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FROM THE ARCHIVE: Things To Do Before You Die: Xmas Things

13 Dec

The final in a 13 part series of Things To Do Before You Die, the whole shebang was written from the point of view of an over-the-top, bigotted, sexist, homophobic cartoon-stereotype of  a Mexican (for reasons I can’t actually recall now). Originally published in Club magazine 2004/5, this one, fittingly, is about Crimbo…

Bored of the nine-to-five? Looking for life’s great adventure? Want to know the heady scent of adrenaline? Then meet JUAN CARLOTTA, the man the Mexicans call “El Enorigby”…

Hola, mi amigos! Si, eet ees I, Juan, back for – how we say in Mexico – the last time. Si, there ees still much I, Juan, can teach you, but due to the fact that I, Juan, have lived so much I intend to commit suicide directly after finishing this article to avoid the huge disappointment that the rest of life ees inevitably going to be!
And while we are on the subject of muerte – how you say? death – eet ees an amazing coincidence that the subject of my final article ees on one of Mexico’s many death-centred festivals: si, the festival of Christmas.
There ees an old Mexican storybook called El Beeble and the hero of this book ees a strong and hirsute Mexican revolutionary called Jesus. I won’t ruin the ending just in case you ever read eet, but he comes a real – what you might call – cropper in the end! Anyway, Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus and ees the story of his parent’s journey across Mexico so that his madre – how you say? mother – can give birth to him in a donkey’s house… for reasons that I, Juan, admit to having forgotten.
Once born, tres kings and tres goat herders turn up with the traditional Mexican birthing presents of goad (a pointy stick that we use to herd our asses), Frank incensed (an angry hombre) and myrtle (a shrub) for reasons that also elude me. And why do they come with gifts for someone they don’t know? Because he ees the son of God! Si! You did not see that one coming did you? Then some angels turn up and they all sing a song called Leetle Donkey and pull their Christmas petados – what you call “crackers”.
And this ees why we celebrate Christmas in Mexico. I think you have something similar with a chocolate rabbit in your Eeeeenglend, no? There are many different traditions attached to eet, some of which I, Juan, insist you try for yourselves. Like these here!
Now farewell, mi compadres, eet has been a great adventure, si? But now I, Juan, must – how you say? – saw my own head off in the traditional Mexican way. Adios, amigos!

UNO: LEETLE DONKEY
Si, this was the song everyone sang at that first Christmas party in thanks to the brave dwarf donkey that carried the pregnant virgin (let’s not get into that – I, Juan, have no answers) Mary across the volcanoes, fire rivers and precarious rope bridges of Mexico in what I, Juan, believe will be eventually released as a prequel to The Greatest Story Ever Told.
Today, to celebrate the dwarf donkey’s epic journey, the immaculately pregnant virgin women of our land (of which there are increasingly mucho) race these otherwise notoriously feeble animals across the entire length of Mexico. Naturally, many leetle donkeys die in the process, but eet ees no problem as we breed many in our efficient Mexican donkey battery farms!
The leetle donkey that wins the race is proclaimed The Jesus Donkey and carried high through the village, before being hurled into a deep gully so that it can be reunited with eet’s master… in Heaven.

DOS: A CHRISTMAS VILLANCICO
This ees a Christmas tale written by one of Mexico’s greatest writers, Carlos Dickenz and has become a traditional play performed across all of Mexico. Eet ees obligatory to act in eet, under pain of death.
The story follows an old Mexican businessman who ees mucho greedy and tight of the arse with his money. Everyone hates him and wishes he were dead, because they are all lazy and owe him many pesos, particularly his employee, Roberto Crapchett who has a son that ees – how you say? – a raspberry ripple.
Then, one Christmas Eve, the ghost of Bob Marley visits him and warns him to expect supernatural company! Ghosts can’t lie and, sure enough, three spirits visit the miser and show him Christmases past, present and future… and then call him a bastardo and threaten to slit his face up in Hell if he doesn’t cheer up, or something.
Needless to say, the miser sheets himself and wakes up on Christmas Day, buys an enormous goat and a sack of toys and dances through town singing – for some reason – before turning up at his impoverished employee’s house, mocking their meagre belongings and then giving them the goat for their Christmas dinner, the toys for their children and then – as eet ees a Christmas story – uses Jesus magic to cure the crippled boy! Suddenly everyone loves him and we reach the moral of the story: people can be easily bought.

TRES: SANTIE CLAWS
I, Juan, think that this Christmas character was added to the story at a later date. He’s a wisecracking, streetwise Jaguar that walks on his hind legs and has a long beard and a red suit. He lives in the north of Mexico with a band of frightening dwarfs that try to atone for their dwarfish sins by making toys for the children of Mexico.
Then, every Christmas Eve, Santie Claws travels on a flying cart pulled by magic goats to the homes of all of Mexico’s children. There, he climbs down their chimneys or swims up their toilets (whichever is most accessible at the time) and checks his list. You see, the deal ees this: if the child has been good, then Santie Claws will leave him a dwarf toy as a reward for his behaviour. But, if the child has been bad – ai caramba! – Santie Claws eviscerates the child, like the savage Jaguar he ees, in a frenzy of claws and fangs! Then he feasts on the child’s carcass before visiting the next house. This ees why his suit ees red.
Si, Santie Claws ees a good psychological tool employed to ensure righteous behaviour from our good but occasionally bad Mexican children… and many lives are lost each year to foolish Mexican shops that employ Santie Claws impersonators which they have merely caught in the wild, dressed up and let loose.
His role in Jesus’ birth ees not really clear, but most of our priests say he ate the holy afterbirth, which is how he got his ‘powers’.

CUATRO: EL REINA’S DISCURSO
Eet ees thick Mexican tradition that, every Christmas Day at three o’clock, we all gather in the town square to listen to El Reina’s Discurso – how you say? – the Queen’s speech. Normally he talks about events in our great country over the past year… and then begs forgiveness for his filthy, disease-spreading homosexuality.
Unfortunately for him eet ees too late to recant his disgusting gay practice, plus, eet ees Christmas – and everyone knows how God feels about these miscreants that spit in His face! So next comes another rich Mexican Christmas tradition: putting the fairy on top of the village Christmas tree… normally by inserting the tree into his rectum and leaving him impaled there until he bleeds to death through his anus. He’ll soon wish he’d never handled another man’s baubles, no?!

CINCO: SING JOSE-ANNA
The good but simple and frequently disfigured people of Mexico are famous the world over for their glorious singing voices, and never ees there such a time of song in Mexico as there ees at Christmas.
Si, many are the villancicos – how you say? carols – that we sing together: Leetle Donkey, of course; Sandy the Sandman (which is now banned due to eet’s racist content); White Christmas (same); Violent Night (oddly savage Christmas ditty); The First Noel (in tribute to your Eeeengleesh Swap Shop superstar, Noel Edmunds); Walking in a Mexican Hinterland (depressing dirge about breaking down in the ‘unpleasant’ areas of Mexico) and many more besides!
Gangs of carol singers roam the villages all across our country, singing these songs at people whether they want to hear them or not! And the only way you can stop them – like our Mariachi bands in restaurants – ees to pay them to go away or counter them by invoking the ancient right of Kenbarlo, which entitles you to hold them down and whack them repeatedly in their flesh piñatas – how you say? people-nuts – with a special festive flail! Eet ees an obscenely rich tradition!

ENDS

FROM THE ARCHIVE: The Urban Commando Guide

12 Dec

An advice guide to every day life written from the point of view of a raging psychopath, the Urban Commando series ran regularly in a well known gentleman’s art pamplet back in 2003/4. Then one of their legal team must have seen it. The image, obviously is freshly added…

This one deals with music festivals and may contain stong language and massively unnecessary violence. Oh and sex. You have been warned.

URBAN SURVIVAL GUIDE 6: MUSIC FESTIVALS

Life is riddled with extreme situations. Get blindsided by the unexpected and, before you know it, you’ve won yourself a ride on the death-pig. So, prepare yourself for life with ex Extra-Special Forces commander JACK RYAN, a man whose experience in survival is second to none…

My father was a wise man. “Ryan,” he would say to me (he called us all by our surname) “it’s easy to make a smart decision. Just think of something clever and then do the opposite,” At least, I think that was what he said. He would often conceal himself around the house and leap out of crevices to surprise us with profound observations like: “Whenever there’s answers… there’s always questions,” and “You never truly know you’re alive until a psycho’s got a knife to your Johnson.” And it was these and his over-riding philosophy on life that made me who I am today – the family motto: ‘Everyone’s a cunt, except me’. Which is something you should all bear in mind, particularly when you attend one of the events I’ll be advising on this month – the killing fields that are music festivals…

1) BASE CAMP
Nothing is as vital when attending a lengthy music festival than arriving early, reccy-ing a good site and setting up base camp. You don’t want to end up camping in the toilet overflow or near students of foreigners, so here’s how to secure your own corner of England.
a) First blood. Whenever the site is due to open, you need to get in an hour earlier at least. There are many ways to do this, but going over the fence is always the best. If there’s guards, even better – you can use one to break your fall. Stash the body and you’re ready to reccy the site.
b) Veil of darkness. It’s important to move with stealth. If it’s night, I recommend nightvision goggles to give you the advantage. They’ll be guards everywhere but, if it’s one of those hippy, peace crap festivals, chances are they’ll be pussies. If one gets to close, lie low and use your nightvision to get up close then, once he stops thrashing, stash the stiff and move out.
c) Location, Location, Location. Pick somewhere with a tree perimeter (for late night latrines), and, if you had the good sense to bring six tents with you, set them up in a wide circle and dig a pit for a fire in the middle. Next, set up perimeter fencing to stop stragglers wandering in, and just one obvious entrance… rigged with a bear trap.
d) Mark your territory. Come the next day you’ll most likely awake to find your base camp engulfed in a sea of tents. If anyone is too close, slash their tents with your blade so that they’re rendered useless and the little fuckers will have to go home. Then, just so you can see your way back from a distance, stick something unique on a large pole and jam it in the ground. Like a severed head. Or a flag.

2) HYGIENE
Public toilets are a breeding ground for death, be it from ameobic dysentry, an overly powerful aeroplane pump, or just shit ninjas lying in wait, you should never step foot in one unless it’s the last resort. And then never step foot in one. Fortunately, follow my lead and you’ll never have to…

a) Filth and loathing. Nothing good ever came out of music festival toilets. From the first hour of opening the grounds, these hideous TARDISes of shit will be over-flowing with the outpourings from a million sickly vegetarian arses. My advice is to piss wherever you feel like it and shit in a bag and hurl it as far from your tent as possible.
b) Next to godliness. It’s almost impossible to stay clean at a music festival, but if you don’t want to end up pulling Botfly larvae out of your face on the second day, it’s important to keep those wounds clean. You can either queue with the other plebs for the cold tap, or, taking your hint from Mother Nature, lick yourself clean. Eventually, it becomes natural.
c) Disco inferno. Remember: nothing sterilises like a good cleansing fire. If your kit gets dirty, rather than wasting precious water, why not simply scorch it clean again? It’s vital to keep your fire going for the entire duration of the festival, just in case you suddenly need to cook some beans, or destroy evidence.
d) Back to nature. Near most festival sites there’s usually a river or even a pond that can be utilised for bathing. However, given that the majority of these contain things that will burrow into you or give you brain-damaging diseases, it’s probably best to flood the area with industrial bleach first and then lop in a couple of grenades to see off the bigger threats.

3) FOOD
If you’re anything like me, you’ll sensibly refuse to eat anything you haven’t killed and cooked yourself. But, there is always the possibility of having your supplies stolen in the night by a bear, so what then?
a) Nature provides. Most festivals tend to take place in the countryside, so snaring a rabbit or some crusty’s three-legged dog should not prove too much of a problem. Even a three-legged dog can provide you with all the vitamins, minerals and protein you’ll need for the duration of the festival.
b) Wealth distribution. If you’re desperate for tucker and you don’t trust the stalls, I like to watch others eating and, if they’re still okay a third into their grub, it’s time to seize the goods and dismiss the former owner with a swift blow to the neck.
c) Forage for berries. Well, when I say ‘berries’ I mean real food. And when I say ‘forage’ I mean, root through everybody else’s tents for their secret stashes. Soon you’ll be dining like a king!
d) Needs must. If all else fails and there really is no alternative, it’s time to approach the food stands. I recommend picking something bland and keeping the cook with you at knife-point for up to 24-hours later, just in case somebody needs to describe it all to a medic.

4) OUT AND ABOUT
Music festivals are about so much more than just the bands that play. You’re there to soak up the atmosphere and have a good time. Buy yourself an amusing hat, like a balaclava, and try to mix in.
a) Make eye contact. If there’s someone you’d like to get to know, the best thing you can do is to stand facing them, about 20 yards away, and stare at them until they notice you. If, at that point, they don’t come over or invite you over, stare unblinkingly at them to really make your intentions known. They may run away eventually. They just want you to follow them…
b) All the fun. You’ll probably run into festival clowns, mimes and all kinds of other wankers on your journeys. If, like me, you constantly carry a flaming torch around, you can soon deter them. Ever seen a mime run screaming into the night, hair burning like Michael Jackson? Now that’s entertainment.
c) Soldier’s rations. There tends to be many outlets for booze at festivals and, although it should generally be taken in moderation, there’s still nothing quite like the sight of a bunch of student’s terrified faces when you come bursting out of the night, naked as the day you were born, smeared in blood, screaming curses and hurling burning logs onto their tents! Brilliant.
d) Captain Oats. Festivals are great places for getting your end away with some filthy bint that’s had too much sun. But, there’s the keyword ‘filthy’. Whether it’s some old hippy or some young slapper, the fact that she’s happy to let you empty your ammo up her, means she’s probably riddled. Use a thick condom, tape it on tight at the bottom and lay a bin bag over her before insertion.

5) MUSIC
There’s a chance that there may actually be some bands on that you quite fancy seeing. But, quite honestly, in these days of Wank 182 and Limp Wristed, I doubt it. However, if you find yourself drawn to the particular vibes of a band, here’s the M.O.
a) Up close and personal. There’s no point standing at the back of a festival crowd and watching the screens, as you may as well be at home. The best way to cut through the crowd is by concealing a small blade in each hand and walking through, jabbing at kidneys. They’ll all fall by the wayside and you can even feign a mock “You okay?” As you pass by.
b) Space maker. If it’s a lively guitar-based act, it’s likely that they’ll be a lot of young kids jumping up and down and bouncing off each other. If you want to stop this happening to you, I recommend making a gruesome, bloody example of one of them.
c) Back stage. Getting into hospitality should only be attempted at night when visibility is poor. Security will probably have some form of uniform so, after you’ve disposed of the previous occupant in some poor sap’s tent, pop it on and make your way calmly in. They’ll be journalists and what-have-we on the other side with official passes. Repeat process. As a game, see how high up in authority you can get!
d) In on the act. If you fancy yourself as the next Django Reinhardt or Perry Como, head to one of the smaller stages or tents and, by rendering a lesser known act too ill to perform, you can simply assume their identity and croon to your heart’s content!

6) GETTING OUT
When the fun’s over and it’s time to leave – say, the festival’s closing, or some of your handiwork has been dredged up in the long-drop toilets, speed is of the essence. You don’t want to get caught in a traffic jam or by the law, so here’s how to hightail it in style.
a) Keep Britain tidy. You should always clean your base camp up – and what’s the best way to do this thoroughly? That’s right: a blazing fire. Dowse everything in petrol and light up. Not only will it destroy your camp site and everyone/thing therein, it’ll also create ash to fertilise the surrounding grass.
b) Hit the road. To avoid snarl-ups on the road, it’s vital to be the first car out. This can be achieved by simply knifing the tyres of all the cars in the car park and dragging the screaming owners out of the lead car… which then becomes yours. There may even be sweets in the glovebox!
c) Control the flow. In most situations, the police are on hand to control the direction and flow of the traffic. As this can be a real pain in the arse, why not simply drive across surrounding farmers’ fields instead? You can go as fast as you like and in any direction you like. Watch out for that cow!
d) Soak up the ambulance. If all else fails, it’s worth getting chatty with an ambulance driver. Then, when he’s playing nearly dead in the back, you can wear his coat and, siren blaring, simply plough through the parting traffic! Huzzah!

All of which brings us to the end of yet another practical guide. Follow these simple rules and you’ll have a great festival and come home with a lot of memories that’ll be with you for years to come. Remember seeing your favourite band live? Remember sitting up all night round the campfire? Remember the look of absolute surprise on that hippy’s face as you reached out and snapped his peacenik neck? Happy days, indeed, my boys! Happy days!

ALL NEW: That Was the Year that Was, Wasn’t It: 2011

12 Dec

2011 was a busy old year, so what did you enjoy most? The Royal Wedding? Nah, you’re right, apart from a day off and a chance to ogle an all-new Royalty related arse in the shapely shape of Pippa Middleton, it was all a bit naff. What about the killing of bin Laden? Yeah, that’s more like it – a 10 year game of hide and seek come to a brutal end in, what was described as, a ‘luxury villa’ in Pakistan. I personally would have liked to have seen more images of Barry Obama punching the air and Condoleezza Rice rubbing against the furniture in a orgasmic frenzy of savage vengeance, but you can’t have everything. I would also have preferred the video footage to have been soundtracked with AC/DC, but again…

Which bad-guy bashing naturally leads to the equally drawn-out demise of Libyan golf-buggy fancier, genocidal maniac, and all-round nutjob melty-face, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Defiant, mad as a box of retarded frogs, and as deeply in denial as previous holder of the It’s Not Happening World Championship, Comical Ali, there were rumours that Gaddafi Duck had fled Sirte disguised as a woman, which was well worth mocking until you remembered that he wore dresses every day anyway. In the end he died the way he lived: in a pipe. Or something.

Meanwhile, in Europe, Greece owned up to having fucked up its finances on a whole new level of fuck-uppery, leading to Germany umming and ahhing about helping out before eventually deciding that some kind of hostile takeover of the Greek banking system was called for. Followed by a hostile takeover of Greece, no doubt. They can’t help themselves.

Back in Britain, some criminal who owned a gun but wasn’t holding it at the time got himself shot by the police, consequently the nation went looting. Never before have so many stole so much in the name of so few, well one, one person they didn’t know… or know anything about. Alright far from a political movement over dissatifaction with life in coalition Britain it was all about pinching trainers from Foot Locker and as much tech as their cheap gold jewellery covered pikey hands could half-inch from Currys. Fortunately before long even nicking stuff began to feel too much like ‘work’ and the chaos stopped.

It was also the year of demise for another terror of the people, the News of The World – a newspaper that was simultaneously not about the world or news. Hacking coughs spread and took down journalism’s last bastions of illegal practice in a whirlwind of finger-pointing, back-stabbing, implausible deniability and out-and-out lying as the Murdoch family pleaded laughable innocence and the red-topped, Ross Kemp battering banshee of the red-tops, Rebecca Brooks, was toppled and the 168 year old creaking organ that was easily Britain’s Worst Newspaper was shut down forever, the final edition’s front page emblazoned with ‘Thank You & Goodbye’ which, presumably, came from the end of a phone call they’d hacked.

There was also plenty of natural and unnatural disasters scattered throughout 2011 to keep the remaining newspapers in business until the Leveson Inquiry (not named after Brian Leveson, the writer behind the hilarious My Family) inevitably shuts them all down: Japan with its earthquake, tsunami and subsequent Fukushima nuclear near-Fuk, Thailand with the floods they didn’t love long-time, and America with its annual array of high school and postman-based shootings.

In entertainment – a term I use as loosely as a prolapsed rectum – X Factor history was made when the fixed competition was won by a group comprising three chavettes and a singing pig. Which, come to think of it, would be a better name than Little Mix. But, of course, they’re all winners, aren’t they? – the one who looked like a bloke in a dress, the fat Cocc kid with the stupid hair, the one who thought she was Grace Jones, that stunted, Autistic Irish homosexual, the fat one from Take That, the one that’s not Beyonce, the new Queen of the Chavs and…. wait, no they weren’t winners, were they? There’s only ever one winner – Simon Cowell.

2011 was also the year the terms Tiger Blood, Bi-Winning and Complete And Utter Public Mental Collapse were bandied about all across the papers as Charlie Sheen began his descent into shit-smearing insanity and a teenage American girl called Rebecca Black recorded the worse song ever, worse even than Little Mix’s reimagining of Damien Rice’s Cannonball (for which they will pay), but which finally settled which day came after Friday and overtook the Japanese disaster in the Twitter ratings; unbelievable. Following which, refusing to be outdone, Amy Winehouse poured herself a proper stiff one in a blaze of absolutely no surprise to anyone and now has another number one album. That’s how it works.

What else? Ah yes, the final flight of the Space Shuttle arrived when apathy set in at NASA and what was once all ‘space this and space that’ ended after overwhelming evidence across the globe proved that there’s no intelligent life anywhere and they’d be better off saving the money up in the hope that they can one day buy the country back from China.

Which I think just about covers it. Nothing more I can think of anyway. Feel free to add anything I missed.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Word up: dictionary update brings modern English to book

12 Dec

Written for BizGene.com in August 2011.

The Queen’s English has always been an evolving language, but the steady, sensible changes us Brits have enjoyed forcing on foreigners over the years has changed dramatically and with ever increasing speed since the proliferation of ‘quality’ American TV first hit us back in the 90s and the internet became the sprawling virtual Tower of Babel that it is today.

Naturally then, the crusty old word-keepers at the Concise Oxford English Dictionary have had to keep up, identifying the new utterances that need to go into the Big Book of Words and ousting the tired old letter-alignments that nobody not in possession of a special Police Box or Delorean need to ever use again.

So, with the latest update complete, what new words do you need to add to your business lexicon in order to keep up with contemporary jargon, and which can you erase from your speech centre for all time? Here’s our pick of the winners and losers…

5 fresh in

cyberbullying: n. the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.

Bullying is never acceptable, even cyberbullying, but given that the popular use of the term has helped it muscle its way into the dictionary suggests that a lot of people are either bemoaning it or bragging about it…

woot: exclam. informal (especially in electronic communication) used to express elation, enthusiasm, or triumph.

Is this one of your favourites? Then woot until you’re sick in celebration, it’s now an official real word!

sexting: n. informal the sending of sexually explicit photographs or messages via mobile phone.

Probably not too much of a surprise given the borderline endorsement the practice has been given from the likes of Ashley Cole, Tiger Woods, Vernon Kay, and that tubby chap who used to be on The One Show.

retweet: v. (on the social networking service Twitter) repost or forward (a message posted by another user). n. a reposted or forwarded message on Twitter.

It’s important to recycle, even when it’s somebody else’s opinions, ideas, idiotic statements. Perhaps the council will eventually provide special bags and fortnightly collections.

follower: n. someone who is tracking a particular person, group, or organisation on a social networking site.

Yes, we thought it already was a word too (often linked to ‘wacko cult’), but it seems the term needed redefining for the 21st century, and here it is. Possibly still linked to ‘wacko cult’.

Five fresh out

charabanc: n. a large vehicle carrying many passengers, typically used as public transport or for sightseeing.

That’s a bus isn’t it? Or a train perhaps? Either way it’s you’ll no longer be heading to meetings on one… having paid over the odds for a ticket… and still not getting a seat.

Aerodrome: n. a landing area for private craft, usually smaller than an airport.

Sign of the times – recession comes in, the private jets and helicopters go out. Seems a bit quick to ditch the word completely though. Perhaps they know something we don’t. In any event, those foreign business trips will be ‘frill’ free from now on.

drysalter: n. dealer in specific chemical products such as dyes, gums, dried, tinned, salted foods and edible oils.

They do say that in harsh economic climes it’s the old fashioned trades that thrive. They are wrong.

wittol: n. a man who tolerates his wife’s infidelity.

Quite right, these are zero-tolerance times. Incidentally, if you’re infuriated by the loss of what for you is an oft-used term, you may consider seeking marital guidance; or spending less time in the office reading stuff like this.

alienism: n. the study and treatment of mental illness.

Probably just dropped in order to reduce the number of words the Daily Mail can plonk after ‘illegal’ in order to publish yet another rant about anyone deemed to be increasing crime/inciting unrest/driving down house prices/taking our jobs/causing water shortage etc.