Monthly Archives: May 2010

Here comes a new (webcomic) challenger

*I’ve just realised I’ve made this 3,046 times better by just putting my face on it. GU Comics, you are shit.*

I tend to get my weekly fix of webcomics from Kotaku (it’s a gaming site and they’re gaming comics, fact fans). The problem is, I shouldn’t do this. Because they’re invariably shit. Seriously – look at this week’s post and find something on it that genuinely makes you laugh. And I mean this coming from someone who does get all (most) of the references to gaming and pop culture in them. The simple fact of the matter is they’re just not very good. At all. Yet they get audiences of millions per week, solely because they’re included on the Kotaku post.

I know there are good webcomics around – I read XKCD whenever it’s updated (Monday’s isn’t so good, but check through the archives for some genuinely hilarious posts) and every now and them am randomly linked by someone to something that is… y’know… good. With this in mind I have come to two conclusions… three conclusions: one, people need to tell me more good webcomics to read. Good ones, not shit ones with obvious references, smug, self-satisfied writers and a genuinely unfunny end product. Two, it must be really hard to be funny if only about five per cent of the offerings out there are actually smirk-worthy. And three, I should get in on this stuff, as I am funny.

With number three in mind, say hello to my new webcomic series. It is as yet untitled and probably won’t continue beyond this single entry. But that’s irrelevant, because it’s 300 times the comic PvPOnline is and (approximately) eighty-two billion that of GU Comics (which is legally worse than the holocaust, cancer and a burning orphanage put together into one big mush of badtitude). Enjoy!

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Cambridge: the definitive review (7/10)

(This is definitely not just an entry pulled out of my backside to make it easier on my tired, hungover brain. Oh no siree, you won’t get that kind of thing around here…)

What did I ever do to offend you, Cambridge? I’ve never been to your stupid ‘place’ in my life, yet you do nothing but bully me with shitty rain as soon as I arrive? Well screw you – I’m all for handing out critical maulings to things that don’t treat me with the fairness and respect I deserve (professional note: this is a lie), especially stupid jumped-up little towns that think it’s acceptable behaviour to rain all over me and force me to step in a puddle when you know damn well my trainer has a huge hole in the bottom of it. It’s not like I enjoy having dry feet or anything. Sigh.

Still, stupid wet weather aside there were other things that brought the overall Cambridge experience down. Too many rugby twats, for one. I don’t care if you are the legal definition of a ‘hunk’ and tower over me by half a foot – rugby is shit and… well, get out of my way. I need a piss. Silly town.

£7.50 entry to a club, forcing me to sleep in the same bed as a boy I hardly know, being really shitty to get to and from from Bournemouth, annoying drinking games getting in the way of sitting around in bored silence, 23p orangeade that tastes of nothing, not being able to pay for the guest house as the woman wasn’t there, then being made to feel like we’re scamming them this morning when she comes up to ask for the money – the list goes on. Cambridge, you had a poor showing.

Oh, and the sheer amount of cyclists bring the place down to levels I never thought possible. As such, this mark is the lowest I’ve ever handed out in the definitive review series.


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Eurovision is hopefully still brilliant

Not only did that stupid, shitty stag do make me miss doing yesterday’s blog – it also meant I missed out on the one thing important to me most in the world: the Eurovision Song Contest.

Well, it’s not the most important thing, and I haven’t actually watched Eurovision since some years ago – the time before Wogan’s final appearance, I think. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve watched it some times and even once had a party in which the watching of the contest was the main point of being present (note: not very popular). So I think I am qualified to feel let down in myself for having not watched it each time I don’t watch it. Or something.

Actually, it could just be said that I haven’t watched it since Graham Norton took over, as frankly I really don’t think he could do as good a job as old Terry and his ‘pissed-up nutter’ style of commentating. Every time you heard him laugh at a foreigner, you knew it was a laugh with real warmth behind it. Sad days to see him go. Yes, I am years behind the curve here. And with most other things.

But what would an aimless ramble about Eurovision be without a link or two to the best entries (or near-entries) I can think of? It would be absolutely nothing, that’s what. So here are some:

Unfortunately it never made it to the finals, but DJ Bobo’s entry for the Swiss made me love the country before I was even forced into doing so by inheriting a girlfriend from the place – “I sleep in the darkness, hence my grave”. GENIUS.

Lithuania’s brazen attack on the very ideals of what a Eurovision song should be still lives with me to this day. It’s not as funny as it was first time around, but I still have warm feelings for the cheeky scamps. What helps this clip is it retains some classic Wogan in the opening – you are missed, my man.

Then, of course, there’s the point where Ukraine showed the world it has more to offer than just Andriy Shevchenko/showed the world it had gone insane.

We need a British entry, so why not the foursome of half-melted waxworks collectively known as Scooch? (Note from 1:50, where it becomes seedy and weird)

But the list couldn’t be complete without the time where Finland decided to immediately win the contest. All entries pre and past, except for Abba, became null, void, cast-offs and shit.

Well done, world (“Europe”).

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I’m goin’ stag, bitches

So not only does a power cut stop me from doing last night’s blog, Word being an utter prick tries to stop me from doing today’s by letting me write it out then deleting it? Wow, thanks world. Fuck you too. Hence, this is a rehash of something I’ve just written, and as such isn’t as passionate about being hilarious as it was before.

I’m going to a stag do tomorrow* for the first time in my long, fat life. The details aren’t important – who, what, why, where, when and how can take a running jump for all I care. All that matters is the fact that even with my lack of experience I am still a lean, mean, fat-reducing grilling machine/stag do man. This is owing to the fact I have researched many stag parties over the years, with my main bodies of research conducted in Liverpool, Bournemouth and Riga, Latvia. I can tell you for a big fat fact that these are some of the finest places around to pick up some ‘stagging’ technique. See my plan for tomorrow:

  • We will wear wacky, zany and outright crazy items of clothing that make us completely unique and individual (bought from a shop). These will indicate that we are indeed out for a good time and are not the usual plebs who go to pubs. (Note: can be applied to normal nights out)
  • The groom-to-be will end up dead. (Note: can be applied to normal nights out, though not necessarily with a groom-to-be. A bride-to-be, for example, is even funnier)
  • We will be as obnoxious and aggressive as possible to anyone who isn’t a part of our group, as is traditional for British stag parties. After all, we don’t want to break with tradition. (Note: can be applied to normal nights out, though only applying to traditional tradition, not stag-tradition)
  • We will get into fights within our group once everyone else we have alienated and insulted leaves or runs away. After all, what says ‘fun’ more than punching each other in the face? (Note: can be applied to normal nights out, because everyone needs to punch their alleged friend in the face at some point, right?)
  • We will end up in a strip club, where I will feel uncomfortable and want to leave. After all, gawking at trafficked-in Eastern European girls is a good pointer on how to rock the stag night party! (Note: can be applied to normal nights out, especially when you’re on your own. Going on your own makes you even cooler)
  • We will drink so much our hearts explode, or something, because drinking is really big and cool. Anyone in the group who uses the tenuous excuse of “I can decide whether or not I drink as I am my own person and simple peer pressure is not something I cave to. I also resent the accusation that I am incapable of having fun without having booze in my system. It’s an immature viewpoint held by a lot of people and is a sign of the shocking state of British culture today” can just balls off. As they’re clearly pansies. (Note: can be applied to normal nights out, though probably with less “COME ONNNN, IT’S A SPECIAL OCCASSION!” to try and make non-drinkers drink)

That’s about it, as far as I’m concerned. If I die tomorrow, it was Anna’s fault. Even if she’s not going to be there – that’s just coincidence.

*Meaning you’re unlikely to see a new blog until Sunday. I’M SORRY, OKAY?

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Fuck it dude, let’s go bowling

I missed yesterday as there was a power cut. My kingdom for a dΏngle.

I went bowling last night for the first time since… well, last year. So not as dramatic an amount of time as I would have hoped for this introduction. Oh well, it’s not as flat as some of my intros have been, nor is it as dull. Not that I’m saying it isn’t dull, just that there are some far worse intros to blogs on this very blog site right here. Ya dig?

Anyway, I am now to be known simply as “174”. Not because I like being a number over an individual – faceless, corporate, a nothing to be discarded when the machinations of… I’ll stop that. My mind isn’t really in this. It should have been written last night. Screw you electric company for arranging to cut our power for a bit for “essential maintenance”. I think they had to cram more electric in the pipes or something.

Anyway again, I would like to now be known as “174” as that is the score I achieved at bowling of the ten pin variety. This is the highest score I have ever achieved at bowling, and my run included the first time I have ever bagged a ‘turkey’ (three strikes in a row, fact fans). This is very good for me for two reasons: one, I am not very good at any sports, and two – which ties in very closely with one – not a lot of people in the general populace are very good at bowling. This combination means that even a shit score, like 174, is enough to be in the running for Top Score Of Anyone From Work Who Played Last Night.

This makes me happy. Go with it.

P.S. I haven’t even made the audacious claim that overall I beat Aaron. He may go with some ridiculous “two games to one” logic, but I’m going with an overall standings thing here. My twice in second and once in first versus his twice in first and once in fourth = I WIN. Undeniable fact.

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Here is a picture of a monkey running off with a dog

I like to think of myself in certain ways – I don’t hold myself up to the belief that I am a very serious person, or that I demand nothing but the best from myself and those around me, or any other nonsense like that. But I do have some standards, and these particularly apply to what I waste my time watching and laughing at – with the emphasis here on the ‘laughing at’ part. I won’t watch this comedian, I don’t find this programme funny, you don’t find this series funny if you’re a moron, the dicktowel is hilarious – that kind of thing. I am arrogant about it, you could say. So it is with great regret and no small amount of embarrassment that I must make this shocking admission: I sometimes sit for hours on end watching funny animal videos on Youtube.

It’s a natural extension of my feelings toward You’ve Been Framed – a show which I always disliked for the ‘people falling over at weddings’ bits and loved for the ‘cat runs into window’ bits. Now we live in a world where these clips can be accessed at will and… well… it’s not something to be proud of in the slightest. Before, when it was that awful show on that awful channel, you could be excused for just shutting off your brain and watching it. But now I’m actively going out of my way to watch the bloody things*. It’s sickening. And with that in mind, here’s Hecklerspray’s video post today, which made me laugh like an absolute wanker. Sorry.

*See Stewart Lee’s Channel 4/E4 routine.

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Newcastle: the definitive review (7/10)

Arriving for my second overnight stay in Newcastle (known locally as “New ass hole”) I was greeted by a familiar sight: a Burger King. This is because Burger King is an international chain of burger ‘restaurants’ that produce things like The Whopper (not a penis). Away from the place with its spray-on flame-grilled taste, there was actually a northern city there too. One I’ve been to before and one I attempted to convince my comrades in travel was actually pretty darn good.

Having the weather described as sunny, only to arrive to what can only be called “cold and grey” is always going to be a disappointment. But when I’ve described somewhere as ‘good’, I don’t expect us to be immediately driven through a hideous industrial estate, past some of the glummest-looking shops known to man and within striking distance of no less than three different chip vans. Still, it’s certainly a novelty – and who would honestly say no to a chipmobile being available on most streets? Only a moron, clearly. Or one of those anti-chip lobbyists who hate potato freedom so much.

But the nightlife was where the city of Brown Ale and Mauve Lager would get back up to speed and show people that it was indeed a Geordie force to be reckoned with. Or something. It wasn’t even 8pm and there were already trolleyed harpies hardly wearing dresses, squawking nonsensical aural hieroglyphics at our taxi driver through a look of complete, pissed-up glory. What a fine city. The night progressed pretty much as you would expect: food, nattering, wine, beer, ending up in a club when I’m tired and just not in the mood and standing around looking angry for a couple of hours before demanding to leave, hating all music ever, despairing at haircuts (especially mine)… wait, this has veered off a review of the city. Hmm. Newcastle: it meant we got to have dinner with the bloke who made Shadow of the Beast. That’s all you need to know.

Oh, and the shower at the hotel was verging on excellent, only being let down by certain mobility issues and poor drainage by the plug. So well done there, Jury Inn.


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I want me some roaming wiffy

Very quick entry as I’m doing this at 6am, before heading off oop north for work-related things.

I don’t like not having the internet. I don’t see why companies don’t have the internet spouting out of everything they run – especially trains. I know some have wifi available, and some (all) charge for it. Why can’t I have it for free? Actually, isn’t the Digital Economy thingy (is it still a bill now it’s passed?) trying to stop free, public access? Would that stretch to this fabled world where it’s free on a train? Still, Greyhound buses have wiffy, so I may just use them in future, if they ever start doing routes I want to use.

What I’m trying to say is: I need a dongle. I’m in too much of a rush to put an umlaut over the ‘o’ there, as Anna hilariously does (it is quite funny, I suppose). But these 3G things with the stupid name are all so annoying, rubbish or expensive. On one hand you have the fact that – apparently – connection levels for the likes of O2 and 3 are pathetic. Then there are those that don’t tie you down to an expensive contract, but do in fact tie you down to paying £5 every time you want to use the thing for a couple of days. I don’t want to do that. Then there are the ones that have decent coverage and offer reasonable prices, but you’re only allowed your own special slice of mobile internet for 30 days or so before they either demand more cash from you or just put your invisible space-information you had saved up in the bin.

It’s all so confusing. But I need to sort this out as I need me some internets on the go, so I can do things like this wherever I am and not have to weigh up the even more exorbitant charges from hotels and their ilk. Oh, also so I can ‘keep in touch’ ‘easier’ with ‘people’ like ‘the woman’, I suppose.

Aside from the ranty confusedness, does anyone have any doooooongle suggestions?

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I am afraid of the summer

Things are starting to get ominous. The air is warmer. I can smell it coming in to ruin my life for a few months. I’ve started sneezing a bit. My nose itches just a tiny amount, but enough to be noticeable. My eyes don’t yet feel anything, but they’re preparing themselves for when they do. But no matter how my body or mind is prepared for it, there’s never any way around it: Hayfever is coming to fuck me up again.

I can write this now as it’s before the diseeeease has taken hold of my frail body. If I tried to put these simple words together in a half-legible fashion a couple of months down the line it just wouldn’t be possible. The streaming nose would make me lose concentration, the streaming eyes wouldn’t let me focus and the streaming… well, just the streaming. And the itching. And the fucking itching. God I hate hayfever.

Now I don’t intend this to come across as one-upmanship, but my hayfever is particularly bad. It’s an allergy to grass pollen, which I’m sure many of you either have or know people who have. The obvious problem there being that summer is an outside time where everyone sits on various different types of grass, and if you say you don’t want to do this you are looked on as some kind of troll-like weirdo who needs to be shunned. Plus there’s the fact that park days are ace. But I’m sure many of you are aware of the irritating effect this has on hayfever sufferers.

Problem is, my body decides to take it a step further and completely dismantle my ability to function as a human being. I have sneezing fits that can last 10 minutes or more. My eyes go bright red and, well – I look a lot like this. It is completely debilitating, even with all the medication, treatments, showers and washed clothes I can think of. But the worst – oh! the worst – comes when someone decides to cut the grass near me. This, quite literally, nearly kills me. My throat tries to close up and my entire head puffs up into this weird ball of steaming red nonsense. It’s definitely when I’m at my sexiest. As well as being something to look forward to for Anna.

I’m looking into new/different treatments this year, as I’m tired of this ridiculous suffering. I mean, for fuck’s sake – it’s hayfever. It shouldn’t get in the way of the whole ‘being alive’ stuff I hear so much about. It’s not like it’s even a real illness (it’s a diseeeeease) or anything to compare to people with real medical worries. But it still completely fucks me up and I really am not looking forward to it coming to ruin a few months of my year. Again.

Plus it’s just bloody embarrassing. For all I laugh at the poor fools allergic to peanuts or cats, at least they’re not allergic to the fucking planet. Ho hum.


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Fear and haircuts in… well, not Las Vegas

I had a mophead, now I have lopped said mop. Or at least, had said mop lopped by a mop-lopping professional. I no longer opt for the mop lop to be carried out outside of a barber shop, in case the quality drop of the mop I’m left with makes me have a strop. You dig?

Strangely though, I have never enjoyed having to go for a haircut until very recently. As in, I haven’t liked doing it – and have actually been reasonably fearful of it – until the time before today, when I first went to the place on Wimborne Road of which I’ve forgotten the name. This is a man that understands when I say “short back and sides” he will just ask what grade I want, then ask “and shorter on top?” to which I will respond “yes”. It will then take 7-10 minutes – or less – to finish cutting my hair, I will pay my £8 and that will be it. That will be it.

My experience of haircuts goes like so: as a child we went to the barber my Dad took us to – Graham’s in Mexborough – and we would get ‘short back and sides’ as my dad instructed. This would be carried out the same every time. Then it got to the point where I had to take myself for haircuts, which I could never be bothered doing, so my hair got quite long – but when I did go, I’d go to Graham’s and he’d know what to do with it. Simple. I then started opting for friends cutting my hair, which lead to some hilarity and some times where Mike’s Dad thought we were gay because he was cutting my hair. Obviously only the gays cut hair.

Then came the dark times at uni, when I had no access to hair clippers and was lured in by £5 haircuts at a local trendy barbers (they showed The Simpsons all the time). I would ask for short back and sides, or I would show a picture of myself on my student ID where I looked half decent and would say “like that”. Every time I ended up looking like Lloyd Christmas. Every time.

Anyway, this is going on too long so I’ll cut it short now (HAHAHAHA): continued having my hair cut by friends/shaving it all off. Manchester had hairdressmen who got angry with me – actually angry – when I just said “short back and sides”. Bournemouth initially spooked me as barbers bring out cut-throat razors for the back of your head. I thought the Turkish barber wanted me dead, as I may have mentioned before. Now I am comfortable with the fat old man. Cutting my hair, that is.

All in all though, I’m glad I now don’t mind having to drop into the chop shop to have the top of my mop lopped. It means I look less like a mushroom head. I still don’t like hair though.

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