Sunday, October 23, 2011

This week I have mostly been: Registering for Movember

It’s been a while since I’ve returned to this blog. I have received many emails, text messages, tweets and even the rarest of things nowadays, handwritten letters of concern. Where have you been Spod? What’s been happening? Are you still alive? How do you expect us to survive without your life enriching tales about drunken Swedish Elks?
Do not concern yourselves, I’m back now, and I’m about to explain the reason behind my hiatus. (By the way, I didn’t actually receive any emails, text messages, tweets or handwritten letters of concern, I’m pretty sure my Dad is the only person who reads this blog and even he wasn’t that bothered that I hadn’t written anything).
The reason behind my hiatus is that I have reached a turning point in my life. As a modestly fat over privileged middle class man (I look a bit like a younger John Motson who’s lived on a diet of Guiness and twiglets) I felt it was time I did something positive for society instead of just complaining about its ills.
When I was drunk once I made the outrageous comment that I would like to dedicate my life to charity, to helping the people less fortunate than myself. It was pure coincidence that a homeless man was slumped on the side of the street as I said this, someone who had been chewed up by modern society and spat out, forced to live on the filthy, malodorous streets of London, and as I passed with my girlfriend he said.
‘Can you spare any change please sir’
And I gave my stock homeless person response without thinking
‘Sorry mate, I haven’t got any change’
The worse thing about this was that, not only was I lying, I did actually have change, I was in fact carrying the most amount of change I’ve ever carried in my life, I was carrying approximately £100 worth of change in a plastic carrier bag. The change I’d collected from my daily expenditures over the past few months or so. I was taking it to be changed into crisp £20 notes at the Coinstar machine at Sainsbury’s, which I’d go on to spend on frivolous items such as beer, Nando’s fillet burgers and Converse trainers.
So obviously my claim that I’d like to dedicate my life to charity was a hollow one. I remembered this story a few weeks back and I was pretty disgusted with myself. When I think about it, I don’t do anything for charity. I don’t even donate any money to the Salvation Army man who collects at Gosford station every Wednesday, even though my Grandad was in the Salvation Army for years and played tuba in the brass band (the character of Harold Bishop in Neighbours was based on him).
So I decided not to write anything on this blog until I came up with something positive to write about. Some way I could do something good for my fellow man.
So I’ve decided to grow a moustache.
Some people run Marathons, some climb mountains, but I’ve decided, along with thousands of other men, to grow a moustache over the month of November for the Movember campaign.
The aim of the Movember campaign (You can find out more here) is to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and depression.
As a man, and as someone who has family members and friends who have suffered from depression in the past, I thought this was a good charity to start contributing to on my quest to be a better and more selfless human being.
I plan to make myself look like the camp cowboy from the Village people to raise some much needed funds for this charity and nothings going to stop me, not even the outrageously sensitive skin on my upper lip.

So have a read about the Movember campaign and see if you're interested. If you're feeling saucy you might even want to donate some money. Here’s a link to My Mo Space page if you do want to donate to me personally.
I'll be putting some pictures on there to chart the progress of my facial fuzz and I’ll also be posting updates on my journey into Freddie Mercuryville here.

So lets do this together people, man, woman or child, remember, shaving and waxing is the enemy. The soup strainer is king.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This week I have mostly been suffering: from the booze blues

The horror, the insurmountable horror…….
I can’t do it….I just can’t do it…………………….
There’s a taste in my mouth that can only mean a pestilent Badger with terminal dysentery spent the night in there…….but that’s impossible, how could I fit an entire badger in my mouth…….
Despair…..despair….despair……I’m staring into the unfathomable depths of despair……..
Condemned to a life of hopeless misery………………….Arrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………..sob.
The incoherent babblings detailed above are just a snippet of the thoughts that were vomited out by my chemically unbalanced brain last Sunday morning.
What could possibly have happened to you to make you think such thoughts I hear you ask? Had you just discovered you had a terminal illness? Had one of your loved ones been in a terrible accident? Had you been forced to watch an entire DVD box set of Grey’s Anatomy with your eyes prized open in some grizzly Guantanamo bay style torture ritual?
No. It was none of those things which caused my brain to enter such barren lands of murky depression. It was a commonplace thing, something many of us indulge in from time to time. It was that most available and craved for substance which is a crutch to a lot of us in the western world:
Yes, I was a plaything of Bacchus on Saturday night, I was battered, bladdered, hammered, smashed, ripped to the tits, off my nut, sozzled, mortal, tight, drunk, rat-arsed and pissed.  I’d reached the enviable level of mental incompetence where I found it difficult to stand or talk coherently.
There are large swathes of the evening I don’t remember, I seem to have lost the natural thread of space time directly after the moment I lustily sucked on a slice of lemon after downing a tequila shot and only recovered it in the middle of a conversation about why historically carrots were purple rather than orange with a bemused taxi driver who barely spoke English. Where the intervening hours disappeared to is anyone’s guess.
The reason for this over indulgence is moot. This wasn’t the first time this had happened, but after the hedonistic party there always comes the hangover, the morning after, the post mortem, where every single snippet of the night before is analysed and judged, the tongue had been loosened by the booze, the inhibitions dropped, but now it’s over you find a little voice in your head begins to talk.
‘You really are an idiot aren’t you? What kind of cretin tells their boss that his breath smells of rotting fish guts?’
‘Why did you go on the dance floor and make such a fool of yourself dancing to ‘Wake me up’ by Wham? You looked like a wind-up toy suffering from Parkinson’s disease. You really are the most oafish imbecile on this planet aren’t you?’
But whose is this little voice that pops into your head the morning after the booze up? Who is behind this cruel vociferous criticism? Let me tell you, it’s that grim spectre of the macabre, (you never see him arrive but he always turns up when the effects of the alcohol have worn off),’ The Booze Blues’.
‘The Booze Blues’ is a terrifying beast, he can strike fear into your heart at any moment and turn you into a babbling, jabbering fool. When I awoke on Sunday morning he was there with me, forcing me to remember what a drunken shambling buffoon I was the night before, blowing everything out of proportion until I was struck dumb with despair and horror at the prospect of carrying out the most mundane simple tasks.
A Shower? Impossible
Cook Breakfast? Dear lord, the horror.
Get out of bed? Simply unfeasible
For me nowadays ‘The Booze Blues’ sticks around for a while, making me wallow in self-pity and loathing, destroying my state of mind, making things seem a thousand times more difficult than they are, making me want to blub uncontrollably at the drop of a hat, and to be honest I never want to hear from that vulture of human misery again.
A good friend of mine once said ‘Spod, there will be one day when you wake up after a night on the booze, and you’ll say to yourself, truly meaning it, I’m never doing that again’.
I’ve had that moment, it came on Sunday morning. Alcohol is a depressant after all and some people just shouldn’t abuse it, including me. In fact if it was discovered today it would immediately be classed as a drug too harmful and dangerous to be legal. Makes you think doesn’t it………………..yeah, really does make you think………….oh sod it.
Does anyone fancy a pint?