Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Lost Blogs: The Grey Feather of Peace.

"Dear reader, welcome...

 Some Blogs just didn't get written at the time but they still make noises in my head. Here's one of them. From  flipping ages ago".

Over the last few years I've been lucky enough to have been involved in some of the most exciting arguments in the country. The venues where I have displayed my vocal talents have been some of the most prestigious that any provocateur has ever performed pettifoggery: First Class train carriages, The Barbican Theatre, the Houses of Parliament! My ability to disagree with anyone has open doors for me to cross swords everywhere. Although those doors have closed pretty quickly. But what are my favourite arguments in my life of justice and high blood pressure? That's a good question...

Demanding that a 15 year old gives me his shoe so I could throw it from a window? Making Brendan O'Carroll so angry he threatened to take the whole cast of his TV show to see me perform? Wooing all ladies present by pointing out to a very small child that their dresses weren't for looking up? Oh, I just don't know! But I can tell you my very favourite argument that I was blessed with in 2013...

It was a lovely summer's day in Lewisham. I brought Jerk to the park and it was ball day. Not every day is ball day. Jerk's not as young as she used to be so ball day now comes as a fun treat. Flinging the ball across the grass and watching her lose her shit. Running, jumping, smiling with eyes constantly full of excitement like she was Chris Ramsey and the ball was anything at all. She was adorable.

Then a man and a dog came along. They were still quite far away and that gave me ample time to put Jerk on her lead. You see, that's page one of dog owning etiquette. If you come across a dog you don't know, put your dog on a lead so that both dogs can introduce themselves without any danger of territory or spacial awareness issues. The problem with page one of dog owning etiquette is that it's all the way on page one. Not all dog owners have got that far. Why did they have to put that photo of a chocolate labrador puppy peeking out of a wellington boot on the cover? Few made it past that cuntload of adorability.

Sure enough, the man didn't put his dog on a lead so the dog clocked Jerk and decided to bolt right towards her. Balls.

They say that dogs resemble their owners and, sure enough, Jerk pretty much hates her own species. She thinks they're too loud and annoying. The dog ran fast, straight to Jerk, and started sniffing her all over. Her bum, her belly, her face. Jerk started shaking. It's too scary for her. It was a male dog clearly checking her out and Jerk hated it. She growled at him. Half the time dogs understand that and back off. This wasn't one of those times. The dog started barking at Jerk. Jerk shook more. The dog owner was getting closer now so I politely asked him to put his dog on a lead. He said that his dog was fine. His dog might be fine, I explained, but mine isn't. She's scared. Again he said that his dog was fine. Clearly he thinks shouting at someone while you're trying to fuck them against their will is fine. I asked again if he would put his dog on a lead and he flatly just said no. "They" were only playing. "He's harmless", said the man while his dog tried to put it's erect penis everywhere in my dog. 

"Look", I said. "Your dog is scaring my dog. Just put him on a lead and they can sniff each other and she won't be so scared".

His reply was....."Don't tell me what to do".

Ah. He was a psycopath. Silly of me. I should have realised. The big boots, the leather gloves, the One Direction t-shirt covered in blood. It made sense now. Sadly, psycopaths think that they are always powerful and always right but what psycopaths always forget is that I'm really, really, REALLY argumentative and if it's a fight they want then it's a fight they'll get. "Then fuck off", I suggested.

"Go fuck yourself", he shouted back. "Don't you fucking tell me how to fucking look after my fucking dog".

"Well, someone fucking clearly has to, you prick".

"Why? Let the dogs fucking play, you fucking arsehole".

"He's not playing, is he? He's trying to fuck her and she doesn't want him to. Can't you see that, cunt?"

"Fuck off".

Just then, a heron swooped down. Quietly, calmly, majestically. It's huge wings spread right out as it flew over our heads. It landed by the river, just 10 feet away from us, and stood there. So straight, so noble and so regal. Beautiful. How lucky I am to live round here. What a truly incredible thing to see.

"Everyone fucking knows that you put your dog on a lead to introduce it to another dog. Are you the only person that fucking doesn't know that, cunt?"

"He's never attacked a dog ever so shut your mouth now".

"No. You're a rude cunt. Why would you want your dog scaring my dog?"

"He's PLAYING, you arsehole".

"He's fucking not, you cunt. Did you see that heron?"

"You don't know about dogs, do you? Wanker. Yes, I did".

"Lovely, isn't it? Do you even fucking have a lead?"

"The lead's in my fucking pocket. I know. It's fucking rare you see them round here".

"Yeah, I think one or two come here once a fucking year. There are fucking signs up, you know?"

"A fucking friend of mine photographs them. What signs?"

"Fucking put your dog on a fucking lead signs. That's why they're fucking there. Fucking amazing that they land here in Lewisham. I wonder where they're going?"

"Not sure. Have you ever seen the canadian geese here?"

"Yes, I have! Amazing, aren't they? Dozens of them all over the park for just one day".

"I know. And the parakeets are beautiful".

"It's amazing for just one park, isn't it?"

"Yeah. Yeah, it is. Anyway. Fuck off".

He called his dog and they left. I stayed there looking at this beautiful heron and thinking that that is how all conflicts could be resolved. With beauty. If Israel and Palestine sat down with a heron, I know they'd come to a compromise. We can't have a river bird having more dignity than the rest of us. Riots at a football match? Only until they see the heron. Then it stops and those fighting turn to embrace one another. Dear reader, I only hope that one day you will meet someone, fall in love, then get depressed as the relationship breaks down so that you and your partner go to Relate and are ushered into an hour long session in a tiny room with a heron. 

Come on. Can't all the shit we clean up from now on be physical? I love you, guys. xoxo

Hey! Do The Right Thing is BACK! You can start downloading series 4 right now here: and it's also on iTunes.

Robin Ince and I are BACK! In Pointless Anger, Righteous Anger every first Tuesday of the month at the Comedy Cafe in London. Tickets here:

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Boxcar Leggy.

So the train fares in London went up this week.

I didn't know this because I get all my bad news from Twitter. Richard Briers is dead, another ageing celebrity arrested under Operation Yewtree, more people killed in Syria. Twitter never fails to show me only the most upsetting and sickening things imaginable.

Yet I saw no rage over the train fares increase. Not a word. So when I went to the ticket machine at the train station yesterday and saw that my regular daily travelcard (Zones 1-4) had gone up from £8 to £8.90 I was shocked. Actually, it's more bizarre than that. It's actually a Zones 1-6 travelcard that now costs £8.90 because Zones 1-4 travelcards no longer exist, except they do and they cost £11.70.

So, not only have the fares gone up but I'm now forced to buy an Oyster Card, the biggest rip off in London. Yeah, it's like having Rock Circus in your wallet. Oyster Cards cost £5 to just own one, that's before you pay for a single journey. Then you'll lose it and not get your "refundable" £5 back or it'll become faulty and you won't get your "refundable" £5 back and if you're a tourist then welcome to London, give Boris £5 and you won't have time to get your money back because you'll miss your train back to Gatwick. I don't think that the Oyster Card is monitoring me, I'm not that special, but I do think that if you're paying to go on a train, does it really matter HOW you pay? It's money, isn't it? You know, to go on the upkeep of the rail network.

A few nights ago I sat on a train and it stopped for no reason. A woman started shouting. "WHY ISN'T THIS FUCKING TRAIN MOVING?" She had a point. She didn't quite need to make it so loudly and so frequently but she did have a point. Why isn't the train moving? And why is no one telling us why the train isn't moving? Phew, imagine how awful things were before the expensive upkeep of the rail network, I thought, as the same woman dropped her pants and urinated in the aisle.

But why hadn't Twitter warned me? This is completely the sort of thing Twitter loves complaining about yet I saw nothing. Did Twitter think they would give Transport For London a chance to improve this year? Did Twitter think that they'd use this increase in fares as a great excuse to start walking? Did Caitlin say the fares increase was "wicked" and therefore no one was allowed to say anything? No...Twitter didn't say anything because Twitter can afford to pay for more expensive train tickets so Twitter doesn't give a fuck. Twitter has money. Well, I don't. And I don't have an Oyster Card. But I do have dignity...

So, I got on the train without paying.

Yep. I'm 45 and I got on the train without paying. I even had my excuse ready if anyone asked why I didn't have a ticket. My excuse was "FUCK OFF". I think it would have worked. But there I was, on a train without a ticket and LIVING. I was on my way to the West End to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a film about a very ordinary man who has been forced into becoming a thief, and I was going all the way there FOR FREE. I genuinely didn't care what happened to me when I got to the station at the other end. I'm making a point. I'm telling Boris to shove his Oyster Cards and his price increase up his blonde, insane arse. I'm a fucking hero. A fucking hero that got to his destination, left the train and jumped the turnstile.

Well, it was camper than that really. I sat on the turnstile and swung my legs round. That's the new, cheaper way to travel in London. Touch in-touch out? NO! Sit down-swing legs. That's the way to go.

And no one said anything. No one shouted, no security chasing me, no 40 foot Boris breathing fire. Nothing. I fare dodged and went to the pictures.

It was after 11pm when I got back and the turnstiles were open. Easy. I'd done it. I'd said no to this ridiculous increase that shows us no improvement or security. I sat down in my train seat, on my way back home, and felt smug.

A homeless man came up the aisle looking for money but was stopped by a passenger. "No", said the passenger. "I'm not giving you money for a hostel because you won't spend it on a hostel. You'll spend it on beer and drugs, won't you?" The homeless man apologised quietly but the passenger shouted "WON'T YOU?" at him again. The homeless man said sorry again and walked away.

I turned to the passenger and said "Wow. That was incredible".

"I know", he said in a Northern Irish accent he didn't deserve. "You have to tell them or they won't fuck off".

"Well", I replied. "Good job you're so fucking sanctimonious".

His friend then joined in and said to me "Yeah. He helped us dodge a bullet there, eh?".

There was a long pause before the friend said "Hang on. What does sanctimonious mean?"

Insanely, the passenger replied to his friend "It means holy".

"I think you'll find it's closer to prick", I said.

Can we not go on a single train journey without having to witness the very worst people on this planet? Are we never to be safe travelling in London. Something needs to be done about this. Put the fares up, I say.

Hey! Do The Right Thing is BACK! You can start downloading series 4 right now here: and it's also on iTunes.

Robin Ince and I are BACK! In Pointless Anger, Righteous Anger every first Tuesday of the month at the Comedy Cafe in London. Tickets here: