Monday, 29 June 2009

stupid little shops

Has anyone noticed how Greggs, Sayers etc. struggle to change anything greater than a fiver?

What's wrong with these pricks?

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

an essay on Bronson (the prisoner, not the actor)

For those not in the know, Charles Bronson’s real name (not the actor) is Mickey Peterson. Mickey grew up in Ellesmere Port and quickly gained a reputation as a feared local hooligan, and eventually ended up in borstal. This is where his road to achieving the title of Britain’s longest serving category A prisoner began.
Bronson, is by my reckoning, the most disruptive prisoner ever to have graced the British prison system. By his own calculations he has assaulted over fifty prison guards (not actually that much when you’ve been in prison for nearly forty years, but still impressive) and is Britain’s most prolific hostage-taker. His solution to everything is to take a hostage, even if a) the hostage is in no way linked to his gripe b) it will only make things worse c) he’s too stupid too see it through to any useful conclusion. He once imprisoned four Iraqis single-handedly and would not release them until he was supplied with a machine gun, some iced cream, a cheese sandwich and a helicopter (with pilot). Needless to say his demands were not met and he only ended up with another five years added to his hopelessly long and continually increasing sentence.
His life is littered with acts of complete stupidity, and he is under the impression that his confinement is unjustified. Every time he is released he attempts to rob a bookies or hijack a car, instantly landing him with an automatic ten-stretch upon apprehension by the (now bored) police.
He has tried in vain to demonstrate that he is a changed man. In 2003 he married a Muslim and actually adopted the Muslim faith for a short while, before getting divorced and reverting to a life of self-pity and violent tantrums. He despises fat people, released a book of physical exercises which featured a legal disclaimer advising the reader not to partake in any of the exercises contained within, has broken world records for endurance and tried to establish himself as a boxer despite having a history of violent and unprovoked attacks. And fought a dog to the death. I mean, can a person sink any lower than to fight an animal for money? It shouldn’t happen in this day and age. It’s not possible for things to get that bad. Is it?
The sad thing is that if he ever was to leave the prison system he probably would crumble under the stresses of normal life. He is so woefully out-of-touch with modern conventions that the modern world would almost certainly confuse him. Even the modern prison system confuses him.
He seems to think that he has earned the respect of the crème de la crème of Britain’s criminal elite. He’s always wittering on about how much respect he’s got for the likes of Joe Pyle, Dave Courtney and the remaining Kray and Richardson twins. But in reality they think he is an idiot and don’t understand why/how he’s managed to make himself synonymous with the key players of the golden era of British crime (remember, he’s the epitome of the chronically unsuccessful career criminal). They obviously are slightly fearful of him so tolerate his name-dropping.
I like it when he snaps and goes on a rampage inside whichever prison he is residing at the time. It doesn’t seem to happen any more, but in the mid eighties he went on the warpath seemingly every few weeks. Nobody and nothing is safe when he gets upset, and he gets upset frequently. He is keen on gaining access to the roofs of prisons, where he has been known to stay for up to two weeks living on nothing more than moss, birds eggs and rainwater. The objective of these rooftop protests has yet to be fathomed by the authorities or Bronson himself. There was a good incident in Liverpool prison in which he stripped off, blacked himself up from head to toe with boot polish, donned sunglasses (where did he get them from?) and a prison staff issue hat (worn back-to-front) and stomped round the prison brandishing a home made spear uttering “it’s all over” whilst indiscriminately destroying whatever he came across. He also had a prison governor tethered to his person with a length of rope for the entire duration.

The total cost of his four decade spell in prisons must run into the millions.

Bronson was a real headache for the government for a long time. He was too dangerous to release but kept destroying prisons and staff whilst inside. Because of his unique behaviour and relatively victimless crimes (let’s be frank – taking a hostage isn’t a victimless crime, but he’s never murdered, mugged an old lady or nonced a child) he is seen as a loveable source of amusement to the public. Therefore the government can’t let him rot. All they can do is give him what he wants, within reason, and hope that he behaves himself. Luckily he seems to have kept his nose clean in recent years, although I bet that it is only a matter of time before he takes another hostage.

Watch this space.

Changes to the sport known as boxing

Rule changes I would introduce to the sport known as boxing:

1) A lion in the ring. The lower part of the ropes is fenced off so that the lion cannot escape, and no digs must be thrown at the beast. The lion must NOT be stopped when having a go at the fighters, but MUST be interfered with sexually by the loser. No lion, no fight.

2) Bottomless pits in the ring. The pits extend deep into the core of the Earth.

3) Dog shit in the ring. If a fighter stands (or slips) on a deposit this is as good as suffering a TKO.

4) The entire fight comprises of one ten second round. But it still costs thirty quid to watch it on Sky.

5) High-heels.

6) Every professional fight must be refereed by Flava Flav, the cold lamper. No lamper, no fight.

7) Every third round must be fought wearing a monacle and carrying a cane.

Stuff I would like to do

Things I want to do before I die

1) Drive up an empty car transporter at high speed.

Everyone has drives has been tempted to do this. Occasionally I see empty car transporters parked at the side of the road, I feel they’d make excellent ramps for a high-speed jump.

2) Do a lock-up on a full McDonalds.

Me and Tucker have already locked an entire audience into a cinema screen mid-film, but I want to repeat the stunt on a packed McDonalds. I would be so amazing. Imagine the instant panic.

3) Have a go in a digger.

I’ve heard rumours that a place called Digger World exists where members of the public can pay a fee then rag a digger round a field all day. This is my idea of the perfect afternoon. Just imagine it; being completely untrained and then attempting to pilot something as awesomely destructive and potentially dangerous as a JCB. And it’s legal.

4) Hug a bear.

I don’t care if it’s incredibly dangerous, I want to hug/wrestle a bear (preferably a polar) at some point in my life.

5) Throw a freshly prepared plate of dinner on the floor.

I mean, does anyone else get the urge to do this? Whenever I’m presented with a lovingly prepared meal I get a powerful lust to hurl it away.

6) Fire a machine gun.

Steve Carpenter has fired an AK47, the bastard. I’m jealous. The closest I’ve come is popping a few caps on a 12-bore shotgun. Take it from me, it nearly rips your bloody shoulder off.

7) Wire a plug up wrong.

I’ve heard that it blows the house up.

8) Pour a bottle of wine into an expensive piano.

I got this idea from Guy Stevens, legendary Clash producer.

9) Dump twenty quids worth of coppers into the coin receptacle at the entrance of the Birkenhead tunnel.

The beauty of this is that NO COPPER COINS is clearly stated on the booths. After dumping the change I would hopefully be challenged by the member of staff manning the toll gate, and would respond indignantly “it says there (pointing at sign) you can only use copper coins mate.”

10) Renovate and redecorate someone’s house whilst they are on holiday.

Imagine how confusing it would be if one returned from a holiday to find that their house had been tastefully and comprehensively messed with by an anonymous third party. If only I had the money…….

Stupid things I have done

The Stupidest Things I Have Ever Done

Part 1 – getting my Dad’s car completely stuck in mud on a school playing field.

I was seventeen. Driving past the school, bored, I decided to gatecrash the local parents evening and say hello to some of my old teachers. Upon driving the entire length of the school grounds in the pouring rain I changed my mind and swung the car round using a patch of grass. Without thinking I ploughed straight into the goal mouth (which also doubled up as a shot-putt area) on full lock and the car immediately sank up to its door sills in wet mud. I was so annoyed I could have spit. I tried EVERYTHING to try and get moving. I got out of the car and pushed, I wellied the throttle, I got out and pushed WHILST wellying the throttle, I even raided the CDT bins and jammed the area under the tires with bits of balsa wood and old exam papers. But nothing working worked. After being stuck for half and hour (by this time I think it had gone dark) I had to walk the entire length of the school, bang on the door of the caretakers’ house and beg for him not to lock the school gates so that I could still get out. Eventually I rang Johnny Wallace and he came down in his Cavalier. After much clutch smoke and almost ripping the boot lid of his car John managed to haul me free and I almost wept with delight. I thought I was going to have to call the AA at one point. I didn’t tell my Dad what happened, but he DID start asking questions as to why there was so much mud under his car that it had become impossible to steer properly. The entire steering system had to be professionally scraped.

I love to image the look on Lever and Evans’ faces the next day when they found their lovely field destroyed by foot-deep furrows jammed with wood and exam papers.

Part 2 – gassing my family.

When I was a child I had a penchant for mucky mixes. A ‘mucky mix’, for those who don’t know, is defined as a combination of completely unrelated but easily obtainable substances thrown into a container and stirred. In typical Paul Stearne fashion, I took it to an extreme. Aged ten I made a mucky mix so unnatural that it actually put my family in bed for a week. My Dad, a man who would only called in sick on a handful of occasions during his thirty year career at ICI, actually had to take a week off. This particular mucky mix had everything in it. Soil, hairspray, washing-up liquid, grass, engine oil, flour, cooking oil, rice, bleach, tapioca, caustic soda and glue were contained within. You name it, I used it. Then I carefully poured the goo into a huge copper pot for making jam and heated it on the hob. The fumes were so vile that every window in the house had to be left open for days and my mother actually vomited.

Part 3 – almost getting my father arrested.

Ours was the first household I was aware of to have a photocopier. For some bizarre reason I decided to see how things such as fivers, birth certificates and other official documents copied. Then I remembered the tax disc in my Dad’s car. I distinctly recall taking his car keys and carefully removing the tax disc from the windscreen. After discovering that it was impossible to photocopy – it actually turned out a completely different colour to the original – for some unknown reason I put the original in my trouser pocket. Upon hearing the sound of the washing machine the next afternoon, I realised with horror that the tax disc was IN POCKET OF MY TROUSERS WHICH WERE BEING WASHED. I managed to retrieve the tax disc from the pocket of my now sodden trousers and discovered that it was now a mush about the size and shape of a piece of used bubble-gum. Panic set in. By this point I was freaking out. And I was young. Too young to know that it’s possible to get a replacement tax disc for a tenner from the post office. I actually thought that to replace the thing I would be looking down the barrel of a hundred quid. That’s a lot of money for a seventeen year old. Then I remembered; THE PHOTOCOPY WAS STILL IN THE POTOCOPIER. I got the fruit of my experimentation, carefully cut it out (I even made allowances for the perforations – just like a real tax disc) and put it back from the whence the original had come. It was the best I could do.

All was fine for a month.

We had made a trip to Halton College to try and record some Honey Shop Screamers songs, only to realise that we didn’t know how to use the studio in the slightest. This meant an early finish and an early trip back to Frodsham. It turns out that on the way over to collect us, my Dad had been stopped on the Runcorn Widnes bridge by a police patrol.

I can imagine the conversation:

“May I see your driving license please, Sir?”

(Dad, completely confused and bewildered having done nothing wrong rummages around for his driving license and eventually finds it).

“Are you aware you’re driving with a counterfeit tax disc sir?”

(He calls Dad round to the front of the car and shows him. My Dad examines it closely and realizes it is a photocopy, a very bad photocopy at that. It is also the WRONG COLOUR. By this point his brain is actually melting).

Dad claims he actually had to beg the police officer that he knew nothing about it. He blamed it all on his son (me) and would have words ASAP. Unluckily for me ASAP meant in a car and front of my friends approximately twenty minutes later.

Part 3 – temporarily paralyzing my mother.

I have a very, very vague memory of swinging a plastic bag containing a heavy hard back book at my mothers’ spine. We’re talking infant school age here. I don’t know why I did it. She had to be carried to bed by my father and remained there for the rest of the evening. Thankfully she recovered.

Part 4 – throwing all my fathers’ tools down the drain.

Aged five I managed to prise open the lid of a drain at the back of our house. God knows how I did it; it’s a slab of concrete two by four feet in size and two inches thick. It probably weighs as much as a large man, and is definitely more awkward to lift. I threw pretty much everything to hand down there. I have a memory of my poor mother lying face down reaching into the hole desperately trying to retrieve a hammer.

Part 5 – painting my fathers’ car with creosote.

I take no blame for this one. If a man leaves an open tin of thick, black creosote next to his brand new white car WITH a brush what does he think will happen? I think being aged two when the incident occurred absolves me of all responsibility.

Part 6 – breaking into a brand new sideboard.

At roughly the same age I painted the car I successfully forced my way into a locked sideboard with a screwdriver. I was a very destructive child. The marks are still there to this day, much to my entire family’s annoyance.

Part 7 – being sought by a Yugoslav army.

I like this one. When we were on holiday in Yugoslavia (the summer between infant and primary school I estimate) I ran off on my own, my parents trusting me to stay nearby and not leave the grounds of the hotel in which we were staying. But I decided to go on a little adventure. On returning four hours later covered in mud my fraught-with-worry-but-sobbing-with-relief father told me in no uncertain terms to vanish again. He informed me that when I didn’t return within the hour he had contacted the local authorities who feared that I had been kidnapped by these weird hillbilly-Yugoslavs that allegedly lived in the forest not too far away from our hotel. A platoon of Yugoslav soldiers had been dispatched to find me.

Part 8 – offending a gay.

Aged seventeen I was on my way home from college on the E47 bus. It was crowded as usual. For some reason I started singing the following ditty:


There was no way I could have known that the college gay was sat yards away from me and blatantly heard what I was broadcasting to the entire lower deck. With hindsight it occurs to me that he probably thought I was directing it AT HIM.

Part 9 – being branded a cult member by Interpol.

I also like this one.

Aged approximately seventeen me and Paul Rafferty had American pen-pals. We used to e-mail these girls all the time and I actually came to close to heading over there to meet up with them. We used to them gifts via. international mail and they used to send us things in return. It was, to all intents and purposes, harmless and very good fun.

For some reason we sent one of these poor girls some bacon rind in an envelope and wrote on the envelope ‘SATAN LOVES YOU’ in black marker pen. It may have also featured a drawing of an inverted crucifix. About a week later heard reports back that the recipient had opened the envelope, started badly freaking out and actually called the police. The police came round to investigate, and upon seeing a photograph of me declared “that guy sure looks like he could be in a cult”. But he said nothing about Paul Rafferty (who was also in the photo).

Luckily, nothing came of this. I fear that if we repeated the stunt in today’s terrorism-mad climate I would have been hunted down like a dog.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

More newspaper headlines

Maureen from Driving School goes on wine-fuelled rampage
Tyson found having sex with coffee machine
Library put on giant wheels then stolen
Fountain pushed off cliff
MPs to enter the commons on horseback
'Stock market stole my car' claims doctor
Leisure centre found wandering lost on m25
Man found disguised as wasp

Wholesome, family fun.

Practical jokes that can easily be done.

1) Dress up as the Grim Reaper (including scythe), creep into your victims bedroom in the middle of the night and wake them up bellowing 'YOUR TIME HAS COME'. Just as they are about to have a heart attack whip the hood down and have a jolly good laugh at their expense.

2) Glue someones front door shut. Nobody gets in or out. How good would that be?

3) Resign somebody from their job while they are on holiday.

4) Creep up behind someone and wire their ears up to the mains.

5) Put on a balaclava, burst into the home of someone you know brandishing a knife, pretend that you're a crazed rapist and only pull the plug when they get really upset.

6) Wait until your best friend is going on holiday abroad then hide weapons or fake bombs in his or her luggage.


Why is it that I can't make it to the top of a ladder? I don't mean that in some kind of weird metaphorical sense, I mean literally CANNOT GET TO ANYWHERE NEAR THE TOP OF A LADDER. I realise this still sounds like I'm making some kind of allusion to something greater but I really mean that statement.


I'm trying to paint the front of our house but cannot do the bloody gutters. It's too fucking high. I'm generally quite cowardly by nature but also not averse to a bit of climbing but something about the height FUCKS MY BRAIN IN. The thing that annoys me is seeing the 80 year old window cleaner on our street happily climbing higher than Nelson's Column every day without a care in the world, blissfully unconcerned that if he was to fall his old and brittle bones would crumble to dust. His family would then have to tend his grave, silently weeping in the rain until they too were mashed up in a terrible ladder-related mishap. And so the cycle goes on.

What the hell am I going to do? The only thing I can think of is getting really pissed before going up there. If that doesn't work I might have to literally CALL A LADDER MAN.

People too stupid to talk. It's got that bad folks.

Why do people struggle with the following words:

1) Specific.

Stop saying 'PACIFIC'. The Pacific is an ocean (, not an adjective. If you're unsure what 'specific' means you can get a definition here SORT IT OUT YOU MORONS.

2) Compilation.

It's not combilation, compitation or combination (although that *is* a word). Maybe if you spent less time drinking in shit pubs and read some fucking books you're be able to communicate in a reasonable way. Now fuck off you leather jacket wearing, chain-smoking, 60 year old life insurance risk.

3) Brought.

It doesn't mean the same as 'bought'. It means something completely different actually.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Stuff overheard recently

1) Two girls talking in HMV. One says to the other "look at thoses CDses". 'CDses'!

2) Liverpool World Museum. There is a family stood next to a giant crab pinned to the wall in a glass box. This thing is massive, probably over a meter in diameter and red. The mother says to her child "look at that spider" (pointing up at it). Excuse me luv but it's clearly not a spider. IT'S PINK, GOT AND SHELL AND CLAWS FOR GOD'S SAKE!! AND SINCE WHEN DO SPIDERS GROW TO A FUCKING METER IN DIAMETER? It depresses me that someone who lacks the intellect to differentiate between a crab and a spider is entrusted to raise a child. You stupid, fat, red-faced, cigarette smoking slag.

3) I was in work when a man approached me and the following conversation took place:

Man: Where's yer sky-fi? (saying sky to rhyme with 'eye')
Me: I beg your pardon?
Man: I'm looking for sky-fi.
Me: Do you mean sci-fi?
Man: Yeah, that's it mate. Sky-fi. (still saying it wrong despite the fact I have corrected him)
Me: It's generally amongst the TV drama. What are you looking for?
Man: Slidders. (to rhyme with 'bidders')
Me: Slidders?
Man: Slidders.
Me: Do you mean Sliders (to rhyme with 'riders')?
Man: That's the one. Slidders. (still saying it wrong)

Incredible isn't it.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Queen, the early days

In the early days Queen's tour bus was known as the Sugary Rumour. According to drummer Roger this was because once in 1971 Brian opened a can of Tizer, spraying himself and the driver with the the sticky red ooze in the process. To this day Brain claims to "fucking detest that stuff, man" (Tizer). Interestingly if you note the colour of Brian's 'Red Special' trademark guitar you cannot argue that the colour is anything other than Tizer Red. Owing to the embarassing nature of the incident and Brian's swift denial, this quickly became folklore amongst the band and roadcrew.

Only the most cynical of Queen fans would refute the accuracy of this theory.

But one thing we are certain of this this; Freddie Mercury was born with his neck as an internal organ. It wasn't until the age of 15 that Fred's family were able to afford an operation to extend his neck out of his torso, thus stretching his vocal chords in the process and giving him his unique singing voice. To see Freddie as a school child it was clear that his school friends had long, sexy necks. But Fred's chin clearly rested on his chest, even when gazing up at the constellation Alpha Centauri on a clear summers eve. Upon asking Fred's mother about this in 1997 she said:

"It was clear that Freddie was fucked from a young age. The prick's neck was buried in his chest like some kind of fucked up mine shaft. A local vicar suggested holding a Blue Peter bring-and-buy sale to raise money for Freddie's operation. We raised £38 that day and booked Freddie into Kidongo Chekundo hospital 3 years later."


One of my work colleagues claims to reached his mid 30s never having owned a suit. His reason for this is that he fears looking like 'Oddjob', a caveman-shaped character from the bond film Goldfinger ( I cannot explain how much this cracks me up.

the wheels of commerce

From my personal experience of company directors it I can be certain of that fact that they are no cleverer that me. And that's not very clever. To be a company director you only need to meet the following criteria:

1) Wear expensive glasses. The ones that only have rims around the top.
2) Either wear a suit without a tie or a v-neck over a shirt. I think it's called 'smart/casual'.
3) Work in London.
4) Appear pleasant but slightly quiet.
5) Drop a few very specific words and phrases into conversation. These include:

"Going forward"
"Year on year"
"Like for like"

6) Work 12 hour days and never see your kids.

I honestly I believe that I could get dressed up, turn up at the head office of a massive company on a specific day and blag it for a week as a PR director.

Hugh Jackman

After watching the new Wolverine film it would appear that both my fiance and future mother-in-law share a passion for Hugh Jackman. Should I be offended by this? Nah. Life is too short to resent the fact that my missus fancies this ripped, weird-haired, Australian prick. It doesn't offend me at all.

(Ed: Is he Australian?)

new things

I'm off to buy a wedding suit tomorrow. Who knows what I will come home with. Maybe I should get a linen outfit, replete with cain, white top hat and brief case. That way I could pretend I am the man from Del Monte and assure friends and family that oranges are indeed good enough to be made into juice. Or I could just get a normal suit. I am still undecided friends.


Let's dance to Joy Division and celebrate the irony.

Indeed, let us do that friends.

Lets celebrate the fact that that Joy Division were absolutely AMAZING and the Wombats are completely shit. I don't mean run-of-the-mill shit, I mean woefully, "I have to switch radio stations" shit.

While we're doing this lets give a shout out to Half Man Half Biscuit, a band that should be awarded MBEs. They've done more for British music than pretty much anyone I can name.

"Your optimism strikes me like junk mail addressed to the dead."

Monday, 1 June 2009

Things I will *never* understand

1) Whenever I use a cash machine the person in front takes 2 hours to get their money out. Why? What are they doing? It's not like they're performing a vastly complex mental calculation. Naturally I will be in and out in less than 3 seconds.

2) Nobody seems to use indicators any more. Call me naive but I LIKE TO KNOW WHEN YOU ARE ABOUT TO DO A FUCKING ILLEGAL U-TURN RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME YOU FAT, TAXI DRIVING PRICK. I AM NOT A MIND READER AND WOULD LIKE TO AVOID HAVING A CRASH IF IT'S OKAY BY YOU? These are the same people that take their entire family to McDonalds for dinner. Fucktards.

3) People who cannot get their heads round the concept of queueing. It's simple my old, mentally challenged friend. So simple that I have broken it down into easy steps:

a) Look at the tills


b) Read the signs at either end. One will say ENTRANCE, the other will say EXIT. Even if there is no signs you can tell where to stand from a) people already queueing to pay b) the path of the rope barrier.


c) Either join the existing queue at the back or make your own queue starting at the ENTRANCE.

Do not, I repeat DO NOT just march up to the counter and get pissed off when you're not being served. Only wankers do this. All that happens is people will ending hating you more than they do anyway, which is a considerable amount my retarded friend.

3) People who will wait 40 minutes for a bus and then choose to get their change out when the driver asks for payment. It is usually someone whose wallet is buried deep at the bottom of their rucksack. It can take them up to an hour to get their change out.

4) People who insist on getting as sunburnt as possible at the first hint of summer. It's like saying: "Winter is here. Therefore I must try and get as many colds as possible".

5) Shorts, smart shoes and white socks pulled up high. Say no more. We must find a way to destroy these morons.

6) Fat mothers (I mean mother as in parent, not 'muthafucker') wearing pyjamas to the shops. They're usually smoking and accompanied by a child. How's about getting off your fat arse and, say, GETTING DRESSED? I know I'm not exactly the worlds best dressed person but at least I've got enough self-respect to not wear my bloody NIGHTWARE to the shops.