Including this absolute twat
It’s been millions of years since a young middle class bohemian lad called Noah was instructed by God or Buddha or Allah to build a huge boat out of wood and gather up all of the species on the planet in pairs to join him and his wife on the trip of a lifetime. What happened next was that evolution kicked in, the animals went at it like rabbits, the world hurtled through time and space without exploding, and now we’re left with things as they are now. People walk merrily around the place, as do other mammals and birds and reptiles and, for some reason, geese. And with that in mind here’s a list of animals Noah should have probably ignored…
Cats – bloody cats man, felines, kitty kats, tiddles – lurking in people’s houses expecting to be stroked and cuddled even though two minutes earlier they were literally staring into your eyes while lapping away at their own anuses. They’re absolutely disgusting. Plus I’m very allergic to them.
Swans – when people say “I’m like a swan” they’re generally doing that analogy about being graceful on the outside but beneath the surface they’re flapping around for dear life, but when I say “I’m like a swan” I’m saying I’m sorry for behaving like a totally unforgivable fuckface. Me no like swans.
Blobfish – in the spirit of full disclosure you should probably know that I wasn’t even aware of blobfish before I started on this hilarious journey we’ve embarked on together, I just thought it would make a good picture. It’s got a face like a miserable old bugger who’s getting smellier by the second.
Pelicans – I don’t know a great deal about pelicans beyond them being creepy looking fuckers that eat fish whole and communicate in shrill squawks that cut though your nerve-endings and grind away at your soul. I also once had a dream about a psychotic one that wanted to kill me and I’ve never quite achieved closure.
Horses – my beef with horses has been going on for a while, and I’m definitely not making it up when I say that I was once surrounded by a gang of them while walking across a meadow and I thought I was going to get stabbed. They scared the shit out of me that day and that’s why if I was Noah I’d learn to ride something else. Possibly a cow.
Wasps – you can forgive bees most things because they fit in with the circle of life, they make honey which is delicious, it keeps you alive, tastes good on your toast, and despite the sting in their tails most of the time these guys will leave you alone because they’ve got problems of their own to deal with. Not so with wasps, natures most cruel and vindictive creatures, also short for White Anglo Saxon Pavement Sluts so you can’t win whatever way. Get rid!
Midges – when I were a nipper back in the 1920s you could spent thruppeny sixpunce and get a boat up to the isle of Arran where you’d holiday around a lake for a couple of weeks eating the local porridge. Sounds nice, but bloody hell the midges were a motherflippin nightmare. All itchy and annoying you’d spend most of the trip slapping yourself in the face and tearing at your own eyeballs to make them go away.
Jellyfish – the scourge of the oceans and the high seas, and probably the low seas and the middling seas, and all of the other waters like tarns and lakes and rivers and puddles. These beasts look all flabby and innocuous, but then they sting you and the only way to get any relief is to endure the public humiliation of someone taking their penis or vagina out and pissing on you while you scream. That’s just mean in absolutely every way.
Chinchillas – I’ve had many pets over the years, my first was a hamster called Bruce who eventually died of old age a couple of months after I’d bought him, I had a fish called John Solomon who committed suicide, I had another hamster called Snowy on account of him being white with red eyes like an albino. Those guys were all groovy as far as I was concerned, but the Chinchilla who shat all over my bedroom can sod off.
Right any more for any more?
Look at it, all old and beautiful
I often talk up the amazingness of charity shop finds on this site and I do adore charity shops – when you’ve got no money or no inspiration they can be like magical department stores where anything can happen and dreams can come true. But, BUT, that’s not to say you can’t pick up your wares somewhere else, like in the case of my newly acquired second hand coffee machine that was just gathering dust in a relative’s attic, literally doing nothing. Just sitting there being all retro but stripped unnecessarily of its one function in life which is to make coffee. So basically I robbed it but not without asking first, and now it sits in my kitchen making the whole fucking place smell of Starbucks.
Zero pence spent, unlimited coffee forever. Amazing sticking-it-to-the-recession!
Including one of these cats…
There isn’t a person alive who wouldn’t benefit from a sidekick and basically all of the most powerful people in the country have them. David Cameron has Nick Clegg, Ant has Dec and Dec has Ant. The ultimate sidekick would probably be an identical twin who is slightly smaller, weaker and less intelligent than you so you can order them around but still have that unbreakable telekinetic bond that twins have. The bond that links you until you finally die on exactly the same day. Anyway, without any more waffle here’s the ten greatest sidekicks of all time…
The ultimate hype man, with Flav in your camp you’d never need enter a room ever again without someone with a large clock around their neck bellowing your name at the top of their voice and shooting finger pistols at the ceiling to announce your arrival. That alone would be a wonderful ice breaker in any social situation.
Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous
Every now and then we all need a good-time buddy in a leather jacket and a short skirt who has no idea how old they are, what day it is, or what they’re doing here because they’re probably still a bit pissed from breakfast.
Paulie Walnuts from The Sopranos
For those not in the know Paulie Walnuts was Tony Soprano’s muscle, a psychopath prone to paranoid fits and strange visions, but don’t be put off by anything I’ve just said, he really would be a great laugh to have around. He’s got two-tone hair for starters which is immediately hilarious.
Moss from The IT Crowd
Originally I was going to put Mr Spock in this list until I really thought about it and decided that he would be an absolute nightmare. The ears, the constantly arched-eyebrow questioning everything you do, the French lesbian haircut, he’s so judgmental. So in the end I went for Moss from the IT Crowd who’s basically the same but funnier and less of a cock.
George Costanza from Seinfeld
It’s key for your sidekick to make you look good, which they can either do by constantly praising you or by constantly shaming themselves to make you look amazing in comparison. This little ball of immense fury falls into the latter camp.
Peter Beardsley from England 1986
It’s a mark of my respect for Peter Beardsley that back in the mid-1980s while everyone else was shopping for Bryan Robson Captain Marvel shin pads, I was forking out pocket change for the autographed Peter Beardsley ones. They were made from pure cardboard and I broke my shins on a weekly basis, but my love for him remains undiminished. Handsome, elegant, unselfish, he’d even rub baby oil into your thighs if you asked him to.
Goose from Top Gun
You can be the greatest sidekick in the world but that doesn’t mean the guy you’re sidekicking won’t be a total prick, as was the case for poor tragic Goose, who unwittingly attached himself to the most self-centred pilot in the history of the US Air Force. I’m just going to throw this out there: if it weren’t for Maverick, Goose would still be alive.
Chewbacca from Star Wars
Fact 1. Chewbacca never wore any clothes, he was a completely naked monster. Fact 2. Despite Han’s best efforts to pretend otherwise, Chewbacca’s groans and growls weren’t fully formed sentences that could be translated into English. It wasn’t a language, he may have been brain damaged. Fact 3. He’s still on this list anyway. Fact 4. I have no more facts.
Snoopy from Peanuts
The old adage about dogs being a man’s best friend is actually quite depressing. Firstly, it means your best friend is a DOG. Secondly, dogs are notoriously loyal and thick which doesn’t reflect well on what men look for in their relationships. But forget all that, you know what is the exact opposite of depressing? When Snoopy dances!
Andrew Ridgeley from Wham!
If you asked men to honestly describe their perfect best mate, like HONESTLY, at least 53 per cent of them would start with the words “well for a start he’s got to be hot and undemanding”, which is the precise definition of Andrew Ridgeley in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Now tell me who I missed in the comments section, unless it’s Dr Watson. I know I missed Dr Watson. That was a mistake. A big mistake. Huge.
Okay stand back everyone, shit’s about to get real…
Back in around 2002 when I was working at more! magazine we were having a wild time, sales were healthy, and with a big head of steam we started running a regular piece called Ring of Truth, which was a flash of inspiration from a senior member of the team and I think it was the first of its kind – it served to mine paparazzi shots for celebrity imperfections and then highlight them on a throwaway spread with hilarious captions. It would sit perfectly alongside other great regular features of the time like Zoo’s Who, a spread of celebrities and their lookalikes from the animal kingdom, Bot Idol, which found us styling men’s arses to look like stars, and Marx and Spencer which featured pictures of Spencer from Big Brother 3 accompanied by Groucho Marx quotes in speech bubbles. Actually the last one never happened but not for want of trying on my part. Others genius ideas that never saw the light of day included my crucifixion scene featuring H from Steps entitled Jesus H Christ, and my informative and grown up guide to a specialist type of intercourse called Sex in the Shitty.
Anyway as far as I could tell Ring of Truth wasn’t intended to be particularly spiteful, more! magazine wasn’t like that, rather it was a means to normalize beautiful women who had been deified – we weren’t pointing and sneering telling them they were rough, rather we were breathing a collective sigh of relief because hot A-listers had stubbly armpits too or ever so slightly wonky boobs from a certain angle or J-Lo had a small pocket of cellulite on her otherwise magnificent bum just like the rest of the normal human race. These observations, catty though they may seem now, were intended to make these people less daunting. And believe you me it took ages to find quirks on such gorgeous specimens because these women were alien, far too stratospheric to be bothered by our little rag, and while it might have slightly jarred with the usual tone (hence the dramatic RING OF TRUTH! moniker) it seemed to go down well with everyone, and thankfully it didn’t obliterate the overall fun big sisterlyness of more!.
Now fast-forward a decade and it’s a whole different story, things have definitely gone wonky. more! has disappeared to the old knackers yard, magazines aren’t the force they once were for reasons of us all being far more taken with the internet and iPhones, and now the attention-grabbing Ring of Truth by any other name has grown from a small silly spread to become a differently-toned sniping staple of celebrity weeklies, swamping issues for page after page after page and often appearing on the front cover, as in the case of Now magazine’s recent opener which bade 2013 farewell and greeted 2014 with candid shots of wobbly stomachs and ribs jutting out of celebrities to the words FUCKING HELL, LOOK AT THESE UGLY COWS THEY’RE ABSOLUTELY GROSS BUT DON’T WORRY THEY’RE JUST LIKE YOU! (I may be paraphrasing slightly, but it was something like that).
It disturbed me for numerous reasons, ranging from it being fucking lazy of them to it seeming like a bit of a betrayal, with (mainly) women writing for women but tapping into their deepest insecurities at a time of year when everyone feels fat or out of shape. It reminded me that something that was once fun and throwaway had become cruel, calculated and deliberate. It also compelled me to write this muddled navel gazy diatribe that you appear to be reading (possibly by accident?).
Anyhoo, if you’d indulge me I shall numerise a short list of current beefs I have with the chattering press and their incarnation of the Ring of Truth…
1. There’s little or no humour to it any more, we used to get away with terrible things because we were funny and tongue-in-cheek and original and young and full of life and the readership could (hopefully) see that. But now it all feels so straight-faced, bitchy and mean. Of course the people working on these mags will probably delude themselves using a similar explanation to mine, saying they’re comforting insecure women who worry about their weight and how they look, telling them it’s okay to be fat or skinny because even some famous people are like that, but they’re lying. They’re very clearly displaying these pictures and making people feel ashamed of themselves. I can tell, and I’m normally extremely stupid when it comes to reading signals.
2. They’re not dealing with famous bullet-proof A-listers of extra-terrestrial beauty any more, they’re targeting reality stars, girls next door who are well aware of their status, their market value and their press. They’re zeroing in on their squidgy bits, prodding them and going EUCH! then sticking their tongues out in disgust. Worse still, when these poor celebs suddenly turn up with flat stomachs looking dead behind the eyes they’ve miraculously “turned their life around”, when actually they’ve probably done exactly the opposite of that.
3. I mentioned this earlier, but it’s very lazy, it’s like a nightmare come to life where features are dictated by PR people and paparazzi, and the cretins in suits who run these places and resemble every Apprentice contestant ever are in raptures because they’ve stumbled across an equation seriously close to making money from nothing.
4. It makes me feel a bit bad. I’ve worked at some of these places in the past and I know that they’re nearly always inhabited by bright intelligent features teams who could come up with great pieces full of insight and humour but they won’t often get the chance because a nasty landscape has evolved and I may have played a small part in that on a very tiny microscopic you-can-barely-even-see-it-at-all level. Or not.
Anyway enough of my moaning, listen up, I’ve got this great idea – it’s called Sex in the Shitty…
Including this babe…
It’s great being part of a successful pop group. You get to travel the world, you do your gigs, you pass groupies around, you drink free booze, you take drugs, you grow a beard, you lose your bikini body, the whole world points fingers at you, you decide not to leave the house for a while, you spend your time prowling around Twitter to see if people are slagging you off, you stop eating, you ignore phone calls from your friends, you do things like stand naked in front of a mirror with “slut” scrawled on it in lipstick. Who wouldn’t want that kind of life? With that in mind, below are four total maniacs who decided to LEAVE their pop group, just as things were going brilliantly…
Damn it Robbie, what were you thinking? Just as Take That were showing their mature side in 1995 – Howard had grown dreads and was embarking on a deep spiritual inner journey, Jason had a beard – Williams decided to throw a spanner in the works by morphing into a massive cock and detonating the band from within, and look what happened: Barlow fell apart, Owen started having affairs with frumpy nursing students, Donald went clubbing for twenty years, Orange disappeared completely. It all turned out really well in the end, but some people will always wonder what might have been. They could have been the Rolling Stones.
In 2005 Mutya Buena – Spanish for “very good” – decided that she was far too cool for the Sugababes, and left. What a mistake that was. Since then they’ve pulled a trick straight from Doctor Who by regenerating into three completely different girls and going STRATOSPHERIC (assuming “stratospheric” means they’ve done okay). Mutya has covered herself in loud angry tattoos and while she recently rejoined the original group under a different name, it appears to have been to very little avail. She’s also replaced her front tooth with an unopened Oxo cube which looks weird.
Despite looking like a quartet of probable date rapers, Another Level were actually quite good. They had that song Freak Me which was a thinly veiled open letter about having sex, and just as their wave was rising in 2000 Dane Bowers thought it wise to sod the others and tread his own weighty path to stardom. After a string of singing disasters and a humiliating MTV show called Totally Boy Band Dane’s only remaining saving grace is that he’s considered to be the long straw in a “Bowers or Gaffney?” toilet cubicle sex decision in Movida.
For a while McFadden and Kerry Katona were like a funny mirror version of Posh and Becks. Him a handsome pop star, her the most beautiful woman in the whole of Britain. Then everything turned to muck and Kerry now yo-yos between interviews on drugs and shows about how she’s TURNING HER LIFE AROUND, while McFadden left Westlife in 2004 and they went on to become Ireland’s answer to The Arctic Monkeys.
Any more for any more?