Saturday, 27 February 2010

Over a Barrel.

What the fuck is going on with pubs? More specifically, what the fuck is going on with pubs in the West End of London? Why are they trying to bleed us dry? And why are we letting them? I mean, besides the whole needing booze to survive thing.

On Tuesday night, Bennett Arron and I went to a pub in Covent Garden called The Marquess of Anglesey. It describes itself as "a wonderful traditional pub" which it isn't. A wonderful traditional pub would be one that welcomes it's customers and offers reasonably priced drinks. Maybe there would be a lovely log fire there with a beautiful Red Setter sleeping in front of it while old men get distracted from their dominoes game by the quite old-fashioned but still strangely attractive bar maid who is singing while she picks up empty glasses. The Marquess of Anglesey is a bar full of cunts run by cunts who treat you like a cunt. £4.40 for a pint of fucking lager? How is that fucking justified? I went to the bar and asked the bored stiff ghost who was "serving" for a pint of lager and a pint of Guinness. She shuffled back with the drinks and said "£8.45".

I asked for a pint of lager and a pint of Guinness, not a pint of Lager and pint of Guinness and a hardback copy of Saturday Night Peter (that goes for about £3 now, right?). She must have got it wrong. Like so many choices she has made in her grey spiteful life, she must have got this wrong. But no. That's what the Marquess of Anglesey chooses to charge in an ordinary pub during our credit crunch.

Fine. That's the way they want to play, fine. I just won't ever return. That'll show them. I mean, no one is going to pay these prices. This place will close in a week.

I would have really believed that if it wasn't for the fact that the pub was rammed full. Full of cunts, like I say, but full nonetheless. Of course the Marquess of Anglesey can charge whatever it likes. These idiots are more than happy to pay without actually even considering that they're being ripped off. The whole clientèle is made up for four different types of people: Office workers who love to play who can shout the loudest when out with the very people they despise (their workmates), arseholes who think that going to see Dirty Dancing The Musical is a night at the theatre, Bennett Arron and me.

The Marquess of Anglesey is not alone in this destruction of my beloved pub culture. Every pub we went to that night was charging over £4 a pint. Why has this happened all of a sudden? Why are they doing this to me? I don't want to come across all Four Yorkshiremen (I do, that's really funny) but when I first went to a pub it costs 68p for a pint. I remember when it was coming close to £1 a pint and saying that once it hits a quid I'm stopping drinking. These bastards aren't going to rip me off.

And that is what a blog is all about. Complaining about something you have no intentions of doing anything about whatsoever. I have done my job.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Taxis Don't Need To Be Taxing.

Yesterday was yet another lost day for me. Hangovers are just becoming more and more difficult to deal with it. It's as if I'm getting old or something. Still, at least I got to lie on the sofa moaning and watching Planes, Trains and Auto-mobiles. Mind you, I'd rather have watched a film (BRILLIANT! You can have that).

That joke actually isn't as awful as the joke I opened with at a gig last night in Canterbury. The great thing was that the audience were very generous in showing me how unfunny it was by giving me the loudest staring ovation I've ever witnessed. Look, there could have been a very good reason that I started so badly. I had missed my stop at Canterbury West and ended up in a dark, rainy crossroads called Sturry (that's really a place) and then I was unfortunate enough to get the most tedious cab driver in the world to take me to the gig.

The most tedious cab driver in the world. Just think about the competition he's up against with that title. I guarantee that no matter how awful any cab journey you've taken has been it was nothing compared to the 10 minutes I spent with the long slow ghost of death behind the wheel.

I wanted to kill him even if it meant taking my own life. It would have been worth it. "You don't get many people (five second pause) phoning for cabs in (five second pause) Sturry, of all (10 second pause) places" was his opening gambit and those pauses? They never, ever stopped.

"This weather is (five second pause) dreadful (five second pause) today"

It was raining heavily so, although I didn't need his weather report, I agreed with him. "Mm", I said.


Yeah, to be honest I had spotted the rain. It's that water that is falling from the sky and hitting the ground, yes?

"Mind you, better than snow, I (10 second pause) suppose".

"Mm", I excitedly exclaimed in anticipation of the next reason to commit suicide.

"Not that I hate the snow. I like (five second pause) snow. Driving in the snow is (five second pause) great (five second pause) fun. You know, (five second pause) if you're up for it. Not many cab (five second pause) drivers like the snow. I know of (five second pause) very few anyway, I don't know about (five second pause) yourself. I'll always work when it (five second pause) snows. He who dares (five second pause) wins. You know? As the (five second pause) man said. Del-boy Trotter. (five second pause) Lewis Collins".

My hangover was now laughing and pointing at me. I'm not sure how much more I can take. Surely if I don't respond to anything he says he'll just shut up.


"I got a call from a woman in (five second pause) Ashford once. Snowing very heavily (five second pause) that day. No one in Ashford would come out for (five second pause) her but I would. She was very grateful, (five second pause) you know? In fact (ten second pause) I took a man from Ashford to the place you're going (five second pause) to. It was very funny (doubtful). We got to the (five second pause) the (five second pause) the (five second pause) the (five second pause) venue and it was full. He couldn't get (five second pause) in. I took him to The Dolphin instead. (Ten second pause) Which is a pub (five second pause) in town, (five second pause) you know? (Five second pause) Good for drinking (five second pause) and that".

Where the fuck is this venue and why does it seem to be getting further and further away? The cab driver then changed the subject to football. Oh, Christ. "I have no interest in (five second pause) football". Phew. Thank fuck for that. He has no interest in football. God, that's good. That's great. Maybe now he'll stop talking.


He blabbered on for 72 decades about how his sons like football and one of them likes Arsenal and one of them likes Chelsea so you can imagine what it's like at his house when there's a match on telly. "Especially if it's Arsenal versus (five second pause) Chelsea", he needlessly and cruelly added.

I zoned out after that. He waffled and waffled and I heard next to nothing for the rest of the journey. Just in case you think I'm being needlessly cruel and the cab driver probably wasn't that bad then let me tell you one thing I heard as I drifted in and out of conciousness. "I tell you were I saw a big puddle". That was it. My mind switched off.

I stumbled out of the cab shaking. My hangover and his conversation were now lovers continually loudly and athletically fucking in my head. Then when I got on stage I opened my mouth and got nothing. I even left it five seconds thinking that maybe everyone round here leaves pauses. They don't. I was just shit.

Luckily, the gig improved a lot and the two new bits I did seemed to work even if I didn't. In fact, it was a really lovely gig. Next time, I hope I'm completely there to enjoy it.

Monday, 22 February 2010

The Lung Wants, The Bladder Dictates.

My weekend was full of Michael Legge-esque, typical annoyance. The gigs were good but, you know, I find it hard to avoid shit.

I went up to Preston on a National Express coach so I have no one to blame but myself. To cut a long story short, I started to loath the fact that I had to share air with the other people on the bus. Then when I got to Preston I noticed it was closed. An odd town. Full of beautiful Victorian architecture that's obscured either by pound shops or empty buildings that used to be pound shops. Also, on the second night of the gigs, I got heckled by someone who was clearly mentally ill. No, he wasn't a "character". He wasn't the funniest one in the office or even an aggressive prick. He was mentally ill. Lucky he was sitting at the front and shouting otherwise I might have missed him. It's hard to put a person with mental illness down but, somehow, I found several ways to do it before just ignoring him. Then during Stuart Hudson's brilliant set the man took exception to one of his jokes and starts shouting a lot. The audience and staff were very patient with him. He calmed down and Stuart finished his set but during the interval the man started upsetting other punters and was asked to leave. His friends said they would look after him and they all left. There. All over, no harm done.

Just before I brought on the final act, Steve Harris, the man came back and took his seat at the front. I knew this wasn't going to go well but he calmed down and, because we were running late, I just brought Steve on. The audience loved Steve. So did the man who constantly interrupted and shouted. I had tried to be reasonable with him, doorstaff tried to be reasonable with him and the audience tried to be reasonable with him. None of this had worked so Steve tried a different approach. He started a fight with him. Well, it worked.

The man left, the show went on and I was happy. Normally I get the brunt of difficult situations so I was very happy that Stuart and Steve had decided to take some of the burden off my shoulders. Nice. Safe to go to the toilet then.

I mean, nothing bad ever happens in the toilet. It's a haven of safety where nothing awkward or embarrassing ever happens.

As soon as I had my beautiful penis cradled in my hand in preparation of expelling urine, a gentleman walked past and said well done on the show. That was nice. I started pissing. He immediately slipped and fell to the floor. Straight on his back. Right in front of me. And now he was going red and was gasping for air. He's obviously winded himself. Oh, shit. I had to help him.

But I can't. I'm pissing.

He looked right at me. "I've fallen", he must have thought. "But that man will surely help".

But I can't. I'm pissing.

His face is getting redder now and his gasping is being interrupted with a cough that sounds like a small dog is trapped in his neck. He's foaming at the mouth. This might actually be very serious. Christ almighty, Legge. Help that man!

I want to. But I can't. I'm having a wee-wee.

Once I start pissing I can't just stop. It has to run it's course. My penis doesn't have an off switch. My penis can only be turned on (you heard me). Oh, for fuck's sake. He's holding his hand out for me now. He's desperate. Well...maybe if I...stretch over a bit I can use my one free hand to help him? No. It's no use. I understand that this man is in pain and cannot breath but squirming and begging isn't going to help. He's just going to have to wait until I've finished. I'm sorry but if I go to him and save his life I will have to wee on him. I'm not pissing on this man. I don't even know him. If he'll just shut up then I can concentrate on pissing and I'll be finished quicker. And I have to tap-tap at the end. I always tap-tap. If I have to explain to the club manager that there's a dead body in the loo I don't want to do it with a little round pee stain on my trousers.

I finish just in time to see him enter his purple phase. I get him up and just tell him to breath normally through his nose and to remain calm. I have no knowledge about these things but it seemed to work. He's fine. He's breathing. He's standing up. He's returned to just red. Phew.

Now that he knows he's fine he feels he can now give me a bollocking. He was very, very angry. But I pleaded a good case: "I didn't want to wee on you". He burst out laughing (and coughing) and shook my hand. He even offered a drink.

I'm definitely not going to help anyone ever again. I made a friend and got booze.

Actually I never took the booze. I ran away.

Friday, 19 February 2010

I Am a Child.

"There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes."

Do you know who said that? You're right. It was the 4th Doctor. And how right he is. I am 41 years of age and have to deal with bills, complaints to the council and occasionally tidying up. Which is why I'm completely far more interested in acting like a 5 year old at every opportunity. Being childish is just fucking brilliant.

Maturity raised it's ugly head quite early on yesterday when I decided it was time to start packing away my Museum of Star Wars. It takes up 6 shelves in my spare room and is a complete fucking eyesore. Having one or two Star Wars related items round your house is acceptable but 6 shelves of it? Every time I look at it it feels like I'm just trying to get my virginity back.

But, of course, part of me wanted to keep the MoSW for all to see. By all, I mean Johnny Candon when he comes to stay. So, it was slightly depressing to be dusting these relics (some of which I've genuinely had since 1977) and putting them away in a box. I then did some writing work that I was behind on, wrote a letter to my accountant, did some laundry, washed dishes and cooked a proper meal. It was a "mature" day and my brain had had enough. By 10 o'clock Muki and I had sat down to watch the fucking Winter fucking Olympics (think you know how happy I was about that) and my brain started to wander. It needed something to do. Something stupid. Luckily I have an iPhone.

The iPhone is the most technologically advanced little trinket that you can own right now. I mean, it's reasonably cutting edge, isn't it? All those useless apps and the crappy camera and the compass... it's a fantastic piece of old toot. My new favourite thing is the Voice Control. You press the main button at the bottom of the iPhone for two seconds and then you say the name of the person you wish to contact and HEY PRESTO you are immediately calling them up. Well, that would be the case if it worked. It doesn't work. Ever. I tried dozens of names and it always started calling a different person. Useless.

My childish brain didn't think it was useless though. Oh, no. My childish brain is very much a "glass half full" kind of childish brain. Full of Sunny Delight and shouting. It was then that my brain invented my brain's favourite new game. Celebrity True Identity.

Did you know that celebrities aren't really who they say they are? No. They're people in your iPhone contacts. I spent an hour playing this and giggling. I pressed the Voice Control button and said "Elvis". It immediately started calling my friend Liz. I laughed. Far too long for a 41 year old. I pressed again and said "Madonna". Madonna is actually Tara Flynn. HA HA HA HA HA HA! P. Diddy? That's Bennett Arron. Ian Paisley is Susan Murray, Bungle is Will Smith, MC Hammer is Stephen Grant and Kylie Minogue is Woodlands Health Centre.

AN HOUR I spent on that. A FUCKING HOUR. Being thoroughly entertained. Thing is, once you start it's very hard to stop. I ran out of celebrities pretty quickly so went on to childish name calling (Helicopter Face is Paul Kerensa) and then, obviously, swearing. No one is cunt, no one is twat but Bastard is Stuart Goldsmith and, my personal favourite, Pigeon Balls is Tiernan Douieb which I think is an improvement. At least I didn't have to look up how to spell Pigeon Balls.

AN HOUR! An hour on that game. Remember, all you need is an iPhone, some contacts and an IQ of 4. Enjoy!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Crazy in Lewisham.

There's something on my mind and it's been there for the last week or so. It's a realisation really and probably really trivial but I can't quite shake it. There has barely been a moment over the last seven days that I haven't thought about it and it's starting to upset my sleep and make me drift off for hours during the day when I should be working. You see, sometimes I think that Beyonce Knowles and I have very different lives.

I never considered the gulf between Beyonce and I before. Perhaps I didn't want to. But it's there. Maybe I'm not the booty shakin' RnB diva that I just assume everyone thinks I am. Maybe.

It all started last week when I was in Exeter. After the delightful gig where I spent more time than I should have listening to the theatre manager telling me about her seven cats and how they all have jobs (except one. She's a retired lapdancer. Christ Almighty), I decided to go for chips. There was a really scary looking chip shop that I thought would be perfect. It wasn't.

The chips came in a polystyrene box. You know the sort that actually melts itself onto your food? And makes that noise that sends a kicking down your spine when you scrape your tiny, tiny, tiny plastic fork across it? Yeah? Well, that's what I was eating out of. Sadly, I had put a litre of vinegar on them by accident so when I got out of the shop and opened Pandora's Polystyrene Box my eyes were punched in the face by the smell. I was already a bit drunk plus it was raining. I really didn't need to be blind just now. That's when I heard a gentleman from the other side of the road shout "Wanker" just before throwing a bottle at me. He missed spectacularly but it smashed on the pavement and came with a general air of menace that I didn't want to deal with. And that was when it hit me (not another bottle): I'm wet, drunk, blind, eating chips and melted plastic and getting bottled. Beyonce and I have very different lives.

Now, I'm not saying that it's easy doing all that choreography rehearsing she must do. And all that constant support she gives to not some but ALL the single ladies must occasionally take it's toll. And she has to deal with Jay-Z. But it's not depressing, is it? When I was wiping vinegar out of my eye and drunkenly stumbling over broken glass I couldn't help but think that being Beyonce is probably great.

Two nights previous to this revelation I was given another clue that there was a good reason why I was never allowed in Destiny's Child. Again, it's chip shop based. I don't want you to think that I'm chip obsessed. I don't eat chips every day. I mean, I don't want arse the size of... well, it doesn't matter who has a big arse and who doesn't. I'm just saying that I don't eat chips every day. This was a rare week were there were two chip shop visits, that's all. I went into my local chippy and asked for chips. I should have been in and out of there in seconds but there was a gentlemen being served before me. He was buying everything that he would need to eat for the rest of his life. He was very drunk and was waving in the wind. I could tell he was looking at me so I avoided eye contact. It's incredibly difficult to avoid eye contact while being stared at. But I tried. I tried and I failed. That was all the reason he needed to be aggressive. "Do I look gay?", he said.

To be fair, he didn't look "traditionally" gay. He wasn't wearing all pink with a handbag that matched his boa. But you know, gays have moved on and maybe his point was clearly "don't be so prejudiced". He's right. A lot of gay men wear normal men's clothes these days and with that in mind I nervously said "No".

"Well, why are you fucking looking at me, then?"

I see. He's an idiot. Fair enough.

Not only did he just want to start a fight but he didn't understand the very basics of homosexuality. That I found more depressing than the aggression. "You stupid fucking cunt! YOU don't need to be gay for ME to find YOU sexually attractive. You fucking cretin. Surely if anyone is looking gay in this scenario it's ME because I was the one looking at you. Mind you, balls-face, even that doesn't work because YOU were the one looking at me in the first place. You stared at me for ages. You totally checked me out. You were undressing me with your one good eye. You really are the stupidest fucking, neanderthal, knuckle dragging brainless moron that ever walked this Earth. KILL YOURSELF", I thought quietly to myself as I took my chips and quickly left.

Beyonce never has this. Ever. She'll have someone who goes to the chip shop for her.

Last night was the last straw. At about 1am I tried to get a cab from Angel to Lewisham. There were plenty of cabs but none of them were stopping. It was cold, damp and boring. I was competing against horrible, horrible drunks for cab driver's attention and they were winning. What a boost for the ego it is to see a man successfully flag a cab while pissing in a bin at the same time. Eventually a cab stopped and when I said "Lewisham, please" he said "No fucking way" and drove off.


It was a while before I finally found a cab that pitied my existence enough to actually agree to go to Lewisham for money. Oh, Beyonce. We are the same. THE SAME. But the world seems to treat me so differently to you. We both strut, we both have soul and a great pop-sensibility and we both be gettin' all the shit from our mens. But where she glows, I get abused. Where she sings, I get silenced. Where she shows her true beautiful colours, I get blinded by vinegar.

I overheard a conversation today in the park. It's rude to eavesdrop but I couldn't help it. It just seemed like they were having the same conversation with each other that I've been having with myself. I can't be completely sure, word-for-word what it was they were talking about because they were quite far away and they were both parakeets but I have a feeling they were as confused as me. Some idiot let his parakeets go free in South London in the early 70's and, despite everything, these brightly coloured tropical beauties survived. There are parakeets all over South London now and Lewisham has plenty of them. If there is a reason to live here, it's them. I saw one in a tree talking to another one in a tree about 50 feet away. "What the fuck are we doing in this grey, dull shithole? We're tropical birds, for fucks sake!", sang one. "I know! This arse of a place doesn't even have sky. Just a cracked, damp ceiling. We're too beautiful for here. Where did we go wrong?", chirped the other.

Yes. That's right. I'm just like Beyonce and some tropical birds. Deal with it.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Kraft Fair?

God, that has to be the smuggest title of a blog ever. Kraft Fair? Oh, fuck off. What was I thinking?

Anyway, I got two great messages yesterday. One from someone on Facebook and one an email. They both asked the same question but in slightly different ways. The first, in amongst the many exclamation marks, said "The Kraft takeover is only one of thousands like it. What makes you think you're an expert and why have you chosen this one? There are bigger things to get involved in. It's 20 years since Mandela got out!"

Is it? I didn't know that. But as he's been free for 20 years I feel there's very little need for me to give him my support. I can't keep following him around singing his one and only pop hit. If the lazy shit can't be bothered to write another fucking song he should be slung back into jail. With no dinner. Plus I'm not an expert on the Kraft takeover, I didn't say I was. I'm also not an expert on Nelson Mandela. I actually think he wrote that song when we all know he didn't. It was Madness or someone.

The second said "There are many more important issues to deal with before we attack a food company. Why aren't you this angry about the Haiti disaster? Why aren't you involved in that instead?"

Well, mainly because I don't think that the earthquake in Haiti was underhanded. There wasn't a committee of not very bright but deeply horrible, sly bastards who decided to have a big earthquake. Plus, "involved"? How the fuck am I "involved" in this? I'm a fat idiot who wrote a blog about not eating chocolate until the naughty men make nice again. It's hardly Martin Luther King. Dr. King would never refer to white chocolate in the graphic way that I do.

They did make me think, though. I never normally get all upset about things like this. I get upset about children dropping litter in the street and Amanda Holden's Fantasy Lives. Not politics. That's for Daddies. But I just started getting into the story. I like Cadbury. I didn't want anyone taking it over except, maybe, me. I certainly didn't want someone taking it over, telling people that their jobs were safe and then, as soon as they got the keys to the factory, threw 400 people out. It's OK to be angry about that, right?

Before I go can I do something that I've been meaning to do for a week and a half. Last Monday Andrew Collins and Richard Herring recorded the100th episode of their podcast and I needed two tickets so that my friends could join me. It was a sold out gig and it was becoming clear on the day that my friends would not be coming. That's when Flash McDonnell stepped in. He posted a tweet on Twitter saying he had two tickets that he then gave to me FOR FREE. What with the charitable bus drivers and Flash's incredible generosity is it any wonder that I'm influenced to do the decent thing and boycott a company to show support for it's workers? Thanks very, very much, Flash. Saviour of the universe.

Right. That's my last blog for a while. I need to do some work and all this online stuff is too much of a distraction. I still haven't started writing my fucking Edinburgh show and I totally blame the internet with it's tweets, pokes and naked womens. Shame I'm not blogging for a while really because this week I'm giving up bread, all Kraft products (including my beloved Wispa) and Twitter. I think shouting out the bus window will be my only way to vent for a while. See you later, everyone!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Chocolate & Cheese.

There is power in a union. I totally agree with that. It's an inspirational ideal and one that proves itself time and time again. When huge amounts of people showed their disgust at the unfairness of Thatcher's insane Community Charge her own cabinet soon turned on her and she was gone. Similarly, it is only when a character in Glee has a change of heart and comes back to Glee Club that they realise the group have a shot at winning the regionals. That happens every single week.

There is power in a union and a union is needed right now to protest against the Kraft company's decision to close the Cadbury factory near Bristol which will result in the loss of over 400 jobs. Kraft, who just bought out Cadbury, have claimed it's too expensive to run and will move the production line to Poland. I know fuck not nothing about how these things are done but maybe just putting the price of a chocolate bar up by 5p might help, right? Has that been considered? I don't know. I just know that Kraft are closing this factory after repeatedly saying that it probably wouldn't close it. David Brent found it hard to be straight with his staff and tell them that some of them would be laid off but at least David Brent had the common decency to be fictional. It's also the first thing that Kraft have done since taking over. They haven't even swam in the chocolate rivers or kicked an Oompa Loompa yet. They went straight to being evil bastards.

So, what can we do? Well, it's easier said than done but, on paper, it's very simple. We stop buying all Kraft products until they change their minds (seriously, has putting the prices of chocolate bars up been looked into yet? I can't find it anywhere). Stopping buying Kraft products might be the most important and horribly difficult thing you ever do. I know because I've spent the morning looking at all the products these cheese cunts now own.

Whole Nut no more, Oreos no more, Dairylea Triangles no more, Ritz Crackers no more, Philadelphia Cheese no more, Buttons no more, Maxwell House Coffee no more (actually, I'm fine with that), Cadbury's Fingers no more, Curly Wurly no more, Twirl no more, Time Out no more, WISPA NO MORE!

This is going to be so hard for me but it has to be done....right? Yes, yes, it does, OK. Look, you don't understand what it's like for me, OK? I go through between 2 and 4 selection boxes a day. It's not like giving up fucking Nestle. Nestle is NOTHING. What have they got really? Milky Bars? DISGUSTING! All white chocolate is the solidified semen of paedophiles (Wikipedia, "Citation Needed"). Who cares about giving up Nestle? THIS IS CADBURY'S WE'RE TALKING ABOUT. What else has Britain got if it hasn't got Cadbury? Ever eaten American chocolate? Like eating a bookmark covered in sad, sad dust. To help life in this country I must practically end mine. I'm taking one for the team (also in every episode of Glee). Will you?

Remember, this is important. Very important. But it has it's pros as well as it's cons. The cons: Even if we go to an ice cream van now we can forget about a 99. Flakes are evil now. Deliciously evil but evil nonetheless. The pros: We don't have to join a fucking boring Facebook group. You can just ban Kraft products on your own without getting poked (in a bad way). Plus, if we all ban this crap for a while we might look and feel a bit better. Just a thought.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

I'm Going To Learn How To Fly.

I'm not sure that what happened to me on Sunday is a healthy thing. Hopefully, it was a one-off. If it happens again I will definitely see someone. Like a psychiatrist or Cameron Mackintosh.

Glee is an American TV programme that by rights I should despise but, in typically contrary fashion, I love it. You'll hate it. It's about singing and dancing and young people and talking about problems and overcoming adversity, all that shit. It's so full of peppy, smiley joy that I want to kill the entire cast except I can't because I think they're all brilliant (except for the cunt in the wheelchair. He's a cunt). It's a very funny and smart show with every line of dialogue a bitchy gag.Jane Lynch is just superb as the High School's version of Bullet Baxter and Matthew Morrison is perfect because he really does look like Justin Timberlake if he had failed and become a teacher.

Of course, it's flawed. Hugely flawed. The series starts turning into the very thing that it's parodying and the final episode is a big pile of disappointing guff. It also refuses to make up it's mind as to whether or not it's "real". Fine that it has it's own little world but it keeps forgetting that and then rushing back to it when it feels like it. Still, it's a bit of a laugh and, to be honest, it's Buffy without the vampires and that's probably why I like it. It's certainly nothing to do with the songs. That singin' and a-dancin' stuff just isn't me.

OK, here's what happened. Muki was in the bathroom mumbling a song. "You are gold. Gold", quietly murmured from her head and, somehow and from out of nowhere, I was injected with SHOWTIME!

I sang like my life depended on it.

LOVE IS LIKE A HIGH PRISON WALL AND YOU COULD LEAVE ME STANDING SO TAAAAA-AAAAALLL. I sang pretty much the whole song with every bit of emotion and intensity that I could because I had to. If I didn't do the very best I could then I would have failed the school and not got us through to the regionals. That will also explain fully why I danced my heart out while singing. Turns, spins, slides and leaps. I gave it the lot. At the end of the song I was down on one knee (quite still, just waving a little) with my chin leaning on my fist as I smiled broadly and breathed heavily. I stayed like that for about five seconds thinking "Well done, Michael. You were a star today and you showed them all, all those who said that you couldn't go to Broadway, that you've got the goods and you're in your kitchen on one knee grinning like a twat. What the fuck just happened there?"

My face turned red while Muki looked at me with more pity than I deserved. The dog got off the sofa and went outside.

I really can't quite say what came over me but I do know that telly is a big influence on me. I've often fallen through bars, lost my pet rat called Basil and shat on the Blue Peter studio floor but I have never, ever spontaneously burst into song and dance. For an entire song. Glee is very dangerous, as I've always said.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Hail To The Bus Driver Man.

What the fuck has happened to bus drivers? Do you remember the good old days when, if the bus actually stopped for you, you would get on, ask for a ticket and the driver would fling his own shit at you? Has the time of bus drivers opening and closing doors on our heads while wanking into a flask now become a bygone era? Will we never see another bus driver screaming "FUCK OFF" when we press the "I want to get off, please" button ever again? Times are a-changin'.

I can't believe what happened this week. And it happened TWICE.

On Friday night I was gigging in Cambridge. Ben Norris gave me a lift back to Catford which meant a short bus journey to my house. I jumped on the bus and immediately realised I had no change (they love the correct change, bus drivers. It's like a sex drug to them). I apologised to the bus driver and turned to get off but the driver just let me on. FOR FREE.

Fucking hell. I couldn't believe it. Bus drivers are notoriously miserable. If it was any other REAL bus driver I would have been skull-raped. I sat down in complete shock. I was shaken and startled. By kindness.

To quote Tennessee Williams, "Never rely on the kindness of strangers, they is well shit" (I'm pretty sure that's the line) and I never have. To be fair, strangers have never relied on my kindness either. Except one. And she's in a big coma. So, you can imagine my surprise when nature's own embodiment of misery (the bus driver) offered a hand in a time of need. Still, it's a one off. Never happen again.

And it didn't. Until the next night. This time I was going from Lewisham station to my house. I queued up for a taxi by a sign that said Taxi Queue. I guess I wasn't thinking straight because OBVIOUSLY the taxi queue was on the other side of the road where there isn't a sign that says Taxi Queue. I'm a fucking idiot. Oh, well. I'll jump on a bus. I did. And the exact same thing happened. I realised I had no change then apologised to the driver for wasting his time. "That's OK", he said with a (I swear to God) smile. "Sit down".


It was fine when it happened once but is this the norm now? People being nice to one another? I am confused and frightened.

In my pathetic attempt at writing new material, I've been coming up with ideas of how we can be nicer to one another. This seems to be coming true for bus drivers. I suppose if a bleak bastard like me is trying to be nice then a bus driver can be too. Just seems so phenomenally unlikely. Not as unlikely as another thing that has been happening to me this past week. Something terrifying, horrible and, above all, embarrassing.

So, that's tomorrow's blog sorted then.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

According To Jim.

I have a new hero. To be honest, I feel it very easy to get let down by my heroes. They start great but before you know it they're on TV selling butter, car insurance or12 Iceland own-brand Chicken Yum-Yums. But I just have so much more faith in this new hero of mine, possibly because he has given me so much faith in myself. He is Jim Grygar.

It's hard for me to remember a time when Jim Grygar wasn't in my life (even though I only heard of him for the first time on Thursday) because before that I was a mess. There was a time (before Thursday) when I would wake up when I felt like it, watch TV, do what I want, go to the pub, have a party in the street, shout at children and then go to bed. I had no idea that through all the fun I was having I was actually completely miserable. I needed motivation and Jim, like Jesus, was watching me. He started following me on Twitter on Thursday night and it was the greatest Thursday night of my entire week.

I don't normally look at who's following me on Twitter, I'm just grateful that they do. I've no real need to know who they are or what they do but it's nice to know they're there. Jim must have sent out a big spiritual cosmic mental message to me because for the very first time ever I looked at my list of followers and there he was, right at the top. He had a big, enormous, cheery, punchable smile so I was immediately intrigued by the man.

His profile read as: "Husband, Dad, Marketer, Entrepreneur, Blogger, Founder and CEO of three successful companies all of which grossed 6 figures in 12 months or less". Hmmmm... Why the fuck is this man following me? Surely he knows I'm going to call him a cunt. If he's that fucking sure of everything else, he MUST know that I'm going to call him a cunt. But then I read his tweets and....something happened. Jim just spoke to me. More than that. He held out his hand and, before I knew it, Jim's hand was deep, deep inside me. How could anyone not let Jim just slide inside them after reading his uplifting words?

"When you love someone all your saved up wishes start coming out". Do they? OK.

"May your joys be as deep as the Ocean, and your troubles as light as its foam". Er...thanks.

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going". Take that, Channel Tunnel.

"Success isnt a result of spontaneous combustion". No, but your balls splattered on the ceiling is.

I just feel so get-up-and-go and it's all thanks to Jim. Since the day of my birth right up until Wednesday I had nothing to focus on and just felt that my goals were messed up and unachievable. But I realise that my life has a purpose, I have a goal and that goal will be met. For the first time in my life I can wake up every morning and say "Yes. I will find and kill Jim Grygar".

And it was Jim who has made me feel like this. I just feel so "super-psyched" about it. Thank you, Jim. You've given me so, so much. I wish that I could upgrade me status to Z-List Celebrity then maybe BBC3 would be interested in my documentary and tribute to the soon to be late, great Jim Grygar. I Believe In Patronising Arseholes: Michael Legge. But wishing isn't the Jim way. It's time to do or do not do doing. WHOOOOO!!!!

Please follow Jim. You won't regret it. Ever.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Stupid Cut.

There is nothing more dangerous on this Earth than getting a haircut. It's a bit like dying. You don't want to but you have to. You can kid yourself all you want but there's no 100% proof that there is no Hell and having a stupid haircut feels like you are spending eternity in the Lake of Damnation, burning constantly from shame.

I put off haircuts as long as I can but my hair doesn't take any shit from me. It'll let itself grow a bit but once it gets bored of growing it starts humiliating me. Even though my hair is longer it starts to look like I might be seriously ill and I'm trying to cover up big clumps that have fallen out. I'm not, my hair's just a bit of a prick. If I was smart I'd go to a nice hair salon and get my hair cut and styled by a professional. If this is the first time that you have read my blog, let me get you up to speed: I'm a stupid cunt.

I went to a local barbers. I should know better than to go to my local barbers because I've been before and the man is a nutter. He is a very welcoming man but he's also very, very hard work (like all nice people are). The first thing that you notice when you walk in to my local barber shop is the barber himself. He has a huge smile and asks a lot of questions very quickly.

"Hellosirhowareyoutodayit'sverygoodtoseeyouagainhaveyoubeenwellhaveyougotthedayoffniceonegoodtohaveadayoffwhathaveyoubeenuptoareyoustillivinglocalareyou?" just spunks out of his mouth and as long as you give a slight smile he is happy that you have answered everything he has just said. He also has shapes shaved into his head and has the names of every single person he has ever met written on his arms. The second thing you notice is the amount of severed heads he has lying around. Seriously. He must have about 20 heads all wearing wigs and weird stick on beards. They might be used to teach the art of hair cutting but I think it's much more likely that he uses them to make your experience as uncomfortable as possible. I sat in the chair and there were three severed heads right beside me, one on my right, two on my left. They stared at me throughout the whole bastardly experience. Three traitors to the hair cutting industry with lifeless eyes that remind us that any criticism will be dealt with properly.

Like I say, I've been here before so my return is definitely questionable. The last time I was there was a few years ago and the barber couldn't wait to know all about me and stupidly I told him. "A stand-up comedian?", he said. "I tell you who I like". Oh, fucking hell.

The next five minutes in that chair were utter torture. He couldn't remember the comedian's name or any of his jokes or what programme he was on but he was definitely his favourite comedian ever. Those five minutes could replace the dentist scene in The Marathon Man seamlessly.

"He's so funny, man. You must know him. He's on Channel 4."

Er...Alan Carr? Jimmy Carr? Fucking Maxine Carr? I don't care, I want to run away.

"No, he's funnier than nearly all of them. He's quite tall. Asian. Wears a hat. He talks to the camera. He was walking around. So funny".

Well, he sounds a stitch but I can't quite place him.


Oh, God.

"He did a show in London. Me and my mates saw him".

One more clue and I'm bound to get it.

"He's funny".

No. I didn't really feel bad that I let the barber down by not knowing the name of a man that he refused to describe but I pretended I did. Still, we can change the subject now, eh? Talk about something else. Or not talk at all, that would be nice.

It was then that he remembered the comedian's name. "It's Jeff Mirza. You must know him".

Time stood still for about a century while my mind processed this information. I was alone on this planet save for the hungry, wild animals who wanted to feed on me while the blackened night tried to drown me in it's gloom. A100 years of freezing cold solitude and despair, finally broken by a voice...

"Yeah. That's his name. He's brilliant, isn't he?"

I was back in the barber's chair and now my eyes were squinting from the dazzling light beaming from his smiling, sharp scissors. "We will drip rubies", they sang. I better answer this question sensibly. The severed heads now happy that they will soon have a new member of their family.

"Yes", I said, my mouth cracking from dehydration. "He's great".

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I went back yesterday and now my head looks like a pineapple. It actually looks like instead of cutting my hair he decided it would be better to sharpen my head. I look even stupider than normal. And EVERYONE knows it. There are only two types of people in this world (there aren't): Those who laugh and go "HAIR-CUU-UUUT" when you've got a haircut and those who pretend that they haven't noticed you've had your hair cut because they really want to go "HAIR-CUU-UUUT" but feel it's somehow beneath them. I am in the first group.

I showed my new triangular head off at The Crown & Sceptre last night. Los Quattros Cvnts first show of 2010 had to be cancelled so we met up with some Precious Little podcast podophiles who were planning on coming along, just for a beer or two. Thanks to all who met up with us and big thanks to Nicola for the "What's wrooooooong?" t-shirt and Sarah for the "Give Me Your Shoe" badge. That was lovely that was.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


Yesterday was cancelled. I was a hungover wreck. There I was enjoying just one more little drink in the company of friends and the next thing I know it's morning, the light is shoving it's fingers in my eyes and the world's loudest and most annoying bagpipes are screaming their balls off in my head. It wasn't fair. No-one ever told me that drinking an excess of alcohol would have an effect on me the next day. I never would have touched the stuff if I'd known.

An entire day down the toilet. Again.

It took pretty much all my willpower to fall out of bed yesterday and even when I found myself on my equally hungover feet I went straight downstairs and collapsed on the sofa. I must have spent two hours just lying there waiting for the pain to go away. I did everything that I could to shift the hangover. Berocca, water, Solpadeine, The Office: An American Workplace. They all did their best but nothing was doing the trick. I even pretended that I didn't have a hangover for about 10 minutes. I got up, did some tidying up, looked through receipts and bank statements. Those 10 minutes were the worst 1000 years of my life.

Even food didn't help. I made a proper meal. Well, a proper meal if I was three people. So now I was in pain, physically drained and stuffed full. There wasn't a thing that I was feeling that wasn't making me sick. Then some vicious, unfeeling bastard knocked on my door. It was a delivery man with a parcel for my neighbour. All I had to do was open the door, sign for the parcel then give it to my neighbour when she got home. But how could I get all the way to the door unaided? It was impossible. I certainly couldn't get there using my legs. One of them was still asleep and the other was still drunk. Somehow I got to the door by lying flat on the ground and using my eyebrows to drag my corpse up the hallway. My hand kept screaming NO NO NO NO NO when I was making it open the door and while signing for the parcel I cried.

Where's my fucking charity record, Bono?

No-one cares about the hungover and their plight. We suffer through the day by shuffling around in a towelling robe in fear of our own breath. Our bodies are wrecked, our minds destroyed and our hair in agony but society has deemed us unworthy of pity. We deserve it more than most because we struggle through our suffering. There is always a point during your hangover when you have to just get a grip of yourself and get over it. I didn't want to yesterday but I had to. I bravely and without complaint decided it was time to start the day. It was about 5.30pm at this stage. A shower is a great hangover cure. It really wakes you up and re-focuses the mind. Especially if you end up accidentally scalding your penis like I did.

It still stings a bit, by the way. But people don't care about my penis. They just think "Well, you shouldn't have had so much to drink". How cuntishly unfeeling, unsympathetic and inhuman of you. Where's the helping hand when it is needed? Where are the arms of love when you're down on your luck? Where is the caring heart when you have lost hope? I bet Bono has never once thought of my penis.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Andy Murray Wins!

Well done, Andy Murray. He emerged victorious yesterday morning. Not against Roger Federer, no. He lost that. He came last in that thing, definitely. I saw him lose that so he must have lost. You could say he came second but there's only two players so we might as well just say that Andy Murray came last. But as far as I am concerned he won. He won, sports fans won and sport itself won. Again. As fucking always. Because when a sporting event happens we must all stop what we're doing and get involved no matter what little interest we have in it. The newspapers, even though they have a sports section, plaster sport on the front page. Pubs, a place for socialising and discussion, force sport into our heads by showing it on big screen TV's on all of their walls. And television, even though there are thousands of sports channels available, puts everything aside to show these ridiculous hobbies on one of the main channels so we can all watch it. Even though most people don't want to.

I have never watched Country Tracks in my life. I have also never wanted to watch Country Tracks in my life. Until that point yesterday when whatever lifeless dullard was commentating in this little game said "If you've tuned in to see Country Tracks it's been postponed for 20 minutes and will now be shown on BBC2".

The Ulsterman in me immediately leapt to attention. I have every right to watch the Country Tracks television programme that by rights belongs to me and the English television corporation has no right to deny me that. NO! I will NOT be re-routed to BBC2. Me and my people have a long tradition of watching the scheduled programmes on BBC1 and will not accept an alternative that insults that great tradition. If I have to plant a bomb in A Question of Sport to raise awareness of this cause then I will. If I have to paint murals of families watching a scheduled episode of Doctor Who on the side of my next door neighbours house then I will. If I have to smear my own excrement over Match Of The Day then I will. Yes, I am open to the idea of negotiations with Sue Barker (she's the one who looks closest to Mo Mowlam) but the facts remain: People who hate sports have no rights to this land and THIS. MUST. CHANGE.

And, yes, I did HAVE to watch the fucking tennis actually because one of my kind married one of their kind. I know it's frowned upon when non-sports fans marry devout sports fans but we rise above the social stigma. We do this by me occasionally having to suffer through a fucking sports event forced upon me by my country's and my wife's Paisleyite regime. And, in turn, I give her the freedom to be forced to watch Being Human, like some sort of heroic Michael Collins figure of hope.

Can you tell that I've been watching Mo?

It's not perfect but Mo, a Channel 4 TV film that was on last night, is very good. Julie Walters hams it a bit too much at the beginning as Mo Mowlam, Northern Ireland's 90's symbol of hope, but once she settles in to the role it becomes fantastic. It goes without saying that it is pretty damned moving. When, post-IRA ceasefire and the announcement of The Good Friday Agreement, a voice in the crowd shouts "This is the greatest day in Northern Ireland's history" I just started blubbing. That wasn't helped by the footage of the then equally hopeful Tony Blair at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, congratulating everyone involved in this incredible political achievement. It wasn't until he said "our own Mo" that the entire room rose to their feet and applauded. I was a mess at that point.

It's only based on a true story but one would like to think that this naturally charming negotiating genius really did call Peter Mandelson a devious cunt to his face. Among everything else she did, it's a wonderful legacy to leave.