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Saturday, 31 October 2009

Marks & Spencers Halloween

Designed these for Halloween 2007 but they're using them again this year to fill people's kids up with weird crisps & sweets - here's a selection of some of them - will put some packaging photos up if I can get my feeble ill arse out of the house to take some

Guardian All Ears 31st October

I love the comic poignancy of those collars they make cats & dogs wear, one shouldn't laugh but...
Also a little Harry Potter reference (for Halloween) - no, I've never read, watched, eaten any of the wretched franchise so have no reason beyond pure unreasoning prejudice to dislike it (hmm shades of a certain Mr Griffin there ugh!)

(Article by Michael Holden)
I was in the collective reception are where several new age businesses collide when I noticed the woman sat opposite me was sporting inordinately powerful biceps, in the Madonna style. She kept looking sideways at them and flexing subtly, as though she couldn’t quite believe what she’d achieved. She had her son with her who must have been about 14 and had his head in a book.

Woman: (without taking her eyes of her arms) “You should start to think about which books you’ll take in holiday.”

Boy: (without looking up) “Yeah.”

Woman: “You’ll need to be quite selective. Remember you’ll have to carry them.”

Boy: (After thinking for a moment) “I think I’ll take The Guinness Book Of Records.”

Woman: (outraged by this apparent lack of practicality) “I don’t think you will! Why would you take that? Why don’t you take those Horrible Histories books? Danny loved them. He read them all twice.”

Boy: (like his time was money) “I don’t read anything twice. What will happen to the cat?”

Woman: “She’ll be fine. She can’t go outside anyway. The vet said.”

The boy looked deeper into his book and his mother retaliated by picking up a paper from which she began to read out loud.

Woman: “Fantastic Mr Fox. Six thirty.”

Boy “I want to see ‘Up.’”

Woman “Well that’s two things we can do at half term.”

Boy: (still reading) “It’s in 3D”

Woman: (determined) “I’m really looking forward to the holiday.”

Boy: (deadpan, still reading) “Yes.”

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Guardian All Ears 24th October

Funnily enough I have an unread copy of Plato's Republic sitting on my shelves but my burgeoning lapdancing career seriously impinges on my reading time...

(Article by Michael Holden)
The ethics of professional nudity are one of the great default arguments that daytime television, talk radio, columnists and occasionally frontline politics will elect to shine their dubious lights upon when there’s nothing else to talk about. It came as no big surprise then to find myself adjacent to two drinkers discussing the art of what Tina Turner called “Private Dancing,” albeit from a somewhat subjective point of view.

Man 1 “She made eight hundred quid in her first week.”

Man 2 “Christ, so that’s her now then. No going back…how she’s getting on?”

Man 1 “Well she does get on with things-I admire that about her. She says the blokes are just-well you can imagine…”

Man 2 “What?”

Man 1 “Well, you know. They’ll show her a picture of a Ferrari on their iPhone and say, ‘That’s my car, I can take you away from all this, you’re too good for it.’ But, there they are…”

Man 2 “What does she say to all that?”

Man 1 “You have to play up to it. They told her, you can’t crack on that you’re clever. You have to act the part. You can read books if it’s quiet but you have to wrap up them up inside a copy of Heat or something.”

Man 2 “Yeah, I can see that.”

Man 1 “She had one lot of blokes come in that she said were alright. They said it was the first time they’d been and she told them it was her first night-which was true. They said they’d give her all the money she had, which was plenty, if, when she got on the stage, half way through the routine she started doing robotics.”

Man 2 (laughing) “Did she do it?”

Man 1 (laughing too) “No, she bottled it.”

Man 2 “I’d pay good money to see that.”

Man 1 “I’ll let her know.”

Monday, 19 October 2009

Guardian All Ears 17th October

Gratuitous use of cock imagery ahoy!

I’d like to stop smoking but since the ban, the eavesdropping opportunities it creates are just to good to give up. Cast out into the air cold air it as though the bonds of addiction allow us to speak outside the conventions of the world indoors. Why else would a group of men taking part in some kind of reunion dinner furnish me with the details of their friend’s cardiac-genital humiliation as we stood together outside a restaurant? It’s not like I ask people to tell me this stuff. It just happens.

Man 1 “I’m surprised Alan’s not here.”

Man 2 “You know he had a heart attack?”

Man 3 (as though this were worse) “He lives in France”

Man 4(sensing he might be the only one in possession of the full facts-and determined to capitalise) “Well he (+I)did(-I) live in France, until he had the heart attack…”

Man 1 “What happened then?”

Man 3 (not to be outdone) “They had to airlift him out-in a helicopter.”

Man 2 “Jesus-I never knew that.”

Man 1 “Wow. I wonder how felt?”

Man 4 (reclaiming the high ground) “He said the worst thing was when he was lying on the stretcher and the helicopter came down and blew all the blankets off him-so he was naked…”

Man 3 “He’s lucky he wasn’t in England, someone would have filmed you over here. You’d have been on Youtube, or that Michael Buerke programme. Half dead in the down draft, naked, with your penis pixelated out…”

Man 1 “I thought he lived in Belgium?”

Man 4 “Don’t be daft.”

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Guardian All Ears 10th October

...with a little nod to my favourite estate agents this week ...grrr!

(Article by Michael Holden)
It’s a sign of the times but twice in a month I’ve ended up within earshot of a man berating a woman over the phone about selling a house. While the first tirade took place in a public toilet, this one went down in the lobby of an expensive hotel. The man was small, sitting on sofa much larger than he was and spoke with a New York accent.
Man “This guy’s a doctor right? But this is phony. This is a fraudulent transaction, and there’s nothing you can do about it?
He listened to the response and pulled faces of exasperation
Man “You got all your linens in there! How you gonna show the house? You need to put all the linens into the basement…I’ll move my desk down there, I’ll see if I can get someone to help me…that desk is very, very heavy-and that’s the least of our problems… We’re not gonna move the chandelier back to your house, that’s idiotic!
Then something got said that sent him up a gear.
Man “ What? I wouldn’t count it! I would get the house on the market and market it aggressively. How aggressively? Very aggressively, go for four twenty and put a note on there saying only pre-approved buyers, people with normal mortgages or nothing, if someone comes in with cash, take less…Screw these people!”
He chewed a pen and tried to take in her response but it was all too much.
Man “Don’t use Jeremy anymore! He’s incompetent, and these morons, these idiots over there, tell ‘em they couldn’t run a convenience store…Tell them! Open up your mouth or I’ll come down and tell them. The whole thing is idiotic! Oh Jesus Christ, they’re fucking novices. You spent all this money, for what?”
He gave a giant sigh and applied himself to less vexing matters
Man “Dress very warm, it’s raining and it’s cold out…just get me a chicken sandwich, something like that.”

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Guardian All Ears 3rd October

You just KNOW the guy's going to smell of Country Born hair gel, Hard Rock hair spray & Lynx! Sorry, but the mid '80s were can stuff your rosy tinted revisionism & your crappy Big Country albums where the sun don't shine...

(Article by Michael Holden)

I was hiding my face in a newspaper on a train when I heard a woman’s voice say, “I remember when you were conceived.” I looked up to see who was poised to deliver this revelation and saw a woman sat opposite her daughter who it transpired was around 25 years old.
Mother (visualizing) “ It was bloody freezing. Me and your dad had been to the cinema. He had to walk me home.”
Daughter (visualizing also-but presumably with some caution) “What film did you see?”
Mother (making claw shapes with her hand)“Oh God. That thing when his hands are like knives …”
The daughter shook her head.
Mother (annoyed with herself) “The Freddy thing…you know…”
She didn’t.
Mother (like she’d won a quiz) “Nightmare on Elm Street!”
Daughter “Never seen it.”
Mother “I hated it. Scared me. That’s why he had to take me home. Not ‘cos of the weather. I was jumpy.”
Daughter (smiling) “With good reason”
Mother (like 1984 was another era entirely) “That was why you went to the cinema back then.”
Daughter (laughing, incredulous) “To get pregnant?”
Mother “You know what I mean. We didn’t go as much when you was born. I know that.”
Daughter “Do you remember much about it?”
Mother “What do you mean?”
Daughter “Like, what you were wearing?”
Mother “I had a big coat.”
Daughter “What about dad?”
Mother “Well he would have had a coat as well.”
Daughter “That’s all you remember?”
Mother “The bloke in the film, he’s got a red and black jumper..”
Daughter (looking anxious to wrap things up) “Thanks for that.”