Still Life Show and Tell.

I should be reading the 12th chapter of the phenomenal page-turner Essential Public Affairs for Journalists, or actively seeking to contain my growing impression as an agoraphobic misanthrope, or working on the news-writing exercise, or doing some laundry, or perhaps even working out as I listen to current affairs via iPlayer; but no, I feel the need for another extraneous ramble.

So that stuff there, well, there’s a Transformer on a keyring that has the key to the windows and a bin key. The waiter’s friend has now been used to open the wine.

This room is kind of a mess. But pretty much everything I own is within these four walls (I haven’t lived with my mother for years so my crap just goes with me; actually just as well as she bought a dog because she subconsciously hates me and wants me dead. Alfie, a Spaniel-despite not being terribly bright-is all the things that I am not: lovable, loyal, energetic and happy; and I am incredibly allergic to the cute little swine (due to his dander, not his temperament.) A particular shame as I love dogs, particularly Labradors and Golden Retrievers (I’m not so bad with them, they were around growing up.)

It’s a quirk of fate that I was born just at the time that there was western medicine available to keep me alive (I’d been in an ambulance countless times before the incident with the cider when I was 15.) God probably wanted me dead, now he’s torturing me with all these cute dogs that He– hang on, He had fuck all to do with the great number of dog breeds, that was us and selective breeding so… so… hang on, where am I going with this? Oh, I remember.

This room is kind of a mess. I opened a drawer and took a couple of items out so as to give me a kick start to write about something, stream of conciousness like, (The 30+ Middlesbrough pub guide is in the works but until I sort out my camera and have a shower this will have to do.)

I don’t usually like French plonk; I’m more into new world wines, in particular those of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and California. This one, however, is pretty alright; it still has that element of salty vinegar that’s passed through the bladder of a Gallic philanderer but it has a nice fruity after-taste, a little perhaps like the last cheap Rioja I had. Anyway, it was on offer, and I am a slave to red stickers in shops purporting vast, no doubt exaggerated savings.

I’m listening to OK Computer. It’s making me sad. I’ll try something else.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers – now they’re more upbeat, but I can’t usually stand more than an album before developing a twitch. Their Californication album was a perpetual nuisance back when I was in Australia. There used to be all these cheap shops selling bootleg cassettes from Asia so we all had a copy; trouble is so did the radio stations and shops and that Dutch guy in Perth who got all narky when I told him he was playing the wrong chords to a song, I forget which one – Scar Tissue? Fuck knows. Then again, fuck doesn’t give a shit.

That’s where that corkscrew thing came from; that writing on the side says Gowing Bros. Sydney. I was working as a waiter on the cruise boats in the harbour and we all needed to get one. I used that up until my last shift, the millennium new years eve party. I drank enough whisky to do the job, you didn’t need the bridge that night, the boats were so tightly packed you could’ve walked across. I secured a couple of bottles of champagne but in the early hours of the morning couldn’t find my friend so ended up sleeping on Bondi Beach after winning 50 bucks on the pokies.

I bought a Takamine G Series acoustic in Melbourne with the pay from that shift, lovely guitar, took off part of the headstock on a low ceiling fan on the day I brought it. Guy in the shop fixed it, I think he charged about 50 dollars.

Fifteen (15) Pound (£) they told me this wine ‘was’. I don’t buy it, no pun intended. Even at half price I don’t rate this better than a simple bottle of Banrock Station Shiraz, still ice cold from the stock room and drunk quickly in a park with Dave. Maybe I should have decanted it and left it to breath. Jesus wept – I’m living in student accommodation, I can’t be doing things like that.

Before Michael Bay got his dirty little rat-fuck hack paws on the franchise, Transformers was an awesome cartoon about alien robots fighting an epic battle of good and evil on Earth. In spite of him clawing back a little dignity with the third instalment of his head-fuckathon, my simple little G1 keyring still holds more wonder to me. These days this Autobot is probably a GM BigDick Rancher instead of a nondescript 4×4.

I’m not saying corporate sponsorship killed my childhood heroes, no that was Bay’s epileptic direction of a woeful script. Even so, kudos to the SFX people – Spiderman is already being remade so jump on board once I convince David Fincher (possibly at knife point) to direct a Transformers reboot (the Nolans can write it; second unit director: Darren Aronofsky; let Ridley Scott produce.) And it needs to be set in the Eighties. Don’t like it? Fuck you then.

I’ve been to Middlesbrough once before, you know. Once on the way up to Scotland for a family wedding with Mummy and my stepfather we stopped to see an old friend of his. I remember him buying me a Transformer in Woolworths; it was Ultra Magnus. That was back when we both didn’t want each other dead.

Ultra Magnus was shit.

And there’s the little black plastic key; I keep it in order to gain access to outside rubbish bins. Now hear me out, it’s not like I’m doing it yet but it’s an insurance policy. Back when I got home from Australia I decided I needed an education so wormed my way onto a foundation music course.

Things didn’t work out and I ran away to Denmark to live in the arse-end of nowhere with an old school-friend; a heavy-drinking, armed Dutch lunatic and an Irish man so troubled as a child his own mother sent him away to Germany. I’ll leave you, dear reader, to fill in the blanks.

There wasn’t much work; we would head off into the snow covered forest to tear moss from the icy floor as the Germans were buying it for decorating their gardens; but in the end we all needed to find other sources of income and, due to the size of the town, we were able to scrounge for leftovers.

A typical mission would involve climbing a wall and running to the bins; these were usually unlocked and, in the case of Netto, often full to the brim with goodies that were either out of date that day or the next, or simply damaged in some way. We ate reasonably well from that bounty, and if it wasn’t for the local bakery owner chasing us one time then subsequently pouring detergent on his old bread and cakes, we would’ve had quite a haul there as well.

It was only for a month or two but it leant us the opportunity to concentrate on other, more important pursuits; namely drunken kick-abouts in the park. We didn’t get poisoned once.

So despite being in my own country now I can’t help but try to prepare myself for future perils such as temporary homelessness, hunger, sub-standard wine or the films of Michael Bay.

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