Begging with menaces

Halloween

Hola. Hope you are well.

Last week was half-term, so I wasn’t in school, having said that I did spend most of it either in a prison or on Megabus, which are in some ways quite similar, enclosed conditions, plenty of time to think and being forced to mix with people you wouldn’t ordinarily hang out with. Which brings me on to a young child (about 8yrs old) who at one point of the journey tried to convince me of the existence of God. At one stage she told me that, “I’d done bad things in my life and she didn’t have to ask my family to know this”, cheers for that. Shortly after this her mum moved her to sit nearer to her, which in many ways was a blessing, so maybe there was a higher force at work.

In the prison, I met the brother of a comedian I know and in one of the sessions one of the inmates had just finished reading ‘Dark Star Rising’ written by my mate Pete Kalu. It’s a small world. Also in the prison I took part in a performance, doing some of my poems, in addition to this the inmates read their poems, sung and acted. It made me think there is some talent in prison, which then made me think, there could be a TV programme called ‘Prisons Got Talent’, where talented prisoners compete against one another, to see who is the most talented prisoner in the country. Instead of the winner performing in front of the Queen , like the winner of  Britain’s Got Talent, they would instead get their sentence ripped up. I’m not sure if this programme would get past the Home Office or the Daily Mail but I might just say I’m working on it anyway to get some notoriety from all the offended people. That’s how fame works isn’t it?

In other news, the clocks went back an hour on Saturday morning (2am). I’m not sure I took complete advantage of this extra hour, as at 7am on Sunday morning I was up watching the repeat of Match of the Day.

Also over the weekend, Jimmy Savile passed away, which is naturally sad for his friends and family. His show Jim’ll Fix It, was a show I watched when I was growing up. I can’t help thinking that it wouldn’t be made today, or if it were, not all the children would have their dreams come true. They would probably have to compete against each other for the prize and there would be some kind of text vote. The other thing about Jimmy Savile, is that you don’t spell his surname as you think it should be, ie it’s Savile and not Saville.

Moving on to tonight (31st Oct), and it’s Halloween. Thankfully the bell to our flat doesn’t work, which in normal circumstances can be a bit of a pain but tonight it’s alright by me. I have to be honest and say I’m not a fan of Trick or Treaters, to me it’s just begging with menaces. It’s kinda what heavies do but with silly masks. Anyway this is why, I’ve currently got the blinds drawn and have holed myself indoors.

A few weeks ago I was talking on this blog about the famous people I have been compared to. Well,on Saturday my mate, whilst watching West Bromwich Albion vs Liverpool in a pub in Manchester had someone approach him thinking he was Gok Wan. When I heard about this, it cracked me up, for starters he looks nothing like Gok Wan. My mate isn’t even Chinese, you’d think that the pre-requisite to looking like Gok Wan would be to be Chinese. I know Elvis has people of all creeds imitating him but I don’t think Gok has reached the dizzy heights of fan worship as Elvis.

And Finally… It was my first day back at school, which is always a tricky prospect for staff and pupils alike, but it did also present me with my first opportunity to have a little bit of fun at the expense of the Man Utd fans in the class about their 6-1  defeat at the hands of Man City. I know this probably doesn’t show me in a good light and it’s probably not in any teaching manual but you mustn’t forget, they are Cockney Man Utd fans!

Til next week, stay safe!

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The third coming

Steps

Hola. Hope you are well.

Last week was a big one, what with Gaddafi, the Stone Roses and my birthday, this my have gone a little under the radar as it happened to fall on the same day as Colonel Gaddafi was killed, in cross fire or assassinated depending on which you think is more likely. Feel free to let me know if anything infamous has happened on your birthday.

My mate (Tom) also had a birthday last week, his birthday however fell on a more uplifting story, the announcement that the Stone Roses were reforming. Typical, I get Gaddafi, he gets, the Stone Roses. In other music news Westlife announced they will be splitting up after one last tour. The odd or brilliant thing about music is that the news that Westlife are splitting will mean more to some people more than the news that the Stone Roses are reforming. These people are obviously wrong but that is their choice.

Talking of Westlife, I think they should bring back Brian Mcfadden for the farewell tour. I do wonder which Brian regrets more leaving Westlife or having two children with Kerry Katona?

Music has gone a little weird at the moment, I base this statement on the fact that Steps were the number one album a couple of weeks ago. Steps who I assumed reformed not due to public demand but then in their defence they did get the number one slot and have some sell out shows coming up. This does make me ask, who is buying Steps albums or Steps tickets? If this is you feel free to let me know, you may want to change your name.

The current number one album is Noel Gallagher’s first solo album. ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ bought it me as one of my birthday presents. One of the tracks has an intro that is similar to that of Wonderwall. It did make me wonder if Liam might be tempted to sue Noel (again) but as Noel was the writer of the song, how would this work? Is it possible to plagiarise yourself?

On last week’s blog I mentioned how I was tempted to bet on France to beat New Zealand in the rugby World Cup Final, despite New Zealand being the overwhelming favourites. My thinking was that you never know what will happen in a two-horse race and even though France has been awful this tournament, everything might click in the Final. In the end I didn’t put that bet on, for various reasons, one being my local bookies had already paid out on a New Zealand victory and they would probably view me as an idiot if I were to put money on France. Anyway, when I was watching the game I was thinking, this is going to backfire as France looked like they might pull off a massive shock victory. How much more of an idiot would I have looked if France had won and I hadn’t put any money on it, having said I would. In the end it all turned out well as France lost by one point and I could take comfort in thinking about the pound I saved by not putting the bet on.

And Finally… Yesterday at our flat we were invaded by ladybirds, they were all congregating by our bedroom window. I spent over half an hour flicking them  back out of the window. Has anyone else been targeted by ladybirds or is it just a personal attack on me?

Til next week, stay safe!

 

Meeting the neighbours

Dr Fox the DJ

Hola. Hope you are well.

After spending a chunk of last week’s blog post bad mouthing rugby, have a guess who watched the last 20 mins of the Wales match and 60 mins of the New Zealand game? Yep that’s right me. I still maintain it’s not a great spectator sport and I think ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ agreed as when I was watching yesterday’s game, she mentioned how if she had got to the TV before me she could have been watching the Andrew Marr show. I did flick over to the Andrew Marr show and it might have been abnormally slow moment but nothing seemed to be happening. In fact it made me appreciate the rugby a little bit more.

As for the Rugby, tis the final on Sunday and I will give it a watch, as long as I get to the TV before ‘HWOPJ’ . For those who have not been following the Rugby World Cup, the final will be between France and New Zealand. After their victory in the semi-final France were described by one pundit on ITV as the worst team in the tournament, they’ve also fallen out with their coach, they’ve been beaten by Tonga and struggled to beat a Welsh team that were a man down for 62 mins. New Zealand on the other hand were favourites before the tournament and bigger favourites now, and they have home advantage. So why am I thinking of putting a couple of quid on France to win? There’s probably an obvious answer to that question.

In domestic news, I woke for work as usual one morning last week and went to put on the light in the living room and nothing happened. I thought the bulb must have blown, so I went to switch on the lamp and again nothing. Due to my northern working class sensibilities I thought we must have been cut off but then I thought we pay the bill by direct debit so we couldn’t have missed a payment. I then decided to see if it had affected anywhere else in the building, so I opened the front door and tried the light  just outside, nothing. At this point I was ready to go back inside and bemoan my luck, only to hear a female voice say, “hello”. This put me in a slightly awkward position as I just had a top and boxer shorts on. In hindsight I probably should have gone back inside and put some trousers on, as she had only seen me through frosted glass, but not wanting to appear rude and look like I was ignoring her, I decided to go out in what I was standing in. I was met by the couple from upstairs, dressed more appropriately, ie not in their underwear. The woman went on to introduce herself and her husband, as she pointed out that we’d never actually been formally introduced to each before this. I wonder if there’s ever been a more informal introduction in the history of introductions?

On to politics and the Liam Fox furore. It does seem a little odd to me that as the Defence Secretary Liam Fox’s mate Adam Werritty was  able to sit in on high-powered meetings. I know I wouldn’t be able to allow my friends just to wander around in the schools I work in and I certainly wouldn’t be able to get away with having them present in departmental meetings. You might have thought the Ministry of Defence may have had a similar or even more stringent policy on such matters especially as they are dealing with national security.

One of the reasons why I can’t take this story too seriously is that Liam Fox, as well as being a politician is also a doctor and therefore he’s sometimes referred to as Doctor Fox, which makes me think of the DJ, Neil Fox who in the 90’s and the early 00’s was also known as Dr Fox. I realise being a DJ is a very important job, those songs won’t play themselves. but even at the time it did seem a little ridiculous that a DJ would try to pass himself of as a doctor. I know the song says, “Last night a DJ saved my life” but I’m pretty sure this was a metaphoric saving of a live. Anyway feel free to let me know if as an adult you’ve tried to pass yourself of as a doctor or someone in authority.

And Finally… Working in schools I am aware more than ever that I need to be relatively careful what I say in these blog posts, so I was a little surprised when I read about a teacher in Hull who had a go at the pupils at her school and the people of  Hull  generally, during a Facebook conversation. Apparently words such as ‘thick‘ and ‘inbred‘ were mentioned and in the article one mother was disgusted because she had to explain to her child what inbred meant. That must have been  an awkward conversation, “so son, you know how your dad is also your uncle ….”

Til next week, stay safe!

School boy error

Howard from the Halifax ads

Hola. Hope you are well.

I had a different day at school today, I was in a school pic, when I say school pic I mean the whole school was in it, although there wasn’t enough room on the stands so they are going to ‘stitch‘ the years 7&8’s into the picture in post production. Who knew school pics used such methods? I can’t help thinking they would have been able to squeeze everyone into the pic if they hadn’t allowed temporary support staff like myself to be in it. I imagine in years to come the pupils will look at me in the pic and say, “who is that guy?” or if things turn out differently “there’s that guy who became famous by blogging every Monday (or on a Tuesday if he couldn’t do it on a Monday).

Talking about school, a couple of us TAs (Teaching Assistants) were talking about the famous people we have been told we look like. It stemmed from the fact one of the TAs looks like Daniel Radcliffe. It was also a good opportunity for me to roll out my “Butt out Mc Hammer” and “Oi The Nutty Professor” stories and being compared to Howard form the Halifax adverts. One of the girls said she’s been told she looks like Wagner from last year’s X-Factor, I couldn’t see it myself but she says she can. The weird thing is she is petite and quite attractive, whilst Wagner is … erm not. I relayed this story back to ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ when we were chatting at home and made the school boy error of keeping the ‘quite attractive’ in the story. All I can say to any men reading this who are in a relationship, always make out that all the female staff you work with are pig ugly, even if your job is working with models.

Now onto the Rugby World Cup. I can honestly say I’ve hardly watched any of the Rugby World Cup, partly because the games are on at inconvenient times and partly because it’s Rugby Union, which in my opinion is not a very spectator friendly sport. It is a game that seems to split its time between a lot of burly men lying on the ball, to some men aimlessly kicking the ball to the rare moments of genius. Before any rugby fans have a go at me, in my younger days I  played rugby, so keen was I that I not only played at school I also played for a club.

Anyway, if you want a very brief update of the World Cup, England are out, which is great news for the dwarfs of New Zealand. England’s time at the World Cup seems to have been littered with controversy after controversy. Not only was there the dwarf throwing incident, there was Mike Tindall (newly married to Zara Phillips) pictured with his head in another lady’s cleavage, there was bungee jumping, white water rafting, lewd comments to female hotel staff, swapping the balls during a match and jumping off a ferry. It does appear that the rugby got in the way of their jolly. The Welsh squad on the other hand decided they would stay off the booze during the tournament and they are through to the Semi-Final, although at the time of writing I have no idea as to their views on dwarf throwing.

And Finally… One of the things I like about doing this blog is that you put random stuff out and then someone comments on it. The other week I wrote about how I got stung on the ear. On Saturday I got a txt off a friend back in Manchester who said she had read my blog and that she too got stung recently. Not only that, she also got stung on the ear. If we could prove that it was the same insect, we’d probably get into the Metro Newspaper, one can dream.

Til next week, stay safe!

One of those gigs

Indian Summer

Hola. Hope you are well.

And enjoying this unseasonally good weather. Let’s face it this amount of good weather would be unseasonal if it were the Summer. One thing that makes it even sweeter is knowing the energy companies must be gutted. At the start of October they must have been hoping for a cold snap, just so we could add to their massive profits. If it were down to me I’d attempt to go through the whole of Winter without putting the heating on, just to spite these companies. Unfortunately it’s not practical, plus I’m not sure ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ would be up for it. Maybe it’s something I can do when I’m a pensioner.

On last week’s blog post, I mentioned how I did a gig (as the 3 Prong Attack) at a local venue and how it had gone well. It was almost the perfect gig in many ways, the night started on time, the compere kept it tight so the night finished at 10pm and more importantly it was a 5 min walk from my flat. Well comedy, has a way of  kicking you square in the balls as soon as you think you’re on to a good thing. This leads me on to the gig we did on Thurs. I think the best way to describe it, is to say ‘it was one of those gigs’.

When we got there the compere said that only 5 of the 15 acts had turned up and if we wanted we could do more than the 5 mins we were originally due to do. He went on to say, he had no acts in the second half  so if we wanted we could do an hour, I think he was joking, anyway we decided to add a feature to pad our set out to 7 mins, less is more after all. Shortly after this the compere came round and asked us if we knew how to get a microphone working. As both myself and Prong 2 are useless when it comes to technology we replyed in the negative but we were still knowlegeable enough to know that this wasn’t a good sign.

For the next half hour numerous people seemed to put wires into sockets and take wires out of sockets with no success. Just as we had come round to the idea the gig wasn’t going to happen, the mic started working, meaning the show was going to start an hour later than planned and not only that but there were now 9 acts ready to perform. The compere told us all we could do between 5-10 mins each, which when comics hear this they generally aim for 10 mins and sometimes end up going over that time limit, and as we were on in the second half we couldn’t even sneak off in the interval.

We were in fact the first act on in the second half, not a bad slot, but early into our set the mic cut out, something that hadn’t happened to any of the other acts before us and neither did it happened to any of the acts after us, including an impressions competition. So whilst the mic was being fixed we continued accapella, which as it was a small room didn’t really affect people’s ability to hear us, which somewhat renders the whole mic thing at the beginning of the evening a liitle bit pointless.

The night finished at about 11pm, and it was only then that we (3 Prong Attack and ‘HWOPJ’) realised we didn’t know the best way to get home. We had those conversations people have when they don’t have enough information to actually make a proper decision. So one of us would suggest a route home and then someone would say we could do that but then we don’t know if there’s a connecting train when we get to such and such station. This went on for a while, just inserting different station names. In the end we got a train to a station and then a taxi to our respective homes, getting home for about midnight on a school night (literally a school night for me).

I should mention that after the gig, one of the few genuine audience members came up to us and complimented us on our set, which was nice. I’d like to say it more than made up for the night as a whole but I can’t.

And finally…. Just so you know I will definitely let you know how the gig goes next time we perform at this venue because despite what I have said above, one thing I can guarantee about 3 Prong Attack is that at some point in the future we will play this gig again and we still won’t have worked out how to get home. It’s just what we do.

Til next week, stay safe!