A losers diary


218 still counting

Actually I'm not a loser. Well, not much of one anyway. Perhaps a little.

I thought I'd use this lovely message board thingy to add to my ever widening list of pointless things that I post on the web. I guess I should introduce myself really. I go by the name of Burns. I may or my not be the same burns who used to post on the majestic Popbitch board. That's for others to figure out.

What else can I say? Well I promise everything I say here is true, although names and locations will invariably be changed so I can continue to hide behind my oh so thin veneer of annonimity.

I actually work in an incredibly dull industry, albeit in a job that I love, but I do have a number of friends that lead exciting and adventurous lives, so I satisfy myself by living vicariously through them. Most stories I share will be theirs, no doubt.

I thought I'd use this diary to share with anyone who is bored enough to be interested all my strange and strangled life issues. I am a habitual womaniser, staggering from one disasterous relationship to the next, interspursed with series of ever less satisfying one night stands and subsequent guilt trips. I am not proud of this.

I drink too much, smoke too much, get high way too often and generally live a typical lonely batchelors life. I warn you now, you will almost certainly be bored to death of me within minutes. If not already. I am not proud of this either.

I'm a Londoner, born bred and proud. I say that now, because I will bitch about it at tedious lengths. Deep down I love London and can't imagine ever wanting to live anywhere else, but my natural inclination is to look for the worst in things and people. I am not...well, you know.

Today I'm sat here at my desk, eating my lunch and wishing this hangover would go away. Tonight I'm going to be washing a dustbin. No, seriously, I really am. That's how much fun Tuesdays are for me. The dustbin has been sitting in my back garden since last Wednesday, full of cold, once soapy, water. It would have been less hassle to have thrown it and bought a new one. I still might.

If you're bored already, go here:
exploding dog

That should have distracted you. Isn't it amazing?

I've just realised what an egotistical exercise this is. Why would I imagine that anyone would be interested in what I have to say? I guess we're all nosey really, and insight into how other people live and think is quite an exciting prospect to me, and I suppose to anyone else who reads these things.

Sorry, where was I? I believe I was wittering on about a bin for some reason. Well, I know what the reason is actually, that bloody bin has become representative of the stale state I've let my life get into. It sits in the garden, festering, a stale, stinking symbol of where my life is at. It's an icon, a green plastic physical manifestation of so many issues. The power struggle between me and my mad landlady, a reminder of the depths I've sunk too over the last 18 months, a rancid, rotting, reeking and rancid lump of plastic that I've come to hate.

Obsessive? Me?

Actually, i will be telling you about my mad landlady and her evil cat at some point, but I think I'd better wait until I've moved out first. That should be next month. No doubt I'll be taking the bin with me.

Believe it or not, I am generally quite happy. I just know what it's like to be perfectly happy and at peace and then to fuck it all up so badly that life will never be quite that good again. No doubt this will come out at some point too. You could probably have quite good fun piecing together the fragments that will invariably boil over into my writing at various points.

I'm off for a cigarette, and if you've read this far, then I suggest you deserve one too. I'll bare my soul some more soon.


218 still counting
Day 2

So. The bin remains in place. Only now it’s full of water instead of just half full. What can I say, it was raining when I got home. I wasn’t cleaning bins in the rain for anyone or anything, so I just opened the lid and let it fill up. Maybe I’ll put fish in it and claim it’s a water feature.

You may be getting the impression that I’m lazy. This wouldn’t be entirely accurate to be honest, I am not, by nature, a lazy individual – I play football (or ‘soccer’ as I suppose most of you would prefer me to call it, but I won’t), I prefer to walk to places than to take public transport, I work hard and long hours, I am not particularly lazy. I do, however, have a stubborn streak a mile wide, and if there’s something I don’t want to do, I will find excuse after excuse not to do it. I do not want to be washing dustbins.

I really should try to get over this bin obsession.

I have always been an obsessive person. It’s in my nature. I think I get it from having a neurotic Mother. Obsessive doesn’t even begin to describe her. It’s quite amazing that I’ve turned out as relatively normal as I have.

An example: I was 22 or 23 years old. I took a day off sick from work with a hangover (this, you will note, is a recurring theme in my life – you’ll be able to tell if I’m writing with a hangover as the overwhelming paranoia and general hatred of the world at large will shine through brightly). I unplugged the house phone, switched off my cellphone, settled down under the duvet and watched daytime trash through until Countdown. (note to my non english friends – Countdown is the single most pointless yet addictive piece of television ever to have been invented, with the possible exception of ‘Trade Secrets’. It’s like scrabble, but with less point). Here is a list of the people my Mother had called, in an ever increasing panic, trying to find out where I was during my 8 hours of solitude: My house phone (4 times), My mobile (4 times), my work phone, (3 times), my boss (once), my bosses PA (twice), my HR Dept(!) once, my best friend (twice), my ex flat (twice) and my brother (who was in Australia). That’s 20 phone calls in a day. You don’t even want to begin to think about what happened when I went away for a secret weekend break with someone I shouldn’t have been with – suffice to say she tried to involve the police on more than one occasion.

So you see, I have a lot to live up to in terms of neurosis and obsession. I try my best, but I was taught by the master.

I don’t drive a Volvo. I say this, because in my experience, Volvo drivers are obsessive. I used to work in Market Research. The average response rate to a survey is about 10%, one in ten people bother to agree to take part in surveys. Personally, I’m surprised it’s that high, but there you go. We did some work with Volvo drivers. We had a 90% response rate. This is not normal. I don’t know what it tells me, but I’ll figure it out. Does driving a Volvo turn people into the type of person who loves to fill out questionnaires? Or do the type of people that love to fill out questionnaires get naturally attracted to Volvos? What else do they have in common? Are there clubs that they join? Driving there in their great big Volvos and then filling out questionnaires when they arrive? I have no idea. Actually, I have no idea why I wrote any of that. I just find it fascinating. I do have a tendency to find the strangest things catch my attention and stay with me for years. Think of what’s happened over the last few weeks. Two ten year old girls have been murdered in a tiny village in England, the whole of Central Europe is flooding – Prague, my favourite city in the world was nearly destroyed, huge swathes of the US are drought afflicted. It’s nearly a year since 9/11, It’s the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew on Saturday when Miami (my second favourite city in the world) escaped devastation by just a few miles. All big big tragedies. And what do I find the most interesting piece of news this week? I’m almost ashamed to say to be honest. But it’s this:

Cadburys Chocolate have pulled the plug on plans to advertise their Temptation Chocolate bar by comparing it to Kashmir as it’s ‘too good to share’. That’s it. That’s the piece of news that has stuck with me most this week.

It takes a certain sort of genius to think up an advertising campaign like that, wouldn’t you say? What else must they have gone through before they came to that? ‘Cadburys temptation, it’s like Northern Ireland, you won’t want it all, but you can’t agree how to share it’? ‘Cadburys temptation, it’s like Poland. If you don’t keep an eye on it, the person next to it will nick it’?

Bizarre. Who employs these people? How do their minds work? What was the TV campaign going to be like? A remake of Frankie Goes to Hollywoods ‘Two Tribes’ video? With people dressed as Inidans and Pakistanis portrayed fighting over a chocolate bar? Hmm…now that I think about it, it might just work.

Anyway, I guess I’m done here for the day. Cigarette time again. Join me, go on, you know smoking is cool really!
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It's all so fragile

An hour ago I was told I have a ‘conjunctional haemorrhage’.

Sounds serious doesn’t it? That may not be exactly what it’s called, I wasn’t really listening. But read it again, it’s a phrase that strikes fear into you isn’t it? Well, at least it would do if someone stood in front of you and said with a serious look on their face ‘what you have is what is known as a conjunctional haemorrhage’. It did me anyway. What does it mean? Am I going to die? I don’t want to die. Well, not normally anyway.

Not at the moment I don’t.

There are so many things I’ve never done, so many things I want to do. I want to spend some time living in America. Making up for the fact that I am currently exactly one month short of what should have been my one year wedding anniversary. I should be married and living in Nashville of all places at the moment, to a good ol’ Illinois farm gal moved South. But that’s another story for another day, too depressing and nasty to go into at the moment. I want to start in New York and drive the country, and then settle in Miami for a few months. Heaven.

I want to see my football team win something, rather than be the 91st best team in the country out of 92 as they are at the moment. I suppose that’s probably a bit weird to Americans, a country the size of the US has 28 (32?) full on Professional American Football Teams spread across a vast continent. A tiny country like mine has 92 professional football teams. That’s just England alone, not Scotland or Wales or anywhere else. If my team win anything, ever, the grand total of around 3 and a half thousand people will celebrate. That’s all that ever bothers to watch them. Sad isn’t it?

This conjunctional haemorrhage thing has really got me thinking though. I still want to be a Dad, I want to hold my own child in my arms. I want to look down and think ‘I helped create this, I helped bring you here’. ‘Admittedly your mother did all the hard work and had all the pain and sickness and misery, but I played my small part in this’ And then hand them back and go to the pub probably, but that’s not the point.

I want to see the next Star Wars film. I want to know how The Sopranos finishes, I want to eat out with my family again, drink with my friends. I want to be able to sit on the balcony of the flat I’m moving into next month, in the sun, listening to Gram Parsons and smoking a fat one. I want to finish the task that I’ve started at work and see the impact it has. I want to be around for my best friends wedding next summer. There is so so much I want to do. And today I had to face the fact that I may not get the chance.

The thing is, a ‘conjunctional haemorrhage’ is basically a bloodshot eye. I appear to have poked myself in the eye too hard while taking out my contact lenses when drunk. A bloodshot eye started me thinking all this. You lot had better hope that I never find out that I have anything terminal wrong with me, imagine the self pity I’ll subject you all too if that happens.

The bin is still full of water in the garden by the way. I think the cat may have drowned in it now, as I haven’t seen it for two days. At least it won’t attack me everytime I pass it on the stairs anymore.

I’m done for today then. I would go for a cigarette, but this brush with mortality has made me think I may quit smoking.

No, sod it, quittings for losers, I’m off for one now.


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Kids TV

Another day dawns, and I find I have nothing to say today. Too tired to think at the moment. Third hangover free day in a row though, that’s quite impressive. Unfortunately tomorrow is Saturday, so I probably will be suffering in the morning. Another day in bed watching kids telly. Speaking of which, I swear racism is slowly creeping back into mainstream telly. Laying in bed last Saturday morning, watching programmes that I know I’m far to old to be watching, I promise I witnessed the following:

Quiz Host: Welcome to ‘Brians Brain’. So, Brian, your challenger today is Sunitta, she’s eight years old and she’s from Solihull. She’s going to challenge you today with 10 questions she’s set herself. But I tell you what Brian, you may have been on holiday, but your sun tan is no match for hers. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Sunitta’

And then an Asian girl walked out.

Now, call me old fashioned, but that can’t be right can it? Isn’t that the sort of casual racism that we’ve been trying to get read of for like ever now.

It reminded me of being in a school playground in the early 80’s when we were all so innocent that we didn’t realise quite how evil we were being. I, myself, am still ashamed to my roots of the day when, as a niave 6 year old, I made my best friend cry by calling him a ‘religious half caste’ in the middle of a scrap about…er…hopscotch…of all things.

Mind you, that’s better than somethings that have happened. At least I had an excuse then. Another friend had slightly less of an excuse when at the age of 15 he wrote ‘oo-er…I’m is quite gay’ on a sticker and stuck it to a friends back. Not big, not clever, not subtle, but something about the ‘quite’ lends it a certain gentleness that the underlying message doesn’t really deserve.

Purile, I know. So sue me.

Actually, the ‘quite gay’ thing didn’t really happen. It’s just a funny story that I’ve stolen from the ‘Rules of The Playground’ website. I won’t do that often, I promise. And when I do, my guilt will always overcome my ego and I will undoubtably (or is that undoubtedly?) confess.

The bin in the garden is developing a life of it’s own. I’m certain that I can hear movement inside it when I approach it now. I keep expecting Godzilla to pop out. ‘Up from the depths, thirty stories high, flinging litter, high in the sky it’s Binzilla.’ Or at the very least, Godzooky.

I fucking hated Gpdzooky, And Scrappy Doo, and the bloody Alien thing in The Flintstones.

Sorry, sidetracked,

I’ve probably waffled enough for today anyway. Am I boring you all yet? Feedback please! I can stop this if people want me to. (you only have to pay me)

Smoking time again.


218 still counting
Same day as above, but I just thought I’d share something that’s playing on my mind at the moment.

I don’t know how many of you are aware of the two ten year old girls that have recently been abducted and murdered in Soham, Cambs. UK. Even if you’re not aware, the previous sentence is pretty much all you need to know at the moment.

I’m not about to get into the rights and wrongs of the way the press have handled this, or the way that mob mentality appears to have taken over the minds of people who, I can only assume, are perfectly sane normally (they’re giving unruly mobs a bad name, to paraphrase Moe Sizlack).

What I’m more concerned about is the apparently uncontrollable outpouring of grief that seems to be coming the norm since Diana died. (and if anyone can ever satisfactorily explain to me why that was such a tragedy I’ll be amazed. – OK, so two children lost their Mum, yes, very very sad, but that happens everyday of the week all around the world, why was this so special?). I mean, God, we had what felt like a month of mourning when the Queen Mother died (God bless ‘er, she was a right ol’ trooper etc etc). Honestly! I mean…Shock Horror…101 year old woman dies…hold the front page…What next? ‘Baby Cried’ , ‘Boyfriend takes girlfriend for granted’, ‘Teenager argues with Mum’

Why do we suddenly feel the need to grieve for total strangers. And I don’t mean ‘show compassion’ or be repulsed by the murder of children, or feel sympathy or even empathy for those left behind. I mean, why do people seem to go into full on, deep grieving. As if they’ve lost their own mother/sister/child? There seems to me something quite sick about this competition to show how much people care more than each other, how people want to openly demonstrate ‘here, look at me, I’m so devastated by this, that means I must be a good person, mustn’t I?’. Oh do fuck off. Please.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a compassionate man. I cried at when Bambis mother got shot, when ET nearly died, when the mother talks through a PC at the end of Microserfs (sorry, have I ruined the ending). I wept like a lonely child when England lost on penalties to Germany in the 1990 World Cup., and I cried my breaking heart out when my ex fiance went through what she went through. I just don’t understand affected, flamboyant ‘look at how sad I am’ grief that seems to be so prevelant since Diana.

Sorry, soapbox away now, I promise.


218 still counting
Three little words

OK, so I’ve not written for a while. Been having some personal problems that I didn’t really feel like sharing to be perfectly honest.

In fact, I’ve had the weirdest week or so all round. Soon I’ll explain. But not yet, I need some space to get events into perspective first.

I am finally moving house though, that’s good news. It means that the bin can stay and fester and rot forever as far as I’m concerned. And in my new garden I’m going to plant a flower, exactly the same distance from the back door as the bin is now, just so I don’t forget how bad I let my life become and to remind me every day that I need to make the effort to make sure it never happens again.

I’m going to leave you for the day now. Short, not so sweet and actually kind of cheesy today, wasn’t I?

But before I go. I’ve just discovered the most moving three words in a book I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I’ll tell you the book for a while, or the author for that matter. Or even the context. No doubt some of you will have read the book anyway. If you have, then you may well recognise them. If you haven’t, then they will seem oh so bland.

They are

‘So Will I’.


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Back again, after yesterdays short and pointless waffle. I’m in a much better mood today. Which probably means that I’ll find I have nothing to say for myself. Which is a bit strange for me, normally I can waffle on about anything. I mean, honest to god, you’re reading the ramblings of a bloke who once actually did write ‘1,000 words about the inside of a ping pong ball’ just to see if I could. And the results were dammned impressive, even if I do say so myself.

Today I’ve been mostly remembering or inventing the stupidest jokes that I can. How’s that for constructive use of my time?

What’s brown and sticky?

A stick.

See? And the saddest thing is, I have so many worse ones than that.

I’ve been trying my hardest to live a normal life recently, but I’m really not very good at it. I only seem to be able to last about 3 or 4 days before I have to get mind blowingly drunk or incapacitatingly (that is so not a real word is it?) high. My life is like that scene in yellow submarine with all the holes in it. I have three or four days of clarity and then a massive hole in my memory. Very worrying.

Whats red and invisible?

No tomatoes.

They do get worse, don’t they?

So, anyway, I found out my sister is getting married. That leaves just me who is incapable of settling down in my family now. 28 years old and apart from the Illinois farm girl I mentioned at the outset, I haven’t ever even come within shouting distance of meeting anyone that I have ever felt I could possibly spend my life with. Everyone who seems like settling down type material always seems so so dull to me, I get bored within months, if not weeks. Or on some occassions hours. On one unfortunate occasion I think the whole relationship lasted 2mins and 23 seconds. And that included getting my kit back on and calling her a taxi. But that’s beside the point. The only people I find interesting enough to want to hang on to are freaks and weirdos who do me no good whatsoever.

See: The daughter of the Quebec Ambassador to Belgium who was 10 years younger than me and lived in Brussells, and she was bisexual, gothic, neurotic and cried everytime she saw the news. Her I liked

See: The fundamentalist Christian from Sweden who wore flowery tights and swore that she’s murder her family if God told her to. Her I liked.

See: The American theatre actress who was 13 years older than me, collected stray cats and drank even more than I do, which is waaaay too much. Her I liked.

See: My Illinois farm girl who lived in Tennessee, couldn’t live in the same place for more than three months without getting bored and shipping out. Who had had sex about 500 times by the time she was 23 and carried on dating even after I asked her to marry me. She broke my heart.

Weirdos and Freaks. The lot. And I fell head over heels for them all.

What’s Liz short for?

Because she’s got small legs.

And the other women in my life?

The kind, caring, intelligent, gentle Librarian who adored me? I cheated on her solidly for two years and then dumped her without warning.

The beautiful, sexy, funny, clever, most amazing girl that I have ever met and who any man in the world would have jumped at the chance of spending their life with. I got bored within 6 months and left her a depressed nervous wreck.

Weirdo and freak. That’s me.

Don’t hate me. I’m a good man, I just don’t know how to love normal people.

I emptied the bin last night. It stank.

Did you hear about the magic car?

It turned into a car park.


218 still counting
blatent shameless plug

Dudes and Dudettes, I am going to use this space today to appeal to all you Chicago based individuals to support one of the best new singer songwriters to have emerged since Buckley or Drake. I promise you I have never met the guy, never spoken to the guy and will benefit in no way whatsoever from doing this apart from possibly earning him enough money to fund a trip to play in the UK so I can finally see him play live.

So please, beg steal or borrow copies of ‘Don’t Breathe a word’ and ‘Judo’ by Kevin Tihista’s Red Terror. Go and see him live in and around town, tell your friends. Get this man a record label, because for some inexplicable reason he is currently without one.

You will be doing yourselves a huge favour by letting this music into your lives.

Visit his website here: http://www.kevintihista.com/newindex2.html

Please, do whatever you can to make this man the star he truly deserves to be.

That;s basically all I have to say today I think, I don’t want to dilute my message by going on about how much I hate estate agents (which is basically the main thing that has occupied my thoughts since my last post) or by telling you that I stupidly got in touch with Illinois farm gal over the weekend and reopened far too many old wounds. Don’t worry though, no doubt I’ll be boring you about that soon enough.


218 still counting
Is this sane?

Hungover again, the four day cycle continues. This is not good at all.

So, after yesterdays witnessing on behalf of the magnificent Kevin Tihista, back to reality today. I’ve decided that I have issues with reality. I have the mind of an artist, but sadly the talent of a dog. I need to get more realistic and accept that I’m never going to be the great author that I want to be. I’ve been reading a lot of Kurt Vonnegut recently, and I feel shamed that I ever thought that I could create something like that. Instead I’ll just stick to my normal life and inflict my half assed ramblings on poor f**kers like you lot instead.

Today, though, I don’t feel like sharing too much. I’ve reread some of the stuff I’ve written over the past couple of weeks and suddenly feel very vulnerable. I’ve written stuff here that I’ve not told my best friend. Which is weird, when you think about it. I’ve made myself far more easily identifiable than I ever meant too. There are bound to be people that I know who have heard of ‘Porn Clerk’ stories and have then stumbled across this and as I type are sitting around discussing how I’ve lost my mind and trying to figure out whether I need help or not. (the answer is yes, I probably do, in case you’re wondering)

Why do any of us do this? Why do we write down things in a completely public forum like this? I think I’ll go now and consider if I want to carry on writing this shit while I commit suicide by Marloboro.

‘So Will I’ was from All Families Are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland, by the way and is perhaps less moving than I thought at the time. I guess it depends on how depressed I am on any given day.


218 still counting
I wish...

What a shitty day. I detest people I’ve decided.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one day, when you end up on the end of a shitty phone call from some stuck up, self important ‘I’m so clever’ ignorant Daily Mail reading bitch from hell you could just say ‘You can stick your fucking phone up your arse sideways and swing from the cord and if you take that snotty tone with me one more time I’m going to come round your house and shit on your pillows you fucking stupid which, and don’t think I won’t because I’ve got your address right here in front of me and I’m only round the corner and you’re not feeling so fucking sure of yourself now are you? HA!’.

Sadly, what I may as well have said was ‘I can only apologise and assure you it won’t happen again and you’re so brilliant and lovely and I’m just a worthless piece of human shit who doesn’t deserve to breathe the same air as you’. Because that’s how much I felt I demeaned myself.

Fucking customer is always right my arse. The customer is so rarely fucking right. Really, I firmly believe on the evidence of today that the vast proportion of the human race are just a bunch of dumb ignorant twats.

Sorry. Just needed to vent that. I don’t actually really believe the last sentence, it just really really seems that way sometimes.

I’m purposely avoiding talking about what today actually is by the way, I think we’ve all heard enough about that and I don’t think that anything I could possible say would be of any value or worth whatsoever. There has been one strange impact of today that will be lost on Americans, but I bet there are a fair few people in the UK that have been dating cheques and documents with the date 9th November today. It’s really strange. Today will always be imbedded in my head as 9/11, whereas yesterday was 10/9 and tomorrow will be 12/9. I hope people don’t think I’m being trivial, but I bet it’s going to cost the economy a fortune today when bills go unpaid and cheques get returned because we’re all writing the date wrong.

I’ve been reading more and more of the rest of your journals and stuff recently, and I have to say, I really am quite envious of the way some of you write. (some of you are utterly fucking mental mind you!). It makes my incoherent scrawls seem completely inadequate actually. Although I’m afraid I’m going to keep inflicting it on you anyway. Sorry about that.


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A shameful confession

What’s your favourite film?

Seems like such a common question doesn’t it? How many times have you been asked that? What do you say? I guarantee you don’t tell the truth. Even if you think you do.

I only realised this when I was asked yesterday lunchtime, sat in a cocktail bar drinking Bloody Mary’s (pretending it’s a hangover cure rather than another way of getting alcohol into my system without wanting to seem like the lush that I undoubtedly am). I said ‘LA Confidential’ which, at the time I meant. Admittedly on another day I may have said ‘The Godfather Part II’ and on another day, perhaps ‘The Third Man’ or ‘Memento’. I have to admit it changes a lot. But that’s kind of my point. How can it be my favourite if it changes so often?

So I got to wondering, how would you actually define your favourite film? On what basis? I reckon it should be a film that you can watch repeatedly from start to finish hundreds of times without getting bored. That you can start watching at any point and know where you are without thinking about it. That can cheer you up when you’re down, can keep a good mood going if you’re in one. That you can leave the room and come back in the middle of and pick it up again without caring what scene you are at. That feels comfortable, like a favourite jacket or an old pair of shoes. One that doesn’t rely on a twits or a surprise or have a dull scene in the middle that is imperative to explaining the story but gets boring after a couple of viewings. (I mean, honestly, how many times can you actually watch the Tatooine section of ‘Star Wars’ without getting bored?).

On that basis, and in the spirit of total honesty, I think that I have to admit to myself that my favourite film is actually ‘Meet The Parents’. Come on, be honest – have you ever seen a better scene in a film than Robert De Niro saying ‘I have nipples, can you milk me’ genius!

Mind you. If anyone asks me that question tonight, I think I’ll say ‘The Big Lebowski’.

Anyway. I’m still lying. I think I speak for most men when I say the honest answer would be porn.


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A song for whoever

A few years ago I decided I wanted to be a rock star. I can’t really play any instruments and I certainly can’t sing. But I did have a great band name and a list of song titles I wanted to write. I found them the other day and sadly I’m quite proud of them, so I thought I’d share them. If anyone wants to make any use of them feel free (yeah, like that’s gonna happen)

I wanted the band to be called The Uncertainty Cycle and the songs I wanted to write were

 Bombing Runway 40
 Writing for Vic & Bob
 Right Royally Pissed Off
 Southend Pier has a train and shops
 Hangover Shakes
 This isn’t me
 I want to make you hurt (the way that you hurt me) – that would have had to be a country song with a title like that wouldn’t it?
 Why does it never rain for me? - (Amazingly I am not making this up, you have no idea how surprised I was when Travis released ‘Why does it always rain on me?)
 Certain Type
 Plot Ruination Theatre
 Afro Hair on a Middle Aged White Woman
 Saturday night chick flick

I am now fairly satisfied that no matter how hard I try, I will not be able to come up with a more pointless post than this one.

Oh...and I wanted to be like Keith Richards, with a cigarette stuck in the neck of my guitar burning away.

The saddest thing of all, is that I was probably 25 years old at this point, so I can't even dismiss it has teenage fantasy.

My God - if 'the diary of a loser' didn't seem an appropriate title before, it does now.


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The 'Special' Relationship

I’m not having the most productive of days really this is my third update of the day. I fell in love this weekend though. I think. Again.

With another bloody American. That’s three in a row. What is it with you bloody American women that gets to me like this? At least this one lives in the UK at the moment. That’s a good thing I suppose.

The stupid thing is, I can think of hundreds of reasons why I shouldn’t keep letting this happen. Is it just me, or are American women more…er…I’m trying very hard to think of a polite way of saying this…but I can’t…so fuck it…I think I’ll go for…er…easy than British women? No, that’s definitely insulting. Promiscuous? Not exactly flattering either is it? Accommodating? Now that’s a euphemism if ever I used one.

But, honestly, and I have to admit to being a grade A hypocrite here, the sexual history of my last two girlfriend has terrified me. I feel like Dante in Clerks. When I found out how many men my last girlfriend had slept with I repeated it out loud in shock. I fully expected someone to walk past and say ‘In a row?’. - and to be fair they wouldn’t have been far wrong, three of them were really in a row. One after the other at a party. Seriously, did she really think this information would be anything other than bad for me? Did she honestly think that this wouldn’t haunt my every waking hour for weeks on end? And did she honestly have the cheek to make me pay for the dry cleaning to her top when I knocked Red Wine all over her in my flustered attempts to pretend that I wasn’t about to fall off my chair in horror? (answer: Yes, she did)

So that’s reason number 1. I am intimidated by women who have slept with more people than me. Although to be fair, I’m intimidated by the amount of people I’ve slept with, so I guess the honours are even on that one.

Reason number 2 – obvious I know, but it’s not easy having a relationship with someone that lives a minimum of 3,000 miles away. I have debts up to my eyeballs and still I end up spending thousands of pounds each year on flights and phone bills. Seriously, have you ever dialled trans atlantic, cell phone to cell phone. Jesus. I nearly shat when I got that phone bill.

Three – I’m British, I’m shy, stiff upper lipped, reserved. Some may say uptight. Some may say with Bad teeth and plummy accent. I am so intimidated by American waiters and waitresses. I find it impossible to order food properly in American restaurants. I ended up eating Fish & Chips and drinking warm bitter in Miami because the waitress wanted me to have ‘British Food’. I don’t eat fish & chips or drink bitter here for God’s sake, and believe me, they are not things that transfer well to 30 degree heat and humidity that would make a camel sweat. But I couldn’t say no because she was so friendly. Not being able to order food without looking like a bumbling third rate Hugh Grant wannabe is no way to impress on a date.

Which brings me to number four. Dating. What a horrendous concept. I don’t know how to date. I don’t know the rules. How many people am I allowed to date at one time? When does a date stop being a date and become a girlfriend? It’s so much simpler in Britain. You go out, you get drunk, you have sex and then you either call and become a couple or you take the phone off the hook for three weeks and never mention it again if you happen to bump in to each other. Black & White, that’s it.

Number 5. Distances. Why do American girls think that driving from Miami to Key West and back in one day would be a good day out? That’s nearly 400 miles of driving. On one straight road. In an automatic. At 55 miles an hour. How do you all not fall asleep at the steering wheel everyday. There’s nothing to do. And why do you all think 400 miles is no distance? If I drove 400 miles in a straight line in the UK I’d fall off the bloody edge.

I could go on. Please don’t think me rude. I love America and Americans with all my heart, (except your bloody politicians, but that’s something else entirely) It’s just that I know all these reasons why I should settle down with a nice English Rose and be happy.

But fuck me, my countrymen and women are boring compared to Americans. So here I go again, about to go chasing after another woman that is bound to cause me nothing but expense and heartache.

Wish me luck…


218 still counting
I blame the parents

I have had to face up to a horrible fact recently. I am rapidly turning into my Dad. That’s not entirely a bad thing, my Dad is a good guy. I’m normally proud to be his son. But as with any Dad, he does have his faults. And they are now generally my faults too.

I’m going bald – thanks for that one Dad. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t want those few of you that are still reading this shit (hello to all three of you by the way) to have an image of some bald git with a combover in your heads, but I am definitely receding and have had to go for the all over shaved look to cope with it. How depressing is that – I am now stuck with this hairstyle for the rest of my natural.

Although if it saves me from embarrassments such as the shoulder length curtains, the heavily gelled spikes and (God forgive me for this one) the short on top with long perm at the back mullet type thing that I had when I was 13 then perhaps that is no bad thing – aren’t your parents supposed to stop you from doing that sort of thing? In fact, going bald is probably the least worrying thing I’ve inherited from my Dad.

But sadly, it does get worse. My Dad has a terrible habit of starting a story and not going anywhere with it, but ploughing on regardless until it loses all point or meaning. You may have already noticed this trend in me to be honest. But I’m not lying when I tell you that at this rate I’ll be telling stories like this one my Dad came out with last week:

‘That reminds me, of that time. I can’t remember where I was, but I was talking to…er…I can’t remember who I was with…but something funny happened. What was it now? No, it escapes me. But that reminds me of it’

I would really like to tell you that I am making this up, but I’m afraid I am not. That is almost verbatim. Worrying isn’t it? So it was with some horror that last night I found myself embarking on what I was sure was an oh so witty anecdote before trailing off and having to say ‘I can’t remember what happened next actually’.

Still, that I can cope with too. Just about.

No, what really truly concerns me is that my Dad has brainwashed his taste in music on to me. I have to confess now to something that I really don’t want to have to face up to.

My name is Burns, and I am a Country Music fan.

I feel dirty and repulsed now, but it’s a burden I know I need to share. I am fighting this. And I am trying to keep somewhere within the bounds of reason and sanity. I do draw the line at listening to that fat flying c*nt Garth Brookes. Why someone hasn’t just left him hanging in mid-air in the middle of one of his shows I’ll never understand. And you won’t catch me listening to Shelby Lynn or Shania Twain I promise. But I realised that when I tidied up my flat last night, the only CD’s that I had to put away were the following – The Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, Ryan Adams, The Rough Guide to Americana, Beyond Nashville, Emy Lou Harris, Kenny Rogers (to be fair, I’ve always had a soft spot for Kenny, how can anyone not love Coward of The County, The Gambler or Islands in the Stream?), Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.

I can’t fully explain the impact this has had on my life. I am ashamed to get involved in music discussions anymore. I used to pride myself of my eclectic taste. It wasn’t unusual for me to find that in the space of a week I’d listened to Nirvana, Tom Jones, Massive Attack, Erasure, Mozart and Kenny Rogers (see I told you, always a soft spot for Kenny) for example. Or to make a compilation that would veer from Leftfield and The Prodigy to Sammy Davis Junior taking in S Club 7 (just once I promise – I defy anyone not to want to get up and dance when they hear the opening bars of Don’t Stop Moving) and Bruce Springsteen along the way. But no more it seems. I am now stuck in a Country rut. For Shame.

Ah well. Now I’ve confessed I’m off now to chew tobacco and ask Ruby not to take her love to town and see how long it takes me to grow a big white beard.

Which is something else my Dad has come to think of it.


218 still counting
Truth in advertising

If you had to place a lonely hearts ad, how would it go?

Single Male, 28, GSOH, caring, adventurous, good looking. Likes Cinema, Music, Sport and quiet nights in with wine and good company seeks single F looking for Mr Right.

That could, I suppose, be mine. (Anyone interested, get in touch by the way!)

But what does it actually tell you about me? I suppose the first three points are true at least. I am indeed single, male and 28 years old. But beyond that there’s a lot of interpretation and reading between the lines to be done isn’t there?

GSOH – hmmm, is it just me, or do people who claim to have a good sense of humour normally turn out to be the ones who wouldn’t know funny if it came up and bit them on the arse and are actually about as humorous as Hurricane Andrew.

Caring – could be a good thing. Or could be a good thing I guess. But what else could it mean? Clingy, needy, overbearing, always calling to see where you are, never giving you a moments peace? Suddenly doesn’t seem like such a good thing.

Adventurous – oh, where to start??? Am I some crazy extreme sports freak who goes around saying ‘dude’ and ‘Cowabunga’ all the time? Or am I some pervy bloke into kinky sex games?

Good Looking – modesty forbids me telling you whether this is true or not. Oh, OK, if you insist – yes, it is. But that’s not really the point, if you say good looking in a lonely hearts ad, you may as well say ‘Arrogant fucker with over developed ego and no sense of self’.

Likes Cinema, Music – read likes ‘lazing about on my arse doing nothing of any value whatsoever’

Like Sport – read likes ‘lazing about on my arse drinking beer and eating pizza doing nothing of any value whatsoever’

Likes Quite nights in with wine and good company = too skint to take you to proper restaurants and needs to get pissed on cheap supermarket wine in order to feel comfortable enough to hold a conversation with you, and to be honest, any company that wants to sit and get pissed with me is good company in my book.

Seeks Single F – a little bit of truth at last, although you don’t really have to be single

Looking for Mr Right – did I mention I’m arrogant?

So in actuality, my ad should probably read something like this:

Single M, 28, NSOH, needy, perverted, arrogant and lazy, skint alcoholic seeks unfussy woman who can hide dissapointment well.

Like I said – interested? Get in touch.


218 still counting
Not what I had in mind

I really wanted to write about Carl Hiaasen today, because he is a man whose attitude and work I admire greatly. But for some reason I can’t do it, I have been sitting here staring at a blank screen for 20 minutes now, trying to figure out how to say what I want to say, and I can’t find the words.

Not that any of you really needed to know that, but I just wanted to make it clear that whatever the next few paragraphs end up saying (and at the moment I don’t know where I am going with this) they will not be the paragraphs that I intended to write when I started.

I suppose that’s indicative of my life in general actually. When I set out to University 10 years ago I knew where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do, but somehow it didn’t work out like that. Now, I am not really complaining, much of my life is wonderful, but I certainly never planned to reach this stage of my life with the debt that I have and doing what I do. I do actually live where I always wanted to live though, so one out of three ain’t bad.

So instead of trying to write anything coherent today, I am just going to tack together a few paragraphs of things that I have found interesting over the past few months. Many of which I freely confess to have plagiarised from a variety of other sources.


That, I just find interesting for some reason. I’ll be keeping tabs to see if it worked.

This old school game made me cry with laughter, but then again I’m an immature little shit, so what do I know?

SPEED NOB: This involved drawing as many penises as possible on a colleague's text book / excercise book / bag / homework diary / piece of artwork / photograph of dead relative etc. whilst their back was turned. It was perfected to 3 loops removing pen from paper only to draw in a "T" at the top. Twenty nobs in ten seconds was a skilled, but not uncommon occurrence.

Most effective when employed on a borrowed book, swiftly drawn while the classmate is looking away, or drawn across a piece of work that your classmate is about to hand in. There are no hard and fast rules for drawing the cock, but in most illustrations the cock is circumcised and the balls look like two croquet hoops.

speednob reversal
Speednob led to a series of creative approaches to disguising the nobs drawn on your property. These included spaceships with billowing smoke clouds at lift-off, funny faces, general swirly patterns and many more. It is important to note that, if a nob was drawn completely (with the three loops and a T-shape), it was impossible for the disguised nob to look like anything other than a disguised nob, which was still quite gay. However, if you managed to intervene in the drawing of the nob and prevent the T-shape being drawn across the bell-end, you had half a chance of changing the three loops into something innocent. Try it yourself. You'll see what I mean. Of course this made it all the more critical for the nobber complete the nob and only encouraged kids to try harder.

speednob, advanced
Speednob became such an obsession in my school that it was unusual to see any ink-permeable surface without a nob on it. Eventually pupils were so alert to preventing their property being nobbed that it was very difficult for even the most committed player to nob anything at all. The only option for the potential artist was to draw a nob on the flat surface of an eraser with a cartridge pen and quickly use it as an ink stamp on the targeted item. So long as the victim didn't see you draw the nob on your eraser, he would be entirely unsuspecting and a swift movement with the eraser would ensure a successful nob placement on anything from textbooks to foreheads.

speednob, monster
The act of drawing a 300 foot long, fully detailed phallus in the wet sand on Tenby Beach during a Geography field trip, before teachers can descend a cliff to stop you. Chances are, however, that they will simply look dismayed and let you have your fun. Which is pretty patronising when you think about it.

Actually, that last bit is far longer than I’d intended it to be, so I’ll quit here for the day.

Seriously though, is anyone actually reading this shit that I write? Anyone at all? Get in touch if you are, tell me what you think, because at the moment I’m trying to decide if this is something I want to carry on doing or if it’s just a futile exercise in talking to myself. Which I can quite happily do in my head to be honest.


218 still counting
12 plus one

Before I start today, I really need to share a joke with you all:

Q: What do you call a Frenchman in sandals?
A: Philippe Philoppe

I am assuming that it is almost certainly just me that thinks that could be the best joke ever, with the possible exception of the slightly sick:

Did you here about the paraplegic juggler?

He dropped all his paraplegics.

Anyway, sorry, that’s me done with bad jokes for a while, I promise. You people do actually get off very lightly I have to say, I do have so many more of these.

I am also celebrating today, this is my first hangover free day since last Friday. Sometimes it truly does amaze me that I manage to hold down a full time job at all, let alone actually be good at it. Which I am.

I’m a bit short of inspiration at the moment, so I may take a couple of days off from this. Sometimes I seem to just be able to sit here and type whatever comes out and it works quite well (I think). Other days I don’t necessarily want to confront what is playing on my mind, and I think today is one of those days.

I’ve just realised that I’ve never really mentioned my work set up have I? I’m still debating whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I’m the only guy in the department, it’s little ol’ me and 12 women. Some of whom are amazingly attractive, all of whom are very intelligent, and all of whom adore me in some way or another, although sadly it seems to be mainly their mothering instincts that come out rather than any desire to have rampant sex with me on a regular basis. But it’s better than nothing.

And to be fair, I guess I’m the sort of hopeless bachelor that inspires the mothering instinct. When I turn up at work late, dishevelled with two days stubble and a badly ironed shirt I guess I must just look like a bloke crying out for the attention of a good woman. (OK, so I admit it, I play up to it intentionally – wouldn’t you?)

It does mean that sometimes I crave male company though, as I am getting scarily in touch with my feminine side. I found myself cooing over baby photos and saying ‘aw, bless’ this morning. I had to stand up, belch and scratch my balls afterwards to reconfirm my masculinity. Metaphorically, of course.

I also have started to gossip too much, watch soap operas so I can join in the morning conversations and worry about my diet. (God, that was appalling grammar. Obviously the soap operas and weight thing aren’t directly linked) And I think some of my male friends are getting a bit concerned. It came a bit of a shock to them when I started to notice when they’d had their hair cut or got new clothes. And when I asked my mate if his shirt was difficult to wash…well…the look of horror will stay with me forever.

Thank god it’s nearly the weekend and I can go to a football match and behave like a Neanderthal again.

Obviously it has it’s major plus points – team trips to bars and restaurants are a lot of fun. I get a lot of envious looks from frustrated groups of men who keep getting short shrift when they try to muscle in. Although the smug look I must get on my face when that happens is bound to get me smacked round the head one day. Still, if that happens at least I’ll have lots of sympathy and attentions.

The thing is, for most of my life most of my really close friends have been female. This has been concerning me a lot recently actually – I have spent my whole life having a series of surrogate girlfriends, close intense relationships lasting two or three years and then just fading as I move or change job and form a new one instead. There are two problems with this – firstly, I get all the baggage of a relationship without the benefits and secondly, it drives my real girlfriends insane. Understandably so I admit – I certainly wouldn’t take it too well if my last girlfriend has arranged to go to the cinema with her male friend on my birthday. What can I say? The relationship was as good as dead and I…well…I forgot. OK, I admit it, I’m a worm, I’m an unreliable, unthoughtful, inconsiderate bastard sometimes. The thing is, I think I like the concept of having close female company without any of the risk of getting hurt, because I have been very very badly hurt in the past. As I keep saying, Illinois farm girl nearly destroyed me when she left. So I can do close and committed, I just find myself increasingly reluctant to do so.

Apologies, I got sidetracked didn’t I? I didn’t mean this to turn into yet another pathetic regret fuelled post. I should probably explain a little why my mood is like this at the moment, but I’ve written enough for today and I’m sure anyone that started reading this has given up and gone to read something far more interesting already. Even I’m bored now. Told you I was short of inspiration didn’t I?


218 still counting
A diplomatic faux pas

Tips for American Tourists

Excuse me while I vent for a moment. Please don’t be offended, you must have realised by now that I adore America and Americans. But you do confuse the fuck out of me regularly as I realised as I was travelling round Central London yesterday. Please take this advice in the good spirited nature that it is meant, and believe me that for every thing I say, I am fully aware that there are a million things more wrong with the English.

 It is pronounced ‘Lester Square’ not ‘Ly-sest-er’. And it is ‘Luff-boro’ most definitely not ‘Loo-ga-ba-rooga’ – which sounds like and Australian outback settlement to me.
 We hate Anne Robinson and Simon Cowell every bit as much as you do, but we did get lumbered with Ruby Wax, so I think we can call it quits.
 Yes, we are a small country, but no, we do not all know the Queen. Or Phil Collins.
 We know that ‘Color’ makes more sense than ‘Colour’, but we have more vowels to go round than you do (less people to share them among you see), so let us use them. And to steal from Eddie Izzard – it is pronounced Herb, not ‘erb, because it has got a fucking ‘H’ in it. I do accept that ‘Thru’ makes a lot more sense than ‘Through’ though
 Adam Sandler is not funny. Full stop.
 Pants go on the inside. Trousers go on the outside. No wonder Superman got confused.
 A 70 year old building is not ‘historic’. It’s not even old. Basildon has only just stopped being referred to as Basildon New Town and it is now 75 years old.
 We do all live in castles. (OK, we don’t really, but I didn’t want to disappoint)
 When I say I’m smoking a fag, I am not shooting homosexuals.
 ‘Half Two’ is not ‘one’. It is Two Thirty.
 It is not, never should be and never has been ‘soccer’. We fucking invented it, we should know.
 It is also not ‘The World Series’ by any stretch of the imagination.
 When you get on the Underground with those big back packs and turn round without looking and smack me in the face with them, it fucking hurts. Apologise afterwards.
 When we complain about America, we’re jealous, we don’t mean it. I promise.
 We do genuinely hate Dubya though. Sorry, but he scares us. We hated Thatcher too if it’s any consolation.
 Don’t eat the beef. Seriously, don’t. You are 100% right on that one.
 Please. Please, please take Limp Bizkitt back. We’ll keep The Fun Lovin Criminals though, if that’s OK. They funny.


218 still counting
Redressing the balance

To redress the balance (and swiftly), it seems only fair that I now offer my tips to my fellow Brits

 Tight shorts, flabby stomachs and a lobster red skin tone is not a good look. Ever. Even in Blackpool.
 Nor is wearing sandals and socks at the same time
 You may think you’re being shy and polite, you are not, you are being aloof and downright rude.
 When shop assistants and waitresses say to you ‘have a nice day’, you’re right, they probably couldn’t care less, but it’s still an improvement on the surly fuckers that serve in our shops & restaurants so don’t keep bitching about it.
 America did actually save our ass in the war, no matter how much you wish it wasn’t true
 We live in a tiny country, with no money, third world infrastructure and tin pot politicians. We need America and Europe a hell of a lot more than they need us.
 The Empire is nothing to be proud of, we raped the world
 Royalty is quaint and twee and good for tourism but nothing else. Get used to it.
 We have the worst daily press and trashy TV in the world. Never criticise Americans for Jerry Springer until you’ve watched Trisha. Springer has hundreds of millions of people to find his freaks among, we have just 60 million and we still find as many. Think about the ratio. And what makes you think The National Enquirer is any worse than The Daily Sport anyway?
 Porn is good and healthy, stop being so uptight.
 Darts and Snooker are not sports, they barely count as hobbies. In fact they are just excuse to drink
 France = fine wine and fine cheese. Italy = pasta and coffee, Spain = Seafood and Cava. We manage Black Pudding and Lager. What would you rather eat?
 Yes we invented football, we also invented football hooligans, so let’s not get too cocky about it.
 The Commonwealth games do not count. We are shit at athletics.
 Lennox Lewis is not English, no matter how much we pretend. Frank Bruno was most definitely English. Spot the difference


218 still counting
A time worn tale

Phone rings.

I knock a pint of water over answering it.

Current close female friend.


Split up with boyfriend.


I burn my nose trying to light the half smoked funny fag from earlier in the evening.

And listen to her troubles.


It’s a familiar story (well, the burnt nose bit is new actually, and I hope it’s a one off because a) it fucking hurts and b) I look like a tosser now) and most definitely the downside to this habit I have of forming these close friendships. And one that is destined to be repeated many times no doubt. The thing is, I know the next chapter, she doesn’t yet. Poor cow.

My next couple of months will go something like this:

We go out for a drink to let her talk (already arranged for tonight). I do a brilliant job of listening, sympathising and generally agreeing that yes, we men are all untrustworthy shits who will let you down in the end.

Over the next few weeks we get closer, she’s starting to think that I may be ‘the one’, I’m not like the others, I’ve never hurt her, never made a move on her, respect her for the person she is. I start to realise that actually I like her a lot, I see things about her that I’d never noticed before. We spend more time together, we go out, get drunk and have sex. It happens a few more times, she wants it to get serious, I realise that I’m on the verge of having a girlfriend that I didn’t want and panic.

‘We’re just good friends’, ‘it’ll ruin everything’, ‘you’re on the rebound’, ‘you don’t want me really’, ‘you know all my secrets, you’ll never trust me’

Too late, I can’t back out without hurting her. That’s it. Friendship over, I become just another evil bloke who’s let her down.

I guarantee this is what’s going to happen, I’ve been through it so many times before, yet I can’t control it.

I hate myself sometimes.