Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I will begin again, I will begin again

Tuesday, December 30, 2008 5
They had duelled long into the night, these four fighters. Two teams. Father and son, friend and friend. They hunched, they stood, they stretched, they poked. Each of them hammering out each of the hours through a haze of Guinness, whiskey and still legal indoor smoke.

The father and son played hurriedly, looking for the win even when the win was nowhere to be found. Better players than the friends, more polished, more practised, more poised. But in a rush. Eager to put these Jackeen interlopers to bed so that they too might rest their fuzzy New Year heads. But this eagerness led to a slackness of shot, a closing carelessness. The friends, in contrast, played slowly, carefully, often poorly and yet still pulled definitively ahead. Long, dramatic pauses over simple pots slowly wore down their increasingly frustrated opposition until, with the Dublin team still far ahead, a last game was called.

A tight frame it proves to be, with few errors. The father misses the final black, and fucks his cue across the room. Gav, for he was that friend, regards the position, a straightforward corner pocket drop. James, for he was that son, unzips his trousers. Methodically Gav addresses the ball, lining up the cut. Methodically James removes his tackle from the safety of his pants and places both meat and two veg into the nominated pocket.

This not the first distraction technique of the night, but it is certainly the most bold.

'I'm going to take the shot.'

'So take the fucking shot.'

'I'm going to hit it now.'

'So fucking hit it now.'

Gav hits it, resisting the temptation to transfer every ounce of power that remains in his weakened arm to this final cue action. He strokes the white gently, caressing it toward the pocket. The black bobbles against James' jiggling junk until, with a deft pelvic thrust, he penis-flicks the ball back onto the table.

The result of that final frame is disputed to this day.

This charming tale occurred on the occasion of my last childless visit to the greatest pub in the universe and this year a tradition is reborn.

Time to step up, Jimmy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I can't even swallow water

Monday, December 29, 2008 7
So I figured out why some people like me. They are a select few, no doubt, but they're out there, those likers. I get the liking from lots of people in work, of course, but they hardly count. I have a big in work act, you see, full of wry humour and gentle enthusiasm. The aforementioned booze lake was muchly supplied by these deluded Work Gimme admirers. Fuck, even I like the Work Me, most of the time, and I might well have parted with a bottle of whiskey myself, for myself, if I happened to be as rich as many of those generous bozos.

But even outside of this space of spin there are those that can shockingly stand me. And as I say, I think I've worked out why. It's to do with something I do, something I do because I don't know what else to do. But I'm not going to tell you what it is. Because you might well be one of those likers and I don't want to ruin it for myself. I quite like being liked when it doesn't involve any work on my part and as I stare down the barrel of another year of crushed hopes and self-inflicted inertia, I can't help but believe that other people not thinking I'm a cunt might eventually have me arriving at the same conclusion.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

When you see me please turn your back and walk away

Saturday, December 27, 2008 4

Thank fuck that's over. Over apart from the lake of leftover booze and the riotous reclamation of living space and fridge.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's a loud voice and though it's not exactly flat, she'll need a little more than that

Monday, December 22, 2008 13
Data's Montessori class were acting up. The super-humanly patient Catherine unleashed a 'If you guys aren't good we won't be doing the Christmas show.' threat. This appeared to have the desired effect in that the group quietened down and Data went charging up to the boss woman, plaintively wailing:

'You can't do that Catherine! It will destroy my family!'

The show went ahead today, our family remains intact.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Meet me at the bank of the beautiful river

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 9
I sweat many different kinds of sweat.

'Horses sweat, Gimme!' I hear Mammy Zealot, my ex-grandmother shriek at me from beyond the grave. 'Men perspire! Women glow!'

Watch me break free from the hanging down hang-ups of my childhood: I sweat many different kinds of sweat. There's exercise sweat, naturally. The sweat of fear. Cold sweats, nervy sweats, sexy sweats. But there is one sweat like no other, a sticky sickly horrific gloop of a glow. It is caused by the combination of fear of parenting failure, extreme shoulder, bicep and finger ouchiness and rapid changes of temperature. Yes, folks, it is the sweat of Smyth's and Toymaster, the sweat of Santa shopping, the sweat of Christmas cold and a Christmas cold.

But it's done now and the globules of gunge with the consistency of honey that pumped themselves into the armpits of my t-shirt have now stinkingly dried. The Santa deal is put to bed and it's just those bits and cunting pieces to do. And the food. Did I mention that Christmas dinner is in our house this year?

Fucking kill me now before I develop a whole new sweat stain strain.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

She filled up with parafin inside

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 7
I'm going to have my sole seasonal night out this weekend. I managed to studiously ignore the gym party. I could have gone, the Bridge Crew were in their Grandma's, but I reckoned that that particular event hacked up all its negligible potential last year.

But now that Common Law has stopped her jobble dubbing and is no longer working nights, I lack even fake excuses. It's time to get out there, sink the pints, bomb the jaegers, blow the chunks. Be fucking festive. My liver and bitterness both refuse to take more than one night and so it looks like the six weeks of Yuletide yuck yuck that you normal folks manage to get through is all going to be compressed into a single depth-charge of debauchery which I shall ceremoniously pitch over the port side of my mental health. To land where? There's the question.

You wouldn't believe what V wants to do with this night. I can't even tell you, it's that fucking weird. It involves strangers, is about all I can say. And my mammy said I never should, play with the strangers in the pub. Although if I'm going to be shit-faced I'd rather it wasn't around people I have to face on a daily basis. That's the problem with going out these days. It's just not done to sit by yourself in a trendy city centre spot, reading a book and getting slowly arseholed. It looks creepy and sad. I save that shit for my increasingly fraught relationship with Twitter.

I guess strangers and V is the next best thing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Now the frosty paws appear and they've frozen up my ear

Monday, December 15, 2008 13
I have been forced squrimingly from my comfortable drowning in that most Death On of Egyptian rivers. I was faking waving, motherfucker, unhand me! But no. The rotting corpse in the corner has been vomited on by soused seasonal spirit. Some presents have been bought. Socky is on The Den, pushing the Jebus angle to Data . There's no denying it. It's fucking Christmas. Again.

The Scroogey, Grinchy, Cantankerous Cunt pose that I have been maintaining for the last twenty years may be getting a little old. Perhaps this year, I should drop the facade and wholearmedly embrace Christmas and its fat torso of faux jollity and being all about the children and aren't twinkling lights just the greatest fucking thing ever. I could do that, sure I could. I could do that, if I could also start drinking and doing drugs as soon as I awoke each morning, if I could get presents that aren't Simpsons slippers every day between now and the 25th, if I could have my brain and my heart and my very soul ripped out and replaced with those of one of those cheery cunts who actually does like Christmas, who isn't just faking it like the rest of us, then for sure, I could do that.

But I'm not going to. Because I don't believe in it. I don't mean Christmas. It's hard not to believe in Christmas such is its unrelenting ubiquity. But merriness, good cheer, happiness generally. They are a load of bollox, all three, and I refuse to buy into them. Maybe you think you're merry, of good cheer, happy. Well, you're fucking wrong. Think about it for a second. Think about your shattered dreams, your unfulfilled promise, the endless trudge and drudge of your life.

There you go. Now have a Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I think you must have forgotten about that

Sunday, December 14, 2008 6
Of all the virtues, surely charity is the most annoying. Prudence? Easily ignored, what with all the practise I've had over the last 34 years. Justice? I can happily leave that shit to fake karma. Temperance? Hahahahaha! I'm fucking Irish, for Christ's sake. Courage? Easy to fake. Faith? Well, I guess it would be nice to touch your body. Hope? That I can do. All I have to do is sit here, hoping. But charity? Ugh, what a pain in the tits.

But three examples off the top of the Gimme head: Junk mail, chuggers, shops that for quite some time I was convinced sold only paisley-patterned clothes and homeware. And then there's the way I hate giving people stuff. That just makes it stuff that I don't have any more. Nothing fucks stuff up like it not being mine.

And yet I find myself in a charitable book. I didn't actually have to do much, which was sweet, but there I am nonetheless, being accidentally charitable. Should you buy this book? Yes, you should. Why? Oh, I don't fucking know. Because it's for charity, I suppose. And a quick glance down the list of contributors reveals one or two names who have been known to string a moderately successful sentence together. And reading a book on Christmas Day will appear less offensive to the gathered hordes than sitting in front of the laptop re-reading Twenty Major posts of Christmas past. Yeah, he's in there. And they put me right after him, the fuckers. Might as well have Bill Hicks opening for Harry Hill. Thanks for that.

Here's where you buy it. You should go and do that now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

There ain't nothing in the woodshed

Thursday, December 11, 2008 12
Hey hey hey hey, oh oh, hey hey hey hey, oh oh.

Do you know what I'm singing? Well, you fucking should.

Top Ten Five Three Two Signs that it's time for a haircut:

1) You're cooking dinner. Squeezing a lemon as it happens. Your four year old approaches. She bears your beige baseball hat.

'Why must there be a beige?' you ask yourself.

'Here you go, Daddy,' she says.

'Thank you,' you say, quizzically.

'It's cold outside,' she says.

'Oh, okay,' you say, acceptingly.

You put on the hat. She moves away, satisfied. She goes to her sister in the sunless sun room.

'Now he's handsome,' she says.

2) You begin a spin class with a reasonably big barnet, somewhat offset by a burgeoning beard. You spin. You enjoy occasionally pushing a sweat dampened hank of hair behind your ear. The class ends. You turn and see yourself in the studio mirror. Your blood turns to freeze pop in your veins. Your head pubes are now considerably larger than your head. There is a lot of frizzage. You look, in fact, like a strung-out Art Garfunkel, but an Art who has been beaten up, trodden down, fucked over.

So I guess it's time. I'm going to walk into the first rug-rethink joint I can find and ask the following question:

'What can I get for 10 dollar?'

And if I don't get the answer I'm looking for then I'm walking the fuck back out.

I really want long hair, you see.

The pleasure of winning a meaningless internet competition, and as the only person to have scored a 'Bad Ambassador The Friday Album Cover' hat-trick, I can assure you that this is a very deep pleasure indeed, goes to the commenter who can successfully answer the aforequestioned question.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The grand facade, so soon will burn

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 14
I'm lying in the long grass of my grandparents' back garden, my cheek pressed to the earth, practising my winking. I am an early winker. I find myself shocked by the difference in the two worlds that I now observe, the one through my left eye, the other through my right. At first this contrast seems like an angle affected change, but then I notice that in both views I can see some of the same blades of grass, some of the same ants. And yet in colour, in brightness and in tone they are profoundly different.

My eyes are all fucked up, I accurately conclude.

Monday, December 8, 2008

You know sometimes baby I'm so carefree, with a joy that's hard to hide

Monday, December 8, 2008 12
Saturday was a good day. Up early of course, but a little almost lie-in doze on the couch took the edge off. At about nine o'clock, Data took advantage of my drowsy state to sneak past me, dash upstairs and wake her mother. Common Law didn't seem too pissed off as I made the coffee, scrambled the eggs and poured the smoothie. So we all hung out for a couple of hours, I did little bits and pieces about the house.

Then it was into Purple Danger with the lot of us, to drop the matriarch in for her matinee. The Bridge Crew and I proceeded to proceed across town. As it was much too early to deliver Riker to her High School Musical Dance workshop, I thought I'd call unexpectedly in on my long-suffering sister. She was surprisingly unperturbed, so we did some more hanging out, eating sandwiches, admiring my iPhone, shooting the shit. Ellie decided she'd join myself and Data on the dreaded Rathmines shopping trip.

We delivered Riker to her three hour dance fest, did some recycling, then fought our way around Dunnes Stores. I mostly pushed the trolley as Ellie mostly controlled the Data. Next they hit the chemist while I shopped for Christmas books, scoring big time with an 'Atlas of Cunt' I mean 'Golf' for the Brinkerman. I covered a couple of other bases too. We hooked back up and belted up to Boots, bought the tedious 3 for 2's for the inlaws and finally returned to the Swan Centre for Data's much anticipated peanut butter and banana smoothie. I took a beautiful picture of my sister and my daughter. It still adorns my phone.

Another brief chill in the flat and it was time to pick up Riker. She burst out of the class, happy, having danced her heart out and made a friend. 'My feet are really sore!' she said, joyously. We decided on a stop by Daddy Rocket's on the way home. We ate and drank and knocked stuff over and laughed and peed and paid and jumped back in Purple and coasted home.

It was late by now, so we skipped the baths, and went straight to teeth and stories. Data and I read 'The Magic Porridge Pot', then me and Riker settled into 'Huckleberry Finn'. My Pakistani drawl drifted her off to sleep and I sat there watching her for a few minutes, breathing in her beauty and my love for her. I dropped in to Data to do the same.

And that, folks, tedious as it may be, is my definition of a successful day, and yes, a successful life.

Friday, December 5, 2008

You say you lost your faith but that's not where it's at

Friday, December 5, 2008 23
Oh you big fucking chicken-shit quitter. You thug, you bully, you treacherous cunt, you. We know why you quit Ireland, huffing your way off the island like a ten year old girl who's not allowed to watch yet another episode of Hannah Montana on her daddy's phone and we know why you quit Sunderland. Because you're a fucking coward, that's why. Fine, you don't want the job. Who could blame you? Sunderland may be an even worse place to live than Cork, though I fucking doubt it. But why now? Why now when this time last year the team were in pretty much the same position? We know, Roy, we know. You're fooling fucking no one. You couldn't face the prospect of leading your self-built team of mediocrity to the sporting rape-fest that is scheduled to take place this Saturday, could you? Couldn't face a well-deserved spanking from your former father figure.

What's your plan now, you fuck? Rhetorical question, prick, we know that too. You're going to fucking lurk about with your ridiculous, 'Look Ma, I can grow facial hair, I'm so fucking wise!' beard, until Trapp dies or we fail to qualify for the World Cup, at which point you reckon you can sidle into the job, take us to the Europeans, and then fuck off back to your dog boyfriend when every fucking little thing doesn't go your way.

You're such a winner, Roy. Because if you quit then you can't lose. Isn't that right, you yellow-bellied wank stain?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Eddie Grace's Buick got four bullet holes in the side

Thursday, December 4, 2008 10
Data's been sick. Been off Montessori for a few days. I didn't want to go on about it as this is not about me and I would have been incapable of writing anything relating to her illness without making it so, so very much about me.

She could have gone back yesterday, I reckon, but she woke up and tetched so hard that the decision was made that she was, if no longer under the weather, then still so tired that she was over the weather, stomping through the clouds, unleashing lightning bolts on all who fell beneath her baleful gaze. Interestingly, as soon as Common Law and Riker had quit the house, she switched right over to sweetness and light, spending a happy morning running about and performing self-choreographed gymnastics. I put this sudden mood swing down to her having gotten her own, no school way.

But despite my spending a good deal of yesterday driving home the 'Montessori in the morning, won't it be great to see your mates, you are so going to school tomorrow' point to an accepting air, we got exactly the same shit this morning.

She refused to get dressed. I dressed her anyway through screams of crystal shattering rage. There was hitting on her part, bold step threats on the part of her parents and amused Hannah Montana type stoicism from her sister. Sweet niblets, indeed. Conclusively clothed, Data was released from my not entirely composed grip. She went straight to her bedroom, slammed her door as best she could, and was heard to holler 'I hate everyone!' I know the fucking feeling, Data. She was given a few minutes to calm down and then her mother ventured upstairs, to find the second born naked, and back under the duvet.

And so it unfolded.

But here's the thing. Once again, as soon the two other ladies left the homestead, the change happened. She became polite and pliable and went happily off to school, glad as usual to be getting away from her comical dad.

It's Common Law, you see. For the next two weeks she runs rehearsals from nine to six, then pilots another play from six to ten-thirty. And so this morning half hour is the only time she sees the Bridge Crew. This is hard, I'm sure, for the children, but if Data persists with the rage response it's going to get a whole lot harder for the already maxed-out yet amazingly calm and collected Common Law.

As for me, I believe I will now take off all my clothes and climb under the duvet.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

And I can tell you know how hard this life can be

Tuesday, December 2, 2008 16
It is a phalanx of faces that I face upon a nightly basis. Bunched up, scrunched up, punched up they almost all are as they hit that final climb, or hammer out that extra unflagged sprint.

Warning! You know that question thing that folks do at the end of their posts to try and elicit comments? I'm going to place that right here, in an untraditionally early on in the entry position:

What kind of face do YOU make when you exercise intensely?

I hate those fucking questions. Fuck off and mind your own business. If I want to comment, I'll fucking comment. Your as an afterthought, feigning of interest in my opinion is not going to have any effect on my commently affectations. You wanker.

So what kind of face do YOU make when you exercise intensely?

Let me clue the non-exercising porkers in here: it may well be the one you make as, bored, bedraggled and debased you crack out your fifth of the day in the cubicle of your office jacks. Or, you know, as you simultaneously hit the perfect orgasm jackpot with the one true love of your life who you've been going out with since yesterday and who is the only guy for you. One of those.

Or it may well not be. Me, I sneer. I'm pink of face, sure, and trembly of limb. But as well as I can remember the sardonic, bitter countenance that I saw in the studio mirror last night is completely unlike the one I glimpsed that one time during the ceiling mirror episode. Which is good because the latter weren't purdy.

As for the rest of the class, there's a wide range going on. Lots of money shot faces for sure, but a similar number of more subtle grimacing. Many a vomity visage too and plenty of profiles a pooping. The odd smile that gets broader as effort level increases. Yeah, those smilers were a little disconcerting at first but I got used to them. But then came Canadian Chick and her unique exercise aspect.

She's new but already regular, this North American lass, and she is of the smiling breed. But she's a gazer too, one of those people who just refuse to look at anything but the instructor for the duration of the class. And the smile, folks, is bemused. As the gradient rises and the tempo peaks out, it is more bemused that it becomes, until the point when her maximum is reached, she moves beyond her perceived physical limits and her whole being screams at me 'You silly, silly little man!'

Which is quite upsetting.

So what kind of face do YOU make when you exercise intensely?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lover, there will be another one

Monday, December 1, 2008 10
Twitter is for cunts, right? I know it, you know it, Lance Armstrong knows it. How do we know it? We know it because the concept is cunt based. Who but a cunt labours under the illusion that anyone from friends to family to faint acquaintances gives a fuck that they're on a train to Kilkenny, that anyone wants to know what they had for breakfast, that the internet is even vaguely not disinterested in what time today's defecation will take place? No one, that's who. No one but a cunt.

You know where I'm going with this, right? Correctimundo. I got me a Twitter account.

Is it fucking deadly? It is not. Another ass and time sucking energy pit is what it is, lacking even the all too rare wit and insight of the occasional bleugh post. Upsides? Not a one. Slightly less down sides? I'm stalking both Lance and the great Stephen Fry. The word the twits use is 'follow' but bollox to that. It may be permitted and even encouraged to monitor the every move of minor celebrities in this manner but it feels just as dirty and exciting as all the real life stalking that I do. That is very, very dirty and almost totally lacking in excitement. I have also started following random strangers off of the public stream in the hope that they might feel a little more stalked than Messers Armstrong and Fry. I'm just trying to spread the twisted love.

Also provided by this most pointless of services is the confirmation that my life is, as I have long suspected, both banal and meaningless. The Twittosphere now knows that in the last twelve hours or so I have watched Return of The Jedi, taught a Yoga class and done the shopping. It must now be ready to top itself with the tedium of it all.

I guess I'll stick with it for a day or two. It can only help with the seasonal present procrastination.

In the unlikely event of your being both a reader of mine and a Twitter type, and if this is the case then you are indeed large, you sure do contain multitudes, then you can find and follow me here. And even if the concept sickens you to your sickly core then you will still want to use the same link to read up on the minutiae of the Minute mindset.

Fucking tweet tweet.
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