclusively from the NME website as he kicks off his tour in Leamington Spa Pizza Hut next week, finishing in upmarket Pizza Express in Rotherham in early 2014. Don’t miss out!

Darlings of the music scene, Alt-J, are foolishly contemplating a second album.  The NME says don’t do it! There has never been a decent second album by any act, ever, and they will only destroy their massive legacy by foolishly releasing any more material.  If they want the NME’s advice, they should probably start to get into hard drugs, self-destruct, maybe die tragically and hopelessly young so that millions of followers can mourn them and bang on for decades about how their potential was unfulfilled. That’s how legends are made, Alt-J, not by making new music!  Think of your families and the money they could make from your untimely deaths.  You know it makes sense.

***What’s NOT hot!***

You know who’s shit?  Everyone, apart from the bands we tell you about. Oh, and Amy Winehouse, because she’s dead and, of course, everything she did is now genius, even though we slagged her off mercilessly whilst she was alive.  Falling off the “hot” radar are all the bands we told you to like last week, bands like The Tripod Lettuce, The Cod Liver Oil Experience and Bruce Willis’ Underpants.  They’ve all been around for at least seven days and are now totally and utterly shit.  We know that we sold you their t-shirts last week for extortionate prices and encouraged you to get those tattoos, but, honestly, anyone seen in any of those bands’ merch should probably be stoned to death on Camden High Street.  In a rare occurrence, between typing the first bit of the page and now, Monkey See, Monkey Do have been declared shit by the magazine’s editor, Cathy Twunt, as it turns out that one of them has vaguely middle class parents and therefore have no authenticity.  Their debut EP is now no longer on the NME website and will be replaced by “I love heroin, me“, the debut single of Kidderminster-based Garry Gonads, who looks and sounds exactly like Iggy Pop and is, therefore, fresh, new, vital and essential.  As for Monkey See, Monkey Do, they can fuck off back to whatever shit Scottish shithole their talentless arses came from in the first place.  Because, sorry guys, you’re just not hot!

Turn the page to read our latest article speculating on whether The Smiths will reform, although we hope they don’t, because then we won’t be able to write any more articles about how much they all hate each other. Don’t miss our reviews section on page 37 where anything new, fresh and vital gets at least 9/10 and any acts stupid enough to try to release a second album when they’re old, tired and obviously shit will be given less than 4/10.

The Adventures Of Heather Mills

Deep in her cavernous Sussex mansion, a lonely tear-drop fell from Heather Mills’ face, falling onto her huge, expensive dining table, made to look even larger by the fact that she was sat alone at it.  “It’s just not fair”, she said to herself, her shrill voice echoing around the massive room, “All I want is to have lots of media attention, so I can tell them to leave me alone”.  She pulled herself up from the table, sending the chair flying backwards.  Her maid, Petunia, came scuttling in.  “What’s wrong, Miss Heather?” she enquired with a worried look on her face. “Oh, Petunia, I wouldn’t expect you to understand, you’re not beautiful, famous and intelligent like me”, Heather sighed.  “Try me, Miss Heather!” Petunia smiled kindly.  The ex-wife of the ex-Beatle paused for a second and then decided to pour her heart out.

“Well, you see, Paul, you know, my ex-husband, Paul… he’s just won a bloody Grammy for his stupid album. Kisses On The Bottom… a title that I came up with, by the way, while we were in bed together and… anyway, you don’t need to know about that.  Anyway, the media have gone crazy about him.  He’s been in The Sun, The Times, The Mirror, all the American papers, all the music magazines and, well, I have just opened my second vegan café in Brighton, which is obviously much more important, and guess what media coverage I got?  A few lines in the Brighton Argus! Where’s MY Grammy?!?”  Heather’s eyes started to fill with tears and her lip quivered for dramatic effect.  “I’m… getting less coverage than a paedophile… and the world, well, they love Paul, don’t they.  Saint Paul!  He stabbed me with a wine glass you know and refused to buy me an antique chamber pot for me to tinkle in at night!  It’s just NOT FAIR!!”

Petunia nodded silently.  “Permission to speak freely, Miss Heather?” she said softly.  Heather, salt water welling in her eyes, nodded gratefully.  Petunia cleared her throat.  “Well, the way I see it, Miss Heather, is that nobody is interested in you any more.  Most people, if they can be bothered to have an opinion about you, think you’re an incredibly annoying, attention seeking, vindictive bint. In fact, they were only interested in you because you were married to Paul… and, even then, people just put up with you because you were married to somebody they liked.  They’re not interested in your vegan café because nobody likes vegan food, not even vegans.  They eat it because they have to.  In fact, I think the majority of people would be very happy to never hear your name again, let alone reading about you in the paper.  You’re a narcissistic, self-important fantasist who, even if Paul did stab with a wine glass, people would probably understand why he was driven to it.  I, myself, have considered doing the same about five times already today and this has been one of your better days.  You have a harsh, shrill voice which causes dogs, dozens of miles away, to howl, and a face that makes you look as if you drink nothing but vinegar.  If you want my advice, and I’m sure you don’t, then you will live a quiet, happy life, enjoy the money you have, keep out of the papers, stop doing all this crazy PETA stuff and let the world forget you.”

Heather, visibly shocked and tight-lipped, mulled these words over.  She shook her head, composed herself and nodded.  “Yes, yes, Petunia, you’re right.  I need to get myself in the papers more, get people to listen to me and like me… maybe even present my own talk show on television and, of course, do much more work for PETA.  Perhaps open a vegan café in London called “Heather Mills’ Vegan Café” near to Abbey Road, too!  Thank you, dear Petunia, you’ve been a massive help!”  She gave her bewildered maid a quick hug and flounced off to call her publicist.  Petunia shook her head sadly.  “Every day”, she said wearily.  “Every bloody day…”

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas…

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when on the last train

From London to Brighton, not a single seat remained

Through out of dark windows, standing passengers stared

Into the dark, wintry night… some had even paid their fare.

Christmas aromas, so flavourful, filled the packed carriage,

Of Burger King, onions, kebabs with red cabbage,

Of cheap perfume, beer, wine and body odour,

Chilli sauce, fried chicken and high percentage cider.

Two carriages were blisteringly hot, two bitterly cold

No happy medium for the hundreds of poor souls

Packed in like sardines, noses wedged in armpits

Retching young women pressed against old, sleazy gits.

Those who were sitting were slumped drunk in their seats

With visions of the office party where, on their wives, they did cheat

But tell-tale signs of lipstick and perfume betray

And they’ll find themselves in the dog-house on Christmas Day.

Those without tickets stand nervously by the doors,

Looking for the revenue inspectors who had fined them before

But they needn’t have worried, for the inspectors can all be found

Where they’ve been for hours – in the pub, necking booze down.

The First Class is full, not with those who’ve paid to use it

But with groups of surly youths playing awful rap music

Over the tinny speakers of their Blackberry phones

Making it, for others, a miserable journey home.

The half-asleep people with last minute shit presents

Bought from over-priced Whistlestop, extortionate Marks & Spencers

Know that they’re to blame for paying through their nose

By picking up shoddy gifts at the station on their way home.

The few innocent children who are on this foul train

Look up to the sky and their little eyes strain

To see if they can see Rudolph and Santa, but all they see

Are some teenagers yelling “Wankers!” on the platform at Purley.

“Come motors, come green lights, speed and signal us there!”

Declared the driver, saying under his breath a small prayer

That nothing would go wrong, but just as he uttered “Amen”

News came over the radio of, ahead, a broken down train.

As the train pulled up slowly at the signal, bright and red

Just outside Horley, the PA crackled and a few words were said

By the driver to the passengers about the inevitable delay

And the drunks yelled a few choice words the driver’s way.

The jolly driver, thick skinned, poured himself some more tea

From his silver flask, feet up, how bad could it be?

After ten minutes, just as he started to get bored

A drunk spewed his guts up outside the driver’s door.

With ten pints of Stella, half-digested kebab and bile

Spreading across the floor from it’s neatly deposited pile

It didn’t matter how packed that carriage was before

There was now a large exclusion zone around the retching driver’s door.

Hooray, the signal cleared, they called at station after station

The driver, with his head out the window, all the way to Brighton

With a sigh of relief they finally arrived at their destination

Only half an hour late, there was much jubilation.

One-by-one, they poured, tripped and staggered off the train

Even devoid of people, a scene like Beirut remained,

With bits of burgers, chicken bones, empty bottles of gin

Boxes and papers covered the floor by the empty bin

The cleaners tore through the train, making light work of the mess

After just ten minutes, well you wouldn’t have guessed

That the floors, seats and windows were ever layered with grime

As the hard-working cleaners cleared the rubbish in no time.

Lost property was collated and it was quite a large haul

As people, full of drink, forgot they had anything on them at all

Briefcases full of paperwork with confidential information

A laptop with state secrets belonging to a politician.

Gift-wrapped presents were left in the racks overhead

Meaning somebody’s wife would get given cash instead

Found in the toilets were condoms, panties and briefs

From a regrettable, drunken shag that happened at Haywards Heath.

The station was empty, the concourse was clear

Empty of partying souls, devoid of Christmas cheer

Everything was clear, the last train had arrived

It was time for the final staff to say their final goodbyes.

The platform staff sighed, locked up late on the 24th

Heading home to their families to enjoy their solitary day off

“Merry Christmas” they said gloomily to each other as they wound their merry way

Difficult to be too full of spirit, if you’re working Boxing Day.

 

Merry Christmas to one and all!