Fetch the butt-plug Mr Cunterblast

WordPress just told me that I missed our anniversary. That means I’m even disappointing software now.

The 15th of January marked a year since I started writing this bullshit, and tradition dictates that I should have gone out and, in a fit of irony that would even trouble the descriptive powers of Alanis Morissette, bought some paper for my blog service.

Remember paper? Crikey, it all seems so long ago.

So in an effort to make WordPress forgive me, tonight I took my blog out for the evening instead. First I took it my ripped-off copy of Wurd to see how many words I’ve typed; and then off to a word-cloud generator to see what it’s been about. I now know that my blog is twice as long as the novel The Life of Pi, and that I’ve spent an unfeasibly long time talking about cancer, sex and Simon Cowell.

(I also know that I’m likely to get arrested by Microsoft for having a ripped off copy of Word, but I spelled it Wurd, which is bound to baffle even the greatest lawyer. And in my defence, practically everyone else on the planet has a ripped off copy of Word too).

As a result of my research into my own blog, I’ve come up with some findings, and have decided to adapt The Naked Mole Rat into a $100 million 3D Bollywood epic, in which I’m stuck in a boat with a CGI version of Simon Cowell and have to decide whether to have kinky sex with him, or give him an aggressive and painful cancer.

It’s a real conundrum.

Actually, it’s not much of a conundrum. Simon’s getting no sweet, sexy lurve from me, which leaves him with the choice of death or death. A nation grieves. But the reason he’s not getting sweet, sexy lurve from me is because at least one of us (OK, let’s face it, it’s exactly one of us) is a raging heterosexual. And because all my romance is being directed to the lady in my life, who repays it by manipulating my head, as can be seen in this graphic depiction of our relationship.

She's so manipulative.
She’s so manipulative.

I rarely speak about my private life in detail, but for once I’m going to spill my beans and tell you that our relationship is about to go to new places. Specifically, Scotland.

I’m very fond of Scotland, and of all the people from there who I’ve met. I can’t say it’s been a representative sample, or that they’ve liked me very much. But I liked them.

It’s unrepresentative because I tend to meet Stots when, in exchange for a stuffed sheep’s stomach and a night in their bothy, I give them with enough money to buy a small island up there (approximately £78). And that kind of transaction always brings out the best in people.

And it’s hard to say if they liked me because it’s often hard to understand a bloody word they’re saying.

But I still like them. I like their attitude. On a drive up in the highlands once, I stopped at one of the tiny all-purpose stores you often find in deeply remote areas. It was a post office, off license, petrol station, butcher, fishing supplies depot, lumber-merchant and record shop. (Not a greengrocer. It is Scotland after all, and if you want to eat greens they’ll contemptibly direct you to a tuft of thistle by the roadside). The shop had the obligatory wall dedicated to tartan and shortbread, and an entirely startling wall dedicated to Native American Dreamcatchers, which seemed unusual until you realise how many Americans visit Scotland, and how gullible they are.

The shop was miles from the nearest plumbing, and the only member of staff was a short, incomprehensible object of indeterminate sex, radioactively ginger, and with webbed fingers and an advanced case of athlete’s head. So I didn’t hold out much hope when I asked to use the bathroom. It was in a lean-to against the side of the shop, and I expected a wet hole in the floor, at best. But in fact it was a fully fitted bathroom and shower, with soaps and shampoos and fresh towels laid out for anybody who needed them, and, wonderfully, a small pile of socks beneath a sign saying “help yourself”.

The climate up there puts pressures on anyone daring enough to be caught outdoors, and a shower and warm, dry socks can turn a walker’s life around. I’m taking the piss out of Scots because I take the piss out of everybody: but the shower, towels and socks were provided with generosity, and I honestly have no expectation of anything less from people in the top half of the British Isles.

I hate to say it but that open, welcoming, selfless approach to life becomes more common the further north from Westminster you get. Actually, I didn’t hate to say it at all: I like it. I like the fact that true human nature emerges if you simply leave people alone to be people, rather than forcing them to be greedy brutes in a greedy, brutal capital city. Whereas in the wilds of Scotland they have a different attitude: if you don’t hang together you’ll probably hang separately. So be nice.

I’ve expressed this opinion to people in the South of England, and been told that I’m a mad socialist fuckwit who is living in the 70s, and that the Scots are all violent thugs and a drain on the poverty-stricken folks of Surrey. And I’ve reported those conversations to people in bars in Scotland, and been told that the Scots don’t actually hate the English: they just hate the southern English.

Not that I’m any more romantic about Scots than I am about my anniversary with WordPress or my forthcoming week up there with my girlfriend. We’re going to be there on Valentine’s Day, but that’s just an embarrassing scheduling error. We’d both forgotten Saint Valentine existed (because he didn’t – even the Pope who canonised him recognised that “nothing is known about his life”).

Anyway, this 14th Feb there will be no violins or flowers, and I’m not just saying that cos she’ll read this blog, and I want to lay a false trail. The best she can hope for is that I won’t tie the ropes too tight, and will clean the ball-gag before it’s applied. And the best I can hope for is that she’ll apply plenty of lube before she does that thing to me with the object that’s slightly bigger than it looked on LoveHoney.

Other than that, it’ll be the usual mixture of visceral abuse about my hairy back, six-hour fights about how the duvet is shared out, and vain attempts to make her murder look like a tragic accident. I’ll be as cheeky as a 6-foot six-year-old can be, and she’ll respond with a torrent of abuse and profanity, and many, many slaps about the head and neck. I just hope I can persuade her to save her filthy mouth and spanking until we get indoors and naked, where her vocabulary is rich, varied, and remarkably inventive. I flatter myself that I have a wide lexicon and a seedy mind, but she still manages to startle me rigid. It’s a rigidity which comes in handy, when it works.

Damn being old!

I’m not old old, not like the mad racist who lives upstairs and must be avoided at all costs. We popped round to ask if he needed anything from the shops during the recent snow, but after 3 hours all we’d learned was that black people are ruining this country. I’m not there yet, and you have my permission to throw me down a well if I do. But I’ve reached the point at which my body starts to disintegrate, and indeed I got a head-start with the cancer that kicked off this blog a year ago. I’m grateful to the doctors, but have decided to never see one again after accidentally catching an episode of House.

Hugh Laurie, House
No wonder he’s grumpy: he’s wrong almost all the time.

This week, a man went to see House with hiccups, and after getting his diagnosis wrong five times the so-called “best diagnostician in America” finally worked out that the man’s marriage was doomed, along with his liver. He did this in much the same way as the people in CSI solve crimes, and the people in Church work out how the universe was created: random guesswork and a lot of mumbo-jumbo. This week’s patient thought he had hiccups, but apparently he had something which, from memory, had 3000 syllibals and ended in “itis”, and which every actor on set looked proud to have memorised.

I don’t know why anyone goes to see House anyway. He diagnoses patients without even seeing them, is wrong 9 times out of 10, and it’s pretty much always cancer. So House’s oncologist mate could solve the problem anyway, if he wasn’t too busy being slightly cross-eyed and wetter than a turbot’s handbag. And when the guest-star disease isn’t cancer, it’s something you’ve never heard of; so it’s a bit like reaching the end of The Usual Suspects and being told the villain is a Mr Ted Cunterblast, a total stranger who wasn’t mentioned during the previous 2 hours.

Ted Cunterblast is mentioned by Hugh Laurie though, in his previous career as a purveyor of amusing japes and elaborate swearing with Stephen Fry. (If you’ve never seen their terrific sketch show, imagine Armstrong and Miller, but with Armstrong and Miller being replaced by somebody who can be arsed doing a different sketch every week).

My girlfriend could learn a lot from Fry and Laurie, and I fully expect her to call me Ted Cunterblast upon our next meeting. Although part of me hopes she saves her filthy mouth until we’re on our own in a bothy in Scotland, so there isn’t a repeat of that time she loudly called me a twat in the children’s section of Ikea. I don’t think the Scots are ready for her vocabulary.

Of course, it’s perfectly possible the Scots have learned how to swear by now. I seem to remember Frankie Boyle using a bad word once, and Billy Connolly too. Not as bad as the word I used about him today, when I read this article in the Guardian, in which he was given a free £5,000 holiday and then proceeded to bitch and moan about the whole thing. Well don’t fucking go then! Give the money to some poor kids from Glasgow.

The acquisition of large amounts of money seems to turn even the best person into an utter bastard. Take Sean Connery, a man who bestrides Scotland like a colossus… from his home in tax haven of The Bahamas, where he pays not a penny in tax to support the nation for whose independence he vigorously campaigns. Why do so many nationalists have such a strong objection to spending any money at all on the country they claim to love? The Tories are the same, wrapping themselves in the Union Flag and bellowing at Johnny Foreigner for having the temerity to introduce laws to protect British jobs. But ask that noble, blue-rinsed defender of the UK to pay a single penny more tax to fund his own country, and he’ll let his wife out of the kitchen long enough to fetch his shotgun and let the dogs out on you.

I do find it galling to have the Tories “protecting” Scotland from independence at the same time they insist on “protecting” Scotland from the support of Europe. The EU seems to have funded 90% of the bridges north of the border, and if I were a Scot I’d kick England out, get married to Europe, and stay happy. If they do, I’m going to campaign for Manchester to be officially recognised as a district of Dundee, cos I don’t want to be trapped here with David Cameron.

So there you have it: my 91st blog, and the end of my first year as a blogger. Next year it’s the cotton anniversary and I’m going to get WordPress some knickers, but the year after that it’s the leather anniversary. Stick with me, cos then the filthy sex will really start to get interesting!

Fuck the motherfucking pope

The only fun here is abusing a priest.

Over the years, in the longueurs of the night, I’ve often wondered if life would be better if it was much, much shorter. But in hospital this feeling is intensified to the point when you’re actually cheering for the cancer.

Fuck all happens. And then it happens again. Occasionally, just to shake things up a bit, all of a sudden fuck all will stop happening, and sod all will happen instead. But then it’s back to fuck all for the rest of the week.

The day has several highlights, which is a bit like saying East Anglia has several Alps.

  • 6am wake-up. Thanks nurse, you absolute bastard. And for absolutely no reason at all, even though some buffoon a couple of beds away was talking to Napoleon Bonaparte until 4am.
  • A pill, which no nurse can explain to me, and no doctor has the time to answer questions about. I just swallow it. It might be cyanide, but by 3 in the afternoon I’m too bored to care.
  • People taking blood samples. I’m unconvinced that my blood changes dramatically from day-to-day, but it breaks the morning up if I let somebody stab me in the arm.
  • Something dubious and grey on a small saucer being pushed in front of me by a con-artist in a tabard, who is convinced I’ll believe it’s actually a salmon en croute if he repeats this slanderous claim often enough.
  • Tea. I used to drink coffee, and I’m no snob about it. Powdered Maxwell House is fine by me if that’s all you can be arsed making. But the stuff they serve here is water from a puddle outside, which has been heated by being hurred on a few times to take the chill off it. That’s the only rational explanation for how bad the coffee is. So I’m drinking tea instead, which somehow they get right.

But the undisputed highlight, the thing I look forward to more than anything, is the weekly visit from the hospital chaplain. The first time he arrived I was reading Catch-22, which (in case you haven’t read it, in which case your life is an empty sham) starts with these words:

It was love at first sight.

The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.

So there, right in front of me, was a chaplain. Standing upright, proudly humble, as though he actually belonged there. This flatulent, fatuous, fraudulent… I was not in love with the chaplain.

Scene: Hospital ward, interior, day. A hospital chaplain is doing his rounds and alights at Mole Rat’s bed.

Chaplain: Hello.

Mole Rat: You’ll be sorry.

Chaplain: What?

Mole Rat: I said you’ll be sorry. I’m just giving you fair warning that if you try to peddle “crazy” around here you’ll be sorry. I don’t think religion demands automatic respect, so if you want to be loudly disrespected try talking to me about your invisible friend.

Chaplain: I’m here to bring comfort to people.

Mole Rat: You lie to them.

Chaplain: No I don’t.

Mole Rat: Prove it.

Chaplain: Prove what?

Mole Rat: Prove anything! Absolutely every claim you make for the presence of God is based on the superstitious rantings of a few fishermen 2000 years ago, who didn’t even know where the sun went to at night or understand the mechanics of rainfall. Do you REALLY think those people accurately guessed the cause of creation for the entire universe, what it’s for, and what happens after death? Of course they didn’t; it’s a myth. It’s one of millions of myths, it just happens to be one that’s popular right now. It could just as easily be Zeus or the mighty Im Ho Tep. And you’re selling this bullshit to people who are sick and desperate. You should be ashamed of yourself. If I was you, I couldn’t live with myself. It’s disgusting.

Chaplain: I do a good job. I make a lot of people feel better.

Mole Rat: So it’s all about you, is it?

Chaplain: No, it’s about the patients.

Mole Rat: Surely religious patients already know about God?

Chaplain: Yes.

Mole Rat: And you believe God listens to them?

Chaplain: Yes!

Mole Rat: So what do they need you for? You serve no purpose. Go away, you fraud.

Chaplain: I’m not a fraud.

Mole Rat: Look around you. You’re here in a temple of science, where every single aspect of the care and treatment is built on trial, and evidence and the scientific method. And you have the unmitigated nerve to float from bed to bed, mopping up excess gratitude and claiming your magic friend in the sky is helping to cure people. Well He isn’t. You can pray until you’re blue in the face, and it’s not going to stitch a single wound or cure a single cancer. Did 2000 years of prayer cure Smallpox? No, 25 years of science did. God is a childish myth, and you’re a gullible fool. In fact you’re worse than a gullible fool, because as a professional theologian you’ve undoubtedly thought about this a lot; and unless you’re a total moron, you’ve probably considered the fact that there isn’t much to back up this “God” malarkey. So you’ve either decided to con yourself, or you’ve decided to con your flock. Either way, it’s a pretty miserable way to spend your life. If you really wanted to help people around here you’d take a medical degree.

Chaplain: I don’t think I can help you.

Mole Rat: I don’t think you can help anybody. Bugger off.

End of scene.

I enjoyed that. So did the patients all around me. I got a little ripple of applause. I’m no hypocrite; I don’t even claim it’s about God or the patients. It’s all about me, me, me. I live for the adulation of my captive audience. Ha ha, don’t you know greatness when you see it, puny humans!

I’ve spent too long alone in here.