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.

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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.

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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!

Getting to know…

…John Virgo

a16c41b4-d5a4-4037-a452-1b57fd7f7f9a-211-000000049d221d5cBorn in Kingston, Jamaica in 1954 to Segway and Eunice Beaufort – the Caribbean’s most celebrated husband-and-wife clown act – John Chatwin Virgo rose to fame as a giant handed snooker tyrant in the shit-brown 1970s. He lives in rural Hertfordshire with his eleven children and civil law partner General Sir Michael Jackson.

What makes you happy?
Sipping a pint of lemon juice whilst watching my gerbils, Anthony and Pony Girl, fight over a peanut.

What’s your greatest extravagance?
Hats. I’ve got three hats. TWO! Sorry, I’ve got two hats. One’s Mike’s.

Describe your perfect weekend
Early morning Saturday stretching right through to late Sunday, with no weekday bits at all. I’m at my most powerful at the weekends. I am an electromagnetised warrior-titan of vengeful fuck-ass at the weekend.

Where were you happiest?
Bromsgrove, February 1973. I’d just chalked up my first 147 and discovered masturbation later that same day. I still remember shouting “sexy Spiderman!” as that maiden ribbon of baby butter shot towards the mirror.

What’s your biggest regret?
That I didn’t check for a pulse before throwing her to the pigs.

Tell us a secret?
Jim Davidson has a tattoo of Chubby Brown fucking Manning on his perineum.

How would you like to be remembered?
A formdable titan on the snooker table, a fearless and generous bonobo in the bedroom, and generally the personification of the generative powers of nature in all other aspects. And as the cohost of Big Break.

Haikus 5

56EF37D9-113F-435F-829D-18671EA8D81F-242-00000029F3A1A366Bowels of Hell
He lost respect for
Steve. That stench in the work loo.
Yes, Steve’s shoes alright.

Sofa cushion lucky dip
Eating, she dropped a
bit. Retrieved without looking.
In mouth. Eurgh. Different.

Canine Waste Executive
His job was to put
little warning flags in dog
shit. Three A levels…

Existential Skittles
By the twelfth leisure
centre vending machine lunch,
he just felt nothing.

80D33872-146A-4283-A5CF-EDA8004B293B-242-00000028AF3844AEPrick Dundee
“Call that a penis?”
said the Urologist, in
a shit Oz accent.

 

Wanted: Amanuensis

I have a terrible memory.

Very little seems to lodge there. Like the time a tramp slept in my car. I’d forgotten about that until reminded recently. My friend and I went to pick it up from town only to find the boot ajar, back seats down and the whole thing reeking of cigarette smoke.

fc59ca32-6601-4d3d-a55e-51467e9d0c10-233-0000001f5fa45448_tmpActually, it’s not quite true that I have a terrible memory. I have great implicit memory. We all do. It’s why you can cook your favourite meal without a recipe, or tie your shoe laces. Implicit memory is used in building motor skills, what you might call muscle memory. The repetition of a task, the practicing of an instrument, over and over, on an ever-refining path towards mastery. I’m a drummer, I got pretty good. No, nothing wrong with the implicit side of things.

I reckon my explicit memory is pretty titting plumb as well. Well, an aspect of it is, my semantic memory. You don’t get to be a The Chaseā„¢ champion without an aptitude for the conscious storage and recall of data, the conjuring of isolated facts independent of context. My insatiable competitive drive and dependency on shots of quick-win external validation see to that.

img_0281But it’s the other side of explicit memory – the episodic side – where my blindspot becomes blindingly easy to spot. I just don’t tend to lock in spatial or temporal data – sensations, emotions, personal associations of a particular time or place. Events pass through uncaptured, instances of hijinx, chance encounters with oddballs, none of them leave their echo. I have a terrible autobiographical memory. I could never be a raconteur. Or a spy.

img_0294Which is why folks keep journals, take photos, ceaselessly tell their stories to others, I suppose. We must curate ourselves, bring the patchwork of the past to bear on the present, to forge meaning, make sense. A mind alive only in the perpetual moment is either the heaven of the enlightened Yogi or the hell of the dementia-addled aged. Funny that.

My name is…wait…this is ridiculous, my name…anyway, my name is my name and I have a terrible autobiographical memory.

Wet Lace

Her shiny shins gleamed in the lascivious flicker of the candle. Pam had waxed all traces of hair from every bit of her yearning feminine body in preparation for Jim’s visit. Including, whilst absent-mindedly agonising over when exactly blue cheese is unfit for consumption, her eyebrows.

“I like a naked flame” cooed Jim, but not like a dove, like a man paving the way for genital coupling.

c42841c0-378b-41d0-9d0e-d2af760b503c-280-0000004b6a3f1855_tmp“I adore candle light” Pam trilled, but not like a budgie, like a woman inviting a man to persist in paving the way for genital coupling. “There’s just something so…” she searched for the right word, performing an inadvertant little royal wave with her hand as she did so. “…thrilling about striking a match. Grasping the shaft and making it’s little pink head explode with a quick flick of my fingers”.

“Matches” Jim returned, confusingly, too distracted by an overwhelming surge through his groin. A sex storm which shorted his mental processes, like a sort of erotic stroke. A dribbling dog with biscuit balanced on his nose, Jim trembled with a beautiful agony awaiting the command. And Pam ALWAYS issued a command.

“That smell” Jim said through knitted brow, as he tried to place the exotic scent that hung, like like an invisible odour, or an atmospheric flavour, or a mysterious nasal language, in the air.

“You like it? That’s the candle, bought it today. Prosecco and oysters. David Hasselhoff’s new Hoffrodesiac range at Matalan”.

dcf56f88-e240-4f22-86f4-021a6811b632-280-0000004857517143_tmp“Yes, I was wondering why I’d been thinking about the harbour at Whitstable. I like it. They do some fantastic ranges there. Tom Kerridge’s Stinking Bishop Bath Moose is divine. Extremely relaxing and goes great with a glass of red, if you’re an ablution boozer that is!”.

Pam poured Jim a disaronno and Sprite, and sashayed over to the bed to hand it to him. Without warning, she felt an urgent pressure in her colon. With only a split second to settle on a gambit to mask the loud fart that this substantial bubble of feculent tummy gas would inevitably produce, Pam slammed Jim’s drink at the wall, inches from his head. On the plus side the impact and the smashing glass more than covered her bassy bum beefbelch.

“PAM! You’re god damn crazy, woman. Come here you unhinged mare”. Jim pulled Pam onto the bed, and kissed her fulsomely, like a starving man trying to eat an orange through a letterbox. Pam swung her leg over Jim and, in one smooth movement, subsumed his cock into her knicker-mouth.

27101955-2b80-4945-963b-06ec91d1b4cd-280-00000049a7136a35_tmp“Ride me like a rodeo bull, you sexy little cowgirl”.

“Sink your pink in my pocket, you filthy little snookerboy”.

Pam and Jim committed coitus for 7 hours and twenty three minutes, pausing only three times; for the pizza delivery, severe cramp and because Jim thought he could hear a ghost.