Archive for October, 2010

image

I feel that due to my love of horror films I should relish Halloween but I don’t. I can’t. It’s just another day with a pointless title given to it to make it feel like an occasion. I know in some places they go all-out to make it an occasion but I can’t for the life of me see why. It just seems as though people will find any excuse to dress-up. I hate dressing up and maybe that’s why I resent Halloween. I only ever went trick or treating once as a kid.

The plus side of Halloween in the past was the sheer quantity of horror films shown on telly in the night. There were loads of them and they were all classics. I briefly glanced at the TV schedule to see what’s on this year and all I could see was Halloween and The Others. Halloween certainly fits the bill and there are a lot worse films than The Others but that’s it. Where’s The Omen? The Exorcist? The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? The Blair Witch Project? Don’t Look Now? Or even the sillyer scare-fests like Scream or Child’s Play? There’s practically nothing. The only thing that’s worth watching in the evening is Psychoville (and that’s not a film. It will be brilliant though).

I won’t get too upset about it. It’s one day in 365 and a lot people have a fun time so that’s good. I just can’t see any point to Halloween besides an excuse to broadcast the greatest horror movies all night and if they’re not doing that anymore then it all seems a bit redundant.

Oh well, Happy Halloween to you.

Simon wants to talk about a particular type of Facebook status. The type of status that makes you want to throw up in the face of the person who has written it. The status that will guarantee to make you either cringe with embarrassment or just be angry for a good couple of minutes. The type of status that makes you want to delete the person who wrote it from your friends list. The type of status that you have to fight the urge to comment on because you know you’ll only write something really nasty. I feel there should be a specific name for this type of status but if there is I don’t know of it. The type of status I’m referring to always includes the word ‘love’ and the name of another person.

This Prick loves That Twat soooooooooo much. 2geva 4eva baby ❤ ❤ <3″

This is the kind of thing I’m talking about. If you write this kind of status and are oblivious to how much it makes me (and many others) hate you then this is a heads-up. It’s relentless. No one cares how happy you are. Yes you’re in love and that’s great but could you please just tell the person you’re actually in love with and not broadcast it to the rest of the world. The rest of the world could not possibly care any less.

There are times when it’s appropriate. Valentine’s Day perhaps. Maybe you’ve just got engaged or it’s your wedding day, in that case no one would begrudge you a lovey-dovey status. If your partner has just been killed in an accident then maybe you could be forgiven for pouring your heart out. These are the only circumstances I deem it acceptable to be a soppy sad-act in a status.

You might think that my hatred towards this type of status is down to the fact that I am a single man but no, I hate this kind of status because it makes me want to be sick with embarrassment and punch someone in the face (preferably someone much smaller than me).

If you’re guilty of subjecting the world to this cringeworthy crap then I implore you to stop immediately. You’re making me ill. Otherwise I’m just going to hope that your boyfriend/girlfriend dumps you for being such a pathetic human being.

End of status.

On the 14th May 1994 I stepped off of the school bus outside the Pig and Whistle pub expecting to receive the usual greeting from Mum. For some reason or other Mum wasn’t waiting there on this day. Instead waiting for me was my Uncle Steve. How odd. I don’t remember much about Steve before that day but there he was, greeting me with a goofy smile and massive ears. Where’s Mum?

Steve said we could go to McDonalds. For a 6 year-old boy this is incredibly exciting. We walked up to the counter in the fast-food restaurant and proceeded to order. Now before that day I’d only ever had a hamburger and fries (happy meal, naturally) but for some reason today was different and I fancied a change. I opted for the Chicken McNuggets (happy meal, of course). The friendly man behind the counter asked if I’d like any sauces. Tomato ketchup would have been the obvious choice, but today was different. “Mustard!” I said enthusiastically, revelling in the kind attention I was receiving from the nice man and Steve. They both reacted disapprovingly in a faux sort of a way. This made me laugh.

We picked up our food and went to go and sit down. I didn’t make it very far before the coke that accompanied my meal fell from the tray I was carrying and exploded on the floor. I felt stupid and on the verge of tears. Luckily the nice man didn’t hesitate for a second and made me another drink, larger than the one I had inadvertently destroyed. This cheered me up no end. We finished our food and went back to Steve’s house.

The happy meal toy this week was dinosaur play dough.

I don’t remember what I was thinking whilst sitting down, kicking my heels round Steve’s house but I was very bored and I knew I was waiting for Gramps and Aunty Nicola to come and pick me up to take me home.

Gramps and Nicola finally arrived to collect me. I sat in the back seat on the drivers side. To my left was my cousin, Max, followed by my sister, Emma. They were playful, I was quiet. Gramps was driving and Nicola occupied the passenger seat.

We were stuck in traffic on Broadway outside, what was at the time, Safeway. I rested my forehead on the window which shook due to the car’s vibration. Nicola chose that moment to tell me some bad news…
“Simon, I’ve got some bad news,” (told you) “your Dad died today”.
“Yeah right!” was my instant reply.
“We wouldn’t lie about something like that!” added Gramps. I noticed a hint of frustration in his voice.
“Oh right, okay”. I didn’t want to argue because I thought that might ruin it. Ruin my surprise party.

The car started moving again. Max and Emma still acting playful, Gramps and Nicola remaining quiet. I returned my forehead to the window looking sad. I thought it was best to look sad so they’d all think that I had no idea about the surprise party.

I started to imagine how they were going to pull it off. I envisaged the dining room table being moved into the living room and blanketed with food. I imagined that I’d walk in and everyone would be there wearing party hats and pulling poppers. Maybe even a banner! They’d all shout “surprise!” and then my Dad would emerge from the kitchen with a cake. I started to feel excited. And what’s more, I had dinosaur play dough to show everyone!

As we pulled into the road on which our house was situated I noticed a load of cars parked in the vicinity of my home. I knew it. Surprise party. I’ve got to continue to look sad so people don’t realise that I’ve sussed their plan.

We walked up to the house, opened the front door and I braced myself for fun times. I stepped inside and peered round the living room door. I was right, everybody was in there. No table though. No food either. Not even the slightest hint of a party hat. Instead, the first thing I saw was my Mum in her dressing-gown lying in my Grandma’s arms with tears streaming down her face. I never realised Mum’s cried. I inspected the rest of the room only to see more sad expressions on the faces of other family members. What a disappointment. And why was everyone so sad? Not to worry though, I knew how to cheer everyone up. I had dinosaur play dough!

A week or so later my little sister and I were sent round my Nan’s house while everybody else attended a party that we weren’t invited to. I think it was a funeral.

After a day of interminable boredom, Emma and I were taken home. When we arrived there it was once again filled with people. A lot more people than last time. They all wore black and they all smiled at me with a mixture of sympathy and enthusiasm. They proceeded to overwhelm me with hopeless clichés…
“You’re the man of the house now!”, “Daddy’s in a better place”, “Your Dad’s with God in Heaven”, “He’ll always be watching down on you”.
Did they honestly believe my Dad had died? I knew he hadn’t. And even if he were to have died he wouldn’t now be with “God in Heaven”! I may have only been 6 years-old but I was already an atheist (before I even knew what atheism was and before I’d even heard of Darwin’s theory of evolution. I went to a Roman Catholic school and they prefer not to educate you properly with science and logic but instead opt for the “God made us, loves us and watches over us all the time“ spiel.)

My theory on Dads sudden disappearance was that he was in Spain visiting his family. Him Mum (my Nan) is Spanish you see. I significantly remember making a phone call to the airport in Spain and having them confirm that he was there. My Mum was crying and trying to make me realise what had happened but I was stubborn, Dad was in Spain. I vividly remember the person I spoke to at the Spanish airport on the phone sounded incredibly similar to a dialling tone…

It was some years later that realisation set in.

Dad would say that when I was a bit older we’d collect the football stickers together. He shared stories of the albums he had filled when he was a boy and I looked forward to sharing this ‘father/son” bond thing with the stickers.
In school the Merlin football stickers were huge. All of the boys had them. Hundreds and hundreds of swaps. At least two normal stickers for a “shiny” and if you had the number ‘1’ sticker as a swap then you could practically get whatever you want! Also, no matter how many stickers were in the album, you always knew which ones you had and which ones you didn’t. “Got, got, got, got, need, got, got, got, need, need, got….”. You get the picture. But there was one football sticker that proved significant and I’m not even sure why…

Matthew Le Tissier. Southampton midfielder.

I was asleep, the football sticker of Le Tissier appeared in my dream and I woke up crying. I didn’t know why I was crying. I never cried. But now I was sobbing. I went downstairs, tears still soaking my cheeks, and went to my Mum who was lying on the sofa watching TV.
“What’s the matter hun?” she asked.
Now I have no idea why I responded with the following two words…

“Dad’s dead”.

… but that’s when I realised.

Hello. My name is Simon and this is my new blog. I had a blog before but I abandoned it when my laptop broke and never really returned. I’d like to think it was quite good for the most part but I did become quite lazy with it over time, posting more and more arbitrary crap, so I thought I’d start afresh. I’m hoping to be more focused with this one. I aim to entertain with a mix of opinion and anecdote. There is a good chance I’ll re-post some of my favourite entries from my previous blog but generally this will be completely new. Welcome to ‘Simon’s Involuntary Euthanasia Dance Calculator’.

I guess I should start by explaining the title. My old blog – ‘No Offence Unintended’ – was a reference to a headline in a fictional magazine from a TV sitcom. A reference so obscure that you wouldn’t even notice it unless you bought the DVD of the show and looked through the fancy booklet that accompanied it. This blog is also titled after a rather obscure reference. It’s taken from a spoof interview between Stewart Lee and Armando Iannucci that was broadcast via the red button following ‘Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle’. Armando quizzes Stewart on Stewart’s ideas for future TV shows. ‘Stewart Lee Just Wants to Dance’, ‘”Give Me the Lifestyle of St. Augustin” with Stewart Lee’ and ‘Stewart Lee’s Pineapple Ballads’ all precede one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard; ‘Stewart Lee’s Involuntary Euthanasia Dance Calculator’. So there you have it. I could not possibly have titled this blog anything else.

I’m not going to bore you by listing all of my hobbies and interests as hopefully that will become rather apparent the more that I write. There’s nothing more tedious than reading a list of what bands someone likes or what their favourite TV programmes are. Who gives a fuck if I love Radiohead and adore Peep Show? Given that I do love Radiohead and adore Peep Show, you can expect to read something about them in the future, but there will be no list.

Notice I wrote the word ‘fuck’ in the last paragraph. There will be swearing throughout this blog. I’m aware that some people find swearing quite offensive but I think a good ‘fuck’ or a well-placed ‘cunt’ can elevate a sentence to levels no other words can. I don’t mean to offend anyone and I don’t particularly like it when I do. I’m not racist or sexist or any other kind of “ist” but I do have issues with obesity and illiteracy among other things. So if you’re a fat cunt that can’t spell then maybe this blog isn’t for you.

I think this should suffice as an introductory post. Over the coming weeks this blog will expand and attain more life. There will be pictures and videos and everything. For now, though, I’ll leave you with this simple greeting.

Hope to see you again soon.