Thursday, 30 September 2010

She Sells Sanctimony.

There are only two things that really get on my nerves (there aren't, there are billions) and those things are religion and shit documentaries. Imagine my luck then last night when I realised that no one would go out drinking with me and I had NO CHOICE but to stay in and watch The Secrets Of Scientology. It really pulled the lid off this strange, weird religion. Did you know that some people who are members of a religion are insane? Well, I never!

The Secrets of Scientology is a follow up to John Sweeney's 2007 documentary, Scientology and Me, which I haven't seen but there is enough clips of it here that got me right up to speed. The Church of Scientology is full of nutters. There, now you're up to speed too.

I lost faith in the documentary pretty much immediately. It started with the usual, incredibly dull reference point that everything to do with Scientology starts with: "The religion of the stars" and then cut to a picture of Tom Cruise. Surely there are thousands more Christian celebrities than there are famous Scientologists? Some Jewish people own chimpanzees. Is Judaism the faith of monkey owners? Of course not. Chimpanzees are apes, not monkeys. Everyone knows that, dick. John Sweeney even goes on to interview three of the 25 million celebrities on Earth and, for reasons I can't figure out, doesn't show the interviews. He just assures us that what they said was zany. When Sweeney finds out that Scientologists believe in an intergalactic warlord who is still living on Earth he confronts the celebrities and asks them what they think about that. They all deny it. Well, Sweeney says they denied it. Although the documentary clearly shows him asking the question it never once shows the celebrities response. That's like the news on 9/11 just showing a loop of the opening titles to Sex And The City and saying "Trust me. They're gone now".

The documentary is full of stuff like this. Five minutes in and Sweeney is complaining about being filmed by the Church. All the documentary proved at that point is that some people in central London have video cameras.

And that was the one interesting thing about the documentary. Every single thing we hear is a second hand story. Bad things happen to some people in this religion but we don't see it. Bad things happen to people when they leave this religion but we don't see it. But the Church of Scientology wouldn't let you see it, would they? They are evil and will destroy anyone who speaks out against their faith. So why did they openly follow and film John Sweeney wherever he went in California? I mean, the documentary clearly showed cars following him, people following him and if he stopped to interview anyone a film crew appeared and shoved cameras right in his face. If the Church of Scientology is so protective and secretive, why would they openly reveal this kind of harassment? Does the documentary answer that one? Nah.

So what secrets have been revealed in The Secrets of Scientology? That it's a closed off cult catering to the weak and a force that uses fear against anyone who decries what it claims it stands for. In other words, it's a religion. In fact, at one point Kirsty Alley gets upset with Sweeney for using the word "cult". "Would you turn around to a jewish person and say that they are in a cult?" she says pointing her big finger in his face. "No", he whimpers.

WHY NOT? It's a cult. Catholicism is a cult. Islam is a cult. Loud Atheism is a cult. Twitter is a cult. What a ridiculous point to make and an even more ridiculous point to shy away from. Stupid bloody religious people and stupid bloody documentary makers. They deserve each other.

But I understand why he whimpered no. Kirsty Alley is proud and protective about her connections to the Church of Scientology and you must respect people's beliefs. And that's my major problem. That phrase. "You must respect people's beliefs". Why? People's beliefs are fucking insane. There isn't a single religion that isn't an affront to humanity. Islam hates women. Catholic Priests fuck children. The Church of England is boring. I don't see a single reason to respect people's beliefs. People are dicks.

And here's my new person-that-I-hate. Yes, yesterday it was George Lucas but yesterday was months ago. Today it's Ching Hai, or to giver her her full name Supreme Master Ching Hai. Ching Hai is a boring bastard who funds her tedious religion by writing books about her dogs and selling jewellery. She has a following of over 20,000 people. She is vegan and loves dogs! I should love her! I dunno though...there's just something about someone who starts up their own religion and calls herself Supreme Master that doesn't sit comfortably with me. I discovered Ching Hai while in a vegan restaurant in Vienna. Her books and poetry were everywhere (Poetry sample: "That afternoon, I too wanted to be a statue") as was her biography. Christ, she's a big headed bitch. I think once you know that her website is surely that should be enough to put you off her. My favourite part of her story is when she met a Buddhist monk, learnt from him but was rejected acceptance into his monastery. Buddhism is all about being open, peaceful and connecting to all living things. If you're not accepted by them you know you're a right cunt. But some people love her. She even owns a TV station that attracts the big time celebrities that the Church of Scientology could only dream of. Eric Roberts thinks we should thank her for everything, including her poetry. That's right, Doctor Who fans, The Master follows the Supreme Master. Depressing:

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

I Have A Bad Feeling About This.

I haven't been blogging much recently and for very good reason. Not fuck not nothing has happened. I mean, I got a new vacuum cleaner but I just don't think I can get a blog out of that unless it starts playing loud music on a train or gets a shit comedy show on BBC3. I've been busy, no-one has really annoyed me (until today) and everything is as it was last blog. This is basically a catch-up.

My foot is still big. In a way, I'm proud of it. I've been taking all my tablets and doing my exercises and the swelling has only gone down a little bit. It is defiant to the very end. The tendon's in my foot are inflamed, I have an angry foot and it won't calm down. My foot has turned into the son I never had. Unlike my stupid useless left foot that just sits there being fine. Prick. My right foot has character, intensity and swelling, just like Brando. It's also notoriously difficult to work with (it's hard to squeeze it into even a flip flop) but if you saw it you would never forget it. Given a chance, my foot would definitely leave it's mark on you. Sometimes, I don't even notice my left foot's in the room. What? Am I the only person here who has a favourite foot?

To be honest, the boring left foot might be boring and dull and boring but it's definitely the one with the looks. My sassy, bad-ass right foot has all the moves but looks like an inflated rubber glove.

Stupid things are still happening. Not many but some so stupid it defies any sense. I have a Star Wars Darth Vader shaped chocolate bar on a stick in my spare room. It's part of the not quite tidied away Museum of Star Wars that takes up six shelves in that room. I was doing a spot of writing the other day when I heard the fistle of tin foil. At first I thought it was a mouse. A mouse made of tin foil. I looked round and saw the Darth Vader chocolate move all on it's own. Weird, I thought. Chocolate doesn't normally move of it's own freewill. That might be the strangest thing that I will see today.

Then it blew up. It FUCKING BLEW UP! Right in front of me. One minute it was just another piece of Attack Of The Clones merchandise that I'll regret ever owning and ignore forever and then the next it was like Hiroshima in there. But smaller. And more chocolatey. I've asked all sort of science experts (well, dicks on Twitter) and no one can explain what happened. Does spontaneous combustion really effect confectionery like it does that man who was just a leg and a burnt out chair in that photograph I used to spend hours looking at in 1976? I took a picture of it in case Arthur C. Clarke wants it for another volume of Mysterious World. If you know what happened please tell me. It's just fucking freaky.

I'm still angry. That's nice, eh? And I have someone to take my anger out on: George Lucas.

Maybe the exploding Darth Vader chocolate was a sign. An omen. A message from the future about the horror that is to come. You see, I'm a 42 year old man that refuses to let go of his childhood and George Lucas is an insane destroyer of his own work and therefore my childhood memories. I saw Star Wars 5 times in 1977 for a very good reason: it was the single greatest thing I had ever seen in my life. In fact, to this day, I'm not sure that there is anything better than the original Star Wars film. Nothing has effected me more than that film. I read all the comics, I bought all the toys, I lived amongst the everything of Star Wars. My clothes, bedsheets, schoolbooks and skin all had Star Wars written on them. For me, aged 9 or 42, this wasn't just a film it was a cultural change. The design of the TIE Fighter alone means more to me than anything Elvis ever did.

In 1999, like most men in their early 30's, I lost sleep over the excitement of seeing The Phantom Menace but in hindsight I shouldn't have. The clues that being shit was it's destiny were there already with the release of the original trilogy's Special Editions. A Jawa falling off a dinosaur's back is the peak of George Lucas' sense of humour. It was completely pointless. And what was really so wrong with the Ewok's victory song that they had to get a new one? What's the fucking difference?

And now he's releasing all six Star Wars films in 3D. That's right, we'll be able to have Jar-Jar in our fucking face instead of just on a screen. What George Lucas doesn't understand is that these films aren't his. They're mine. He gave them to me. You can't just buy someone a present and every few years take it back and stick shit all over it. "Look, Mum. I bought you some flowers. Now every few years I'll punch you in the teeth". But I've come up with a plan...

George Lucas has to be stopped and I have decided that I must stop him. Here's the scheme, and it's taken a lot of thought and planning but I hope you can grasp the basics of it: When Star Wars 3D comes out....let's not go. Let's just ignore it. If your kids want to see it just remember that that's why you hit kids. I'm thinking of having a child just so I can not take it to see Star Wars 3D. My child will never reach out and "throttle" Dexter Jettster or be bored rigid in the skies of Coruscant flying after Zam Wessell. And George fucking Lucas won't get another penny from me. I have the films on DVD. That's it. That's all I need. Dagobah looks a shithole, why would I want to feel like I'm really there? It'll be about £15 to see it in IMAX. Why not give that money straight to some independent film company who might make something good?

You can write this shit, George, but you sure as hell can't watch it.

Thursday, 23 September 2010


So now I have a big foot. I mean that's what I really need; a big foot. What next? Fat hands? Massive ear? Huge penis? That would just be my luck to end up having a penis that was big. Big, like my foot.

Over the past couple of days my right foot has hurt. That crappy pain that makes you have to totally prepare yourself for standing up because your foot has decided overnight to turn you into an 85 year old. It took me about 5 minutes to walk downstairs yesterday and my foot looked really big. A big, big foot. Maybe it's broken? You hear about that sort of thing all the time, don't you? A man who had trouble hearing but he didn't make a big deal about it and left it for six months until his wife told him he HAD to go to the doctors. Turned out, he had a broken foot. And that girl who had a bad back. Never had a bad back in her life. She tried everything. Stretching, yoga, ignoring it. Turns out, she was pregnant. And the baby had a broken foot. So, although I have no memory of ever breaking my foot, I started to get convinced that I had got drunk and punched my foot for looking at me funny. I really best go to the hospital.


I don't go to hospital right away. I'm allergic to my own health and I know I'll be fine if I just ignore it. Once I give the state of my health any attention then I know I will be given weeks to live. It took a lot for me to actually consider going to the hospital so no-one could complain if I didn't go there right away. My foot might be broken, I know that. So before I go to the hospital I'll go for a long walk. That'll help my snapped bones.

Weirdly, it did. Hmmmm...this isn't a broken foot, is it? I've just got a big foot. That's the medical condition that I've been lumbered with. A big foot. How are the youths of Britain supposed to adore me when I'm on stage now? "Yes! He is a spokesperson for 2010 with his opinions on Lidl and funny aprons", they will cry. "But he has a big foot. We cannot listen to a man with a big foot. Go away, you big footed old nothing". I will try to explain that it's all fine, Daniel Kitson has his stutter and Russell Howard has his eyes, it's only a big foot. Come back! But they will just walk away. A stutter and his eyes are acceptable disabilities. A big foot is laughable and no-one wants to laugh at a comedian in 2010.

I am finished.

So I eventually went to A&E at Lewisham hospital. The receptionist asked me a series of questions, not all of which I understood. "What is your name? Address? Do you smoke? Have you ever smoked? Does your job entail cycling? Do you use your feet? Are you currently online? What went wrong with Heroes?" Then I took my seat and waited. I looked at my big foot and started to thing the worst. It's going to come off, isn't it? I've got gangrene and it's spreading fast and I'm going to have lose one of my favourite feet in the world. Everyone else in this waiting room is in for trivial things yet they will all get seen before me despite the fact that I AM A BIG FOOT SUFFERER WHO WILL BE LOSING HIS BIG FOOT A BIT LATER. Everyone around me all seemed to be in for the same thing anyway. They've obviously all been kissing Captain Kirk:

Luckily I was seen by an expert who confirmed everything I had feared. "It is big", she said. I KNEW IT! I FUCKING KNEW IT. MY FOOT IS BIG AND NOW I'M GOING TO DIE. I'M GOING TO DIE OF BIG. MY FOOT HAS TOO MUCH BIG AND NOW I MUST DIEEEEEE!!!!!

Calm down. The good news is that it's not broken. The gooder news is that it won't be big for long. The great news is that I have inflamed tendons. I can't really explain why I was happy to hear that my tendons are inflamed but I am. I know that it's definitely something about me being such a grumpy bastard that even my tendons are inflamed. My foot isn't just big, it's furious.

So now I have lots and lots of pain killers and very feeble and pathetic exercises to do every day to reduce big foot to just foot. I'll miss my angry foot really. There was so much of me in it. Of course, the worst thing about being a bit poorly is that I can't have my normal cure for all diseases; an egg beat up in a cup. My vegan brain won't let me. But vegan's have an alternative so I gave it a try. Scrambled tofu. What it lacks in taste is what I don't like about it.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

River Failure.

Sometimes I don't really like living in Lewisham. I'm very lucky in that I live two minutes from Ladywell train station and my street is nice. Basically I don't need to see too much of Lewisham that often but when I do it's not always great. It's not very clean, the people who frequent the High Street are spontaneous (that's the best I can say about them) and it's really loud. There is never, I mean NEVER, a time that I use my phone while walking down Lewisham High Street and the call isn't interrupted by sirens.

But there are times when it is so magical that I can't imagine living anywhere else. Sunday was one of those days.

I walked Jerk in the park, another generally uncomfortable place to be in Lewisham. At least the park looks nice. Lovely winding river, nice little bridges, beautiful trees and bright green exotic birds that have shunned South America to make Lewisham their home. But the people...well, you know what people are like. I'd only been in the park 10 minutes when I saw this guy. This amazing guy who is just so Lewisham his name should Rock J. Lewisham. Let's call him that. Rock was in the park walking his 3 beautiful big dogs. The dogs were happily running around and playing. No matter what you might think about Rock, his dogs obviously love him. All 3 of the dogs leapt over the river with the grace of a ballerina and now it was Rock's turn to do the same.

No. Surely not. Rock's not going to leap over the river. No. He'll never make it. And anyway, there's a bridge right there. I mean, it's RIGHT THERE. Rock only needs to walk 10 seconds to his right and he'll be on the bridge. In 15 seconds time, he'll be over the bridge and with his dogs. There is no way that Rock is going to leap that river.

But, you know what Rock's like. He has to prove, at all times of the day, every single day of every year, that he is Rock J. Lewisham. Rock took a running jump.

I mean, yes, OBVIOUSLY he landed in the middle of the river but that wasn't enough. Oh, no. He just HAD to lose his footing and fall right in. Instead of walking those few feet to the right and using that bridge like us dicks would have, Rock sank into the river like a, I dunno, a stone or something. He splashed around for a bit and then crawled up the river bank on the same side as his dogs. That's when he stood up and turned to face the river. Rock J. Lewisham then pointed at the river and shouted at it.

Rock J. Lewisham gave that river such a bollocking. I know that a much bigger river, The Nile say, probably could have taken a loud, swear-filled ticking off but the tiny wee Ravensbourne that cuts through Ladywell must have been quaking. But was that enough? Rock is, after all, a gentleman and this cheeky sod of a river had robbed him of his precious dignity. Time for Rock to get it back. That's when Rock J. Lewisham got his cock out and pissed in the river.

"Fuck you, River", Rock must have thought. "I'm covered in you, now you're covered in me. Chessmate".

Who would have ever wanted to miss that? The very theatre of life playing at all times at Lewisham whether you like it or not.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

(v) Denotes Very Annoying.

There are a lot of things that can stop you being vegan. Even buying a pair of jeans isn't always a vegan thing. Jeans makers insist on putting a little bit of leather on the belt loop of their jeans to advertise their brand. I mean, you've already bought the jeans. There's very little else that you can do. It's like adverts promoting going to the cinema while you're at the cinema. I'm at the cinema, you can calm the fuck down.

Most restaurants have a vegetarian option but not always vegan. You find out every single day that yet another thing you previously liked has goats milk or bull sperm in it. Bits of animal just seem to be everywhere. It's a drag but one that has it's rewards. All of a sudden I'm eating food that I normally wouldn't and I'm cooking new stuff. Big chunky curries, red pepper and carrot soup, fucking amazing bean salad with spicy courgette (I invented that). That's the easiest way to be vegan: just cook for yourself. Most places won't cater for you and the ones that do are bollock-burstingly infuriating. That's what puts you off being vegan most. Fucking stupid vegans.

What is a vegan? Well, from what I can gather vegans are generally physically beautiful people who are trying their best to look like a big pile of shit. Most succeed. They also want to make everything as awkward as humanly possible. There are really only three vegan restaurants I've been to since becoming vegan but I can only recommend one of them. All three have got their good points but only David Bann's in Edinburgh have got it right. It's a clever set-up: people who look like they wash regularly show you to your table. Then, after you have chosen from the menu, they bring you your meal. It's different but it works. Hendersons, also in Edinburgh, doesn't do that.

During the Fringe I really wanted to persuade the cast of Gutted to join me for a meal at Hendersons, just so they could see how great it is to be meat-free. The whole experience made me want to survive on nothing other than antelope blood. HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU GET GIVING PEOPLE FOOD SO FUCKING WRONG? You queue for fucking ages at the buffet. You choose your food. Then they tell you to take a seat, they'll bring you your dinner in about half a fucking hour. I just queued up for a buffet. Surely that just means handing me my food? Don't be so ridiculous, Michael. That's how an evil carnivorous meat-eating buffet works. Vegan buffets are powered by candles and incense and terrible dreadlocks and clogs and wishing. It takes fucking ages. Now go and take your seat and wait for far longer than necessary. Don't worry, you can have your dessert now. That'll tide you over until your Lentil Mystery turns up.

So I took my dessert into the oak-riddled dining room and tried to eat it while listening to a bearded jumper playing an acoustic guitar. It was like being in a vegan restaurant dreamt up by bad sit-com writers. I was embarrassed. Don't think many Gutted's gave up eating meat that night. Stupid Legge.

Last night I went to InSpiral Lounge, a vegan restaurant run by tramps, by the look of things. InSpiral is in Camden Town and it is painfully vegan. I mean, wow. Rice beer, cous-cous gravy, hemp steaks, breast of dandelion, grass kebabs, thin-air burgers. Again, you have to queue up buffet style to get your food (I went for the carrot zebra) and it wasn't long before I was completely ignored. What with not having actual human faeces in my hair, piercings all over my face, a fold-up bicycle under my arm and those ridiculous big wooden hoops the mentally away twats put in their earlobes, they just didn't see me. The guy behind me got served first and no amount of noise I made about it made any difference. Chillax, man. You're going to get served real soon. FUCK OFF, YOU UNWASHED PRICK. Then, when I got my food and went to the other washed out (but not actually washed) hairy ghost at the till, I still had to wait for her to deal with a fucking moron who just appeared out of nowhere. The moron wanted to text his friend the names of some of the food served at InSpiral. Fair enough. That will only be a second, right? WRONG! The moron can't write in English so hairy ghost has to spell EVERYTHING. "Small filled bagel. That's small s-m-a-l-l. Filled f-i-l-l-e-d. Bagel b-a-g-e-l. Vegan cream cheese. That's vegan v-e-g-a-n. Cream c-r..."

I had gone mad by this time. FUCK OFF. That's fuck fuh-uh-uck. Off oh-phffffffffffffff.

The thing I should be pointing out about these two incredibly annoying places is that the food is amazing. Really delicious. It's just a complete trial getting it. I'll probably go back to InSpiral because the food is amazing and all the booze is vegan but I'll mentally prepare myself before I go through their sunflower oil door. Also, they have a sign on their front window saying "We're breast feeding friendly". Well, not all of them were.

HA HA HA! Brilliant.

After dinner last night I went to the Bull & Gate in Kentish Town to see Jim Bob and Tim Ten Yen live and in concert. The opening act was called Pete and had his rock n' roll coolness of turning up late totally ruined by going round the crowd afterwards adding their names to his mailing list. Good lyricist though. "Come with me, come with me, come with me, come with me, come with me, come with me, I'll be waiting by the sea" was one that caught my ear. Hang on, Pete. You want me to come with you but you're already there? Plus, I need a clearer address than "by the sea". I don't think this Pete wants me to come with him at all. Sir, good day.

Tim Ten Yen was next and was wonderful. I'm a big fan anyway but it was lovely seeing so many other people loving him too. He's upbeat and sinister, joyous and awkward. You'd like him. Apart from his excellent songs, his between song banter was just hilarious. He's a very funny man. And ADORABLE! He dedicated When The Song Applies To You. Then ruined it by dedicating the next song to someone else. Then the next song was dedicated to everyone in the room. Yeah. Good one, Tim. I feel really special now. You should definitely buy his stuff. Seeing Jim Bob on stage was amazing. His songs are funny and angry and clever and they are obviously adored by his fans. But really it was great to see Jim from Gutted on stage doing songs that weren't in Gutted, like he had some sort of life before Gutted came along and made us all famous. I've read Jim's novel, Storage Stories, and bought four of his albums plus I got to hang out with him for a month. Like everyone, I only have great things to say about him and everything he does. He is, you know, great. Plus lots of Gutted's were there so it was like a reunion. The whole cast joined Jim on stage at the end for a brilliant version of This Is Love.

That last bit never happened.

My dog just coughed something green on to my leg. I must go.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


I went to see Inception and now I have an opinion of the whole of mankind. You either hate Inception or you're a fucking idiot. Obviously, people who haven't seen it are also allowed to hate it but they can't just say "Oh, I haven't seen that yet" because that implies that you want to see it. In other words, you like it. In other words, you're a fucking idiot.

It's been a while since I've seen a film quite as bad as Inception but, to give it it's dues, it started really well. Not the film, but the film experience. I saw it in a cinema in Cardiff. That doesn't sound so great? OK, how's this? I saw it in an EMPTY cinema in Cardiff. Yeah, that's pretty cool. Having the cinema to yourself is fantastic. It's only happened to me once before and that was a long time ago. The Pope Must Die, which surely should have a re-release this week. I can sit where I like, I can keep my phone on, I can whistle. Whistling in the cinema! Have you ever known such decadence?

I watched the trailers and got angry because somehow this is a real film and not a pisstake:

So, not off to a great start but I had heard so many great things about Inception so time to relax into my seat and enjoy it.


Basically, Inception is a po-faced, earnest and entirely tedious version of Tron. Something that can't ever happen is happening and we will act like it is the most serious thing to have ever been written despite it being 100% ridiculous and pointless. Don't worry if you're planning on watching Inception (although I recommend you never, ever do that), I won't be spoiling the film here in this blog. The film is already spoiled. That's got nothing to do with me.

Dream invasion doesn't exist but that's OK because we can all use our imaginations and pretend it does. Fine. Good. Invading people's dreams to take information from them. Good idea. All fine. Leonado DiCaprio plays Cobb, a man who is the BEST and stealing information from dreams. Erm...OK. But don't push it. He's also an American who can never return home to see his kids so he lives in France.

Hang on, is he invading dreams as the only way to see his children?


MOVE YOUR KIDS TO FRANCE, YOU FUCKING DICK. The realisation that that's what the film is about happens about 50 minutes before the end. I left 10 minutes after that. It's a plot hole so massive that you just can't forgive it or forget it. At least Tron revelled in it's ridiculousness. Inception thinks it's carved out of fucking oak. Wrong director, wrong actors. These people are too worthy for such a bubblegum premise. Even McG directing Vin Diesel in Inception would have been better. Trying to make something enjoyably stupid into something seriously credible ruined it. And Leonardo DiCaprio will always look like a little boy wearing his Dad's suit to a job interview for the rest of his life. Rubbish.

The rest of my weekend was nice though. All good gigs at The Glee in Cardiff and then Robin Ince and I got the old band back together for the End Of The Road Festival. It was just brilliant to be doing Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire again. Just as all over the place as before. Dropping material and not getting to the end. Fun. Afterwards Robin signed copies of his book. So did I, which I don't think is the spirit of book signings. They definitely should be your books that you're signing, no? I decided to stay overnight at the festival while Robin got back in his pensioner bus to start the sing-song on the way home. I stayed for the people not the bands. It was nice to see a lot of friends there and I either didn't really like the bands or I didn't know who they were. Errors and Drum Eyes were excellent. I had heard of Adam Green, though. I wish I hadn't. He's an awful twat. I see a lot of Har Mar Superstar in him and you shouldn't see that in anyone. Allow me to inflict him on you now:

Friday, 10 September 2010

An Evil Man From Austria.

I mean there are pricks are there are PRICKS. This guy I saw on a train in Vienna is not a prick. He is a PRICK.

You may have detected a fair bit of complaining about people in this blog but this guy will be despised by you and you've never even seen him. Luckily, like you, I am a Buddhist or some shit and didn't punch his face in despite that very thing being the only thought in my head. Muki and I got on the Vienna underground train to go to the zoo. I'd heard lots of good things about Vienna zoo and, as the pandas there had just had a cub, figured it was pretty ethical. Ethical. Funny word. Doesn't mean much to some people. Anyway, three youths got on the train and sat down. They looked about 16/17 years old. They were soon joined by a fourth youth who saw them get on, recognised them and rushed over to join them. He probably knew them from school or something. The big difference between him and the other three was that he had Downs Syndrome.

Feeling uncomfortable yet? You know something bad is going to happen, right? Well, it's worse than you think.

Two of the three youths started hiding their laughs behind their hat and bag but they had very good reason to find someone with Downs Syndrome funny. Firstly, he had an FBI pass in his wallet and that is funny no matter what and, secondly, they are teenagers. They are young and full of peer pressure and figuring out how to be cool and laughing at people with Downs Syndrome is the coolest thing in the world when you're young. Fuck taking crack and dying in a plane crash after your first platinum selling, iconic album. Just point and laugh at a spaz and you are as cool as Bono (you are. Really). But one of the youths didn't laugh. He talked to the guy and was incredibly friendly to him. He probably didn't want to because that will make him as cool as Adam Clayton but he did it. I liked this youth. He was obviously just a nice lad. Plus his phone was shit. My theory really is working out. Then I noticed the PRICK.

I first noticed the PRICK by way of his laughter. Even his laugh is a PRICK. The two youths hiding their faces had stopped laughing but I still heard laughing. That was a little confusing for a second but I looked up and across the train and sure enough there was the PRICK laughing away. It looked like he was laughing at the guy with Downs Syndrome but he couldn't be. I mean, he's in his 50's. He can't be openly laughing and pointing at a guy with Downs Syndrome. Can he?

He then got his camera out and took a photo of the guy with Downs Syndrome.

My brain was totally confused. Did I really just see what I thought I saw? As the man showed the photo to his family (who weren't interested) and laughed I pretty much realised that I really had just seen that. In real life. Then Muki said "Did you fucking see that?"

What a fucking PRICK. I made a vow that no matter what happens I won't start a fight with anyone on a train while I'm with Muki. It's written down somewhere. And that is a shame because it would have been beautiful to go over there and tell the fucking cunt how much I want to punch his ugly, useless, grinning face in and then have Muki translate it into German for me. I made the vow to not fight but there was nothing said about staring. A stare is a powerful thing it turns out.

I stared at him so blatantly that he had no choice but to make eye contact. He looked away and then back again several times just to check that I was actually staring at him. Soon his big grin dropped as did the penny. You could tell that he knew he'd been caught doing something that was horrible. For the rest of the journey (about 15 minutes) I barely blinked and even when he wasn't looking at me he was looking at me. Guilted.

The PRICK was also going to the zoo and we saw him by the rhino enclosure. I wanted to see the rhino but Muki couldn't bare to be in the same space as him. One push over the fence and she wouldn't have to be.

If you are Austrian and someone shows you their photos of Vienna zoo and you see a picture of a boy with Downs Syndrome and an FBI pass on a train please punch that person in the face for me. I don't like him.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Mo' Zart, Mo' Blues.

I've been away for a few days and, just before I went, I felt like I really needed it. Most of the comedians on Twitter had turned on poor Morrissey just because he's racist and I felt sad. I love Morrissey. Leave him alone. He loves everyone (who is white and English/Irish or beautiful and Mexican). Why must comedians always attack racists? But I got home yesterday and was proud to find out that not all comedians on our circuit go the boring, obvious, completely natural route of hating bigots. I might go to see this lovely production:

The thing is, the Edinburgh Fringe is so utterly stressful that it's always best to book a few days away somewhere nice right after you get back. But I am Michael Legge. I do things differently. I had the most stress-free, relaxing Fringe this year so decided to go away somewhere completely horrible: Vienna.

It started well. I was met at Vienna Airport by Alex, a distant relative of Muki's. He is very young, very handsome and wears a baseball cap. I should totally hate him but he was just lovely. His English is pretty much perfect but his one error made this meeting wonderful to me. I thanked him for picking me up and he replied "It's a pressure". I like him. I've also come up with a new theory that holds no water but one that I will stick to. All young people are evil unless their phone is shit. Alex's phone is really shit. Plus he didn't roll his eyes when an obscure Beach Boys' song came on the radio. He clicked his fingers and did an embarrassing seat-dance. I really like Alex.

I also liked the drive from the airport to Vienna because I liked laughing at all the foreign words, a bit like Morrissey probably does. If only our roads had dich and fahrt written on signs everywhere. Plus I saw the best, and most unlikely, bit of graffiti in Austria along that road: "Fuck DFS".

Alex is Austrian, not Viennese. I hate all people from Vienna and everything in Vienna (except the zoo, it was really nice and the animals are endangered in the real world but well looked after there). The people there are so rude that I started to walk around thinking "Oh, think you're rude? I'll fucking show you rude". After being bumped into for the 500th time in an hour I started to treat walking down the street like I was trying to score a touchdown. Push that old lady, shoulder that child, push and shove everyone, now I'm at a museum. SCORE! You might think that I'm being a bit overly sensitive but genuinely there was barely a minute went by when someone didn't walk in my way and I started to take it personally. Muki tried to calm me down initially but after hearing my complaints so often just told me to shut up. How happy I was back at the airport, half an hour before leaving, when Muki grumpily said "I'm sick of this. They really do all just walk in your way". I love it when I'm right, smug face on.

So, don't like the people, what about the place? Meh is the best description and even then I'm being generous. How can so many beautiful and historical buildings be so uninspiring and dull? In a way, you have to congratulate them for doing that. The rest of the city looks like a really shit market. It's clean yet somehow disgusting. Again, well done for that achievement. Still, they do have the Donauturm, a revolving platform that gives you a view of the whole city from a height of 165 metres. The tower promises a beautiful restaurant and glamorous bar. I'm telling you now, it's a very tall greasy spoon, that's all. If, like me, you were born and raised in Newtownards then the Donauturm is basically Cafolla's in the sky. I even felt like I was bunking off church just being there. Mind you the booze was big. I do like big booze.

But the worst was kept for last. Jerk had been ill just before I left and, although I knew she was in good care, I just wanted to get home to see her. I'll be home by 8pm and I'll have a few hours with her before bed. Perfect. It should go without saying that my flight was delayed by an hour and a half. FUCK! Fine. I'll be home by 9.30. I'll still have an hour or so with her before I'll collapse into sleep. That's do-able. Then right outside the departure gate, just before boarding the plane, an announcement was made. In German. It took me a while to figure it out but apparently all hand luggage had to be re-checked because of weight issues. I had no hand luggage except for Robin Ince's book (although that is full of obvious mental baggage) but just about every other fucker there had decided to bring a massive suitcase on as hand luggage. The stupid fucking cunts. Why do people do that? This delayed the flight for another half hour while everyone babbled and squabbled in German and William Orbit and I just looked grumpy (yeah, you read that right). Finally we get on the plane and I sit next to a "mother" and child.

Here we go again. As if waiting for ages on the runway listening to a very sarcastic Lenny Kravitz's Fly Away on a loop wasn't bad enough, I was sat right by the worst Mother in Austrian history. Oh, you can Mrs. Fritzl all you want but at least when her child was making noise they shut her up. Two and a half fucking hours of hearing "lowalowalowalowalowa" over and over and over again while he punched and kicked the seat in front of him and then stood on his seat and then screamed and then sat down again and went "mamamamamamamamamamamamamamamama" and then blew raspberries and then shouted and kicked and screamed and punched. All the while his Mother was engrossed, calmly and relaxed, in her magazine. Did the boy have anything to read? Did he have anything to do? FUCK NO! How could Mummy remember things like that when she MUST buy the German version of Heat for the flight? She's a fucking cunt and she had me over a barrel. You can't tell people off in the air. No matter how little yoghurt you throw it still looks bad in the sky. But, after much circling above Heathrow, we eventually did land. And that is when I came into my own.

"Congratulations", I said.

"Sorry?", she replied.

"I said congratulations".


"On being the only one on this plane who could successfully ignore your son".

Her face tightened up. I had made her cross. Good.

"Next time you travel with him", I said. "Why not give him something to do so he's not bored? Bring him a book or a game. That way he's not disturbing everyone else".

"It's none of your business", she said, really angry now.

That's when the woman sitting in front of her joined in. "Well, I wanted to read my book but I couldn't. You had no problem reading your magazine".

And then the woman next to her "He kicked my seat the whole flight".

YES! YES! People are rising up against the rude. Finally! I'm so thrilled for us all. Maybe there is hope amongst the thoughtless, rude cunts that we all have to suffer every single fucking day of our pigging lives. The Mother then apologised! You see? All we did was tell her what she was doing (admittedly, I did it sarcastically, you may choose a more polite approach) and it got through to her. She realised that not everyone likes her little angel. This could be the greatest moment in this woman's life and I hope that's how she see's it. All of a sudden her friends won't be embarrassed to be seen in public with her. They might even start inviting her round to theirs like they used to before she gave birth and became the single biggest selfish bastard on the planet. I felt good.

So good that I did a good deed.I saw William Orbit looking lost in arrivals and then passed a man holding a piece of card with "William Orbit" written on it. I went back to the man and pointed William out to him. William got his car without fuss. I did that. And he'll never know. I am a fucking saint.

I got home at 10.30 and stayed up with Jerk until 1am drinking wine. That's right. We both drank wine. So what?

Tomorrow, I will tell you all about the massive cunt we met on Vienna's underground train. He is such a total cunt that you might want to hunt him down, find him and kick his teeth in. I won't stop you from doing that.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

A Flush of Blood.

Last night, I got bitten by a toilet.

What is it with me and toilets? I do nothing but give them respect but they either refuse to let me help them get fixed or they completely blank me at Brooke's Bar every time I say hello or, in this one case, they bite me on the arse. I don't ask for much from toilets. I just want to either pop in there for a quick wee safe in the knowledge that my wee-wee will be safely archived by the toilet for later use or I go in there, sit down and spend the best part of the day tweeting and texting and reading bad reviews on Chortle. That's what a toilet is for. But maybe there is only so much shit they can take and now the toilets are revolting. There were the nightmare portaloos of Latitude Festival that not only refused to take shit but seemingly sprayed it all over the seat, walls and ceiling knowing that there was nothing you could do about it. The nearest other loo was miles away. You had to just hold your breath and take it. The little boy from Schindler's List looking up at you as you reluctantly did your business. And the terrifying toilet at the C-Venue bar in Edinburgh that was obviously owned by the naughty man from Saw. And now this toilet. The one that sits waiting in the acts room at the Glee in Birmingham. Waiting to feed on flesh.

This happens to a lot of acts just before a gig: you suddenly feel knackered. Maybe the body is reserving energy for the gig ahead, I don't know. Some acts do warm-ups before the gig to combat that feeling but no-one likes those acts. Others drink a can of Red Bull. Anything to wash that taste of cocaine from the throat. Me? I go to the toilet. It's just a solitary quiet moment to pause and reflect. But last night was different. I didn't notice a crack right across the toilet seat, which is weird for any Doctor Who fan. We're addicted to cracks now. When we see one we just point and smile at it for hours while repeating the word "Pandorica" over and over and over again. But this time, the crack went unnoticed. Which is just what the toilet wanted. My gluteus maximus got trapped in the crack. AAAOOOOWW! The fucking toilet was now attached to me. I tried to stand up but it wouldn't let me. The fucking thing just stuck it's teeth into my left buttock and I was struggling to get free. I looked down and saw a lot of me in it's jaws. Well, not a lot of me but more of me than I expected or wanted to see in the jaws of a toilet. Then I saw the blood.

The fucking ceramic bastard had drawn blood. I had to carefully sort of bend the toilet seat back and free myself. I stood up immediately and saw the blood on the seat, the crack now looking like an evil grin with my blood on it's lips. What the fuck is going on? The toilets are coming to get us. Well, once bitten, twice shy, motherfucker. No Goddamned toilet is ever going to feast on my blood ever again. This was all too much for me. I needed to sit down.

AAAOOOOOWW! It did it again. That's right. That's the M. Knight Shyalaman twist to this story. You all thought it was going to be about a toilet biting me but it wasn't. It was about a toilet biting me twice.

God, I'm a fucking idiot.

Yes, I'm in Birmingham and was delighted to find out that Johnny Candon is also in town. We went to the cinema together. That's nice, isn't it? We went to the cinema that, pretty much a year ago to the day, I was unlucky enough to see Fat Cunt's cock. I'm still not quite over that yet. We saw Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and I really enjoyed it. Way better than Fat Cunt's cock. It's a very cute film with a questionable moral. I see a lot of myself in that. But it is very funny and brilliantly stupid. Not a perfect film but it's flaws are still pretty good. All the best things are brilliant but flawed. Doctor Who, Mr. Show, King of Everything. Flawed but completely genius. It should go without saying that my favourite line in the film is "Vegan basically means that you're better than everyone else". Who would have thought Brandon Routh would be good? Not me. And he is. You should see it today.

I'm being eased back onto the stand-up circuit gently. I couldn't ask for a better club than The Glee in Birmingham. It's so nice. See you there tonight.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Back To This.

So, I'm back from Edinburgh and what has happened?

Well, I wasn't welcomed home, that's for sure. As soon as I walked through the living room door Jerk went ballistic and barked at me repeatedly. Jerk's never barked at me before. It was very distressing. Now you could say after 4 weeks she'd forgotten who I was. That would be very hurtful but you could say it. I think it was more to do with me being surrounded by bags. I had three bags over my shoulders (yes, I have three shoulders. Why not?) and was carrying a bag with pillows in it. Jerk had never seen me be that shape before. I'm an odd shape at the best of times but Jerk hated this new one. Actually, Jerk has barked at me before. Once when I put a hat on. She barked for ages until I took the hat off. She's a bit like Gok Wan. Except I don't want her to be put down.

It took me a while to get over my bollocking from my dog but luckily I could now relax with a vegan biscuit, vegan tea and watch my much missed vegan television. The vegan film Down and Out In Beverly Hills was on and I have fond memories of that being a really good, funny film. Anyway, those memories have been kicked to shit now. Why did I watch it again? I'm a vegan idiot.

By the way, I'm still vegan. I even made a curry on Tuesday to prove it. I also bought vegan cheese but I am terrified of it and can't imagine eating it. I reckon there is no difference between chalk and vegan cheese.

So back to normality then. And it really is. I've walked Jerk in the park twice since I've been back and I've had two arguments with people. That's normal, isn't it? An argument a day? Sounds right anyway. One was with a shirtless man who got angry because Jerk touched his back with her nose. "That fucking dog should be on a lead", he shouted. "You're the one naked on the grass drinking beer at 10am", I replied. "Fair enough", he said.

It wasn't a very big argument, not by my standards, but it was an argument nonetheless. The other one was me, once again, trying to explain to people that rubbish goes in the bin. I'm always amazed at how some people take their kids out for picnics, give them toys to play with and make sure they get enough outdoor time yet don't mind showing them that being a lazy cunt is fine and swearing loudly at strangers is also completely normal. Yesterday, I was on a train and heard a Mum talking on the phone while her son was in his buggy beside her. "You won't get custody, Darren. You're a drunk", she shouted. "I's rather kill him than see him with you". God, I hate parents. And Britain. And the world.

I may hate parents but I do try to help them. Well, I did. I won't again. It was a lovely sunny day yesterday so there was a plague of Mums and kids all over the park, mainly by the climbing frames beside the park shop. One Mum was walking briskly away from the throng and I could see she looked slightly panicked. She was walking faster now and looking around the park frantically. "Charlotte", she shouted. "Charlotte". This went on for a couple of minutes and I started panicking too. Losing a child is as bad as life can get. This could be horrible. When I walked passed the tennis courts I had seen a couple of kids playing but I didn't see anyone with them. The woman was still frantically shouting "Charlotte" so I ran over to her and told her where I had seen the kids playing, maybe one of them is Charlotte. She fucking ignored me! Didn't say a word. She just ran over by the river and sure enough Charlotte came running up the riverbank. Charlotte is a Spaniel, I think.

Who the fuck calls their dog Charlotte? That's so stupid. Charlotte is a cat's name.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

It's Only a Couple of Inches.

Men are taller than women. That is what my recent study has revealed.

Since the Edinburgh Fringe ended I have found myself with time on my hands. Like, loads of it. So I thought I would look on Chortle, a sort of website, to read through their reviews. I read every single one of them twice and then started to put them into categories: tall women, tall men, groups of tall women, groups of tall men, average height women, etc. My findings will stun the comedy community, hopefully, into complete silence.

I remember when I started doing comedy. Back then a lot of women weren't booked because they simply weren't tall enough to be seen by audiences. You could feel the audience go flat as soon as a female comic was introduced because they didn't want to spend the next 20 minutes looking over the heads of people in front of them just to see an act. Besides, they had a lot of talking to do. So a lot of female comedians went ignored. It wasn't until 2002 that someone invented what is now known as a stage.

When the stage came along suddenly female comics were raised slightly and audiences could see them and the female comics who were good got respect and laughs. It was almost as if they were as tall as men (which they aren't). These female comics then encouraged other women to take to the stage and perform comedy. Women such as Lucy Porter, Shappi Khorsandi, Josie Long, Francesca Martinez, Isy Suttie, Joanna Neary and Kitty Flanagan were soon joined by the likes of Sara Pascoe, Holly Walsh, Kerry Godliman, Sadie Hasler, Danielle Ward, Bridget Christie, Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Zoe Gardner, Caroline Mabey, Juliet Myers, Lady Carol, Tiffany Stevenson, Nat Luurtseema, Roisin Conaty, Diane Morgan and many, many more. Looking at these women on stage you could now almost imagine them as tall, if not even taller, than male comedians such as James Corden, Ben Elton, Kevin Bishop, David fucking prick Walliams, Michael M...oh, do I have to go on? I feel sick. Yet these short arsed men, these tiny insects next to giants, get on telly all the fucking time.

But this argument about who is tallest, men or women, has been asked by journalists for years and for a very good reason. THEY HAVE FUCK ALL ELSE TO DO. What a tedious fucking trivial thing to even consider. Steve Merchant is taller than Tanya Lee Davis. Big fucking whoop! Who cares? They're both equally stupid comedians. He goes on about the awkwardness of life (yawn) and she babbles on about how bad public transport is (what a hack), so in a way they are equal, no? Adam Bloom is shorter than Ava Vidal but no-one gives a fuck because Adam is funny and no-one really knows who Ava is. Maybe this divide over who is tallest should just be left because it only gets in the way. We're all comedians no matter what our height. The people who bring it up are just as dull as the ones who are outraged by it. It's just a pathetic opinion made up by a pinhead.

I am 5'11", by the way.