Week 17: Funeral Sex

Friday 27th April 2018

Reading time 3 minutes 56 seconds

Sausages – The Alsatian from Esther Rantzen’s That’s life!

Last year an old friend of mine died. 

He was a beautiful man and was loved by everyone he knew. We’d been friends since our early twenties and ended up living together for a very short period, although we drank for much much longer.  I hadn’t seen him in some years but we talked now and again and it didn’t matter that we hadn’t communicated often as we could pick up exactly where we left off. He was that kind of bloke, he made me laugh a lot and I miss him.

On the planned date of his funeral I happened to be working at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and I had that ridiculous cliché in my head “The show must go on”, but sometimes it doesn’t because it can’t. I decided to take the day off and flew back to England in the early morning planning to return later that day. 

My girlfriend picked me up from the Airport. We hadn’t seen each other for over 2 weeks and as sad I was about the occasion she made me smile, as she always does, just by being there for me. I probably should have let her know how much I missed her but I’d created a tension because my first words to her were about the welfare of our cats. One day I will tell her how much she means to me but now wasn’t the time. 

After a small hug we got in the car and set off for the service. We drove off both lost in our own thoughts, I was tired, probably a little bit jet lagged. Who knows what she was thinking, I wasn’t a mind reader. The silence was broken when my other half announced that we should have sex and the boldness of the request took me by surprise.

I’m not sure about you but death makes me want to celebrate life and as I no longer drink, or partake in any form of fun, a bit of (ahem) ‘how’s your father’ can briefly put a smile on my face. 

I enquired as to where? 

Her: The Car!

Me: The Car?

Her: Yes!

I paused while I tried to process her request and then looked for further clarification.

Me: In my beautiful lovely car?

Her: Yes!

Me: With you?

Her: Yes! [she was starting to get fractionally annoyed now]

Me: Have you lost your mind?

Her: Well you’ve never had sex in a car and you once mentioned that you’d like to.

That last statement was true. I had once said that but I didn’t mean in MY car. I was thinking of a different car, as in one that isn’t mine. Car sex to me is naughty, illicit and needs planning. The thing is I don’t want to plan for sex as I can just about plan lunch. 

Being a stereotypical sexually repressed Englishman I don’t like the idea of sex and I certainly don’t like the idea of other people seeing me having sex. I confess that I would like to be good, or even great, at the sex thing but by the time I discovered it I was struggling to move my hips so it’s not something I ever got the chance to excel at. 

Additionally, I’m not an attractive option to the opposite gender. Women, in my limited experience, are typically drawn to tall dark and handsome men and seeing as I’m short, covered in freckles, almost albino and childish looking I find myself on a fairly empty shelf in a niche market.

I’m not sure how my few sexual partners have felt about ‘doing the do’ with me. 

I think they like the chat and I believe I’m good at the end chat. As long as I know I’m not going to have sex I believe I’m good at the chat beforehand as well. 

I can chat to people. I love a chat. What do you think I’m doing now? 

My missus knows I’m repressed about sex. I cringe with embarrassment at the very thought of it and at this point she could see the pain on my face. I did want sex in a car, but I didn’t want sex in a car. The two sides of my brain were colliding into serious conflict. 

As soon as she’d said the word sex I became fractionally randy. 

However I was not a dogger, or doggie, or whatever it is people do in cars when they should be walking dogs. I watched a documentary about it once but I know it’s not for me as it’s not my cup of tea. Probably because I don’t like tea. 

I reluctantly yet excitedly agreed to the naughtiness so we started to look for a location. I started to suggest various places to break the tension and try and get a laugh. 

How about a lay-by? 

Or a back alley? 

Was a country lane out of the question?

Sorry everyone. 

We passed through a quiet village street and I found myself staring into people’s gardens. In one of the gardens they had a Greco-Roman statue and it looked like a man was throwing a discus. He was naked. I was getting sexual anxiety already and that athletic macho statue was not helping. 

We were really going to do this. We were going to have car sex whilst on the way to a funeral. My dear departed friend would approve once he’d stopped laughing. 

Then my brain started asking why would she say this to me knowing how prudish I am. We’ve been together 10 years and it’s only been a few weeks since we last did “it” couldn’t she wait? 

Then it slowly dawned on me, she just likes to see me shamed. Nothing pleases her more than when I’m embarrassed and red faced, this is how she gets her kicks. My other half didn’t want sex, she just wanted to make me uncomfortable and have a laugh. It’s one of the reasons I love her. The look on my soon to be lovers face was similar to the look my cat gets when killing a mouse. She plays with it first and makes it suffer, this continues until she’s bored and then she gives the poor doomed creature a glimmer of hope of beautiful freedom and returning to its family. Then slowly, very slowly, deliberately, meticulously and with absolute skill and ease she strikes a final death blow. Why didn’t she bring the cats? We’d never be in this embarrassing situation if the cats were here.  

I was getting uncomfortable and was squirming in my seat. A wry playful smile spread across her face. Her hand leant over and rested on my knee. I rocked back and screamed “ARGGH”. This was not conducive to sexy talk. 

We then drove past a sign that said “Best Sausages in Suffolk”. 

We looked at each other.

The sign didn’t lie. They were great sausages. 

We didn’t have the sex and instead just had a fry up. 

We both arrived at the funeral feeling sated so whether it’s sex or sausages it obviously amounts to the same thing. I’ve still not had car sex which any future passengers in my beautiful car will no doubt be pleased with and I don’t think I ever will. Best to leave that to people who own dogs.

This week’s picture: Where’s Willsy? 

Me on the BBC’s Football programme. I believe it’s been renamed Man City’s Match of the day.

Week 16: So I Accidentally Killed My Mrs

Friday 20th April 2018

Reading time 4 minutes 24 seconds

Is she dead? – OJ Simpson?

I recounted recently some of my feelings about sharing my life, and space, with others and a few people have kindly got in touch to remind me of the occasions I wasn’t the best house/flat mate/friend/boyfriend. Which was a shock as I didn’t think they were talking to me any longer.

One story, that still haunts me, goes back to the 90’s where at the time I lived with my then girlfriend in Shepherd’s Bush. Back then and it may not have changed, it was a very scary part of London to live in with the best example being that during a two-week period there were 3 murders. All within five minutes’ walk of our flat.

It was 1994, I was young and skinny [ish] and not for the first time I was in love. I had a good job and our rented home in Zone 2 cost less than £100 per week. 

It was a 1st floor flat on a 1900’s terraced street nestled between the Goldhawk and Uxbridge roads, otherwise known as the Murder Mile. See previous paragraph.

We didn’t have an outside space so we would sit on the window sill, our legs dangling into the front garden 20 feet below, and smoke. As I said life was perfect. It was so perfect a packet of cigarettes cost around £2 and we never knew we had it so good.

The one day that still gives me nightmares was an idyllic and gloriously bright lazy Sunday. I should say I’ve never liked sunny days, probably because I’m a redhead and I burn easily. 

I’ve always thought that if the sun were to tan me and join together my freckles that I’d have the skin tone of an original Ommpa Loompa. Best to stay away from the sun just in case.

The weekends, when you are young and in love with no responsibilities, are open to all possibilities and on this day, we chose to do nothing. 

Doing nothing is a skill I have somehow lost along the way but as I have mentioned before I’ve estimated that I have about 16 summers remaining so I’m trying to get whatever it is that needs to be done, done.

Anyway, back to the story. I’m not sure why but as my girlfriend was sitting on the window sill watching the world go, puffing on a Dunhill red, I crept up behind her and pushed her a little bit as if to simulate her plummeting to her death. Obviously, it was only simulation so I stuck my fingers in the belt loop of her jeans, pulled her safely back and said “saved your life”.

Bad choice of words.

The belt loop snapped. 

Along with the momentum I’d created by pushing her it meant she fell out of the window and onto the street below.

I’d like to say that it all happened in slow motion, similar to Hans Grubers dramatic death at the end of Die Hard, but this wasn’t the Nakatomi Tower, I’m not Bruce Willis, she wasn’t Alan Rickman and as we weren’t in a film it happened much quicker than that. 

Chillingly I will always remember her momentary scream before she hit the ground below with a dull thud.

Damn, I’d killed someone. 

I’d broken another of the Ten commandments. Five more and I’d have the set.

Immediately fearing the worst, I was doing a 10 stretch for murder. 

I’m not a person designed for Jail. I didn’t even like going there when I played Monopoly. I’d be currency in prison and I wasn’t fancying the thought of my new life in the Scrubs.

I froze and looked at the corpse I created. I had seen a dead body before but not one of my own making. How could I dispose of this cadaver? I’d need help. Who should I call?

Then I heard a groan. Was that me? No. My girlfriend rolled over moaning.

Thank the lord Harry!! She wasn’t dead!! Not only had it saved a phone call but it also meant the only Porridge I was going to be doing was Ready Brek.

I rushed to her aid. “Are you ok?”, I managed to whimper. What a stupid question! Of course she wasn’t bloody OK. She was living with an incredibly selfish stupid boy/man who, from her point a view, had just pushed her out of the window of a first floor flat. 

She looked to be in shock and almost as shook up as my good self. 

I went to help her up and then started to apologise as we walked back into the flat with her hobbling behind me. In hindsight, and if I had been the visionary I always wanted to be, it was at that precise moment I should have created a TV show named Jackass.

She was OK. Angry, hurt, bruised, but OK and she’d only sustained a few minor cuts and bumps. I started to blame the belt loop on her jeans which, looking back, was a bit silly as belt loops are designed for belts and are not meant to be safety harnesses for women being propelled out of windows.

I recently learned that if you have a traumatic experience you should replay that in your mind for ten minutes while playing the game Tetris. 

Apparently this removes the emotions from the event and it helps you to not suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

I wish I knew that then because I could have certainly done with it. 

My girlfriend also may have derived some benefit. 

I lived to fight another day as did she. 

Sadly, we didn’t survive as a couple because I’m not sure if she trusted me after that. We’re still friends though. She moved so far away she was almost on her way back and if I’m not mistaken I think she lives in a bungalow.

This weeks picture; Me at a fork in the road. It’s a metaphorical message about the dangers of indecision but mainly about a lesson I learned on how to stop cars to get a picture that made me laugh

Week 15: Me On A Silent Retreat

Friday 13th April 2018

Reading time 05 minutes 57 seconds

It’s oh so quiet – Björk

The person I was in November was a weird little man because he enrolled future me on a waiting list for a silent retreat. I’ll answer a few basic questions you may have;

What’s a silent retreat then?

For a number of days you stop speaking and meditate, this apparently takes you a step closer towards becoming a more enlightened human being.

Why do that? 

Someone I admired, who was cool and relaxed, mentioned that they’d done it.

Isn’t that stupid and doesn’t it mean you have no original thought or ideas?

Yes it is and no I don’t.

I was 68th on the waiting list. I assumed there would be no way I’d be going and at the time April 2018 seemed a long way off. Then on Wednesday I found out I’d become number one. This was a new feeling as I’d never been number one before. All those teachers who said I’d amount to nothing. Pah! Go me! Number one was off to become more enlightened. 

 found out later that the men’s waiting list was always high initially but then reduced rapidly as the commitment became real. Men! This experience couldn’t go wrong. No arguments. No animosity to others. I’m such an idiot to have believed all of these things.

Upon arrival I shut my mouth as I’m a stickler for the rules. A silent retreat means keep your gob shut. Right?

I was interviewed and asked to surrender all my technology but I didn’t need too as I’d left my phone in the car. It was then explained to me, with a slight degree of menace, to hand it over so as to avoid the temptation. They’d also take my car keys thank you very much. 

Wow, they’d heard about my weak will. 

I then sat in the kitchen. All the other guests were talking and this began to wind me up.

Wasn’t this a silent retreat? As if reading my mind an authoritative person arrived and explained that the quietness would start from 7pm. We were to follow the noble silence and then go and meditate with a monk. Cool, monks were here, I like monks. I kind of grew up with a monk, his name was Tripitaka and he was helping this chap named Monkey. Some of you may recall the same experience.

The rules were fairly simple;

No talking.

No reading.

No sexual activity

No communication with another human being including no note passing.

Wash up your own plate and cup.

And similar to the Gremlins no food after Midnight.

I went to the meditation room and met the monk. It was then I cottoned on that it was a Buddhist retreat. I just thought we all shut up and meditated, maybe read a few books and looked at trees, nature and stuff then attained a step towards enlightenment. I didn’t appreciate the Buddhist angle and thought to myself I really must read more of what I sign up to.

So we prepared to meditate.

Myself, 49 other people, the monk and his two pupils who were dressed in white. They looked cool. Tripitaka cool! 

The main Monk announced that we would all chant together.

Chant? Like in Football? 

“I’m Buddhist till I die….then again when I’m reincarnated.” Catchy.

I wanted to ask about the noble silence being interrupted but obviously couldn’t so I just chanted, badly, the same as everyone else. I did wonder at this point if I was being indoctrinated into a cult as I’m not Buddhist, but again, I couldn’t tell anyone so I vowed to keep my vow of noble silence and just follow the rules. 

After 10 minutes of chanting we meditated for about an hour. It was lovely. In the past to attain this feeling I’d need some form of fat, long, herb laced hand rolled cigarette.

Who knew that sitting in a room counting my breath was an easier way to relax and didn’t make me want to eat chocolate then watch terrible TV.

After meditation and listening to the Monk tell a few tales we retired for the evening.

I was sleeping in a dorm room with 25 other blokes which was fine as we didn’t have to speak to one another. When the lights went out all I wanted to say was “Night John Boy” but I’m a rule follower. Regrettably, now finally everybody else was.

On Saturday you are woken at 5:30am and begin meditating from 6am.

I was already an experienced meditator as I’d used the Headspace meditation app on my phone for a few months and I’ve been known to sit in calmness for 20 minutes a day. I find it helps my confused brain. Meditating for over an hour though was harder. Firstly holding the position of sitting cross legged and straight backed became very painful after a period of time. Pain makes me angry. Anger leads to hate….hate leads to suffering etc etc

The main monk had a microphone so the room could hear the wisdom he’d occasionally speak and of course his chanting. The mic was an over the head one, similar to the one comedian Michal McIntyre uses, and the whole listening to the monk experience reminded me of an Open mic comedy night. When Mr Monk spoke there was silence for ages then he’d get one huge laugh from a very silly comment which broke the tension and normally involved how much the other monks would wind him up. We learnt how he overcame this and believe me I was learning a lot. Monks had anger issues to overcome too. Tripitaka hid it well. 

I’ve had 30 years’ experience of London Underground and with it an in built ability to ignore other people. Some of my fellow mediators clearly hadn’t and it was starting to show.

A woman tried to speak to me on the way to breakfast. I didn’t want to get in trouble so I blanked her, didn’t she know the rules?

At breakfast they ran out of bread. Some people had two slices, some exceeded their limit and had three or four. On realising this one chap wanted to go full Chuck Norris but he realised there was nothing he could do. There would be no toast for him today. 

My first proof of karma was being put on toilet cleaning duty.

In the past I’ve lived with my share of lovely idiots and when we’ve divided the housekeeping jobs this has never been one of mine. In fact it never had been in 47 years. I don’t know how I dodged this bullet but now it was payback. I had to clean the kitchen toilet. 

Turns out this was the best job as that toilet is never used. I’d had it done in ten minutes and was free to do…………what?

What exactly was I free to do? 

Have a bloody big think about what had I gained from never doing Toilet cleaning duty with my various flat mates and partners?

After about 15 hours silence with no eye contact I realised it was exactly the same environment post an argument with your other half but the difference was there was no accompanying stress of knowing I was in the wrong. All the food was carbs. This made me very sleepy.  After lunch, and during the meditation, I fell asleep rolled forward and knocked into another person. Three of us toppled over in a domino effect. No need to apologise for this act. I was liking this noble silence stuff.

Without voice it seemed to remove peoples ego. You can’t dislike humans as much as you once did when you don’t have to hear their nonsense but anger will always find a way.

There was a couple passing notes to each other. This wound me up but I couldn’t have a go at them. Damn you noble silence!

They also were flirting with one another through the messages. You could tell how they smiled and giggled slightly. What were they saying? How on earth can I find enlightenment if I’m curious about these idiots?

The man from the flirty couple then got his partner to do their washing up. Can no one follow the rules?!!?

The woman next to me during meditation was communicating through looks to her friend and it would appear she was very angry with the meditations. Why was she there? Why was this bothering me?

Some people didn’t do the meditation they just slept, why were they there?

I really was starting to get wound up by some of these people. It started to feel that enlightenment was moving in one direction and I was moving in another.

In the kitchen was a whiteboard and someone wrote “Thanks for the food it was lovely”.

I wanted to write “Anyone know the football scores?” but just like my John Boy comment it remained in my head. Now was not the time to be the class clown.

All this silence meant I was becoming lost in my own thoughts, which is a safe space as I’d never find my way out of another person’s thoughts. 

Saturday rolled into Sunday and I must admit to a calmness coming over me. The note passing guy did the washing up this time and that helped quell some of the fires within.

I also spent two hours walking back and forth between two trees in a walking meditation. This sounds awful but it really was a lovely calming exercise.

The last few hours were tough as West Ham had an afternoon kick off and it was on TV.

When it was over the my first words were along the lines of Forgive unkindness, contemplate knowledge – Unfortunate acronym

We could speak and then people didn’t shut up. The floodgates were open.

The guy who looked like he was super cool turned out to have a terrible voice. Suddenly I detested them all. I wanted out.

I ended up giving someone a lift and they enquired as to my thoughts and feelings of the argument that erupted the night before. I’d missed an argument? That’s unlike me.

Apparently one of the people who stayed in bed and slept all day got a bit of a slap for snoring by the calm guy with the terrible accent. Everything is just like football.

I really did learn a lot about myself. Mainly that other people wind me up and that to find peace I probably need to be on my own, but with a TV and Sky sports.

After speaking to others I found that I’d had a much easier time than most. Some struggled mentally being isolated with themselves. It would seem that the years I’ve spent on my own mind being disconnected from the world works really well in noble silence.

I’m still not a Buddhist although I’m trying to convince my few friends to try it so maybe I did get sucked into a bit of a cult like mentality.

The whole weekend was free as it’s run on donations of previous attendees. Rats I was now a previous attendee. I guess there really is no such thing as two free lunches and two toastless breakfasts. I’m going to sign up for a longer retreat but maybe without the Buddhist angle, or the humans. OK, I’m going to have an argument with my better half and unplug my broadband router. That’ll save the drive.

If you are interested in doing this experience I found it via Google and I’d highly recommend it. I’m not normally a trip advisor submitter but…………..

Week 14: Hecklers, Why Did It Have To Be Hecklers?

Friday 6th April 2018

Reading time 4 minute 17 seconds

And then it all kicked off like a Cockney funeral

Last Saturday night I performed at a comedy show and it was the most aggressive and fun night I’ve had in quite some time.

The audience consisted of twenty six people eight of whom were a rowdy and rather noisy hen party. I could end this here as I’m sure that you have already guessed the rest. 

We are all guilty of shouting at our TV’s when Mrs Browns Boys is on but Stand up, and live comedy is not enhanced by people constantly screaming out, or so I thought.

Why a group of women celebrating the upcoming nuptials of a friend would want to go to a comedy night where you need to shut up and listen is a mystery to me…..but then so is marriage itself. 

I’d gigged to a room of around a hundred people the night before and apart from nearly vomiting through fear seven times prior to going on stage I actually gave a reasonable account of myself. The nerves still grip me and almost puking up in front of a promoter I hold in high regard was not my most professional moment. 

However on the following evening I found myself in a different comedy room and told myself that nerves are useless so just lock them away. I was confident and I was in a playful mood. It was going to be a great night and using the opening line of Tango and Cash I said to myself “Let’s do it!”. 

The MC opened proceedings and the rowdy Hens were in full swing. They all had small penis straws in their drinks and as I’m not exactly blessed in that department I thought they looked a reasonable size.  When I say ‘drinks’ one woman had her penis straw in a bottle of Prosecco. They were a classy bunch. Almost immediately the Hen party were annoying the other audience members with their antics and the thing about the British is that we are so polite no one said anything. Not even a shush. There was of course a tut but as we all know no one who has consumed at least 3 bottles of cheap bubbles can hear that. 

The MC told them they needed to be quiet and they were momentarily as the audience welcomed on the first act. Generally when I’m at gigs I like to sit at the back of the room to watch what’s going on and I’m glad I did as I witnessed a real event. 

The first act started his routine and the Hen party kept interrupting him although to be fair the Hen herself seemed nice but her soon to be daughter in law had clearly been drinking since 1998. The act engaged and made a valiant attempt to them shut up but trying to make drunk people listen is like trying to put a condom on an elephant. It’s very difficult and ultimately ends in endangering the species. They bantered back and forth and then he said a joke at the expense of the daughter in law. The room laughed. The daughter in-law laughed. I laughed. It was funny. Everyone thought so. Well, almost everyone.

One member of the hen party took offence to what had been said and whilst the rest of the room had already moved on the offended lady spoke up to express her unhappiness. 

Eloquence was not her forte and she yelled in a very aggressive manner telling the comedian he was bang out of order for making fun of her niece. 

Aggressive Aunty was told it was ok by her group, and it was just a bit of fun, but this was not enough to console her so the comedian threw a put down joke her way. The room laughed. This did not quash the fire within her. If anything, it was like kerosene. 

Aunty asked the comedian to apologise, he said no and he stood by what he said. 

Then the niece got angry at the comedian which was weird as previously she had been enjoying herself. 

Anger was now spreading like wildfire and I actually heard the words “leave it Sandra”. 

The atmosphere was insane and it was like the Opera and Football all rolled into one. I sat there wondering if I had become a trouble divining stick. Aunty went to stand up three times and each time her niece pulled her back down. The fourth time however the niece was chatting to someone else and Aunty stood up unrestricted. 

She didn’t really know what to do at this point as standing up and shouting abuse seemed to be her only plan but given she was in this position she would have to follow it through. 

She then swagger staggered to the stage with Prosecco in hand and it looked as though she was going to glass the comedian. Her other mates stopped her in time and were dragging her back all the while she was calling the comedian a lady’s special place. 

The rest of the audience reeled at this. 

Aunty was dragged back to her seat and announced to the room “Shut up and get on with it” which I thought was thoughtful of her. The comedian worked the room for a few more minutes said thank you and he left the stage. At this point the MC announced a 10-minute break and the relief on everyone showed. 

After the interval eight people didn’t return. Regrettably it wasn’t the hen party. 

It was then my turn to perform. The Hen party were still unable to be quiet, Aunty was still fuming, and I hadn’t done anything wrong but I was guilty by association. 

As they wouldn’t, or couldn’t, shut up I asked the bride to be if myself and the remaining audience members may attend the wedding so we could sit there during the speeches, randomly shouting out nonsense drowning out all the important parts of the vows and speeches. The hen party looked confused by this while the other audience members laughed. 

I hobbled through the remainder of my routine and left the stage on what was truly an epic night. I learnt that performing comedy is not always about making people laugh. Sometimes it’s just about survival.

This week’s photo is a Tut-tut in Brighton which everybody heard.