Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Colleague I Never Knew


I missed a story in the news earlier this year about an American ex-serviceman who ran away to England, assumed the identity of a dead baby, married and had children. He lived for years as Chris Buckingham, and after divorcing his wife, began calling himself the Earl Of Buckingham. He was caught, in the end, as a result of some passport anomalies, and eventually identified as Charles Albert Stopford III. I got wind of this story last night when I went to the Christmas party of my most recent client.

You might wonder why I'm bothering to mention such old news. It came up when I bumped into a chap that I worked for over a decade ago. When I started my contract, having worked for the company before, I had a quick look to see if anyone I knew from years back was still there. And there was my former boss. Although we didn't manage to catch up during my time there, I bumped into him last night, and we had a right good natter.

Back in the day, I was one of about eight people working for him. Chris Buckingham was also one of those eight. I knew this guy really quite well. During my time there, he developed a major crush on another of our colleagues, and didn't take it very well when his affections were not returned. He starved himself, dropped a lot of weight, got very fit, and then developed a penchant for piercings. Or at least, that's what he said in our many little quiet conversations over the year or so that I knew him. I don't know what to believe now.

We even kept in touch after I had moved on to a different company. It's really quite odd to think that he was fake. His English accent was utterly convincing. I'm in awe of his ability to keep the ruse going for so long.

Apparently, they're making a film of his life story. I wonder who'll play me. Perhaps Eric Cantona. When I was in hospital having my tonsils out, a little old lady who worked there insisted I looked exactly like him.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Tornadoes & Clarkson


I don't know whether I dislike Jeremy Clarkson more for encouraging straight men everywhere that it really is okay to tuck a shirt into overly tight jeans, or for his views on the environment. It wouldn't be so bad, except he is given a platform to air them (his views, that is, rather than his over-tight jeans - although the picture suggests that either interpretation is valid).

Yuck!

There he was last week, crowing about the fact that in one specific area of the world, there were fewer than the average number of storms this year, thereby proving that global warming is a load of nonsense. Excuse me? Correct me if I'm wrong, but we're still having the mildest autumn on record, following an extremely hot and dry summer. And it looks like tornadoes are next on the list of surprises that Mother Nature has in store for us as we continue to rape and pillage her resources.


Does it strike anyone else as odd, that in this over-documented day and age, there didn't seem to be one single photo from a cell phone of the tornado that wreaked havoc on North East London yesterday? Perhaps we aren't as geared up to tornado-chasing as those who live in Tornado Alley in the US. Perhaps the folks of NW-something didn't realise the cash they could make for one decent piccie on their Nokia. Maybe next time. Which will probably be sooner rather than later, despite what Jeremy Clarkson might have you believe.

On a completely unrelated note, I've migrated across to the New Improved Beta version of Blogger. Innit luvverly? Innit byooteeful?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sex and Pornography

That's bound to get my hit rate up. Not that it's intended to. I'm currently committing Robert Burns' epic poem Tam O'Shanter to memory, the better to perform it at our next Burns' Supper (25th January). I learned most of the last one third of it when I was seven, and can still recite it. I decided it was high time I learned the rest. It's very enjoyable trying to perform it in such a way that it is intelligible to an audience even if they understand only a fraction of the vocabulary.

Anyway, being in this poetic frame of mind has had its influence, hence the poem the other day. And this new one for today. I actually started writing it in Scots, but decided half-way through that would be too silly, so I changed it back and finished it off. The title of this post is the title of the poem. Enjoy.


Pornography makes real life seem so bland.
The plumber never wants a helping hand.
Besides, the ones that come around my place
Lack much appeal in body, style or face.

I've never had my car in to be mended
And got enthusiastically rear-ended
By gruff mechanics greased from chest to balls
Whose massive cocks rip through their overalls.

My one encounter with a hole of glory
Was quick to turn from fabulous to gory
I realised the feeling on my beef
Was splendid 'cause the sucker had no teeth!

It's oh so easy on the silver screen.
They're hot, they shag, and everything's so clean!
No mess, no fuss, no farts, no splats, no pain.
And when they've come, they go at it again!

Perhaps it's meant to set the standard high,
Convince me that I really ought to try
To make my own life even half as hot,
And make me think I've failed if it is not.

Well, bugger that. I'd rather have it real.
It isn't always perfect but I feel
It's best to focus on your partner's pleasure
For in the bedroom, that's the proper measure.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ode to the increasing girth of my tummy

I can fondly recall when my smalls weren't large
And I ate what I liked with impunity.
And my toast I could slather with butter, not marge.
I delighted in lard-arse immunity.

But I've noticed more recently trousers are tight.
And can leave a red mark on my belly
Where a belt has cut into me morning and night
And left a reminder in jelly.

In some cases T-shirts will no longer fit
But it's just that my arms have got bigger
As I've worked in the gym at that pump-iron shit
And it's had an effect. No, don't snigger.

I know that my body is not what it was
Yet in some ways, some bits are improving
I have to work hard on the rest, though, because
I'll get fat if I dare to stop moving.

If, back in the days I was built like a stick
I had tried to cash in on my figure
I might have a six-pack, and muscles all slick
Perhaps what I lacked was the rigour.

For keeping oneself a hot, muscular bod
Is for some folks their soul occupations.
And, yes, they might have the physique of a god,
But that brings its own complications.


This was inspired by the rather upsetting observation that my most recently purchased suits, the trousers of which were, at the time, comfortable to the point of being roomy around the waist, are now a bit on the tight side. I'm chalking it up to too much good food and cervezas from our recent holiday. But it's Atkins from now until Christmas. As long as I stock up on breath mints, I'm sure that will be fine for all concerned.