Unsent Letters: Bryan Adams

Dear Bry,

Everything you did was not for me.

Please don’t lie,

Albert Winestain

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Unsent Letters: People of WordPress

Dear Worpress.com(munity),

I’d like to firstly write a special thanks to whoever it was that made my post ‘The Sin of Socks & Sandals‘ magically appear on Freshly Pressed. I realise that it is a blogger’s dream come true to feature there since it has helped my traffic one heck of a heap I’ll tell you (pardon my French) and it certainly came as quite a shock! Now, although this person/magic wizard still remains anonymous (I suspect it could be Illumniati… but it’s best not to speculate), what I can be sure of is the identities of all you wonderful people who:

  1. viewed my post
  2. liked my post
  3. shared my post
  4. commented on post
  5. clicked ‘notify me for follow up comments via email’ (you guys especially seeing as though I probably clogged up your account with a lot of ‘thanks!’)

So, I guess all that’s left for me to say is a great big… wait for it… wait now, it’s coming… calm down, I’ll get there in a minute… THANK YOU! and I look forward to hearing from you again soon (even Keith!)

Peace out,

Albert Winestain

Unsent Letters: David Cameron

Dear Dave,

Just writing to see how the search for your chin was going?

Keep up the good work and look forward to 3 more years of shite,

Albert Winestain.

LOL x

Unsent Letters: Sir Alex Ferguson

Shock result.

Dear Sir Alex Ferguson,

We have just got the DNA results back – Howard Webb is your son.

Thought as much,

Albert Winestain.

Unsent Letters: Music (1)

Timmy Mallet.

Dear Music Industry,

Please can you let the unappreciated be appreciated since your current shit is beginning to make Timmy Mallet look good.

Kind regards,

Albert Winestain.

Alcohol: Winning The Battle Against Small Talk Since 4000 B.C.

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy

It’s tough meeting new people. I mean, let’s be honest, we all dread it to some extent don’t we? That inevitable awkward silence waits around the corner, as the small talk starts to slowly deteriorate into digressing eyes and twitching feet. Take being at gatherings for example. I bet many of you have had conversations similar to this:

  • Hey.
  • Hi.
  • You alright?
  • Yeah, not bad thanks… you?
  • Yeah I’m good thanks.
  • Good…
  • Yeah…
  • ………………………………….
  • Nice house isn’t it?
  • (walks off in search of the family dog)
Yet, when there’s alcohol involved, conversations seem to flow with much more ease – they are certainly a lot more enjoyable! Our inhibitions are thrown out the window and we open up to other ideas, completely ignoring the conventions of small talk. For example:
  • Hey!
  • Yo!
  • You seen this guy’s bannister?!
  • Bloody hell! How much would you love to slide down there?!
  • Hmm I’m not so sure to be honest, my piles are pretty bad at the moment…
  • Ah come on! We’ll put some cream down it, you’ll be reet!
  • Oh go on then!… It’s Matthew by the way.
  • Tim.

Well ok, I know most of you probably haven’t had an exchange exactly like this, but you get my point. Alcohol causes the brain to shut down and we begin not to give a monkeys about what the people around us think. Slipping into an inebriated state the most personal of topics can suddenly appear, popping out of nowhere like some sordid jack-in-a-box… arms wide open to embrace the truth and reveal your darkest secrets!

I wonder if those Mesopotamians who discovered Beer had similar experiences. Just imagine them sat down with dead-pan faces as they contemplate their recent invention of the wheel, until Dave comes along with a pint of Mesopotamia’s finest brew:

Fox’s Mesopotamian Wheel

  • What you chumps up to?
  • Just thinking about this thing here.
  • Huh? It’s a bloody great big chocolate biscuit! What’s to think about?
  • What?
  • Boil the kettle, we’ve got some serious dunkin’ to do!

Nevertheless, although it may seem like a polar bear at first (an ice-breaker… geddit? Oh never mind!) it does have its disadvantages. To some extent, alcohol merely covers up the fact that someone is incredibly boring in real life (i.e. sober since being drunk is like living in a parallel universe) – you take away the beer, you take away the personality. So before I leave I must warn you:

1. Drink responsibly

2. If they’re no fun sober, then ditch ’em.

‘Man v. Food’? More like ‘Man v. lifetime of hardened stools and breathless arteries’

72oz steaks, 11lb pizzas, 10 layers of dead cow…

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching countless episodes of ’Man v. Food’ on Dave it’s that Americans certainly adhere to stereotype. As the loveable Adam Richman (in a cute, teddy-bear kinda way) guides us on a whistle-stop tour of America’s most outrageous restaurants and cafes, there’s not a glimpse of leafy greens in sight. Living in Britain, Americans have undoubtedly become synonymous with obesity (in fact, many blame them for the sudden influx of our ‘fast food culture’), since we’re forever being inundated with images of grease-ridden portions being manhandled by sausage roll-like arms.

Now, admittedly, I am your archetypal Brit in as much as I’m a serial tea drinker but I don’t worship the Queen nor do I speak with Received Pronunciation (or indeed Dick van Dyke’s ‘Cockney-cum-Australian’ accent). Sadly however, or so I have witnessed, Americans can’t seem to fit their bellies through that window of escape in a desperate attempt to flee from the portly pigeonholing, instead opting for the comfort of their armchair and a bag of ‘chips’. Don’t get me wrong, I realise that this is not representative of the whole population (to be honest, I source most of my information purely from the show itself) but what I have witnessed certainly has been an education… in how to guarantee blood in your shit the following day.

Crime number one:

So let us begin! Right, now we all know how delicious cheese is… boy is it one sexy dairy product…  but its tasty qualities don’t justifying it being plastered onto every food possible! Don’t get me wrong here guys, I don’t mind seeing cheese on maybe burgers or chicken (hell, even some pork with gorgonzola’s nice!) but with battered fish?! NO! Dial 999/911 please! I need the food police to come and stop this monstrosity! As Diana Ross beautifully put it “stop in the name of food!” (well, something along those lines at least…). Joking aside, the fish/cheese combo is wrong in every way. 

It’s like having a romantic kiss… with your own sister; brushing your teeth… with a tramp’s toenails; Dick van Dyke talking… with a cockney accent…

Crime number two:

Ok, so now to the second crime – portions. Unnecessarily gargantuan would be an understatement. I realise that the whole premise of this show is to find the ridiculously portioned plates and, I agree, that it is fun to watch countless meat sweats being induced by said meals however I don’t understand why they have to be so blooming big! “Ok, so we start with a slice of bread for the base (seems fair enough). Next we add the fried chicken… a layer of cheese (sure…), the 4-inch thick hamburger… another layer of cheese (why not, it is, after all, the key ingredient to EVERY meal), then the 10lb brisket, two more fried chicken breasts, the second hamburger, mustard sauce… deep-fried cheese cubes (well this is just getting ridiculous) and finally the top half of the bun.” Phewwy, it’s over… but, oh no, what’s this on the top? Impaled by a spike sits a gurken. Lying in a comatose state thinking, “why the bloody hell am I here?” And it does beg the question… what does it add to the meal?

It’s like jumping the Grand Canyon wearing a sweater instead of a t-shirt… Wearing a belt with jeans that fit perfectly anyway… Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins wearing glasses…

Crime number three:

Now, finally, this is the last problem – IT IS NOT FINE CUISINE! No matter how much you try to hoodwink us, there is no way one can class this as cordon bleu. The problem is that everything looks so bloody cheap and nasty, like the cheese for example, it doesn’t even look real! For me I’d much rather have some fine Italian cuisine rather than these 45-thick pizzas with grated arse on them. It’s worse than DICK VAN DYKE’S ACCENT IN MARY POPPINS!

Let’s be honest though… despite the abominations such as the one shown above, I do love this show and I love you America!
 

The Forsaken Triangle

Scales of skin peel off, falling

Down like sycamore seeds, twirling while they

Lament.

Distraught wings spin, forming

Kaleidoscope patterns yet beauty is

Obscured, shrouded by a layer of denial;

Flaky would be an understatement.

 

A toothless smile digs deep into my

Flesh; leaves nothing but impotent scars of

Futility.

One, Two, Three, Four…

Five Wheels? A Reliant Robin with stabilisers

Without the Fun;

Pathetic would be an understatement.

 

Dangled feet hang precariously,

Engulfed by shoes they test the

Waters.

Recoiling like snapping guitar

Strings they flee for the nearest money

Tree, not to harvest their withering fruits but to shelter;

Uncommitted would be an understatement.

Learning French… the fun way!

Learning French with Eddie Izz(n’t)ard

French: It’s the sort of language that makes you want to say ‘quoi?’ One bewildered utterance, a monosyllabic sound to accompany the baffled expression that uncontrollably falls on the faces of us Brits. It all sounds a bit double-Dutch, doesn’t it? Yet, despite our supposed insularity, how come well-known comedian Eddie Izzard is able to seamlessly merge two languages in a way that makes us laugh?

Eddie Izzard ignores the stereotypical use of French within comedies such as ‘Allo Allo!’ and ‘Only Fools and Horses’, adding a refreshing sophistication to the use of language within comedy. Izzard uses eye-catching body language, majestically pacing the stage in order to deliver lines such as…

‘Je dois partir maintenant parce que ma grand-mère est flambèe’

The comedy comes from the combination of accurate schoolboy French illustrated by arm waving, richly made up open eyes and pure swagger. We are now entering the comedy of the slightly absurd but as an audience are being seduced by Izzard’s deft use of language and delivery.

Well, there are many theories of humour that help to explain how our funny bones are tickled but two in particular stand out. First up is the Superiority Theory. Tracing back to Plato and Aristotle, this theory centres itself around the idea of schadenfreude: taking pleasure from others misfortunes or their inferiority. We’ve all been guilty of laughing at cartoon characters slipping on that unfortunately placed banana skin or that idiot’s audacity on ‘You’ve Been Framed’ but, rather unconventionally, Eddie Izzard inverts the theory onto himself. His reversal of the idea comes from a desire to create a shared experience between the narrator and the listener. Rather than mocking somebody inferior, he tends to turn the joke onto himself…

‘Tu es un travesti?’… ‘Oui je suis un travesti mais pas un travesti typical!’

… using his own transvestism as the butt of his jokes. Having said this, you could argue that the very reason he uses French in his comedy is to feel superior and, as he admits himself, to stick ‘two v’s’ up at his foreign friends.

Secondly we have the Incongruity Theory. This revolves around the assumption that we laugh at things that surprise us because they seem out of place: like clowns wearing outrageously large shoes or politicians telling the truth… The absurd nature of Eddie’s stand-up follows this particular theory perfectly as his bizarre story of holidaying with a mouse, a cat and a monkey show how the weirder the concept is, the more wonderfully funny the joke becomes.  This will explain…

‘Ah le singe… Maintenant regarde: il est sur une bicyclette… il joue au banjo et… il fume une pipe!’

Not only can this fictitious monkey of Eddie’s ride a bike, play a banjo and smoke a pipe but also he later goes on to drive a bus with Sandra Bullock! This, in turn, shows Eddie using French creatively in order to make even the most outré of situations appear even balmier!

Now, as you’ve probably already noticed, the French above doesn’t appear too hard to decipher, does it? The fact that the comedian uses a lot of French that looks and sounds similar to its counterpart in English means that the audience is able to understand it with minimum fuss. Words such as:

‘table; positions; bombe; autobus; hôtel’

…all back this up and, strangely, as a result of these similarities it gives the audience a sense of satisfaction for being able to grasp the French. Furthermore, Eddie doesn’t feel the need to explain many words since the added use of paralinguistic features, like mimicking the licking of a spoon, helps aid the audience’s comprehension of his phrases.

All in all, what really makes us laugh is the content of his stand-up rather than its French exterior. At times we don’t even notice that Mr. Izzard is speaking fluent French for we are captivated by the unorthodox nature of his anecdote (Incongruity Theory, remember?); removing the awareness that a foreign language is being used. So if you wish to learn the beautiful language that is French (particularly how to say that there’s a monkey on the branch) then ‘Learning French’ is your perfect starting point because with Eddie, it really Izzn’t hard. Actually, you might even find it quite fun!

Doggy do-DON’T!

Doggy do-DON’T!

Lurking deep in the depths beneath, shrouded by a neighbouring cloud of shrubbery these malefactors stay hidden. Silent but undeniably deadly – are they social pariah’s of a lost age too scared to venture out in daylight or mere delinquents seeking to commit the perfect crime? One thing’s for certain, whoever they are they remain unnamed, unsighted, unloved (well by me at least!) yet evidence suggests that these aren’t cryptids simply concocted by my imagination but that they really do exist! That one, solitary coil of dog shit that spreads itself so carelessly across my path… for fuck’s sake clean it up!

Forget the lyrical introduction, this is about one thing and one thing alone – dog’s and their owners. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know I can’t attribute total blame to the mutt since it is not entirely their fault. Yes, they void their bowels wherever they like and haven’t developed the necessary brain-power to sweep it away under the relative safety of some mud but it’s their bloody owners I can’t understand! I assume that this is the scenario:

  1. Owner and dog go for a walk
  2. Dog needs to relieve itself (on the footpath)
  3. I come walking down said path
  4. Owner decides that this would be a rather hilarious prank so decides to slip out of sight
  5. I don’t notice the dog’s turd (due to lack of visibility at night) and walk straight through

The worst thing is that, as soon as you’ve stepped in it, you know immediately. The combination of that tell-tale squelch and the almost immediate pungent smell, redolent of shit, warns you that you’re best taking your shoes off before you enter your house that night. What is more, I can’t fathom why we have a fine for this when no one, I repeat, no one is ever caught! These inconsiderate ruffians are roaming the streets (well paths), mongrels by their sides, just waiting to trip up some unsuspecting victim with a dollop of excrement… it must be stopped!

So please, criminal dog owners (you know who you are) clean up your act by cleaning up your shit! Otherwise, if you don’t, there’ll be a very funky smelling batch of post coming through your letterbox when I find out your name… or perhaps I’ll just get some of this…

A Fork Is A Man’s Best Friend

If chips be the answer, send forth!

Or heaven purge another starch-ridden

Antidote for my hunger.

Shy not from the relinquishing of your golden goods, for

I seek to inhale, exhale and embrace all that you throw at me,

Hand-in-hand, fork-in-hand,

We’ll lead the crusade against the caustic inconveniences that corrode my

Stomach.

Screams of mercy shall greet my three-pronged General,

The war is not lost.

 

There will be men and women, who sit and stare, not care,

Slurping copious amounts of coffee…

…since when was a moustache a welcome addition to a man’s upper lip?

Whereas Tom, he has the right idea.

A warm wad of moss hanging from his cliff-like jaw,

The long lost piece to finish Mr. Tash’s jigsaw, yet it’s

Absent, missing, nonexistent,

Those rascal hairs have played truancy and deserted the poor sod,

Fear not though for he bears a gift of green,

Fairy dishwasher tablets for tea bags?

 

No thanks sir, an Assam will do just fine,

Surely nothing could be more horrendous, useless… unless

There are high visibility jackets in conditions of considerable

Visibility, then we shall try, feebly,

To break out the enviable obscenities for a quick swig,

Stand up, be a man,

Murdock would have a blind stab at it,

For God’s sake, even Tash would!

Too much choice? But

Choice doesn’t make us indecisive, having to decide does.

 

But now they leave,

Tash in tack,

Tablets in good knick,

Their faces exhibiting the cockle-warming benefits of a nice tomato soup,

Personally, the chips would have been better, but

Who am I to say?

Come closer; let me whisper in your ear,

Psst, oi, I’m talking to you!

All I wanted to say was that…

…a fork really is a man’s best friend.

Mirrors of Encounters

“I love Rilke, Goethe, Saffo, the sonnets of Shakespeare, Petrarca.
I take great pleasure in reading your poems as well.

But the best poetry is when you fuck me”, she said mischievously, with a wide voluptuous smile.

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Imprisoned In My Own Back Yard

I’m incarcerated

Behind the stinging bars of social delusion,

Meanwhile mellifluous sounds sit so surreptitiously

Behind battering-ram-like choruses,

Silence is golden.

 

We hear the noises of eager beavers, morning birds,

Murders of crows with irksome calls,

Cockadoodle-doo!

Cockadoodle-doo!

A cacophony to raise even the deaf from their graves,

There’s never a good time to join the parade.

 

Seats filled with canvas friends,

Buckled, strapped, chastened by the law’s unwanted wrath, yet

Further back we hug one another like old comrades-

Supportive, not sympathetic,

“If only the tracks were cheaper than the roads”, one says.

 

Now utterances are thrown,

Carelessly, not caringly,

Constantly, not consistently,

Balls of fiery mesh watered down by an oncoming chuckle,

But still we sit silently,

Waiting,

Wondering,

Wishing,

Silence isn’t golden, it’s gold-plated silver.