Monthly Archives: September 2012

Faces

Faces are here to be looked at. Even better – to be smiled at.

That might seem like stating the obvious, but so often people avoid face to face contact.

On public transport or in crowds people avert their eyes or look down. Anything but make eye contact.

(Oi cheeky! They’re not just trying to avoid making eye contact with me either. It’s everyone.)

When I was a boy in Belfast, catching the eye of a stranger was tantamount to challenging them to a fight. Ever been asked the question: “What are you lookin’ at?” It’s not a good start to a conversation Continue reading

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Funny

You need cheering up. So here goes…

Mother Teresa (my Granny’s old mucker) died and went to heaven. God greeted her at the Pearly Gates. “Be thou hungry, Mother Teresa?” asked God.

“I could eat,” Mother Teresa replied.

So God opened a can of tuna and reached for a chunk of rye bread and they began to share it. While eating this humble meal, Mother Teresa looked down into Hell and saw the inhabitants devouring huge steaks, lobsters, pheasants, and pastries. Curious, but deeply trusting, she remained quiet.

The next day God again invited her to join him for a meal. Again, it was tuna and rye bread. Once again, Mother Teresa could see the denizens of Hell enjoying lamb, turkey, venison, and delicious desserts. Still she said nothing.

The following day, mealtime arrived and another can of tuna was opened. She couldn’t contain herself any longer. Meekly, she asked, “God, I am grateful to be in heaven with you as a reward for the pious, obedient life I led. But here in heaven all I get to eat is tuna and a piece of rye bread and in the Other Place they eat like emperors and kings! I just don’t understand it…”

God sighed. “Let’s be honest Teresa,” He said, “for just two people, it doesn’t pay to cook.”

Now you’re probably wondering how women burn calories in France?

Three ways. Wine, cigarettes and… surprise, surprise… exercise bikes. But not as you know it.

Here’s another.

A man enters a barber shop for a shave. While the barber is foaming him up, he mentions the problems he has getting a close shave around the cheeks.

“I have just the thing,” says the barber taking a small wooden ball from a nearby drawer. “Just place this between your cheek and gum.”

The client places the ball in his mouth and the barber proceeds with the closest shave the man has ever experienced. After a few strokes the client asks in garbled speech.

“And what if I swallow it?”

“No problem,” says the barber. “Just bring it back tomorrow like everyone else does Continue reading

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Street Art 2: Famous faces

Amy Winehouse – She’s saying: “Oh no, I couldn’t eat another thing. Well… Maybe one more chocolate eclair. Just to be polite.

Ever walked down the street and felt that you were being watched?

I’m not talking about that time you forgot your trousers or had your skirt tucked into your knickers. You were being watched that time. Gawped at in fact.

But I’m talking about something more surreptitious.

Something you sense but can’t quite be sure of.

As if people aren’t moving turning their heads – just twitching their eyes. Like a ghostly portrait in haunted mansion.

So back to the street and the feeling of being watched.

Do you try to carry on as if you hadn’t noticed. Whistling maybe. Swaying in an attempt to look casual. Fighting the urge to speed up.

Samuel Beckett: “You looking at me? Huh! Beware or I’ll zap you with my laser eyes.”

Whilst beneath cloth your buttocks are clenched. Your back is straighter. Your own eyes are swivelling while you force yourself not to look back over your shoulder.

Then imagine that the eyes following you are not just anybody’s eyes. That round each corner a new famous face confronts you.

Do you feel intimidated? Scrutinised? Weighed and measured?

Or Continue reading

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Don’t panic

Lance Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army was always urging us (and himself) – “Don’t panic! Don’t panic!”

Calm during times of stress. Stoicism.

Kipling celebrated both in his poem If “If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs…”

I tend not to panic. But maybe I should.

I sometimes wonder if there is a delicious sense of liberation to be discovered through panicking. Loosening up. Primal screaming. Abandoning yourself to YAH! Being drunk on unreason. Dancing crazily. Running and running without having to bother with direction. Bungee jumping away from your worries Continue reading

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The Devil made me do it

How often do you encounter – or read – something completely fresh?

Rarely, I’d say.

This is fresh. Or to be more accurate – it’s sulphurously original. Continue reading

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The truth about pain

Pain… We dread it.

Some endure it. Some can’t.

Some prefer death. Some welcome it as proof of life.

But who really knows what it is?

Who really knows the true nature of pain?

Good news. I do.

Pain is Continue reading

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Africa Express

The Africa Express

Some nights are magical. Saturday was one of those nights.

The Africa Express completed its British journey in London, disgorging a unique and wonderful band of African and British musical stars at the back of Kings Cross station.

Then they began to play Continue reading

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