Thursday, 14 April 2011

Funny’s funny but is 99 years too soon?

I read on the interweb that the Titanic hit an iceberg 99 years ago ergo next year is the centenary.

I thought maybe the BBC had run out of things to talk about so they ran this story a year early.

Also, by this time next year everyone will be going mental about the Olympics so the Titanic story might pass like a ship in the night.

Oops.

Anyway that was just the tip of the erm…story.

The photo they used to thrust forward the non-story was of the crew members presumably just before they boarded.

Now forgive me for being insensitive but some of them had funny faces.

It tickled me so much that I pressed the print screen button on my netbook and whacked the resulting image into paint where I used my extremely rudimentary editing skills to create hilarious captions.

It did get me thinking, is it too soon to joke about it? 99 years is a long time but people died and that sort of thing never goes away.

It was funny to me though, so that superseded any guilt I was feeling.

Worryingly easily actually.

Fig. 1 – LOLZ

knew something

Disclaimer: It just seemed like he was shitting himself.

Fig. 2 Chairman ROFLMAO

culprit

Disclaimer: The eyes are shifty and he looks like he has a tan. Not the standard look for cabin crew aboard a gigantic vessel. More a man with mafia connections. 

Fig. 3 What iceberg?

cross eyed burk

Disclaimer: The caption says it all really.

P.S. Lol!brow humour has been employed to get a cheap laugh. All spelling mistakes are intentional and a function of the aped medium.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Self Help

He looked at me, suggesting I'd
Just spilled my coffee on his mum
A woman who had lately died
From drinking too much knock-off rum

I hadn't had I? Who's to say?
I surely thought it were not so
But I had drunk a lot today
So wasn't sure that I did know

These are the perils, thought I then
Of making friends with drunken fools
You follow blindly these daft men
(Become disorderly in schools)

Are asked to leave, then ordered so
And walk away feeling ashamed
Until a court says you must go
Where you are told you're not to blame

'Stand up son and tell us now
What it is, your name has been
For all the years you've been allowed
To wander through these pastures green'

Responding as you have been bred
You give the answer that they know
But all the caffeine you've been fed
Encourages your legs to go

You chance to sit but are encouraged
To explain your present stage
(A yellow t-shirt stained with porridge
Surely gives those facts away)

'I've come along a good old way'
You tremble as you tell this lie
'And I am happy as I say
I feel as though I might be dry'

The gathered group muster applause
Too bleary eyed to catch you out
You go to sit, a pregnant pause
Suggests there may be one in doubt

An older girl, as red as you
With vodka lips and rummy stare
Can see a way, in fact right through
Your story as it lingers there

She leans right in and whispers so
(In doing this, she wets your ear)
'There's only one thing to let go'
She says 'And that my love is fear'

Now as you ponder this advice
Under such cacophonous shouts
You think at least she weren't your wife
And you're not father to these louts

She was the one who understood
But matrimony never came
It wouldn't have done any good
For both of you were drunk and lame

But in the time you spent with her
You never ever met her sons
It took her return to the earth
For you to see why she chose rum

Far Away Man

Unhindered by syllabic obligations, these poems in the A-B-C-B-D-E-F format will introduce you to a world you'd never want to visit.

The world of Far Away Man

When I was in secondary school I wrote a poem in a study period during which I was sitting next to a friend of mine, Leo Baines. He and I found the ensuing poems hilarious. I wrote some, he wrote some, we laughed till we cried and were then chastised.

I don’t know where the original poems are now but I have occasionally continued to write Far Away Man poems in the same format.

Below are 11 poems. The first poem is an introduction to the series and the following ten are a selection of some I have written over the years in an attempt to amuse myself.

I hope you too are amused.

There's a man I have heard of
In a far away land
Nobody hates him
For no-one knows this man
He is lonely
He has no friends
But he's actually really really nice

Far Away Man
Has a boot for a body
He has no faith
You can't say he's godly
He passes his time
By station walls
And sometimes goes to the cinema but not often

Far Away Man
Once went abroad
He sailed in a boat
And when it was moored
He leapt out in joy
With his hands in the air
And three men beat him up

Far Away Man
Went to a party
It was fancy dress
And really quite arty
When all of the judges
Had made their decisions
He came 43rd out of 100

Far Away Man
Misses his parents
They live just next door but
They're hidden by their fence
It's no mistake
They raised it on purpose
Because they are embarrassed by him

Far Away Man
Doesn't like trouble
Unfortunately though
He lives not in a bubble
So anywhere he is
There's always the chance
That someone will frame him for something he didn't do

Far Away Man
Is as short as most midgets
A boot for a body
A face and 5 digits
Those are his toes
And contained in his boot
Although removing the boot would kill him

Far Away Man
Has a book full of people
Standing by churches
In shadows of steeples
Some of them are priests
Some of them bishops
Some aren't members of the clergy at all

Far Away Man
Is the friend of a squirrel
He first met the rodent
In England, the Wirral
He's been up to visit him
Once, maybe twice
But he rarely sees a squirrel he can be sure is definitely the same one

Far Away Man
Has a guitar and banjo
He loves old George Formby
And has his own fan show
It was on TV
In England and Wales
But it received too many complaints from pianists

Far Away Man
Has an evil twin brother
Far Away Malcolm
They have the same mother
They also have
The same father of course
But his identity is not 100% certain

Friday, 1 April 2011

Another extract from Bench Club…

Preamble – Jed Croft is an amateur film-maker who has some celebrity connections. He is making a documentary about the obsession we have about ‘the body beautiful’. His documentary is taking place at Bench Club a gym run by a man called Steven Bryers in the year 1999. This exchange takes place after Jed asks Steven whether he would allow anyone to join the gym if they weren’t that interested in benching.

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    We have two toilets at bench club.
                                                                       
                                                                        
JED:
                                                (confused)
                                    Right...

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    One, is labelled Men, the other is labelled Men
                                    who bench.

                                                                        JED:
                                    OK. What are you saying?

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    The Men's toilet has been out of order for two years.
                                                (sinister)
                                    We haven't called a plumber.

                                                                        JED:
                                    I hadn't noticed that.

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    What do you mean?

                                                                        JED:
                                    I didn't notice what the toilet's said on them.

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    Well why would you have?

                                                                        JED:
                                    I mean, when I went to the toilet, I didn't notice.

STEVEN is leaning forward squeezing his wrist trainers                                           

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    You must have noticed it was out of order.

                                                                        JED:
                                    W...well, it wasn't really? I don't...maybe I used
                                    the one that's not out of order?

STEVEN is staring at JED.

                                                                        JED:
                                    I must have done.

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    That's not strictly protocol. You must surely have
                                    seen the sign on the door.

                                                                        JED:
                                    Well, I don't recall.

STEVEN puts down his wrist trainers and leans back.

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    Right, one door says Men the other says Men W B
                                    right?

                                                                        JED:
                                    Oh! Yeah. I saw that but I thought that meant like...
                                    water basin or something.

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    Men – Water Basin? What's a water basin?

                                                                        JED:
                                                (embarrassed, stressed)
                                    Well I don't know!

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    Well what did you think the other one was?

                                                                        JED:
                                    Women? I didn't read it.

STEVEN puts his head in his hands.
                                                                      
                                                                       
STEVEN:
                                    Women? This gets worse. It's just not protocol.

STEVEN points at MARCUS.

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    Did you go to the toilet?

                                                                        MARCUS:
                                                (amused)
                                    I go in the morning at home. Sometimes in the
                                    cafĂ© across the road at lunch. Never here though.

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    Even if you didn't need it I mean.

                                                                        MARCUS:
                                    Why would I do that?

                                                                        JED:
                                    Yeah, why would he do that?

STEVEN picks up his wrist trainers and squeezes them.

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    I don't know, maybe to film him.

STEVEN points at JED.
                                                                        JED:
                                    Whoa. Come on, why would he do that?

                                                                        MARCUS:
                                    I'd draw the line there.

                                                                        JED:
                                    Well I wouldn't ask you to would I?

                                                                        MARCUS:
                                    Probably not.

                                                                        JED:
                                                (annoyed)
                                    Definitely not!

STEVEN rubs his head. He looks as much perplexed as he is annoyed.

STEVEN stands up. JED flinches. STEVEN walks to the door and beckons to JED.

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    Come with me.
FADE OUT:

Friday, 25 March 2011

Miss Scarlett are recording…

As you may know already, Miss Scarlett is a band for which I provide the lyrics, vocal melodies and back up guitar parts which the other guys appreciate so much.

At the moment we are in the middle of recording an album, the first we’ve ever done and are doing so in an act of self-funded folly, you may say.

We’re almost certainly good enough to get a record deal but we haven’t chased one down with any great fervour.

We figure that if we can record an album off our own back, find the right means to distribute it and reach a wide enough audience it puts us in a good position to remain true to our artistic selves for the rest of our anticipated career as we’ll always have that independent achievement to give us the confidence we can make the right decisions.

We all enjoy working together very much and we’ve been dedicated both to the artistic side of creating music and rehearsing to deliver polished performances live for long enough now to declare that the time is right to capture an album which is both viscerally energetic and spiritually moving.

I’m sure you’ll be the judge of that.

We’re learning a lot as we go and we’ll definitely keep you informed of our progress.

We don’t really have a huge presence on social networking sites (or even on our own website –www.wearemissscarlett.com) I think generally because we got into music to make music and stir people to move uncontrollably or lie, alone on their bed listening to our songs, immersing themselves in a different dimension, just like all the bands that so inspired us and anything beyond that would involve communicating in a way that doesn’t come naturally.

The difficulty will be in capturing a sound which places us in and above what’s being heard today – to separate ourselves from the background noise if you will – whilst retaining our creative voice and emotional energy in order to create something which has a timeless musicality and feeling.

I’m confident we’ll achieve that.

We’ll tell you when you can get a copy and what the RRP is.

Recommended by ourselves obviously.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Scene from future BAFTA award winning script 'Bench Club' by Aaron Loughnane

INT. COMPETITION GYM – LATER

FELIX is struggling with a rep. The bar is going sideways the jeers are overcoming the cheers. FELIX is sweating profusely. His eyes look as though they're about to bulge out of his head.

STEVEN comes over and helps the weight back on to the bench. FELIX sits up, desperately disappointed.

The ADJUDICATOR blows his whistle and waves an arm over the bench.

                                                                        ADJUDICATOR:
                                    Benched out!

The benchers from Rise of the Machines all cheer.

EDDIE SILVER comes forward and squares up to STEVEN.

                                                                        EDDIE SILVER:
                                    Five's not bad. I'm no mathematician but I'd say
                                    that's about five more than I expected from one
                                    of your Bench Bums.

EDDIE SILVER'S benchers laugh. EDDIE SILVER raises a hand to silence them.

                                                                        EDDIE SILVER:
                                    I'd also say it was a good 2 repetitions shy of
                                    what Brad here can knock out. Which makes it
                                    71.4 percentile of what my man can manage.
                                    Which makes your guy 71.4 percentile of the
                                    man that my guy is. Or if we take another view
                                    that my guy can do 2 more repetitions than
                                    your guy it means he can post an additional 40
                                    percentile on your guys total which makes him
                                    40 percentile more of a man.

EDDIE SILVER looks around expecting a rapturous applause. He gets nothing save for a few affirmative noises from his benchers.

He doesn't seem to mind and returns his gaze to STEVEN.

                                                                        EDDIE SILVER:
                                    Oh looky! I am a mathematician!

                                                                        STEVEN:
                                    Maths counts for nothing in this gym.

                                                                        EDDIE SILVER:
                                    That's just as well.

EDDIE SILVER looks over at COOKIE. COOKIE is kicking a weight along the floor.

                                                                        EDDIE SILVER;
                                    Hey retard! What's two plus two?

STEVEN grabs EDDIE SILVER by the lapels and thrusts him up against a wall. The benchers from Rise of the Machines all spring to life. The benchers from Bench Club look on powerlessly waiting for it all to kick off.

STEVEN realises he has lost control of himself and lets EDDIE SILVER go.

EDDIE SILVER straightens himself out and stares at STEVEN.

                                                                        EDDIE SILVER:
                                    I could have this competition voided for that and
                                    declare us the winners.

The ADJUDICATOR steps forward obligingly to void the clipboard he is holding.

EDDIE SILVER holds up his hand to stop him.

                                                                        EDDIE SILVER:
                                    But I want this to be a victory for the machines.
                                    So we're going to settle this as agreed.


 

Saturday, 26 February 2011

West Coast Easy - Monologue for Performance

CYRUS is in his 40s, medium build and humble looking. He is looking slightly uncomfortable and stands looking straight on, with a slight twitch. When he speaks, we hear he has a deep southern USA accent.

                                                                    CYRUS:
                                I used to think there was no rain I couldn't handle.
                                Drizzle didn't bother me; sluicin' dredges washin' away
                                loose sediment on the sides of roads and drivin' women
                                and children inside was my kind of weather. I'd stand
                                stock still in it, hands wide apart welcome it down. I used
                                to fantasise about what other folk thought of me.
                                            (imagining)
                                You seen that Cyrus? He's a brave man huh? Standin'
                                stock still in the centre of the street, rain whippin' his
                                strong features, not movin' a muscle. That Cyrus is a
                                man. I saw him the other day standin' alone looking like
                                the mighty prophet Moses. Usherin' down the rain.
                                Welcomin' the rain. Drinkin' it in like he was sunbathin'
                                in San Fran.
                                            (stops imagining)
                                Old San Fran seems like an awful long way away from
                                my town. And I ain't just talkin' geographically. I'm talkin'
                                of fortune. They call it the Golden State, California. The
                                San Francisco 49ers, named after the gold rush of 1849
                                no less. It sure seems like that gold rush never stopped.
                                All sort of loose, excitin' characters treadin' the streets in
                                San Fran, talkin' excitedly about how one day a tremor's
                                gonna come so big its gonna split the city in two. Well
                                they can dream about that day. That Armageddon. They
                                can dream the dreams that sustain their west-coast-easy
                                livin' lifestyle because I've seen it. I've seen the rains.
                                I've seen nature's rough sickle swingin' through my
                                town and I don't like it.
                                            (he grits his teeth)
                                I used to think there was no rain I couldn't handle. But
                                this was a rain so fierce it made me think I hadn't never
                                even been rained on before. And you knew. You knew
                                as soon as it started that it wasn't gonna stop. Folk, they
                                could feel it in the air. A new precipitation. Like no-one's
                                never seen in their lifetime round here. Like no-one's
                                never talked about, or heard about.
                                            (he breathes a deep breath)
                                One second we were lookin' at each other holding each
                                other, each man woman and child comin' to their own
                                realisation about what was about to occur and the next
                                second we were all gone. Gone from each other, gone
                                from our damn selves. When it hits you, you don't know
                                what to do.
                                            (enacting)                               
                                If only I had a bucket, maybe I could rescue old John
                                Treasy from his shop.
                                            (he laughs)
                                Fool! Ain't no bucket big enough to tackle what came
                                that day! Ain't nothin' big enough to tackle those waters.
                                Waters in our familiar streets, washin' away our sins,
                                changin' everythin'! It felt like being punched in the
                                stomach by God himself. If that's not a blasphemy. Heck
                                if it is. I've served my punishment for all my sins and
                                all my children's sins on this here earth. I've nothing left
                                to pay.
                                            (he stops and wipes his nose)
                                I used to think there was no rain I couldn't handle. Now
                                I wouldn't mind if I was buried alive in death valley.
                                Happen it would have the effect of spinnin' a dizzy chick
                                the other way. Redress the balance. I've seen my share
                                of rain. I've seen mine.

He grits his teeth and breathes heavily. As the lights fade he starts to sob.
                                   
                                   

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

New York

The city of New York
It never fails to raise the spirits
Every time I see it sprawled
Across my screen I long to visit

From one big city, London
To the next, across the pond
My eyes and ears assaulted
As I'm briskly moved along

It's such a hectic harmony
To which I do aspire
It stirs my soul with ambient
Invigorating fire 

The streets are lit with destitution
Buildings float on power
A wanton juxtaposition
For hour after hour

It forms a kind of beauty
On such unfamiliar lines
I'll never be a stockbroker
Nor tough street baller I 

I'll never belong in that city
A tourist's all I'd be
But somewhere in my heart
I feel there is a missing piece

Maybe were I born and raised
In Brooklyn or Manhattan
I wouldn't spend my precious days
On Google maps in Staten

Wishing I were there for real
The home of liberty
The port from which the outsiders
Can reach the brave and free 

Friday, 18 February 2011

Hip and Knee - Monologue for performance

MEHMET an elderly turkish man is sitting in a chair reading a newspaper. He drops the newspaper to the floor and laughs. He raises his hand to his head and rubs it in amused bewilderment.

                                                                        MEHMET:
                                    Amazing! Truly amazing!
                                                (he leans back in his chair and exhales)
                                    On Tuesday night I was watching the television. Well I
                                    say watching, I was simply flicking through the
                                    channels hoping to come across something that would
                                    excite me.
                                                (he suppresses some wind in his chest)
                                    And that's when I saw it. Incredible! I dropped the
                                    remote because I was trying to conjure up an exciting
                                    image by jabbing it as I changed the channel.
                                                (he demonstrates and laughs)
                                    Funny really, it never makes a difference but it amuses
                                    me I suppose.
                                                (he muses on this statement)
                                    So you see I didn't mean to see it but I'm very glad that I
                                    did. She was beautiful, just going about her business in
                                    the background while a man, a little younger than me
                                                (he knits his eyebrows)
                                    was giving a report about cuts; financial cuts, from a
                                    hospital! It wasn't exactly about physical cuts, that I could
                                    understand!
                                                (he laughs, with little trace of amusement)
                                    But it was her I noticed, in her yellow blouse and navy
                                    blue skirt. She was out of focus, but then again everyone
                                    is to me!
                                               
MEHMET bellows out some laughter and starts coughing. He takes out a handkerchief to cover his mouth and wriggles in his chair to get more comfortable.
           
                                    Two seconds she is there for, maybe two and a half.
                                                (he struggles to his feet)
                                    She comes on screen like this.
                                                (he plods on the spot to demonstrate)
                                    And she passes a junction on her...
                                                (he closes his eyes to remember)
                                    On her right and then she stops! Very suddenly with the
                                    poise of an athlete and she twists her hips and pushes
                                    with her knees in the direction she was supposed to go.
                                                (he lowers himself back into his chair)
                                    All the time this man keeps talking, he isn't to know what
                                    has just happened behind him but it was a moment. A
                                    moment of real beauty.
                                                (he stops and nods)
                                    Because on the sign by the man who was delivering this
                                    sad report read the words 'Hip and Knee' with an arrow in
                                    the direction of my lady's junction.
                                                (he takes his handkerchief out and wipes his
                                                face, smiling)
                                    She wasn't to know.
                                                (earnest)
                                    That's why it was beautiful. It was the poetry.

MEHMET picks up his paper and continues to read it as the lights fade.

Aaron's Spicy Chilean Quorn Surprise

For the romantic vegetarian or the greedy fool.

Serves 2

You will need:

1 x Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Bag Frozen Quorn Chicken Pieces
3 x Teaspoon Wagamama Spicy chilli men stir fry sauce
1 x Tablespoon Butter
2 x Clove Garlic
1 x glass Chilean Pinot Noir
Sprinkle of Chilli Powder
Sprinkle of dried Thyme

  1. Pour the olive oil into a large frying pan and add the half bag of Quorn chicken pieces
    Hob setting: Medium
  2. Once the Quorn pieces have browned add three teaspoons of the stir fry sauce and toss the Quorn pieces until you achieve an even coverage – Cook for 5 minutes
    Hob setting: Medium
  3. Add the garlic to the butter – use a garlic press – and add this mixture to the frying pan
    Hob setting: Medium
  4. After the butter has melted into the Quorn concoction add the wine in one big splash
    Hob setting: High
  5. Allow the mixture to bubble away and reduce until such a point that most of the liquid has evaporated
    Hob setting: Medium
  6. Sprinkle over the chilli powder and toss the mixture a few times to achieve even coverage. Allow this to cook for a further minute and add the thyme.
    Hob setting: Medium
  7. Once you are satisfied that all the ingredients have cooked and the flavours have nicely melded together remove the pan from the hob and spoon the contents onto slices of freshly buttered toast.
  8. Enjoy!

Note: The carnivore amongst you can also add chorizo for a meaty edge!

    Ants and Lovers - Monologue for performance

    MELANIE appears from stage right and tentatively makes her way towards centre stage. She smoothes down the fabric of her dress and stares at her feet.

                                                                            MELANIE:
                                        Carried away by an army of ants.
                                                    (she looks up)
                                        That's what the coroner's report said. No mention
                                        of what they did to him. Just that he was carried
                                        away. He wasn't seen again.
                                                    (she smiles and looks down)
                                        I'm not smiling at the obvious comedy within that
                                        statement. I'm smiling to fight the tears.
                                                    (she looks up)
                                        You don't fight fire with a burning torch, you use
                                        water. For grief; laughter, until that laughter turns
                                        to tears. He was mine was Eric. We were each
                                        others. Swept away by the romance of each
                                        other's eyes. The secrets we shared. The private
                                        obsession with Brideshead Revisited that we
                                        were playing out that day by picnicking in our
                                        whitest linen clothes, basking in the glorious, camp
                                        sunshine. Admiring each other's creases, the plait
                                        of my dress excited him. It was the finely handled
                                        linen against my smooth skin that inspired him to
                                        pick a strawberry from our basket and delicately
                                        rub it on my cheek.
                                                    (she touches her cheek)
                                        An excuse to lick of the residual juice.
                                                    (she smiles)
                                        Any passers by wouldn't have baulked at this.
                                        Wouldn't have batted an eyelid
    .
                                                    (she stops)
                                        Oh but the thrill I felt; his soft lips on my warm
                                        cheek; sweat mixed with strawberry pulp - an
                                        animal vegetable passion. And then I decided to
                                        halt him in his throes, to take a walk alone over to
                                        an apple tree so I could still my beating heart and
                                        find the inner strength to return his all consuming
                                        love.
                                                    (she turns around and looks back)
                                        They call it the lovers break. It intensifies the
                                        passion.
                                                    (she turns back around)
                                        I leant against the old apple tree, rejoicing in the
                                        shade; savouring my solitude, knowing that the
                                        ache would be swiftly quenched by his eager hunt.
                                        A game of kiss chase between two. Though I
                                        wasn't running. I was waiting. And then he was
                                        gone. Nowhere to be seen. For ten seconds it
                                        gave me an electric thrill. To think he would allow
                                        my lonliness to be drawn out for even longer, I
                                        anticipated his rough, unannounced arrival. But it
                                        never came. Carried away by ants they said.
                                                    (she wipes away a tear)
                                        They're stronger than you think.

    Melanie lowers her head, turns around slowly and exits stage left.