A Brush With Love

Image © HerbiesYardSupplies.co.uk

“Hey, Hoover, what’s wrong with Mop?”

“He had to break up with Broom.”

“But they were so in love.”

“I know, he swept her off her feet but her trashy brother, Dustbin, didn’t approve. Told Mop to back off, else he’d wipe the floor with him.”

“Why, the dirty…”

Graters Hits

Image ©Chefn

Intolerably loud person, the centre of attention at the restaurant meal. No one can get a word in edgeways, until…

“OMG! My hair’s full of fine shreds of cheese, and there’s more falling on me like snow. What on earth is happening? Make it stop! Who’s doing that above me?”

“Oh, that’s Paul, he grates on you after a while.”

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Remember Your First Gig? Who was it?

Stolen from the wall

Punk-a-go-go, with a disco. Hardly in the spirit of nihilism. Tell it like it woz – File under humorous magic realism: ‘The Playlist’, (Hard Egg Publishing 2020) available from Amazon. UK / US

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Kindle version available FREE from Friday 30th April – Monday 3rd May

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Boris The Spider

Still from FishMonkeyMan “If I’ve told you once” ©Warner Bros. Dir: Mike Olley

I eventually got round to putting the poor guitar in the shed where it stayed for a month. Outta sight, outta mind. A big spider made its web across the sound hole. The web vibrated if you strummed the strings, hit them hard enough and the spider would appear, looking really pissed off. I was scared of spiders, and so nervously strummed the damp, smelly instrument at about 100mph. It would’ve been very punk rock but the eggy guitar still sounded like a lute. That medieval vibe went out of fashion in 1453AD.

The spider had enough of being disturbed; it grabs my strumming hand and with a quick flick of the wrist pulls me into the guitar’s sound hole. I land with a thump, whole, somehow I’ve managed to avoid being sliced by the strings. Inside the guitar there’s sticky web cables are everywhere. It would be impossible to run and escape without getting caught on one. The spider approaches, tapping the web lines and making a clicking sound.

“DON’T EAT ME!” I plead.

The spider stops clicking, sighs and speaks instead

“I guess you don’t speak Arachni..? No, there’s no reason why you should. It’s a dying language, like so many things today, it will soon be lost forever. No, I was saying ‘Don’t be afraid I’m not going to eat you, I just want you to stop that infernal sound.”

“Sorry. I didn’t think spiders could hear. You don’t have any ears.”

“We don’t. It’s the sensitive leg-hair, dear boy. We can feel sound through the hairs on our legs.’

“Oh, what’s that like?”

“I couldn’t tell you. I don’t know any different. But I do know you were making a horrible dirge.”

”That was punk.”

“That was awful. You want music to have structure, melody and a story to it. You should try King Crimson, Yes, or a bit of Tull, but I have to say my favourites are Genesis – “Lamb Lies Down” is sheer genius.”

“Prog rock? It’s all faeries and wizards,” I say. “Not really my thing.”

“Hmmmmm.” The spider has moved uncomfortably close. I can hear it breathing. I see myself reflected in the group of eight eyes. It’d make a great LP cover if I didn’t look so scared.

“Can I use your toilet? Do you have one?” I ask.

“Of course I do,” replied the spider. “I use the space behind that screen.”

I carefully make my way over, looking for a means of escape. The acrid smell of body-waste intensifies as I slip behind the wooden support that acts as a screen. Putting my hand out to steady myself, I accidentally touch a hanging cocoon. It sounds a weak buzz. On closer inspection I see it is a half-digested fly trussed up in a tangled web.

I scream and drop the eggy, lute guitar on the shed floor. The spider falls out and runs into a crack. I re-donate the instrument back to the charity shop.

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Excerpt from ‘The Playlist’, (Hard Egg Publishing 2020) available from Amazon. UK / US

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Kindle version available FREE from Friday 30th April – Monday 3rd May

Go grab it now!

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The following video is purely an illustration of the excellent music around at the time and is for enjoyment purposes only

Clear The Decks…

cloth for cleaning records (1970s)

Take off the stack of 2-pence pieces blu-takked on top of your stylus. Clean the dust and static from the vinyl record in your hand (touching only the outer edges). Put the record on the deck and play. Memories flood back. A stack of 7″ singles recall a lifetime. Jimmy Wenn’s lifetime and how he only just made it in the music biz.

File under humorous magic realism: ‘The Playlist’, (Hard Egg Publishing 2020) available from Amazon. UK / US

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Kindle version available FREE from Friday 30th April – Monday 3rd May

Go grab it now!

The Trouble With Statistics

5407709

BOINK!!

“Is that a number butterfly bouncing off the lightbulb?”

“No, it’s a  math, we get a lot of them this time of year. They’ve multiplied.”

“I read there weren’t as many.”

“Opinion is divided.”

“Subtract that last statement!”

“No. I’m going, this conversation doesn’t add up!”

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File under Magic Realism, excerpt from ‘The Playlist’, (Hard Egg Publishing 2020) available from Amazon. UK / US

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Kindle version available FREE from Friday 30th April – Monday 3rd May

All The Fun Of The Fair

The fair came to Barking Park for a week every year, opening after the carnival parade, which included a celebrity waving from an open-top Roller – this year it was singer, Sandie Shaw (still trying to live down “Puppet On A String”)  I got her autograph. I never spoke to her, just shoved the specially bought note book towards her and hoped for the best. This made Sandie Shaw the very first celebrity I met but didn’t speak to, the first in a long and honourable line.

The fair was not fun during the day, it was dead, only at night-time did it truly become the funfair, brought alive by a galaxy of bright light bulbs blazing away (Climate change wasn’t a known thing in those days); sugar sweet smells of bright pink candy-floss, fresh doughnuts; a cacophony of dings and siren blasts from rifle ranges. (They used real ammo). And, to complete the fun fair experience Dave and Ansell Collins’ “Double Barrel”, also known as “The Magnificent”, playing loud and distorted by the fact you were being hurled from one speaker to another by the whiplash of the Wurlitzer. As a pre-pubescent child I could spin around and get dizzy (one of my favourite past-times). I could be thrown around by Waltzers and The Swirler and still walk in a straight line afterwards, laughing. But that all changed when I hit puberty. Today, just mention the word Swirler and I feel motion sickness, go green, vomit and have to lie down for three days.

However, the main hazards at fairgrounds were the skinheads. No matter what age, they would beat you up and take your money, or vice-versa, that is, take your money first – give you a false sense of security. A story circulated that they pushed one kid in the boating lake, he couldn’t swim and drowned. Turns out the story wasn’t true, the body found was that of a drunken tramp. They never discovered who he was.

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Excerpt from ‘The Playlist’, (Hard Egg Publishing 2020) available from Amazon. UK / US

Kindle version available. FREE from Friday 30th April – Monday 3rd May

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The following video is purely an illustration of the excellent music around at the time and is for enjoyment purposes only

Dabbling With The Esoteric

Marc Bolan had a strange magical voice like he was singing in a different language, and he lived with a wizard in France for a while, stuff I could only dream of doing. Maybe in the future. Dad said I should concentrate more on real life rather than being off with the fairies. Maybe I should concentrate less?

Anyway, to fill the music black hole, I started reading. Not fictional stories but true supernatural stuff. I read that in Russia, the Soviets were training candidates to be telescopic, or telepathic, something like that. Being able to move objects by thought alone. Yes, mind over matter. I could do that! Well, I couldn’t. Yet. But I could learn. How hard could it be? I reckon within a couple of weeks I’d be able to throw people against walls simply by pushing the force through the palm of my hand.

The Russian candidates underwent card tests, predicting a sequence of special psychotherapy cards with simple shapes on them such as a square, triangle, diamond, circle or three wavy lines (my favourite). I didn’t have that deck of cards so I didn’t bother with that test and I skipped several others because they sounded really boring. The first fun-looking experiment was for advanced level psychic students and involved the heavy-duty task of separating a yolk from the albumen of a hen’s egg using power of the mind, only. The separation would be undertaken in a tank of water.

As luck would have it a fish tank freshly filled with water and an oxygenating bubbler had appeared in my room in anticipation of winning a goldfish at the upcoming fair at Barking Park. But right now I requisitioned it in the name of science.

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Excerpt from ‘The Playlist’, (Hard Egg Publishing 2020) available from Amazon. UK / US

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The following video is purely an illustration of the excellent music around at the time and is for enjoyment purposes only

TRex “Jeepster” available from all good music outlets