Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pigeon people

Recent market research has highlighted a public consensus that there just isn't enough pigeon content on these pages. I aim to rectify this now with perhaps the most shocking, gut-wrenching, nay horrifying pigeon scenes yet. I recently visited Ye Olde Yorke and stayed with writing's Dan Gray, 26, Edinburgh resident, to trace the footsteps of his youth and enjoy the questionable pleasure of a Middlesbrough F.C. pre-season friendly at Yorke Citie Effe Cee. But thrown in amongst all of that, while innocently supping pints of ale by the River Ouse, we were subjected to an episode of unprecented and unfathomable trauma.

This pair of loons see fit to quite genuinely feed pigeons in the street. They allow the feathered fucks to clamber all over their naked hands, sometimes even carressing their backs while they nibble away at their pores. This constitutes recklessness on a gargantuan scale, and they were outrageously brazen about it all. Other punters were forced to flee the scene - many of them visibly upset - and yet all these cretins could say was: "They're harmless... they're harmless". HARMLESS! What a hideous lack of awareness. What total insanity. And what a flagrant disregard for humanity, seemingly going totally unmonitored by the authorities. As ageing's Dan, 42 in December 2023, is so fond of saying: this is how Nazi Germany started.

The bizarre series of events was topped off by the bemusing presence of the pair's complimentary BBC Radio Five Live sports bag resting on the table throughout. This served to escalate the surreality of this situation even further, which quite extraordinarily, was somehow possible. As I struggled to retain any sense of composure and writhed uncontrollably, Dan displayed enough calmness and professionalism to capture these images. They must now be widely circulated so that these bad bastards can be identified by the relevant authorities, sending a clear message to the population that feeding vicious vermin is a downright bad idea. Rather than being ashamed of their actions, they seemed evidently boastful of the fact they were setting civilisation back about twenty years. Sick. I don't want to be part of this pigeon festival. They must be punished.

Monday, July 14, 2008


This spoon was awarded to me by Laura, 23, friend of kittens, from Sunderland, while on a visit to the home of her and Michael Sebastian Laverick, 24, this weekend just gone, yes, that one there just passed:

That handle does indeed say 'Property of Ramsay Street' in the traditional Neighbours typeface. Now I remember why I have friends. Incredible scenes. I am led to believe this is official Neighbours merchandise from the 1980s, and therefore bound to have been individually hand-crafted by evil's Stefan Dennis, 49. Never in all my life.

This has brought the memories of being a young Neighbours acolyte literally flooding back. Indeed, I'd go as far as to say that if I'd had this spoon fifteen years earlier, my childhood would have been something resembling a memorable experience. Instead it was a sorry tale of what might have been, but emphatically never was. I remember the time I took the revolutionary step of trying to introduce the Neighbours sticker album into the primary school playground culture in 1993, only to fail miserably. It turned out I was the only one in my school collecting the stickers, which naturally made 'swaps' a nightmare. If I tried shifting that spare Lou Carpenter 'foily' once, I must've done it a thousand times. In the end I had to make do with swapping it for a standard, non-foily sticker of Cobra from Gladiators (another album I was collecting at the time). This was a miserable chapter of failure in my life, and I can only think that having this Neighbours spoon back then would've provided some form of consolation. And by the way, if anyone's got the top half of Annalise Hartman for swaps, please let me know.

Monday, July 07, 2008



This is a photograph of a seagull eating a pigeon in a Newcastle street, as captured and texted to me by this blog's Edinburgh correspondent Dan, 26, socialist author, just moments before the seagull flew off with the little shit in its beak. Barely credible, nay, incredible scenes.

My pigeon hatred has been well and truly documented into oblivion on these pages, but my hatred of seagulls is nearly as strong. Anyone who spent numerous depressing Sunday afternoons in the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby during their childhood, like me, will know what it's like when the squawky scumbags viciously and ruthlessly lay siege while you're innocently trying to eat some chips. Some of these seagulls carry knives, and they need clearing off the streets, just like the pigeons.

Let them kill each other. It's dog eat dog out there; quite literally, as the above photo shows.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Our earthly micro-pleasures

Getting your hair cut is a highly stressful experience which generally lacks any semblance of fun. For real men like me who are prone to visiting real barbers' establishments, and therefore don't have the luxury of an appointment, it invariably involves an agonising wait for your turn during which you're forced to leaf through a copy of whichever fascist rag is going spare from the awful selection of daily newspapers these places buy. Then there's the agonising process of being called up to the chair, where you're faced with a massive mirror, tied up in the big cloak thing, and then have to muster the words to put your order in. This all makes for a 99.7% torturous haircut experience. Awful scenes.

Earlier today, however, I was reminded of the micro-pleasure that comes at the end of every haircut and serves to make the whole episode worthwhile. The fleeting yet insanely pleasurable sensation that came when my barber Chris, 37, of unknown parentage, used the little electric razor to tidy up the back of my neck and remove the stray hairs was quite, quite incredible. His faintly ticklish and immensely satisfying vertical and horizontal navigation of the necktal region almost left me gasping with gay abandon. If I believed such things were possible, I could've literally died and gone to heaven.

This is a fine example of the type of micro-pleasure that sometimes crops up in life to provide momentary relief from the humdrum suffocation of everyday experience. It's extremely rare that a micro-pleasure is actually designed to provide pleasure, and nor will it make any great contribution to the plot of your day, but without them we would be at a great loss. The other micro-pleasures which almost, almost make my existence worthwhile include:
  • breaking the top layer of biscuit clean from a Bourbon Cream before scraping the cream into the mouth with my teeth;
  • filling the Padmobile up with petrol and manipulating the handle of the nozzle so expertly that the price on the display comes to a precise pound, e.g. £20.00;
  • cleaning my ears with cotton buds ('Warning: Do NOT insert into your ear canal') following a lengthy head cold, and having to use half the pack;
  • waking up to find I've been sleeping on one side for too long, and then rolling onto the other side and feeling all the weight shift across my torso. Heaven, just heaven;
  • wrapping home-made sandwiches extremely tidily and tightly in fresh cling film (very difficult);
  • employing a surprise Facegrab™ on yet another unsuspecting victim. For those who are uninitiated and unaware of what a Facegrab is, (a) "get a life!" and (b) learn here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The mind literally boggles

I am sure the reader (that is, the only one who doesn't just scroll down for the pictures) will have noticed by now that I am quite unhealthily fond of intentionally abusing the word 'literally' for my own amusement. I've been a fan of this for quite some time, but in recent months it has become something of an obsession to listen out for misuses of the word, and also to make mockery by misusing it myself in highly inappropriate contexts. This is, of course, a wonderful and not-atall-tiresome routine, and one which could fairly be characterised as the greatest form of irreverent semantic satire (an up-and-coming genre, just you watch). I tell you, it's literally a barrell of laughs.

The degree to which the word 'literally' is literally abused is quite astonishing. One of the main reasons for it seems to be that many people incorrectly assume they can use it for emphasis, e.g. 'I am literally fuming about this...' (to which I would reply: 'Then please excuse me, as I must leave the room so as to avoid any lasting respiratory damage.') As the word is most commonly abused verbally, many of my favourite examples of its misuse have been provided while watching television. For example, during an episode of the latest series of capitalist CockneyTV series The Apprentice, I was stunned to hear one of the contestants Claire, 29, talking about her imminent appearance in the boardroom. "I can literally feel the guillotine inches from my neck", she claimed dubiously. This is wrong on SO MANY COUNTS (specifically two). (1) One, there wasn't a guillotine in sight, sadly, and (2) Two, even if there was, if it was inches away from her neck she would certainly not be able to feel it. In my experience, a guillotine is not truly felt until it slices into the skin on the neck and blood starts to spurt out like the juice when someone bites sharply into an over-ripe tomato (great fun).

One of the best examples I've heard about, but sadly didn't witness myself, is Question of Sport captain and silly-sport-rugby's Matt Dawson's contention that he was going to "literally grab the bull by the horns" by answering a question on the programme's picture round. Indeed, dim sportsmen are prime candidates for this crime, and it was one such dim sportsman who inspired this post. Just over a week ago, during ITV's coverage of Euro2008, pundit and ex-Boro captain Andy Townsend, 44, literally came out with the most blind and ill-conceived use of the word 'literally' I've heard. While describing the Turkish defence's tight marking of the Czech Republic's strikers, he said: "Look there... Servet [a Turkish defender] is literally, literally up his backside." As soon as I heard him say 'literally' twice, I knew he was in trouble, but I still didn't think he could get it quite so wrong. Surely ensconcing oneself within an opponent's rectal passage would constitute a foul in the modern game? You might have got away with it twenty years ago, but not today; especially not with these soft European referees who blow their whistle if you so much as tickle someone's chin. I was literally laughing my socks off. So next time I buy socks I'll make sure I get some with well-elasticised ankle grips, to make sure that won't happen again.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Falling down stairs doesn’t only happen in the movies

There were Incredible Scenes™ today at work, where I was given essential Health and Safety training to prevent me from succumbing to the pitfalls of working in an office environment (however, as far as I can tell, my office is not located within a pit anyway so the pitfalls are hardly relevant). The session was replete with a fantastic educational video to literally drive home the Health and Safety message. And then get invited in for a coffee by it. Weehhyyy, AND THE REST, phwoar, she can bend my knees and straighten my back any day of the week, etc etc.

This video is sure to go down somewhere in my official Top 7 Educational Videos of Comedic Value, thus affording it the heady status of being grouped with such wild pleasures as a GCSE Biology video on sustainable crops in which a man said: “Peas; I could talk to you for hours about peas.” Today’s video was presented by a little-known BBC South West newsreader operating under some great misapprehension that viewers would automatically know who she was: “You’ll be more used to seeing me in the newsroom...” Actually, luv, I’m much more used to never seeing you at all.

In the video’s early stages came the marvellous line: “Falling down stairs doesn’t only happen in the movies”. This statement was astonishingly prophetic. Just moments later, the female actor on the screen took an agonising tumble down some steps in a manner which can only be described as ‘akin to when Helen Daniels fractured her hip by tripping over some loose carpet and falling down the stairs in Neighbours in 1996’. The guffaws in the room were stifled, however, when the narrator continued and informed us that “this lady’s fall ended fatally when her head’s impact on a step led to a brain haemorrhage”. Frika. I will never descend a flight of stairs in the same way again. And nor should you, if you’ve any sense about you.

A window will never be opened in the same way either: “This man fell to the ground after leaning too far while opening a jammed window on the third storey of his building.” Other things I learnt include the following: never use a swivel chair as a stool; never attempt to floss with a live electronic cable; don’t try to staple your eyelid to your chin. Clearly, public sector offices are very dangerous places, but nobody warned me of this fact. If I’d wanted an element of risk in my life I would’ve gone for a job as an extreme/'Xtreme'/'Xtrm' sports instructor (and then hated myself for eternity). I may have to move jobs. People moving jobs doesn’t only happen in the movies.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

See all evil

I literally, literally leapt out of my skin when I stumbled upon this fat feathered fuck outside Flat C yesterday afternoon.

It was so fat that it didn't appear to have any legs, or whatever 'it' is 'they' have. Despite my presence, it hardly flinched, and simply watched from the corners of its evil little eyes. Very haunting and paranoia-inducing, I'm sure you'll agree.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Driving me crazy

Manchester was this morning the scene for a go-slow protest against rising fuel prices involving around 500 bikers and 40 truckers. What a load of knobs. Yes, petrol prices have risen quite dramatically recently and, yes, the small, independent hauliers are being hit hardest by the situation, but I find it frustrating that these types of people can only ever get worked up about matters surrounding motoring. Motorcyclists are particularly annoying; they are a danger to everyone and wear annoying clothes. These two simple facts should preclude them from possessing any form of influence. Rather than constantly moaning about tax, all of these people should channel their energies into campaigning against the more pressing and pertinent matters of significance and gravity, such as the distortion of the global economy to ensnare whole continents in poverty, and Fern Britton's great gastric betrayal.

Despite owning a car myself, I'd say drivers must be one of the most reprehensible social groups around, and I fear being lumped in with them. I don't want to be literally bundled together with such motoring acolytes as fascism's Jeremy Clarkson, but it seems I am given little choice by the media. Evidence of this fact could be found on the front page of yesterday's Daily Express - in my eyes what can only be described as 'the world's greatest newspaper'. Although I must say I've been immensely fond of the Whitby Gazette ever since spending some time there on work experience. Anyway, the Express declared: 'POTHOLED ROADS ARE A NATIONAL DISGRACE'. This was the front page news, somehow ahead of all the terrible things happening in the world and even its articles outlining why it believes it was gypsies and asylum seekers that killed Diana in that tunnel that night in Paris.

Of all people, I should really be more concerned about potholes than most because the Padmobile is so rusty and dishevelled that it no longer displays any evidence of suspension. However I realise there are worse plights in life than the way in which I lose a filling every time I drive over a pothole. In the Express' article, I was concerned by the manner in which there was repeated use of the term "...drivers said", as if drivers are one unified national voice of distaste, regardless of all our differences and my unique qualities. In reality, it transpires that these quotes being attributed to 'drivers' are merely the individual opinions of the president of the AA. Therefore, for the avoidance of any doubt I have decided that from now on I will regard myself as someone who drives, but certainly not a driver. So now you know.

Monday, June 02, 2008

You Woke Up My Neighbourhood

Contrary to popular belief, my nemesi (pl.) pigeons are not the only thing terrorising me here in Flat C. I've never mentioned it before, as I generally don't like to cause a fuss, but there is another menace attempting to jeopardise my contentment in the ganglands of south Manchester. And no, it's not the guns; I can handle those, so long as they're not too heavy, excessively hot, or real. The problem is the girl living directly beneath our flat who stages painfully loud and quite literally blazing rows with her boyfriend. She is an utter nutter. These one-sided rows (he rarely responds) often last a number of hours, or if not, will occur several times a day. Ever since moving in last September, I have been regularly disturbed from my most important domestic functions - sleep, gambling, and darts - by what can only be described as primal barking from her below, a.k.a. The Shrieking Hound. Better seen and not heard, alright luv? Best regards, Richard Littlejohn.

This morning took the biscuit, and I mean that quite literally (I'm hoping to get the Chocolate Hob-Nob back when the morning returns tomorrow). The day was booked off work in order to enjoy an extended lie-in and day of recuperation following a weekend in Edinburgh for the marriage of friend and serial commentee on this here so-called blog, Dan, 26, orator. After such a meandering journey of emotional excess and drink-filled days and nights, I surely deserved to surpass the 11am mark. Instead, I was awake by 8am because of that bloody girl and her white noise. Who the hell decides to have a row at that time of the day? I couldn't have been more rudely awoken unless I'd been bashed over the head with a massive phallic ornament with speech capabilities and which repeatedly uttered in my ear such wild obscenities as 'tits', 'nutfuck' and 'quackerknacker'.

It's very hard to convey precisely how ridiculous this woman is. But it's worth noting that on one occasion she began her barking at 3.30am and continued all the way through until around 8am. Incredible stamina. It's often quite hard to decipher what these rows are about, but I would suggest it's something similar to 'nothing'. She often runs like this: "You're HORRIBLE! HORRIBLE SHIT... you are SO horrible! You do it again, you do it AGAIN... do it AGAIN, AGAIN; AGAI-AGAI-AGAI-AGAI-AGAI-AGAIN!!" What her poor, suffering boyfriend keeps doing again and again has been a mystery, but this morning she went slightly off script and delivered this insightful gem: "You were on Facebook for THREE HOURS, and you didn't even LOOK AT ME!" Priceless.

I'll never comprehend where people find the energy to get so angry as her. It seems far too much of an effort to me. Plus, in a true 'boy who cried wolf' style, when she's got a genuine problem in life her cries for help will probably go ignored. There is a school of thought which dictates that we should let our emotions hang out (literally) and release our angry feelings, but I say bollocks to that. 'Bollocks to that.' Bottle it all up whenever possible - that's my policy. Firstly, it doesn't ruin other people's lives, and secondly, it also helps you remain more sane. When annoying things happen to me, I always try to ensure I retain some perspective rather than (literally) lose my head. For instance, a couple of weeks ago my car window was put through by someone - I strongly suspect a pigeon - and, although it was irritating, I didn't scream and shout. That's how bloody great I am. I instead thought about all the far worse things which have happened in life, could have happened that day or which will happen in the future, such as deaths in the family, a lasting debilitating injury, or Boro releasing Emmanuel Pogatetz from his contract. While some say it's a character flaw to be incapable of displaying extreme emotions, I can now inform you that they are wrong. WRONG, I TELL YOU! Now PISS OFF! OUT! GO AWAY! ARGGGGHHHHHHH!!!111!1 FFS.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


In view of the paucity of news-jiffies on these pages in the past half month, I'm aware there is much of a public clamour for my opinions regarding last week's local election results. I know this because of the floods of text messages I've been inundated with in the past six days saying things such as "what do you think about these election results then Big Dill?", "the British electorate is a braindead scumfuck collective!", "have you heard that Pedigree Chum has gone out of business? They have called in the retrievers", "Riggott? What's the team?" and, most prescient of all: "Lovely stuff".

For me, the most notable thing about Labour's disastrous showing in the polls is that its tried and tested means of attaining electoral success for the last 14 years has now seemingly become its downfall. With great success, the New Labour project has prided itself on out-Torying the Tories in order to bag the support of the all-important, inherently self-centred Middle England vote. And yet now, it appears the abolition of the 10p tax rate was one of the major contributary factors in the erosion of the party's share of the vote. It's a step too far when it hits people in their own pocket - surely this is the most obvious electoral rule? In many ways, it serves Gordon Brown & Co right for introducing this shamefully Tory policy which demonstrates complete contempt for the lowest earners, in addition to a general lack of sense when it comes to taxation. You have to laugh when you fall off a sofa/when a Labour government increases tax on the lowest earners and cuts it for those earning more! What an utter bunch of bastards. And stupid bastards at that.

The current groundswell of support for the Conservatives is equally preposterous, though. Quite how a party so entirely flaccid can muster any kind of public support is beyond me. It's an essential function of the Opposition to be opportunist, but they somehow manage to appear opportunist while failing to capitalise on the real opportunities. It's a poor do, but that's just how thoroughly incompetent they are. Imagine what they'd be like in government. Nobody's very sure what they stand for these days, if indeed they stand for anything. If their policies had to be described in terms of posture, I'd say that nowadays they are more akin to a rather dapper, privately educated man leaning nonchalantly in the street, perhaps against a disused lamppost, trying to sieze on any old passer-by but failing to make any real impression on anybody (although people do look back over their shoulder at them fondly, most probably because of David Cameron's lovely waxy Oil of Olay, nee Ulay face). And on top of all these shortcomings, it's always worth just getting back to basics and remembering the simple fact: they're bloody Tories, and therefore rotten to the very core.

And then there is Boris Johnson in London. I think the fact Londoners have elected him as mayor should be seen as far more embarrassing for democracy than when Hartlepool elected its monkey mascot in 2002. That was widely regarded as having made a mockery of the government's newly introduced directly-elected mayors, but the fact is the monkey had much more of a clearly defined policy agenda than Boris Johnson has, even if it was just to give free bananas to school children. Johnson had no credentials whatsoever for the job, aside from the loveable buffoon persona he's somehow developed through his constant TV panel show appearances in order to mask his often worryingly bigoted views. But then again, what do you expect of Londoners? London and the rest of the south-east was responsible for 11 years of Thatcher government and for ensuring the ensuing 18 years have been defined by a Thatcherite political agenda. A large portion of the blame for all of society's ills today can be laid at the door of the people who so warmly embraced the rampant and brutal individualism of Thatcherism. Now they have the mayor they deserve, and they will surely rot in hell, a.k.a. London itself. Which is quite handy for them really, as it means they won't have to commute. For once.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

One down...

Further to earlier pigeon related discussion, it is with some delight that I have found this in the gutter outside my flat.

And it wasn't even anything to do with me. I think there must be a Good Samaritan in the area, intent on performing good deeds for other residents. As for the pigeon, if you take a nap in the gutter what do you expect? I particularly like the fact its body has been flattened but the head remains intact.

Monday, April 07, 2008

It Aintree-ally all it's cracked up to be

As a general rule, there can be few spectacles greater than that of horses running for the pleasure of humans. A day at the races frittering away petty amounts of cash is a long-standing source of pleasure for me, and can rarely be matched in terms of a great day out. But when I went to Aintree on Friday, the day before it hosted the Grand National, it sadly failed to meet my high expectations.

With over 50,000 visitors there that day it was by far the biggest racemeeting I've ever been to. It was awful though. It seemed that 95% of the crowd had never been to a racecourse before, let alone studied a form guide, and were so detached from the real event that the whole thing passed them by. Instead they were too obsessed with sporting what can only be described as a hideous dress sense and a total disregard for humanity. It was also 'Ladies Day' and there were some real sights on show - the amount of fake tan smattered about the place made me feel something of an albino. I've decided I'm not cut out for major sporting events and in future would rather do the low-key circuit, like Saturday afternoons at Uttoxeter. Which is exactly what I'll be doing this weekend. Kiss my face.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Since the start of February when I began my new job, which is so secretive and sensitive that I can't talk about it, I've been on a number of pointless training courses. The latest one took place on Tuesday this week, when I was called to a secluded hotel location in order to learn how to 'value diversity'. It was exactly the sort of human resource development claptrap I'd always hoped I wouldn't have to be subjected to, but it seems even in the public sector you're not safe from 'innovative and edgy' private companies delivering 'behavioural skills training' bollocks.

Aside from the fact I learnt what can only be described as nothing, the two women leading this day-long session were surely on steroids. They bounded around the room, gesticulating and screeching while speaking, as if they were petrified of losing the attention of those present (ha! As if). I was, quite literally, a fish out of water, but thankfully the 'executive de-stressing instruments' they'd put on the desks in the room saved me from lasting insanity. I spent a good forty minutes destressing with a miniature sponge globe in what can only be described as my right hand while watching the two women act out cringeworthy role plays about diversity in the workplace.

My favourite bits of the day were probably all the times we were asked to stand up, split into groups and gather around flip charts for 'thought showers'. I'd heard of brainstorming, and even blue sky thinking, but these thought showers are new to me. Mind you, I suppose they must be considered more hygienic than thought baths, where you become so submerged in contemplation that you're effectively sitting in your own dirty thoughts and your skin ends up going all wrinkly. Anyway, what a load of nonsense. I don't even need telling about diversity - I invented it. I am it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Happy Death

I've never particularly looked forward to my death, but one possible reason for starting to get excited about it is that I've realised it means people will start to say nice things about me. And that's what we all want, really, isn't it, hmmm? Isn't it?

I'm increasingly fascinated by the way people can die and suddenly be referred to in exclusively glowing terms, regardless of the trails of sin they might have left behind. Dead people always seem to be the ones who were "the life and soul of the party", the ones blessed with "infectious laughter", and who "never had a bad word to say about anybody". I'm yet to meet anyone in real life who can boast all of these qualities. It could be that I mix with the wrong sorts, but I sense it's more likely to be due to the fact that nobody is that good; dead or alive. Let's get real and pin down the dead for what they really were. Sometimes they did good things, and yet sometimes they made mistakes - just like everyone else.

One of my favourite sickening posthumous tributes is the one where people claim the dead one "would light up a room when they walked in". I'm quite, quite certain that I've never managed to do this. And certainly not unless I know exactly where the light switch is. When I walk into rooms I generally find everyone suddenly stops talking amongst themselves and opt to look at their shoes instead. No illumination is involved. If you do happen to know someone capable of lighting up a room when they enter it, however, please point me in their direction as they could prove very handy to call for in the event of a power cut.

In many ways, all of this amounts to yet another sensible reason for faking your own death in a similar way to canoeing's John Darwin, 57. Just so you can be certain of actually getting to hear all of your tributes, rather than having to rely on Heaven and such things existing. And even if it does exist, do they have audio facilities? Does the Earth coverage have a 'closedown' like television in the olden days (the 1990s)? These are the pressing questions. It's probably best to just stick around and enjoy the praise first hand. It would be a bit like the episode of Arrested Development, if you've seen it, where the grandfather pretends to be dead and hides in the attic of his house. He ends up watching his own memorial service taking place in his living room through a ventilation grid, and is greatly moved by the emotional tributes from his family. In essence, the moral of this story is that if we really do mean the things we say about the dead, we should start to tell them when they're alive. Distorting the truth post-death doesn't help anybody. Yet more 'How To Be A Good Human' tutorials coming up soon, by the way.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Incontinence news flash

From Saturday's Middlesbrough Evening Gazette:

Police hunt flasher ‘wearing nappy’

POLICE are hunting a serial flasher who has exposed himself to young girls on Teesside while wearing a nappy.

At least three reports have been made to police about the man, who has struck in the Eaglescliffe, Yarm and Ingleby Barwick areas.

In each of the “unusual” incidents, the man - thought to be in his late teens or early twenties - is understood to have pulled down his trousers to reveal a nappy.

I like this idea of a flasher 'striking', even though as a verb it doesn't particularly suit the action. I think it would be fair to say clocks, bolts of lightning and goalscorers have struck, but should the act of pulling down one's trousers really constitute a strike? If anyone was to ask me how many urinals I've 'struck' in my time, I'd politely inform them I'm a peaceful man and certainly not a vandal.

And by the way, I don't want to see any comments on this news item along the lines of 'typical Middlesbrough' or some such nonsense. I'm sure this happens everywhere, and if not, he must be from out of town.

I also like this bit later in the article, though: "The police spokeswoman said: “Police have liaised with the school in relation to the matter. There is absolutely no indication that he has done anything further than exposed his undergarments." WELL THEN, what's all the fuss about...?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Snow business like snow business

A morning covering of snow here today, in the so-called north east, as Mr Dillon, 24, enjoys a weekend break at his mother figure's abode, and has decided to refer to himself in the third person for no reason whatsoever. How funny, when you think, just a week or two ago it seemed 'spring', as those at the Met Office, such as Dan Corbett, call it, had quite literally sprung. And what an excess of commi (plural) in this paragraph.

I suppose snow today shouldn't be all that surprising. That'll be the global warming of course. Oh wait, that's wrong, no it won't. It's probably the credit crunch. And if not that, it can only be either the BSE or bird flu. If none of these, then what is it? It must surely be linked to some kind of terrifying global phenomenon. Things like this don't just happen on their own.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Credit hunch

I've really quite enjoyed observing this week's global economic crisis. There is a certain satisfaction to be derived from seeing footage on the news of all those people with ridiculous jobs in the City panicking and throwing their arms around. I've seen grown men screaming into phones desperately as their beloved free market system goes askew all around them, and yet they're completely powerless to change anything. There is beauty in this pissing into the wind.

And they say nurses have it tough

Whirlwind capitalism is spinning out of control, and yet it is of absolutely no surprise. How else could it possibly turn out? Economies based increasingly and perilously on credit so people can spend money they don't have on shit they don't need. An artificial impression of wealth conjured from systematic and practically enforced borrowing, which in turn ensnares millions of the lowest earners into the cycle of unwanted debt and therefore safeguards the future of the very system that dishes this hardship upon them.

We have enjoyed an unprecedented period of 'economic growth', despite the fact there is no such thing. Real value and real wealth comes from the Earth's resources and human manpower, not artificial inflation. We function, quite literally, on a false economy. And to think all of our domestic and geopolitical power structures are based wholly on this farcical, so-called 'liberal' economic ideology, which effectively imprisons many financially and is simply inefficient.

It all looks awfully tiring to me, but it seems many people want to spend their lives panicking and screaming down phonelines. I'm sure I'm better off out of it all, even if not in a financial sense. They could just be left to have their fun, but personally I'd suggest we tear them down, and let's start all over again.

Monday, March 17, 2008

O Valencia!

With your blood still warm on the ground
And I swear to the stars
I'll burn this whole city down

That's The Decemberists, that is. I've spent a large portion of the day in bed today, and am now just about ready to return there again, as part of my bid to recover from a weekend away in Spain's third largest city for the stag do of my good friend Daniel Gray (Hartlepool, 26). After three days of solid alcohol consumption in quite literally a party of twelve male animals, and only two hours' sleep last night due to a criminally timetabled return flight this morning, at present it feels like the effects could be lasting and damaging. I'm sure they won't be though, and the throbbing ache in my right side will disappear eventually. And then I'll be left simply with many fond memories of a fine, fine trip in tremendous company. LADS ON TOUR FFS TBF TBF!!111!1, copyright Matt Kilsby (Bolton, 25).

Literally an animal

It was, in reality, a civilised enough affair characterised by decency in its purest form, and one which didn't feature any of the stereotypical stag-do shenanigi (plural). Apart from the bit where Dan was tied to a lampost and set on fire, which he doesn't even remember. I liked Valencia as a city (it's only when it tries to masquerade as a hamlet that I have qualms), and found its slightly dischevelled looks largely endearing. It's the Falles festival there at the moment, which sees large papier-mâché structures erected throughout the city's different communities and then eventually burnt to the ground. They were all a bit ugly though, and looked like something from Disneyland [photo of Matt Kilsby at Disneyland]. Fit for burning FFS TBF. This all meant the streets were bustling with people, many of whom seemed to spend every waking second setting off fireworks at your feet and making you jump. Wartorn Valencia. I didn't see war's Rageh Omaar (Somalia, 40) though, which is a shame when you think about it. And still a shame when you don't, for that matter.

On Saturday night we went to La Mestalla to take in some top-flight Spanish football in the form of Valencia v Sevilla, which saw the visitors gain a well-deserved 1-2 victory. We sat on high (literally) in the stupendously well-priced €15 seats in the top tier of the steeply-stacked stands which, despite leaving you a huge distance from the pitch, made for quite an awesome (dude) spectacle [photo]. Plus Valencia were really bad and made me feel far better about supporting Middlesbrough. If I'm honest, which I occasionally am, this was about as cultural as the trip got. If you want a full representation of the venture, just imagine this photo stretched (literally) over a 72 hour period. I'm off to bed again - and possibly for a similar period, if they'd let me.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Boro have caused me a lot of anguish over the years but I can confidently say I've rarely felt as low and shellshocked as I do right now. I've been home for our FA Cup quarter final against Cardiff City - a game that presented us with a glorious opportunity to make the semis at Wembley and, given that all of the top teams had already been knocked out, maybe even win it. It was all set up for us so well that Boro could only fail.

I can't really remember being so angered and disheartened by one performance. It's the raised hopes beforehand that make it all the worse. We were played off our own park by a side a division below us in an FA Cup quarter bloody final, and were so half-arsed, inept and threatless throughout that we could still be playing now and wouldn't have scored. It's absolutely criminal. I hate football and I hate footballers even more.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Pie are squared

That's maths that is: generalising and oversimplifying things as always. Pies are not always squared, sometimes they're rounded or rectangulared. I always cut mine up into 3.142 pieces, mind. Mmm, π is good.

Anyway, did you know it's British Pie Week this week? I was wholly unaware (as opposed to being unwholely unaware, in which case I would be slightly aware, but not altogether so) until dinnertime today when conversation in the workplace turned to the fact, and I was ordered to announce my favourite pie filling and format.

There were audible gasps upon my contention that the finest pie filling/format combo is steak and ale pie served in a bowl and topped off with a crisp puff pastry lid. This is heavenly because (a) the sensation of breaking up the puff pastry with a fork and sinking it into the simmering ale-filled juices is hugely liberating, and akin to riding a horse bareback through the countryside (which I often enjoy doing), and (b) the presence of the dish rather than complete pastry encasement means the 'filling' performs like a stew and allows for full and flavoursome ale insemination.

I've had this debate many times. Some people just don't like flaky puff pastry, whereas some can't cope with the idea of not being able to hold a pie in their hand. My friend Deano, 24, from Preston, has even suggested it is somehow 'un-Northern' to enjoy the bowl/puff pastry format, which in my mind is a hugely misguided view and amounts to Pie Fascism. Don't get me wrong; I enioy a shortcrust encased hand-held pie as much as anybody. But when seeking the zenith of pie-based culinary sensations, I'm puff all the way.