Monday 11 November 2013

Christmas Parties - ho ho f*cking ho!

I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas parties. When I was in paid employment, works’ dos always filled me with consternation... 

Apparently, it is not de rigeur to piss oneself at the office party.
On the one hand: How and why should you endure hours of enforced frivolity, whilst sitting next to or opposite someone you fucking hate? Surely, everyone knows how it feels to look at the cheap, sweet cooking wine and think, if I don’t drink this, I am going to die to death of brain deflation. If I do drink this, I am going to tell Mr. Sweaty Knob Cheese and his over-inflated, ego-inflicted side kick, Miss Hoity Toity Pointy Tits exactly what I think of them. We’ve been there, many times, haven’t we? Looking down at your poorly cooked turkey and stuffing, pondering how you could be at home, snorting supermarket own brand gin; having farting competitions with your other half whilst watching Grand Designs and writhing with semi-sexual anorak envy at Kevin McCloud’s McMurdo parka. 

As you can see, I don't like to overdress at parties but I do shave.
On the other hand: This is the offer of a NIGHT OUT. Shoreleave from HMS Parenthood and Grand Designs. Of course you’re going to fucking go! For once, you can take off the thermal vest that is starting to get stiff under the armpits. Kick off those disintegrating slippers! Do your roots! Shave your cleavage! Take a chisel to the kid-puke stains on your favourite coat! So, you shoehorn yourself into something ill-fitting and sparkly, that looked good when you lost all that weight four years ago. You slide your crispy trotters into the fuck-me shoes that make your arches sting and require you to use the short arse in the office as a walking stick. You put on your best knickers and the bra that aren’t grey with perished elastic. 

And what happens?

It’s a disaster, because your boss expects you to be nice to Hoity Toity and the Knob Cheese. You have to do Secret Santa and buy the bastards something witty, like a tartan scarf with a depressed cat ironically embroidered onto it instead of depleted Uranium and a Jaegermeister bottle full of Harpic 100% Limescale Remover. Then come the crackers. As if wearing a brightly coloured paper hat and reading out remedial jokes isn’t denigrating enough when you do it with your family. Now, you have to do it in front of the accounts manager, who hasn’t stopped looking at your saggy, lacklustre boobies for the last twenty minutes.
You CAN polish a turd! Treat spotty Gail to some of this.
Maybe....maybe you’re obliged to dance and you forget yourself. Twerking to Slade, because it reminds you of the time when you didn’t need gastro-resistant capsules or cod liver oil. And now your pile has come down and you’ve left a little trail of soggy arse-maltesers on the dancefloor because your pelvic floor collapsed in 2005. Maybe, you have to make a quick getaway before you have a complete prolapse into Goolie Julie’s clutchbag or you accidentally tell the boss that he/she is a humourless, tedious cock gobbler of epic proportions that even cooking wine or scribbling out his/her face with permanent magic marker won’t temper or repair.

So, my fine friends, the trouble with Christmas parties is not Noddy Holder or my Father-in-Law scratching his ear flakes at the dinner table. The trouble lies with me. When I had them, I hated them. Now that I’m self-employed and don’t get invited to any, everyone else’s seem to be wonderful, exotic functions. For yet another year, I shall therefore sit, festering in the shadow of my sticky laptop, festooned with ironing and peeling Dead Beryl wallpaper, wondering that invitations to glamorous events simply do not land on my door mat. But once they do start to come my way again, it will be good, for lo! They will be literary parties, where my modus operandi of getting horribly drunk really quickly, talking bollocks at a deafening volume and then mooning at people I’m not very fond of or flashing a tit at those I am will blend in seamlessly with the other quasi-alcoholic sociopaths. But for now, perhaps it’s better I stay at home this year. Again...
Remember! Beer goggles are an essential Christmas party accessory.

Thursday 30 May 2013

Dirty Scrubbers

The thing that’s really pissing me off this week is old people’s hygiene and washing up standards in particular. Remember the debacle last autumn with Stannah Stair, my father-in-law, falling bonce-first down the dancers? You know...that trip to the fragrant Vale of Croydon, where I got dysentery in return for daughter-in-lawly concern? Well, Stannah is still alive and he has been allowed to resume washing up. It’s just not fucking funny.

I have always known that old people can’t wash up. My mother seems to store lumps of gravy in the crevices of pretty much every receptacle in the house. She’s probably got Bisto-chunks lurking in her vest drawer, like meaty dangleberries she can savour secretly when Countdown is on. There is always a new variety of cheese in the dimples of her milk jug and handy egg chunks, clinging to the tines of forks: snack-barnacles for the terminally dirty and desperate. Laughably, my mother complains that my sofa smells of piss, because we haven’t had it recovered since the kids were potty trained. But Jesus could have used the baked bean souvenirs on her plates to feed the five thousand. This is mainly because my mother buys her washing up liquid in a large 5L container from somewhere like Billy's Bargain Busters. She also has shocking eyesight.
Washing up liquid does not come from a yak's fangita, OK?

Now, it dawns on me that there’s a recurring theme here. My mother-in-law, also mature in years, also uses Poundlessland yakpiss to wash up with. You have to use a cupful to get any froth at all. Worse still – and here’s the poke in the tiddies that gets me every time – she uses a brush. Who washes up with a brush? All she’s doing is scratching the dried on food a bit and then putting the plates and cups away. But the father-in-law really is the biggest offender. Reach for something to pour juice into for your child and you’re treated to a glass with week-old milk clinging to the inside, with lip gank plastered round the top and a nice greasy thumb print. Often there are bits of orange flesh from juice “with bits” welded to the foetid milk too. Tell me if I’m out line, but I don’t relish having my son wrap his childish chops around octogenarian gob-slobber in a bid to drink the strange orange cheese concoction. It just ain’t right. And are those glasses really just “discolouring with age”, or is it that they too are caked in two years’ worth of second hand mouth-ming and congealed red wine? Ooh, what a fucking surprise it was, when the discoloured, ageing glasses came up sparkling clean after a proper soak in hot water and scour with a genuine washy-up sponge! 
Use a brush and you might as well give your pots a wipe with your dentures....

And then, in my mind’s eye, I take a walk into the utility room and see the raw meat joint that has been left unrefrigerated on a sunny window sill for at least an entire day and night, ready for dinner time...right next to the lovely dairy based desert, happily fermenting in its anchovy egg barf-festooned dish. The 5/2 fasting diet has got nothing on this. Wanna shit your extra kilos off in a weekend? Go for lunch at an elderly relative’s house!
Don't leave old bloke mouth-ming on cups, thinking you can sneak in a snog by proxy with house guests this way.

Saturday 27 April 2013

Back from the dead

I'm not dead. Not really. It's just that I've spent the entire winter doing writery stuff and climbing pyramids and painting and chasing chickens.

I've got the first four books in a historial adventure series for 7+ year olds coming out with HarperCollins Childrens in July 2013. It's awesome. I did have a picture of the cover here and told you the name and everything, but then a friend pointed out I might terrify children who google it, so I took it down. I'm writing under a pseudonym and it seems I have become a man with a cat and a keen interest in Dr. Who. I bet he doesn't do as much ironing as me.

The other thing I did earlier this year, instead of blogging, was move house. I have acquired the home of Dead Beryl, so called, because her name was Beryl and she is now dead. She popped her clogs in what is now my bedroom. I like to think she died in her sleep peacefully and there is nothing malign remaining in the house, apart from a slightly perplexing smell of fish in the kitchen cupboards and a lot of dust that makes me sneeze at least 8 times per day; technically a full orgasm.

Dedicated poo free zone
Beryl's downstairs toilet is so bright, one can only think of sunshine, although the seat is unbearably cold and means I cannot poo there. Her kitchen can only be described as crenelated and brown. Best of all, the honey pine clad ceiling in the bathroom puts me in mind of Finnish porn saunas, so Dead Beryl should be glad that her taste in decor is being celebrated on the internet as a thing of retro glory and erotic inspiration.

Evil chicken. Why the fuck are you in my garden?
One of the things we have recently come across in the new, old Dead Beryl house is a chicken. The chicken appeared one day in the garden, scratching around. I was perplexed because it had a head and feathers and wasn't wrapped in cellophane. I did wave a jar of Patak's curry paste at the stray chicken, but it refused to get out of Dead Beryl's flower beds. Eventually, I resorted to bullying a local child, who is an expert on living-chickens-that-have-never-seen-the-inside-of-an-Asda-chiller-cabinet, into shoving it though a hole in a neighbour's hedge. But the chicken came back. I have still not decided what to do with it, but there are always thai dishes that would do it real justice. Alternatively, I could give it All Bran and then squeeze it, rather like an icing sock, over my borders, as chicken manure is very good for plants.

Finally, despite the fact that I have a fear of heights, life-threatening piles, varicose veins and fat knees, I climbed a pyramid in Mexico. It was very high up and windy. As you can see from this photo, I ended up with hair that made me look rather like a cross between Arthur Scargill and Lady Gaga. This was almost topical, since Thatcher died the following week and had a face that looked like it had been poked, stupid hair and an active dislike of Comb-over King, Arthur Scargill.
Quietly shitting oneself needn't look unstylish. You too can look like a hirsute Scargill with fatter knees.

As I have blogged so infrequently recently, I'm thinking of posting one chapter per fortnight or even per week of a sweary comic novel I started writing some time ago. I guess the novel will most appeal to women really, and since the women's fiction market is pretty dead at the moment, it might be more fun to publish the chapters here than to finish the book and try to get a deal for it. I'm working on other things now, after all. The story is called Not for Profit. It is truly the work of The Horrormoanal Woman and not Marnie Riches, as it is full of filth. If enough people like it, I will finish writing it and give it to someone in AM Heath, my literary agency. Watch this space!

I'm off to try for another poo in the toilet of strong sunshine now...