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.