Saturday, 20 June 2015

A Moment In Life.

To find beauty in your own solitude takes bravery. So rare that we would ever hear the song of a bird first thing in the morning and then ask ourselves why we cannot match its perfection. If we dared look at how all that is around us is greater than our dreams, would our spirits not just wither? Perhaps soar? The chance too great to take. Our streets and cars and jobs and devices and our wants and must haves... How can we compare these to a flower in bloom? Can I let nature remind me of my nothingness? I cannot. For I am a coward.

I awoke in Kavos yesterday and it was time to say farewell. Before my coach arrived, I had but a moment to gaze upon the sea once more. It was sunrise and I walked to the jetty to have the waves beneath me and the majesty of the sun awakening before me. As I progressed across the old, wooden jetty, I was gripped by a fear. I am alone. Nature is all that surrounds me, with a song that I could never match. What do I do in this life? Where do I go in this world? I cannot face these thoughts. I stop, barely feet and inches onto the jetty's long invitation to revel in the ocean and to join it as the sun insists its wonder. I could walk to the very end of the jetty... But I am a coward.

Not all men are as I.

One sole figure stands at the jetty's end. He too looks at the sun. But he can see it rising perfectly where my sight of it is blocked by trees and villas. I have but a low tide beneath my feet where he has the ocean. I look at him and see all that I am not. A man alone and unafraid. Far out and content. Nature above and below, a man facing his inner self and all that this world can give us. I look at him and I smile. At least there is one such as he. Brave. Connected. Beautiful.

As these thoughts entered my mind, I saw him get his cock out of his pants and photograph it.

I am never coming back here.

My new show, TELL IT LIKE IT IS, STEVE, will be at the Edinburgh Fringe from 6th to the 30th August at The Stand Comedy Club 2. Get tickets here:

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Impotence of Being Ernest.

All great writers need a place to write. A retreat that takes them away from the hustle and bustle of normal life to find a perfect tranquility that will let the mind wander or focus and allow the pen and the page to bask in the unstoppable flow of inspiration. So, like Ernest Hemingway himself, I’ve gone to a Club 18-30 resort in Corfu.

Fucking hell. Look, I was drunk when I made the booking but as soon as I arrived in the deafening noise that was Kavos, I quickly realised my mistake.

After checking into the abandoned leper colony I booked myself into, I was shown to my cupboard where I was guaranteed 4 incredible sleepless nights listening to screaming, drunk children while I lie on a medium sized shoe insole that the concierge angrily threatened was my bed. The cupboard had many fine features to recommend it (if you’re looking for a place to film Saw VIII) such as the sink right by the bed that when used makes the bathroom sink fill up with sewage. The room also boasts electricity, but only when there is definitely someone in the room. No, I don’t know how that works either. But the real home-away-from-home treat was the suspicious brown stains streaked across the wall by the toilet that has a sign saying “Please only use when necessary”.

Realising that I couldn’t stay there sober, I left the colony to seek out the local noise bars. Scorers is a sports bar with 4 different big screen TV’s all showing 4 different sporting events simultaneously with the sound on full volume even though it’s drowned out partially by the huge sound system that constantly plays every sound I despise to a matching light show that, even if I described it, would kill an epileptic. Scorers is the nicest bar in Kavos. To be fair though, Scorers at least had friendly staff. “You just arrived?”, asked the barman. I asked him how he knew and he replied “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, You’re white as fuck”. This has now happened in every single place I’ve been to in Kavos. At least 5 times a day. Every day. “Have you just arrived?”, they’d say and I’d lie and say yes and then they’d laugh for 82 minutes and then spit “You’re white as fuck” at me. Yes! Yes, I am. I don’t lie on beaches ever. I have basically never sunbathed. I like the sun a lot, it’s one of my favourite on fire things, but I can’t just lie there and con myself into thinking I’m going to look great soon. I have tried but it’s never, ever worked. I’m too white for the sun. I actually reflect the light back on to the sun and burn it. I burn the sun. If I ever took my t-shirt off (and I never have done), I’d probably give the sun skin cancer. Anyway, I’m not here to worship the sun. I’m here to write.

Writing is never going to happen here.

Kavos is just bars (almost all called Tits) and cafés (almost all called Meat) and medical buildings (all called You Stupid Drunk British Arsehole, Come Here). It’s a strip of bedlam. But as I walked down further into the noise, I started to like the looks I got. And I got a lot of looks. Walking down the strip, everyone looked at me. Go into a bar, everyone looked at me. Walk along the beach, everyone looked at me. Of course they did. I was by far the oldest person they had ever seen in their lives and somehow I was here, alone, at their youth club. I got looks, so many looks, but people very much kept their distance. Promoters would see people walking around and immediately promise them everything to get them into their club. I was never approached. Not once. It’s basically like the Edinburgh Fringe.

I knew I couldn’t stay out much later that first night. The place was getting louder and I was scaring people. I’d have to go back to the colony. But maybe it won’t be so bad. At least the weather is nice and there’s so much excitement around that maybe that positivity will rub off on me and I’ll write something good. Then I saw a sign for a cocktail that was a pint of Lilt and 9 different shots drunk from a hollowed out watermelon. It was called Tropical Cunt. I went back to the colony.

Writing is never going to happen here.

The next day hunger forced me to leave the comfort of my squalor. As I returned to the strip, I found it heartening to know that the Keep Calm and blah-blah-blah campaign is alive and well here in Kavos, whereas subtlety has been all but erased. Keep Calm and Suck My Cock was the first of the t-shirts I saw and it was nice to see balance fully restored with Keep Calm and Lick My Pussy, although what Keep Calm and Slut Down means is still a mystery. Now I’m completely calm but I’m still pretty hungry and there seems to be nowhere for me to eat. That is, until I see Music’s.

I walked right past the café bar called Music’s at first but then something caught my eye. I stopped, took two steps back and properly looked at the bar. It had four tables all with a “classic” rock album cover forming the table top. One of the “classic” rock albums was what drew me in. I’ll let you guess which one. They were Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones, Sgt Pepper by The Beatles, Definitely Maybe by Oasis and, of course, Whispers of Dire Straits: The Best of The Band’s Ballads. You’re probably listening to it right now.

I took a seat at the Whispers of Dire Straits table and was offered a choice of three breakfasts: The Rolling Stones, which is a huge plate of meat with three eggs, beans, toast and tea. Oasis, which is a smaller plate of meat, one egg, beans, toast and tea. And finally the vegetarian breakfast that was called… Genesis. How they came to that, I don’t know. Genesis are definitely the best of the three bands but HOW DARE THEY just ASSUME I like Genesis, even though they’re right. The contents of the Genesis breakfast wasn’t on the menu because they didn’t know what it was because no had ever asked for it. Ever.

Day two was even harder than day one. It got depressing. I couldn’t go into any of the bars because I just can’t go into a bar called Tits. Then I found myself just hanging out in a shop. Just like a normal newsagent’s-y kind of shop. For over an hour. Doing nothing.

Writing is never going to happen here.

I think I spent so much time in the newsagent’s because I wondered why there was a 20 year old English bloke working there. All the bar staff over here are young English people and I understand that. They probably came over on holiday last year and then decided to come back for three months and work in that bar that they got shit-faced in every night. But why is this guy working in a newsagent’s? I was hoping to overhear him say “I was here last year. Came into the shop every day with my mates. It was AMAZING. We used to buy M&M’s and then TOTALLY flick through Marie Claire. WICKED!” I realised that I couldn’t hang around a newsagent’s waiting for a 20 year old man’s back story so I left to find a pub. A proper pub. One that wasn’t called tits.

I found the only pub in Kavos with people my age in it. All 40-something couples saying nothing to one another, just sitting there and thinking about the mistake that was coming to Kavos, in a very quiet pub just for us lot, far from the madding crowd. The pub was called Memories. That, after all, is all you have left when you’re in your 40s and you’ve ended up in Kavos. And it was the polar opposite of every other bar in town. They could have at least called it Mammary’s. I left.

There’s still some life in me yet so sitting in a retirement lounge called Memories is still some way off for me. It’s time to get down at a discotheque! I walked into a night club and was immediately thrilled. I haven’t been to one in years. Then the bouncer asked me for I.D.! AMAZING! That definitely hasn’t happened in decades. I was so, so, so, SO happy… until the bouncer said “You look over 30. Its 18-30’s only in here”. Bollocks.

 So, I just stayed in the bar outside the night club. It was full and noisy in the bar anyway. I didn’t need their stupid night club. I’m here for a good time and they can’t stop me. And I had a great time. I actually had a brilliant night. There’s very little for me to do in Kavos but I think I finally found the one and only thing this place has to offer me. Just standing in the bar and, once again, I could feel people looking at me. “Why is he here?” their looks seem to say. “Why is this ancient, grey man in our bar?” People just seemed to stop smiling and talking to one another… Fewer people were dancing… People were starting to stare into their drinks. THIS IS AMAZING! Just me being here is enough to RUIN everyone’s night. I wasn’t doing anything, didn’t talk to anyone and I wasn’t dancing along or singing to the music. I was just there. Doing nothing. AND IT FREAKED THEM OUT.

It was brilliant.

Why didn’t I realise this sooner? I would have had such a good time. Just me being there and suddenly everyone feels a bit sick and sad and awkward. When I walked in I saw a young couple dancing and flirting. Within 10 minutes they stood in silence just staring into their drinks until eventually she whispers in his ear that she wants to leave. “Come on, Marcus”, I imagine she said. “That man has put me right off my Tropical Cunt”.

It’s my last day and I’ve already ruined an entire pool party. The colony held a pool party in a mass grave that the concierge angrily threatened is a swimming pool. There was foam and free drinks and DJ’s and it was booked between 4:30pm until 9pm. I got there at 5 and sat at the bar reading a book. The party was over by 5:15.

And now it’s my last night so I’m off to actually have a Tropical Cunt. I think it’s the right thing to do. I’ve found out how to have a great time in Kavos and that’s something to be proud of. Yes, it’s by ruining everyone else’s time but maybe I’m what has made their holiday memorable. And not much writing got done but, then, how could it here? I’m just an old man by the sea. I’d like to see Hemingway get something out of that.

My new show, TELL IT LIKE IT IS, STEVE, will be at the Edinburgh Fringe from 6th to the 30th August at The Stand Comedy Club 2. Get tickets here: