Monday, January 30, 2006

This morning on Radio 4...

Professor Jeremy Metters, Her Majesty's Inspector of Anatomy was lamenting the decline in those willing to donate their bodies to medical science. His sincerity might have been more convincing if in the background we'd been spared the sound of things being chopped.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A sad tale hit...

the UK news this week when a couple split up after she had an affair. The affair was exposed by the man's parrot who apparently is an excellent mimic. The woman, whom we might call Karen was having a dalliance with her boyfriend's best mate, whom we can call Darren. Farren, the boyfriend got wind that something was amiss when the parrot using perfectly modulated Karen tones took to saying, 'I love you Darren. I love you Darren.' Karen apparently did not deny the affair and has since left Farren and his parrot for the warm arms of Darren, but not before telling a local newspaper that she was driven to the affair because Farren loved that bird more than he ever did her. Farren responded by saying he was gutted, shame the same couldn't have been said about the parrot.

A tale of woe that confirms an iron rule in the Flynn household, never let a pet into your home because if they're not shitting on your carpets they're shitting on your relationships.

Today the weather in Manchester has been beautiful with clear skies, a winter sun and icy cold temperatures. Manchester has its fair share of statuary and they irritate me no end for on nearly every plinth is some Victorian businessman or other such worthy. In Piccadilly Gardens there's a statue to Victoria herself where she sits on a throne looking every inch like Jabba the Hutt, sort of hugely bulbous and with a very low centre of gravity. At her feet are angels who look up in an awe without doubt inspired by the consequences for them should her Imperial Bigness ever fall off. You can see in this statue how the sculptor has struggled to convey enormous power and authority and at the same time not make the real Queen seem like a person who was generally more comfortable only when in proximity to a crane. In the end he obviously abandoned delicacy for bulk and so she squats like an enormous toad at the South Eastern corner of Piccadilly Gardens. Interestingly her head is also of a very strange proportion perched as it is like a bowling ball atop a pile of bath towels. The City Fathers bless them have recently installed a pissoir within weeing distance though I'm not sure the two things are related.

Don't get me wrong I'm not against statuary and the like I just prefer them a little more democratic for instance I'm particularly impressed by the statue of 'Alison Lapper Pregnant' that currently adorns a plinth in London's Trafalgar Square, and I love 'The Angel of the North' in Gateshead (which is what they call South Newcastle) and Manchester's 'The 'B' of the Bang'. I just don't like statues of miserable undemocratic rich bastards who did nothing of worth other than be grasping and greedy, the fuckers.

Still, the weather remained nice, so that was something.

Friday, January 27, 2006

My fellow blogger...

Dcver whose link is on the right has posted a cocktail recipe that seems designed only to be drunk at weekends. Err, it's the weekend, so HURRAH! It's cocktail time again!

He also mentions that after drinking this witches brew one has to be careful not to run down any Irish nuns, yet surely this is a reason for drinking the stuff in the first place. Previous readers of this blog will know I'm no great respecter of the Catholic Church and it's clergy but I will not have it said I'm prejudiced, oh no. With drink such as this inside me I'm prepared to run down nuns from any Order. Lucky for me then that only half a mile away there is in fact a nunnery, so I won't have too far to go.

On a related matter this past few weeks I've been suffering from stigmata. Sort of unexplained marks on my body and no memory of how they might have got there. What set me worrying was the one on my thigh that was a dead giveaway for the Turin Shroud. Suddenly they started to appear everywhere. On my right shoulder last Wednesday morning I woke up to a Last Supper, and similar to Ray Bradbury's 'The Illustrated Man' (but not quite because this time there was sound as well) I could watch and hear the action.

Jesus says, 'Why is there no one sitting opposite?"
Peter who's completely pissed puts arm around Jesus and slurs in reply, "I fucking love you, you're my best mate. Do you hear that everyone, my best mate. Fucking top bloke..." He then slides under the table. I was in a hurry for work so put my shirt on only to hear Paul say, "Fuck, bloody meter's gone, anyone got any change? Judas?" When I returned home it had miraculously disappeared. Then emerged a lump on my shin the same shape as that small rock in the North Sea upon which a naked St Columbus used to sit out his winters. At least I presume it was St Columbus, he certainly had a very tiny penis though that could have been a trick of the light. I thought the stigmata a worry until the first Rorschach materialised. Okay, I admit to a little paunch but who doesn't? However it was unnerving to discover Rorschachs unfolding as I stood up. A particularly disturbed blot interpreted as 'Thou shalt not lay with any family pet' was shaped like one of the Blessed Saints lying on a warm hearth being attended to by a monkey with a cane. Honest, it would not wash off. I'm aware that Rorschachs are a means by which the Id might be exposed for examination and I'd almost made an appointment to see the Dr when a stigmata of Doubting Thomas reassured me that they weren't mine but instead those of a newly enthroned Cardinal who has started to farm out his guilt. The Catholic hierarchy are such bastards.

Right then, I'm orf to get drunk.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A big freeze...

from Siberia where temperatures reached minus 60 is about to hit the UK and we're all gonna get cold. For the last two years or so I've been at war with three cats living nearby who insist on digging up the pot plants in my yard and leaving their shit where previously grew beautiful flowers. My real hope for the coming weather is that a la 'The Day After Tomorrow' an incredible temperature plunge will sweep from the skies catch them mid poo and freeze the fuckers to death. I would be soooo happy if come the following morning I might look through my kitchen window to see frozen solid, just at the moment of strain, three frosted cats. Wish fulfillment I know but without dreams we are diminished.

When I say at war with the cats what I really mean is that I've surrendered, given up. Yet these spawn of Beelzibub for too long have prevented me from planting flowers in my back yard pots. To scare them away during this period I've tried black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, some incredibly stinky stuff from the pet shop that was like green jelly and smelled so strong the back door warped and I couldn't get out. The door was reduced to such a state I then worried the smell might get in. Were the cats bothered? Not a bit, they laughed, sneered, indeed one of them in full view took to dabbing the green stuff behind its ears and giving me the finger (well paw) from atop the gate. Other neighbourhood animals caught on and started to snigger behind my back and for a while I seemed never far from laughter, a mocking and cruel laughter that crept from alleyways, that echoed out of drainage grids, that seemed to lunge over walls, but then again that might just have been the bad drugs so I never took any of it too seriously. Friends suggested solutions such as a powerful water pistol or an air pistol, maybe razor wire, or shards of glass cemented on the wall top. The razor wire or glass solutions seemed too problematic and besides I'd no wish to turn my yard into a mini Folsom. I have been attracted to the shooting suggestion, particularly if it involves a proper GUN though sitting in my yard for hours on end cradling a rifle like some nutter holds no appeal at all. My mate Sean says there's machines that generate sounds pitched to scare the bejabers out cats, dogs and other animals. If these machines do exist then they're the ones for me! Mind you I am saddened there's to be no suffering involved, not even a little bleeding from the ears. Ah well, can't have everything. Might get a gun anyway.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I gather that some priest...

in Galway has become a father at the ripe old age of 73. I also read that he was immensly popular, well clearly, though I suspect he's now lost that crown. Given his advanced age he presumably completed his priestly training in the 1950's or thereabouts, a time when the Catholic Church was serious about hell and damnation, and birching, and torture, and beating children, and guilt, and sin, and punishment, and blood, and scourging. I could go on, no I really could but better not, don't want to get too excited, then I'll miss my nap.

I seem to recall that the church is opposed to contraception so we know at least one area of his life where he wasn't a hypocrite.

Which brings me back to scourging, well Ruth Kelly, and Opus Dei. I can't look at her without wondering the whereabouts on her person of the scilla, that spiky band thing whose purpose is to dig into the flesh and cause discomfort and pain. I'm not sure having someone who is so clearly into bondage is a wise choice as Education Secretary, not that I'm opposed to bondage, or think that those who are into bondage should be barred from public life, oh no. What I am opposed to as Education Secretary is some extremely right wing tosser who wears bondage as atonement for the rest of us not being into bondage. She's sacrificing herself for us, purging herself because we are all really so very very naughty, it was our fundamental naughtiness that got us kicked out of Eden in the first place, then later, just to put some icing on that cake we killed Jesus as well. What an absolute bunch of bastards, spelled out like this I begin to suspect she probably wears two.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Catholic Church...

has let it be known it agrees with the theory of Evolution and not with the lie that calls itself Intelligent Design. According to press releases this week they've rejected Intelligent Design (that God made everything, no questions asked) and embraced Darwin. A superficial reading of Benny the Umpeenth's position might lead us to conclude the Catholic Church has rejected God and allied itself with, er, science. Now that would be revolutionary however on closer reading they've simply rejected Intelligent Design as a means of understanding God's will. What they say is that God did make everything but didn't make it that obvious and that those who argue Intelligent Design are just crude reductionists. So what appears as a fairly enlightened position is at heart that same old same old. Mind you, if they're prepared to argue with the nutters who currently run the White House that Evolution is a science who am I to object?

I do wonder though if this argument might not have caused God to pause and look over his newspaper to see what the fuss was about. And from the Messianic sofa might not an eyebrow have been raised at Benny arguing that rationality rather than faith was the most fruitful means by which nature can be known? And for a moment, until reassured by the small print might not the sacred hand of Jehovah have stroked the blessed designer stubble, scratched the immortal ear, drew in a deific breath and exhaled a celestial sigh before relaxing once more behind the racing pages? We'll never know, and therein lies the rub, nothing useful can be learned through faith, with science we can learn everything, even the truth that God doesn't exist. Oh to be in heaven when that news came through!

Lowly type runs in and says "God, God, just in, science has finally proved you don't exist."
God snatches paper, "Let me see that! Shi...."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

There is a row...

of canal locks at Marple in Cheshire and this afternoon a mate and I walked down them, sort of for fresh air and health and stuff. Some people were feeding the ducks and I tell you those ducks had loser written all over them, they might as well have been carrying signs. (That's a bird flu joke by the way.)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Not far...

from where I live there is a tanning salon, a shop where you can get a suntan. Whilst walking past said shop this morning out stepped a completely orange woman. I tried not to look but my eyes were drawn to her like a magnet. She noticed, I smiled sheepishly, she returned my smile which was friendly given I was so blatantly staring. I really wanted to mention that the particular hue she had chosen was one not normally found in nature but that would have been insulting so I said nothing. Then I thought, well, she must think she looks fantastic which is fair enough, though personally I would avoid any machine that might turn me into such an odd shade of orange, or indeed any shade of orange.

Oh yeah, the shop was called Tanfastic, now how vomit inducing is that?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Flourescent Green...

pigs have been developed in Taiwan for medical purposes, of course. A photograph of said pigs appears in the British Press today. An odd video can be seen on The video is most illuminating (hur hur hur) and carries a soundtrack. It seems these pigs are flourescent throughout and this is some kind of breakthrough as previously flouresced animals carried only surface flourescence. Now you can see what's going on inside. A discussion between the pigs, well more an argument really, was recorded thus.

Mother pig to adolscent pig "I know you took those sausages Billy because I really can see right through you. Oh and you need a pooh so you'd better go now."
Adolescent pig. "Mum!"
Dad pig "Leave the boy alone Vera he's really struggling at the moment."
Mum pig "Don't you side with him, hold it, what's that? There, near your large colon. Harry Pig what have I said to you about eating the children. That's our Barry in there, well what's left of him."
Dad pig, "It were dark Vera, ah thought he were an egg, all glowing and just lying there, in the trough. It's them scientists they've gone glow mad, everything glowing, glowing water, glowing food. It's given me a headache, I can tell you."
Mum pig, "Yes I can see that but try not to eat the children love, eeh our Barry just look at him. He were a right little tinker, well blinker, especially after they got the mix wrong. I suppose it's for the best especially as we could never really tell if he were in or out. Poor lamb. Anyway you also need a pooh so you'd best be off."

A short film that I think says it all. Don't fuck with nature, it can only lead to sorrow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

At 10:30pm on the...

2nd January one of my bookshelves collapsed. I've got a decent size bedroom and all my books are shelved on the walls. I was downstairs watching something really boring on the telly when a tremendous crash came from above so I rushed upstairs, well rushed to the stairs then paused. What stopped me was the thought that it might have been a burglar crashing through the ceiling or a madman with an axe sweeping my books to the floor in his demented rage, or a book troll unhappy that the plot of Haruki Murakami's The Wind-up Bird Chronicle is so fiendishly complicated, these and many other daft ideas rushed hither and thither as I paused with one hand on the rail looking upwards like some Christian supplicant.

"Hullo" I called before me, "Is anyone there?" The kind of genteel question that by its tone and form would confirm to any waiting predator that in this house lives someone who is A VICTIM and therefore should cause them no trouble whatsoever. Every few steps I stopped to listen for heavy breathing and maybe the swish of something with a blade cleaving the air in practice, but there was nothing so with a toe I gently pushed my way into the bedroom taking care all the while to look through the crack and confirm that no psycopath lurked, behind the door, with a machete, on tiptoes, ready to pounce, the way they do.

A change in room accoustics really emphasised the pathetic in my hollow laugh.

The whole experience set me wondering if books were becoming more heavy. Over Christmas I read the excellent Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, a fantastic novel about English magicians at the time of the Napoleonic Wars and though brilliant is extremely heavy and gave me wrist ache when I read it in the bath. I also treated myself to Robert Fisk's The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East, a recently published stupendously large and learned tome written by one of the great journalists of the last 30 years. Mind you these two books are on the floor by the bed and have never been on the shelves so it couldn't have been them that caused the collapse. In the end I determined it was my crap workmanship in using screws and rawplugs that were not adequate to the job when putting up the shelves. Of course the blame really lies with my school woodwork and metalwork teachers for fervently believing that violence was the only pedagogy worthy of the name. One result of their painful largesse was that I learned not a jot about 'do it yourself'. Pity it wasn't upon them that the shelves collapsed, though such a thing might have raised more questions than it answered.