Omnishambles

I wrote this back in May then left it in draft limbo on the grounds that it went nowhere and weren’t bleedin’ good enough guv’nor. It’s all political about the Brexit that happened then. Were you one of the ballot-happy Leave nobs? Comment me up with a rejoinder if so. 

* * * *

Oi. You bastard of a Brit. In the 52 per cent you say? Speaking with that hate-pursed maw that mouths ‘help’ each night as you nocturnally pollute to a dream in which a bare and buttered Dolph Lundgren kicks an Afro-Caribbean fish to death in a nudist school.

You moral bender.

Five years from now, the EU Referendum and your project fear vote will donkey-punch you in the head. And it will be like when you drop a little bit of what you’re eating between the sofa cushions, unthinkingly retrieve it and pop it in your mouth. Except it’s not what you’ve been eating. It’s harder, and bitter and tastes of decay. Then the surge of horror, commingled with a feeling of betrayal and a stabbing sense of your own gormless, animal stupidity. You’d eat your own genitals if it were dark enough, they were covered in gravy and you could reach. You moronically stupid witless idiot.

And as the pound and trade plummet, division and intolerance sky rocket and agriculture and key public services go to the wall, you’ll be absolutely fine, because you don’t really think about things too hard, do you. Which was precisely the problem.

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Haikus 6

Vending invisible choc
Skipped lunch. 4pm.
Poked 4-4, Mars Bars 4-5.
Empty spring turns. Fuck.

5BA7A234-71D4-4FCE-B9B3-80F45CAD24E9-242-000000467AF03ADCComing to the crunch
Our love, a snail
under boot in the gloaming.
Crushed by want of care.

Sad bastard
‘I’m shit at my job’
he thought, every day until
he just…really was.

Yahoo
When Claire put ketchup
on Steve’s risotto, he upped
and moved to Denmark.

Everything’s relative
‘Oh yeah’ he snarled back.
‘Well maybe you’ve just got a
massive twat!’ Fair point.

0A0769FF-E328-49B6-A6AB-EACDD8857B4F-242-000000495529412EOnce upon a moment
We’ve all got a book
in us. If just a short shit
one about writer’s block.

Death of a glamour model
Obituary
short and sweet. Simply read “Thanks
for the mammaries”.

Science Fiction story

“I can’t believe it’s the year 2087” said Cheng Shakespeare, in a state of disbelief. Behind him a man with a cybernetic eye fed some bitcoins into a levitating vending drone.

Cheng watched a Skybus glide vertically upwards and zoom off above the towering skyscrapers of this moribund synthetic metropolis, making a noise like a synthesiser with an ‘insect’ setting. It was night time, and also really smoggy and raining hard and generally quite depressing in a brutalist post-industrial kind of way but with hover cars.

No-one seemed to have gardens any more. The rampant clamour for dwellings had gobbled up green space as human populations exploded like a protracted number bomb. Since the early twentieth century humanity had been breeding at an unsustainably exponential rate, without so much as a telepathically transferred thought for where it was going to bloody well put itself. A telepathically transferred thought humanity could have had, thanks to Amstrad’s patent Brain-to-Brain Interface of 2019.

0e3b422f-a3de-487e-8e9b-86000aa51c71-274-00000033f975bc7f“You what?!” returned Quasar O’Doherty, somewhat incredulously. Behind him a holographic prostitute was doing her darndest to solicit the custom of a silver-skinned man with self-tailoring clothes.

“What do you mean ‘what?!’?!” Cheng fired back. But before the two men could resolve their frankly aimless exchange, a thunderous bang shook the Lower Twelfth Precinct, which quickly filled with billowing clouds of debris and smoke. The unmistakable sight of two AI Militia materialised from the swirling grey haze, their machine-like gait and USBs-for-bollocks the only subtle signs betraying the inorganic identities of these cybernetic simulcras.

“Shit! Download the Police!” Quasar bellowed, reaching for his iPenis. After just a few seconds of frenzied tapping on his wi-fi enabled nob module, a bank of lasers shot out from the Police headquarters several miles away and 3D-printed a Lawbot on the street in front of the insurgents.

Shakespeare and Quasar flagged down a hovercab which whisked them up through the neon-lit troposphere to a cruising altitude of 4 clicks, and away from danger. From up here civilisation was little more than an ugly inorganic sprawl, neon-lit, rain-soaked and with lots of steam rising from it (at night).

Safely back at Residential Quarter #7569, the two companions took the stairs to the anti-gravity roof restaurant. Quasar ordered the pulled-thylacine sandwich, whilst Chang opted for the banoffee pie via neural upload. Both men had electromagnetic coffee delivered through foot plates underneath the table.

img_0510-1“Well, can you believe it’s the year 2087 now, Cheng Shakespeare?’ Quasar enquired sardonically.

“Yes. Yes I can, Quasar O’Doherty. What with everything that’s just happened, I damn fucking well can”. Both men laughed heartily, before retiring to sit in a dark room for several hours, since the imperative for sleep had been neuro-engineered away, yet people still liked to observe the now antiquated tradition of doing fuck all over night from about 11 until about seven or eightish in the morning.

Getting to know…

…Richard Littlejohn

wp-image-838090468Richard Robin Marion Littlejohn was born several times throughout the 1950s in Harlem. After a disturbed childhood which saw him go in and out of several mothers, he was eventually declared permanently medically born at the age of 7. Littlejohn took up armed struggle at the age of 17, although he himself admits it remains unclear as to what the cause was. He lives in Surrey with his wife Alhambra Gerrymatticock and his two spaniels, Left Testicle and Right Testicle.

When were you happiest?
Yesterday. Mum had just called me in from playing Kerbie with Nick Ferarri. I had my favourite A Team t shirt on and we had sausage and ice cream for tea.

What keeps you up at night?
Mildly racist aural hallucinations. I have one recurring voice who I call Tony Abattoir – he keeps banging on about how black families don’t recycle enough and how manspreading indians take up more than 50% of bus seats.

What’s your most treasured possession?
A jar of fat I found in a derelect windmill. Another of my aural hallucinations – Sir Teddy History – tells me it’s from Cher’s eighth liposuction. My counsellor nodded and said ‘interesting’ when I told her which I took to signal agreement.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My smell. I’m told it’s like a mixture of burnng tyres and toddler poo. I’d quite like to smell like a Happy Meal. Or a box of Smyth & Quiggley offal chocolates. My grandad’s favourite (which I never was).

What’s your favourite word?
Floggnocificulism. It means to simultaneously fart and burp with such force as to bring about instantaneous spiritual awakening. I strive for it every day of my life. I often joke about my £10 a day Coke habit!

How would you like to be remembered?
As a fifth-rate, bigotted hate-pedaling hack, whose lack of journalistic talent was almost as offensive as the dog ordure he smeared across his columns.

Sir Wantalot

I want to be the home that you return to,
I want to be the coat that keeps you snug,
I want to be the picture at your bedside,
I want to be the cocoa in your mug.

I want to be the music that you dance to,
I want to be the glimmer in your eye,
I want to be the thought that makes you smile,
I want to be the birdsong in your sky.

I want you to be happy when I’m near you,
I want you to be less so when I’m not,
I want you to be hopeful for the future,
I want the past to fade and be forgot.

I want to not now have to want you,
‘cos wanting you means that I am without,
I want to fall into a space-time wormhole,
‘cos someworld else
we’re hand-in-hand
and going out.

A Sting in the Tale or Too little, too late

Once upon a time there was a bee. Now, as bees go, she was a contented little bee, full of the joys of spring. A free spirit, she was at her happiest when on the wing in meandering quest for the next flower.

The other bees were in agreement that she was by far the best waggle dancer in the hive. Such was her love of life – it could not be contained and came pouring out of every pore, whatever she turned her boundless energies to.

She was also the kindest, smartest, most sweet-natured bee. Her name was Honey.

5ae1ee7ee4af936d801fda1567f557fe

One bright May morning, as Mr Blackbird hopped his Mesozoic way across the dew-specked lawn in search of unsuspecting bugs, and Mrs Butterfly alighted on a flower, wings spread to soak up the warm caress of the ascending sun, Honey found a patch of fragrant lavender to rest on.

She drew in a breath to drink deep of the sweet, herby scent. She loved lavender most of all the flowers. As she was savouring the sights, sounds and smells of the garden, her attention was caught by a harsh buzzing behind her. She turned to see a surly-looking wasp perched on the violet bracts of a nearby lavender stem. He looked intriguing. A little odd perhaps, but she was strangely drawn to this creature.

The wasp’s name was Nettle. He was a spikey customer. A malcontented soul, aloof and alone with no hive to call home and only worries and bugbears where Honey had curiosities and joys.

Nettle convinced Honey to come back to his home, which was little more than a hole he had excavated in the rockery. As hermitic and ascetic as he was, generally shunning companions and conversation in favour of his own sour company, he couldn’t help but obey the strange swellings of feeling which Honey had stirred in his chest. He had tasted of Honey, and she was very, very sweet.

At first Honey was happy to leave behind the hive, since Nettle was such an intriguing companion. He could be cranky, waspish even, but through the grey clouds of his brooding temperament, a few tantalising rays of something sunnier shone through every now and again, the tentative and fleeting light of a good soul, hidden but struggling to be found.

As Spring rolled into Summer, Honey began to draw out more and more of Nettle’s sweet nature, his humour, his ‘bee-ness’. At times Nettle could be terribly cruel, and Honey felt the sharp stab of his sting on more than one occasion. But she stayed with Nettle, in the dank dark of his earthen chamber, because she loved him, and she thought that, in time, he would come to love her.

Nettle was a talented writer, and Honey was in his thrall whenever he read one of his latest poems by the fireside, as they settled in for another evening in their quiet little home. Through the delight and enchantment of his fine words, there was a vague, undefined sadness that nagged at Honey’s heart, an unrealised desire for something more, a life fuller and richer and more varied beyond the loamy walls of their subterranean nest. But Honey paid it no heed, as she buzzed her wings in appreciation, imploring Nettle to read “just one more” verse.

frenchbeesOne evening Honey was feeling particularly light and giddy. She had been caught in a reverie, fondly remembering the lavish hive parties of her previous life, where the honey would flow, and the waggle dancing would go on well into the night, when she and her dear friend Pollie would always be the last bees standing. She buzzed up to Nettle excitedly and implored him to dance with her. Nettle was in a foul mood and, wheeling around tetchily, rebuked her with words intended to sting:

“Wasps don’t waggle dance, it’s foolish and stupid and so are you, Honey. Now leave me in peace, you frivolous girl”. That night Honey cried herself to sleep. She missed the hive and her friends and the simple pleasures of the garden. She missed being happy-go-lucky and carefree. She missed being Honey.

common-wasp-stingNow, Nettle wasn’t a bad hymenoptera. It was just that he was used to being alone, and his waspishness, his tendency to complaint and criticism, the regular expressions of his captious and tetchy nature were for him, a curious kind of comfort. It was not in his nature, as it was for Honey, to seek solace and sympatico in others. He was slow to trust and quick to judge, and in short he didn’t know how to be sweet like Honey. As much as he loved and appreciated and admired Honey, he couldn’t show it, or at least not consistently, and not without stinging. In fact, quite the opposite. As poor Honey would discover.

The balmy, sun-kissed days of Summer gradually acquiesced to the wind-bitten advances of Autumn. Honey had long since given up hope of  being happy again. She and Nettle no longer enjoyed poems by the fire, or anything much for that matter. As Honey’s inner light died, so too did Nettle’s already meagre attempts to connect with her. Just as Honey’s pure and loving spirit had breathed life into their relationship, so too did her steady diminution into melancholy occasion it’s death.

Death has many forms, the physical just one. But it isn’t only bodies that can die. Hopes, cultures, memories, ideas and loves can all be starved at the root, consigned to eternal erasure.

One chill morning Nettle awoke to find Honey not at his side. He went outside the nest to find the garden swathed in a blanket of white, the snowfall was heavy last night, he thought to himself. As he yawned a whisping trail of vapour into the freezing morning air, he saw a shape ahead of him, quite still on the frozen ground. A familiar yellow and black form crumpled in a heap.

beeinsnow

Flying over he immediately recognised it as Honey, cold and dead, next to a single snowdrop which had emerged, defiantly, from the snow. In that moment Nettle felt a stab of something that was new and unknown to him. His legs gave way and he crumpled to the cold whiteness below, his head resting on Honey. A surge of sadness overwhelmed him, and he felt as though he was drowning as a mighty river of feeling burst within him.

Tears flowed as he heard a cracked, guttural cry of grief take flight from his mouth. His love for Honey was pouring out. Deluging and crashing like terrible waves around him. Stinging him with a million barbs.

On that frozen winter morning, as Mr Blackbird hopped his Mesozoic way across the entombed lawn in hopeful search for breadcrumbs, Nettle found his heart. He expressed his love.

But it was a futile love. Too little, too late.

Getting to know…

bf9dcca0-bce2-4247-8a48-d9923fe8b5f8-211-00000016258cf17a…Professor Sir Robert Winston

Sir Professor Robert Winston is a scientist of baby generation science. Having matriculated from Huddersfield Polytechnic with a 2:2 in Theatre and Dance in 1965, his life course was changed dramatically the following year when he became fucking ashamed of that fact, and subsequently pursued a proper subject and job. Knighted in 2012 during a highly experimental (and widely criticised) acid-fuelled investiture ceremony on Ilkley Moor, he now lives in a YMCA on the outskirts of Leeds, with his parrot, Robert, and third wife, Roberta Parrot.

What’s your worst habit?
Making my meals in the kettle. I only ever cook using kettles. I once threw a dinner party attended by David Attenborough and Robert Sachs using 17 kettles.

What makes you angry?
Chavs with more than two kids. Ugly women at the beach. Blokes who won’t sing along at the urinals.

What are you most proud of?
My career as a clever scientist of baby science. I know an awful lot about how babies are made by a man and a woman, and my work has broken a lot of ground, particularly in terms of our understanding of how haunted wombs can give rise to evil children.

Have you ever said ‘see you later’ and not meant it?
Oh, all the time. I mean, literally all the time. No, I really do mean all the time. Don’t you believe me? Why are you smiling? Smile at me would you, prick. Stand up you prick, stand the fuck up and fight me, prick.

What one thing would you change about yourself?
I never learnt how to roll a dice. It’s kind of embarrassing if I’m playing Yahtzee, or Snakes and Ladders, or Monopoly. If I’m throwing a dinner party, I just bring out Boggle. I should learn one day.

What is your greatest fear?
Getting photographed as a black and white minstrel whilst wearing a dress with my penis clearly visible. And that photograph being used as the image for the new First Class Stamp. And then my mother seeing it!