Monday, August 23, 2010


Monday 23 August 2010

After remaining awake through the night past 5AM eventually this morning I came through at 9.45AM, which is far beyond my desired entry point.  This is my holiday and time is wasting.

I have plans for this week but they are just the usual, nothing new and everything old.  These plans I will probably ultimately fail to achieve and will see me back to the state I was in prior to beginning of my convictions.

As I flip on the TV Jeremy Kyle is already on screen.  One day I am sure this man will bring about the end of society, maybe even humanity.  As more and more people lose their jobs and become unemployed he will continue to rub his hands together as his viewing figures continue to rise and his words gain/build more influence with the nation/population.  As the figures rise through the roof he will be moved to primetime where even hardworking decent folk will see and hear what he has to say.  Compared to two faced fence sitters such as David Cameron and Nick Clegg, presented here is a man with an opinion and something the common man can grasp onto and take heart and hope from.  Regardless of what he is saying and who he is condemning the words have ferocity and balls, adding a weight that people towing the line cannot make or take.  This is a cold summer.

Now up I stagger around my flat feeling older and not wiser.  I could swear that my flat was tidier than this and now that I am 34 and on the fast track to the scrapheap this now really is time that I should begin acting like a grown up.  I could never bring a date back here; I would be laughed out of existence.

So with all this in mind I take my perch and begin my week of writing.

Outside today is about drizzle.  This is a true misery attached to proceedings that echoes the emotions of my birthday yesterday.  I’ll get through though, I always do.

In many ways today is my actual birthday celebration as tonight I am heading up to London for drinks, food and NEIL HAMBURGER.  There is also a subtle plan on the table to head up town early and take in some sights but the weather is just not conducive to such adventure.

On Facebook birthday wishes continue to flood in today and my appreciation runs high as the numbers improve on last year.  Certain people that forgot last year have remembered this year and this truly makes me feel happy.  Also some of these people include names that I forgot to pass wishes onto on their equivalent days.  My bad.

When lunchtime arrives I toy with the concept of having birthday cake for dinner but that would just be gauche.

At 3PM I do my thing of listening to the Danny Baker Radio London show before eventually heading to the train station and up to London.  Riding the train to London in the daytime is a weird experience for your seasoned commuter.  The faces look wrong, they actually look happy and often open to converse.

Eventually I wind up on the platform waiting for what should be a 4.48PM train.  This however gets cancelled so my next option turns into the 4.59PM meaning that it now takes me 20 minutes to leave Colchester after arriving at the station.  Pretty pathetic National Express.  With a broken down train at Ingatestone (always at Ingatestone) having caused the cancellation of my original train suddenly things do not look so good for getting into London on time.

In the end I get to London just after 6PM, which originally was to be our meet up time in Soho.  Later as I exit at Tottenham Court Road I can’t help but look on in horror at just what is going on with Oxford Street at the moment.  It is just a horrible mess.

Not long after emerging from the tube I receive a text from Racton to say that he is in the Nellie Dean on Dean Street.  When I arrive he is already there with Sam and suddenly we have a scene.  This is a good choice of pub as it is fairly quiet (despite being so central) and the barmaid is a gorgeous Asian lady.

Before long we snag a table where Racton hands me some birthday presents.  I score with a cool Bukowski fanzine and CD along with Hollywood Hellraisers by Robert Sellers.  The card is also very cool and for five minutes I feel popular.

Conversation flows even though I can’t help but feel it is only a matter of time before the night becomes at my expense.  Soon Sam’s girlfriend Amy turns up and with it a little ray of sarcastic sunshine (coming from a bad day at work).  She moans about her job (as predicted by Sam) as it hardly spurs things on.

It turns out now that our friend Martin is heading along to HAMBURGER tonight as well.  Strangely when I invited him along a few weeks ago he told me that he was busy recording tonight.  However it seems when the others invite him along suddenly he is free.  I can’t help but feel offended by this.  I know I shouldn’t but I do.

Keeping in with the HAMBURGER theme of the evening we head to Gourmet Burger.  After we take our seats Martin bowls up.  It’s nice to see him but I feel frosty.  This is then not helped as I become the butt of a few comments Paul Calf style.

Regardless I order a winning burger and swank it with an Oreo thickshake, which pretty much is a meal in itself.  Not so stupid now am I, have you ever seen a crisp clean £20 note?  I have.  From here dinner is unfortunately limited fun as we rush down our food in order to get to NEIL HAMBURGER on time.  Perhaps the problem is with the restaurant, as the last two times I have been to one of these it has been with not necessarily the best people in my life and this evening appears to be continuing that bad streak.

Things fail to improve when we step into Soho Theatre where I get asked the strange and moronic question “don’t you have a bag?” as my carrying my birthday presents in a Tesco bag gets picked up on.  I get asked “don’t you carry a bag around with you?” to which I fatefully respond “no, I was never a (full time) student” which proves something of an own goal in its misinterpretation and further mockery.  So is it really a surprise when I have the arse when the next thing happens?

As we head up into the theatre Martin suddenly recognises someone and promptly drops us like shits.  It turns out to be some guy from We Are Klang.  Now I have never had my own TV show but when it comes to taking seats I am sure this fact does not afford a person the privilege to suddenly shove a person out of the way as I suddenly find myself relegated to being sat on the end of the second row while the pros take up the prime spots.  Just when did I become so irrelevant?

From here a Larry David moment occurs as the girlfriend points out my unfortunate situation and attempts conversation complaining about the quality of the red wine.  I could give a fuck.  Childishly in response I just kick up a stink as I look across the row at Racton and Sam mouthing “what the fuck?” at which point the poor girl awkwardly insists that I move.  Why does getting my way (the right way) have to be so laboured and painful?

Once in the middle Racton makes comment that “next year on your birthday I’m going to buy you a book about rich people buying up all the property”.  Now is that a dig regarding my attitude towards our middle class friends’ attitude in the light of feeling patronised?

Thankfully soon afterwards NEIL HAMBURGER emerges with a version of “3 Piece Chicken Dinner”.  Then it gets painful.

Tonight NEIL HAMBURGER is his usual diseased self.  Some jokes are stale, some jokes are fresh.  What remains however is the prevailing cruelty.  Being sat in the second row means living in his eyeline which is not a comfortable place.  HAMBURGER however is not a comedian known for positive audience interaction (except for when he throws candy into the crowd).

The last time I saw HAMBURGER I discovered new ways to laugh but tonight, for whatever reason (the evening’s precursor?), often it falls flat for me.  I seem to forget sometimes that NEIL HAMBURGER is just a character as I begin to feel that we share a similar outlook on life.  So if that is the case, just what are all these lefty fucks doing here laughing their heads off?  Those phoney fucking hypocrites.

Content wise we get a bucket load of Michael Jackson jokes in addition to the usual alternative rock rocket shots.  The targets are almost primarily American artists when at the same time I really feel our artists are equally deserving of such a flogging (Coldplay for example).

Eventually it all reaches a climax as HAMBURGER muses why Courtney Love won’t be having Cranberry Sauce this Christmas.  To fuel his point he drags us into chanting the key word “Cranberry Sauce”, getting us involved in building towards the big ending and inevitable eruption of bad taste which in the end is not necessarily unfounded or out of order.  Maybe he’s mellowing.

A late set soon comes to an end and unfortunately I cannot say/claim that it was a great.  Perhaps it would have been better if I’d come alone.

We all set out of the Soho Theatre where we appear to be missing a number.  Inside like a careerist lapdog my friends looks for his TV star friend in order to say goodnight while the rest of us hover outside just wanting to get home.

There is still one last opportunity for a dig as we part ways at Oxford Street and the girl rips on my possessing a carrier bag.  With this they all head to Oxford Circus with me trudging to Tottenham Court Road on my own.  There is some kind of metaphor in this.

I wind up on the 11.48PM train home relieved that I do not have work tomorrow but feeling somewhat disillusion by the company of the evening.

Moving on.

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