Wednesday, 16 April 2008


I'm never going to be a parent. Period. It just isn't going to happen. For one thing, I'm WAY too selfish and I don't like the idea of my social life depending on having to find babysitters or find friends that also have rugrats. Secondly, I freak out when I'm left alone to look after a puppy or a kitten, so the idea of being left alone to care for a baby is probably a deeply terrifying one. Thirdly, I'm a fully paid up member of the Mox Club - I'm a gay, I suck cock and use industrial strength lube. So it's never going to happen naturally. Unless science comes up with something pretty bloody remarkable.

Thing is, though, although I am happy about the fact that I am never going to be a parent, I also think it's kind of a shame. Because, you see, I KNOW how children should be treated and brought up and it seems that most people who actual have them these days do not. They are completely and utterly and hopelessly clueless, for the most part. So, I have decided, in an act of pure and unselfish benevolence, to dispense my words of wisdom to the world, so that our children can have a bright and happy future and their parents can stop acting like a load of lobotomised idiots! Dr Benjamin Spock has absolutely nothing on me, I can tell you.

  • Right - so the first thing you need to realise is that the world is not full of perverts, paedophiles, murderers, dangerous drivers and so on. It is perfectly safe for your children to go out and play. They do not have to be confined to the house or the garden. In fact, that's doing them way more harm than good. How the hell do you expect them to become socialised and streetwise and independent if all they do is fire water pistols at their brothers and sisters in the back garden? Get a grip - they'll be fine - the world is probably a lot of a safer place now than it was in Victorian times, and Victorian children were, for the most part, not murdered. If they were then none of us would be around now.
  • Look again at my comment about dangerous drivers. I would like to revise it. The roads are only really dangerous because there is so much traffic on it. And most of the traffic on the roads when you are driving your progeny to school in your ridicuously huge, gas guzzling people carrier is other people driving their kids to school in their equally huge, gas guzzling people carriers. So it's simple. You should all stop doing it and then the problem would be solved. Your kids would be able to walk to school because there would be hardly any traffic. You probably don't realise this because you're probably never out on the roads during school holidays. But you should try going for a walk at 8:30 in the morning during the summer break. You'd be amazed.
  • There is absolutely no reason for anyone else to give a shit about your kids. I don't mean that they wish harm on them, or that they won't do whatever they can to protect them and keep them safe. But they are YOUR kids - you chose to have them (or to keep them) and they are, therefore, your responsibility. If that causes you problems, for example, at work, then there is only so much help that you can expect other people to give you before they start feeling a bit resentful. Sooner or later, you're going to have to accept that having children involves making sacrifices. The very best parents realise that these sacrifices extend to more than having droopy boobs or not being able to go and watch the footie in the pub EVERY Saturday.
  • When you go into a restaurant with your kids, or a cafe, or even MacDonalds, there are certain standards of behaviour that is expected of them. You should know what these are, but here are a few pointers: they should not be allowed to run rounding screaming and play fighting and annoying other people trying to enjoy their food; they should not be allowed to throw their food onto the table or the floor rather than eating it; they should not have tantrums and, if they do, they should be taken home immediately - IMMEDIATELY. In addition to this, you need to realise that if you buy your little kids adult sized drinks then they won't finish them - and that's a waste. So don't. Also, restaurants and cafes are not really suitable environments for little babies. Get a babysitter. Or invite friends round to your place instead.
  • Speaking of which - things like milkshakes and cookies and pizzas and cheeseburgers should be thought of as treats. If you let your children have them every day they will end up obese and they will think that they can have whatever they want whenever they want it. This means they will grow up to be complete cunts.
  • Prams and pushchairs are not battering rams. They are to transport your child safely so that you can do stuff - they are not designed to sweep other people out of the way and off the pavement. They don't make you invincible - if anything, having your child with you should make you even more safety conscious and people aware.
  • Baby On Board stickers are just fucking stupid. So you have a child in your car - so fucking what?
  • Dogs sometimes bark at children - it's because children behave erratically and sometimes make sudden, high pitched noises. They also tease dogs sometimes and some dogs have learnt this. It doesn't mean the dog is going to maul your child to death. Chill out a bit, for goodness sake!
In fact, that would be my advice to parents in a nutshell. Chill out a bit, for goodness sake. Follow the sage advice of Dr Jimmy Catsup and you will have happy, fulfilled children - and other people won't think you are the scum of the earth!

Saturday, 12 April 2008


OK - so let's get one thing straight - I am a USELESS blogger. I made a resolution as I was walking home from work today that I would get better. That I wouldn't wait for inspiration but that I would write about my life so that people who know me and people who don't get a better idea about what's going on for me on and off this tiny little island. It's the only way to unlock my blocked creativity. But first I think I need a fresh start. There have been LOADS of things lately that I really really should have blogged about, but never got round to. So, to wipe the slate clean, here is a brief and nasty summary of all those things.

  • We spent a week in London and Amsterdam. The highlight of London was taking our friend Rachel to Duckie at The Vauxhall Tavern. She loved it and it loved her. The lowpoint was an absolutely bogging breakfast in the Angus Steakhouse. The bacon wasn't even cooked and, when I complained about it, the waitress went off to the kitchen and then proceeded to bitch about us really loud in Polish. We flew to Amsterdam in the middle of the worst storm for 20 years, but it was so worth it. We stayed on a ghetto houseboat in the Oosterdock (I think that's how you spell it) and had a whiteout on the first night because the weed was so strong. But The Sex Museum was hilariously stupid and I just loved the freedom of the place. We bought loads of porn. When we got home we learnt that our house must have been a pretty scary place to be in the eye of the aforementioned storm - apparently the waves were crashing OVER the roof. So we were pretty lucky that there was no damage.
  • Stephen Hawking annoys the fuck out of me. He has dedicated his half life to writing a load of inconsequential bollocks about stuff that doesn't matter. OHHHHHHH! So the universe is actually comprised of a load of strings - we can't prove that, but we can take it on faith - and that brings us close to a theory of absolutely everything. Thanks for that, spackattack!!
  • Customer Service Culture is killing off civilised society. People are turning into spoilt children who demand everything because they know that they will get it. We should be more like the French who seem to discard the idea that the customer is king - for them the customer is, at best, an equal. And I mean at best. That's the way it should be.
  • The new season of Doctor Who started. It was the best opening episode since Rose. Catherine Tate was wonderful and the little baby aliens looked like the Pilsbury Doughboy. The Pompeii episode (which is tonight) promises to be really scary. And you can't even hide behind our sofa!!
  • First I hated 4 Minutes by Madonna and Justin. Then I thought it was a bit of a non-event. Then, all of a sudden, it struck me that it's actually brilliant. And Justin Timberlake looks totally hot in the video. Who would ever have thought it? I bet Madge told him what to wear.
  • My friend Rob is returning from NYC in a little under two weeks. I've missed him more than I thought I would and I want to hang with him more when he's back.
So, there we go - I have a clean slate and I can start writing about stuff again without worrying about the stuff that I didn't write about. Tonight we are taking Emily out for boozy fun. Expect more on that tomorrow...

Friday, 11 April 2008


There are, of course, many ways in which I am NOT like Coronation Street's Roy Cropper. For one thing, I am not married to a post operative transsexual. For another, I do not have an almost morbid fascination with defunct British Railway Station signs (though I DO think they're quite cool - oh God!) But I realised yesterday, as I was walking to the supermarket, that me and Roy do have a few things in common. Maybe a few too many things for comfort, to be honest.

For a kick off, I'm an incessant worrier. As I get older I realise just how true this is. I worry about making coffee too hot and then, having taken corrective action, I worry that I haven't made it hot enough. I worry when my other half puts a status on Facebook that I can't readily interpret. I worry about the damp in the house. I worry about the fact that I'm worrying too much. I'm doing that now. But I also do something else that I've noticed Roy doing - I reprimand other people for worrying. Sometimes I almost snap my words of reassurance at them "Don't worry! You know it will be fine - it's only a couple of days, so just stop worrying about it."

Then there's the fact that I work in a cafe. True - it calls itself a coffee shop and bears very little resemblance to Roy's Rolls, but it's still a cafe all the same. I still make cups of tea and coffee and put things on the grill and have banal conversations with regular customers. And I still do too much of it really to have the kind of sparkling social life that I would like (and Roy Cropper would probably like too!)

But the most worrying and convincing resemblance between myself and Roy is my shopping bag. See, I've come to realise that plastic bags are pretty evil. There's no need for them - they choke up the environment and take forever to rot. So I only get a couple of them a week now (just enough to use as rubbish bags - otherwise I'd have to BUY plastic rubbish bags and that would just be silly). Instead, I've got this little jute shopping bag from M&S that I carry with me to the supermarket. Thing is, Roy Cropper's been doing that for years. Me and my friends used to have a running joke about it. True, Roy's is on of those tartan old lady style bags, and mine is a bit more eco, but the image is still the same. I'm still a man with greying temples, past his best, shuffling to the supermarket carrying a ladies' shopping bag. So, yes, maybe it's time to get on e-bay and start looking for those vintage station signs...

*pours very un-Cropperish glass of wine*